Month: June 2014

Stunning Nude Photos Explore The True Power Of Stereotypes And Labels (NSFW)

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/lauren-renner_n_5317104.html

Posted: 05/15/2014 8:47 am EDT Updated: 05/15/2014 8:59 am EDT

What defines you? The loving words bestowed upon you by your loved ones — such as strong, kind, or beautiful; mother, inspiration or fighter? Or the slurs cast upon you by strangers or acquaintances — like stupid, fat or annoying; failure, bitch or fuck-up?

Photographer Lauren Renner explores the many ways we are defined by labels, from the mouths of others as well as ourselves, in a stunning series entitled “In Others’ Words.”

woman

The compelling photo series strips away all the excess to explore how we as human beings deal with the words thrown at us, both carefully and thoughtlessly, each and every day. “The labels that dictate how we are viewed by society are different, in many ways, from how we as individuals identify with ourselves,” Renner explains in her statement. “At times, it can seem as though the line between our self-identity and the identity placed on us by others is blurred. This makes it difficult for us to free ourselves from the confines of words, and alter the perception we have of ourselves.”

To explore the effects of the labels and stereotypes we’re all exposed to, Renner recruited volunteers to list the various words used to describe them on a piece of paper. After listing all their modifiers, from the complimentary to the painful, Renner’s subjects stripped down and wrote the words on their nude bodies. Ranging in age, gender and life story, the brave subjects proudly wear the words thrust upon them, expressing ownership over their collective and individual identities.

lauren

“Growing up, I had always operated very freely when it came to exploring various hobbies and interests, so when the opportunity presented itself for me to date a woman for the first time, I gave myself the space to explore a side of myself that had thus far been unchartered,” Renner told The Huffington Post. “This shift in my actions and emotional focus led to distinct shifts in how the people I was surrounded by chose to interact with me. These interactions were not inherently negative or even drastic, but were still frequent and noticeable.

“Suddenly, I was being labeled as ‘gay’ or ‘queer,’ and asked questions about being ‘gay’ or ‘queer’ that I didn’t even have the answers to because I had never thought of myself that way before. It was as though the world around me suddenly seemed to view me as a completely different person, while I still felt that I was the same person I’d always been who was simply exploring another part of myself. It made me furious. It made me curious. It gave me the artistic voice I had always been searching for.”

list

At first, Renner announced her photo shoots via social media, inviting friends, acquaintances and total strangers to prepare their lists of labels and meet up. The models would, without knowing each other prior, transcribe each other’s lists onto their naked bodies, physically incorporating their labels into their bodily being. Since the project’s beginnings, however, it has gained serious momentum, leading human beings to reach out from all over the world to participate.

Renner’s bold endeavor illuminates just how powerful words can be, whether uttered by your life partner or a bigoted stranger on the street. The series reminds us of the photo series “What I Be,” which asked subjects to write their deepest insecurities on their bodies — except this time they’re naked.

When describing her goals for the project, Renner explained that she didn’t aim to abolish stereotypes, but rather illuminate the power of refusing to allow these stereotypes to define us. “I would like to shed light on the fact that stereotyping and labeling are acts that none of us are exempt from perpetuating and experiencing,” she said. “We can either continue to use our differences to divide us, or we can unite on the basis of our shared experiences, respect the impact of those experiences, and define our identities for ourselves… I hope to offer my participants a chance to unite, to bring light to their experiences through raw personhood, and to define their identities for themselves despite what society has put upon them.”

See the stunning series below and let us know your thoughts in the comments. If you’re interested in participating in a shoot, email Lauren at lauren@laurenrenner.com.

Woman naked for 50 years

(via Woman naked for 50 years – News VietNamNet)

VietNamNet Bridge – For nearly half a century, the Muong people of this village in Hoa Binh Province have become accustomed to the image of a naked figure in their community. She is Ms. Dinh Thi Dong, 53, who never wears clothes. Upon seeing strangers, Dong hastily covered her body with a blanket.
Dong’s village is situated in the Da Bac District’s Tien Phong Commune. To meet with her, reporters had to scale dozens of steep, slippery slopes.
Mr. Khanh, the guide, explained that, even when it’s very cold, with temperatures down to 9-10 degrees Celsius, Dong does not wear anything.
“She is very healthy. Whether it is cold or hot, rainy or sunny, she is still naked. Only on extremely cold days does she stay at home to be near the fire,” Khanh said.
Upon seeing strangers, Dong hastily covered her body with a blanket. But after the guide’s introduction in the Muong language, her reticence seemed to ease, and she became less shy. Appearing much older than her real age, with sunken eyes and wrinkled face, she said: “I do not know why I cannot wear clothes. If I put them on, I feel uncomfortable, irritable and itchy, and I just want to tear them into pieces”.
Despite never wearing clothes, this strange woman has never been sick at all. “My body is healthy, the skin is very thick. I don’t feel the cold,” she added.
She pulled away the blanket, revealing her bare back with rough and blackened skin. Ms. Dong’s house on stilts.
“Previously I was very frustrated. I did not dare to appear in front of others. But gradually I have stopped hiding myself from my fellow villagers. Only before strangers must I shield my body. I know that I’m strange and it is a miserable existence for me, but I cannot do anything about it.”
Dong is the fifth child in a family of six brothers and sisters. At birth, she was normal like any other child. Everything changed when she was 5 years old, after family upheaval.
Her parents died young from diseases. Relatives took four of Dong’s siblings to Dak Lak, but left Dong and her younger sister. The changes were a shock to Dong. From a normal child, she became taciturn. And, she lost the habit of wearing clothes.
At first, because she was so small, the villagers paid little attention to her. But as she grew up, neighbors recognized there was something strange about her, but found that it was too late to change her behavior.
Some initially thought she was too poor to afford anything to wear, so they gave her clothes. She received them but she did not wear them. If she was forced to wear clothes, she tore them off after several minutes.
The villagers knew that Dong was not mad because she was very intelligent. So they believed that she was haunted or under a spell. They invited exorcists to “chase away the ghosts”, but that proved fruitless.
Although Dong does not wear clothes, her life remains normal. Every day, she goes to work like everyone else in the village. She goes to the field to plant rice and cassava and to the river to catch fish.
Mr. Dinh Van Tan, the village chief said: “Many times I saw her going into the forest to pick firewood with clothes in her basket. She’d put them on before climbing up a tree. After gathering firewood, she’d take off the clothes again and return them to her basket. She said she wore clothes to climb trees to avoid being scratched.”
A fisherman says each time she goes fishing, Dong is also nude. She stands to row very powerfully. But every time another boat passes, she sits down, turns her back or covers her body with something until the boat is fairly distant.
“I was very curious about Ms. Dong at first, but then I felt pity for her, so when we accidentally saw her, we deliberately avoided her so she could do her job comfortably,” the fisherman said.
It is not easy to force Dong to wear clothes. Even her relatives and her younger sister cannot persuade the woman to wear clothes.
“Once provincial officials paid a visit to our village. Several local officials bought nice clothes for my sister. Some villagers gathered to help her get dressed but when the clothes were just put on my sister, she almost went mad and began tearing them apart. She even tore the clothes with a knife. Since then no one has dared to force my sister to wear clothes,” said Dong’s sister.
The sister said that Dong refused medical checkups. Sometimes medical workers asked the police to help but after seeing doctors and police officers, Dong hid herself in forest for several days.
Given her odd habit, Dong could not have her own family. That doesn’t concern her, or so she professes. But what does trouble her is guilt over the plight of her younger sister. “Because of me, my sister cannot get married,” she said in tears.
VietNamNet/PLVN

(via Artist Creates Unique Nude Photo Series with Invisible Ink Revealed Under Blacklights (NSFW) | Nerve.com

Turn off the lights. 

BY WESLEY BONNER

California-based artist Richard Rasner boasts himself as one of the first photographers ever to use digital blacklight photography. Since his career flew to the forefront of the creative art field with the bestselling book Whispers of the Mind in 2005, Rasner has remained at the forefront of the technology required to complete this complicated process.

We’ve collected images across 25 blacklight projects by the creative artist, featuring nude women shot both inside and out wearing 100 percent invisible ink, painted or pour on in various designs and colors. The models are then lit by custom UV lights, allowing the designs to illuminate into the darkness. Rasner, who operates under the moniker ‘Unique Nudes,’ hopes to help separate nude art from porn, with his stunning, respectable, non-erotic nudes. Here’s a look into the blacklight creations of Richard Rasner. 

Images via Unique Nudes

//

nudiarist:

From Man Ray to Cindy Crawford: Stunning new book sheds light on the surprisingly long history of NUDE photography | http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2626306/From-iconic-Man-Ray-naked-Cindy-Crawford-Stunning-new-book-sheds-light-surprisingly-long-history-NUDE-photography.html

Photo: Charles Swedlund created images using multiple exposures, among them 1969’s Three Graces

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2626306/From-iconic-Man-Ray-naked-Cindy-Crawford-Stunning-new-book-sheds-light-surprisingly-long-history-NUDE-photography.html#ixzz31hrsYHJt
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MAY 14, 2014
The meandering naturist gets a compass It’s been about nine months since I’ve posted to my blog. Some of you who have followed for a while know I was attempting to document our naturist journey across Europe; one that would begin in Spain and end up in Greece – over a period of about twelve weeks. A sign posted in an Italian resort where, oddly enough, nudity was often forbidden! The last naturist in Greece We made the entire journey, but someplace in central France, I simply fell off the cyber-map. I have several alibis at the ready for my sudden and mysterious disappearance, the most compelling having to do with the lack of WI-FI connectivity in naturist locales that can support the bandwidth requisite of a blog platform, in addition to the fact that we were getting a little road weary near the end. And as the seasons started to turn, and our accommodations morphed into smaller, naturist friendly inns, taking photographs became increasingly problematic. And to be sure, a blog is infinitely more interesting with photos! Since I wrote last, we did manage to visit two excellent naturist resorts in the Provence region of France. Domaine de la Sabliere lies in a rugged canyon just south of the Ardeche, surrounded by picturesque little villages and lavender fields. Origan Village is perched on a steep mountain in the foothills of the Alps above Nice. Our favorite feature there is a 90 minute walk along the mountain ridge – perfect in the early morning… au naturel. Lazy days in Croatia
From there, we crossed Italy (not especially naturist friendly) to take our apartment at Koversada in northern Croatia, then on to Montenegro where we had to get our naturist fix on the terrace of a rented villa above the Bay of Kotor. A series of ferry crossings would allow a rather bizarre visit to Pizzo Greco on the southern tip of Italy, before visiting two excellent (but quite different) naturist lodgings on the Greek islands of Zakynthos (Panorama Naturist Hotel) and Kefalonia (Vassaliki Resort). We had designs of experiencing naturism in Brazil and Thailand this past year as well, but neither of those trips came to fruition. Morning walk in South Africa We did, however, find two naturist venues in South Africa, most notably, the rustic but charming Harmony Nature Farm – once again challenging our preconceptions of what we’ve come to know as European-style – or more specifically, French-style – naturisme. And truth be told, I found it difficult to keep comparing other naturist destinations to those we’ve already identified as Nirvana, and so quite frankly, I stopped trying to do so. In the meantime, we are still residing in Europe; a year-long adventure that will conclude this summer with one more visit to La Jenny (see previous post), our naturist home-away-from-home. I think it a worthy cause to keep documenting our naturist travels – past, present, and future – as we have come to appreciate a few words of wisdom from those who have gone before us when we first arrive at a new place to shed our clothes. As this goes to press, I’m working on a new post called “100 Naked Places.” The list will include 71 places where we’ve been naked ourselves, 44 of which we would gladly recommend to our friends, and another 27 or so which might fall into the category of, “Been there, done that – don’t need to do that again!” The remaining 29 places on the roster are still on our bucket list, with Thailand and Brazil still near the top of that list, along with resorts on Mallorca and the Canary Islands – and even a few places that hold some intrigue back in the good ol’ US of A. Making our own resort, in Montenegro Thanks to the nearly 90,000 of you (as of May 2014) who have stopped by my blog so far. I’m hoping I can find the time in the coming month to stay on course, in an effort to help other meandering naturists find their way. Share this:
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3 THOUGHTS ON “THE MEANDERING NATURIST GETS A COMPASS” Allen says:
May 14, 2014 at 2:45 pm
Glad to see you’re back, Dan. The places sound heavenly: or at least like an earthly paradise. Keep us posted on your further (naked) wanderings! Allen (via The meandering naturist gets a compass | The Meandering Naturist)

(via Nude Hiking and Soaking in the Pacific Northwest: A Little Nude Time is Better Than None …)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
A Little Nude Time is Better Than None …

So I finished my latest series of chemo this past Sunday (Mother’s Day) and I get a break for awhile until radiation therapy in June sometime (they haven’t determined when, yet). A break is needed ‘cause the chemo is taking an unrelenting toll on my body … I need time to recover and mend.

I’ve gone back to work … not the full-schedule before (screw them) but enough to keep the medical up. As soon as I could get out of work on Monday, I booked for the mountains. The sun was out, not a cloud in the sky. I wanted and needed some nude time. I feel like ‘crap’ and probably look it too. Can anyone think of a better tonic than natural sunshine on your body?

Initially I thought about heading for Scenic … a nice though steep hike, what I really wanted was to slip into the pools of hot, natural spring waters and simply soak myself away to tranquility. But when I got to the start of the trek up to the springs the temperatures outside were just a little bit too on the chilly side (low 50s) for my-by-now nude body to endure. The more I kept looking up the road to Scenic the more I realized that willing and wanting as I was, I really did not have the stamina nor energy for that hike. So I reluctantly got back in the car and headed down the highway for something safer and warmer.

It took me an hour to get out of Seattle … another hour and a half to Scenic. Okay … so it’s getting late. Not much daylight left with the sun almost to the western ridge lines of the foothills. Whatever worked would have to be short for sure … the challenge was finding somewhere that at least got into sunlight instead of the shade and deepening shadows close at hand in the low valley of the river and highway. FS 6028 is one of those spots … a favored hiking place for me because it is gated, rarely used and rises into open clearcut with a late-afternoon exposure to the sun.

Hiking into the open areas along FS 6028 (near Grotto)
The nice thing about FS 6028 is that you know with a lot of certainty as to whether you have this easy logging road to yourself (gated, one-way in and out, logging operations long over). So you can hike nude with confidence for miles and enjoy scenic views over the Skykomish Valley below (and majestic Baring Mountain behind). The inbound trek to the first switchback is three-quarters of a mile. I made it maybe another quarter mile up before the steepening grade urged me to turn around and slowly amble my way back to the car. But this was the tonic I was looking for. Even a little nude time is better than none.

Back at the car and being a little bit presumptuous about the lack of cover here.
FS 6028 is great to get nude upon … but the area where you park is wide-open to nearby traffic whizzing by on Highway 2 (at least until the foliage starts to fill in). So sometimes you are taking chances hiking all the way back to the car. Nevertheless, I often do with a certain self-satisfaction that I’m simply not going to stop and pull on shorts for that last fifty feet or so. Let them see me and make of it what they will. Sometimes I can be difficult.

The sun is right at those western ridge lines now and I’m in a panicked state. I want more nude time outside. Where? I don’t bother to pull anything on. Onto the highway and thinking, “Where can a get a few more minutes to wander about and feel the environment on my skin?” Reiter Ridge was one thought … but that would be in shadow by now.

Can you get despondent about not enough nude enjoyment? I was certainly feeling that way as I passed Baring. Coming around the west curve I was surprised at the lack of parked cars at the Eagle Falls pullouts beside the highway. Eagle Falls is popular … Eagle Falls always has people pulling over and checking the falls out. What a surprise. I pull over. I love this picturesque spot!

This moss-covered wall beside the highway pullout shields you from view.
Eagle Falls is right beside Highway 2 and is a popular party spot for young people. Despite being a somewhat tempting, though dangerous placed for swimming, the wide basaltic ledges beside the falls see bonfires, loud music and drinking (and everything that goes along with the rites of spring and summer.

Party-spots beside the falls and rapids.
Nudity does happen on the hard-to-view ledges by Eagle Falls. Not often but I have visited and come across naked revelers around campfires and had some interesting times … most importantly, the go ahead and get nude myself (nudity is so much more fulfilling when you can share it with others).

But today, despite the warm day but being a Monday, I had the ledges all to myself and I get to wander around as much as I like while there is still a little bit of sunlight.

… some interesting artwork and a short video of the falls.