Nudity represents freedom
Jacques Freeman, the head of communication at APNEL (Association for the Promotion of Naturism in Liberty) believes that young people are gaining confidence in speaking out against authority on all levels and this is a reason for the increase in naturists.
“Nudity is synonymous with freedom,” he told The Local.
“We're currently at a time where there are many questions being asked about the future, work and problems surrounding integration into society are being challenged by young people.”
He said that imposing people to wear clothes is considered by some to be a breach of their freedom.
His association seeks to eliminate the preconception that nudity equates to sexual exhibitionism.
Many females choose to become naturists in order to make a feminist statement, which is that their body is not something that exists in a sexualised way, for male scrutiny. In being naked they are empowered, he explained.
Yves Leclerc, the vice-president of French Federation of Naturism, said that young French couples with children were particularly responsible for the new surge in interest.
“Young couples are attracted to naturist camping holidays because there is a far greater sense of family and conviviality in these spaces,” he told The Local.
“The spirit of these campsites is far more about tranquility, security and conviviality,” he said, adding that the camps were an excellent place for children to play and learn.
Many naturist holiday campsites are specifically family-orientated and provide a secure and communal environment as well as activities for naturist families, he explained.
Connecting with nature
Many nudists consider naturism a means of connecting with nature and respecting the environment.
Speaking with La Libération newspaper, Julie Leclerc from the FNN said that naturists often prefer to eat organic food, care for sustainable development, and push for the preservation of the planet.
Being naked is the best means of being closer to nature and is considered a prime state for reflection, she added.
Anne Sol, who runs the Fiscalou campsite in the Midi-Pyrénées in south western France, told The Local that this interest in healthy living is central to the beliefs of this new wave of naturists.
She added that the media played a large part in the influx of visits from younger people.
People are becoming increasingly heath conscious and the media as well as businesses across France have seized this, she explained.
“In the past few years, various super-food and healthy eating fads have been continuously publicised,” she said.
The media – including The Local – didn't miss it when French tourist officials played their part in promoting nudism in France earlier this year.