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  • Daryl.Jones

    My child wants to be a Naturist. What do I do?

    You only have to open a newspaper or turn on the television to be exposed to unrealistic and unachievable images of the human body. This can have a major negative influence on a child’s sense of wellbeing and self-confidence.

    Figures show that eating disorders and body image issues are on the rise; unfortunately children can believe that the images that they see in the media are what their body should look like. And it can have devastating effects upon them.

    It is not easy for a child to grow up in a world with false expectation; Naturism dissipates this misguided view and allows a child to see what the true naked form looks like and to accept and appreciate their own body.

    Naturism provides a platform for well adjusted, happy and balanced young adults; at the same time as having fun in a safe and secure environment!

    These are just some of the reasons why British Naturism, its members and millions of Naturists around the world think that our way of living is positive and a beneficial way of life!

    Hopefully with this article we can help you understand why your child wants to become part of a Naturist organisation.

    Naturist children are happy, well-adjusted and safe

    Children don’t care if they are wearing clothes or not, in fact they often prefer not to! It is adults that make them get dressed. Starting with a life in Naturism they grow up with a better understanding of what will happen to their bodies with time and they learn to enjoy a relaxed outdoor lifestyle.

    Typical Naturist places tend to have entry requirements and secure gates, making the inside a far safer environment than the outside.

    So what is YBN and British Naturism…?

    Young British Naturists (YBN) is the youth group of British Naturism.

    British Naturism (BN) is the UK's internationally-recognised organisation for Naturists in the UK. We are a membership organisation that is comprised of mainly families; we provide a variety of services for our members, as well as working to promote Naturism in wider society and to campaign against the threats to our lifestyle.

    We are a self-funding organisation, approaching our 50th birthday, earning most of our revenue from membership fees and donations; occasionally we obtain grants from the International Naturist Federation (INF) to whom we are affiliated.

    Naturism is accepted and practised by 3.7 million people in the UK. (Survey conducted by Ipsos Mori in the autumn of 2011)

    YBN helps provide a safe environment for youngsters to enjoy inexpensive holidays and weekends, with like-minded people.

    We have over 10,000 members and there are in excess of 100 Naturist clubs throughout the UK. There are also activities such as organised Naturist swims at other venues in the UK. Naturism is practised by millions of people around the world.

    ‘Where do you normally go to be naked?’

    Almost all of our events take place in very safe and sometimes secluded environments such as Naturist Clubs, beaches and hired venues. We go to places where nakidity is appreciated and accepted as normal and customary. We use venues that are used to catering for families; we come into contact with other Naturists from all over the world, with all sorts of beliefs; therefore a Naturist environment can be extremely beneficial and educational to a child in allowing them to understand and appreciate different cultures.

    ‘Why do you want to be naked?’

    For many reasons- because we and millions of other people all around the world believe that it’s good for you!

    It promotes positive body image as there is no such thing as the perfect body and we are all unique. Both physical and mental health is improved with the benefits of sunshine and fresh air.

    ‘What motivates your child to want to be a part of a Naturist community?’

    Purely and simply, for the same reasons as everyone else that is part of the Naturist community!

    It is not always a question that can be easily answered in a short sentence; your child could be motivated to overcome their fears and their confidence issues around their own body. Or to just simply enjoying being naked in a safe environment!

    Why do we want them at YBN? - ‘Why do you want to see my child naked?’

    We don’t want to ‘see’ anyone naked so to speak; we do however want to see everyone happy and healthy. We want to give everyone the opportunity to reap the benefits of Naturism in the most safe and welcoming environment.

    At all of our events being naked is optional, and there is never any pressure to join in and strip off, as Naturism is about feeling comfortable.

    ‘Why do you want to be in the presence of naked people?’

    It’s not about being with naked people as such; it’s about being in an environment where you can practise Naturism and feel comfortable as well being able to reap all of the health benefits that Naturism provides. It is extremely beneficial to be in the presence of other people who don’t judge you; it can be not only provide a greater sense of well being, but it can also be invigorating and enlightening to a person.

    ‘What policies do you have in place to protect my child or other people…?’

    We have many policies and procedures in place to protect everyone in and around our care.

    British Naturism’s child protection policy and safeguarding of vulnerable adults policy is one of the most comprehensive and detailed in the country; with outside guidance and approval by the NSPCC and other experts in that field. Our leading child safeguarding officer is also the president of our organisation, and a caring mother. Our organisation is predominantly a family organisation.

    In fact many of the parents within British Naturism are teachers, solicitors, nurses, doctors, social workers and child care workers themselves, and most of all - very caring and protective parents!

    A Naturist environment is a safe, happy and healthy environment for a child to be a part of.

    Key Facts about Naturism…

    Naturism is normal

    It’s just ordinary people choosing not to wear clothes when the weather and the circumstances are appropriate. Our activities are no different from what most people do in their leisure time, other than the dress code. We’re not anti-clothes; we just know that they are not always essential. It’s also a lot of fun!

    Everyone was born naked

    …and yet now anyone wanting to return to that natural state is treated with at best, mild amusement and at worst, suspicion. Being naked isn’t obscene, provocative, ridiculous, eccentric, shameful or immodest. Being ‘naked as nature intended’ is a perfectly normal desire. Nudism promotes wholeness of the body, rather than setting aside parts of the body as unwholesome and shameful.

    Naturism is good for you

    It promotes positive body image; there is no such thing as the perfect body! We are all unique; Naturism allows for acceptance of the human form no matter what shape, size or creed of the person. Both physical and mental health is improved with the benefits of sunshine and fresh air; research suggests that exposure to the sun increases the body’s synthesis of vitamin D. This is vital for calcium absorption and the strengthening of the immune system; exposure to the sun is especially beneficial for younger people for the growth of strong bones.

    Naturism provides a relaxing and de-stressing environment with friendly and comfortable community spirit.

    Most sunbathers wear very little more than we do. Swimsuits are pointless – why get dressed to get wet?

    Naturism has wider benefits too – such as teenage pregnancy rates and abortion rates are lower in countries with a more relaxed attitude to nudity.

    Naturism is not about sex

    It’s Naturism – not voyeurism!

    Naturists are not asexual, however despite what certain public attitude may be; a gathering of naked people does not make for a sexually charged environment.

    In-fact a Naturist environment is the least sexually charged environment that a person can be in “Nudity per se cannot be sexually suggestive when it is habitual and customary”.

    Sexuality is a matter of intent rather than state of dress.

    Naturism is very popular

    Millions of people in the UK and even more throughout the world have discovered this wonderful way of life. There are thousands of holiday resorts and other places serving the community. Plenty of people skinny-dip, go topless on beaches and spend time naked at home.

    Mankind started off naked, and the naked human form used to be celebrated. It was only the constraints that were put on society in the 1400’s that made us feel ashamed about our body. Society has evolved as a whole however the same shameful and outdated attitude towards the naked human form has been carried forward through time.

    The benefits of our membership include such things as;

    · Four (quarterly) issues of our magazine delivered to your door

    · Access to the BN and YBN members’ forum, to keep up with friends and information etc

    · Many events – some for members only, others with discounts on entry

    · Meeting like-minded people and the sense of belonging to a vibrant community education

    · Help overcoming misunderstandings and prejudice

    · General advice and support on issues that affect a naturist's daily life,

    · providing a point of contact and information for enquiries, liaising with government and other authorities

    · Sharing with and learning from Naturist organisations in other countries

    · Discounts on some items in the BN shop

    · The BN holiday advice service

    · A photo ID/membership card – proven to be useful in establishing your credentials with Authority figures, especially in times of trouble. An INF card – essential for access to some naturist places, discounts offered in others

    · The BN e-zine – keeping you up to date with news in between issues of the magazine


    We are not asking you to leave your teenager in our care, - far from it. We would much rather that you came along and tried for yourself. We would love you to experience the normal, natural lifestyle that millions of people round the world live.

    What we are asking for though is that if your child expresses an interest in a Naturist way of life, you let them explore that. Chances are it’s an opportunity that they will give thanks to you for the rest of their lives.

    Remember you are welcome too!

    BN Contacts of people and other parents to talk to…

    Head Office

    Post: British Naturism, 30 - 32 Wycliffe Road, Northampton, NN1 5JF

    email: headoffice@bn.org.uk

    Telephone: 01604 620361

    Fax: 01604 230176

    YBN Team


    BN Child Safeguarding Officer (president of British Naturism)

    Angela Russell - president@bn.org.uk

    Telephone: 02476 511781

    Below on the comments, please could you add your positive experiences and views in respect to how naturism has changed your view;

    as a parent, and how it’s benefited your child...

    Or did you come to Naturism without your parents? please tell us below…

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