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As a citizen of the U.S., I’ve come to realize that we aren’t exposed to a lot of public nudity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for nude beaches and pornography. But something about my sheltered experience did not prepare me for Florence, Italy.
IF I had been born Italian I would have been brought up to appreciate all the great artists all around Italy.
AND I would have been taken to the local beaches with the rest of my family and routinely exposed to topless women and very small speedos on men. You see, a lot of Italians love the sun and become bronzed to perfection in it. They are definitely a people of the Mediterranean; golden skin, white teeth, and passion.
BUT, alas, I was not. So arriving in Florence, Italy with my camera ready to capture beauty and grace, I found myself surrounded by….butts. Everywhere. I didn’t need to pay an entrance fee to a museum to see these extraordinary features.
I just had to walk down most any touristy street, bridge, or alleyway.
Now I’m aware that in ancient times warriors and sports stars did their thing without the confines of clothing. And many of the statues I observed were of such scenes.
There also seemed to be a bit of gender discrimination. In most cases of nudity it is usually of the female variety but here in Florence there is definitely more male nudity in sculture and paintings! And I’m not just referring to butts. Yeah, you know. So I was impressed by the balancing of the scales, so to speak, from the universal norm.
And the most famous of all butts in Florence is the David. Bigger than life and standing in all his glory.
But when I thought I’d found the perfect female version of the perfect butt…
it turned out to be Hermaphrodite!
And I must add that I thought it odd that there weren’t more fig leaves being modestly displayed. No, the male form was exposed in all it’s maleness, except for the dwarf.
He should protest discrimination!
I mean, a moth? Really?!
All in all I embraced the human body in all it’s beauty. But I never did get used to seeing the bodiless angel heads with wings, flying around some of the paintings. Weird.