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Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal

Not only is life not a dress rehearsal, but it also guarantees that you and everyone you know will die shortly, regardless of one's spiritual leanings. Death is our common denominator. And, as I approach my eighth decade on this Earth, I realize how critical it is that you stay true to yourself and not try to please the world. Therefore, when women ask me what a naturist woman being is like or why anyone would want to deliberately expose one's private parts to public criticism or why people love Wreck Beach so much, I pick up a handful of sand and let it slide back onto the beach, saying that people have as many reasons as there are grains of sand on any beach anywhere in the world for preferring Naturism to the artifice of fashion.

I have long maintained that our bodies are our temples, sanctuaries, and places of worship on this Earth. For each person, that has a different meaning. Still, the bottom line is that it provides shelter to our souls where we can worship our bodies, whether they are symbolic of the smoothness of youth or the crinkled leathery badges of age.

So---why try Naturism? Why NOT?!!!! Surely, if God or whatever deity one worships, had wanted us to be naked upon our entry to this Earth, we would have been born that way instead of emerging from the womb dressed in little tuxedoes and evening gowns!! In my 52 years of protecting Vancouver's Wreck Beach and being involved in naturist and environmental activism in North America, I have never tried to hide my Naturism and was often in newspaper headlines in my 41 years of secondary teaching. When my superintendent read an article which was part of a series in the Province newspaper on prominent provincial persons. He was more upset that they dubbed my special education centre as being more like a "rumpus room" than a sterile rows-of-desks-and-chairs classroom than he was about my nude activism.

Pope Paul II perhaps said it best, to paraphrase, that those folks who equate mere nudity with sex, should remember that the only thing prurient about the naked human body lies in the eyes of the beholder because God made the human body a work of art! And while nudity is about being kissed by the sun or stroked by the wind, mere nudity is not a sexual act. But it is that fear of being ostracized by friends and family for being sex fiends that send many couples to faraway places for "nakations" where they can be unencumbered by clothing. How much more helpful to pack one suitcase instead of many when you only have to dress for dinner or excursions away from the nude cruise ship or resort of your choice.

One of the first steps toward exploring whether the naturist way of living would suit you would be to find a full-length mirror where it is just you and the mirror, and privacy. You should chart each so-called blemish such as those stretch marks from having borne children, or that protruding navel hernia that makes you look as though you have a baby elephant trapped inside yourself or whatever so-called imperfection you may find embarrassing because it doesn't live up to the Madison Avenue ad moguls' current beauty trend. Once, in a college speaking class, our professor was a shark-savaging critic, gutting everyone's speeches apart. While I was outspoken, his savagery rendered me mute when I stood before the class, so I told him I wanted to drop his course because he was so belittling and crushing a critic. I had a "D" at that point in the class. He refused to sign me out and told me to practice my speech nude in front of a full-length mirror and to also practice in front of an empty classroom at the university. He assigned me the topic of what I considered beautiful, so I picked the Gulf Islands off BC's Coast. 

In the first classroom, I walked into at 6 a.m. for my practice presentation later that morning, two students were madly copulating on the prof's desk and were hardly interested in hearing my speech!

I was so angry at the professor for not allowing me to drop his demeaning course, that when my turn to speak came, I glared at him, marched to the front of the room, and gave the most impassioned speech I have ever given about sunsets, sunrises and the natural beauty of those islands and their beaches. I wound up with an A in that class! So, you, too, can end up with an A but not for a speech but Acceptance of your Body Beautiful!

To determine if social nudity might be a match for you, stand nude before that full-length mirror and begin describing your head from your shape, and hair to a bulbous nose or whiskery chin, and how you would draw it. Then do the same for the rest of your body, saggy breasts, pendulous tummy or child-bearing hips, and all. Then practice smiling and complimenting yourself for each so-called blemish or sign of life's struggles for any hard-won scars that may also be there. This is you! This is your sanctuary! Next, then look at yourself, smile sweetly and compliment yourself!

If you've never been to a naturist gathering, nude beach, or naked party, remember the most beautiful thing about you is your smile and genuine interest in engaging with those around you!

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