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Monday, 17 August 2015

When the bar becomes a limbo stick

I have noticed the trend to post pictures of yourself naked or in a state of undress on the internet to prove a point. Your point might be to show off your post baby body, or that you're skinny & proud, that you're curvy & proud, that you're sexy transgender - anything really. Celebrities old enough to know better are doing it to prove that they're pregnant, that their boobs are real, that they're not too old to be sexy.

Ladies, and it is ladies, (men do not feel the need to prove points without their clothes on) if you have a barrow to push, could we try using words? Could we have a think about whether women are worth more than their appearance, even on appearance issues?

I can read. I can understand. I just don't want my Facebook page and twitter feed inundated with naked, sexy photos.

I get I'm older than all of you, so many of you will shrug it off but I don't think the internet is a place for naked photos (unless you are actually in the porn industry, then go for it). Our online behaviour models through to our children. Our distorted thinking model imprints on our children.

I've said it before, when Elizabeth Blackburn told the President of the United States what she thought of his decision, she did it with her clothes on. When Mother Theresa went out to help the poor, she had clothes on. Can we start to focus on achievements rather than sexiness? Smart is sexy, confident is sexy. The constant state of undress seems desperate and implies a neediness to be accepted (that you're not too old, too fat, too anything).

Don't get me wrong, nude it up at home, on the pole, even at the beach. All fine (except the skin cancer). Be happy and proud of your body both dressed and undressed. Just don't plaster it on the internet.

Pre internet, would you walk down the street naked? To the shops in your underwear? No, you wouldn't dream of it. That is what the internet is though. Your naked image is in the shops, in the street, all over the world. And our kids will follow suit if we treat it as acceptable and normalise it.

If Betty White's topless photos from when she was 17 are still following her around, after her successful career, then let's remember our moment of 'empowerment' will be thrown back at us when we want to be taken seriously in a career.

So as a call to action, could we please not click on the links to these photos, don't press like, don't encourage this behaviour. Or tell me that I'm just too old to understand it, and explain it to me...

Linking up with #FYBF and later, #WeekendRewind and the UltimateRabbitHole

19 comments:

  1. I am a bit inconsistent about how I feel about this topic. I see a picture of Kim Kadashian in the nuddie and I snicker or think ill thoughts - because 66 million young girls see that and think that needs to be emulated or that that is beauty or sexy or whatever. She does generally have a trashy demenour. Just saying. Then I see some bloggy friends posting a nude pregnancy shot celebrating the beauty of their body and I feel warm and proud. How is it that I celebrate their confidence and then not others? I think in short, if you have a huge following or are significantly influential, you should think long and hard about sharing such personal images. Doubles standards here or what?

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    1. We all have double standards. It's human.

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  2. It doesn't worry me. I think it's nice to see different bodies- pregnant, ageing, post baby, curvy, slim- it illustrates diversity and sometimes it's nice to see a body being a body and not selling something (draped over a car for example). Jamie Lee Curtis has shown some amazing shots of herself looking so real- it's quite comforting!

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    1. Except shouldn't Jamie Lee Curtis be celebrating her work as an actress and children's author? Why is her appearance more important than that?

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  3. I am also torn on this. I guess it is context and how far it goes. I guess I am ok with the down to underwear shots to show what different bodies look like to counter the mass media of photoshopping. Yesterday I saw a video of a girl who stripped to undies and bra in London and asked people via a sign (she was wearing a blindfold) to draw a heart on her body in support of all who suffer with eating disorders. Tactics like that are trying to cut through the noise and make a point. All for it
    Salacious posts of look at me Iam sexy? I can leave those behind xx

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    1. Not a doctor (obvs), but isn't part of an eating disorder focusing on the body for it's appearance (I know it's a lot to do with control and other issues not appearance related)? If we celebrated achievement over appearance, who knows, maybe we wouldn't have eating disorders at all (I know, that will never happen)

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  4. I actually agree. In this selfie-obsessed culture I think it actually loses its message. Words are far more powerful. Words can celebrate beauty, intelligence, cause and everything in between. I don't see it changing soon though.

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  5. I refuse to click on these sort of links too. I get that people are trying to spread a message about positive body image but we don't need to be naked to do it. #TeamIBOT

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  6. I must be old too as I completely agree. Put it away people. We don't need to see it. If I see Kim K's bulging baps one more time I will scream ;)

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  7. I think it's all becoming so regular now, that we don't even see what they're trying to portray. As for the "look at me" K & Co culture, I really can't be bothered.

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  8. I've always been really modest in this regard, you won't find any pictures like that of me anywhere (unless a bare baby bump counts). It has become do acceptable now though that I don't really blink upon seeing it though in the right context it doesn't bother me.

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  9. I agree... I am proud of my bumps and saggy boobs( we'll sort of) but no one needs to see them, trust me. I don't want my kids doing it either

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  10. There's a lot of debate over 'yoga porn' amongst people who practice yoga - and some of the photos are pretty much selling sex (and not what yoga is all about at all, although there is apparently a new trend for naked yoga). I don't mind when people are trying to promote a positive body image but as you say they can do that with words. And too many images are 'look at me' selfies.

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  11. I remember a few years back a lot of bloggers were posting pics of their bodies as part of a campaign to celebrate all bodies. While I admired what they were trying to achieve, I couldn't do it. I'll post the occasional selfie but I'm not comfortable in putting anything revealing online. It seems I'm in the minority in that view given how full my newsfeed normally is of these images...

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  12. For sure some images are just sad but others I find empowering. Those people that may do it to be empowered (maybe it is post baby or post mastectomy) shouldn't be put down for doing it. That is their choice. As for my daughter, I hope she grows up empowered enough to make good decisions and appreciates the broad range of bodies and personalities out there. I bet Betty White looks back on those images now of her 17 year old boobs and is pretty impressed with herself!

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    1. Betty White looked beautiful. But is all our value in our looks? Why can't we be empowered by achievement? Why can't we describe our body in all it's glory in words?

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  13. This is a pet peeve of mine too. I'm not offended by the nudity, its just that there's way too much emphasis on it. Not a day goes past without another body image/empowerment article in the press. Lets celebrate our minds and achievements instead.

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    1. Yeah, I have no problem with nudity, even KK's. I just think we women are being sold short. Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, Elizabeth Blackburn and pretty much every man on the planet throughout history are the definition of empowerment and get to keep their clothes on...

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