Discover more from A Comfort of Naturists
It’s a family thing.
Is the term family-friendly or family-run an indication of wholesomeness?
I read a recent article about a fruit farm shop in Hampshire, a county in England, warning visitors to keep their clothes on in the field of sunflowers adjacent to the shop. The article described the business as “a family-run shop” and went on to claim that they had seen an increase in people taking photos with the sunflowers hiding their modesty.
The size of the sunflower bloom lends itself to being used to cover up in cheeky photos snapped by social media influencers, artists, online content creators and even adventurous members of the public.
Given that the sunflower was a symbol used in the popular film and subsequent stage production, Calendar Girls, planting a field of sunflowers and expecting people not to pose amongst the blooms displays a level of naiveté. The article asking visitors to keep their clothes on mentions that the cast of Calendar Girls posed in the sunflower field, and might influence people to try and replicate the stunt.
Perhaps rather than trying to ban people from taking pictures, the business might consider setting aside a portion of the sunflower field for visitors to freely snap away, and submit their images in a competition, or even as a fundraiser for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the original cause benefiting from the efforts of the people that the Calendar Girls story is based on.
My biggest gripe about the article was the way that the writer described the fruit farm shop as a family-run business. While I think I know what they are trying to describe, the term family-run is not one that I would use to portray wholesomeness.
Describing a business as family-run in an effort to highlight that the business considers nudity inappropriate seems to be an odd choice.
By all means, if a business is run by family members, then describe it as a family business, but that is a statement of fact rather than a description of the business values. How the business is owned or how the staff are related says nothing about the organisation's core values or how it runs its operations.
Ask Stéphane Deschênes, who runs Bare Oaks, a family naturist park outside Toronto in Canada, and I am sure that his use of the term family does not expect visitors to remain clothed. The use of the word family defines the park's expectations around excluding sexual behaviour or exhibitionism, but nudity for all is expected. Maybe not the type of family behaviour that the Hampshire fruit farm had in mind.
Ask a parent of young children, and many will let you know that during a family trip to the beach or a park, toddlers love spending time without pants. Donald Ducking it through the sunflowers is perhaps not what the fruit farm business meant either.
Hugh Hefner’s daughter, Christie, took over the running of the Playboy empire between 1988 and 2009 and as such Playboy could be described as a family-run business. Again, perhaps not the type of family business that was being alluded to by the sunflower growers.
In parts of Italy, and for that matter parts of America with Italian heritage, the family business is something altogether different. I am not sure that the fruit farm proprietors were making offers that their customers couldn’t refuse.
Charles Manson considered his cult followers’ family, and his 100 or so acolytes bought into that idea. The Manson family had a set of values that couldn’t be described as wholesome even under the most charitable of circumstances and things didn’t end well for anyone.
Family values are very much dependent upon the family. Some family businesses focus on industry domination and corporate greed. Describing the Murdoch or Trump family empires as representing wholesome family values would be stretching things beyond credibility, especially given the number of ex-wives that both men have left in their wake. While a failed marriage does not in itself indicate a lack of ethical standards, one could argue that by the time you get to the third or fourth marriage and have paid hush money to others, some of your life choices may not be driven by what are considered traditional family values.
The word family has vastly different connotations to different people, and to use the term to ascribe a set of values to an activity or a business seems like a peculiar practice from media and publicists.
I assume that describing something as a family business is trying to portray it as wholesome, but from my observations, families are often more dysfunctional and damaged than wholesome.
The phrase family values is frequently used by people opposed to simple social nudity to demonstrate that social nudity goes against traditional moral and ethical standards.
I consider my naturist friends and contacts to be part of a wider community, perhaps even family. The set of values that this family share, respect for yourself, respect for each other and respect for the environment, are ethical and moral values worth celebrating.
The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.
– George Carlin
Thank you for reading. Have a comfortable day.
Naked and Alone.
Full frontal nudity on television.
Photo of Corin in a sunflower field supplied by and used with the kind permission of Kevin and Corin at OurNaturistLife: