I never imagined posing nude for 20+ years of my life.
I can’t say I feel tarnished, broken, exploited, or anything negative because I’ve posed nude. To be perfectly honest, I am stronger because of it. I wanted to explore my experiences while naked. I wanted to change my dialogue about nudity. I wanted being naked to feel normal, not contextualized. Nudity is not only sexual. The fact that we can only view nudity in private with a specific mind set or two is troublesome. Am I the only person who has been forced to think of nudity through a few specific lenses? To put it simply it’s stressful to always worry if some one is going to see me naked. It’s a game of cat and mouse.
I shouldn’t feel that fucking vulnerable while naked.
‘Ohh that poor girl is naked.’
‘Oh my lord! Look it’s a naked girl shame her!!!’
I am not a whore because I am naked.
I am not a slut.
It is not degrading to pose nude or be naked in general.
No I am not looking for attention.
I am beautiful and confident. I look like a statue. I am a work of art. So are you. I just view myself this way. If something I just said resonated negatively with you then ask yourself if you really love yourself. Are you truly body positive if you look at others and pass judgement on them. Perhaps you are jealous of the freedom. Maybe your self hatred is rooted in a lack of self esteem that you place solely on shallow things like how you look. Maybe our bodies are actually sacred shrines to be appreciated and worshipped not shamed. Perhaps how you view yourself is exactly what you project on to others. Don’t try to bring people down because you lack the ability to have a respectful conversation and ask questions. We learn from one another. The moment we stop talking to one another about things we don’t understand is the moment we stop growing.
Like yea nudity is some times disgusting. But we all shit. We have the same parts. Big deal. A penis and a vagina are different ‘genders’ if you even prescribe to binary thought processes in general.. how basic. Woopdy dooooo porn exists. People have sex with each other, on camera, for money. What ever. It’s not rocket science. Why is THAT what we repress in our general western culture?
I say we shame people for being racist and islamaphobic. Lol how fucking stupid are you.
Better yet why don’t we just engage in intellectual discussion instead of always having so much pride in your own identity that we can’t listen to another person, whose lives we shame and dehumanize through mainstream media that effect people on a mass scale. We can change to have open minds. It is a disease to be so negative and closed minded about anything different than you. That’s what being ‘cultured’ and ‘mature’ is, having an open mind and seeing your experiences as clearly as possible. Adapting. We can’t be so stuck in the past. America’s past is horrible. Do some research post high school. This shit isn’t news.
I just went on a whole tangent. Back to the subject of nudity. You should really ask people why they pose nude instead of assuming, judging, and shaming. People have interesting reasons why they do things. Personally like I mentioned before I wanted to engage in my own conversations about nudity and see what other people think about it. I wanted to know how I felt when working naked or having a conversation while nude. It’s inspiring and empowering. It increases your confidence. There is nothing more powerful than existing naked in the presence of other human beings. It is our most natural state. Viewing your body in photographs or drawn gives you another perspective of yourself. In some ways it’s more real. I love it. I get sick if wearing clothes all the time.
The thing is, and people won’t talk about it in a safe or more supportive and understanding perspective, people are addicted to sex. It haunts us in the form of public shaming, sexism, violence, homophobia, rape, assault, human trafficking, the works. If we aren’t comfortable with something, pushing it away or hiding from it does not make us stronger or more intelligent. It is the definition of ignorance. There are so many people out here screaming ‘ we need to open our minds up about sexuality! ‘ that I can’t sleep at night. The voices are too loud.
I agree. People need to be not only more open minded but realistic about sex, sexuality, and nudity. We live in the age of information. If you want to research something just type it into your favorite search engine. This is not to say you have to force yourself to do anything you don’t want to. We are sexual beings and everyone is developing at a different pace. It’s important that when we are discovering ourselves as people that there are allies and people we can talk to of all identities.
How did you get started?
I’ve posed nude for other people over the last two years. My first nude sets started with self portraits when I got my camera as a girl. I wasn’t taking pictures of my body. I would take portraits of my face with different expressions, make-up or hair styles. I feel more myself, more relaxed when naked. My most recent work posing nude for photographers as a figure model have been artistic ventures. To see how my body moves and looks in different poses. Before I started working with any photographers I did an impromptu photo shoot with a friend of mine in the Rocky Mountains. We stripped naked near this creek gushing with melted snow mountain water. It was freezing and dangerous but more than that it is miraculous. I felt at one with nature. I felt as powerful as the water pulsing through the stone scapes. I felt strong as the mountains we stood on. I saw the violence and the miracle of nature at the same time and realized I was no different. I felt proud of my body and my being for a whole new set of reasons. I sprang into action from there. I had a friend of mine take me to beaches across the Washington and oregon coast where he would photograph me nude in nature scapes. This series shows the balance of human nature and mother nature in the same photo. How we just go together this way. I am naked, nature is nude. We match and it is a beautiful sight. How liberating it is the swim in the ocean nude. To push and pull with the waves in the shores if different beaches with different sands, stones, smells, histories. My connection to the earth is so much stronger now. I can’t thank this planet enough for bringing me back down to it’s wisdom. When I am naked it reminds me of my roots, my ties to all things natural. Now a days people can barely identify a kind of tree or bird. We are deforesting every square inch of the planet, building on top of what makes us who we really are. To shame nudity is to shame our very essence. This is what i’ve discovered through nudity. We need to come back to reality and stop exploiting one another and our planet.
I noticed a huge trend in my interactions with humans from the time I started posting nude photos of myself on the internet. My friends in real life got less and less. My human interactions decreased. I don’t know why. I will now outline how I went publicly nude. I started with looking over my photos from 2016 when I posed nude in the mountains. At this time I was gathering content for Arson Capital Magazine’s LGBTQIA+ edition. This research and the interviews I was working on for the magazine had my mind all kinds of opened up. The only things that hold us back and reinforce stereotypes or systems of control is our fear of being shamed by the public or majority opinion on the matter. Fuck that! I had broken into more modeling for local designers on runways and for documenting their collections. Beauty standards were at the top of my mind. Body positivity was at the forefront. My friend who took the photos of me in the mountains and I were editing photos from our set. We were writing empowering phrases on our pictures and playing with the idea of censorship. This inspired so much exploration in myself. Eventually I came up with about 12 images with different phrases and edits with no censoring of body parts. In photoshop I pulled out the colors on my nipples or vagina with the eye drop tool and made that the color of the type. This is when I decided I would do a solo exhibition of my fashion, paintings and this set of edited photos. I called the show ‘Something Real’ and typed out a whole artist statement highlighting my experience up to that point. The show was a horrible turn out. Maybe 20 people showed up but the conversations were so meaningful. This was when I knew I was really onto something. I didn’t want to post these photos online at all but sure enough Trump was put into office and the women’s march was about to take place, I felt compelled to do something that made a statement. I couldn’t attend any rallies so I thought to myself ‘fuck it.’ I posted a single shot from my solo show on instagram with a long thought out caption. This photo was reposted by The Naked Diaries and a few other blogs. People on the internet expressed their appreciation of my narrative as well. This is when I started doing more runway modeling and changed my diet. After modeling in Chicago Fashion Week with full out body hair my perspective on the beauty and fashion industry completely changed. I was so lost in comparing myself to others and trying to fit in with the already boring beauty standards, I’d forgotten the importance of my own thoughts and my own philosophies. I was so stuck in my head about what I’d subconsciously subscribed to about beauty standards that interacting with real people made me think about what shapes our reality. I realized change is in the hands of people who are active in the community. I found like minded people and accepting people at Chicago Fashion week and the people I work with in Detroit. We are the alternative voice to body image and beauty standards. We are the change we wish to see. After changing my diet to vegetarian because of issues with migraines my body changed a lot. I wanted to feel better. I absolutely do. I got back into being active too. I go to the gym almost every day. I look and feel better.
Nothing negative has come from posing nude or posting nude photos on the internet. I’ve literally only gotten better. I am more respected. Less people waste my time. I engage in broader more intellectual conversation. I’ve gotten wiser, more confident and my self esteem is higher. I know what I am comfortable doing. I know how to say no and not be manipulated by rape culture. I’ve only realized my own power. I’ve only realized my body is perfect the way it is, no matter if I have a garden of hair, or I carry some fat on parts of me or if I have natural breasts. I love myself so much more.
We judge people for being naked. We judge people based on their clothing. Why are we so fucking shallow. If there is nothing else I’ve learned from posing nude it’s that people now a days are so controlled by their visual sense they don’t have intellectual thoughts enough to think for themselves. People judge based on what they know from tv. Not what they feel in their hearts bodies minds and souls. That another human is just a great as them. But what happens when we think so little of others? It means we don’t think very highly of ourselves.
What does posing nude even mean?
My philosophy is that life is art. A creation that inspires. A giant curiosity to be explored. A natural state to grow in. Posing nude means I am a figure model. I take my clothing off and have photos taken of me. Some people pose nude for other reasons and do other things. I like to document my body naked.
Is nudity pornographic?
Not all nudity is pornographic. If you do a simple search defining pornography and nudity, there are contextual differences. People give things context. If you are nude it is only contextualized by you.