Friday, November 25, 2005

With My Body I Thee Worship

Naked wedding photos
Xu Qin
2005-11-24 Beijing Time

It has long been customary for all newlyweds to pose for marriage photographs before their big wedding day.

Many couples are ready to spend months of their salaries on an impressive collection of photos to be put into one or two flashy albums decorated with flowers.

But the same professional make-up, the same choreographed poses and the same theatrical atmosphere won't satisfy the more extravagant personalities.

They are looking for something unique to make their wedding photographs "specific."

Angel, from Hangzhou, is such a bride. In her wedding photo, she and her fiance are half-naked with barely enough props to cover the genital areas. If it were not for the bridal veil, one would be hard put to say it was not pornographic.

Feeling excited about her "realistic" photos, Angel takes approval of them for granted: "If we can record how nice we look when we are young by taking photos, why shouldn't we? People grow older, fatter and uglier."

She must be very confident about her body so as not to feel awkward about stripping in front of an unknown photographer.

She must be something for her guy to show off to other guys — how lucky he is!

A photographer in the studio on Zhongshan Road in Hangzhou where Angel had her wedding photographs taken said that digital copies of photos could be easily released — unknown to the subjects — online even though they had been destroyed in front of the couple once they had been developed.

If those portraits are blogged, it will be gloom for the groom when he finds that his bride is being "gang raped" by thousands of other guys' eyes — unless, that is, he simply doesn't care.

Dai Xiaoxiao, a teacher at a college in Hangzhou, says: "Taking naked wedding photographs is never a good way to find the natural beauty of human bodies. Once it is not appreciated artistically, it is obscene."

There is nudism in the world. But nudism is not just nudity.

The International Naturist Federation defines nudism as naturalism, which is a way of living in harmony with nature characterized by the practice of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the environment.

"If nudity is wrongly used for stimulating the wedding photograph industry," said Li Zhuo, a researcher in art history, "it is never artistic."


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