LETTER: Only adult hang-ups make nudity sordid

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The Independent Online
I AM most concerned for the safety of my ageing parents, following your report about a television celebrity ("Julia Somerville defends innocent family photos", 5 November) and the photographs of her seven- year-old daughter. Enclosed is one example of many of me as a child, all taken, ironically, during the "repressive" 1950s. Are my parents now to be accused of child pornography?

Until puberty my friends and I (both male and female) ran around sometimes naked or at least bare-chested in warm weather without any suggestion of obscenity, and as a result I have a healthy lack of self-consciousness about my body. We complain that children are no longer innocent and do not have a childhood, yet we persist in imposing our adult hang-ups on their unformed bodies. The result? Girl children who know how to be coy, who are obsessed with their "sexuality" and become anorexic.

A photograph of a naked child is a natural image which we should take for granted, and only merits intrusion if sexually explicit and clearly involving abuse. It may be a "grey area", but inappropriate reactions are also an abuse of the child concerned and can do lasting harm.

Maggie Guillon