How the 'well-intentioned' re-enforce body shaming among children

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Artspace asked Kristin Harsma to censor portions of her exhibit after someone complained about female nudity. Kristin Harsma

Reader Tangee Cassidy responds to Body positive Minneapolis art exhibit censored for female nudity:

Where do you think body shame comes from? Gasping and covering childrens' eyes sends them a message that there is something shameful about the human body. They grow up believing that something is wrong with their bodies.

We have an entire generation that is so ashamed of their bodies that they cut and burn and mutilate and starve and punish their bodies simply for exisiting. And it didn't just occur to them as they were making their way through the world as curious and loving children. Someone programmed that message into their young.

It doesn't have to be a parent doing this to their own kid, but rather some other "well intentioned" adult trying to "protect" the children, when those same adults should use that moment of discomfort to confront their own anxieties and programming about their own bodies before they step in to screw up another human with some outdated puritanical nonsense.

If anything, you're re-enforcing those toxic messages in yourself and forcing them on others. That's fear. And while fear and terror may be depicted in art, there is absolutely no room for fear in the artistic process, either on the part of the artist or the viewer.

You have to be brave. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable. You have to welcome confrontation and introspection.

If you cannot do that, please take yourself out of any committees, boards, or juries that curate art. You are not objective enough to do the job.

 


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