So Bad, And Yet So Good – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Tonight I decided that, rather than seeing something legitimate like Zero Dark Thirty or Silver Linings Playbook, I would see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. And I can’t believe it, but I’m not regretting it.

Let’s set the scene shall we? Just so you understand the state of mind I was in. A friend and I were originally planning to see Les Mis, simply because I hadn’t seen it yet, but it was already gone at the place I wanted to go. So then Django Unchained, which both of us had already seen (holy shit, go see that obvious Oscar winner), but nope, also gone. So. We were down to two serious, but highly acclaimed movies (as stated above), and a number of pieces of obvious crap. And so the answer was the brand new movie with hot actors, guns, and explosions. I was not disappointed in any of those respects.

Before I really begin, let me just say, Hansel & Gretel is a straight-up bad movie. BAD. Terrible plot, pacing, and largely scripting. But there ARE reasons I think you should watch it… just maybe not in theaters.

I mean, I think they're hot.

I mean, I think they’re hot.

So aside from Jeremy Renner being beautiful, and (be still my heart) Gemma Arterton stealing the show, there were no good characters. Neither of them were even particularly good. They were just… entertaining.

There was a bit of steampunk flair to the whole thing, which I thought was amusing, as it was only shown through weapons, as opposed to dress (at least in large part) or affectation. I like guns, I like metal, I like explosions. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if I sit down to watch Breakfast At Tiffany’s, don’t you dare make any loud noises, because I might punch you. Violence begets violence. Don’t do it. (Sorry, maybe I really enjoyed the ridiculousness of this movie because of the yummy stein I filled up with a not entirely yummy beer to last the entirety of the film, if you can call it that).

The witches were silly, very silly. Over the top, and I really enjoy just plain laughing at them because they didn’t scare, they didn’t intimidate, and they certainly only made me feel uncomfortable because of the terrible scripting. It was nice to see them get exploded and squished though…

Yeah this is going to be a short review, simply because this movie is so terrible. Don’t go in expecting something fantastical. The plot sucks, the scripting is contrived, etc. But you will laugh, laugh at the ridiculosity of the whole thing.

And want badly to make out with the badass Gemma Arterton every minute.

A Refreshing Series of Urban Fantasy

Around the time of midterms this past semester, I started reading a series of books (perfect timing, right?). I blazed through the six released books in a few weeks and found myself spellbound by the wit and (generally) likeable characters, not to mention behind on studying for midterms, then finals as well. I’m talking about the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Spoilers follow, but not overall plot-related ones.

mooncalled300 bloodbound300 ironkissed300 bonecrossed_big silverBorne_big river+marked

I remember seeing the cover of the first one several years ago, and as drawn to it as I was, I wrote it off as just another lame paranormal romance with nothing special about it. Yes, I realize her tattoos change on each cover, but let’s not sweat the details too much there. I’d been turned off by the Anita Blake series, which started out awesome and then just turned into a meaningless orgy (I’d say up through Narcissus in Chains is all you should bother reading). Ironically, the Anita Blake series was the one that turned me off of werewolves as well… I mean, I’m up for a gratuitous romance every once in a while just like the next girl, but it wasn’t really something I was looking for at the time.

I took another look at the cover of Moon Called and decided it was time to pick it up. Or buy it on my Nook (way more convenient). The whole thought of a coyote shifter was actually pretty interesting to me, given how into Coyote lore I’ve been lately (thank you Gunnerkrigg Court). Mercy has just the right of snark and just the right amount of realism to keep me both entertained and sympathetic. My favorite thing about Mercy is not her quirky career as a mechanic or her ability to shape shift or anything like that. Rather, I admire, respect, and even value the fear Mercy has no problem admitting to. Paranormal shit is scary, guys. Werewolves are not cuddly, fae do eat people, and vampires want nothing more than to use humans as cattle. My appreciation for her fear was really solidified during a scene with one of the vampires (a kid vampire no less) that would have scared the pants off of me as well. I’d have run out of that house as fast I could have too.

I always really like it when authors inject some actual authenticity into their characters. It makes them not only likeable, but also easier to read. I’m not saying Mercy isn’t without her irritating character flaws, but rather that she is a character that has multiple layers of interest that are appealing to me.

Whether or not I like a book is dependent largely on the characters. The plot can be a tad shaky (which is most definitely the case in some of these books), but without decent, solid characters, an author is basically dead to me. I’d say the only character I’m on the verge of disliking is Stefan… which is odd because I generally like vampires more than I do werewolves (and I don’t think there are any werewolves I don’t like as characters). With Stefan, I can’t seem to get a handle on him. If he quirky and loveable? Is he secretive and plotting? Does he have emotions or not? He’s obviously a really conflicted character, but I think the confusion in his portrayal is somewhat over the top. I mean, if I met Stefan, I’d probably like him, he seems like a cool dude, but reading about him can be difficult.

The more I read about the fae, the more I want to learn about them. In Iron Kissed and Silver Borne especially there was quite a bit of fae lore (what with the fairy queen and all), which was really enjoyable. Every time Zee drops his glamour, I get excited and hope that maybe this time, maybe, I’ll get to learn more about his history. But alas. Hopefully that back story is coming.

As a warning, Iron Kissed (#3) is intense, and not exactly in a good way. It’s hard to read about rape in any situation, but in a fantasy novel, it’s surreal and very unsettling. Again, just be warned. Overall, it was a good book, but it was my least favorite so far.

River Marked was really amazing and I can’t wait for the next one! Long story short, I recommend you pick up Moon Called, and see if you like it too.

 

“Tumblr You Are Hungover”

I recently got a tumblr (betrayal!). I had told myself long, long ago that I would never get one, and I still am not sure why I did. Maybe it was because my roommate has a particularly spectacular Benedict Cumberbatch worship blog, which ironically spawned the inspiration for this post. We’ll get to that later.

I find myself in a very love/hate relationship with tumblr. I’ll be honest, it makes me think of Myspace, with all its glitter and glam and personalization of backgrounds and layout. I understand people want to “express themselves,” but is making your “Home” button impossible to find and in miniscule type the way to do that? Many times I’ve been redirected to a single post, then wanted to see what else this potential master of humor had on his or her blog, but was unable to navigate my way to their blogroll. Yes, I suppose I could just delete the entry URL designation and be taken to the homepage, but let’s be honest, I’m just too lazy. I’d rather just click a button, and when I can’t find that button, you’ve lost a potential follower.

Maybe I’m just a stickler for clean lines and simplicity on the internet. Which is a funny thing to say really… But honestly, why can’t all the funny .gif-based tumblrs look like THIS? If you haven’t seen whatshouldwecallme, then you’ve been living under an internet rock. So many awesome spin-offs, the majority of which make me at least chortle in appreciation. Surriously, why can’t I be that clever? Or have any idea how to make a .gif? Why am I even living in this century?

I’ve always kind of felt like my technological knowledge was above-average, but not nearly as advanced as other kids (ha. ha. I’m getting old.) my age. I fall somewhere between my mother, who uses her computer for email and Word, and my father, who builds digital fire models to conduct theoretical experiments. What.

I”m straying a bit from the topic of this post, which was supposed to be tumblr. Unfortunately, I find tumblr infested with the kinds of people (*cough*children*cough*) that make it difficult to wade through all the crap to get to some quality stuff. I don’t have a disdain for people who use tumblr, but I do think there’s a large preponderance of useless bullshit, that I couldn’t care less about. It’s good for a laugh, but as a true, serious blogging site, it’s kind of crap. Visually, I prefer Pinterest FAR more (though I know some tumblrs who would cry FOR SHAME). Textually I obviously enjoy WordPress. And as a social network… come on, Facebook is still a thing, let’s keep using it, despite the privacy issues, because I guarantee tumblr has worse ones.

But now to address the title of this post and really underscore how silly tumblr really is. Case in point:

Behold

Behold

This picture of a fine-looking grilled cheese sandwich and hearty tomato soup was posted on my aforementioned roommate’s blog. Having a solid number of followers, this lovely picture was reblogged (or liked)… 127 times. WHAT. Hence “Tumblr, you are hungover” uttered from said roommate.

Seriously guys? It’s fucking grilled cheese. What are you smoking that makes this worthy of being reblogged? It was put out there as a joke, and you turned it into something to be actually considered. You aren’t funny, and I think you’re missing the point of irony as soundly as the average hipster.

I should probably reel in the hostility a bit…

I’m not a fan of tumblr. If you want to check mine out, feel free. It’s a lot of Benedict Cumberbatch, Harry Potter, and nerdy videogame stuff. Have fun. Be ready for another post HERE however, in the near future.

“Far over the Misty Mountains cold…” – An Immediate Review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Needless to say, I just got back from the midnight release of The Hobbit, so it’s 3am and I’m about ready to burst with all the things I want to say about it! AH! My immediate reaction: Totally fantastic, I really, really enjoyed myself. There were some annoyances, some of which or over-the-top nerdy, nit-picky things, others just glaringly obnoxious and unnecessary, but I’ll get into that later.

Let’s be real, you know there are going to be spoilers, but if you haven’t read the book, it’s your own damn fault. So let’s get to it!

By far my favorite promotional poster.

By far my favorite promotional poster.

The movie begins the day of Bilbo’s 111th birthday, the same day the The Fellowship of the Ring begins on (complete with “No Admittance Except on Party Business” sign. Frodo is meandering about, being himself (you know, the sweet, carefree Frodo before the Ring fucks him up forever), Bilbo is writing about his adventures – finally. I’m really glad it started out this way, because it sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

The Hobbit was written as a children’s book. It’s a mere 300(ish) pages. People are all in an uproar about how Peter Jackson made a huge mistake by deciding to split the book into three movies. Let’s face facts guys, yes he’s out to make money. BUT, he’s also determined to make fans happy. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again. I think this movie captured the tone and essence of The Hobbit as a book almost to a T. It’s not supposed to be serious like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy! It’s a book about a guy who goes on an adventure with a bunch of dwarves and gets into lots of nigh-on slapstick shenanigans. Sure there’s foreshadowing (much more in the movie than in the book), and sure there are some serious moments, but overall, it did a really nice job conveying the whimsical nature of the book.

Before I gush some more, let me talk about what I didn’t like. The White Orc. What? Who the…? He was a complete unnecessary plot device that, yes, added some drama, but in the end, had very little to add to the overall plot of the story. It was a made-up subplot that was shaky, unnecessary, and frankly a bit overbearing. It was like the writer were trying to shove this contrived conflict between Thorin and this dude down our throats. No thank you. I sorely hope that his role is limited in the next film. I can’t say that I’ve read every letter of the appendices and the encyclopedias of Middle Earth history, but I don’t remember anything about this guy. Which is not to say he didn’t exist, maybe he totally did and I missed it, but I don’t remember him having any part in The Hobbit.

The pacing was shit. Utter shit. But if we accept the fact that three movies are inevitable, then we have to learn to live with the sloooow pacing. It’s obnoxious, but nothing’s going to change in the next movies, so let’s just deal. If they’re gonna go slow, at least they’re taking the time to bring each page to life…

Also, why are people upset about the 48fps? I honestly didn’t notice, or rather, did notice anything about the frame rate that took away from the experience. People complain that it doesn’t look real, right? But let’s compare it to popular daytime soap operas. At least in my opinion, it looked nothing like that. I’m actually not a huge fan of Blueray and super HD stuff because it’s distracting, but I didn’t find it to be a problem with this movie. Maybe my eyes are just weird.

My body wasn't ready

The eyes, oh my.

The dwarves made me smile always. Fili and Kili? Super fun eye candy, and the rest each had their own way of standing out while still remaining a cohesive unit. Thorin himself was captured very well. Let’s be real, Thorin is an asshole, and Richard Armitage played that fine line between total dickish princeliness, and noble royalty very well. His face was always captivating and intense, just as it should have been.

Riddles in the Dark. Riddles. In. The. Dark. Andy Serkis has done it again (not that I’m surprised, he’s a god among men as far as actors are concerned). In the original trilogy they did motion capture on his body, but in this film they also motion captured his face, which is fantastic technologically, but also shows how amazing Andy Serkis IS as Gollum. Yeah there’s CG in there, plenty of it, but the character could not come to life as thoroughly without him. The whole Riddles in the Dark scene was awesome, and really reinforced my love for Bilbo. I had been feeling like we were missing him a bit in terms of screen time until that scene. There are great swaths of time when he doesn’t have any lines at all really, which is unfortunate because his delivery is always right on point. But he weaved his riddles just as I pictured Bilbo in the book doing. The writing was great, the staging was great, just really overall a fantastic scene. Maybe a tad short, but…effective all the same.

I’ll finish this up with my love for Martin Freeman. Love him. He makes the perfect Bilbo, absolutely perfect. Goofy, clumsy, self-aware, heroic, compassionate, witty, and vulnerable, all in one. There’s something impressive about the way he’s able to embody each of his characters personality-wise and manage to actually look like them. As John Watson in Sherlock, he plays a similar (in a sarcastic, sassy way) character, but not only do the two characters look precisely as I imagine them to, but they are distinctly different. Bilbo is adequately sassy himself and has a ton of wonderful moments. Like this one:

#NOPE

TLDR? Go see it, but don’t expect it to be anything like The Lord of the Rings. Which is precisely the way it should be.

William Mary Style feat. President Reveley and the Griffin

Ok guys, I simply couldn’t resist. Behold, the William & Mary Gangam Style Parody. MY ROOMMATE IS IN IT!

If you are currently taking finals, I wish you luck and hope this ridiculosity makes you smile.

William Mary Style feat. President Reveley and the Griffin – YouTube.

 

What Time Is It? Grad School Time!

If I haven’t said it before, I’ll reiterate, applying to grad school is like walking across a darkened room in which you know there are Legos scattered about, ready to tear your soles into tiny shreds, but you need to get to the other side because otherwise you know you’ll soon be sitting in a tiny cubicle with the spiked walls closing in a la Indian Jones and the only way to stop them is to rapidly translate the Voynich Manuscript before succumbing to despair. In other words, it’s one of the most anxiety-ridden things I’ve ever done in my life.

I started writing this post before I was done with my applications, so I was in the midst of stressing out over every little detail. But now I’m done; even with the ones due in January (I’m on top of shit).

But now it’s hurry up and wait.

I’m really afraid to spend my next 7-8 months in a state of limbo between having graduated and not yet going to classes again. I have a job, yeah, but only working 20 hours a week isn’t exactly going to keep me afloat OR entertained. I’ll need to get another job, if only to make sure I’m not bored and stagnant for all that time.

Yesterday was the last day of classes, which traditionally is a day for day-drinking, shenanigans, and overall shitshow-level drunkenness for all members of campus. It’s always spectacular to walk into your discussion class and your professor takes a long draw from his flask and says, “Ya’ll be safe now.” Work hard, play hard, that’s our motto.

Overall it was probably my best last day of classes I’d ever had. I celebrated the finality of my undergraduate career (yes I still have exams, shut up) without having to wake up feeling like death this morning. I did all the graduating senior traditions with another of my sisters, sat on my house’s condemned balcony, and got to dress up as a zombie and scare people in a Nerf game for a couple of hours. Good times, man.

But now what?I have to study for my finals, then I’m done with undergrad. For good. If one more elderly family member asks me where I’m going to be next year/if I’ve gotten my acceptances (HAHAHAHA) I’m going to scream. They don’t seem to understand that I JUST finished my applications (no matter how many times I remind them) and would really just like a consoling pat on the back for that alone. Noope. And why do I laugh so hard when acceptances are mentioned? Oh I don’t know, maybe because I’m applying to arguably one the hardest types of Ph.D. programs to get into across the board. The chances of my actually getting in are extremely slim (across the board, <10 students in a cohort)./ 8/9 of my applications were for PH.D. programs, and only one for a Masters. Yeah, maybe that was a mistake, but why other wasting the money on application fees if I know what I want to do?

Speaking of, my judo instructor really scolded me (scolded me!) for wanting to go to grad school, especially directly out of undergrad. What if I don’t like my subject area once I finally delve into it? Oh, I don’t know…I guess I’m screwed! He legitimately made me feel like I was making the wrong choice. Of course, then I reread my personal statement and felt like myself again (thankfully).

Anyway. Grad school seems terrifying, but it’s really my only option given my double major in social sciences with useless Bachelor’s-level degrees. Oh well. Even if it turns out like this, at least I’ll be doing something I love. In theory. ;D

Watch Me

Such a good fucking blog.

Make Me a Sammich

These three videos really sum up the past two weeks for me. Each provides its own perspective on the issue of sexism in geekdom, and each one is ultimately hopeful and inspiring. We need more of that in this discussion.

 

Fake Geek Girls

Angelina LB on the Tony Harris FGG screed and the phenomenon in general. Fabulous.

ALB is on Twitter and Facebook, too.

 

Sessler’s Something on #1ReasonWhy

Revision3 Games (Rev3) producer Adam Sessler uses his new show to shine a light on #1ReasonWhy. Very well done.

Follow Adam on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Anita Sarkeesian @ TEDxWomen

The pop culture critic and creator of Feminist Frequency explores the gamification of Internet harassment as she saw it in the hate campaign against her. Fascinating.

Follow Feminist Frequency on Facebook and Twitter.

Something’s afoot, people. I hear whispers from all over about meetings and events…

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Skyfall – Done

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I got a chance to see Skyfall this evening. I’m doing my movie reviews a bit out-of-order (haven’t talked about Wreck-It-Ralph yet, even though I really want to), but here goes. (Also, two posts in one day? CRAZY)

Get off the ground, you’re ruining your suit.

I’ve heard some people say Skyfall is a good movie, but a terrible Bond film. I’m not so sure I agree on either point entirely. Yes Skyfall was enjoyable, I’d even go so far as to say I loved it, but it’s kind of like The Avengers. A terrible movie if you look at it from a critical perspective as opposed to a fan’s, or if you judge it based on some deeper meaning you’re trying to find (because you certainly won’t). Skyfall was, as I feel most Bond films are, a glorified action/adventure made attractive by its iconic character(s) and utterly creative stunts and action sequences.

Now, I’m not the best judge of what is and is not a good Bond film by a long-shot. I’ve only seen the Daniel Craig movies (FOR SHAME, I know). I started with Quantum of Solace, which is really not a good place to start at all, and it wasn’t until several years later that I was sat down and made to watch Casino Royale, which ended up being flipping fantastic. Of the three Bond films I’ve seen, I feel like Casino Royale is the one with the deepest meaning and plot (but maybe I’m just partial to a love story. And the name Vesper). But Skyfall also has its meaningful thematic elements.

I guess really the overarching theme here was simply aging. Bond is getting older, unable/unwilling to remain in his position as 007. M is slowly being forced into retirement by what is viewed as lapses in judgement. Silver mentions how old Bond looks, and near the end, comments on how old men should not be running and jumping, as it’s so exhausting. Is it aging versus youth, as demonstrated by Bond’s interaction with Q? Or is it simply about aging with grace and dignity? I found the use of the old-school Aston Martin from Goldfinger (complete with ejector seat) very suited to this possible interpretation – because what can age with more class than a car like that? Or is it something more about overcoming stereotypes of age to meet your goals? There are many ways this aging theme can be taken, and I leave it to you to determine after you’ve seen the movie. I guess the argument about the theme of resurrection being central to the plot, but Craig’s 007 has gone off the grid, only to return to the MI6 fold in all three movies.

Since I mentioned him, let’s talk about Q. The man I would happily have the babies of immediately.

Sexy, sexy nerd-beast.

Yeah that’s all I have to say about Q. I love him. Moving on…

Javier Bardem did a really amazing job portraying another Bond villain that was not only sadistic, but also entirely off-his-rocker. The only other movie I’ve seen him in is No Country for Old Men, in which he plays pretty much a direct opposite of his character in Skyfall (minus the killing errybody party). Obviously he’s a great actor and I should go watch more things he’s been in.

The reason I titled this “Skyfall – Done” is not just because it’s a line from the movie, but also because it was originally supposed to be Daniel Craig’s last Bond film. Currently IMDB says there have been two more films announced, but I’ve also heard the Craig doesn’t want to continue because he’d only ever be remembered as being the iconic 007. I love him as Bond, but I also love him as Mikael Blomkvist. When I see Pierce Brosnan, all I can think is Bond. I don’t want that to happen to Daniel Craig. He’s too good of an actor to suffer the fate of so many in recent years (Daniel Radcliffe anyone?).

So M died. Didn’t really care much by the end of it. I loved her in the beginning, she was still her sassy old British lady self, but by the end she’s just kind of… crumpled. It was like watching the decline of an older woman in her steely prime to a weakened grandmother in fast forward. By the end it was like M had to rely on a man to save her, which I would have thought she’d grown out of. I don’t know… Judi Dench was good, but I just didn’t find myself adoring her character like I have in the past. I suppose it just shows how people age differently, some with more grace than others. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who didn’t see it like I did, but I’m just saying.

Oh I suppose we should take a moment to discuss the Bond girl in this. What was her name? I haven’t a clue. They probably said it, but I was definitely not paying attention.

Yeah, I said it, I don’t know what your name is.

Her real name though is Bérénice Marlohe, and she certainly looks the part of the glamorous and vulnerable Bond girl. Just gaze upon her beauty. Her death was… unfortunate, but honestly she wasn’t adding much to the plot. Her association with Silver was flimsy at best, and confusing at worst (I mean, wasn’t he implying he wasn’t exactly interested in the ladies?). Regardless, she played the role she was meant to play.

I think I’ve addressed all the things that came to mind as I was watching the film. It was really great, and I definitely do recommend fans of Bond, action, or spy movies go see it. Any suggestions on which film to watch next?

An Open Letter to Privileged College Students

Dear Sir or Madam (as I’m sure you’re wont to be called),

No one wants to hear about your Spring Break trip to the Outer Banks that will cost at most, at most, some exorbitant amount that doesn’t even include eating or getting trashed. No one wants to hear about your ‘Stang, or your ‘Vette, or any other over priced car your parents bought to replace the last one you totaled. No one wants to deal with your complaints about your brand new Macbook that you fucked up because of too much downloading from Pirate Bay – when you could have just bought the music yourself. And NO ONE wants to hear about your summer in Cape Cod or the Hamptons or the Bahamas, or the Caymans, because you’re only telling us about it so you can compete with your fellow rich-ass friends.

You aren’t smarter than us.

You aren’t better than us.

You make us feel uncomfortable.

And, most importantly, you make us regret being friends with you.

Sincerely,

A Fed-Up Peon

I don’t like privileged students. And by that I mean those who act like they deserve all that they receive from their parents, that they deserve good grades and letters of recommendation, and that everyone else should just respect them out of principle.

I was sitting in the library café today, not doing work unfortunately, and overheard a couple talking in loud voices about their future spring break trip. The conversation went something like this:

Girl: “I’m broke”

Boy: “Oh, well it shouldn’t cost more than $400 at most. And then we can just go out to eat all week. I think last year I spent $300 on eating out.”

Girl: “That sounds reasonable.”

Reasonable. Girl, you don’t know what it means to be broke. I’m sorry, I have friends who don’t make $700 in a month. And they aren’t even factoring in the cost of alcohol I’m sure they’ll be imbibing. At least they factored the cost of gas into the $400. And before you ask, yes, the $400 was for each person. I’ve never spent more than $300 on a week-long vacation with a group of sorority sisters, and that was all-inclusive (house, food, gas, etc.).

I work two part-time jobs (three if you including modeling every once in a while) and I still don’t have the money to pay off my credit card bill. I pay my sorority dues myself (a couple hundred dollars a semester), I pay for my food ($100 a month, at least), gas (don’t even get me started), and any other expenses I might have. It astounds me that there can be so many students on my campus that simply have no concept of how money works, whether they’re econ majors or not! Some of them have college loans they’ll have to deal with later, I’m sure, but they don’t have jobs, they blow all their money on Natty Light, then Aderall when they can’t get their work done on time.

My school expenses are covered, thankfully. I have generous parents, and apparently a good lawyer when I was an infant. My undergraduate was paid for by an insurance settlement. I’d say “thank god,” but I think it would be in bad taste, given why I got a settlement. But that’s a topic for another day. But I would never, ever, feel like I was privileged in some way, or that I deserved to be able to spend money however I felt like just because my school was covered.

I know I’m overgeneralizing, but honestly I don’t care. All in all, people need to get over themselves. Bad moods make for bad blog posts.

Objectification for the Sake of Art (Or Vice Versa)

I haven’t written about figure modeling in a while. I just finished up my only scheduling of the semester (hence the lack of material to write about…), which was for a color composition class. Pretty simple schedule, gesture poses for a few minutes at the beginning, then a long pose for the remaining two and half hours. Easy peasy.

But this was the first time I ever actually felt uncomfortable posing for a class. Actually, not the class as a whole, just one particular student. No he didn’t leer at me or say anything inappropriate or try to take a picture (I mean, you can be expelled for that shit). No… he just made me feel… weird. Maybe it was the fact that I was laying down, one knee bent and vertical, the other bent and laying flat on the model stand. And this kid, his scrawny self with a bushy beard (hey I don’t have anything against beards, I have lots of friends made more manly by copious amounts of facial hair) sat himself directly at my feet.

Now, I’m about to talk about vaginas, so gentlemen feel free to look away.

You’d think as a figure model I’d have no problem with an artist looking at, or consequently drawing, my hoohah. But this time it just felt weird. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I didn’t even realize he was at that angle until after my first stretch break… Awko Taco… if ya know what I mean.

So I spent the next two hours feeling tense and uncomfortable, which really detracts from the whole experience. I mean, modeling isn’t exactly like laying on a bed of clouds; your limbs fall asleep and your hips and neck start aching long before your 25-45 minutes are up. Tight muscles and anxiety really don’t help.

So both days I’m feeling weird about this guy drawing me, especially when I sneak a glance at his paper and see how awkwardly and overtly sexual of an angle it’s at. It also doesn’t help that every time I get up to stretch he opens the door to outside to go smoke a cigarette. Cause he was a hipster of course. Did you know it was 45°F today? Yeah, not so cool man, I’m fucking naked. Not gonna lie, one of my toes went numb.

Yes I know I should have said something, especially about being cold. If you’re cold – or even tense – you’re more likely to move, which is not good for the artists. #1 rule of modeling? Don’t. Fucking. Move. I was extremely flattered when at the end of the session today one of the artists thanked me and said I was one of the only models on campus who could stay still for more than five minutes. That’s a really great feeling… but then again, I’ve been doing this for almost three years, if I hadn’t learned to stay still by this point, well, let’s just say I’d be a bit of a failure.

I don’t feel like I’ve ever mentioned the awkward parts of modeling, other than the simple act of taking your clothes off. Vagina aside, there are other parts of my body I really don’t feel comfortable with looking at in the mirror, much less showing other people. We all have those areas of our bodies that we don’t like, or that we wish could be more toned, less flabby, more attractive. If I’ve learned one thing from the artists though, it’s that the size and shape of your body matters much less to them than your ability to hold a pose. There is beauty in every curve, in every fold, in every inch of skin and muscle and bone. When a professor tells the students to emphasize the bony landmarks of my body (the sternum, the hips, shoulders, clavicles) to help create proper proportions, or to notice the curve of muscles in my back as I twist, or a myriad of other dynamic points of interest on my body, I feel respected as an object.

Yes, it’s strange to hear that a woman, especially a woman with generally feminist views, enjoys being viewed as an object, but I think you misunderstand. I’m not a sexual object, I’m an artistic object. Something to be viewed with curiosity, interest, and a desire to learn something about form, shadow, value, proportion, or temperature. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination and I love listening to the discussions the students have with the professor and the advice he/she gives.

So I admit, I sometimes feel sexually objectified when I model, such as during this last session. I don’t like it, it doesn’t flatter me, and it definitely doesn’t make me feel attractive. But on the other hand, there are many times that I feel that my body has become an object of learning. A pathway on which students can develop a sense of their own artistic ability and talent. It’s not an altruistic feeling, just one that permeates my attitude toward the job (because yes, it is a job) and makes getting naked in front of strangers that much easier. I really hope that I can avoid situations where I feel uncomfortable with the artists drawing me. I’ve had one that snapped at my for wiggling my toes so my foot wouldn’t fall asleep (she was just a bitch, whatever), another who asked if she could take a picture with her phone because she hadn’t been in class for the first session (yeah… no.), and the guy this time. Perhaps I’m being to sensitive, but I honestly didn’t feel comfortable around him, even though I didn’t feel threatened.

Here’s to hoping my next session will be one of pure art and not one of sexualization for the sake of “art.” There’s far more that can be said on this topic, but I think I’ve rambled on enough and I should probably quit my bitchin’ for the day. Until next time!

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