I feel the ‘moral’ pornographer would ask why, in the modern day, pornography cannot be appreciated like nudity in art, why a sculpture should be more appreciated than watching real bodies act in a ‘natural’ way. Why getting enjoyment from watching modern porn is any less worthwhile than appreciating static art.
Well, why can’t we use modern technology to enhance the appreciation of the naked, the natural, the ‘exposed’? I believe the answer to be this:
In the modern day we have a warped society, where the music industry is generating sex icons, where porn addicts are becoming isolated from any concept of a ‘real’ relationship due to their virtual obsession, where the body and its functions are exploited by pleasure-seekers, and this has become easily available – no longer shunned, hidden and kept behind the bars of society.
HURRAH! The body is free to express itself! It’s no longer hidden and given the label ‘private’! EMPOWERMENT!
In the same society, the body’s image is becoming less and less realistic. The subjects of porn videos, for example, are most commonly ‘shaved’ as this is seen as more respectable, and to be ‘unshaved’ is a quality that seems rare, is pointed out in the titles as ‘UNSHAVED WHORE GETTING LAID’, as out of the ordinary in representations of the human body in front of a sexual partner. Society has come to a point where the body is shunned for having qualities that ALL humans naturally grow to gain, unless there’s some sort of pubic-hair growing disorder. Come to think of it, those people would probably be considered ‘lucky’ in today’s society. Gone are the days where puberty is celebrated. Obviously we’re all meant to be craving the baldness of a baby, which is strange, don’t you think? (Nod because it is. Hair grows, blood flows. Nature. Deal with it).
Airbrushing and photo-shopping furthers this ‘iconic’ image of the body. Okay, Henry VIII (and probably MOST subjects of historical art when Instagram filters weren’t available to cover up their inhibitions) may have told his portrait artist guy to, you know, big him up a little, but he meant getting rid of his chins (this was ignored in most cases) and ignoring the odd blemish because he thought that was the more ‘attractive’ him. Poor Henry.
It seems these inhibitions have been noticed more and more and collected into a list so they can become more of a problem one by one.
Nowadays celebrities are REQUIRED to be tall, have perfect round breasts practically anorexic, be on some sort of personal diet and training regime, have four stone cut off by photoshop and their blemishes and pale skin covered by artificial toning and airbrushing after the photo has been taken.
What is the point in all this effort? Why send out these messages that THAT is what is required to be accepted as ‘good looking’? Why paste that over the minds of society and claim that type of body to be humanity’s goal? Why refuse to show plus-sized mannequins because that’s ‘unrealistic’? Why, when a celebrity requires little editing after a photoshoot, is this marvelled at and celebrated? Why not just accept that being a size 12, a size 14, 18 and not having a six-pack and a penis the length of an extremely expensive and large champagne bottle is most definitely capable of being perfectly healthy, appreciated and normal? Why label skinny as ‘beauty’, as ‘healthy’, as ‘attractive’?
That’s asking for trouble. Social media has made it more obvious that amongst young people there is a SERIOUS issue with anorexia, drinking problems, drugs, self-harm and depression. All because society has made them think that they are not good enough. That them being normal is not enough. That they MUST conform to be appreciated. Sexual objectification is appreciated. ‘Blurred Lines’ was a hit, and the higher popularity of the explicit version as oppose to the ‘clean’ version of the music video says it’s not JUST the catchy beat behind the rapey words that attracts people to the song.
Objectification is a NOW problem. The red lights are flashing THIS second. The body is exploited as prey to desire, to pleasure-seekers, to fetishising objectifiers who crave to see what their mental image of a body and a person is the instant they crave it. To experience ‘sexy’ if and when they want it.
The music industry has increased this issue, promoting the idea of the body – a complex, wonderful and appreciative work of art – as a gyrating, exposed, warped unreality that is hidden behind sexually objectifying lyrics (as in ‘Blurred Lines’) and the cravings of society to have their desires for exposure and sexual objectification to be met. It’s no longer a case of appreciating the body, the natural and empowerment of these through sexual power. It’s a case of being made a thing to be had, not appreciated. A body to be coveted, not worshipped. A toy to be played with and used, not a human to be learned and wondered at.
The modelling industry creates a similar issue. Young, tall, slim people are worshipped and seen as ‘the best/top model’, and ‘plus-sized models’ given their own category, as if they’re something different, something that cannot be enjoyed or deemed as worthy as what society wants to be natural.
We need to ground ourselves and go look back at old art, to how the body was depicted in historical times when there was no modern technology, when a little ‘flab’ on the stomach and an ‘unflattering’ pose was seen as beautiful just because it was human and worthy of being hand painted.
Today’s society is NOT a development, this is a degradation. This is a degrading of humanity in its lowest form. This is objectification. This is what feminism seeks to put an end to, to change and to put right.
No, I’m not saying that males and females are not more equal in a hundred different ways. Women get to vote, women get paid more, women women women equality yadayadayada. MEN ARE NOT BEING DEGRADED IN THIS. WHAT PART OF THE WORD ‘EQUALITY’ SUGGESTS MEN SHOULD BE ANY LESS THAN THEY ARE NOW? It’s a development. It’s change, it’s realising we are people and we are capable of seeing each other as such, not as dolls to be played with and perfected with each new edition. It’s women realising they can be themselves and men can too. It’s men realising they can be themselves too, and that women can also. We are natural and should be celebrated for acting that way.
So applaud the one who says no to changing, to wearing a T-shirt on the beach because people complain that they can see their size 14 stomach, their saggy breasts, their ‘camel toe’ or their ‘moobs’. Is it normal to objectify people this way, with this sexually degrading language? Is their being REALLY affecting you? You don’t want to look like that? I have news for you; you are NOT that person. You are you, so start minding your own business and being your own person. Who cares what diet celebrities have been on to lose weight? You want that cake? EAT IT. YOU DONT NEED TO BE A SIZE 8 IF YOUR BODY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO. THE CAKE IS GOOD FOR YOU IF YOUR LIFE IS NOT IN ACTUAL DANGER. Will you possibly die if you eat the cake? No? Eat it. Cake. Is. Good. Shun the fool who lives by the motto ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’. Who cares? If your partner cares you went up from a size 10 to a size 12 and tells you you’re a fat-arse, tell them to shove it because your body can be a size 12 if it wants to and is happy. Accept, appreciate and be grateful you HAVE a body. It’s yours, you don’t need to play up to expectation.
Wake up from this hypnosis, this sleepwalk society has put you under. Look around. Is size zero normal? Is pornography ACTUALLY moral? Is rape-culture an issue? Is gyrating the best way to get around?
Here’s the biggest, easiest question, and I’ll give you a hint at the answer: Is feminism important?
Of course it is.