Round, Young Virgin*, Mother and Child

My husband posted this photo in facebook, open to only a few select people.  Not surprisingly, he has already had requests to take it down.  My in-laws were rather distressed.

Maybe I’m naive, but I can’t see what is so offensive about this.  I think it a lovely Madonna-type** picture of motherly love. 

Is their reaction typical of evangelicals or is it representative of a broader conservative culture?

*Young virgin refers to the child.

** Madonna does not refer to the pop star. Think older definition of the word.

20 thoughts on “Round, Young Virgin*, Mother and Child

  1. naturegirl1 says:

    Please don’t be put off by the blinkered views of a narrow minded minority, this is a beautiful photograph. At least let it adorn the wall of your house.

    • prairienymph says:

      Thank-you. I may paint it and frame it.
      Ironically, my fundamentalist parents who believe women should cover their heads in certain circumstances have no problem with tasteful nudity. My in-laws who have pictures of them scantily clad in boyfriend/girlfriend situations were offended by nude mom and baby.
      Honestly, I’m a little offended that they called this picture “sexual”.

  2. JZ says:

    It’s a beautiful picture of mother and child! There’s nothing offensive about it unless you have a warped mind.

  3. Figured it would raise some eyebrows. It is a great picture. Madonna and Child type.

  4. It *is* a beautiful picture. What a lovely memory. I agree with naturegirl and JZ. Maybe if I post something like that on my Facebook page a few outraged fundamentalist people will delete me. That would be cool.

  5. prairienymph says:

    CD: Might as well go out with a bang!
    We’ve gotten several emails from the in-laws questioning our morals. I’m not sure which they will find more distressing: to say we are no longer Christians the way they define it, or to say that we are fine with non-sexual nudity.
    I guess we’ll find out this Christmas! They are very concerned and want to know if we have other secrets, which we should be open about but not force others to see. How can we tell them we can’t believe the bible is inerrant without telling them?

  6. Snowbrush says:

    Ah ha, I have an idea. Put that sucker on Xmas cards next year, and send it to all your inlaws.

    No, of course, it’s not offensive. It’s sweet and warm but hardly provocative.

  7. naturegirl1 says:

    As I recall, Adam & Eve were naked so no “christian” should dare to even think that your photo is offensive, let alone sexual.

    • prairienymph says:

      Well, its official. I have been blocked on facebook on which I post a cropped version of this photo. The 15 year old was worried about his friends seeing a naked female shoulder. I wonder if he is going to block his sisters for appearing in wedding dresses that show just as much skin? (read in a silly tone, I’m a little annoyed but mostly sad that this is such a big deal and trying to be silly about it)

      His parents’ main concern was that he and his friends would be affected. I wonder how much of his worry was influenced by their concern? Self-fulfilling prophesy?
      Or am I just a jerk?

  8. Snowbrush says:

    I don’t use Facebook, so tell me this. Were you blocked after only ONE kid complained? And who the hell ever heard of a 15 year old boy objecting to female nudity? I’m lost here.

    • prairienymph says:

      The kid blocked me from his facebook page so that if I comment it won’t show up and he can protect his friends from the image. I quote:
      ” Have you seen her profile picture? Mom, do you think she has no clothes on? I have friends, mom, who have issues with nudity and I don’t want that picture to come up on my page. I don’t think she meant anything negative with that picture but my friends won’t realize that because they don’t know her.”
      I think he is a well-meaning kid. Just surrounded by a certain brand of evangelicalism.

      BTW- I think a lot of 15 year old boys would object to female nudity, especially if the female was their relative. The idea that exposed female skin is always sexualized really messes people up.

      • naturegirl1 says:

        Speaking as a naturist, my boys (17 & 22) have been brought up to accept & enjoy the human body in its naked state. Neither has any weird hangups about seeing me naked, even now they will wander into the bathroom while I am having a soak & sit on the bath edge & chat to me! There are boundaries, they know that when the bedroom door is closed they have to keep out! but otherwise neither my husband or I get worried about being seen naked.
        I should add that I respect THEIR privacy, I accept that they are not always happy to be seen naked by their parents, but that’s just the natural order of things.

  9. Snowbrush says:

    So, you weren’t blocked from Facebook but only from his page.

    Well, of course, boys don’t want to see nude photos of their moms and sisters. That would have been enough to make me jump out a window. And, of course, you always have religious nuts. And then, to be thorough, homosexual boys would be indifferent, at least. But these would be the rare exceptions. Most 15 year old boys would run across a ten lane highway at rush hour to see a nude female–that is, unless they’ve changed an awful lot in the 46 years since I was 15.

  10. theagnosticswife says:

    I see nothing wrong with this photo at all. Make it black and white put it in a nice matted frame and hang that sucker on the wall for all to see. My boys are 4 and they still see me naked at times when I’m going to shower. They don’t seem to care at this point. I don’t want to make a big deal out of nudity. It’s a natural thing of course and if I have hang ups about it then they might which lead to all kinds of hang ups.

    • prairienymph says:

      Thank-you. I think I will paint it.
      I decided that I wanted my (almost) 4 year old to think that nudity is no big deal and to see us parents being normal and safe about it. Its amazing how much kids pick up on our attitudes!

  11. Grace says:

    This is a beautiful picture! Your in-laws’ reaction is really sad :/

  12. I was thinking of Round John Virgin, the fat guy in the carol Silent Night.

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