Should Nudity Be Normalized In Today’s Films?

If you’re looking for an artistic conversation, you won’t find it here. And if you’re gonna ask why, please refer to the title of my blog.

Let’s just cut to the chase, I don’t have the mind space for a witty intro. Should nudity be normalized in today’s films? 

Now to clarify, when I say “normalized” I mean, should we keep giving it more and more of a “safe” rating or should we make sure we move it to R-18 and above? In my conservative opinion, it’s the next thing to porn (which I pray could be obliterated already), so my answer quite strictly is no.

I recently went to watch the film, Blade Runner 2049, and for all its popularity gained because of Harrison Ford and the raving reviews from critics calling it the perfect sequel …it still amazingly bombed in the box office over the weekend. Sorry Jared Leto, yet another one.

While watching, however, I couldn’t help but cringe throughout the entire movie which barely gave the viewer a break from a pair of boobs, to another pair of boobs, to a butt shot, to yet another butt shot, to a whole naked body to billboards of a naked girl and statues of naked girls to a billboard naked girl, moving…WOW.

At one point, I even had to stand up and walk out because of a scene wherein prostitutes are having sex on the side of the road (you can only see the girl, of course) for entertainment and pleasure, of course. Given the extra supplementary audio material, it definitely makes for the setting of a dark world, like sure why not.

Afterwards at home, I couldn’t stop thinking about a passage in Genesis. God knew Adam and Eve had sinned. God had just been so disappointed in man. And yet, God covered them in their shame. God clothed them.

See, the thing is, there’s nothing wrong with being naked in front of God. There’s nothing wrong with being naked in front of your husband, in front of your wife. Nakedness is a beautiful thing, it is the human at its most vulnerable state, literally and figuratively. But when we literally take something from God’s original design and EXPLOIT it, we defile the image of God. Let me repeat myself, we DEFILE the image of God. We turn it into evil.

And in this case quite frankly, we objectify women, too. My heart hurts for the actresses who were probably told, it’s the cool thing to do in Hollywood nowadays, “Take off your clothes, don’t worry, you’ll be respected for it.”

That’s a load of BS. Because you may be so “daring” and “liberated” as an artist to do so, but you want to know the first thing that comes into the audience’s mind? OH GOSH, SHE’S NAKED. You uncover the mystery, you uncover the most beautiful part of you, and the first thing people feel is not adoration…they feel lust. Sorry to be quite frank, but I would know. And I’d like to quote John Piper before you get at me with things like, “Well, what about violence?” If you’re nude on screen, you’re nude. You didn’t fake that.

When I came to Christ, all I could feel was shame, all I could feel was naked. But when I read that Christ clothes His own in robes of righteousness, again, I didn’t just think of it as in my person, but I literally felt like I was being covered once more.

We’ve made less and less of a deal of it, it’s become so normal in our society to watch TV shows like Game of Thrones and movies that almost anyone can see with primarily naked women, but the truth is, it’s not right. It’s just not. Pray that I be convicted to stop watching GoT (I read your thoughts), although I make it a point to watch the censored version, it’s still something I consume on a regular basis. And it hurts me more as a woman because that may not be me on screen, but THAT’S MY BODY and that’s its exploitation sugarcoated by a LIE that it’s okay.

So honey, I’m not talking to your kids about this, I’m talking to you. Should you be subjecting yourself to that kind of content?

I might have made a mistake in not checking out what Blade Runner was all about, and it definitely taught me the lesson to be more careful in the future to watch what I watch.

If the media doesn’t get any better though, are we just gonna sit and tolerate it nonetheless, consume it ourselves?

Let me ask you:

Are you going to be the Christian who walks out of a movie to make a stand for Christ? Are you going to be the Christian man who will look away when a naked girl’s body is shown, and vice versa to Christian women? Are you going to be the Christian who just. won’t. take. it. because you see people as souls, not just mere bodies or dead weight?

If we can’t change it, fine. But we don’t have to condone it.

My prayer is that God grants each of us a Gospel lens, to see everything through the eyes of Christ. My heart is breaking a little right now, because this just came to me:

Jesus died on the cross, naked. He wasn’t clothed with a white wrap around him like you see in The Passion or other crucifixion films, no, he was naked. They crucified him that way to completely humiliate him. Yet he bore our sin, he bore our shame, he bore our nakedness so that he could come back and clothe us with righteousness.

Nudity is not a trivial thing. And if you’re not a Christian, and you just happened to pop by this blog because of the poster and the click-bait title, then stop for a second and re-read that last paragraph. This is not a trivial thing, it’s serious.

It shouldn’t be normalized in today’s films or anywhere, for that matter. And I’d like to take a stand for it. If you can’t see that, then you are constantly contributing to an evil pattern of reducing the worth of man (woman) in the sight of God.

So think again.

 

What’s Your Real ID? Finding Your Identity In Christ

Last July 29, I gave a talk at the Christ’s Young Professionals (CoffeeTalks) 6th Anniversary. I feel like God downloaded on me right away what he wanted me to say. Downloaded is just a term my dad uses when he knows the Holy Spirit has impressed something onto his mind and heart. So it’s kind of like a eureka moment, but not as spontaneous.

Anyway. I knew this topic was dear to me because well, my testimony (The Nth Chance: A Personal Testimony) is basically about how lost I was, and how God found me in my brokenness and showed me who I am again. Identity is honestly the most important thing in this world, secular and non-secular.

But did you ever stop and think that maybe your identity has nothing to do with you? That your identity is not even about you?

 

This was my message.

What We Do: Overthink, Overcompensate, Overachieve

We all do it, all the time. We overthink the things we say, the things we do; we make such a big deal out of the pettiest things in life, and worry and dwell on them over and over again. I seriously remember times when I would replay a conversation I had in my head the whole night that I would barely get any sleep. Should I have said this instead? That might have not been received the way I wanted it to. Oh, I would have sounded so much better if I had said it THAT way. 

 

We second guess ourselves until it feels like we probably shouldn’t have moved at all. And that creates confusion. So what do we do? We gotta get rid of this confusion. We gotta cover up our mistakes. We can’t let people see that vulnerability or inability next time, no. So then we overcompensate. What was once just one or two things on a goal list now becomes a schedule of commitments we can’t stick to. A conversation becomes more of you adjusting rather than listening to the other person, making sure he or she views you the right way, or that by golly, you get your point across like a scientist. You either talk too much, sound arrogant, or give your resume when people ask you, “How are you?” Let’s just make sure they know you’re doing good, you’ve got life down pat.

Right?

And then the tantamount of it all is when we trick ourselves into believing that overachieving is the way to go. Our accolades become us. We’re defined by the friends we associate ourselves with. Where we’re seen, who we’re seen with, what we do, and what Facebook and Instagram MUST know we’ve done or are about to do. Let’s not forget how many times we’ve checked back to make sure people know and approve. Oh, and how many times we’ve compared ourselves with others to make sure we’ve got a one up on them, somehow.

Shake your head, but that’s you. That’s me. Still a struggle from time to time, YES. But there is an answer. And it’s as simple as this.

 

Jesus.

I’m sure you’re probably familiar with this girl:

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Image Credit: @tayasmith via Instagram

Taya Smith, female singer of Hillsong United, now beautifully bald, is one of the girls I  looked up to in the beginning of my walk with God. She just seemed so…confident. Like she knew who she was not because of anything she had done, but because of what her Savior had done. As she says here:

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 03.22.19

“I identified myself completely with Him.” When I read this on her bio, I was like, “That’s it. It’s that simple and that straight-forward.” And in a way, our identity relies on where our confidence lies. The only reason we’re constantly bothered by our sense of identity or are constantly trying to change it is because we have no confidence in who we are to begin with. But if you place your identity in Christ, the Savior of the World, knowing He is on your side, wouldn’t that give you all the confidence you need?

So I’m going to try this three-point thing:

New Creation

You are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Your past doesn’t define you. Those mistakes, that vulnerability you experienced before doesn’t matter anymore. Not in the eyes of God. If you’ve repented and accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, He’s forgiven and forgotten all about that. And then our identity begins to transform.

Unique

You’re fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Do you know what’s so cool about our Creator? He predestined us and that means he loved us even before the start of time. His creation is the only creation that’s original so if you’re a creation of His, that means He’s never made someone like you before and he never will again. Just chew on that.

Have A Purpose

Or to use another term, “calling.” (Ephesians 2:10)

In line with your unique abilities and traits, God’s given you gifts. These are basically specific skills or talents you have that benefit others in service. Because the truth of it all (the bottomline) is that we’re called to love. And when we love God, we love others. We serve them with our abilities, and again, IT’S NOT ABOUT US. It’s about Christ. But since we have such a good Father, He wants us to hone those skills and show these talents, for His greater glory. 

 

So I leave you with these questions you might want to discuss to yourself or with someone else:

  1. What about your personality now doesn’t fit with your identity in Christ?
  2. List three things that resonate about you.

Follow-up question: Are these gifts? And do they glorify God?

 

And I’ll leave you with this statement:

The only person you ever have to prove anything to is Jesus Christ. Ironically, when you please Him, it takes the burden off of you. Because He’s already done what needed to be done. So you can live free in His love and assurance of who you are: a child of God.

Coffee Talks will be having another talk come August 26 with weightlifter, Hidilyn Diaz! Check out their page for more details.