My Tumblr feed is a really strange thing.
There’s a lot that goes on in it, but for the most part, it’s divided into two categories:
1.) Radically body positive blogs that embrace diversity of ethnicity, size, shape, gender, orientation, etc. These blogs are places that generally promote self love and self care, and encourage people to challenge their perceptions of beauty.
…on the other hand…
2.) Blogs of art photography whose content consists mostly of thin white women with small, perky breasts and flat abs. There is certainlysome diversity in these blogs - but really not all that much. In the body type department, I also find that the diversity manifests itself in extremes - there’s very, very thin and very, very heavy, with not a whole lot (some, but not a lot) in the middle.
What I walk away with is ‘LOVE YOURSELF - YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE butonlyifyou’rethisoneexactthing’, and it’s really confusing for me.
I LOVE the artists - models and photographers - who challenge these norms. They’re out there, and they do great work. I just wish I could find more of them. The beautiful thing about art photography and art modeling is that we don’t have fashion designers and agencies telling us that we have to be just one thing. We’re doing this shit ourselves, guys, and we can make whatever art we want.
I don’t think a brave artist should limit themselves to one idea of what beauty can be - I actually think that the job of an artist is to expand perceptions of beauty - to find beauty in places where others may not think to look.
Also, folks? Seeing the same photos of the exact same build of person over and over again? Is REALLY REALLY BORING, IMHO.
To be clear, in no way am I bashing the thin, white naked ladies of the internet. For lack of a better category to stick myself in, I am one. I just want to remind you all that to be beautiful or to be the subject of great art doesn’t mean having to be just one thing.
I, personally, am going to start posting old photos of myself where you can see my belly, and where my nipples aren’t pointing up. Because you know? It’s what I’ve got. I’m sick of body policing and I’m sick of shaming and I’m sick of trying to pose around these ‘flaws’. They aren’t fucking flaws. They’re parts of me.
I would like to find more people to photograph who are in between the two extremes. It’s hard sometimes, when people who aren’t one recognizable thing or another don’t feel encouraged to make themselves visible. Of course, I’m still going to shoot them in ways that are flattering, because that’s part of what I do.
I still intend to sit down & write something about why I pose nude, but visibility is a huge, huge part of it.