Relaxing a policy

Hitherto, we’ve always adopted a ‘no voyeuristic photos’ policy, wherein models may have been photographed without their knowledge or permission. I’ve been persuaded to relax that a little in 2015, on the basis that it’s often these type of photos that truly represent naturism best. An airbrushed, made up, model, his or her hair styled perfectly, rarely gives an accurate representation of naturism. People in campsites doing holiday things are a much more accurate depiction of the lifestyle.

So…

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…the photos above give a fairer reflection of what a naturist holiday is about (these are all from Croatia) and suggest that it’s just ‘normal stuff’. Genuine naturism, to utilise my own description.

Thus, I’ve decided that not only will SLN, in 2015, use such RL photos but we may also, if possible, utilise photos that depict naturism, similarly, within SL itself.

Ella

2014 in review

The WordPress ‘Annual Report’ is out and it makes fascinating reading once more. 130,000 page views in 2014, with visitors from 177(!!!!!) countries. Wow.

It’s nice to zoom around the map and see that it’s only authoritarian countries like China, North Korea and Iran where we’re not making any impact, or in parts of western and central Africa where the internet may not be all that we expect it to be in the west.

Marvellous, too, to zoom in on the Middle East and find that we’re present right across the region. It seems that when you strip away the politics with your clothes the globe is kind of united in either a passive or active interest in naturism, and in Second Life. Thanks to each and every one of our visitors. I hope that we can continue to bring you a mix of real and virtual naturism during the course of 2015.

My best wishes to everyone in 2015.

Ella

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Kiritimati New Year

The first place to celebrate the New Year in the globe is Kiritimati (Christmas Island). It has just gone 800am in the UK, and Kiritimati will be celebrating 2015 in  just two hours time. In three hours time, New Zealand pops its corks, and 2015 begins to roll out from there until Hawaii is last (of the really populated areas) to join the party.

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Wherever you are around the world, a Happy New Year. Let’s hope that it’s a good, peaceful year and that some of the world’s tensions can be eased, for all of our sakes.

Ella & Pookes

#freetheSLnipple

I do regularly link to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper because it’s the one paper in the UK who adopts a swivel-eyed, hypocritical stance to nudity or semi nudity. Some print stories/photos of this without further comment, realising that we’re all old enough (be we 6, 16 or 86) to know what a nipple looks like, we all have them. Others quite obviously use female nudity as a device to shift papers.

The Daily Mail, disparagingly called the ‘Hate Mail’ by some, is never one to miss a trick where it can express ‘outrage’ about numerous things in modern life, nudity included, while squeezing every last ounce of coverage it can from its outrage, and I think stands alone as the one UK paper who can express ‘outrage’ while printing story after story about nudity.

Many in the UK will recognise, according to the Daily Mail, everything wrong with the world is the fault of ‘foreigners’. Polish immigrants to the UK are stealing British jobs, apparently (disregarding the fact that many of the jobs they do wouldn’t be filled by lazy, work-shy Britons whose existence on social benefits seems like a preferable life to actually working for a living). Racist, homophobic and xenophobic, the Daily Mail (DM) is a joke, pitching itself as a ‘serious’ paper yet peddling the lowest common denominator of press coverage imaginable. If there’s a Pole, a black person, a gay person involved, be assured the DM won’t fail to mention that fact.

Imagine a good Samaritan type of story. A white, elderly woman is mugged. Three passers by witness it. One, a Pole, gives chase to the assailant, catches the white, British teenage hoodlum and pins him against a car until the police arrive. The gay man is the one who rings the police and ambulance. The black lady, a nurse, administers first aid.

Typically, the DM will report it in the following manner: ‘Polish immigrant Stanislaw, 23, was unconcerned about the scratches on the car to which he held the assailant. Meanwhile, John, 47, a gay man who lives with his HIV positive partner for 20 years, phoned the emergency services after which he and Afua, 37, a Muslim from Ebola-ravaged Sierra Leone, administered first aid.’

The subtext is always that the Pole has caused some damage, the gay man might have HIV, the African nurse might be carrying Ebola while coming to the aid of a white, elderly woman. Get the picture?

Where’s this all heading?

The DM is almost car-crash journalism. You can’t help yourself from looking. I know I can’t. I do try to avoid most of it, but its fascination with nudity, and outrage at the same, keeps me returning, if only for amusement at its Little Englander stance.

Pookes’ post on the #freethenipple film and campaign yesterday led me to follow up on her links and further explore the campaign. And that, in turn, led me straight to the DM and an article about Miley Cyrus posting a topless photo of herself on Instagram. 

The DM ‘tastefully’ pixellates her nipples from its coverage, lest we be offended.

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While the uncensored photo/posting looks like this…

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So what do I see? A pretty young woman in a pose that wouldn’t look out of place in an art photography shoot. A dramatic, b&w depiction of the nude form, a staple of art since man began drawing on cave walls, almost.

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Why pixellate? What does the mainstream media find so offensive about this? After all, it’s a puritan stance shared by many media outlets, not just the DM.

Incidentally, Chelsea Handler, who mocked Russia’s Vladimir Putin earlier this year (another Instagram hypocrisy nipple censorship SLN also covered earlier this year) has been topless again on the social media…a story, naturally, covered by the DM.  (censored version on the DM website, uncensored version below)

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And yet these social media outlets still continue to allow graphic depictions of violence? Of beheadings? Isn’t it all just a little bit strange?

I think, in 2015, one of our goals should be to #freetheSLnipple, as there are locations within the game where a similar stance to the DM is much in evidence. ‘No nudity’, the signs say in stores, in various sims, yet a guy in a pair of jeans is exceptionally unlikely to be challenged for his mode of dress while a female avatar will be remarked on, challenged and maybe even banned.

In 2014 we’ve promoted and support those stores and blogs who adopt an adult approach to nudity.  We shall do so again in 2015. Isn’t there something strange about a skin store that blacks out the nipples on their wares? Nipples come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Before I buy a new skin, wouldn’t I like to see the ‘full effect’? You bet I would.

Ella

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free the Nipple

Over the course of 2014, SLN has reflected, at various times, on the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign. And now there’s a film out about it. If I’ve got the link correct, you should be able to see an uncensored trailer for the movie. Unless, given the temperature of our times, Kim Jong Un decides we can’t. 🙂

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I suspect that 2015 will see us sadly having to report on ‘more of the same’ as women demand top free equality. If it’s on at a movie house near you, I’d encourage you to go and see it. Media response to things like this are the only way we can change our world. And in 2015, a patriarchal society imposing its rules on half of the population isn’t exactly the most important fight to fight. Ebola, famine, increasing poverty? We should be tackling these issues, not railing against women removing their tops.

I love those pink balaclavas 🙂 If we can find one in SL, and use it in photos, rest assured we will! 🙂

Ella

Excellent Horse-like Lady

Occasional contributor Apricot responds to threats an censorship over the film ‘The Interview’.

I’m American. (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, more or less…I’m originally from White Plains, just over the state line, who now resides in England’s county of Hampshire, assumed by some to be the area where Camelot was situated).  I don’t respond well to an inhumane dictator threatening my freedoms.

From what I’ve seen, ‘The Interview’ doesn’t come across as something likely to win an Oscar, many plaudits, the critics or public’s hearts. The trailer has ‘straight to DVD’ written all over it in terms of cinematic quality. The trailer suggests it’s a not very funny B-movie.

Nonetheless, I expect to have the freedom of choice to go and see it and not be dictated to by some tinpot, cheese-eating goon. If I get the opportunity to see it (and I’m back in the States for the holiday period) I will take it, even though I expect to be sitting with my hands on my chin, looking glum throughout. I will do that because in the land of the free we expect the right to be able to freely voice at, or laugh at, politicians. North Korea’s. Or our own. Or anyone else’s.

2014 has been a year in which it seemed that terrorism, real or merely threatened, by the likes of Kim Jong Un or ISIL, had us running scared. That’s not America. That’s not Britain, either, my adopted home. I sincerely hope that in 2015 we, the free people of the world, refuse to be dictated to by some asshole on the other side of the globe with a good line in rhetoric, a long track record of despotic behaviour and a dash of freaking insanity.

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I’m not alone in my contempt for this odious little man. The photo (above) is currently doing the rounds on Facebook (unlike Ella, I do use it), which pokes fun at a figure already readily identifiable as a figure of easy satire (even though he’s potentially dangerous). It’s accompanied by the hashtag #‎YouCantSilenceOurFreedomOfSpeech Which just about sums up our defiance. No, you won’t silence our freedom of speech, something denied to the citizens of the ‘Democratic’ People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, as they style themselves).

It was previously reported that North Korea had murdered the singer of the song ‘Excellent Horse Like Lady’ –Hyon Song Wol– for making pornographic videos, and at this point in the equation the tale (no pun intended) takes on an air of surreality.

Assassinated by machine gun firing squad, it was said, along with other members of the group in which she performed (which also included Kim Jong Un’s wife), only to re-appear at a much later date. So…what’s the truth? Were tales of her assassination a western media black-ops bit of propaganda? (You see, I’m free to express that view). Has someone been subjected to the plastic surgeon’s knife to act as a stand in for Hyon Song Wol (in much the same way Billy Shears has been standing in for Paul Mccartney all these years)? Who knows?

One thing that is fairly clear that there are many, many examples of the harsh reality of life in North Korea which aren’t subject to speculation and black ops media spin.

Jang Song Thaek, Kim’s uncle, was murdered a year for allegedly trying to overthrow the government, despite being regarded as the second most powerful man in North Korea. It would be interesting to learn if this plot to topple Kim was internal politics, or if Jang had leanings towards a more western style of government (or less authoritarian, at least). Over the past week, North Korea’s internet has been under attack, and America is silent on whether it’s evidence of retaliatory action promised by our President.

My wish, for 2015, is that we -the free people of the world- continue to put our scorn on nasty little men like Kim, on nasty little regimes like ISIL, and that the world is a freer, more tolerant place where terrorism never wins.

Apricot