My lover, Kailey, and I both share an obsession for pin-up girls–from classic 1950’s cheesecake to the modern day tattooed and pierced Suicide Girls. So when I had the opportunity to potentially be a pin-up girl, myself–I jumped at the chance.
303 Magazine asked its female staff–writers, copy editors, marketing and promotions–to model nude for an upcoming photo shoot. They wanted to reinvent In Voluptas Mors (Dali Skull) by Philippe Halsman for their Art Issue. The Dali Skull shoot took place in a gallery with a 20-foot tall ceiling and an open staircase–a beautiful spot, but a little on the drafty side, which is not exactly balmy when you’re wearing nothing but your birthday suit. The photographer explained that she wanted us to lie down flat on the floor, while she stood high above us on the staircase–lens pointed down–for a bird’s eye view that would forever shatter every illusion we ever had about what we really look like naked. The art director nonchalantly told us to drop our robes, as if we non-models did this all the time. He scrutinized our naked bodies then placed us in position, forming a flesh sculpture from our curves. I found myself freezing my ass off on the concrete floor with the back of my head resting right smack in the middle of another woman’s baby maker. Maybe this would fast track us to a nice friendship.
A makeup artist stepped in and painted one of the women’s feet gold to depict a ghetto fabulous tooth in the final skull. All was silent except for shutter clicks and soft murmuring between the photographer, art director and editor in chief, intercut with requests directed toward us to “Please arch your back more” or “Can you get closer to her crotch?” Then it was over. I stood up, sore and chilled, wondering if my nipples would ever stand down again. I seriously considered throwing some pasties on there before I put someone’s eye out. “Nice job, lovah,” Kailey said, eyeing me appreciatively as I slipped back into my robe. “How did you make something so cold look so hot?”
With the release of the Art Issue, we immediately tore through it, looking for something resembling a glossy pin-up page. What we found instead was that the art department neutered the naughty bits for the general public’s consumption. But who knows, maybe I still will end up pinned to my lover’s wall or even in the shadowy back room of an auto shop–especially if some crafty kid somewhere draws in a few well-placed nipples. A girl can only hope, anyway.