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April 16, 2008


Replies: 95

Children and Nude Models

CrimsonTigress Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Background story:
The life drawing class I'm currently taking employs the use of nude models. Recently, one of our regular models brought her 5-year-old to class with her. Granted, the child was on spring break and one could assume the mother felt that there was no other place to put her child. The mother/model posed naked for our class with her daughter present, yet fully clothed. This occurred for a full week. The first day, the child exhibited behavior that seemed as if she was uncomfortable. When her mother first disrobed in front of the class, the child sort of whispered and pointed to her mother "ha ha, mommy you're naked!" During the time when the mother was posing, the child occupied herself by drawing in her own little sketch book and cutting out papers for a collage. The second day, the child drew her mother, naked. Both incidents, the child often would look around the class room and stare at we students as we were drawing her mother.

My issues:
Having worked in kindergartens and having experience with early childhood development, this seems very wrong. For one thing, I'm not sure if this is legal. I know that in order to take this class, you must be at least 18+. To me, this constitutes as child abuse. Yes, I know it is her own mother and it isn't uncommon to take showers with your parents at this age. However, it is one thing to shower at home with your parents when you are young and quite another to be subjected to the context of a classroom environment where strangers are viewing your parent in a number of ways that could be rather confusing to a 5yr old. I have no problem with the beauty that is the human body. I would not be taking this class if I did. My problem is that this child is going to be really fucked up and that she is too young to really understand what is going on here. Also, I am not the only one in the class who felt very uncomfortable.

Political questions:
What are your thoughts? What should the actions be, if any, on the part of the school? Is my premise off? Is this society sexualizing children early? Is this really nothing and just a matter of culture? Do parents have the right to do this to their children? Would this warrant the child being taken away? Would this warrant at least the need for therapy or social services to step in? What impact do you think this child will experience, if any? Any extra ideas I'm overlooking?

I look forward to your responses.

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Devious Comments

captainclark Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2008
It seems odd to me but I don't think it's criminal. I imagine the kid will be fine. However I do agree with DAPoliticalForum's post above. It's unprofessional and rude.
DAPoliticalForum Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2008  Professional General Artist
:bulletblue: Background story:
:bulletblue: My issues:
:bulletblue: Political questions:
:bulletblue: I look forward to your responses.

:firelite-photo: Before I respond, I want to stand and applaude the way you laid your OP out! It is a model for others to duplicate!

The Issue, IMHO, begins with:

:bulletred: Children and pets do not belong in the work place! Period!

If I were photographing a model, and she were to bring her child to the shoot, I would cancel the shoot and tell her to come back when when she can make arraingement to have her child attended to. The model is being paid for her undivided attention to posing. Any distraction causes tension in the face of the model, and tension in the nerves of the artist.

:bulletred: The model burdening the class without asking prior permission of the class was inconsiderate and disrespectful to the entire body of the class.

If no one in the class had prior knowledge that a child was to accompany a nude model, and that model showed up to the class without taking into consideration the burden, both physically and emotionally, that it would place on the class, then she was just plain ill-mannered, and inconsiderate. Again, I would have asked her to leave until she could make arraignments for her child, and I would not even pay her show-up time, and I would file a formal complaint to her agency.

:bulletred: What the model does, in the privacy of her own home, with her children is her business>

But, when she does something like this in public, in my presence, at an activity I have paid to attend (and we do pay to attend classes), then it becomes My business, also, and requires an element of my permission for the activity to continue. I, personally, would not have given the model, nor the professor, My permission to continue without a threat of formal complaint to the school.

:iconswordofscotland::firelite-photo: *SwordOfScotland Club founder
CrimsonTigress Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!!!

I'm 100% with you. Especially on the last point. I pay good money to go to university and I think at least asking my input as a paying customer is fair.
Hmm, I think it would be considerably worse if the she were a porn star bringing her child to a shoot. This seems fine, however if it makes the students uncomfortable, she should consider leaving the child with a babysitter if possible.
ImprovidentScion Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Non-sexual nudity is fine. We allow nudist colonies for all ages, yet they're not inherently sexual either.

Bravo to the mother and the class for acting in a mature manner. Perhaps the girl will grow up and not necessarily view nakedness as taboo.
HipsAndHearts44 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2008
If the mother has nowhere else to have the child taken care of, that's fine, leats let the child sit outside the door. This is just sick.
Nekor Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2008
What are your thoughts?

Well from my own childhood experiences most kids look at any slight nudity as more of a "eww...thats gross!" thing. I remember when I was in 2nd grade and during recess a bunch of kids were shouting "Eww! There's a naked guy over there." Turns out they were pointing to a guy who just didn't have a shirt on and I didn't see what the big deal was. I remember being a little uncomfortable with seeing paintings and artistic photos of nudes, but once I saw it as something displaying the natural beauty of the human body and not anything sexual. So personally I don't see it as too big of a deal, though, seeing how our culture views nudity as more sexual, I can understand why you might be a little uncomfortable with it.

What should the actions be, if any, on the part of the school?

If it's 18+ then that should apply to the model's child too. Not only for the sake of fairness, but also because it's making the other people uncomfortable.

Is my premise off?

A little, I don't see how it would count as child abuse. I can imagine the child being a little uncomfortable and confused about seeing her mother with her clothes off (if it's the first time she saw that) and seeing people drawing her. But I think if the mother explains to her child about how it's more for artistic reasons and it's nothing "dirty", then I don't see much of a problem. Kids can be pretty smart.

Is this society sexualizing children early?

Unfortunatly yes.

Is this really nothing and just a matter of culture?

I think so, there are places where people hardly wear anything and then there are places that places emphasis on covering up. I personally don't see one any worse than the other. My religion and parent's cultural background is one that places a big emphasis on covering up, yet I have no issues with artistic nudity. I think it depends more on how you teach the concept of nudity and the human body.

Do parents have the right to do this to their children?

If the school permits it then yes.

Would this warrant the child being taken away? Would this warrant at least the need for therapy or social services to step in?

No. If that warrents taking the child away then I think taking a kid to a rated R film would too.

What impact do you think this child will experience, if any?

I think it will the child less uncomfortable at looking at nudity, and if she's ever considering taking up art and going to art school then at least that experience might make her more prepared to take life drawing classes. I know people who are planning on going to art school who still have to overcome that embarassement.
inmc Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
No. You are compleatly wrong. You are uptight and just like to speak bad about other people.
We are all born naked and for millions of years it was compleatly normal for every one to see it's parent's and everyone naked. What the mother did was compleatly pure, but you and the people who agree with you are impure and the only problem is in your sick mind and in your vicious thoughts.
CrimsonTigress Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist

I love people who completely miss the mark as far as their opinion of me and generally everything else I'm talking about. :hug:
Iron-Confederate Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It really depends on the local's culture. In Japan (and maybe somewhere in Europe), it is not too harmful if kids see some adult content on kid shows like they did with Kirby before it was dubbed for the US: [link]

If people in the US saw this on national television, they will go bat shit.
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