This is about the movie American Beauty. In it, Thora Birch appears nude(topless) when that one dude looks across at her through the window. She was 17 when they filmed it, yet it was not a body double. When Roger Ebert was asked this in his most recent movie guide, he stated that it is not technically illegal to show someone under the age of 18 with no clothes.
Huh? I thought it definately was. If not, then what is the law? How old does someone have to be to be nude on film? Could they have shown everything on Thora Birch or were they limited to toplessness?
By the way, here is the link to her entry on the IMDB(she may have even been 16 when they actually filmed the movie).
Showing pictures of someone nude, no matter the age, is not, I believe, illegal (at least in the US). What makes it illegal is if the person is shown in a sexual situation (a boy with an erection, for instance).
I cannot speak for other countries, though.
What likely stopped the producers of the movie from showing complete frontal nudity was the rating they were trying to get for the movie.
According to a friend, Thora Birch was able to show off topless in American Beauty because the Dreamworks people had to submit this film to the MPAA or whatever to show the topless scene had artistic value to the film.
Is there a clearly demarked line, or is it a case of “I know it when I see it”?
I mean, I could concievably see someone releasing a series of photos of a girl taking off her clothes, without having her make any sexual gestures, but making sure she is smiling into the camera the whole time and displaying the relevant “zones” pretty prominantly - and claiming afterwards that she is not in a sexual situation in the photos. He could claim she’s just “modelling” or whatever… Even though everyone would know they were lying, would the pictures nevertheless be legal?
Was she nude or just topless. In NYS I know that women are allowed to go topless leagaly as long as it is not done in a sexual way. Also medical textbooks will sometimes have pictures of nude male and female bodies in childhood,teenage and adult stages of development.
IANAL, but I believe most pornography/obscenity laws, including the federal statutes, make reference to “community standards”. I suspect that underage nudity would count as a pretty clear violation of standards in some communities, but I doubt most people knew about it (the age, not the nudity).
RE: The question. Not necessarily, but there are restrictions which can be rather subjective. “Lacivious exhibition of genitalia” comes to mind (as opposed to non-lacivious? How exactly does one tell the difference?). Several photographers have created some of their most critically acclaimed work by utilizing just this subject matter. Sally Mann and Jock Sturges come to mind.