Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Categories: Europe | History | World

To female nudity in different attitudes not only different people, but in different times. Moreover, to trace the changes in the look at a naked female body in a relatively short period of time commensurate with the duration of human life. What seemed like our parents obscene and shocking – can be seen today on the street, and in film and theater can be forbidding to witness the scene, who a few decades ago was considered pornographic.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Everyone knows that members of many tribes in Africa, South America and Oceania still prefer to walk around naked. For them in the female body there is nothing indecent or exciting, as the most important factor is a mystery. The most erotic place at the women of these tribes considered the back of the head. This part of the body is an intimate, because it is covered with hair.

This is the attitude to the naked body was our ancestors, while civilization has forced them to wear clothes. Thanks to this sexy were considered to be those parts of a female body which are carefully hidden wardrobe items.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

This fact can be illustrated by the fact that the Queen of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, in the XVI century was met by ambassadors of foreign powers in a dress with a fully exposed breast, but her feet were hiding long skirts. The foot was considered the spicy part of the body, and above all that – just indecent for public display.

In ancient times, the attitude towards the female nudity was different, depending on the time and place. The Spartans it was utilitarian, the Etruscans – sybaritic, and the Greeks hedonistic-religious. Representatives of the Minoan civilization that existed on the island of Crete, saw nothing vulgar nakedness. Mycenaean women wore dresses with open breast, borrowed later and Greek ladies.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Mycenaean frescoes, approx. 1325-1250 BC

However, in Greece clothes left only one naked breast, right, and left was covered by the robe. At different times this outfit was considered from quite ordinary, until very Frank, but this was no doubt keeping his mistress essential decency. Clearly, what is the partial exposure was not associated with any taboos, and it was just a tradition and, perhaps, a tribute to fashion.

Women in Greece were less free than on Crete, as they often were treated as slaves and servants. A lot of freedom used only courtesans – they are free to appear in society, participated in mass festivities and was even the main actors of festivals devoted to Aphrodite, the so-called Aphrodisias.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Thais Phryne. Ancient statue

Thanks to bytopisatel Afanous we have the opportunity to obtain some idea of the courtesans and their role in the celebration of the days of love and beauty:

The Spartans, everything was simpler – their life was based on the harsh pragmatism. In Sparta boys and girls were naked, as it was easier to do gymnastic exercises. The Lacedemonians did not attach special significance naked just to be naked was convenient and women with no clothes no one has entered into a stupor. It's hard to surprise a naked female body a man who grew up without clothes, naked among the same peer.

The Etruscans had an entirely different attitude to the naked body. For them, a beautiful woman without clothes was a luxury item, which was a pleasure to behold. Free women of the people went to the clothes, but the slaves waited on the feasts of the naked, delighting guests with their shapes.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Detail of a mural of the tomb of "Leopards". 2nd quarter of the 5th century BC

Free Etruscan women were liberated enough. It was considered normal during a feast to indulge in love joys, cut off from the floor only a light screen. One of the Greek historians described the ladies of this nation as flowing, groggy, but lovely looking and carefully caring for body, face and clothing.

In the early period of Ancient Rome was dominated by a fairly puritanical mores. Men were obliged to trade or fight, while women stay home and raise children. There were no theatres, no pompous term with pools or orgies. The authorities strictly followed not only for the moral character of citizens, but also for their regime. It is known that the censor, Cato the Elder, at night I walked the streets of Rome and watched, do not burn, does anyone have an hour window after midnight.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Fresco from Pompeii

It was considered that an honest man and patriot night should be sleeping, so in the morning to Wake up fresh and cheerful and with maximum efficiency to devote himself to public Affairs, service, or physical labor. But in the period of the late Republic and Empire of the Romans was so liberating that is outdone as the Greeks and the Etruscans.

In public places Roman women were dressed in togas, leaving open only the hands, neck and feet. But in the baths and the house had been entirely neglected clothing and enjoy the nudity. Female and male body, it was possible to expose with no shame, naked but didn't go. The inhabitants of the Empire just talked – nudity is a sign of a slave or beggar. Slaves of both sexes in the markets sold naked, but the poorest citizens could not afford the clothes, at the time manufactured by hand.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

"The triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne" in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome. XVI century

In Vogue Orgy with drunkenness and debauchery, shared baths and legal brothels. Preserved from the time of frescoes and mosaics abound as erotic motifs and candid porn. What to say when at the court of the second Roman Emperor, Tiberius was promoted, which was called "Master of the Imperial pleasures". Mass drunkenness, debauchery and gluttony lasted until the fall of the Empire and contributed to her death.

In the Middle ages, the ratio of naked bodies were formed under the influence of religion. Christianity taught that the flesh is sinful and temporary, that's why only separates man from God. However, there was a time when sexuality in the lives of the people of the middle Ages simply was in full swing. This applies to a greater degree, early and late period.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Jean Fouquet. Melensky diptych. 1450 year

In II-III century ad there were unusual for the Christian Adamites, adherents who believed the nakedness of the Holy. His goal was to return the person to the state in which it was created and placed in the Paradise of God. Of course, in their coherent theory of the universe place the clothing was. Ended for the Adamites it all they got in the famous papal list of "80 Christian heresies", after which they were detested and persecuted.

But the idea of these sects were not forgotten and later reincarnated in the other "heresies". In the XIV century on the territory of Bulgaria intensified so-called "Bogumil", and a century later, in the Czech Republic, another sect of the same kind. Last splash hadamitzky heresy occurred in the eighteenth century, after which the lovers of conduct Church services in a negligee mass showed no activity, although there are to this day.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

The arrest of the Adamites in Amsterdam, XVII century

In those regions where it could not reach even the hard hand of the Christian Church, was dominated by its atmosphere. Here's what he wrote about the customs of the pagan Celts, who lived in the British Isles, who visited them away from the VIII century by St. Boniface, later canonized:

Also preserved the memories of contemporaries Queen of Ulster, located in the North of Ireland, who were told that in the year 610 this worthy person was met by foreign visitors in a circle of ladies and all were naked to the waist. Also a sign of her special favor of the visitors, aristocrat showed them their private parts, lifting skirts.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

The participants of the festival in Coventry

In the X century, was born beautiful, but hardly a true legend of lady Godiva, wife of the Earl of Mercia Leofric which to save Coventry from tax burden, rode naked on horseback to its Central streets. Citizens, supposedly, out of gratitude and respect for his Savior was gone from the streets and shut down the shutters to inadvertently not see them. Maybe it's right, because historians have established that at the time of selfless heroism, lady Godiva already celebrated its 60th anniversary.

One way or another, but no smoke without fire and if such a tradition exists, so there were precedents for his appearance. Separately it is worth mentioning that the feat lady Godiva of Coventry is celebrated until now, and even invented a special festival, in which the main roles naked vadnica.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Korean woman. XIX century

In the middle Ages, loves to be naked was found among representatives of all religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Islam has not escaped this influences who have or ruthlessly suppressed or, in spite of everything, existed for some time. Korean peasant before the end of the nineteenth century wore dresses with open chest and resident hot Indian Bengal, before the arrival of the British, only wore skirts, reserving the bright saris for celebrations.

Not surprisingly, the most intolerant of female nudity at all times was Islam. But, despite this, there were exceptions. The Arab traveler and merchant Ibn Battuta, who visited in the XIV century African country of Mali, was struck by the strange behavior of the women in this Islamic country. According to him, young girls, slaves and servants walked around naked, and in the court of the Sultan, even his daughters go at all without a single thread on the body.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

Girl from West Africa

An even greater shock to Ibn Battuta called family relationships Malian faithful. Traveler in horror described a law allowing the woman to officially have a lover if her husband was convicted of treason. The gap pattern of the Arabs was not in vain. Remote from Islamic religious capitals of the country in West Africa, it was considered a Bastion of Islam and one of the main spiritual centers. Here were the largest in the medieval world library of religious literature, and a local madrassa released educated theologians.

In Europe with the advent of the Renaissance ended the persecution of naked body, artists and sculptors started to create their erotic masterpieces. Ladies love dresses with open chest and in the yards of monarchs, it became fashionable to have an affair and favorites. The first known work of the Renaissance, glorifying the female nudity was the painting "the Birth of Venus" by Botticelli.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

As for morals, it is best to describe them witnesses. Bishop Burghardt, a senior papal son told me about the feast of the nobility:

We already wrote about ceremonial dress of Queen Elizabeth I, leaving a naked breast. But it was not the most revealing outfit, which allowed the British aristocracy. In 1750 a miss Chadley went to balls and parties in a transparent robe over his naked body, which she called a "Suit of Iphigenia before the sacrifice."

In the same gallant eighteenth century, a famous heartthrob, and an adventurer Casanova, after a visit to London, noted that the British frolic in the brothels, with a zeal worthy of a better cause. But love Affairs of inhabitants of the British capital not impressed with the expert in the feminine gender. Italian with disappointment wrote that the inhabitants of Albion prefer to get stinking drunk and dancing with naked prostitutes, avoiding all refined and languid.

In Victorian England all diametrically changed. Women began to hide from the prying eyes of not only Breasts, but also my hands. At the court of chastity came to idiocy – the curly furniture legs were closed lace covers in order not to embarrass the Queen, the Puritan and her entourage.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

The turn of XIX-XX century became the era of the real sexual revolution. The first show with a Striptease took place on 9 February 1893, in "Moulin Rouge" in Paris. It was not a show for singles and the usual student party in which the guests decided to choose a beauty Queen. One of the girls, obviously moved considerably during the dance performance began to undress that had to appeal to the audience. In the end she had to pay the police 100 francs fine, but it was worth it.

Fashion Striptease scattered around the world, but not everywhere was accepted graciously. It may seem strange, but in a progressive U.S. Stripping the music began to blame. Therefore, the strip over the ocean was reborn in burlesque, which soon became an independent area of erotic dance.

Soon after the strip was born and erotic cinema. The first film such a plan is called "the Bride departs to sleep," and was published in 1896. A short video without sound showed the scene of dressing a young girl before bedtime. In 1910 came out and first porn "Free Ride", is related to the existing and now the genre of Fake taxi.

Attitude towards the female nudity in society: a view through the centuries

A scene from first porn film

Not to mention such a phenomenon, widely spread in the twentieth century, as nudism. Like the Adamites, the first nudists were persecuted in almost every country in the world. It's funny, but the Bolshevik ideology of unity with nature by exposure liking. Even Lenin spoke positively about the nudists, considering their looks natural manifestation of proletarian emancipation. In Moscow 20 years even held parades nudists, over which proudly hovered the slogan "Down with bourgeois hypocrisy".

In the 30‑ies nudism picked up by Nazis, and in the 60's "new left." Is it worth mentioning the cult of the naked body from the hippies and the mores of the sexual revolution? After all this the fact that the naked female body in modern society, taboo, seems strange. In the presence of advanced porn with billions in turnover, we continue to portray a chaste society, causing nepriemyshi sexy outfits and flashing.

Keywords: Europe | History | World | Middle ages | Antique | Sex | Nudity | Greeks | Naked | Longreads

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