Photo from NOWToronto, cropped for decency standards
Back in the day of actual great art, like, not even a century ago, artists used nudes to celebrate the human body. The body as it is, not as we want it to be, and certainly not changing it into something it isn’t. The work of Edgar Degas is celebrated just for this, even if the more perfect renderings of naked women came in much earlier periods.
Fast forward to the 21st century, where the arbiters of all things fashionable tell us that up is down, black is white, male CAN be female, female could want to be male, and, hey, all of this is in the eye of the beholder, not the Creator. We are what we want to be, and if society says something different, and that we have to use restrooms for the gender assigned at birth, well, shame on them.
And if we can’t get sympathy for our message, well, we will just take off our clothes.
The editors of NOWToronto, an alternative weekly magazine, this January sought to stave off the mid winter blues and buffet the people against all the messaging coming from the corporate world that our bodies are just not perfect the way they are, and that we should spend a lot of time and money to make them perfect. (This is the not so subtle way of telling the model wannabes that they are too fat.) To do this, they published the 2016 Love Your Body issue featuring a dozen photographs of naked people strategically posed to hide the parts used for reproduction and breastfeeding.
In one way, the photos themselves are a toned down version of National Geographic and Robert Mapplethorpe. There isn’t anything sexual or sensual about the images. They’re just naked humans. In another…where are the fat people? For the most part, the “ordinary people” in the photos are fairly buff or thin. Where are the people who don’t have a cultural upheaval agenda to push? Go through the list of the “models” and find a number of tattooed, and otherwise decorated activists for transgender causes and human rights, stage performers in drag, and writers who have better bodies than most people who sit and type for a living. There is a member of the Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team, and a gym owner. The subjects are roughly equal men and women – which is a plus – but still, they are just taking off their clothes to try to make a point.
The point is all about being trans, genderless, what you WANT to be, not what God and society assigns. Blurring that line between male and female and what we were put on earth to do and be: produce the next generation, and raise them to be productive members of society. It is about reverting to the age when all children take off their clothes just because they can do it and get attention and sympathy for their cause.