(Written by Stuart)
A few days ago the Twitter account of a prominent UK naturist organisation tweeted something political. It wasn’t commenting on naturist related legislation or even just re-tweeting a story that was interesting, it was the latest in a series of tweets from them that actively and explicitly supported a particular political party.
I have written articles and provided photos for this naturist organisation in the past. I shall never do so again, and I’ll explain why.
Any promoter of a lifestyle or other activity needs to promote inclusiveness as much as the actual lifestyle itself. In a world of such mixed demographics, it is short sighted and self defeating to purposely narrow your target audience unnecessarily. Party politics is a partisan world, where hostile pack instinct and the assumption that everyone else is both incompetent and a pathological psychopath intent on destroying the country is considered both normal and healthy, and this makes it a terrible influence to bring to the table when you are attempting to promote a minority lifestyle. It brings divisiveness where there should be a common interest, alienating anyone of a different or even a neutral political persuasion who is looking to learn more about the lifestyle as they take their first faltering steps into it.
The world of naturism can be a daunting one to explore. There are body confidence issues. There is the question of what friends and family think. In fact there are a whole range of issues and hang-ups that some people have to address before they are confident enough to try it. Why would we add the fear of political non-conformity to that?
People have a right to political self expression, but when you set yourself up as an organisation that promotes naturism and ask people to contribute their work for no payment in return, it’s not unreasonable that they would expect you to not use their hard work as a platform for promoting their own political identity.
They have betrayed the trust of everyone who has ever given their time and creative effort to their magazine.