NATURISM [aka NUDISM]
a cultural and political movement practising, advocating and defending social nudity in private and in public. It may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family and/or social nudism.
Several other terms (“social nudity”, “public nudity”, “skinny dipping”, “sunning”, and, recently, “clothes-free”) have been proposed as alternative terms for naturism, but none has found the same widespread public acceptance as the older terms “naturism” and (in much of the United States) “nudism”.
The naturist philosophy has several sources, many of which can be traced back to early 20th century health and fitness philosophies in Germany, though the concepts of returning to nature, appreciating the beauty and benefits of nature, and creating equality are also cited as inspiration. From Germany the idea spread to the UK, Canada, the United States and beyond where a network of clubs developed.
The word naturism was used for the first time in 1778 by a French-speaking Belgian, Jean Baptiste Luc Planchon (1734–1781), and was advocated as a means of improving the ‘l’hygiène de vie’ (natural style of life) and health.