Denmark is what I would call a liberal nation. It is allowed be naked on all beaches as long as you don’t offend other people at the beach. In the 1960’s pornography was legalised during the sexual revolution. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2012. As you can understand – Denmark is a rather liberal country in many ways. But this is changing and I find it really sad.

Change in the air

Unfortunately, there are changes in the air. Fewer people are naked on the beach and fewer are topless on the beach. There has also been a rise in complaints about people being naked on the beach or naked in their own garden. What is even worse is the growing trend of people who feels insulted by the fact that woman breastfeeds her baby at a cafe.

None of these things was a big problem in the 70s, 80s, 90s and not even in the early 00s. It looks like the change has escalated the last 5-10 years.

There must be a reason – something must have changed the attitude!

Internet, TV and social media

I don’t think that it is possible to find just one thing which pushes the changes – there are probably many reasons. Here are my thoughts on why the change has come.

1. Internet
The Internet has done many good things to the world, no doubt about it. My job wouldn’t exist without the Internet 🙂 But I am sure that the Internet also has brought us some bad things. The world was larger before the internet – it is how it feels anyway. We couldn’t just get news from all over the world in real-time and we couldn’t communicate with the world as easy as we can today. We, therefore, wasn’t that much influenced by other countries, as we are now. There are many countries out there which are less liberal than Denmark and thereby has a “bad” influence on Denmark’s liberal mindset, but it is hardly the main reason why we are in the middle of a change.

2. Censorship in TV
Another influence is TV as a media. There has been Danish TV for many years, but there are not much censorship in Danish TV (and there is still no censorship). The problem here is foreign TV from the US and other countries where there is a lot of different censorship. But on the other hand, these TV Channels has been available for many years. One thing has changed regarding TV as a media is services like Netflix, HBO among others. These services seem to be more censored than Danish TV, but I am still not convinced that it has any large effect on the Danish society.

2. Facebook
Facebook has become very popular in Denmark, actually, 73% of the Danish population is on Facebook, and 59% of them is on the social media daily. Facebook has a huge influence on the Danish population. The reason is that it is a media where you talk with friends, share stuff with friends, and use a lot of your spare time on. The relationship with Facebook is much closer than on non-social medias.

Facebook educates its users in what they think is wrong and what they think is ok. Example if you post some kind of nudity on Facebook you will get a punish if you do it again the punish will be even harder and so forth. With this continuously “education” you end up with people thinking that it is not ok with nudity on social medias (and other places). People start believing that what Facebook does is also the right thing to do – but this is a dangerous path. What if they tried to educate you that it is not ok to have brown eyes – would you then stop talking to people with brown eyes?

I think it is dangerous when a media with that much of an impact start educating people in a certain direction.

Is it harmful?

One could say that what Facebook do is not harmful – and yes it might not seem that way. But I do find it interesting that more and more people have problems with their own body image. They don’t like what they see. This is of course not just because of Facebook, but more like a side effect. A side effect because when people start thinking that nudity is not ok then they also stop looking at them self and on the ordinary people’s nude body. When they stop looking at others body on example a nude beach, they will compare their body with people from commercials, movies etc. where everything is perfect (most likely photoshopped).

When comparing yourself with a perfect body from a commercial – no wonder why you feel bad about your body. If you instead compared your body with other ordinary people you would soon discover that we all have flaws and assets. We are all different and we are all the same. We need to get back to yourself and start living our life as it should be and stop living other peoples life.

Feel free to write a comment 🙂

  1. I’m afraid you might be right. Worldwide communication is a wonderful thing, but when the content is censored by those promoting one point of view, it’s inevitable that it becomes the new norm.

    We see that in the news media in the US where the major news outlets are increasingly owned by the same mega-corporations, from newspapers to TV, radio, and internet news sources. Same news, same presentation, same viewpoint.

    It’s a potentially dangerous trend that is unlikely to change as control of information and public opinion becomes an ever-growing commodity.

  2. Yes, I too am afraid that you both are correct. I live in the Salt Lake City area and nudism is for the most part “in the closet”. The Utah State Legislature is in the process of drafting a law that will in effect say that if you are nude in your home, in front of your kids or even sunbathing in private in your own backyard they will be allowed to cite you with LEWDNESS. They want to essentially add nudism to said lewdness act making it not only a class offense but at the third offense under the “Three strikes Law” and that the offense is now a “sex crime” that you will now become a Felon AND be required to be on the national Sex Offender Registry for LIFE; all for being nude in your own home or back yard in private. They are also trying to do this without a vote of the people and behind closed doors. Go figure. I do PROUDLY out in the clothed world wear a shirt proclaiming, “Nudism is NOT about sex, so DEAL WITH IT”. To my surprise 90% of the comments are positive and anger arises when I tell others why I almost 10,000 other Utahan’s are also wearing it in protest.

    HAIL FREEDOM! HAIL NUDISM!

  3. That’s terrible, Paul, but not unexpected. Everything’s topsy-turvy.

    At the same time that sexual nudity is on the increase on TV and other media, states and municipalities are tightening up on personal freedoms, closing beaches, and generally making life hard for us. Criminalizing that which used to be a misdemeanor at most.

    You can be topless in NYC, or even totally nude in public if it’s for ‘art’, but can’t sunbathe in your own back yard!

    Naked bikes rides are on the uprise but see what happens if you go for a ride by yourself or get caught skinnydipping! And God forbid a neighbor kid peeks in your window and sees you nekked!

    We won’t even talk about social media where pornography abounds but simple nudity is forbidden.

    Museums are removing or restricting access to classical nude art!

    Whatever happened to the enlightened society we expected to see by now? Instead, if someone can profit off something, it’s ok. If it’s merely a matter of personal freedom, forget it.

  4. Facebook: why?
    One can have friends and make new ones without it — it always happened long before FB, without any inconvenience.

    TV, why?
    One can have viewpoints about lots of subjects and share them with anyone without it; and better still, avoid all engineered misinformation — not to mention commercials…

    Do we really need to know how the poor XYZ was killed, tortured or kidnapped? We’re actually being taught how to do it!

    …No thanks. This “information” is just the outer appearance of, or the excuse for, external manipulation of the world’s human behavior. Information is free when it is true and given to whom is asking for it.

    Actually, even money isn’t necessary: it should be just a symbolic equivalent of an accepted common material value, to substitute barter and make material exchange easier; but it has become by and far the most important issue in our lives.

    By accepting all these “civilized” facilities, we are gradually saying goodbye to our mental — and consequently also physical — freedom. But guess how many of us would throw away all their money, or just their TV sets, or even simply stay away from FB to stay free..?

    Yes, in the Seventies Denmark was a very liberal country: pity if things are changing. On the other hand Spain, once a most conservative and bigot country, now grants freedom to go naked on any of its beaches; and that’s really heartening!

    The fear of nakedness is the fear to be ourselves. Nudist communities, beaches and resorts aren’t a solution: they feature the exact negative of the obligation to be clothed — opposite in the kind of repression, but *not* really granting freedom.

    Naked demonstrations, which are quickly gaining popularity, actually show how little acceptance of nakedness there is in the main public. They often represent a safety valve to unadmitting exhibitionists, as confirmed by the very frequent body paintings and tattoos, which BTW are a refusal of the natural body.

    …Freedom is hard to obtain and even harder to keep…

  5. Hi capoverde

    I do agree on most of what you are writing.

    I couldn’t live without FB and TV either. I love technology and I do like new developments, like FB AIRBNB etc. What I don’t like is that few people has the power to “dictate” what is right or wrong. I know we could simply just stop using those medias and stop listening – but that aint that simple.

    A good new development this summer in Denmark has actually been that some of the newspapers has put focus on the “new taboo” topless sunbathing. It has become a taboo during the last 15 years or so. Fortunately there is new movements among women, which questions why this taboo…

    Nudist communities and nude beaches doesn’t create a solution – I do agree on that. I don’t think they do much harm though.
    http://spotnaked.com/naturism-and-nudism-is-dead/1757/

    I think freedom is really hard to obtain – we therefore must cherish not to loose it.

  6. I suspect that another effect of social media is the risk of being photographed and those pictures then being posted without permission. I could imagine that women who might sunbathe topless if they felt that they had control of the context would feel different if they thought that images could end up on the internet.

    1. Stuart – I am sure that this also has an influence. There are many problems involved in sharing of photos against other people’s will, which is not entirely because of social medias. The smartphones with good cameras have made it easy for everyone to snap a picture and afterwards share it.

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