Today’s image is Not Safe For Work (NSFW for short), so I am just providing a link and some commentary. Images are normally marked this way for nudity, regardless of context (anything from porn to art nude to images of breast feeding of all things). I don’t see as many “NSF” images of violence, guns, or hunters posing beside a defenceless animal they’ve just killed, which is a pretty damning indictment of our society.
That’s not my main point of the post today though; I had a meeting with a model a couple of days ago about an upcoming shoot, and she mentioned that because she planned one day to be a teacher, she need to pose using a pseudonym (actually a couple of different ones), in order to segment this part of her life from the rest of her online persona that would likely be evaluated when she entered the field. The assumption is that if nude images were connected to her, the controversy would end her career.
Now it goes without saying that the vast majority of teachers are dedicated people with a positive influence on the lives of their students, but when I think of the news stories of teachers who were pedophiles, or engaged in exploitative relationships with students, were violent, or taught racist/homophobic ideas, I don’t recall hearing any of them being nude models, yet people still make snap judgements about a person’s morals, based on images that are seemingly Not Safe For Working. How about recognizing courage and risk taking for the purposes of making art?
About a year ago I did a self portrait where I am surrounded by cameras (and nothing else). It’s not a nude shot, in the sense that certain pieces of equipment are hidden by other pieces of equipment, but it is on the edgy side, and I had one person at work who saw the image draw me aside and tell me I was taking a risk. It was hidden for a while, but then I made the link public again, and public it has stayed; to keep it hidden would in my mind be hypocritical, disrespectful to the models I work with, and a sign I was giving into negative public attitudes.