Empowerment

Naked & Dignified: Society is Still Scared Of Body Ownership

How else will they try to control women?

It’s 2018 and women are still being told what they can and cannot do with their body. Body ownership is still some abstract concept that our society can’t or won’t wrap their heads around. This is extremely evident in the world of entertainment. Piers Morgan is our most recent example of this after he criticized the female singers of Little Mix for using their bodies to further their careers and copying another girl group to sell their single.

Morgan accused the singers of copying the Dixie Chicks’ Entertainment Weekly cover to promote their new single ‘Strip’. After sending out this accusation on Twitter, Joan Grande called him out. Not soon after Ariana herself came out to defend not only Little Mix but female nudity as well.

While there are similarities in the two photos, this is hardly the first-time photos like this have been created. Athlete Aly Raisman did a similar photoshoot. So have handfuls of other celebrities and athletes. All of these iterations are beautiful and empowering. As Mama Grande pointed out, it’s called paying homage.

I’ve been a huge fan of Little Mix for five or so years now. When I saw these comments Morgan made, I was pissed. Little Mix, for me, has always represented female empowerment. Their songs are filled with lyrics celebrating women as they are, and encouraging them to be badass babes.

It’s interesting to me that when a woman, or women in this case, choose to take nude photos and use it to empower themselves and other women, society says it’s wrong. But things like Playboy or other iterations of female nudity meant for men is okay and even encouraged.

God forbid a woman chooses what to do with her body.

Does it matter if a female artist uses nudity to sell music? No. It’s her body which she can do with as she pleases. Using nudity doesn’t make these women any less talented. Women have a right to embrace their sexuality in any way they see fit. This is the same right that has been extended to men for centuries.

To any women comfortable with taking nude photos for any reason- the issue isn’t you. It’s society. They’ve tried to monopolize the female body for their own benefit without a second thought as to how that makes women feel. What we choose to do with our body is no one’s business. No one and no government can or should tell us what we can or can’t do.

What a woman chooses to do with her body impacts her and her alone.

This all boils down to one primary question- what happens if society finally acknowledged a woman’s right to body ownership? Nothing. Society will not collapse if women are finally given full ownership over their bodies. But they do loose their control over us. Something they’ve worked long and hard to keep.

This oppression is seen around so many cultures and intersects with other identities such as ethnicity and religion. Some governments have laws requiring women to wear or not wear items such as hijabs or headscarves. Laws like this also apply to other religious attire.

Women all over the world are trying to reclaim the right to do as they please with their body. Whether that means posing nude for a photoshoot willingly or choosing the cultural attire worn, all we want is the ability to make a choice that supports our identity.

To those who may agree with Piers Morgan’s comments, please take a step back and analyze why you feel the need to police what women choose to do with their bodies. To the women, let’s keep on fighting this battle together.

Image courtesy of Sky News

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Also published on Medium.

Davyn is a journalism student at Arizona State University. During her free...