A UK nudist organisation has reported a 100 percent increase in new members during the coronavirus pandemic. British Naturalism, which promotes a life free of clothes and wants to make it more socially acceptable, said that more than 210 people have joined the organisation over the last two months. According to British Naturalism, although the number may seem small, it is an enormous uptick compared with the pre-pandemic days.
Besides the surge in membership, online events have been promoted by the organisation, such as naked yoga, naked coffee and pub sessions, have had more sign-ups than usual. "I’m sure a healthy proportion of those people are suddenly able to experience nudity at home because they don’t have to get dressed. They are thinking 'this is nice'", said Andrew Welch, the organisation's marketing director, in an interview with Inews, adding that nude sunbathing seems to be the UK’s new national pastime.
Welch, who himself got into the idea at the age of 14 after visiting a nudist beach in France, said the organisation wants other people to realise how liberating nudism can be. "We are growing up in an atmosphere that says, ‘unless you look like these particularly beautiful people you really need to go live in a cardboard box", Welch told Inews.
People who practice nudism lament the fact that it is associated with sex and perceived as a taboo. "Unfortunately, a lot of people still link nudity directly to sex. But we’re not just a bunch of weird naked people", Nick and Lins, a Belgian couple in their thirties, told Inews.
This is not the first time that people go clothes-free during the pandemic. US actor Ansel Elgort, star of the action movie "Baby Driver", stripped down in April to raise money for health workers, while UFC star Paige VanZant and her husband entertained social media users with their revealing pictures, showing how the couple is spending the lockdown.