They say it’s all about sharing the natural beauty of pregnancy, some others say it’s creative photography. Others have argued that all of the charade is aimed towards removing stigma associated with womanhood, pregnancy and breastfeeding, so society can see it as a natural part of life. I just think we are taking it too far. Just like that nudity is becoming trendy and unashamedly encouraged in the name of empowerment.
I remember when I left home for the first time, It was to a boarding secondary school. My very first night, after a long journey was nothing like the Sunday night I imagined. I was welcomed by the house captain, who also helped me to settle in. She left me with the instruction to get ready so she can show me where to shower after having dinner. At this point, I was already taken aback by how most of the girls seemed to be very comfortable pacing about, half dressed/naked.
It was taking time to sink in. I was going to have to be in their shoes someday after all we are all girls right? Nothing to hide. Like they say “what do you have that she does not have?” A politically correct justification if you ask me.
As if what I had seen was like intro, I got to what i did not realize was the bathroom and I almost fainted. I actually think I had an out of body experience for like 3 seconds….don’t even laugh😂😂😂
What I saw was too much for my then 9 years old brain to process. What??? Are these people okay? Why are the bathrooms not covered? Everywhere was noisy,…..Why is the school allowing them to bath outside the bathroom? They must be disobeying school rules? I thought.
As I was about to turn to my house captain/guide to ask where the bathroom was so I can go inside, she tapped me and said “You should start bathing quickly so you can go and sleep. You have had a long day and tomorrow is school.”
With my small body wrapped tightly in my long towel I asked, where should I bath?
With a look of concern mixed with humor she said “hhereee!”
Chai…just like that?..that was how I lost a significant fraction of any share of shame I ever had. That has to go down in history as one of the quickest bath I ever had. I gradually eased into things around me with an understanding that, this was how things worked around here. Maybe because we are all women it was easy to be comfortable around each other.
What i still couldn’t understand was why was a male staff would walk in on students in the bathroom in the name of doing their job – as staff on duty. But why?
I was in an all girls school and so I always wondered how different it would have been in a mixed school or an all boys school. Would women be that comfortable or demand more privacy?.
Fast forward to present day, the social media generation, nude pictures are everywhere with thousands of likes. Weird much is the pregnancy shoots and pictures of breastfeeding mothers baring it all in the name of showing strength of femininity.
What is Female Empowerment?
Empowerment is defined according to the Cambridge dictionary as ” the process of gaining freedom and power to do what you want or to control what happens to you”. I couldn’t have thought of putting these two words (nudity & empowerment) in a sentence for a positive cause. Isn’t Female empowerment all about creating opportunities for women to rise at their place of work and in their homes? So that we can fully contribute to the raising of a moral and just generation.
Female empowerment is not about doing the most. It is about speaking up a lot more and finding ways to add value to the life of other women. It is about telling the story of femininity with out evoking emotions that objectify us but rather arouse the interest that seeks to unravel our innate divinity and by so doing, raise the moral bar a notch higher. Just like Author Michelle McKinney Hammond, “Femininity is strength under control“. Empowerment therefore should not come from making money by morally compromising means and shoving the idea down our throat, with all manner of disguise to make it seem appealing.
Where are the paternity pictures? Where are the naked fathers in the pregnancy shoots? or is being a father not noble enough to be worth baring it all for? Are expectant fathers not as joyful and proud of their newest achievement? Or is it too condescending a way, to express strength and joys of manhood/fatherhood. Pls I can’t understand. We women/mothers must be taking this too far. Is nudity then a woman thing?
These images are going up into the cyberspace in their numbers at a rather too alarming rate by the day. Given the prevailing social norms, perhaps we are expected to begin to warm up to the idea of Nude Pregnancy Shoots and the likes. I can’t even imagine my daughter growing up to find my naked pregnancy pictures online let alone extended family members.
Social media is largely uncensored unlike the tv stations, which still has not got so much of a success. Our kids now own smart phones and social media accounts therefore, it’s easy for kids to come across what they are not supposed to see or what they did not intend to see and that’s how their innocence starts to die. This in itself is a form of child abuse.
By not speaking up against these practices, we are re-wiring the innocent mind of children to become dead to the ideas that can corrupt, as we trivialize the presentation of nude graphics by celebrating the characters. We will be raising men that are obsessed with the female body from a young age due to their premature exposure. This means everything that can stand in the way of the woman and her dreams; rape, domestic abuse, assault, sexual harassment etc. Therefore we stand a risk of continuously fighting lost battles, if we say nudity empowers.
We need to start shaming all sorts of nudity and protect the future of our young boys and girls. If we let it become a trend there will no longer be need for the use of the word “privacy” let alone lay claims to privacy invasion. We must give modesty its place and pride in leaving a lot more to the imagination. I understand that some of these pictures are jobs that are well paid for and that is not to say it is justifiable. Modesty still holds ground as Hijabi wearing models are getting signed to top agencies and becoming beauty queens and that to me is ground breaking and empowering.
Every action does have its price and pleasures and i think the price does outweigh the pleasures in this case. I know I cannot tell people how to live their life but I can choose how to react to it and so can you. Don’t let them cause you to undermine the values you hold dear.
How about we stop hitting likes on the pictures to show that as fans this is not the sort of thing we consider empowering ?
How about we do them for sculptural or embalmment purposes? Because art of such presentation means more and is worth more instead of littering the cyberspace with offensive graphics
How about we (women) find other forms of art that are expressive of the strength we are trying to show and celebrate such?
How about we consider that baring it all in presence of the photographer and the world at large is not the best ways to say that “I love my body/womanhood/motherhood and I am not ashamed to show it to the world”.
I think we can do better or what do you think?
But those who desire to be rich fall into diverse temptations, into a snare, into many senseless and harmless desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction – 1Tim 6:9