Mark Owen

Fear of nakedness

Television over Easter being so boring (after all, who wants to watch several days of Frasier episodes?), I decided to dig out some of my movie collection (all obtained legally, I might add!).

One of these movies I haven't seen in ages - Sheena (1984), with Tanya Roberts in the title role, a woman possessed of a magnificent body. Unlike some timid folk I have no inhibitions when it comes to human nudity and in expressing delight in female bodies. I certainly don't have the moral problem with nudity that some seem to have, even with male nudity (although I do not find any aesthetic value in the male).

The gorgeous Tanya is twice seen fully nude, one scene in full-frontal - and awfully beautiful - nudity as she goes for a swim. Clearly the foreign adventurer who sits on the river bank during this scene is afflicted with that American disease - fear of nakedness - as he reacts in near-horror when she stands before him - totally bare and uninhibited.

Interesting Sheena is a PG-rated movie and anyone in his or her right mind would have no problem letting children watch it. If they do have a problem, clearly they too are afflicted with the American disease. But, alas, there is an Australian politician currently seeking a ban on full-frontal nudity in all movies, even for adult viewers. You will not be surprised to learn that Senator Guy Barnett, the man peddling this notion, and other restrictive ideas - is a Christian.  How dare you, Senator, wanting to impose your constricted moral viewpoint on the rest of us. It is the typical fascism of thought I have written of elsewhere (see Tract 11 - Religious fascists and the conscience vote).

Why on earth anyone finds the naked human body offensive I cannot understand. Unattractive, even at times ugly, but offensive, no!

I am reminded that this same Senator was in the vanguard of those criticising the beautiful photographs of naked children by Bill Henson. I wonder what the Senator thinks of the topless young girls who played the young Sheena in the movie? Doubtless this horrifies him.

Personally, while I love women's beautiful breasts, even more do I love their beautiful feet and legs and I had my fill of such as Sheena ran around her jungle home, delightfully barelegged and barefoot. The Senator might judge me degenerate to have such an interest!

Finally, as someone who once embraced the myths of religion, I am well aware of the discovery by the inhabitants of Eden that they were naked, a topic to which I turn in my paper Delight in the sensual.

Mark Owen, 2010 -