Losing your clothes just might help you find yourself
Ask most women to strip down in public and you’ll get a look of horror, probably accompanied by a deep shudder. Notoriously hard on ourselves, we don’t embrace our bodies as temples for our spirits; we fight them for their flaws.
Not so for three Okanagan women who happily dare to bare it all—in front of complete strangers. They’re not exhibitionists and there’s nothing sexual going on when the clothes come off. For these nudists, it’s a sort of shedding—a removal of the protective layer that hides the bumps and bulges, varicose veins and slightly saggy breasts, lumpy legs and puckered parts. The opposite of angst, getting naked they say, is entirely freeing.
Penticton resident, Jacqueline Clarissa, a woman as proud of her indigenous roots as she is her body, finds peace in nudism and connection to her Anishinabek Solutrean Metis heritage. “Traditionally we don’t have issues with the nudity of the body,” the 48-year old explains. “Clothing is for modesty and respect and of course protection.”