commentary,  photography

Redefining Nude

My latest project got me thinking about how flesh tones are conventionally named on the market. From art supplies to contemporary fashion, “nude” or “flesh tint” is commonly used to describe the pale, peachy skin colour among those of European origin. That is despite the fact that the Western world is becoming more and more ethnically diverse. With this shift in consumer demographics, perhaps it is time to reconsider the Eurocentric way of naming flesh tones.

nudeshades.jpg
From porcelain to dark brown, “nude”  is in the eye of the beholder.



For years, ballet dancers with darker skin tones like Eric Underwood and Chyrstyn Fentroy struggled to find ballet shoes to match their skin colours.  It really dawned on me that the limited range of nude shades is an industry-wide problem in garment manufacturing.


Nude is not a single shade but encompassing a wide range of shades.


↑ How about calling this garment a bodysuit in the nude or flesh-tone range – in the shade “fawn” or “beige”? Or for those more creative “biscuit” or “latte”? Does it sound weird or interesting?

Inspired by the discussion on skin tones, I have created some illustrations and woven samples in a beige and brown colour palette here.

Thanks for dropping by readers. Stay cool in this hot weather, and stay woke on the topic of nudes.



Photos by: Nicole Engelmann