Why male nudity is frowned upon

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I have another guest blogging today, this time it’s fellow bloggers & friends Naturally Male, who have featured me and my art on their site not long ago. They chose to write about an interesting topic, hope you like it ! Here’s a few words from them before the article : 

We are the bloggers of @naturallymale, and our blog celebrates the nude male body from head-to-toe.  Our view of the male body mirrors that of Tha Naked I—They are works of art and beauty.  He first contacted us about featuring his work on our blog, and we wholeheartedly agreed.  The result was one of our most popular posts, Nude Artist: Tha Naked I.  We all agreed to collaborate on future projects. Tha Naked I invited us to write a post for this blog on a topic of our choice.  What follows is our brief take on why male nudity is frowned upon in today’s modern society.

Throughout History, art has played an important role in shaping and passing on societal values and norms. The nude human body has been part of the History of art to some degree with periods of great interest and not so much. There are many reasons for this waxing and waning interest, but the female nude enjoyed more acceptability than the male nude among artists as well as the general society. 

Several reasons have been advanced to explain this phenomenon such as the artists, who were male generally employed their wives and girlfriends as models. It has also been posited that men did not want their wives fantasizing about the male nudes. There also are references to the penis as being “dirty” or filthy in Victorian years. All of these reasons may have played a part, but we believe the main reason for the lack of male nudes in Western art is men’s insecurity with their own penises.

There is no argument that Western societies are patriarchal in their structure. As such, men have been in positions of power and influence and have been competing against one another for some advantage. What better way to gain a competitive edge over an opponent than to demean him as a man by ridiculing his penis? One might think that size, specifically longer, has been the criterion used throughout history (as it appears to be today—Thanks to pornography.), but this would be wrong. In ancient Greece, the most desirable penis was small, even tiny. In more recent history, the circumcised penis became more appealing due to unfounded hygienic ascertains. Recently, this trend has changed as more parents are choosing to leave their sons’ penises uncircumcised as nature intended. 

Given the changing opinions in society, what are men (and boys) to do? Our advice is to accept your body and its parts as a work of art and beauty. Efforts like, @MyPenisIsOK. by the owner of this blog and our blog try to support the view that the male nude body is magnificent, and nothing to fear.  We, as a society, must devoid ourselves of the Victorian views of the male nude in order to achieve a positive body image for everyone, including men. No longer can we tolerate societal norms that value “bigger is ALWAYS better” and competition is the only way to get ahead.   

Changing attitudes in society is a slow, arduous process, but it is a challenge that we must accept. Progress is not linear, as recent elections in several counties have shown, but as History tells us the march of time is always forward. This gives us hope that someday all men will feel secure with their bodies and eventually society, itself, will become more accepting of male nudity in art and in general society. But until then, we must counter the arguments based on prejudice and fear. We must celebrate and embrace the diversity among us and our bodies. Penises are like us – No two are exactly the same, and that’s the beauty of it all !

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