On Sunday I was lucky enough to participate in the Sydney Skinny, for those who don’t know it, it is an open water nude swim in Sydney Harbour at Cobbler Beach. It is run each year around late February.
You can see the website here: http://www.thesydneyskinny.com.au/
The swim has two distances: a 300 meter swim and a 900 meter swim. It is arranged in “waves” of about 50 swimmers each and this year they ran more than ten waves. It’s really popular! It is also really fun. The atmosphere of the event was truly delightful. Everyone was very respectful, very relaxed, and appeared to be enjoying themselves. It’s not a race, there is no timing and no prizes, it’s a challenge only to yourself, to swim, to be nude in public, to accept yourself as you are. Not always an easy thing to do.
I am lucky enough to have been comfortable with my body, with nudity, for pretty much all of my life. Not so for everyone who was there. But I didn’t see anyone back out. Everyone stripped off and everyone swam. There is a real comfort in seeing other people around you happily taking off their clothes, and not treating it like a big deal. Just doing it. And having fun while they are doing it. It’s such a different celebration of nudity and the human body (in all shapes and sizes) than the one that is given to us by the media and the rest of society every day.
It is how I think that nudity should be treated. Not good or bad. Just natural. Something that doesn’t have to be commented upon, sexualised, or demonised. So I think that at the end of the day, this is the value of The Sydney Skinny. It lets us be ourselves and be comfortable with who we are when there is no barrier between us and the world.
If you want to try a different form of self expression and to get out in the open air then I highly recommend The Sydney Skinny. It may be challenging for you. It may be easy. But I am sure that it will be fun.