T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 32224
posted 08-14-2011 09:06 AM
I was glancing over the womens' interest mags in a supermarket and saw a story about a plus-sized woman who posed for a fat-appreciation site and how she felt it helped her self-esteem. I looked up the site in question out of curiosity and noticed that, while most of the girls were much bigger than I am, a noticeable proportion were about my size, and they looked great. I looked up what the site wanted in amateur models and found that total nudity and hardcore material was not compulsory (lingerie shots or just skimpy outerwear were okay) and there was a decent rate of pay for photos. I found myself seriously considering sending some in.
I know this is a really bad idea for me - to quote a source I can't recall at the moment, once you're naked online, you're naked online forever, and if I changed my mind in the future there'd be no way to get rid of the pics. I wasn't too concerned about people who would recognise me finding them, because my theory was that anyone who found them would have to be looking for them, and while I know exactly what people would be using the pics for, I wouldn't have to see that happening and would be unlikely to run into anyone who had used them for such. But I do know the pics are likely to spread from the originating site, and if I end up being known to the public for some other reason in the future (unlikely but not impossible) I'd be stuck. I couldn't help but wonder about it, though. I don't know entirely why it was such a tempting idea; I have no intention of going into the industry for a living and I'm not that desperate for money. I don't know whether this is a sign that my self-esteem has suddenly risen ("I'm attractive enough for people to want to see me in these pics!") or sunk ("I need total strangers to tell me I'm attractive!") I just kind of wanted to talk about this with someone who won't judge me for it.
Member # 3
posted 08-14-2011 11:21 AM
Happy to talk with you about this, but not quite sure where to get started.
Mind, I also don't think we're going to be able to figure out for you what relevance any of this has to your self-esteem or self-image or not: I think you're going to be the expert on that one, and it just might not be something you can figure out easily, or at all, really. But what to give me some more cues about what you want to talk about?
Member # 32224
posted 08-14-2011 12:41 PM
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking. It still sounds kind of appealing despite the obvious drawbacks, but I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe it's a shock value thing. Or maybe it's something to do with the fact that I'm still not interested in actually having sex but do want some kind of outlet and want to be appreciated, I don't know if that makes sense.
Member # 3
posted 08-14-2011 12:59 PM
By all means, one of the many ways of expressing or exploring our sexuality/sexual selves can be visual, or engaging in sexual things that are solely or primarily about the visual. Too, there is a certain amount of risk in anything like this, and it's not unusual for risk to have appeal to people, especially sexually.
That said, I'll always be frank about this issue and, with some tact, be transparent that I know quite a lot about what those kinds of images can mean in real life and the kinds of consequences they can have. I don't think it's sound to ever assume only X group of people or Y group of people will see them. I think we need to know and be very clear that if we or others ever produce any images -- sexual or otherwise -- that are not limited to say, being taken in a digital camera we only ever use/keep for yourselves, the fact is that anyone might be able to see them at some point, and what will probably happen is that at some point, someone will see/find them who isn't someone you'd want to. Whether or not people are okay with that is a pretty complex thing, and something I'd always advise people to put a LOT of thought into, kind of taking it to the most extreme place it can go, just to see how it feels. For instance, let's say 30 years from now, you turn out wanting to run for MP and the Daily Mail finds them.
Member # 32224
posted 08-14-2011 01:52 PM
I know it's risky to do something like this, so I don't think I'll ever do it. I don't currently plan to run for MP, but I do have intentions of writing books for children and teenagers, and if I did get popular enough for it to matter, those kind of pics coming into the public eye wouldn't be a good thing. Maybe if I want to take out those urges I should take some pics of myself and just keep them for myself ...
As I said, I'm not exactly desperate for money at the moment, but that was a bit of a lure as well. I'm hoping to try for a master's degree after I finish my undergrad studies, and I know that it would be difficult for me to make ends meet if I did, so a source of even a small amount of money for something relatively simple seemed pretty tempting.
Member # 3
posted 08-14-2011 02:02 PM
I think one of the things in what you said I'd pull out is the idea that that work is "relatively simple." It's just really, really not. Not in the doing, not in the managing (including personal safety, which is often a HUGE issue/problem in any kind of modeling or sex work), not in the emotional stuff.
I can think of many other jobs with similar hours and pay that I'd say were a lot more simple and a lot less complicated.
Member # 32224
posted 08-14-2011 02:11 PM
At first glance it seemed fairly simple on a practical level to me - they were asking for amateur shots, so all I'd have to do is get a camera with a timer, not get a pro to take the shots. I do understand after having thought about it that it would be emotionally tough and complicated, and the personal safety thing would be a problem. After thinking about it I've decided it would most likely be a phenomenally bad idea to actually try this, so I won't. I'm just trying to figure out my thought process a bit.
I am actually in the middle of applying for some much less controversial part-time work. Maybe it was just the rigmarole of sending out applications that made this look like a possibility, but that's a rant for somewhere else ...
Member # 3
posted 08-14-2011 02:16 PM
Ha! That can certainly happen. Mind, the cost of the camera already would have you walking in with an expense, and probably one which would exceed the payment for the shots. Another big eye-opener can be to look at the contracts for most work like that, when they have them. You'll usually find that the release you sign has you giving away all kinds of rights and controls you probably wouldn't want to (including often, the right for them to resell photos or use them for different sites, which can mean a context you might not like, but then can do nothing about).
That all said, self-portraiture as a way to explore yourself can be a pretty cool process, and that's a way to do exactly what you would have done, for the most part, without all of the downsides, so long as you develop/process your photos yourself and don't share them.
Jacob at Scarleteen
Member # 66249
posted 08-16-2011 01:14 PM
Just reading heather's response saying that self-portraiture could be a good way to explore this and I remembered chatting to a model from a nude life drawing class who said the reason she was life modelling was because of the major operation that gave her a big scar on her body and the process was to help build confidence. That can be something worth playing with as a thought as well, if you'd like to be in front of people but would like a safer dynamic than fetish-sites, even if it's just yourself in the mirror or a friend you trust who'd like to do some painting or drawing or something... Also an amateur artistic painting isn't the sort of thing the Daily Mail are likely to be all that interested in... I only wish they were. It sounds quite positive that you're even thinking about ways to better enjoy your self-image, and are being more specific about avoiding the risks that come with modelling online. Being on the artist side of life drawing class was quite therapeutic for me and my body image by the way! If you've completely been turned off from the modelling thing. But, anyhow, good luck!