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Let´s talk about nudity...


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First of all, I appreciate the diversity of opinions in this thread a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiccardoLS
On the other side, should deck portray an idealized world? All people young and beautiful... they are symbols/auratic abstractions of concepts. For instance they are not "a woman fighting a lion", but they are "strength".
Or should they portray/illustrate reality? Then we should have old and young, ugly and beautiful, etc...
Well, but my dream version of a deck (with or without nudity), and my ideal world at that, would include people of all shapes and colors enjoying their physicality (among other things). If there are old(er) men in a deck (Kings, Hierophants, or others), I think we need old(er) women, too. Being a queen implies maturity to me, and maturity isn't limited to women aged 25-35. It isn't even most developed in that age group. If there are bigger men, then there should be bigger women, too. Human taste in bodies is much more varied than mainstream erotica suggest, after all.

I don't mind a comic-like aesthetic in general, I don't mind exaggerations, I don't mind classic pin-up art, in fact, I like all of these in art (among other things). But I believe that some concepts of tarot just aren't incorporated best by a young, mainstream-sexy woman (this argument is about art more than about sexism). My inner image of a Queen of Pentacles, for example, is a motherly type of woman, someone who looks as if she'd make you something to eat first when you went over to her to talk about your problems. Someone who enjoys eating, and is a very sensual, physical person in general. And such a someone just isn't a model-thin "girl" in my imagination (which is not to say that thin women can't behave like that...) but a big, round woman. Think mature bellydancer. Think of the clichéed Italian/Jewish mamma. And please don't tell me that this sort of femaleness can't be sexy as hell (well, obviously not everyone enjoys it, but many many people do, men as well as women)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiccardoLS
How does it reflect on reading?
Isn't that exactly the point? That many (not all!) women feel that they have difficulties with these images and therefore have difficulties reading with those decks (heck, they might not even buy them in the first place!)? That it can be hard for some of us to relate to images of people who never look anything like we do, but who are supposed to give us answers about our most intimate concerns?

Which is why I always argue for more variety in showing human bodies, between decks, but also within one deck.

ETA:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiccardoLS
Even if the women are idealized (the same you see in ANY hollywood movie. Wonder why Scarlett Joansonn is more popular than Toni Collette?), they have a very powerful and distinct personality.
See, I personally would take Toni Collette over Scarlett Johansson any time because she has so much more personality. But I generally have a preference for so-called imperfections. I find them more engaging and interesting.

Before we chalk all this up to mere taste, however, I'd like to note that aesthetic taste is extremely shaped by dominant ideologies (even if you have a non-dominant taste) and is never as "neutral" as we sometimes like to believe... It's very obvious when you look at how different body types have been "the timeless ideal" throughout history and across cultures.
Top   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinduction
I love nudity, but am not into the "sex" decks. I too have often wondered where the hot half naked men are. They don't have to show me everything, I like a little left to the imagination. But why are the men either old, ugly, or clothed?

I prefer to have the men and women beautiful and scantily clad. Like Ciro's devil from the gilded. Bare-chested with a mask over his face! I will admit I was disappointed when I looked over his upcoming Legacy deck and found it lacking a hot man for me.

Maybe one day I will learn to draw and make my own deck that shows me a world that I'd like to live in. Where the men are beautifully toned, walking around shirtless and silent. Maybe one of them will look like the Rock. And lots of pretty women with bodies that I will never again have but which I can appreciate all the same while I reflect on how desirable I once was.

Goodness knows I see enough old, ugly men with stained shirts and beer bellies in my daily life. I'd love the tarot to show me something different. Oh, and can he cook as well?
I pretty much agree with you here and I'd love it even better if he cooks well. I have more a shirtless Christian Bale in mind though (I like them better athletic than muscle-man), he is so hot : http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3269826816/tt0238380 The Devil in the Gilded indeed screams hot and mystery. Timothy Lantz does that in his Archeon Tarot as well, distill hotness , innocence and mystery, while the Cosmic Tribe is too crude, no class, and shows too much. Annik and I were admiring the few handsome males, too often fully dressed, in the Archeon once and we were sighing there weren't more. So yes, there is a definite need for more handsome shirtless males sightings. I'm tired of guys having all the fun and women still being left aside, as long as it is well done à la Timothy Lantz (Archeon Tarot). I would have loved to see more shirtless males too in the Gothic Tarot by Vargo.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemaiden
Yeah, isn't that great!! I love looking at this kind of breast...
I like it in drawings (among other things) but not in reality. Go figure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by firemaiden
Bye the way, I much prefer the Lo Scarabeo type of women to those drawn by American Artists, Robin Wood, or Alexandra "Wheel of Change" Genetti. These American nudes look like they have a sense of "pudeur" -- they look so embarrassed to be naked, that it is embarrassing to look at them. But the Italian nudes look like they have been undressing for artists at least since Ancient Rome, but maybe some of them remember ancient Greece.
Great description, and oh-so-true!
Top   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiccardoLS
You are talking about decks that are "explicitely" Sexual decks. So - yes - they sort of turn women into sex objects. But... if you buy a deck called Manara Tarot, what do you really expect?
Erm.. actually it was the Initiatory Golden Dawn Tarot which I was thinking of which I didn´t expect to be quite so sexually charged. My thoughts on the Manara (or the Casanova which I did mention) are more uncertain. Im just wondering if women really like to use a deck like this. Certainly not condemning. Just curious. What I find odd from this thread are the comments that the male body is not as inherently beautiful as the female. Or - even odder - that somehow it´s "funny". This surprises me. I do think these concepts are entrenched.

I have looked at the Decameron before, but the men are - if I remember rightly - gnome-like and deliberately ugly. So that doesn´t really count. But I must take another look. I love the idea of erotic decks; Ive just yet to find one that speaks to me in a balanced way. But what Im thinking of here are the decks which are not primarily "erotic" but go off on a tangent to try and titillate I-don´t-quite-know-who"

I agree totally with Cats. Nubile, silph-like and over-sexed queens are not really going to be so convincing for - say - Queens of Pentacles or Queens of Wands. Im sure the intrinsic qualities of the archetypes depend on far more than a sexy body and pert breasts. I would hope so.

Love the mention of Brian Williams; yes Wolfspirit. A wonderful example of very tenderly drawn human - yes, human - bodies.

What are these "pin up" decks that people are talking about. Any examples? Im not sure I know what´s being referred to...
Top   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu
What are these "pin up" decks that people are talking about. Any examples? Im not sure I know what´s being referred to...
I wouldn't call the Archeon Tarot a pin-up deck but you can see all the cards here: http://***********************.com/ph.../Archeon_Tarot

Here is a shirtless good looking-guy in the deck, Aragorn like: http://***********************.com/photos/photo/33/55

I think the guy on the Ten of Swords is completely nude: http://***********************.com/photos/photo/33/60

Another handsome shirtless guy: http://***********************.com/photos/photo/33/69

Another handsome shirtless guy: http://***********************.com/photos/photo/33/73

There are more handsome men but they are fully dressed.
Top   #35

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Maybe we should distinct the discussion from explicitely sexual decks (Manara, for instance) and subtle sexual decks (Initiatory Golden Dawn).
Maybe the discussion - while linked - is not necessarely the same.

As a person, I really don't find a problem if the Manara is sexual (or even sexist), as it is "true" to his promise. People that have not interest into that, would just go on a different deck. And there are plenty.
I am more concerned when this kind of *interference* shows up in decks that should be neutral. Well, sex is a POWERFUL force, so it's Ok that it feeds in, in decks.

On the Golden Dawn, I checked today with the author. ^^
Mathers never did any reference to clothes ornaked women. But he referred often to the female figures as "Amazons". So the authors decided to express their physicity in this way. Actually, when looking at the cards, I see nudity, but I really don't see the subtle "sexism", that I find in many other decks.
Those figures try to catch up the essence of the "female", maybe, now that I think of it, even in a masculine (yang) way.
On the other side, the subtle sexuality of the Contemplative (a deck whose art I read on another thread described as disturbing) is very geared in the direction of male sexuality. But, maybe I'm wrong, it seems to unsettle.

Regarding the Court Cards, in general, as long as we will have three male figures and just one female figure, the poor Queen will be young and mature, all at the same time. She has to fit many roles. It is quite interesting, for instance, to see the decks that have gone in a different direction than the RWS (and not just RWS) "Knave, Knight, King and was I forgetting anyone... oh yes, Queen".
Yet, in my mind I can see the Queen of Wands of the Fey Tarot... and her glowing smile. She is not mature... and yet...

The istance you have quoted as example (Brian Williams and Robert Place) are both a VERY specific kind of art: very classical, and very statuary.
It conveys a feeling that is made up of "harmony" and "clearness". Totally distinct from the raw emotion of sexual urges, that fit beautifully into other decks.

Is the Decameron only with ugly man? I don't remind it that way.

So, maybe we should look at each deck, by each deck.
See example and look at the direction they bring us.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu
What are these "pin up" decks that people are talking about. Any examples? Im not sure I know what´s being referred to...
Well, besides the Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn that you've mentioned, I'd count the Tarot of Mermaids among the "pin-up" decks, the Black Tarot, to just mention a few that I remembered.

The art is not exactly classic 1950s pin-up style, and I'm not saying I couldn't enjoy the Mermaids (the Black not so much, too "cheap" for me).

But there still are elements of unnecessary sexuality/sexual nudity in these decks. I mean, an erotic deck without nudity would be surprising (although probably quite interesting!), but I don't see the point of having as many "sexy girls" in the cards as possible without that actually meaning anything. When not all cards are erotically themed anyway, there needs to be a reason why there suddenly is sexualized nudity. Otherwise, my logic gets in a twist. Sexuality is powerful, as is aggression, so there better be a reason why it's there.

As I'm writing this, I realize that I much prefer erotic decks that try to look at tarot concepts through an erotic lens and where (almost) every card is about sexuality in some way. I have difficulties, however, with decks that are supposed to be serious esoteric decks but which package the whole spirituality/esotericism they contain in more or less subtle "sexiness" (or at least do so when women are shown). As much as I love the idea of a Sensual Wicca deck, the actual product makes me cringe. As much as I love the idea that sexuality is (or can be) sacred, and spiritually powerful, and/or used for magic(k), I prefer to see it put into decks with more purpose behind it than, "hey, that looks hot." Well, but Debra has already said that better in her post in #17:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
These images aren't about the beauty of the female form yadda yadda. Real art knows how to make all bodies beautiful. This kind of art doesn't require much thought. Whatever you draw, just "hot it up" visually with cleavage and bums.

In the keyboard world, it's like adding BOLD and COLOR and CHANGING FONT SIZE to catch the eye--without necessarily improving the design or meaning of the text.
Oh, and just to add another angle: I appreciate decks like the Mothepeace or the Daughters of the Moon and similar ones for trying to show female nudity that isn't mainly about "sexy." (That said, I still don't like that style of art much, and what Firemaiden said above about the "uncomfortable nudity" also still holds true.)
Top   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiccardoLS
Maybe we should distinct the discussion from explicitely sexual decks (Manara, for instance) and subtle sexual decks (Initiatory Golden Dawn).
Maybe the discussion - while linked - is not necessarely the same.
[...]
Is the Decameron only with ugly man? I don't remind it that way.

So, maybe we should look at each deck, by each deck.
See example and look at the direction they bring us.
I agree, it seems to make sense to split the discussion about nudity/sexuality in non-erotic decks and the talk about erotic decks in particular.

How convenient that we already have a thread for the latter (here)! Opened by a Manara fan nonetheless.

I'd love to have you come over and discuss erotic/sexual decks with us.

End of commercial break.
Top   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiccardoLS
The istance you have quoted as example (Brian Williams and Robert Place) are both a VERY specific kind of art: very classical, and very statuary.
It conveys a feeling that is made up of "harmony" and "clearness". Totally distinct from the raw emotion of sexual urges, that fit beautifully into other decks.

Is the Decameron only with ugly man? I don't remind it that way
Good observation. Yes, Williams´ art is more statuesque, but it still comes under the general umbrella of nudity. But you´re right, it´s a different kind of nudity (!)

But yes... the "raw emotion of sexual urges"... so why can´t I see more sexy Emperors or Kings of Cups or Magicians showing this? Because it´s not considered "acceptable", that´s why.

Just been to check out the Decameron. Earthy men and earthy women. Neither sex are attractive really. It´s one of those decks which you know what you´re getting when you´re buying it. That type you mentioned. It isn´t really these types that I have that much of an issue with. Im up for erotic decks as much as anyone.

P:S thanks for the pin-up references Wolfyjames. And here was I thinking of Betty Grable and Jane Russell tarots...
Top   #39
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woman are decorative, men are useful.


...just shooting off at the mouth again... but I (influenced by my years in France) think sexism is wonderful... the kind of sexism that recognises that men and women are different is delightful. It is a privelege and a pleasure to be a sex object if I SO CHOOSE. The worst thing is a sexless society. How terrible to get dressed all beautiful and go out, as a woman in our sober American cities and be COMPLETELY IGNORED. How I miss Paris..

There are two sexisms... a good kind and a bad kind. The good kind celebrates the uniqueness of women, celebrates the characteristics and sexuality of woman as unique and different from the sexuality of men.

The other sexism (the bad kind) is a logic of repression based on gender. But repression is repression. Repression was the way of the old hierarchial society, where royal blood was the only right. It made into law the repression of women, of the poor, of foreigners, etc... the old repression is a thing we all fight against on so many levels, not just as regards women.

But the danger comes when in the name of fighting repression, we snuff out the beauty of our difference -- our privilege to be "decorative", our right to be feminine...
Top   #40

 





 



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