In our recent post ‘More Hippies‘, you’ll maybe have seen a small gallery of nudists playing about in mud.

Those photos came from a site called Alem, a remarkable and beautiful collection of Brazilian photo-essays on life, and a casual nudity within it (in some of the shoots).

The ‘mud-ists‘ 😉 specifically came from a gallery called Vivencia-Ensaio.

I don’t particularly go looking for nudist photographs on the net, unless specifically researching something. The ‘hippies’ and ‘vintage’ photos recently used would be a case in point. But I do like to find sites where ‘the nude in art’ is the focus, because an artistic twist on nudity can and does inform the way we try to do things on SLN.

The site also has a feature called Pelos-Pelos, which does a remarkable photo essay on (predominantly) female body hair, although some male genitalia is featured too.

The site is in Portuguese, but thanks to the wonders of Google Translate, I’ve been able to loosely translate what some people are saying about body hair.

‘I first stopped shaving my pubic hair because my boyfriend said he did not mind, quite the contrary, he liked, he liked it that way. I think it’s pretty independent of me. It does not help nor hinder.” -Raysa, 21 years old.

“My relationship with my body hair is fine. for quite some time I do not mind them, so when I want I leave myself unshaven, when I do not want it, I shave. I was lucky to relate me always with people who did not care about them. So when I want it I don’t shave, when I do not want body hiar, I do not have it. I’m happy with them.” -Lidia, 22 years old.

Of course, my personal preference is for pubic hair to be present and correct, which would appear to be a returning trend, and there are times when I’m not overly bothered about shaving my armpits either. This, apparently, is almost as outrageous a personal statement as going topless or nude in public places, judging by media reaction when celebrities like Britney Spears and Julia Roberts appear in public without having shaved their armpits.

One of my oldest SL friends is Justine, who has featured on the pages of SLN before in her capacity as a ‘professional naturist’. She works for a travel company that specialises in naturist holidays and most of her summers are spent in Spain, France or Croatia, as on-site liaison between locals and English, French and Spanish tourists.

‘It was not’, she grins, ‘where I expected my language degree would lead!’

Not a naturist herself when the job came up, she quickly learned to adapt to being surround by hundreds, maybe thousands, of naturist holiday makers, and it didn’t take long until she took the plunge herself and now spends the overwhelming majority of her summer wearing nothing but a smile. Justine will disappear from SL for months during the holiday season, and then pop up from time to time during the winter months, ‘although I’ve been a rep in the Caribbean in winter months too’.

Becoming a rep in the 1980s, different values applied. ‘Women were almost certainly unshaven in the pubic area in naturism back then, and many ladies from some Mediterranean countries didn’t shave their armpits either. When I started, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to shave my pubes, but I would have shaved my armpits, as most northern European women did, and do. But I would be thinking, of some of these Mediterranean ladies, ‘wow, that’s brave, but it’s also good, and it’s also quite sexy in a way’. Unconventional. So I stopped shaving under my arms too, sometimes. Or at least be much less fussy about my shaving patterns. If I went a few days without shaving and ended up with armpit stubble, so what?’

Coming into SL a few years ago, Justine decided that she would have her avatar reflect real life. A thick, luxuriant ‘bush’, and thick, luxuriant armpits. ‘Because I’m a rare, but still active player, I don’t go mad on lots of clothes, on keeping up with new hairstyles or skins or anything. The only real money I’ve spent in SL was on good flexi hair and body hair, hahahaha!’
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And that, incidentally, was how and why I struck up a conversation with Justine several years back, running into her on a long gone naturist sim, and enquiring about her purchases. Sadly, the armpit hair she uses on her avatar is no longer available in SL, otherwise I, too, might be sporting it on occasion in world, less a reflection of real life -I still shave my armpits- and more a reflection of not adhering to a media obsessed (reflected in SL) expectation of ‘beauty’.

I’ve always wondered why the accessory isn’t quite so widely available in the SL marketplace. I would have imagined that male SL avatars might reasonably expect it to be available as an avatar add-on.

I’ve included one photo from the Pelos-Pelos photo essay on Alem’s website. I suggest that you click the link and explore the site for a while. The people photographed, male and female, look fabulous in the shoots, and have an adorable approach to casual nudity in the essays.


PS: If anyone knows of good underarm hair, in world or on the Marketplace, let me know and we’ll do a blog entry about it.