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The Beauty And Shame Of The Female Body.

There is nothing shameful about the female body. Nothing! Shame is a learned concept, a learned emotion that lives in the psyche and body of the individual and the collective. Shame is also an emotion not felt by those who feel it most. The easiest way to recognise shame is to observe those who shame others. In a society that has heavily based its foundations on religious paradigms, to shame woman or the female body when exposed in all its beauty and splendour seems the most natural and normal approach to take. It's not.

For a large number of women exposing their bodies, not only online, but also in more organic ways is a daily expression. The reasons are varied and each one has an underline purpose. In most cases, if not all, this is a way of life. For these women, judgement, criticism or name calling is part of their daily experience. In fact, being a woman, whether they expose their bodies or not face to be judged, criticised or mindlessly insulted due to the mere fact of having been born female. 

The obsolete and unchallenged morals of society serve as fuel for mass Gaslighting. No one is ever good enough.

Photo Gisela Ravenscroft 

However advanced society might be in many areas, people are not keeping up with the fast 

changes that take place on a daily basis. Religious myths and morals continue deeply ingrained in the collective belief system. Any informed person would know that religion and governments have used the socalled and imposed morality to infer fear in people as a way of controlling the masses, having proved to be extremely effective methods to make people live in fear. It's easy to push the fear button in people, which prevents the personal expansion and development of both, the individual, as well as the collective. 

The shrewdness of these methods are not to be underestimated. Throughout centuries such beliefs acted like a drip in the collective consciousness, what causes individuals first, to reject any truth that doesn't match theirs, and second, to attack behaviours and               PhotoHallie Fletcher
beliefs that differ from their own. Perhaps the 
most harmful repercussion to having been submitted to the same paradigms for centuries is that we have become the patriarch we so detest, while continuing using the same coercive methods with others
The Vatican alone own miles of 'sacred' documents hidden from everyone, which may contain a different truth from those shared with the public. They also hold the same book in which Jesus Christ claims that "the truth shall set you free." The irony! Some of the elements contained in all religious scriptures is misogyny, the shame of women, followed by a set of rules that places a woman as servant to men, as well as how they are not supposed to behave. The message is clear: be obedient; be subservient. 

As a result, we live in a society in which everything is sexualised. Meanwhile sex, nudity, sensuality and the female body is anyone's excuse for shame. Both, women and the female body are undermined. Bodies rejected in public, desired and lusted after in private. The hypocrisy of society expressed in a collective and individual neurosis, as well as the ever increasing polarities, which only serve to divide, and from which every perspective is fiercely defended in order to prove others wrong is an obvious sign that    the human being is   Photo: Miranda Dye                                         not yet ready to listen, nor willing to integrate                                                                         the multiple differences in others, but to impose inflexible views that only serve to defend one's personal comfort zone. Humanity is in desperate need to reconsider beliefs and ways of living that only cause separation, and as a result the suppression of all things human, every quality that makes a person truly humane.

It's about time that the world stops being offended by everything, anything and everyone. 

During the early stages of childhood, it is easy to observe children taking their clothes off for comfort and freedom. As children grow older they learn to cover up their bodies. It is in most famous fairly tale: The Bible. Adam and Eve roam freely naked until the are made aware of the shame of their bodies. Shame is learned from adults. Nudity is natural to children. No one is born in shame. It's learned from others, usually from parents, educators and society in general. 

No one can truly grow in shame, due to is coercive and limiting qualities.

The public exposure and nudity of the female body is met with shame, desire and little celebration. Women sharing images of their bodies publicly, revealing parts or all of it, deal with abuse, name calling, sexual advances, requests for more free images and even threats. Shame and name calling are used particularly to achieve such goals. The true shame is the use of coercion to force someone else to give something for one's own pleasure. 

Shame is the punter paying for the services of a sex worker turning suddenly into a priest and trying to save them from what they view as a morally corrupt life with what in their regretful hearts after the act they see as a redeeming act. This can be understood by the emotional movement that takes place when someone deviates from integrity or what in their heart is morally wrong. Oh the irony! lust making an attempt to turn to love and save the girl once she served the purpose. With this 'redeeming' act, the punter is projecting their guilt and shame on the woman, failing to take responsibility for his emotions. It might be unconscious, but this is what it is.

Don't save the girl! What saves the 'girl' is freedom, and so it is what attracts her. Desire without freedom is obscure and coercive. Both freedom and the response to desire are choices to be made here and now. Anyone can choose freedom anytime they wish.

Shame is the online predator seeking images and videos to satisfy their immediate needs in hiding, while proclaiming their high morals afterwards. The Internet, which offers amazing opportunities is filled with opportunistic predators

Shame is all those high wig men that taking advantage of their social and professional status have been, and will continue being accused of sexual abuse, now crying out witch hunt. Witch hunt was a term created to describe a period in history in which women were killed for practicing medicine or suspected of it. A woman's life has not been worth much throughout history. But even this term has been appropriated by patriarchy, by men who run the show and whom at seeing their predatory behaviour exposed are now asking for the clemency of society. Perhaps these men now got suddenly in touch with their feminine side and don't mind being considered witches. 

These traits, beliefs and behaviours adopted by men can be traced to the sacred
scriptures. By portraying women as weak, feeble and in need of a charmless prince that comes and rescue them, men, following an unconscious belief use violence of any kind against women because this is the status quo. To view women or anyone else as victims does not make them a victim. 

Society accepts different groups as weak or victims under the illusion that if violence or tragedy is employed against others, then other groups might be safe. No one is safe while there is another human being suffering. Accepting the suffering of others as part of normality is a cowardly act that promotes apathy, dissociation and inaction.

We might as well openly declare a law that allows to lock women and the 'weak' in a basement for our own gratification and maybe take them out to show friends and family because they look good next to us. 

                                                                                                   Model: Stormy Overton
                                                                                                              Photo: John Tipps

Women are an oppressed group in society. The female body is under scrutiny from all angles. Now is too thin. Now is too fat. Cleavage or no cleavage ... that is the question! Mainstream media has to answer for the illusory image of perfection in women that after hours and photoshop and filters resembles more comic characters, -however realistic they may appear- than real women. Somehow this form of public exhibit in mainstream magazines are socially acceptable. 

Abuse, body shaming or slut shaming comes equally from both, women or men. A great part of the problem is derived from the women against women debate. In this case, beliefs are rooted in the same source, the narrative of the patriarch. When it comes to women against women, there are other factors: envy, competition or jealousy. If being a woman under the oppression of men was not hard enough, being the subject of bullying and violence by other women makes it seem impossible to find a solution to the problem. However, what most people seem to be missing is that the women who are so fiercely criticised are the  ones to be praised, supported and loved due to their priceless contribution to stop this endemic current of abuse and violence, which is one of the main causes for the underdevelopment of and the involution of human being. If action is not taken to deal with the important matters of the world, we're going to implode in our own misery, chocked by the ignorant opinions of our small egos. 

What the vast majority is missing from these women who seemingly exhibit their bodies in shamelessly is the fact that they are contributing to the liberation of women from the judgmental conscience of the collective mind, claiming the acceptance of the female body as a norm. Shame is not who we are, but what has been done to us; a learned emotion with its damaging consequences and forms of behaviour. 

These women are Precursors -in capital letters-, leaders that open new paths for humanity to find a different, more loving expression; the creators of a more humane reality. Many of these women has been subjected to horrific crimes and sexual abuse from early ages. With the explosion of the #MeToo movement, women have voiced and denounced publicly what everyone already knew. Silence might have been a convenient instrument of survival for centuries, but it's no longer an option if what we want to shape humanity, as what we claim it to be. 

Many of these women use this method of expression as an outlet to deal with horrific sexual abuse that includes kidnapping, rape or sex slavery. It is a deliberate way to come out of the victim stage and becoming survivors. It makes a tremendous difference in someone's recovery from sexual trauma to identify and move through these stages. Thus, they become icons of rebellion against the suppression of women and all things female, symbols of a renewed female identity that refuses to live any longer under the tyranny of patriarchy. This is how the "girl next door" becomes a heroine of our time. It's also a way to tell the word that they are not defeated, to show strength despite everything.

It takes courage to see and appreciate the beauty and good qualities in others. And if and when we don't do so, it's only because we envy what others have. Judgement and the shame of others is a problem of self-esteem, caused by previous shaming and judgment. Often, not even parents can appreciate the amazing qualities of their children. 

In a previous blog post I mentioned that one of the most striking traits I perceived from hundreds of women over thirty years while narrating their stories of sexual abuse, was their courage to share the story and use trauma as an inflection point to reinvent themselves. The courage to tell. The courage to say that the story doesn't end here. The courage to take action and become a participant activist in the freedom of society by exposing the true and cruel nature of the human being thus far. The courage to give themselves what they know no one else can.

While it may seem that these women are seeking attention through sexy bodies, revealing outfits and provocative images, one of the purposes of their deliberate
Model: Hallie Fletcher                                      actions is to pierce through the shame of the Photo: Wolves Photography                             collective. It is only by feeling an emotion that                                                                     someone can heal. As most of the population tend to hide from emotions, the constant public exposure to which the eye is submitted daily plays an important role in this healing process. If action is not taken by individuals, in all periods of history there have been people who took an active part in promoting change by challenging the status quo. History is full on names who sacrificed their comfort, even their lives to bring obsolete parts of tradition down. 

To those who placidly remain passive and complacent with what there is, an on-your-face-approach seems to be the only way to activate a response or a reaction from their conscience and their involvement in the collective. The energy of the world is charging, the female rising, the truth revealing itself while the portrait of society seems more chaotic and decadent. Soon there will be no place to hide. 

Each woman is an universe of her own, therefore each one experiences this journey in a
different way. It is a way of reaffirming themselves, to accept their bodies, flawed or not. Some use it to challenge their own insecurities; insecurities born with the contribution of popular culture, the image of perfection broadcasted by mainstream media and the voice of mindless crowds. It is worth mentioning that many of these women, if not all are not just beautiful. They are incredibly talented too. They are musicians, singers, writers, actresses and directors, designers, athletes, dancers, artists in all fields imaginable, song writers; and that they do the best they can with what they have where they are now like everyone else. They are expressing their individuality like everyone else. And like everyone else, they do have dreams, feelings, emotions and desires to live and happy and fulfilling life. Above all, they are human beings, just       Photo: Callie Mitchell
like you and I. Judge that if you can!                 by Callie Ann Photography

Courage is to lead a deliberate life that matches our inner call for love, happiness and freedom. Anyone living a fulfilling life doesn't have time for judgment, but to appreciate the qualities and accomplishments of others, for it is in the uplifting and enlightenment of others that we find spaces for the true, inner expression of the human being and true connection. What we do to others we do to ourselves. 

The assumption that any woman, showing their body or not is a slut and would freely send nudes or bed a man because of a aroused desire in need of immediate gratification only shows the low state of collective consciousness and the inner child of a society sadly infantilised that still believes that power is submitting others to their forceful will. 

There are many plagues that devaste society and which are accepted as a norm with the complicity of those
Model: Haley Moss
Photo: Constantine's Photos

 who don't dare to raise their voices. Self-gratification is one of them. Self-gratification when immediate might offer an instant pleasure, but it is this constant pleasure that prevents the human being from enjoying a life of intense desire for life itself. In order to obtain what we really want, an individual has to learn to identify the state of lack that remains once the effects of immediate gratification vanish.  

Lack of, or fear of intimacy are other plagues that if explored and developed would eliminate most of the issues pointed out in this blog entry. Fear of intimacy has a terrible effect on the relationship one has with the self, as well as with others, having a especially damaging impact in more intimate relationships. 

Many women are also offered financial rewards in exchange for sexual gratification or nude images. The world is missing the message and so it is most of a population that lives under  the false assumption that everyone has a price. With the proliferation of porn, the amount of depraved sexual fantasies are on the rise. Fantasies that in most cases could only be fulfilled with instruments of false power, such as money, coercion, rape or violence. 

While the circumstances provided by society might condition certain arrangements due to lack of or material need, two consenting adults can agree to an exchange of any nature. Such is the way of the world these days. Being a precursor does not always come with the glamour of Hollywood or Disney's happily ever after. Changing the world comes at a price. Instead of shaming and blaming, many people could look at how to contribute to create a society that serves the needs of all.   Model: Haley Moss
                                                                                              Photograpy: Stephen Beebe

When exposing themselves, women are showing you that being a woman is natural and beautiful, the being a woman is to be celebrated, something to be proud of. They're calling for the love of the collective, eager to inspire change in the individual, so as to create a massive shift in society. They are poking egos and insecurities, making others aware that it is possible to overcome every trauma when the ability to transform is sought after and developed. They are telling you that the world is moving towards a higher consciousness, but that before that happens conscience has to be awoken. Women are showing that it is OK to play, that is fun to be sensual, to be inviting and evasive at once, that not everything is defined by extremes, but by everything that lies in between. The way might be defiant, offensive to some, but is there any other way? Is there anything more offensive than the suppression of a group of people or the violence against women or children? or against any other human being?

These women are exposing themselves raw, vulnerable. They are telling us that the female body is beautiful, not something to be ashamed of. 

It is no one's business what a woman or any individual does with their body. If a woman offers nude images in exchange for money, the conditions are clear: pay for it. Whether someone pays for it or not, it's a choice. Not wanting to pay for nude images, but still wanting to get the product is no different from going to a restaurant and not paying the bill. In both cases it is disrespectful not to do so. Targeting a woman for not complying with one's cheap desires is a form of bullying, and so it is to shame her. What we do to others, we do to ourselves. Exposing her body is a choice and so it is to sell her nudity. 

Most people prostitute themselves in a 9 to 5 job against their will, finding all sort of excuses to somehow validate the system to convince themselves that this is somehow acceptable because it is the way of the world. We call this: honest work. We are better than this.

If anyone wants to see something else, an opportunistic loophole perhaps to get a quick fix by either satisfying an immediate need or by abusing or shaming others, it might be time to look in the mirror and remember the humiliations of the past, the sadness for the loss of innocence and how it happened. 

When looking at a female body and seeing shame, what one is actually experiencing is an internal movement through which shame is felt, an internalised emotion coming out. It is the shaking off of their conscience. Emotions must be felt in one way or another in order to heal. With healing, conscience is 

Photo: Miranda Dye            also woken up and developed. It is then when one feels a                                                     strong sense of responsibility towards others. Shaming women is the projection of shame onto others and a complete lack of responsibility for our emotions. 

The fact that there are portraits of women on this blog post doesn't mean that they have been subjected to any kind of abuse. They might have. The might not. What I know is that I had the opportunity to get to know most of them and they are wonderful people with amazing talents and an incredible courage to find their place in the world. Courage is also a choice; as it is love.

Related articles: 

A response to Matt Damon's polemic different levels of sexual abuse.

The social acceptance of rape culture: Blaming the victim.

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