Quite often I wake up to my phone going off. It’s an equal amount of booking inquiries and Grandmotherly love; today I was lucky with the latter.
I am quite blessed to have the grandparents I do. They have played a monumental role in my life and I am often surprised at how open minded my Grandmother can be, on occasion.
I’m not quite sure how to describe the thinking of where I grew up, not entirely close minded, but I was always certainly an oddity to be thinking so free. Perhaps I can credit my ingenious imagination to the first eight years of my life acting as an only child. One must be open to unlimited possibilities if to remain entertained.
Yes, back to Grandma. Today among other conversation, came up the topic of why I allow myself to shoot nudes. I know she meant this from a loving place but it caught me off guard. “You’re a beautiful girl”, she says, “You don’t need to get naked to make people look at you.”
I am quite aware of this. So are many other people who agree to photograph nude. Being naked isn’t always about getting attention, and it’s sad that society thinks baring any skin is an open invitation for cat calls. Nudity isn’t always about sex.
It’s been pushed that way, by closed mindedness and the inability to have a clear intellectual though with any hint of curve in one’s eye. I could rant on for days about the inappropriate comments one receives for walking in the city with shorts on. Is your life really that mundane that seeing someone’s thigh throws you into a fit of foolishness?
Nudity isn’t always about sex.
Try explaining an artistic nude to your Grandma. O.K. – try explaining and erotic artistic nude to your Grandma. She keeps tabs on me, and I’m sure she is probably even reading this. (Hi Grandma!) Becoming quite savvy with the internet that one.
To be truthful I see no shame in being nude. There are actually many mental and physical benefits to bearing it all, albeit you must keep your timing right. Nudity isn’t always about sex.
I can admit I may be a little too open for others, while I blame my blatant comfortableness partly on career, the remaining bit is surely open to anyone. Why is it that some cannot differentiate between being free, creating an image, making a statement, intended erotica, or true trash. (And then again, sometimes even trash is enjoyable.)
There are those who can separate the themes, but even so, many carry a double standard. “Many cultures accept nudity in art even when they shun actual nudity. For example, even an art gallery which exhibits nude paintings will typically not accept nudity of a visitor”, Depitions of nudity, Wikipedia. The dabate came as to why I allow this, why I support this, why I have no judgement for the want to bear flesh.
Shall we start with the plainly factual? My first answer (proving me a mundane workaholic) was mechanical and to the point. “Some times clothes just distract from the direction one is trying to make”. This is your Grandma you are talking to, not an agent. Try again. How do you explain the distraction of clothing to a lady who wears sweaters in July? Fashionable always, but dear, I could not trot over heated as such.
Have you ever noticed how a girl in bathing suit is normal but put knickers on her and your mind wonders? It would look quite silly to pose in a bathing suit while laying in a bed, standing in a kitchen, or sitting on a piano. In general, the first thing we judge a person on is their clothing. Now imaging you want the viewer of your image to think, looking at the expression on the models faces, absorb the atmosphere, FEEL the image. There is an undoubted closeness you obtain when catching someone in the nude. They feel comfortable with you, and in return, you feel a little more comfortable with them. We open up a little bit, and in time, grasp the concept as a whole. Nudity isn’t always about sex, and it is up to each individual to choose if it does so.
But nudity isn’t just in photographs, on film, or online. To some it is quite common in daily life, while many restrict themselves on false pretenses. How many people live their lives terrified of their own body? I remember being a teenager horrifying. Everything is so taboo yet shouldn’t someone help you figure this shit out? How much unneeded stress in one’s life over a nipple or two? I do know that on a few occasions women have told me they would have been much happier with their bodies growing up if they had known that they weren’t so freakish after all. (Didn’t you know, not all tits look like basketballs!) I know for a fact that since working around so many naked bodies I no longer cringe with as many painful insecurities.
Truth be told, seeing so many different people naked has actually opened up my mind to find more body types beautiful, if not attractive.
I’ll tell you this dear Grandma, if you ever see me fully naked, it is not out of drive for pure sex, but the ability to understand character images and openness to use my body in making such statements.
Anyone who has watched a family build sandcastles at Wreck Beach can tell you that sex was not the topic on mind. And if you can’t agree, you, my friend, are the pervert.