You and me
is a place
I hope we
Once we go,
But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause- who does great things, and unsearchable things, marvelous things without number.
The book of Job
Don’t forget about those you left behind on your path. You matter to them too.even after the hurtful words you last left them with.
This could potentially be a really interesting project/statement, especially if done well. As a male photographer this issue is never far from my mind. I do my best to not sexualize women in an overt way. That said, I do realize I am a white male, raised in a culture that systematically oppresses, fetishizes and sexualizes women as a rule, so this is bound to creep in from time to time. But I try to be conscious of it and keep it in check. My work for Girls Life is probably a good example. Sure, the magazine delves into the usual fodder of preteen girls; boys, makeup, clothing, but it purposefully avoids topics regularly explored in most teen and adult women magazines, and teaches girls how to deal with body shaming and living in a male dominated world and refuses to sexualize them while still tackling sexual health. We do not slim or overly retouch the models and celebrities in each issue and there is a section with girls of all body sizes. After all the magazine was founded and is run by a strong, independent woman who sets a good example for her readership.
In my own personal work I think my Burlesque series is particularly empowering. But my conflict arises in some of my other work. Never really conforming to the standard gender mold growing up I always associated with and related to girls more than boys. I was never the boy who played sports or huddled in a group of guys in high school commenting on the latest “piece of ass” that they “banged” or wanted to. Never understood it or wanted to be a part of it. I was “the artist”. (I did have some male friends, just not many) For instance my friend Dana and I would play Addams Family. I would regularly want to play Wednesday. She was much more interesting to me. Dana preferred one of the male characters. This state of being of course this led to a lot of people assuming (quite wrongly) that I was gay. That was confusing and hurt a lot growing up….but I digress. My conflict is that I have always used the feminine to represent things about me, I more readily draw on the female form. The question is and will always be how do I do so responsibly? I believe all photographers especially those of my sex have a responsibility to change the tide of our culture. Images are everywhere and they inform our tastes, judgements, and behavior much more than anything else. I am not just talking about the extreme cases like Terry or American Apparel…but more subtle evils.
this is more of a rant, I suppose..but these things have been bothering me lately. I have seen first hand what a man can do to a woman. My mother was abused by a boyfriend for years verbally and physically. I would sit and cover my little sisters ears so she didn’t hear the violence and pray she would grow up and not expect that from a man. I have had dear friends and lovers assaulted and yelled at on the street. I for one am tired of it and want to be sure that my work is not part of the problem.