Australian nudist Instagram goes viral

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If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from lockdown, it’s to appreciate freedom – all kinds of freedom …

For a bit of a laugh, Brendan Jones, a 30-year-old Sydneysider, started up an Instagram account called Get Naked Australia. He never expected what happened next.

“Myself and some friends started hiking and exploring local secluded swimming spots a while back,” said Mr Jones.

“As you do when there’s no-one around, you strip off and jump in! I got 12 photos of myself naked with a backdrop of something usually quite scenic and put them in a calendar for my wife for Christmas.”

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“It got a lot of laughs so I thought about starting an Instagram page for the bum shots and calling it Get Naked Australia. It just snowballed in popularity after that.”

The account blew up in unexpected popularity, drawing in more than 226k followers who submit their own nude images from across the country. Within just the first year online, Get Naked Australia had over 100,000 followers, and was being promoted and discussed on the radio, in news articles and even prime-time TV segments.

Mr Jones explained that while the account focuses on fun, it also promotes important messages about body positivity, autonomy, stigma and community. “The concept put out there was to nude up in nature, either on your own or with friends,” he said. “The purpose was to have fun, help improve the way you see your own body and to help remove the stigma associated with nudity.

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“That is, that nudity is immediately linked with something sexual. We want people to treat naked bodies as simply that, just a naked body. I don’t want a world where we never wear clothes. But I don’t want a world where people never get to experience the joy of swimming in the ocean naked because of body inhibitions,” Mr Jones said.

“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.

“I want people to feel comfortable with their bodies and I think Get Naked Australia offers a fun way to take the plunge and experience naturism for the first time.”

Followers and fans of the account have embraced nudist practice with bare, open arms, expressing their enthusiasm through participation and messaging Mr Jones directly.

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“We had dozens of people every day sending in their own photos from great places all over the country and stories about how the naked in nature experience made them feel. I received emails from people who were with groups of mates camping and all decided to skinny dip.

“I also received emails from people with mental health disorders and victims of domestic violence telling me how this concept of getting naked in nature has helped them reclaim their body, which was very powerful stuff!”

If you want to embrace naturalist practices, but a sneaky skinny dip down at the beach isn’t quite doing the trick, there are actually a huge range of activities you can do in Australia – naked. You can rock climb, take yoga retreats, sail across Sydney harbour, camp and even take group hot-air balloon rides.

Do you often embrace naturism and nudity? Have you ever skinny dipped? What do you think of Brendan Jones’ account and the messages he is promoting?

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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