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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pantygate

I posted a picture over the weekend on Flickr of me in a brand, spankin' new pair of Victoria's Secret panties and it has started a pretty interesting discussion amongst a couple of us regarding the potential effects of scantily clad mothers on Flickr on their children.

First of all, while I recognize that a photograph of a woman in lacy panties is going to be deemed "sexy", a sexy pic was not my sole intent with that photograph. I thought it was a well composed shot with all the lines on the underwear, curtain, and door and I loved the lighting on both hips. When I saw the photo was immediately a crotch shot and nothing more to those who viewed it, I decided to not make it my 365 day photo and instead went with the family-oriented shot of the Gavinator, Goose, and I vacuuming. The whole point of doing 365 is to daily try and capture my life- from the mundane to the monumental- and a crotch shot does not fall into that category. I see the photograph differently. It was more than that.... to me, anyway. Anyhoo, I can't control the way other people interpret my photos and I wouldn't want to.

I am a woman. I didn't stop being a woman when I got pregnant or gave birth or breastfed. If anything, all of those things make me MORE of a woman. I see nothing wrong with tastefully done photographs of the female form and (shock, gasp) my chidlren see me in my underwear all the time so what difference does it make if there is a tastefully done picture of it? My kids know that mommy is a girl, breasts are for breastfeeding, and if you're potty-trained, you wear underwear. End of story. As I said over on Flickr, unless photos of me that others may or may not find "sexay" halts the production of Cheerios, I don't think my kids will care... not now... not ever... and I certainly don't believe they will be harmed in some way.

What do you think?

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20 Comments:

Blogger Wendy said...

I think most people forget how self-absorbed kids are. They dont automatically go to sex when looking at certain things or anything. Their world is them and their parents, nothing else.

Like you, my kids have seen me in my underwear and nude, because when someone is trying to beat their little brother with a mallet someone has to intervene. And there is no dress code.

I would be concerned if I met someone on the street, like a parent from Gavin's preschool, and said they saw the picture. But that is me. I think it is better to be unknown on the internet than having the local santicmommy talking to me about my panties and how I am going to corrupt my kids. Whatever?

Very nice panties, by the way. I do feel a little dirty knowing about your panties, but again that is just me.:)

10:14 AM  
Blogger Linka72 said...

I really don't have anything productive to add...I'm just pissed that you, unlike myself, don't have any fat hanging over, on or around your panties..I hate you...goodbye

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly?

Give me a break!!! In my opinion, the majority of us are so uptight its unbelievable. I completely, 100% agree with you. To me, this falls under the same category as teaching our kids "nicknames" for private parts. I taught my oldest daughter (who is 3 1/2) the word vagina and will teach my younger daughter that as well. I'm not one to tiptoe around these sorts of things. Nudity, breasts, tastefully done pictures of a mom in underwear are so taboo because we MAKE it that way.

Anyway, just me opinion!

Vicki

1:12 PM  
Anonymous dawniemarie said...

Amanda--I think you are awesome for standing up for yourself, and your panties! I think you are someone who enjoys photography, and has a deep sense about what is is--more than just pictures. If photography was all about "prim and proper" then it would be boring.

I dont think there is anything wrong with children seeing their parents in their undies, jammies, or naked. It is human nature--its life. Noah is 4 and knows and understands his body parts and knows they are different from mine. The way our society is now (which is far different from when we were our kids age), if we are going to shield our children away from pictures of someone in their undies, then we better not let them even watch tv--and that includes some cartoons.

Getting off the soapbox, me, personally, I think the picture is hot. You've been pregnant with 3 children, and you have a body to kill for--there's nothing wrong with you showing it off. I would have never told you that in high school, but we're all different than we were back then. And, even if I were to run into you tomorrow (which, wont happen) the first thing I'd say is..."what kind of panties are you wearing. . ." =)

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I have to admit.,,I am confused as to what the contraversy is about? Maybe it is the blonde in me or is it the artist? But in full disclosure, I also was the only one in my college art classes that could grasp the notion that the public may not want to be forced to fund work of mine that they found offensive.Meaning, I am sure I am going to piss someone off in both camps, regarding this topic. Such is the story of my life...

BUT back to the point. The pic in question looks like an ad for the underware. Which I find a humorous take on incoporating the self-portrait w/ your day's activities. Whether that was your intention or not, I loved it!!!!:) It seems very straight forward to me. Not at all like the VS ads that have a woman sitting straddled in a chair or gyrating on TV...the message being to illicit sexual thoughts. More like something you would see in the Sunday circular advertising the latest sale...Only again, yours is actually more conservative than those and the underware is prettier. The underware is hardly the focal point in a VS ad. The models are. I think you have to look real hard to come to the conclusion that the purpose was for you to sell some sex over the internet. *rolls eyes*

YOUR picture is more..see my new "panties". While it is a self-portrait, YOU don't come off as the focal point. The defintion of a self portrait is that you have to be in the pic, it does not mean you have to be physically the focus...Am I making sense?

I think the real contraversy is that women(mothers specifically) are jealous of you for having a great body after kids and showing any evidence of it. You know...you are supposed to give up that part of your life and become homely, frumpy and undesirable.

Your "crotch shot" as you referred to it, is hardly the Britney SPears variety and I think if it was, you have an argument as to how appropriate it would be to have that for you children to see. Sure, little Sean PReston and Jayden James are probably more concerned w/ where the heck is mommy and WTF happened to mommy's hair than her famous "crotch shot" NOW, but 12-20yrs from now..they may not find it too keen that their buddies have plastered the now famous pic in overblown poster-size on the locker room wall or their dorm room wall.

Unfortunately, in today's climate of shock and awe, even the most benine things(like your pic) are treated w/ the same reaction as though you had posted a full-frontal shot of yourself straddling a chair in perfect porn pose!

I see alot of humor in that you would refer to it as "Pantygate" as well. Both "crimes" are pretty third rate. Only in the first, the true crime was the cover-up and in your case....it's that you didn't, LOL!!!!:)

Blessings,
Curlytop

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I think it is fantastic that you posted this shot. If we shield our children from everything "sexy" in our lives they will grow up with a warped and unhealthy view of sexuality. So what if the Goose sees this on the internet someday. She will know that it is ok for a woman to be sexual after having children, and that it is ok not to hide that sexuality under a hideous pair of Mom jeans. Good for you for posting, makes me almost want to do the same.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Kind of Crunchy Mama said...

I don't think the shot is overtly sexy. It's not like you were spread eagle or anything.

That said, I wish a crotch shot summed up my day more often *blush*

7:57 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Well, I didn't read all the Flickr comments, but first, I think the picture was sexy but classy and surely not a "crotch shot" or gratuitous.

I also think it's very important for our kids - and for me, I think, especially our boys - to see their moms as more than just, well, the stereotypical "mom," at home in her sweats or out and about in her sweater sets.

We are all (hopefully) pretty multifaceted, and are more than just "mom" or whatever other title you choose. Our kids need to see that. And - more importantly - our kids also need to see that "mom" means so much more than the media representation.

My kids regularly see pictures of me fairly scantily clad in pictures my husband took of me a few years ago, in pictures on the wall and on the computer screensaver. They see me dressed up sexy (but not slutty) for the occasional night out, or to go to a party or something. I think they'll have a more healthy idea of a what a mom or woman is supposed to be like - she's not Pamela Anderson all the time, but she's not June Cleaver all the time, either - or even Roseanne.

Don't let anyone stop expressing yourself. Your pictures are awesome, I love your sense of style and artistry and your sense of balance and sense of self. You are an inspiration - truly - and don't censor yourself for anyone.

8:17 AM  
Blogger venessa said...

Interesting.

I noticed that most of the cat-calling in the flickr thread was by males and that the females were more supportive. Could be my own bias, but that was the impression I was left with. And I will save that rant for another day...

No, I don't think the photo is too much. No one gets all over models and actresses who reveal themselves for a living for being bad mothers and role models. Is it different because your art is a hobby that you put on the internet, as opposed to a career (which you should think about, really!).

A lot of your photos are more revealing that I would be comfortable with. But tha's ME and it has nothing to with any ethics or parenting worries, just my own insecurities. I admire your courage. Plus, I have ugly stretchmarks and you don't! :P Anyway, I love your Flickr photos and you're a great mom. keep up the good work on both fronts!

9:12 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

Men are visual and honetly most men are going to see a women in panties and have sex with her in thier mind. It is how they are. I wish I did not know this and I am nto going to go into detail about how or why I know. I just do.

I would not be comfortable with shots like that of me on the net. It has to do with me not being comfortable about ME being in the pictures though.

You can not control other people's minds. Unfortuantely.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

If your children have seen you naked, then I don't see why seeing you in underwear is such a travesty....

I don't qualify that underwear shot as a crotch shot, its an underwear shot. And an artistic one at that.

Forget the critics! :) You rock!

9:59 AM  
Blogger alimum said...

1) I want to tell you I hate you and your cellulite free hips.

2) Julian sees me nude every day. He sees me in lacy underpants as I am getting dressed.

3) How the hell is this an issue for some people? I mean, are these people planning on maintaining the fiction that babies are delivered via stork even after their children hit puberty?

10:53 PM  
Blogger karrie said...

I don't see the big deal. As others have mentioned, it is not as if you were doing something overtly sexual in the pose.

As for the guys hooting and hollering, well, they;re guys. And they know you're pretty and funny, so probably that combined with a pair of Vicki's puts some of them over the edge. Although, none of the comments struck me as disrespectful.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Birth Junkie said...

Completely agree! Wonderfully written!

I agree with the others in support of you. I also wouldn't say that it's a crotch shot in porn terms but technically it is. My concern would be what other men think and not your kids. As already stated, you can't control what anyone thinks. So, if you're proud of yourself/body/panties/etc. then celebrate it!

You are a great mother and woman and that includes being sexy. It's only a big deal if you make it one.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous jill said...

I love the picture, think it is beautiful, think it is just fine for your kids or anyone else to see...and hate you (ok, not really, but a little bit jealous!)

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I love your blog because it is honest. That is you. And your photos are amazing. People are weird sometimes and my children could care less about me in my underware! Gosh we did give birth and everyone saw everything then! Modesty goes out the window when you have children and there is nothing more freeing than that. Half the time I am running to the front door or phone with a child stuck to my boob. I am nursing my third right now...she is 10 months and I don't really think about stopping because I a) love it and b) I am scared about what my boobs will look like and measure after I am done. Anyways. No controvery here!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Dustin said...

Don't stop causing a ruckus. Most people spend their life half awake. Your sense of humor, fearless self exposure (pun intended), love of home, family and the naughty make the Internet worth the trouble. Flickr on my friend.

- Dustin

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

I have seen your pictures both here and on Flickr. I love your pictures, your humor, and how comfortable you seem with yourself. This is rare and it is what makes you a wonderful mother and friend to everyone you touch I'm sure.

9:41 PM  
Blogger jenica said...

i know that this is an old post, but i loved it and had to say something! i think that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with your kids seeing you in panties or less. in fact i have some close friends that have 7 children, the youngest being a newborn and the oldest being 22. she has teenage boys and she freely breastfeeds in front of them. while she's not just "hanging out" everyone knows what she's doing. i personally think that it has helped their children with their own body images. their boys don't look at every woman's boobies and wish to squeeze them, because they know the purpose of them. so blah blah blah, you're a great mommy, just sexier and better built that the rest of us! ;-D

12:43 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

You said:
My kids know that mommy is a girl, breasts are for breastfeeding, and if you're potty-trained, you wear underwear.

My kids know the same thing. It's what's important for them to know now, and they have time to learn all the rest.

I've been browsing over your blog, and enjoying it. You're almost as sexy as my wife (well, everyone is second to her, really!), and your photos are amazing.

5:59 AM  

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