By Chinelo Eze On 26 July 2020.
Art on countless occasions has been a persistent mode of representations of “big ideas”, also cultures, and the bubbling thoughts in people’s heads.
This aesthetic means of communication hence signals psychological meaning to its observers. Art in the form of music, literature, fashion, and painting is so populated in the world that it influences our lives and discernments. Taking the art form of music, it is food for the soul and resonates with the entirety of humanity.
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Considering the mental, emotional, and psychology that music, as do other arts, have, the question of how much is fashion and nudity in contemporary music videos beg to be probed.
Nigerian music has gallantly found its way into the international space with the likes of Falz, Davido bagging BET awards. Matching the quality of videos produced now with what was initially obtainable records the growth with western influence not too far from the frames. But then, can it be assumed that the demand for popular culture has eroded the cultural values that Nigeria formally took pride in? Fashion or nudity? How much is too much? It appears implausible to see well-toned and endowed women perched pretty in Nigeria music videos wearing clothes that are almost next to nothing.
Without a doubt, the Western form of art in music subverts into the Nigerian music scenes which then has a disquieting rate of nudity. Consequently adopting the “modern” approach of the music video is not enough if the crucial formations of these ideals are left in a void.
Another is how this display of nudity fits into the #METOO campaign.
Sexually explicit media unvaryingly plays a role in looking at the body in the wrong way. These videos and other targeted media thus encourage sexualisation and objectification of the woman’s body hence refutes the feminist revolution.
Nudity can be argued to be in nexus to meet up with international standards of creativity in the quality of music videos. In this regard, where is the line drawn between self-identity while delving into the European sceneries? In doing this, the body becomes synonymous with sex indicating that in a prejudiced society, being unclad equals rape, murder, and violence.
In gazing upon the different ploys of naturism, there is an immense gap in the average Nigerian acumen of the concept of nudity which is contrary to some part of the Western world. However, there are some African countries where bareness is cultural and not comprehended as a taboo.
According to history, Africans walked around unclad with woven pieces, animal skin, and leaf coverings in their own Garden of Eden until the invasions and assimilations that brought full clothing.
In terms of cultural value, interestingly the Jibu, Koma, and Kambari tribes respectively in Nigeria are the last nude society existing presently in our very own purview, existing as naturist state where pure nudity is void of sexual pleasure, unlike the present-day interpretation. The men of these tribes are not triggered sexually by sheer nudity but rather their good manners, their tattoos and how they plait their hair.
Sadly, we have fallen far from seeing naturism for what it was to the sexualized era that is further heightened in music videos and other forms of media that subtly promote looking at the body in the wrong way.
In other thoughts, existing in one’s natural state might explain why one of the first things attributed to insanity is to take off one’s clothes. Gender bias in music videos and the unequal social punishment also add to the complexities of nakedness as questionable.
Nudism is a political and cultural movement common in Europe where private resorts and beaches are carved out for the naturalist lifestyle, having guidelines that inspire a belief in such existence but not Nigeria notwithstanding the subtle practice in the music industry.
Again, the liberation of naturism is also targeted politically where in various parts of the world women stage a protest nude in various ways to send across a message in pursuit of freedom.
The many facets of nudity are why the unsettling nature of nakedness is yet to be grasped, when in fact, the beginning of naturism begins from childbirth and is still practised in safe spaces like home nudism which many can relate to.
For some parts of the world like Africa and Asia, this subject is a farfetched concept and like many other changes in the world, we evolve with or above the changing tides.