Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Making The Breast Out Of A Situation

This morning as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I happened upon a post by a nearby radio station, which featured a censored topless picture of a model. The reason that the radio station posted it (and they posted it in a positive light, along with other, non-nude photos), is because the model, Daisy Lowe - pictured here - happens to be the daughter of rock star Gavin Rossdale, frontman of the band Bush. The photos were taken for the magazine Hunger. Of course, as nudity almost always seems to do, its appearance - even under the shroud of censorship - has caused a bit of a kerfuffle online over its appropriateness.

I am not aiming to write a scholarly article about nudity or nude photography, but here's a few thoughts:

1. While I think that it is vital that young girls are taught that their value does not merely lie in their body or physical appearance, I also don't believe young girls should be taught to be ashamed of their bodies, or sexuality for that matter.

2. There seems to be a certain double-standard when it comes to nudity and nude photography. Many of the same women who are outraged over female nudity have no problems watching and re-watching Magic Mike or gazing at at least half-nude photos of Channing Tatum, Adam Levine, or other studmuffins.

3. For those who argue "covering up" from a religious standpoint (man, am I ever getting sick of writing about religion), it must be noted that in the mythical Genesis account, Adam and Eve were perfectly comfortable being in the buff. It was only after they ate of the forbidden fruit (and thus somehow "fallen") that they felt the need to cover up. With this rationale, wouldn't it be more admirable to shun clothing altogether, as a sign of a return to lost innocence?

4. I think that in an ideal world, we wouldn't need to cover up nearly as much as we do. Unfortunately, sexuality and the separation of physicality from the whole of human experience has led to an often crude or shame-based view of nakedness rather than the natural, beautiful thing that it is. And since so many minds have been perverted, our young girls must be protected from those who would do them harm, and women must continue to be empowered to be seen not as "just a piece of meat."

5. Having considered these things, should we continue to be ashamed of, or even revolted by the human body? And who sets the rules? Should women be allowed to wear skirts that are cut above the knee, and if so, how high? Should women even be allowed to wear pants? Unbelievably there are still places where they can't. When a man is photographed without his shirt on, how high do his pants or shorts have to be? Is it ok to see the outline of the bulge in his pants, or no?

6. To end off on a bit of a lighter note, I'll share a comment from a woman on Facebook who was reacting to the mentioned photospread. It reflects what I think as well to a point - though the last time I checked I don't have female anatomy.

"Omg people! Grow up! They are tits! I have them, you have them, if you don't like the way you look, change it, she looks amazing! Good for her!"

Mark Andrew Nouwen