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Monday, April 24, 2017

Women of Few (and many) Words

My first experience with bodywriting was seeing the weekly gyrations of the bikini-clad Goldie Hawn on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in. Even at that early age I remember thinking the concept seemed contrived..........but that she had a cute belly-button.

Recently I came across this photo and recalled those early days, and then began thinking about the practice of bodywriting in general.

(Talk about the polar opposite of the Goldie Hawn image! ) 

The two most frequent uses of bodywriting seem to be: political statement and sexual humiliation. It is also seen sometimes as artistic expression, but a lot (though not all) of these 'art' attempts also seem somewhat political. Here are a couple of purely political examples:

(Pretty straightforward. No need to be witty when your message is scrawled across a naked body. The most clever protest messages are usually found on placards carried by clothed protesters.)

(Cute. now turn around so I can see the "Got Milk" section.)

And here a couple of "performance art" examples:

(I like the way the words convey directly what their body language and gestures also hint at.)

( Art? Or just some corny-assed shit? You decide.)

And here's one that is just sort of artsy all around:

(This works on many levels for me and as such is probably the best example of bodywriting as art.)

Using a nude or barely dressed female body to draw attention to one's message is not a new idea, but it strikes me as odd that women...........who usually complain about this when used in advertising, seem to have no problem shedding their clothes when it's their own idea. It's like, "hey I can exploit my own body if I want to....but don't YOU go doing it." One photo I found makes no attempt to say otherwise......and is also pretty amusing:

(I'm a mathematical moron......but I'd willingly spend some time trying to figure this one out.)

I am also not entirely convinced that these naked protests are purely political. My guess is that there is an underlying urge towards exhibitionism that is inwardly justified when the person adds a few choice phrases to their naked body. "Yes I'm naked in public.....but I am making a statement, dammit!"

I'm also not a huge fan of the sexually humiliating examples of bodywriting and find most of them to be vulgar and offensive. I'm not against sexual humiliation, but there's something garish and coarse about it when it's done with marker.

(I guess some people find this sexy..................but not me.)

Oh, Goldie............just look what you started!


  1. Thanks for the pics. I love body painting although have yet to have the opportunity to use the beautiful female body as my canvas. Will keep it on my bucket list though!

    1. I have found that most open-minded women seem to like the idea of having their bodies decorated by someone they least once. So your goal should be easy to achieve. Just pick the right person and assure them that the paint you will be using is non-toxic and will wash off easily. (Quality face-paint is a better choice than those novelty markers at places like Spencer's.) Good luck!

  2. Love your parenthetical under the PETA ad.

    1. Thanks, Dan.

      Speaking of snarky quips, what's your opinion of "Caption Hell"? At the very least I would think you'd snicker at something there?

  3. Goldie has always been one of my favorites, going back to 1967 when Laugh-In came on and I was 11. She has made a lot of fun, if not great, movies. Sexy and funny.


    1. Agreed, she was a cutie. I always liked her best in "Cactus Flower".

  4. Reminds me of a 60's film by Kobayashi Kwaidan called "Hoichi the Earless." It was a mind boggling film when I saw it. All I will say is that it involved the protagonist covering his body with holy scripture.... It's pretty darn spooky.

    1. Hmmmm, interesting concept, Tomy! I hadn't thought about searching for images where the intent was religious. I wonder if there would be anything like that? I am sure there are religious tattoos but other than mehndi for Indian weddings, I am not sure the Bible-belters would be flaunting scripture written in marker on their otherwise naked bodies. But who knows? It's worth a look I suppose.