Lacking a bit of attention? Get your gear off
So Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal have stripped off for the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Surprised?
It’s becoming a trend in Hollywood to gain attention through everything but their actual profession -acting.
It doesn’t shock me though that these two got partially naked to promote their new film, Love & Other Drugs. Hathaway, 27, plays liberal artist Maggie Murdock in the movie, opposite Gyllenhaal’s commitment-phobic Viagra salesman Jamie Randall.
The two strike up an arrangement based purely on casual sex but soon find themselves falling for one another.
The movie has been rated R in the US due to the level of nudity and frequent sex scenes. Just last week Miranda Kerr revealed all in a nude photograph of her baby bump. It’s almost become a rite of passage to show some skin when you’ve got a movie to promote, a bun in the oven, or new single that is making its way onto the airwaves.
I’m waiting for the day that P!nk bares all after announcing she is pregnant on the Ellen DeGeneres show this week. It’s not really shocking anymore but hey it gives the movie some publicity and sex sells, didn’t you know?
Like it or lump it these images will continue to bombard us through mainstream media. The line between entertainment, soft porn and body image sends us an array of mixed messages. We’re told to be happy in our own skin yet we are shown these highly airbrushed images of ‘perfection’ day in and day out. Are we only sexy if we’re nude? Is nudity empowering? To some, yes it is.
Gone are the days where nudity was reserved for R rated magazines; porn videos; or to be shared with whomever you invite into your bedroom. It’s now plastered on billboards, light entertainment magazines and music video clips. There’s no escaping it. And no wonder young girls are so confused about the real definition of sexy.
Sexy is not something you can wear (or not wear in this case). Now that we’re coming up to summer young girls seem to think the less they wear the better. Plunging neckline = cleavage = I will appear more attractive to the opposite sex. High waisted shorts = visible bum cheeks = let’s leave nothing to the imagination. Sexy to me is about confidence.
Now you might say that girls who wear plunging necklines or high waisted shorts must be confident, right? Well maybe they are as they dare to put themselves out there. But, sexy is what you feel on the inside and the confidence radiates out of you.
Growing up I used to tell my grandma that I wanted to be a model. I was no more than 10 years old and this was before I realised you had to be almost 6-foot and naturally thin to succeed in the industry. I am neither of these.
She used to tell me that if I were to pursue my “dream” I could only be a gown model, not a swimsuit/lingerie model. So we drew an invisible line in the sand that I could only be a model if I wore gowns/evening wear. Everything else was a no-go zone. A bit old fashioned? I don’t think so.
I think she was smart enough to take my comment seriously but told me what was acceptable and what wasn’t.
After viewing these photographs in Entertainment Weekly and the amount of discussion that has generated through online forums in the days following, it makes me wonder whether there is such a thing as tasteful nudity. Is getting your gear off for money, fame or to promote yourself ever tasteful?
Nowadays we consume quite a lot of soft porn and we have (well I have) become desensitised to it. I don’t really want to be, but I am. I don’t really mind that these actors have posed semi-nude for a magazine.
But, I am sure they’ll have their own grandma’s to answer to. No doubt about that.
When it comes to nudity I think there is a time and a place, and whether that place is on the cover of a light entertainment magazine I’m not so sure.
There’s no denying that being nude is sexual, and perhaps what these actors are trying to convey is a healthy attitude towards sexuality and nudity. Or maybe it’s just the money. I’ll have to be cynical (who me?) and agree with the latter.
Being comfortable in one’s skin has nothing to do with posing for a magazine shot to show or prove you are comfortable in your own skin.
Unfortunately, I think too many young women in particular will look at these shots (especially girls who have grown up watching The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada etc) of Anne and think she is sexy and confident because she’s agreed to a partial nude shot.
The movie is rated R for a reason - an over-18 audience and the themes of the movie are specific to an older crowd. Whether a younger audience needs to have the glossy cover idolised is another matter entirely.
Looking back on what I’ve written you may think I am against nudity or thinking “wow, on a trip to prude town are we?”. It’s not about either of these things - after all both of these actors are adults and can consent to these shots. I just worry about the message it’s sending.
Nudity is personal. And there’s nothing personal about a magazine cover shoot. And there my friends is the line.
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