I had been waiting for an excuse to post this picture from BlackBook Magazine, and I think this is it. The Cut has posted the text of an interview that Tom Ford did with Britain's GQ Style, in which he talks about how images of nude or next-to-nude women are the norm in our media today, but the male nude remains taboo, shocking, and uncomfortable for many people. I'm not going to post the pictures that went along with the story as they might not be appropriate for everyone, but here are some highlights, and click the link above for the rest.
" But, Tom, why do you objectify women more than men in your ads?
"As much as I've tried, it has been consistently harder to get images of nude men onto magazine pages and billboards than it has nude women. In a society where images of brutal violence are consumed during breakfast, the male nude is one of our last taboos. There's a double standard at play here: magazines that are happy to fund ads featuring an artfully lit female nude will balk at an image of her male counterpart."American fashion magazines don't show breasts like European ones do. Do you think nude phobia is a uniquely American problem?
"In Sweden or Japan, or other places … casual nakedness at the sauna or the bath house is part of daily life, but in the places that I call home, the fear factor around nudity seems to be rising. I have always found it ridiculous that, in America, if I wanted to run an ad of a woman with bare breasts I had to retouch her nipples. Now why would a woman's bare breasts, created as nature intended, be more shocking than a bizarre pair of breasts with absolutely no nipples? What could be more perverse?"
So tell us the damn truth about being a woman.
"Women have long been objectified in our society; images of beautiful female forms are everywhere. Go to a dinner party and women are wearing tiny dresses, exposing their legs and baring their toes in high-heeled sandals. They're basically naked, with a little bit of draping over their body. Think of how tough it must be to be a woman in our culture. Women are constantly judged by their bodies and the size of their breasts."
But you make clothes, Tom. Gorgeous ones, too. Why are you championing being without them?
"With a more natural relationship to nudity, we might also be freed up to find each other a lot more fascinating. There's an equality to being naked; the fewer clothes and accessories a person wears the less you judge them, and the more you notice their truest traits, like their eyes or their charisma, their great hands or their one-of-a-kind hair or, most importantly, their personality and character. As much as I love clothing, it gives us one more layer to hide behind." "