Naturist families face any number of questions about how to deal with making known their naturist values. Do you tell the neighbors? Co-workers? What about close friends and family?
What about if your family is already well-known, celebrity-status? Maybe you want to keep the paparazzi at bay as much as possible. Probably all celebrities do, most of the time. I don’t normally care to read or write about celebrities as celebrities, but what strikes me as a particularly compelling family example of naturist values is the Willis clan of Hollywood fame.
Paterfamilias Bruce Willis has never been shy about acting nude in his films, perhaps most famously in the 1994 movie Color of Night. His first wife Demi Moore made history with the 1991 Vanity Fair cover photo of her nude pregnant self, followed up by a body-painted cover photo for the same magazine one year later. Predictably, mainstream media reactions to the nudity both in the film and on the magazine covers were little more than juvenile attempts at provoking scandal.
Two decades later, has anything changed? Well, the family’s next generation is in the news for nudity now. In fact, in Demi Moore’s Vanity Fair
cover photo, she was pregnant with daughter Scout, who has now, in the past month or so, become a vocal supporter of women’s right to go nude or top-free, and associated herself with the #FreetheNipple movement. In response to banishment from Instagram for her photo in a sheer top, Ms. Willis went for a top-free stroll through New York City, where doing so is perfectly legal though not always recognized as such. Then she wrote an eloquent, forthright, and just terrific essay
about it, in which she addresses her own particular circumstances about how to deal with making her values known. An excerpt:
I understand that people don’t want to take me seriously. Or would rather just write me off as an attention-seeking, over-privileged, ignorant, white girl. I am white and I was born to a high profile and financially privileged family. I didn’t choose my public life, but it did give me this platform. A platform that helps make body politics newsworthy.
I am not trying to argue for mandatory toplessness, or even bralessness. What I am arguing for is a woman’s right to choose how she represents her body — and to make that choice based on personal desire and not a fear of how people will react to her or how society will judge her. No woman should be made to feel ashamed of her body.
Scout’s older sister Rumer has supported her publicly. It’s easy to imagine that mom and dad, separated though they may be, are very proud of their daughters. I don’t know if any of the four of them are on the record using the word “naturist,” but the word itself is not necessary here. What is important are the very visible, high-profile examples that they all have made toward showing the world how to be comfortable with your body and assertive of your right to do so.