All posts tagged: women

wow: i’m here, i’m me

August 19-21, 2016 I found myself running around the hills and trees of Camp Ramblewood stark naked during Field Festival 2016. I was one of very few women who had opted to go nude at this clothing optional event. What’s more is that I was the only black woman who chose to bare much of anything. Black women wore the most clothing of all women present at that festival, even as other women of color experimented with going bare chested or completely nude. I find nothing wrong with one choosing to wear clothes. I believe that we all should have the right to choose how much or how little we want to wear and to be respected. And I should also note that I did not poll the women at the festival to ask them why they chose to wear what they wore. In fact, many people took this festival as an opportunity to use clothing etc. to express themselves in ways they might not normally get to do in la vie quotidienne. However, this …

Neha Kale on blocking women’s narratives of female nudity

If we’re pointing out the most pervasive tropes in art history, it’s difficult to get past the female nude. From Rokeby Venus, Velazquez’s sensual tribute to the Roman goddess of love, to Olympia, Manet’s 1863 rendition of a lounging courtesan, these naked women have long anointed as geniuses the Great Male Artists who conceived them. And these geniuses weren’t just dab hands with oil paint! Their nudes were so masterly, they also sowed the seeds for a de facto femininity, one that cast women as sensuous nymphs for the taking or coy objects whose contours only appeared once a man imagined them into being. As a teenager with a growing art history obsession, I scoured textbooks for paintings of female bodies that weren’t a projection of male desire but a reflection of the flesh-and-blood women I knew. The fact that my search yielded nothing was proof of a world in which a male expression of the female experience is considered more authoritative than a female expression of her own experience. God, it was so depressing. …

kerry mansfield “aftermath” photography project – journey through breast cancer

In the project “Aftermath” photographer Kerry Mansfield documents her journey through breast cancer. Series description from LensCulture: “In the series Aftermath, San Francisco-based photographer Kerry Mansfield courageously documented her two-year journey through breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and reconstructive surgery. “Mansfield was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 31 and soon learned that women in their 30s are the fastest growing group of people with breast cancer in the United States. Shocked to be facing this unexpected and frightening disease, Mansfield searched for information about what her immediate future would look like and found that the photographic documentation she was looking for didn’t exist. It was this absence that inspired the series that would become Aftermath. “Mansfield’s intention was to not only help guide herself through the harrowing journey, but to create a direct, visual record of her experience so that others could better understand what it means to battle breast cancer. “As Mansfield writes in her original artist’s statement: “‘It was in that spirit of unknown endings that I picked up my camera to …

lucy hilmer: birthday suits 1974-2015

Birthday Suits | 1974-2015 “Lucy Hilmer photographs herself every year on her birthday, April 22nd, wearing nothing but her white Lollipop underpants, shoes and socks. She’s been doing this for 40 years, since her 29th birthday. In 2015, she turned 70. Soon a book, BIRTHDAY SUITS A Woman, Her Camera & Time, will reveal how a woman who came of age before women’s lib used her camera to peel off society’s “pretty girl ” label and define herself from the inside out. A film will follow.” See full project: Lucy Hilmer – Birthday Suits

dynamic africa “reclaiming dreams deferred”

Excerpt from introduction Under colonialism, few things belonged to us, not even our bodies. Under the prism of white supremacy, black bodies are simultaneously hypervisible and invisible. Perceptions based in prejudice often render us agentless in the ways society interacts with black bodies. For centuries, despite nudity in its various forms being a prominent and accepted part of daily life and culture for many Africans, enslavement, colonial rule, influences from Islam and Christianity, and patriarchal systems violently upheld systems and social standards that constrained the agency and autonomy of black people through clothing and nudity. Civilizing missions sought to enlighten so-called savages, ironically employing savage methods to do so. Excerpt from interview How the idea come about for the video, and what inspired you to create it? The experience of an African in Africa. The desire to express myself in my language without saying a single word. It was inspired by my desire to experience ultimate freedom in my life time. I had grown tired of constantly apologizing for my blackness, my femininity and my Ndebele-ness …

wow: the naked feminine

In this week’s Women on Wednesdays, I look at femininity as it relates to clothes free living. This issue surfaced loud and clear like sirens from an ambulance when I first started clothes free living. Today, I continue to notice certain trends in how femininity is promoted and expressed not only in images that are circulated by men, but also in how women express and promote femininity.

Jo Stanley: I went naked at work, and it was wonderfully therapeutic

There’s something I never thought I’d say. I got starkers with three strangers. Their names were Caryn, Georgia and Claire, and they were generous enough to initiate me into the world of just hanging out in the nicky noo nah. It was scary and weird and exhilarating and strangely an anti-climax all in one, but let me go back a step to explain. After my morning in the buff, I’m calling BS on “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Going naked with three strangers showed me that beauty is entirely mine to own.” I host a breakfast radio show in Melbourne and, inspired by a similar event in London, for one night we hosted a naked restaurant for our listeners. It wasn’t sleazy or salacious or in any way sexy. I mean, even Chris Hemsworth wouldn’t look his best hoeing into a plate of ribs. Instead it was an exercise in complete body acceptance. In shaming the body shamers. We are bombarded with nude imagery from the perfect people – selfie-addicted models and …

Kacy Johnson Photo Project: Female

Johnson embarked on the project in 2014, shortly after she moved to Brazil. She knew she wanted to make beautiful photographs of women, while reimagining the visual language of such an image. Fed up with images of women revolving around desirability, perfection and objectification, Johnson opted to highlight the aspects of womanhood she deems beautiful ― emotion, intuition, understanding, and inclusion. “Photographing the big skin expanse that is my back shows that I can be more than just a pair of legs, some tan marks or a belly,” Arlene, another subject, explained. “I can be all that empty canvas that is my back, I can be the spine that supports me in the face of so much oppression, I can be the bra marks or the pimples and speckles that, like a constellation, silently inhabit my back while the rest of the world ― myself included ― is too busy looking at other pieces of me.” After beginning the project in Brazil, Johnson is now creating portraits in San Francisco. She hopes to eventually travel …