Going NUDE in the USSR (PHOTOS)

Alexander Grinberg/MAMM/MDF/russiainphoto.ru
Soviet attitudes to the naked body changed over time, always with an ideological subtext.

The sexual revolution, which soon followed its October counterpart in the newborn Soviet Union, manifested freedom in everything. Bashfulness about one's body was perceived as a relic of bourgeois culture. Just about everyone started stripping off, and nude photography became a popular genre. 

In those days, nudism was a novelty for the USSR. Sunbathing and swimming were good for health (and Soviet people had to be healthy), so after a hard working day collective farmers, workers and soldiers were encouraged to go to the nearest lake or river for a skinny dip. The 1920s even saw the appearance of the radical society “Down with shame!”, which believed that true gender equality could only be achieved au naturel. We get to the bottom of the matter, all too literally. 

“Down with shame!” members on a nudist beach, 1928.
Poet Vladimir Mayakovsky’s muse, Lily Brik, in a transparent dress, 1924.
Naked workers and collective farmers on a beach in Crimea, 1931.
Naked workers at the Proletarian Victory factory with children on vacation in Crimea, 1932.
Naked workers at the Proletarian Victory factory on vacation in Crimea, 1932.
Collective farmers sunbathe on a beach in Crimea after the working day, 1931.
Vacationers on the beach of the Kubuch sanatorium in Crimea, 1932.
Komsomol members of the Standardbeton factory bathe in the Moskva River, 1940.
Nude bathers on a beach near Sochi, 1940.

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