Reconciling With Our Innate Truth.-

When I became a nude model in 2015. Many people around me felt that I was going through a phase. Women thought I did it for attention, they despised me. Men thought I did it for attention, they desired me for the wrong reason. I lived with my brother at the time. People who knew us called every member of family to put dirt on my name. They called me the new « whore on the block » 

I came from a well endowed and known family in Haiti, my parents are educators and own a school in Haiti. My passion for nude art was a total clash with everything we stood for. Being raised in the Haitian Culture, where being a conservative is praised, being openly expressive and blunt artistically was not welcomed and is deliberately seen as vulgar, even trivial and classless. My early pursuits in nude art were bold and raw. This extreme display of nudes and erotic poems made a lot of people uncomfortable. Many wondered what was happening to me. Nobody recognized it as a passion. Because such an art was and still is taboo in the Haitian Culture. Nobody dared to talk about sex openly, conversations like those happened behind closed doors, in secret groups, even then everyone used humor to camouflage their shame, some would hide their guilt under half finished smiles or fleeting pervasive looks, anyways there were always some sort of discomfort when those topics arose, but deep down everyone was curious to know more, to explore more and perhaps let go. But their curiosity was always shut and blindsided by shame of being seen as sinful, wicked perverts. 

For me, exploring nude art came as no surprise. The most beautiful days of childhood were spent at home. The situation of the country was so terrible sometimes that my parents wouldn’t let us leave the house. My parents had a huge library, I remembered spending most of my days reading, and learning. The world outside of my home, didn’t have a huge influence on me. So, then my character was built from within and from the principles and values my parents instilled in me . 

I believe that those core values created a protective fence and a respective balance behind everything I decided to create. It is important for me to remain sane while showing that part of me. Sharing my nudity with the world originated from the desire to connect with who I am first, then came other aspirations and creative inspirations, such as exploring eroticism, producing sensual films and visuals. But the very first thing that pushed me forward in my journey is the excitement of change. The courage to keep going and creating bloomed from that excitement. It is indeed a thrill to know that somehow I am changing something in my culture, something in the world,  by challenging the way we perceive each other, interact and accept one another through sensual art.
What if we start talking about the subjects that frighten us? Could we possibly change something? Can we shift the old ways? Can we rebuilt new constructive, educative and informative patterns for our children? Can we learn to communicate with those who are different than us? How do we break free from those conventional norms?

I refuse to associate my nudity with shame, I refuse to keep this wave going. I refuse to continue this charade of nonsense that leads me to disconnecting with my inner self and keeps me in a crippled state of being. I feel that body shaming is behavior that was unconsciously taught and accepted throughout the years. I believe it can be unlearned. I believe we can reconcile with our truth. 

I still believe this form of art could be well received as we raise our consciousness and become more aware of who really are. For now, let’s take it one day at a time 

Jodelle DuverseauComment