I can’t stand Kim Kardashian, really, not one little bit. I have no idea why she is famous and why anyone pays any attention to her at all. But here I am writing a post to defend her. Not only to defend her but to wonder what happened to P!nk, someone who I do respect and admire and have no questions as to why she is famous. I had always felt that P!nk made a statement that empowered people with her music and videos and general push back against convention and she wasn’t ashamed of her body. It seems that might have changed. I won’t post either the pictures of Kim or the words that P!nk used to respond. You can find them all over the web. I instead want to speak to the larger issue of naked and shame.
Why do we get so upset about naked bodies? Really I don’t honestly see the big deal. I know that not everyone wants to show themselves naked and I am not about suggest that everyone be forced to do it, but why do we need to shame the people that do? Showing your naked body (consensually of course) does not diminish anyone, it does not cause you to be somehow less of a person by being naked and it does not cause the viewer to become less of a person by seeing you naked. You are not a less moral person when you are unclothed and you are not a more moral person if fully dressed. The fact that the world tends to cast being naked as such an immoral thing has led us to some very odd dichotomies. Bare skin is used in advertising all kinds of products (including P!nk posing nude for PETA) yet is decried every time someone flashes a bit on the web that isn’t tied to a product. Men somehow seem to get a pass on most of this shame. As long as they are attractive and fit no one cries out that they are using their bodies to get ahead and setting a poor example to all the young boys.
I think that if we could just find a way to accept that some people want to be naked and share that then we could move on to teaching people that naked is just another state of being and no more remarkable than the clothes that you wear. If we take the judgement and shame away it won’t have the same forbidden appeal that makes it such an effective advertising tool. Then it won’t matter if a student steal a teachers mobile (except for the theft) and shares the nude around school, the teacher won’t lose their job because they decided to take a sexy picture for their husband on Valentines day because no one will care that people are sometimes naked. Doesn’t that sound like a better world?
I’m sure that most of you know that Molly runs a weekly meme Sinful Sunday and this directly addresses the topic of nudity and teh interwebs so I thought I would interview her about this (a harder process than you might think).
So Molly, welcome to This D/s Life. We are so happy to have you here to answer some questions about your fantastic meme Sinful Sunday. Can you tell us what was the inspiration behind starting this?
In a world before Sinful Sunday (yes there really was one) there was a successful meme called Half Naked Thursday which in its heyday had attracted large numbers of bloggers to its door. Sadly by the time I discovered it things seemed to be on the down (I have no idea why) I started joining in but then all of a sudden it closed. I had already been posting my self portraits to my site but finding other exploring their bodies in the same way had been really exciting. I knew that taking self portraits had totally transformed how I viewed my own body and felt about how I looked and I thought that if I started by own meme maybe I could encourage other people to give it a go and create a judgement free welcoming community for them to do it in. Thus Sinful Sunday was born.
Oh thank you, what a fascinating answer. Why do you think it empowers people to be comfortable with their bodies?
I think we are constantly force fed a diet of images, mainly through the main stream media but not exclusively (Tumblr is jammed packed to the internet roof with them) that shows a very particular body type and that is not just for women either, for men as well. As humans we can not help but look and compare ourselves to what we see and for so many people what they see in those images does not compare to what they see when they look in the mirror. We are our own hardest and worst critics after all. However from my self portrait work I had discovered that taking photographs is actually very different to looking in a mirror, yes there are overlapping similarities but photographs hold a moment for you, they can catch an essence of who you are, what you look like, they can show you something about your own body you never saw/noticed before; the way your breasts curve, how your legs look from below, the way your knickers cut across your bottom creating a perfect curve, how your chest hair looks to a partner when they lay in your arms, how your cock looks when your hand is wrapped around it and so on. Suddenly you see things about your own body that you never saw before and then you share it, show it to others and they comment on what they see, and then you are presented with looking at your own body through their eyes and you realise that they see something hot, sexy, beautiful, masculine, feminine etc. I think that is a very positive and powerful experience that not only helps people to accept their bodies as they are but start to see them not through the lens of what we have been told is beautiful, sexy, desirable, but through the lens of what we actually really find sexy and desirable
And is nudity a requirement for Sinful Sunday? Can’t you be sexy, or show sexy while being fully dressed?
The requirement for Sinful Sunday is to try to create an image that has en erotic element to it. Nudity is not a requirement. It is about what you the photographer/blogger are comfortable with. Every week the images that we see range from fully exposed genital shots all the way to discarded condoms packets and rumpled sheets. There is no definition of what is sexy on Sinful Sunday it is about sharing what you find sexy, erotic, hot etc whether that be a full nude, graphic shots of sex acts or a picture of you in your favourite pair of socks. The point of the meme is to allow people to explore in whatever way they feel comfortable and share that with a community that is accepting of what that might be.
Wow Molly it seems you have created a place where people can show as much or as little of themselves as they want without fear, a place where they can explore and share what erotic means to them. I am pleased and proud to have been able to ask these questions of such a notable contributor to the erotic online community. Thank you!
You are welcome. I am sorry I did not dress for our interview but I have a feeling you preferred it that way 😉
I really did ask her all these question over Skype while writing the rest of this post because well that kind of thing amuses me.
I am not worried about Kim, she doesn’t seem to need the endorsement of anyone to do what she does, I don’t know what she does, but that doesn’t matter. I am a bit worried about P!nk and her sudden reversal, but I suppose that she doesn’t really care what I think. As she said in one of her follow up tweets
“you are all entitled to your opinions and feelings and I am open to hear all of it. But it won’t change my mind”
That does make me sad
Let’s just stop it with the shame.
P.S. Please feel free to let me know how wrong I am in the comments 🙂