What is the Difference Between Nude and Naked?


Naked can be more scrutinizing and offensive, where nude, as more of a concept, is usually not so. This brings me to my million-dollar question: If you had to decide between your child being confronted by a sexually explicit, media-mangled image or a nude figure in a work of art, which would you choose?

The subtle difference between nude and naked – Lifestyle:

I think this is quite a confronting but excellent article. given all the issues at the moment with nudity and specifically children seeing nude art, I think we need to establish our priorities and work out what the real issue is. For Centuries nudity has been one of the most common art subjects. I completely fail to understand how we live in one of the least puritanical times historically speaking but where nudity for arts sake is being reviled.

There seems to be an automatic association with nudity and sex. that nudity is inherently sexual in nature. It can be, but it can also be a great range of things. It doesn’t actually matter if the piece is nude – what is so wrong with the naked body? It does not need to be sexual. I think there is a culture being instilled in children that nudity is sexual only, and dirty and wrong.

It’s so wrong that everyone and anyone can view a veritable smorgasbord of sexuality and nudity with relative ease over the internet, TV or magazines and in advertising everywhere, but that classic nude art can be reviled for their tasteful displays – something that is sorely lacking in modern media. It drives me crazy. I completely fail to understand the point – can some one illuminate me?

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31 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between Nude and Naked?

  1. For me, the naked and the nude
    (By lexicographers construed
    As synonyms that should express
    The same deficiency of dress
    Or shelter) stand as wide apart
    As love from lies, or truth from art.

    Lovers without reproach will gaze
    On bodies naked and ablaze;
    The Hippocratic eye will see
    In nakedness, anatomy;
    And naked shines the Goddess when
    She mounts her lion among men.

    The nude are bold, the nude are sly
    To hold each treasonable eye.
    While draping by a showman’s trick
    Their dishabille in rhetoric,
    They grin a mock-religious grin
    Of scorn at those of naked skin.

    The naked, therefore, who compete
    Against the nude may know defeat;
    Yet when they both together tread
    The briary pastures of the dead,
    By Gorgons with long whips pursued,
    How naked go the sometimes nude!

    –Robert Graves

  2. they all the same to me.however, in this day and age,naked is arrested and nude is rediculed or applauded.they still get you your fifteen minutes of fame, though.

  3. they are all the same to me.however, in this day and age,naked is arrested and nude is rediculed or applauded.they still get you your fifteen minutes of fame, though.

  4. “Naked” to me implies bare by nature or necessity. We are all born naked, little kids run through the sprinkler naked, we get naked before taking a shower or having sex. I do not see naked as bad, I see it as an active form of being bare. I nursed my children at my naked breast.

    “Nude” on the other hand to me implies bare by choice and with a purpose. The word has a certain elegance to it that fits with art; the human body in its nude form is beautiful. I also think of nude as a static thing, as in a model posing or a sculpture forever frozen, preserving the body’s exquisite musculature and grace.

    Wonderful, thought-provoking post, Jennie!

  5. wow, you’ve all presented such fascinating responses! I think this is such a fraught topic, maybe I should explore the difference in a painting or something – you’ve all inspired me πŸ™‚

  6. “Naked” is what parents call art exhibits.

    “Nude” is what parents and other heterosexual relatives call their kids when they do things that will make the kid grow up and tiptoe up to me and whisper nervously, “Does what my dad did to me mean I’m gay?”

    You really have to wonder why a parent would be so freaked out by a kid seeing a naked person. Maybe the kid will talk about how nakedness is used at home?

  7. I don’t know what the difference is between nude and naked. I only know that both are considered dirty and wrong by the society in which we live.

    Our society is schizophrenic on the subject of sex. Sex is both worshipped and condemned. Both approaches are flawed; both trivialize sex, divorcing it from context. Sex is simply a fact of life, like eating or breathing. But people are terrified of it and try to repress it; and this only leads to people sneaking it when they think no one is looking. The more you try to repress a natural inclination, the more bizarre the form that inclination takes when it finally expresses itself.

    Nudity/Nakedness is seen in our culture as inherently sexual. You can’t even take pictures of your baby without a diaper anymore without being arrested for child pornography. And did you know that there are women in this country who will actually tell you that breastfeeding is *unnatural*? If you don’t believe me, ask some.

    We live in a sick, twisted and depraved society. I refer not to the purveyors of nudity. I refer to those who seek to impose their fears on the rest of us, an unprincipled political class who won’t stand up to them to preserve our freedom, and the jackbooted thugs who wear police uniforms and look for any excuse to invade our lives and bully us for the pure pleasure of dominating others. God Damn them all.

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  9. I think nude and naked are the same but naked is inappropriate to use around alot of people, nude is more respectful to use or say it in public

  10. My opinion has always been Nude stays as nude up to the point it becomes “erotic”. The point at which the image is in some way designed to provoke a sexual attraction or response, be it through a pose, or an action within the image. The intention of the artist is not always so clear, and many people now days simply find the image of a naked person somewhat provocative, but i believe this to be more of a modern culture issue than an art culture issue.

    • I think you are right Jason, modern culture has ingrained this naked=sex attitude in people and it is very hard to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were. This is how I define the difference between nude art and porn too πŸ™‚

  11. to be nude is to feel at one with your surroundings and comfortable with your natural self.. to be naked is to feel the cold and loneliness and fear …

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  13. I have an assignment about this poem..my teacher asked me to find the differences between naked and nude..hhhmm, your blog just help me to get the inspiration…thanks ^_^

  14. I have to agree with you Jim. I just wish that the uneducated masses would figure out that the beauty in being nude is that it can reveal much more than one’s lack of clothing, in conjunction with other emotional triggers, it can convey great meaning.

    We live in strangely dichotic times, puritanical guilt lives in the hearts of many, while the naked body itself is sold in every conceivable way…

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