Ukraine's FEMEN group which specialises in topless protests in public, has been receiving a lot of media attention lately. The mandate, their agenda their political will although very serious in nature, it is their modality of protest that is attracting attention.
The recent news flash of their appearance was at the Euro 2012 Soccer Cup.For some this method of women going bare-chested or topless in staging an agitation is considered as a very effective and non-violent way to make the protest heard. Yet, some of the agitators have taken this excitement too far and have had to bear consequences of imprisonment, such as when four of these topless activists climbed into the Indian embassy at Kyiv and tore down the Indian national flag. The recent news flash at the Euro Cup soccer shows them grabbing the championship trophy while it was on public display in the southeast of Ukaraine.
Nudity since time memorial has kept mankind's interest alive. In countries where the laws on Nudity are liberal, this concept has been exploited for a lot of commercial benefit. A case in point is Zappos shoes. Their entire advertisement campaign focuses on nude women wearing just shoes and their tag line reiterates the concept by saying "more than just shoes"
Besides advertising, movies have exploited nudity for commercial gain, a whole genre of movies catering to this concept. The censor board may step in to give these movies 'A' rating and it maybe dubious for people to be seen in such movie halls, but there is no denying that a large segment of movie goers exists in this segment and the movie producers cater to this need. Hybrid movies such as 'Dirty Picture' have even managed to bring the concept into mainstream cinema in a camouflaged manner.
TV is not left far behind. The recent entry of international porn star Sunny Leone to maintain the TRP of the show 'Big Boss' and the subsequent interest that is being generated in the adult scenes being shot by Leone for the Bollywood film 'Jism 2', drives home the point further.
Cannes Film Festival is a prestigious place for movies buffs since it showcases a range of films and exhibits the talent of the film fraternity, yet the maximum hits generated on the internet are by the skimpy, skin-coloured and near topless pictures of Mallika Sherawat walking the red carpet.
The question of legality involved in nudity, is of course a matter of national policies. Some countries are liberal enough to allow nudity on the streets, while other countries are extremely conservative and make it mandatory for both men and women to be fully clad-head to toe. And, there are many nations that adopt a middle path-by allowing and controlling nudity, through permissions and censorships. This scenario and physical geographical boundaries among countries having their own national polices on nudity, has however, blurred today with the entry and tremendous presence of the internet.
The cyber laws are still being enforced strictly and meanwhile there exists is a wide world of nudity on the net. People are trading, buying and seeing nude pictures, short video clips et al.
All told, though it may sound like nudity is an easy tool to exploit for commerce, the reality is that with the coming of age of the internet, even nudity is fighting for its space on the internet. Even nudity as a concept has fierce competition. Unless there is creativity and a marketing or viral plan, just nudity may not sell.