Naked woman appears on GMB to debate nude sunbathing: ‘It’s just a body’

A recent survey found one in seven people describe themselves as nudists or naturists

Ellie Muir
Tuesday 30 May 2023 09:20 BST
Woman appears topless on Good Morning Britain to defend nude sunbathing

A naked woman appeared on Tuesday’s (30 May) instalment of Good Morning Britain to make a case for nude sunbathing.

Helen Barriman, a member of the British Naturism organisation, appeared fully nude on the ITV breakfast show as she argued that people are often “conditioned” to sexualise naked bodies.

The debate comes after the City of London Corporation received around a dozen complaints over a naked sunbather, as temperatures in the UK begin to rise ahead of summer.

“Are we really that bothered about a nude body sunbathing in a quiet corner of the park?” Barriman asked.

Joining her on GMB for the debate was environment and culture expert Nick Ede, who described naked sunbathing as a “very selfish thing”.

“It’s about you and your empowerment and I completely understand the body positivity which I think is fantastic but you’re not taking into consideration the other people within that environment who might be a little bit triggered or finding it offensive,” he said.

“How is it offensive, it’s just body?” replied Barriman. “You’ve got one, you’ve got one in the shower, it’s naked as well.”

“I think it’s about behaviour,” continued Barriman. “If you’re going to take your clothes off being badly behaved then that’s not okay.”

She explained that she wants people to become empowered to be in the nude and accept their bodies: “If I can help one person be comfortable in their skin then that’s a win.”

Helen Barriman, Women in Naturism Officer for British Naturism, appeared naked on GMB (ITV)

Current laws in England and Wales state that it is not illegal to be naked in public unless distress is caused, in which case the complaintant has to prove that the defendant stripped with the intention to cause upset or shock.

Last year, the biggest survey into naturism found that 14 per cent of people, or one in seven people, now describe themselves as naturists or nudists. This was a huge increase from a similar survey in 2011, where only one in 17 people in the UK said they considered themselves to be naturists or nudists.

British Naturism said in a statement that attitudes towards nudity were “changing with taboos” and “eroding stigma”.

Good Morning Britain viewers were left divided by Tuesday’s segment.

“Agreed totally it’s a body,” wrote one person on Twitter, suggesting they didn’t see why being nude should cause such a stir.

“Provided people are not do inappropriate things I don’t see why people can not go naked in certain public areas or they should be free to go naked in your own back garden,” one person commented.

Other viewers, however, wondered what the repercussions would be for children if nudity became more frequent in public areas.

“I have no issue with nudity, I do have an issue with nudity in public places and the risk it [poses to] the vulnerable. Children should not be given the message that everyone gets naked anywhere!” a GMB viewer argued.

British Naturism says in its mission statement that there are “significant benefits” that nudity brings to “mental, emotional, physical health and body image issues”.

“When you shake off your clothes, you do more than just peeling away the layers of fabric. It often feels like you are removing your worries, stresses and particularly any hang-ups you have about your body,” it reads.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in