Although "Ways of Seeing" explores multiple societal concepts that were progressive for its time, the concept that resonated with me most is the idea that a nude, whether that be a portrait or photo, is not the same as being naked. This thought broke the surface after discussing how women are always posed or "in uniform,"" specifically so that men think highly of her and her beauty. When hearing this our minds today may set off defensive alarms declaring this untrue for ourselves, but I think it's ingrained in us more than we know. Whether we want to admit it or not, we grew up in a society that tells women to look good for men and that seed has been planted during crucial, impressionable years of our lives. Those seeds, while not impossible to get rid of, often have so much time to grow before we even recognize them. This is reflected mainly today in social media, but also exists within fashion, regular media, porn, etc. This specific episode truly gave me an unsettling feeling in my stomach because we believe we've made so much progress in the feminist movement when in reality this very anti feminist concept that exists today is reflected in many of these famous nude paintings from long ago. In other words, we have not made as much progress as we think.
The idea that we are always in uniform also manifests rape culture. During discussion one woman mentioned that our "nude" uniform means we are ready for sexual pleasure. While many of us know that a woman wearing revealing clothing does not give justification for assuming she is ready for sexual pleasure, what a woman is wearing, specifically when it is revealing or reaching closer to her nude uniform, is still a point used to defend sexual harrasers, wandering eyes, or even dress codes.