Normal is diverse. There is no right way to look.
We are individuals after all. Not interchangeable in any respect. You don’t have my experiences behind you, nor do I have your family, or you my ideas, not my stories, triumphs, pains or dreams. You have yours and I have mine. And, most certainly, your body is not mine, and mine is not yours.
If I was to try to replace your anything with mine, you wouldn’t like it.
Yet we expect.
We compare against idealized versions, retouched photography, and a small set of examples that show up over and over in our super-sorted world of likes and targeted advertising. These have become the model for how we are to live and to look. Especially to look.
…Normal is diverse.
It’s inarguably the case that normal is diverse. There is no other way. And yet, we do not expect diversity. We duck it, think it difficult, find it wrong, or the cause of problems. It’s not worth our time, empathy or curiosity. When know it when we see it, even from a distance, and we go quickly back to the repeated familiar. We don’t expect diversity as the norm.
On Saturday, from 4-8pm, at Ludlow Studios, NYC, we’ll have the unusual opportunity to see 110 vagina portraits, and to see for ourselves that normal is diverse. Also, to share our individual thoughts, by writing them and dropping them in box, from which a volunteer will later pull them out and add them to our wall. The portraits will be on one side of the room and our words on the other, and we will be in the middle seeing what we see. No pressure to talk or reveal yourself, though talking is welcomed and encouraged.
Instructions for viewing
- This is a space where our bodies are OUR BODIES, and it’s safe for womxn to reflect on themselves and each other.
- Diversity is understood as normal, even if we’re not used to it.
- Compassion, empathy and curiosity are expected.
- We will each show up with our individual stories, experiences, expectations and comfort level with ourselves and with others, and this may change during the exhibition.
- Respect for each other is required.
I am so looking forward to seeing you.
If you have not yet RSVP’d, please do so here. It’s free, but space is limited.