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  1. #1

    Default Modesty, self-esteem and body confidence?

    Right I'm watching at TV programme about how a photo studio has opened specialising in taking nude photos of regular women in an effort to assist them in overcoming self-esteem problems and develop body confidence.

    I dont know if they are photoshopped or just clever photographic posing, one of the women talked about being annorexic when they where younger as a result of body image.

    My question is whether or not it is a kind of collusion with the greater problem of objectification, people are getting in on the act themselves and objectifying themselves in their own sight, wouldnt it be a better idea to see ideas about modesty revived?

    I'm not being a killjoy in suggesting this or suggesting that people ought to adopt burkas or anything ridiculous like that, it just seems sometimes that a lot of the solutions people come up with resemble the problem in the first place in some way.

  2. #2
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Why "must" people be a certain way, like modest or immodest?

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    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    My question is whether or not it is a kind of collusion with the greater problem of objectification, people are getting in on the act themselves and objectifying themselves in their own sight, wouldnt it be a better idea to see ideas about modesty revived?

    I'm not being a killjoy in suggesting this or suggesting that people ought to adopt burkas or anything ridiculous like that, it just seems sometimes that a lot of the solutions people come up with resemble the problem in the first place in some way.
    This is a really interesting question... I understand what you're saying, and it does seem in a way that these women are objectifying themselves. I think it would be better overall if things could change so that society didn't objectify women and make us feel like we all need to be size 2s. But unfortunately I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, so in the meantime, if these photographers can help women see themselves as beautiful, more power to them.
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    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Feeling good about yourself is essential to your well-being and a ton of women out there suffer from immense shame and desperation for not meeting the ideal standard. Also..for the men, look at it this way...a woman who's ashamed of her body is way less likely to enjoy sex or want to have sex often due to inhibitions of having to get naked..aka not getting relaxed, not getting in the mood, and basically depriving herself as well as the man who loves her (and trust me, no matter what he says, that self-consciousness aint going nowhere).

    Now, if reframing your body to show it at its best, through these pictures, helps them to see their body literally in a different light and to feel some semblance of pride in who they are, I say good riddance to modesty. To hell with it. For realz. If that is what gets them to start feeling like they deserve to take care of themselves, honor their body, take care of it properly and enjoy it for what it was build, I say, modesty seriously is overrated.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Why "must" people be a certain way, like modest or immodest?
    I dont think people must but overcoming poor body image by posing nude? Really?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle99 View Post
    This is a really interesting question... I understand what you're saying, and it does seem in a way that these women are objectifying themselves. I think it would be better overall if things could change so that society didn't objectify women and make us feel like we all need to be size 2s. But unfortunately I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, so in the meantime, if these photographers can help women see themselves as beautiful, more power to them.
    Hmm, I dont know I would say more power too them, its a little like suggesting that if a drug peddler could help someone with depression feel better for a while its a great thing or if confidence tricksters can make people feel better for a while they're performing a good deed. I'm not suggesting there's moral equivalence between those examples and the photographer, there's probably not the same degree of harm in the photographers trade example.

  7. #7
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think people must but overcoming poor body image by posing nude? Really?
    Why not if it in some way helps to overcome their body images? I'm with Satine. Modesty is over-rated and is tied into religion's belief that women should cover up or they're in for a load of shame and guilt. Sex is not a dirty thing.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Why not if it in some way helps to overcome their body images? I'm with Satine. Modesty is over-rated and is tied into religion's belief that women should cover up or they're in for a load of shame and guilt. Sex is not a dirty thing.
    I'm sorry? There's a whole bunch of things you've thrown in there together, sex? Who mentioned that? Religion's belief that women should over up or they're in for a load of shame and guilt? What religion?

    Do you really overcome an issue by acting in a way which may ultimately be compounding the problem? Someone who has a fixation or obsession with body image, perhaps more or less because this is cultural norm in their society, is encouraged to focus more on it by means of visiting a photo studio?

    I'd hoped to discuss this in a way that was not polarising or wouldnt descend very quickly into the typical bashing of traditional or relgious ideas but I think I was mistaken to hope so. I'm a little reminded of Freud and Jung when one of them recommended the other overcome their opium addiction by trying cocaine.

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    It's something like exposure therapy for PTSD.

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    I get what you are saying Lark.

    It all stems from objectifying women. Specifically, the media sexualising all the aspects of women that don't require them to be alive, and pushing unrealistic beauty standards on those very same things. Even subtle stuff, like the myth that becoming healthier pushes you closer to modern beauty standards, or vice versa. The result is a culture that happily perpetuates this pressure into every aspect of the average woman's life.

    Continued modesty would have avoided a lot of this problem, as all the sexualising wouldn't have happened and unrealistic standards could not be made. However modesty is both unrealistic, especially this far in to it's opposite, and comes with it's own problems.

    The better solutions are:

    1. Pushing the beauty standard closer to the natural body.
    2. Pushing bodies closer to the beauty standard.
    3. Convincing people how they look doesn't matter.

    1 is the most ideal solution at the moment. The problem is how unprofitable such an endeavour is. Private corporations got the majority of US women shaving their legs and armpits in three decades, just to sell more razors and such. The porn industry wanted better shots of genitalia, and so started the pubic hair shaving trend. Similar trends have happened throughout time, but they were controlled more by culture than corporations. Now the beauty industry and it's partners make an enormous profit, with a plethora of products designed to push the human body towards the current ideal.

    Still, it's more realistic than 3, which is the best solution overall I think, but the hardest to pull off. It would eliminate a huge proportion of prejudice as well as body image issues, but I cannot conceive of a way to make it happen. Education and awareness help a bit, but that's all I can think of.

    2 is what is happening in the OP (photography like that is as far removed from reality as photo shop). Easier to pull off in the short-term, very profitable and so is the one you see happening in most places. In the long term it will continue the myths about health, continue to cause self-esteem problems, and continue to push the beauty standard further from reality.

    Not any better than modesty, but far more realistic.

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