Today I read that Scout Willis, the 22-year-old daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, walked topless through New York City as a protest against Instagram's ban on photos that show nipples. Similar bans exist on Facebook and Twitter, so I doubt that the photos she posted of her topless walk in Twitter will last long before they're removed. This is a topic that I feel very strongly about. Nudity, or rather the right to be nude, is a symbol of female empowerment. That's something that the Femen movement has understood, by writing protest messages on their naked bodies. Liberated women expose themselves, oppressed women are forced to cover themselves. I'm not saying that women must be nude, I'm just saying that they should have the freedom to be nude if they want to. In public, online, whether they consider themselves pretty or not. Many women feel forced to cover themselves up because they don't think that they conform to the official norms of female beauty, but that shouldn't be a hindrance. All women are beautiful, in their own way.
|Scout Willis shopping.|
An argument for Instagram's nipple ban is that nudity shouldn't be allowed online to protect children. But look at the photo above. There's a small child in the picture, and the mother is making no attempt to cover her eyes. Do you think the little girl will be traumatised by what she's seen? Not at all. If it has any effect at all, it will encourage her to expose her body as she grows older.
The influence of the parents shouldn't be underrated. Scout's mother Demi posed for the cover of "Vanity Fair" when she was seven months pregnant. It was a very tasteful photo that led to public discussions about the beauty of pregnant women when it was published in 1991. And in case you haven't already guessed, it was Scout inside her mother's belly.
Even though it was considered scandalous for an A-list actress like Demi Moore to pose naked, she was no stranger to nudity. At the age of 18 she had posed naked for the magazine "Oui". Men's magazines are often criticised by feminists. It's said that they objectify women. That's partially true, but it's a matter of perspective. Objectification is in the mind of the men who read those magazines. For the women who pose it's a form of expressing themselves. Most women are afraid to walk naked in the street, because they live in a restrictive community where they might be arrested. Men's magazines present a safe environment in which they can express their freedom in safety. If men who look at the magazines see the women as objects it's their own problem. If nudity were more common it would be less of a problem for men. A man whose boss walks around the office with bare breasts would be unlikely to go home and treat women in magazines as sex objects.
This is the first post on my blog in which I have openly shown nudity. In future I shall do it more often. I shall post photos of actresses who expose their bodies in public. Only actresses. After all, this is a film blog. Scout Willis is an actress, although she's only been in three films so far.
Please note that my photos will be restricted to tasteful nudity, such as what I have shown above. I shall not publish photos of sexual acts, because this is not and never will be a pornographic blog. I shall only depict such nudity as can be legally shown on the streets of New York.
Incidentally, you can click on any of the photos above to see larger versions.