On Facebook, two stories are trending:
- A band called “The Veronicas” performs topless.
- Actress Alicia Silverstone gets naked for a (PETA) ad.*
Reading these two stories, it struck me as hypocritical that people would consider such actions “empowering,” and yet criticize a scene like the one below:
What is the point of performing topless if not for people to see your breasts?
Yes: There are reasons to go topless other than To give people a look at “the goods.”
I support women who go topless for the purpose of trying to end the sexualization of the female body. I think it’s beautiful what such women are doing: Exposing their bodies in order to say “Now that you see my body, look beyond my body and see my soul.”
But: I have the same problem with The Veronicas’ topless performance that I did with Katy Perry getting naked to vote:
It comes across as nudity for the sake of shock value.
Nudity happening in order to make a person think:
I can’t believe she did that.
People consider performing naked an act of empowerment.
But as soon as nudity takes place in the privacy of one’s room…
…it’s considered an attack on femininity.
I consider Suguha to be more modest than The Veronicas.
Because I see Suguha’s nudity — her stripping off her clothes — as a physical manifestation of the mental stripping that she is doing.
Suguha is reminding herself of what matters to her — reminding herself of why she’s doing what she’s doing — and this is manifested by her taking off her clothes. In her mind and in her room, Suguha is trying to better understand who she is. How better to understand oneself than to take off doubt and fear like one would take off a shirt and pants?
God created us to be “naked without shame.” (Genesis 2:25) I see Suguha returning to that state — naked — in order to better understand how else God created her to be. I see Suguha as someone who wants to do what is right, but who struggles with what “right” is and how to do it.
“Clothing … is a symbol of lost innocence, a memento of a former glory. There are therefore two fashions: the passing fashion of the world and the enduring fashion of the spiritual. … it will not matter how we are dressed on the outside … but it makes an eternity of difference as to how we are dressed on the inside.”
~Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Life Is Worth Living
A person’s clothes ultimately don’t make them modest. It is a person’s heart that does.
“Modest” is not the word I would use to describe The Veronicas’ topless performance.
Reading about Alicia Silverstone’s ad for PETA, I am reminded of this scene from SpongeBob:
PETA seems so desperate for people to pay attention to them that they’re going “Look! A woman’s butt!” and hoping that people will run to them like the people in SpongeBob ran to the Shell Shack’s talking dog.
It makes sense that PETA would stoop so low. Objectification is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from hypocrisy:
This is the ad:
PETA advertises “vegan clothes” — clothes made by not harming animals:
So: Why would a person protesting the clothing industry’s abuse of animals go naked, when there is, in PETA’s eyes, ethical clothing?
Why is Alicia Silverstone naked? Why isn’t she wearing some of PETA’s vegan clothing instead?
Because vegan clothing, unlike a woman’s butt, doesn’t make a person do this:
Shame on you PETA, for using a woman’s beauty to send a message — Go naked for the animals — that you contradict:
*PETA = People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.