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I told you so!
Art ratings? 
17th-Aug-2005 07:15 pm
Owl totem
A question - particularly for my fellow artists, but I'm interested to hear everybody's opinion.

The ratings that are gernerally ascribed to fanfiction - G through to NC17 - do you think the same standards should apply to art? Or should they be higher because it is a visual medium?

I ask because the picture in my icon - the full version of which you can see here - Passionate Ron/Hermione, was just labelled NC17 in a forum and, I'm sorry, but I would never have classed that pic NC17. Yes, it's suggestive, but that's it. There is no cock to be seen, no sexual act in progress, not even a breast.

Personally, I'd have rated it M (15+), just to be on the safe side. Am I too liberal? I mean, my kids have all seen this, and they range in age from 15 down to just-turned-9. They weren't horrified or traumatised by it. And, to counterpoint, none of them have seen the 'quickie' slash drawing I did for shocolate the other day, because I know that would squick them, and that one I do regard as NC17.

So what's the consensus? Would you rate this painting NC17?

And, out of interest, what would you rate this one while we're at it?
17th-Aug-2005 06:44 am (UTC)
It's so riduclous how censored everything is, particularly here in the U.S. Art is not a medium that should be rated, and when that occurs, it limits severely the number of people who can see the piece, reducing interest (or even inspiration).
I think your painting was lovely, and sensual, but by no means overtly erotic and unsuitable for mature young adults. If you felt comfortable showing it to your children, then you shouldn't be expected to feel uncomfortable posting it in a forum for all to see.

17th-Aug-2005 06:45 am (UTC)
and by riduclous, I meant ridiculous.
17th-Aug-2005 06:56 am (UTC)
I am still at the point where I think art shouldn't be rated unless it's blatantly a picture of screwing/act of sex. We don't rate nudes at a museum, but as soon as this stuff goes onine it's like, "OMG... my 12 year old son saw a breast! He will obviously now rape 56456 people!"

I'm not a big fan of our rating system here anyhow. THings blow up, arms get severed off, people punch old ladies in the face-- but that's "cool" and funny. But don't let the kiddies see a boob or other genitalia. The world might end.
Also? Much love again for the breastfeeding picture. Way back when the boobie issue appeared for you, I printed that out and showed it to my la Leache league. They thought you captured it perfectly, especially the grabbing of the other nipple. Ouch.
17th-Aug-2005 07:22 am (UTC)
The R/H pic, definitely an R, pushing the boundary of NC.

The nursing pic looks way too painful for me. When a child pulls off the breast because it's distracted hurts. But I'd probably give it a PG. Nothing my kids haven't seen.
17th-Aug-2005 07:48 am (UTC)
I'd rate it M, too (and I must say I think that's my absolute favourite piece of yours!). As for the James and Lily one, I'd say PG-13.
17th-Aug-2005 07:54 am (UTC)
The Ron/Hermione one, I'd give that an R at most. While I can see why the forum would label it NC17, there aren't any exposed bits or anything explicit about it. It's a tastefully done sexual situation. :D Personally, I relate the NC17 rating to pr0n, extreme violence, and/or squick-worthy things.

I'd give the second one a PG13. The breasts aren't exposed in a sexual situation. Dude, it's breast-feeding. Totally natural.
17th-Aug-2005 08:49 am (UTC)
I'd give this one no more than a PG-13 because, like you said, there are no exposed bits or sexual acts in progress. I'm torn about the breast feeding one, however. In my opinion it's completely natural and worthy of a G rating, but I might just give it a PG rating because some people might be squeamish about the amount of breast showing.
17th-Aug-2005 11:03 am (UTC)
Yup, if I could draw, and was posting in the UK, I would call it a 15 - in the US there is no such thing, so it would have to be an R.
17th-Aug-2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
I'd say a UK 15 for the R/Hr one, and a U (G) for the breastfeeding one, maybe a PG.
17th-Aug-2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
i would rate the ron/hermione M like you said, or even pg-13, and the breastfeeding one, i would make that pg.
17th-Aug-2005 07:38 pm (UTC)
the thing with the forums is that they have to be PG13 safe. So, even if you rate it 15+ that still means it needs to moved from the regular eye. R and NC17 fics cannot be directly linked except in the RS... thus causing the move of the artwork, b/c it *was* directly linked. I'd give it an R. With the breastfeeding picture, that isn't a sexual one in context. I breastfed my son and my friends who are mums mostly breastfed, but I still might give it a PG13 to be on the safe side, although it could probably be a PG. But the other picture is sexual. Yes, his hand is covering her breast, but his other hand is creeping down her skirt. I'd still give it an R - which makes the move okay since the forums are PG13 and below.
17th-Aug-2005 10:48 pm (UTC)
As I explained to texasmagic below, I was under the impression that stuff only qualified for the Bedchamber or Restricted section if it was NC17. I have read R-rated fics at CM that were not in the Bedchamber, so I'm sure you can understand how I could get that impression, yes?

I have no problems at all with CM ruling what can and can't be permitted and am not about to jump up and down crying 'injustice!' but some of the R-rated fic I've read there was way more explicit than my painting. Hence my wondering whether art might have a different rating system to fic at CM.
17th-Aug-2005 09:49 pm (UTC)
Hi, Leela, Long time lurker (for you)& CM Council Member.

Yeah, I can see how you would be surprised by the rating for what a lot of us call the "Bodice Ripper" (a fav of mine, btw)

Basically, Kelly is right. All the forums have been dealing with having to take a good hard look at how we house 'adult' content. What we learned in our research for CM, is that the rules in the US state that general access forums have to be suitable for 13years old. The trouble lies in the fact that the rules differ from country to country, and since CM has a multinational set of mods, we have to take a 'most restrictive' stance to protect ourselves.

Still, it's art, and therefore subjective. I hate having to quanitify and objectify the piece to begin with.
17th-Aug-2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks texasmagic. I have no problems at all with Checkmated deciding what should be classed as Restricted; it's your/their website, not mine, and I'm more than happy to abide by the rules. It's just that I was under the impression that everything in the Restricted section or Bedchamber was NC17. I know I have read fics there that have described ejaculation and oral sex that were rated R rather than NC17 and not in the Bedchamber. So you'll understand my surprise at, I thought, having my painting declared NC17. And wondering whether there were different rules for art and fic.

As you said, the pic is a 'bodice ripper'. That was the challenge it was drawn for - to emulate the Mills&Boon style covers. Books (and bodic-ripper cover illustrations) which are available eveywhere (at child height in the shops here!).

18th-Aug-2005 09:49 am (UTC)
Well, if we were applying US rating standards to this, I'd have to go with an R, too. It's definitely too strong by most people's standards to be PG-13 (which is defined "some material inappropriate for children under 13" which usually includes things like coarse language and mild violence). This doesn't mean that I personally agree with the system or would view your work that way, but the first picture I think would cross the line out of PG-13 and into an R because her shirt is a bit translucent and there is a definite suggestion of sexuality.

The one with the baby I'd say would be about a PG-13 because is frontal nudity but not in a sexual context. For my personal view I wouldn't even have that strong of a reaction to it because breastfeeding is a practice as old as humanity itself and a perfetly natural thing to do, but the US ratings system would feel differently because not all parents would want to have to deal with explaining breasts, breast feeding, and sexuality to their children after a movie.

Ratings are a slippery slope. Personally, I'm all for them, when they're used strictly to give the audience a heads-up about the type of material they're going to see when they view a story/picture/movie, NOT WHEN THEY'RE USED TO PASS A MORAL JUDGEMENT ON SOMEONE'S WORK. Unfortunately a system designed to do the former has somehow evolved to do the latter.

I remember this past winter I went to go see "Closer" with my coworker Lisa. There were two elderly ladies sitting in front of us, and at first I thought "What the hell...??" but I tried to stay open minded, reminding myself that senior citizen does not equal "prude." Well sure enough, the movie was over and they were shocked by quite a bit of the film's content, and *I* was stunned, because all I could think was "You knew this was rated R, right?" The rating taken with the description of the story should've told them that maybe this wasn't the movie for them.

I definitely don't consider myself an "uptight American" when it comes to sexuality, but I do believe in being allowed to make an informed decision before I look at something. Ratings should be tools, not a pronouncement of something's value.
18th-Aug-2005 10:03 am (UTC)
...and by "perfetly natural" I mean "perfectly natural."
5th-Oct-2005 12:41 am (UTC)
Soo...first thnigs first!

Hmm...the "Passion" Ron/Hermione pic (you what I mean)... I think R is just fine for it!!! I mean, you see nearly nothing...just passion and love I mean...I've always wondered how some sites rate their pics.

The 2Quicky" is NC-17 and not becouse it's two guys (likes Harry/Draco *licks lips*) but becouse of what guys "have" :P

Anyway, I for my part would say the pic with the baby...ermm...PG? I mean...oh yes, you see boobs, and so what? I see them everyday walking through the city when some mother is feeding her baby!! This breasts have nothing to do with ...erm...the-making-love-process, they're just something a women must have!



btw: I started reading NC-17 when I was 15, now I'm 18, and I don't think I died, went crazy, or whatever...
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