By Tatiana von Tauber
Sexy. Fun. Brilliant.
(Daily Mail article here.)
By Tatiana von Tauber
Sexy. Fun. Brilliant.
(Daily Mail article here.)
As a boudoir photographer I see lots of women naked. Most clients fall into two groups: Those who look so hotter than they ever thought they could, or those who use boudoir photography to confirm they are as fat, cellulite-ish or unsexy as they feared (I’m an artist, not a Photoshop God). Too often I deal with clients’ self-body hatred and it’s come to a bothersome point — having befriended women whose bodies are scarred not for beauty but for self-preservation and basic survival.
While producing The Art Cure project, a breast cancer awareness art show and charity event this October, I met a group of wonderful women who have battled breast cancer and won. The leader of a Savannah breast cancer awareness affiliate is a proud survivor; however, just days ago she was re-diagnosed with a malignant spot in her breast and will undergo surgery Thursday. Chemo may be necessary as well.
Another friend, a 34 y/o mother of 4 is a BRCA 1 gene carrier meaning she’s 90% more likely to develop breast cancer in her lifetime than a non-carrier. Her mother is a survivor and most likely, at least one of her 4 children will have the gene too. Having options, my friend chose preventive surgery and had a double mastectomy less than a year ago and Thursday she’s having a hysterectomy to avoid her increased risk of ovarian cancer because of the gene. In fact, with unexpected complications with reconstructive surgery to her breasts she’s undergone over 10 surgeries this year alone. Of course, just this morning we heard Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer fight has come to a matter of time before she dies. Doctors can do no more and that further slumped my morning bliss.
I’m slightly paralyzed mentally as I battle the reality of having friends who seem to be having what I’d call “real” problems yet dealing with women on various levels who create their problems.
I have friends dying of cancer, replacing their breasts with scars to save their lives and find myself stuck in a very judgmental state of mind: fuck the silicone to add an extra cup to your lacking boobie confidence. Who cares about the extra flab on your thigh when your 45 year old ass looks so much sexier than your own mom’s ass at that age? That a 45 year old woman can pass as a MILF these days, now that’s something to applause because in my childhood women at 45 were old and quickly turning into fat grandmas while discarded into the kitchen or bingo games. I’m sure your grandmother looked more like Mrs. Doubtfire than anything Hollywood produces as mainstream mid-life bombshell turned rather hot “for your age” grandma. Don’t boo-hoo to me that you don’t like your own aging body and have me Photoshop you into a blur so you don’t have to face your own reality. At least you have a healthy body I want to say. I mean all this respectfully, of course, but sometimes being nice about it just doesn’t sink in.
Helping women realize their beauty is wonderful and rewarding. It’s the part of my job I get high on. Convincing women their imperfections are not ugly is another matter. It’s like being a lawyer and facing a deadlocked jury. The frustration of all that work to end up at a dead-end is baffling, annoying and draining. The biggest harm women do to themselves is to believe men actually give a damn about their cellulite or other female obsessed imperfections.
In the grouping of those I consider good friends and women I care about, one announced her malignant bump yesterday; another undergoes removing the last bit of biological femininity she was born with two days from now; another recently wrote about personal struggles from Borderline Personality Disorder wherein the meds are killing the once active sex drive (which really has a snowball effect) and another who deals daily with the struggle of the death of her child from a disease. I top this off with the fact that I live my life with a man I dearly love and who struggles daily with wounds from war, VA bureaucracy and PTSD as a result of serving in the United States Army for “freedom”.
I feel a more pressing need for higher meaning in my life this season than the usual. The American Humanist Association suggests we celebrate “Reason” this season rather than “myth” of God. I suggest we celebrate our lives, our bodies and our families. Period.
I’m having one of those days where a good walk, a breath of fresh air and deep gratitude for my status quo is in order. I am healthy and surrounded by love. Most importantly, I know my worth and understand my value. Too many women are blind to theirs. In fact, on different levels the same applies to men.
Perhaps a good walk in the cool air is a good idea for you too. Ponder love and then see where your mind travels.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you all.
Tatiana von Tauber
By Tatiana von Tauber
My oh my. It just doesn’t get any better than this recording of Christine O’Donnell showing what anti-Tea Partiers have been cringing about all along. While at first it’s funny O’Donnell doesn’t know much about the separation of church and state or the First Amendment, on the deeper side we know just how scary this can be. This is the same camp as Sarah Palin and no doubt a wonderful addition to the new and ”improved” version of the dumb blonde: the dumb brunette. They’re few and far between and seem to congregate at Tea Party functions.
by Tatiana von Tauber
Nothing like the F word being appropriately used:
Often I’ve been told America is and was founded as a “Christian nation”. As a devoted human being to all the people and roles in my life I attend to, I don’t have the time to research everything I want or should know. Good this post in the Huffington Post came up to remind me of some facts about American history and prompted my memory bank to dig up these beautiful words by Carl Sagan as written in “A Demon Haunted World” (pg. 428):
“When we consider the founders of our nation – Jefferson, Washington, Samuel and John Adams, Madison and Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Tom Paine and many others – we have before us a list of at least ten and maybe even dozens of great political leaders. They were well educated. Products of the European Enlightenment, they were students of history. They knew human fallibility and weakness and incorruptibility. They were fluent in the English language. They wrote their own speeches. They were realistic and practical, and at the same time motivated by high principles. They were not checking the pollsters on what to think this week. They knew what to think. They were comfortable with long-term thinking, planning even further ahead than the next election. They were self-sufficient, not requiring careers as politicians or lobbyists to make a living. They were able to bring out the best in us. They were interested in and, at least two of them, fluent in science. They attempted to set a course for the United States into the far future – not so much by establishing laws as by setting limits on what kinds of laws could be passed.
At that time there were only about two and a half million citizens of the United States. Today there are about a hundred times more. So if there were ten people of the caliber of Thomas Jefferson then, there ought to be 10 x 100 = 1,000 Thomas Jeffersons today.
Where are they?”
It’s terribly difficult seeing the truth that sits before me. In the #2 spot for romance and weddings in the U.S., love on the whole seems to be elusive rather than understood.
“The City of Savannah is considering extending benefits to same-sex couples. Do you think the extension is a good idea?”
Yes: 21.1 %
No: 68.4 %
Not sure: 10.5% (source)
Sorry to disappoint you Lady Gaga.
As much as I fought integrating into Southern living, I’ve managed to walk into terrains new to me and it brought unexpected happiness. After a friend came down with stage IV cancer, I suddenly got tired of trying to make “my” life good. From the looks of it, it was. I was breathing with no possible end in its near future unless I was hit by a bus. Within a weekend I went from trying to figure out which way to tweak my professional life to creating an international art show and charity event, a most humbling experience that’s way overdue.
To share, I’ve founded The Art Cure. When I thought I wouldn’t make it through life’s struggles and its confusing emotions I dove into art and discovered a perception never seen before. It bettered me.
I decided to help others through my experience with art and invited breast cancer survivors to paint with me while I documented the experience in a book, The Art Cure Diaries, which you can view and purchase. The paintings created during the art sessions will be up for a silent auction October 1 to 29, 2010. Online bidding is available. I’ve put my heart and soul into this for the past 2 and a half months and I’d love your participation.
I invite you to look at the fabulous project I’ve been a part of and the incredible messages you – we – should keep in mind as we go about our daily lives. National Breast Cancer Month begins in October. You might be tired of all that pink stuff in its over commercialized state but after my experience with The Art Cure, I embrace pink in ways I never have.
The Art Cure has 23 paintings by survivors, their daughters and friends – the majority of whom thought they weren’t artists until I offered the opportunity for them to discover what was hidden. The best of what and who we are is often in the shadows. So rarely we allow ourselves to enter that world. Many of these women have never painted before. Judging from the results, you’d hardly know. I’m so very proud of them. We also have works coming in from all over the world from other artists who wanted to be part of this event.
One hundred percent of all online silent auction sales will be donated to charity.
Below is my contribution to the silent auction and it’s up for bidding in October. Make me proud, boys. It’s for the boobies.
Don’t forget to view the exclusive final result of this entire project right here: The Art Cure Diaries book. Its 152 pages are packed with beautiful photos, paintings and stories about women who survived or are undergoing breast cancer. It’s a work of love and inspiration and recommended for anyone who has been touched by breast cancer in their lives.
By Tatiana von Tauber
Georgia Republican, Jack Kingston, deserves applause. Why? Because Kingston is exercising logic: he supports lowering the drinking age for military service members.
“If you’re 18 years old, you can get married, you can sign a contract, buy a piece of property, you can do just about anything, except buy a beer,” said Kingston. “We’re telling young people, you can fly a BlackHawk helicopter, you can drive an Abram tank, you can squeeze the trigger on an M4 rifle and kill a fellow human being, but when you go back home to the officer’s club or MCO clubs, we’re not going to let you make a decision to a beer with your chicken dinner. I think that’s ridiculous and it’s an insult to the men and women who give us freedom.” (source)
Beautiful. Now if we could get this kind of thinking to transition into other areas we can again become greater than the status quo. I say lower the drinking age all around is the ultimate goal being all 18 year olds have equal rights but one has to begin somewhere and if anyone deserves it, it’s our loyal soldiers.
By Tatiana von Tauber
I found this opinion piece in the local paper today. It was a letter to the editor and it reads:
“Don’t vote from list writer says”
I have Democrat friends both black and white. What they tell me is appalling. I have been told by the black friends that when it comes to elections that they go to the NAACP or the Democratic headquarters and get a list of people to vote for. The white friends say they go to the Democrat headquarters and get the list.
It is a very sad day in America when a person cannot go to vote for whom they think is the best person for the job. They have to be given a list of who to vote for.
Thank god I am not a Democrat. That is why this country is messed up.”
By J. DeVoy
Christopher: and the whole thing is solved by the market
Christopher: let them price the used market into the beginning [price]
Christopher: now it’s 90 bucks
Jay: and people will be like “lol i’m not buying that shit”
Jay: so every game will be awesome to justify the price
Jay: nothing short of a ‘Halo’ would be released.
Christopher: [...] when did I go all libertarian and conservative
Christopher: I’m having ridiculous voter’s remorse
Jay: everyone is
Jay: I’ll be kind and let you off with a “I was right”
Jay: not that McCain and Palin wouldn’t be awful
Jay: but they’d be predictably awful
Jay: and it would be possible to plan for the future without being [sexually abused] in the name of fairness.
Christopher: dude, we gotta get a third party guy going
Christopher: why isn’t Bloomberg viable?
Christopher: I’m not an economist, but there is no doubt that destroying incentives for innovation
Christopher: is bad
It was January 2007, and I was teaching an entertainment law course at Barry University School of Law. I wanted a way to deliver materials and supplemental reading to my students, without having to make photocopies or maintain an email list.
So I tried out using the wordpress platform. I put up a few posts with materials for my students to review. Nothing all that interesting happened. 200 visitors in January. 129 in February. 478 in March.
Then, I started getting comments from people who were not students. They were asking questions about legal issues. They were suggesting materials and articles. I responded, and April saw 1600 visits. By the end of 2007, the Legal Satyricon had 54,000 visitors. I thought that was pretty cool.
2008 saw 350,000. 2009 had 750,000. 2010 has 480,000 to date. The total is somewhere around 1.7 million.
Even cooler, over the years, this has developed into less of an extension of my narcissism, and more of a team effort. There have been a lot of voices on the blog. Some I agree with. Some I don’t. Becoming a Satyriconista has never had any correlation to how much I agree with you. But, those that have lasted have become some of my closest friends and confidants. In a shitty legal economy, three of them got jobs with the Randazza Legal Group as a result.
Two and a half years later, some awards, and some degree of fame… and here is our 2000th post. So what to write about?
I guess I’ll keep it simple and make it an expression of gratitude. DeVoy, Platt, Tatiana, Harbin, Fischer, Papantoniou, Jess, Blevins, Warrington, Bobby, and all the rest of the Satyriconistas… you’ve made the past two and a half years a lot more fun and a lot more edifying.
So thank you.
Very young girls these days are turning into women right before our eyes. Just last week CNN reported how today’s girls are beginning puberty as early as 7. The cause for this change is unclear but it’s thought to be attributed in part to chemicals in foods and “other environmental factors”. With the onset of puberty, challenges arise and increased hair growth is one.
Unwanted hair is a real problem of course, specifically in certain places. Traditionally adults simply purchase a razor or make a waxing appointment and off we go. However, there’s a deeper issue developing with the hairless look. It’s not just about wishing to shave away from our monkey see, monkey do evolution. Unless hair is on our head, body hair on women (specifically) just ain’t pretty according to the beauty industry and the billions of dollars behind it.
Have we gone too far though when we sell adult women on the idea of waxing services for children as young as 8 years old with garbage such as this by New York City salon, Wanda’s European Skin Care Center?
Virgin hair can be waxed so successfully that growth can be permanently stopped in just 2 to 6 sessions. Save your child a lifetime of waxing…and put the money in the bank for her college education instead!” (source)
Virgin hair?! What a trade off and in fact, what a sell out to young girls. We at LS have already discussed the aesthetics, purpose and preference of female pubic hair on adult women but the idea of bikini waxes on 8 to 12 year old girls just doesn’t hold the same level of debatable fun. No need to ask why. Many might even agree with Marc Randazza:
I realize that I am a dad of a young girl, and one day I am going to have to simply accept that she has become a sexually active young woman. I can brace myself for that. But, if any sick bitch like the owner of Wanda’s places her hands on Natalia when she is 8 years old, I will not use my law degree to deal with the problem. I will slap that bitch so hard that she’ll turn inside fucking out.”
I hear ya. It’s enough I’ve been frustrated for years about the lack of responsibility child-geared media and businesses take with respect to young girls and boys and what I view as basic disrespect towards childhood in and of itself. No matter how I try to feed childhood to my kids, the external world doesn’t seem to let them be kids.
This extends further out than offering waxings. It goes into the heart of how kids are treated versus what is fed to them. Any adult can attest that the messages are in fact confusing. Basically if you have a young child you are bombarded with grown up stuff made child accessible or “child-size”. For girls trends hit waxings and Botox:
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 12,000 teens received Botox injections in the last year. (source)
For kids these days, what exactly do they have to look forward to as adults that they can’t do or attain or have access to during their childhood to teen years?
One core issue here is that girls are under the influence of adult problems packaged up to meet “needs” of youth when most youth wouldn’t even know they apparently needed it if it weren’t for the beauty, fashion and entertainment industry selling them such ideas! Kids aren’t prepared for the realities of adulthood nor should be. But why am I explaining it to you. You understand. So why do those in power seats that guide our children not get the obvious? Well, to borrow from the feared or loved Lady Gaga, it’s “money, honey“.
If the entire beauty bullshit didn’t start with pre-school conditioning by Strawberry Shortcake aka 21st Century redheaded bimbo (watch if you can stand it) or Dora the Explorer the Tramp, now a “tween” version showing a more fresh look for optimal marketability and profits or the myriad of other product lines sold to children, parenthood might actually be easier on the wallet and more beautiful in itself because us parents might have a chance to discover the pure and natural beauty of childhood from the way it’s supposed to be. I feel privileged my generation still had access to innocence; we don’t get to frolic in that state long enough.
The fleeting existence of innocence is what makes childhood to pre-teen age the most spectacular state of mind to experience. Why then is it severely undervalued and why are women obsessed with youthful beauty? Because our culture believes the old should look young and the young should look older. This philosophy sits on profit not truth but no age is immune to the power of marketing and capitalistic opportunity and don’t be fooled it’s ever because the beauty industry actually cares if you save your kids’ waxing money on a college fund. Beauty is business first. If there’s any truth to send out to young girls, that’s it.
By Tatiana Von Tauber
Lady Gaga is one rockin’ feminist and seemed rather proud of it during her interview with Larry King:
“ Some of the things that I wear … lots of the new more original pieces, they’re meant to be kind of a rejection of what people view about women… I am a feminist. I want to change the way people view women…”
Ultimately Gaga wants to create new limits for women. She’s not alone. The first and foremost thing to remember when taking up the challenge of creating new limits for women (or oneself) is that it takes balls and it take more than two. Many women don’t have any as they’re too worried about what others will think or say when they find out they have a set at all. Of course, balls are useless without courage so don’t think about change without a wagon of that. Clearly, Lady Gaga has lots of both.
When I listen to Lady Gaga’s music I want to dance and sing and I feel good and realize, I get her lyrics, I like her tunes, I like her more than I ever liked any pop culture personality and I love her philosophy being she’s so young. More than that though, I admire Lady Gaga’s creativity and her genuine nature which others may describe as freaky but I describe as free. There’s nothing grander than freedom, not even love.
Best of all, Lady Gaga is intelligent – such a nice change from what Disney puts out after Mickey Mouse Clubhouse training but that’s for the normal audience anyway. There’s so much good stuff to say about this young feminist that if all young women had a fraction of Lady Gaga’s level of personal vision, determination, passion, confidence and smarts, creating new limits for women would be a piece of cake. Men would just step aside confused. Dumbfounded.
However, from the modern feminist view, she – the cutting edge feminist – would see the male confusion and walk up to take his hand and say, “Hey, come and help. Don’t just stand there looking dazed”. In the evolutionary wave of feminism, men and women’s difference is used to create a synthesis from the antithesis -together - to bring equality of mind, equality of human being and thus create a grandeur vision and commitment that involves using difference as the springboard for greater understanding and togetherness. Sex is hardly a good argument anymore because women such as Lady Gaga show us we all can be so much more than we ever thought oursleves to be. She forces her audience to face the strange yet interesting part of human expression of itself and the life lived. In fact, from an Existentialist point of view, Lady Gaga is the best expression of what it means to exist as Freedom.
Gaga is a great inspiration to me. In terms of pushing the envelope I think Gaga is doing it in the most elegant of ways and few young women are elegant these days (especially in bubbles). Lady Gaga is the cutting-edge feminist showing women – and men - that optimal potential and happiness lie in being true to oneself and good things happen to those courageous enough to live as an expression of one’s being and that living through one’s passion is the guide towards personal fulfillment and global impact.
Quite frankly, my 4 y/o idolizes Lady Gaga and I’m not stopping the influence. At some point a child must be sacrificed in the name of feminism and Lady Gaga is in fact a product of what women began decades ago. If Gaga is an example of how far women have come, what influence will it have on today’s young girls? Feminism needs a fresh approach and I love where Lady Gaga is taking it.
Lady Gaga’s Larry King Live interview:
By Tatiana von Tauber
Mom and masturbation. Now those two words that don’t work for me together only that I’m a mom and I – well, you know, make time for myself. Here’s a fun little article from the Onion about moms and the lacking time they have to do what seems rather easy in the shower for men. Self-attention is one reason I choose to work part-time. If there’s no self-lovin’ for mom don’t think things will get taken care of by dad alone.
Happy Mother’s Day and dads, take the kids out of the house. Really. It’s what moms want.
By Tatiana von Tauber
Big may be sexy but it still ain’t easy.
Thank you Lane Bryant for showing us that full-figured women can be incredibly sexy as shown here:
Shame the networks , specifically ABC and Fox, find plus size cleavage too controversial and therefore inappropriate to air . Talk about double standard.
In this Salon article, Lane Bryant’s curvy models censored? , I was rather interested in the author, Tracy Clark-Flory’s comment:
Here is what I do know: I found the Lane Bryant ad to be rather titillating. There is so much more flesh, more cleavage, more bounce!…Regardless of the truth behind this ad war, it is safe to say that many –myself included, I shamefully admit — would find something unnerving about these full-figured women. They are formidable, healthy-looking and robust. They are va-va-voom. Watched alongside the Victoria’s Secret commercial, these two ads are a feminist critique of pop culture that writes itself. Together, they speak volumes about the pressure women feel to be thin, fragile and take up less space. Because that is the type of femininity we’re comfortable with, not the kind you see in the Lane Bryant ad.
Actually what these real women exude is in your face confidence and that is what we’re not comfortable with. Real bodied women are so used to hiding in the background that when their boobs have a chance to escape the Playtex 18-hour bra mom used to have into something sexier, they rightfully have a lot more bounce than their thin girl competition and there’s going to be some va-va-voom action. There’s excitement in this.
I unshamefully admit that I found the ad erotic and that kind of titillating supercharge is rare from a commercial; this should be plastered on every network opposed to the crap which represents “real women” now. The best part here is the kind of eroticism Lane Bryant represented. Finally respectability with respect to sexuality and no sense of sexual objectification onto these women opposed to Victoria Secret stick figures. This ad is what eroticism is. Lane Bryant got it right on the money. THIS is excellent feminist advertising. Take note Go Daddy.