Why I Strip… III
Women are the most beautiful creatures ever. You can just get lost in them. I can stare at a photo of a woman forever and pour over every nuance. There have been very few times I have felt envy over another’s beauty, more curiosity and awe. To a greater degree, they have been teachers, these women and their photographers.
I’ve been criticized for falling into the femininity forged by men. That of red pouting lips, of James Bond conquests, of Victoria’s Secret Angels…….The sexy vixen made for a man’s pleasure. I must admit, from a young age I was always drawn to the feminine as an etherial being. I loved fairy tales of fair maidens, whose beauty was stuff of legends, that caused brave handsome men to face death to be worthy of her adoration. The books that transported me into this fantasy came fully equipped with all the imagery to fully complete the luxury and perfection of not only the women involved, but their environment as well. There was the finest art that depicted the most delicate and exquisite females I could ever imagine. It never really mattered that these were fairy tales and the pictures were in truth drawings. The effect was the same as if it had been real. I wanted to be as lovely and graceful and powerful as these women were.
Powerful? Now that is not a term you think of with those damsels in these old stories. For the most part, these gals are usually either born poor, or have had their wealth taken. They appear endlessly in need of rescue by a rich, handsome, strapping lad. So where is their power? In their very nature. In their ability to BE feminine. By their good virtue they could cause sane men to throw caution to the wind. For their beauty, they took on untold dangers. For their love……they sacrificed all. Now who was the powerful one?
Not all of these stories that I poured over had depictions of the feminine as the weaker sex. I learned, along with the beauty, virtue, and honor these women possessed in abundance, they were also not in short supply of intelligence, courage and strength. At times these heroines faced great odds and were the ones to save the day, at considerable cost to themselves. There was a princess who had to endure each step she took being as if stepping on burning coals and sharp blades in order to cross a gulf to rescue her lover. Or one where the lady had to cut off her own pinky finger to save her family. There were stories of women who outwitted their enemies and turned the table on their foes. I was getting a great education on the fullness of the feminine spirit. She could be pouty and sexy, and independent and capable to boot. Every story I read had one other thing in common. All fairy tales, for the most part in Western culture, revolve around the female. Again, I ask….who has power in these stories???
There was a book in my orthodontist’s office when I was 13 that I always looked at. Every appointment for the next two years I would look forward to sitting in the waiting room just to gaze at that hardcover portfolio. I wish I had it today. It was a large hard bound tome filled front to back with photos of women taken by celebrated photographers. Some of the women were famous, some were not. All were stunning. Breathtaking. Again, though this expression, as in the fairy tales, I felt the feminine power ooze from the pages. I was young, but I got it. That book oozed SEX. Don’t get me wrong, it was a Time/Life book. It was very proper. Most of the photos were of the women’s faces, or of them artfully draped in 1940’s – 70’s glamour shots. Very few were racy, even by 1980’s standards. There was the classic photo of Marilyn Monroe, for example, with her white dress blowing around her legs, but that was about as juicy as it got. But I felt it….
The absolute power of feminine sensuality.
And I wanted it.