Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nude or Prude?

In its' essence all nudity is natural. Nudity only becomes unnatural when cultural norms infect our views on it.

The newly released video for "goobledigook" by Sigur Rós is a wonderful example of natural and beautyful nudity. It celebrates happiness, innocence, freedom and youth.
The video features a bunch of young people running around in a forest, jumping in the water and just being very sort of primate-ish, joyful and young. Yes, they are undressed, and there are even erotic scenes in it. But from my point of view, it is in no way at all pornographic.

Yet the video has been removed from youtube! And worse: it has been substituted with an amputated version where the background scenes are playing but all the naked people have been cut out. A very strange sight.

So please do yourself the favour of going to the website of Sigur Rós to download the complete version (quicktime player). The music is GREAT and gets you in a happy mood!

Where in the world are we, having youtube censoring an innocent video celebrating LIFE just because it contains naked people?

I believe in dialogue rather than censorship.
There are filters that parents can apply if they want to hinder their children in catching porn on their computer. But no filter in the world can replace a sensible conversation.

WHY this fear of nudity?

Paddy K tells us in his blog on Naked Sweden that it was common to see topless girls sunbathing in the parks ten years ago. But now it is no longer so.

Women no longer feel comfortable showing the upper part of their bodies in public (except for the brave few actionating for the right of both genders to show up bare chested at public swimming pools).

We also learn from Paddy K's blog, that a lot of people (see comments on his post) are especially uncomfortable with nakedness of people that are concidered less fortunate from an aesthetic point of view (referred to as "albino whales").

I find it interesting that fear of nudity has increased simultaneously with the increase of sexualization of public space.

At bus-stops, public walls, poster-stands and magazine covers, bodies in suggestive positions - artificially altered to perfection - are thrown into our vision. On tv, in music and in films we are confronted with booty-shaking, shiny-legged teen popsters along side stick-skinny 40+ stars with volumptious (restylane boosted) lips that still look 21 - only better.


And I wonder if not the porn industry has its' share in the growing fashion of removing "other hair" (like for example.... chest waxing...) and other, more drastic bodily alterations?

Anyhow, with all this bodily "perfection" and sexualization that we are bombarded with from all sides on a daily basis, it is no wonder that women are covering up and men might feel uncomfortable with their own and especially other peoples' less than perfect bodies.

The idealized body has become a norm because it is on display everywhere, and thus the majority of people feel like freaks with ugly flappering "albino whale" bodies!

So instead of worrying about average people enjoying nudity (shoes or not), we should worry much more about the many inputs coming from all over the place that make us feel uncomfortable with our own - and other peoples'- naked bodies.

This entry got really long, I know. But thanks for sticking around till the end - if you are still reading... bling bling...bling.

Last, a note just for the record: even though I advocate nude in favour of prude, I don't walk around naked all day myself. Not in need to hide that I'm actually an albino whale but because I succomb to the norms of the culture I live in and don't wish to attract untimely attention or even punishment (yes, even in super liberal Scandinavia, "disturbance of the public order" is considered a crime).

6 comments:

Alun said...

A link for you:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7474968.stm

Christina said...

Thanks for the link, Alun.
Now THAT was outrageous prudence. Totally misplaced. And worrying that it should be neccessary to act that way in scare of potential birthday cake-eating paedophiles.
So no more taking baby to the beach undressed either?!

paddyk said...

Well now, I have actually no problem with nudity. I admire a good naked body as much as the next Irishman, but I do actually think that almost everybody looks better in nicely-made clothes than they do naked. Even me. Well, most of the time. It's not a matter of morals, but of aesthetics. Good post, though!

Christina said...

...I guess I haven't been clear enough that there are actually two different motives for the "prudence" that I'm discussing.
One is the (hypocritical)moral which causes such things as censorship of nudity in the media.
The other is self-censorship - worrying because all the artificially enhanced bodies on display everywhere make normal people feel more hideous than they actually are. They will thus think twice before e.g. going sunbathing topless. The self-censoring probably applys to women to a higher degree than men I think.

Therefore I hail all the nude albino whales who dare put their imperfection on display!

Alun said...

No Christina, you'll have to try a lot harder than that. Plying me with drink usually works. ;-)

Christina said...

... erh, Alun... I doubt you're an albino whale?
And just for any future readers: latest comment was not an encouragement to loading up nude pictures of yourselves here - albino whales or not.