When is nudity offensive?

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  1. Aya_Hajime profile image61
    Aya_Hajimeposted 14 years ago

    When is nudity offensive and when is nudity art? Does it matter if the people are real or virtual? What is your criteria for where you draw the line? Or is nudity bad because of the type of people it attracts to the community? Perhaps all nudity is art, and some art pieces are offensive. 

    Is all nudity not allowed on Hubpages? Where does Hubpages stand on this issue?

    I am thinking about writing something on this subject so thank you very much for your answers.

    1. profile image0
      Poppa Bluesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      It really all comes down to the "eye of the beholder" which makes it impossible for an artist to judge. Some art is offensive, well to me anyway, and some art I wouldn't even consider art but those pieces might capture unimaginable sums at auction! The whole purpose of art is to trigger a response, a reaction, or an emotion. I suppose if the artist wants a certain reaction they would have to consider who there audience is. A nude will get an entirely different reaction at a church picnic then it would at a singles mixer. Ultimately the artists should create their vision without boundaries and if it is good an audience will find it that appreciates it while other audiences shun it.

      1. Aya_Hajime profile image61
        Aya_Hajimeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I really liked what you said about creating a vision without boundaries. That is so poetic.

        You bring up a very good contrast between the church picnic and the singles mixer. I suppose what I am trying to understand here are the reasons why each of those groups feel the way they do. Some people object to all public nudity. Is it because nudity may stir up strong emotions in others that can lead to bad behavior? Or is nudity just somehow shameful in its own right? Would you like living next to a nude beach? Why, or why not?

        More generally, what is your level of tolerance for nudity and what criteria do you use to determine that tolerance?

        1. profile image0
          Poppa Bluesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I doubt you will ever understand the reasons why some people find nudity offensive and I don't think an artist should even try! You simply must accept that in a world of 6 billion people, everyone has their own feelings about everything. Everyone is different in some way and will react differently to a given situation or piece of art. That however should not be the artist's concern. The artists creates what he or she "sees"  and the marketplace of individuals will determine collectively whether or not they like it.

          Personally, I have no objection to nudity at all. Interestingly, when we're babies we can run around completely nude and everyone will think it's cute! As adults when we become aware of sex and suddenly their is shame associated with nudity. There is something in our culture, well American culture anyway, that says nudity is improper, shameful, and immoral perhaps that's why in most places here you would be arrested for being nude in public. I think many people can't separate sex from nudity, but to me, they are two completely different things! Would you desire a woman more if she was nude than if she was clothed? I doubt it! In fact in many cases, it might well be the opposite! I have been to the nude beach so it certainly wouldn't bother me to live next to one, but I wouldn't choose to live next to the nude beach just because it was there. There are many other more important factors in determining where one lives.

          Tolerance again is an individual thing. You can recall the Danish newspaper that printed the cartoon of Mohammad with the bomb for his turbine. As an artist it probably would not be a good idea to display such images in a gallery in the Muslim holy land. Again, you must consider your audience. Create what you will, but choose wisely where you put your art on display.

          1. Aya_Hajime profile image61
            Aya_Hajimeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            That is a very good point. I have been thinking about this too. It seems to me that the older cultures/religions did not have such a strong association between sex and shame. Again it comes back to the shift from the more feminine/earth based cultures to the more patriarchal cultures. Thank you very much. This give me a lot of ideas to put in my article.

  2. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Hubpages stand where Google stands - no nipples, etc., and it has nothing to do with morals and has everything to do with business. smile

    As for me - it is a question of taste - you may have no nudity and no taste, and it still will look vomiting - like those dancing girls on ads a while ago, and you may have most intimate parts displayed with taste and look beautiful smile

    1. Aya_Hajime profile image61
      Aya_Hajimeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      You bring up so many good points. I am always a bit confused as to why it is ok to see nipples on men but not on women. Freud, I am sure, will have much to say about this. Much of which is probably even true smile It is also interesting that on television it is acceptable to say "penis" or "vagina" but somehow not ok to say the four-letter word. I suppose what is acceptable to businesses is to try and not alienate any vocal, large group of customers.

      I agree. I wonder if it is possible to try and capture some of that "tastefulness". I suppose that will be very difficult since it is extremely subjective, ever changing, and sometimes indescribable. When machines gain sentience, I wonder what their taste on nudity will be smile Maybe it will be Google's taste.

    2. Ralph Deeds profile image70
      Ralph Deedsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Google isn't entirely consistent. Here's an example

      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Ralph, she is definitely cute (and I already saw your last hub about her smile). Not sure what this pic has to do with Google though - I did not see any adsense around smile
        But in general, yeah, of course, the right thing to say would have been "where Google requirements for publishers stand" smile

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
          Ralph Deedsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Maybe I missed your point. Mine was that nudity does not equal pornography. Recently there were two operas and a play featuring complete nudity on New York City stages. Books of nude photographs can be found in any bookstore. It's too bad that its apparently impossible for HubPages to sort out the pornography from the non-porn, artistic nudity.

  3. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Hmmm, I personally prefer women completely nude - providing this question is not for Poppa Blues only smile

    I don't think I will enjoy a sight of a nude obese or anorexic woman, though - but I can definitely tolerate it.

  4. broalexdotinfo profile image56
    broalexdotinfoposted 14 years ago

    I love nudity as in photography, professional shots taken by professional photographers. Usually the black and white nude photography is what I like most. I am still not much into nude photography but I wish sooner or later to be able to straighten my skills. wink

  5. Marisa Wright profile image88
    Marisa Wrightposted 14 years ago

    In my experience, societies which are comfortable with sexuality are happy to see bare flesh in the public domain and are more likely to see it as artistic.  Societies which are repressed and hypocritical about sexuality will not tolerate nudity in any form.

    1. Aya_Hajime profile image61
      Aya_Hajimeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      This is very interesting. It made me think of many things. I grew up in a more sexually strict culture, and I really wonder where it came from. It also made me think about how sexual repression is frequently used as a tool to repress women and women's rights.

  6. Uninvited Writer profile image76
    Uninvited Writerposted 14 years ago

    Well, there is nudity and there is nudity. I have nothing against the naked human body. However, I don't want to see close ups of crotches, vaginas, etc.

  7. Sony G profile image61
    Sony Gposted 14 years ago

    I think nudity becomes offensive when it is used as a vechile to sell. If an artist uses a nude body to deliver a message, then it is acceptable to me, if an entrepreneur uses the image of a naked woman to sell a bag of pasta that irkes the femminist in me. Believe me guys I come from a European country and if you watch Italian TV the women on a lot of commercials have very little on... Don't get me wrong - I am far from being prude but exploitation is something which I don't like that's all.

    God created perfect bodies and even when a body is deformed it is still the temple of god and should be respected. On one hand I have to agree with uninvited writer when she talked about vaginas and crotches but then if an artist is good enough to portray genitals in a way which is artistic, I think it would not be offensive.

    The concern about nudity and art is very old, but when you come to think about it michelangelo's sistine chapel is full of nude bodies pulsating with energy and colour and we are speaking about a sacred place where the Pope is elected! Michelangelo's work survived untouched for some time before a Pope with prude taste censored it... so this brings us back to the argument that the offensiveness in nudity depends on the eye of the beholder.

    I see nothing wrong with an artist using nudity in his work - if he or she is using it for artistic purposes, not to make an easy sale...

    1. Aya_Hajime profile image61
      Aya_Hajimeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yes that irks me somewhat too but what really bothers me is this: First of all, nudity works pretty well in selling things, that is why advertisers use it. Yet, there is this general but silent acceptance that nudity/sex is somehow wrong or shameful. Yet there must be a fair size of the population that obviously likes it. But then nobody wants to talk about it because it is wrong and shameful. smile

  8. JYOTI KOTHARI profile image61
    JYOTI KOTHARIposted 14 years ago

    If you come to India you will see the ancient and medieval temples ornamented with nude figures.Those figures are the milestones of art be it Khajuraho, Konark or Ranakpur.

  9. JYOTI KOTHARI profile image61
    JYOTI KOTHARIposted 14 years ago

    All of you are right .These posts are showing the behavior pattern of human race individually and socially.

    1. Misha profile image63
      Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Many thanks for letting us know! lol

  10. steimmanbernard profile image60
    steimmanbernardposted 14 years ago

    for me that is still an art if there is a moral grounds.

  11. JYOTI KOTHARI profile image61
    JYOTI KOTHARIposted 14 years ago

    It is just a matter of perception and attitude. Nudity itself is neither good nor bad. It depends on the eyes of the veiewer how he/she takes it.
    jyoti kothari

  12. Kika Rose profile image68
    Kika Roseposted 14 years ago

    I have no problem with nudity, as long as it's not me being nude. tongue My self esteem is WAY too low to go traipsing about in my birthday suit.

    Nudity in art, as many have stated, is all in the eye of the beholder. If I were to take a picture of myself with nothing on, I would find it distasteful. Others might actually like seing a fat, naked, 5'2, 18-year-old Minnesotan. wink You just never know.

    But still, as long as it's tasteful, it's fine. Heck, why not ask why images of people engaging in sex are shunned? Sex is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated, not demoted into the fiery pits of Hell.

  13. WHoArtNow profile image81
    WHoArtNowposted 14 years ago

    Art is about a message, a vision. However, one person vision, is another's nightmare. Art will always create conversation, debate and of course argument, that's why its one of the best forms of expressing yourself!

    A lot of people say the line between Art and Porn is very thin, I disagree with that however, nudity should be used as part of the message, not the main reason for the art, but part of it. Unnecessary nude annoys me, and art that objectifies woman really pisses me off!

    I am however perfectly fine with nudity, I was raised in a house where art was a big part of our daily lives, and we had some artistic nude pictures on the wall. To some they will seem shocking that at 3  I could see naked ladies everyday, out in the open, but to others its perfectly natural.

    "it is also interesting that on television it is acceptable to say "penis" or "vagina" but somehow not ok to say the four-letter word"

    @ Aya_Hajime - would this not be because 'penis' and 'vagina' are the biological terms and therefore official, whereas all the others would be slang. To me this is silly because you can't say a lot of words that are in the Dictionary for fear young children will hear it, yet they can pick up a dictionary at the age of 5 and read the word and the description!!

    As Poppa Blues said, there are 6 billion people in the world, and no 1 is the same, that means there are 6 billion different views on absolutely everything!

  14. thranax profile image73
    thranaxposted 14 years ago

    Nudity isn't offensive to me personally. It just brings bad people etc to the community. For most it is a question of morals etc etc and thus is why people shun it.

  15. JYOTI KOTHARI profile image61
    JYOTI KOTHARIposted 14 years ago

    Nudity is offensive when it is with a purpose to provoke sexuality  or if it is vulgur. It is rightly said that if a child runs nude it is cute but an adult it is not.
    Even if a picture of nude child is shown as a child porn it is offensive.
    In India there are Naga and Digambar jain Monks who lives nude the whole life !!  They are well respected in their society but many of the people think it wrong. So the whole thing is just matter
    of perception.

    Jyoti Kothari

  16. topstuff profile image60
    topstuffposted 14 years ago

    For me,the question is ''is  art nudity or is nudity an art?

    1. WHoArtNow profile image81
      WHoArtNowposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That's a great way of putting it topstuff, bravo! ...

  17. profile image0
    dabblingmumposted 14 years ago

    For me, it is when it looks pornographic.


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