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25th FEN Aniversary
20. day w/o bathing suit




o El País 10 julio 2007
o Periódico d Cataluña
o Terra
o RNE, mp3
o Onda Cero, mp3
o Punto Radio, mp3
o Tele5, Telediario
o Terra (EFE)
o Punto Radio
o El Mundo UVE
o Avui
o Diario 20 minutos
o Cuatro
o La Sexta: Telediario
o La Vanguardia: vídeo o España Directo.
o Tele 5: Ana Rosa Q.
o TV3 parte 1, 2, 3 y 4
o La Vanguardia


A Day Without Bathing Suits (Some Considerations). july 15th  
LA VANGUARDIA, 30 julio 2007  

  A well known fact is that the laws in Spain allow for freedom of choice in dressing; that is, whether wearing any kind of suits or to being in the nude without limitations. The so-called ‘public scandal’, a crime some time ago, has since been struck from our penal code, as it was based on a specific moral code. Even that specific morality is not univocal; an example is Francis of Assisi, a most venerated Catholic saint, who started preaching in the nude.
  In Spain, being top-less at our beaches and swimming pools has become a totally acceptable choice. More recently, more and more citizens choose to do without a swimming suit and are not comfortable with being thought of as nudists. They would rather see themselves as bathers who have opted for one choice, as worthy as any other, to enjoy the natural outdoor life.

  In order to foster this position, the Spanish Naturist Federation called for “A Day Without Bathing Suits”, which was held on the 15th of July. Members and citizens in general were invited to go without suits to any beaches they chose. The idea was very well accepted, which showed not only in the number of people who followed it through but also in the attention paid to the event by the mass media.
  Some days later and after sounding out people for their impressions, we are ready to assess the outcome.
  An article published in the Spanish national daily, El País, about the proposed event, summoned people to go public. The Spanish news dispatcher, EFE, also divulged that news, as well as a debate on Channel 4 and some radio stations. It goes without saying that FEN and its associated members joined in by letting people know about the coming event.

EL MUNDO, 16 julio 2007

EL PAÍS, 10 julio 2007
  The cameras of other TV channels such as TV5, Televisión Española, La Sexta, Antena3 and the reporters from the newspaper La Vanguardia went out to beaches and other inland venues (in Madrid, the San Juan reservoir), looking for related information for their news reels and programmes.
  The news reports did not censor their images, which show they appreciate the natural and legal condition of nudity and, therefore, did not either criminalise or move it to the night which is not prime-time. We congratulate ourselves for that.
We saw the same attitude concerning the written media: El País, El Mundo and La Razón do not hesitate to publish full nudity when it concerns Naturism.

  And yet, we feel it is worth going over, even if briefly, the arguments which were repeated these days coinciding with the Day Without Bathing Suits.
The most frequent is child protection. “Don’t you see there are children?”, some people say. However, children accept nudity better than adults, the younger the better. It is when they hear expressions like “Don’t be gross. Cover yourself!”, that they associate nudity as something dirty and negative. UNICEF, the highest authority for the protection of children, does not view nudity as something bad for children. Anorexia or Bulimia, illnesses among the youth these days, are a direct result of a lack of acceptance of one’s body, among other reasons. Hiding normal bodies from the view of children, and showing mainly ideal bodies for the purposes of advertising, lead them to those diseases. Most psychologists and pedagogues, albeit non-fundamentalists, agree that an education based on the rejection of their own bodies is negative education. In most Spanish homes, nudity is not hidden any longer. I must add that Naturism is a family oriented movement and that studies carried out among Naturist families as the children grow up, show the benefits of such an education.
  On one of the TV programmes mentioned above, the TV presenter asked a woman who had objected by saying “there are children!”, “Why shouldn’t children see naked people?” to which she could not give any answer. This uncritical frame of mind only responds to the principle of “because it has always been that way”. This is the main reason why many people still use a swimming suit, as they are used to it since their parents put it on them for the first time, and that’s the way it is.
  “Hygiene” is another argument, but bathing suits are very unhygienic. That is more to the point in swimming pools, by preventing people from washing the whole bodies at the showers before jumping in. Naturists, on the other hand, always lay a towel down to sit on.
  Another argument, surprising as it is, is “I assure you that that man walking did not look like the model in the Martini advertisement at all.” (or Claudia Schiffer, for example, if they mean a woman), which could be taken as a light pro-eugenics statement. Without going as far as calling for the elimination of handicapped or not very good looking people, this speaker would rather prevent them from being seen. Fortunately, the “right to see only what we like seeing” does not exist. There are lots of things we might dislike! The Naturist urban developments, which keep being built along our coast, are also crowded in winter time with old people, like most seaside developments are. A stroll in these places would undoubtedly help these people to improve their education. Naturism, therefore, provides, not only in this field but also in many others, healthy cultural and spiritual growth. That is the way a well known female movie director who is about to make a documentary on Naturists who are physically challenged, sees it. Naturism breaks away from the tendency of the ever present commercialization of the human body in our society.
  Not everything is positive in this analysis; there are still intolerant tendencies that may put a nudist at risk of losing his life, at worst. There are still “nude-phobic” attitudes, like the aggression of a member, who ended up in hospital, suffered in Catalonia recently, at the Mataró beach. We might also mention some anti-democratic attitudes like the policeman’s who answered a scandalised woman on the phone, saying that “we cannot do anything about that, these things happen for voting for the wrong parties”. The policeman could have said as well “that happens for being in a democratic society” During Franco’s dictatorship the law would have applied the Roman Catholic moral code; with Hitler some people would not have to put up with Jews, blacks, or gypsies (with time, the 'lucky ones' could only enjoy the view of 'perfect' bodies); in the South-Africa of apartheid blacks would not be in the way. “Go to your beaches, Nudists!” “Go to your ghettos!”
  Finally, an objection posed by a radio speaker who was interviewing me on the Day Without Bathing Suits: mobiles. There is a risk of being taken a photograph of by the ever present mobiles and end up on Internet. The speaker would like to join in the “new fashion”, as he said, but he was afraid of being snapped, as he was well known. My answer was in the line of the evolution of swimming wear; first the bikini, then topless: many well known people can now ignore the cameras as they sunbathe topless because it has become an accepted practice. Let’s make what is normal normal; that is, to be naked at the beach, and the effect will be the same. A day will arrive when we will not mind being photographed the way we are.
  In short, the campaign has been a success, hardly stained by the nude-phobia incident in Mataró. Till wearing a bathing suit is an option, till respect is mutual, we’ll go on year after year at our beaches: “I do not make you take your clothes off, you should not make me put them on.”
  We’ll tell The International Naturist Federation, of which we are a member, about this experience, so that over thirty other federations might follow in our footsteps (limited by their own legislation, in each case), if they wish to. No issue is more important than another when in pursuit of our civil liberties.
  If you wish the manifest for the first Day Without Bathing Suits on the Web: www.naturismo.org as well as the reports in the mass media, also reproduced at the same address.

Ismael Rodrigo, President of the FEN
Translated by Alberto González Iglesias

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