Body Freedom Collaborative

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Ad for BFC's Naked Freedom Film Festival in 2004 in Seattle, Washington; the ad ran in the newspaper The Stranger

The Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the integration and acceptance of non-sexual social nudity in a variety of public and private settings. The group was formed in late 2001. Its activities and interests are confined to the United States, and predominantly to Washington State.

The organization was founded by Shirley Gauthier (a GAT chair of The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR)), Daniel Johnson and Mark Storey (editor-at-large for Nude & Natural magazine (a publication of The Naturist Society) and board member of The Naturist Action Committee (NAC)).

BFC focuses on collaborative projects relating to clothing-optional activities on public lands including: The Free Beach Trilogy (FBT), Boobs Walk, World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD), World Naked Bike Ride, The Naked Freedom Film Festival (NFFF), Annual Polar Bare Dips, The Experience Nakedness Project (a spoof of the local Experience Music Project's name), The Mermaid Swim, the Nude Beaches Yes! campaign [1] and The Seattle Free Beach Campaign (SFBC). The group also did nude modeling in Fremont for the Fremont Fresh Art Festival. Their focus on local beach campaigns, according to their website, are meant to signal their "commitment to bringing clothing-free opportunities on public lands closer to the people of the cities."

The group is known for doing spontaneous nude photo shoots around the city and their talk of in-the-buff neighborhood graffiti cleanups garnered some early press and media coverage. Some believe[citation needed] these tactics change the boundaries for acceptable public nudity. This is in contrast to the more defensive tactics some mainstream naturist/nudist groups have followed over the past two decades.

Controversy[edit]

Some have viewed Daniel Johnson's involvement in the organization as a liability due to his sometimes brash statements. Shortly after the incorporation of BFC Daniel attracted a great deal of criticism from the nudist (and naturist) community for his comment published in the Oregon Daily Emerald concerning nudist clubs and the American Association for Nude Recreation's (AANR) focus of clothing-free expression in clubs. He said "Not everybody wants to sit on their ass around a club or other mostly sedentary activities for fun". He added "AANR will try to put a positive spin on its pathetic numbers. The only reason there are so many AANR members is because they are forced to join when they pay their local club dues." The comments drew a lot of fire from naturists and nudists alike and at the time, jeopardized some support for its collaborative projects.

Soon after, Shirley Gauthier resigned from the BFC board. Shirley continued with public lands advocacy with her work at Rooster Rock State Park and Collins Beach at Sauvie Island in Oregon.

The organization has also drawn fire for activities some have deemed, as "making waves". This is mainly due to its focus on public lands projects, such as advocating for the creation of clothing-optional beaches in the state of Washington. Daniel's decision to have Seattle's first World Naked Bike Ride event stop at the Seattle Center's International Fountain (under the shadow of the Space Needle) on June 12, 2004 was also deemed to be unnecessarily risky. However, the stop eventually became symbolic of the ride's success and ranks as many riders' favorite stop.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Articles[edit]

Press coverage[edit]

  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Exposed and stark naked -- on purpose: But not all nudists support 'guerrilla' plans for prominent public exposure, by P-I reporter Kathy George, April 7, 2003 [2].
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Trio behind the arts: Three activists put on an eye-opening display yesterday by taking most of their clothes off at the Fremont Fresh Art Festival, by P-I reporter Kathy George, 16 June 2003 Front page of local section, with color picture [3]

External links[edit]