‘Don’t you realise, you, naked, is kinda offensive?’
And let me highlight the tone of the word ‘naked’. As if it’s dirty. As if it’s rude.
This question reflects the majority of comments people make about my nudity. About my job. I must be offending people. Well I’ve said it before… my nudity is an extension of my individuality. That doesn’t mean I flaunt my body for everyone to see. I do it with consent from the people watching. Individuals don’t take offence since they freely choose to view me (and all my glory)!
Ohhhhh? The content I share online? Choice is still completely there. Please, unfollow me if you must. As a good friend eloquently put, ‘look elsewhere if for some frigid reason you find nature offensive.’
"OK, fine. But let's not lie, it's a little bit ‘gay’ isn't it?"
I know, there are so many things wrong with this one. But it’s been said. For now, let’s focus on how it highlights serious problems with what is considered the social norm. Specifically, the norm that it is only acceptable for women to show their bodies. Which, I’m sure you know, speaks to the oversexualisation of the female form. In fact, perhaps controversially for me it also speaks to the undersexualisation of the male form. The patriarchal preservation that men are, and ought only to be, ‘manly’.
I argue the human form (male, female, non-binary) is beauty. It is art. Rather than over-sexualising it we should simply embrace it.
Because these ridiculous notions related to nudity are erected by deep-rooted, outdated ideals of men using the female form for their own personal gratification. In order to reverse these beliefs, and subdue the metaphorical boner - the male form must be brought to the spotlight. We need to normalise it in the mainstream and equalise it in our minds.
And honestly, this normalisation needs to start with men. There have been occasions during life drawing sessions, when a man walks in and the reaction is always the same. Disgust, or what can only be described as fear. You can literally see the threat my naked body inflicts on their manhood. On their sexuality even. Because, of course, the male nudity taboo also links with homosexuality.
The countless derogatory slurs ever sliding into my DMs are my proof of this.
But let’s save the sexuality debate for another time. What should be up for debate now are these tired social norms. We need the debate front and centre, not in society’s shadows. It should be brought into the light, where our bodies can really be seen and not offend. It should highlight ideals of self love, body confidence and acceptance that is not socially restricted to one sex. And of course, it should always bear in mind consent.
But of course, this debate is of a tomorrow, not yet recognised.
For now, my art, my work, my body, will remain, when seen through the eyes of today’s world, what I refer to as beautifully crude.
This is part 3 of a series of blog posts by @moosehayat, click the button below for part 2