Gender Gaze vs. Nude Art: What’s the Causation Behind the Internet’s Opposing Views?

–Taking the public opinion behind Lisa’s participation in the Crazy Horse show as an example.

Keywords: Filter Bubble, Ideological Polarization, Geopolitics

The Crazy Horse Show

Recently, Lisa, the member of KPOP group BLACKPINK, set off a widespread controversy by announcing her participation in a nude performance show in France. The nude show, called “Crazy Horse”, is known for its sophistication, elegance, and sensuality, featuring a combination of nudity, lights, sets, and choreography. The Crazy Horse Show is defined as an artistic performance with the concepts of “sound, light, color, and nudity”. And it is known as one of the three must-see nightclub shows in Paris, along with the Moulin Rouge and the Lido.

For this show, some netizens believe that the form of nudity is a unique type of art, and praise Lisa’s decision out of the pursuit of art. On the other hand, another part of the netizens deem that nude performances are performances that objectify women and have generally been seriously controversial from a moral and ethical perspective, and Lisa’s presence in the show is a sign of self-indulgence

In fact, the question of “whether there is an ethical and moral perspective to nude performances” is a dialectical debate, with different levels of acceptance of scantily clad and nude performances in different regions. While women in the Middle East are not allowed to show their hair, arms and legs in public, women in East Asia are not subject to such severe clothing restrictions, and women in Occidental regions are even more open-minded. While nudity is considered an art form by most European and American audiences, it is a serious taboo for Middle Eastern audiences. This is a dialectical topic that cannot be judged by a uniform standard among various regions in the world. But now the polarization of opinion between “Gender Gaze” and “Nude Arts” on the Internet appears.

Sophr (2017) attributes the dichotomy of views in the Internet public opinion area in recent years to ideological polarization. He points out that ideological polarization has dominated popular and academic discourse for the past two decades, and this phenomenon continues to have negative effects on politics, beliefs, and lifestyles areas. It seriously erodes the diversity and dialectic of public opinion.

As for the reasons behind ideological polarization, Sophr(2016) points out that there are two prevailing views, namely filter bubble and elective exposure.

Ideological polarization

Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey – 3D Icons” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Taking political events as an example, Sophr (2017) deemed that the 2016 presidential election is arguably the most classic example of ideological polarization. At that time, the American people had been no longer able to elect a political party that served their own interests properly. Even though there are many political parties in the United States, they can only choose a party that relatively suits their own interests to govern between the existing Republicans and Democrats.

Regarding American political elections, Bishop (2008) has long been insightful. He argued that people are becoming increasingly intolerant of political differences and thus unable to reach a national consensus; that political polarization is so severe that elections are no longer just political contests but painful choices between lifestyles.

He (2008) pointed out, that nowadays, when people engage in discussions about major events, they generally begin to automatically fall into two polarized parties and engage in heated disputes between them, rather than engaging in objective, comprehensive and dialectical discussions from their own perceptions.

The same is true for the case of Lisa’s Crazy Horse Show. From a global cultural perspective, it is impossible to establish a uniform red line for naked dance culture. On this topic, different regions have different standards. However, public opinion on the Internet has been polarized by the “nude art” and “gender gaze” parties. Those voices that take a neutral dialectical view are generally drowned out by the overwhelming influence of the two polarized voice, just like those small parties in American politics are easily crushed by the two parties.

Filter bubble produced by recommendation algorithm which is driven by commercialized digital platform

File:Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble – Flickr – Knight Foundation (1).jpg” by Knight Foundation is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

According to Haim (2018), To attract audience’s energy and time, digital platforms will process any possible steps to suit their preferences, including delivering media content they like and information that is in line with their positions and views. In this process, they will first become addicted, and then they will fall into the information cocoon woven for them by the recommendation algorithm. The result is that they become increasingly unable to accept information that is contrary to their views , leading to a solidification of their position ,or bias .

Besides, scholars Mullainathan and Schleifer (2008, p.106) also told that the operation of the current news market and economy has further intensified the polarization of news: “Competition forces newspapers to cater to readers’ biases, and more intense competition usually leads to more active catering to such biases, because competitors will try to divide the market.”

In this Case, although this is a controversial debate, the media has always promoted extreme views to serve their audiences. Audiences in the two camps of “gender gaze” and “nude aesthetics” solidify their opinions in the echo chamber and intensify their conflicts by disputing in the comment area

Selective exposure of the audience

Frey(1986) introduced the theory of partisan line contact in 1986, which can also be called selective contact. He argued that people are subjectively more likely to accept information that conforms to their own views and positions, and to filter out or even block out views that are contrary to their own. In a polarised court of public opinion, people are naturally more likely to be exposed to and listen to views that are more in line with their own preferences, and thus to be influenced by one extreme viewpoint, exacerbating their bias against the other.

According to Bakshy (2015, p. 1130), individuals’ exposure choices play a greater role in limiting their exposure to cross-cutting information than recommendation algorithms. This is what he and his team of researchers found after a study of more than 10 million facebook users. In their experiments, they directly measured ideological homogeneity in networks of close friends and examined the extent to which heterogeneous friends might expose individuals to cross-domain content. After they quantified the extent to which individuals encountered relatively more or less diverse content when interacting through Facebook’s algorithmically sorted News Feed, and further examined the extent to which users chose to click through to ideologically inconsistent content. They concluded that individuals’ selective exposure is more likely to limit diverse information intake compared to recommendation algorithms.

In the process of people discussing Lisa’s participation in the Crazy Horse Show, such selective exposure naturally occurred. When people choose a camp, their opinions would solidify, and their prejudices would deepen. People who deem the show as a gender gaze would vilify the show as much as they can, and there have been several media outlets that made up scandals about the Crazy Horse show and Lisa herself. From another perspective, People who think the show is a form of art might exaggerate the artistic value of nudity and over-affirm the appropriateness of nudity. That is the outcome of ideological polarization in this case.

A vision for the future to mitigate the trend of ideological polarization.

Biship(2008) declared ,the healthy operation of democratic societies is threatened by a number of harmful symptoms that are brought on by ideological polarization. The lack of variety in argument and opinion is the biggest effect of polarization. Numerous studies have demonstrated that when there is polarization, “the benefits that a variety of viewpoints should bring are replaced by special rights for homogeneous groups” (Bishop, 2008, p. 14).As a consequence,Mitigation of ideological polarization is imminent.

As the leading social media company, to alleviate this dangerous Internet disease, Facebook introduced the “Online Civic Courage“ Initiative back in 2016, where they argued that engagement is more effective than censorship in reforming prejudice and stubborn views (Napoli, 2018). Napoli (2018) argues that Facebook seems to imply that the platform will endeavor to expand counter-speech to address prejudice as well as bigoted voices.

Internet memes | Zuckerberg: This Facebook Guy – oil portrait by A. Fudyma-Powers” by a.powers-fudyma is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

There are other sociologists working to alleviate this phenomenon of the Internet. In 2022, a team headed by Einav published the article “The Perspective” and conducted experiments with it. The article does not aim to persuade, but rather to present both sides of a social event to give the otherwise prejudiced reader a dialectical message and the ability to think dialectically. It advocates the need for people to be more open-minded and dialectical, and to strive to publish examples against extreme views and prejudices and offers constructive ideas for alleviate ideological polarization.

With their efforts, we can truly believe that ideological polarization can be effectively alleviated in the future.

Gender Gaze vs. Nude Art: What’s the Causation Behind the Internet’s Opposing Views?–Taking the opinion behind Lisa’s participation in the Crazy Horse show as an example. © 2023 by Runze Lin is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 

Reference List:

Bakshy E, Messing S, Adamic LA (2015) Exposure to ideologically diverse news and opinion on Facebook. Science Magazine 348(6239): 1130–1132. Available at:

Bishop B (2008) The Big Sort: Why The Clustering of Like-minded America is Tearing Us Apart. New York: Mariner Books.

Crazy News(2023),K-pop star Lisa to set Crazy Horse Paris on fire!, Paris ,France. Retrieved from:

Einav, G., Allen, O., Gur, T., Maaravi, Y., & Ravner, D. (2022). Bursting filter bubbles in a digital age: Opening minds and reducing opinion polarization through digital platforms. Technology in Society71, 102136.

Frey D (1986) Recent research on selective exposure to information. In: Liao QV, Fu W, Mackay Wendy E. (eds) Beyond the Filter Bubble: Interactive Effects of Perceived Threat and Topic Involvement on Selective Exposure to Information. Changing Perspectives Conference, Paris, France, 27 April–02 May 2013, pp. 2359–2368. New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Haim, M., Graefe, A., & Brosius, H. B. (2018). Burst of the filter bubble? Effects of personalization on the diversity of Google News. Digital journalism6(3), 330-343.

Mullainathan S, Shleifer A (2008) The Market for News. In: Mialon HM, Rubin PH (eds) (2008), Economics, Law, and Individual Rights. Oxford & New York: Routledge Books, pp. 90–107.

Napoli, P. M. (2018). What if more speech is no longer the solution: First Amendment theory meets fake news and the filter bubble. Fed. Comm. LJ70, 55.

Spohr, D. (2017). Fake news and ideological polarization: Filter bubbles and selective exposure on social media. Business information review34(3), 150-160.