Sunday, November 02, 2008

Smile! You're on Someone's Camera!

A Kansas State student seems somewhat stunned to discover nude photos online of Tufts University's Naked Quad Run participants.
Public nudity Web site has posted hundreds of pictures of students participating in Tufts' 2007 Naked Quad Run (NQR), clearly exposing the faces and nude bodies of undergraduates as they dash through the residential quad.
It seems that this some people are simply not reading the Constitution of the United States, which is as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Many people argue that the Constitution implies a right to privacy, which is where the Roe v. Wade has it's foundation, but if you are in public, even running around naked, you have no right to privacy. Anyone can take your picture, post it on the Internet, and send it around the world. The Constitution does not define the word "press", but there has never been any restriction on anyone from declaring his or her self a journalist and publishing a newspaper, operating a radio or TV station, or even writing a blog. This is the era of the "citizen journalist" where basically anyone with a cell phone or camera can record events and publish photos and reports.

As information sharing becomes easier and easier, our society becomes much more aware and forgiving of activities that would once have been unforgivable transgressions. When Kennedy was President, the press knew about his sexual proclivities, but it was not reported because it would certainly have resulted in his immediate resignation. Less than four decades later, we had a President actually survive a sex scandal while still in office.

Nixon could not survive the Watergate scandal, but Reagan survived Iran-Contra, and Bush has survived through Iraq, Gitmo, torture, spygate, Katrina, and more. Bush was also elected even though he was an alcoholic and notorious frat boy party animal, and Barack Obama's past drug use has not even been an issue.

The point I am driving at is that having a nude photo of yourself on the Internet or in a magazine will soon prove to be inconsequential. Teens are sexting nude photos of themselves to each other at an epidemic rate, Facebook and MySpace are filled with sexy photos of people looking to hook up, airline security is virtually stripping down passengers with X-Ray machines, and celebrities seem to be naked wherever they can be found.

It will simply get to the point where so many people have a naked photo somewhere, that it will cease to be shocking. The sooner we get used to the fact that we all have human bodies the better.

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Anonymous said...

I was confused as to the point of the piece in the on-line student newspaper. Is it simply to report the fact that photos of the Tufts NQR were taken and are posted on the Internet? Why should that surprise anyone? Or is it to report that there was "uproar and unease" from the students upon learning that they had been photographed? What were they expecting? And I find it difficult to believe that anyone who chose to run in the nude would be "upset." Obviously they were comfortable being seen by their classmates--male and female--while nude, so why should they care if others get to to see them nude after the fact. Everyone should grow up. Nude is natural!!

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "It will simply get to the point where so many people have a naked photo somewhere, that it will cease to be shocking. The sooner we get used to the fact that we all have human bodies the better."

I couldn't agree more. Ideally, we should all post full-frontal nude photos of ourselves. Unfortunately, in this crazy society in which we live not everyone enjoys the luxury of doing so--some would lose their jobs, etc, etc. Maybe it would help if more celebrities--not just Hollywood types--but politicians and the like had nude photos of themselves disseminated. We'd soon see that they'd manage to survive the "scandal," keep their offices, etc. and nudity would just become less scandalous.

It's odd, isn't it, that people--male and female--will pose for photos wearing the skimpiest of bathing suits, which reveal every detail of the shape and size of their genitalia, but they won't appear in public with their genitals exposed like every other animal in the world. Sorry, I'm just ranting.