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Naked for a cause

Manifesting naked for political or ecological reasons is a social phenomenon. What is behind this striking way of being heard?


The protest nudism has spread to many areas. Vincent Bethel, the activist who in 1999 launched the campaign in London The Freedom To Be Yourself ( ‘The freedom  to be yourself’) was the first person who appeared at balls during a public scandal trial in the UK. He was finally acquitted. The Tate Modern Museum in London has also been undressed, which in 2011, on the anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, presented a montage with a naked body on which a thick black liquid was thrown. . And it is that the nudist protest It is a recurring tool in causes related to ecology and animals. An example is the acts of the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), founded in 1980 in Virginia. Their protests have some forced appointments, as they do during the Sanfermines  in Pamplona . Also common are the actions of Lettuce Ladies (‘Ladies of the Lettuce’), who pose only dressed with leaves of this vegetable in commercial areas, to promote vegetarian food as the most humane. Although his most discussed issue is the fight against the use of animal tissues, an initiative that had the support of Naomi Campbell and other models who posed without clothes and with a written message: “Better to go naked than to wear skins.”
Some environmental groups argue that the vulnerability of naked bodies expresses very well the precarious balance and fragility of nature. That motivated six hundred members of Greenpeace to be photographed without clothes on a glacier in the Alps in 2007, and to undertake similar actions in other natural settings. Nudism can also be the most radical way of showing that one is committed to the top, without self-censorship or restriction: “When we show our body a tension is created; it is to contradict the patriarchal society, “says Lara Alcázar, director of FEMEN Spain. For Gary, “what makes pedestrians react intensely when they see women with bare chests on the street is their complex of Judeo-Christian guilt.”


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