Cameraphones and social media are chipping away at naturists’ sense of their own anonymity, while tourism and Germany’s growing multiculturalism are affecting popular attitudes in complex ways.But before we look at how things are changing, we need to look at how a practice that would seem relatively taboo in contemporary North America became so widely accepted in the first place.The rise of cameraphones and social media networks means that naturists are more likely to fear for their anonymity.
The country is one of the few places in the world where naturism occurs not just in secluded areas, but in the heart of major cities.
German-style public nudity, known as Depending on an outsider’s personal convictions, FKK adherents can illustrate either that Germans are complete cranks, or that the country is a prudery-free paradise.
From the point of view of the Naturist Federation, Facebook has long since become a kind of "public space." Their theory is strengthened by the fact that things that people write or publish on Facebook can lead to their being fired...
It is often enough to post a photo of a woman’s back of women or a men on an air mattress and your account will be blocked or you’ll get a request from Facebook to stop posting that kind of picture.” Meanwhile, migration and tourism have made Germany a far less homogenous place, leaving some German naturists anxious that not everyone knows the rules—both written and unwritten.
The official beginning of naturism’s modern German revival, however, dates to 1898, when the first naturist association was founded in the city of Essen.
Intertwined with 20th-century movements aspiring to promote public health, the idea in an age of heavy clothing and smoky urban air was primarily to help people escape from unhealthy, polluted cities.
This has pushed naturism into the shadows somewhat, and also makes it difficult for naturist associations and events to promote themselves.
"Facebook limits naturists in their freedom of expression,” complained the President of the International Naturist Federation in 2015 to a German-language tech magazine: “We are being marginalized.
While neighboring Poles and Czechs frequently travelled to Eastern Bloc beach destinations such as Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, East Germans’ freedom of movement was relatively curtailed.
It’s not always easy to feel that you’ve left office or factory life behind when you’ve only traveled 50 miles or less down the road.
Their nakedness was a departure from everyday convention, just as their actual bodies broke with routine by leaving built-up areas to discover and bond with nature.