When men paint or take photos of women in the nude the results are generallycelebrated as works of art. However, when women post nude photos of themselves on Instagram, they are often stigmatized as sex objects. Enough with the double standards!
When did we all become enemies? Exploring the reasons
Our world is shaped by patriarchal structures. In particular, the media is largely dictated by men, and therefore the female image is decisively shaped by the interpretation and perception of the opposite gender. For decades, advertising has been a doctrine on the image of women, who are sexualized, objectified and portrayed as the weaker sex. We have to break these obsolete patterns and refashion the media image of the future.
Nudity on Instagram: putting the nude photograph into context
Women who post nude photos online, and particularly on Instagram, are often said to be seeking attention or looking to attract clicks and likes, but their motives may not be so simple. Reasons for a beautiful nude selfie may in fact be manifold. For example, a mother who recently gave birth to a child may want to share her joy with the public. Or perhaps an athlete celebrating having reached her goal could be another example. Further, politically motivated nudity that draws attention to particular issues through the use of art and aesthetics should not be described as cheap or ‘attention-grabbing’.
Body Positivity – a nude photo for self-love
It’s terrifying just how many women actually reject their bodies, obsessing about diet, exercise, legs, bums and tums, too much, too little, too big, too small, not taut enough, or whatever else the hypercritical mind thinks. The result of this may be eating disorders or mental illnesses. This is what the ‘body positive’ movement is trying to put an end to, by encouraging women to accept and love themselves. When developing greater body-positive self-awareness, nude images on social media are permitted. Finally, women are being reassured that it’s okay to show their corners, edges and even curves. Every body is a gift, wonderful and unique, and we should be grateful for it and not consistently fight it. Women should encourage each other to accept their bodies without being judgmental.
Nudity online – for acceptance and against prudery
Nudity has always been recognized in the arts. However, in our liberal social networks, it is often censored. But who exactly needs protection from seeing nipples? Children who were nourished by the nipples of their mothers and just have to look down to see their own?! Not likely! Drawing conclusions about the intellect of a person or insulting a woman because of nude photos is presumptuous, ignorant, condescending and unreflective. Every woman has the right to physical self-determination. If she wants to celebrate her femininity with a nude photograph, she deserves a heart-emoji instead of a public shaming.
Jennifer Weist, singer, presenter and frontwoman of the german band “Jennifer Rostock”, recently advocated for more self-determination on Instagram in an interview podcast:
[…] if I want to show my fucking ass on Instagram, it’s nobody else’s business and no one’s allowed to call me a bitch because of it. It doesn’t work that way. You cannot just label people like this […]