My brothers and sis-in-law and kids joined us for a weekend of camping. At a naturist campground.
Perfect weather was forecasted and it was my first days off in too long. Since my SisIL and brother decided last minute to come out and see us, I suggested that they meet us at the naturist campground.
To my surprise, they decided to come.
As we drove closer I began to second-guess myself. Was this wrong? I had been in charge of bathing and putting my brothers to bed when we were little. But now they were bigger than me. Weren’t we breaking some sort of social rule?
It’s one thing to be au naturelle among strangers. Another with people you know, right? Seeing someone you know in the nude seems to be a common fear and here we were doing it on purpose!
After we got to the camp, the chaos of setting up tents at dusk – while 5 little girls ages 8 weeks to 4 years running around past their bedtimes – consumed all thoughts. In the morning we awoke to a glorious mountain day.
And everything was so normal.
There is something about feeling the wind and the soft sun right on your body. Something freeing and grounding at the same time.
I like to see clothes used as a practical tool- protection from burning, freezing, or being bitten by ‘squitos. Or as decoration. Gone was the shame that clothes are necessary to hide under.
Every time I visit that camp I leave with a healthier body image and less shame about being human.
One woman did share that she wore a wrap skirt since she had been sexually abused as a child and it helped her to feel safer. But being around her I did not get the feeling that she felt ashamed of herself and in consequence I did not feel uncomfortable around her.
It was quite opposite from the experience of being around a sweet Christian lady at a funeral last week. This woman kept her hand over top of her already high neckline just in case it gaped a little and a passing fly could see down the non-existant cleavage. I felt uncomfortable around her, as she maintained her hand over her collar bones even when it was just I and my babies with her.
We faced our fear of hanging out with people we knew in such a setting without feeling self-conscious. I think some of the other campers may have felt jealous that we could not only talk about the topic of naturism with my siblings, but actually bring them along.
It was a wonderful weekend and I hope we can do it again sometime, perhaps with new guests.