Crazy Diamond Remix | Mindwaves of the Xiren Persuasion

13 things you failed to see when you reported my photo for nudity.

In my charmed life, Of Power, reflections on February 6, 2015 at 6:02 am


It’s easy to say, “get off my work, and mind your own,” and that’s largely how I felt when I received the notification from Facebook, informing me that a recent photoshoot snap had somehow offended your tastes, and for reasons unbeknownst to me, you reported it to have violated Facebook’s Community Standard on nudity. Now, if you were genuinely concerned about my well-being, you could have reached out to me directly. Flagged an email, sent a message, saying, “hey, perhaps you could reconsider…” But instead, you chose to operate anonymously, passive aggressively. This kind of behaviour is not my style. Now that you’ve gotten my attention, you’ll forgive me for folding my usual modicum of diplomacy into the round-file, because if my work offended you, this is not going to get better.

A common failure for millennials such as myself, is the incomprehensible yearning to be understood by the wrong people and seeking validation in all the wrong places. But you see, I don’t like to misdirect my energy this way. I align myself with women who, pardon my manners, didn’t give a flying f*ck. If I curbed my ways to make others comfortable, I would fail as an artist. If I fail as an artist, I fail as a being.

While I don’t aim to be understood, I would be mistaken if I didn’t show you the thirteen things you failed to see when you reported my photo for nudity. These thirteen things are what I know for sure, and what I know for sure, trumps your opinion about a world you clearly don’t understand.

I. My four-figure worth of designer wardrobe.
Pieces include: Quilted Designer vest; AP bra top; AP knickers; Designer boots.
Novelty, I was actually wearing clothes. I had to, it was a job. It was for one of the fiercest fashion designers I’ve had the honour to meet. It was a creative collaboration. There was hardware involved; I was selling something; that something wasn’t flesh.

II. This is a professional photo, by a leading photographer.
That means this is work; this is art; this is product; this is public.
What this isn’t, is that it’s not a selfie that reveals too much privacy, which if you allow my two cents, has cause for greater social concern, relatively speaking. But the means to take a selfie render these #firstworldproblems. I digress.

III. The hours of hair and make-up art, by a team of talented artists.
There were a team of hair and make-up artists. They came with concept drawings, reference images, and a full table’s worth of make up that would last the average person about ten years. There’s nothing average about artists; nothing average about what we create. This is our standard kit, but “standard” is easily a dirty word.

IV. The art of the pose.
The reality of being 5’4″ dictates that I usually never do fashion modeling. I was booked for who I am, as opposed to the fashion model that I’m not. That alone, is success as an artist. When you book work as yourself, instead of who they want you to be, and believe me, there are a lot of people wanting you to be a lot of different things, in this crazy world called showbiz.

By booking me as who I am, I brought who I am to the pose. That means eleven years of yoga and bringing the pose down to a level where vertical inches became irrelevant. At the same time, achieving an artistic goal of balancing flow, grace, energy, and movement in a dramatic way.

You try. No really, try

I guess the nudity was too distracting for you to have seen all this.

V. The art and skill of the capture.
That was not a wig I was wearing. That’s real hair, and working with forces of gravity means that what you see doesn’t come naturally. As badass as it would look, in moments of imagination taking flight, I can’t walk around town like this – not even in New York City, and not even if I wanted to, because it’s literally, naturally, impossible. What you’re failing to see, is the physical work involved, the mechanics of time and time again of various actions called, rehearsed, and then the sheer chance of one of those clicks working out. Maybe.

I guess my clothed nudity must have impaired your faculties for comprehension.

VI. The art of lighting and photoshop.

VII. The collective efforts of a team of creatives.
For the purposes of this shoot, there are seven: two models; two make-up artists/hair stylists; photographer; designer; gallery owner. All seven creatives have invested in time, energy, and efforts to make creative magic. Any creative project involve three phases: the prep/pre-shoot, shoot, and post-shoot. Each phase has its own work.

When you report a work like this because it conjured up something so uncomfortable within you, you are effectively undermining all of the following, each of which has a cost that far exceeds the price-tag of the clothes I had been wearing.

VIII. The collective creative vision of seven artists.
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller
Magic doesn’t happen when the vision isn’t aligned. To align the visions of seven artists is magic, in its own way. I’m sorry you failed to see this.

IX. The daring pursuit of love and passion – of and as – an artist, x7.
We are not timid to pursue what really sparks within us. The work is created from a place of love and light. As artists, we operate out of love. I dare say that the average, certainly under-performing crop of 9-5ers operate out of fear. Sometimes, I wonder where the value of life is, in those other lives?

X. The courage to choose to be an artist, x7.
Being an artist is a choice. I had, and have other options. The easier choice would have been to have stayed within academia, or government. I chose, perhaps, the most difficult one, but also the most rewarding one. I confront the challenges and inevitable dark sides of this choice daily. Tomorrow, I will choose again. I hope, with all my light, that you could have the courage to lead a life you’re proud of, one that’s fulfilling, one that’s rewarding.

XI. The commitment to living a life as an artist, x7.
Most of the class I graduated with, from Film Academy, are now onto other careers. Having worked since the age of fourteen, my father, to this day, is still wondering when the day will come, when I get myself “a real job”… I had one. I had plenty. But the life I have committed to, is that of an artist, and that’s a life that I will re-commit to, with each rising sun.

XII. The unyielding love for all we create, x7.
As artists, we are all naked, in a sense that we are totally vulnerable to that which we create, and then to those whom we touch directly and indirectly through our art.

Like all creations, you, too, were born into this world, naked, with a lot of chaos, screams, blood, and sweat.

Naked, but my creations are conceived and coated with love. Everything else is trivial.

XIII. Facebook’s Community Standard on Nudity.
Given that I’ve excelled in every subject I’ve ever studied, the pairing of poor judgement with impaired comprehension does not impress me. If I were your teacher, I would make reflection an assignment. I would ask that you re-evaluate your judgement, given the thirteen items above. I would ask that you read some poetry, go to a museum, attend a concert, watch a film, learn a new language, get a drink, see a therapist… but why?

Why art? Art offends you.

So please, just unfriend me. Get off my work, and mind your own. Facebook did that. Your turn.




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