Browsing: Naked History

A Brief History On September 17, 1983, Syracuse University student Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America, the first African American woman to win the coveted title.  In a bizarre nod to the future, her birth announcement included the line, “Here she is: Miss America”! Digging Deeper Sadly, less than a year later, a scandal involving Penthouse Magazine announcing they were going to publish nude photos of Vanessa led to her resigning her “office.”  In another twist of fate, her successor, the “First Runner Up” in the 1983 contest to name “Miss America 1984” was Suzette Charles, also of African descent.…

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A Brief History On July 10, 1040, Lady Godiva is supposed to have ridden naked on horseback to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes. Digging Deeper Before and since Lady Godiva’s legendary ride, many other women have made great impressions on culture, society and history mainly because they were in the buff. This article lists Medieval women (those who lived from about 476-1517) famous for being naked or who, at one point in their lives, had famously been naked. The order they will be presented in is not a ranking, but merely a chronological listing. Please…

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A Brief History Historian Linda Hall asks, “Were Ancient women powerful or powerless?”1   One might refine this question to ask, “Were Ancient women famous for being naked powerful or powerless?”  The women listed below unquestionably wielded power on men and women alike despite and in some cases because of their physical attributes.  This article therefore explores some of Antiquity’s most famous women known for being naked and their influence on history. Digging Deeper 1)  Nefertiti (c. 1,370 B.C. – c. 1,330 B.C) Known primarily for the beautifully sculpted bust that is on display at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, Nefertiti, wife of…

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A Brief History On November 27, 1835, 2 Englishmen were hanged for the crime of sodomy (Section 15, Offences Against the Person Act of 1828) and a third man was convicted of being an accessory, receiving a sentence of 14 years “penal transportation.” (Not to be confused with “penile transportation!” Penal transportation means being hauled off to a penal colony.) The law the men were charged under had replaced the Buggery Act of 1533. Digging Deeper James Pratt (age 30) and John Smith (age 40) were allegedly engaged in intimate homosexual acts when the building’s landlord and the landlord’s wife…

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A Brief History On August 7th, 1908, the Venus of Willendorf, one of the earliest depictions of female nudity, was discovered in Austria. In our previous article in this series, we had listed the top ten women famous for being naked, or who, at one point in their lives, had famously been naked. Of course there are many more prominent ladies who have disrobed in a public setting or who have been artistically represented in a state of undress. In this article, we examine eleven more such women. For the latest installment in this series,  the “Top 10 Black Women Famous…

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