Naked or Nude: What are you?

Photo posted by @feminist on Instagram.

The dictionary definitions of the words “naked” and “nude” use similar descriptions — words like “unclothed,” “bare” and “exposed.” Some definitions of “nude” go further to mention sculptures and paintings. However, the meaning goes much deeper.

To be naked means you are in your unclothed, natural, authentic state. You are naked when looking in the mirror, standing in the shower or getting dressed. Your body becomes nude when it starts to become sexualized, and when it isn’t seen for its true self or purpose. You become an object instead of a subject. During sex, you are nude because your body is being looked at for a purpose. It is free to be judged. Famous sculptures like Michelangelo’s David, and Praxiteles’s marble statue of Aphrodite are in the nude. Nude beaches, which gained popularity in the 50s, have their name for a reason. 

Aphrodite Statue – Photo posted by @ancient_civilisations on Instagram.

Most European sculptures and paintings depict lots of women and very few men in the nude. The women were created for the male gaze, and the men for the female gaze. Art was always created to give pleasure to someone else.

We may always be naked deep down, because deep down we will always be our natural, unclothes selves. But we cannot be looked at as that pure.

We are taught to love ourselves, yet all we do is judge ourselves because we want to be more like others. Social media creates expectations for everyone of what the “perfect” body should look like and what characteristics make someone “attractive.” 

No one will ever be able to see you as purely naked, as we even sexualize our own bodies sometimes. However, there is beauty in that. After you take a shower today, stand and look at yourself in the mirror. Take in each crevice, dimple, stretch mark and scar. You will only ever learn to love yourself when you do the things you are scared of. 

Photo posted by @beautypapersmag on Instagram

Will the world ever be able to look at others as naked? For their true selves, a body and mind that is capable of amazing things? A being that is like no other? Not in today’s day and age. But what really, truly matters is your opinion of yourself. At the end of the day, the only one who will always be there for you, is you.

Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with your thoughts on this topic!


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