The Myth of “Tastefully Nude”

I have a big problem with all the media outlets embracing Gwyneth Paltrow’s naked vanity fair shoot. My problem isn’t with the nudity itself, I say ‘go get it girl’, if you’ve got the guts to take it off, more power to you. I think americans get way too freaked out by women’s bodies. There’s a constant need to censor that is frustrating and really silly. I’d be interested to see what more americans fear, naked tits in public or Al-Qaeda. Seriously, they’re boobs,they’re fun but not going to damage anyone.

So dear old Gwyneth took it off for the Vanity Fair August issue. She didn’t pull a Demi Moore and challenge societal norms with her pose, she’s actually naked and hawking Louis Vuitton jewelry. Classy. Also the photo (below) is pin-up/I took this for my boyfriend with my cell phone.

(Property of Vanity Fair)

I’m frustrated by all these media outlets embracing the photo and talking about how young and fantastic she looks and how lacking in stretch marks (bet the other Moms out there love that). First of all, we’d all look fantastic with professional makeup, lighting, and photoshop. Can we please stop pretending these kind of photos in magazines are natural?

I’m frustrated by the reception of this photo because why is it different than the leaked Rihanna and Vanessa Hudgins photos? It’s the same hotel room set coyly up, the same kind of shot that leads one to believe the person being photographed is doing this for someone special. Why does this one get applauded and those are scandals? What makes this tasteful? The fact that she did this in front of a crew of people rather than privately? The only thing that makes it tasteful is people telling us it’s tasteful and printing it in vanity fair. If this was a leaked photo, which the style totally is, the media would be having a different discussion about it.

I’m not saying that I think we should be distributing porn through our publications, but I think photos like this and the ones I mentioned above are in the same boat. The fact that we can’t see nipple in Gwenyth’s pose should really not mean that it’s classy. That’s just plain silly. I think there should be two buckets for naked photos, nude and porn. If they’re not spreading anything, performing any sex acts, or squeezing anything it should be nude. Just nude, calling some “tasteful” and nude is just absurd and an opinion. It’s like calling something ‘pretty’. Everything else can fall into the porn bucket and we’ll save that discussion for another day.

So yes Gwyneth is nude, but so what? It’s really just another thing that her kids will talk to their therapists about.


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