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Why So Uptight?

Why So Uptight?
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I was recently on a business trip and had an afternoon to kill and went to a museum for a change of pace. As I was walking around all of the great pieces of art, I noticed something. Back in the Renaissance people were not afraid to have everything hanging out and on view to the world.

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Comments

mankoneko  

one word: religion.

07/03/2012

I actually don't think it's a matter of religion at all. It would be hard to argue that the era of the Spanish Inquisition was somehow less religious than the modern world.

The fact is, neoclassicism was all the rage in the Renaissance. They made sculptures of naked people because the ancient Greeks and Romans made sculptures of naked people. It didn't make them any less prudish when it came to intercourse or the workings of the human body. For heaven's sake, DaVinci believed that semen came from the brain! He never proved otherwise because people weren't allowed to try and learn about how the body worked (even though he did do plenty of illegal autopsies).

However, I saw a documentary a few years ago that made a really good case for saying that we're more prudish with nudity in art these days because we have idolized the human body out of all proportion to what it actually looks like. The ancient Greeks did the same thing in the later centuries of their civilization - with a lot of late Grecian statues becoming disproportionate and muscled well beyond what a human being can really achieve. Of course, they idolized the male body, but we tend to idolize both. So now people think that in order to "look good nude" you have to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Pamela Anderson... despite the fact that a human body will never look like that without the aid of steroids and surgery. A average human body is kind of... yukky to us these days, except when viewed in a highly sexualized environment like porn.

07/06/2012

07/11/2012

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