The More Extreme the Better?

Photo by Pirate Photography

Extreme enough? Photo by Pirate Photography

It seems that, lately, a lot of musicians have been venturing out into the alternative and even the fetish scene with their music and especially with their videos! The likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry and, of course, Lady Gaga have been releasing singles that would have been considered very taboo not long ago, and still are to some people! Music videos are becoming more and more raunchy, with sexual references left right and centre.

The thing is, that taboo topics and sexual liberation are becoming more and more embraced and enjoyed by society, with the most abstract, unique, sexual and obscure videos and songs being the most popular. It seems that these days it’s pretty hard to be “alternative”, or produce artwork that is considered unique or shocking any more because everyone’s doing their best to be the most extreme! We won’t have many taboo areas left to explore soon!

I feel, that with the internet becoming so popular in the past decade, it’s really helped pioneer a new age and a new generation of thinking. We have all the information we could ever want at our fingertips, and that includes sexual things. We, as a society, are becoming desensitised by everything we can so easily see on the internet. Is it good or bad or a bit of both, though?

I think there are good points and bad points to the way we can use the internet these days. It’s very easy for children to come across things that they may not be capable of understanding at such a young age, but that also ties into the debate about parents making sure that their children are correctly supervised – so I feel that making sure that children are safe is definitely the responsibility of the parents, so I won’t say anything more on that matter! I do love being able to find new things wherever I look, and love that self-acceptance is being promoted more and more online.

But one thing that does worry me, is the increasing number of songs that are of a sexual nature, that make it seem okay to act in certain ways. Lady Gaga and Ke$ha are the two people who come to mind when I think about this. I feel it’s actually a human rights issue! One song’s lyrics that particularly irk me is Ke$ha’s Tik Tok, where she says “Boys tryin’ to touch my junk, gonna smack him if he getting too drunk”. She’s describing sexual assault! If someone tried to touch my “junk, I’d definitely be doing more than slapping them for being too drunk. I don’t want our society to think that behaving like that is okay, or that justice is served with a mere slap! I’d love for people in society to respect others, and for people to respect their own bodies.

Another song that bothers me is Lady Gaga’s Just Dance. The whole song seems to be about a woman who is far too drunk for her own good. I know that everyone does have moments where they drink too much, but Gaga seems to be condoning that sort of behaviour and normalising it, and I don’t feel it should be normalised. People that drunk are very vulnerable and there are health risks with drinking that much on a regular basis.

These songs are played on the radio as well and I know that preteens can easily hear these songs and some young people look for idols and role models and often find them in the pop world. I would just love it if there could be some more positive songs out these days that aren’t just about sex, drugs and alcohol.

Rihanna’s recent single, S&M, was incredibly popular as well, embracing the fetish lifestyle and sadism and masochism. However, I don’t know how many people know what S & M truly is about, as her video doesn’t do a great job of depicting it! But heck, it’s still somewhat taboo and I guess if the video had depicted S & M accurately, it probably wouldn’t have aired! But heck, she was wearing latex in the video so I can’t really complain. :p

I know that some of you may wonder why I’m concerned about society seeing the above issues I described as normal and acceptable, yet I’m a nude model who posts pictures of myself all over the internet. Well, I’m all for nudity and freedom of expression. I don’t feel as though my pictures are harming anyone or condoning behaviour that is harmful to oneself or others. I don’t feel that a lot of my work is suitable for children but, as I mentioned earlier, I feel it’s the parents’ responsibility to make sure that their child is protected. I know that this doesn’t always work out for the best, but I can always wish for a perfect world!

So, to conclude, I thought I’d share this Katy Perry video that came out recently. I thought it was quite fitting because I feel that it’s may be inspired by a lot of things over the past twenty years. It reminds me of A Clockwork Orange, 300, Fallout (the video game), Wall-E, Final Fantasy and Planet Earth (a TV programme narrated by David Attenborough)! I wasn’t keen on the advertising of the sunglasses, but that’s always being done in music videos these days! :(

I’d love to hear your opinions on this matter! So, get replying and tell me what you think! :)

Nude Modelling – To Bare All Or Not To Bare All?

Photo by Tate Hemlock

Photo by Tate Hemlock

I started modelling in spring last year and at the time, I always told photographers I wasn’t willing to shoot topless or any nudity. I was happy being topless so long as my boobs were covered, however (implied topless). This was partially because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to take my modelling career, if I truly wanted to pursue it at all! I decided to try a few photoshoots to see what I thought.

On my second ever photo shoot, I was wearing an underbust corset and using my hands to cover my boobs (the notorious “hand bra”). One of the pictures happened to show my nipple inintentionally and the photographer sent me the picture in hopes of me approving his use of it! I said to him that I absolutely loved it but still wasn’t completely comfortable with it being put online. I mulled it over for a couple of days and decided that I did want to put it on my portfolio; I felt it showed me in a positive light and was tasteful. What did I have to lose?

So, upon uploading the picture to my Model Mayhem account, I was nervous about the reactions I’d get. But they were all positive, which was awesome and very encouraging! Since then, I’ve very happily shot topless.

But, my levels were to change again! I’ve shot with Mark Fiddian many times now, and the more I shot with him, the more I trusted him and the better our pictures got! Over time, our shots tended to get more and more risqué. I recently grew out my pubes, which meant it was easier to shoot me and not have too much showing. I’ve got a couple of artistic nudes that I’m very happy with on my portfolio – and you guys seem to like them too! I’ve had a lot of positive feedback.

But how can all of this help you with your decision when it comes to nude modelling? I’d like to conclude with some tips that really helped me make my choices. I’m now a nude model but won’t shoot full frontal (open legs) and I’m very comfortable with that!

My first suggestion would be to never let other people push your limits. Only shoot what you are comfortable with shooting. If you get your pictures back and feel that you should have shown some boob (or something else), then you can always try that another time! But once you’ve taken your clothes off on the internet, you can’t put them back on (so to speak)!

One thing that I feel is very important when it comes to shooting nudes is that you don’t start your modelling career by saying you are willing to shoot nude. There are a lot of “photographers” out there that will see you are new and try and convince you to shoot with them. You’ll often end up with bad pictures (if you even get pictures at all). Saying you don’t shoot nude will deter people who have an agenda. But that is not to say that the world is filled with perverts! It’s just a very good idea to build a strong non-nude portfolio before you venture into the realms of getting naked.

Find a photographer that you’re comfortable with! If you can trust a photographer and know that he’ll delete anything that’s too much for you, this can be very helpful! It’ll allow you to push your limits in a safe environment, knowing that if you feel a certain picture shows too much, you can ask the photographer to delete it and it will be done! Shoot with a photographer you get on well with a couple of times, and then try becoming more experimental. :)

I will also say that it’s a good idea to go one step at a time, like I did. That way, if you feel uncomfortable about being topless, it’s less to refgre than if you were completely naked in the pictures! If you take it one step at a time, you’ll be able to ease into a level that suits you, be it fully covered or completely naked!

Lastly, but most importantly, always make it clear to every photographer you work with what your levels are! Do this before you arrive to shoot. It’s not fun to find out last minute that the photographer was expecting more of you than you’re willing to show! If a photographer asks you to show more than you feel comfortable with, make sure things are clear and if you feel the photographer is being pushy, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with ending the shoot because it’s unprofessional to push levels. If a photographer wants a nude model, they should hire a nude model instead of pushing someone, who isn’t happy showing all, into showing all!

If you have any questions or wish to share your experiences with nude modelling, feel free to leave a comment here or on Facebook.

Also, if you found this article useful, please share it with your friends so as they can benefit as well. :)

Yesterday’s Antics With Tate Hemlock

I was really luck to have been able to work with Tate Hemlock yesterday! I had so much fun and am so pleased with the pictures I’ve seen from the shoot, so far. :)

We went out in St. Ives to shoot for a little bit and Tate was saying “Hi!” to just about every person we passed or that passed us. It was kinda comical, and one lady started talking to us…and telling us some interesting things about her that we really didn’t need to know. It was slightly creepy, but we managed to escape! We saw her later in the afternoon but she didn’t notice us on our way back!

We also headed into Cambridge to shoot. We made our way down to the Quayside and walked down by the river and took some shots there. One of the guys working at the punting companies let us shoot in a punt (provided we were quick).

Then, on our way back to shoot in an alleyway, we met another man working for the punting company who was mooring a punt and Tate said “Hi!” to him as well! He got chatting away and I ended up standing there like an idiot (again). One thing led to another and he ended up standing guard down the alleyway while Tate and I shot. I was wearing leggings, boots and pasties! We talked to him again after we’d finished taking pictures and found out that he works as a police officer and knows five languages! He’d also done a lot of other crazy things in his life and was a Cambridge graduate. Tate and I agreed that he’d be a good catch if he wasn’t married (and had been with his wife for eight years). That’s typical, though! Oh and he was South African – I noticed his accent, which was quite faint and felt very proud of myself for doing so.

After this, Tate and I got some Japanese food from Teri Aki’s and ate it in my car. All in all, I had an amazingly fun day.

Sometimes I know that the things I experience, I’d never get to do if I weren’t a model. It’s mad. Just last weekend I was down in London and saw the Eye, Big Ben, the houses of Parliament and various other buildings in central London. It was so surreal because those are places people usually go for sightseeing and there were loads of tourists meandering around when I drove across Tower Bridge. I was there for work (though it was for Comic Relief so I wasn’t making any money that day) and it felt so weird to think that I wasn’t there to do the same thing as these pedestrians. I felt glad in many ways to be living my life. :)