In this section we will be looking at the impact nudity has had on various forms of art, cultural perceptions of nudity and its use in the media, and talking to artists about their reasons for including nudity in their projects. We will be covering as wide a cross-section of art as possible from the traditional to the very modern, and looking at it from outside the projects as well as inside.
You hear it time and time again. Every time someone posts a picture of a woman with her legs open a whole host of people jump all over it declaring that it's pornographic, sexual, and not suitable for places intended for social nudity. Even among people who post nude pictures of themselves all the time there are a significant number - I have no idea if it's a majority or a minority - who cannot cope with the idea that an open leg shot can be non-sexual. These vaginaphobes threaten to block anyone who posts such material. They report them to moderators, add them to "porn lists", and do everything they can to distance themselves from the subject.
But why? It makes no sense. If we spend all our time telling people that nudity is natural, nudity is non-sexual, and that our bodies are intended to be looked at without clothes, then why do we suddenly panic when we see a vagina?
I was talking to Lu the other day over Twitter about this subject, and she sent me a few photos taken in her hotel room. There is nothing sexual about them at all, but I can guarantee that's what some people will see. And to those people I would like to say the following...
If you are going to accept that nudity is normal then you have to accept that all nudity is normal, not just some angles or some subjects. Treating parts of our bodies as taboo is a route straight back to treating all of it as taboo, and that goes against everything we want to see.
Nude is normal. Nude is natural. Nude is not rude, whatever bit of the body is on show.
Click here to see the rest of Lu's photographs.