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If you've ever felt less than beautiful because your body doesn't fit into the endless ads of skinny women and muscular men, then you are surely not alone. International photographer, Rae Threat, has dedicated an entire art show to how cultural views affects the body images of those whose bodies do not conform to how society thinks they should be. Her work features interviews with models, ranging from adult performers to body positivity advocates, of a wide variety of genders, sizes, and identities.
On Friday, October 19th, from 8 PM-11:30 PM, #TheUntitledBodyProject will open with two panel-discussions and three live performances at a gallery in Los Angeles called Unit C. The show also includes a video installation, suspended printed portraits, and 3D photography on LED panels. You can get your free ticket to the show here at EventBrite.
Lotus Lain is a porn performer who entered the adult industry because she didn't see anyone on screen who looked like herself. Instead of becoming insecure about her body image, she decided to be the representation she couldn't find in adult movies. It's hard to find anyone with a look quite like Lotus's, and it isn't just because of her Black, Mexican, and Pilipina ancestry.
Her looks come from within her clear confidence in her own beauty. When you look at a photograph of Lotus, you see the soul of a woman who is fully empowered, who owns her sexuality and embodies her sensuality. Alongside Ana Foxxx, Cindy Chu, and Mala Munoz, Lotus will be a panelist on the "How Racism Affects Body Image" panel discussion of The Untitled Body Project.
Simone is a fashion blogger and plus size model. Mariposa created the hashtag, #WeWearWhatWeWant, to share colorful, eccentric yet sophisticated, and daring clothing styles. She is a body-positive advocate.
Body-positivity is an appreciation and celebration of all body types. It is anti-fat-phobia and anti-transphobia. It highlights bodies who are not deemed beautiful by mainstream beauty standards, and it insists that those bodies are gorgeous too.
April Flores is a panelist of The Untitled Body Project's "Fat Women in Media" panel discussion alongside Alison Stevenson, Cambria Francesca, and Simone Mariposa. April has been a body positive model for 18 years, and she won't be stopping anytime soon. Through her art modeling and porn performance, she's helped many women of size feel sexy and beautiful.
In society, fat people are often the butt of every joke and they are not often portrayed in sexual roles in movies. The fat friend is there for comedic relief, not the main character worthy of a hot love story. Every time April performs in adult film, she's telling the world that, yes, fat girls can get down and they look good doing it.
Threat is the first of her kind. She's the first photographer to feature women in a skate-wear clothing line look book. Rae has documented, through videos and photographs, adult performers and musicians with notoriety such as Diplo and Kimberly Kane.
But what's most unique about Threat's work is how she gives voices to people who are marginalized and silenced. She's pushed boundaries and challenged stereotypes with her work, by showing people, not as caricatures of themselves but as their authentic selves.
If you can't make it to the Los Angeles art show, and you want to learn more about Rae, then check out threat.tv. You can shop her prints at threat.tv/shop. Lastly, if you donate to support Rae's residency at On Level Ground, an art cooperative that creates experiments in empathy, then you can score really cool perks such as t-shirts and prints from the art show.