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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Taking Off Your Clothes Proves Nothing

I recently spent a Saturday evening at my parent’s house watching a documentary on the JFK assassination. Yes, I know how lame that sounds. It was fascinating however. Hearing their commentary on where they were, what they thought, how they felt. It was like it had happened to them last month.

Something I noticed when I was watching was how polite people were in comparison to today. Specifically, a gentleman who was interviewed after Lee Harvey Oswald was assassinated. When asked what profession his killer, Jack Ruby was, the gentleman said, " I would rather not say". Mr. Ruby owned a strip club. The man being interviewed didn't want to violate an innocent person's ears with smut. A sharp contrast to today, where if you say the most outrageous things while interviewed you may get 5 million views on YouTube, or better yet an auto tune version of your interview and downloadable on iTunes.

How have we arrived to where we are today? I am not a prude by any means, but listening to the radio, I often have to turn it off before my kids hear some of the lyrics. Even 80's music used innuendoes to get their point across, just listen to Prince if you need an example.(Pocket full of Trojans?) You had to think about it to find out what they meant, and to be honest, I'm still figuring some of them out. Now they just flat out sing “I'm going to f*ck you.”

The other trend I have noticed is that celebrities and other women are liberating themselves from the falseness of Photoshop by taking naked photos of themselves on the internet. To show an example of what a "normal" body looks like. There is no normal. When I was a girl, I discovered that each of my friends and I had unique bodies in the gym locker room. I didn't need to go much further than that. And lucky for me, nobody can share that image from their memory.

But has anyone thought about what all of these images of naked women does for young men? Raising four boys I think about these things. They are too young to have access to free range Internet grazing, but what if they saw the picture of Keira Knightly posing naked to show what real bodies look like. Chances are, they wouldn't see the point. They would see boobs, free access to boobs.

In our house, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with nudity. The boys think that clothing is optional and I think that is great. But since I am the lone female and they are getting older I choose to be discriminatory when changing. First, I don’t appreciate the questions about my anatomy and secondly, who really wants to see their mom naked?

My Dad is an artist and we have several examples of nudity in various mediums around the house. I think the female body is beautiful and someday I want my sons to discover it for themselves. That is part of growing up. Like Columbus discovering the New World for the first time. If he would have been given a painting of exactly what it looked like prior to going on his voyage, he may have just stayed home instead. I exaggerate to express a point, but hopefully the experience of seeing a woman's body for the first time will be memorable and with someone they care about. Better yet, it will be shared with their girlfriend in real life and not between him and his phone and his girlfriend.

I don't want them to have the impression that it is normal for a girl to show them her naked body just because he wants to see it. There needs to be value with not taking your clothes off. The private celebrity photos that were leaked would never have been a problem if they hadn't been taken in the first place. If you want to show someone your naked body, then go to their house, knock on their door and show them in person. If you send it via text then expect to share it with the world.

Nudity is getting so commonplace that it isn’t even shocking anymore. If people keep trying to one up each other with who can shock the most, then what will be left? Kim Kardashian tried to break the Internet with a photo of her butt. What I didn't understand is that anyone could see her butt and then some if they Googled her. That is after all, how she got famous in the first place. The fact that the public has already forgotten just shows how impressionable it was.

Had I posted naked photos of myself all over the place before I met Don, he would have had to share me with the rest of the world. Even worse, my kids would have had to share that image of their mother with the world. Eww.

All of these photos trying to prove what real bodies look like are making a point that you have to prove something in the first place. Beauty is subjective. A woman taking her clothes off is an easy way to get attention. But as soon as she does, it will cancel out anything she has to say.

The more powerful thing would be for her to keep your clothes on; that way the words she says can actually be heard.

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