Angela De la Cruz is 32 years old from Guadalajara, Mexico and has been promoting nudism for the last three years. She travels around Mexico to learn about the nudist communities and the natural spaces that nudists can find to enjoy. She is a qualified teacher and provides clothing optional classes in English and Spanish on-line. She is an ambassador for naturism and creates content to normalise nudity on social media.
Q: What got you into naturism/nudism?
A: A friend of mine invited me to a pool party, however, she didn’t let me know that it was clothing optional. When I arrived, I was welcomed by a man named Hector who was completely nude. He said that when I was ready, I should take my clothes off and join the rest of them at the pool. It took me about 3 seconds to decide just to see if I enjoyed it or not. I did. I can count the number of times I’ve worn a swimsuit on one hand since then, which was 2017.
Q: Is there a difference between the two labels?
A: Here in Mexico I do believe there is a difference. Naturism is more into the lifestyle of taking care of the earth, for example having less impact on your carbon footprint and being kind to the planet. Nudism is more about feeling comfortable with your nudity. Sometimes when I'm looking for a place for an event, I tell the owners that we are naturists because sometimes the word nudist is a lot for them to understand So we prefer to use the word naturist and then we tell them, of course, the people like to enjoy themselves naked
Q: How does it impact your life on a day to day basis?
A: Ah, it depends if I am travelling or working at home because my job is to explore natural spaces where we can go and enjoy nudity. If I am on exploration day I wake up very early to go to my destination. I record my findings to vlog on Social media. This is not always easy as it takes a lot of editing and is actually quite exhausting. Behind the scenes, I'm at my computer editing videos for the socials, posting, blogging, engaging and planning for the following month's content.
Q: What challenges do women face in naturism generally?
A: I think this is interesting now, because of different cultures, I do believe that we have some of the same lines. In my experience, it’s the fear of the beauty standards. Are my boobs too big or too small or do I have stretch marks? I have belly rolls, etc. I know all those beauty standards that affect us. For example, a woman told me she wanted to go to a naturist event for the first time but she wanted to keep her bottoms on, therefore just be topless and asked if it would be ok. At first I thought, ‘Yes, why not?’ But after consideration I thought No, If you’re using underwear as a form of protection then maybe this isn’t for you. Fair enough if you’re on your period but we need to stop thinking that women are fragile and that women need more protection because we're more vulnerable. The rules are it’s a naked event, therefore naked for all, men and women alike. Of course, we need to create a safe space and for me a space is everybody's going to be equal and respect each other. Ultimately, she joined in. She was dancing and really enjoying it and that was the point. Sometimes we have fear mentally that everyone will be looking at us but nobody is. Nobody is criticising you, everybody's in their own mood to enjoy the party. But we have that mental fear that blocks us, and does not allow us to join in.
Q: How can we encourage more women to try it?
A: I will say do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Start with your own skin and try not to compare yourself with other women because everybody is a totally different story. be happy of how strong your body is that it’s been able to survive all the battles that you have been fighting and how strong you are that you are here right now so be thankful for your body and how that your body has protected you from every challenge that you have had. make yourself comfortable in your house and with your family. However, you don’t need to become a nudist or a naturist to enjoy your body.
Q: Any further thoughts?
A: What naturism and nudism is about acceptance and respect. It's about self-loving. What it isn't, is about swinging or sex. It’s about having the freedom to not compare yourself to others. Naturism is the opposite of rejection and hate and has helped change so many lives. People have used nudity as a healing tool for poor body image, depression and anxiety. Once you have experienced it for yourself, you will not regret it.
Angela was featured on episode 3 of the Women in Focus podcast. You can listen to her episode here.