Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Posing nude pt2: "I began to regard my body as a money-making tool"

It's odd that we tend to get outraged about people with double standards. Pity is the more appropriate reaction because most double standards are a result of a staggering lack of self awareness. The quote in the subject line above is from an article in which a woman writes an anonymous confession of her time as a nude model for photographers. Her tone throughout is one of regret coupled with self justification. But the thing to notice what she fails to realize about herself.

The thing she wants you to know is that most of the guys who hired her were creeps.
The sad truth is that most of the photographers who I worked with were usually men with lucrative jobs who were willing to heavily invest in their “new photography hobby.” Their photos were unfailingly amateur and cheesy, but they were always the ones willing to pay my $150 flat rate for three hours of shooting. During those shoots I always felt like a piece of meat: they most likely booked me just to spend time with a naked girl. Don’t misunderstand, not all of the photographers operated like this; some were very talented and I was deeply honored to work with them. But the large majority of them were creeps.
As I said in my first post on this subject, the first temptation is to ask, "What part of 'naked woman equals suggestion of sex' do you not understand?"And the question is even more pertinent in this case. The modelling was not for art students but for private sessions. What kind of man pays for private sessions with a naked woman?

But even worse than that is the flip side: What kind of woman accepts money to take her clothes off for a private session with her customer? That question never seems to have crossed the mind of our friend anonymous.

Here is what the real-life version of Breaking Bad looks like:
I reached the height of my nude modeling career when I began my senior year of college. Having made a name for myself within the ModelMayhem community, I’d spend up to five hours a day networking on the site. I averaged two to three photo shoots a week and was bringing in around $2000 a month. For a college student, that’s quite a lot of money.
Actually, no it isn't a lot of money. Not if you're spending several hours a day networking and doing two or three sessions a week. It's entirely possible that her real motives her weren't about money, or weren't only about the money.

Later, when she tells us why she stopped doing nude modelling, she lets the cat out of the bag. Read the following sentences slowly, saving yourself for the revelation in the last one:
It wasn’t just how I felt about my body that started to chafe; nude modeling began to feel violating. There was the hobbyist photographer in New Jersey who —unbeknownst to me —zoomed in on my crotch during our entire shoot. There was the nude photography workshop where I was pressured into spreading my legs (something I always said I’d never do) for an erotic shot. There were the photographers who wanted to pay me for sex. There were the old men who just needed somebody to listen to them. There were the numerous photographers I did have sex with.
The numerous photographers (AKA "paying customers") she did have sex with! That's kind of, well, creepy. It also sounds like prostitution. Because it is!

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