{iStyle} Live, Nude, Girls! Fashion & Nudity

By: Jenn Ortiz, {iStyle} Editor


Can someone please tell me what is with all the naked models? Ok, I get it, it’s supposed to be artsy… F*** it, no I don’t. It doesn’t bother me too much, I’m certainly no prude. I’m just curious and confused. Is it because of the recession? Can the fashion magazines no longer afford stylists and the designers can’t afford to return the “returnable” samples out to the editorial departments? No? (*Warning: This post DOES contain artistic nudity. If that offends you, then you should not continue.)

Then, someone, please explain to me why in magazines that say they focus on fashion, we have so many full on nude or half-nude editorials and an increasing amount of nude covers. So many naked editorials that there is an entire blog devoted to nude fashion. What is the relationship between nudity and fashion? Is this a marketing ploy under the guise of “fashion is art?” Sometimes, I think it is. You see, I absolutely understand that nudity is part of art. I understand that some magazines use nudity to show the perfection and imperfections of the human body in their beauty articles. However, most of those magazines tend to cover the parts that make the photograph x-rate. The magazines that feature the most full frontal nudity tend to be those that focus on high fashion and less if no beauty at all.

The Photoshopped Nipple Piercing via Frockwriter

Natalia Vodianova appeared completely nude on the cover of Vogue UK, as seen above, with only a bit of text to cover her nipples.  Vogue Germany July ’09 featured several nude and erotic editorials. Vogue Australia’s 50th anniversary issue features an editorial with a topless Catherine McNeil (who also appeared in the German spreads), which is recently attracting attention, not for the nudity but for the photoshopping of her nipple rings. In June and July, several magazines featured nude models on their cover.

I-D magazine, which claims to be a  “contemporary style guide including collections, art, print, design, music reviews and interviews”  and Numero, which dubs itself as an international fashion magazine, feature a ridiculous amount of nude spreads. Most of the international versions of Vogue contain topless or more models at least once every few months. Purple dubs itself a fashion magazine but I’ve seen more model brazilian waxed bush or lack there-of in this mag then clothes. I concede that many of these nude loving publications are internationally owned or international editions. Perhaps what we are seeing is a cultural difference in the idea that being beautiful and sexual is something to aspire to, which I feel is something we do not seem as open to in American culture. Perhaps it is the American side of my cultural upbringing that makes me wonder where the fashion is in nudity.

Agyness Deyn for 032C Magazine

Yes, perhaps it’s the American in me that thinks that the objectification of models’ bodies is being taken to the extremes here. Models are picked apart and scrutinized in ways us non-models will never understand. It can be a cruel industry, as we’ve heard, which desensitizes its members to being nude and wanting any privacy for any part of their bodies. But, if these girls (yes, I say girls because most models start their careers between 13-15 and end it before they turn 30) are so used having to strip-down and be scrutinized, what stops them from being asked to show more for a photographer? How would they know where fashion ends and the perversion begins? If in the middle of a photoshoot, a photographer tells a model to strip to show everything except pink and she does, is this porn-like perversion or fashion? What if during that photoshoot, the photographer begins to talk dirty or engage in sexual behavior? At that point, the model would be trapped. It’s only a step between being asked to be totally naked and being asked to get physical with the photographer or casting director, which a model might feel cornered into and comply for fear of ruining her career. This is exactly what happened during a casting call to one of the girls in the upcoming Picture me, which exposes the all too common harassment and sexual assault in the fashion industry.

So, with that in mind, I ask you: is this fashion or is it something else? How far is too far?

Jenn Ortiz is a graduate of the University of Florida with degrees in History and Latin American Studies with hopes to pursue a PhD in Child Development. She believes there is beauty in everything around us; from the inside out, outside in. She currently runs {Bits of Beauty} a place you just feel good about and guest blogs for Design Tavern and Wishpot.

Comments

  1. And why is it always just nude female bodies. Equal time and treatment please. I think the body is beautiful but it does feel very male driven, if there was equal time then I'd say it was more art. The male body is just as beautiful as the female body.

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  3. JennOrtiz says:

    It's very true. Out of all the nude editorials I've been looking through, there was only one where the male was nude, but of course, the package was covered. As you see with Agyness above, fashion seems to have no problem exposing a woman down there.

  4. ladylolly says:

    Being an aspiring model myself, I have some opinions on this. Nudity is definitely a part of the fashion world. I've seen it as long as I've been a part of the industry and even before then. And I think there will always be questions about it, how far is too far, etc. There are so many genres of art, so many genres of photography – and nudity is a big part of them.

    I've definitely experienced my fair share of “too far” photo shoots. In my experience, it mostly happens when you're starting out, when you're naive, and don't know exactly what you are doing. You want to “make it” so bad that if the unprofessional, sleazy photographer tells you to take your clothes off because it will make you a star, you do just that. However, I know a lot of models personally that have taken their clothes off for portfolio or print work and they look great.

    I don't know. I believe it's different for everyone. Models will think one thing being apart of it, outsiders may think another. These are just my thoughts 🙂

  5. JennOrtiz says:

    Hi there, thanks for your comment.

    Actually, I think nudity is essential to art and photography. It's beautiful. However, my issue here is that magazines claiming to be about fashion are increasing the amount of nudity they feature. I've seen spreads of completely naked models, repeatedly in the same magazines. It just makes me wonder if its an appreciation for beauty or if its something else.

    I agree that outsiders will think differently. As a model, being naked and scrutinized is part of the job. It can also lead to girls being desensitized and not knowing where to draw the line, which is why there really should be more protection for these gorgeous girls!

  6. JennOrtiz says:

    Hi there, thanks for your comment.

    Actually, I think nudity is essential to art and photography. It's beautiful. However, my issue here is that magazines claiming to be about fashion are increasing the amount of nudity they feature. I've seen spreads of completely naked models, repeatedly in the same magazines. It just makes me wonder if its an appreciation for beauty or if its something else.

    I agree that outsiders will think differently. As a model, being naked and scrutinized is part of the job. It can also lead to girls being desensitized and not knowing where to draw the line, which is why there really should be more protection for these gorgeous girls!

  7. JennOrtiz says:

    Hi there, thanks for your comment.

    Actually, I think nudity is essential to art and photography. It's beautiful. However, my issue here is that magazines claiming to be about fashion are increasing the amount of nudity they feature. I've seen spreads of completely naked models, repeatedly in the same magazines. It just makes me wonder if its an appreciation for beauty or if its something else.

    I agree that outsiders will think differently. As a model, being naked and scrutinized is part of the job. It can also lead to girls being desensitized and not knowing where to draw the line, which is why there really should be more protection for these gorgeous girls!