Created By: pcw2727 on July 8, 2012 Last Edited By: pcw2727 on November 27, 2012
Nuked

Sliding Scale of Acceptable Nudity

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In order of most acceptable to least. These are more guidelines then rules as exceptions always exist. It should be noted that this is primarily from a western cultural perspective as sometimes Our Nudity Is Different.

Level 9

Baby butt

Can't make a diaper commercial without one. Said commercial could air at just about any time slot. The bare behind of a baby in the west is pretty universally considered adorable rather then obscene.

Level 8

Hand or Object Underwear

Modesty Towel

suitable even for children's cartoons provided there are no sexual undertones. If there are sexual undertones the worst rating is usually a TV-14.

Level 7

Animated Butts

Often TV-14 generally not taken seriously especially if there are no sexual overtones.

Level 6

Censor Steam

Modesty Bedsheet

Generally only seen in programing rated above TV-14 as these tropes almost always carry a sexual overtone.

Level 5

Toplessness from the Back

Side Boob

Thong of Shielding

Pretty squarely in the TV-14 domain. Sometimes can push TV-MA. In movies this tends to be PG-13.

Level 4

Actual Ass

Mandatory PG-13 rating. Rarely seen on TV other then premium channels.

Nipple and Dimed

Fully exposed breasts almost always carry an R-Rating. They can only be seen on premium channels like HBO.

Level 3

Bush

Full frontal female nudity in movies or premium television will usually feature pubic hair, a lot of it. In fact the actress is usually wearing a pair of flesh tone panties with fake pubic hair on it. This can sometimes incur an NC-17 rating. Interestingly enough it used to be that pubic hair was considered obscene and therefore was omitted from works of art. As a result the hairless female crotch became sexualized and the paradigm was reversed.

Level 2

Male Frontal Nudity

Varies depending on context but if it is not a work of art or cartoon it is generally restricted more heavily then the above. It's a known fact that censors can only tolerate so much dick before they slap it with an NC-17

Level 1

Vagina

The real thing, no fake pubes blocking the view of the defining female sex organ. This almost guarantees an NC-17. Even premium channels use this sparingly. It often comes up in HBO shows such as Game of Thrones and East Bound Down.

Level 0

Full Penetration

Usually reserved for pornography however a few infamous movies have thrown it in.
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • July 8, 2012
    planswalker
    are we supposed to supply examples of this trope?
  • July 8, 2012
    pcw2727
    With newly suggested sliding scales you generally just discuss if the sliding scale is worth having, the validity of how the tropes are sorted and maybe suggest where other tropes should perhaps fall on the scale.
  • July 8, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    This is not useful.
  • July 8, 2012
    peccantis
    Leaving the topic of usefulness aside, how does full frontal male erection rank? 1 or 2?

    Also, 1 as for vagina should be clarified... Merely the outline of the thing doesn't rank that high. Those are seen in artistic nude pics all the time. The insides count.
  • July 8, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Whether this is worthwhile is kind of an important topic.
  • July 8, 2012
    pcw2727
    I thought about mentioning where fine art falls into these categories I wasn't sure since I mostly went by the FCC standards and I'm not fully aware of how they treat fine art which is featured on television or in films.

    I'm not sure where an erect penis would fall either, for similar reasons to the above. The safest bet would be to just list it as one higher then a limp one.

    Why would this be less useful then any other sliding scale?
  • July 8, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    They are terrible too. "This other thing is also bad" is not a point in favor of the first thing.
  • July 8, 2012
    animeg3282
    Switch 2 and 1. We see every woman's kings landing strip on HBO. When do we see peen?
  • July 8, 2012
    pcw2727
    On Game of Thrones several times. Remember this is about acceptability not popularity.

    Consider how much dong there is featured in the movie Braveheart which is only R-Rated.
  • July 8, 2012
    pcw2727
    ^^^ Sliding scales are an accepted part of tvtropes just because you don't like them is no reason to insist no more be created. They can be useful for quick referencing and preventing a new trope from forming out of each stage of the sliding scale. (eg. it could keep people from proposing "butt<breasts", "Dick>Bush" ect)
  • July 8, 2012
    planswalker
    I take it then that you got this sliding scale from FCC guidelines or somesuch? Or is each level established by your opinion?
  • July 8, 2012
    pcw2727
    Some of it is FCC guidelines, some of it is biases I heard about on a sundance channel special, and some of it is trends I've observed.
  • July 9, 2012
    planswalker
    okay, mind telling me what parts are what? Looking over your list, in my part of Texas, your list has some glaring out-of-sequence material.
  • July 9, 2012
    pcw2727
    Well to start with I didn't read the actual FCC or MPAA rules to verify everything. Some I just sorted based on what I tend to see under a given rating.

    9, 8, 6, and 5 are more or less my assessment.

    7 is based on FCC ratings I've observed, Simpsons, Futurama and Family Guy are the main examples I know of and they are all TV-14. However I'm pretty sure I can remember a few Y-7 cartoons to show a butt.

    Unless the rules have changed 4 is an MPAA rule. I said "almost always carries an R-Rating" for the Nipple And Dimed one because there are some exceptions such as Titanic.

    3. Is from the Sundance special. I think its called something like Censored:Sex in Cinema.

    2. Is actually paraphrased from that special.

    1. Is extrapolated from the Sundance special's bit about the "pube panties". If studios are going out of their way to hide a vagina like this it's safe to assume it is based on some MPAA rules.

    0. common sense.

  • July 9, 2012
    IsaacSapphire
    MPAA doesn't have rules. Or at least, they refuse to write them down and observation is very clear that the rules have changed through time. FCC and BBC should have actual written rules that can be looked up. You do need some sort of note about the potential for cultural differences here and maybe some discussion about how different countries permit or punish the same things.

    I'd also go a little further with the animation vs live action angle. The Simpsons movie had animated (non-sexualized) penis and so on.
  • July 9, 2012
    Routerie
    How about male torsos? Which are acceptable just about everywhere?
  • July 10, 2012
    planswalker
    You've got a LOT of speculation in your sliding scale. It's as much (if not more) your personal opinion as any real trend or somesuch. Looking up the FCC and BBC ratings systems to give you a concrete place to begin is a good idea.
  • July 12, 2012
    TwinBird
    Hmm. I'm not totally certain, but I'm pretty sure I've seen shaved women's loins in R-rated movies, although not too good a view.

    Also, there's a huge gap, I'm pretty sure, between a flaccid and an erect penis. I think there might, maybe, be a few cases where an erect penis can get an R in a medical or mythological context, but I think it's usually considered de facto penetration.
  • July 12, 2012
    Tuomas
    This scale is totally dependent on which country you live in. So either you should name it "Sliding Scale of Acceptable Nudity in the United States" or discard it.
  • July 12, 2012
    TheHandle
  • July 12, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    We try to avoid that as much as possible, though.
  • July 12, 2012
    planswalker
    the current scale isn't even accurate to the whole US.
  • July 12, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Where does Barbie Doll Anatomy go on this trope?
  • July 14, 2012
    pcw2727
    ^^^^ Well the US produces a very large percentage of the worlds entertaiment so... ^^ Do you have any specific parts to point out. Everyone is saying they don't like the way the scale is laid out but no one has suggested a single change of place for anything.

    ^ I don't know where do you think it should go?
  • July 14, 2012
    SquirrelGuy
    Where on the chart would this go: Implied Nudity. (is that a trope by itself?) No naughty bits are shown, but no clothes are shown either. Most commonly implemented as waist-up for men, shoulders-up for women. The position on the chart might vary by context -- a soap commercial is usually quite innocent, multiple characters in a group shower setting a bit (pardon the pun) steamy, and a mixed-gender scene might attract whistleblowers.
  • July 15, 2012
    pcw2727
    I'd probably put that with level 8 since those tropes are when no real nudity is shown and the issue of sexual undertones becomes a possibility but not an inevitability.
  • July 15, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Where on the chart would these go?

  • July 15, 2012
    pcw2727
    Most of that would be 9. It might drift into 8 but in order to do that they would have to draw attention to the fact that the animal in question is naked.
  • July 15, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    I think Petting Zoo People would be Level 8 to Level 4 depending on the what is or the way it's depicted. Normal animals to Funny Animals and anywhere in between would be Level 9 to Level 7, but usually Level 9 to me.
  • July 15, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    This is way too much speculation, and way too myopic. "Well the US produces a very large percentage of the worlds entertaiment so..." is not at all a good excuse.
  • July 19, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^ I don't know about that. Kirby Dick discusses this stuff extensively in his documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which deals with the MPAA and its film raters.
  • November 6, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • November 6, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    ^^ That movie is about the MPAA. This site is about tropes.
  • November 11, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Motion to discard.
  • November 11, 2012
    hevendor717
    Soap commercials have a huge impact on us, strangely. What's shown in them would be considered nude throughout most of history, leaving men ingrained as nipple-centric and butt-fond instead.
  • November 23, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Sliding scales are frowned upon, but rodney, your arguments are very - hollow probably is the right term here.
  • November 23, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Hollow?! "Acceptable nudity" is extremely subjective. It varies by region and medium. An article describing one set of standards in one region is not describing a trope.

    That is ridiculous.
  • November 23, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    "This is not useful" on its own is indeed a very weak argument.

    However, after thinking about this more, I feel that it is not really constrained and can easily become either subjective, a complaintfest, a Trope Decay fest or something else. We'll need to reform this thoroughly.
  • November 23, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    No it isn't. In theory, every trope article on This Wiki could be useful to a writer. This, on the other hand, is useless at best (and could cause damage, if repeated as fact, at worst). Also I made four other comments. That criticism is unjustified.
  • November 23, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    And a lot of things that we don't want for other reasons would also be useful - it's all in the eye of the beholder. The other things don't change much here.

    But nevermind this topic, since as-is this page is largely incomprehensible - what exactly is this page, anyway?
  • November 27, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Yes we don't want everything that is useful, but everything we want is useful. Thus, "this is not useful" is a relevant comment. The last post commits a formal fallacy: affirming the consequent.

    You don't even think this is a good idea. Argument for argument's sake?
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