On rethinking the word “natural”.
For me, the worst compliment of all is “you are so natural” or “you’re a natural beauty”. Rarely is the lady receiving such complement in her actual true natural feminine form – unshaved, unshaped, unwashed, uncombed and unscented, roaming adjacent fields in search for food with a baby on her breast. Rather, a lady, who looks “naturally beautiful”, especially if she is over the age of 28, is one that mastered tricks of the trade of femininity and is in the habit of investing time and money in constant upkeep. Should she stop doing all these procedures – and actually become natural – only words thrown her way would be “disgusting”, “lazy”, “boring”, “masculine”. When I get the stamp of “natural beauty” on my picture, what I really get is a confirmation of the fact, that my looks comply to the current fashion of beauty. To the socially constructed, artificial standard. And since the eye of the onlooking man finds that beautiful, it just renders his likings to be natural. Because for him what he likes is natural, even if this everything has smokey eyes and acrylic nails. “A woman can be handsome, but she can only be beautiful in the eyes of the man who has established the norm”, as Daniella Caselli formulated it.
And lastly, a picture of my nude body shall exist not because of its naturality. Instead, because I insist on defining the conditions of its visibility.