my feminist pits

 


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So. I wasn't going to post anymore body shots because I'm finding the whole body challenge deeply weird. Not that weird normally puts me off, but all these itsy bits of bodies feel a bit disembodied and sort of creepy. Maybe it's me, or I'm being a bit prudish. But then last night, I was looking through my outtakes from the lemon tree, flash at night session, and I thought, I could do something with this. I know, they're my feminist pits (bits) and I lay in bed thinking about the title to this post and giggling under the doona. My inner seven year old thought it would be very funny to post a picture of underam hair on the internet. A little bit rude, even. Hee, hee.

This picture reminds me a little of the underarm shot in the liner notes to Sense and Sensuality (1982) by the Au Pairs.  This and Live in Berlin (1983) were my favourite records during my hardcore feminist years. I wish I hadn't gotten rid of all those records, I'm feeling a bit punk today and think I could listen to Headache for Michelle right now. They were heady days, those days from second year uni on. The feminist collective battle between the radical and liberal feminists where I got to be the vibes watcher, charged with pulling women apart if the struggle became too heated. A women's peace camp at Cockburn Sound. Actions, protests, a women's magazine. Lots of dancing and parties too. We were on fire and ready to change the world. And in the main, we were hairy. Shaving was definitely not hip, although lipstick worn in an ironic way was. Along with dresses from the fifties and sixties, worn with stomping boots. As the years have passed, I vacillate between shaving and not shaving various bits of me. It's really not at all important, but I would hate to feel that I had to. Especially my underarms. And hair or not, I still call myself a feminist. A bit soft around the edges at times but growing stronger again. Especially since becoming a mother, but that's a whole other story.

May's challenge is street photography, which I am hugely excited about. No doubt it will push my comfort zone in new ways and be a huge technical challenge with a slow point and shoot camera. But I am really looking forward to the openess and outsideness this challenge. Anyway, it's still April, so you can see more bodily parts here. Really, it's not creepy at all. Just a little strange. In a good way.

12 comments:

  1. Jesus, girl, you're a braver woman than I.

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  2. Yes! The dresses and the boots - I remember! I feel nostalgic for those angry and hopeful times. I still don't shave, though now because of time rather than ideological constraints. And aesthetically, I prefer underarm hair to a bald or blank pit. Great photo - the black and white gives an erotic charge, I think (though I say this not in any creep kind of a way).

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  3. In a long running arguement with my husband over the years I always say "If no one shaved, no one else would have to shave." The same goes for makeup. Who started all this nosense?

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  4. Who started all this nonsense, indeed!

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  5. :) the boot stomping feminist days remembered ... this is absolutely wonderful!! you so rock!!

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  6. Great photo. It's so weird that the natural state has been twisted into an unnatural one by the masses. I don't mind growing in for a while and then starting fresh again. My mother was really feminist when i was young. I appreciate that she and her friends showed me there was more than one way to express feminity. I'm sure Grace will appreciate it, too.

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  7. Lovin it...and I still dont shave but like to think Iam wearing my lipstick in an 'ironic' way.

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  8. brave, brave, brave. great photo. let's hear it for all naturale!

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  9. hurrah for gorilla pits ! my sister and i have the occasional comparison to see who has the more hirsute arm pits. my husband prefers the look of prepubescent armpits but why on earth would you shave to please someone else?

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