Nudity In Television And Films: Does Hollywood Objectify Women?

Nudity In Television And Films: Does Hollywood Objectify Women?

Nudity has been a part of the film industry since the late 1800’s.  However, in the past, nudity has been used sparingly, showing only part of the body, not the full view. This past decade, there has been an explosion of nudity in both films and television showing full views of both men and women.

Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black

Two popular television shows are Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black. Both of these shows have excessive nudity, predominantly females. According to VidAngel, female nudity is 3 times as much as men in films and television and 6 times in Game of Thrones. One of the producers of Game of Thrones even requested that the show contains more female nudity.

Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black logo
PC: Wikimedia Commons

A Netflix original series, the show features a predominantly female cast. Throughout the show, there are many scenes of sexual content. While viewers have enjoyed the show, there are still some that argue that the show objectifies women.

Game of Thrones

Eddard Stark on the iron throne
PC: Flickr

Star of Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys Targaryen, knows women are at a disadvantage and have to do more nude scenes than men. She believes that nudity should be split equally between women and men

During the season finale of season 5 of Game of Thrones, Lena Headey’s character, Cersei Lannister does a “walk of shame” and walks through streets naked while food is thrown at her. Actress Lena Headey made a personal choice to use a body double instead of acting nude herself. Nudity is something that she has done in the past but she decided not to do it this time. She stated that she now has children and thought it would be too much for her to appear naked. She also wanted to focus on her acting and knew that she couldn’t reach her full potential if she was acting naked. However, she received a lot of negative feedback from fans and was criticized as being less of an actress.

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Actors have every right to refuse nudity scenes

So why were so many fans outraged when Headey made her decision? Was it because they wanted to gawk at her body the way they had done with so many other Game of Thrones stars? Unless she had it in her contract to do full nudity, she had every right to choose a body double. After all, she was cast due to her acting skills, not her body. Lena even said that she didn’t want to be a part of the casting decision for her body double as she didn’t want to have to stare at other women’s bodies and pick one. Her reasons for her decision were genuine and she even said that she admired her body double, Van Cleave, for doing the part.

Heady is not the only woman to choose a body double to avoid a nude scene. There are plenty of other actresses who have a no nudity clause. Hollywood objectifies women and we see the criticism they face when they stand up for their morals. Orange is the New Black and Game of Thrones continue to be popular and are among the most-watched shows on television and Netflix. I have often wondered what these two shows would be like without all the nudity and sex scenes. Are these scenes really necessary for carrying the story along? Would the shows still be as popular as they are now? Or, do the shows rely too much on nudity using the sex to drive the story?

Do you believe that Hollywood objectifies women? Let us know in the comments!

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