Are You Naked?

Are You Naked?


Article by: Northern Belle

Geek Girl Northern Belle discusses her experiences with body paint...

I’ve done various kinds of modeling from photography, amateur runway, body painting and still life - all of which require different skills. Modeling is an art form that requires you to understand and be comfortable with your body, not only it’s shape but how it moves.

The other month I was hired for a TIFF Party (Toronto International Film Festival), as part of The Human Canvas Project by Matti Mclean. There were four models and we were painted from the waist up and then wore either pants or a skirt and mingled with the crowd. Throughout the night we would pass around business cards and explain the Human Canvas Project, “The Human Canvas Project is an examination of who we are, how we see ourselves and how we are perceived through the medium of Body Painting.” (Mclean 2012) There were many questions asked, but none so often as, “Are you naked?”

Body Paint - Are You Naked?

As I’ve learned in life though the only answer I could give was “It depends…”

It depends on how you define naked. In this particular context while I can understand that they are coming from a place of shock, there was a part of me that couldn’t help but be confused. First of all the fact that I am wearing both shoes and a knee length skirt would suggest that no I am not in fact naked.

According to Merriam-Webster – Naked
1. not wearing any clothes : not covered by clothing
2. not having a usual covering
3. not having any decorations

Furthermore while one could argue that I was in fact topless, the layers of paint upon my chest are arguably thicker than many ‘shirts’ that are sold on the market these days. So I would contend that at this particular event, no, I was most definitely not ‘naked’.

However what about the Mystique/Rogue transformation concept I did with Roxy Lee GG and Beth McLeod? The only piece of clothing worn was a thong, although one could argue that the latex over my right breast is the same size and covering as a bikini top. Now while yes by the first definition one might argue that a thong does not constitute ‘clothing’ and I was naked. Yet using both the second and third definitions… I was covered in layers of latex and paint, and there was definitely plenty of decoration… so was I naked? In my opinion, I was not. In fact I would argue that I was even more covered than many outfits we see at the beach during summer time.

Body Paint - Are You Naked?

The constant questions about my coverage have led me to seriously question what it is we consider ‘naked’ and furthermore what is wrong with being naked? Now do not misunderstand me, I am not implicating that we should all run out to a nudist colony and should constantly bare it all to the world. I live in Canada, frost bite is not that forgiving. However, nudity has been a part of art for thousands of years, consider most of the statues from Ancient Rome or Greece, or renaissance paintings.

It seems that in modern days we are so focused on what is “right” and “wrong” that we don’t take time to actually appreciate and enjoy the art for what it is. Why is context rarely taken into consideration? Why does nudity come with negative words like ‘pornography’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘lewd’. While yes, some works out there may fall into these categories it takes more than simplistic nudity.

Body Paint - Are You Naked?

Am I naked? Why does it matter? This shouldn’t be the focus; the focus should be the artistic expression that is being put forth. At least, that’s this rogue’s opinion.

Article by: Geek Girl Northern Belle - facebook

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November 09 2013

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