Thursday, 31 May 2012

Nudity in alternative modelling

This post is dedicated to a lady named Flossie, who responded to my post Top Ten Goth Pet Peeves with the following: "I understand you're entitled to your opinion and that's totally okay, but I'm a little saddened that you would refer to yourself as a feminist and still say something like that. It's their own choice what to do with their bodies. Nobody else gets to say what anyone does with their own body. Surely we should be trying to change society's backwards opinions about women who like showing off their bodies, rather than criticising them for not falling into place with mainstream mores? Isn't "somebody put some more clothes on, you're all giving my subculture a bad name" just one step away from "put those awful freaky clothes away, they're making the family/school/community look bad"? And I'm sure we've all been there."

What Flossie was referring to was this paragraph: "Why does it seem to be impossible to be an alternative model and not get naked at the drop of a mini top hat? I have nothing against communities like Suicide Girls, and I think some nude or erotic modelling is very pretty. But really, can we have SOME alternative models who don't need to get their boobs out, please? It just perpetuates the stereotype that all us alt girls are sluts. Yes, I understand there is such a thing as being sexually liberated, and I congratulate you ladies for it. Can we have some prudish models now, to balance it out a bit?"

Flossie, you're totally right.

I feel, personally, that as a girl who feels more liberated and beautiful when fully dressed up rather than totally or semi-unclad, I'd like to see more representation of fellow 'prudish' types amongst alt models. At times it feels like if you want to get into alt modelling, you have to take your clothes off. I'm sure this isn't accurate and for those who would find it less liberating or even downright uncomfortable to be photographed unclothed, it would be perhaps appealing if there were a few more well-known alt models who felt the same.

However, I will put my hands up and admit that I feel embarrassed looking back at that paragraph. Flossie has kindly not used the term 'slut-shaming', but it would have been applicable and I apologise. The post will be edited; what I have come to realise in the year since I wrote that post is that comments like 'it just perpetuates the stereotype that all us alt girls are sluts' are not acceptable - women should be able to dress and be photographed however the hell they want without anyone, let alone fellow girls, making assumptions about them.

Once again I apologise, partly for any offense caused, and partly for being an idiot. Thanks, Flossie, for calling me on that.



Caroline Carnivorous said...

I guess it's become a stereotype because in the gothic community, we have all learned to love our bodies, and many of us likes to show it off. Confidence is sexy!

I've done 4 shoots, and one of them was with less clothing (I did it with my boyfriend). I could easily undress, but I think I'd rather prefer wear clothing. I love my body, even though I'm 4'10'' and weigh 68 pounds. I still feel sexy! And it's what YOU feel about yourself that matters, not everyone else.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I don't feel anything said in the original post had anything offensive in it, at all. What I got, was that there can and should be alt models that are fully clad. I totally agree with the notion that one can be just as sexy fully-clothed as someone who is half-naked. I read nothing that could be construed as "slut-bashing". By the way, I am someone who, back in my "clubbing" days, would be completely unpredictable in what I wore, depending on the club I was attending. I'm a bit older now, and a mom, so some outfits aren't as suitable at nearly 40, than they were in my 20s, but I wore anything from a cleavage-bearing corset & mini-tutu, all the way to a high-collared blouse & floor-length skirt, and *everything* in between. I don't feel anyone, at least in the scene, had an opinion on my sexual morality, at all. As for alt models, I don't think enough people in the mainstream even see any of the photos, and those who do, are at least "alt friendly" (I hope that makes sense), so I do find them to be judgemental.

However, I think the portrayal of alt girls in the mainstream media is far more responsible for the way alt girls are seen by the mainstream. Every time I see a movie or TV program that has a scene in a goth/vampire club, they *always* show girls making-out, or some fetish/BDSM thing going on in front of an audience. (For the record, I have nothing against BDSM, but I do feel its inclusion in the goth subculture does give the mainstream that *all* goths are into it--I've met several people who think "goths are kinky") Also, for some reason, alt girls are also portrayed as "easy" in the media. Why is the needy, socially-inept, misfit who sleeps around for acceptance, *always* an alt chick, and never the "pretty" cheerleader?

MakeupAriel said...

I 100% agreed with the original post! While girls can all agree that everyone is entitled to their own, we should start to realize (together) that the representation of the majority does effect us all. I have had many people tell me that I'm pretty & should do Suicide Girls; & I personally find that offensive. I see no association with the fact that I have colored hair & tattoo's equaling I should take my clothes off in order to model. Unfortunately many girls don't see that supporting the need for something different doesn't mean that we are bashing what there is. It just mean that we would like better representation of other view points.

gin said...

While women do need to be confident in themselves, I do feel that women being overly eager to strip down for modeling shoots is just falling into the medias idea that women are for the purpose of "pleasing" and that's it. This concept of being naked and showing it all off is feminism is ridiculous. Being a feminist is about a woman's choice to do as she pleases and anymore it does seem that alternative models are pressured into taking everything off. After a point it stops being art and tasteful and starts being like the women you see in rap videos; just being cheap jerk-off material. We need more women who are fully dressed and sexy, because even though you're proud of what you have doesn't mean you show it to everyone. There's an amazing type of sexy to mystery.

GothBarbie said...

I agree that there should be more promotion of fully clothes alt models.

It's really sad when the only association with my fashion/style/subculture a "normal" person can make is saying to me "oh like suicide girls" - that is what my new brother-in-law said to me the very first time we met! I was horrified! to be instantly associated with PORNOGRAPHY! And he had no shame saying it in front of my husband, his WIFE, and the general public!! YUCK! I was on my best behavior so I bit my tongue. I'd like to mention, that I was very modestly attired as I was on a daytime outing - knee length dress, modest neckline on my dress etc.

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