On Tuesday 23rd April I will address an audience of women at a Women on Fire event; it is part of their A Woman Cubed series. I will be speaking about how modelling nude may bring women confidence.
I will draw from my experience as well as that of some of our Spirited Bodies.
I will look at how nudity has changed in its status through history, how it has become incredibly sexualised where it used to represent purity. Indeed the naked body has been of the highest spiritual significance. There is of course a political element; it may be convenient that a population ashamed of the natural human body is a society living in fear. In fear how easily are people subjugated and controlled? I may not have time in the talk to cover this element, but it is related.
I will discuss what is unique to life modelling; as well as the nudity, the usual silence and stillness. Shed of our daily trappings we have an opportunity to reexamine who we are.
This is a women only event.
About Women on Fire: “Women on Fire is designed to link up the women of the world who make brilliant things happen. It promotes women as decision makers, especially in the many areas that have a direct effect on the wellbeing of all life on earth. It aims to embolden, uplift, inform and inspire women in all circumstances to live their power – but without the loss of lovely, feminine tenderness.”
Women on Fire founder Judith Seelig is a shaman and change maker. She will be talking about women letting go of judging ourselves and comparing ourselves to others.
To book tickets for this free event, register here; it takes place at Kings College London, from 7 – 9pm.
I first came across Women on Fire at a women’s business networking conference a couple years ago. I was looking at ways to take Spirited Bodies further; we had done one event and I was preparing for the second, which was called ‘The Ages of Woman’. One of the speakers at the London Women Mean Business event mentioned Women on Fire, so I checked them out. They had a big event coming up with some very inspiring speakers from Camilla Batmanghelidjh to Polly Higgins, covering many areas of life. I decided to go to their regular meetings and stay in touch. I am thrilled to be asked to take part in next week’s event!
5 thoughts on “Nude modelling giving women confidence ~ my talk with Women on Fire”
As a photographer of the nude, the amazing take away for all parties is trust. Vulnerabilities are on display far more than the body. The confidence and empowerment that the people I work with gain has to do with the experience, more than the images that come from the photo session.
I love my work – but not as my friends think – simply because I receive that trust – every day and watch people grow in stature, lift their self esteem and feel so empowered.
At a shoot in the City Square of a major capital, the subject stood on a park bench stark naked and shouted, “I own this city!”. That was 15 years ago – she has gone on to become a very powerful businesswoman and I am so proud to be a part of her growth. We are still great friends. There are hundreds of these stories.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience Beau, that is very inspiring. You are so right that the experience is most profound and while the pictures may be a valuable reminder, they are less important in therapeutic terms.
I put a link to your site on my links page, and I wondered if any of the models’ stories are available online? For us we find they are what encourages new people to take the plunge most; the real words of those who have already had the experience and how it made them feel.
You have re-ignited in me a desire to be photographed nude in the city (especially my own)!
Thank you for the link. I also have another site ‘anon-nude.com’ that allows people to know they won’t be personally identified. Some are in public office, who love the concept and freedom of being nude, but have a fear of reprisal if they are identified.
Almost all of the stories are anecdotal. Some arrive weeks and even years later as ‘testimonials’, (A few are on my website). Many ‘stories’ unfold as the client or model has a coffee while waiting for their lift, or for a CD of their pics to be cut.
My wife and I have had many experiences with our clients, a lot have been funny, many more have been empowering.
I e-published a couple of chapters of a book I’m writing, ‘Whose Rules’, a stylized (auto)biography. The responses included one from a woman I had worked with years before. She now owns her own web development business, employs girls who had similar backgrounds to herself and has recently won the (local regional city) Businesswoman of the Year Award.
The following is her story:
[ ‘…. Received from one of the people we have met along the way – as a response to my publication of ‘Whose Rules’.
To date, I have been told more than 350 stories – many of them not much more than three sentences, but many have also vowed to write their story also.
I met this person as a 19 year old model – we became friends and she has kept up with my blogs. During our correspondence she has gone on to receive a Degree in Psychology and runs her own business….’ ]
“.. Now for my story please make sure you have time to read and feel free to ask questions i have come to be very comfortable with talking about it.
OK, Well my parents moved my sister and I to Alabama from California when i was 3 years old, so i don’t remember much . but I know when I was five my father introduced my sister and I to sex, and my mother assisted helping him take our innocence… at the time i thought it was OK because he said he was our best friend and that no-one would care for us if we ever told or tried going out on our own….
There would be times he had all three of us in a room at the same time.. it wasn’t until age 7 he began to have actual intercourse …. and that’s also when he introduced my sister and I to drugs … He made my sister and I take Ritalin, Demerol, Morphine, Zanex, and what ever he used to make himself, but with sex and drugs my mom soon became jealous of my father’s affairs with us. She went to work one night and never came home .. I had made dinner that night .. so as you can imagine the bad, just got worse – age 12 with no mother – I had to raise my youngest brother, ‘D’. He was still in diapers at the time I taught him how to read and write then he began school …. My father started injecting my sister and I with the drugs, locking us in the room and if we dared say no!.. He would beat my sister and I or who ever made him mad .. sometimes he would make us beat each other for other people’s entertainment..
As you can imagine I wasn’t able to go to school often. I would make Cs, Ds and Fs. I worked hard to try and support my family. I worked, cleaned houses, hauled hay, chopped wood and gave my dad 50% of everything I made, as he he never worked..
Years go by, my father started giving me more of the sexual abuse and my sister more of the physical abuse. By the time I turned 15 I thought it was as bad as it could get …I went to school one day and the god just touched me, he touched my heart. I felt I needed to tell someone.. I mean people knew, but no-one could do anything about it unless we admitted to it.. That day I told my teacher after school about my father hitting me and she felt the large bump I had on the side of my head.. Life changed from that moment on. A woman from my sister’s work took all four of us in.. She raised me from 15 to 16 then I left there and lived on the streets the hard way.
My sister also went to college 30 minutes from where we lived .. My brothers where admitted into foster care because the lady taking care of us got cancer and was no longer able to care for them.. They were moved 12 times before the State awarded my sister care of our 2 younger brothers.. We have no family besides us four kids. My mother died last June of a brain aneurysm, I’m sure from all the drugs. The sad thing about it, is nothing ever changed. I never heard from her after she left.. My father was admitted into 3 insane asylums before he was sent to jail.. It was then I started Art Modeling as an outlet. I was going to be a stripper, but after working with you, I felt I could achieve so much more by completing my education and striking out as my own person. I worked a lot of hours at food outlets and when you coached me to write websites, I knew I could start my own business”
I’m not sure if you will want to know other stories, but to me, this sums up the amazing empowerment that can come from trust.
I have had the opportunity of working in 40 countries around the world and my wife and I have made friends with so many of these people, that these days, we can travel without ever staying in a hotel – and have a constant stream of people that stay over for a few days on their travels. I hope these people have gained something, but selfishly, my wife and I have had the most wonderful life experiences with the most eclectic group of friends in the world!
Thank you again Beau, how beautiful and moving. Indeed a story such as this sums up the potential for transformation. What wonderful experiences you have enabled that are in turn repaid you by the friends you make. I think working one on one with the utmost sensitivity has that intense possibility for the gaining of trust. I will share your other link too. If you have the links to the chapters of your ebooks that contain models’ feedback stories I would be delighted to share them also.