Facebook has become Flankbook for naturists who brave its censorship vagaries. I haven’t even tried to accommodate the Nude Scribe site or its message to Facebook, but many intrepid naturists and naturist allies do attempt to yoke the massively popular site to their message of body acceptance and nude freedom. Some of them are actually quite successful, but also, almost all of them get censored by Facebook at one point or another, and punished with no images for a week, or even exile for a month. I do not support Facebook’s policy on images of nudity. Facebook censors already have been widely criticized for their Draconian reaction to photos of breastfeeding.

But so what do I mean by “Flank”book? (I’m not referring to a real site called Flankbook – something about ponies.) Here’s an excellent example of “Flank”book that I culled from one of the Facebook sites I support, “Live Life Leafless”:

Flankin’ on FB
This is a fine image–beautiful, even–nothing wrong with it by itself. The subject does indeed appear to be nude, and not only that, but she appears to have been photographed in a lovely natural location. But because the subject has been photographed from the side and with her arms crossed over her chest, it demonstrates the censorship I’m talking about: if it’s a flank or a haunch or a side, then it’s Facebook safe. So what that means is that ideas on Facebook related to how nudity can be experienced and what naturism can be – at least as expressed in images – must always be illustrated obliquely, at a slant, on the sly, from the side. The effect of all this is only slightly better than pixelization or black censorship bars, because once again the viewer is only allowed to tiptoe up to the fence and peep though the slats, denied access to a full understanding of naturism and body-positive nudity. It’s not called “full-frontal” for nothing. If the nude in nature can only be documented–on Facebook–as a nude always having to cover herself or himself, or pose stiffly from the side, then it is not a natural nude at all.
I support Live Life Leafless, who also posts excellent dietary information, and I support the immense wealth of naturist, nude-friendly, and body-positive material posted on Facebook by Steve White. I just wish we didn’t have to continue playing peek-a-boo(k). Facebook / Flankbook–directly or indirectly, who knows–continues to fetishize and commoditize breasts, genitals, and buttocks by banishing them from its online empire and thus forcing the association of mere nudity with pornography. 

4 thoughts on “Flankbook

  1. Ironic.I don't blame FlankBook so much. They're just a commercial enterprise trying to keep their stock price up.I didn't used to blame the real culprits. Like a lot of progressives, I've been laid back about what the other side wants. \”If you want to (believe, do, follow) that, knock yourself out. Just give me the same consideration.\”Maybe it's the time, but I've gotten to the point when I wonder whether we can afford to let prudes call the shots. Just as I wonder whether someone who rejects the theory of evolution can respect the ecology in which he lives, I wonder whether we can continue to enforce the alienation from our biological selves and be effective actors in meeting the challenges of our moment.


  2. Tom thanks for this comment! Ignoring our biological selves is definitely a huge peril. Education about the benefits of naturism is always key, but Facebook can play only a small role in that regard.


  3. Facebook is a huge problem for those of us who are nudists. My existing Facebook friends can't help but notice that I am a nudist if they even glance at my posts, but I have to be very careful about who I \”friend\” otherwise. Only one FB friend has commented to me about it, and she is someone I know well and have an established friendship with.I cannot, however, search for and \”friend\” my church friends, because even though our senior pastor know that I am a nudist, he doesn't want that knowledge spread all over the church. If I were to \”friend\” even one of my church friends, the fact that I am a nudist would spread through the church like a wildfire. After church this morning, some of my friends were talking about being on FB, but I didn't even hint that I there also. It is not that I have a problem with them knowing, but our senior pastor would certainly have a problem with them learning that way.Old \”morality codes\” die very hard, and our assistant pastor made it clear that he subscribes to them and proclaims them as \”gospel-truth\”. As a Christian, and a nudist, I have to be careful about who knows that I am a nudist so that it doesn't ruin church relationships. The LAST thing I want to do is cause division in the church.


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