“Euphoria” Nudity: Artistic Eye or Abuse of Power?

Photo posted by @sydney_sweeney on Instagram

If you’ve opened your phone at all in the past two years, you’ve heard of, seen memes of or tweeted of conspiracy theories about HBO’s “Euphoria” (Or should we call it “Sam Levinson’s Euphoria?”). From the rolling credits that consist mostly of his name to the 10-minute after-show that is seemingly edited to be a brag fest, the creator, writer and director of the hit show definitely knows how to be the center of attention.

This makes a lot of sense considering the cult following “Euphoria” has gained even after the show’s COVID-19 hiatus. When thinking about the show, it’s hard to find a reason not to watch with the mind-boggling combination of glitter, fentanyl, high school students with alarmingly avid sex lives and nudity — more specifically, breasts. And by that, we mean Sydney Sweeney’s breasts.

Photo posted by @sydney_sweeney on Instagram

“Euphoria” and its stars have been confronted with an extreme judgment of the excessive nudity that has not only caused its fans to speak out but even the actresses themselves. The true question on everyone’s mind is whether the nudity is a thoughtful creative choice or an abuse of power by Sam Levinson.

In a recent interview with “The Independent,” Sweeney opened up about how she feels her work on the show is discredited due to her frequent nude scenes and how she only feels proper recognition in her clothed work such as in the show “The White Lotus.”

While she insisted that she only does what she is comfortable with, she also mentioned “there are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.'” Your reaction to that was probably the same as ours: there was supposed to be more?

Photo posted by @sydney_sweeney on Instagram

Sweeney’s character, Cassie, is nude for a large portion of her scenes, but in the show’s defense, this does play into her character’s back story and reputation due to her need for male validation which she often seeks through sex. But, Sweeney isn’t the only actress who had to stand up to Levinson about taking out some of their nude scenes.

“Friday Night Lights” star and the new resident milf on “Euphoria” Minka Kelly, also had issues with the script. Kelly plays the mother of the child Maddy babysits and is somewhat of a role model for Maddy as she lives a life of luxury Maddy has always yearned for.

Photo posted by @minkakelly on Instagram

In an interview with “Vanity Fair,” Kelly revealed that in her opening scene she was meant to be nude, but after speaking with Levinson, the scene did not make it to the final cut. Kelly disclosed that “Sam thought it would be more interesting if my dress fell to the ground,” to which we say: more interesting for who?

While Levinson is quick to redirect his plans for a scene based on what the actresses are comfortable with, this is the bare minimum. The fact that the majority of the female actresses on the show had to request less nudity is a probable cause for concern.

That being said, we will have to wait until season three, anticipated to premiere in 2024, to see if Levinson takes these critiques into consideration. Let us know what you think and tweet us your thoughts @VALLEYmag!


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