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A word from our founder Stephen Gough
How did I become involved in all this naked stuff? Well, when I think back I suppose I was going along with the way most people cover themselves up without thinking much about it: it was just what I did because everyone else did it (unconscious living I think they call it!). Then one event that really sticks in my mind is after visiting Studland (a naturist beach on the south coast of England) I was sat with my family and friends on a ‘normal’ beach and I started to think, well, why not here? So I stripped off and enjoyed the sun to its full extent. The only remark I recall, on quite a busy beach, was on leaving the water, a man passed me and uttered “pervert” in my direction, an insight perhaps, into what for many people the naked body represents in this sick society.
My personal philosophy has been hung around the idea of ‘being myself’ for twenty years or so (I was even designing and printing 'T' shirts saying 'B YOURSELF') and for me that has been the way I've been heading ever since; trying to grapple with the concept -
The change from occasional nakedness to more public expression came when I emigrated to Canada. I didn't find work immediately and I was asked to write a mission statement for the co-
Something else happened that focused my energy specifically on nakedness: in the co-
I'm like anyone: I want to be loved. As children the approval of our parents and significant others are tantamount to our survival: we will do anything to be loved, including give ourselves up. As adults the approval of others is less critical, although, still one of the most powerful of forces (just start looking at why you do things and you will see how high up the agenda pleasing others is in your motives). For me the connectedness I have experienced with myself, has acted as a countermeasure to my dependence on others for my approval of myself as a human being. It's not that I don't want approval from others, I still do, but it's not at any cost. I've come to realise, that if the words 'be true to yourself' are to mean anything, then one can't go around asking everyone "how would you like me to be"? One has to just do it and accept the risk that some people might not approve, or face the bigger consequence of not being connected to yourself, and the more I've experienced this connectedness the more important it has become in my life.
This may paint a picture to some people of an attitude of not caring about others, but how can one care about others if one cannot care for oneself? If I can't stand by myself to be all that I am and can be, then how can I give others the freedom to do the same? If I am not for me then who will be? My own experience is if I do something out of obligation or guilt then I feel resentful which eats away at relationships eventually destroying any love that was there. And if you take a look at society there's plenty of evidence of the resentment people have as it manifests itself in the form of anger and destruction. I believe that if I act according to what's best for me and in so doing I harm others, the mistake is not in putting myself first but in misunderstanding what's best for me.
So, my naked activism is firstly and most importantly about me standing up for myself, a declaration of myself as a beautiful human being, an expression of my ok-
Truth.. Simplicity.. Love
The above text was extracted from the original Naked Walk website which is no longer active. For more information about our mission -
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