Pls pls pls pay attention to all the soundtracks included in my post, infantile as they might seem
This is what I look like right now. I’ve got my baphomet tshirt on, inside out, with an illustration of me by Levi. And a little bun! I like to think of it as a ballerina bun but really a girl once called it a “samurai knot” and I like that much more. Did you know that the most valued part of a samurai’s anatomy was the little finger? It’s what keeps a samurai’s balance when he’s wielding his little weapon – without the little finger, balance is lost. Apparently. I have a rather expressive little finger, don’t you think? Samurais believed that suicide could be an honourable death. And when a Samurai would cut off their little finger, it was a kind of suicide.
Today I woke up and my little meditative journey took me to Islam? I had a rather important chat with a fellow-student from University about his faith and it seems I had a lot to tell him that he didn’t previously know. So I guess thats why it’s in my head. I’ve linked him to my blog before, I was really only repeating myself.. I guess he’s not much of a reader. That’s okay. Words don’t really teach anyway.
Here are some personal facts to offer some context for my thought journey. Firstly – I personally see honour in dying for a belief. It’s potentially stupid. Like whenever I see depictions of Mary Magdalene looking at Dead Jesus, is it a coincidence that she looks pissed off? Like.. “you fucking retard” kind of pissed off? This is a scan I got of a postcard from a charity shop, years ago.
But being a martyr can be revolutionary. I suppose it’s ultimately about the ‘value’ of the sacrifice of the life that you’re giving up for the sake of your belief, but maybe this requires more thought. How do you quantify the a value of a life? I haven’t taken my thought journey there yet so I can’t say – yet.
I know there’s always a risk in expressing opinions but I’d like to think that if you offer some kind of disclaimer in which you specify that you’ve not formulated any conclusions – you keep it all open. Thought seeds, you know. Personally … I don’t think there is another being on this Planet that can possibly know another person’s worth or potential. Value is something you give yourself, maybe even something you give to your other selves – but first it’s something you give yourself.
But I was thinking about terrorism, about freedom fighters, about self-sacrifice specifically in the realm of the Islamic faith. This sounds potentially profound maybe but it isn’t at all. Basically… Supposedly if you die as a Jihadi, you get sent to a particular heaven with SEVEN hairless virgins.
Is that really an incentive to die for a ..faith..? I mean, the root of Islam is Judaism, and there is no Heaven in Judaism. Do you think perhaps this Heaven was a lie? Like I said, not judging, just speculating.
It’s less of a religion discussion and more of an observation of the male mentality.
I’m making an effort – with some limit -to depict the things I’ve been made to feel insecure about, which is my entire physical body. I’d like to think there’s something here for any audience – a nasty girl or guy who makes herself feel better by looking at people’s flaws, a girl/guy who just wants to love herself/himself, a harmless, decided pervert who doesn’t actually bother to READ or familiarise him or herself with any kind of context or acknowledge the voice of the ‘object’ d’art he uses to create a mental picture with for a five minute masturbatory session. You can click on these, they get bigger, enjoy the details. Whatever your mental conditioning, there’s something for you.
The CEO of Godsgirls once said that she envisioned a porn site that allowed the viewer a glimpse into the “bedrooms” of the models on her site – I think of this statement in a figurative way… basically she wanted to sell a “personal” image that would appeal to a consumer that represented a market that wanted a real girl in her real space that was also hot enough to be a glorified porn star/super model, but was just chilling at home being ridiculously sexy on her own. Seldom was there a photo-set on Godsgirls that employed a make up artist, or a set designer or a stylist.
At the time (years ago now) that Suicide Girls meets American-Apparel aesthetic was everything, and she wanted her members to experience a cinematic masturbation journey.
That brief but golden age of internet porn shaped my aesthetic and my sexuality and the time that I spent looking at “real girls” and reading their blogs has kind of had a part to play in how I define Erotica. I once wrote in an essay (I can’t remember if it was my own essay or an essay I authored for someone else) that the myspace selfie was the next generation of Frida-Kahlo-esque Self Portraiture but isn’t it sad that the current nude-via-whatsapp-exchange culture we’re in has robbed people of the ability to make any kind of statement about what they’re sending?
Moving on – I’ve spent the last 24 Hours thinking on and off about one of my favourite Artists, Nobuyoshi Araki. When I was sixteen, there was a really wonderful American woman working as the Photography technician. She was probably one of the most important interactions I have ever had in sculpting a vision for erotica – and that really only came as a realisation yesterday? She had a criticism for Araki – that she found it quite sexist that in an interview at an exhibition she visited, he emphasised that all of his models would have sex with him. That they were all sexually interested and attracted to him. As a feminist I experienced an inner conflict for many years – I LOVED this man’s work but took issue with his work ethic. For a long time. I really judged him for this.
As I grew up totally fascinated by the structure of professionalism in the porn industry – it was important to me that a paid photographer didn’t sexualise the women he was capturing. It’s creepy, isn’t it. If you’re a pornstar you’re doing a job. If you’re a photographer you’re doing a job. There are means of combatting this – some porn-patrons don’t like it when a girls ‘faking it’. So y’know, that was probably how we got self-shot porn, couples porn etc. A little more realism for the fantasists.
Here is some hairloss. My hair hasn’t been washed in ages so it’s “greasy”, flat and it’s much easier to see that it’s kinda getting thin. If you want to help someone get over anorexia, or teach them not to spend any extended period of time starving themselves – feel free to show them this photo of me.
It’s slowly growing back, but I got set back by spending years of my life being depressed, stressed out, spending years of my life on psychiatric medication, being vegetarian, taking those hormones that stop you from getting pregnant – etc.
If it never grows back fully (it will) but if it doesn’t, I’d happily get some kind of creative tattoo or something. I love head-tattoos. I could get a fringe but fringes are so high maintenance.
Ok lets do a meta-time-jump. When I was in Denmark I met this guy who… Lets call him Lassie. was a drummer… and a ‘friend’ of a guy I was trying my darned tootin’ hardest to make envious. (Genuinely sorry on all accounts, it was a failed ambition)
On one occasion I was talking to Lassie in a smoking garden in Copenhagen while guy-I-was-trying-to-make-jealous (he did it first) was taking a break from a performance. This guy was kind of flirting with me – maybe – he invited the girl I invited and myself to his place, and I invited guy-I-was-trying-to-make-jealous too… The hang out never materialised, because I said to Lassie “you like women you can’t have”. He stormed off. Child. In any case I later explained to him that the appropriate response to a statement like that, was I can have ANYONE I want. Kind of teaching him some self esteem through being an asshole. It’s my style – I don’t recommend you steal it. Really. Don’t compare yourself to me, don’t adopt my methods, don’t do as I do. Just don’t. Intention is everything. The ability to reflect is everything. If your motivation is “get laid” or “get paid”, you are not in any place to be playing my game. Not judging, just being honest
Have you ever seen that Die Antwoord interview where Ninja says “You’re not on my level”??? I can’t find a gif of that on google image and it’s just… so appropriate.
This Aryan inner-fat-kid never got over his insecurities, that came from growing up fat. Lassie. Oh Lassie. Poor, poor Lassie. I have had on/off fat phases my entire life. Who else could’ve helped you really?
Now – I hate to make such a broad statement about a culture, but it’s not observational. I was taught that Danish women are very into “free-sex”. I have so many issues with this notion that I don’t know where to begin – but nothing in this life is free. Nothing. Danes comfortably have sex with whoever they’re interested in, commitment is a huge deal.
However, I didn’t really experience any couples or people in relationships that I believed to have any kind of in-love connection. I’m an empath – I spent a lot of my life as a selective mute and in doing so I learned to “think” in “feelings”. I was lied to a lot as a kid too – so often I had to choose between reading the “atmosphere” of a situation or what I was told. I learned far too late that what I was told was often a product of a speakers self deception.
In any case… I like to play the “challenge” game. I’m still learning it – but I think it is my favourite “game”. For example – I might reeeeally want to sleep with someone, but that is SO rare. So why not prolong it? Lassie told me that he wasn’t looking for love, or a relationship. That didn’t upset me.. I didn’t want that from him either. Poor thing. He accidentally used “lines” on me that I had used on his friend… the issue being that my “lines” are actually fully sincere. You don’t need a line when real feelings exist. You just need to say something that you really feel.
Lassie very abruptly put his hand on my butt (Do not fucking touch me unless I touch you first) and said “you’re beautiful”. I was in such shock about his ineptitude at creating at least the illusion of a connection that I smiled.. put my hand on his chest and said “you’re beautiful”. I guess I triggered a lot of issues in him with that (sexless) night we spent together. He must’ve heard about me and his friend spending ages touching each other… so he uh. He coerced me into spending the night (I had made no efforts to be sex-ready by the way. NONE.) and there I was, in his double bed, staring into space completely mortified that this guy was touching me. And he was a good looking guy but there was no substance to him, just him kind of …recreating the conversation I had with our mutual. Telling me he wanted kids, telling me the only thing he was good at was sex… I was trying desperately hard not to know what was going on but I did know, and it was awkward. I think I really triggered his insecurities. He told me I was intense… that is a really weird criticism to hear from someone who claims to be good at sex. If you’re good-at-sex you don’t even really need to talk to a person. An exchange of glances is really all you need.
So… some time after, I wanted to send him a nude. I only had two nudes in my phone at the time. I’ve dubbed it the “pity nude” … I sent him a photograph where I had a weird shadow line going up from my pubic area to my belly button and it really looked like hair. Maybe some of it was, I am Arabic. You can’t see it in my skin tone but you can see it in the shape of my eyes. I felt like he showed it to all of his friends. I wasn’t remotely bothered by it but I was bothered by something else: he had a real issue with my body hair actually. But everyone has their preferences and a right to their preferences and most importantly, most crucially: who am I to judge your tastes.
Back to Araki.
When I was studying for my GCSEs a really, really, really amazing woman told me about Araki. She told me that there was a period in Japanese Art History in which having a roll of film developed that featured a composition depicting a woman with pubic hair was illegal. Documenting a woman with pubic hair was ILLEGAL. Fucking hell.
Soo0o Araki took hundreds upon hundreds of polaroids featuring women with ‘unkempt’ vaginal hair. I’ve never managed to find the work online, I’ve only heard about it and visualised it.
Thinking about Araki, I took & edited this collection of photos. Now, I have to admit: I’ve shaved a little bit, and trimmed not too long ago.
It’s not a depiction of the admittedly-pretty-extreme extent of ‘unkempt’ that my personal genetics can afford. Isn’t it bizarre though, that Islam, a typically Arab religion, has such a hateful regard for female body hair???
Araki is a fantastic artist who creates vibrant & powerful images of the female form that are both erotic and glorious painting-with-light works. I discussed him in my personal statement, which I submitted to get onto my film degree course. I had help from a guy called Walter, who I met through Godsgirls, and was a kind of babysitter (I was nineteen but in my opinion… nineteen year olds are babies that need sitting. Just because you’re ‘legal’ doesn’t mean you’re not a KID.). Walter was a great-flirty babysitter, he was a genius, had had self esteem issues, studied Art and really helped me develop my academic opinions. He linked me to a site that gave me links to stream Disney movies – something I really needed at the time because I was very lonely. He helped me to write my dissertation (using a first draft I had composed but taking it a bit further) andddd although I disagree now, he told me that when the female form is captured it becomes an object. But it was an interesting insight into the male sexuality which has always been fascinating to me. Walt was a feminist of sorts, much more so than most of the women that I e-encountered on GodsGirls.
Walt and I talked a lot about various erotic artists, and it was never ever energetically-creepy. He was a pretty amazing companion for that phase of my teens and his art education influenced the direction of my own. The exchange of ideas that the internet affords humanity is something that often gets undermined, or at least not properly acknowledged. But I remember sharing what I had learned about Araki – that I was upset because I felt he was sexualising his models… and that this was really, really unprofessional. Unethical. Wrong. That is – I thought he was wrong. That online porn-community illustrated a PAST phase of the sex-industry that was fundamentally important. What a friend of sorts called Ian would describe as “baby steps”. (We once had an e-date where we watched Agora and I got upset with Hypatia for being so intelligent and forward thinking for her time, for being a feminist before the word existed & yet having slaves…)
An old bestfriend I met on Myspace (that looks a lot like Peaches did before her plastic surgeries) – through lurking Chase Lisbon (who made a film about us… years after a chat with me in which I told him that I wanted to direct Erotic movies…) and she once told me that her favourite bit of me was where my legs go in behind the knee. We’ll get to that later. Cute though?! What an unusual compliment.
She might not admit it or ever really acknowledge it but we were sort of … weird internet-Girlfriends. We didn’t meet for years but we were so emotionally dependent on one another, we shared life stories, intimate secrets, nudes… insecurities… exchanged boy advice – everything. We were going to write a coffee-table book about the “Female Experience” based on a pretty successful tumblr that we posted free nudes on, in exchange for a platform to express ourselves on. It garnered a lot of attention, most of which was anonymous. I find anonymity pathetic.
We lived together for awhile in Farnham… She left her country to visit mine, move in with me and ruin my life a little bit. Haha. Maybe I’ll see it as romantic in years to come. We had a lot of funny stories… half assed stoner-girl attempts at making money. We sold underwear (I never sent my pair… but I got a beautiful wooden trunk in the post…) and even webcammed a bit.
Here is some underwear with period blood. Funny.. I had an early period this month. I am an on-the-dot regular with periods. I have a life-long history of having very painful periods with a to-the-date consistency. This particular period was early and very unusual. I don’t know much but I know my body.
Anyway… I’m really into blood.
Back to that girlfriend… what was important is that we were writing, somewhat ambiguously, very-strange open love letters for the boys that lurked us. We made an attempt to create an imagined, visual world that reflected our conjoined sexuality.
She might know it now, we certainly didn’t know it then, but I had a dream about her – she is an astral traveller. In this dream she penetrated me with a sex toy. Without asking. I think I was like “no”, or something, but she went ahead and did it. I woke up in a puddle. This might make you think that it was a rape fantasy – but it really was not. For a start, we were both conscious in the dream, which put us on an even playing ground. And we were – I think – both naked. Iunno. It’s something important to write about – but this isn’t the time.
But this brings me back to that issue I had with Araki. Firstly… it was deeply important that he said what he did – he was capturing images of women being tied up. He found a romantic-ish way of poeticising something very important about sexuality and erotic art – he discussed consent.
There is this particular Kim Kardashian interview floating around on YouTube, where she is asked to offer advice – she says pretty succinctly – “be authentic”. Constructing short statements that are applicable advice to the human condition is the work of a genius. Typically … I think that has been something that Pornography has lacked in.
Kim Kardashian is fantastic to me – d’yu know that she has been a perpetual victim of abuse? And yet actually – there is no victim “mentality” about her. She trusted someone enough to let them film her having sex with him, he released the video, she and her family took control of the situation and she benefited greatly from it. I guess it must be wonderful to have such a fantastic family that can dialogue so honestly.
I don’t really acknowledge anyone as being my family except for my ma (sometimes >:P), my big brother, two aunts (one maternal, one paternal), an uncle on my mother’s side, and a cousin on my dad’s side. For the most part my family ignored the fact that I existed and I thats exactly as I wanted it and always will want it.
But the beauty of how Kim’s “journey” came together was it was illustrative of another narrative… Kim is technically by all accounts a pornstar. And that video release was essentially the product of a relationship that I assume must’ve been strange, a somewhat unacceptable control game.
But: the bit that really matters is that it’s an Authentic work. She was really into the guy she was doing the-sex with. And more importantly, she was into herself. She wasn’t doing it for cash.
And so Kim Kardashian, thankyou for letting me feel comfortable in feeling love for one of my favourite Artists and helping me to justify a form of Art that means so much to me.
Araki might be a womaniser… but there’s no deception – no attempt to hide it. His work is AUTHENTIC. The expressions and energy and emotions in his photography are real! He has a harem of models! Women he doesn’t have to abuse, roofie, lie to or make feel insecure to be his muses. That’s amazing! That is really, really, REALLY amazing!
People direct a lot of negativity at Kim K for her success, people – men and women alike -take the piss of her, call her stupid – etc. She has constant abuse directed at her and she has pretty masterfully owned it all. She and Jennifer Lopez have literally shaped a huge-ass mould perception of beauty. Thankyou, on the behalf of woman-kind for embracing yer generous behinds ladiez.
I lived my life being really embarrassed about how big my ass was y’know!
There isn’t much on my body that I haven’t been insulted about. Lets start with my face. My eyes are one of my very favourite qualities. They have a weird shape, they are a bit big in terms of proportion (So is my head tho) and.. I know theres no continuity here but lets include a clothed photo for a moment… Here are the individuals that made me love the shadows under my eyes. They both suffer with insomnia. I do not suffer with insomnia. I sleep plenty. I get criticised for that too. People will insult ANYTHING if you give them permission to.
I had a childhood friend that at one point in our teens, taught me the word “feminism” but also told me I had “thunder thighs”? And told me that another of her bestfriends said I had “rats eyes”. I didn’t get insecure on either of those occasions, but sometimes hateful comments sit with you and quietly grow into something that can really damage your self esteem. A woman with poor self esteem has the ability to ruin the lives of people she has never even met. Sometimes you see people who have the audacity to leave comments on, Iunno, BEYONCE’s page – from insulting Blue Ivy’s appearance to insulting Beyonce’s. These are people who empower young girls, lets accept that Beyonce has learned how to ignore nasty comments through her time in the public eye – lets accept that she probably knows exactly what to say to Blue Ivy about how people have a tendency to thoughtlessly insult a person’s appearance – but what about some little girl or boy reading Beyonce’s comments? What about some retarded guy who sees a new insult and uses that to hurt a woman who has spent her life being bombarded with media and other people’s perceptions of beauty that makes her feel unattractive?? Some people haven’t been raised properly, some people do not have a good sense of self esteem that allows them to cope with the hive-mind mentality of bringing other people down. Insulting other people does not give you hot points. (Although even I do it sometimes, if I get a bit jelly. I am working on it but y’know. At least I am self aware. Change begins with self awareness.)
In my teens I once told a doctor that I wanted to have my legs shaved down. He said that when I was older I would probably change my mind. He was right!
My brother (aquarius) was a gamer, and he once showed me Chun Li. I had a crush on Chun Li. He did it just to show me that big legs aren’t unattractive. Chun Li’s legs are huge. Later in my life I would come across Blood the Last Vampire – she had “big legs” too. My favourite ever ex (aquarius) got an erection from her shouting “SWORD”.
I have a memory of having a “foot-battle” with a best friend… we were on a train and we sat on opposite one another in a narrow carriage. We put our feet against one another with our knees facing North. The winner of the game was the person who could get their legs straight. I am extremely reluctant to do any kind of exercise so he assumed he would win… I was quite chubby at the time but also… He didn’t know that I had spent my life swimming, doing ballet (and other lesser forms of dance [insert devil emoji]), gymnastics, acrobatics and that kind of nonsense. I won!!! He’s bulked up though, so I think he would win now though. Ha.
Something to tell your kids – do exercise now, so when you’re older you don’t really have to, but when and IF you do you won’t be building muscle – you’ll be regenerating muscle memory. And the thing about Ballet is technique. I once watched this Flamenco dancer talking about dance and he said that he was told that no matter WHAT kind of dance you do – you HAVE to study ballet too. Foundations.
Segueway… I’ve never really been all that taken by (I stole this term from a Germaine Greer book I read years ago) pop pornography. I loved the Spice Girls, I loved the tacky electro-pop-colourful-hair aesthetic of the musicians I grew up glimpsing. Before I reached my teens. A discussion for another time. But my understanding of beauty has come from cartoons. The 2D Universe. It’s been a process. If you like cartoons I’d advise you to watch the ones featuring the characters you fancied as a kid and work out the real narrative behind their character make up. I think Walt Disney was a genius. He had some terrible opinions to add some shadow to his make up, an imperfect man who found a means of creating childhood fantasies, using animate-art to narrativise the archetypes of humanity in a tolerable and enjoyable way. Sure you can make a Greek vase move if you spin it around fast enough but does it really compare to these magnetic caricatures?
Isn’t it interesting how “evil” archetypes like Ursula are depicted as being ugly? “Fat”… Short (unfeminine?????? wat is femininity????) hair… Harsh “masculine” chain-smokey-cigarettey voice… Callous nature… How did she HAPPEN? Do you know there is a VERY brief moment in the film where Ursula tries to explain her intentions to Ariel and we don’t get a chance to witness that. We never hear this woman’s story. We never get an explanation. All we know is she’s conventionally unattractive compared to all the mermaids, that she keeps agreements, that she lives with two electric eels, that she knows magic and doesn’t need a trident. Y’know. Basic details. Thats all we know.
Now. Take a look at the muses! Different shapes and sizes. Different hairstyles. Different expressions of feminine movement. This film came out when Western culture was still struggling to depict and portray the sexy black woman. Sometimes it is simply too difficult to reach adults – they’re kind of set in their ways. Kids brains are more receptive to necessary change. Kids are the future. The shape of evolution exists within the potential of the little-humans that understand the world MUCH better than we do. It’s just a shame that most of them have ‘parents’…
Back to the muses. Do you know… I feel like I’ve met all of them in different forms. I mean… People who embodied these energies. Almost as if I spent lots of my childhood thinking about them, and manifesting them, a chance to experience them as real beings.
My very, very favourite is the short – chubby one. There are better words to describe these physical characteristics, like shapely, voluptuous etc. But I think using these words out of some kind of sympathy, to make her love herself more for example, is sad. She deserves better. In fact why does her physical really matter…? What words would you use to describe the physical build of the skinnier muses?
Anyway. “Short” muse… She’s fucking hilarious! She’s OCD. She’s DAINTY. She’s a …harmless… pervert. I wish I could draw hentai so I could depict how hot she is.
At some point in my internetting, I learned about movie “cross-overs”. Which helped me to better understand the recurring stories and energy pantheons in film.
“Short muse” reminds me of the oracle in the Matrix. I talk about her sooo often don’t I.
A mature woman, who embodies a young at heart spirit yet also a demeanour one might describe as ‘maternal’, who carries that I-knows-stuff-you-don’t-and-you-better-listen-to-it-if-you-want-to-survive vibe with such grace that she even offers you a cookie, or candy… that false-submissive energy… a character who literally affords you the illusion of feeling empowered just so she can help you.
Here is my conclusion.
I’m interested in producing high quality images that depict a false sense of what I perceive to be perfection. I know my script – people get upset when I look good. So I’ll put up all of my insecurities for you to oggle at, hotlink to people that might find me attractive etc – basically I apologise for the Worst of Me which is yet to come.
FYI I haven’t photoshopped anything – and not because I can’t – but because I’ve chosen not to. The only thing I’ve altered is the colour, contrast and light. If I didn’t do that, I really wouldn’t feel like I was making Art. And that goes against my personal values, against my justification of using the female form in Art.
Until reality reflects my dreamscape, I do not want to create work that reflects it. I see perfection and beauty in even the people I despise – so once again to almost-quote Kim K – (In response to “be authentic”)
That is REALLY good advice – but I’m not going to take it!
Final point… How amazing is this – North West is so little and she’s already an amazing photographer? She’s so lucky to be inspired by lots of muses. She’s an artist. My mother is very conservative but she never had a problem with me taking nude photos of myself or other people (EVEN HER!) as long as I could justify how and why they were art. When I was seventeen I doctored my passport so I could apply for a porn site. Someone told on me, I got removed from the site. I was really, really upset. I remember being in my room infront of the computer, unable to log in. I think I cried, contacted the owner and she told me that she had realised I was underage. She really told me off. My mother came in and asked why I was upset – and I told her what I had done. She did not give a fuck. This is a born again christian woman who at times is a little too judgemental towards exhibitionists, but also she knew that I really wanted to be on that site so I could express myself and become a photographer. She said maybe the woman that owned the site would let me reapply when I was eighteen. She did. But uh. The girls on that site had an excuse to be hateful towards me and they took it. The site got really boring after all that…
This is a model that used to be on that site, called Skin Diamond. Doesn’t she look like a fragment of North!? This is a conversation better suited to a time when people understand the truth of this Planet a little better, though.
OMG imagine if Kanye and Kim hired epic photographers to tutor North? My mother always knew for example that I was never going to do that well in science exams – but she always said that what was important was the conversations I was having. Perhaps there is no artist on this Planet that can really tutor North – but at least trigger things she already knows… so she has a head start on her future?
I wonder when she’ll have her first art exhibition… When she’ll make her first movie. Own her own fashion house.
Don’t you think it’s artists that should be teaching people sex education..?