Mission Statement: As this site developed, it has become more and more apparent that it serves a greater purpose than one would assume at first glance. As if living in a nightmarish world of doublespeak, it seems as if the mainstream culture would portray us as misanthropes. We have, in fact, pursued the exploration of the subject of little girls with a sincere desire for self-knowledge. Every investigation and every decision has two sides and thus we are not only examining the character and nature of little girls themselves, but why they have such a psychological effect on us. A few serious people out there understand this and realize that this site must survive and persistently make its presence known to the mainstream community. It was thought that to help bridge the gap, there should be an explicit mission statement so that those unfamiliar with this site and who might get the wrong first impression can see that this is a serious endeavor with a challenging mission. The first four, and most essential, clauses in this statement have now been published—each introduced through the Facebook page and then added to the ‘Mission Statement’ page here. More clauses will be added, but the key points are now in place and other pages will be added in time to make Pigtails in Paint a more effective resource and launching point for relevant and constructive social change.
An Image is Worth a Thousand Words: In the June ‘Maiden Voyages’ I reported how Google+ censored a photograph by Ilona Szwarc, hinting that it “depicts the exploitation or abuse of children” or “presents children in a sexual manner”. Now Christian informs me that his profile was temporarily suspended under a similar pretext after having participated to a Google+ discussion group opposing the stigmatization of minorities and, by extension, pedophiles; which was eventually banned. On the other hand, groups or individual profiles propagating hate, in particular glorifying Nazism or promoting anti-Semitism have not been removed, despite being reported; some of this content happens to be illegal in certain European countries, according to anti-racist watchdog organizations. So efforts are underway to put pressure on Google if it wishes to continue operating in those countries. For any Google+ users who want to protest this hypocrisy, they can write on the profile of the Google+ owner or on the Google+ Help community.
Rescuing the Girl Next Door: There is a new film called The Book of Henry (2017) about a boy who uses his genius to help others. His next door neighbor, played by Maddie Ziegler, is being abused by her stepfather while Henry helps strategize what to do about it. You can watch the trailer here.
Archetypes of Femininity: A colleague recommended an interesting book published in 1988 called Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Sìecle Culture by Bram Dijkstra. It is an intelligent overview of the perceptions of women in Victorian times and how that shaped their portrayal in imagery. Dijkstra’s research is excellent, but he condemns artists too much for being the products of their own age. It also points out how artists, including women, could only gain success if their work presented acceptable subjects and interpretations. The eventual fascination with the girl child came about in an age that was infantilizing women and artists were escaping to so-called purer forms supposedly devoid of the evils of sexuality undeniable in the adult female form. Because of this, it became possible for artists, like Charles Dodgson, to explore—however subconsciously—the eroticism of children with impunity. This offers some real insight into the cultural environment these artists worked in. The book is more valuable for its observations of cultural movements and how they shape today’s attitudes rather than Dijkstra’s opinion on the merit of particular artists. The book is discussed on Celestial Venus and a book review can be found here.
Putting the Nature Back in Naturism: An associate mentioned a couple of images he found featuring naturists in the San Francisco area. The TreeSpirit Project founded and photographed by Jack Gescheidt was already reviewed by Pip but continues to add new images of which prints can be ordered. It is important to realize that nudity can be used as an important political tactic that is both consistent with the group’s agenda while challenging people’s perceptions and complacency.
Child Models and Actors: Often lost in the sensationalist debate is the reality of child modeling and the children’s perception of their experience. One of our readers has been feeding me interesting articles and tidbits on this subject and I keep meaning to pass them on. So for the next few months, I will be publishing the links here until I have gotten through all of them. Most of these items have to do with the stigmatization of children being nude, but I know that these issues overlap with many other ethical and legal subjects as well. The first submission is anecdotal; it appears that there is actually a Facebook fashion blog that features a nude girl as its avatar. I have also been informed that a nude image was successfully uploaded on IMDb from The Spy Who Caught a Cold recently reviewed on this site.
A Skin Thing: The producers of a recent exhibition called Skin Thing in Australia made a very apt choice for introductory speaker, Olympia Nelson. Those familiar with Nelson will remember that her family became the subject of controversy and she courageously defended her mother’s (Polixeni Papapetrou) work publicly at the tender age of ten. Interestingly, there are reports that the artist will soon be releasing certain images that were held back at that time because of the thoughtless and hurtful comments received.