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Cheeky nature-lovers have discovered the Illawarra’s appeal as a backdrop for eye-catching nude photos.
The region makes regular appearances on the Instagram page getnakedaustralia – a celebration of body pride and the simple sensation of sun on skin.
Triumphant mountain-top moonings feature heavily, as do arms-up salutes on beaches and swimming holes.
“I posted a photo to my own social media of me naked on top of a mountain and people loved it.''
The page is the brainchild of 26-year-old health professional Brendan Jones.
“Whenever I go on a hike and find a swimming hole I'm always keen to strip off and jump in for a skinny dip,” Mr Jones, of Glen Alpine, said.
“I posted a photo to my own social media of me naked on top of a mountain and people loved it.
“No one thought it was weird, it was well received and encouraged. My friends and I then started to get some cool group shots, including one with the harbour bridge and Opera House in the background, and I thought it would be cool to start a page for all our photos.”
The page was created in June 2016 and has since attracted 36,000 followers.
According to Mr Jones it amasses an average of 2000 new followers, each week.
Mr Jones believes the strong following has to do with the message the page promotes, of nudity as a shameless and natural state.
“Society has such a problem with the naked body. Nudity is only really seen as acceptable if its considered 'art',” Mr Jones said.
“Every other form of nudity is deemed sexual when it shouldn't be. People can be naked and comfortable with it without any sexual nature.
“Through Get Naked Australia we aim to remove that stigma associated with nudity and encourage people to go outside and feel the sun and water on their bare skin.
“People shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed to go skinny dipping or go to a nude beach.
“In a world of such body shaming I believe that being naked in nature is way for people to overcome their image problems. Once someone experiences being naked in nature it does wonders for their confidence and we have had many testimonials of people expressing that.”
While millennials may baulk at the idea of themselves as nudists - with its association with colonies and “old people running around playing volleyball at a camp” - they appear to have embraced the concept of brief, bare-bummed displays captured on camera, Mr Jones said.
He deliberately eschews models in favour of everyday people when selecting pictures for his page.
“I get contacted by a lot of models wanting to plug their own page, but that’s not what it’s about.”
Indecent behaviour is a criminal offence and can be prosecuted.
The story Nude Wollongong: cheeky new Instagram craze hits the coast first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.