In celebration of the authentic female form in all of its curve and glory, Charlotte Mia Rose has taken on the task of imagining new possibilities with her project called A Nude A Day. As a trained massage therapist and sex educator, Goodman-Smith has a deep appreciation for the body and its many possibilities. Through her work, she has discovered that many women have internalized an inauthentic and limited view of beauty. This internalization of cultural norms creates a distance between a woman and her body; as a result said woman is unable to experience true fulfillment and satisfaction. By employing her skills as an artist, Goodman-Smith aims to redefine the relationship between self and body, moving it from a place of disdain to one of glorification.
Do you identify as a feminist?
I do, I believe that anyone who really believes in the equality of women is a feminist. I know it is a problematic term for a lot of people, and I wish that was not the case. But I think that has a lot to do with not fully understanding the history. I think that a lot of younger women do not understand that they are feminists because they are not identifying as such.
What is your understanding and definition of feminist art?
How I feel like I am contributing to feminist art, which I hope and seek to do, I cannot speak for what all feminist art is, just my piece of it. I feel like anytime you are truly celebrating the female body, that is a feminist act. I believe that there is much facade around how we speak, look at, and deal with the female body. So, anytime we authentically celebrate our body, the female body, I believe that is a feminist act. I want to create images that are more inclusive of a wider range of female bodies so that people can see their own beauty in the images. I want to create images that assist women in connecting more authentically to their own bodies so that they can honor and celebrate their own body more fully.
Does this lack of authenticity stem from main stream media, our culture, how we are raised?
I think it is all of that. I think we live in a sex-negative culture. We view women as less than and view our bodies as commodities to a certain extent. I think it is really complicated and there are so many pieces of the picture. For a woman to choose to not be less than you have to actively choose day-by-day, every day. So many women have body issues, it is an institutionalized and internalized way of keeping women smaller. When women fully connect to their bodies, their passion, their power, they get bigger and they are able to speak up for more of what they care about and more of what they value.
Goodman-Smith’s process is a love affair. Using her grandmother’s watercolors, Goodman-Smith embarks on a journey of exploration. Her guide is instinct, and with each stroke she falls deeper in love with the subject, with its lines, its folds, and its bends. A rhythmic dance begins, the subject feeding off the artist, the artist feeding of the subject.
How do you prepare for a piece?
I look for images that feel interesting to me in some way. Before beginning I stretch and dance a little, then I get really comfortable in my bed. I begin with a sketch and when it comes to colors I just go with instinct, with what feels right. I love the bright blues, the bright reds, the yellows; it is all about play and the visual pleasure that it is giving me. I want to get in my body and feel the joy and pleasure of being in body before I begin. I have noticed that the paintings I love, more often happen after I have gone through that process. There is a correlation between what I am creating and how I am feeling.
Out of the pieces that you have thus far completed, which are your favorite?
January 1, January 3, January 8, January 23, January 27, January 28, January 29, February 1, February 3, and February 4.
What do you hope people take away from your work?
I hope that they leave with more appreciation for their own bodies and that they remember to delight in their own flesh. I hope this can be a catalyst for more self-love, honor, and celebration of their own bodies.
To learn more about Charlotte Mia Rose and her A Nude a Day Project, visit charlottemiarose.