A chilly wind has shriveled up the nether reaches of the nudist beach communities in Germany.
As Germans are getting fatter und fatter, it seems that their tendency to brave all, bear all, and brave the nudist beaches has suffered its own form of shrinkage.
They're so modest, those Germans!!
Much to the chagrin of Free Body Culture enthusiasts who have been stripping off their clothing on beaches and parks since the early 1900s, a cold wind has been blowing across Germany for nudists and their numbers are steadily dwindling.
"German society is changing and it's not easy to be a naturist anymore," said Kurt Fischer, president of the German association (DFK). There are some 500,000 registered nudists and a total of seven million Germans sunbathe naked regularly.
"But the numbers are unfortunately falling by about two percent each year," Fischer told a group of reporters in the Foreign Press Association (VAP) while sitting, fully clothed, at a beach bar in Berlin's government quarter. "Times are tough."
"WE'VE GOT A LOT CHUBBIER"
Increasing wealth and fashion-consciousness in Germany and especially the east has hurt the movement.
"In East Germany, there were a lot more people with attractive physiques," said Brigitte, a retired dental assistant and avid naturist who asked that her full name not be used.
"But with the rise in prosperity a lot of people have come apart at the seams and they can't show their bodies in public anymore. We've become a lot chubbier with all this prosperity. It's not really very aesthetic anymore."
Brigitte said she misses the East German era when entire beaches and camping areas were packed with nudists even though parts of West Germany, such as Munich's English Garten park and West Berlin's Tiergarten, have proud nudist traditions."I miss those places more and more," she said, admitting that she often feels inhibited about being nude and now wraps a towel around herself until she gets to the water. "You definitely see fewer people in the nude.
But I don't think the movement will die out. It's too much fun."
Fatter and fewer German nudists as numbers dwindle | Reuters