From Shaman’s Rock
By Jim Poling Sr.
I now know why sunflowers droop. It’s not because they lack water, or because their seed heads have become heavy.
When you see sunflowers drooping, instead of standing proud and happy, they are hanging their heads in embarrassment. That’s because they have become victims of a witless fad.
It’s a fad that appears occasionally but usually fades quickly with little attention. But it fell into the international media spotlight recently in Britain and there is concern it will become a major craze.
A British sunflower farm reported it has posted No Public Nudity signs at its sunflower fields because people were stripping to take photos of themselves nude among the big, sunny blooms. Some nude photos are posted on social media sites for the enjoyment of followers.
“We are a family area and please keep your clothes on in the sunflowers,” visitors to the farm are being told.
The farm began allowing visitors to view the spectacular blooming flowers in late July, then discovered at least six instances of people dropping their clothes for nude photographs.
One visitor reported going through the sunflower patches looking for a spectacular bloom but was shocked to find something even more spectacular – a naked woman posing for a camera.
Another person, apparently visiting the sunflowers with children, reported stumbling onto a woman wearing only a skimpy thong.
“Our son got a right eyeful last night. Should have seen his face!!”
Now some Canadian sunflower farm owners are complaining about visitors wreaking havoc in their fields. People are trampling the sunflower crops as they seek good spots to pose for selfies, clothed or not, among the flowers.
Sunflowers have inspired the urge to go naked ever since Helen Mirren starred in the British film Calendar Girls. It was based on the true story of a group of middle-aged women who pose nude for a calendar to raise money for blood cancer research. Sunflowers featured prominently in the photos.
Their nude calendar plan was an instant success and eventually raised millions of dollars for blood cancer research. That happy outcome no doubt boosted the flower’s reputation as a symbol of warmth, love and happiness.
Throughout history the flowers have been associated with sun and harvest, creating symbolism of warmth, abundance and prosperity.
Some societies view the sunflower as a symbol of hope and joy, associating it with optimism and perseverance and a representation of life itself. Others see it as a symbol of long life and lasting happiness because most varieties bloom throughout the summer.
The current fad of taking nude selfies in the sunflowers seems to be part of a growing trend toward nudism. Studies of social media data showed a significant increase in nude photo posts during the Coronavirus pandemic.
British Naturism, an organization that supports nudism, reported a more than 100- per-cent increase in new members during the first year of the pandemic.
This year’s fashion show walkways have shown the “sheer look” more prominently with bare breasts and skimpy panties visible through see-through clothing. Fashion gurus say risqué sheer looks will gain more prominence in future.
Posing for nude pictures in the sunflowers does involve some risk.
Worms, weevils, spiders, beetles and bees are there to build homes, lay eggs and snack on the sunflowers’ tasty treats. Larger critters such as raccoons, mice, rats and bats also are found there.
So if you prefer to be among the sunflowers nude, you are offering a lot more skin to curious critters.
Sunflower pollen and oils also create allergies for some people. These are seldom severe but can cause itchy mouth, watery eyes, eczema and hives, as well as breathing difficulties.
Knowing all that it’s probably best to keep your clothes on when visiting sunflower fields. Besides are your followers on Instagram and Facebook really interested in seeing your sagging body parts among sagging sunflower heads?
Some nude posers say their photos make great cards to send out and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and even Christmas.
Maybe I’m too old-fashioned but I still prefer Christmas cards with smiling Santas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or still and quiet manger scenes.