Nude Modeling and Slut Shaming: ACRONYM's Thoughts

Hello All, 
I don't post on here all too often, because as a writer as well as a photographer, I have another platform for it. But as a photographer, this issue has continually plagued and concerned me. 

I consider myself having a side business. And with my side business comes a lot of women in the 18-25 range that are trying to build a portfolio of modeling. As I start working with someone who's trying to break onto the scene or trying to add to a portfolio, I tell them all to stay well rounded, and to not suck themselves into one genre. 

One of those realms of grey area is "nude modeling" or "lingerie."

Now, I find that as time goes on, more and more women are going the route of showing skin. I am not here to bash that, and I've photographed it myself, as you've probably seen. And there's a sense between showing, well, putting it indelicately, as "ratchet" photos, versus tasteful and classy photography with a lot of skin shown.  

There are many photographers out there, especially from my "crew" of photographer friends, who have mastered the art of showing the sexy side of women, without showing too much, and some push the envelope, but it still remains as one thing: art. 

There is a difference between art and trying to gain likes for attention. A lot of the women out there, fresh on the scene, they learn the difference between the two, one way or another. So I find that with most of the women I've come in contact with and try to work with know where I stand, and go down the right path. 

I'm here to say this, it's OKAY to be sexy. It's OKAY to want to do boudoir photography. And yes, sometimes that will land you in some backlash. But in the end, if you choose to do that, that is your decision as a model, and I plan to stand by you. 

I posted a screenshot of an article from Us Magazine today on my Instagram about Kendall Jenner. She did a shoot with Calvin Klein, where she's in nothing but a thong. The photo is classy, even more so, gorgeous. It's not a disgusting representation, in my opinion. Sure, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it made me think: Why is it okay for a woman in Hollywood, like Kendall allowed in society to do tasteful nude modeling, but yet a model in Detroit just getting started gets slut shamed? 

It is a local epidemic in the Detroit scene. A friend and photographer in Detroit, who I will leave nameless was privy to a slew of backlash from friends, family, and social media for his choice of photographing mostly nude or implied nude models. 

He said, "They told me that I only photograph sluts." 

How is that fair, when what he creates is art? This is all art, and it's the interpretation of the viewer how they take it. Yes, some are more modest as others. But I could cover a woman with paint two years ago, and shoot her topless, and nobody questioned it on my end. Only did her family members. 

Now, I post a shot of a woman topless with only under-boob showing, draped in an American flag, and she is posed, just as a Calvin Klein model. 

Image VIA PopSugar Eva Mendez and Jamie Dornan

Image VIA PopSugar
Eva Mendez and Jamie Dornan

My question is, what is the difference? Same general premise. Only one is local, and one is of a celebrity. It's a double standard.

Then in the male vs. female trend of celebs, it's fine if Justin Bieber goes bare butt on Instagram, but if Demi Lovato looks sexy on Instagram, she's slut shamed too? 

We need to stop berating women into thinking that their bodies are subject of shame. Now, I will say this much, I will not compromise my work or my art to make people feel comfortable. Someone said once that "art is supposed to make people feel uncomfortable" to consider it as effective. And sure, that might be a valuable theory. But on the flip side, I would never post something that I didn't stand behind as an artist. I may accept money sometimes for shoots, and I may post  things that you may not like, but I am first and foremost an artist, not a corporation. 

And with that message, I end this with one sentiment: Stop the slut shaming. 

Love,
AC