February 2009. BBC3 UK TV. Psychologist Emma Kenny and image consultant Jonathan Phang launch a radical self-confidence building course, as a group of five professionals undertake a series of challenges designed to help them get rid of inner demons and help their self-esteem at work and at home. It culminates in a dramatic naked stunt in which we find out who has gained the confidence to literally bare all.
Five female estate agents must address a live audience and reveal their most intimate fears, jump from a 200ft bungee and confront loved ones to heal rifts from the past, before taking on the most dramatic challenge of all - to walk down a catwalk naked.
His flock, as you might expect, are more used to seeing him in a cassock and dog collar.
But the Rev Bob Horrocks is rarely happier than when he is entirely defrocked.
The 55-year-old, a keen naturist who holidays at clubs for those of a similar inclination, defended his hobby yesterday, saying there was nothing anti-Christian about it.
‘If someone sees a body uncovered, people think that’s somehow sexualised and they shouldn’t be looking at it,’ he said.
”They snigger - they are made to feel uncomfortable because it’s not part of their normal existence.
‘So much of advertising is persuading people they are not sufficient in themselves, and yet God has gifted us with the bodies we have.’
The reverend, the vicar of Seven Saints, Farnworth, Bolton, discovered naturism after straying on to a nudist beach while on holiday on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura six years ago.
‘I felt set free. But then, being a Church minister, I thought, “Is this right?” I researched the Bible and I found there was a lot of positive stuff – there is nothing condemning simple nakedness.
'It was part of life at the time of Jesus. It’s something I would’ve loved to have discovered when I was a lot younger.'
But parishioners with a more traditional approach to clothing won’t find the vicar in the nude.
‘I mostly enjoy naturism on holiday,’ he said. ‘The English climate doesn’t lend itself too well to it!’
Mr Horrocks volunteered to take part in a TV documentary as chair of the Christian Naturist Fellowship.
He said: ‘I mostly enjoy naturism on holiday. The English climate doesn’t lend itself too well to naturism!’
Mr Horrocks has posed nude to discuss his views for the Channel 4 documentary entitled ‘Is it a sin to bare our flesh?’
David Marshall, spokesperson for the Diocese of Manchester, said: ‘The diocese supports discussion on body image and the pressures placed on individuals as a result of advertising, stereotyping and the inappropriate promotion of body perfection.’
Bob Horrocks is a vicar and naturist who believes that the Bible celebrates the human body and that God encourages nakedness. Bob believes that embracing naturism helps him promote a positive body image, and brings him closer to God. UK visitors, click here to see the video.
Bianca Badham is your typical British 18 year old girl of the 00s: fun loving, intelligent, gentle natured, open minded, and loves her music and surfing the Internet. But there is one thing that she does not share in common with most teenage girls: she was born and raised in a nudist club with her mother, step-father and sister. Upon leaving high school, she decides to spend a more interesting summer than most girls who hit the pubs and go out on the hunt for boyfriends: looking for naturists her own age. Her searches on the Internet open her up to a new generation of young nudists who are trying it for their own purposes: a Muslim architect student who closets it from his parents, a young guy who enjoys hiking in the woods naked and tries to cajole his unwilling fiancé into going naked with him, a nude bike ride through the streets of London, a teenage girl who actually got her boyfriend to try nudism first (unlike most relationships where it’s usually the guy who is interested and the girlfriend who is reserved). In all it’s a cute documentary that paints up the naturist movement in England and America, warts and all including a few questionable characters whom nudists and non-nudists don’t want in their lives. But it’s going to be a long long time till the masses will finally come around to the nudist’s way of thinking about the body and this is a step in the right direction as a whole.
Nine-year-old Alex Reamer, like most boys his age, loves video games, the playground and riding his bike, except he does all these things without wearing clothes. Yes, you read that correctly, he is naked.
"I don’t wear clothes much!" Alex proudly exclaimed in an interview with ABC News’ John Berman, adding he goes months without putting on a shirt and pants. "I just like to be nude."
Alex and his family are nudists. That means naked swimming, naked cleaning, naked homework. Naked everything.
Watch the full story on “20/20: Xtreme Parents” Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
"I never realized that my clothes were so uncomfortable, until I didn’t have to wear them anymore," said Frank Reamer, Alex’s dad.
The Reamers moved to Sunsport Gardens, a nudist camp outside Palm Beach, six years ago. About 70 residents, including 10 children, live in small RVs located around the 40-acre campground, where nudity is not only embraced but expected.
The Reamers only agreed to speak with “20/20” if we agreed not to blur, uh, anything.
"It sends the wrong message," said Sandra Reamer, Alex’s mom. "It says that nudity is bad".
Family Says Nakedness Reinforces Positive Values
It’s one thing to see every inch of grown-ups. But what about children, like Alex?
His parents aren’t worried about leering strangers or pedophiles, saying the community is completely safe. Sunsport does background checks on anyone who visits the campground.
According to Florida’s Department of Children and Families, there are no specific rules or policies on children at nudist camps or resorts, so children taking part in the lifestyle at nudist camps is not illegal. The state agency did say, however, that it “has received calls regarding families living at Sunsport Gardens over the years.” The details of those complaints and outcomes are not public record. Morley Schloss, the camp’s owner, said DCF investigators have never found any wrongdoing at Sunsport.
The Reamer family decided to appear on “20/20” to lift the veil on family nudism. Most practice nudism in hiding, not telling friends or family for fear disapproval or condemnation. The Reamers maintain there is nothing lewd or sexual about the lifestyle.
"People have a misconception. They think this is about sex, and it isn’t," said Frank. "My wife and I are in a monogamous relationship. We live with our children. I’ve seen them all nude, they’ve all seen me nude."
Sandra added that her near nonstop nakedness reinforced positive values in her children. “As far as body image, the kids are seeing all different kinds of people, and they’re seeing that people can be different. There is less judgment.”
Older Son Prefers Clothes
According to Sandra, when completely nude, people look you in the eyes, not at your breasts. As for gawking or inappropriate staring, the nudists say it doesn’t happen, and anyone who did that would be immediately ejected from the camp.
But it is a bit awkward for one member of the family, 15-year-old Bud Reamer, who prefers to wear clothes. “It’s just more comfortable,” he said, calling his parents’ decision to become nudists “weird” but one he has gotten used it.
Wearing clothes in a place where everyone else goes naked is extremely isolating for Bud. There are no children his age living onsite, and like his younger brother, he is home-schooled, so he spends most of his time on the computer inside his trailer. When Bud turns 18, he plans to leave Sunsport and join the military.
Frank and Sandra say moving to Sunsport was a family decision, and it wasn’t until Bud gave his blessing that they took the plunge head-first into the nude-only pool.
"The kids know we wouldn’t force them [to be nude], force them to do something that they didn’t want to do," said Frank. "For instance, Alex pretty much refuses to wear clothes, while Bud always will."
As for Alex, he loves nudity so much inside the 10-foot walls of Sunsport that he often refuses to leave. A trip to Universal Studios was “just OK.” A better time is playing Nintendo DS (au natural, of course) with his two best friends, a brother and sister, who also live at the campground. According to the 9-year-old, the only downside to going clothes-free 24/7 is all the mosquitoes.
Journalist Emer O’Toole and her whiskered armpits bravely ventured into unknown territory on the groomed armchairs of ITV’s This Morning.
As part of an 18-month experiment, the confident writer revealed her depilatory secret with an arm raise that left the woman seated next to her cowering in disgust.
And it wasn’t just her armpits that O’Toole banned the razor from. As part of doing “the necessary and important work of challenging stupid, arbitrary and gendered bull s**t” O’Toole waved goodbye to Gilette and let bristles roam untamed over her whole body.
Her blog in The Guardian on Friday discussing what it was like to spend 18 months smiling upon stubble and indeed her appearance on television to discuss this “innovative grooming” underlines her question: why are we so disgusted by body hair?
According to O’Toole, women are oppressing themselves in the pursuit of the silken calf and the hair free pit. Apart from the odd pointer and starer on the London Underground, the men in her life didn’t actually care.
O’Toole also dismisses women quoting hygienic reasons for shaving, that hair makes you smell and should be banished for a sweet swelling aura. Apparently, one’s body can cope with a smattering of fur in crooks and crannies.
O’Toole dares every woman to stop shaving, now she is known among her friends as “the hairy godmother.” However she warns in her blog on The Vagenda: “Be patient with yourself. It can be a challenge.”