Ode to Aboriginal Girls

(Last Updated On: January 12, 2016)

One of our readers reminded me that Pigtails in Paint used to do a lot of short pieces and it seems things have gotten a lot more in depth and longer. I apologize, but I simply offer those things that I find interesting. I believe there must be others who share my disdain for the plethora of uncredited photo albums that can be found online these days. However, I do miss the charm of Pigtails’ older style and I assure you all that it was not my intention to deviate from that. What has happened is that as we gained credibility, we gained access to interesting back stories that cannot be found in mainstream media—even the internet.

Believe me, there are plenty of short items that will be put out in due course; it is just that when I am inspired to work on something, I want to follow through and naturally there is a lot to say. Now I offer you one my shorter contributions.

Due to political and historical factors, I have to admit so-called minorities get short shrift. I was always impressed by Pip’s efforts to include other “races” on this site from time to time. I found this postcard on a sales site and had to have it.

(Artist Unknown) - (Untitled) Published by Temperley Industries

(Artist Unknown) – (Untitled) Published by Temperley Industries

To tie together information about Aboriginal girls, I direct readers to another interesting post that Pip made a while back. Australia being the smallest of the continents, I think people lose the sense of how immense it really is with its variety of climate zones. As a result, it is also too easy to lump these people together as though everyone practices the same customs as the natives popularized by the Crocodile Dundee films.

There are two excellent posts (here and here) discussing girlhood and attitudes toward the body in a Novel Activist post. Those not familiar with that blog owe it to themselves to look at Ray Harris’ images and narrative on the subject.

Novel Activist offers social commentary on the portrayal of children in general mostly in the course of pursuing research for his novels.

2 thoughts on “Ode to Aboriginal Girls

  1. Nice photo – although it also shows the difficulties of photographing very dark skin in strong light – but it means her lovely smile shines out beautifully.

    The articles you link to at “Novel Activist” remind me how, in my own cold, repressed culture, simple nudity has become a sexual act, has become a signal of sexual invitation.

    Maybe the reasons that many people don’t feel the same erotic undertones in many photos of naked little non-European girls is that the girls don’t perceive their nakedness as being a sexual act or invitation, whereas, after say the age of about five most western little girls will be starting to learn that a certain power/danger/mystery/shame lies in their naked bodies. And when photographed they will respond with a different consciousness of their nakedness to girls who have grown up naked. This self-awareness can take many forms – but the extremes of ‘flaunting it’ and ‘shame’ are maybe the commonest responses.

    Then there is also the fact that the viewer looking at such photos will be taking into account the cultural context of the child depicted in his/her evaluation of the meaning of her nakedness: I’m aware that in the photos of naked aborigine girls that their nakedness has little or no sexual significance for them, therefore my own response is asexual, whereas when I look at a photo of a naked western girl I’m aware that I’m probably looking at a girl for whom nakedness equals some conception of making herself sexually appealing, if only for the eyes.

    • Thank you. And I would like to add that I just realized that those comments following those posts were by me. This was before I even made contact with Pip and I felt Novel Activist was one of the more thought-provoking sites out there at that time. -Ron

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