I leaned quite a few lessons about body acceptance when I was stationed in Berlin in the 1980s. At public parks everywhere, but especially at the Tiergartens and in Kreutzberg (which was not yet hip, just a poor neighborhood), naked grannies and grampas were everywhere.

Nudism thrives in German culture, and people tend to accept it casually even if they don’t participate. I was shocked the first few times I wondered along a path, only to break into a clearing and find a group of naked people.

And the naked people were often granny aged or possessed of ordinary bodies nobody would think to feature in magazines.

What an eye-opener. I wish we were less ashamed of our bodies here on the other side of the Atlantic.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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