'Naked Lady' Will Stay Out of Oregon July 4th Parade

Tod Hunter
ASHLAND, Ore — Local nude activist Jen Moss, known as "The Naked Lady," has said she will go topless wearing a G-string and the crown of Lady Liberty at Ashland's Fourth of July parade, but will not be in the parade itself.

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the annual parade, decided not to approve Moss' application to participate.

The parade permit gives the chamber control of the parade route from curb-to-curb, but not the sidewalk, cross streets and the after-parade festivities, said Chamber Executive Director Sandra Slattery.

Moss plans to stay on sidewalks and other areas where she isn't banned. A chamber official said that if Moss enters the parade route in any state of nudity that would offend a family audience, she will be asked to leave, and if she doesn't leave, the police will be informed.

The chamber allows entries with controversial political views. But after consulting its attorney the chamber denied Moss' application because nudity is inappropriate for what a chamber official called the parade's "positive, family-friendly theme."

Moss said she will not enter the street where the parade is passing because she doesn't want to break any laws or be arrested.

"You can show your boobs in Ashland," she said. "It's Independence Day and I will walk where I want that's legal."

Ashland city ordinances allow nudity anywhere in town, but genitalia must be covered in city parks and the downtown commercial district. Typically, Moss rollerblades or bikes in pasties and a hemp G-string.

Moss told reporters that her actions show support for the environment, freedom of expression and of the production of hemp.

"I'm not indecent," she said. "I don't deserve to be discriminated against because of my beliefs. I'm not trying to get attention. I'm here standing up for liberty — and most clothing is made in sweatshops with child labor and billions of tons of dyes.

"How dare they judge me? Some people look at me and feel thoughts in their minds that 'She's a slut' or promiscuous. How dare they look at my body and teach their children to be ashamed of their bodies? I love children and would never do anything to hurt them."

Moss moved from Ojai, Calif., to Ashland in May, she said, because of police harassment in Ojai and liberal nudity laws here.