Women in art and in real life: Human beings, not objects

Note #1: This post is a response to this post. The author of that post says that it is not possible for a person to look at a naked woman the same way that they would look at nude art of a woman.* I disagree.

Note #2: This art contains artistic depictions of male and female nudity.

Note #3: This post is me expressing my personal opinion. If you disagree with anything I say, or if I offended or angered you, or you have questions, let me know by commenting and we can talk about it. Also: Please read the footnotes, too. Thank you.

Is it possible to look at a piece of art of a naked woman and see a human being, not an object for the viewer’s enjoyment? Yes. That is the purpose of nude art.

1885 --- Eve in the Garden of Eden by Anna Lea Merritt --- Image by © Fine Art Photographic Library/Corbis
1885 — Eve in the Garden of Eden by Anna Lea Merritt — Image by © Fine Art Photographic Library/Corbis

We, the viewer of this art, are not to lust after Eve. We are to empathize with Eve — see the world from her perspective — and by doing so see Eve not as an object but as a human being.

Also: Look at this piece of art of Cortana, an A.I. from the video game series Halo:

Cortana Art59

We, the viewer, are not to lust after Cortana, but to see her as a person and not a machine.

When looking at this art, another thing to keep in mind is this:

This is Cortana art. This is art portraying a specific person — Cortana — not a, for lack of a better term, idealized everyman, like David.**


As a result, this art of Cortana will not only be portraying a naked human body — Cortana is naked — but Cortana herself: That means portraying everything else that makes her her.***

The reason I bring up these works of art is this:

To ask a question:

Is it possible to see women in real life the same way that these pieces of art ask us to see Eve and Cortana? Yes. We are to see women in art and in real life, regardless of what they are or aren’t wearing, as human beings, not objects.

Whether she is clothed or naked, every woman is a human being, and every woman wants to be seen as a human being. Art like the art I posted above reminds us of that fact.

(Click Here to go to where this piece of Cortana art comes from.)

For further reading: An article I found:

The Nude in a Pornographic Age

*”Nude” and “naked” mean the same thing: To not be wearing clothes. It’s just that “nude art” — and not “naked art” — is the term for art that portrays the naked human body. The reason for this, I think, is because “nude” is a more formal-sounding word than “naked.”

**From what I know of David, the art portrays not a specific person, but an idealized person. That, to me, doesn’t make David himself an object and not a human being, though. I think that nude art — regardless of whether or not that nude art has a name (like “David”) — is art not only portraying the naked human body, but art portraying a human being, too. For this reason: A person’s body is an aspect of who they are — you can’t have one without the other.

***The same could be said for the art of Eve that I posted. The reason I call this art of Eve and art of Cortana “nude art” when more accurate terms would be “Eve art” (art of Eve) and “Cortana art” (art of Cortana) is because Eve and Cortana are both naked: art of them is not only portraying a person, but a naked human body, too.


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