Censorship Of Nudity – The Story Of Censored Naked Bodies

Nudity, Naked Bodies And Censorship:
Nude Bodies and Censorship Issues: Before we attempt to comprehend Nudity and Censorship, we must first comprehend the basic foundation used by censors today as guidance. So with that in mind, I’ll start off by listing the terms that censors use as reason for determining what should be censored and what would be considered “safe” or public worthy.
Using these terms in this article will be predicated on their legal definitions, recorded at the end for your reference. Click on any term below to jump to its definition.
Censorship of Unclothed Bodies In America – Performers Of Oh! Calcutta!
The crucial terms that’ll be referred to are:
Censor
Censorship

Nudity
Osbcenity
Lewd
Porn
Erotic
Sexual
So given that we have listed and defined the basic terms, let’s explore the problem of censorship and how it pertains to nudity and the naked human form.
The Issue Of Nudity and Censorship and CensoringOf Unclothed Bodies
Is Nudity A Crime! Problems with the censoring of unclothed bodies!
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is the guideline used by the legal system, in the U.S., for freedom of speech. This can be where we will start:
The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Some might claim that now in the U.S., the issue of censorship has been spinning out of control. Mainstream Broadway shows, TV shows, artwork, publications, articles, websites and many more have been compelled to change or cut out parts as a way to abide by the censorship standards set forth by the powers that be. For the most part, the reasons given for censoring materials vary but in its essence, it usually has to do with the morals and ethics set forth by the country and its courts (in a democratic society).
Not all censored information would be considered contentious. There are many examples where censorship is utilized by government agencies as an important part of national security. They tend not to tell the public what they have been doing because it could undermine their ability to perform a mission, hence putting innocent people’s lives in danger. (An example of this would be if the FBI got wind of terror cell’s intention to execute an attack. By broadcasting aim to apprehend the terror cell’s members, they run the risk that those terrorists will just run away before they get found).
But not all instances are so cut and dry as is true for artistic or simple and / or innocent nudity. To realize why nudity is censored today we must first recognize when it started. The nude human form had not been always viewed as a danger. The ancient Greeks and Romans had no problem with nudity, consequently the many unclothed bodies depicted within their various forms of artwork. Both empires created statues and artwork depicting the naked human form in a celebratory fashion, with many of the nude figures standing tall and proud. They clearly did not have an problem with public or societal nudity since the first Olympic Games were conducted (by men) in the nude, and the individuals who frequented the public bath houses were all unclothed. Bath houses were a meeting place for social interaction and some of them were even unisex, as was the case with the bath houses that were unearthed in Bet Shean Israel.
The Origins of Censoring Bare Bodies
So one might wonder, when did everything change and why? Well, the first methodical effort of censoring the unclothed human form occurred with the rise of Christianity and the Catholic Church. Once Christianity became an established faith we see a dramatic shift in attitudes towards the nude human body. The Church’s perception of nudity and the naked human body altered the unclothed figure in art from a positive image to one among shame. Once the Church started viewing sexuality as a primal sin, the aesthetic representation of nudity started to transform at the same time. The bare artwork that was made during the medieval time period started depicting unclothed bodies that were guilt-ridden or even worse forever damned.
Hans Memling’s The Last Judgment
It is crucial that you notice that the risk of “eternal damnation”, for true believers, could be a powerful motivator and will unavoidably become a driving force that fuels the crusades of people who seek to apply ideals according to religious beliefs.
During the early Middle Ages, the Catholic Church attempted to control the depiction of nudity and the human form. Under the guidelines set forth by the church, nudity in art was only to be allowed when depicting ancient mythological subjects, but not allowed when depicting religious or just arbitrary ones. The church’s efforts to suppress and censor the depiction of nudity were extremely successful and their policies were the law of sexy beach babe for several years to come. Actually, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that we start to see a shift back towards a more accepting and positive depiction of nakedness and a resurrection of the timeless, more accepting view of the naked body.
The Renaissance ushered in a new era. Works of art for example Michaelangelo’s David and Raphael’s The Three Graces started to challenge the idea that the nude human body should be interchangeable with shame. Their works depict nude people in a glorified manner, devoid of negative connotation.
Michelangelo’s David
Subsequent bits continued this trend of observing naturist freedom kids but as the decades passed, things failed to get simpler for artists whose work dealt with the sensitive issue of nudity.
Naked Bodies by Raphael – The Three Graces

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