May 2, 2018
Let’s talk about nudity. So much is written about the subject from so many perspectives today because of the internet and changing cultural norms all over the world. Nudity or nakedness is defined so differently from culture to culture. An exposed face or elbow, for instance, is considered nudity in some countries and not in others. I’d like to focus more on OUR culture, specifically in America. We, as Americans, have held on to a more conservative, Puritanical view of nudity, sensuality and sexuality than Europeans. Why are we so hung up on nudity? We come into this world naked although for only a short period of time, but naked, still. The nude in art has been portrayed and celebrated over centuries. As a woman and as an artist, I personally, have loved and celebrated my own feelings about being nude, showing nudity, creating nude art through painting and photography, and all the while, it has felt natural, beautiful and true to who I am whether I am the creator or the nude muse. My husband has been a huge influence since we met as his attitude has always been accepting of nudity in this way and this was one huge reason I fell in love with him 24 years ago. We have collaborated on nude photography for many years. We have collected and shown in our home nude art because we love it, and also to teach our children to be comfortable with such nudity beautifully and artistically presented and that just for the mere fact there’s nudity, that it’s not “dirty” or sexual. Eye roll from all 3. 🙂 But one day…
This male nude drawing is a favorite! Sorry for the poor quality image, but I wanted to share a work of art from our collection. This was drawn by an artist/student of a student of Michelangelo! Tom surprised me with this for Christmas of 1999 when he brought it back from Brussels! Squeal!
Since college, I have modeled nude for photography, was in the 1994 Hollywood film Body Snatchers nude as a newborn alien, I have painted and drawn the nude live in classes for 25 years. My belief is that the more the nude can be portrayed in a beautiful, artistic or sensual manner that we would see the beauty in the human form that is God’s beautiful creation. I am not speaking of porn here, and there’s enough of that readily available on the web. While there is a full range of nude imagery – pornographic to erotic, to sensual, to artistic, the lines can be blurred at times. I want to emphasize those lines and celebrate and tell women it’s ok to celebrate your femininity, make a statement or portray your spirit however you want even if it involves some nudity. Celebrate YOU! Women, more today than ever, are screaming for equality, for being regarded and portrayed naturally and honestly, for body acceptance and to be able to create their art without being preyed upon, judged or shamed. I am all for this right! Nudity DOES NOT EQUAL sex! There is no shame in being nude.
Instagram has popularized many accounts that celebrate nudity in either an artistic way or one that speaks about liberation and vulnerability. I invite you to check these out! Nude yoga girl was a pioneer in portraying beautiful, mysterious, artistic yoga images. Another yogi, @mynameisjessamyn, celebrates body image in a fun, energetic, confident way! Love! Go, Jess! Then there’s The Naked Professor (Male) who is stripping facades of masculinity to share truths and vulnerability. Clap, clap, clap! The Woman Book is another beautiful, sensual portrayal of women in black and white…
It’s time to stop judging and shaming women (in particular) for being nude in the name of self expression and art. We have to stop equating nudity with sex, and instead, see the human form as God’s most BEAUTIFUL work of art! SBSFW – Should be…. What are your thoughts on the subject?
I totally agree. People have to be comfortable in their own skin and celebrate their own body. There’s nothing ‘dirty’ about nudity. From a high-school locker room to a beach in St. Martin to the baths in Baden-Baden, you just get used to being free and not stuck with convention.
I seriously cannot get enough of this blog post!!! I am so glad you wrote it! So many people have the wrong idea of it but you were so correct in talking about the artistic flair that it has. As a woman I feel very empowered by accepting my body as it is and confident even when naked.
Thank you, Karlee! I’m so glad you feel that empowerment! That’s exactly what I want for all! Acceptance comes from within creating that confidence. Keep it up!
The human body is its own glorious art form. Like most art forms, it has areas that are more stunning than others. My favorite is the small of a woman’s back curving to the hips. I studied the Great Masters, and saw how they honed their skills on chiseled males mainly–think Michelangelo & Leonardo. Once I reached modern art, I delighted in the Cubist nudes of Picasso. Nowadays, I enjoy my collection of charcoal sketches of a Barbara Ward, a Philadelphia artist who evidently died in Loretto if you can believe that. When I framed some for my living room wall, I thought I would get comments from naysayers. But, I haven’t. And I don’t care. My home is my gallery. My place to love art and things pleasing to my eyes and Kerry’s. There’s only one thing–I need more walls!!! Kudos to you for the terrific article.
I couldn’t agree more on the gloriousness of the human form! Your art collection sounds like a visual treat! So great to collect things you love that pleases you…
Thank you for your kind words!
Still relavent today – in our hyper-sexualized society, people have trouble separating nudity and sex. If we are all made in God’s image we should accept and revel in the body we have and not be ashamed or hide the gifts we have. Nudity in art has been around for thousands of years and some people’s constant push to hide it, censor it or judge it, belie their own insecurity and lack of acceptance of the Creator’s gift.
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