Feminists in Art: Body Shame Via Pubes

These are quotes from three different artists talking about body shame, pubic hair, double standards and censorship.

Rhiannon Schneiderman


4) Your photo series may come across as controversial to some—how has it been received so far?

That is definitely how it’s been received. I think that it made a lot of men and a lot of professors very uncomfortable. Some peers just wrote it off as “well, that’s Rhiannon,” a lot of them thought it was absolutely hilarious. I got a lot of high fives, mostly from women and especially from my female professors. My own gay community really embraced it. There was a guy who said, “you’re so beautiful, why would you do that? I don’t get it” – I didn’t slap him across the face but it did take a lot of effort on my part.


Petra Colins


Through this removal I really felt how strong of a distrust and hate we have towards female bodies. The deletion of my account felt like a physical act, like the public coming at me with a razor, sticking their finger down my throat, forcing me to cover up, forcing me to succumb to societies image of beauty. That these very real pressures we face everyday can turn into literal censorship.


Kembra Pfahler


“I made the movie called Sewing Circle at a time when I was experiencing a lot of body shame and I was experiencing in my growth as a human being a lot of controversy with other people’s feelings about, like, owning my very own body … people think that they own you, that they own your own body if they love you.

At the time I started doing a lot of extreme body stuff and it was ruining a lot of my personal relationships because everyone was getting so angry with me for like appearing topless in “Karen Black” or exhibiting myself in an extreme fashion and I was so angry about the unacceptance of the loved ones around me that I decided to reclaim my very own body and I sewed my vagina shut….

“…My mother got very angry with me and she asked me why I sewed my vagina shut and I was trying to imagine what it was like for a mother to have a daughter who does such extreme things to themselves, and I just told my mother that I was very upset.”

Kembra Pfahler

Still from “Sewing Circle” (Richard Kern).

Future Feminism just got instagram banned. ugh.

Also see: How Pubic Hair Became a Debate About Feminism

Feminists In Art: Zanele Muholi

Born 1972 in Umlazi, Durban, Zanele Muholi is a photographer working hard to fight the bloody images associated with black lesbians in South Africa.

“Every individual in my photographs has her own or his own story to tell. But sadly we come from spaces in which most black people never had that opportunity,” Muholi explained in an interview with The New Statesman. “I’m not [here] to speak for the people, but to share and change the portrayal of black bodies… It’s about time that we bring positive imagery of us in space where we are there, but hardly seen.”


“People mustn’t use education or academia to come up with a different form of colonising people, African people specifically. I think it’s very important for people to state their intentions clearly. We come from a system where we never question – decades of silence – which is why people take advantage of such situations, because they know people are poor, desperate, and might not have information. Some people regretted giving up their lives, their grandmothers’ lives etcetera. Out of desperation, you give your soul away.” She pauses. “No, I cannot give up myself and my soul simply because I need some exposure. Because at the end of the day, I need to remember me.”


Now Showing: Carnegie International

Zanele’s blog is an forum for people in Zanele’s community to speak about issues, document significant events (funerals, drag shows) and share their lives.

Book: Only Half The Picture

Watch: Difficult Love

Thank you Pamela Allara