Fairfield County Edition

Shed Old Attitudes with Your Clothes

Be Empowered by Social Nudism

What comes to mind when you think of personal empowerment?  Do you think of someone who is open to new or even unconventional experiences? Who speaks her mind, even when others might disagree? Are you that person? 

Being empowered allows you to be happy with who you are and to recognize the many strengths and resources that dwell right within you. Able to defend your own rights, you are also able to advocate for others. When you feel empowered, you enjoy a sense of well-being.  

The first step toward empowerment is understanding that your power lives within. No one gives it to you. It’s something you already have, and the sooner you recognize it, the better.

If your sense of empowerment needs a boost, start by examining your body image. Are you carrying old baggage in the form of self-judgments? Do you worry that you are “too” something—fat, skinny, busty, flat, flabby, wrinkled, scarred or whatever?

Fortunately, there is a proven path to personal empowerment right within your reach. It is social nudism, an experience—and, for many, a way of life—that helps individuals free themselves of body shame. Once you do that, you are free to harness your innate inner strength, build self-confidence and love yourself just as you are. “As a woman who has always been ‘of size’, becoming a nudist was the first time I could truly and thoroughly accept myself and feel comfortable in my own skin,” attests one woman who is now a committed nudist. This sense of self-comfort has been echoed by many others, including men.

Social nudism simply means being free of clothing in the company of other like-minded people, in a safe place, such as Solair Recreation League, in Woodstock, Connecticut, a family-friendly nudist resort in operation since 1934. Nudist resorts like Solair enforce strict codes of appropriate behavior where everyone, including children, are safe and comfortable. Such resorts are voluntarily regulated by the American Association for Nude Recreation, the largest and oldest organization for nudism advocacy in North America.

When you visit a nudist resort to participate in social nudism, along with your clothing you have the chance to strip yourself of old burdens and restraints of attitude. From there, additional benefits include:

• A sense of belonging—a social benefit. Social nudism promotes a community where men, women and children share a wholesome, healthy way of life. 

• Liberation from old thought patterns—an emotional benefit. Without clothing, everyone is equal, exposed and trusting. When you take off your clothes, you take a leap or “risk” you may never have anticipated. Yet you find yourself relaxed as never before—and even feeling courageous. This is empowerment.

• You de-stress—a physical benefit. Those who participate in social nudism find that their blood pressure drops, and they absorb more vitamin D. Plus, scientific studies show that when you sleep naked, your skin temperature cools—a key ingredient for good rest.

• You may also feel spiritual benefits such as a sense of harmony with nature, peacefulness and unity with a creator or greater power.

Social nudism means freeing yourself of old constraints and burdens. Perhaps they are vestiges of your upbringing. When you remove your clothing in a safe setting in the company of other accepting, like-minded people, you give yourself permission to be your whole self. You drop your own notions of perfection that may be obsolete or limiting—and feel empowered.

Social nudism is all about empowerment and wellness, because each emphasizes personal choice, freedom and control. Personal empowerment means having the freedom and power to do what you want or to control what happens to you. It is a component of a healthy self-image. Wellness means living the best possible life you can, under your personal control, including creating the right environment for a healthier lifestyle. Social nudism, or naturism, is a chosen way of life to promote wellness, self-acceptance and freedom.

Increasingly, scientific research confirms what naturists have always known. According to the Journal of Happiness Studies, one of an increasing number of studies about social nudism, “Individuals do experience increases in positive body-image, self-esteem and life satisfaction after participating in real naturist activities.” In addition, according to Nude Recreation from a Woman’s Perspective, social nudism’s greatest contributions to today’s woman are self-acceptance and total relaxation.

“When my husband suggested we visit a nudist resort, I couldn’t imagine baring myself like that,” recalls one woman.  “It was more than my body I was afraid of baring. I was afraid of exposing my lack of confidence. But I agreed to try it. Not so long after I took off my clothes, I felt a true sense of warmth. It wasn’t just being one layer closer to the sun, but also a sense of warmth toward myself. In one afternoon, I learned that my body is just fine as it is. That acceptance has led to a feeling of strength in other areas of my life.”

If you decide to give social nudism a try, you may discover within yourself that same personal strength and feeling of satisfaction. By following this path to personal empowerment, you have nothing to lose—except a few articles of clothing and whole lot of self-doubt.

Ronna E. Krozy, EdD, RN is a retired professor of nursing and a Trustee of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). Nancy Greenhouse has created development programs for numerous Boston-area nonprofit organizations. Both are long-time members of AANR as well as Solair Recreation League in Woodstock, Connecticut. For more information about Solair, call 860-928-9174 or visit SolairRL.com. For general information about social nudism, visit aanr.com. See ad, page 22. 

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