Nokyoung Xayasane
October 16, 2012

Why Do Women Need to Get Naked to Send a Message? (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Via: YouTube

Sex sells. This is what we’ve been taught. As a blogger, I certainly know this motto to be true. Put “naked” or “nude” in a headline, and it’s going to get hits. Add “nipple” — voila. You have people’s attention. It’s a call to our inner voyeur, I guess. Hey, pay attention to me. These are my breasts and my blurred out vagina.

Why are our boobs such a selling point?

After reading xoJane’s post about the new political ad made by and the topic of nude women in media, this got me thinking. It seems like whatever the message, whether artistic, political, or comedic, there’s images of women in their full glory.

We argue that it’s an act of empowerment. We’re nude, we’re raw, we’re edgy. But does this really get the message across? Yes, it’s titillating  It riles up the viewer, rather male or female. And shock value gets a highly distracted audience to pay attention. (Even if they just bookmark that NSFW video or photo for latter viewing.)

Nude women in the media: artistic, political, comedic

Taylor Momsen recently posted a video of her reciting her song lyrics, naked. Funnylady Chelsea Handler and actress Sandra Bullock share a comedic shower scene (two ladies naked, together, bonus…). posts an ad for women about their body rights while they hold up signs that cover their naked bodies: My country, my choice. PETA has their “I’d rather be naked than wear fur” theme.

Via: Huffington Post (Photo credit: Amp Rock TV)

These posts all have a purpose in mind. We want to be moved, we want to laugh, we want to protest, we want to ponder. I wonder, where can we draw the line between being exploitative and being empowered? Can’t a woman make an intelligent statement without someone asking her to take her shirt off? Or without her thinking that nudity is the way to get her message across?

Via: Radar Online (Photo credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd.)

The Audience Isn’t Stupid

I think the media has to stop patronizing their viewers. The minute I read about someone doing anything naked, I almost immediately tune out. It’s a tactic that does not work for me. I think that there are more viewers out there that want quality content, and having a naked women panning their product or ideology takes away from the message (unless the message is “Here’s a sex tape–watch it”).

If we’re trying to speak to women about women by other women, let’s recognize that these ads forget their target audience. Do other women really want to see their female heroes naked? I, for one, do not. I’m not a prude. I talk freely about sex. However, nude women in media is just missing the mark.

Let’s try to say something impactful without having to take our shirts off, and relying exclusively on her nude figures and peerless faces.