J thoughts on Nudity

J Kirk Richards : Click on this link to see the perspective of on LDS artist.

Jen : The following was written by her here, and is copied here in hopes you will really read it:

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VENUS DE MILO FROWNY FACE

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What has happened to us? I mean, really. Since when did we start viewing real women’s bodies as though they were either rotting carcasses we’ve unexpectedly stumbled upon, or like a double-bacon cheeseburger just outside the gates of our POW camp? When did we forget the important distinctions between the words “nude” and “naked” and “sex”? There are very important distinctions here, after all.
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I absolutely and fundamentally believe pornography to be degrading to women. It reduces woman to commodity; to an object created solely to satisfy sexual cravings. Porn viewers forget that there is a woman (a human being, for God’s sake!) behind those curves. Problem is, non-porn viewers forget that too in their haste to distance themselves from bodily women. We’d really like to forget that women are naturally created to have breasts, thighs, and a belly button. We have all kinds of dress codes in place to help us forget that women have bodies at all.  I’ve elaborated in a former post about sexual behavior versus modesty, and I stand by my original arguments discussing the distance between these two points now more than ever.
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But we forget that a woman’s body is functional on so many levels. It is the medium through which she experiences the world; the beauty, the sadness, the relationships, the work of survival, the experiences that make up our existence as humans here on earth, they are all experienced through our bodies, and a woman’s body (being human) is no exception to this. Sex is one experience a woman’s body is capable of. One of many. And yet women’s bodies in particular, and now Channing Tatum’s, are reduced to this single function. It’s boring.
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Imagine my delight then when I came across two photography projects last week. One is called the Nu Project, which focuses on de-sexualizing women’s bodies by reinventing nude portraiture.  The photographer captures images of everyday women in their homes in everyday poses. And guess what? They are completely naked. They have pubic hair. They have stretch marks. They have hips, breasts and belly buttons. They are also smiling, relaxed, and thoughtful. If you think you have the strength to look admiringly, as we humans were once capable of doing (I think? Maybe?), at the miracle that is the human form, hop over to this site.
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Another photography project called At Mother’s Breast captures the normalcy of breastfeeding.  The images show mothers and children bonding in a public location near you. Public breastfeeding. Gasp. Shouldn’t they be putting those inherently-sexual-objects away? If you think so, you and I will have to agree to disagree on this point. Breasts have become a microcosm of how women’s bodies are viewed in general. The female body can be sexual, as breasts can be; but it is not inherently so. Because heaven forbid that any object, person, or idea have a dual nature (or maybe something in between depending on the circumstance).
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One response to “J thoughts on Nudity

  • Miri

    This is perfect. Seriously. I haven’t read the other one yet, but I just finished J Kirk Richards’ post, and I think it explains things so very well. “From my perspective, her love of the human form in art did not detract from her spirituality or ability to serve. What could have detracted from her spirit? Being forced into a puritanical rejection of those good things that spoke to her soul.” Exactly.

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