Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Life on both sides

I do need to find a life class again. Its been ages since I have done live drawings of the human figure. The problem is finding one that is held in the evening or on weekends. Everything seems to take place during the day. Maybe I'll just have to run one myself.

I find there are enormous differences between public acceptance of the nude form on both sides of the Atlantic. Europe, for the most part, is very liberal and nudity is part of life and accepted. In North America however, nudity is still seen as representing sex with constant embarrassed jokes and innuendoes when the subject of life classes comes up. I never quite understand that, especially as most North American television is obsessed with bodily functions. Which would I rather see? A bare breast or some air brain float around singing about how easy it is to insert tampons? Hmmmmm, no contest there. But show any frontal nudity on North American television and the country is up in arms over it. Bodily functions seem to be another matter altogether it seems.

Europeans have used nudity and sex in television commercials for years without outcry from the public. Why? Because it is normal. Its natural. Have a look at some of these commercials. These are the much tamer commercials by the way. I don't want the Bible-belters arriving on my doorstep to save my soul...

And lighten up North America.

Here is a sample from IKEA. Need a new bed?

My all time favourite. Time for the kids to leave home? IKEA again.

Or perhaps a Motorola pager?

Then there's a Panasonic ad. Nothing like this in North America.

5 comments:

Robin Neudorfer said...

You and me both. We need to challenge each other to make this happen. I keep talking about it, but... perhaps once school is out.

Dave said...

I would love to take a life class, though I must admit the prospect would be a little daunting. I'll have to look out for one in the autumn.

Jeanette said...

Robin, the challenge is on. I will contact the Anna Templeton Centre today and find out if they have anything available that fits my schedule. And if they do, I'm booking it. If they don't, I'll put the wheels in motion to hold one myself.

The challenge is out to you to Dave. Have pity on the poor model. Take summer sessions, its warmer for them to sit then! :)

Amuse said...

Personally, I appreciate the new ad campaign by Dove, which features real-bodied women. Not nude, but in underwear. Personally, although Europe is definitely more relaxed about nudity (in some countries), I find that their obsession with skinny models and everlasting youth is not really helping a healthy sexuality in men or women. Not just nudity, but who is nude and when are points to consider. The hypersensitivity to sex and nudity in North America I consider a legacy of various religions, especially Christianity, which propagated hatered toward women on many levels. Suppressing male sexuality and controlling female sexuality led to grossly dysfunctional, at worst perverted, behavior (child pornography, etc.) What you don't get becomes an obsession. No sex leads to preoccupation, or obsession with it. The of course you have the whole other topic of sex and love . .. not enough room here!

Jeanette said...

Yes, I've seen the Dove ads and they make me think the advertising industry is finally starting to come around to the fact that all women aren't size zero and 18 years old.

Your comments are thoughtful and very true.