Confession: I have been working on this post for months. Writing. Reviewing. Scrapping. Writing a new one. Reviewing. Scrapping it, too. The truth is that this is a really simple and exquisitely complicated subject all at the same time. What is it? Personal labels, namely, my dislike of the labels “nudist” or “naturist”. Read more
It must be said that I object to being called any kind of -ist or that I practice any kind of -ism. I suppose that makes me an anti-Ismist.
Your typical Ismist would, at this stage, proudly haul up the flag of Nudism or Naturism. He would declare is Nudism and tell the world he was a Nudist. If I were an Ismist, I should probably do the same, but I just cannot bring myself to do it.
As it happens, I naturally incline to being naked whenever it is feasible – at home, at the beach, at a resort, in the sauna, elsewhere where it does not lead to gawking and arrest. Does this qualify me as a Nudist? Even though I am compelled to be dressed more than 90% of my life? I neither dress nor undress to redress a societal cause.
The compelling photo series strips away all the excess to explore how we as human beings deal with the words thrown at us, both carefully and thoughtlessly, each and every day. “The labels that dictate how we are viewed by society are different, in many ways, from how we as individuals identify with ourselves,” Renner explains in her statement. “At times, it can seem as though the line between our self-identity and the identity placed on us by others is blurred. This makes it difficult for us to free ourselves from the confines of words, and alter the perception we have of ourselves.”
To explore the effects of the labels and stereotypes we’re all exposed to, Renner recruited volunteers to list the various words used to describe them on a piece of paper. After listing all their modifiers, from the complimentary to the painful, Renner’s subjects stripped down and wrote the words on their nude bodies. Ranging in age, gender and life story, the brave subjects proudly wear the words thrust upon them, expressing ownership over their collective and individual identities.