But you've got to be a knock out for viewers to accept you for it. First, let's look at my generation's most obvious example:
Skinny, pretty, leggy, clear skinned, the whole package. Gilmore Girls will always be one of my favorite shows because while there are some problematic plot points (minority characters always being sidekicks, everyone is straight/cis [that I can remember, I confess it's been a while]) it remains one of the most progressive/feminist shows I've ever been exposed to.
Lorelai's decision to keep her baby at sixteen was not used as an anti-abortion crusade, which would have been criminally easy; Rory maintains her focus on school through high school (and...sort of through college); NARAL and other feminist-y posters/books can be seen strewn about Rory's rooms at home and at Yale, etc. It's an awesome show, except for that little food thing.
One time a photographic session became erotic when I wasn’t expecting it to happen – the model had not indicated that this had been his interest. In the Exposure project, part of my motivation in some respects is to make a finer distinction between nudity and sexuality by presenting the male form in a nonerotic situation.
It does push my boundaries, as it turns out, to do an erotic shoot. In part it stems from my fear of having my art life overlap with my professional life. But the other is entering into a situation which could be construed as an erotic encounter. In the art world this is no issue at all, but in other worlds this is anathema.
In it, the authors Jessica Bennett, Sarah Childress and Susanna Schrobsdorff, suggest the images portrayed on the front of magazines inspire unhealthy lifestyles that encourage weight gain rather than weight loss.
the contrast between the girls on the catwalks and the girls at the mall is creating an atmosphere ripe for binge dieting and the kind of unhealthy eating habits that ultimately result in weight gain, not loss.
The article points out that 2/3 of American adults are overweight while only 1% of our population is Anorexic. When the "mall girls" see stick thin runway models, whose images are heavily photo shopped in print, they could be encouraged to crash diet and then binge, which is actually the fast way to gain weight.
And on that note, models are increasingly encouraged to be thinner. The last year or two we have seen several tragic stories of runway models, often barely 18 year old women, die of starvation. This has led to public campaigns to require minimum weight guidelines, weigh-ins at fashion shows, and size alterations to accommodate "heavier" (aka, normal) models. But with the rise of technology, even the skinniest, tallest, leggiest models aren't "perfect" enough. With the fast progression of photo re-touching technology, even the heavily made up models are re-touched, have body parts replaced and have "fat" skimmed off their abs.
I'm continually astounded by how easily we judge women's bodies, and I'm even more astounded that women judge other women. This is a terrible cycle in which we've all engaged in, at least once in our lives. Women's bodies are continually put on display, mostly for the heterosexual male gaze, but women see these images too. They're everywhere. We've gotten to the point where men don't even need to police women's bodies anymore, because we do it ourselves.
I overheard a conversation earlier today in the break room at work. One woman was reading an article from People about the murder of Jasmine Fiore. What she said caused me to stop reading my book and listen in: "You know, she wasn't even that pretty."
So...only "pretty" women get to be obsessed over, murdered in a jealous rage, dismembered, and discarded in a dumpster? A woman's life was taken, and we're discussing her looks? Why even say she's not that pretty? Is this to imply she wasn't worth the effort of murdering? That Jenkins could have found someone "hotter" to kill?
I feel very much alive these days; but I have known periods of depression where I almost wished for death. Having been there, I now try to practice regularly those things that for me, nurture life; one of which is drawing the body, nude, whether it be enlaced in intimate lovemaking or simply being.
I was very close to one of my aunts who passed away two years ago, not too long after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord which eventually leads to death. I will never forget how courageously she shared her feelings when she received the devastating diagnosis; after the initial shock, she turned within to an incredibly deep source of strength and decided to live her death as fully as she had lived her life up until then. I was one of the very fortunate family members to be able to share this period with her up close.
She was a very “private person” and it is not without a twinge of discomfort towards other family members’ reactions that I post images of her. But at the same time, I do so with a deeper confidence, knowing that she not only asked to participate in my work through a nude photo session, she also gave me permission to share the artwork produced from them, and fortunately, I was able to show her a few of my drawings before she passed away. Drawing this one just recently brought me back to the beautiful moments spent together during the last months of her life.
Wherever you go, there you are. Damn, if that had to be the case!
Everyone has their share of baggage. My childhood set came with my parents' divorce at age seven, being raised by a single mom on a teacher's salary, sexual abuse by an uncle, peer rejection and ridicule as a teen, and loneliness and isolation living as an only child.
While I've been on the journey of self acceptance for most of my adult life, had I known the angst those early years would cause me later on, I swear I would have attempted an earlier start!
It's funny how my thoughts and beliefs are still influenced by memories and events 20, 30, even 40 years old now.
Let's take junior high - 7th grade in particular. Some pretty heavy things happened in my life at that time. My mom and I moved to an upper middle class, white, conservative, Republican town, and though most of the time it can suck being the new kid on the block, arriving at my new destination full of pre-teen insecurities took it to a whole new level.
To kick off my posting at SexGenderBody, I've decided to share my sonnets, which some people have already seen. I wrote them both in fun, but I think it's a good way to begin a conversation about our private areas. I often take for granted the level of comfort I have with my own body, and would like other people to achieve comfort with their own bodies. I don't feel that subjects regarding our bodies should be taboo, and that includes activities involving our bodies (yeah, I'm talking about sex and masturbation people!).
Anyway, these sonnets (check the meter and rhyme scheme if you want--they're sonnets!) are written specifically to a penis and vagina, respectively. You can view their original postings here and here.