So when does the portrayal of the naked body in photos and even art change from just being a thing of natural beauty and become more of a tool for sexual gratification ? To those who do not see nudity very often, probably 90% of the world population, their reaction is either, an overreaction involving urges of a sexual nature or a reaction of total denial and they call to ban the subject matter. Either way both reactions are damaging, the sexual one by making nudity, tacky and cheap and eventually pornographic, the other by sending out a message that it is totally unacceptable to be naked in any place other than the bedroom.To me a type of photo can be fairly straightforwardly judged by the type of pose, the setting and definitely the final destination of the photo. A photo that only shows various body parts is more a glamour porn photo, rather than a typical naked photo which takes into account things such as setting, light and tone rather than trying to titillate through suggestive posing. I was a newsagent for many years, during this time we sold adult men and women’s magazines, the magazines which contain content of a sexual nature and are typically considered pornography. We also sold H & E (Health & Efficiency, first published in 1900) which was widely known as the naturist’s bible. To me I always preferred the natural way that nudity was portrayed in H & E rather than the suggestive nature of the other magazines and what with interesting articles about the naturist lifestyle probably eventually contributed to me become an avid naturist.Unfortunately these days sex, in one form or another seems to sell products. Whether it be, The Sun newspaper through its page 3 babes or Calvin Klein adverts, with its famous skimpy models. To me both these degenerates the human bodies image and brings it down to the level of being a product too, which to be frank is really sad. People generally think that these “products” are the norm and this, in the end, contributes to a whole range of damaging consequences, especially to young women but also to most peoples own positive body image. In other words if I’m not like them, I’m not normal. People should rubbish this attitude and stop hating themselves for everything they are not and start loving themselves for everything they are. As I’ve grown older I’ve learnt to do that by turning the other cheek and by concentrating on enjoying life, rather than trying to follow everyone else.Getting back to photography to me a “naturist photo” is one that projects everything naturism should be and a photo that makes you think…mmm I’d like to do that too.
The age of the person in the photo doesn’t really make too much difference, but sometimes it does put off the people it’s trying to attract.It does it by using the perfect body shape,no wrinkes,fat or cellulite and by portraying this more often than not.In doing so this gets the same type of “I’m not like them I’m not normal” reaction but in the form of “I can’t possibly do it , as I don’t look like that”.To me the more genuine nudity you see, the less you see it as a sexual thing and the more you see it as normal,with all the blemishes that goes with having a human body. I think if society took that outlook too you’d have a better world and people would appreciate each other, a whole lot more.