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Young people are learning. It's what happens when you are young, and is one of those aspects of youth that cannot be avoided. We are not born with a wealth of knowledge and experience. We are empty, and life fills us with what we need to become who we are.

Opinion is one of the things we develop. It is shaped by ALL KINDS OF FACTORS... who our parents are and how they feel about things, who we learn from and who our leaders are... who we choose as friends... where we go and what we see, all affect opinion. In all this, one aspect is key: to be able to say; "I like this, or I don't like this... and here's why..." is the essence of all opinion. To be able to do this honestly, you have to experience the thing about which you are rendering your opinion.

You cannot render an opinion on faith.

Looking at images of naked women invokes a great deal of opinion in people. Young, old, good looking or fat and pimply, smart as a whip or dumb as a box of rocks, there is perhaps no other subject that causes people to offer their personal opinion than images of another human being without their clothes on.

It is a very good thing to be able to give your opinion freely. It is a freedom, and one of the ones we should be willing to fight to keep.

To close out this preamble before I get to the list of responsibilities one should have when offering one's opinion about images involving nudity, here is my opinion on opinions;

The saddest part of people and their opinions is the fact that most offer their opinion with little or no sense of responsibility for the words they speak, or the underlying attitudes that create a basis for the opinion. A person should never offer their opinion without first giving an issue serious, deep, and considerable thought. Young people fail to do this because of a lack of experience, and many adults fail to do it because of a lack of either education or rearing. And some people are just plain assholes, and don't care who hears their opinion, and more importantly, whether or not it (their opinion) makes any sense at all.





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Following is a short list of responsibilities a person should accept before offering an opinion on nude poses in photography or art.



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1: You should look at enough photos and illustration to decide from experience what you feel is acceptable and what isn't. You need to be able to describe, in a way anyone can understand, your personal values about what is okay and what crosses the line.

2: You should look at your own personal attitude towards nudity, and discover how much it affects your opinion about nudity in art. If you have what most people would consider an unhealthy self image, you should refrain from offering your opinion on nudity because your point of view is tainted. Being shy is not the same as feeling you are grossly overweight when you aren't, or hating to be seen naked or to be naked. If you have a psychological issue with nudity, keep your opinion to yourself, and seek help. When your self image, and attitudes are healthier, re-evaluate your opinion on nudity in art, and THEN offer it.

3: If, for social reasons, your opinion is skewed, you should, at the very least, STATE SO clearly, up front, before offering your opinion. People who fall into this category would be the deeply religious, victims of assault, teachers, mothers, social workers who work with those convicted of sex crimes. If your experiences have left you so jaded that your opinion is deeply and irrevocably tainted, you should keep your opinion to yourself. It is unfairly balanced, and therefor unjustly tips the scales in one direction or another. Above all, an opinion should be fair, and far too many of us give opinions we KNOW are skewed.

4: If your opinion is controlled or influenced in any way by a third party, you should avoid giving it if you can, because IT IS NOT YOUR TRUE OPINION.

4: Depending on the seriousness of the issue (and how we as humans relate to our bodies is a pretty serious issue in my opinion) you should STUDY the history of an issue before offering an opinion.

Study the history of nudity and art, nudity and photography, and pornography as it has been defined through time. For example: one of the great truths about the issue of what IS pornography, is that it's PUBLIC definition has changed and evolved through time. If you study the history of humans even only as a light enthusiast, you quickly learn such things as; the healthiest societies humans have established all had very liberal attitudes towards nudity and sex. Both were encouraged, seen an an integral aspect of a healthy life well lived, both were much more public, and even sometimes the center piece of important, shared social events.

On the other hand; the most damaging, controlling, ruthless societies we have created all had very rigid, puritan, negative attitudes towards nudity and sex. Such societies control their women, limit the rights of everyone except adult men, and crush out individual expression.

5: If you offer YOUR opinion, by default, you agree to listen to the opinion of everyone else without trying to limit what is said. Shouting down someone, being rude or crass, refusing to listen or participate in a discussion, NO MATTER WHAT SIDE YOUR OPINION FALLS ON, is unacceptable. If you can't accept hearing other people's opinion, DO NOT offer yours.

6: Power is best wielded lightly. This is an axiom, especially with humans. RESPECT the fact that your opinion carries weight. It has an effect. This becomes progressively more true when your opinion is one of a block of opinions all expressing the same point of view. Thus are elections decided. BE WARY of offering your opinion. Treat the moment when you do so with the respect and dignity it deserves. Because of this, young people should as a matter of WISDOM, be reluctant to offer their opinion if they are inexperienced in the relevant issue. If, for example, a young person has never been naked in the presence of another, other than as a child with a care giver or other children, they may not have the frame of reference required to speak knowledgeably on the subject of nudity.

7: If your opinion cannot be changed by discussion and exposure to new ideas, think twice about offering it. A rigid set of opinions and attitudes is, if nothing else, a DEAD thing. It does not grow or evolve. It is DEAD. The world, for all it's failings, is a living, evolving entity. The opinions of the dead, even the walking, talking dead should not affect it.

The correct way to respond to this essay would be to list what you think is important about the responsibility of rendering your opinion that I did not list here.

I look forward to a further discussion of this article.
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:iconryakendrik:
ryakendrik Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
hehe..nudity , in person , in art, in porn, in my mind..its just hot..
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:iconhemmis:
hemmis Featured By Owner May 17, 2011
I find it insulting that you generalize so much.

I know that attitudes towards nudity in eg the USA are very prudish compared to Denmark where I come from, we were also the first country in the world to legalize porn so nudity is not taboo here.

I must agree with gorgonbreath. That your claim that mothers in general have a resistance against the 'public nudity and art are just a thin assumption. This claim you make, I can not see much truth to but I see the position you possess as a sign of a very narrow view and opinions based on a Steriotype view of mothers.

You also claim that teacher is in this category of people whose opinions are "skewed" .. Well, I do not know how big this "fear"of nudity and sex is in America, but in Denmark we are taught about sexuality as young as fifth grade and the teacher is responsible for teaching logical enough .. So there are a large part of teacher here who do not have any problems with nudity since they teach 10-12 year olds in the body's sexual drive..

I myself am a young girl with what you call "an unhealthy self image", but it is not synonymous with a negative view of nudity in art. I think a nude body is a powerful tool in art and I find its vulnerability beautiful .. One can easily expose the body in a tasteful manner without making it pornographic and vulgar ..

Again, you give a very narrow picture of the world around you and I doubt how many young people you know since you also generalize this group and blames it for lack of "wisdom" again insulting. We are actually some sensible young people in the world which is capable to form their own opinions..
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner May 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I find it gratifying that I prompted you to respond so seriously and with such obvious emotion.

With all due to respect to your self admitted insecurities, I have to ask:

Do you feel better now?
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:icongorgonbreath:
gorgonbreath Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2011  Hobbyist
If, for social reasons, your opinion is skewed, you should, at the very least, STATE SO clearly, up front, before offering your opinion. People who fall into this category would be the deeply religious, victims of assault, teachers, mothers, social workers who work with those convicted of sex crimes.

Please do not lump "Mothers" into this category of people along with those who work with sex offenders, it is highly insulting!!
I think out of anyone mothers should be able to tolerate most nudity since they have had sex at least once to become pregnant. They have had the courage to reveal their nudity to someone else, and they've obviously seen a cock!

Mothers are less likely to offer crass, insulting comments the way idiotic males do, such as "nice ass" or "i want to lick her pussy".

Personally i do not find the male or female naked body offensive, it is down to the artist to make sure it is displayed for a genuine reason, not just for a close-up ham wallet shot for a cheap thrill.
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for commenting.

Including mothers was in no way meant to signify a correlation between mothers and sex offenders. I think if you stop and pause for a second, you will realize that makes no sense. But, the way it is worded, I can understand how you might infer something like that. The way mothers are potentially, possibly jaded has to do with protecting their children, not any sexual deviation.

I hope this clears things up for you.
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:icongorgonbreath:
gorgonbreath Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist
I realize that it doesn't have anything to do with sexual deviation.

What it did imply was that mothers are incapable of making informed choices about things, that somehow having children suddenly makes them prudes about nudity.
Women do not eject their brains though their genitals along with the baby when they give birth.

I have seen many artistic photos of women during pregnancy,after giving birth is that model no longer qualified to comment on nude photography because she is now a mother?
I think you should remove mothers from your essay, your argument against them makes no rational sense.

If you wish for people to be more understanding about nude photography you need to be more understanding of the wider audience. Pigeon-holing people into groups about who should or should not look at art seems quite defensive. If you wish to work in a somewhat controversial area of art then you need a thicker skin to deal with negative or tactless comments.
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I did not write the OP with the intent of helping or making people understand nudity in art or photography.

My concern was opinions.

How they are derived, how they are delivered, and how we respond and relate to them. That has been largely mishandled here on DA, in several dozen threads over the years I have been a member. What's never been discussed very much at all is the subject of opinions themselves.

I agree that the thickness of your skin needs to grow in proportion to the controversy your work generates. Seems like a logical assumption to make if you decide to draw or photograph images of spread genitalia.

I don't think I specifically implied that EVERY mother's point of view is suspect. What I KNOW is that I have known many women through the years, some intimately, that I watched change their opinions on MANY things radically from before to after their first child was born.

Any time someone starts down the road of trying to monitor and audit any statement that might potentially OFFEND some group, or even a portion of a group, they run into the same problem. They NEVER acknowledge that even if the statement is offensive to some, it is STILL TRUE about some as well. If this is indeed the case, then referring to it in a public statement cannot be inherently wrong.

I detest politically correct thinking, and the things it causes people to say in the name of holy (schmoly, roly, poly, guacamole) righteousness.

I am not in any way attempting to limit the debate. If you wish to continue to try to change my point of view, please feel free. But I won't retract, or edit, my original statement. Neither will I apologize for it.

Thank you for your clearly well considered comments.
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:icongorgonbreath:
gorgonbreath Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist
Perhaps you've just known the wrong sort of flighty women.:D
Or they were always that way,but motherhood brought it to the fore.
The mothers i know are all down to earth and call a spade a spade, if they didn't like a picture of something they'd just tut and move on.:)


I have found that certain cultural differences between DA members can cause problems, even between people who speak the same language like people from the UK and Americans.

I am English and find Americans insane! Some (not all, but quite a lot) find it impossible not to rant and become insane about the most stupid things. These are not kids, these are supposedly adults.
I an not anti-American, i have lots of really nice American friends here, but culturally they are a bit strange.
I do not find the same stumbling blocks to debate and conversation with other cultures, i feel more at ease with Europeans,and even French people.:D
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
What a load of crap.

You are clearly an intelligent person. I'm guessing at this point, but I'd say female. You had me going until this last post. If my point had no relevance what-so-ever, there wouldn't be stories on the news on almost a daily basis about mothers getting up in arms about something a teacher said, or showed, or referred to in a class that might cause their poor child to grow up and become an axe murderer or rapist. And then someone loses a job, or is forced to publicly retract their statement, or apologize for their actions. Soccer moms exist in Europe and England. Radical minded people of all kinds are not restricted to or endemic to America alone.

If I had to say, I'd bet that it would take a lot for you to acknowledge, let alone openly admit that you are a proponent of politically correct thinking. Or that England is a largely progressive, socialist country that can be sighted equally as aptly as an example of how liberal thinking DOES NOT WORK as well as it can be an example of what does. You couldn't bribe me to accept your medical/health care system over America's.

As I said, I really detest political correctness, all that it stands for, and all that it causes to come to pass.

This seems like a good point to agree to disagree.
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:icongorgonbreath:
gorgonbreath Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist
Awwww....it's a shame you feel that way. I am in no way a PC person, in fact i'm quite the opposite and an atheist too, so not religious either.

I think that we all have our own separate life experiences that colour our view of things, that make us hate and distrust and judge poorly.

If you knew anything about my country you would know that our current government is Conservative, not socialist, although we take social care very seriously.
I think you may have been fed lies about our health care system by the media. I have had 2 life saving operations in National Heath Service hospitals by dedicated doctors in spotlessly clean wards.

Do not believe what you see on tv or in the paper, make your own informed choices. People could say that the moon is made of green cheese, but it's up to you to find out whether it's true or not.

You're art is good by the way. No hard feelings!:D
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
No hard feelings at all on this end. A hearty debate is far from cause for me to pout.

I enjoyed the exchange...
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February 28, 2011
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