Monday, June 29, 2015

When Even the Bears Won't Go Bare

This post comes to you courtesy of Mrs. Platypus. She noticed a new video series for children in the lineup of suggested titles in her Amazaon account.  Based upon popular books by illustrator Todd Doodler, it's called Bear in Underwear.  You can follow this link to one of the books on Amazon called Goodnight Underwear and see a few pages of it by using the "Look Inside' feature available on the site.  The accompanying description helps explain that the "underwear theme" is designed to inspire story time giggles among youngsters who will no doubt find it funny.  (There was a similarly popular book series under the name 'Captain Underpants' some years ago as we recall from trips to the bookstores with our puggles.)

What Mrs. Platypus found interesting is that virtually all of the forest critters depicted are dressed in clothes of some kind.  And that the male characters are usually only wearing briefs or boxers, while the female animals often wear more. We can't explain the difference or the need to clothe animals... beyond the easy laughs, that is.

We don't have a problem with having a bit of fun, of course.  Or with using animal mascots (our blog is, after all, named after a platypus). It's just interesting that even the "bears" cannot go fully "bare" within this genre. Is it all a plot to brainwash our kids to be more clothing compulsive?  Probably not. After all, the Berenstein Bears, Winnie the Pooh, and Paddington Bear all wore a few items to give them personality.

Still, in posts long ago, we pointed out that you shouldn't Put A Swimsuit on a Platypus . We even discussed, at some length, that although Donald Duck wore some clothes, he didn't wear pants.  And it is true that the subtle cues that we give children at very early ages about clothes and swimwear may be part of  the reason Why Nudists Lose Battles and Wars .

As Crosby Stills & Nash sang it, Teach Your Children Well.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Naked is The Simple Way to Cool Off

This week the Bare Platypus was assisting one of his puggles with working on her car.  It's that time of year and... you guessed it, the air conditioning unit needs a refrigerant charge.  Now, the good news is that there are instructional videos on You Tube for doing the job safely and in an environmentally friendly manner. There's also some good news in that the cost for a small canister of the refrigerant is not too bad.

The bad news is that you can buy those products, watch the video, charge the air system, but still not get to cool off in the easiest, most natural, way possible: By just going naked over the summer!

We have written posts about Motoring Naked - Tales from the Road .  We can tell you that, while it sounds like a lot of fun (and is) to "doff n drive," it's not without drawbacks.  For one thing, you'd get some interesting stares (and maybe a date with the police) if you drove up bare to the McDonald's drive thru at lunch hour.

Joking aside, Naked really is the best way to cool down during hot summers.  With a simple spray mister and a fan, your nude body will feel much cooler than you would with those uncomfortable clothes - no matter where you are be it camping, relaxing at home, even doing light housework.

Naked is good for the environment.  It's also cheap!  And naked is a lot more fun!

So go on... grab your friends.  Go for a skinny dip. Get bare.  You'll be chillin'.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Naked Supreme Court Statuary

Today Bare Platypus was checking the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) website for the most recent decisions by the high panel which were issued this morning.  Sure enough, within the images appearing on , there is a picture of the Court's East Frieze panel.  And it has naked people!  You can see a close up of the image by clicking Naked East Frieze Supreme Court Figures .

In pointing this out, the Platypus in no way wishes to demean the Honorable Court or to detract from the respect due to it.  We just continue to find it ironic that Facebook, Instagram, and other "institutions of justice" would ban users and their accounts for depicting the naked human form - especially for anyone appearing to be underage. They do so when the very same themes are celebrated within the U.S. Supreme Court as the embodiment of all that is pure, just, true, and wholesome - the things we want associated with our legal system.  This irony has not gone unnoticed by the justices themselves, who have made remarks about it during (usually in dissenting opinions when they were outvoted) obscenity cases of the past.

Years ago the Department of Justice spent thousands of dollars making sure that a statue depicting a female breast was covered up by curtains so as not to appear during press conferences.

Whether on a statue or live human being, the Bare Platypus believes that the human body is "fearfully and wonderfully made" and worth celebrating.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Naked Yard Ornaments Revisited

Some time back the Bare Platypus issued "A Call for Naked Yard Ornaments" in which we called upon fellow nudists to put a little nudity into their yard in the form of signs or statuary.  Read the post, which generated several comments, here: A call for naked yard ornaments .

Maybe we were a bit too hasty.

It seems that displaying something as innocuous as a garden gnome flashing his bare bum can get you into trouble - at least if you live in the U.K.  For example, consider this article which we read last week in which police threatened a man with arrest after a neighbor (who is also a retired police officer) complained, saying "his wife and children felt threatened for their safety" by the statuette: Man faces arrest over naked gnome .

While searching for that article to write this blog post, believe it or not we encountered a different case in which a 60+ year old woman's Naked Gnomes Ordered to Cover Up from just a few months ago.

What is the world coming to when the only thing one neighbor resorts to when flashed a ceramic "moon" is to call authorities.  Whatever happened to talking with one another?

It's enough to make one wonder how those Belgians ever stood for that statue of that naked little fella taking a leak in Brussels.  Or the Italians stood for Michelangelo's David.

Maybe the problem is those colored pointy hats that gnomes wear. Is that what folks find so objectionable?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Raise the Flag for Nudism

Have you considered how you could raise the flag?  No. We’re not talking about honoring Independence Day (but, by all means, please do honor the holiday.) We don’t mean the flag of the United States, or any country, or even a printed cloth representative of a nudist organization.

We mean, gets a conversation going about nudity.  Get someone thinking about nudism.  Get someone to take the first steps in doffing their clothes.  Raising the flag involves stepping out… if only a bit… to advance what Platypus readers enjoy.  There are hundreds of small ways to do this:
  • Put a bumper sticker on one of your cars (even the one that sits in the driveway) about enjoying life without tan lines;
  • Leave a nudist magazine or publication along with several others on your coffee table and see what discussions it prompts;
  • Hang one of those signs about “skinny dipping after 5 p.m.” or “skinny dipping is okay” near your backyard pool;
  • Send an article about the ten best nude beaches out in a Facebook post – along with the ten or twenty messages you send about a bunch of topics from your sports team’s success to a favorite recipe – so you don’t have to be too obvious;
  • Let your toddler streak the backyard when good friends or family come by and be nonchalant about it;
  • Serve that cold beer (or warm cup of coffee) to a visiting friend in a glass or mug with a clever slogan like “I’d rather be in my birthday suit” printed on it;
  • Hang a tasteful nude on the wall of your den or other place where close friends gather;
  • Give someone a birthday card that has nudists or cartoon bare butts.  You know the ones we mean! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Saturation Factor in Promoting Nudism

The Bare Platypus team actively worked for about 15 years promoting nudity and nudism throughout the country (and a bit beyond).  For most of those 15 years they had the benefit of web pages, email, and monthly nudesletters er... newsletters.  But new technologies have emerged.  They're game changers.

There is Facebook, of course.  And Twitter. And Google Plus. These get messages out several times per day in some cases.  But perhaps even more significantly for nudism, there are blogs like this... as well as Tumblr.  Tumblr allows clever memes and sayings.  But also images that are worth a thousand words (some for good, some for less good.)

Just a few years ago, an activist, business, or organization could not have dreamed of communicating with customers and supporters several times per day or per week.  It would have been cost prohibitive. Email became an inexpensive and convenient messaging source.  But try to send any images (let alone nude ones) and you were likely to trigger spam filters and get blocked.

We recognize that some social media like Facebook and Instagram have censored material and we have written about that scourge in previous posts.  But it is now possible for subscribers to be reminded of what we "like to do best" multiple times in multiple ways.

One downside, of course, is that it seems everyone else is vying to be in your Twitter and Tumblr feed.  Marketers.  Advertisers. Government.  You name it.  If we used to be subject to a lot of that from television as kids, we're flooded with it now.

Know what?  It's okay.  The simple logic of a brief message that life is better without clothes (and maybe a clever accompanying cartoon or other tasteful image that brings a smile to your face) will probably sway a lot of people and do so effectively.

Someone who is better connected to technology may be preparing a comment to discuss the likely impact of the next innovation that we here don't know about that is already making the rounds.  From apps that dispense information to those that gather it.  Or the virtual reality world.

Life may have been simpler back then.  But it holds oh so many possibilities now.

Friday, June 12, 2015

There is Something Special About Communal Nudity

The Bare Platypus values naked time.  The Bare Platypus values times of solitude for quiet reflection.  Lots of both, actually.

But there's something special about communal nudity too.  Now, the non nudists who like to make jokes are likely to crack, "we know why people want communal nudity."  Wink wink.  Putting them aside, the truth is that there are times when group nudity does something for one's spirit.  And that something is closer akin to why group religious worship holds unique meaning.  Or attending a rock concert where the audience makes the experience so much different than listening to an MP3 of the same band... or even watching video. Sing the national anthem alone in your living room.  Then sing the anthem in a baseball stadium with thousands of other fans and you understand what we mean.

There are group dynamics at work here.  People in one place with one purpose.  It's often referred to as "social nudity" or "communal nudity" but the terms hardly seem to do full justice to the phenomenon.  It is just incredible when a sunning lawn fills with naked people reading books, tossing a Frisbee, pushing strollers, and a hundred other ordinary things.  Magically, it becomes extraordinary.

The Platypus remembers the first time that he set foot on Gunison Beach (a/k/a the Sandy Hook nude beach) on the Gateway National Seashore in New Jersey on a busy weekend.  Until then the bare beaches he'd visited had tended to be remote with sunbathers spread out over distances. The sight and sound of so many, many people of so many nationalities, and from so many ages and stages of life made a significant impression. Perhaps you have had similar experiences.  Or perhaps you have yet to venture beyond your own backyard.

We only hope you get to try it at least once in your life.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nudist Slogans We Have Seen and Heard


Time for a brief write-up as we get ready to bring on Friday and the weekend.  In no particular order, and with no attribution to the original source(s), we'll offer the following catch phrases and slogans we've seen and heard used to describe the nudist experience:

"Nudists aren't clothed minded"

Enjoy Life Naturally

"If God had meant for us to go naked, we would have been born that way."

"Be a nudist and see more of your friends."

"Go on a nakation."

"I'd rather be in my birthday suit."

"Happiness is no tan lines."

"Nudist and I vote"

Life is short... Play Naked!

Play Nakey (seen on a children's shirt)

Hike Naked!  It puts color in your Cheeks!

Nude is not lewd

Wear only a smile

Put on nothing but the radio

Pack less, relax more

No shirt, no shoes, no shorts, no problem (seen on entrance door decals)

"I got my allover (tan) at Haulover (nude beach Miami)"

Feel free to add some of your own in the comments section.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Naked Monday Naked Stories

A thunder and lightning storm is about to begin around the Platypus habitat this afternoon so we will make this story quick.  Actually, our "story" is a collection of a few news stories about nudists or being naked:

World Naked Bike Ride to Cruise Through New Orleans 6-13 - From the New Orleans Times Picayune;

Sleeping Naked is Good for Your Health - From The Daily Mail;

Naked Beer Festival to Hit London - From The Drinks Business; 

Tycoon Richard Branson and Judi Dench Pose Nude with Fish - Metro News; 

Miley Cyrus Poses Naked - The Daily Mail;

Naked Bike Ride in Cardiff  The Mirror.

Yeah it's time to unplug the computer before the bolts start striking.  We wish you a happy, very Naked Monday.  We invite you to vote in our poll about whether you'll celebrate Independence Day with independence from clothes (the poll is on the right hand side of this web page, but you'll need to switch from Mobile App to full screen to see it.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Human Reason to Go Naked - Avoid Clothes Made by Exploited Labor

If you want another reason that may persuade you  to choose going naked more often here it is: According to an article running in this month's edition of The Atlantic Magazine , "Your clothes are made by exploited laborers."

The Atlantic story relays the experience of the Patagonia clothing and foods company, which made a sincere attempt to root out any exploitation of its workers.  Not just in the "sweat shops" that cut and sew fabric.  But right down to the very mills that that supply fabric and beyond.  What Patagonia found over the course of conducting multiple fair labor practice "audits" of these suppliers was troubling. The same workers already making low wages in countries like Taiwan were further exploited by being forced to pay labor brokers for the privilege of getting their jobs in the first place.  In extreme cases, the fees assessed topped more than $7,000.

The Platypus family often lists the exploitation of labor (including child labor) among the reasons we reject clothes where possible---and, especially, swimwear. It's made by people earning pennies per hour and the Atlantic article helps demonstrate that we're being neither theoretical nor hyperbolic about that. Our question: How "moral" can it be to insist on wearing small bands of fabric in order to be "properly attired" at the beach, while at the same time turning one's head to the human consequences associated with producing that fabric?

For the record, the members of the Platypus family now purchase virtually all of our clothing at second-hand shops and, especially, from the Salvation Army. Within these outlets there's usually a great selection of high quality items in good condition, sold for very little money.  Saving that money helps free up dollars to give more... to churches, ministries, people in need, or other matters important to our family.  It also recycles - giving clothing a second, useful life, while employing the Salvation Army workers in the store who launder it and prepare it for sale.  Ms. Platypus is also talented at turning yarn into blankets and spreads, as well as jackets and scarves for when it gets cold.

Now, before we morph into self-righteous Preachy Platypuses, we'll acknowledge that someone must still produce the original clothes that eventually reach the second-hand racks.  But we won't fill then dump out our closets with pop fashions that we don't need.

Please. Believe us. Often naked really is better. Nudity is also often the more humanitarian choice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Will Millennials Be Nudism's Next Big Hope?

By now you are no doubt familiar with the term "Millennials."  That's the label used to describe the generation born roughly between 1980 and 2000. It numbers approximately 92 million strong, making it a larger generation than its parents, "the baby boom"... which made such a significant impact in itself at approximately 77 million.

The millennials are younger than Generation X (a mere 61 million), to which Mr. and Mrs. Platypus belong.

When some people think (stereo typically) of Millennials, they often think of hipsters who can't take their attention off of their cell phones for long enough to hold a conversation or a job in one place for very long. But that mindset is not helpful or necessarily accurate. More importantly, it misses the great potential that this segment of our population has for being the next big hope for nudism.  There are several reasons they could be:

First, as has already been explained, this generation is huge - its numbers alone mean that if just a fraction of these 20-somethings opt for nakedness, the impact will also be huge.

Second, as a recent article entitled NOwnership, No Problem appearing in Forbes this week points out, this generation of consumers prefer EXPERIENCES (e.g. attending concerts, good meals with friends, or a trip) to acquiring THINGS.  In fact, 78% would opt for spending on an experience over buying something desirable. Owning a home, car, or even a designer handbag just doesn't mean as much to many of these folks. What better EXPERIENCE can you think of then skinny dipping, a trip to a nude beach, or holding a nude weekend with friends?

Third, believe it or not, Millennials are opting for dining and technology over clothing, fashion, and apparel for what may be the first time in recent history.  That's gotta hold some promise for nudism!

Fourth, when you consider that many many of these have taken a nude "selfie" picture or two, they have taken at least one step to "confronting" (and accepting) their own nakedness.  

For now, let's remain optimistic and do what we can to let all people know---from 8 months old to 80---about how great it feels to go naked---especially outdoors.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Can You Remember When Skinny Dipping Was Politically Correct?

The month of June has arrived.  That reminds The Bare Platypus that it was not too many decades ago when the covers of many magazines published at this time of year featured some idyllic skinny dipping scene set in a pond, stream, or other swimming hole.

June and July meant and end of the school year.  It meant fishing with a cane pole.  And it meant going for a swim with friends in your birthday suit.  Norman Rockwell celebrated this almost annually as an illustrator of the Saturday Evening Post. But it didn't stop there.  Calendars for feed---and seed---companies were affixed to the walls of the general store depicting this rite of summer.  Advertisements in newspapers too.

Nobody seemed to mind a cartoon or illustration of some bare butts.  Sometimes the drawings included a mischievous dog stealing the trousers of unsuspecting skinny dippers to run off with them, or a plot by the gals to make off with the clothes of the lads. All in good fun.  All of it deemed "politically correct."

A lot has changed since then. No doubt that there are more nudist clubs and official nude beaches than there once were.  Plenty of websites and blogs to celebrate skinny-dipping now, along with media stories.  There are also reality shows like Dating Naked and Naked and Afraid.  Perhaps more importantly, most of the afore-mentioned shows and articles present mixed genders in the nude. That's all progress.

But please excuse the Platypus for letting a sigh escape while lamenting that the forums and venues for celebrating the skinny dip have moved from your parents' coffee table and the magazine rack and wall of the corner barber shop.  You know: places where anyone getting a haircut would see them in a sort of "confirmation check" that the country thought this bit of summertime nakedness was normal, albeit among peers of the same gender.

Come to think of it, there are probably not all that many places that people even swim these days that are not either a public beach or pool visible to others, and that may have as much to do with what gets celebrated and enjoyed.  It no longer seems as easy to put swimming bare in the category of something every one (at least every boy) is gonna do once the school house closes and the weather turns hot.

For some readers of this blog, they may not ever remember a time when swimming naked was politically correct, and without overtones.  Over the years, suburban living, less secluded swimming spots, and even greater concerns about drowning and water safety have people swimming where people can see them --- attired in swimwear of course.

As Dickens wrote, "It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times."