Naturism and its Positive Effects on Mental Health

When I think about why we do what we do with Skinny Dippers Club and the Global Naturist Alliance, it actually has little to do with being a nudist and everything to do with community. Naturism, for me, is where environmentalism, social nudism, and feminism collide.
Mandy Zelinka
Skinny Dippers Club

How did you get started in Social Nudism?

I’m a lifelong entrepreneur. Ask me a question, and I’ll likely break the answer down to marketing. I’m a total nerd that loves market research and business strategy as much as I love a perfect red lip.

But here’s the thing. Entrepreneurship can be hella lonely.

A few years back, I worked so hard on my business that I kept pushing the need to write a speech for Alt Summit back. The further I pushed back writing the speech, the more my anxiety rose. I was a wreck.

Alt Summit is a big deal for a creative entrepreneur. It’s held in Palm Springs every year, and it brings out the most creative of the creatives. The 20% of the 20%. The top 4% of the creatives of entrepreneurship. It’s like a gathering of Weiden & Kennedy wanna-be’s. It’s an important event.

And I had two weeks to deliver a speech that I had yet to write. I felt like a failure.

When Jeremy told me not to worry about the speech and instead head to a boutique clothing-optional hotel in Palm Springs, I didn’t blink an eye. I wasn’t a nudist, but I also wasn’t even close to producing a speech. I was just too burnt out on life to do anything but say, “Sure. I can still wear my bikini, right?”

I would gladly take the offer of a real vacation, but I wasn’t about to give in to that whole *running around naked* thing.

I was mostly pissed at myself because Alt Summit was founded by @DesignMom, an absolute badass on Twitter. I wouldn’t say I liked feeling like I let her down. It sucked because I really admire her.

But I also knew in my heart that this was the right decision. I already felt like this was going to be a life-changing vacation, and it was.

The mental health benefits combined with body positivity are the number one reason I think more people should get into running around naked outside (or inside!) It was the no. 1 reason my husband was finally able to survive his PTSD demons. It’s nearly alleviated my need for drugs to combat ADHD and anxiety. And I’ve always been pretty body-positive, but I must tell you that being socially naked takes it to a whole new level of comfort.

And for both of us, the reason this works so well is the community. Having been a status quo disruptor my whole life, I get bored by ordinary people. And Jeremy has been able to find like-minded folks like never before.

Naturism, as well as our Skinny Dippers Club, is phenomenal for anyone needing a mental health break, whether that’s the ability to step outside naked or simply having a community of people to hang out pantsless with at your fingertips. 

Running around naked makes hanging out with friends a lot more fun. When you can drop the pretenses as fast as you drop your drawers you’re headed for fun faster.

In life, you can either laugh, or you can cry.

I prefer to have fun. 

Thank you for being here.


From one of my former students:

“You won’t be disappointed. Mandy is the cool kid and the “nerd” wrapped in one. She’s brilliant, witty and trips out on metrics to move the needle forward in business. The best part is that she understands marketing and people and that’s vital if you want to grow.”

Choose your Reaction!
  • 1) The video chat feature is hella fun and convenient I kinda loved it
    2) This is 1,000% why this means so much to me. Naturism is fun! Naturism is liberating.
    3) Thank you for creating a space for us to be here 😉

  • What are the ingredients of social nudity that result in the delicious body positivity feeling yah think?

    • Ya know, I just had this great conversation with Scott Cline over at New Nudist Podcast about this – the episode is probably coming out in March. I think there’s a lot of value in seeing other people without their clothes on socially because they are real. You see everyone’s *imperfections* and realize that nobody is perfect. It has really really made me appreciate my body more. Having played three sports as a kid and continuing to be athletic into adulthood has always made me appreciate my body for its sturdiness. But hanging out non-sexually naked with others in a non-judgmental setting is the most body-positive thing you could ever do.

  • Yeah seeing real bodies of people who you assume are “perfect” when they are wearing clothes IS a healthy realization. Good point. And I totally agree that the more body movement I have the more I appreciate it. All those good hormones from exercise play a role to.

    I think there is something about taking those clothes off and having a shared sense of vulnerability together. It’s like what bonds people through shared adversity. Like neighborhoods where neighbors normally don’t talk to each other much and then they go through a hurricane together. After a shared hardship everyone is really kind again. It just doesn’t take a natural disaster for Naturists to be kind to each other.

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