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Give me a sign.
A lot of my nudist and naturist readers will be familiar with a particular logo that has become the default symbol for many in the naturist/nudist community. The Naturist Symbol is a design that looks simple and innocuous enough to be worn out and about without generating any public outrage but is easily recognised by those in the know.
What has become known as The Naturist Symbol was the result of an exercise largely carried out on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Over a period of several months, around 30 submitted designs were presented and voted on. By October 2020, the above design was selected and has become widely accepted by many as the logo of nudism and naturism.
The stylised sun with its seven rays representing the seven continents over curved blue lines representing waves looks simple enough. Cleverly, there is a hidden message in the image, and that is that the curves of the waves can be interpreted as a naked backside.
The symbols designer has made the image freely available (link at the end of this blog) and it is now printed on all manner of items such as hats, towels, shirts, mugs, and stickers. I have even seen several posts from people having had the image tattooed on their bodies in various places.
While the most common variant is a yellow sun over blue waves on a white or transparent background, there are other versions. You can download the logo on a black background, a grey background and a rainbow version is also available.
In March 2020, predating the naturist symbol by some seven months, naturist ambassador, director for the AANR-W and one of the governors of the B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation, Linda Weber, (Links at the end of this blog) introduced the hashtag #IAmtheFaceofNaturism.
…in honour of International Women’s Day and to empower nudists/naturists to show we are regular people -
Subsequently, The Naturist Symbol has become synonymous with the #IAmtheFaceofNaturism campaign and now stickers of the logo are available which include the hashtag.
The logo has not been without its detractors and to be fair it is not liked by everyone in the nudist/naturist community. Some simply don’t like it and others don’t think that the process by which it was selected was robust or open enough.
I have heard comments from people saying that it is not an official logo as it hasn’t been ratified by the International Naturist Federation, and therefore shouldn’t be used or encouraged. Others have claimed that they have no issue with the image, but they don’t like it being called The Naturist Symbol as it excludes people who identify as nudists.
Like any democratically selected process, you will not please everyone. Ask 10 different people and you will get 15 different interpretations. It reminds me of an episode of that clever 1980s British T.V. series “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet” when the boys tried to vote on what colour to paint the hut. Barry, played by the wonderful Timothy Spall, came up with a system where everyone would vote for their first choice colour, and then a second choice colour. No one could agree on the same first colour and so the second choice colour Yellow won, even though it was nobody’s first choice. Group leader Dennis claimed sarcastically that it was a wonderful result as “everybody gets what nobody wants.” To which Barry dryly replies, “That’s democracy, Dennis.”
I accept that a couple of hundred Twitter users have effectively voted for a symbol to represent a group of millions of people, but those millions of people find it difficult to agree on aspects of their own lifestyle so are unlikely to agree on a symbol to unite them.
I don’t want to get into an argument or upset any of you that don’t like the symbol, but suffice it to say, I quite like it and I have several items that display it. At one point during the hyper-vigilant mask-wearing days of air travel during COVID, I happily wore a face mask with the symbol on it, smug in the knowledge that most people were oblivious to its message. The subversive side of me enjoying the ruse.
I also have a coffee mug with the logo on it, which I use frequently while on Zoom calls with work colleagues, and a large beach towel for those summer skinny dips.
I know not everyone loves what has become known as The Naturist Symbol, and someone may well come up with a design that has a broader appeal, but until then, it seems to be working for many. The more it is used, the more effective it is. Until something better is suggested, I am happy to get in behind the symbol and have it represent my tribe.
Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws
Thank you for reading, have a comfortable day
The Naturist Symbol created by https://twitter.com/sillybare
The Naturist Symbol poll organised by https://twitter.com/IbanSaram
Linda Weber on the platform formerly known as Twitter
American Association for Nude Recreation AANR