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« Tinkertoys | Main | One cheer, or thereabouts, for multiculturalism »

February 16, 2005

Confessions of a Naked Model

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

This posting is interdit aux moins de 18 ans.

That's foreign-film talk for: this installment of "Confessions of a Naked Model" is hot stuff, contains naughty words, and is meant for adult eyes only. Consider yourself warned. I.D.'s, please. Now, relax and enjoy.

We're pleased to run another guest posting by "J," an artist and art student who helps pay the bills by working as an artists' model. J's site, where you can enjoy her art and explore some fun links, is here. J's previous postings for us are here, here, and here. J's modeling site, where you can enjoy some visuals as well as get in touch with J for modeling dates, is here. You can read an interview with J here.

I'm pleased to pass along some happy news about J's art career too. She's having a show of her delightful art. Here's the official p-r release:

(New York, NY. February 24, 2005) Like corsets and burlesque, pen and ink is a Victorian vestige that's back in fashion. But low prices are forcing some artists away from black and white.

In "Ink! Babes! Irony!", Screw cover artist and pinup model Molly Crabapple says goodbye to her favorite medium. "Colour just pays more" says Molly, who's been exhibiting her hyper-detailed Victorian damsels since 2002. "Love pen and ink as I do, I prefer rent money."

The exhibit will be Molly's last pen and ink show. Her art, which fuses 19th century grotesques, bawdy wenches and sharp socio-sexual commentary, has hung in CBGB's Gallery 313, and been printed in the NY Press.

The opening party promises to be as exciting as the art, with gogo, booze and costumed artists handing out the "Black and White Manifesto".

The show runs at Jigsaw Gallery (526 E 10th St, NY, NY 10003) from February 24 to March 10. The opening's on February 26, 6pm. Come wearing black and white.

Now, on to J's latest bulletin from the naked-modeling front.

jen::s logo.jpg

Spreading It


An Intimate Look at the Beaver Shot

As a nude model, people often ask me what the difference is between my business and pornography. I give them an answer deep with metaphysical significance. "Porn means spreading your legs"

Internet modeling is the Wild West of the modeling world -- complete with tumbleweeds, harlots, and gun-toting outlaws ready to rape us and dump us in the woods. We lack the legitimacy that goes along with an agency contract. No managers make sure we're on time for shoots, or tell us to stay away from the strudel. Perhaps because of this, we cling to our rules with surprising tenacity.

Spreading your legs ("spread shots," in industry parlance) makes you a whore.

Or maybe not a whore. But at least a target for concerned glances. "Poor girl," we pious models cluck. "Whatever could have made her do a thing like that?"

The stigma against spread shots is virulent. While not traumatic in themselves (like an all-anal gangbang for meatholes.com), they can destroy relationships and end jobs.

This is because spread shots can never be explained away as artsy. Unlike the million black and white nudes of me taken in front of a dull backdrop, under poor lighting, I could never call a spread shot poetic, or ethereal. It's jack-off fodder.

I could never -- as I do the rest of my portfolio -- show a spread shot to my mom.

Indirectly, this is why there's a beaver pic or two in so many internet models' pasts. Because spread shots aren't used to pad portfolios, they are the first oint in the industry where you will be paid. Whether or not you are thin, attractive or experienced. Beaver shots pay well, sometimes double the rate for "artistic nude modeling." When you're a would-be glamour model -- or merely a broke and sexually liberated art-chick -- they make a tempting proposition.

But beaver shot are always a stain on one's past -- or at least nothing you want to brag about over the Thanksgiving turkey. The undisputed queen of pinup, Dita Von Teese, started her career sucking her toes with toys up various orifices. Now the most tasteful of her spreads are locked in the inner sanctum of her site's member section -- to be seen only by those who pay for the privilege.

Of course, Dita doesn't do spread shots anymore. As Marilyn Manson's girlfriend, she's surrounded by all the celebrity and wink-wink naughtiness of a coffee-table Vargas girl. In her new shoots for her pay site, we may see a nipple -- if we're lucky.

Other models change their names to break with they quasi-porn pasts. My friend Allie shoots adult content with a wig over her signature neon-orange hair.

Spread shots are so offensive because they make female sexuality so artificial. Everything from the greased labia to the post-orgasmic idiot's simper ("Hey big boy, come on my face") shows men -- and not very sexually-adept men at that -- recreating women into fuckdolls.

But surely a vagina itself isn't the worst thing in the world? Can spread shots ever be okay? Or ever feminist?

To this I'll answer point to Suicidegirls. My feelings about SG (and I am a Suicidegirl) are mixed. It seems PC, bubbly, and glossily corporate. But when Amina Suicide spread her legs, I knew I was looking into the cunt of a brave new world of pornography. Amina's soft strong body -- the sort of body that never diets and looks damn fine for it -- is straight. She isn't smiling. She's looking out at you, with tough, intelligent, unsentimental eyes. She knows what she's doing. She isn't asking for your approval. And she could give a good goddamn whether or not you come.

This is because SG doesn't ask for spreadshots. Girls submit their own photos, usually shot by friends, according to their own, naked limits. And they don't get a penny more for spreading their legs.

"But don't be coy, J," you, my ever-curious reader, say to me. "You haven't told us what we want to know. Were your thighs always so firmly shut?"

Well, noble reader, some say I lay in the studio of the greatest fashion photographer in the world, on a black velvet bed designed for that purpose.

But these are only rumors…

Our thanks once again to "J." And be sure to make it to her art show.

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at February 16, 2005




Comments

Michael:

I am reminding you that editorial policy--which you yourself set!--calls for the obligatory "Michael Blowhard writes:" at the top of every post. Is there a reason you have neglected to use the standard salutation in this particular post, the one entitled "Confessions of a Naked Model"????

Posted by: fenster on February 16, 2005 06:12 PM



This blog is becoming dangerous to my reputation. Probably will improve it.

As a connoisseur of such things, umm, of nude photography I have many examples of the early sixties playmates contorting themselves in order to use a knee as a "figleaf". I have very little true beaver in my collection. I prefer positions that at least look natural, with hair that is trimmed but not sculpted, and a umm plumbing that is neither denied not displayed. I also have true porno, most of it "classic age" 75-85 stuff.

And women as "fuckdolls"? I can't fantasize to a picture of a stranger I have never heard speak or know nothing about. I guess other men can. I guess there are all kinds of objectification.

Posted by: bob mcmanus on February 16, 2005 06:31 PM



Never been sure how best to handle guest postings. But you're right, a "Michael Blowhard writes" probably makes sense up top, tks.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 16, 2005 06:31 PM



I am consistently impressed with the intellectual caliber of this site. Why not put up some Tom-of-Finland images so no one can accuse you of sexist smuttiness?

Posted by: winifer skattebol on February 17, 2005 09:31 PM



Well, if you ever come to Pennsylvania, remember that you have to go through Blue Balls to get to Intercourse. Oh, and don't forget to head on over to Beaver while you're at it.

Posted by: onetwothree on February 18, 2005 12:40 AM






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