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Naturism Girl

Young social media stars are busy promoting the enjoyment of naturism. Meet Diana, aka Naturism Girl.

It’s probably no coincidence that naked traveller, blogger and social media exponent Diana hails from Croatia, a country that has long been at the forefront of naturism. It’s possible she wouldn’t be quite so relaxed and open-minded about the subject if she came from Croydon.

Being a naturist however is often not a simple black-and-white matter. “I’ve enjoyed naturism for a long time,” Diana explains - a relative term of course, given that she is still only in her late twenties. “But before trying it, I was quite sceptical. I thought it was only for old, and possibly slightly weird people, or if there were younger people involved, they all had perfect bodies, and that it was all about sex. But my first experience of being surrounded by naturists, at a naturist resort in Croatia, opened my eyes: most of the guests were families with children. As I began to enjoy the lifestyle over several years, I realised that there were probably many people who might be interested in trying naturism who would have had the same initial concerns I did. So I decided to start a blog, share my experiences, and try to show how normal naturism really is.”

With thousands of followers on her Instagram and Twitter pages, Diana has shown how it is possible to tap into the positive power of social media when you know what you are doing.

On her Naturism Girl blog/website (where she also uses the name Naturist Girl, perhaps as a way of edging out any possible future competition) Diana features a variety of articles on the wider aspects of naturism, together with reports from her travels in Europe and Asia, where her main aims have been to discover more about the naturist holiday market and pass on her first-hand experiences of the places she has visited. “I don´t have a master travel plan that I stick to,” she admits, “but like many people I have a 'bucket list' of places I ultimately want to visit. At the moment, my travels are determined mainly by time and budget restraints, and the subjects I cover are the things that interest me about the naturist lifestyle, or are in response to the questions I am asked. It's evident that there are plenty of readers out there keen to try naturism, and who want to know more about the subject.”

Feedback

She is pleased that most of the feedback she now seems to be getting from naturists is very supportive and positive, but that wasn't necessarily the case in the beginning. “When I first launched, a lot of critics complained that I couldn’t be a real naturist, and that it wasn’t right that I should be promoting the naturist way of life because… wait for it… I look good on my photos.

“Yes, you read that correctly. I was accused of being a young, white, blond, attractive female (obviously a crime in some peoples’ eyes), of posing on photos, and that my photos looked like staged sessions. So, in other words, they weren’t even bothering to read what I was saying, they just looked at the photos and decided: she can´t be a true naturist. Or the alternative? That all naturists have to be old and ugly?

“At first it was a shock. I was trying to promote naturism, aiming to tell people that they should do what they love, connect with nature, feel the freedom of being naked, be positive about their body, love themselves. And then out came the trolls, trying to tell me that I am not ‘real’ enough to say all that. It really bothered me for some time, and I was disappointed that there seemed to be this negative element within the naturist community who felt like that.

“And then I realised: I don’t have to care about what they think. As the popularity of the blog increased, I came to understand that there were far more people out there who do have a positive approach to naturism, and that by responding to the hundreds of e-mails I was receiving, answering genuine questions about naturism and in several cases helping others to overcome their doubts and fears, I was achieving something worthwhile.”

Diana also takes the stance that not only is she a naturist, but she is also an artist. “I could easily post 10 selfies every day,” she maintains. “But what would be the point of such photos? I’m a photographer. I want my photos to look beautiful. Photography is art. And by creating photos that tell a story, I hope I am sending out the right message. The nature we are surrounded by is a masterpiece. And the human body itself is the greatest piece of art there is. I take time, and care, in producing photos and videos that I enjoy creating, and that I hope others enjoy seeing.”

There are, of course, the obvious restrictions of social media to contend with. “Social media and naturism most of the time don´t go hand in hand,” she concedes. “To publish a naturist photo on almost all of the social media platforms, you have to self-censor it first, making sure you are not showing anything that the operators deem to be 'risky.' It's quite sad that genuine naturist photos can still be considered as pornography by these sites. But they are the rules, and if you want to play in their playground, you must follow them. There are also a few cranks out there, which is one of the main reasons I only go by my first name, and only tend to show my face obliquely. But I have made many contacts, and some genuine new friends, through my work, and gain real pleasure when people get in touch, ask me about naturism, and share their stories with me.”

Access

To help her continue to fund her various social media activities, Diana has set up a Patreon link on the website, allowing subscribers access to additional photos and videos, but her main aim for the immediate future is to travel more by soliciting invitations from naturist resorts around the world to review them, in exchange for editorial coverage and professional photographic/video shoots.     

“I think that the future of naturist travel lies in resorts and destinations being more open and engaging, to show the positive side of naturism. In my experience, I have found that many young people are open-minded and would love to give naturism a try, but they don´t necessarily know where and how to start, and what to expect. We need existing naturists (of all ages) to help them with advice, share their own experiences, and not to be too regimented, and kill off new interest from the start. That means targeting younger people, especially couples and families. They are the ones who will travel the world, who will keep returning, and who will hopefully raise their children to consider naturism to be exactly what I have found it to be: enjoyable, liberating, normal and natural.”

Interview by Paul Rouse


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