BY MILLIE GOSLYN-JONES
Instagram has recently been hit with a new wave of art celebrating the female body in all its shapes, colours and sizes. They are inspiring women to reclaim their bodies, in all their diverse glory, and reject society’s constant sexualisation and censorship. From nude commissions on tote bags to sculpted boobs on mugs, people just can’t seem to get enough of nude art!
The artists behind this movement are demanding a change in perception towards the female body and their art is all about reclamation and empowerment. The naked body, particularly the female body, shouldn’t have to be censured and doesn’t have to be overtly sexualised. That’s not to say it can’t be sexy! It’s just up to us to determine what we want our bodies to be.
Female bodies have been dominated by the male gaze for too long. If you take a look through western art history, you’ll find a plethora of paintings of nude women. Note the similarities between them - they are all white, or racially sexualised, women with flawless skin and perky breasts. Their stances make them appear vulnerable and silky material quite often covers their more ‘private parts’ (remember, men are scared of vaginas). Which brings me to the next important note - the vast majority of these paintings were done by men.
What about women representing women! The artists involved in this nude-art movement are refusing to let the female form be reduced to a sexualised object at the mercy of male pleasure. While it’s obviously okay to admire these traditional paintings, wouldn’t you rather drink tea out of a mug with your tits on?
There’s a widespread consensus that traditional art’s homogeneous depiction of the vulnerable naked white woman just doesn’t work anymore. It’s about time that women took control over the representation of their own bodies. Everyone’s bodies are different and this needs to be celebrated, not painted over or scribbled out.
We should admire our uniqueness and love our different coloured skin and different sized breasts, different scars and different freckles, our hairy armpits or our hairless legs and everything else in between! Airbrushing has become a bad word, and rightly so, and in its place people are learning to love their ‘imperfections’. The female form is a unique and beautiful thing so it’s uplifting to see so many people making it their mission to help others to see this too.
Jasmine Moodie, having recently graduated from the University of Leeds, runs Mude Threads, a company that hand-embroiders and prints naked women onto clothing and other textiles in a bid to 'champion body positivity and shed light on the diversity of the female form'. What could be more empowering that brandishing a bag or a t-shirt with your boobs on for the world to see?
Cover Image Credit: Eliza Hopewell Plates