PONDERING INSIGHTFUL QUOTES

ABOUT

NUDITY, BODY ACCEPTANCE, ART, CENSORSHIP, GOD

AND

PHOTOGRAPHING NUDE MODELS

Compiled

by

Peter J. Mancus,

Owner, www.wowthewonderofwomen.com

pmancus@comcast.net

707-703-9210

I do not embrace every quote stated below, but I agree with many of them and deem all to have merit. Many are profound and a few are hilarious.

This collection can easily be the basis for hours of discussion.

I hope you enjoy the mind stretch and think anew about a controversial subject: nudity.

 

 

Wonders Arising From the Nude

“. . . to see what was veiled, is fundamentally gripping.”

— Jonathan Jones

“The nude portrait is only incidentally about the naked person . . . .”

— Paula Brook

“A pretty girl who is naked is worth a million statutes.”

— E. E. Cummings 

“. . . a naked woman . . . is the most beautiful thing there is.”

— Thomas Eakins

“Beautiful nudes made it possible for us to contemplate our sexuality in safety.”

— Martha Mayer

“Woman’s nudity is wiser than the philosophers’ teachings.”

— Max Ernst 

“Being naked approaches being revolutionary, going barefoot is popularism.”

— John Updike

“What nudity . . . reveals is its own impudence; what is shown in it is not so much what is secret, as the betrayal of the secret, which is to say profanation itself.”

— Raoul Moati

“The nude is a very fascinating subject . . . .”

— Isabel Bishop

Shame and Respect for the Nude

“When we respect the nude we will no longer have any shame about it.”

— Robert Henri

“You miss a lot of wonderful as well as historic art if the nude is denounced.”

B. J. Adams

“The female body is a masterpiece. Everyone likes to look at the female body.”

— Natalie Cook

Clothes

“The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.”

— Mark Twain 

Nude’s Eternal Beauty

“Man’s naked form belongs to no particular moment in history; it is eternal, and can be looked upon with joy by people of all ages.”

— Auguste Rodin

“There is nothing in all the world more beautiful or significant in the laws of the universe than the nude human body.”

— Robert Henri

“Beauty when most unclothed is clothed best.”

— Phineas Fletcher 

“The beauty of a naked body is felt only by the dressed races.”

— Fernando Pessoa

“In the contemplation of nudes, we congratulate ourselves upon the beauty of which human beings are capable. They reassure us about ourselves, about Being. We are a little lower than the angels, true, but notice that we can get along without that suspect radiance, equal parts paint and literature, on which the angles lean so heavily. The human body is, or can be, a sufficiency.”

— Donald Bartheime

The Most Beautiful Curve on a Woman’s Body

“A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body.”

— Unknown

When Beauty Begins 

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

— Coco Chanel

Nudity as God’s Art

“The nakedness of woman is the work of God.”

William Blake

“Naked is a human commodity. Nudity is God’s art.”

—David Allio

Praise for the Human Body

“. . . the human body . . . is such a thing of beauty and wonder.”

— Mary Jean Mailloux

“. . . who is so barbarous as not to understand that the foot of a man is nobler than his shoe, and his skin nobler than that of the sheep with which he is clothed?”

— Michelangelo

“I have unbounded admiration for the nude. I worship it as a god.”

— Auguste Rodin

“. . . the nude offers the richest meaning.”

— Auguste Rodin

“Our bodies . . . are the temples of our being . . . . they deserve both our study and our appreciation.”

— Robert Genn

Nakedness and Life

“It is important to remember that you’re born naked, and the rest is drag.”

— Ru Paul

In the city, nudity means something; in the wild, it just exists.

Mason Cooley

Nudity, Desire and Nakedness

“Once we are aware that our nudity makes us objects of desire, we become naked.”

— Chloe Thurlow

Nude Humans are Relatively Pathetic and Vulnerable

“What a frail, easily hurt, rather pathetic thing a human body is, naked; somehow a little unfinished, incomplete!”

— D. H. Lawrence

“. . . a naked human is the biggest wimp in the wild. We have no fangs, no claws, no strength and no speed.”

— Christopher McDougall

Breasts 

“I would prefer a normal-sized breast, or a small breast or whatever, and that it be natural, than to understand that it was just some jelly in there.”

— Jeff Koons

“I mean seriously: they’re just breasts. Every second person has them.”

— Richard Curtis

“It really bothers me that people are so offended by breasts. That’s when I realized how f_cked over culture is.”

— Emily Ratajkowski

Nudity’s Effect on Children 

“My parents were free about nudity, and we are too. I’d like our children to feel unashamed of whatever shape they are. People should worry about other things.”

—Heidi Klum

“In fact, research suggests that children who have seen their parents nude do not grow up to be emotionally scarred, but instead are more likely to be accepting of their own bodies and comfortable with their own sexuality.”

— Holly Robinson

Inner Desire to be Naked

“The existence in so many places of the tendency toward nudity, is not a testimony to the fallenness of man. It is rather a testimony of the original condition of man. What was normal and “very good” for man in his original state, still exists as a desire in his soul. The inner desire to be naked and unashamed is a longing to get back to our original perfection.”

— Philo Thelos

A Woman’s Invisible Clothes

“Fragrance is the first layer of dressing, a woman’s invisible body suit.”

— Diana Karan

Effect of Nude Images

I began to think about the extent to which nude and semi-nude female bodies are commonplace in our present day culture and how young girls might be affected. I wondered if, at some point, this bombardment of images could possibly get boring and that concealing – rather than revealing – would awaken sexual desire. I don’t think that will ever be the case, of course, but I was intrigued to write a poem in which dressing was just as erotic as undressing.

Denise Duhamel

Nudity and Personality

When you get the personality, you don’t need the nudity.

Mae West 

Remaining Well Grounded Regarding Beauty

“A pretty face gets old. A nice figure will change. But a good woman will always be a good woman.”

— Unknown

“You need to step away from the mirror every once in awhile and look for another reflection, like the one in the eyes of the people who love you and admire you.”

— Stacy London

“The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains.”

— Josephine Baker

“You cannot eat beauty, it will not sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion, for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”

— Lupita Nyong’o

“. . . the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.”

— Salma Hayek

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”

— Beyonce

“Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.”

— Barbara Kingsolver

Pity an Immature Physically Beautiful Woman

“I have a woman’s body and a child’s emotions.”

— Elizabeth Taylor 

Nudity as a Woman’s Defensive Armor

Her nudity is her armor. It blinded the drooling fools. They couldn’t see anything else while they saw her body.

Brent Weeks

Sexual Frustrations

The basic paradox about sex is that it always seems to be offering more than it can deliver. A glimpse of a girl undressing through a lighted bedroom window induces a vision of ecstatic delight, but in the actual process of persuading the girl into bed, the vision somehow evaporates.

—Colin Wilson  

Self-Liberation from Society’s Taboos

“When women pose thoughtfully and artistically – in nothing but their bare skin – they find themselves. They discover that they are truly alive. They become a Nude.”

David Allio

“To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself.”

John Berger 

“. . . I’d rather be naked than wear the coat the world made for me.”

— Dorothy Allison 

The Nude’s Appeal to Artist 

“The nude, if you tackle it, is a very fascinating subject, especially for a woman.”

—Isabel Bishop

Nudity and Innocence

“The angels in the innermost Heaven are naked, because they are in innocence, and innocence corresponds to nakedness.”

— Emanuel Swedenborg

Nudity, Respect, Shame and Indecency 

“Is not nakedness indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability, that is indecent. There comes moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent.”

— Walt Whitman 

“It is the grossness of the spectator that discovers nothing but grossness in the subject.”

— William Hazlitt

“In the Nude, all that is not beautiful is obscene.”

Robert Bresson 

“It bothers me that in this society, it’s OK seeing a guy blow another’s head off, but a child seeing Janet Jackson’s boob at the Super Bowl is the worst thing that could happen. It’s not the end of the world! It’s just a breast!”

— Charlize Theron

To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude. (The sight of it as an object stimulates the use of it as an object.) Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. To be naked is to be without disguises.

John Berger

 Nudity and Clothes

 “The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.”

— Marilyn Monroe

 “Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.”

John Berger

 “I can be shy, but I’m not shy with my body. Everyone is naked under their clothes—so what?”

— Cameron Richardson

 “Halfway measures, such as loincloths or fig leaves, remain more titillating than complete nudity.”

— Paul Ludwig

 “To be well dressed you must be well naked.”

— Oscar de la Renta

 “Nudity quickly becomes unremarkable when generally practiced.”

—Martha Nussbaum

 “My dresses are ephemeral objects of architecture designated to glorify the proportions of the female body.”

— Christian Dior

 “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.”

— Marilyn Monroe

 “If you’re comfortable in your nudity, why the hell do you need clothes?”

Anthony T. Hincks

 I’ve come to believe that total nakedness, that is absolute transparency, that is utter and unfettered and profound visibility, is the only way that we can truly love. Anything less, is self-defense.

Neale Donald Walsch

 Nude and Sexy

 “You do not have to be naked to be sexy.”

— Nicole Kidman

 Body Acceptance, Body Shaming, and Diets

 “Acceptance is essential in body positivity and positivity in general.”

— Paloma Elsessa

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

— Marilyn Monroe

“It is impossible to satisfy everyone, and I suggest we stop trying.”

— Jennifer Aniston

“When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”

— Diane Von Furstenberg

“The female body is something that’s so beautiful. I wish women would be proud of their bodies and not diss other women for being proud of theirs.”

— Christina Aguilera

 “You are worth more than a waistline . . . You are no less valuable as a size 16 than a size 4. You are no less valuable as a 32a than a 36c.”

— Mary Lambert

“If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business.”

— Dr. Gail Diles

“To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society that’s ugly.”

— Marilyn Monroe

“You look how you look. Be comfortable. What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”

— Jennifer Lawrence

 “Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”

— Sophia Loren

 “. . . I have been able to have . . . boyfriends and love interests and wear nice clothes . . . without having to be an emaciated stick.”

— Mindy Kaling

 “If all girls were taught to love each other fiercely instead of how to compete with each other and hate their own bodies, what a different and beautiful world we would live in.”

— Nikita Gill

 “I made peace with the fact that the things I thought were weaknesses or flaws were just me. I like these.”

— Sandra Bullock

 “If anybody tries to whisper the word ‘diet’, I’m like ‘You can go f_ck yourself.’”

— Jennifer Lawrence

 “I’m not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life, and I won’t if I am not eating and miserable.”

— Kate Upton

 “When the demons start to slither my way and say bad shit about me, I turn around and say, ‘Hey. Cool it.’”

— Amy Poehler

 “Don’t ever let anyone stifle who you are and how you express yourself.”

— Ariel Winter

 “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king and of a king of England.”

— Elizabeth I

 “. . . at the end of the day, what you have inside is much more beautiful than what’s on the outside.”

— Selena Gomez

 “I’m not going to sacrifice my mental health to have the perfect body.”

— Demi Lovato

 “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

— Amy Bloom

 “You can’t change your body to get respect from society. Instead, let’s change society to respect our bodies.”

— Golda Poretsky

 “Anorexia is a response to cultural images of the female body—waif-like, angular—that both capitulates to the ideal and also mocks it, straps away breasts and hips and butt and leaves in their place a garish caricature, a cruel cartoon of flesh and bone.”

— Caroline Knapp

 “I’d much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size zero.”

— Sophia Loren

 “Until I became human, nobody ever told me there was something wrong with my body.”

Christina Henry

 “For women… bras, panties, bathing suits, and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that our real and diverse female bodies can’t possibly fit. Without these visual references, each individual woman’s body demands to be accepted on its own terms. We stop being comparatives. We begin to be unique.”

— Gloria Steinem

 Style begins by looking good naked.”

Oscar de la Renta

 Naked Soul

 “Your naked body should belong only to those who fall in love with your naked soul.”

— Unknown

 Undressing

 According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful.

Robert De Niro

The first undressing of two lovers is a most special event.

Saul Bellow

She Knows three things: (a) that men are less treacherous than women; (b) that they never notice what a woman is wearing because they’re always mentally undressing her, (c) that as long as you’ve got breasts, thighs,buttocks and belly in good trim, you can conquer the world.” 

Paulo Coelho

 Photographing Nude Models

“I couldn’t portray a woman in all her natural loveliness . . . I haven’t the skill. No one has. I must, therefore, create a new sort of beauty . . . .”

Georges Braque

 “The camera sees more than the eye, so why not make use of it?”

— Edward Weston

 “When I began to photograph nudes, I let myself be guided by this camera, and instead of photographing what I saw, I photographed what the camera was seeing. I interfered very little, and the lens produced anatomical images and shapes which my eyes had never observed”

—Bill Brandt

 “To me photographing the nude is simply using my camera to sense and feel the pulse of life . . . . I am interested in photographing women as people, not the photographing of women as stigma, or the photographing of women as flesh or smut or form or any number of essentially superficial aesthetic devices in which the photographer’s fragile ego tends to dabble.”

— Larry Fink

 “. . . I have so overcome the mechanics of my camera that it functions responsive to my desires—my shutter coordinating with my brain is released in a way—as natural as I might move my arm—I am beginning to approach actual attainment in photography—that in my ego of two or three years ago I thought to have already reached—it will be necessary for me to destroy, to unlearn, and then rebuild upon the mistaken presumptuousness of my past—. . .

— Edward Weston

 “Every artist undresses his subject, whether human or still life. It is his business to find essences in surfaces, and what’s a more attractive and challenging surface than the skin around a soul?”

Richard Corliss

 “A picture is a poem without words.”

— Horace

 “I think women’s bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame.”

— Keira Knightly

 Special Bond Between Nude Model and Photographer

 “Often a certain tenderness and love is felt capturing the nude’s special beauty and spirit . . . It is a romance with the subject and . . . it is very seductive.”

— Coulter Watt

 Nudity as Therapy

 “There is something therapeutic about nudity. . . . Take away Gucci or Levi’s and we’re all the same.”

— Kevin Bacon

 Nudity and Philosophy

 “Something about the nude figure brings out the philosopher in me.”

Theresa Bayer

 “The nude portrait is only incidentally about the naked person . . . .”

Paula Brook

 Society’s Weirdness About Nudity

 “The naked female body is treated so weirdly in society. It’s like people are constantly begging to see it, but, once they do, someone’s a hoe.”

— Lena Horne

 “Anything that is desired or despised is always placed on the female body.”

— Wangechi Mutu

 “We alternately think of nudity as a perversion and a state of innocence. Why is our response so contradictory and why is nudity treated so differently in different contexts?”

— Ruth Barcan

 Nudity, Symbolism, Censorship and Power

 “Modern pessimism denies the intrinsic beauty and replaces it with a subjective vision that cares little for the objective truth. In this thought the figure, whether nude or clothed, loses its form by putting more value on its symbolism than its actual form.”

Shane Conant

 “Why is exposing the world to non-sexualized female nudity important? The real question about female nudity isn’t why anyone would want to show or see women’s breasts if they were not titillating. The real question is about who has the right to say what they’re for, where and when they can be seen and by whom. That’s about power.”

— Soraya Chemaly

 “The threat that female toplessness and self-articulated nudity poses is culturally defined and can be culturally redefined so that people recognize that the offense to morality is misogyny, not nudity.”

— Soraya Chemaly

 “Female nudity is not just about sexualization, it’s about maintaining social hierarchies, like those of race and class. Non-idealized female bodies used autonomously undermine a continuous narrative about body-based sex and race differences. When our cultural production is singularly focused on hyper-gendered, radicalized and sexualized representations of nudity, it is easier to maintain racist and sexist ideas—and nude female bodies outside socially approved, sexualized contexts challenge those.”

—Soraya Chemaly

 “There is a very delicate line between pornography and beauty. A naked woman is not necessarily pornographic; a naked man is not necessarily pornographic. A beautiful man, a beautiful woman, naked, can be examples of beauty, of health, of proportion. They are the most glorious products of nature. If a deer can be naked and beautiful—and nobody thinks the deer is pornographic—then why should it be that a naked man or woman cannot be just seen as beautiful?”

Osho

 The laws against public nudity make no sense. The idea that Jerry Falwell can go topless while Cindy Crawford cannot is an absolute affront to logic, common sense and the 5000 year human struggle for aesthetic taste.

Peter McWilliams

 Religious strictures are often the source of attitudes toward nudity. Society urges the wearing of clothing partially as a means of controlling the powerful sexual urges that are feared will be released by nudity, causing chaotic behavior.

Patricia Garfield

 “Nudity is an essential part of all primitive agricultural rites . . . . By unveiling the body, and especially the sexual organs, women more effectually represented the goddess of fertility, and more effectually as her representatives, or through their own powers, magically conveyed fertility to the fields.”

— John Arnott Macculloch

 Nudity and Conflicting Points of View

 “I think onstage nudity is disgusting, shameful, and damaging to all things American. But if I were 22 with a great body, it would be artistic, tasteful, patriotic and a progressive religious experience.”

— Shelley Winters

 “Europeans often laugh about how prudish Americans are, when it comes to sex. In Europe, sexuality is a normal part of life. Fancy antique art museums are full of nudity. And you’ll see naked girls in every major newspaper. Germany’s biggest newspaper, Bild, has a topless girl on the back page of every daily issue. Nobody thinks twice about it. Nobody finds it necessary to protect the children. A naked breast is no more a threat to the well-being of a child than a naked hand or foot. So from a European point of view, American media censorship seems utterly ridiculous.”

Oliver Markus Malloy

 I just think that people are so weird about nudity and the human body. Sex is not bad, naked bodies are not bad and naked bodies don’t always have to be connected to sex.

Emily Browning

 Man is the sole animal whose nudities offend his own companions, and the only one who, in his natural actions, withdraws and hides himself from his own kind.

Michel de Montaigne

We seem okay with violence, but nudity we race to criticize and censor.

Eva Mendes

Why should we think nudity is such a revolting thing in a land where there is so much violence and corruption and racism and hatred? Nudity seems like a welcome relief from all the bullshit in life.

Anthony Kiedis

 I’ve always found it very difficult to understand the laws as far as nudity in America – how some things are pornographic and some things are not pornographic. It’s against the law to go topless on the beach, but you can go buy a gun. That just seems so absurd to me.

Elle Macpherson

Gratuitous Behavior

 “Well, for me, gratuitous abstinence is just as bad as gratuitous sex.”

Bianca Sommerland

 Lesbian and Straight Women

 “The woman who refuses to see her sexual organs as mere wood chips, designed to make the man’s life more comfortable, is in danger of becoming a lesbian–an active, phallic woman, an intellectual virago with a fire of her own . . . . The lesbian body is a particularly pernicious and depraved version of the female body in general; it is susceptible to auto-eroticism, clitoral pleasure and self-actualization.”

Sigmund Freud