An eventful city tour! They stripped naked and got on a ship… The seer turned and looked again.
A nude cruise has taken to the waters of Sydney Harbour, Australia to encourage body positivity and help change how society views the naked body – but not everyone is on board with the concept.
The cruise by Get Naked Australia, an organization that promotes the practice of being naked in nature, attracted much attention over the weekend.
Supporters have labeled it an act of freedom and good fun, but others accused those involved of being “crazy” with “no shame”.
“No thought for those on the other boats, children, or anyone else for that matter,” one person complained on social media.
“Can’t believe the government has approved such a disrespectful thing,” added another.
“Disgusting, if you call that empowering and freedom,” wrote a third.
Get Naked Australia founder Brendan Jones told news.com.au “people love to be outraged by something that doesn’t affect them in anyway” but said for the most part they had received “immense” praise and support.
He told 7 News on Sunday their next cruise in December had 125 people signed up and “the ultimate goal would be to get a cruise liner”.
The group started out in 2017 by encouraging skinny dipping at secluded swimming spots and has continued to grow since.
“People basically lose all their inhibitions. It’s like a switch in their head and they go, ‘Oh, no one cares, no one is looking at me, no one is judging me,’” Jones told The Project, who sent guest co-host and comedian Michael Hing on board the boat.
Jones explained on the group’s website that his goal was not to have a world where no one wears clothes but rather to remove the stigma associated with nudity.
“I don’t want a world where people never get to experience the joy of swimming in the ocean naked because of body inhibitions,” he wrote. “Or feel too scared to get changed in front of your best friends because of fear of judgment.
“Or never get a nasty medical condition checked out because of fear of someone looking at your private parts.”
He said he has received feedback from people with mental health disorders and victims of domestic violence who say the concept of getting naked in nature has helped them reclaim their body.
Participants in Sunday’s cruise stressed the experience was not of a sexual nature and was a relaxed and liberating environment.
Michael Hing told The Sunday Project panel that participating helped him understand why people do these activities.
“I think there is a perception about naturists or nudists that they’re a certain way but for everyone on this boat, it was a really diverse group of people and also everybody was there about body positivity and ‘everyone’s bodies are beautiful’,” he said.
“That’s obviously nothing I feel about my own body but I felt very comfortable there.”