|Vintage Pulp||Jan 31 2014|
Yes, we still have a few items from that trip to the U.S. we took a couple of years ago, and today we’re finally getting around to this baby. It’s a calendar put together by American Sunbather in 1960. We were actually going to post it on January 1, but we were still too busy fuming over our bank snafu to get it done. So instead you get it on the last day of January. All the tri-toned images are great, but sadly the January page is missing—that must have been a very good month. American Sunbather magazine was one of the main nudist publications. It was published by the Outdoor American Corporation of Spokane, Washington, and ran from the 1950s until about 1967. Like other nudist magazines, it espoused a rationale for why nudism was a desirable lifestyle and you can get a sense of their philosophy from each month’s accompanying text. If it’s too small to read, here’s an example from September:
When men begin to think that the Golden Age belongs solely to ancient history, that the future holds no radiant beauty, no effulgence of glory for the human race, mankind will be in a state of dotage. We nudists know the joy of conviction that “the best is yet to be,” and we feel certain that our preachment and program will contribute much to the sum-total of human welfare and earthly happiness.
There’s so much we could say about this. For instance, in 1960 we seriously doubt that everyone was actually welcome in American Sunbather’s utopia, but leaving that aside, we basically agree with the calendar’s sentiments. In fact, there’s no need to get mystical—it feels good when nature comes into contact with the body. That’s really the long and short of it. Where we live most people don’t get too bothered about naked bodies on the beach, which is nice, even if we don’t typically join in. American Sunbather believed humanity would become more uninhibited as time went by, and its beliefs were underpinned by an idea that we would all have more time, more money, and more freedom. But a funny thing happened on the way to utopia—once the 1970s ended there was suddenly less time, less money, and less freedom for about 90% of Americans. And now—for the moment at least—utopia is just a speck in the distance.