Published also on AOCCares.org and Anne’s Facebook.
Note | Nudity Elias Wessel’s richly sensual images of Myf Shepherd in issue 3 of Vixen Magazine underscore not only the strong evolution of a core Smart Sensuality theme but also the intellectual divisions emerging between bloggers and fashion websites.
I could broad-base the trend, saying that the overall quality is going up, as individuals also seek differentiation from each other.
Clear voices tend to force the hands of those who wish not to offend, wrapping commentary in corporate milktoast because the big ad campaign might be around the corner. Practically-speaking, they are the smart business types when we all must pay the rent. The muted voice is understandable.
Words That Offend
This intellectual stance — or lack of it — begs the question of what we’re really adding to the dialogue as bloggers and writers, if our word choices are hobbled by potential business conflicts. Or — do we just not ‘get it’.
One thing you know about Anne of Carversville is just where we’re coming from. When I look at Elias Wessel’s images of Myf Shepherd in church, I don’t see just two options: 1) the setting and in particular Myf Sheperd naked on the altar as a ‘stripping back of innocence’; or 2) a ‘visual trump in a fashion photographer’s deck of playing cards’.
I tend to look at images more literally. In the case of this editorial: 1) The cover says ‘Golden Age: Everything is Illuminated’; 2) Myf Sheperd is incredibly organic in the ‘caviar’ or ‘honeycomb’ shot — sensual mouth open, orgasmic or wanting to speak — we’re not certain — a new oracle being born perhaps; 3) model is running out of church with lit crucifix behind her — that’s pretty darn literal; 4) full-frontal naked on the altar next to the Virgin Mary, Myf Sheperd’s arms are raised.
If a kid drew this picture would you consider it to be a ‘visual trump card’ from the photographer? I doubt it.
So I propose that the Vixen editorial is actually very provocative and quite literal in trying to make a Smart Sensuality statement about women, sensuality, religion, and the determination of people like me to drive a huge intellectual discussion around the topic of the global disempowerment of women — and disavowal of more humane female-centric values — that is the result of monotheism gone wild.
No doubt this philosophy eliminates all but the most courageous luxury brands from saying ‘Anne, we love you.’ Fine, I’ll starve then, rather than be intellectually dishonest.
Light on the Arts Altar
To end on a positive note, after being turned down the first time for being too commercial (is that a joke or what!!!) and having too large a following (I’ll take it), AOCCares.org was approved yesterday by Fractured Atlas, the largest fiscal sponsor in the arts in America.
This gives us nonprofit status without being a nonprofit, opening the door to philanthropic support from said luxury brands and foundations for our work on behalf of women worldwide, while giving us also the latitude to develop commercial projects under AOC Brands.
The new status will also allow us to develop a funded publishing project around sensuality and all the hot topics that heat up our burners every day of the week. My ‘take’ on emerging editorials is that there is no doubt that many creatives are willing to take a stand on this vision of Smart Sensuality values, searching for a new ‘Golden Age’ before our materialism and alleged love of God blows up the planet.
It is those artists and creatives that I personally reach out to in what may be an exciting new initiative not governed by a fear of offending but rather a commitment to telling the truth. Peace out. Anne