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Art or porn? [Jul. 25th, 2008|09:48 am]
[mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

Link to an overseas article talking about Australia's recent Bill Henson fiasco. Interesting seeing an overseas perspective. Article may be NSFW since it contains a picture featuring artistic child nudity.

I know my thoughts (rant coming soon), what are yours?

[User Picture]From: magnapops
2008-07-25 01:04 am (UTC)
I went through this a week or so ago.


I found it interesting what people bought to the conversation. See I never thought there was a pedophile connection whilst others and certainly the media, thought there was.

My only concern with these images are with any sexualisation of pre pubescent children that as a parent I have a concern with. However having said that, certainly the magazine cover linked is no where near as problematic as many of the junk mail advertisements from major stores. I personally do not have any problems with the magazine cover.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-07-25 01:39 am (UTC)
Can you tell I haven't been reading LJ for a few months? :)

Some good comments there.

Interestingly, given my own attitudes to art, if I had taken that photo I wouldn't think of it as good enough to display publically. But that's just my own artistic stance on the picture that the vacant look on the girl's face. I don't give a damn about the nudity one way or the other.
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[User Picture]From: magnapops
2008-07-25 02:04 am (UTC)
Interestingly from what I have been hearing the editor of the magazine might be left out, unsupported, by the majority of the art world as it has done more harm than good to the cause.

It has given another rod for the phobiacs against pedophiles. Though thankfully it seems the courts haven't circumed to the media frenzy.
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[User Picture]From: stephen_dedman
2008-07-25 02:53 am (UTC)
I had to giggle a little when the writer said that Americans might be guilty of the same level of over-reaction and prudery. If we can make Americans feel smug on that subject, we're obviously doing something hideously wrong.

Is it possible that some paedophiles might find these photos arousing? I would think so. Can you say the same for children's clothing catalogues? I know many people regard this as proven. What about movies with child stars - Jodie Foster, for example? I wouldn't be at all surprised. So, do we therefore expunge any image of children that might be regarded as arousing by a very small minority from the media?

I, for one, would be against this - and not only because of the fact that not all child molesters are paedophiles, or vice versa. It's because this argument could then be used as a precedent for censoring almost anything - and has.

End of rant. For now.
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[User Picture]From: paul_ewins
2008-07-25 07:00 am (UTC)
The aspect of the debate that annoyed me the most was the line that about a child not being able to make an informed decision about posing nude. Well, duh, that's why there is such a thing as parental consent. Her parents decided that this was OK, end of story. There are far more damaging things parents can do to a child, like give them a stupid name or make them part of a religious cult and nobody does anything about those. Even refusing hospital treatment for your child (for religious reasons) is treated carefully.

Meanwhile the sexualisation of children by our retailers continues unabated.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-07-25 07:09 am (UTC)
And what about the parents that put their kids into every beauty pagent there is? Primped, pushed, over made-up, made to learn songs and choregraphy. Not all parents are demons, but some push their kids to win an insane amount.

I'm working on a post that mentions the retail sexualisation, and how the people who want children to wear sexually provactive outfits aren't investigated in the same way that someone taking a simple nude is.
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[User Picture]From: sjl
2008-07-25 07:38 am (UTC)
I went out to buy my elder niece (6 years of age) a birthday present.

I went through rack upon rack upon rack of tops that I considered utterly inappropriate. I'm not talking "oh dear" levels - I'm talking "OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING" levels of inappropriate. Shirts that read "Little Miss Slut." Shirts that read "My parents think I'm sexy." And on and on and on.

I was on the verge of walking out of the shop without buying a thing when I spotted an absolutely gorgeous top (which my younger niece likes to wear as a dress on its own). A nice purple with pink trim, and embroidered flowers. No words. No plunging neckline.

I mean seriously - when a guy has to search to buy something that doesn't sexualise a six year old girl, something is seriously wrong.

For the record, childhood nudity bothers me, but only because of the "guilt by association" thing. "You like nude children, therefore you're a PEDOPHILE! BURN HIM! BURN HIM!" sort of thing. I'd never do anything to harm a hair on my nieces' heads, yet I'm having to watch what I do when I'm out in public for fear of misinterpretation. Even something as innocent as me bringing my camera (a very nice DSLR, with some very nice, high end glass - we are not talking subtle here) to sporting events to get some action shots of my niece, should that come to pass, will be subject to disapproval. For God's sake, let the kids be kids, and let the parents have some bloody memories to keep of their childhood!
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From: fe2h2o
2008-07-25 11:13 am (UTC)
yet I'm having to watch what I do when I'm out in public for fear of misinterpretation

My uncle will no longer go to collect developed photos (this has been over the last 6 years or so), because they occasionally take photos of the grand children... you know, splashing in a paddle pool in the yard or the like, and they're not always fully dressed, or maybe a couple of them playing together in nappies... But he's too concerned that he'll be tarred with 'that' brush...
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-07-25 01:42 pm (UTC)
That is a real shame.
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[User Picture]From: shazgirl
2008-07-25 08:10 am (UTC)
"There are far more damaging things parents can do to a child, like give them a stupid name"
Did you see about the girl in NZ who was named "Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii" by her parents? That's a horrible thing to do to your child. Other examples in NZ include Number 16 Bus Shelter, Violence and twins named Benson and Hedges. Do these people have any idea of what their child will suffer with such a name?
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[User Picture]From: battblush
2008-07-27 03:30 am (UTC)
My immediate reaction was one of offense, mainly because it replicates a pose often used by adult women models. I don't like it, I wouldn't want my 17 year old daughter being photographed naked in such a pose, let alone my six year old.

Then I thought about the Anne Geddes pictures and wondered "at what age do we draw that line?" A newborn is photographed naked and we think 'how cute', but take a photo of a nine year old child naked and it's porn.

I think the big difference, for me, comes from the fact that an adult (male or female) handled her into that position. She was standing, stark naked, in front of the photographer before the shot was taken and I find that most disturbing. I have more to say, but don't want to do it here.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-07-27 03:51 am (UTC)
But, by the same token, Anne Geddes will have the babies naked for some time, and handle them into position. So how is that any different? The only real difference is that the child isn't conscious of what it can mean to be naked. In that respect, babies have less choice than a child old enough to say no.

Certainly with playing Santa I get to see a lot of children who are obviously terrified and upset, and they are forced to have the pictures taken by the parents, often with threats of, "You won't get your presents if you don't get your picture with Santa." Personally, I find that far more abusive and deplorable than a nude photo taken in an environment in which the child feels safe and secure.

Feel free to write and we can discuss or argue :)
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[User Picture]From: thinarthur
2008-08-08 08:58 am (UTC)
>>She was standing, stark naked, in front of the photographer before the shot was taken and I find that most disturbing<<

erm, it was her mum....

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