Calgary Transit doesn’t want naked babies on its advertising billboards. 
Especially one that is 16 feet long, smeared in blood and with its umbilical cord in plain view. 

Calgary Transit has rejected a Glenbow Museum advertising campaign showing a sculpture of a naked newborn baby.
Senior managers made the decision after reviewing a photo of the sculpture, said spokeswoman Theresa Keddy.

“We have to take into consideration opinions from all Calgarians, and community standards, so it was our decision that it might offend some,” she said. “Art is very subjective and a lot of people have different opinions.”

Keddy didn’t explain how the sculpture might be offensive, but said Calgary Transit would have allowed a photo that was cropped above the umbilical cord.

There appears to be a human disconnect here. 

We are born in blood and slime and while we all understand and accept that fact — the actual aftermath of the birthing process is forbidden from public view?  For what reason?  So people will not be offended by art?  Is it possible to be insulted by reality?

This Calgary Transit ban on imitation babies reminds me of the “Great Diaper Caper” that spanked Photobucket a year ago:

Photo sharing site Photobucket has quickly u-turned on a decision to ban pictures that show babies in nappies. The company originally removed such images from its site because they depicted “nudity”, which it said threatened the safety and security of its users.

We covet youth, yet we fear the realities of babies.

Is it possible to offend the public conscience by celebrating the preternatural process of our becoming into being?

Or have we regressed so far in our moral values that even the artistic suggestion of an open and innate vulnerability is too vulgar to celebrate in the public square?


  1. Quite a realistic looking baby! It’s no crucified Santa, that’s for sure. It’s amazing how millions wear a naked man on a necklace but can’t stand a real baby on a billboard.

  2. It’s interesting, Gordon, that the “genitalia” of the baby girl was not visible — and that Calgary Transit found the attached umbilical cord as too offensive to publish.

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