A Russian woman has recently gained some notoriety for a photo she published of herself on Instagram.
This photo has triggered some discussion in Russian social media. The contributor of this news item found it interesting that people are making a fuss even though it is a 20-year-old image which still brings delight to the now adult subject. But more importantly, it vividly illustrates the symbolic importance of nudity. The assumption today has become that it is somehow sexual, a matter of shame and that having it posted like this is an invasion of privacy. The reality is, at least in this case, that it represents a kind of giddy freedom and a moment of happiness so rarely experienced in life. Who among us could resist sharing such an idyllic memory?
People literate in Russian and English are encouraged to share some of the more cogent points that may have been shared on that site.
I agree with J.M. Moreno’s comment. It is interesting how quickly attitudes change about what is acceptable.
I read a book about the American intervention in Siberia during World War I. The American soldiers who went there in August 1918 were expecting a frozen wilderness. Instead they found Vladivostok to be a sophisticated European style city, and the summer was hot. The Russians of Vladivostok enjoyed the beach. The beach was the prime sight seeing attraction for the Americans, because all of the Russians; men, women and children, went to the beach completely naked. In 1918 everybody in Russia (or at least Vladivostok) went to the beach naked. Twenty years ago it was still OK for children, but not adults. Now it is unacceptable in Russia even for children. What happened?
I read of something similar in the USA while researching an image for the Polynesian girls post. Shirley Temple wrote in her autobiography that she had a nude scene for the 1935 movie Curly Top. The nude scene was cut from the film before the movie was released, but today it would never have been filmed. What happened in this country too?
This reminds me about what I used to hear in past decades about European beaches. The women were topless, and most of the children were naked. I guess it’s not like that anymore.
It is still like that in many places. Top-freedom is not a problem at all, while many children still go around naked. Of course, there is a setback since the golden times of body freedom in 1970s and 1980s.
Interesting account Moko! Could you share a title of this book about the American intervention in Siberia, or, even better, cite the whole passage on the Americans confronted with beach nakedness in Vladivostok? Thank you!
Sorry for the late reply. I only check comments to my own posts, and didn’t notice your comment until today.
The book is The Siberian Sojourn by Edith M. Faulstich. If I can find the passage before Pigtails is closed I will cite it.
Siberian Sojourn-Volumn II, Written By: Edith M. Faulstich
Chapter XVI: Events to the end of August 1918
The Americans soon found that there were sights beyond those of Vladi’s muddy streets. Some of the men had wandered over to the Bathing Beach, just as the RRSC men had done previously. There before their eyes was a multitude of people — men, women and children, enjoying the bathing, all in the nude. As this news spread there soon was a large audience of Americans at Vladivostoks beaches.
Thank you so much, Moko! I have found the whole book (and this chapter) online here:
While I can make little sense of the English comments (and can’t read Russian), it’s probably worth pointing out that Anna Kounikova is no mere Russian woman. She was a tennis superstar, more famous for her looks than her skill. She and singer Enrique Inglesias recently became parents of twins, but otherwise are extremely secretive about their relationship. No doubt that fuels whatever controversy has been stirred up.
I believe that this woman only happens to have the same NAME as that tennis star.
Ron, could you please verify that here?
I am not going to take the time for this. I will leave it for someone else to do. -Ron
It certainly looks like the instagram account for the same person … I did not personally think it was anybody else.
Это та самая знаменитая теннисистка Анна Курникова.. на ее страничке Instagram есть ее детские и юношеские фото.
>”This is the famous tennis player Anna Kournikova .. on her Instagram page there are her children’s photos and some from her youth.”
I can confirm for Jerrold that this is the former tennis star and celebrity named Anna Kournikova. By going back through her entire instagram timeline you see many photos referencing tennis and her husband Enrique. Additionally, by using multiple translator programs to translate dozens of comments, they still come out a bit scrambled, but are still readable enough to find more references to Enrique. Finallly, she actually looks identical to the famous A. Kournikova.
This is Anna Kurnikova, a teni-wizard, she has plenty of photos in Instagram and children’s and junior’s, she was very beautiful when she was young.
The picture was published on the verified Instagram account of Anna Kournikova the tennis player.
Как быстро меняется человеческое отношение к чему то.
В СССР было нормой делать такие фото, дети лет до 10 могли спокойно купаться и загорать голыми. Никого это не смущало.
Я не помню как называлась газета в 90-тые годы, на ее последней странице была рубрика “Голышом к фотографу”, где были опубликованы подобные снимки с голыми детьми. и даже разыгрывался конкурс на самую удачную , в плане эстетики и мастерства, фотографию, с призами от издательства. К сожалению все изменилось. И сейчас даже вид трусов на фото вызывает бурю гневных комментариев.
Anna K’s career was constantly misunderstood by people who don’t know tennis. She was one of the best DOUBLES PLAYERS of her generation. Everybody wanted to team with her! On the circuit she was well-liked because of her sunny personality.
I am really shocked after the way how so many people in Russia have reacted after publishing that picture. What in the world vave those people figured?
Very similar pictures were common by years in numberless family albums worldwide- including Latin American countries. Many grandmothers keep yet these pictures of their children and grandchildren in the nude at their albums and often show them so proudly. Even many young mothers keep this kind of pictures in their cellphones, tablets, and PCs/laptops. I know ir very well.
I am afraid bigotry and prudery derived after so many news about child sexual abuse have influenced so much over the thought of the common people during the last twenty or twenty-five years at least.
Similar pictures were relatively common in Mexico maybe till the century change. So many family pictures albums had got at least a picture of a child in the nude at the beach, a river, a swimming pool or even during the bathtime.
I wonder how in the world people started a witch chase against innocent, naive images that should inspire feelings like tenderness and naturality instead of prudery and bigotry.
I guess that Google Translate has a long way to go until it catches up with human intelligence.
I tried to translate the first of those Russian comments and got mostly gibberish.
As for the picture itself, it is beautiful and conveys innocent joy and maternal love.
I only wish that the quality of the image were better.