People Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones

The nudist world is up in arms at the moment over a video that was posted on YouTube featuring Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell discussing nudist beaches, which Simon unwittingly visited whilst on a recent vacation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIDSeKXT7iA

Simon described the experience like “finding yourself on a minefield” and “there was literally no place that I could go without a small or large whatsit in front of me – mainly small”.  He went on to say “What I found most amazing about this nudist beach was how many ugly people there were.  I thought they would all be cute, but seriously!”  Both of them agreed that the people on the beach were those who “shouldn’t be” nude and that many of them were lying down with their legs wide open.

Not trying to get too PC here, but I was offended by these superficial and glib remarks about nudists, especially coming from one of the most powerful and influential men in the entertainment industry at time of writing.

What business is it of his to go judging who is ‘ugly’ or not?  And what business is it of his to go saying that they all lie on the beach with their legs open?  As a beach nudist for the last 22 years, I have seldom seen nudists on Alex Bay or Cobbler’s Beach lying with their legs wide open.  And even if they do, it is NOT a sign to mean that they are sexually available, especially the women.

It is unfortunately a sad fact that there are some very creepy guys who go to nudist beaches not to enjoy the sun and sea but to just stare at unsuspecting women’s pubes.  This makes the women feel uncomfortable and most of them more often than not cut their beach trip short and head off home.  And then so many nudist guys are beside themselves as to why there are not enough women who are keen on going to nude beaches.

With my take on ugliness: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Not everybody likes to see skinny waif-like people naked anymore than not everyone likes seeing fat, or plus sized people on the beach regardless of whether naked or not.  Having a natural size 12 – 16 body size with curves or being cuddly is cool.  Being obese or anorexic is not.

If you are a nudist and talking about body pride and it being such a wonderful healthy lifestyle, then treat your body like it is a wonderful and healthy thing instead of eating the wrong foods and over-indulging in alcohol and soft drinks.  Why should you expect people to respect you if you don’t respect your body?  Though I can understand if you are overweight due to medical conditions like having pituarity gland problems or being on medications that can upset the body’s metabolism.

Most nudists and naturists in Europe live very healthy lives and thus keep their bodies well preserved, even the older people.  In the English speaking world, people are often raised on diets of junk food and fatty foods instead of eating sensibly.

What annoyed me the most about the conversation was stereotyping and judging coming from Ellen, who is also part of a human movement that is often mocked and marginalized by society (though not as bad as the nudists anymore).  She should know how it feels to be considered an outcast and a societal joke, so she ought to show a bit more empathy towards the nudists in general.

Remember the saying “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.  The majority of nudists support GBLT rights including gay marriage. So how about the GBLT leaders showing a bit of maturity and sympathy and realizing that nudists too should have social rights.

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10 responses to “People Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones

  1. You say “people in glass houses” but it is more complex than that.

    You were judging fat people: you can understand pituitary reasons for obesity, and not blame the fat person, but you judge the person who drinks too much, however stressed they are, and whether or not they have sufficient models of more healthy coping strategies. Ellen, a lesbian who had to be closeted for so long, should sympathise with nudists. Everyone judges, and everyone has a right to an opinion.

    In British camping culture, there is a strain of nudism, and I have wandered across a campsite of mostly clothed people naked. It is liberating. I would rather Ellen had drawn attention to that.

  2. Right on the mark! Ellen promotes herself as an advocate for tolerance and acceptance, then not only permits Cowell to have is hurtful say, but then makes these insensitive remarks herself to provoke a few more laughs.

    This should not go unaddressed, and it has not been. Despite the objections of the few who are inclined to accept derision by the ignorant silently, many have spoken out about this, including the American Association for Nude Recreation which has contacted the show’s producers, without reply so far.

    There are apologists among our community who would dismiss this as’ just the usual thing’ (slave mentality), but where do we draw the line before speaking out? Shall we remain silent and accept derision by one of the world’s most emulated TV personalities without comment?

    This is the time and the opportunity to raise our voices, as many minorities before us have, to demand recognition that we are PEOPLE, not stereotypes subject to ignorant and hurtful humor by those who chose to ridicule us for profit.

    We urge everyone to contact their local, regional, and national organizations to take notice and become involved. United we stand, divided.. well, that’s what we’ve always been and look what THAT’S got us so far!

    This is not a promo; it’s just a start: http://www.all-nudist.com/5/post/2013/09/ellen-degeneres-ugly-people-our-articles.html#.Ujf5NMZvO_g

    More articles scattered about our website, many more out there. There’s a storm a’rising, let’s not let it just blow out before it hits shore!

    • According to my nudist activist friend Rollan McLeary who commented on the video on a Facebook thread earlier this week, he said that there are two distinctive types of nudists out there and two types of GBLT people as well.

      1) Nudists who practice nudity because it feels good and gives them physical, mental, emotional and spiritual freedom.

      2) Nudists who practice nudity to see and be seen nude (exhibitionists)

      3) GBLT people who are accepting of everyone and non-judgemental

      4) GBLT people who are ‘painted ponies’ and driven by aesthetics and the demand for physical perfection and flawless bodies if they are to be seen unclothed.

      I think Ellen falls in the category of number 4, and beach nudists and public nudists number 2.

      He went on to say that some nudists do lack style and the willingness to present themselves well in public, as well as hygiene reasons if they have contagious skin disorders for instance.

      We must look after our bodies and take pride in ourselves and our appearance. Whether we like it or not, it is human nature to ‘judge a book by its cover’. How many nudists would buy a car or SUV if it is battered and run down, or invest in a property that is ramshackle? Even if they did, they would eventually want to spruce them up.

      See this article for more: http://www.domai.com/news/articles/jan98.html

      So I think that respect and sensitivity needs to come from both sides.

  3. You make some very good points here. The comments made on the show are what passes for ‘innocent’ humor in most circles, but are is innocent only in light of the ignorance and lack of consideration displayed. These remarks would be unacceptable in reference to any other minority, and it is only because nudists are marginalized by mainstream society that they can be so easily tossed out by these celebrities without a thought.

    Unfortunately, AANR in the USA was the only nudist organization to raise as much as a mention of this affront, and having sent a note to the show’s producers seems content to let the matter lie. No response from the producers has as yet been forthcoming and AANR apparently feels that making a public statement about this would only incite ridicule from Textile society and harm our image. Originally they had said they would do that, but cooler heads must have prevailed.

    Of course, we disagree completely as only open dialogue will ever dispel the public’s misconceptions about nudism/naturism, and what better way than by quietly suggesting that insulting a minority on one of TV’s most popular shows is inappropriate? And Ellen, surely, would feel compelled to render an apology if for no other reason than to protect her image of tolerance and acceptance of other lifestyles. A simple apology would suffice, though a discussion on her show would be great!

    But it’s perhaps understandable why an organization primarily concerned with promoting member resorts undoubtedly feels otherwise, and a representative has verified that. In this case, rocking the boat is out of the question.

    But we can’t help but think that if Rosa Parks had been represented by AANR instead of the NAACP, people of color would still be riding in the back of busses and accordingly, Ellen would still be deep in the closet.

  4. Cowell is a self-involved tool and his cluelessness does not surprise me. He lives in a world where if you’re not beautiful and talented (beauty and talent to be determined by him), you’re sent back home. Ellen seems a little uncomfortable with his estimation of people as ugly and fat and makes a joke to try and move the bit along, though I am surprised she doesn’t say more in defense of people in general.

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