01 January, 2008

Update - Nude Photography

"If the pride of being able to show it off is enough for you, then go for it."

I went for it. I totally went for it. No holding back. It's one of those things in your life where it seems a little crazy, but you're so into it that you know, just know, you'll regret it if you chicken out. And that's not to say that it's a capricious decision. It's something that I've thought a lot about, and I've decided that it's absolutely something I want to do. And so, not doing it could only harm my sense of self-worth. If you can't do something you feel strongly about, then what's the point of life? We're all gonna end up in the same place eventually, so there's no reason not to take the detours that interest us, right? So there it is. I posted nude photos of myself on the internet.

God, it feels so dirty when I say it like that. But I don't feel dirty about it. Granted, I'm not exactly comfortable talking to certain people about it, since it's a topic obviously rife with countless possible misconceptions, but if I was thrown against the wall and had to defend myself, I'd feel nothing but pride and confidence in my actions. They say you should never post anything on the internet that you wouldn't feel comfortable being advertised on a billboard in your home town. But, though I'd probably have a lot of explaining to do, I think ultimately I would be proud to have any one of these photos posted for everyone I know to see. Of course, I would never force them in anyone's face, but I feel good about having them available to people who are interested.

My moral code echoes the Wiccan rede, "An it harm none, do as ye will". With an important emphasis on "none", indicating myself as well as others. Anyhow, I don't care who sees me nude or what they do with my nude photos (even if it's something lewd that I wouldn't personally condone) - as long as they don't bother me about it (key word being "bother"). Unfortunately, there are people out there that have a problem with that last part, and they make it hard for the rest of us. But I don't believe in living in constant fear (since it's something I've struggled against all my life). They say you should be the change you want to see in the world. I think that if I see a random hot girl on the street, I should be able to look at some nude pics she took of herself, because I know I'm responsible enough not to use them against her in any malicious manner. I realize that's quite a lot to ask, but in the meantime, to show that I'm sincere, if anybody decides that they want to see me nude, I say, have a ball. But don't think that you know me just because you've seen me.

They warn that you should never post compromising pictures of yourself on the internet, because 20 years from now, you might be running for Senate, and somebody will pull those pictures up, and it'll completely ruin your reputation. First of all, I have no intention of running for political office. But more importantly, these pictures are not something that I'm ashamed of, and they represent feelings and beliefs I have about life that are not independent of who I am and what I stand for. These aren't dirty sex photos; they are a celebration of youth and the human form, and the fun you can have with it. They're amateur, and you could easily argue that they were taken with the intent to arouse, but they were also framed by an artist's mind, and to me, sensuality and sexuality are aspects of life that can be just as tasteful and classy as they can be lewd and trashy - a concept that an uptight mind might have a hard time reconciling.

In 40 years from now, am I gonna regret showing myself off to "the world" as a nude 18 year old? I can't know for sure, but I can't imagine that I would. I'm really happy that I took those photos, because I think I look great, and I can already see a difference in my physique between when I was 18 and now when I'm 23. And that's a learning experience. Plus, it would have been a shame to have missed out on capturing the form of my body at that age. Additionally, posting these photos acts as a statement in and of itself. To the people that find out about them, I am saying: "look upon the nude, it is not shameful, and I am not ashamed of it. It is not a bad thing but a good thing, and it is not a sin to recognize it as such. It is not something that should be hidden by necessity from the eyes of the world, but something that should be embraced and respected, and exposed to the world." Nudity is a symbol of Truth, the act of revealing all and hiding nothing. And Truth is the one virtue I admire most. By baring my naked body to the world, I hope that I can make further steps in revealing my mind, heart, and spirit as well.

As a final note, I'm not expecting anyone I know or anyone that reads this blog to look at the photos. But I have no problem if you do. In fact, if you have constructive criticism, that would be great - but don't ruin the experience just because you don't agree with my philosophy on nudity. I made the photos public, since there was really no point not to, so it's pretty much out of my hands. They're out there, and anyone can see them. Except that there are certain limitations, since they're relatively explicit photos (relatively). They're up on my Flickr account, but they've been marked 'Restricted', to be on the safe side. You'll have to be a member and sign in in order to view them (by turning the safety filter off). That way, nobody's gonna come across them unexpectedly and be in for a rude awakening. If they make a point to see them, they'll know what they're in for, and if they happen upon them randomly, that means they've already got the safety filter off, so it's not like they're not used to viewing 'explicit' material.

So, ignore or enjoy, as you please!


  1. No complaints here. Some impressively artistic poses in there too; you should use your own photographs as reference the next time you draw. Even though it seems like you're aiming for an anime style, it never hurts to practice the real thing in terms of figures. It'll also give you some nice practice with hair, as well.

    I have to admit, with regard to the photos, there's some amount of envy. The depressive cup ramen binging in junior year left its mark on my physique; I stumbled on some pictures of myself in freshman year and it blew my mind how skinny I was.

    I never really understood how you could be ashamed of nude pictures of yourself in the prime (ouch) of your life. I mean, okay, so your kids see them... it's not like they're seeing you naked /now/. Beyond that, it's something to be proud of; in most cases, your physique's only going to get worse as entropy starts eating at the walls of the fortress. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

    Hopefully nobody stumbles upon your pictures and starts bothering you about them... though maybe you'll get a few requests to use them as references in art. You're fairly unique in terms of your physique AND hair.

    The digital equivalent of nude modeling, suppose...

  2. Thanks for your positive reaction. It really means a lot to me. Actually, I'm a little envious myself of my 18 year old physique. Even though I was pretty skinny back then (not that that's changed a whole lot), that sort of thing has never bothered me. I think my face was a lot cuter, too. I don't know what happened there. Maybe I just need to shave regularly (read: at all). Or maybe it has something to do with those bangs.

    One good thing about modelling for a life drawing session is that you don't have to be traditionally beautiful or have a "good" figure. So at least there's not really any pressure there.