Promoting Consent One Brushstroke At A Time

Written by: Jam Ilagan | 9 months ago

It was in the early Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Greek eras that the symbolic naked art of female deities represented fertility and love. As time goes by, not only the art itself evolves, but also the perception of those who view it. This is what makes Christa Vega, a fine arts graduate at the University of the Philippines - Diliman, more committed to promoting consensual nude arts she calls #SecretNudes.

Our world has been very open to nudity, on all types of platforms. Some have been promoting consent or starting a movement through their passion, while some just merely use it for pure entertainment if you know what I mean. And the latter is one of the biggest problems we are facing, as people are more imaginative and getting engaged with what they are seeing in the media. How the younger view nudity in the present, is how it will be viewed by the future generation. Not about those that are used for entertainment, it is more concerning that nudity in art is also viewed as malicious, because its model was not just anything from the artist’s imagination, but also the other people who, with their consent, volunteer to be one. It should somehow tickle the mind of the viewers, but not in a way that it would negate the message of what the artist is trying to convey. That is what #SecretNudes is all about. It is about people celebrating themselves by expressing their naked bodies through art, without the fear of being judged and sexualize in any other way. And it is not surprising that not only women wanted to be heard or seen. There are also men and all other genders who wanted to express themselves, as to how Christa became a luminary of women empowerment through her artworks.

As a viewer, we get to see a lot of things in this series. From the story of a girl who is struggling with depression and finally finds a way to express herself; to the story of someone who struggles with their sexuality and finally finds love; to the story of a girl who just wants to be accepted by her parents and finally gets it, there are so many stories that we can relate to!

#SecretNudes offers a lot of ideas to us, not just as viewers, but also as people who are very much open not only to what you perceive but also are considerate of how others would like to express themselves.  We should not have a problem with nudity, especially the kind that is motivated by something other than the simple fact of being nude: self-expression and artistry.