Friday, March 11, 2011

Too Hot for China

Before Dancers Among Us, I worked on Uncovered where I shot over 100 women bare-breasted in New York City over six years. It was great to use my art to empower women to feel good about themselves and their bodies. The women were from all walks of life, and every one of them volunteered to participate. And left the shoots euphoric.

I turned the project into a book of images complete with essays from the participants about their journeys towards self-acceptance. It landed me on the Tyra Show, BBC, and The Today Show so I was excited when a feature director at Marie Claire China recently contacted me with this request-

"We are interested in your wonderful work "Uncovered". We want to do an 8-10 page interview with you in our next issue. Please reply to me soon."

Now that's pretty exciting. And surprising, to tell you the truth. China isn't the first country that comes to mind when I think of a photography book featuring bare-breasted women in public. Perhaps Uncovered will start a social revolution, and women across the country will remove their tops and celebrate their bodies. I will become a national celebrity, having reversed centuries of discrimination with the power of my photographs.

This fantasy grew in scope over the next few days, only to be shattered with this follow-up email-

"We are discussing the details with our chief editor, since she thinks it might be too open in China. I will keep you updated."

And then, silence. No more Marie Claire. No revolution. At least not this time….