Nudist beach ‘could attract more tourists’

A NATURIST beach could help attract tourists to the Island, according to a UK group.

A photo taken at La-Coupe, as part of Melissa Rodrigues' 'The Feminine Divine' exhibition at Jersey Museum last year. Picture: Melissa Rodrigues. (31213427)
A photo taken at La-Coupe, as part of Melissa Rodrigues' 'The Feminine Divine' exhibition at Jersey Museum last year. Picture: Melissa Rodrigues. (31213427)

Andrew Welch, a spokesman for British Naturism, said Jersey was ‘potentially behind the pack as far as social nudity is concerned’.

He added that ‘a lot more people’ might visit Jersey if there was a beach available where people could go nude bathing.

‘We are all born naked, every single person in the world,’ said Mr Welch, adding that this applied to the Pope, the Queen and everyone in Jersey’s government.

Mr Welch suggested designating a portion of a beach for nude bathing as a starting point, saying it would be surprising ‘how many people wanted to join in and swim with no clothes on’.

The Great British Skinny Dip is taking place across the British Isles in September, encouraging people to ‘experience the joy of swimming without clothes’. An event is planned in Guernsey but nothing has so far been organised in Jersey.

Islanders wanting to take part in the event could be breaking Jersey’s rules on exposure.

Jersey’s 2018 sexual offences law states that ‘a person commits an offence, and is liable to imprisonment for two years and to a fine, if he or she exposes his or her penis, scrotum or vagina’ if they intend for it to be seen, intend to ‘humiliate, alarm or distress’ anyone who sees it or obtains ‘sexual gratification, without a reasonable belief that all of the persons who may see it have consented to seeing it’.

Mr Welch said that if someone was intending to cause alarm or distress, that would be a crime, but he said the government should separate this from naturism.

‘How could you possibly criminalise someone being in their own skin?’ said Mr Welch.

In the UK, Mr Welch said rules were ‘very clear’, meaning that every single beach was technically a nudist beach, but there were also certain beaches that had a ‘long history of nude bathing’.

It was about body positivity, said Mr Welch, adding: ‘We are all the same underneath.’

Jersey photographer Melissa Rodrigues has taken photographs in the Island celebrating nudity and sisterhood. She said nudity, to her, was a ‘symbolism of freedom and acceptance’.

She said: ‘That is why I love to photograph skin with all its “imperfections” because, to me, they are what’s perfect about us. They tell the stories.’

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