What Nudism Exposes

An Unconventional History of Postwar Canada

By Mary-Ann Shantz
Categories: History, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Regional & Cultural Studies, Social Sciences, Sociology, Environmental & Nature Studies, Environmental History, Canadian History
Publisher: UBC Press
Hardcover : 9780774867207, 268 pages, October 2022
Ebook (PDF) : 9780774867221, 268 pages, October 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780774867238, 268 pages, October 2022
Paperback : 9780774867214, 268 pages, June 2023

Table of contents


Part 1: Nudism Comes to Canada

1 Building a Movement

2 Constructing Community at the Club

3 Regulating Sexuality

4 Navigating Gender Norms

5 Raising Young Nudists

Part 2: Nudism on Display

6 Photographs in Sunbathing for Health Magazine, 1947–59

7 The Pageant Tradition and Miss Nude World

Part 3: Nudism, the Natural Environment, and the Regulation of Space

8 Cultivating Nature and Protecting Privacy at the Club

9 Defending Nature and Public Nudity at Wreck Beach, 1969–79


Notes; Bibliography; Index


What Nudism Exposes situates the nudist movement within the social and cultural context of postwar Canada by considering how nudist practices and attitudes both departed from and reinforced mainstream values in changing times. In this perceptive, eminently readable book, Mary-Ann Shantz describes how nudists sought social approval as they participated in contemporary debates about childrearing, sexuality, and public nudity. Shantz explains the perspectives of the nudist movement while questioning its assumptions, particularly the defence of nudity as natural. What nudism ultimately exposes is how the body figures at the intersection of nature and culture, the individual and the social, the private and the public.