Forget Selfies, Naked With Nature Is Now All The Rage
While Instagram is teeming with influencers who're cashing in on people's insecurities, Get Naked Australia hopes to restore people's confidence and showcase real, imperfect bodies.
Brendan Jones started Get Naked Australia in 2016 as a "bit of a laugh" after gifting his girlfriend a cheeky calendar of naked snaps.
The 29 year old would often strip off during hikes with his mates in secluded waterfalls.
He decided to share some of the images on social media and three years later, the page has become a platform for body positivity, growing to more than 230,000 Instagram followers.
Jones said people are sick of seeing "perfect, fitspo bodies", and so he posts unedited photos of people of all shapes and sizes in all their glory.
"People have lost confidence because of social media and the rise of influencers. They don't feel comfortable with their bodies, they feel ashamed because what they're seeing is all edited," Jones told 10 daily.
" It's encouraging to see everyday bodies out in nature saying 'this is me'," he said.
The page has taken off with millennials, who feel exhilarated baring it all in secluded spots.
But Jones admits that there are still outdated perceptions about nudity that the group is fighting against.
Jones said society still struggles to differentiate nudity from sex and that in the past 18 months there's been an increase in inappropriate comments on his page targeted towards females.
"The culture is not good enough yet. There are old male trolls on nudist beaches and when women are on the beach, they walk up and down and stare at them. We're trying to change that," Jones said.
Two years ago Jones started his own private group where elected members can take part in naturist events.
To prevent the "wrong people from joining", the private group is tightly controlled and its members screened before they're allowed to join.
"We've got strict security questions and guidelines. We want a huge group of the right people involved but the moment we publicise our group we know we'd get thousands of male requests and minimal female ones," he said.
Jacqueline Stevenson, a nurse from Sydney's northern beaches, is a member of the private group.
Growing up, the 33-year-old said she was "always the first person" to get her "kit off" and go skinny dipping.
After confronting her own body image issues, Jacquie spontaneously posted a nude photo of herself in Darwin.
She was elated by the volume of positive comments she received.
Since then, Jacquie has been a regular participant in naturist events like the Manly to Shelly Beach nude swim in Sydney.
"People don't realise that it's just a bunch of nude people going swimming. When my friend and I are at the nudist beach, we often giggle at people trying to adjust their swimmers when a wave hits," Jacquie told 10 daily.
While there are negative experiences at nudist beaches, Stevenson said the community is quick to police beaches and stop inappropriate behaviour.
As a nurse, Stevenson said it's part of her job to attend to "people of all shapes and sizes".
It's one of the reasons that she's an advocate for Get Naked Australia and their body positive movement.
"If someone can go out and feel free in their own skin, then why not?," Stevenson said.
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