Enough is Enough
December 20, 2013 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Rhiannon Schneiderman's delightful photography series Lady Manes was just featured on HuffPo. It is very much not safe for work.
posted by showbiz_liz (40 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
missing the vajeepers tag
posted by elizardbits at 4:56 PM on December 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not anymore it aint
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:58 PM on December 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is this some sort of statement about the Duck Dynasty guys?
posted by NoMich at 5:00 PM on December 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yes, well-waxed pubic areas with a wig where it would be hilarious. No hair where it would be gross and unladylike.
posted by Foam Pants at 5:19 PM on December 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


The design taxi link struck me as being written by a pearl-clutching Victorian, calling it "controversial" and "explicit" and "frowned upon by men". I hurried to find my fainting couch..
posted by bleep at 5:19 PM on December 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah. The photo on her Tumblr of a woman flicking her tongue at a halved strawberry with the caption "Eat yr Heart Out, Georgia O'Keefe" pretty much says it all for this Daring! Young! Lesbian! Artiste!
posted by the sobsister at 5:44 PM on December 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


SHE PHOTOGRAPHED A SWEAR
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:53 PM on December 20, 2013


They really wanted me to click to enlarge the images.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:07 PM on December 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


This brings a whole new aspect of Rapunzel to light.
posted by arcticseal at 6:11 PM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


controversial huh? if you say so.
posted by photoslob at 6:21 PM on December 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


This seems like really weak tea to me.

There's nothing any more or any less unreasonable about altering/removing pubic hair than any other body hair. The problem with the beauty industry and the related objectification of women doesn't have anything to do with any particular choices individual women make about their appearance, it has to do with a pressure to conformity that denies individual choice at the expense of various patriarchal values concerning women's appearance and their sexual objectification.

In that context, the current waxing trend is like the armpit and leg shaving standard that is a quite strongly enforced norm where nonconformance elicits actual disgust and condemnatory reactions in other people, family and friends and strangers alike, and is also a huge pain in the ass. It's that combination that makes it unreasonable and wrong, not that there's anything particularly "wrong" with trimming the pubis. There's nothing wrong with a man doing it, or a man shaving his legs or under his arms — the focus shouldn't be on trying to assert that the modification itself is absurd or wrong, it's all the stuff surrounding it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:27 PM on December 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


missing the vajeepers tag

And maybe a merkin?
posted by carter at 6:30 PM on December 20, 2013


Merkins. Merkins everywhere.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:37 PM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


First comment I saw: "Woohoo! Look at my niece!"

Whatever you think of this, that's kinda cool.
posted by Riki tiki at 6:48 PM on December 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Way to get your bajingo out there, sister!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:18 PM on December 20, 2013


Merkins indeed. Where's the perm that used to be called the fro? or whatever.
posted by Benway at 7:23 PM on December 20, 2013


I love it when female artists comment on the objectification of women by photographing themselves naked.

Keep that commentary up!
posted by kenko at 7:51 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh c'mon. I could objectify that easily.
posted by basicchannel at 8:13 PM on December 20, 2013


Hairy Sporrans
posted by meehawl at 8:33 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's nothing any more or any less unreasonable about altering/removing pubic hair than any other body hair.

I beg to differ; the skin on my genitals is quite different from the skin on my legs.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:34 PM on December 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love it when female artists comment on the objectification of women by photographing themselves naked.

Keep that commentary up!
posted by kenko at 10:51 PM on December 20 [+] [!]


That's right, ladies-we need to make sure the only available images of nude women are by men, or for the advertising industry. It doesn't help at all to have portraits of women where they have %100 agency, or where the images are made for personal pleasure instead of the pleasure of others. It's best just to leave things how they are.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:35 PM on December 20, 2013 [15 favorites]


'Merkin heroes and the bush doctrine.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:02 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suspect the pendulum might have started to swing back the other way this year, but when things have gone so far as to have normal pubic hair become a category of fetish porn, I'm ok with art projects like this that call that somewhat into question.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:30 PM on December 20, 2013


> I love it when female artists comment on the objectification of women by photographing themselves naked.

To put it in a way that is simple and easy to remember: It's not about the skin, it's about who makes the decision about the skin.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:38 PM on December 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


I kind of like it. It's just a bit of contrast satire & I'm not sure the artist's sexual preference matters here at all; she's responding to the way female bodies are, to her way of thinking (& with which I agree), objectified by others. If you're gonna snark, have a go at these other big sites who chose - should we even take the charitable line of thinking they did it for the art's sake as opposed to click bait titillation? - who have caused this little series to be foisted on to your eyeballs. How dare they! Good luck Rhiannon.
posted by peacay at 3:09 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I can't say I love these -- they are pretty simplistic, and I don't think the philosophy adds much to the discussion, but as examples of an artist claiming agency over the way her body is portrayed? They are fine for what they are. Expecting a relatively young artist to have some kind of fully-developed and final philosophy on something like body image is kind of a high bar and can even be yelling "shut up!"
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:37 AM on December 21, 2013


My initial, personal response to this is "I don't think it works," but thinking harder, there's a conceptual angle to this series that's at least a bit interesting.

I'll just be candid and said that initially, I (male, straight) barely noticed the merkins. She's attractive, and posed provocatively in postures that give salacious reveals of her breasts and belly-- the poses seem to be intentionally evocative of stereotypical Playboy-style photography. And I totally took the bait: "She's got a cute, sullen, face. Wow, I like those boobs. Hmm, it would fun to run my hand over her stomach! Her bits are covered, but that's fine-- vulvas don't have as much visual impact as thighs, which I can see. "

Then I got to the fourth photo, where she chose to block off much her body in black and force me to focus on the garish wig placed over her genitals. I felt just a little silly, but I still wasn't fully accepting of the theme outside of an exposed woman that I was enjoying looking at.

The fifth photo kind of slapped me. She's staring at the viewer in a reproachful way, with a ludicrous, Rapunzel-style braid dangling phallically. I realized that I had been enthusiastically admiring a woman with crazy shit stuck on her crotch. I felt a little shallow and a bit like a consumer of bizarre fetish porn.

It did reveal something to me about my focus and attitudes, and for that reason I think the series has some value to it. I found the framing a bit flippant, and that makes me wonder about the actual artistic intent, but I'd be confident that this was really good if I hadn't read the overly broad and confrontational forward. "Frowned upon by men" seems like a stretch-- I can't speak for everyone, but I'm a little thankful when someone reminds me of the control that my id has.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:48 AM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like this, but hated the artist's statement (as I tend to do). It sounds like she just threw a bunch of buzzwords in there "bluh blee gender roles burg objectification hrup femininity" .

If it were up to me, I would have just said two lines "Guys want a well-groomed woman? Well here you fucking go."
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:27 AM on December 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like this, but hated the artist's statement (as I tend to do). It sounds like she just threw a bunch of buzzwords in there "bluh blee gender roles burg objectification hrup femininity" .

On her tumblr she included the full interview, since the site cut it down to just those two lines. She mention's Cass Bird's Rewilding as an influence, and I think you can see where she is trying to go as an artist even if she isn't fully there yet.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:32 AM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


mention's

Ugh. Is there a flag for egregious typos?
posted by Dip Flash at 9:44 AM on December 21, 2013


How edgey.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:50 PM on December 21, 2013


My impression is the vast majority of sexually active women very much prefer and appreciate when a man shaves his pubic hair, for purposes of hygiene, appearance and not getting hair stuck between their teeth. My facial hair also quickly grows into a tangled mess and my mustache would completely cover my mouth without regular shaving. Anyone want to volunteer for a kiss?

You can say "it's about who makes the decision" but I would completely understand a romantic partner asking me to keep my hair trimmed (or a potential one who counted it against me/lost interest). I have the right to do whatever I want with my body, but I'd be kind of an asshole to demand that it not matter to other people and that I shouldn't have to take their preferences and comfort into consideration.

I also keep my armpit hair trimmed for hygienic reasons and have had nothing but complements from women for doing so.
posted by crayz at 1:21 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apart from the flat tummy and slender thighs this is just like looking in a mirror!

ive said too much
posted by billiebee at 3:23 PM on December 21, 2013


The quote in this Tumblr post of hers makes the point quite eloquently. If it seems a bit hamfisted to me (StraightWhiteCisMaleFilter), well, people develop as artists, and her work seems really good in general, and it'll be worth following.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:59 PM on December 21, 2013


I realized that I had been enthusiastically admiring a woman with crazy shit stuck on her crotch.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:48 AM


Hmmm.
posted by sneebler at 6:27 PM on December 21, 2013


The idea isn’t very good, but the execution is pretty terrible.
posted by bongo_x at 11:21 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


To put it in a way that is simple and easy to remember: It's not about the skin, it's about who makes the decision about the skin.

And yet the final product is an inert photograph of a naked woman.
posted by kenko at 6:37 PM on December 22, 2013


If your vision stops there then I guess you won't see any difference. Massive numbers of people see the intention(s) behind the creation of the photographs, and see how the images compare with more the more common and widespread representations of the same images.

It's only art; you're free to stop thinking about it at whichever point you wish.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:17 PM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suppose what really irks me is being told that a physical object, such as a photograph, questions, or subverts, or challenges, or Xes something, especially something so deeply embedded in our social structures. The right audience may well take it that way (especially if they've already been told that's what it does)—but that audience is the least likely to require the intervention supposedly made.
posted by kenko at 10:47 AM on December 23, 2013


Yeah, when people very seriously say that their art will "smash" something oppressive it usually strikes me as deluded self-aggrandizing, but I take projects like this to be a question delivered with an arched eyebrow. Maybe it helps than I never read the Artist's Statement.

But even if I'm already a member of the choir it's preaching to, it can still be useful. There are trends that spread into and pervade society that I would immediately reject if I thought about them. But their spread can be so slow that I don't notice them. I enjoy it when someone points them out, "Hey, this thing that's all around us and that we've basically accepted through inaction? Look at it, it's crazy isn't it?".
posted by benito.strauss at 12:13 PM on December 23, 2013


« Older Behold! The Heartbreaking, Hair-Raising Tale Of Fr...  |  Tootleg Boy's 'Pride and Preju... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments