Fig Leaves The fig leaf doesn’t really grow on any type of tree. Instead it is a type of image that is well known in society. There are images of early people including those from Biblical times. A fig leaf is what is displayed to cover up private areas of the body. You will still find them displayed on various types of art work, in pictures, and even in some films and statues. Throughout history the use of fig leaves have long been used by various cultures. Some of them have covered up the female genitals while allowing those of the male to be seen. With other cultures the opposite of this is true. There are also plenty of cultures where these areas for both sexes are covered by the fig leaf. These types of elements have changed over many years and as the result of various controversies. This is why you may see some forms of art work with the fig leaves in place and then a different version where there aren’t any . The biggest influence for fig leaves appears to have been initiated by the Churches. They didn’t want to be encouraging naked people in various forms of art. Yet this is what was being offered. For many cultures this was an expression of their inhibitions and the Church wasn’t willing to break away from it as readily as society. There has also been the issue of the naked body not being appropriate for young children to see in such forms. They fig leave definitely comes in handy for those parents that don’t approve of it yet. This is a choice that parents have to make for their own children and shouldn’t be forced upon them due to what is readily available out there in the world. You may have heard the term fig leaf used in reference to something that a person is trying to cover up. It could be an elaborate plan or scheme that they have in place but don’t want others to find out about. This term is rarely used in this context anymore though so you may not understand it when you do hear it.