Nora Rosenberg 

A photo of Nora Rosenberg graciously standing on a rock looking out at a cloudy sky and a stormy sea is almost reminiscent of a siren in a classical painting. Her long blonde hair and pale skin stand out against the greyish blue hues of her surroundings. The photo is archived online in the photography section of Vogue Italia and is one of Rosenberg’s most liked on Instagram.

Did I mention she was naked?

This is the norm for her. Rosenberg frequently poses au naturel and she wants to start a conversation about how we oversexualize the human body. She’s a graduate pharmaceutical science major doubling as a nude Instagram model and by intertwining her passion for science and modeling, her goal is to show that nudity is natural through art. Despite those who body shame her, she remains unbothered and comfortable in her own skin.

How do you explain what you do when you meet someone for the first time?
If someone were asking about my art, I would say that I do nude modeling. It’s not something I advertise, but if one of my classmates were to say, “Oh, I saw your page, is that you?” I’d be like, “Yeah!” The human body has become such a commodity and oversexualized when it’s just a biological thing. We all have the same parts and it’s ridiculous that showing midriff is considered obscene. It makes me livid that these things are associated with your skin. That’s the basis of why I do this.

If you’re open about it, then why do you use a pseudonym instead of your real name?
I’m going into the pharmaceutical industry, so when I’m applying for jobs and they google me the first thing they see isn’t nude photos. It’s something I’m conflicted about everyday whether I’m not brave enough to be myself. Rosenberg is Willow Rosenberg’s last name in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s the best character on television ever. My brain didn’t make the connection that people will think you’re Jewish if you choose that name, which is kind of funny, but also not funny because of the political climate.

What’s the reaction you want to get from people ideally?
Some people will comment and ask me, “What are you trying to portray with your nudity in this photo?” I explain that nudity isn’t always sexual, but a lot of people jump to that even though there’s no sexual connotation. I like when people say things that aren’t necessarily mean, but just misinformed or confused so I can have a meaningful conversation about it. I don’t care if you think I’m pretty.

Do you ever feel insecure?
I’ve become completely comfortable nude and I don’t even notice it anymore. When I’m posting online, it’s not real life so I don’t really care. It’s just how I live my life behind the words I post. It can be hard sometimes. I’ve had young girls say, “I’ve never had the courage to not shave my legs. Thank you for showing me.” That’s a problem in the world that a girl can’t have body hair without feeling ashamed.

How do you deal with the negative comments?
Everyone wants to put others down, especially when they see people comfortable with themselves. They want to try to remind them, “No, you’re not perfect, and here’s why.” People post that I look like an Auschwitz survivor because I’m too thin. If it’s a comment like, “That’s sexy” or something that feels icky, I’ll just say, “Hey, I prefer you don’t refer to me as sexy.” I try to be educational and not be like “fuck you,” but I do throw a few fuck you’s out there too.

Follow Nora on Instagram: @NudeNora

Follow ITF on Twitter: @IntoTheFoldMag