> I am trying to educate my Elementary/MiddleSchool kids
> that nudity in fine art is not bad but is considered
> an exhaltation of the beauty of the human body.
Well, to be fair, maybe yes AND no. Historically,
nudity in european fine art has been mostly the work
of male artists focused upon a favorite male subject.
While there is indeed the flavor of "exhaltation of
the human body" it is primarily of the human FEMALE
body and probably more than anything a reflection of
biololgical reproduction related propensities.
Insomuch that the popular philo-religio ethic weighs
in in opposition to cross gender experiencees of
nudity it's a bit hypocritical. Given that some females
object to the use of the generic female body in this
way and that males are not represented in such a fashion
the connotations of homosexuality associated with
male nudity and of rape or simply hetrosexuality
associated with the female nude; nudity in art is
to one degree or another problematic for our culture.
That smirking and snickering is indicative of the
common cultural taboos (popular mostly in the US)
on speaking openly about such things and as long
as we don't find ways of dealing with these taboos
while showing respect towards all viewpoints
engaged the snickering or the urge to snicker
will probably continue.
Generally... so far, our most popular resolutions
to these difficulties of introducing have been
suggestions that kids ingnore their feelings and
experience or to engage a rarely rational political
discourse... neither very useful mediations
in the longer run.
I DON'T KNOW what ought to be done to resolve the
problem(s) and I suspect that there is or will be
no one singular and acceptable solution.
Mostly I wanted to point out some of the problems
that must be faced in this issue. As MarshArt points
out, there is an awful lot related to this
that doesn't make sense.