The Never-Ending Debate On Nude Selfies

The Never-Ending Debate On Nude Selfies

Is it time to cover up?
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Oh, look, another pair of boobs.

Pictures like this seem to always find a way onto my social media newsfeeds.

Before I dive into this conversation, let me preface it by saying that I do believe women are still oppressed in a lot of ways and that this is a challenging topic because there are so many sides and ways to approach it. Now, let’s dive in.

Even if you are not connected to the various social media outlets that are available, there are still plenty of other sources that relay the information posted to the general public. Recently, Kim Kardashian uploaded a nude picture of herself online with caption, “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL.” Hm. To be completely candid, I, like many, was not shocked at all by this ‘scandalous’ photo. Anyone who is even somewhat familiar with her is aware of the revealing photos she tends to post. Some of my initial thoughts were, “What will your daughter think?” and “What message does this send to young, impressionable women?” To me, everything she stands for is self-promotion through overt sexualization of herself.

The post did not go unnoticed—also not shocking. Within a matter of minutes, various opinions from other celebrities and regular people alike flooded the internet. Comments ranged from ‘how inappropriate this was’ to ‘this was commendable.’ But, there is not a right or wrong answer. Still, I’m sorry, but I find it extremely far fetched that Kim posted the photo with the intent of thinking about feminism, and rather posted it only for personal gain and comments to inflate her opinion of herself to an even higher level.

Just the other day, Kim followed up the image with another nude selfie—this time with a costar in the image, actress Emily Ratajkowski. The two have a black bar censoring their chests, while they both flip off the camera and pout. I cringed. I do not think this really helps the case for feminism. Both these women are famous because they have used their naked bodies as a way to promote themselves and make money. Both seem to always be posting hyper-sexualized shots of themselves. Kim constantly forces her naked figure into the media; she even had a fully unclothed image of herself on the cover of Paper magazine. Emily got her break bopping around almost completely nude in a music video for a song that glamorizes rape culture. These do not seem like women that are truly practicing what they apparently preach as ‘feminists.’ To me, this sends the message to young women that an enviable body and overt sexualization of yourself to the general public are more important than other things that can be brought to the table. Women are already treated as objects to engage the male gaze and solely bring pleasure, so why should we give them any more? I believe that there are other ways to approach feminism and advocate for change. I feel that their actions only fuel the idea that a body is more valuable than a brain. This interpretation was also reiterated by actress Chloe Grace Moretz, as she commented that it sends the wrong message to young women about what is important.

Now that I have said that, and I am sure people are angry at my idea, let me go into another layer of the debate. I see why posting a photo such as this could be empowering. They are posting it on their own time, with their own consent, and think they have the right to be sexy. Their sole purpose is not to satisfy the male gaze. By having the power to post the image they took themselves, the women have total control. While I find the root of this idea appealing, I do not find this to be the proper way to go about it.

Whatever happened to the sanctity of keeping your body to yourself and those you love? Maybe I am a prude, but I do not get why everyone feels the need to share their bodies with the world. Feel empowered, feel inspired, and by all means, love yourself. But, is showing your naked body really making a statement or just a cry for attention? Maybe I feel this way because this is something I would never do. All I can think about when people post images like this is, “Have your parents seen this?” and “I hope you can hide these from your next employer.” Maybe I'm a little old-fashioned.

Regardless of if the slew of nude photos are meant to promote feminism or not, it feels as if they have started to just become yet another typical nude, and because of this, do not have the same kind of impact. If you see something every day, it’s not as shocking anymore. Kim, I feel like I’ve seen your boobs almost as much as I’ve seen my own. Maybe, it’s time for you to try promoting feminism in a way that does not rely on vanity.

We need more role models that promote feminism and empowering messages while their clothes are on—a message that women of all ages can participate in comfortably. Actress Emma Watson is a prime example of this; she is a UN Ambassador for HeForShe, which champions gender equality and has called for alternatives to pornography that do not objectify women. The work she is involved in has received attention in the media, as well, but perhaps not to the same volume as displaying one’s breasts.

Even though I do not fully agree with some of the ways that Kim approaches ‘feminism’ ( I keep putting that in quotes because I am really still skeptical of her intentions), I do think it is advantageous that it keeps the conversation alive as to how people respond to posts and engage with feminism. As I previously stated, there is no right or wrong answer, but perhaps the closest thing to the correct answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Cover Image Credit: static.celebuzz.com

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Gillette Controversy: Should Companies Share Their Views?

"We Believe: The Best Men Can Be" by Gillette is about creating a conversation, whether you agree with the commercial or not.

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We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film) www.youtube.com

January 13, 2019, Gillette released a commercial that takes a new focus on their tagline "The Best a Man Can Get." The commercial weighs in on the Me Too movement and showcases different moments of toxic masculinity.

These moments include boys bullying another boy through cyberbullying, two young boys beating each other up while fathers are watching them saying that "boys will be boys", a set of a 1950s sitcom where a man grabs his maids butt to which the audience is encouraged to applause and laugh at his act, and a businessman laughing at his female colleague's statement and then says to the other male colleagues, "What I actually think she means…"

A voiceover in the ad says, "Is this the best a man can get? Is it? We can't hide from it, it's been going on far too long. We can't laugh it off, making the same old excuses. But something finally changed [implying the Me Too movement and people speaking up], and there will be no going back..."

The commercial then shifts to showing a man stepping in when another man tells a woman to smile, when a man stops another man from following a woman down the street, and video clips of men stopping fights and having two boys shake hands, as well as a father encouraging his daughter to say she is strong. There is also a moment when a father from the "boys will be boys" scene tells those kids fighting, "This is not how we treat each other."

The voiceover continues with "...Because we…We believe in the best in men. To say the right thing. To act the right way. Some already are, in ways big and small. But 'some' is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow."

This commercial sparked controversy with people saying that not all men show toxic masculinity, many people saying that this commercial is anti-male, and people saying they will now boycott Gillette and their partner company. Whereas others are praising the commercial with many saying that, if you're offended by this commercial, then that is why it was made.

But regardless of what you think of the commercial as a whole, the big topic of discussion is whether or not it is okay if companies should be political and put their two cents in through marketing.

I say yes.

I believe it is very okay for companies to express their thoughts and concerns about political and social issues through marketing. When the Me Too movement first came into the light, many people wanted Hollywood to stay out of politics/social issues. The public did not want to hear about the sexual harassment allegations throughout Hollywood, however, because of these celebrities bringing light to this issue more and more people, celebrity or not, are coming forward and speaking their truths.

More and more people are realizing the signs of harassment and speaking up before it can get worse. Society is more aware of these social issues because people with a platform are talking about it. Unfortunately, many people still do not want to listen to people with platforms, but having the conversation is important, so how else can we keep the conversation going?

That is where commercial and other forms of advertisements can come in. The commercial did exactly what it intended to do: to create a conversation. Talk shows like "The View" or "The Talk" are talking about, news outlets are talking about it, people on YouTube are talking about it, and here I am writing an Odyssey article related to the topic.

The commercial created conversation. It got people thinking about and discussing their concerns, their feelings about the idea of toxic masculinity, as well as how this commercial could or could not be the new wave of change. It is important to have conversations, as it is the only way for things to change and for people to see that how things used to be are not the way they should be now.

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