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So I was thinking the other day that one of the main tenants of nudism is that wear only what's necessary (i.e. safety, comfort, etc.). Wouldn't that mean that nudists wear the absolute minimum with the lowest being zero (not counting negative numbers)?
Maybe a new name would then be "minimalists". Do you think this would be more accurate and palatable to bring in more to the fold?
Nice reply, Ramblinman. Nudism as we think of it had its origins in several movements, mostly in Germany in the late 1800s (surprisingly) that were based on the idea that the human race was basically going downhill. Coincidentally, some people at the time thought there were no new worlds to conquer, too, thought that is an entirely different subject. The West was won, there were no new frontiers, what else is there to do.
The movements, which could probably include scouting (including for girls), were essentially urban movements that were health and well-being oriented. The main reason for those movements was that living in the big cities was unhealthy. They were dirty and crowded. The answer in the various movements was to retreat to the countryside for rest and recreation in a healthy environment. Overall, the movements could be called naturism, as it implied a return to nature, which sounds very much like the back to nature movement of the late 1960s in the U.S. At any rate, nudity was not central to all of the groups nor was sunbathing. But exercise in the open air certainly was. As I said, most of the movements were essentially urban in nature, probably because rural folk are as close to nature as they cared to be.
The Nazis in Germany eventually banned nudity (some restrictions were later relaxed) and other movements co-opted to become the Hitlerjugend, which had its own ideals and objectives, but was similar in some ways.
Along the way, cities became better places to live, too. There were also some opportunities for urban nudity, too, since not everyone could take time to vacation at a nudist club in the summer and, besides, vacations at a nudist club was largely a summertime thing.
So, originally, I'd say that nudism and most of the other movements under the naturist umbrella were health and recreation oriented. So it's good that the ASA changed its name to the American Association for Nude Recreation.
I can see how Minimalist would be too vague. I guess nudism seems too extreme like I imagine people saying, "I have to be nude like no clothes?" Well then go into explanation that its about being comfortable even to the point of being nude, It's more healthy, etc. It seems like that's something that needs explaining too. I don't know maybe there's still something that will fit without being obtuse.
But ultimately, it's almost never clothing-optional. A man wearing a swimsuit on a nude beach would be the one labeled a pervert, would he not? There is pressure in the States for a nude beach to be just that: nude, not clothing-optional. Anyway, I don't like the term "textile." It's a loaded term.
My wife and I usually go to St Martin to Orient Beach but it was badly damaged in the hurricane. We like it because it is "clothing optional". She likes clothing, I've been optional since 1969. Luckily I have a house that is isolated and I can be optional all summer.