Sunday, October 28, 2012


Nudity has been in the news of late. Recently the buzz was about young couple Alvin Tan, 24, and Vivian Lee, 23. They posed nude photos of themselves on their blog Sumptuous Erotica. While Alvin said his parents were pretty 'cool' about the whole episode, Vivian's parents went ballistic. In an interview posted on Youtube, the couple expressed no regrets over what they did and said they enjoyed being in the limelight.

Public reaction was clearly split in the middle. The young generation mostly supported the couple. "It's their body and they can do anything they like with it. It's no big deal." The older generation, on the other hand,  heaped condemnation upon the couple. "Shame on them!"

Photo: China Daily
The latest nudity case to hit the headlines involves Wang Xuzhong, 84. Now this is where it gets interesting. This time it's the young generation who are appalled that an old man like Wang would take off all his clothes for a fee. Wang does part-time nude posing for art students in universities in Chengdu, China.

Wang's children have disowned their father. Although they still bring him clean clothes and food weekly, his elder son has changed the lock of his house to keep his father from visiting him. Wang, a widower, lives alone and survives on a monthly pension of 800 yuan (RM400). The 1400 yuan (RM676) he earns from posing nude goes a long way towards supplementing his small pension.

Photo: People Daily
Apparently, earning a side income as a nude model is catching on among older people in China. It is easy money for them. All they have to do is sit for about an hour and be paid 120 yuan (RM58) for it. Besides, they consider nude modeling an honest job, more honorable than committing crime for money. The only problem is, they have to hide their part-time job from their children to avoid bringing dishonor to the family.

So here we have two opposing reactions to nudity. It is obvious that age has a lot to do with it. When you are young and you have a body that is to die for, flaunt it. That seems to be the message of the young. When you are elderly and you have a body that has fallen victim to gravity, with body parts dangling south, you had best keep it under wraps. Unless you have a body like Tsutomu Tosuka's, then by all means, exhibit it. In 2009 at the age of 74, he won first place in the above 70 age category in the Japan Masters Bodybuilding Competition.

Believe it or not, these men are aged 70+. Goes to show what
discipline and training can do for your body whatever your age.

Once upon a time in Bali, women went about their daily chores with their breasts exposed. It was a natural thing to do, just like these women below waiting to dance for Prince William and Princess Kate during their visit to the Solomon Islands in September. Nobody would bat an eyelid, or look away in embarrassment. In Japan, everyone steps into a public hot bath stark naked, and no one cares two hoots whether your body is a work of art or a personal trainer's nightmare. At the other extreme, there are cultures where the women are covered from head to toe to shield their body and protect their modesty from lustful eyes.

Photo from Getty Images

Should there be some code of decency that society should observe regarding nudity? Is a nude body a joy to behold whatever the age or shape, or is it a shame, a horror to shut your eyes to? Should nudity be made punishable by law? The answer to all these questions is probably "It depends." On what?

Anyone who walks around naked in public would end up being hauled to the police station or to the loony house. That probably sums up how society views nudity today.

PETA: Going naked for a good cause

Have we become such prudes that we appreciate nudity only as an art form in statues, sculptures and paintings?

1 comment:

Starmandala said...

Better nudist than buddhist! That's my credo. For those as yet uninitiated, I always add before they can ask why I'm against buddhism: being "buddhist" is a waste of time, just go right ahead and attain buddhahood - it's no harder than getting a driver's licence, when you realize being buddha simply means you're no longer a robot!