Friday, 30 May 2014

Off-Topic: Nude and Proud

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.


  1. I wish people would leave comments in my blog more often. My readers who know me personally prefer to leave comments on Facebook or talk to me personally. If they commented in the blog it would encourage readers who don't know me to join in the discussion.

    On Saturday afternoon I discussed this post at great length with a friend. We covered a lot of topics, but I'll restrict myself to the main ones.

    1. My friend said that whatever the laws are in America, it's not allowed to be topless in the street in England.

    That's correct. Unfortunately. This is a rare example of America being more progressive than England. There are occasionally special events where nudity is tolerated, such as the annual nude cycling day in London, but it's not permissible for a woman to be topless when she goes shopping. Nevertheless, I still insist on the right of women to be topless in public. I empathise the word "topless". While I personally would welcome complete nudity, I accept that this would be offensive to many people. Let's take things one step at a time.

    2. My friend warned me that Google (the owner of Blogger) might object to my posts of naked women.

    That's possible. Instagram has an anti-nipple policy, and so does Facebook. If I did receive complaints from Google, I would remove the photos immediately, but I wouldn't leave it at that. I would appeal against their decision and request permission to post them again. It's time to draw a line in the sand. Women are oppressed by being forced to cover their bodies. It starts with banning skirts in schools, and it continues by saying that bare breasts in public are "indecent exposure". Phony arguments are brought that it would harm children, equating nudity with sexuality. This is absolute nonsense. It's the prevention of public nudity that causes it to be associated with sexuality. The child in the photo above is not being harmed by Scout Willis' naked breasts. The real issue at hand is prejudice against women. By banning pictures of female nipples, Facebook and Instagram are saying that women are inferior to men.

    3. My friend asked me how many posts of nudity he can expect in future.

    Probably not many. I didn't express myself very well. This isn't a blog for nude pics, it's a blog about films. If there are protests and prominent actresses appear topless on the streets, I'll post the photos. I won't post photos of "wardrobe malfunctions", or paparazzi photos of actresses on beaches. There are plenty of other sites that do that. I'll restrict myself to actresses who are "Nude and Proud", the title of this post.


    If anyone has any thoughts on this topic, please leave a comment. I'm very passionate on this subject, so I'll answer everyone who writes.

    1. google allows nudity if u register the blog as adult then u can have all the nudity u want.

    2. First of all, thanks for leaving a comment on this subject. I was afraid nobody would answer me.

      Yes, I know what you mean. Some blogs redirect readers to a start page. It says, "The blog that you are about to view may contain content only suitable for adults. In general, Google does not review nor do we endorse the content of this or any blog". Then the readers have to click an "I agree" button to continue. I know how to activate that warning page, it's a setup option, "Adult Content? Y/N".

      However, look at my blog. To call it "adult" would be misrepresenting it. Anyone who came here looking for adult content would be disappointed when he entered and found only film reviews. Anyone looking for film reviews would be scared off if he saw an adult content warning.

      Concerning nudity, I have two things to say. First, the main question is whether "nudity" means the same as "adult content". I say No. If women walk topless in New York children don't have to be protected from them. Nudity is natural.

      Second, this blog isn't about nudity, far from it. So far I've made 1250 posts. This is my first post with nude photos. Even if nudity were equated with adult content in the heads of narrow-minded people, one single post doesn't make the blog adult. I promised more posts with nudity, but it might be a long time before they come. Even then they'll be in a small minority.

      This blog isn't just for adults, it's for anyone who's old enough to use a computer. It's for anyone who likes films. Any films. It's true, I do review adult films. Over the last few days I've written about the Scream trilogy, all of which have an 18 certificate. Does that mean my reviews are unsuitable for 12-year-olds? Of course not. I don't go into vivid details or include excessive screenshots. My reviews are suitable for children who are still too young to see the films. Besides, it's common for daily newspapers to include reviews of 18 certificate films, and children are allowed to read them. I read reviews of horror films when I was 11, probably younger. (I also watched horror films when I was 11 because I stayed up late at the weekends, but that's another story).


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