You may or may not have noticed that some of the comments from a previous blog entry have been taken down. I want to clarify that this is not censorship on my part. The comments were removed at the request of the person who posted them, and the subsequent replies did not make sense once the original comment was taken down. The discussion had become very lengthy and personal and was moved off line.
I appreciate that my readers are comfortable discussing their opinions and ideas in an open forum on my blog. I find the exchange of ideas stimulating and challenging. I don't always have to agree with the opinions expressed. In fact, I rather enjoy a well-stated argument that challenges my beliefs because it forces me to re-evaluate my thinking. Reevaluating our beliefs is something that we all need to do on a regular basis.
On a different note, someone on Myspace wrote to ask my opinion of the latest cover of NME, where Beth Ditto of The Gossip appears in the nude.
Beth is one of the sexiest women I know. I know that some people find rail-thin females attractive and that's fine but it doesn't do it for me. Women who are curvaceous are much more attractive to me. Aside from that, women who are curvaceous, intelligent, talented and self-confident have every right to flaunt their sexuality if they want to. I guess the short answer to the question is that I don't have a problem with any individual appearing naked on the cover of a magazine but I am thrilled to see Beth on this particular cover. She IS the Queen of Cool.
Another super sexy, super talented and confident woman is Candye Kane.
In the early 80's, Candye also posed nude for a magazine, but it wasn't a music magazine. Her photos were considered pornography and were the object of controversy. I'm one of those people who enjoys pornography, strong, talented women, and the female form. Anyway, the point is that both women were sending the same message, which is that they are unabashedly sexual with every part of their beings, from their big, beautiful voices to their big, beautiful bodies.
It's no coincidence that both Candye and Beth are continuing the tradition of the great women blues singers like Bessie Smith. Bessie was just as free and forward with her own sexuality and she was not afraid to express it in her music.
Women like Bessie, Candye and Beth are women's women. They inspire us to let go of the hang-ups of trying to achieve some phony, externally imposed ideal of physical perfection. They accept themselves and invite us to accept ourselves. They are bold sexual predators, much more exciting and dangerous than the countless little sex kittens that litter TV and radio.