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Between Art and Vulgarity

Updated on September 14, 2014

Recently , I had been inadvertently looking at photos of scantilly clad women in lingerie in compromising poses that leaves nothing to the imagination. Although I honestly think the photos are done in decent taste, I still can't help but be offended by these photos. I cannot fathom the rhyme and reason to photograph women in provocative lingerie as an interesting photography subject other than the fact that it serves to instigate man's erotic fantasies thereby degrading the status of women to one exclusive role - that is to satisfy men's desires.As I see these photos and read comments on them which are only commented by men, I ,as a woman ,feel belittled and uncomfortable.These images conjures the idea that women are relegated to one and only function-that is to be objects of desire by men.I am by no means an art connoisseur to be able to draw the line between art and vulgarity but one thing that re-inforces my thoughts that women are captured commodities for men's fantasies is the fact that statistically, most advertisements ,whether in print or digital, it is always women's compromising photos that are the focal point of the ad.Hardly, you see photos of men in compromising poses in an advertising campaign.There is no escaping in the use and exclusivity of women as a tool to advance the profitability of marketing campaigns.Take Pinterest for example of which I am an active member.Pinterest ,in case you don't already know,is traditionally a wholesome web based digital board to pin your interests and hobbies in picture or video form.My pins and boards in Pinterest are mostly about spirituality and travel,both of which I am very passionate about.What surprises and shocks me is that I get suggestion pins from other pinners whose pictures are vulgar to me and offends my senses.I do not know how Pinterest formulate their algorithms to direct pins to me that are offending to my senses.I absolutely have nothing in common with these pinners and yet ,I get bombarded with pins that I have no interest in engaging with. I find these really disturbing.Pinterest is just one case where the use of women images are exhausted in the name of profitablity.

People are treading a thin line where to draw between art and vulgarity.With that premise,the standards are personal choices when it comes to deciphering whether an object is an aesthetic art or vulgarity mascaraded as art form.What I really find unacceptable , is that with constant use of women photos in compromising images ,women perception,especially the male population, has been reduced for the consumption of men's decadence.This idea totally negates what I had been taught by my generation that women are revered for their worth as human beings who by all accounts are at par with men.This is in no way taking the Machiavellian attitude of sparring with men in imposted self worth. But to some degree ,it can be a silent weapon to validate women's extended role in society. Lest men forget, beneath the soft and fragile exterior women may physically portray, there is a strength and vitality that is waiting to be tapped and explored.That is a fact that should not be underplayed nor ignored.Women are not limited to one role - to be ogled at and be looked at with insatiable desire as if that is the totality of pure womanhood if you can even call it that.Same with men too.They have qualities that women cannot undertake and better to leave that to the male population to perform and should be acknowledged accordingly.

My concern is the proficient use of women's compromising images mascaraded as an art form when in fact they totally offend the senses and eventually disregarding the valuability of women and regard that women were born only for the purpose of satisfying men's pleasure.It can be argued that there might be validity in these images but where do you draw the line? How do you make me understand and convince me that there is art in these images when I already have pre-concieved ideas when is art an art and when is it not? I have thought about this long and hard.My personal conclusion is : when an image offends you,follow your heart and listen to what it says.More likely than not, your heart is right. I REST MY CASE.CASE DISSOLVED.


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    • Globetrekkermel profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      Thanks for your comment Avian.How is life on the other side of the pond?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I believe that's why the Muslims believe in covering a woman's body, so there IS no temptation to men. Testosterone is a very strong drug that most men cannot handle.


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