A few weeks ago I was thrilled to be taken to the National Portrait Gallery by my partner David to see both David Bailey’s Stardust and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait prize winners and entrants. What a wonderful and thought provoking day it was.
Whilst I was in one particular part of the Stardust exhibition, I stood and observed different people’s reactions to a wall of candid nude portraits. It was interesting to me how people reacted differently to the nude males, in comparison to the nude females, quickly moving along past the male form, seeming almost embarrassed to be looking at them. It occurred to me that, whilst we are used to seeing the female form on a daily basis, whether on the television, internet or in newspapers, we somehow find it more socially acceptable than being presented by the male equivalent. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the female form, in fact both male and female bodies are beautiful. I wonder if this will change and are my observations from my day out valid?