They might just have to grin and bare it.
Nudists in Spain want people to stop wearing clothes on the beach — and they’re even asking the government to do something about it.
The Naturist-Nudist Federation of Catalonia sent a letter to Catalonia officials asking them to address “the discrimination that nudists face on the beaches of Catalonia,” The Guardian reported.
The group is hoping to protect the decades-long tradition that’s linked to about 50 of the beaches in the region and has made potential requests including signage for nude beaches and a public awareness campaign for naturism.
Seigmon Rovira, the head of the Naturist-Nudist Federation of Catalonia, told the outlet in an interview that “before, people would arrive at a nude beach and either leave or strip down.
“Now they stay and keep their swimsuit on. But what they don’t realize is that if there are a lot of them, they end up making us uncomfortable. It’s a lack of respect,” he continued.
A big part of what led to this “invasion” is social media and tourism, with travel bloggers and influencers putting a spotlight on the nicest and most secluded beaches — but omitting the ties to nudism.
In other cases, the beachgoers may know about the nudist nature but choose to ignore it anyway.
“We’ve lost a bit of civility,” Rovira, 56, said. “There are nudists who have stopped going to some beaches because they are too crowded and there are too many people wearing swimsuits and they feel uncomfortable.”
He also claimed that the social media boom has hurt the nudist tradition, leaving people to remain clothed so their naked bodies don’t end up in the background of a stranger’s images.
“People that are naked don’t want to end up with their photos on social media,” he said.
However, some nudists have kept on beaching in the nude, though they now find themselves the subject of laughter, stares and deprecating comments.
“Unfortunately, the women are usually more stared at or harassed,” Rovira shared. “So they are discriminated against twice over; for being nudists and for being women.”
Rovira pointed out that respect goes both ways.
Just as they hope tourists won’t bother them on nudist beaches, they don’t want to bother others, either.
“Nudism is not banned in Spain, you can do it on any beach,” Rovira said. “But so as not to bother people, we prefer to go to beaches that have traditionally been nudist and where most people are naked. We want people to respect this.”
The group hopes that their efforts will help ensure that the tradition lives on and that some beaches will explicitly stay a safe space for naturists.
“Starting to practice naturism when you’re surrounded by people in clothing is very complicated. That’s why we think it’s important to have nudist spaces where the majority of people are nude so that people are encouraged to try it,” Rovira said.
“We do it for the feeling of freedom. There’s no comparison between swimming in the nude and in swimwear,” Rovira added. “You’re more free, more calm and relaxed.”