Naturist PODCAST ep. 3 Community & Social Justice

“I don’t want any symbols reminding me that people hate me.” (In reference to Trump flags) “That was one of the most surreal, strange things that my brain could not put together... how are you pro-counter culturalism and also still pro-oppression? .... I was sad.”
Randy
New Nudist Podcast

https://naturistpodcast.libsyn.com/rss

The idea of a Naturist Field Guide came to us when Jeremy found his old Boy Scout book. What we realized is that the naturist community as a whole could probably benefit from a guide book – especially for people thinking about getting into naturism. Then that turned into a podcast and then launching a non-profit. The non-profit – Global Naturist Alliance – has a social justice arm to it that we just haven’t seen on a large scale globally with naturist organizations and we really think the naturist movement simply cannot progress without it.

We will be looking for board members from all over the world representing different countries. The goal is to not only collect data from our communities and create a Global Field Guide to Naturism but to also set the mission, vision, and values of the Naturist movement worldwide.

Without a vision, a movement has no gas.

This is our podcast I hope you enjoy it!
Mandy + Jeremy

Skinny Dippers Club
www.SkinnyDippers.Club 

 

ep. 3 Community and Social Justice​

Show Notes ​

Do you or someone you love enjoy hanging out pantsless? Do you find a lack of pants to be a superpower rather than an inhibitor to your success? Or maybe you’re not even sure what a naturist looks like, but you’re tired of people asking why do you or your partner are always running around half-naked?

Mandy’s Zelinka is the Skinny Dippers Club founder, a safe and inclusive community for people that can come hang out in – without pants or bras or whatever; clothing is optional. You can subscribe to this podcast and our blog over at www.SkinnyDippersClub.com.

Welcome to the naturist podcast! I’m your host, Mandy Z., And I’m joined by my dude, Jeremy. We are naturists and live like curious five-year-olds on the weekends. The reason we look so happy is that we live in a nudist park where we can frolic naked amongst our tree friends whenever we want to. I have never felt so comfortable in my skin since taking the plunge into naturalism. I’ve never felt so body-positive, and now I want everyone to join me. So thank you for being here.

***

Mandy:

Jeremy and I were just listening to the New Naturist Podcast with one of our members, Evan from @NaturistVintage. If you are on Twitter, go give him a follow. He was introducing his friend, Randy, who is Black, to his local nudist park in Southern California. And I got to say, at about an hour into that podcast, Jeremy, I wanted to cut a bitch.

Jeremy:

I know I, I can’t believe it. Yeah.

Mandy:

I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised by racism anymore, but there’s this thing called apathetic racism. So apathetic racism can be best described as like organizations that don’t come out as openly racist, but also don’t come out as openly, NOT racist, which honestly is why I changed our logo last summer. But we’ll get to that in a minute. So the definition of apathy is a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. What Evan was talking about was he started this campaign to the ANRR or *Anner*, or however you pronounce it, which is the American Association for Nude recreation – to openly tell them that Black Lives Matter and that he wanted them to say that openly, that Black Lives Matter. And not only could they not muster up enough of their white privilege to say it as an organization, but they voted against taking a non-racist stance. They voted to NOT say, Black Lives Matter. Jeremy, what do you think about that? Is, is that an organization that can be reformed? I mean, you have so much experience with big organizations. You are basically a public works director for one of the nation’s biggest counties, and you have 2,250 plus employees, you know, many of which were Trump supporters. So I have to ask you, can an organization this large with several thousand members spanning across the US, you know, with 85% of them in a pretty specific demographic of boomer, white, and most re mostly Republican, can that be reformed?

JEREMY:

You know, that’s a, it’s a hard question to answer. It takes a lot of organizational change, leader buy-in experience drawing from other people. If you could get enough momentum in the organization to make the change, it takes more than just forming a diversity committee. You have to be committed to actively pursuing people of color in different viewpoints in the world, into your leadership, in order to change the direction, the true direction of the organization. And I’m not seeing that with AANR, so can an organization change? Maybe, but for those who want change now, I think you have to look at perspective. You just have to start from scratch and build a group of people who believes in the change. If the organization is not changing fast enough, create your own organization.

Mandy:

And that’s something that I always come back to, which is that every generation will have its issues of when it comes to, you know, the older people being slower than the younger people. That’s always been a thing, right. But now it’s even more, um, I don’t know what the word is like more, but it’s more, it’s even more further apart – the time difference – now because there’s the older generation are slow people. And then the younger generation, which grew up with iPhones in their hands. So

Jeremy:

The technology gap is huge. Yes.

Mandy:

And you know, we’ve seen that a few times with literally with nudist parks that they’ll have a communications director who got their degree 20 years ago and, Oh my God, it’s an entirely different world than it was 20 years ago.

Jeremy:

There was a point that parks had to rely on the leverage of a bigger organization to help with their marketing dollar. And now that model has really gone out the window – with the change in technology – and many of the parks…

Mandy:

Wait, but tell me more about that, because I remember you told me at one point that part of the reason so many nudists park websites in the United States are so outdated are because they were subscribed to some marketing model where the AANR did their website for them. And then once they stopped, they just never updated the website.

Jeremy:

In some of those cases, that’s true. There were a number of parks that had, um, the reason why they have the website that they had was because it was connected to the AANR. I don’t know the whole history, but I do know that there have been some parks that have not had that same level of support. So AANR doesn’t provide the web services, and some of those parks, they haven’t been able to develop their own website separate from that original model that they were still operating off of.

Mandy:

Well, I think that a lot of that too, is how afraid older people are of learning technology. And I say that from experience, because I used to have this wonderful group of women who were like in their fifties, that I was teaching them digital marketing too. And they were so resistant to technology and I totally understood, totally understood. Like it was very scary to them. But if those are the people that are predominantly in charge of these places, I mean, here’s the thing I have to be honest. I like to say that we are a gated online community that doesn’t allow Trump supporters. What would you say to that, Mr. Jeremy?

Jeremy:

I like that take on it. I mean, it’s it really, you know, bringing everybody together that wants to. I’m going back to kind of the way that we talk about our community. We talk about people as Skinny Dippers, not as any, you know, man, woman, you know, gender-related, whatever. We just, we just want to build a community of, of cool people that want to hang out with other cool people.

"I like to say we are a gated online community that doesn’t allow Trump supporters."
Mandy Zelinka
Skinny Dippers Club

Hydrate and Don't be a Racist

Mandy:

We do. But in light of that, we are about 30% Brown, 30% Black, 30% White. And I’d say about what 35% LGBTQ and about 35% Women probably. So people always ask me what we did to get such a diverse community. And I had to say; your vibe attracts your tribe. It’s actually easy to attract young kids. You just need to be hydrated and don’t be a racist! I mean, most kids these days are so progressive. They voted for Bernie Sanders and we’ve got this young climate activist, Greta Thunberg. So if you don’t even think Black Lives Matter, you certainly aren’t going to give two shits about the climate because the earth and its inhabitants are inextricably linked, and you can’t not take care of one without taking care of the other. And we’re seeing that right now – so I changed our logo last summer. I had so many Trump supporters following us. I had too many people who felt inclined to send me D + V pics.

Mandy:

I mean, I understand there is also DM bots. I know there are terrible people in the world, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it or put up with it. So I deactivated our Instagram. I didn’t even tell Jeremy, I just did it. I was surprised we make a lot of decisions together. A lot. I run so many things by him because he was basically a lawyer and I’m basically just a misfit, but dude, I had had enough. I was like, no, this is. And disgusting. And I did not ask for this. And if this is what nudism is in the States, I don’t want any part of it.

That was totally off-script. No, honestly, I always say, I always go back to marketing because I say we have a brand book with brand brand guidelines and brand standards. And that is NOT my brand – my brand is not D + V pics. I mean, I don’t care that you do it. Don’t send them to me! And Since you probably think this is an insane strategy considering how quickly we were building a following on Instagram I have to first tell you that I have been in marketing for over 20 years. So when I owned my salon, which guys, if you guys are ever in Portland, Oregon, stop by it’s called 77 salon. And it is down the street from pals books in the Pearl District. It’s so cute down there. I love the Pearl district anyhow. But when I bought that salon, we were still booking our appointments on paper.

And there was absolutely no social media to speak of. So I had a website. I, and that, that was a big deal. That was like, people didn’t have websites then. So I’ve also taught digital marketing and social media. And I know that you can’t solely rely on social media to build a community. So it didn’t freak me out to just cut ties with our Instagram. Um, and you know, we’re watching in real-time what Facebook and Instagram censorship is doing to people. Digital marketing is only one part of marketing and social media is a piece of that. So I say all of this because I see people wanting answers to how to build a diverse community. First, don’t be an asshole and secondly, attract and repel and for something to stand out – so Jeremy won this prestigious diversity award at work a while ago, and he was so mad about it because, and he’s right.

He won it simply for doing what you should, being a decent human being that treats everyone equally. In order to have a more diverse community, you have to stand up for them. If you are white, it is your duty to use your privilege to help a brother out or sister out – saying Black Lives Matter should be easy. 

 

"Saying Black Lives Matter should be easy. "
Mandy Zelinka
Skinny Dippers Club

So back to our logo, I changed our logo to add the rainbow because to me, the gay flag means home. It means safety, and it means being neighborly. I grew up in a very diverse elementary school in high school. And I played basketball with black women who went on to play in the Olympics and who had brothers and cousins in the NBA. And when I went into hairstyling, I hung out with a ton of gay people and people transitioning. Jeremy, are you getting emotional? 

Jeremy:

Yeah. Yeah.

No it’s like one of those moments that you realize that because your voice isn’t being heard, you’re just contributing to an organization that’s going to perpetuate the widening of the….

You’re actually supporting what you’re against. 

You can’t go into some of these parks without being a member.

Mandy:

Yeah. You know, and that’s, I’ve always subscribed to, I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and they’re the most *love everybody* city besides probably Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is just lovely. I can’t say enough nice things about that place. But you know, I grew up in the city of Nike and Phil Knight with his commercials that were Spike Lee and Michael Jordan. Like I grew up in inner-city. Diverse. Yes. Portland was diverse. 

I’m like, boy, I don’t know the point I was getting to, I got all worked up.

 I was talking about voting with your dollars. Like I grew up with voting with your dollars, you know, it’s been ingrained. Like you don’t pay people that are terrible. It’s always been an easy decision for me. It’s not hard. Maybe it’s because my mom whooped me growing up. I mean, I don’t know. It’s like do the right thing or the wrong thing. I mean, okay. I literally grew up with Do the Right Thing, but still, you know.

Jeremy:

Yeah. It’s tough thinking that your dollars are going towards something that you don’t agree on. I mean, we make choices like that all the time with our other buying habits.

Mandy:

We try our hardest. Yeah. So I guess everybody screws up, but as long as you try to do better the next day, right? So I guess if you don’t want young people or people of color to patronize your establishment – fly your Trump flags – don’t say Black Lives Matter. And if you agree, stop paying for your AANR Membership, like we did. I mean pay us instead, we’re way more fun and a lot nicer! 

But I mean, talk about attracting and repelling. Last summer, I spent 30 days, mostly by myself, working on my family’s 40 acres – which is kind of in the middle of nowhere on the Oregon Coast. And the first thing ma Boy Scout husband Jeremy did was put up the rainbow flag on the flag pole. Cause I guess you guys can’t walk past the flag pole and have it be empty?

Jeremy:

Yeah. And it, I mean, everybody likes to fly a flag on a pole – if you’ve ever spent time in the Boy Scouts…

Mandy:

So I’m on my family’s property flying this rainbow flag – running around naked when they aren’t there. Because I mean, duh. So the first thing my dickhead uncle did when he stopped by was tell me to take the flag down. And that dude is such an asshole. If that’s not attracting and repelling, I don’t know what it is.

But I’m going to leave you with one last word on the subject because I feel like people are going to listen to this and go put their performative flags all over their outdated websites. Don’t use a flag unless you are prepared to defend it. Minorities have enough people using them, but not really wanting to include them already.

"Don’t use a flag unless you are prepared to defend it. Minorities have enough people using them but not really wanting to include them already."
Mandy Zelinka
Skinny Dippers Club

Bare Oaks Policies

 

Mandy:

So today’s episode is ON Community and Social Justice. 

Ooh. I had to have to get that out. I had something to say, and it had to get out of me. Thank you for listening to that.

Jeremy:

Glad that you had the opportunity to say that. 

Mandy:

I think those are things have been on my mind for a very long time. All right. Let’s exhale and move on kids because Jeremy was on this super interesting tangent last night where he was word mapping.

Jeremy:

Yeah. It’s actually, you can use the online thesaurus and see a graphic thesaurus. So you can see what the synonyms of words are. And as you investigate,

Mandy:

Yeah. This is a fun, little interactive map on our screens.

Jeremy:

So, you can see how a naturist and a nudist – they connect with being an individualist.

Mandy:

That speaks to home. 

Can I read all of those?

Jeremy:

Go ahead. 

Mandy:

Lone Wolf, free thinker, Maverick non-conformist independent. Original. Hello.

I used to call my Facebook group for the courses that I taught the “community of misfits.” I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was like, yeah, we’re a little misfit entrepreneurs going around online, just tearing it up. And there was this one woman who was like “community and misfits??” And I was like, Oh, you are not my people.

Jeremy:

….Oh, are you done?

Mandy:

[inaudible] yeah.

We were asked to be part of the Naturist Living Show Podcast, which is awesome because it’s the number one naturist podcast. So Jeremy studied their entire website. He read it from top to bottom. And what he found was some really good verbiage on consent and I wanted him to share it with you guys. Cause he was reading it to me last night and I was like, what? We have to share that…

Jeremy:

Well, and it’s actually more than just consent. It’s really talking about naturalism and what they believe in – their policies. And it just seems to be really open and inviting. So, yeh, I really appreciate it.

Mandy:

I came to find Bare Oaks partly because our community has such good things to say about them and such good things to say about Stefan. And so I was listening to their podcast on single women and naturism a few weeks ago and I was floored – happily floored – at how many women he walked around – in Bare Oaks – and interviewed – who not only were naturists, but they were actually naturists and their partners weren’t.

Jeremy:

Oh, interesting. 

Mandy:

It was awesome. I loved it. So I’ll put that, uh, I’ll put a link to that podcast in the show notes, but it’s very exciting to know that something like that exists.

We wanted to have a global platform for the naturist community that included social justice because we have not seen that yet in this community.
Mandy Zelinka
Skinny Dippers Club

Global Naturist Alliance

Mandy:
We wanted to have a global platform for the naturist community that included social justice because we have not seen that yet in this community. So Jeremy, tell me, what does the global naturist Alliance mean to you? Our nonprofit that we’re starting?

Jeremy:
Well, to me, it’s really an organization that has some kind of a guide. It has a map. It has a map of what a Naturism is

Jeremy:
Like a recipe book. If you want to – if you want to make it this way – you do it with these ingredients…

Speaker 2:
Yeah. Yeah. So it’s kind of a highlight to the different parts of being a naturist, everything from first time visits and how to – how to approach visiting places to go – to different things that you can do.

Mandy:
You know why I love the concept of this field guide? First of all, it’s partly because I’m a bit tactile. I like, I like to read books cause it helps slow your mind down. And I was actually thinking today as I was outside showering – because that’s what you get to do when you live at it and nude park – Um, had I actually done investigative journalism into nudist places in the States prior to Jeremy dragging me to a place to be nude socially and public, I would have never gone.

Jeremy:
You wouldn’t have been open to that?

Mandy:
No – I would have seen all of the like bad parts about it because those are the things that come up first on the search engine.

Jeremy:
Yeah, that’s true.

Mandy:
It’s just the way it is. You know, that’s just a function of our white algorithm writers, porn sells. I mean, I’m not opposed to porn. It’s just – it’s hard to get your point across when everyone thinks it’s orgies. Yeah.

So anyhow, I love the idea of this field guide because I could hand it to someone like my sister who, you know, is no prude, but she teaches at a Catholic High School. So I’d be able to hand this to her and feel comfortable that it didn’t look like I was handing her something to try to get her into trouble with porn contraband. So I’m really excited about this project because I feel like we have an opportunity if we can all agree on it, that we can get out the message to globally that this is awesome. It’s not what you think it is.

Jeremy:
Well, and in collecting from those voices who have experienced those safe spaces, I think is probably the most important thing that we could be doing. So, reaching out to folks as we grow this, we will need to establish a board of directors. The concept I’m thinking of is people from different demographics in the United States. And then,

Mandy:
Oh, we could have a conglomerate and then have a Nude Olympics. I’m on the Olympic Committee. You go get your board together. I’m going to be on the Olympic committee. I’m going to have an event – I just really loved Nude stock. It was man top five. It was up there with tobogganing down, the great wall of China, man that was up this stuff. Bucket-list behavior.

Jeremy:
Imagine collecting a group of people that are focused on that kind of fun, where everybody comes together.

Mandy:
Well, I have found with all of our community organizing efforts that the people are there. And I always said this when I was teaching marketing; your clients are out there. They just haven’t found you yet. Like…your community is out there. We just haven’t found each other yet. So when you’re done listening to this podcast, please hit share. haha.

Jeremy:
Let’s get back to what The Global Naturist Alliance is and what we’re doing. So clearly we’re focusing on community and social justice. But we also want to connect others with each other and with nature, the natural world because one of the things that we have certainly found is that, that getting out into nature and

Mandy:
Health benefits, mental health benefits. Oh my word.

Jeremy:
Yeah. So let’s, let’s talk to people about those benefits,

Mandy:
Honestly. Like we’re old enough to know what the world was like prior to the internet. I know what slow is. And let me tell you, if you go to a nudist park in the States, it will slow you down cause they never have internet, you know what I mean? Like some of you guys don’t even know what a normal pace is because you’ve been going at this insane pace since you were born, right? You grew up with the internet, possibly an iPhone in your hand when you were born – and who would not look at their iPhone all day if they had one. My God, the things I could have done as a kid when I was trapped inside all summer and couldn’t leave. So

Jeremy:
We discovered that connecting with nature has been really good for our health. And we would like to include that in our approach.

"I'm really excited about this project because I feel like we have an opportunity if we can all agree on it, that we can get out the message globally that this is awesome. It's not what you think it is. In collecting from those voices who have experienced those safe spaces, I think it is probably the most important thing that we could be doing."
Mandy + Jeremy
Skinny Dippers Club

Almost Wild Blog

Mandy:
Speaking of awesome people we have a super awesome friend and a member of our community who does a blog called Almost Wild. And if you’re on Twitter, head over to add @AlmostWildBlog and you’ll find him over there where he does a lot of social justice tweets. And I love him for it. He wrote a really awesome blog on our website, which Jeremy is going to talk about shortly. But Jeremy, tell me what we’re reading on our screens at the moment.

Jeremy:
So back in the summer after the death of George Floyd, there were a lot of organizations coming out talking about the removal of the Confederate flag – and you know – taking an anti-racist position. And it was, it almost seemed historic for me to have NASCAR come out with a statement.

Mandy:
Oh, and then they did that terrible noose thing for every good, there’s always a….

Jeremy:
Reaction, but, our friend Timothy – and in our community – he took the NASCAR statement and

Mandy:
He tore it up! I will put a link in the show notes because you’re going to want to read this one.

Jeremy:
How, which way should we read it?

Mandy:
So all Timothy did was replaced with NASCAR with a AANR

And Jeremy’s gonna read it in the AANR way that it has been edited to.

Jeremy:
“The presence of the Confederate flag at AANR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all guests, our members, and our industry, bringing people together around a love for social nudity and the community that it creates is what makes our philosophy special. The display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all AANR events and properties” – signed by what was crossed out as Nascar and changed to ANNR.

So imagine if the ANNR had come out with a statement like that, see how easy that was? Yeah.

Mandy:
What did I say earlier? It’s not hard. Just don’t be a racist.

Jeremy:
Exactly. Yeah. But, the ANNR has not come out with statements that are consistent with others that really call out racism.

Mandy:
When Timothy wrote this blog over the summer, and we read it, we were blown away. And I was like, I immediately want to put that on the website, then Jeremy read it. And it was like a bomb blew off in his little brain.

Jeremy:
Timothy is a member of our community and his blog is entitled Almost Wild. The blog – It doesn’t come off – is on our site. And he, he really spoke to me in this blog and it, it impacted me deeply. Actually. I know, I know. I just, um, it’s really even hard for me to characterize in like a short summary, because he, he does a very good job in, in calling out many of the microaggressions and issues with some of our nudsit clubs or parks that exist today.

"Timothy does a very good job of calling out many of the microaggressions and issues with some of our nudist clubs or parks that exist today."
Jeremy Ferguson
Skinny Dippers Club

Mandy:
Well, and from a completely different view than what you and I have ever experienced because we’re straight white people.

Jeremy:
Exactly. And I think it’s, it’s really important to seek out as many different perspectives on experiences so that you can truly ensure that that you’re in a safe place. Yeah. I recommend that you all read Timothy’s blog.

Mandy:
The vulnerability, that is not surprising for this community, but at the same rate, like it’s… Seeing that in words was just pretty profound. He’s a really good writer.

Jeremy:
He is, he is.

Mandy:
If you aren’t moved by that. And I don’t know what to tell you. I was like, you know, what? It was how I felt when I was how I felt when we walked out of, um, the Spike Lee movie, we watched Black Klansman. Oh my God. I remember just sitting there, staring at a screen when the movie was over and just this overwhelming feeling of. FUCK. We gotta do better for our friends. I mean, that’s what we’re doing in our community, which is awesome. I mean, you’ve talked about how you don’t like using the word inclusive because you like people to feel like they belong and you know what? You read back to that word thingy we did at the very beginning of this, you know outliers don’t typically feel like they belong anywhere and here you get the feeling of belonging. So I think that’s why I always loved calling it my “community of misfits”, because it’s like, “Hey guys, we’re all the same. And we’re all, we all have the same afflictions – let’s hang out together and let’s praise each other for being different, you know?”

Jeremy:
Exactly.

Yeah. I mean, there are so many different ways to approach being naked in nature. It’s great to see it from all different perspectives and approaches and experiences.

Mandy:
Yeah. Cool. All right. Well, I hope that you really enjoyed this podcast. It really, it’s a subject that’s really important to both Jeremy and I. And if you have the time and you want to read just a really meaty, well written article, please, I encourage you to check out the show notes and go read Timothy’s blog because it’s juicy. It’s so good.

Jeremy:
It is. He dives deep

Mandy:
It’s why people pay for the articles over here.

Jeremy:
So go to the show notes, to get the link, to read his blog and, uh, see you next week. Yeah. Thanks for joining us!

***
I had no idea what naturalism even look like for women, but once I figured it out, my entire life suddenly made sense. For a limited time, join us and get a premium membership over at www.ComeHangOutWithUs.com.

Skinny dippers club is a non-landed club for naturists. Our mission is to connect naturists using digital media in a way that revolutionizes our community. You’ll always have a place to hang out nude with someone, whatever nude is to you.

You’ve been listening to the naturist podcast with your host Mandy Zelinka. We’re available on Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Play. Skinny Dippers Club aims to promote the acceptance of safe and inclusive naturism through digital media, events, and intentional living community’s. It’s a safe and inclusive place to hang out naked with people, whatever nude is to you,

It’s become a great movement and we have room for more. Join us at www.ComeHangOutWithUs.com

 

It's like, "Hey guys, let's hang out together and let's praise each other for being different, you know?"
Mandy Zelinka
Skinny Dippers Club
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