Pretty pictures

Pretty pictures

Ubuntu changed their default theme to include a harmonious humanity image featuring three pretty young things, which is causing considerable controversy mainly because the models used in the pictures are in various states of (well and truly legal in Australia) partial nudity. Screenshots linked here unless the poster takes them down. (PNGs I ask you?)

A lot of people are making the argument that those images may be inappropriate if displayed in a corporate environment or alternatively to conservative friends or family members. I don’t think anyone’s admitted to being too conservative themself to like the image, so I’ll start.

I like portraiture and good photographs, as it happens, and it can get as naked as can be. Fetish shots are fine as long as I know roughly what to expect. These shots are good photographs and reasonable portraiture, although they’re a bit more glossy/pretty-pretty than I like to see in galleries.

But for some reason, which must be unpopular judging from every theme site I’ve ever seen, I really dislike having people prettier than me on my computer’s desktop. I don’t think I’ve ever had portraits on it at all in fact, but if I did, I would never start with models. Something in the idea leaves me very cold: I’d much rather teh-boring than teh-pretty-people. (In actual fact though, I have a pretty castle shot: not the most amazing shot ever, but a favourite amongst my own.)

(I wonder what is psychologically at the root of this? Perhaps people roughly divide into two: people who’d love to strip off a bit and be happy and playful for a camera, and the other half of people — or maybe that’s just me — whose instinctive reaction to the idea has a little bit of ew in it. It certainly messes with the intended vibe.)

Update: Andrew showed me the proposed CD cover which has similar artwork, and for some reason I have considerably less squick. Maybe I’m acclimatised to teh-pretty when shopping. On the other hand, since partially naked people are usually selling things I don’t want, I think I’d pass it by on the sales rack without a second glance.