Sinful Sunday: arcs

Smooth. Taut. Toned. Strong.

arcs

The prompt this week is “minimalism“, which, as it turns out, is pretty much my style in a nutshell. So I took an image and made it even more minimal than usual.

I looked for quotes relating to hips and, other than the worn out “hips don’t lie”, I found nothing that was both pithy and positive. The catchiest sayings all expressed embarrassment and self-consciousness, as though the only purpose of hips is to collect fat, which is shameful obvs. As though by representing the widest circumference of most women’s bodies, hips are a sin against an incredibly limited and thus impoverished definition of beauty.

I don’t buy it. Hips are just curves, arcs. Some are curvier than others. No matter. Hips can be juicy and luscious. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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Sinful Sunday: statuesque

There’s something about my photo this week that reminds me of Aphrodite Anadyomene (rising from the sea), who is often shown with tilted shoulders and hips, usually associated with wringing out her hair.

(Botticelli’s Birth of Venus is a famous depiction of that moment, though it’s a different pose, with one arm vaguely across her breasts and the other hand in front of her groin: in Latin, Venus Pudica or “Modest Venus”. )

anadyomene-2
Roman, 1st c. AD
anadyomene-4
Roman, 1st c. AD
anadyomene-1
Roman, 2nd-3rd c. AD

statuesque


This is the 300th week of Sinful Sunday. Thanks and congratulations to Molly Moore for creating and running the meme all this time. And thanks to the Sinful Sunday community for your generosity; I look forward to meeting those of you who will be attending Eroticon in March.

I’m delighted to count myself a part of this community: my first SS was week 207 (March 2015), and my participation rate has been about 90% since then.


Edit: Guest judges Rebecca and Andy from A Couple of Kinks chose my photo as part of the Round-up this week:

We love how simple and complex this image is at the same time. The simplicity is due to the straight-shot, solo-body, black and white capture. The complexity comes from the angle of the body and the shadows created with these angles. We love the comparison to Roman statues and how the image cuts just below the head. This shot was perfectly executed – it is smart, sensual and speaks beyond the photo.

Thank you both!

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Sinful Sunday: sea change

I remember when Wolf took this photo. Japan, in winter. I had been teaching English since the summer and Wolf came to visit me for a couple of months. We had been together for three years before I left on this project. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, I was a few months away from signing up for my very first email account, at a Thai internet cafe.

I remember feeling very uncomfortable when he took this photo; I couldn’t wait to get dressed again. He tells me that when I finally saw the developed photo (which I think wasn’t until I came home again, so 6 or 8 months later), I was still just as uncomfortable with it.

I can tell you how I felt then: self-conscious, vulnerable, and vaguely ashamed. It felt wrong to do a topless photo even from the back. It felt wrong, not exactly to be seen that way, but to be looked at, never mind recorded.

Looking at the photo today, I remember those feelings fairly vividly, but I don’t actively feel them. Now I see what Wolf probably saw all along: a fit body, with strong arms and shoulders and back. Now I like how I looked. Now I see that it’s actually not a bad photo: good pose, direct sunlight, the shadow of the drapes, the warm tones of the tatami. (Though now I would make a point of eliminating the clutter of the kotatsu (table with heater and blanket – the red and grey in front of me) and the foam “couch” (covered with a blue and white sheet, in the background).)

Then I was deeply torn between my authentic self versus what I had been taught. Now I have discarded a lot of that incorrect teaching, and this photo seems to have a clarity and emotional simplicity that I never saw before. But since the photo hasn’t changed, the clarity must be in me. I identify with this photo so much more now than when it was taken, it’s almost like this was a glimpse into my future.

sea-change

I remind myself once again that it’s my body and my choice, and there’s nothing at all wrong with enjoying how my body looks and feels. I was taught the opposite at such a young age that it was never even put into words, but no matter how deeply ingrained that lesson has been, what I was taught was utterly wrong. It is not my truth and I reject it.

(Side note: I only really became aware that I had nice shoulders when someone complimented me on them about 5 or so years ago, and I started noticing my arms and back since I started taking photos for this blog, so within the last 2 years. I’ve been attributing my tone to belly dance, and yet this photo was taken a few years before I started. Huh.)

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Sinful Sunday: yes, pleats

The other day it was hot. I wear pants all the time so it has to be really hot before I remember that I even own skirts and that some of them are nice to wear in hot weather.

The skirt I chose to wear was one I’d made a few years ago, and while I like it and find it flattering, these days the just-below-the-knee length feels a little… stale. I’m more comfortable with my body than I was when I made it and now wearing it feels a little like hiding.

As I considered whether to raise the hem a little, I remembered that I had another iteration of the same style of skirt. Even though it was the most recent make, I liked it the least, and it was in the pile of clothes to get rid of. I could alter it without fear, since even if I mangled it I wasn’t really out anything but time. I dug it out and performed surgery, shortening it by 7 inches!

It’s now well into the realm of girliness. I feel like I might be channeling a Japanese schoolgirl in half of her sailor uniform. And as costume-y as that sounds, I think I’m going to get way more use out of it like this.

yes pleats

Funnily enough, this shirt spent some time in the pile of stuff to get rid of too.

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