Pieces of one of the costumes I will be modeling, should modeling happen. Photo credit to the loveliest Silver.
A friend recently asked me to pose for some pictures.
The friend is an artist, the pictures will be modeling the elaborate costumes that she builds. Costumes inspired by video games and comics, making them garments that will cover more than my average bikini, but less than what I’d wear to a job interview.
And I’m happy to do this. To be asked.
It’s flattering to be asked to show off your body, especially when you’re as proud of your body as I am.
Running, yoga, walking up and down a hill every day, taking the stairs and being 26 with a high metabolism.
I look good.
I feel like I look good.
And I trust this artist.
So, of course, I said yes. I’m thrilled to model for her. Thrilled to see how the pictures will turn out if and when we manage to be in the same state at the same time to make this shoot happen.
My body. Her art. Our choice.
It’s a beautiful thing.
And I will just have to trust that when those pictures go up online other people, strangers the world over, will see them that way.
Recently, a congresswoman was a victim of one of the most terrifying cybercrimes women deal with today. A lawmaker for the most populous state in the most powerful nation on earth, a woman who by rights should be celebrating the containment of fires in her state and working to govern the rest of our nation, is leaving her office because of pictures on the internet.
Pictures posted by an irate ex-husband.
Pictures posted by someone she once trusted. Once loved.
In my lifetime, I have been exposed to more art, music, literature, and ideas than women at any other time on earth, because of the internet.
Because of YouTube alone I can watch the Royal Danish Ballet’s 2016 of Giselle, listen to Bill Wither’s 1973 concert for the BBC, and rewatch the latest Star Wars trailer in a single, lazy Sunday morning.
That’s one website. One out of the millions of websites out there.
Millions of websites visited by billions of people who make trillions of connections every day.
And somewhere in that maddening stream of data, women and men are made vulnerable every hour of every day. Made vulnerable by others posting images, videos, or other content that was never intended for mass consumption.
They lose agency in the distribution of their own data, and the internet eats them.
If it can happen to a congresswoman with a bad ex, are there guarantees that the art I will become a part of will stay art?
The cost of all that information and all those brilliant points of connection is that they can be weaponized against a person.
They could be weaponized against me.
I’m just going to have to trust the big, bad digital world and pray that there are more interesting things out there than my bare midriff, a bit of thigh, or some cleavage.
In fact, I know there are.
I’ll keep you all posted when the shoot happens, if it happens. However this goes, it’s gonna be an adventure.