The Evil of Nudity

nude suit-front-1This blog got 6000 hits in two days recently. It was on the day when all those nude celebrity photos got leaked. Apparently, I posted a film review years ago which mentioned Jennifer Lawrence and nudity in the same breath. There was also a picture of her in the nude. This post had evidently appeared on Google whenever anyone searched for ‘nude celeb pics’ or similar (the post is still up if you can be bothered searching through the archives of this blog).

All this excitement got me thinking about nudity. And nudity creates excitement like nothing else. It’s hard to talk about this without feeling a bit sleazy. I thought about posting a few shots of celebrities with their kit off but it just felt wrong. So to make myself feel a bit less like an exploitative slime ball, I will post a photo of myself in the nude; just to show even-handedness (and show some other things too). Some of you may not be ready to face the sight of me with my clothes off so I’ll post it on the ABOUT ME part of this blog so that you at least have a choice about whether to go there. It will be the first photo at the top of the page so… brace yourself.

To be honest, I’m not completely naked on the photo; I do have a minimum of clothing on. And that’s the interesting thing because Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t nude in the picture I posted, not technically. She was wearing an alien suit which simulated nudity; alien nudity. In fact, there was hardly any of her actual naked skin visible at all. But the photo makes it feel like we’re seeing her naked. Does it matter that we’re actually seeing less skin than would normally be on display if she had just been wearing regular T-shirt and jeans?

Come to think of it, what’s the big deal about nakedness? After all. we’re all naked under our clothes. Why are certain parts of our bodies deemed to be unsuitable for general viewing? Who decided which of our body parts should be rated 18? Why don’t we get upset when someone puts a photo of a celebrity’s bare elbows online? Why don’t bikinis have special pieces of fabric to cover belly buttons on the beach? You might think it was the bodily parts which have a sexual function that cause us to get all embarrassed but what is the sexual function of female breasts? You might think that it’s the male/female bodily differences that we want to cover with clothes but males and females both have buttocks so why are we all so reluctant to show off our arses? (except students and football fans of course). Even more puzzling, the specific body parts needing to be covered change from culture to culture and from time to time. In Victorian England it was deemed shocking to reveal a female ankle, for example. Another one; when I was a kid I went on holiday to Malta and no-one was allowed into any religious building without first covering up their arms. So why do certain parts of our bodies need to be covered for reasons other than keeping them warm or protecting them from the elements and Hessian sofas?

I don’t know the answer except to say that it seems to be a peculiar quirk of human nature that if we are forbidden from seeing something, our curiosity is automatically triggered. It’s what drives us on in all spheres even space travel and scientific advancement. Like everyone, I looked at those scientific diagrams of the human form in school text books and felt curiosity, yes. But when real live girls told me that I could see this much but no further… I felt that the purpose of my entire life was to get to the forbidden fruit. Nudity itself isn’t really that arousing (visit any nudist club or naturist beach and see how unsexy, not to mention nauseating, nudity can be)

The whole thing is ludicrous given that we all have, pretty much, the same bodily bits and pieces hidden away. Why are we so curious about how celebrities look naked when we already know that they’re going to look roughly the same as any other person of the same sex that we’ve ever seen? It’s not like we’re going to see, instead of the usual breasts and vagina combo, two ice sculptures and a Toblerone.

I suppose it’s all part of the enigma we call human sexuality. We’re hard wired to find the opposite, and sometimes the same, sex attractive so that we will think it’s worth mating and thereby continuing the survival of our species. This is done in a variety of ways but the specifics are not that important so long as we keep finding other people interesting. This means that, regardless of continuing the species, we’re driven to come together (ha), to socialise, to live side-by-side with each other, to not kill each other (not all the time anyway), to make contacts, to find life rewarding enough to carry on at all.

So I didn’t post any photos of nude celebrities because I’m a hero. Instead, I posted a couple of pictures of people wearing nude suits. Weird though, some readers will probably object to those and find them offensive in the full knowledge that they are complaining about what are essentially pink duffel coats with dangly bits. The only true nudity you will see posted here today features me on the ABOUT ME page. Like I said, I’m a hero. Brace yourself.

nudesuit

Cracks in the Road

driver

This week, while driving, I got yelled at three times. The first time, an old bloke was behind me in the queue for the traffic lights and because they were taking a long time to change to green he actually jumped out of the car, knocked on my window and shouted “Come on, they’re f***ing broke, you ar**hole!” Pensioners shouldn’t use words like that. You don’t get words like that in Soduko. The Countdown Conundrum is never ‘ar**hole’. He was, however, wearing a neatly appropriate traffic-themed pullover. Chevrons..

The second time a woman actually stopped her car to shout across the lap of her mortified female passenger into the window of my stationary car to tell me that I’d parked dangerously and requesting that I relocate my vehicle (I’m paraphrasing there, she used her own specially selected vocabulary. Loudly.). I was not parked dangerously but I would have been more than happy to move if she had not come at me with such aggression. “I’ll call the police!!” she bawled. “Do it!” I heard myself shouting back. “DO IT!!!”

The third time, I was waiting to join the flow of traffic by turning right (coming out of the Co-op at rush hour! Not advisable) and a man behind me who was desperate to turn left, actually mounted the pavement in order to squeeze past and simultaneously shriek at me (who says men can’t multi-task?). He seemed not to be able to decide which particular term of abuse to throw at me because he ended up spluttering “You, you, you, ffff… you…. ming!

Ming?! What is a ming exactly? I was equally angry at this point so I wound down my passenger window especially to have a lovely interaction with this Neanderthal (why didn’t I just ignore him?) but all I could think of to shout in the heat of the moment was “I beg your pardon?!” like some pathetic, wet, Victorian gentleman played by Colin Firth. The most surprising thing of all though was the bloke actually honoured my weak request and repeated his insult “Ming!” even though he had half-realised that the word he’d shot at me wasn’t even a real word. He had emotionally committed himself to it now though so had to repeat it. Loudly.

Three horrible confrontations in one week. I normally avoid confrontation like the plague but, on the roads, this is getting more tricky. There’s more and more cars, of course, and the roads are getting more and more broken down and neglected because councils have slashed their maintenance budgets due to the recession. It feels like the country has been in crisis mode for a long time now. The cracks are beginning to show and not just in the roads. It’s become a lot harder for lots of people to just get by.

Everyone is trying to get somewhere, everyone is late, everyone is over-stretched and over-stressed. In other spheres of life we try to maintain a degree of decorum but when we’re concealed and isolated inside our sweaty, little, tin cans on wheels, all bets are off. Just getting by has become a big ask.

Do cars turn us into aggressive monsters or do they just remove the social masks behind which we usually hide? I admit that I often get a red mist descending in front of my eyes when someone is holding me up by driving at 20 mph in a 60 mph zone. Then the next minute I feel a stab of guilt when I realise that the offender was a little old lady just like my Nan. When some idiot shouts abuse at me from their driver window I do feel a cold rage grip my heart and murderous thoughts explode in my brain. I hate the morons who eff and blind at me at junctions. But I also hate the person I sometimes become in response to them. There are lots of morons out there who drive us to fury but I suppose I should try to remember that, to them, I’m the moron. The Neanderthal behind me at the Co-op today… ┬áLike me, he was just trying to get by.

Woman gesturing out of car window