Hairy issues.

A friend recently mentioned one of my old posts (from an old, extinct blog) that I wrote about criticism I received concerning a model I photographed that had underarm hair.  Below is the image and my original response to the criticism.  I still love photographing models that chose their grooming practice they want, not what is expected of them. 

What the fuck?
Katie - 012314

I just got on my post about working with Katie. Some anonymous cowardly hack wrote:

"She needs to get a razor. Yuck!"

I almost didn't publish it because of how disrespectful it was to Katie. I decided to publish it because this type of ignorance / stupidity / ... grrr. I am running out of adjectives I am so mad. I understand if you have a critique about my photo, (too dark, too light, lousy composition, wrong model for the setting, bad exposure, wrong media, etc.) but what the fuck are you getting at?

Is your view of beauty only limited to women of Maxim and Playboy that do not have an extra hair anywhere and where they have hair, it is in the absolute perfect place?? While I appreciate those types of photos, they are not the only types of beauty in this world. You are missing out on seeing so many beautiful people if you feel this is the only type of beauty.

I think the trend for women to be completely shaven is one of choice. While it is the current trend, I find great beauty in shaven women as well as "natural" women. When did we get so narrow minded?? I am so pissed right now. I am going to go for a walk after posting this.

Followup post

Got Hair??
In continuation to my "What the Fuck?" post yesterday, I am dedicating today's post to women who choose/chose to keep their hair. Somebody wrote a rude comment about a model I photographed that did not shave her armpits or pubic hair. Here are some more photos I am sure commentor will not like, but I find are beautiful.

A friend mentioned a very famous photo of Tina Modotti in her comment. Here is Tina photographed by Edward Weston. Tina was also a great photographer as well as writer, model, actress, activist and role model. She was also very beautiful.
Tina Modotti
Edward Weston
Edward Weston took a number of photos of his wife Charis. This very famous photo has some interesting history because her pubic hair. After the photo below was released, Edward and sons Cole and Brett were nervous about sending prints due to laws concerning obscenity sent through the mail. They took out a magnifying glass and had to see if any pubic hair was showing and if so how much due to the laws. If you look closely, she also has hair on her legs. I am glad Weston captured her beauty in this photo.
Nude, 1936
Edward Weston

So, I tip my hat to everyone who controls their bodies and how they choose to celebrate their beauty. If you are happy shaved, hairy (armpits, pubic, head, anywhere), tattooed, pierced, or any other form of free choice, I support you... and I would really like to photograph you to show how uniquely beautiful YOU are, not what the popular culture thinks is beautiful.


  1. Such a wonderful, memorable post, Karl. It is a very important post, and I appreciate your re-post of it. I had forgotten about the Weston picture, and I just saw an original print of this famous photograph in an all-Weston show last summer. Oddly enough, even seeing it blown up and close up, I did not think about the hair on her legs. Hair on someone's legs or other body areas truly does not push any buttons for me. I see other aspects of the person, not the hair. Hair is natural. What does catch my attention is the unnatural absence of it.

  2. Hair or no hair is immaterial. It is art, sometimes sensual art, that we are seeking to create as photographers. Art is spontaneous as much as it attempts to be calculated. A body is spontaneous and individual.
    So perhaps the individuals that decries some
    body hair on a woman is really seeking a lover as opposed to appreciating the unique aesthetic vision


So,what are you thinking about?