Write me at least three paragraphs in response…
I need your help. I’m confused.
I have a question about nudity.
I don’t mind nude art at all, but I’ve noticed that many students who take this course seem quite put off by it. Since I’ve never been offended by nudity, I don’t understand the cause of the consternation.
Whether or not you are offended, personally, I would like you to speculate about why some students might be upset. Could they all be upset for the same reason? Could there be different reasons from person-to-person?
I suspect three possible causes:
– lack of exposure to art in K-12 education causes surprise, suggesting that K-12 education needs to introduce nude art sooner
– advertising and extreme fitness/obesity culture has made us hate our own bodies (this explains both eating disorders and the negative reaction to the art)
– a fear of sex being fundamentally evil and the human body being, first and foremost, sexual in design
In a related manner, it is also interesting to me that nudes rendered by older civilizations have realistically proportioned bodies, with normal amounts of fat, normal curves, and modest-sized secondary sex organs. Does the realism of these bodies help, in any way, as an antidote to more exaggerated bodies in modern advertising, sculpted by steroids and plastic surgery, Photoshop, and eating disorders? Or is the realism what is offending people? I can see the realism being both more comforting and more disturbing.
More broadly, can the contemplation of tastefully rendered nudes from other cultures that do not share our particular cultural prejudices help us hate our own bodies less? Could that be a good thing?
Or do Americans love their own bodies, which is why looking at nudes in art is not a problem at all for them, except in rare cases?
Also, is it true that the more students look at this art, the more comfortable with it they get? Or the more uncomfortable? I would assume more comfortable, but that assumes that students who are upset don’t turn away from the art right away and not look at it for more than a split second.