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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?
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."
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