NIPPLE ALERT: What’s So Wrong with Nudity?

 

With the media currently deep in the midst of its Miley Cyrus obsession – praising her, shaming her, and everything in between – it is no surprise that she has been dominating the covers of virtually every magazine in existence. From the trashiest of tabloids to luxurious couture, everyone and their mother knows that if Miley is on the cover, no matter the validity of the headline, people will pay attention. Which is why her *scandalous* feature in W Magazine’s February issue has caused quite the stir:

Surprisingly, this isn’t Miley’s first nude magazine cover (hello Rolling Stone).

What really appears to have people up in arms is one particular picture in the spread.  GASP.  It’s a NIPPLE. Not even all of it is exposed, but it seems like mothers everywhere are covering their impressionable young daughter’s eyes and devouring the comment sections of any online media outlet confirming their perspective that it is ‘racy,’ ‘inappropriate,’ ‘scandalous,’ or any other adjective under the “slut shaming” umbrella. What puzzles me is how some people react in such a harsh way when their own naked body is something they see everyday. There are people that would prefer not to have their bodies publicized sans-clothing, but is it right to judge someone who has the confidence to display it proudly?

The fact that this is Miley Cyrus we’re talking about is irrelevant. If she pulled a Lorde and had suddenly spontaneously appeared on the music scene just as she is now, a 21 year old who likes to wear nipple pasties and booty-pop, things would be different. She’d more or less be accepted as she is by fans and the industry. Maybe, we’re operating like parents that struggle to see their innocent children grow up into sexual adults; people refuse to cut celebrities any slack because we prefer to remember them the way we always have.

Whatever the reason is, we cannot keep preaching “love your body”, “you’re perfect the way you are” messages if we harshly criticize a public figure for doing just that.

We are all born naked.  If you want to proudly display your body, feel free! However, we should refrain from passing judgment on others if their behavior dissents from what you’re comfortable with, because they’re not necessarily living to please you.  Miley Cyrus is not living to please you.


Nicole Echeverria
University of Michigan

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