Monday, February 28, 2005
Everything ButtThe butt crisis has left me blogless.
For the past 72 hours I have been unable to think about much else besides the amount of information contained in a woman's rear end.
It started in a graphical sense. For those of you who have been in on this AIJ adventure from its onset, you are familiar with the original AIJ butt. It is a 2k image, containing a bit of attitude, some colored pixels, and not much else. There have been questions about what gender it is. People (mainly men) want more grabability. There are problems printing it. The pixels spread out over the paper in huge sloppy squares and it's obvious that there is not much going on underneath.
So we ran into a dilemma. Do we try to improve the current picture, find a stock photo online, or shoot a new one? If we decide to shoot a new one, what would the ultimate image be like?
And so we start thinking about what information this ideal butt would contain, in a bigger, life sense.
This butt, we have decided, has to have been there and done that. This need to be a butt that has it ALL going on. We need a butt that glories in its sexuality while fully aware of its fundamental usefulness. This butt has propped up diaper bags, shoved closed the back doors of SUVs while juggling an armload of groceries. This butt has grown numb on bleacher seats cheering inevitable strikeouts and occasional base hits. This butt has sat in rocking chairs for endless nights, nursing a baby, soothing nightmares, waiting for the doctor to call back. This is a butt with stories and a sense of humor and an eagerness to keep seeing what's around the next bend.
This butt puts the sass back in ass.
However, this is a butt and not an ass. Asses are for young women who sashay down the bike path in Hermosa Beach, clad in snippets of flourescent and no tan line whatsoever. As one of the gurus in this project says, "An ass is what you have in your 20's. In your thirties, it all goes to hell. Then, in your forties you have ... this butt. It's a butt that remembers its ass-ness, but has a whole lot more to say as well."
So all I have to do is find a butt that says all of this, and is visually appealing, and attracts the right audience, and shoot it. This butt, needless to say, cannot be mine. Not only does it fail at least one of the above criteria (in my eyes), I just refuse. It won't happen. I am already laying my most personal stuff out on the line - I have a story about my pubic hair, for god's sake! I refuse to publicly humiliate myself any further by putting my back on the front.
Luckily, I have two friends who are willing to put their ass on the line for me. We went shopping yesterday, trying on jeans that will help their derrieres tell this rich, wonderful, complex story.
The photo shoot is the day after tomorrow. I will be happy when it's over. I will be able to walk down the street without whipping around to check out every woman's ass that passes. I will be able to stop thinking of all my friend's butts in terms of their target market. And I will be able to print the preview book knowing that I now own a butt (on paper) that contains a lot more information. Of all kinds.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 1:47 PM
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