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Usually when I’m comprising a list of must-have accessories, it would include such things as a bag, or maybe some shoes, but it seems a recent trend has been the humble penis. Yes, that’s right penis.
Rick Owens recently paraded his male models in garments that exposed the most taboo male fashion accessory. But exactly why did it cause so much fuss?
If we look back to the Roman period, not an eyelid was fluttered at the totally nude Olympic ceremony. As we have developed through the ages, our change in perceptions of what is ‘normal’ has pigeonholed us into thinking that the male form should be concealed, unless it’s to be appreciated on a sexual basis.
With a society so conditioned to be slightly prudish, it’s of no surprise this was a major talking point. As early as my university days I would on a regular basis buy men’s editorials. I could guarantee the only ones to feature full frontal nudity were either Italian or French copies. Maybe these countries have more appreciation for the male form and can see past the sexualisation of an artistic photographic.
Which begs the question: is it just that we Brits are not quite at a stage where we’re as comfortable with the penis as we are with Page 3? Years of exposure to Page 3 girls would make anyone see naked breasts as the norm, whereas you don’t often catch local rags flashing penises.
In my personal opinion I can’t see what the fuss is all about. We’re born without a thread on our backs, so why can’t we appreciate our natural-born beauty in our adult form? You don’t have to be sexually attracted to a person’s naked self to appreciate their beauty.
Rick may well have been making a statement and using the taboo nature of the penis to gain valuable exposure (pardon the pun) – but in the same respect, why shouldn’t he be allowed to make the naked self more acceptable? If we look at many early paintings of Adam and Eve they’re completely naked, and most classical artwork seems proud of its appreciation of the naked body – male and female.
How can we think it’s okay to look at a painting but wince when we see a real penis? The probable answer is our own insecurities – we can’t accept ourselves so we look negatively at those who appear to be proud of their bodies.
I highly doubt we will see modern day men waltzing through the shopping centre windmilling their genitals, but it’s a step in the right direction to normalising the male form – in turn allowing us to accept ourselves and our own bodies.
With each season comes a handful of new faces in the modelling industry and it would be nice to think they would feature men of various builds. It’s very well to showcase oiled-up Adonises, but at the same time, not every man is built this way.
More variety in the ‘beauty’ they portray should be discovered.