So is this art piece offensive for children?

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Bare Breasts On Statue Offend Some at Arboretum

Kansas City Fox: A statue at the Overland Park Arboretum is making some uncomfortable enough to complain, while others hope it makes people “think.”

Joanne Hughes saw the statue of a headless woman with her breasts exposed, taking a picture of herself, when she was with her two young daughters. She thinks it’s in the wrong place, too provocative for families with young children who often spend time at the arboretum. “The audience at the arboretum is not the appropriate audience for this piece of art. I feel like this belongs at an adult venue,” Hughes said.

She says she plans to start a petition to get the statue, called “Choice” removed.

Sculptor Kwan Wu put the entire sculpture exhibit together at the arboretum and believes there are many messages people will take from it. Wu says the statue is headless because the woman is concentrating so much on her body, it’s as if her head doesn’t exist.

Hughes wishes the statue didn’t exist where it is. “We’re having a lot of problems with youth sexting in our culture today and I just feel like this kind of shows how to do it,” Hughes said.

The American Family Association (AFA) believes the statue encourages “sexting” and believes it violates community standards on obscenity. “Beyond inappropriate,” said Phillip Cosby, AFA. “When it comes to sexting and children it’s a serious issue,” he said. “It’s beyond comprehension why a city would put a statue that’s celebrating sexting,” Cosby continued.

After the petition is turned in, Johnson County then has 60 days to convene a grand jury, if all is in order. “Ultimately the grand jury will be speaking on behalf of the community in making this decision,” said Steve Howe, Johnson County District Attorney.

While I’m not sure it promotes “sexting” (unless you download the picture from your camera and send it to a phone), it certainly could be unnerving for people with small children. While the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, how many people want to see a headless woman with her breasts exposed?

Most commentors say the AFA is out-of-bounds and all worked up over nothing. Wonder how many of those same commenters would be worked up if it was a statue of a cross?


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0 responses to “So is this art piece offensive for children?

  1. Well said, GF, and I especially like yr ‘the tale of what is in their heart and soul’! Some relevant quotes here are Albrecht Dürer’s “There is no beauty that hath not some strangeness in its proportion”, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and Jeshua’s reminding us that what matters is “what comes out of the mouth,” akin to the Zen Buddhist teaching that “The water a cow drinks turns to milk; the water a snake drinks turns to poison!”

  2. I think the breast wouldn’t bother me so much if not for the camera. Facebook and twitter are FULL of young girls so desperate for approval that they frequently take and post pix of themselves and wait to be “liked” and that this just promotes that kind of behavior.

    • I agree, as it seems rather surreal w/o the head. Perhaps the artist wants us to think a woman is all-too-often rendered faceless [lack of persona] and far too much emphasis on her sexuality [Sex does sell, as Mad Ave has proved ad nauseum….

  3. This reminds me of the ‘shocked’ parents that went ape over Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, but think nothing of plopping down those same children in front of a TV and letting them watch murder after murder.


  4. Eh, I’d think kids would find it weird and not want to go near it.

  5. As a therapist for sexually abused children, I find this statue speaks volumes. Children that are abused tend to objectify themselves (see themselves as objects) for another’s sexual gratification. In a sense, they internalize the way that the perpetrator viewed them. This is a deep and meaningful piece of artwork in our sexualized culture, but I still wouldn’t want it placed in a public area where kids would view it and get the wrong message.


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