I read “Nearly Nude” by Austen Diamond [Aug. 12, City Weekly], and I have to say that I agree that Utah tends to adopt an ultra-conservative and unrealistic view of sex and sexuality. When it comes to nude art, however, there are reasons why people disagree with it, and those reasons aren’t necessarily religious.
I am a feminist, and I don’t think that naked women have any liberating value, at least in the way we are portrayed in art. When looking strictly at the art world, it seems that all that women have to offer is their bodies.
I also want to point out that the type of women portrayed in visual arts are always thin and beautiful—the archetype of mainstream physical beauty. If art is meant to make us ask questions and reassert our values, then nude women in art simply solidify our culture’s absurd obsession with the thin, submissive, pleasing woman.
Not all nude art is of women, but how much art is there of nude men? Not much—which reaffirms my position that women seem to be able to offer only their bodies.
Yeah, Utah is too conservative. But, as art needs to make us ask questions and reassert our perceptions, thin, submissive, nude women in art do not do this. For too long, women have been the objects.