Thursday, July 19, 2012

Being nude

I just wanted to share a great website that I've found, through a friend Jen who blogs here. She shared the website of a great project, (warning naked women with pubic hair) the Nu project. I think there is definitely something about being comfortable with yourself naked, even if you're not willing to have it posted on the internet. Can you really say that you've accepted yourself if you only accept yourself wearing your really great clothes?

There are a few things I would like to discuss about this website:

1) The idea that all nudity is not pornographic. I've come to reject the idea that a naked woman is inherently sinful when viewed by anyone but her husband. Plenty of really great cultures and artists have understood this for a long time.

2) I could never imagine a website like this with men. Partly because there is a much bigger push among women to "love your body" that inspires this website than there is among men. I think it is true that women's bodies are objectified more than men, and so there exists a greater need for outreach among women. Also, it seems that while men are less objectified, their sexual organs are not. Even in "Game of Thrones" (which is one of my wife and I's guilty pleasure), where female nudity is frequent, full male nudity is non-existent (as far as I've noticed). I'm not really sure why this interests me so, but I think there is something deeper here.

But overall, hooray for this website. If you disagree with me about such a website to be useful, feel free to say so in the comments (as my mom did when this site was linked to on my Facebook). But it's about bodies, so I'm posting it here.

4 comments:

  1. I also saw this on Jen's blog, and I LOVE it. So refreshing.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this site! And thanks for understanding its mission and sharing said mission with us.

    As far as discussion of points go, though:

    1) Good, because the idea that a naked woman is sinful etc. is so damaging and pervasive as to actually be evil. A naked woman is nothing more than a lady without clothes on.

    Images can be pornographic. Bodies cannot.

    I remember getting the” walking pornography” talk from my RA freshman year of college because some of us were wearing tank top pyjamas. I remember a hallmate that same year telling me about catching a glimpse of herself topless in a mirror and immediately putting clothes on because, ew, porn. SHE WAS ALONE AND SHE WAS RECOILING FROM HER OWN BODY. AND EVEN IF SHE WASN’T ALONE, UGH. We need to stop this rhetoric IMMEDIATELY.

    There’s this quote that I totally forgot but it’s from Kafka and it’s to do with literature and it keeps coming up in my head. It discusses the idea that anything you feel is inside you already, and art just sort of brings it out. (It’s awesome, something like, literature needs to be the axe for the frozen sea inside you.) If I misunderstood that quote I’m sorry I am for sure not a Lit major.

    But so like what I feel he is saying is that art evokes things in you but nothing that wasn’t there already. A woman’s body—anyone’s body—is nothing but that. It is not inherently anything.

    People confuse the like semiotic overlay of whatever thing with the actual thing. (Also said body belongs to her and nobody else and she can show it to who she wants to as long as the other person/people are on board with seeing it.)

    If it evokes something in you, that’s on you.

    I don’t know if that is the usual nominally logical train of thought behind this idea that women’s bodies are sinful (what is the actual reason? I never know. I do know that when like for example I see the Batman movie and have the maddest crush ever on Christian Bale, I don’t blame him but rather myself, but maybe that’s due to my own conditioning as a heterosexual woman) but that’s why I think a site like this can be so useful. It demystifies and regularizes what should be like the most boring thing in the world.

    2) There SHOULD be a website like this for men, although I agree that maybe there isn’t the super-pressing need that there is for women. But there should be. There should be a website like this for everyone on the entire sex/gender spectrum. Everyone can benefit from a site like this.

    And as far as cultural acceptance of male nudity goes, that is almost 100% because shows have for so long been made by heterosexual men with their point of view. So we have been culturally conditioned to accept female nudity—it’s old news—but not male. You’re right in that this weirdly sexualizes male nudity further.

    ( I mean, remember when that movie “Watchmen” came out and ALL ANY REVIEW COULD TALK ABOUT was the computer-animated penis despite the fact that half the population owns their very own penis and much of the other half of the population have for the most part encountered one or two in their lives. To be fair most aren’t blue like in the movie but said coloration didn’t seem to be the general cause for protest.)

    But so also that’s changing. This is outside the purview of a comment and probably can be a blogpost somewhere but I am seeing much more in movies an aesthetic and okay tbh arguably sexualized view of male bodies. It still differs a lot from how the women are treated—again, outside the purview—but I think it’s changing.

    I just can’t wait till like nobody cares about bodies because seriously what is more ubiquitous. And that they take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings. The end.

    Ugh sorry this was sooo long. In conclusion, thanks for sharing this site, and THANK YOU for being so open to considering other trains of thought and changing your own opinions, which is really really hard.

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  3. well... it was strange for me to look at the website. I was a little shocked. Of course, it wasn't sexual for me to look at these photos but I was so uncomfortable being with someone else so comfortable being naked. On the other hand, I myself think I look great naked. So there was another part of me that was like, "Oh, apparently we all look this great when we are naked." Haha. Funny to have two somewhat opposite reactions.

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  4. I think if this site is used as it is intended and is a source of empowerment and the de-objectification of women, I wholeheartedly agree that this is a good thing. And if men need one too, by all means, make one.

    I also agree with Bridgette's #1 point. Well said.

    P.S. There was that one spot when Tyrion married Sansa and he came to her marriage bed with an erection. I don't remember if he was fully nude or not though... (I did enjoy those books, but I haven't finished the series. They are a guilty pleasure for me, also, that I may someday have to share with my husband. Thanks for reminding me!)

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