Nudity on the Cover

kelly-rowland-talk-a-good-game-artworkMost female musicians, no matter how talented they are, tend to become more sexualized over time from when their career starts to when they “peak.” This sexualization is especially noticeable in photo shoots, magazine spreads, music videos and on album covers. It is therefore interesting to think about how these musicians got started. Many were young when they began singing, such as Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and Taylor Swift. In the beginning, these artists are often less overtly “sexy,” but after a while, they all start looking the same, and nudity becomes a very common element in their performances.

Since CD sales are dwindling, nudity or partial nudity on the covers may be one way to bump up sales, even though you do not see many male musicians nude on the covers. At the same time one can make the argument that showing of ones body is an act of empowerment, self-confidence and originality, one that comes with maturity and self-awareness. In fact, this statement is often made, pointing to women’s sexuality as a tool to be used to gain power. However, it seems as if nudity and “sexiness” are now so routine that all women are expected to embrace these standards.

The female body is beautiful, but does it have to be on display at all times? The trend of sexiness seems to be here to stay, but I often find it tiresome. The saying goes, “sex sells,” and that seems to be true, but the underlying message of that catchphrase is that women constantly need to be sexy, because their talent comes second to their appearance, no matter how successful they are or how hard they work.  [Read more...]

Are All Baby Pics on Facebook Appropriate?

When browsing Facebook and looking at friendss updates there is one thing that keeps creeping me out and that is the photos some people post of their children. As summer is here, many people post very cute photos of their children playing in the pool or taking a bath. I cannot keep from reacting every time I see photos of naked kids displayed online. I do not view children as sexual beings, but let us face the facts; there are certainly some people out there who do. I would be very cautious of the fact that the photos I post online are not in fact all that private and can be viewed by many more than just the people I have selected as my Facebook friends.

For example, if I post a photo and one of my friends comments on it, all their friends can possibly see the photo and the number of people who the photo becomes available to increases dramatically. Photos can also easily be copied and saved by any person who can view it.

Obviously parents just want to share the wonderful moments they have with their children with friends and family but I believe that parents have a responsibility to their children and to the safety of their children. Children themselves certainly cannot consent to these pictures but parents should be more careful of what they post. I have seen plenty of photos that are in fact very cute and harmless but that I still react to and deem unsuitable for Facebook. Again, not because they show naked children but because some people enjoy looking at photos of naked children.

I have not heard, but I certainly can be wrong, discussions about what is suitable in regards to posting photos of one’s children on Facebook. Facebook do have a clause stating something like the fact that explicit nudity is not welcome on Facebook and I think that this should extend to photos of children. It is of course the parent’s rights and responsibilities to chose what they post online but I also believe that there is great naivety about what can and cannot be seen and the privacy of one’s photos and one’s profile. What do you think?

Friday News Roundup

mouse-clickFeminist Queries With Gloria Feldt – Women’s Rights @ Change.org
When is Nudity Transgressive? And When is it Not? – Feministing
Let’s Talk About Sex & Money – Blog Her
Naomi Wolf is Writing a History of the Vagina – New York Observer
How I Embraced Justice and Said Goodbye to Choice – Feministe
Let’s End the Fear Mongering Over Abortion – Washington Post
75 Stereotypes About Women – The Undomestic Goddess
For Feminists, The Battle Over Veiling Rages On – Feminist Campus

PETA’s Response to Feminist Criticism Misses the Mark

hollypetaOne of our readers sent a letter to PETA voicing his concern about their sexist ad campaigns, and he got a pretty surprising response from PETA. David was kind enough to send this in.

Dear PETA,

PLEASE STOP all the sexist ads that degrade and demean women. Women are displayed 3/4 naked or more, ads with vile and suggestive catch phrases, again that include mostly nude women. The most recent ad refers to women as “beached whales. PETA is supposedly a progressive organization; so why then do so many of its billboards-ads and media campaigns depict women in sexist-degrading and offensive ways? you will get NO $$ from me until the sexism stops

Here’s PETA’s response to David. [Read more...]