This is the second time I’ve looked at my tumblr and there are like 20 people following me overnight that I don’t know. And it’s always because that one pic got reblogged. That’s all the titties you’re getting, guys. Hound CHD:WCK! for more. Good luck, I still haven’t gotten my prints. 😉

That brings up a conversation I had last weekend. The photographer is a friend of mine, so everyone in my local social circle has seen them. A friend asked the other day why I decided to do a nude shoot, and twice at that. Although I did it like a year ago, I didn’t really have an answer outside I’m just an exhibitionist. That’s not really the answer, but it seemed too complicated and personal to expound on over beers with a group of people who actually know me. So I’ll explain to people I don’t know on the internet, because that’s how it works.

He’d put the word out that he wanted a wider range of models, age, ethnicity and shapewise. My mom had volunteered to pose in the throes of a midlife crisis; I hadn’t because I was dating someone, but I knew I wanted to do some sort of private boudoir shoot (with a different photographer entirely) when/if I ever hit my goal weight. My mom eventually backed out.

I broke up with the guy and was feeling awful on a lot of levels, and I really needed to do something, anything, to affirm that I was not utterly disgusting and worthless. I figured being photographed naked in a field would do that for me. At the time, Chad didn’t have too many chunky girls. I don’t think he had any chunky black girls, so I wanted to give him a challenge.

At the time I was working on a project that accompanied an exhibition of Romare Bearden’s work, and I heard a story about an encounter he had (via Chester Higgins, Jr.):

During the harsh days of the Depression, prostitutes lined 125th Street and jingled keys to attract business. On his way to his studio, Romee encountered this particular woman jangling her keys; she called out to him, “25 cents ” but, sensing his non-interest, quickly reduced her demand to “a dime,” then “a nickel ” and in desperation called out “Mister, just take me. ” Romee asked if she needed a job. He knew his politically active mother would want to help. The woman quickly said yes, his mother hired the young woman to clean her building, and so she began employment there. A year or so later, Romee was sitting in front of a large blank canvas stuck in a period of inactivity. From the corner of his studio the cleaning woman, broom in hand, spoke out: “Why don’t you paint me?” Romee, turning with a dismissive expression, said nothing.

“I know what I look like, ” the woman said, “but if you can find beauty in me, you can call yourself a painter.”

That’s why I did it. Quite literally, I heard that story and sent an email immediately after.

So I guess he can call himself a photographer.

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