Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Church and Modeling

Before this entry, there are 25 posts on this blog.  My stats show that of those 25 posts, one receives a much higher "hit" count than all the others.  In fact, the hits on "A Christian Model" outnumber the hits on the 24 other posts combined.  Why is that?  When I look at the search keywords used to send people to my blog and that particular blog post, I see such things as:  "naked crucifixion," "crucified naked," "public nude crucifixion," etc.  While I will never know if the majority of people making these searches are doing so in a desire to learn more about Jesus Christ or merely a (somewhat disturbing) fascination with torture and execution, I hope that all visitors find something enlightening in what I wrote back in February.

I was recently scheduled to model for a drop-in session at Oil and Cotton, a relatively new artist venture.  In an attempt to boost their attendance (because better attended figure drawing sessions tend to spark even more figure drawing sessions which means more work for us models), I invited a few people on my Facebook list. I invited only those whom I knew to be serious artists. Many of those had drawn me before. Of the ones who had never drawn me, one was a lady from my church. She has a degree in art and recently started her own art school for children. Her response was: " lol I would totally go but I cannot go if you are modeling. Im not squeamish but I just can't see my friend or my friends husband nekkid lol." I told her that I was a professional and that it wouldn't bother me, but she replied: " haha i'm sure its not but it would be weird for me. I would consider going though because I really love figure drawing. It is challenging and beautiful and every time I do it it turns out differently. love that." Seeing that she loves figure drawing, I made one last attempt to get her to go, but I got this rather emphatic reply: "Maybe I was a little unclear. I mean this in the nicest way possible. It would be somewhat offensive to see my friend, my husbands friend nude. I have not figure drawn since college days!"  She wound up not going, of course.  I continue to be disappointed with the church's view on simple nudity and on my part-time job.

Keeping with that theme, I did recently add a new blog to the roll at the right side of the page.  My Chains Are Gone is a website designed by Christian ministers to help those struggling with an addiction to pornography.  I highly recommend reading the articles to everyone, but especially to those who view life drawing of the nude and Christianity as somehow incompatible.  The articles explain very eloquently and with scriptural references that they are not.  I plan on "liking" and commenting on posts on the My Chains Are Gone Facebook page in the hopes that some of my friends from church will see it.  Maybe some of them will even begin taking a view that seeing nudity, even the nudity of our fellow church members, is not "somewhat offensive."

3 comments:

  1. I really appreciate the unique insights and honest observations you provide on your life modeling blog.

    As a fellow Christian life model, I'd like to get your perspective on living in conservative Christian circles while being a life model.

    Like you, I am a regular member of a conservative Christian denomination. I have also taken up life modeling and have also set up a web site about life modeling (ArtModelTips.com). And like you, I have young teenage children.

    I am totally open with my wife about life modeling, cleared it with my manager at work, and model under my own name. However, I have opted not to share my interest in life modeling outside of the life modeling community at least until my children attend college. Reasons:
    1. My children are easily embarassed anyway, and I'm concerned about them receiving (to them) withering teasing from other children.
    2. I'm concerned about parents who might conclude that it would somehow be unsafe for their children to visit with my children.
    3. I'm concerned that my being a life model might potentially restrict me from getting another job if I ever need to if I ever need to find one.

    I would very much appreciate hearing your take on all these concerns. Have you experienced any concerns, for example, with you working in the church nursery? How do your children (and their friends and friends' parents) react to your modeling nude? And has your being a life model had any effect on interviewing for work now that you are looking for work again?

    Thank you again for your wonderful blog. God bless.

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  2. Also, thank you for your Biblical perspective on whether nude modeling is inheritly sinful. I am quite familar with the general claim about the need for Christians to be modest (citing for example 1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Timothy 2:9-10, and 1 Peter 3:3-4). I've always felt these verses miss the point about context (modeling behind closed doors to support art). Your verses appear more to the point, and will be very helpful in future Biblical discussions.

    My feeling has always been that those who frown on life modeling have a right to their opinion, but that it is a personal moral belief, not a Biblically mandated belief.

    See Is nude modeling a sin in the Christian faith? http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AiaC2hhsG1E3x_BMBNK126ojzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20120930215218AA4TLTE

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  3. Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. I agree with you in that those who frown on life modeling have a right to their opinion. And I guess I should be glad that so many people do frown on it; if it were more accepted, I would have a lot more competition for modeling gigs. I do think that it takes a special mindset to be able to model nude in front of groups of strangers.

    While I am open about being a model, I don't normally offer that information in regular conversation. People at church normally don't ask about it, and I don't talk about it unless the topic was brought up by someone else. Every once in a while, I will get a picture of a really good drawing or painting of me, and I will post it to Facebook. Comments on those photos tend to vary. I've done some pro-life activism, and I have a few pro-lifers on my Facebook list. Frankly, some of them are nuts. Any negative comments have come from them.

    I don't have any of my modeling experience listed on LinkedIn, and I won't bring it up in any job interview. I've never tried to get any OK for modeling from any of my full-time employers. Modeling is just something I've always done on my own time, and I will continue in that manner.

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