Friday, November 24, 2006

This is not Empowering

It's much easier to read the blog of a girl who feels empowered by nude modeling than that of a girl seeking to explore the possible conflicts between being a nude model and being a feminist.

I don't feel empowered by nude modeling. I enjoy it, but I don't find it empowering.

When I voted in this past election, and saw the democrats take back congress- I felt empowered.

When I think about all the shit that past feminists went through to allow me to have the rights that I take for granted today, I feel empowered.

When I participate in volunteer work- I feel empowered because I'm making a difference in the lives of other people.

But when I take my clothes off for money? I don't feel empowered. I often have a whole lot of fun, and make a couple(or more) bucks- but empowered I am not.

Photography by Gary, taken in August, 2006.


AwakenedDesires said...

I have been following your blog for a little while and I am sorry to hear that you do not find nude modeling empowering. Before I came across your blog, I would not have thought about nude modeling as empowering either. But when I saw your pictures, coupled with your writing, I knew I was seeing something positive. Often when you see nude or scantily clad women today, it is negative. They are being objectified in order to sell something. Unlike your pictures, you do not even get the impression that they are enjoying it, so it seems degrading. Since you enjoy posing, your viewers enjoy watching. You are making the female body something once can view without a sense of degradation. The female body should not be so commercialized that it is taken for granted, but neither should it be hidden; I feel like you found the perfect balance.

Even more importantly, though, you are able to retain your personality in your photos. In the most accessible images of women today, the women are made-up, waxed, shaped, shaven, airbrushed, etc. It not only puts pressure on the models, but it creates an unrealistic standard of beauty for the common woman which is constantly pushed at her but impossible to attain. Women are told in so many ways that they cannot be themselves and be beautiful. They feel pressure to get tans, to perm, straighten, and dye their hair, and to shave their legs and their pubic regions. Nothing natural is scared. The worst part is that after doing all that for beauty the women often still feel insecure. I feel like you are showing another type of beauty (especially with your decision not to shave your pubic hair). You are being yourself and you look beautiful. The times that I view your pictures are some of the only times that I feel like I could be myself and still be beautiful. You give strenth to the idea that you do not have to meet a narrow standard to be beautiful. In light of the overwhleming pressure to meet some artificial standard of beauty, I think anyone who can do that is pretty empowered.

1:34 PM  
Green Girl said...

Thank-you for making the distinction! It seems that if what we are doing is not "empowering" then we must be "exploiting" someone or something. No one is allowed to just be doing something without political implication.

1:21 AM  
AwakenedDesires said...

green girl, I am afraid that you are making an unwarranted assumption. I think many people would agree with me that many representations of women have a negative effect on the psyche and confidence of women in general. At the same time, I pointed out that I find Candy's work empowering. My recognition of these two categories does not negate the existence of others. I never said there was no middle ground.

And yes, as a student of political science, I see political implications in nearly everything. People can do something personally for themselves, but when it affects others it becomes political whether they intended it to be or not.

7:59 PM  

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