Grandparenting: Real nudists maintain eye contact
By Dee and Tom Hardie and Key Kidder
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
Q: We learned that our grandson vacations at a nudist colony. He's a mature 22, but we still worry about his morals and such. What do you think? -- Waltham, Mass.
A: The first thing that occurs to us is that we think he travels light. It probably doesn't take him long to pack. Secondly, we think we'd be more concerned about melanoma than morals.
Of all the "alternative lifestyles," nudity seems the least worrisome to us. Prancing around in your birthday suit while suffering the stings of insects and outraged members of society may not be your cup of tea, but a surprisingly large segment of Americans -- 17 percent in a 2003 poll, according to USA TODAY -- aspire to vacation at a locale where clothing is optional. (We're told it'now a nudist "resort," never "colony.")
While it would be conjecture for us to speculate on your grandson's motivations for taking it all off, we gather that sharing the experience in the company of like-minded individuals engenders feelings of equality and freedom.
An acquaintance informs us that "real" nudists -- or naturists -- always look you in the eye during conversation. It's considered bad form to drop your gaze below shoulder-level.