The Nakedness of Nudity

A naked woman walks calmly down a busy European street
clad only in knee-high boots and a purse. Most people would say
she's naked. Me, I'm not so sure...

copyright 2007 by Pat Powers

I am creating this thread to posit a theory: nakedness isn't merely a matter of not wearing clothes, but of HOW you don't wear those clothes. And where and when as well. And I'd like to ask a question: what the heck do I mean by that? What is the nakedness of nudity? It's not as easily explained as I once thought.

Several Slavegirl Leias pose at Dragoncon. Sure, theyre's a whole lotta female flesh on display in the middle of a lot of clothed people, but they are all in costume as Slavegirl Leia, so they don't feel that naked, and for that reason, they don't LOOK that naked.

I was at DragonCon a few months ago, and noted that, as usual there were a few women wandering about the well-clothed people in the halls without a whole hell of a lot on. Chain mail bikinis. Chain mail THONG bikinis! (Ouch!) And I was reminded of a scene from the James Bond film which Tiffany Case is on an oil derrick used as an evil lair by Blofeld, and she walks into a room full of technicians in lab coats and jumpsuits and Blofeld and Bond, wearing only a bikini, heels and a lanyard.

Jill St. John in "Diamonds Are Forever. She looks a LOT more naked than she is, in the movie. Not so much in this publicity photo from the movie. Must have been all the fully dressed guys tanding around.

I was struck by how NAKED she looked in that scene. But the thing was, she wasn't really naked. She was wearing a bikini, some kind of waist belt, and heels.

There was something about the way St. John looked and the way she moved that just made her look incredibly fleshy and naked, though she was not really all that fleshy in terms of her figure.

Obviously, I thought, it was a matter of contrast. St. John was wearing a bikini, the lone woman in a group of men who were fully clothed. Most wore jumpsuits, Bond was impeccably attired in an evening suit, and Blofeld was in a Hawaiian shirt if I recall correctly. Their general degree of dressedness made St. John's nudity all the more striking by contrast. After all, Jill St. John, although very attractive, wasn't all that naked by modern, "Check out my inner labia" standards.

But something about that explanation just didn't sit right with me, as we say in the South. So I thought of a couple of other times I had noticed women appearing to be particularly naked, and I thought about other images that involved women in little or no clothing among fully dressed men.

Rebekka Armstrong dances with the Garage Dance Troupe. She doesn't look all that naked to me even though she doesn't have a stitch on despite the fact that she's surrounded by men wearing jumpsuits. Incredibly beautiful, yes. All that naked, no. She's performing, engaging in a carefully choreographed dance routine. Maybe that's it.

One that immediately came to mind was a Playboy music video in which September 1986 Playmate of the Month Rebekka Armstrong danced stark naked among a bunch of jumpsuited men, very much like the scene from Diamonds Are Forever in terms of dress and undress. I pulled it up and took a look at it. Armstrong starts out wearing clothing, but one of the guys is having a guy fantasy, so she very quickly winds up stark naked and dancing with them.

And she doesn't look all that naked as she does so, though there's not a stitch of clothing on her and they're clothed neck to toe in jumpsuits. Armstrong did not look as naked as St. John in "Diamonds Are Forever," despite the fact that St. John was clothed well enough to go to any public beach without comment.

But why? Why does a stark naked Rebekka Armstrong in a Playboy music video look less naked than Jill St. John wearing a bikini in a James Bond film? That's a question I want to explore, and after turning the topic around in my head I'd decided that the best way to do it is with pictures and the odd hundreds or thousands of words of text accompanying them, depending. Therefore I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours looking at videos and pictures from the Web to see which look more naked than others. It's a hellish job, but SOMEBODY'S gotta do it. The future of the human race may depend on it. OK, maybe not the human race. Maybe just small subset of the human race. Like, nobody. But hey, it's sexy fun. Do we actually NEED a reason beyond that? I think not.

Click on the link to see my next pic.