I was never the girl next door.
Happy Birthday Bettie!
She was a stunningly beautiful and complicated soul, the best are.
When I think of savage…alluring…yet restrained beauty…I always think of Bettie Page.
(Images by Bunny Yeager)
there are some pretty people
on this earth, my goodness.
the sad part is it takes most
people a lifetime to realize
what pretty is
and how to see it.
revelations of our aesthetic
one day it will be much too late
the burden of beauty unseen
will hit you like a comet to the
all I ask from you now
is to love what is difficult
to love and
find what is difficult to see.
–Christopher Poindexter (emphasis added)
I have been thinking a lot about beauty these days…probably related to the most recent (if exhaustingly derivative) wave of social media obsessions (makeup, bodies, fashion, etc.) which always seem to reflect beauty norms in the most insidious manner…or maybe because as I approach a “certain age” I find…
I am more aware,
and more accepting of beauty in ALL forms.
Meaning I see beauty in those visions, sounds, textures, tastes that previously I had rejected or quite honestly…hadn’t even noticed
(because these experiences are typically not spoon-fed to us…as beauty).
It’s sad…I mourn the loss, the expanse of beauty, I only now understand.
It is also wonderful.
It’s so new.
It’s so lush…it has a depth and a richness, a confidence I’ve never before known.
I don’t think I could have known it, with my untuned senses…blunted by the heavy weight thrown mostly on the young…weight you don’t even fully perceive until you become “old-enough”…and then, you shed it.
You shed it and you become beauty.
But unlike any you’ve ever known…because it’s source is your heart,
it’s conduit…your soul.
This daily realization, found in the smallest experiences…brings me to tears.
While the origin of the Gingerbread Person infographic seems to be mired in controversy (more about that here), I find it extremely helpful in navigating the increasingly complex and multi-faceted reality of self-other orientation(s) today. Besides, there is something immediately approachable about a cookie cut-out…must be the food angle.
We are all probably overly familiar with the much maligned “sex sells” ads from the 70’s, when it was completely acceptable to, not so covertly, insinuate that stereotypical sex-roles were what we should all be striving for as we puffed on our Newports…
or sipped our cocktails…
or opened ketchup…?!?
They were laughable in their approach and their no-exactly-accurate reflection of culture…
Today, the ads still strive to appeal to our more base desires, perhaps reflecting a little more reality…Still, they are…to put it simply, a hoot.
Enjoy, and happy Hump Day.
Artist AnaMelissa Carrion is no stranger to exploration; her newest endeavor, #ArtisicBoozem builds on her experience as a fine arts painter by adding multidimensional media to her already sensual and bold approach. Her lifelike bust-casts boast embellishments that speak to our deepest and most human desires. In her own words:
I guess you can add I have always been fascinated by the human body and realized that others were very much fascinated with mine. So I said why not share it with the world. That and I started artisticboozem after a breast cancer scare and the thought of loosing what I always considered my “favorite” and “best” physical attribute was tough so I decided to make a permanent mold.
This Sunday, Carrion’s busty displays will be featured Sunday August 30th 2015 at NYC’s East Village historic hotspot, Webster Hall for their prestigious Quarterly Art Soiree (Q.A.S. info here) where the mission is
to exhibit, expose and promote talent in painting, music, graphic design, theatre, sound installation, performance art, installation art, arts and crafts, video art, film, jewelry and fashion while celebrating the rich cultural history of the Webster Hall venue and of New York City’s dynamic East Village. The Q.A.S seeks to showcase art, fashion and music in a vibrant and unassuming manner so that the art form is not held to the traditional pedestals of the “white-cube” gallery, sleek runway, classic stage and the like. Rather, the prospective spectator may witness the creations as an organic part of a communal environment – where not one thing is set apart from another – and where art may fuse with everyday life.
I am honored to have modeled for one of her busts, which are truly inventive and reflective of the women they represent. It is a gift to be a part of this talented artist’s work, and it’s clear that she is innovative and ambitious enough to make this new work a great success!
Additionally, Carrion is including pregnancy casts in her work as well, which provide an artistically stunning memory for mom’s-to-be.
Please join us This Sunday where she debuts works from this new project and contact her directly if you are interested in commissioning one of these beautifully crafted “physical memories” of your own! (Connect to AnaMelissa HERE)
For those interested in Carrion’s background, her bio and accomplishments follow:
Born in the capital city of dominican republic, raised by the hudson river on riverside drive in NYC AnaMelissa carrion has the pure essence of a true artistic new yorker. Learning english one year after arriving to the states anamelissa was very clear to her teachers about her interest and demanded special attention be given to her artistic skills. It all started with bulletin boards in elementary school, given permission to paint the hallway walls, the reason why she loves large canvases. At The children’s art carnival, she picked up her first oils and went on to study painting at the high school or art and design. Here in advanced placement classes she is given the opportunity to do what truly fascinates her; prepare for a show, the rush to put together a fascinating series and have her artwork exposed. AnaMelissa Carrion has exhibited in many locations and galleries throughout new york city including Rush Arts Gallery, Essie Green, galleries for The Alliance of Dominican Artist, and Chase bank. Her most recently exposure was in the famous Webster Hall where she participates in the quarterly arts soiree better known as “the QAS”.
AnaMelissa’s art work is captivating due to the original manner in which she constructs each piece, adding a surprising 3D affect turning the canvas into life . Taking a short hiatus to pursue her second passion law and politics she left ny to earn her bachelors of science in legal studies with a minor in philosophy and government. She then returned to her city roots and earned her degree in Fine Art and won the CUNY Presidential Award for painting.
AnaMelissa is on the constant move looking for the next big project. She is currently working for private individuals in search for the perfect painting for their home or family portrait, designing interiors as she works with her mother making handmade area rugs and is diligently working with New creations to produce a wonderfully artistic future for us all. Keep track of this chick and see what she gets into next.
xxx Dr. NymphoBrainiac
The connection between Sex and Coffee is not just an intuitive one…the two have recently been scientifically linked (See article)! Studies show that coffee boosts the female sex drive, and that up to two cups of coffee a day, “triggers a chemical reaction that increases blood flow to the penis by relaxing muscles.” Well, well, well!
Interestingly, recent work by Korean designer Jang WooSeok seems to reinforce this love affair between coffee and sex. Titled,“Coffee Lid: Take ‘Kiss’ Out,” WooSeok’s work is a disposable coffee cup lid shaped like pursed lips and a nose.
“Sip through this, it seems, and your anthropomorphized cup of Joe (or Jane, we suppose) sips you back.” (The Creators Project)
As the designer explains,
“I love both coffee and kisses…Coffee can be had for some money every day, but kisses can’t. So I created Take ‘Kiss’ Out for my sexual desire—just kidding.”
And with that…I think I’ll have another…cup!
(images by the artist)
Really, it’s more the norm than the exception now: women, intelligent and educated women, choosing the sex industry as a means of income and navigating it’s (often) shadier side with a feminist slant. These women are mindful. They are aware. And…they are NOT out to “take your man.”
As Antonia Crane (former sex worker and now author of Spent, 2014) explains (in a CNN interview):
That I make more money stripping at 42 than I ever have teaching, writing, counseling homeless youth, waiting tables or tending bar is a problem of sexism and living in a sexist culture, not a problem of the sex industry.
Will there be a backlash from academia due to my detour in the sex industry? I hope not. Many writers I admire — including William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Michelle Tea, and Stephen Elliott — have written about and lived alternative lifestyles and have been respected academics.
I trust that with hard work and tenacity, I can support myself doing what I truly love the most: teaching literature, creative writing and composition.
Some say the sex industry exists because of misogyny and sexism. Some feminists think that men have dominion over women because they have money in the clubs and use that power to manipulate and subjugate women, but it’s more complex than that. I’ve held men who cry during lap dances, bewildered by their failures as fathers, sons, lovers and husbands.
I have, many times, felt like the more powerful and needed one in that context.
I’ve also been exhausted by my own compliance when it has meant more money, which I desperately needed at the time. Although it’s rare to find love in a strip club, what is found there is a more simple intimacy: human connection, compassion, desire and touch.
Strip clubs exist because people are acutely lonesome. We walk around with these giant knots in our hearts, like a cramp that can’t stretch out. It tugs and pulls at us all day while at our jobs, surrounded by people and gadgets and family members who don’t listen to us like they used to, highlighting our own failures to connect to people easily in a meaningful way.
What I’ve learned about humanity in my protracted tenure as a dancer is that we are a culture dying of loneliness in a frenzy to feel less so. Sex workers offer a reprieve from that loneliness. I’ve learned that everyone may be fighting a great battle, caring for a sick spouse, worried about their meth-addicted daughter or struggling with a medical condition.
I’ve learned that timing and kindness are more important than big boobs.
Men wander into strip clubs not to cheat on their spouses (statistically, cheating happens in the mainstream workplace. I’ve met thousands of men who have affairs with their co-workers, secretaries and assistants), but to nurse a beer and pay a person to listen to them—a woman who does not require anything from them emotionally.
I’m not going to tell you about the nights I was rejected and insulted, stolen from and threatened, nights I didn’t make the money or the nights I wasted time with guys who did not pay off. Like many other jobs, those sketchy elements come with the territory and I’m no victim.
The more I segue into my freelance writing and teaching career, the happier I am. I hope to build a life so huge outside the strip club that I won’t need to dance anymore because I am too busy writing and teaching; creating other moments of joy and human connection in the classroom and on the page; to rise so far in that field that I won’t need to land into laps again, but until that happens, I will strip.
Women who engage in sex work and who also embrace a feminist stance (I am one), are consistently asked to create and re-create a complex and sometimes difficult dialectic…at once, they are caught between exploitation and empowerment, between prostration and power…and yet they find meaning…they simultaneously own the evolution of their choices and…while easily stripping them off…to begin again…naked…but not vulnerable…no, these women are thriving.
(the phenomenal images are by Robert Williams, please explore his work further)
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