Brattleboro Selectmen Ban Public Nudity

In a truly astounding display of cowardice and pandering to conservative whining, the Brattleboro selectmen narrowly approved an “emergency ordinance” banning public nudity on city streets today. Vermont, and Brattleboro in particular have a long history of tolerating nudity in public. The state, along with many of its towns have absolutely no law requiring that people wear cloths in public so long as they are minding their own business.

The “emergency” that precipitated the ordinance was an elderly Arizona man who decided to attend the city’s gallery walk in the nude. Apparently the conservative blowhards can handle it when nude people are young and beautiful, but they draw the line and call it an “emergency” when it’s an old saggy guy. Nice going fellas!

I can’t say that I truly understand why these people enjoy being nude in public, but I’m totally sick and tired of this country’s uptight and irrational hangups about the naked body. Many news articles covering this story have quotes from people saying things like “I don’t think children should be seeing this”. I suppose they would rather our children learn to be ashamed of their bodies and perpetuate the misconception in this country that all nudity is sexual? Don’t you think the more casual attitudes towards nudity we see thru-out much of Europe are a lot healthier for our children than America’s ludicrous, Christian imposed complex about it? I don’t have children, but if I did, I would much rather they be exposed to nudity outside the sexual context so they could realize that everyone’s body is different and that it is OK for them not to look exactly like the models in glamour magazines.

A naked body is something that each and every one of us have, but for some reason we are taught to be ashamed of it. Like it or not, most of the body-image issues and eating disorders that prevail in this country can be directly traced back to our villification of the naked body. Wouldn’t it be great to see people from all over the country descend upon the streets of Brattleboro and stage a Spencer Tunick style installation of thousands of naked bodies in protest of this draconian ordinance? I certainly think so.

Spencer Tunick Shoot In Mexico City

Spencer Tunick is an artist known for assembling large groups of nudes, arranging them in aesthetically beautiful ways and photographing them. He assembles these monumental projects using volunteers in various cities thru-out the world. I first became aware of his work when Courtney and I visited Montreal several years ago and stumbled across one of his exhibits in the Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal. We were amazed at the interesting textures and colors he was able to achieve by using the nude human form in repeating patterns.

This Sunday Tunic shattered his previously set Barcelona record when, an estimated 18000 to 20000 people lined up naked in Mexico City’s Zocalo Square to be photographed. The event was of so much interest to locals and onlookers that a no-fly zone had to be declared above the plaza to keep airplanes away! Tunic also did a smaller shoot this morning with a group of 105 naked women resembling Frida Kahlo, the eccentric artist known for her extremely personal paintings.

Tunick is planning another shoot later this year in Amsterdam and is looking for volunteers who are interested in being a part of his photographs.

Spencer Tunic - Mexico

Spencer Tunic - Mexico

Spencer Tunic - Mexico

Spencer Tunic - Mexico

Spencer Tunic - Mexico

Spencer Tunic - Mexico