Tag Archives: reality

How relevant is to mention a modern clothing-optional event like World Naked Bike Ride in connection with Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival (see my previous post [1]; also [2-3])? If we agree with the point of view that “phenomena of the Classical Age” are not “only extremely complex but utterly alien to us”, then we should refrain from labelling them “with modern catchwords like Socialism, Impressionism, Capitalism, Clericalism” [4] (and Naturism, or Nudism as well). However, are the practices of the Greco-Roman culture indeed “immeasurably alien and distant” from “our inner selves”?

‘Culture’ can be defined “as a learned pattern of behavior”, which is a way how people live their lives [5]. It is considered “as a complex combination of actions and mechanisms produced by continuous social interactions, generating processes of sense making and reformulation of the process of reality” [6].

Cultures distributed in time and space around the world are different. But, there are some things that all cultures have in common [7]. It is not surprising, because we “see no evidence that our brains and personalities have changes much since” “modern humans, who looked just like us, emerged from Africa more than 100,000 years ago”. Our “wants, dreams, personalities, and desires have probably not changed much in 100,000 years” [8].

The practices universally available across all cultural traditions include “the events and activities” of days of special significance called ‘feasts’, ‘festivals’ or ‘holidays’ [9]. “Feasting is certainly a widespread, almost universal behavior, and it has persisted for many thousands of years” [10]. “Feasts and festivals, whether religious or secular, national or local, serve to meet specific social and psychological needs and provide cohesiveness to social institutions”. Feasts and festivals “have flourished in both ancient and modern civilizations” [9].

It is believed that “most secular holidays … have some relationship – in terms of origin – with religious feasts and festivals”. Even the modern “practice of vacations … is derived from the ancient Roman religious calendar” [9].

Lupercalia. Based on painting by Annibale Carracci in Palazzo Magnani in Bologna; printmaker: anonymous (ca. 1677)

Of course, the World Naked Bike Ride can be hardly viewed as a successor of an ancient Roman festival, but there is a symbolic correspondence between them. The very abandonment of clothing takes the participants of such events to a reality different from that of everyday life. This, in turn, may sow the seeds of a new common vision of decency, propriety, and obscenity, and give rise to the reality of a society with a more open and tolerant attitude towards nudity.

World Naked Bike Ride Philadelphia 2016

The current list of clothing-optional events in Wikipedia [11] includes Burning Man‎ and naked cycling events‎ (not limited to World Naked Bike Ride), together with 25 others of different kind. Nudist festivals have been gaining popularity. More and more people are discovering that “normal, everyday activities could be made more interesting without clothes on” [12].

[1] Lupercalia as an ancient clothing-optional event – Vadimage Blog
[2] Lupercalia – Wikipedia
[3] World Naked Bike Ride – Wikipedia
[4] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West: The Complete Edition – Internet Archive
[5] Richard Ibuh, The Kayans, Partridge Publishing Singapore, 2014
[6] Emanuele Schember et al., The internal structure of the social representation of culture: an empirical contribution, IJASOS – International E-Journal of Advances in Social Sciences, Vol. I, Issue 2, August 2015
[7] Do Different Cultures Have Things in Common? – Anthropology 4U – Medium
[8] Michio Kaku, Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, Penguin, 2011
[9] Feast – Encyclopædia Britannica
[10] Brian Hayden, The Power of Feasts, Cambridge University Press, 2014
[11] Category:Clothing-optional events – Wikipedia
[12] Dillon DuBois, Clothing-Optional Festivals Around the World – The Vacation Rental Experts

One of the most popular Ukrainian internet news resources has informed about some strange object in the sky. Yesterday in the evening many witnesses supposedly observed  an unusual cloud over Kiev, Ukraine. Today in the morning new photos of this extraordinary event appeared at the site. Worried people used all the power of their digital cameras to capture the object.

Cloud over Kiev

Cloud over Kiev

It is notable that a cloud of almost the same form can be found in Wikipedia in the article about cumulonimbus clouds.

Thunderstorm cloud - Cumulonimbus

Thunderstorm cloud - Cumulonimbus

This case shows, of course, how small is our knowledge about the usual events in nature and how easily we can be frighten or perturbed. And, in the case if the event was nothing but a Photoshop effect, how easily we can be manipulated. It is sad, but one cannot believe digital photos today.

The Ukrainian tabloids discuss some piquant news. It happened so that the photosession of the girl singers from the group Арктика (not widely known even in Ukraine, I think :-)) appeared recently in the Ukrainian edition of Playboy. I would pass over this outstanding event, but the discussion about the images from this photosession has drawn my attention.

The point is that someone in Ukrainian Playboy was ridiculously not good in photo editing.

Playboy: Арктика (Арктический зной)

Playboy: Арктика (Арктический зной)

From these images, one can conclude that these playmates were too shy to pose naked, but at the same time they wanted to established themselves as local erotic stars in Playboy. The conflict between opposite motivations (commercialization of nudity and fear of it) produced this comic effect. Maybe it is characteristic for modern society when people consider nudity a problem and cannot decide themselves whether it can be appropriate.

This leads us again to the discussion on reality in photography.

Photography like painting could reproduce the impression given by reality. But that is not necessary. The photography learned to lie long before the era of digital cameras and Photoshop had started. From the early 1860s photo manipulation (retouching) is considered as an allowable and desirable way to improve a picture or photograph.

Some time ago I discovered a lovely nudist image ‘Tobago Cays Dipping‘ by SunCat. It could serve as a great desktop wallpaper, I thought then.


Tobago Cays Dipping by SunCat

Describing this photo, SunCat writes: `Not an official nude beach, but the locals are very nude tolerant‘. All his photostream is full of wonderful shots and definitely deserves attention.

Nice image, but it can be improved, of course. A month ago or something I came across the site promoting the book called ‘The World’s Best Nude Beaches and Resorts’.

The Cover: The World's Best Nude Beaches and Resorts

The Cover

The book was compiled by an international team of writers and photographers and published in the UK by Lifestyle Press Ltd. This book undoubtedly might be interesting and helpful. But take a look at the cover of this exciting and modern guide.

Peer at the photo at the bottom and compare it with the first one.

The World's Best Nude Beaches and Resorts

The World’s Best Nude Beaches and Resorts

I shall not guess what image is original and who holds the rights to it. (I don’t know whether the author has given a permission to use and manipulate his photo.) I just want to say that one of these images is distinct from reality reflected in another.

I was not expecting that my first post would receive a warm welcome. Especially I didn’t expected to be mentioned in such a great blog as All Nudist. I would like to thank Angie & Steve, todaysnewsart, Rick and everybody who read my post.

I think, I should make a kind of statement 🙂

1. First of all I would like to apologize (yes, I cannot stop apologizing :-() for the maxim in my yesterday’s comment.  The thought of producing witty sentences never occurred to me before.

2. It is great that among first readers of the blog were the bloggers that don’t have problems with nudity. Although I’m not going to make an exclusively nudist blog, it might happen that some nude people (including myself) will appear here again.

I don’t want to harm anybody’s feelings. I’m asking individuals who either don’t want to see nudity in the blog, or don’t have legal rights to visit web resources containing nudity just to ignore my posts.

3. I remember the JBS (Danish men’s underwear company) advertising campaignMen don’t want to look at naked men‘ with pictures showing women in men’s underwear. I would like to say that I personally don’t want to look at women in men’s underwear as well. But what is more important, I don’t like the confusion of nudity with sex illustrated by this slogan.

4. I don’t understand why so many people confuse a photo of an individual with an individual himself.

One example. Many years ago I was impressed by the Francois Boucher‘s “Reclining Girl” (1752) in the Old Pinakothek in Munich.

Reclining Girl by Francois Boucher

Reclining Girl by Francois Boucher

It was interesting to me to discover that Miss Louise O’Murphy depicted in that portrait never served as a model. The picture arose, according to the art book, like all the others, from the artist’s own imagination.

Despite the fact that the photography is definitely closer to reality than painting, it is still incomparably far from it.