Images of Naturism – What Is, What Isn’t?


Tumblr is, first and foremost, a visual site.  The things which are reblogged most are gifs and pictures.  People here are interested in images first, and words second.  That’s not a bad thing, just a sign of how the site works.  Microblogging needs to make a quick impression on people, to be recognised.  Pictures are quicker for this than words are.

So we share images here and, as naturists, we share images which represent naturism to us. 

But not every image of a naked person is a naturist image.  Many naturist blogs reblog images which, while of nude people (especially women) are not representing naturism.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  You can represent nudity in a positive light without using an image that is specifically showing naturism – I do it and so do many blogs I follow. 

But it’s useful to be able to understand the difference between a nude photo and a naturist photo, even if its only an academic difference.

Firstly, here are some images which are specifically naturist:

All of the above images show naked people, it’s true.  But they also show mixed-gender groups, different body types, and different ages.  They show people socialising, non-sexually, and engaged in a variety of different activities.  The people look happy and having fun.  They are definitely representing the specific activity of naturism – and in a positive way, too.

Now let’s look at some of the other types of images of nudity used in naturist blogs, and I’ll explain why they aren’t naturist images although that doesn’t make them bad images!

A girl taking a picture of herself naked in the mirror of her bathroom.  This isn’t an image of naturism.  True, the girl might be a naturist herself, and she might be naked because it is her lifestyle – but we have no idea of the context just by looking at the photo.  She could just as easily be taking a private nude photo for a lover.  It’s just an image of nudity.

Using images of nudity can be positive, because it normalises nakedness and shows different body types which leads to people feeling more comfortable about their own body naked.  But you can’t just assume that because someone is naked in a picture, they are a naturist (or that they are not, either).

Here’s another image:

Again, we don’t have a context for this image, so we can’t assume that this girl is naked in her home because she is a naturist.  However, judging by the fact she is in a bedroom (where most people will not think twice about being naked) and the fact she seems a bit embarassed, it’s quite possible she is not a naturist and even if she were, the image doesn’t really represent a naturist lifestyle.

Compare that image with these:

Now these images are quite similar to the others and,we don’t have the context to know for definite that they are images of people who are naturists.  But they do show people doing normal, everyday things at home naked, which is the reality of experience for many naturists, so we can say that these images represent naturism quite well.  Even if these people dont live naked themselves and are only naked in for the photos, the images themselves represent a nude lifestyle.

Here’s a different sort of image:

This is a picture posed by a model.  She’s a professional subject for a photographer.  Yes, she is nude, but it is all about the artistic quality of the image, rather than representing being nude as an activity or lifestyle.

Sharing artistic images of nudity is a positive thing because it helps us to stop thinking of nudity as taboo and helps us appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the human body. 

But the images we share aren’t, themselves, naturist.

For example, take this image:


At first glance, this would appear to be a naturist image.  Two females, nude in a social way, having fun together outdoors.  But this is a picture posed by two models, rather than a genuinely spontaneous moment.  You can tell because of the watermark in the top left, for Abby which is an internet site which showcases nude photography art.

Maybe these models are themselves naturists, but there is again no context to tell us that.  However, if you were to assume this was a depiction of naturism, you wouldn’t be doing any harm – it’s a happy, positive image of nudity – although images like this do sometimes give the misleading impression that all naturists are pretty young women.

There are other images used by naturist blogs which can be more misleading, though – by giving the impression that naturism is a sexual activity.

I’m not going to share too many of them here because I don’t want my blog to be reclassified as an adult one. But here’s an example:

I’m no prude and I don’t have a problem with depictions of sex.  But when you put sexual images on a blog which is supposed to be about naturism, without explaining the context that these are adults engaging in consensual sexual activity, who just happen to be naturists, you risk giving the impression to non naturists that this sort of thing is what happens in all naturist locations.

Lastly, there is a particular type of image, one that I do believe is negative:

This sort of image may show a genuine naturist nude on a naturist beach, but it is not an image which I believe should have any place on any naturist blog.  This sort of image is a voyeuristic photo of a young woman taken without her consent or knowledge, likely by someone hiding some distance away with a long-lens camera, or using some concealed camera or recording device or mobile phone, then shared on the internet for sexual gratification.  These images are an invasion of privacy and it can be against the law to take them, so we should all do our best to discourage them from becoming acceptable.

So, that is an idea of some of the different types of images you might see on a naturist blog or Tumblr, and what they say or don’t say about naturism.

I should say again, just because a photo is of nakedness, rather than naturism, it doesn’t make it bad, or the blog that hosts it bad.  It’s just worth understanding what such images represent.



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