The Washington Times has a column by Marybeth Hicks about a family vacation in Southern Florida that involved a topless swimmer.
Not only is Marybeth indignant from her own point of view, she is angry because a woman bared her breasts in the presence of her 11 year old son.
Now Marybeth wonders if she is being a "prude". Yes, Marybeth, you are. Not only are you a prude, your attitude towards the naked human body is unnatural and unhealthy, and you are passing this ignorant point of view on to your kids.
I'll bet Marybeth was shell shocked when Janet Jackson's nipple flashed on the TV screen for a nanosecond.
Marybeth's 11 year old son is wiser than she. When confronted with the topless swimmer, he asked if they were going to get ice cream. Good for him, the sight of a nude body did not traumatize him in the least, but Marybeth, in making a huge issue out of the encounter by writing a newspaper column and getting all self-righteous, is going to make him think that something "dirty" happened.
People are born to swim naked. The whole idea of a swimsuit is the most ridiculous fabrication known to mankind. It serves absolutely no purpose but to cover up body parts that a) others might find offensive or b) are deemed off-limits to the eyes of others due to modesty. Neither of these reasons make any sense at all.
Marybeth calls the swimmer an "exhibitionist". I highly doubt that this is the case at all. Topless swimming is "normal" in most overseas countries and is catching on here. Why on earth should the site of a woman's nipples be any more offensive than those of a man? Men have nipples, too. Is it because the female breast has been over-sexualized by popular culture, or is there really something dirty or shameful about it? Topfree equality in the United States is just a matter of time.
So, Marybeth, your 11 year old son will now learn about the female anatomy from porn on the internet or in magazines because of your wrongheaded prudishness. I'm sure he's never seen you naked (God forbid), except perhaps when he was too young to remember the nourishment he got from your breasts, or was he bottle fed because you felt shame at exposing your nipples to him?
How sad that the sight of a healthy young woman enjoying body freedom on the beach can be turned into something dirty and disgusting by small minded people like Marybeth.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
- Sean Connery a nude artist's model in his youth? According to this article, it's true.
- Nudity has become the focus regarding a new play about baseball, homosexuality and prejudice, which is upsetting to the actors because people are not talking about the story or the characters, only the fact that there are naked people on stage.
- In China, a new art exhibit devoted to images of the nude female body is open to children. "The human body is not mysterious and the exhibition aims to display the beauty of the human body as well as providing opportunities for art lovers to exchange views on art and painting," said Liu Rongyan, vice-curator of the Heilongjiang Art Museum, the exhibition sponsor. "Today's kids and teenagers have easy access to pictures of the human body on the Internet, but most are pornographic pictures and unsuitable for the healthy development of young people," said Zhang Kun, a sociologist with the Harbin University of Science and Technology. Good for them, the Chinese seem to recognize what Americans refuse to acknowledge - that the naked human body is natural, normal and healthy. Shielding children from the most basic of realities can only be harmful in the long run.
- The clothing-optional pools at Harbin Hot Springs in California must be a sample of what it is like to be in Heaven.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
- Yet more controversy over nude art. This time it's about a painting on display on Florida that is clearly caricaturish in nature and completely non-sexual, showing the back of an amply endowed woman looking at herself in a bathroom mirror. Again, it took just one lunkhead to stir things up, a local shopkeeper who calls the painting "inappropriate and indecent". Judge for yourself here.
- Morningwood, a New York band, challenges the audience with a song called "Take Off Your Clothes", and many obey.
- New film "Confetti" features a naturist wedding. Nice to see naturism going more mainstream.
- Here's another nice article about a woman who has found fulfillment as an artist's model.
Monday, April 24, 2006
- Being pregnant has become hipper, more glamorous and even sexy, and many women are going to a professional photographer to record their nude, pregnant bodies for posterity.
- Did you know that if you are convicted of public nudity in Iowa and Wisconsin, your name will be published online as a sex offender, along with rapists and child molesters? So says this article.
- A California photographer uses nude models to express his love for trees. "Focus on your breathing, on the quiet, on your connection to the beautiful living things we're touching," Gescheidt said. "Feel the energy we have as a group. It's beautiful! You're human mulch - give yourself back into the earth."
Sunday, April 23, 2006
I truly do not understand why, in the 21st Century, we are still grappling with the issues of what is art and what is pornography when it comes to the depiction of the nude human form. The Bucks Gallery of Fine Art in Newtown, Pennsylvania, is presenting an exhibit called "Women: The Standard Bearers" by artist Jacques Fabert. Without question these nudes are a celebration of women as "bearers of life" and the "embodiment of love". So what's the problem? Apparently some people are offended at the exhibit as being inappropriate for a "family" community. A local columnist reports that one local woman views the paintings as too risque and does not wish to see them when she drives into town. This is just plain ignorance. To equate the classical style works of this 81 year old artist with Hustler-style titillation is patently absurd. “This is unfortunate,” he (Fabert) said. “It's taking advantage of ignorance, the inability to discern art from the lowest common denominator.” So true. American society has to stop listening to the cacophony from the religious conservatives who really do not have a clue when it comes to art and are only fueling fires to ignite outrage and thus raise money for their own false prophet empires. And the few who actually believe that this high form of art is something to be ashamed of should not be given the opportunity to set the standards by which we live. Go meditate and congretate with others who share your views, and leave the real world and all of its beauty to the rest of us.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
- Today is Earth Day. Is it too late to do something about global warming? Saving the Earth is not a partisan issue. Both Democrat and Republican politicians have squandered precious opportunities over the past 30 years to cut back on all types of harmful emissions and reduce our dependence on oil. Anyway, I'm going to spend the day naked and natural, and you should, too.
- In Tehran, Iran, 50 police patrol cars are bring put in service to crack down on woman who show too much of their bodies in public. "In our campaign, we will confront women showing their bare legs in short pants," said Tehran's police chief, Morteza Talai. "We are also going to combat women wearing skimpy head-scarves, short and form-fitting coats, and the ones walking pets in parks and streets," he added. If there is any hope for Iran, it will stem from the general population rising up against this type of tyranny.
- It gets worse. In Jakarta, Indonesia, a new "porn law" could put any artist in jail for including nudity in their work, and any woman could be fined or worse for showing as much as a bare shoulder.
- Why is Josephine Baker still relevant today? An exhibit at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis is celebrating the centennial of her birth, and the cornerstone of her legacy is her constant willingness to change. Whether naked or clothed in haute couture, Baker was always finding new ways to liberate herself, and thus she is still liberating others today.
- Oberlin College in Ohio stages a Burlesque show with nearly nude performers. The audience shouted out "Boobs!" and "Titties!" and "Take it off!" while encouraged from the stage emcee to "consume large quantities of alcohol". You read the article and come to your own conclusions, I personally have mixed feelings about this.
Friday, April 21, 2006
- A Berkeley man has been arrested for doing carpentry in the nude. Hope he wasn't using a power saw.
- Three hundred Spaniards will strip for photographer Spencer Tunick.
- Mexican farmers stage naked or nearly naked protest.
- Baylor University threatens expulsion to any student posing nude for Playboy magazine.
- Gay artist is outraged at the lack of disrespect people have for his sculpture's penis.
- Exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland tells the story of the female nude.
- Developer tries to get approval for a nudist resort near St. Louis, Missouri.
- In Idaho, nude art has been banned from a student show. What is art without the human figure? Here's another article on the controversy.
- The World Naked Bike Ride is June 10. Be there and be bare, if you dare. Here's the official link.
- In Australia, bare midriffs on cheerleaders have been banned because it is feared that a girl with a poor body image might be more prone to anorexia if she exposes her belly. This has to be the stupidist rule I've ever heard of. What's next? Girls with chubby cheeks wearing hoods? Geez.
- What's up with all those actresses getting naked, while at the same time others are balking at the opportunity?
- Two Swarthmore College seniors call for students to get naked this summer. Another sign that attitudes are indeed changing regarding normal nudity and body acceptance.
- At age 49, a Meijer cashier in Detroit has found what she was born to do as a nude artist's model.