Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
Twain was known for his satire, and i suspect that was at play when he said — or penned — this line.
If not a specific individual, then at the very least we know through the prevalence and popularity of pornography that naked people have had profound influence on society.
At one point in time, the existence of a “sex tape” would have been the end of a celebrity’s career. These days it is often the beginning.
Think Kim Kardashian.
The “leak” of her “sex tape” is what made her famous. All of her television appearances followed that event. And she went on, perhaps predictably, to pose for Playboy.
i don’t remember where i came across Twain’s quote recently, but it was most likely in a blog post or an article or something — probably being used by the author to stress the importance of men’s fashion.
i had heard the first part of the quote before, but i never knew there was another sentence that followed.
Immediately it grabbed me.
It seems to me that the latter part of the 20th Century carrying right on into the start of the 21st Century has been largely about the growing influence of the Naked and Famous.*
Again, Kim Kardashian. She was at one time the most searched name on Google.
We have grown so accustomed to increasing sexualization in all forms of media and culture that it is common, as happened just the other night, to be in conversation with another person and find that the blatant sexual language and conversation in a popular movie went completely unnoticed by my friend.
We have been anesthetized to the pornification of our culture, which means — by extension — that we are dull to the ways we are being shaped by it as individuals. Scripture reminds us to be “sober,” being alert to the devil who prowls (1 Pet. 5:8); being awake and living as children of the light (1 Thess. 5:5-7); being prepared for the “end of all things” (1 Pet. 4:7); and so we can set our hope fully on the hope that is to be revealed to us in Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:13).
Dullness isn’t good for us, it leads us to hopelessness, which then leads us to serve ourselves and forget God.
But dullness is exactly what we get from the Naked and Famous.
*i am not referring to the musical group of the same name.