Disclaimer: Any nude photos used in this post are only for illustration purposes with no intention of corrupting the mind of the reader.
The first woman to appear nude in a Hollywood film was Audrey Munson in 1915. The film Inspiration wasn’t anywhere close to being classified as a porn flick but rather, Munson played a Sculptor’s model and is therefore seen completely naked in a couple of scenes.
The feisty Marylyn Monroe would set her own record in 1947 with the first nude sitting after she got hired by Earl Moran, a calender and magazine Illustrator as a model.
Fast forward to today and nude photography and selfies are beginning to transform into a normal occurrence for quite a number of urbanites. Save for a few instances, where the subject suffered severe backlash and embarrassment after some nudies leaked online, a couple of celebrities seem to benefit greatly, from having their naked pics splashed all over the internet.
Closer home, a Ugandan TV personality was fired by her employer after naked selfies of her surfaced on the Internet early the previous year. Further afield but still in Africa, BBA(Big Brother Africa) 2011 winner, Karen Igho equally had nude photos of her splashed all over the Internet around the same time she was in the BBA house.
The photos were attributed to her modelling days and did not seem to cause her much damage as she went on to win the competition. In Kenya, a female musician suffered enough backlash and quite some huge embarrassment after nude photos of her were maliciously leaked on the internet some years back.
Socialite Kim Kardashian seems to be raking in enough benefits from her nude selfies. And especially with the one below which had her trending worldwide.
The taking of nude selfies and photographs has been associated with Art and creativity in some quarters. In these same quarters, it is believed that a woman who agrees to pose nude or takes her own nude picture is indeed very comfortable in her skin.
She appreciates her whole being and embraces her flaws as part of what makes up her femininity. She is not at all scared by her vulnerability in that state. And as long as the parts considered private are covered up or cleverly concealed, then there is absolutely nothing off putting with the picture.
The picture can actually be used to pass a message! And a very strong feminism related one at that. Quite admirable, you might be tempted to conclude since many women are highly conscious of their nakedness. But here is one who is acting as an example to all, that being naked is actually nothing to fear, flaws and all. Never mind that some naked silhouettes are actually edited to give that picture of a perfect naked female body.
In other quarters bordering on the conservative and religious, nude photographs and selfies are an abomination. A rebellion against the religious or societal view to cover up one’s body for decency and to protect what is considered sacred.
A woman who is willing to bare her flesh in such societies suffers castigation, violence even and labeling. She is considered a woman who deserves no respect since she does not see the need to accord herself any in the first place. A non-marriageable material.
However, some of the women in liberal societies who have no qualms baring all are actually married women with husbands who seem to endorse their wives’ decisions to be in the nude for the public. It is therefore very interesting to witness people who have no relation whatsoever, to such women pointing accusatory fingers at them for being in the nude.
A billboard in my country sometime around 2013 caused so much uproar after one of our then celebrated, female radio personalities seemed to appear nude in the Vaseline advert. Compared to the kind of uncensored naked pics and selfies which increasingly make their way to the Internet in recent times, the picture had been taken professionally, with the woman in a sitting position with only her arms, legs and shoulders bare.
Whether the intention of the advert was in good faith or not, many Kenyans complained bitterly about it. Many thought it was a corruption of our morality and there were several debates going back and forth about the said billboard. The radio personality herself handled it graciously and this worked perfectly for her, since the moral judges gave up on pointing fingers eventually.
The main intention behind many nude photographs is for professional purposes. However, this has always seemed to rub some (and sometimes many) people the wrong way. We have our young children who are growing up and if we constantly expose them to nude photography, then what kind of generation are we risking to raise? Many have reasoned.
I’m personally very sensitive to nude photographs. I see no value behind a woman posing naked and posting it online or have it spread on a magazine. I would prefer a stone sculptor of a naked woman over a real life naked woman anytime.
Indeed my sensitivity is so deep, that I recently thought a carving of a head of a Maasai woman with her breasts bare, wasn’t appropriate to put on an office desk and settled on another carving that was less revealing. I had been sent on an errand by a close friend to get a gift.
My views aside. I respect a woman’s decision to bare it all if she finds it perfectly comfortable as I consider her an adult in her normal functioning capacities. However, I wonder what would have initially pushed her to that level, where she feels that the only way to prove her confidence is to strip naked? Couldn’t there have been a much better, different way to prove this other than a naked body?
What do you think?