Nudity in art and the downfall of morality

It suddenly occurred to me, while watching some old paintings, that nudity in art has been in decline over the last number of decades.Why do I think so? Look at this painting by Rubens:
 photo rubens_paris_2_zps5b104d08.jpg
Many nude people in it, and most people will appreciate this as art. In the time that this painting was made (1606/1608 –source-) no one made any fuss about it.

Then there is this painting, made in 1915 (-source-) by Adolf Heinrich Hansen:
 photo AdolfHeinrichHansen-MotherAndChildAtTheBeach_zpsca034c12.jpg
No one, except for the obvious, will have a problem with this scene where a mother and her child are at the beach. These days, when a photograph appears somewhere that shows the same basic image, many people will try to beat each other in shouting ‘child porn’. That’s wrong, as there is no porn in this picture. Just a nude child having a good time at the beach. I’m in Europe. When you go to a beach here you’ll see lots of small children running around naked, and nobody makes a fuss about it.

I’m glad that at least in paintings no censorship is used. Please, look at this and tell me if you think this option is brilliant:
Art censored
I’m quite convinced that it’s not. So why is harmless nudity (yes, nudity is harmless!) then so often censored in our modern age?

(Indeed, this is not a painting, but photography is a modern art-form.)

It’s all down to the excesses that the porn industry bestowed upon us, and the manners of extreme people that take things much too far. Because of them, the knights of morality put a stamp on anything that shows parts of a body that we ‘should be ashamed of’. Not only the sexually extreme are responsible for this, however. Overall hypocrisy which is often fuelled by religion and other factions also plays a part in it. It’s sad that the world desires so much ‘guidance’ in what’s acceptable in nudity. What happened to the common sense in morals?

Should nudists be represented by beautiful people? | Naked Historia

Reblogged from NakedHistorian:

Should nudists be represented by beautiful people?

I was thinking about this whilst writing about Lady God1va.  Being an attractive woman, she is the sort of person the media want to have as a spokesperson for naturism.  It is unfortunate, but many people’s aversion to nudism is not directed to nudity as to ugliness.  How many times have you seen ignorant trolls posting “I don’t want to see that” and similar comments in response to articles which include pictures of old or overweight naturists.  A lot of people are very superficial.  Recent interviews in Portsmouth about whether men should be allowed to go topless often got the response “It’s ok if they are not fat.” The media would rather show (and the public would rather see) young, fit naturists; preferably female ones, who are seen as less threatening.

However, interviews with attractive female naturists are likely to attract the wrong sort of attention.  How many people watching “My daughter the teenage naturist.” chose to watch it because of an interest in naturism and how many were watching it because it featured a young naked woman?  Perhaps people might tune in to see boobs, but learn something useful and interesting about naturism.  However it could also perpetuate the sexualisation of nudity.

The use of attractive spokespeople also leads to the opposite effect, with people saying “It’s ok for people who look like her.”   This was the response of some people when nudists in Manchester were promoting a naked dinner party.  If attractive people are talking about being naked people with poor body confidence will compare themselves and think “I’m not good enough”.  If older, overweight people are advocating nudism, them shallow members of the public with take the attitude of “I don’t want to see that.” Which leads to wanting nudists to keep out of public areas.

The only solution seems to be having us represented by a mixed group of people of all ages and shapes, but this potentially invites both types of negative responses.

What do people think?

(Original at Should nudists be represented by beautiful people? | Naked Historia.)

Nude recreation in the Netherlands

Delft.Probably all naturists and nudists in the Netherlands know about it. A while ago the city council of Delft close the local nude beach because of ‘too much sexual harassment’ as reported by people. Since then persistent nudists are fined time and again because they don’t give up on ‘their’ beach. Yesterday in an article in a leading Dutch newpaper: Herman van der Helm, who frequents the (prior) nude beach and co-founder of the naturist swimming association: “This week I already was fined 5 times, 3 of which in one day”.

Nude beach closed

The article mentions that the police received many positive reactions of clothed people:

According to the city of Delft did the police receive many positive reactions. ‘Clothed people praise the way the police handles this,’ says a spokesperson of the city.

This can hardly be seen as proof. No one mentions any numbers. Say there are 25 nudists who complain about losing their beach and there are 3 ‘positive reactions’ then the balance is entirely off.

The Dutch Nudist Foundation NFN keeps a watchful eye on the happenings in Delft.

Naaktrecreatie in Nederland

Delft. Waarschijnlijk hebben alle naturisten en nudisten het gehoord. Het naaktstrand in de Delftse Hout is officieel gesloten en het regent bonnen voor de mensen die er alsnog naakt recreëeren. Gisteren verscheen er een artikel op AD.nl. Hierin zegt Herman van der Helm, die vaste klant van het (voormalige) naaktstrand en mede-oprichter van de Naturistische Zwemvereniging Delft is: ‘Ik heb binnen een week al vijf bekeuringen gehad, waarvan drie bonnen op dezelfde dag.’

In het artikel wordt geschreven dat de politie juist positieve reacties heeft ontvangen van geklede recreanten:

Volgens de gemeente Delft zijn er bij de politie juist positieve reacties binnengekomen. ‘Geklede recreanten prijzen de aanpak van de politie,’ zegt een woordvoerder van de gemeente.

Dit is amper als bewijs aan te dragen. Er worden geen aantallen genoemd. Stel dat er 25 nudisten klagen over het verlies van hun naaktstrand en er zijn helemaal 3 ‘positieve reacties’ binnengekomen, dan ligt de balans wel helemaal scheef.

De NFN blijft alert op wat er in Delft gebeurt.

Where is the nude beach?

[google-translator]

Yesterday I had a lucky moment and was able to go to our local nude beach. As I walked the last stretch, I met a young lady who was clearly training for the 4 day marches that are held in my area next week. We struck up a bit of a conversation and at one point she told me that someone had come up to her and asked her where the nude beach was.Her eyes became big even as she recounted the event, as if she’d been asked to help kill someone and then hide the body.

I asked her if she had been able to point that person in the right direction. She hadn’t. Well, as I was going there, it was only a matter of time before she learnt where the nude beach is. As I wished her happy walking and headed for the entrance to the beach (it’s a small gate to pass through) she stared at me for a bit. I assured her the beach was there, as she could also see on the large sign that’s posted right next to it.

She didn’t make any remarks about it. That’s good. Maybe she’ll be able to help others out with her new-found knowledge.

Discrimination against the male body?

A little while ago I wrote a blog post about clothes and not wearing any. In that post I inserted a small nudist image of myself that I took on my vacation in England. I stored that image on Photobucket.com, a place that usually is quite good about storing images with undressed people. However, when I looked at the blog post a day later, the image was gone. It was replaced by a placeholder stating that the image was removed as it offended against Photobucket’s regulations and national laws.

The offending image in question is this one (original size too):

Deleted by Photobucket.

(obviously no longer hosted on Photobucket)

As you see, there’s nothing explicit or offending in it (at least, I think so). The interesting bit is that Photobucket doesn’t have any qualms about hosting a picture that shows a woman with full frontal nudity:

Nudist surfer photo nudist001_zps0d7f2986.jpg

(Image linked directly from Photobucket, same image, original size as well.)

Is it really so horrible and offending to look at a nude man that ‘national law’ makes them take down that picture? Or is this more something that Photobucket themselves enforce without being honest about it? I can imagine that there are more men working there than women, and most of them probably aren’t nudist or naturist, nor understanding of that. Am I wrong in assuming that they’d rather see a naked woman than a naked man, just because the emphasis is on ‘naked’? Probably not.

My picture does not show child-porn, it’s not explicit in any sexual way. I’m simply leaning on a wall and look out over the area. And I’m wearing no clothes. In the other picture a woman is walking over a beach and carries a surf board. And she is wearing no clothes.

I dare state that accepted nudity would eliminate this discriminatory problem. After all, nude is nude, regardless if it concerns a man or a woman. As long as nudity is considered something to be secretive about, the general public will never be educated and nudism will never become a normal (accepted) thing.

This is probably better for Photobucket.

It’s too bad that the definition of norms always rests with a majority. After all, a majority can mean that all the fools are on one side…

Naakt zijn is ongehinderde vrijheid

Kleren zijn gewoon lastig. Vaak duurt het lang voor je iets vindt dat je aanstaat, dan moet je zoeken naar de juiste maat, en als dat allemaal gedaan is moet je op vanalles en nog wat letten zodat je je mooie dure nieuwe kleren niet verknoeit. En dan moet je ook nog oppassen dat je ze kunt blijven dragen.

Strakke jeans
Is dit makkelijk?

Kleren zijn beperkend. Hoe je het ook draait of keer, tenzij je iets draagt dat 2 maten te groot is zal er altijd iets strak zitten, de bloedstroom afknijpen, op een paar spieren drukken of andere leuke dingen. Om nog maar niet te denken aan de omstandigheden waaronder veel van die kleding wordt gemaakt, door mensen die te lang en hard moeten werken voor te weinig beloning, zodat anderen hun zakken nog wat meer kunnen vullen.

Kleren helpen ook om jezelf te verstoppen. Koop iets duurs en je ziet er duur uit, ook al ben je niet rijk genoeg om rijk te zijn.

Kijk eens naar nudisme.

In the woods

Gooi die kleren eens uit. Wees jezelf. Accepteer en waardeer je lichaam zoals nudisten en naturisten doen. Het is bevrijdend, en tegelijk een statement dat je de standaarden weggooit die de moderne maatschappij op je drukt. Leef naar je eigen standaarden. Denk er eens serieus over, en wees eerlijk. Verwar je dat wat iedereen denkt niet met wat jij zelf denkt? Stap uit je kleren in de veiligheid van je eigen woning, in je slaapkamer, met de deur op slot zodat niemand je ziet. Ontdek wie je echt bent. Probeer het verschillende keren, om aan het idee en het gevoel te wennen, de sensatie en het zien van je eigen lijf. Het is van jou, ongehinderd door kleding. Proef de vrijheid waarmee je je opeens kunt bewegen.

Probeer het maar eens.

Being Nude is unrestricted freedom

Clothes are cumbersome. Often it takes a while to find something you like, then it takes time to find the right size, and once you have them, there usually are all kinds of things you have to watch out for so you don’t ruin your precious and often expensive clothes. Or your shape.

tight jeans
Is this comfortable?

Clothes restrict. No matter how you twist or turn it, unless you wear something 2 sizes too large, there will be something that’s tight, blocking the blood flow, presses down on muscles or other fun things like that. And not to think about where clothes often are made, by poor people who work too long for too little, so others can fill their pockets some more.

Clothes also help you to disguise yourself. You buy something expensive and you look expensive, even when you’re not rich enough to be expensive.

Enter nudism.
In the woods

Drop your clothes. Be yourself. Accept and appreciate your body, like nudists and naturists do. It is liberating, and at the same time a statement that you throw off the standards that ‘modern life’ throws upon you. Live your own standards, and do think hard and be honest about that, so you don’t confuse what everyone else thinks with what you really think. Drop your clothes in the safety of your house, your bedroom, with the door locked so no one can see you. And discover who you really are. Try it several times to get used to the idea, the feeling, the sensation and the look of your body. It’s yours, unhindered by clothes. Enjoy the freedom you have in moving around in it.

Just try it.

Verzet tegen sluiting naaktstrand Delftse Hout

Via Reformatorisch Dagblad :

Verzet tegen sluiting naaktstrand Delftse Hout

28-06-2013 19:18 | Redactie regio

De sluiting van het naaktstrand in het natuur- en recreatiegebied de Delftse Hout in Delft is tegen het zere been van de Naturisten Federatie Nederland (NFN).

De NFN heeft deze week een voorlopige voorziening bij de Haagse rechtbank aangevraagd. Die aanvraag heeft tot doel sluiting van het naakstrand door de gemeente van tafel te krijgen, stelde NFN-directeur H. J. Kamerbeek vrijdag desgevraagd.

Reden dat de gemeente Delft het naaktstrand sluit, is dat er „op deze locatie de afgelopen jaren een duidelijke toename van strafbare feiten, aangiften en overlast geconstateerd is op het gebied van schennisplegingen en dan met name van zogenaamde herenontmoetingen”, meldde het college van burgemeester en wethouders in een recente brief aan de gemeenteraad, daarmee doelend op contacten tussen homoseksuelen.

„Geconstateerd is dat het naaktstrand steeds drukker bezocht wordt door mannen met andere bedoelingen dan naakt recreëren. Er worden met grote regelmaat ‘cruisende’ en daadwerkelijke seksuele handelingen verrichtende mannen gesignaleerd en aangehouden.” Overwogen is om stekelplanten te plaatsen om mannen te weren.

Het college wijst erop dat het naakstrand „heel open en toegankelijk” ligt en omsloten wordt door strandgebieden waar mensen wel strandkleding dragen.

„Er zijn het afgelopen jaar meerdere meldingen binnen gekomen van mensen (en kinderen) die ongewild geconfronteerd zijn met mannen die ‘met elkaar bezig’ waren.”

Diverse maatregelen, zoals het snoeien van de bosjes en extra inzet van toezicht en handhaving, hebben „niet tot een afname van activiteiten” geleid, aldus het college in de brief.

De gemeenteraad heeft recent over het naakstrand vergaderd en sloot zich in meerderheid aan bij het besluit van het college, zo stelde een woordvoerder van de gemeente Delft gisteren desgevraagd. Wel wil de raad dat het college alternatieve locaties onderzoekt.

De NFN, die ook een bezwaarschrift bij de gemeente indiende, stelt dat het best meevalt met de overlast. De NFN vindt de sluiting van het strand „veel te rigoureus en te drastisch”, zo meldt de naturistenorganisatie in een gisteren verstuurd persbericht. „Het is voor de NFN onverteerbaar dat deze maatregel alle bezoekers van het naaktstrand treft. Voor zover er al sprake is van overlast, dan gebeurt dit op een klein gedeelte van het naaktstrand en vooral buiten reguliere stranduren.” De NFN roept „alle naaktrecreanten die in de Delftse Hout worden weggestuurd of bekeurd op om ons daarover direct in kennis te stellen, zodat we tegen onterechte bekeuringen en verwijderingen in het geweer kunnen komen.”

(Origineel artikel)

Naked unless someone is offended.

Original post at The Nook – by Richard Foley:

Many people, in the clamour to be seen to be politically correct, seem to believe in the principle that you should not do something if somebody will be upset by it. Being naked in a public space, for instance. While at first sight, this might sound a most honorable viewpoint, I’m not sure people have thought it through entirely.

For instance, would you be happy to join a WNBR, where nudity IS accepted, and then during the course of the ride if some one person was upset at seeing naked people, you would immediately get dressed?

If so, this seems to me to be the very problem with society today (and maybe forever). If we only ever accept a situation on the basis that nobody (pun intended) will ever be upset, then we should bring back racial segregation because somebody is upset that there are blacks on their side of the street. We should also deny women the vote because someone might be upset, (at least half the population of Appenzell in Switzerland), that women should have any say in the running of the country. We should make gay people illegal (wtf! eh?) because somebody doesn’t like gay people, or is upset by the idea of somebody being gay, or is “offended” by the very thought. Etc. etc. etc.

As Bertrand Russell famously said in a letter to The Times: “In a democracy it is necessary that people should learn to endure having their sentiments outraged …”

True then, true today!