Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nudity - still controversal?

I have just picked up a new photo competition challenge to read the words: "strictly NO nudity". Sighs. I guess there goes another contest I will not enter. Not because i cannot stick rules but because to me this has become a principle.Now in danger of comming across as an avid pornographer (hey – would that be so bad?) I really do wonder: what is this obsession with nudity in Second Life?As a photographer i'm sorry but I will not work with anyobody who set limits for what is actually photographed. I agree every contest should have rules, but i find it hard if the rules actually interfere in the artistic content.As a model i will most definately do nudity just as I see fit – and especially working with a good photographer or designer. I have modelled myself in RL, and the willingness to do nudity is never expected but always preferred, even if there are exceptions made for models who for some reason does not want to show lingerie or swimwear. They just don't work as much. But ask any TOP model - from Naomi Campbell til Kate Moss if they have ever posed naked and the answer is yes.As for the implications it is a moralistic issue: Perhaps it is because i was brought up in a part of the world where we have a very relaxed and liberated relationship with nudity, I have no problem with pornography and although the naked human body certainly does not belong everywhere, we do not really see anything morally wrong with it being on display in art, fashion and the likes.The naked body can be esthetic and pleasant and even without any hint of indecency or degradation (apart from in the head of the beholder) and this is why in art, the naked body is a prominent figure. These days it is also frequently present in cutting edge fashion photography, you can hardly open any European fashion magazine without seeing a naked female breast or tush in fashion spreads and beauty adverts. Even high fashion labels like YSL have chosen to promote one of their male fragrances with a gorgeous photo of a naked male model - full frontal - shot by the reknowned fashion photographer Solve Sundsbol. The advert appeared in many top glossies a couple of years back, and tho it was concidered slightly controversal Tom Ford had it down: what has fashion become if it can no longer be controversal? We're not talking suburbian girl scouts gatherings here remember - we're talking FASHION. cutting edge fashion....anyone??On the international runway a bare female breast hardly shocks anyone these days. I would like to see the faces of John Galliano or Donatella Versace if any professional model kicked up a stink over anything like that.This debate seems outdated. And still you do come across the occational heated discussions over Miley Cyrus showing her naked back for Annie Leibowitz cam or hear people go into hysterics over Janet's nipple slip. And not to mention – Michelle Obamas naked arms in a sleeveless dress!!!!!!!! OMG, i am laughing so much it hurts here. Have they no historic insights?? Didn’t the First Lady of all First Ladies – Jackie O – practically INVENT sleeveless fashion???
But in SL I have been on the runway with models who actually freaked at the sight of their own areolas. I have had designers ask me in an almost appologetic tone if i would mind showing a garment that is concidered "too revealing". I just do not get it - isn't it time to be more relaxed about this? All nudity is not nasty you know. Sometimes it can be both beautiful and innocent. Just a thought....