Did the Pitch's female editor, C.J. Janovy, really approve of the article, or was she just pleasing the boys at the New Times? You've come a long way, baby.
Kansas City, Missouri
One hopes, though, that Pitch readers don't mistake "Nudes-a-Poppin'" as reflecting naturist or nudist values. It brings together strippers, porn stars, and panting male admirers to raise money. The sponsor, Ponderosa Sun Club, isn't affiliated with either the Naturist Society or the American Association for Nude Recreation.
Lots of people have gotten naked in mixed-gender settings. A Roper Poll conducted recently for the Naturist Education Foundation asked, "Have you, personally, ever gone skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing in a mixed group of men and women at a beach, at a pool, or somewhere else?" A surprising 25 percent answered yes. Using current U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, this suggests that more than 51 million Americans have participated in some form of nude recreation.
While many experience the same first-time fears Ms. Bates reported, the journey to clothes-freedom usually is more inner-directed than a quest for a trophy and a Web site. San Francisco Examiner columnist Burr Snider said it well: "The real nude beach wonders aren't the young, hubris-ridden gods and goddesses with the flawless hardbodies and the cocoa-butter ultratans.... It's those less-than-perfect folks whose egos transcend fleshly matters and who can bare themselves unself-consciously, warts and wattles, sags and cellulite and all, who make nude beaches such a joy."
The Naturists call this "body acceptance." Nude recreation fosters body acceptance; this is why some of us think it's not a trivial pursuit.
If America had more body acceptance, there'd be no need for Ponderosa's kind of exploitation. And Ms. Bates could ride around naked on her tractor if she wanted and nobody would care.
By the way, there was a nudist park called Kan-Tan near Burlington, Kansas, in the 1970s. One wonders if any of the locals remember.
David L. Bitters
Sure, Moton slipped in the obligatory tidbits about the child's overachievement and talent in the arts, all the while writing her ticket out of scum at 7 years old. But what else is he going to say about a child who was abducted, raped, and left for dead in the nude? That she was dull and dumb? INSTEAD, he assassinated her home life and the struggling mother who raised her. His piece gave detailed information proving that Pamela's environment was dysfunctional, but let's leave it at that.
Moton's story served no real purpose. And the Pitch's kitschy cover art representing the story was not only disrespectful but better suited for a BAD alterna-rock album. Shame on you all.
Lisa M. Geraghty
Kansas City, Kansas
To the members of The Front, we are happy to have you back on the scene!