Naked or not

IWSG_NewBadge2016It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

This Wednesday, I want to blog about art. I adore classical art and I love looking at beautiful pictures. Before the internet era, the only way to satisfy such a craving was visiting an art gallery or buying an album of reproductions. Now, with internet permeating all spheres of our lives, the art museums have come to us. There are thousands of paintings available online. That’s why I frequent image sharing sites like,, and

Like everyone else, I have my likes and dislikes. I love Pre-Raphaelites but dislike post-impressionism. Abstract art leaves me cold but 18th century portraits fascinate me. It’s normal: everyone’s tastes are different. Recently though, I noticed one disturbing trend in my dislikes: I dislike paintings with naked figures in it. Classical paintings of naked Greek heroes or personages from Roman mythology have me uneasy. I don’t want to look at them. They are just as beautiful as the paintings with clothed figures, and many wonderful artists painted them, so why do I have this odd aversion to such images? Is something wrong with me?

I’m not religious. I have never been overly concerned about my own body, and I don’t think I’m a prude (am I?) Sports events or beach movies don’t bother me, but I never liked porn and I dislike sex scenes in romance novels. Is there anything in my psychological makeup that makes me so? The more important question is: does it hamper my writing – this strange inner prohibition of mine about naked bodies. Should I fight it? Would my writing be freer if I embraced nudity in art and life? Does it really matter?

How do you feel about nudity in art?

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8 Responses to Naked or not

  1. Loni Townsend says:

    Nudity hasn’t ever really appealed to me either. Clothing helps express personality because it shows how the person chooses to present themselves. I’m okay with a shirtless guy or a woman’s bare backside. But there’s that air of mystery, where not everything is on display. In the older paintings where everything is bared, well, it doesn’t leave much to the imagination…

  2. I agree with Loni. I prefer to have things left to my imagination. I’d rather not see all the skin, and I don’t need everything spelled out in every last detail.

  3. lexacain says:

    I feel as you do, nudity makes me uncomfortable whether visual or literary. I think I’ve become more prudish as I’ve gotten older. But we all have likes and dislikes. We need some prudes to balance out the all the porn, erotica, and the Sex-sells market mentality the public seems to lap up. Do you know many foreign men (particularly in the 3rd world) think all western women love sex and will jump into bed with any guy at the drop of a hat? Why do they think that? Because of all the movie blockbusters Hollywood puts out show that. The heroine barely meets the hero and in the next scene, they’re in bed. The foreign men don’t get that it’s fiction. They think it must be true.

  4. I took a lot of art classes in college, so nudity in art doesn’t bother me.
    I’m a Christian, but I’m also a man, so I won’t lie and say seeing nudity in movies or such bothers me.

  5. Donna Hole says:

    I love looking at art – nude, clothed, landscapes, any form. Its hard not to stare at nudity, lol. I don’t think avoiding nudity makes you a prude. And sometimes, nudity can be overwhelming. Seems everything “artsy” today is about gratuitous nudity – sex. A book with no business with a nude scene has too have at least one naked/sex scene because sex sells; even if the scene is so cutsey its sickening. Advertisers want to sell a car, so the commercial is two people having sex, then the car is shown parked in the garage. Want a burger, barely dressed model eats one with her legs spread. Movies show a shower scene to flash naked butt or boob, but does the scene have any significance to the plot? Nope, just gotta have nudity or sex in it or nobody will watch, right?

    Gratuitous nudity is a turn off for me, and as I said, I like nudity. But in its rightful place. I don’t feel guilty about watching/reading/looking at porn or erotica, but if I’m taking my grandkids to a movie, or trying to pick a restaurant for dinner, nobody better be undressing in front of me.

  6. Nudity doesn’t bother me, but it also doesn’t appeal to me. I wouldn’t buy a nude portrait and I also wouldn’t buy abstract art. It’s just a personal preference, which is fine.

  7. cheriereich says:

    I haven’t really thought about it before. I don’t mind nudity, but I don’t usually go out of my way to seek it either.

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