Monday, September 15, 2008

Black's Beach, San Diego

First I was a Latin Americanist; then, a commentator on race, literature, and film. Now? Apparently I know something about nudists: here's the proof!

(Read to the end of the linked story for the punchline).

Update: December 16, 2012

As the Daily Aztec link is now broken--here is a plaintext version of their story:

Nearby beach is telling locals the naked truth
Amy Ebersole, Staff Writer
Issue date: 9/9/08

Black's Beach has it all: surf, clean sand, hang gliding and drum 
circles. But there is one thing it lacks - swimsuits.

Located next to UC San Diego in La Jolla, Black's Beach is perhaps 
the largest nude beach in the United States.

So - here is the skinny (dip?).

It's not just the surf that's up
Hard work pays off, right? On a normal day, Black's wave quality 
seduces committed surfers down a 300-foot twisting labyrinth, lugging 
boards, like fruit baskets, overhead. But what goes down must go up.

So, save some energy. Or take a break before the climb. The clean 
black and white sand mixes as smooth as Jack Daniel's and Diet Coke, 
forming a blissful pillowed paradise that leaves surfers drunk on San 
Diego sun.

Fly high Glider Port
The Torrey Pines Glider Port sports hang gliders, paragliders and 
remote-controlled gliders. No equipment? Instruction, certification, 
tandem flights, equipment sales and adventure tours can be purchased 
for those who aren't starving students such as most of us at San Diego State.

A local nightly hangout spot for UCSD students, Glider Port is a 
place to kick back, put the moves on a date or gaze out at the 
endless oceanic view that transforms like Clark Kent from light and 
clear by day to dark and mysterious by night.

Moon me drum circles
Traditionally, when the moon is full, the Rainbow Family full moon 
drum circles last through the night until the sun rises to kiss the 
sky the next day. Sadly, because of a stabbing in July and the 
increasing rave-like drug and alcohol atmosphere, the drum circle relocated.

Last month, hundreds of faithful drummers showed up, only to find the 
street paved with cops who took time (out of their busy schedules) to 
"guarantee safety" by shutting the circles down.

For drum enthusiasts, there are circles held on Sundays in Balboa 
Park from noon until dark.

The naked truth
Let's be honest - it isn't the hang gliding, drum circles, surf or 
sand that give Black's Beach its claim to fame.

It's the nudity. There, I said it.

The famous poet Walt Whitman once wrote, "I will go to the bank by 
the wood and become undisguised and naked; I am mad for it to be in 
contact with me."

Well, it may not be a wood, but if an ocean will suffice, Black's is 
a place to bare it all.

Tired of hearing, "No shoes, no shirt, no service?" At Black's Beach, 
bodies are welcome to freely skinny-dip with nothing but smiles and 
non-gawking attitudes.

The Black's Beach Bares, a local group affiliated with The Naturist 
Society, holds picnics and beach cleanups. Viewing nudity as a 
natural way of life and essential to body acceptance, the Bares 
advocate for tolerance and respect, rejecting capitalist exploitation 
of the body for commercial or sexual purposes.

So wait - nudity but no sex?

Yes! It's true, fellow Americans! It's possible to be platonically 
nude. Fancy that. "The taboo of nudity in America partially spawns 
from the Puritan Christian background and capitalistic system where 
the body becomes an object of shame," UCSD student and nudist 
studying gender theory Hayley Ebersole said. "When you go nude, there 
is nothing left to see, and so the body morphs into something whole 
rather than fetishized."

Exploring the beaches of Barcelona and France, I was finally free to 
go topless and not get a ticket.

My French friend and I tried tanning without tops in an unpopulated 
section of Pacific Beach last year, but were told by a patrolling 
lifeguard to, "Go to Black's; otherwise put on tops or get tickets."

"But, I don't get it, they're just breasts," we answered.

What are we so afraid of?

Complaints by certain individuals who are uncomfortable with nudity 
cause park rangers to sweep Black's, and they make everyone put their 
clothes on.

"There are just too many people scared of having genitals," professor 
and chair of English and comparative literature at SDSU William 
Nericcio said. "Admittedly, most people shouldn't be parading body 
parts about - but for those select few who sport handsome choice 
parts - why not?"

Hmm. So, why not?

Amy Ebersole is a comparative literature senior.

1 comment:

  1. Instant classic! I love, love, love that you had the cajones to spew out such a wonderful quote as this. I couldn't sum it up more perfectly. . . sometimes you just gotta grab life by the balls!