Bare with me

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  • Naked lady!
  • I usually try to tell a story with my daily posts, but today I am going to ask a question.

    Is the figure in this picture “nude” or “naked?”

    I have a friend who is a life model, posing naked for artists to draw her. That’s referred to as “life modelling” rather than “naked modeling” which I suspect is a whole other thing. So what is the difference? At what point does a naked person become nude?

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  • 9 comments on “Bare with me

    1. I’m glad you asked this question, as it sent me to the net to look around and I found this helpful scenario from Mental Floss…

      “Think of it this way: if you doff your duds to pose while descending a staircase for a tasteful painting done by a respected artist, then you’re nude. If a bunch of paparazzi suddenly burst in through the studio door and take your picture without permission, you are suddenly naked.”

      Just prior to this quote, the article indicated the naked implies unprotected or vulnerable.

      Before I found this article, my inclination was to say that nude is associated with art, as in one poses nude for an artist or photographer. By contrast, if your driving down the road and you see someone walking without clothes on, you would likely say, “Hey! Look at the naked dude/lady!”

      • Well yes, I would tend to agree, however there is plenty or art (much of it perhaps seen as performance art like Marina Abramovic’s 1977 piece “Imponderabilia”) that uses the term naked, seemingly interchangeably with nude.

        Nakedism isn’t a thing, but nudism isn’t, and they’re not in art are they.

        It’s probably just a language oddity rather than something that has a black and white answer. Another English language oddity like flammable and inflammable meaning the same thing.

        • Up front, I will just agree that language is odd and often imprecise, which is why it often can dance and play. That said, I wonder if nudism is a thing and not nakedism because nudism is connected to ideology, a naturalist ideology, and naked is merely like a passing event. Nude has gravitas, is about value, is a statement, and naked is just what you do to take a shower or have sex. Hmmm, even as I review what I just wrote, I am not completely convinced, but still I think there is something to this distinction.

          • It’s a strange language and perhaps social challenge isn’t it. I suspect most would at first say that ‘nude’ is art, and ‘naked’ is simply without clothes

            In the 1950’s a respected art historian said this;

            “To be naked is to be deprived of our clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition. The word ‘nude,’ on the other hand, carries, in educated usage, no uncomfortable overtone. The vague image it projects into the mind is not of a huddled, defenseless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body.”

            Clearly he felt that naked had some kind of vulnerability to it, an embarrassment even.

            That is a position I think most might agree with. However, does that then mean that Play is some highbrow art publication studying the form or the human body in its artful nudity?

            Are the models who adorn the pages of that magazine, many of whom are highly paid, nude or naked. Are they comfortable or embarrassed?

            I think in the end, it might simply be a word that sets a tone rather than a word with a definite singular meaning. After all my nude might be your naked?

    2. *waves*

      It’s ‘life’ modelling the same as artists refer to a “still ‘life'” drawing. It’s a drawing from life. You actually can be ‘clothed’ or ‘unclothed’. Ah, art…

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