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Pubic hair?

mark beaumont , Nov 02, 2010; 07:04 a.m.

I rarely post on here so forgive me if this has already been discussed.
I've been commission to produce some art nude shots for a sculptor. She chose the models from a model site and I made contact as I'm an account holder. On contacting one of the models I asked if should would be ok removing pubic hair. Her reply was that she most definitely wouldn't and to do so would mean crossing the line between art and pornography.
I just wondered if anyone else had any views on this?


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Ray Rosher , Nov 02, 2010; 09:42 a.m.

Actually I've Came (excuse the pun) acoss this a couple of times with Models
Some shave most art models Don't, The best you can hope for is that they have trimmed slightly
Removing pubic hair as only been popular with women and photography in the last 15 to 20 years before that it was pretty much au natural

A pure Art model as you have found out will not shave or do anything to change their appreance as this is their natural form

John A , Nov 02, 2010; 09:52 a.m.

I am not clear what you are doing. Are you making fine art photographs for sale to a sculptor or are you making reference photos for them to work from? In either case, I don't really see where pubic hair would be an issue, unless the intent is to sculpt certain covered details, as it were. In that case, I am sure you could find someone who would cooperate. But seriously, I just don't understand the need or reason, unless the person was incredibly hairy to the point of hiding basic form.

mark beaumont , Nov 02, 2010; 10:34 a.m.

Personally I don't buy the natural argument, as in my experience, they all shave their legs and armpits, and cut the hair on their heads.
John A, with the greatest respect, the reason why is irrelevant, other than that is what my client has asked for.
I was really just curious about whether anyone had come across the issue of it being pornographic.

David Haas , Nov 02, 2010; 10:49 a.m.

Mark -

As pointed out it (shaving the pubic area) was popularized by the Porno industry (both soft and hard core) - but it has drifted into mainstream society and is now almost the norm.

Personally - it's a choice the model makes - if she does great - if not then great too. But if the client specifically is requesting it one way or the other - than that becomes a qualification for the model. If the model is not comfortable doing it - then find one that is.

John A , Nov 02, 2010; 10:58 a.m.

Sorry Mark, I guess I was just thinking out loud--it just seems like an odd request for reference work, oh well....

Luis G , Nov 02, 2010; 01:10 p.m.

Satisfy the client's wants.

dennis williams , Nov 02, 2010; 01:42 p.m.

Hair removal on its own does not indicate pornography however I'd wonder specifically what and how the model is being photographed and what the statues portray. One of my friends was the reference model for the Graham statue outside the L A Coliseum and only a grandmother's eyes would have been raised at those reference images.

The first red flag rises from the phrase models from a model site. Logic, legitimate industry standards and common sense rarely apply when dealing with independents off an internet site. From my experience the only reason 95% are there is they can't compete and the other 5% are whack jobs.

Bruce Cahn , Nov 02, 2010; 09:19 p.m.

Models tend to be quite sensitive about this. Some years ago I was taking a workshop in figure photography at the Center for Photography in Woodstock (NY). One of the attendees requested that a model not shave for another workshop a few months into the future. She (to me, unreasonably) got upset about this and reported it to the two women that were running the workshop. My acquaintance was immediately expelled from the workshop. I, and others, found this so upsetting that we never took another workshop with that organization.

William W , Nov 03, 2010; 04:55 a.m.

“On contacting one of the models I asked if [she] would be ok removing pubic hair. Her reply was that she most definitely wouldn't and to do so would mean crossing the line between art and pornography. I just wondered if anyone else had any views on this?”

Yes, I do. It would not be an uncommon question (here) for example for a models who normally would do a lot of Art Class Posing (Sketching and Painting, etc) and was then was engaged by a the same school for a Photography Course, figure and fine Art class.

It is the Models' prerogative. A simple yes or no would have been sufficient. Her (necessity?) to add her rationale and commentary would ring alarm bells for me and I would neither work with that model, nor engage her for a class for which I was responsible. I would question whether I would work with the agency also - is there not a Profile Sheet on each models available to you?

“I was really just curious about whether anyone had come across the issue of it [the fact of a shaven pubis on a model] being pornographic.”

No I have not. Not with professional models. Some choose not to shave, but I have never heard that a model who does shave her pubic region is then automatically associated with pornography: why would she be, simply because of the manner in which she chooses to groom her body?

Perhaps the culture of models; photographers, art students, teachers and schools is vastly different in different areas – as her comment seems quite odd to me.
Then again mosty all swimsuit models, here, are bare: and have been for many years. So "commonplace" might be defined by area and general culture, society and fashion norms. And conversly the issue of models being generally sensitive to this matter or questions about it, might also be geographic and or society based?

I read that you have a commission to produce figure work of female models. Within that commission there is a criterion of a shaved pubis, that criterion requires a professional question - and the simple answer will sift to the short list, suitable models.

"Large Breasts" might as easily have been a criterion; or a "Ruebenesque Figure".
All these criterion are sexual / sensual in nature – but so is Figure Photography and Figure Sculpting.

But of itself the question and answer and the facts of how a model chooses to groom her pubis, neither constitutes pornography nor any association with it.

The way you describe the model’s answer and the fact you have asked the question, implies that firstly the model has issues and secondly you find these (issues) odd also – I would be looking at a different model agency.


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