Discrimination of nude art

Discrimination of nude art

As a nude photographer, I have never been a missionary. Everyone should be free to decide whether they want to see nude photos or not. Whether they like my pictures or not. In this article I would like to draw attention to how artists like me are often discriminated against. It's a topic that is hardly ever talked about, yet it hurts.


As a nude photographer, you are constantly confronted with prejudices. Sometimes this degenerates into downright discrimination and hindering my work.

So that this article is not just a theoretical rant, I would like to give a few examples of what actually happened to me. There are many more examples, but I'll limit myself to just a few:

Internet blocking

A large hotel chain in Europe prohibits access to my website. They classify it as pornography. The hotel did not set this up themselves, but the provider certainly blocks it on the basis of keywords. We are talking about Europe and the 21st century.

Pinterest warning

Sometimes I use Pinterest to create mood boards. I put together a collection of ideas using motifs that Pinterest suggests to me. Recently, I received a warning for an image that Pinterest had suggested to me, which was editorially removed for being sexually suggestive.

It was not a photo of mine, but an image that Pinterest suggested to me. It shows a fully clothed woman sitting on the floor with her legs spread wearing long jeans trousers. A clothed woman sitting with her legs apart is considered offensive.

Instagram account deletion

It has happened to many fellow photographers, models and myself that Instagram has deleted our accounts without warning, even though all images were always censored.

As a result, you lose your communication history via Messenger as well as all the contacts you once had made. Not to mention your followers and therefore your visibility.

Shadow-bans on social media

I am shadow-banned on platforms like X and Instagram. My posts are displayed less frequently because they contain (censored) nudity. This results in a lot less interaction. At the same time, my account is harder to find in searches and I can't tag other people (who may also have a shadow ban).

AI tools

Nudity is prohibited in all AI tools. Of course, I understand that the aim is to prevent abuse.

However, if an AI-supported remove tool in Photoshop has no restrictions, but the other AI-supported generative fill tool prohibits its use as soon as nudity is detected in the image, I feel that this is an encroachment.

I almost exclusively edit nude photos, because this is my profession.


The most recent example is the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. I was banned from posting my new photo book there as a project. It was rejected after an editorial review and dismissed as pornography.

This is particularly painful because I had hoped to use Kickstarter to find people who are interested in illustrated books and who don't know me yet. Kickstarter presents itself as a platform that would support creatives and art. And there were already various other artists who had nude photo books running as a project.

Where does this new buttoned-up attitude come from?

You would think that an enlightened society would evolve. But unfortunately our society is now characterized by a culture of prohibition. This is particularly evident among young adults.

It's incredibly difficult for me to understand because, on the one hand, I don't feel old myself and, on the other, I've always associated being young with being wild and cheeky.

I want to try to understand the opponents of nude photography. What are their fears? Where do their moral concepts come from?

An attempted explanation

These people may be completely overloaded by the constant flood of images from social media to the point of binge-watching. If, at the same time, social media has taken over their upbringing (and not their parents as it used to be the case), they have grown up with the idea that female nipples, for example, are something forbidden.

There no longer seems to be any questioning of meaningfulness. These people stubbornly follow the mainstream.

This creates unnecessary misunderstandings and my work is increasingly being labeled as pornography.

Wait a minute!

Pornography generally refers to explicit material, often in the form of images, videos, or writing, intended to sexually arouse.

The primary distinction lies in the explicit nature and intent. Nude photography typically involves capturing images of the naked human form in an artistic or aesthetic context, mostly without a focus on explicit sexual content. Pornography, on the other hand, is intended to cause sexual arousal and may include explicit sexual acts.

The key factors that differentiate the two are the purpose, context, and explicitness of the content. While art and pornography can both share elements of nudity, the intended impact on the viewer and the artistic context play crucial roles in drawing the line between the two.

The definition always remains vague and subjective. There is no legal text on this. Not in Germany and not in the USA (where the big internet companies are based).

The highest court in Germany has put it this way:

German Federal Court of Justice

“A depiction is considered pornographic when it shows sexual acts in a very intrusive and enticing way, excluding all other human aspects. Its overall purpose is mainly or entirely to target the viewer's lustful interest in sexual matters.”

But there must be more reasons why I, as a nude photographer, am increasingly facing discrimination lately.

Misunderstood feminism

It could be that critics believe they have to protect and defend the women in my photos. However, I work with professional nude models. These women pursue this art form full-time and are paid for their work as models (and only for that!).

These women are self-confident, strong and decide for themselves how they want to show themselves. That is purely inline with feminism!

Just a quick reminder: Feminism is the advocacy of women's rights and equality with men.

Sexualization of nudity

The reasons may also lie in the fact that nudity is automatically equated with sex. This connection is wrong!

Anyone who immediately thinks of sex when they see a nude photo does not understand this art form. In my photos, nudity is casual, natural, simply there. But at the same time my pictures are also about seduction and paying homage to female beauty.

I try to tell a story with just a few images in my photography. When I succeed, it can lead to your thoughts running wild. Maybe you even fall in love.

Body image concerns

Some people may be uncomfortable with nudity due to inferiority complexes. This seems strange to me, considering media constantly promotes the idea that every body is equal. I fear that the term body positivity may not be true after all and that not everyone feels comfortable in their own skin.

Does this lead to envy and rejection because I show beautiful women, according to ideals that I myself determine?

Importance of artistic freedom

I wanted to talk about these things in my article because I think many people don't know about the issues I was describing. And ultimately, these problems restrict artistic freedom.

Artistic freedom encompasses the idea that artists should be able to explore, communicate, and present their perspectives, even if these ideas may be controversial, provocative, or challenge societal norms.

This freedom is considered essential for the flourishing of a diverse and vibrant cultural and artistic landscape.

Balancing artistic freedom with today's concept of morality is becoming complex.

Hoping for a diverse society

Please let's try to become a diverse society where different views are ok. Not everyone has to love nude photography, but it doesn't have to be labeled as dirty either.

Please consider different points of view and deal intensively with this topic before making hasty and superficial judgments. Especially bans and censorship against artists like me must stop.

And that's the point! Although pornography is perfectly legal in both Germany and the USA, it is banned in many areas (like the examples given above), which is why I am so opposed to my work being miscategorized.

It's no fun being discriminated against.