A review featuring excerpts of “A Whole Nude World: Why You Should Come Join Us Today!” By Michael Douglas (not the actor!).
When this book came out, I bought it right away on Kindle and also a hardcopy. I did this one, because it seemed interesting and I always like to learn more about this subject, and two, because I’d seen on Twitter that the author tagged us in a thank you tweet. This was a surprise to me, as well as having our blog cited in several footnotes throughout the book. We were also listed first in the list of recommended blogs for Christian Naturism.
All this said, I appreciated a lot in this book. The constant encouragement to try it out for two days to see if all else that is said is true. He maintains that after only one visit, nerves and other factors may not paint the full picture for you. He takes a brief looks at the history of the movement. He also includes Christian issues that are commonly seen as objections and a reconciliation of these ideas. The author set out to write the book he wishes was available to him when he was researching naturism as an American and a Christian. This is an admirable desire and contribution. Some political concept are brought up from the conservative point of view, but are minimal.
I ended up buying another hardcopy to give away to a friend to introduce them to the idea and benefits of naturism. One critique is that it could’ve been shorter in length, more brief. It’s a good starter book with practical advice. What I like to do in these reviews is post some of my highlighted excerpts and let the author’s work speak for itself (good or bad). So here are some of my favorite quotes:
Many Americans have unquestioningly passed down the puritanical mindset about nudity cemented in the Victorian Era: nudity presumptively equals sexuality. p.8
I wanted my friends to know that the Holy Bible and naturism are compatible; people who proclaim Jesus Christ is the Son of God participate in naturism even today. Some Christians have believed and taught myths about the human body and many people still believe and teach them by relying more on what tradition says rather than what God has actually said. p. 9
People who spend time naked are often happier than clothed people. This is why many times you see pictures of people enjoying naturist places or naturist events, the people in the group photos are smiling. Naturists write anecdotes on Reddit, their blogs and other online places about how naturists seem to be friendlier than other people. p. 44
Minds take time to change, especially on this issue where the opposite view is prevailing and has been reinforced for decades; rarely does a full-blown change happen overnight. Be patient. p. 70
…you won’t be judged based on your appearance. The people you meet at a naturist place have seen it all before—birth marks, scars, all stages of pregnancy, stretch marks, signs of aging, tattoos, piercings, pubic hair, etc… Concerns about your particular look, while understandable, will be greatly minimized because it’s not novel and your personality is what matters. You are a unique individual, a Designer’s original; at a naturist place, you will be respected as one and people want to listen to you and hear what you have to say. Being naked is a very freeing experience. p. 72
You didn’t let your nervousness over driving alone immediately after you got your license stop you from driving a car ever again and now driving is nothing remarkable. p. 74
The idea that children are harmed by viewing the nudity of adults lacks substantiation. In fact, Swiss psychiatrist Helga Fleischhauer-Hardt reached the opposite conclusion as the famed Dr. Spock and Dr. Brothers. “No evidence supports claims that exposure to nudity produces a higher number of psychosexual problems in either children or adults who were raised in such an environment.” p. 82
Of all the clear moral laws in the Bible, Christian naturists have not found verses supporting the universal clothing mandate taught by many people. p. 87
Since the Bible does not explicitly call public nudity sinful, Christians should not be elevating or equating our personal policy preferences to meet the standard for what defines a sin, as God said adding to His Word is problematic. p. 90
“Nakedness was such an ordinary part of everyday life for the ancient people of God that their identity, through circumcision, was never in doubt.” p. 91 (quoting Bob Horrocks)
You will encounter people as whole people and not just for the collection of parts barely covered like on a textile beach. The cultural standards people place around clothes and nudity make objectifying women a bigger problem because certain parts are covered…. If the laws were repealed against nudity, people could see more skin: the penis, breasts and vulva would lose much of their mystique as nonsexual nudity normalizes. A federal judge recognized this when she wrote the following in her ruling “The irony is that by forcing women to cover up their bodies, society has made naked women’s breasts something to see.” p. 94
Another way to recognize this is true is to argue that decades and decades ago, it would have been a scandal for a woman to show her shoulder down to her arm or a man to display his chest on a beach and sometimes showing that much skin resulted in legal problems, yet today Americans do not think anything of a topfree man or a woman showing her shoulder anywhere in the United States. p. 94
[On the stumbling block argument] That argument is summarized in a quote falsely attributed to Mark Twain: “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” p. 103
The naturist response to “nobody wants to see that” is nobody is looking at you or evaluating your looks. Naturists don’t believe that any part of the body is dirty, private or ugly because your body was created by God. We don’t hide our ears even though those are a twisted flap of skin and cartilage; if you want to consider any body part ugly, ears are a great contender; most people don’t think about their own ears or other’s ears very much because they are just there. The naturist view is the rest of your body should be just like your ears. p. 107
Your scars, weight, and other perceived imperfections you notice when you are naked alone, but naked in a group of 2, 3, 7, 15, 50 other people, the imperfections you used to notice often matter little and you focus on the community experience and how much fun naturism is. p. 109
Whole studies have been done about how naturism relates to body image and studies show naturism helps people deal with body image issues and they are more confident and happier despite their perceived imperfections. p. 109
…experience comes from practicing, not just knowing about a topic. p. 142
You can see there’s lots of good content here. Of course, there are pages and pages more. Get your own copy on Kindle or paperback today!