Nudity: The state or fact of being naked.
Mainstream: The ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional; the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or the arts.
I never finished the original Ghost in the Shell (1995).
At the time I watched it, I felt the nudity came across as gratuitous and, thus, decided to stop watching. If there is one thing I don’t like in movies, shows, books, etc., it is content that seems to be there for no other reason than that it can be.
When I had a better understanding of how to judge when something is gratuitous, I wasn’t able to give Ghost in the Shell the second chance that I wanted to — I no longer possessed the movie.
One day I’ll get the movie again and watch the whole thing. I’m sure I’ll like it. Anime and science fiction are two of my favorite things.
Earlier today, a new trailer for the American adaptation of Ghost in the Shell (2017) was released.
I could say a lot about this trailer (the majority of it positive — I want to see this movie) but what I want to focus on in this post, is this:
The fact that Major fights in a state of semi-nudity.
The reason I say “semi-nudity” is:
Since Major’s body is robotic, she is not naked in the same sense that a flesh-and-blood person would naked. And her “nudity” isn’t as explicit as it could be. For example: She has no nipples:
What is the point of Major looking like she’s naked?
Is it for sake of Ghost in the Shell‘s male fans?
Or does Major’s nudity represent something else?
Something else like:
A desire to be free from restraints — the “restraints” being, in this case, clothes.
A desire to be more in touch with the human aspect of who she is by being, as much as it is possible to be, in the state that not just she, but all of us, came into the world in: Naked.
Or is Major’s nudity a tool: A means to make people drop their guard and, thus, underestimate her. (More on this in a moment.)
I don’t know.
But: What I can imagine is this:
Movies like Ghost in the Shell will lead to more of an acceptance of nudity in American culture.
The more nudity that is shown in popular culture, the more people won’t see the naked body as taboo.
I think that’s a good thing.
This is why:
God created the naked body and said it is “very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Adam and Eve were “naked without shame.” (Genesis 2:25) It’s not possible to live like Adam and Eve lived in the Garden (Genesis 3:7), but the naked body is still “very good” — we just don’t always see its goodness. (The next time you are naked, ask yourself: “Do I like what I see?”)
More of an acceptance of nudity will lead to more people realizing the inherent goodness of their body, since their environment is no longer telling them to see their body as something shameful and, thus, in need of covering.
More of an acceptance of nudity will mean that the naked body is no longer associated, to the extent that it currently is, with sex. People will look at, for example, a woman’s breast, and no longer see it as purely sexual — people will see that there is more to a woman’s breast than the sexual pleasure it can elicit: People will see that a woman’s breast serves a beautiful purpose.
My one criticism of Ghost in the Shell‘s nudity stems from a question:
Is Major’s nudity a tool: A means to make people drop their guard and, thus, underestimate her?
I don’t like the notion of a person using their nudity as a means to an end.
On the one hand: It could be said that nudity is always a means to an end. A person gets naked because they believe being naked will give them what, or who, they want, whatever or whoever that is.
On the other hand: A person who is naked in combat could be counting on being objectified — counting on being seen as a means of experiencing pleasure, not seen as a human being who can snap a neck and put a bullet right between the eyes — in order to gain an advantage. And I believe that sells nudity, and by extension the person who is naked, short.
Because there is more to a person who is naked than the sexual feelings their nudity can elicit.
Because a person being naked for the purpose of gaining an advantage in combat is implicitly saying:
My sexuality is the most important aspect of me. See “the goods,” not the human being underneath them.
Which goes against what I see as one of the messages of Ghost in the Shell:
Look beyond the “heart of stone” that is Major’s metal body, and see the “heart of flesh” that is Major’s soul: The “ghost” in her shell. (Ezekiel 36:26)