Pubic hair?

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by mark_beaumont, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. I rarely post on here so forgive me if this has already been discussed.
    I've been commission to produce some art nude shots for a sculptor. She chose the models from a model site and I made contact as I'm an account holder. On contacting one of the models I asked if should would be ok removing pubic hair. Her reply was that she most definitely wouldn't and to do so would mean crossing the line between art and pornography.
    I just wondered if anyone else had any views on this?
     
  2. Actually I've Came (excuse the pun) acoss this a couple of times with Models
    Some shave most art models Don't, The best you can hope for is that they have trimmed slightly
    Removing pubic hair as only been popular with women and photography in the last 15 to 20 years before that it was pretty much au natural
    A pure Art model as you have found out will not shave or do anything to change their appreance as this is their natural form
     
  3. I am not clear what you are doing. Are you making fine art photographs for sale to a sculptor or are you making reference photos for them to work from? In either case, I don't really see where pubic hair would be an issue, unless the intent is to sculpt certain covered details, as it were. In that case, I am sure you could find someone who would cooperate. But seriously, I just don't understand the need or reason, unless the person was incredibly hairy to the point of hiding basic form.
     
  4. Personally I don't buy the natural argument, as in my experience, they all shave their legs and armpits, and cut the hair on their heads.
    John A, with the greatest respect, the reason why is irrelevant, other than that is what my client has asked for.
    I was really just curious about whether anyone had come across the issue of it being pornographic.
     
  5. Mark -
    As pointed out it (shaving the pubic area) was popularized by the Porno industry (both soft and hard core) - but it has drifted into mainstream society and is now almost the norm.
    Personally - it's a choice the model makes - if she does great - if not then great too. But if the client specifically is requesting it one way or the other - than that becomes a qualification for the model. If the model is not comfortable doing it - then find one that is.
    Dave
     
  6. Sorry Mark, I guess I was just thinking out loud--it just seems like an odd request for reference work, oh well....
     
  7. Satisfy the client's wants.
     
  8. Hair removal on its own does not indicate pornography however I'd wonder specifically what and how the model is being photographed and what the statues portray. One of my friends was the reference model for the Graham statue outside the L A Coliseum and only a grandmother's eyes would have been raised at those reference images.
    The first red flag rises from the phrase models from a model site. Logic, legitimate industry standards and common sense rarely apply when dealing with independents off an internet site. From my experience the only reason 95% are there is they can't compete and the other 5% are whack jobs.
     
  9. Models tend to be quite sensitive about this. Some years ago I was taking a workshop in figure photography at the Center for Photography in Woodstock (NY). One of the attendees requested that a model not shave for another workshop a few months into the future. She (to me, unreasonably) got upset about this and reported it to the two women that were running the workshop. My acquaintance was immediately expelled from the workshop. I, and others, found this so upsetting that we never took another workshop with that organization.
     
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “On contacting one of the models I asked if [she] would be ok removing pubic hair. Her reply was that she most definitely wouldn't and to do so would mean crossing the line between art and pornography. I just wondered if anyone else had any views on this?”

    Yes, I do. It would not be an uncommon question (here) for example for a models who normally would do a lot of Art Class Posing (Sketching and Painting, etc) and was then was engaged by a the same school for a Photography Course, figure and fine Art class.
    It is the Models' prerogative. A simple yes or no would have been sufficient. Her (necessity?) to add her rationale and commentary would ring alarm bells for me and I would neither work with that model, nor engage her for a class for which I was responsible. I would question whether I would work with the agency also - is there not a Profile Sheet on each models available to you?
    “I was really just curious about whether anyone had come across the issue of it [the fact of a shaven pubis on a model] being pornographic.”​
    No I have not. Not with professional models. Some choose not to shave, but I have never heard that a model who does shave her pubic region is then automatically associated with pornography: why would she be, simply because of the manner in which she chooses to groom her body?
    Perhaps the culture of models; photographers, art students, teachers and schools is vastly different in different areas – as her comment seems quite odd to me.
    Then again mosty all swimsuit models, here, are bare: and have been for many years. So "commonplace" might be defined by area and general culture, society and fashion norms. And conversly the issue of models being generally sensitive to this matter or questions about it, might also be geographic and or society based?
    I read that you have a commission to produce figure work of female models. Within that commission there is a criterion of a shaved pubis, that criterion requires a professional question - and the simple answer will sift to the short list, suitable models.
    "Large Breasts" might as easily have been a criterion; or a "Ruebenesque Figure".
    All these criterion are sexual / sensual in nature – but so is Figure Photography and Figure Sculpting.
    But of itself the question and answer and the facts of how a model chooses to groom her pubis, neither constitutes pornography nor any association with it.
    The way you describe the model’s answer and the fact you have asked the question, implies that firstly the model has issues and secondly you find these (issues) odd also – I would be looking at a different model agency.
    WW
     
  11. But of itself the question and answer and the facts of how a model chooses to groom her pubis, neither constitutes pornography nor any association with it.​
    That is exactly my take on it.
    Thank you for your input folks.
     
  12. This reminds me of an incident I ran into a number of years ago. I was looking to do a studio shoot, focusing on the beautiful curves, hills and valleys of the female tummy. I put an ad up looking for models who would be comfortable posing in a bikini as I didn't want it to be a nude shoot, just wanted to focus on the abdomen muscles.
    Got some interesting replies, and one in particular stood out. A young woman from a particular religious/cultural background sent me photos of herself doing "fashion shows" at local bars, where she basically walked around topless in a thong amid a drunk male cliental.
    She asked me to send her photos of what I wanted to shoot, so after explaining that I wanted her to be wearing both pieces of a two piece modest bikini for the shoot, I sent her a few images that other photographers had done of women's bellies. A couple of the shots were nude shots where the woman's pubic hair was showing.
    Well, I got back the most extremely nasty email I've ever received, where she called me every name in the book, raving about how obscene and perverted I was. I must admit I was baffled. Later, when talking with another model who happened to be from the same religious/cultural background, she explained that it was considered okay for a young woman to show and parade around exposing everything but her genitals, but showing her genitals or her pubic hair was forbidden.
    Learn something new every day.
    Best,
    -Tim
     
  13. This very thread repeats often on the model/photographer casting sites.
    There are models who shave because they like it that way.
    There are models who never shave because they like it that way.
    There are models who will do which ever a photographer wants if there is sufficient time and compensation involved.
    I recently worked with a model, at a shooting workshop, who had grown out her pubic hair, over a number of months, for an upcoming session with a photographer. I know another who likes hers trimmed but will shave is asked. Most will list their preference in their profiles if they have a strong desire one way or the other.
     
  14. Technically under our laws here in Florida a shaved female crouch crosses the line into pornography under what is defined in our statutes as “actual lewd exhibition of the genitals” and for what it is worth a frontal shot of a male crotch shaved or unshaved does the same. As for the tastefulness or lack of such this act of shaving that area has it’s roots in the porn industry as an attempt to make a “legal” actor or actress appear underage and while it seems to be popular with the younger generation it is something I find to be quite a bit perverted.
    Wayne
     
  15. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    this act of shaving that area has it’s roots in the porn industry as an attempt to make a “legal” actor or actress appear underage​
    … the advent of photography and the porn industry might be one reason. . .
    But factually: the roots and various reasons for pubic shaving go back, well before the birth of Christ and are noted in Historical Text and referenced First Sources through both Ancient and Modern History.
    WW
     
  16. While quite interesting historically, I do believe the subject of this thread is photography not ancient history and as such the more modern reason for such grooming leads back to a less biblical action.
    Wayne
     
  17. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Yes I understand that, but within modern history (as I mentioned) there are also several reasons, cultural and societal, which are divorced from the porn industry.
    Asserting that THE one reason and root, (i.e. the porn industry), when there are many in both ancient and recent times: is factually incorrect.
    It matters not that we are discussing photography: the roots and or reasons why any woman decides to groom herself in any manner, be she a photographic model or not, may be within or without of her profession as that model.
    Therefore I am simply noting that the statement I quoted is incorrect: thus conclusions drawn from it are intrinsically flawed.
    WW
     
  18. Just to clarify, in contradiction to what Wayne is saying, the "act of shaving that area has it’s roots in the porn industry as an attempt to make a “legal” actor or actress appear underage", you can see in the image below that back in 1933, before the advent of the "porn industry" as we know it, Henri Cartier-Bresson took this photo of a woman with an obviously shaved or waxed pubis.
    Photo removed. Not allowed per photo.net Terms of Use. Do not post photos you did not take.
    It's been around for a long time folks.
    Best,
    -Tim
     
  19. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    On another point, (upon which I am totally ignorant - but very interested - so would like to know more) – re citing Florida’s Laws -

    Would it then be illegal to either view or to display this HCB image in Florida . . . and other Works of Art similar to it? - for example, Lindsay’s many Etchings, Sculptures, Oils, Charcoals and . . . Photographs? . . . and where does Michelangelo’s David fit in for example . . . Are high school Art Students in Florida allowed to view images of the David, in a text book?
    Are there regulations depending upon the medium used, or the age of the work, or the artist?
    WW
     
  20. As asked by William W.

    Would it then be illegal to either view or to display this HCB image in Florida . . . and other Works of Art similar to it?
    To display as a photograph in my opinion how about yes and no, and this grey area is where someday I see the statute being tossed out, which in my opinion it very well should be.
    The wording of the statutes “actual lewd exhibition of the genitals “ leaves lewd un-defined and as such is subject to interpretation and while I see nothing lewd in the above photo some up-tight prosecutor just might.
    Then there are local politics, not too long ago we had a Sheriff here in Broward County who come election time utilized his vice unit to bust and shutdown every topless bar and “adult” theatre in un-incorporated Broward by using the very same statute while claiming to be a pro-active Sheriff who was “cleaning” the streets of Broward of such smut, and yes if he had discovered Michelangelo’s David there probably would have been be a few librarians frog marched off to jail as well, luckily for the librarians of Broward he studied his art between the covers of Hustler and Ecstasy and never discovered David.
    Wayne
     
  21. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for painting the picture more clearly for me. I completely understand the answer "yes and no". I understand about un-defined clauses in statutes and I also understand enthusiastic local authorities.
    I appreciate your time and the effort to respond to my question as these tit bits of information (and opinions) from first sources, help to paint a better picture of life, around the world.
    WW
     
  22. Wayne's citation of the Florida law strikes me odd, as he's butchered the law to a single line. Unshaved pubis does NOT automatically cross the line to pornography here in Florida. You may have a local law in Broward that states that, but not Florida.
    If so, then here in Tampa we'd not have any "Adult Entertainers" in our fully nude clubs that use the First to call their dancing "exotic" and a protected "art". Also, the male gentil is "lewd" if "turgid". Michelangelo did not put a throbbing bonar on his David. The US defines (in all states) that "lewd" is subject to the populace and what the majority considers vulgar-- it's that grey area that caused the FCC problems a few years ago. And images that are "meant to stimulate sexually" are porn, not neccessarly nudity.
     
  23. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for explaining further, Nathan and you opinion on it. I think this weekend I shall have a read of the Statutes applying to Florida - maybe I am in for a long read.
    One element in your comment which seems in concert with the previous is that there are tiers of Governments and Local Authorities - you mention “Broward” I assume that is a smaller area of Florida that has a local council or Authority that can make laws also.
    WW
     
  24. Broward County was mentioned earlier by Wayne E. Tampa (proper) is Hillsborough county.
     

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