Naked Lady agrees to take cover in parade route

Jen Moss, a.k.a. Ashland's Naked Lady, has agreed to abide by the Chamber of Commerce's mandate that she wear clothes if she wants to participate in the Fourth of July parade.

"It's not that I like it, but I'm being realistic," she said. "I figured it would probably happen."

Moss, 33, said she moved to Ashland in May because of its liberal public nudity law. She said she will wear a bikini while Rollerblading and blowing a conch shell during the parade. She anticipates about 10 people walking and biking with her beating drums and holding signs of peace.

"It's unfortunate that on the day Americans are celebrating their civil liberties, mine are being taken away," she said.

Moss caused a stir when she announced in a Craigslist posting that she planned to lead a group of in-line skaters during the parade "wearing only a hemp G-string and blowing a conch shell."

However, parade chair Jim Kidd said he didn't think someone in the parade who is topless or nearly naked is appropriate for a family audience.

He said he sent a letter to Moss, but Moss said she's never received it.

"I called and e-mailed the chamber several times," she said. "But I never heard from them."

Moss said she finally went to the chamber on Monday after returning from a trip to Southern California wearing the bikini she planned to don at the parade.

Chamber staff did not return phone calls to the Tidings, but Moss played her cell phone voice mail from Kidd, which confirmed Moss's visit to the chamber's office.

Kidd said in the message, "If you're willing to be clothed, then yes, we'll accept your application."

Moss said she's not mad at the chamber or the public outcry that she cover herself during the parade.

In an unofficial, non-scientific poll on the Tidings Web site (), the question was asked: Should Jen Moss be allowed to walk topless in the parade on the Fourth?

Of the 997 responses, 515 chose no, 288 said yes, 166 didn't care and 28 were conflicted over the issue.

"It sounds like people are ruled by fear," she said. "What I'm doing is not illegal. If what I'm doing is really indecent, then get the people to agree to vote and change the law. That's a democracy."

Who is Moss?

Why is being topless, in the Ashland parade or anywhere else, important to Moss?

Moss said she first thought about wearing pasties in Maui in 2000, but was "not confident enough to bear my petite perky breasts to the world" until April 2006.

She's had several run-ins with the police, which is part of what prompted her move to Ashland from Ojai, Calif.

Moss said humans who are comfortable in their own skin are essential for evolution.

"Lots of people think nudity equals sex," she said. "But it doesn't. And a lot of people in this town get that.

"I do not watch pornography and I support committed, monogamous relationships based on mutual respect. I do believe people have the right to do pornography, but it drains the human soul. Sex is sacred and is about making love, not war."

Moss said her public nudity is a public statement.

"I just wanted to stand up for evolution," she said. "In Europe it's no big deal to see naked people. It will be nice when Americans have evolved and they won't even notice that I'm naked anymore."

She said she's not a publicity hound, as many have suggested.

"I don't watch brain-draining TV or read newspapers," Moss said. "The only reason I knew about the publicity is because someone stopped me and said, 'Hey, I saw a story about you on Tokyo news the other day.' Otherwise, I just don't follow it."

Moss, who has a "little Cherokee" blood, grew up in Albany with an older brother and younger sister.

Moss said she's always been different from her family members, who still live in Albany.

"My parents are just your normal, everyday people," Moss said. "They don't really understand me. But they're happy for me and we respect each other."

Moss, who has lived in Oregon, California and Hawaii, spent most of her working life as a waitress, but said she left the industry after concerns about pesticides, herbicides, chemical use and cruelty to animals.

Since her last waitress job in 2006, Moss said she's been working odd jobs and as "kind of a life coach for people."

"I'm a Gemini," she said. "A jack of all trades."

Moss, who's currently living with a friend near the Ashland Springs Hotel, said she'd like to become a traveling gypsy.

"I haven't really defined what that's going to entail," she said.

Reach reporter at 482-3456 ext. 226 or

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