I have a lot of complaints about Trump’s upcoming term in office, but one of those complaints does not include the fact that his First Lady was a nude model. During the election and just recently I noticed criticism from the left related to her scandalous modeling. One common criticism was that it was hypocritical of the Christian right to be in favor of a First Lady who would do such a thing as model without her clothing. I agree it was hypocritical, but it makes me wonder how the left would have treated the wife of a charismatic Democratic candidate who had done that type of modeling. If the right put down such a woman, would the left defend her?
One of the things that attracted me to the left was that there seemed to be far less sexual repression on that side of the political spectrum but with the reaction I’ve seen to Melania’s modeling career from some of the left I’m now questioning that more. The side that’s typically in favor of a woman’s right to choose apparently doesn’t like when a woman chooses to model in the nude. Besides calling the Christian right hypocritical for not having issue with her, I’ve seen many call her “classless” and “trashy”. One argument for calling her these awful things is that such actions are unbecoming of a First Lady. Besides being married to the president, I didn’t think there were certain criteria that needed to be fulfilled to be First Lady. She’ll be the first to have the position that has modeled nude, the fact that no one before her has done that does not justify saying she’s unfit for the position. That’s like saying Barrack Obama shouldn’t have been president because there were no black presidents before him. There can be a first for everything, if there wasn’t we wouldn’t be able to grow as a civilization.
It often confounds me how it seems like America still has a hard time moving past their puritanical roots. The naked female figure can still garner shock and offence because of possible sexual connotations. The human form and the sexual feelings we get from looking at a human form we find attractive are natural and is part of what makes life enjoyable. Perpetuating a narrative of shame and disgust associated with nudity and sexuality holds our culture back and could possibly prevent people from developing a healthy sexuality. Nudity and open sexuality are also associated with immorality, but there is no rational basis for that. No one is hurt by seeing a nude person and the nude person isn’t hurt by being seen nude. Some may find it uncomfortable to see, but discomfort does not equal immorality.
The issue of bringing America past its puritanical nature is something I’ve cared about for a long time. It’s one of the reasons I’ve modeled in a scandalous way myself, I might as well practice what I preach. It’s slightly unfortunate that the First Lady that could be interpreted as sex positive for her modeling career is coming along with a president that may be sex negative in his policies. Although maybe this first for a First Lady could lead the way towards normalizing nudity and open sexuality. I’ve half-jokingly mentioned to friends that I’d like to break into politics one day and a few times the response has been they’re not sure if that can happen with my provocative pictures. Maybe thanks to this first we’ll be able to move past that sort of attitude.