Aphrodite & Venus
and all Want-to-Be
Some call us man’s first cultured pearls,
goddesses first birthed from castrated genitals,
our all-seeing eyes of violet blue with traces of
emerald green, and our hair is like soft wet straw,
with traces of wild flowers,
we are known as special tongue-n-cheek divas,
which are sexually implicit phenomena and
repository of many a mortal’s dreams,
man has tried to carve our beauty into blocks
of naked stone, with a lot of arousal left behind,
almost like flesh, only cold instead,
even though our hands are penniless and empty,
they are filled with man’s destiny to love and be loved,
so similar to the divine in repose, we lay upon rose
petals in our scalloped shells nibbling on poppies,
reading poetry and singing songs of naked love.
(This poem can be found in Sculpting the Heart’s
Poetry, Conversing with the Masters) at Lulu.com.
by Joyce White
Many of us would have ambivalent feelings about walking around nude yet those who don’t seem to have an alluring mystique about them. For women nudity is a state of mind. We have to bath, shave and perfume. For men nudity is a matter of comfort. Men don’t like to be restricted in any manner especially by clothes that button, snap or zip. I’m sure it was a woman who invented the tie. My advice to those who think they have to take off their clothes to be a star is, once you’re naked, what’s left to create the illusion? Mae West says, “Let em wonder. I never believed in giving them too much of me.” My mom always told me to never show “what I don’t have.” The human body has always exemplified a combination of joy, guilt, grace and mystique. Some of us are genetically built more modest than others. It seems to me nudity is an art many of us have to learn to accept. Streaking across a stadium naked may be more for shock than glory and it is just plain disrespectful to the teams playing. We humans have a great love for shocking the masses. Many of us also have a certain modesty probably gleamed from the the Garden of Eden times. It is thought that Christ once told his disciples not to worry about what they will wear; saying “Is not the body more important than clothes?” Matthew 6:25.
Art would never exist without naked beauty as a subject. Italian Americans have a great love for the human body. This love has its roots in ancient Rome and is reinforced by the classical and sacred images that haunt our consciousness today. They strongly believe mens sana in corpore sano, a sound body is the foundation of a healthy mind. Let’s see, there were many artists, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Raphael, Botticelli and many others. Their ideas of the “perfect” body were muscular, sensuous, graceful and plump. They were also tender, elongated, angelic, maternal, earthy, mysterious, powerful, dignified and heroic. The commercial demand for images of nude celebrities has made Playboy infamous. Check out http://www.ehow.com/how_2059477_photograph-implied-nudity.htm, How to Photograph Implied Nudity. As social creatures we not only want to see naked art but we want to taste its earthly pleasures with all our senses in photography and film. John Donne, the writer, says “Full nakedness! All my joys are due to thee, as souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be, to taste whole joys.”
Maybe full nudity can be uncomely but where there is no feeling of self-reproach, there can assured be no shame. Yet, Julia Roberts says, “I wouldn’t do nudity in films. To act with my clothes on is a performance. To act with my clothes off is a documentary.” Many enjoy being nude when making love. Others enjoy bathing and sleeping in the nude. The duration that a person is nude varies per situation and circumstance. People have strong views on nudity turning them into issues of modesty, decency and morality. At the same time, the erotic aspect of nudity has attracted an audience at all times in human history. It seems to me those who so dislike the idea of being nude will find something indecent in all naked truths.
We all have images in our minds of who we’d like to look like. I wrote the poem above for all those Marilyn Monroe want-to-be’s. So few of us are happy with our bodies even our men. Television commercials want men with an alluring mystique of six-pack abs, muscles, and dimples in the back and front. Personally, I think it is really sexy when a man can wink in more ways than one. Our young women want to be perfect and go to the extreme to get that way. Unfortunately, no matter how perfect we think we are, all our bodies will age naturally, and at some point will no longer do or be what our minds want. Who’s to say what perfection is? ”Dare we reveal our true selves to the world?” says Fritz Perls, ”If we do, we’ll have to “Take responsibility for our every thought, our every feeling, and our every action.” (Perls 1978) Robert Bresson says, “In the nude, all that is not beautiful is obscene.”