Body image, sexuality, and self discovery

JL7Photography_Maki_FortheWeb_0001

Photo By: JL7 Photography

So I wanted to talk a bit about the last picture I posted on my fanpage (no; not Booster Gold lol). I was approached by JL7 Photography, who is fantastic, about doing a contemporary/classic Fall photoshoot. I loved the concept, but was extremely intimidated by….clothes. 

 
HERE ME OUT!! You all know me, more or less, for my cosplay, my fetish

maki-quickies-2

Photo By: Henry Riggs

modeling or burlesque. In other words; in very little clothing. It’s my thing. It’s what I’d like to say I’m good at.  No one coerced me into it, nor did I do it to generate a fanbase. For me; being sultry, being sexy, being badass; that’s my wheelhouse. It’s so much easier to me to feel confident when the focus is on my body/what I do with it, because that’s an effortless thing now. So to put on a dress that covered most of my body, , to let the main focus be my eyes, my hair, my body placement, the scenery, put me in a very vulnerable state. It was a challenge for me.  It also allowed me a moment of reflection. 

We all know that sex sells, and that your marketability in the fast paced world of social media depends not only on how quick you can get content

AshB_Images_Gamora

Photo By: AshB Images

to your audience, but also generating content that they like.  When you build a big enough audience, the pressure to keep them entertained, or satisfied is staggering.  There is a stark difference in the amount of attention I get from a latex shot vs me in full armor (I won’t tell you which is more favored, a bit of a social experiment, if you will).  If you truly wish to make a living off of yourself as someone with a sexually driven fanbase, sometimes that means taking the paid project where you model lingerie over the artsy, period-era portraits.  Of course; it’s a lot easier as a hobbyist, and fortunately that is what I am.  Should it be that way though?

Why are we, as human beings, programmed to think that the human body is this vessel where the driving force in media is to be sexualized.  Why am I quicker to share a sexy costume, over a beautiful handmade dress?   Why when nude or near nude bodies are shared on social media sites, in a nonsexual way (cosplay, for example) are there always those who choose to comment in a degrading or demeaning way?  Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone, and certain social media sites tend to restrict post reach, but it still applies to quite a bit.  Does it depend on the gender? Maybe the country? Lets go bigger and say continent, where perhaps seeing a naked woman or man walking around is common.  Food for thought.
So here I am, sitting here in this long, flowing dress, thinking that I am about to show myself as an artist more than I ever have before.  The weird part is, I am probably one of the few who will see it as such.

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