Beauty and the beast.

To this day I am not quite sure what happened during my pubescent years, but I was captivated by such iconic beauties as Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot and that kind of iconic beauty has been a restless beast inside me ever since. To nicely complicate my life, I also became a transvestite, which was entirely a driven, obsessive, thing. I built my studio to pursue my great love of iconic beauty and have spent many years perfecting my own editing style. Regardless of the modern obsession with de-sexualising Monroe, what Monroe and Bardot did was ooze sensuality and I see no reason to embark on some kind of apologist campaign to suggest otherwise or to rationalise it through notions of exploitation and corporate manipulation. What was also apparent was that these were women of character, unlike the modern homogenised character-less  look and the pursuit of talentless fame that I find repulsive.

Have I got close to satisfying the beast? At every step of the way, I’ve felt a little closer, when I’ve made some editing breakthrough or whatever, but in reality I haven’t even got close yet, partly because I just haven’t done enough studio work to develop it.

I was once asked by a University Media Lecturer if I felt that in editing as I do I was bringing out what I felt were some essential qualities in the models. Then and now I do not think that is the case, I impose my own vision in the editing process, that the models like what I do is really merely fortuitous.

2 thoughts on “Beauty and the beast.

  1. You don’t need a single word of validation from me or anybody else. But I like the idea of this blog, and that it is specifically about your photography in all its creative aspects. So there!

    Personally, I guess I’ve always had a head problem with Beauty, human beauty in particular. Unlike you, it disturbs me. Not to hatred, but just that I am extremely uncomfortable with it, and feel very uncomfortable around beautiful people, good looking people, no matter their ‘class’ status. I don’t know why that should be. I just like ordinary faces more. Maybe I interpret that as a measure against myself, and I feel less out of place in the midst of ‘ordinary’, whatever that means in a world of 7 billion plus people. I suppose it is a lifetime of being put down for being overweight, which is out of the ordinary at the least. Maybe someone in one of the psych- professions would say I’m just plain jealous of beautiful people, and I leave that possibility in the ‘probably so’ column.

    I agree with you about women like Monroe and Bardot, who, with their iconic sensual beauty, were also women of depth, and that depth of their person adds dimensions to what the eyes and cameras see. Someone is ‘home’ inside that lovely outer shell.

    I’m not made for beauty, but I have wished to be when I was young. Yes, the hormones of the ordinary and the rest of us work their rages just the same as they do in the beauties. It would have saved a helluva lot of angst about what ‘he’ would think of me when the clothes were on the floor.

    It seems, through my hopefully not too judgmental eyes, that you are an artist and photographer with an eye for what is beautiful and for what is interesting, where sometimes the two overlap and sometimes you get something ordinary that the camera and the heart both see as another kind of beauty. There is plenty of it all in this amazing world.

  2. Thank you Leenie, beauty is an enigma to me, which probably accounts for its fascination. The first thing to say I think, is that it’s pot luck what looks we get. No one gets to choose how they look, though there are plenty who behave as if they did, or are special because of them, which is about as shallow as any one can get. The second thing is biological attraction, we’re hard wired to be sexual creatures, and that’s got nothing to do with marriage, fidelity or morality, it just is. It’s worth mentioning that gender is the prime identifier when we meet someone, whatever else might follow gender is the first and key identifier. Lastly, I think, there is cultural programming, and I think that is a real biggie. Not nearly enough work has been done on cultural programming, how we are ‘meant’ to dress, look, behave, conjoin, that has a very ritualistic quality to it and is very hard to change. I can’t say more because I don’t know any more, as I say it’s a real enigma.

    I can identify, in me, envy of what I consider to be beautiful women. As a tranny that was part of it definitely. I saw it as some kind of power, to inflame the senses and to have control, none of which I had in my life. I was just some maggoty male and my mother never hid her terror of men as beasts. Add to that sexual abuse by someone I adored (male), but had no way to respond to as I was just too young and what I have is a mess that’s ill formed and incoherent even after all these years.

    So this fascination with iconic glamour is, in part, control and the editing I do smooths and removes all blemishes and creates something pristine, that’s obvious from what I do. But why I also want character is less clear, why not bland and pristine, why attitude thrown in the mix? Perhaps I am creating my ideal woman but am holding on to the control I have that I’ve never had in life, just as many women have rape fantasies which are enjoyable because it is their fantasy and therefore they are not violated by it, danger without violation.

    Whatever it is, I am definitely fascinated, even fixated, by it.

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