Summary Or The Article theorizing The Female Nude – Article Example
April 17, The Construction of the Female Nude: Revelation of Social Meaning of the Female Body In “Framing the Female Body,” Lynda Nead analyzes the symbolic function of the female nude in Western high art. She argues that the one of the main aims of the female nude is to restrain and regulate women’s sexuality. She believes that standards, forms, and poses of the female nude are metaphorically developed to divide the inside from the outside. Nead asserts that defining the boundaries and frames of the female nude determines both the meaning of the female nude as an art and how that meaning is socially constructed.
Nead argues that the framing of the female nude in high arts reflects the framing of the meaning of the female body in Western society. She explains that the female nude is used as a metaphor for separating and ordering the inside from the outside that can have differences in high art and mass art. The creation of boundaries, in turn, ensures the control of boundaries. Artistic boundaries are similar with social boundaries that society puts for the female body. In addition, Nead provides examples of how the female nude is constructed in high art that reveals gender stereotypes. Moroni’s painting, Chastity, is an allegory for woman’s purity and control of her sexuality, while the photographed body of bodybuilder Lisa Lyon is presented through male ideas of logic and accuracy. These examples show that patriarchal conventions frame the female body according to male-centered social values and standards about femininity.
Nead intends for the readers to criticize the frame of the female body because this frame is a reflection of how society seeks to control women’s gender and sexual identity.
Nead, Lynda. “Framing the Female Body.” The Female Nude: Art, Obscenity and Sexuality. New York: Routledge, 1992. 5-12. Print.