Aging Nudists Baffled Why No Young People Want To Join Their Colony
CBC reports that the Van Tan Nudist Club in North Vancouver, Canada, may soon wither away without an infusion of firm, young flesh. Founded in 1939, it’s the oldest naturist club in Canada and peaked around 150 members (heh) in 1970. Unfortunately, membership has been steadily declining ever since and there are now only 50-60 of them, most of them baby boomers. “It’s an older group, and I don’t know why, but it tends to stay an older group,” Van Tanner Linda Kent told CBC. “We always wonder what we could do to be appealing directly [to younger people]. We have two open houses every summer, but whoever shows up, shows up.” Since they asked, would it kill them to update their website?
In addition to wanting to keep the club going after they die, the people of Van Tan say they need young folks on a purely practical level, as they’re getting too old to do all the naked wood-chopping, naked gardening, and other naked labor the camp requires. Maybe they should tell millennials they’re filming a reality show called “Naked and Relaxed.”
The nudists of Van Tan aren’t quite sure why no young people want to come and play naked volleyball with them, but they think it might have something to do with the younger generation’s body hang-ups. Club member Daniel Jackson told CBC:
“It’s true, you would say that the emphasis is on older, wiser people, who in their own minds, probably have a lot less to lose. Look at the social and body image pressures younger folks face, and I think there is a lot of confusion as to what the naked body is all about.”
Do you hear that, young people? If 51-year-old Daniel Jackson is comfortable enough with his body to let it all hang out, you should be, too.
While it’s true that the crunchy granola philosophy that fueled nudism’s popularity in the ’60s and ’70s is losing steam, I see echoes of it in the #FreeTheNipple movement, which ostensibly seeks to de-sexualize the female form by fighting for a woman’s right to be topless in public, on Instagram and wherever else she pleases. I guess there’s also Burning Man, but I don’t trust those furry-booted libertines to keep sex out of anything.
Of course, there’s also the basic fact that people tend to hang out with those in their own peer group, whether they’re running around naked or learning the tango. But if they’re really serious about what they’re doing, Scout Willis, Amber Rose and the rest of the gang will take a trip to Vancouver (or wherever) and let themselves be mentored by the people who invented nipple-freeing.