I was having an argument with an ex-partner of mine.

I was arguing that the recent re-make of Ghostbusters was essential despite it being a really rather rubbish rehash of the original. He disagreed. We both agreed that the plot and the acting were pretty pants but, and this is where I refused to back down, I thought it was essential because it had an all female lead. Representation is important.

“When I look at the shoots that other people do I see bendy white women, this makes me groan internally. I like bodies. Think that shibari should be for everyone regardless of: age, gender, physical ability, race.”

All of the best riggers in the world that I know, and I am fortunate enough to have met quite a few,  never fat shame anyone, they never say that things are not possible; the know that each model has different limitations and abilities and they adjust their rope to that particular model’s strengths. They also do not make assumptions about gender: a woman’s (or identify as female) place is not necessarily being tied and vice versa. FYI the best teachers use gender neutral pronouns because assuming someone’s gender is a bit of a dick move.

DJ Fet Shibari suspension

When I get asked to do shoots I prefer using normal shaped people. They are the best to tie with, not ones who are traditional model shapes. I was told many years ago that I was too stiff to be in a Take Gote (chest harness with hands tied behind the back) and to fat to be suspended. As you can see from the images this simply is not true and came from a place of patriarchical nonsense and ignorance. I am not small (5’6″ and UK size 16) and I am not young (42) but I also think that I can and do look beautiful in rope (thank you JessicaWabbitt). The largest person I have suspended was well over 20 stone. I tie all different body shapes, some of the most challenging are the super thin people because they don’t have the muscle or fat covering, this does not mean that they should not be tied they look beautiful in rope too.

DJ Fet Shibari suspension

I decided a few years ago that I have a responsibility.
Since I do a lot of photo shoots and I can control what images are put out there, I decided to only shoot with normal shaped people (in all ranges of the spectrum) because I know that there will be people out there looking in, wanting to experience shibari.
I want them to feel invited to the party, not to think that this is not for them because their body shape was not represented. Unless I am wanting to do something super challenging or I am being paid a lot of money, because even I need to pay my gas bill, I don’t shoot with ‘traditional’ shaped models.

 

Representation is important and bodies of all shapes and sizes are beautiful.

Photo credits: JessicaWabbitt and Natural-dominant & Niki Monyok

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