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  1. Robert_S

    Robert_S Senior Member

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    Why are aliens always nekkid

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Robert_S, Mar 5, 2018.

    Mostly in reference to movies. With the exception of Star Wars (space suits), Star Trek and Avatar (Native American style dress code), all aliens are nude. It seems in space operas, clothing is required, but in those trying to tell a hard or near hard sci-fi story, clothing is shunned.
    District 9
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    Signals

    and others.
     
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  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's an excellent question. :superagree:
     
  3. daswriter

    daswriter New Member

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    If you think about it, clothing only happened because our bodies are crap. (There are other reasons now as well, but that's the initial motivation.) If your society is advanced enough, it could be assumed you'd eventually bio-engineer your bodies to be less crappy, and get over things like shame over the natural shape. So I think it makes sense to consider that an advanced alien society would probably no longer use clothing.

    Or maybe they'd use some hover shield instead? Floating fog? Something more interesting than the common movie portrayal of just their body as-is. It's certainly an interesting question, and in the end it probably just became a common trope.
     
  4. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    I think it’s primarily the difference between nekkid and naked that’s throwing you off. Naked just means you have no clothes on, nekkid means you’re not wearing clothes, and you’re up to something- aliens are always up to something.
     
  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    If you look at humans though, people from warmer climates not yet infected by Western morality wore little or nothing. If you live someplace where the temperature, humidity, radiation levels etc are a good match for your biology, there's not much physical reason to wear clothes. Pockets maybe, but those could be accomplished with a toolbelt or purse or something similar. The real question is why are all the aliens so much better evolved to live on Earth than humans seem to be. Is Terra terra nullius?
     
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  6. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I usually shun clothing in all the stories I write where a hard anything is involved, too. In all seriousness, though, I thought it was more about religion. In that most western religion totally has a thing for modesty, clothing and all sorts of body shaming, that aliens not raised under it's influence would have no need of. Also given that most of the tropes we associate with hard sci fi were born in the age of sexual liberation and "anti religious evolutionary enlightenment" it kind of makes sense that something dear to the religious would either be eschewed as unnecessary, or used as satire in the scientific, liberated community. It's also rather convenient that none of these naked aliens have no visible reproductive organs of any kind so none of us are actually offended by their nudity.
     
  7. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    This is very interesting. I'd never thought about it this way.
     
  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Yeah that is kinda weird. In those instances I think it is because they don't
    have any fun bits (yet they still manage to procreate), maybe they undergo
    mitosis or something like that? Maybe they just like cranking up the thermostat,
    so its always bikini weather in the space ship? Shit this is turning into the
    'how many licks' dilemma. :p
    You would think based upon our minute understanding of advanced society
    and culture that something of higher intellect would wear clothing. Sure would
    be a bitch to serve in one of their armies, do they just pin the medals directly
    to their chest? Though they do seem to be portrayed in a more of a hive-mind
    social order over one filled with individuals. So like the humble ant, they have
    no need to cover up, or display individuality.
    Also have you noticed the naked aliens also lack things like music, art, and
    shows. Or how they manage to stay so skinny without a gym or any form
    of strenuous activity. Though their have been 'abductees' that have made mention
    of being inter-bread with the aliens in sexual congress. But how is this possible
    when they don't have penises/vaginas? Though I suppose if you are apart of an
    advanced species of inter-galatic swingers, you would burn a ton of calories from
    all the banging. So maybe they don't believe in the classic striptease, and therefore
    forgo wearing clothes. Simply have the goods on display and the rest sells itself.
    Maybe they are mature enough to not giggle or lust after each other in the work
    environment, since they all pretty much look similar anyway. Even in depictions
    of them they don't even have nipples, (not even their women:eek:).
    Another possibilty could be that they don't have any feeling in their bodies,
    so hot/cold does not affect them. Alternatively they can control their bodies
    sensory far better with their big brains, in ways we can't comprehend.
    Silicon based creatures sensory perception is far more complicated than our
    carbon based less evolved bodies can imagine.
    Maybe they simply have no shame in their bodies.
    Perhaps they do have clothes, but they use them as a reverse striptease?
    Until we meet such a civilization and ask them this very perplexing question
    we will just have to speculate as to why they run around naked as a jay-bird. :)
    grey-ink-alien-girl-tattoo-design.jpg
     
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  9. TheRealStegblob

    TheRealStegblob Kill All Mages Contributor

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    I think what it comes down to is:

    Do the aliens resemble humans in significant ways (do the females have breasts, do they have hair, are they human-like in appearance, etc)? If so, then they probably wear clothes of some kind (even if it's just generic 'alien/space' suit clothes).

    Do the aliens resemble more inhuman 'beast' appearances, or are they stereotypical 'little green men from mars'? Is so, then they probably don't wear clothes.

    Not every alien type follows this, obviously, but I think the general rule is that the more an alien resembles a human (especially when it comes to having some kind of human-like sexual anatomy like da tiddies) the more likely they'll be drawn to be wearing clothes. More abstractly-designed and beastial-like aliens will probably not wear clothes.
     
  10. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    There were more "dressed up" aliens in the early years of sci-fi and that had to do with the sensibilities of the time. Besides, it was easier to put an actor in a jumpsuit made of cloth you could buy in Sears rather than manufacture a whole rubber body-suit (for a nekkid alien) that would cost half the budget of the movie. But then we got better at special effects and the audience got more challenging to please, too. Sometimes it's just easier to impress an audience by showing how different and strange an alien is, especially if you want to make that alien scary. As Stephen King pointed out, we are scared of the different. You achieve bigger impact if you show the whole of the alien, without hiding parts with clothes. Remember when in E.T. they dressed up the alien? He looked more human and thus less impressive. There's also the general perception of how an alien looks like, which is an image built on accounts from witnesses, abductees etc people who claim to have seen them in person. And a good amount of those accounts don't include clothes.
     
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  11. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    2p.png

    Because the reader/watcher wears clothing, so nudity/nakedness enhances the engagement of alienness.

    As counter-example, the female Na'vi of Avatar have noticeable breasts and all Na'vi have hair (mammalian traits) and are tetrapods, where everything else on the planet has skin like an amphibian (including the Na'vi), no hair whatsoever, and are all hexapods. And the Na'vi wear clothing. Why? Because we're meant to engage the Na'vi as human analogues, not really as aliens.
     
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  12. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    I have done a careful survey of aliens as portrayed in the mass media and have come to the conclusion that the reason that aliens don't wear clothes is because they don't have any naughty bits to conceal.
     
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  13. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    Hmm, now I'm picturing xenomorphs in top hats and the generic big-eyed aliens in track suits. Kind of a buzzkill there, though it might be interesting if aliens were only portrayed wearing shoes, shorts and gloves... kind of like Mickey Mouse.
     
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  14. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Alien number 1 -- I thought you packed the clothes?
    Alien number 2 -- I like being naked.
    Staring out at the crowds of armed earth people.
    Alien number 1 -- I feel conspicuous.
    Alien number 2 -- Work it. work it.
     
  15. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Next RomCom novel?
     
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  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    :supergrin:

    This story needs to be written! :write:
     
  18. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    Close, Dapper, but I vote for white tie and tails. Every man looks great in well-tailored white tie and tails, so it follows that every alien would too.
     
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  19. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Nice Touch! :)
     
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  20. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    Or, you're not looking at the right place :D Wasn't it in a Star Trek episode once that they had an alien whose genitals were in their knees and somebody kicked them there for fun without realising? :crazy:
     
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  21. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Weirdly enough, even though the alien had his junk on his knees, (s)he/it had them completely exposed to the freezing, forced labour mining elements and we got a close up of them. Nicholas Meyer must have had a fetish or something.
     
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  22. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Speaking of clothing in Sci-Fi setting, lest we ever forget, thank you David Gerrold (his idea) for the Star Trek Man Dress™!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    This makes sense to me in that dresses or skirts as female exclusive attire is fairly specific to our current western culture. Though I do remember the ultra-conservatives in my congregation getting all high and mighty saying that the men wearing dresses and (gasp) science in Star Trek was proof it was a tool of The Devil. On the other hand, the Star Trek Man Dress™ doesn't seem terribly practical. I imagine it'd be a touch too breezy for my tastes, especially in the cold of space.
     
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  24. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, I completely agree. Sadly, as closely tied as Gerrold is with the origins of Star Trek (he wrote The Trouble with Tribbles), his flouting of the perceived importance of the dynamic you mentioned is what eventually got him removed from the Star Trek team during TNG. His novel, Jumping of the Planet, which includes a gay protag at the core of the story, was originally a script he pitched for TNG, which the the rest of the team felt didn't fit with their vision of an "enlightened" future.
     
  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    the romans (and before them greeks, spartans etc) fought in 'skirts' ... I suspect trousers in a martial setting came about from the need to wear full suit armour

    on point one reason not to wear clothes as an alien is that trousers would be a right arse to put on if you aren't a humanoid shape - more philosophically on earth only humans wear clothes, therefore having the aliens naked helps audiences think of them as lesser beings to be killed, rather than equal or greater beings with whom we should talk before reaching for the blasters

    (an exception to this is star trek where romulans and klingons wear clothing ... presumably helping the audience take them seriously as combatants
     

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