Bare or covered

When our naked ancestors began to walk upright, they began at once to look differently at each other’s fronts. Spontaneus erections were strikingly apparent, thus the penis holder was a poplulair first piece of clothing and the bare anus a common taboo. Everywhere dress codes were thought up, especially for women. In ancient Japan the naked back of a woman’s neck was shameless, while in the Victorian era a European woman’s heel was to be invisible, meanwhile, in the Middle East, it appears, female feet are usually less exciting than female hair.

Those who are used to bare breasts or arms don’t even notice them, but those who are covered find them shocking. Today, cultures and religions with their own rules to keep unruly forms of nakedness in check are faced with confusingly different views – from protest against nakedness to nakedness as protest.

In this book, Mineke Schipper sheds a surprising light on the history of our bare or covered appearance.

Original title:

Schipper - Bloot of bedekt
Bloot of bedekt

April 2015
280 pages
1000 copies sold                                       

Following numerous books in her field of Intercultural Literary Studies, Professor Emeritus, Mineke Schipper now writes mainly literary non-fiction and novels. For her book Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet, which was translated worldwide, she was awarded the Eureka Prize. Her most recent book is Adam and Eve Everywhere: The First People in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (2012).                                                 

Rights: The Susijn Agency

Press comments:

‘Schippers’ s book is pleasant to read and offers entertaining insights into nakedness and the need to cover up through the centuries as well as the philosophy involved.’ Trouw


‘Interesting are the links it establishes between the Theory of Evolution, religion and psychology.’ Psychologie Magazine

‘Whoever thinks that clothing is only a piece of cloth, you will know better after reading this book.’ Quest

‘An intriguing book on the history of clothing rules and rituals.’ Knack