Get Naked Australia!
Get Naked Australia (GNA), is a contemporary platform that promotes body positivity and outdoor recreation through Naturism. Instigator Brendan tells us more about it…
What started as a fun photo of myself naked on a cliff top with my arms in the air and bum to the camera very quickly gained traction online. For some people it was seen as harmless fun, for others it was something very meaningful. Whatever people’s reasons were in those early days, one thing became apparent, people enjoyed seeing it - and they enjoyed participating.
Within the first year the following grew to over 100,000. There were numerous news articles, radio interviews and even a live TV segment during a prime time news programme. We had dozens of people every day sending in their own photos from great places all over the country and stories about how the naked-in-nature experience made them feel. I received emails from people who were with groups of mates camping and decided to skinny dip; from people with mental health disorders; and victims of domestic violence telling me how the concept had helped them reclaim their body.
The concept was to ‘nude up in nature’ either on your own or with others. The purpose was to have fun, help improve the way you see your own body and remove the stigma associated with nudity - that nudity is immediately linked with something sexual. We want people to treat naked bodies as simply that, just a naked body. I don’t want a world where we never wear clothes, but I also don’t want a world where people never get to experience the joy of swimming in the ocean naked because of body inhibitions. Or feel too scared to get changed in front of their best friends because of fear of judgement. Or don’t get a nasty medical condition checked out because of fear of someone looking at your private parts. I want people to feel comfortable with their bodies and I think GNA offers a fun way to take the plunge and experience naturism for the first time.
It was interesting that only a handful of the people who posted their images would consider themselves naturists. They were every day people who were getting naked outside of the comfort of their homes for the first time. And that right there has shaped the future of what myself and my team are hoping to do with Get Naked Australia.
We want Naturism to be viewed differently in Australia and elsewhere. Most of my friends hear the word ‘nudist’ and they think of a bunch of naked old men sitting around a caravan. Unfortunately there is some validity to thinking that way. Young people don’t like labels. They don’t like belonging to clubs, particularly when they don’t offer much for young people. Any movement needs young people to be involved for it to continue.
If we aim to empower the individual on the benefits of naturism by giving them locations to go to without having to join a club and help remove the stigma that naturists are all a bunch of old hippies, then I think we will see a rise in the involvement of young people in naturism. I think they have always wanted to be involved, but have never had the right platform to do so. Most people wish to experience skinny dipping on their own or with their friends first. And that’s what our page encourages people to do. We need to completely get rid of the lifestyle mentality and we need to not put labels on people. People need to be able to say that they go to nude beaches and travel to clothing optional venues to experience the joy of feeling the elements on their skin without people assuming they are nudists or naturists. If someone goes to a nude beach regularly are they a naturist? No! They just like going to the beach.
Our goal is to completely reshape the naturist culture here in Australia and empower individuals and groups to experience the benefits of Naturism within the right setting. We wish to promote naturism in Australia as a healthy practice rather than a lifestyle. We aim to build a community of people who think the same way and who practice naturism the way we feel it should be practiced. Always in the great outdoors and completely free of sexualisation.
We have begun this in two ways. Firstly by putting together a community group of people who gather together for hikes, skinny dips, beach days and cruises. This group is largely formed through friends bringing friends and we are yet to do many public events but they will hopefully be coming soon.
Secondly through our recent magazine and public social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. In our magazine “GNA” we interview people about their experiences with naturism. We review the good existing naturist events in Australia and we aim to provide good modern venues for people to relax clothes free and present plenty of great places all over the country for a naked in nature experience. These include mountain lookouts, beaches, rivers and waterfalls. We believe if we can empower the individual to experience getting naked in nature, it will help build a big community of people who practice naturism regularly.
I understand that some of our views might be a little controversial as its a new way of thinking, but I wholeheartedly believe it is the way forward, particularly with younger generations. Given our huge social media following I think it is evident that they are views that people can relate to a little more than the traditional club based nudist model.
We are very excited to see what the future holds for Australia and we hope that Naturism becomes as popular here as it is in countries like France and Spain.
I mean, we do have the best beaches in the world!