Censorship

Censorship is something that I started planning in November 2018 as an ongoing visual project fighting against the censorship of the female body in society and media. Early in my adult life, maybe even late teens, I realized that the way we viewed and treated the presentation of the naked body, more specifically and harshly the female body, was, to use a simple adjective, stupid. I don’t know if it comes from a place of Western religion or the fear of the men of the West, but if one sits and thinks about it for more than two seconds you’ll realize as well that it’s pretty ridiculous.

Back in Novemebr of 2018 I came across a post on Twitter by an artist, Ryan Allen (Twitter / Instagram) where he posted a photo of a piece that he did depicting the foolishness that the censoring of the female body represents. (You can view the piece and purchase a print directly from Ryan here.) Seeing this piece turned on a light bulb in my head and I took the idea that he showed and incorporated it into this ongoing visual project featuring various models.

My plan with this is to release a few photos from a different model every month, and down the road possibly put together a physical book compiling all of the images from the project. Because of the ever increasing censoring happening on social media platforms like Instagram and Tumblr (the latter being a real big issue at the end of 2018) this project will only be featured here, so if you want to share it with people you think will appreciate it you will have to send them here.

Any support for the project in the form of sharing it with your friends, families, and “followers” on social media platforms will be greatly appreciated. Also, if you’re a model and you’re interested in participating in the this project please send me an email and we can discuss making that happen. Also, also, if your interested in helping promote the project by featuring it on your own website or blog send me an email.

I hope this project opens the eyes of at least the general public if not the people in charge of pushing these ideas of female body censorship to everyone.

-Bishop Jackson

Mariah
Instagram:
mariahjane_model

Laura Mulvey first used the term “Male Gaze” in 1975, which refers to “the sexually objectifying attitude a representation takes toward its feminine subject matter”, according to A. W. Eaton’s essay “Feminist Philosophy of Art”. In 2019, the Male Gaze is still being perpetuated by film, music, social media, and more in the ways that we see women portrayed. Our bodies are taboo simply because of over-sexualisation, so much so that harmful dress codes are imposed on young girls across the country who are told their bare shoulders are distracting to male students around them.

I am a model. Inherently, that means that what I collaborate with photographers to create is art. And I believe art should never be censored, be it literature or graffiti, though our country has proved time and time again this expression can be taken away. Art is a platform through which we can give a voice to those who are not heard, and cultivate change through provocative creations.

If we want to actively challenge the male gaze, double standards need to be torn down. Being shamed for having a feminine body is not okay. Social media adds insult to injury when even photos of mothers breastfeeding their children, giving them life, are taken down. My nipples aren’t going to offend you. My shoulders aren’t going to distract you. And if they do, that’s really not a problem I should have to fix.
— Mariah

Tasha
Instagram:
damnntash

Throughout my life, I’ve always felt ashamed about my body...either watching out on what types of foods I consume or showing too much skin. Comments and thoughts from others have really prevented me from actually loving my body and providing myself with holistic self care. Through nude modeling, I have really found pieces of myself that I am proud of and with society preventing me from sharing this new found love by censoring, its been a struggle but a new challenge that will be surely overcome through this industry.
— Tasha

Saskia
Instagram:
cantevendrivestraight

Joli
Instagram:
jolicoquine

I love being able to express myself creatively as a model. I feel that everyone should be free to express themselves artistically, including through nudity and the celebration of the human body. When we self-censor and don’t share who we really are, we are unwittingly doing the job of the censors ourselves. There are so many kinds of beauty in the world! As someone who started modeling later than most, I view my modeling as slightly subversive, challenging what society expects or allows. I encourage everyone to challenge expectations and be yourself!
— Joli

Charlotte
Instagram:
charlottemodel