The Sibyls Salute: Jennette Williams

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Navy quote 1I think the lushness of the platinum printing and the timelessness of the platinum prints, .

the exotic setting and the nude women with their classical poses work together to fool us into believing

that women of this size and age and shape were always a subject in the arts and not just crones in the background.

Navy quote 2

ff………….Jennette Williams, The Bathers, Duke university Press, 2009.

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Sibylesque Jennette WilliamsMany women do not live comfortably in their own skin. They are highly critical of their shape, wobbly bits, orange peel, fullness, skinniness, generous hips, flat chests and so on and on. Self-criticism, sometimes loathing, becomes over the years an ingrained habit. The thought of being photographed naked would, for many women, send them running screaming out the door. In this context, aging simply ramps up the self-disgust.

Then New York based photographer Jennette Williams began to take photograph nude women and her work made us all rethink our relationship with our own bodies. In her 2009 book, The Bathers, Williams uses the texture and grey tones of platinum prints to illuminate the beauty in all women’s naked bodies regardless of shape, age or imperfections. Each photograph is based on poses found in iconic paintings of nude women by Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir, Sibylesque Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres and more.

Photograph from The Bathers by Jennette Williams

Photograph from The Bathers by Jennette Williams

Sibylesque Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres

 

Over an 8 year period, Williams photographed women bathers in Budapest and Istanbul to create these sublime images without ‘sentimentality or objectification’.

Here is Williams in her own words:

Williams was the fourth winner of the biennial CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. More significantly, Williams has shown us how much our vision of beauty is seen through a window defined by the beauty product industry. We should view her images often to remind ourselves that there is a fragile beauty in honesty, which is diminished daily by grotesque images of advertising fakery.

 

The Sibyls Salute Jennette Williams

 

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Photo source: Duke University Press Website

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First Communion, First Confession: Bless Me Father for I have a Fake Tan

By Donna Jones & Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Toni Morrison Quote 1a

Tiaras, white princess dresses, salon hair, make up and fake tans. I am not describing a wedding party or a debut set. Today, in Australia, some 7 year old girls go through the full ‘bridal makeover package’ to make their First Holy Communion.

Do parents realise they are sexualising their daughters for a religious ceremony? Or, is the sexualisation of young girls in our culture so endemic, parents do not think about it at all?

So girls learn at 7 years of age that:

– their real skin is not good enough (They have beautiful skin)

– their real cheeks are too rosy (They must be made to look like an adult)

– their real hair is too ordinary (They must have supermodel hair)

Sibylesque First Communion

This is not just a BODY IMAGE issue. This story reflects a shift in values and connection to community. In his Theory of Cognitive Development Piaget used the term ‘decentering’, to define a child’s ability to think outside him or herself, to think of others. This stage stretches from 7 – 12 years of age. So at the very point where children start to think how others might feel in a situation, we turn the spotlight on them. We create little narcissists.

Sad, isn’t it.

As for the tiara, that’s fine. Every young girl is a princess.

Photo Source: Pinterest.

Toni Morrison Quote: link

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The Sibyls Salute: Jennette Williams

Navy Roman Border

Navy quote 1I think the lushness of the platinum printing and the timelessness of the platinum prints, .

the exotic setting and the nude women with their classical poses work together to fool us into believing

that women of this size and age and shape were always a subject in the arts and not just crones in the background.

Navy quote 2

ff………….Jennette Williams, The Bathers, Duke university Press, 2009.

Navy Roman Border

Sibylesque Jennette WilliamsMany women do not live comfortably in their own skin. They are highly critical of their shape, wobbly bits, orange peel, fullness, skinniness, generous hips, flat chests and so on and on. Self-criticism, sometimes loathing, becomes over the years an ingrained habit. The thought of being photographed naked would, for many women, send them running screaming out the door. In this context, aging simply ramps up the self-disgust.

Then New York based photographer Jennette Williams began to take photograph nude women and her work made us all rethink our relationship with our own bodies. In her 2009 book, The Bathers, Williams uses the texture and grey tones of platinum prints to illuminate the beauty in all women’s naked bodies regardless of shape, age or imperfections. Each photograph is based on poses found in iconic paintings of nude women by Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir, Sibylesque Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres and more.

Photograph from  The Bathers by Jennette Williams

Photograph from The Bathers by Jennette Williams

Sibylesque Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres

 

Over an 8 year period, Williams photographed women bathers in Budapest and Istanbul to create these sublime images without ‘sentimentality or objectification’.

Here is Williams in her own words:

Williams was the fourth winner of the biennial CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. More significantly, Williams has shown us how much our vision of beauty is seen through a window defined by the beauty product industry. We should view her images often to remind ourselves that there is a fragile beauty in honesty, which is diminished daily by grotesque images of advertising fakery.

 

The Sibyls Salute Jennette Williams

 

Navy Sibyl signature

Photo source: Duke University Press Website

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