nudism

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nudism

or

naturism,

practice of going without clothing in social settings, generally in mixed gender groups and for purposes of good health or personal comfort. Governed by a strict set of rules, the practice of nudism is purposely nonerotic and nonsexual. As a social and philosophical movement, nudism began in Germany in the early 20th cent. and spread throughout Europe between the two World Wars. It originated as a protest against strict Victorian codes of behavior and sought to alleviate the ignorance and shame caused by hiding the human body. Nudism also represented a challenge to the traditional dichotomy that celebrates nudity in artistic representation but condemns it as a practice in everyday life. Stressing nudism's supposed benefits to physical health and mental well-being, contemporary adherents of the movement maintain that its practice aids both exercise and relaxation while promoting stress relief, positive body image, and increased self-esteem.

In the United States, nudism as an organized movement began in 1929 with an upstate New York picnic organized by German immigrant Kurt Barthel and achieved some popularity in North America during the 1930s. Today nudism, which commonly includes sunbathing, swimming, sports, and other social activities, is usually practiced at clubs, camps, and parks and on special nude beaches. The Denmark-based International Naturist Federation, which has a membership of almost 500,000 in more than 60 countries, is devoted to worldwide nudist activities. The largest North American advocacy group, with a membership of nearly 50,000, is the Florida-based American Association for Nude Recreation, founded in 1931 and until 1995 known as the American Sunbathing Association.

nudism

[′nüd‚iz·əm]
(psychology)
Intolerance for wearing clothing, with a morbid tendency for the individual to remove her or his clothing.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The group's website says it is the largest nudist club in the Northwest, with more than 350 members.
We try to actively deter nudism by patrolling the site and informing nudists of the impact their behaviour could have on others.
But Lazaros Lazarou, the community leader of Pissouri, said that at the end of the summer season last year, a number of nudists, both men and women, made an appearance on the public beach at Pissouri Bay, an area popular with locals, families and holidaymakers.
They wanted to create a resort that was spacious and luxurious and where nudists and first timers would feel comfortable whether they stayed 1 night or 1 month.
But the industry has evolved, with resorts becoming more upscale, cruises getting larger, and judging from the turnout of vendors at the first nudist expo last week in Las Vegas, no shortage of tourism companies aiming to cater to those who would rather travel in the buff.
Ellen Harvey's "The Nudist Museum Gift Shop" included installations evoking both a museum and a gift shop, as well as works situated in a bathroom and a stairwell.
But the beach is unofficially listed on several independent nudist websites.
YESTERDAY'S Daily Post story on calls for an official nudist beach at Newborough, Anglesey, has sparked on-line debate.
They spent family holidays abroad at various nudist camps.
Now Seaton Carew, a chilly coastal suburb of Hartlepool, may get its own nudist beach.
VILNIUS -- A group of Lithuanian naturalists are standing up for their right to be naked, requesting Palanga authorities to finally establish an official nudist beach in their area.
Sunbathers from Queensland could be about to get their first legal nudist beach.