Naked Battlefield

Lately, I've noticed that... 

 

Movie stars are fed up,

being projected upon, 

unreal, unattainable bodies,

and still, their faces and curves

gleam with pride on the covers,

staged for the viewers envy,

if only, this was me.

 

A model on a white horse, her 

skin smooth, shiny, no traces of life,

I’m a feminist statement, she says,

leave it or take it, I show myself naked, 

sexual as I wish, because, no one owns me,

and I owe no one, and I wonder,

who are the images for?

 

Women flock to photographers

with dreams of glamorous vision of self

preferring the lie to the real, because,

real bodies are so frightening unreal,

fuck the disappointment, better suck it in, 

smile stiff, breaths withheld and chin up,

perpetually frozen, and I wonder, 

when do photos give or take?

 

See me, see me, every day another

glorious me, look, did you look, won’t you 

like, like, like me? Otherwise, how can I

like myself, how can I exist? Virtually, 

life is but an afterthought, with no idea,

who we’ll be to each other, beyond

the likes and dislikes.

 

Women, wrinkles, winged arms and

wide smiles grace magazine covers,

see us age with grace, and so can you,

everywhere, opinions about women’s

bodies and how to be with them,

deal with them, show or, god forbid, 

not show them.

 

On busses languid women, two breasts

exposed in sculpted perfection, whispering: 

they could be yours, while in a nearby cafe,

a breastfeeding woman is refused 

service and sent away, because, here, 

we want no gross motherhood

on display.

 

A group of feminist fighters, 

write political statements on their

bare breasts and show up at unlikely places,

their faces covered, bare breasts battling,

in the streets, in the government, on the stages,

their demands written on the wall,

who the fuck stole my orgasm?

 

A band of ‘real women’ walk the street, 

naked with wobbly thighs, waistlines hidden

in folds, large sagging breasts, tiny perky breasts,

long skinny legs, stretch marks and scars,

this is what we look like, this is who we are, 

don’t look away now, see us, accept us, so 

we can accept ourselves.

 

Meanwhile, 100 naked women prepare to

greet Mr. Trump at the national convention, 

naked in the name of art, a bare claim to ownership, 

and in Copenhagen, a photographer sues the 

authorities for limiting her artistic right to show

naked photos of young women, genitals on view,

outdoor at  the city center, and I wonder, 

when does public display empower

and disempower?

 

A woman shows her naked photos on the web, 

to counter her ex’ revenge porn, rising up 

by choosing to show herself, a bare female 

body doing natural things, hoping to erase

the loathsome feeling of private moments

stolen, intimacy abused, boundaries crosses,

now a naked battle, who can we trust? 

 

Young women hide their bodies in pools, gyms, 

and on the beaches, avoiding the gaze of strangers,

yet, freely they show naked parts on the web, and 

humiliate themselves by dancing on the bar for a drink

with the oh-so VIP boys, and take leads from young men

who expect them to act  like porn stars, demanding blow jobs

and anal sex, all before the first kiss. Who cares

about first kisses anymore? 

 

A woman at 55 meets a man her own age, 

they hit it off, but after 3 nights together and 

no sex, she wonders. Your wrinkly skin just 

doesn’t turn me on, he says, I’m used to 

younger bodies, but hey, wear these nylons

and I’ll touch you alright. Just a minor detail, 

he says, don’t make it a case, one aging 

body dismissing the aging body of another.

 

Sexualized, objectified, pornofied, and a

whole lot of other fied, why and whose doing

it to whom we cannot really say anymore, but always, 

the body, used, abused, claimed, possessed, exposed,

ridiculed, hated, coveted, desired and definitely

required, in this endless battle, do we remember 

what we are fighting about? 

 

And now, the battle has moved inside, festering

in our minds and hearts, grinning as we torture ourselves,

with the same shit. Time and again, we sacrifice

our erotic, divine nature and that of the other

on the altar of this... mind fuck. What is it you want?

My dignity displaced, my body cannot be

replaced, and as I become aware of the missing gap

between my thighs, I wonder, where will this battle

take you and me, somewhere new?

 

Words by Lone Mørch

Photos by Lone Mørch, a series by Sutro Baths in San Francisco