Kevin? Rude! Really, really rude!
Monday July 07th 2008, 5:59 pm

go git 'im Lympie
Olympia Nelson – image: ABC-TV

Olympia Nelson, the now eleven-year-old model who appears at age six in a photo taken by mother Polixeni Papapetrou and which has been published on the cover of the July issue of Art Monthly Australia, has taken Kevin Rudd to task for his damning of her mother’s work.

“I’m really, really offended by what Kevin Rudd said about this picture,” seethed Olympia. “That was really, really rude. For him to be talking about my picture, the picture with me in it, it doesn’t feel very good.”

And she’s right. Rudd is entitled to his opinion of the work but he’s not entitled to hurt Olympia’s feelings. Be an 11 year-old girl for a minute- the leader of your country just said he ‘hates’ a naked picture of you. That’ll work wonders for any adolescent’s self-image, won’t it? Art critic and Olympia’s father, Robert Nelson remarked, “It’s a funny thing about so many of the people seeking to protect children that they have no compunction at all about saying that they look revolting in these pictures.” The Monash University Associate Art Professor said in another interview for The Age that “It’s interesting that if the Prime Minister comments on, say, the greenhouse effect, he gets expert advice first. I would like to know which art expert advised him on this.” We can only conclude that expert was Hetty Petty or some equally art-literate person from the same school.

It’s a rare 6-year-old girl who hasn’t scuffled into a pair of mummy’s heels or put on far too much of grandma’s costume jewellery, and then sashayed around the room like Elle McPherson. Is this projecting adult desires on children, as claimed by Hetty Petty? No- this is simply what normal little girls do. Normal, doting mums have been known to take happysnaps of such impromptu fashion shows. Mums who are professional photogs are apt to take the opportunity to make great art.

How this innocent play becomes “sexualisation of children,” in the words of Brendan Nelson, who vows to make a police matter of this magazine cover, is beyond me. If Morris Iemma is out of touch, Brendan Nelson is living on Mars. The paedophilic pornography paranoia amongst politicians, all seeking to look tougher than the other on child sexual abuse, has now gone fully overboard. When a parent can’t even take photos of their own kid in an under-12 footy match, the lifeboats have been chucked over the side as well.

Politicians and the public need to get a grip on what the ACTUAL risks are to children from sexual predators. The greatest number of sexual abusers are not strange bogeymen hiding in the bushes but rather are either family members or persons well known to the victim. Lots of self-styled child protection advocates will tell you that they fear pictures like those taken of Olympia will sexually excite predators- but do they actually KNOW what is sexually exciting to a paedophile? You reckon they’ve interviewed a few? I’ll suggest not. These advocates are doing nothing but trading on fear of the unknown.

So, how do you protect your children against sexual predators, when an abuser could be practically anyone you know? You teach your kids what to look for in terms of inappropriate behavior. I’ve said it many times before on mgk- if you want to protect your kids from drowning, you don’t ban water- you teach them how to swim.

The magazine cover image has been forwarded to the OFLC for classification. Let me make a bold prediction- it will be rated G or PG… and a lot of wowsers will, for a second time, have a lot of egg on their faces.

– weez

8 Comments so far
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Hat tip to Leinad in LP comments.

Comment by weez 07.08.08 @ 5:10 am

Art, like beauty, is surely in the eye of the beholder. One wonders whether Messrs Rudd, Nelson, et al would object to 1960’s beach snaps of youngsters in the altogether, playing in the sand. Kodak didn’t. I’m sure my mother still has some. I wonder what they’re worth to the two-finger salute crew?

Comment by Niall 07.08.08 @ 7:02 am

One wonders whether Messrs Rudd, Nelson, et al would object to 1960’s beach snaps of youngsters in the altogether, playing in the sand.

Of course. They all believe nudity alone is pornography. Put it on the internet and it becomes paedophilia.

Where the hell are all the child protection advocates when children are murdered? Playing footsie with Henson & co., obviously.

Comment by weez 07.08.08 @ 7:13 am

Rudd doesn’t want to tangle with Olympia:

Mr Rudd is standing by his comments and has warned against allowing children to speak out on the issue.

“If people want to make a political point in opposition to me, I don’t think it’s right they use underage children to make that point,” he said.

So, it’s OK for Kevvo to attack images like those featuring Olympia as ‘revolting’ but she’s not allowed to tell Kevvo he’s ‘rude’ for his thoughtless comments? She’s the model in the photos and is uniquely qualified to offer a view, whether she’s 11-years-old or not.

Kev just figured out that he’s picked a fight he can’t win and is absolutely scarpering for cover. Perhaps Kev should be getting some of that expert advice on art recommended by Robert Nelson before running his mouth again without his brain engaged.

Comment by weez 07.08.08 @ 3:10 pm

Hetty Petty sez Olympia’s been ‘brainwashed.

Comment by weez 07.08.08 @ 8:16 pm

Putting aside the argument (which has been going on without resolution since the year Adam’n’Eve Sadie Hawkins day) and which I pointlessly keep throwing into the bear (bare?) pit I’d have to say that young Olympia seems to have inherited the Frida Kahlo eyebrow gene.

Comment by Meself 07.08.08 @ 8:26 pm

Ours dispensed with her monobrow at 15. Olympia’s 11. She’ll get with the brow waxing soon enough. Can’t we let kids be kids? πŸ˜†

Comment by weez 07.08.08 @ 10:07 pm

Let me make a bold prediction- it will be rated G or PG… and a lot of wowsers will, for a second time, have a lot of egg on their faces.

Nude girl image passes censor

Family welcomes classification of nude girl photo

Omelets, anyone?

Comment by weez 07.17.08 @ 1:51 pm

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