Wednesday, May 27, 2009

some tasteful nudes

Last night I dreamed that I was posing for artistic nude photographs. Black and white. Very tasteful.

I am for this.

I don't know if I am for having myself plastered all over the internet or even the art gallery, but just having some black and white nude photographs of myself is appealing to me.

When I was working on my masters there was a lot of material on women's bodies to go through. I had volumes of feminist art and most of it had to do with the female form, the body of a woman, etc. There were all different ways to look at it, but it was a lot of women, especially in the seventies, exploring what it meant to be a woman - experimenting with how the general public viewed the body of the female of the species.

Many of the artistic experiments were quite disturbing.

In one, Yoko Ono did a live artistic presentation call "Cut Piece", in which she stood before the audience and gave them scissors. They took turns cutting away chunks of her clothing until she was naked.

In another, a woman set several types of tools before the audience and stood before them saying that the tools were to be used on her body in any way the audience desired. The presentation went on for three hours before someone feared for her safety and cut it short. That was after she had been stripped of clothing, cut with razors, had a loaded gun held to her head, and more.

Many pieces in the seventies were also focused on rape and how it was looked at as something of a minor offense. There was a woman who painted herself with stage blood, stripped herself of her bottoms and covered herself with leaves in a park to see how people would react when faced with what appeared to be a rape victim in real life. She wanted to give a face to the idea.

I am not sure if these things were necessary, but things did change when it came to rape after this second wave of feminism. It became a heavier crime with heavier punishment attached, but I feel we still have a long way to go in that area. As long as people are using rape as slang for doing well at something: "I totally raped that test" or as a throw away for being conquered at something that means nothing: "He raped me at that video game", there is a lot of progress to be made.

Here in feminism's third wave, I think it may be time to bring back the beauty surrounding the female form.

The female form was explored by male artists for years as an object of beauty, though women were treated as objects, as possessions, their form was almost worshiped by male artists who painted it.

During the second wave of feminism, women defaced the female form, showed what had been done to it literally and figuratively by society so that people would stand up and take notice. Now, as we have taken so many steps forward in society, perhaps it is time to re-establish the beauty that is woman. Now we can still feel powerful in a flowing skirt and peasant top with long flowing hair, or just as powerful with jeans, a t-shirt, and a shaved head because we are women, and not because we have to deny that in order to be successful in the workplace or elsewhere. Perhaps it is again time to embrace our physical beauty.

So I'm thinking about some black and whites on a bare sort of back ground, or maybe in the water. Something tasteful and simple and startling. If those things can be.

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