There is a very disturbing article about the recent news that nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens, star of Disney's "High School Musical," have surfaced on the internet. The perspective of this article should really not come as any surprise and yet it has left me quite stunned. Here are some of the "low"lights of the article...
Two decades after a nude photo scandal helped cost a Miss America her title, Americans may be adopting a more ho-hum attitude toward people who bare it all for the cameras.
This is not a huge shock. After all, movies and TV haven been relentlessly pushing the envelope for years now and will only continue to do so. More skin has become acceptable. Playboy Magazine is actually considered to be a classy publication. Top actresses, who have no need to bare anything, are willingly taking it off for the sake of "art".
"I do think that general attitudes about nudity are becoming more relaxed, but these changes take time, which is why there's still mixed responses," said Paul Levinson, communication and media professor at Fordham University. "We as a society are finally growing up and it's a healthy thing," he said.
Growing up? Hardly. More like dumbing down. Healthy? What's so healthy about an 18 year old sharing her most precious of gifts with the whole world? What's so healthy about the young boys and girls who looked up to Miss Hudgens potentially having their innocence compromised by her? What's so healthy about a society that finds little value in the human body outside of exploitation and exhibitionism?
Robert Thompson, professor of media and popular culture at Syracuse University, agreed attitudes about nudity had "lightened up," but said there was still a huge disconnect between how people feel and what people say. "While filling in a survey, people will always check off with one hand that there's too much sex and violence in the media, while using the other hand to search for that kind of material," he said.
I agree with this assessment. However, instead of blaming people for hypocrisy, why don't we look deeper and see what this tells us. If people are marking down that there is too much sex and violence in the media in the midst of the desensitization taking place, that's an indication that deep down we know there is something wrong. Despite our passivity when it comes to nudity on film, tv, and on the web, when we are earnestly approached with the question of "is it too much", our hearts are speaking "yes!"
"There's no doubt about it. The Web for the last 10 years, has made more nudity available," Levinson said. "I predict in the next few years, the FCC will be put in its proper place and nudity will be the norm," he said.
Quite possibly the most disturbing part of all. I never thought I'd see the day when people would champion internet pornography. I predict that if nudity becomes the norm rape, sexual abuse, STDs, and the continued oppression of women will also become the norm.
"I'm not sure if people are becoming more casual, but in the case of Vanessa (Hudgens), she comes with a lot of brand equity and this was her first strike. If she was a constant train wreck, her fans may not be as forgiving," he said.
Oh sure, let's wait until her life spirals completely out of control before we do something about it. Everyone deserves a do-over. We can forgive and forget, but it's times like these when we really need to sit back and ask ourselves what all of this means. Why have we gotten to the point where people argue that it is "healthy" for an 18 year old to pose nude in front of a camera?We're regressing. Our society has made enormous strides in science and medicine and technology, and yet has compromised it all by lowering ourselves physically, morally, and emotionally to mere animals. We're like conditioned apes who just happen to know calculus and quantum physics, but at the same time don't have a problem with flinging our own dung. This is not a grown up world. It's a world of children in adult bodies, with no self-control, no values to live by, and no guts to stand up to that which we know is wrong.
Sorry if I came off a little harsh today. This article really got to me! Check it out here.