Women's Issues

We Don’t Need To Strip Women Naked To ‘Empower’ Them

By  | 


Women don’t need to be stripped naked to be empowered.

The focus on women’s appearances is crippling. The pervasive need to be thin, fit, and have a certain skin tone to fall under the umbrella of what society thinks is attractive is exhausting. I think we can all collectively agree that putting the focus on women’s bodies is not a new concept. It’s not groundbreaking. It’s what’s always been done; we literally can’t escape it.

So how did we get to the place where we decided that women who don’t fit into society’s “ideal” body image disrobing in front of a camera for the world to see grants them some sort of power? How about, Screw you, you don’t get to see me in my underwear because I am so much more than that. 

Neringa Rekasiute is a Lithuanian photographer who normally photographs women who [NSFW] fall directly in line with what the media, advertising, and fashion industries deem “beautiful.” She decided to depart from that to take on the task of photographing some average-looking women who apart from one who would be considered overweight, one who would be considered older, and one who has a visible scar — still totally fit into a body image that society accepts. They are thin, they are firm — they don’t even have any cellulite for christ’s sake. Yet they are called “brave” for standing in front of a camera. Who is this helping? What is “brave” about this? Can we stop calling women who have a BMI of more than 20% and dare disrobe in front of a camera “brave?” Either we’ve forgotten the definition of “brave,” or we think making such a big deal about a woman with a little extra fat on her body taking off her clothes is going to collectively make us all feel great.

How about, “No.”

The project is called, “We. Women” This is how Rekasiute describes it on her site:

Objectivisation[sic] of body encourages the society to focus on physical appearance of women instead of embracing their personality and inner feelings. As a consequence, about half of women are dissatisfied with their bodies, which leads to a number of psychological and health problems.

I get happy when I see that women who are considered plus-sized or not the conventional model-type are getting paid as models. I think that’s great. But convincing women to disrobe so we can all lay our eyes on them and validate that they too, deserve to be seen naked! I don’t understand that. If we’re trying to move away from being seen as objects, why the need to be seen as objects?

Look, I’m pro women doing whatever makes them feel great. If getting naked and being a part of an art show that claims to “inspire women to accept and love their bodies” is empowering individually – fantastic. I just have a problem with the trend of calling women who show their post-baby bodies or any imperfections they may have, “brave.” I think it ultimately has the opposite affect than it intends.

(photo: Twitter)