Maiden Voyages: November 2017

A Definitive Text?  A remarkable book came into my possession a few years ago and has always intrigued me.  It was a small book by Shizuki Obuchi called How to Shoot Little Girls.  Its 49 little chapters seem to cover just about every aspect of shooting little girls in the nude.  It is my hope that readers will come forward and help translate this work so that interesting details and anecdotes might be included in a future post about the photographer.  The first three chapters have already been translated by a Japanese student (and is also responsible for translating the Sawatari notes as well).  Moko also took part and transcribed a few of the chapters as well.  Please take a look and, for those who are able, please assist in having this translated.  I would also appreciate suggestions for programs that can be purchased that can provide better translations than that offered by Google Translate.

Living Goddess: In recent new, Nepal just elected its new kumari.  In some ways they are almost a living work of art. This practice also stirs some ambivalence because although these girls almost certainly have a better life than the vast majority of children in Nepal, they are also a kind of slave from the time they’re chosen until they reach puberty and lose their goddess status. My only exposure to this event was an episode of The Human Animal hosted by Desmond Morris.  As part of his illustration on status displays, he points out how the Nepali kumari, though a diminutive girl, must be raised on a high carriage to reflect her high status in public.

Fellow Worshipers: Christian has found an excellent site online that has a lot of detailed information about Samuel Clemens’ Anglefish girls.  A comment was included at the end of the post with a link to another site which discusses the topic.

Maiden Voyages: October 2017

I wish to thank Pip, Arizona and Christian for keeping the home fires burning while I take a break from production.  In fact, as I mentioned last month, I am not taking a break from the site really.  I am simply educating myself and developing materials that will enhance its overall service and professionalism.  It is a sharp learning curve with a lot of trial and error and it takes time.

An Unusual Focus: I was surprised to learn that IMDb has a specialty page dealing with nudity of underage actresses.  A few of these titles are known, but many are not and Pigtails has copied the list for future research and review.  Given the controversy this may trigger, it is not known how long the list will remain on the site.  Since there are so many titles that were unknown, this would seem a bonanza for us.  However, because most of these films deal with young, post-pubescent girls, they are not covered in the scope of our site.

A Brave and Edgy Remake: In the course of investigating the career of Oona Laurence who played Tommie in the film Lamb, Pip discovered that she has been cast in a film called The Beguiled.  There is a 1971 Clint Eastwood film by that name and this is indeed a remake.  The intriguing thing about the plot is that it is about a wounded Union soldier who takes refuge in a Southern all-girls’ school during the Civil War.  The sexually-repressed girls then fight about whom he likes best.  It is interesting to note that it is directed by Sofia Coppola who seems to specialize in films about the psychology of teen girls so the drama should resonate in a believable performance.  Incidentally, Laurence also appeared in a short film after Lamb called Imaginapped.

Mistress of the Flies?  One of our readers has informed us about a film remake in production based on the novel and film Lord of the Flies.  The twist is that this time, the survivors are all girls.  This has certainly stirred things up in the media, but the directors insist they are staying true to the original intent of the novel and hope to dispel the usual stereotypes about the nature of aggression in boys versus girls.

More Desirée Drama: As mentioned in a recent ‘Maiden Voyages’, Google+ censored the image of Desirée from the series ‘American Girls’ by Ilona Szwarc.  Now Facebook has also censored it, ironically in a post denouncing the Google+ censorship.

Just Another Hoax: The graffiti artist Banksy was recently reported as captured and unmasked by police in a Palestine exhibition.  However, this story was manufactured by a hoaxer going by many aliases and publishing in the Nevada County Scooper and repeated by a number of news satire websites.

Alt-Right Unwittingly Boosts Ratings: A show called Big Mouth has been the latest target by the far right who have been boycotting and protesting the content of films produced by Netflix in the past year.  Of particular focus is a scene where a middle-school girl has a conversation with her talking, animated vagina.  Although meant to convey angst and ambivalence of a burgeoning sexuality, these critics insist it promotes pedophilia.

Girls’ Portraiture SNAFU: Fans of this website may have noticed a strange notice requesting a password for entry.  The blogger informs me that this glitch is a mundane computer problem and he does not currently have access to the site.  It is not clear if this situation is going to be remedied or if he will have to start again elsewhere.  He wanted to express his apologies to fans of the site who have not been able to reach him with their comments and questions.  I have been informed that only certain entries are password protected and one can scroll down to the other entries.  Those who have been in contact with this blogger can email him directly for the password to the protected posts.

Maiden Voyages: August-September 2017

The Trouble with Renaissance Men: Many readers have observed that I have been rather inactive of late.  Pigtails in Paint is not only a project run by volunteers, but is an expression of creativity in its own right and requires a certain amount of creative impulse.  Summer should have been a productive time for publishing an incredible backlog of fascinating material, but some other things have captured my interest lately and I felt compelled to pursue them.  Please rest assured that I have not lost interest in Pigtails and recognize its importance in the shaping of public attitudes and political progress.  I would like to thank Pip, Arizona and other associates for keeping the home fires burning.  To demonstrate the seriousness of my commitment, you should know that one of my projects this summer was the commissioning of a set of custom shelves to house the various girl-related materials that have accumulated over the years.  This has drastically reduced the clutter and will help with the assembly of future material for eventual publication.

These shelves now house the on-topic books, magazines, original artwork and prints, figurines, hardcopy leads, unsorted postcards and digitized materials to be used for Pigtails in Paint.

How Much Punishment Is Enough?  As described in an earlier post, Chris Madaio served a prison term for possessing child pornography.  He then had to serve more time for a so-called parole violation that, in an equitable court of law, should have been regarded as double jeopardy.  He has been released but has been put in a frustrating position because of the fact that he was arrested and charged in Alabama instead of his home state of New York.  There are two problems outstanding at this point.  Because of the sex offense, the New York probation office is resisting his efforts to officially relocate there and live with his sister.  Also, the Federal Courts saw fit to return his legitimate photographs, but the State of Alabama seems to have no regard for Constitutional procedure and has not done the same.  Since he is essentially living off of his Social Security checks, he does not have the means to hire skilled lawyers to handle this.  If anyone is willing to help in either or both of these matters, please contact me.  Madaio is a paralegal but does not have the specialty knowledge to compel the courts to assist him.

Blowback: Graham Ovenden really sets the standard when it comes to fighting against persecution from the police, the courts and unsubstantiated libel from the media.  Not only is he preparing to countersue the appropriate government institutions and media companies, but has, in the process, produced hundreds of pages of carefully-documented details demonstrating the extent of the misconduct and a blow by blow account of each image that has been under scrutiny.  I am informed that when available, a digitized form will be made available to Pigtails.  I am sure this will lead to many interesting posts about police overreaching and the arbitrary decisions of judicial system.

New Video Feature: Very often, because particular films contain child nudity, YouTube finds it necessary to remove certain films from public view.  Because of this, one of the most requested films has been The Spy Who Caught a Cold.  I am pleased to announce that readers can now watch this (and others in the future) that are habitually removed from mainstream video sites which tend to overreact to child nudity.  As other films are added, a ‘Video Page’ will be created so readers will know which titles can be viewed.  So if you finally want to see this short film in its entirety, scroll to the bottom of this page. [This video was deleted for some reason.  I am pleased to announce that it is working again.  Please remember to only download items that are clearly identified as there are advertisers on the MediaFire site as well.  Enjoy,  -Ron]

Source Material Identified: A little while ago, Christian informed me of the identity of the original art used by Pip in one of our past banners.  The painting is called The Kiss by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.  You can review all former Pigtails banners on our revised Third Anniversary post.

Double Standard: An interesting issue occurred at the recent San Diego Comic-Con. Of particular interest was a cosplay by Kai, the youngest son of actor Liev Schreiber, who dressed up as Harley Quinn, the Joker’s girlfriend, as she appeared in the film Suicide Squad. Most people seemed to be delighted by Schreiber’s decision to let his son dress as a girl character, but this raises the question that if this had been an actual girl, wouldn’t there have been a huge backlash from critics complaining about the inappropriateness of the costume?  And although a hypocritical media would revel in such a controversy, they seem content to show how tolerant they are about the trans aspect. That aside, Pip found it an admirable choice on Schreiber’s part and, frankly, Kai does seem to have suitably girlish features accentuated by the makeup and long hair.  There is a lot of coverage of this story but here are a few links that Pip sent me: here, here, here, here and here.

Liev Schreiber with son Kai dressed as Harley Quinn at Comic-Con 2017

Modeling Article Installment: As promised, I am sharing a backlog of links to articles about the conditions and lives of child models.  This one is about nine-year-old Kristina Pimenova, a Russian child model considered to be one of the most beautiful girls in the world. Written by Jennifer Gardiner, it discusses the issue of how much and what kind of exposure is acceptable.  Who is legally responsible for the well-being of the model in cases like this?

Other Leads: I often get tidbits mentioning the existence of on-topic sites.  This one is a Spanish site featuring somewhat pastoral images of children.

Maiden Voyages: July 2017

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.

Maiden Voyages: June 2017

After a brief time in exile, Pigtails in Paint is now operating normally with the correct domain names and backups.  Witch hunt is an apt way of describing the struggle that is taking place today, but I am particularly reminded of The Reformation.  The tenor of the angry comments about this site smacked of anti-elitism and using the arts as an excuse to do something sinister.  During The Reformation, many pundits had legitimate complaints about the corruption of the Catholic Church but, in the end, their actions and influence were used to wreak great destruction on fine religious art.  Luther and Erasmus were considered important leaders of this movement but were appalled at the wanton smashing of Madonna statues and destruction of Church property in the name of iconoclasm.  Luther even pled with local princes to put a stop to these demolition gangs but to no avail.  Although there is certainly corruption in the most powerful and established elite institutions, I feel it necessary to point out that truly talented people form natural aristocracies.  Unless they are made to have contempt for their society because of the bad treatment they suffered in their youth, they generally use their talent for the betterment of everyone.  Only those who act on their irrational fear of those with remarkable skill and knowledge tend to push society to its lowest functional state—what might reasonably be called a state of spiritual poverty.

Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery: There is a Moldovan photographer Vladimir Timofeev who did a photo shoot imitating Hajime Sawatari’s Alice.  The simulation is remarkable even down to the expression on the girl’s face.  The blogger at Girls’ Portraiture recently featured this artist and included a number of other images from this series.

Walking a Fine Line: Christian has informed me that there is a censorship issue with Google+.  He tried to share Ilona Szwarc’s photograph Desiree, Brooklyn, NY  and it was immediately flagged as inappropriate followed by a message stating that it “may be in violation of our User Content and Conduct Policy”.  They added that “Content that depicts the exploitation or abuse of children, presents children in a sexual manner, or facilitates inappropriate contact with children is not permitted.”  After appealing the decision, a reviewer upheld the decision.  Therefore, Google+ believes that a photograph of a girl in a two-piece swimsuit and holding a doll is considered “child abuse”.  The irony is—and I have heard this complaint many times—there are many “hate” sites and profiles glorifying Nazism or promoting anti-Semitism that have not been removed, despite being reported. Christian adds that Facebook censored the Lehnert & Landrock photograph from Pip’s recent post ‘A Girl and Her Vessel’.

Interestingly, our service provider just did some research, asking a U.K. watchdog group to examine our site for any possible cases of abuse.  We got a clean bill of health on that point but were informed that they have no influence over what individual companies and organizations can censor.  These developments highlight the need for a knowledgeable organization that can make more clear and reasonable definitions that are legally-binding for law enforcement agencies and media service companies.

Little Belly Dancers: I have been informed that in The Ukraine, there are annual festivals where little girls perform this art.  Here are three fine examples on YouTube from the past few events: Anastasia Olkova (2014), Aleksandra Kutsyuk (2016) and Sofia Yavtushenko (2013).

Who’s Number One?  I recently watched Michael Moore’s film Where to Invade Next (2015).  The title is confusing at first until you understand the premise that Moore is traveling to other countries to steal their best ideas for use in the U.S.  Worth noting is his visit to a rural primary school in France.  The children are served what Americans would call gourmet food, served by chefs (no cafeteria lines), and they receive lessons on food etiquette during that time.  They were quite disgusted when Moore showed them pictures of school cafeteria food in the U.S.  Also, sex education is quite frank and without the kind scare tactics that are regular fare in the U.S.  The instructors there found it quite laughable when Moore suggested they should emphasize abstinence.

Crime Dramas: When I was little, I remember watching old television shows with my grandmother.  One show she loved was Quincy, M.E. starring Jack Klugman.  There was an episode that dealt with the topic of child prostitution.  It was interesting to see how the subject was handled in that show versus an episode of the more recent Numb3rs.  It got me to thinking that any long-running crime drama would deal with the subject sooner or later and it would be interesting to analyze changing perceptions over time and in different countries.  I am therefore requesting that any readers familiar with specific episodes that deal with this subject in a television series, please let me know.  The results of my research will be made into a future post.  Simply use the contact form to send me any leads.  -Ron

Maiden Voyages: May 2017 (Pigtails in Exile)

My apologies for getting this update out late, but some new information came my way and I had to compose my thoughts.

Ruffled Feathers: Pip is not naive and neither am I. When he started Pigtails in Paint and when I joined him, we knew we would have to use extreme discipline to make sure we did not create any legal problems for ourselves. We know how touchy people can be and how unaccustomed the layman, particularly in the US, is in viewing the human body. We are also aware of the witch hunt mentality that is taking place with regard to the ostensible exploitation of children. We hoped to persuade the general public and art lovers specifically about the legitimacy of the child nude. We felt we could do this without ruffling any feathers; we would remove any images if an artist complained or if we were persuaded that a particular image violated US law (or in the country of our service provider). Since then, the popularity of the site has grown enormously and it is no longer possible to fly under the radar. We had to deal with both primitive and sophisticated cyber attacks and survived. We took it on the chin when critics would insist that we are really a pornography site pretending to be something else. Well, they are entitled to their opinion and flaunt their ignorance, ignorance we hope to someday dispel. The problem comes when our adversaries do not play fair. Instead of engaging in informed debate, they resort to ruthless and underhanded tactics to shut us down. These people fall into two groups: the zealots and the puppet masters. The zealots are the true believers and think our site is an abomination on the internet and are the front line soldiers getting people worked up to take action. Behind the scenes are certain moneyed interests who feel Pigtails has a chance of upsetting the status quo. They fund those zealots who would otherwise not have the kind of time to make this much trouble.

If I learn of a website that is stupid or silly or ethically questionable, I will simply not pay it a visit. If I believe there is something illegal about it, I would be duty-bound to report it. Then it is up to the authorities to handle it. I do not organize a grass-roots campaign to have it shut down. I know I am not a legal expert of everything and so it is not my place to engage in a cyber war with the operators of these sites. Our adversaries do not respect these protocols. Fueled by the power of their faith (or a cynical easy buck), they take it upon themselves to take the law into their own hands. In one respect, I have been naive. I thought if we operated within the law, we would have no problems with service providers (WordPress, JaguarPC) or domain registrars (Register.com). Due to the widespread ignorance of the law and the role of nudity in general, our adversaries have succeeded in their tactics. First, they bombard the service provider with complaints that Pigtails contains sexually explicit material. Supporters of this site know that is categorically false: 1) no persons are shown in sexually-suggestive poses, 2) no emphasis is placed on the genitalia whenever visible and 3) there are no suspicious displays of adult-child interaction. However, service providers and registrars are companies and are not used to images of the human body and so are unable to make the distinction. These requests for termination of service are almost always accompanied by threats of hacking and other cyber attacks. Since the companies are primarily money making operations and the claims at first blush appear to be true, it is easier for them to make a summary decision rather than investigate the case properly and treat us fairly. They claim Pigtails is in violation of their Terms of Service (TOS), getting them off the hook for contractual violations and then cut us off. In each case, we were notified only after the fact and not given the chance to make our case. The companies were simply uncomfortable hosting our site. Register.com’s actions are particularly egregious; not only did they not make any offer of a refund, but they are punishing our service provider by requiring that he transfer 10 of his other domain registrations to another company, incurring additional costs. From the look of it, these other sites are mundane businesses with no association with Pigtails, no images of children or controversial subject matter of any kind. This move seems like a special effort to keep service providers in line with the status quo.

As it stands, it does appear that we will be able to retain our .org domain, but it will have to be registered through a company that knows how to handle these aggressive tactics. Pip and I are US citizens and it is ludicrous that we would be blocked from having an American domain designation. Our new registrar will undoubtedly have to field complaints and if they do not cave in to the demands of cyber bullies and terrorists, their next step would be to make their appeal to ICANN (although they would have to refrain from their more heavy-handed tactics to make a good impression), the organization responsible for issues regarding domains worldwide. Let us hope that they are sophisticated enough to make sound judgments, but I am not holding out much hope.

Protests and other complaints about Register.com’s actions should be directed to:

Tom Lam
Manager: Abuse, Fraud and Executive Escalations
Register.com, a Web.com service
Maritime Center, 2nd Floor, 1505 Barrington St.
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K5 Canada
Office/FAX: (902) 749-2746
Toll Free: 866-964-4270

I suppose these folks have not thought this problem all the way through. After all, if they believe our adversaries are capable of following through on their threats, what makes them think that technically savvy Pigtails supporters won’t do the same thing?

At least some of our adversaries are up front about intending to shut us down for good. Therefore, we need to be proactive about fighting this hate-mongering and obstruction to progress. Anyone willing to offer legal services, investigation services or have contacts with law enforcement officers willing to assist with this problem is urged to come forward. We must find out who these people are, how they are funded and take the appropriate legal action. Pigtails in Paint does not deserve to be singled out in this manner. Why are our adversaries so terrified of informed debate and its implications for the reform of our society?

Readers are reminded to consult our Facebook page when encountering interruptions of service rather than trying to email me directly. If there is a problem, an explanation will be posted there right away.

Because of the gravity of this situation, all other monthly notices of interest will be postponed until the June ‘Maiden Voyages’. -Ron

Maiden Voyages: April 2017

Art Style Advisor Wanted: Thanks go to Christian for rigorously reviewing old posts and updating them and, more importantly, streamlining the classification system to remove confusion and redundancies.  However, he is not an expert on artistic styles and movements and we are still in need of someone who can help us with these categories now that Pip only has time to work on this site sporadically.  Someone please come forward, even if you are only knowledgeable on a small range of art styles or media.

Pigtails Welcomes New Writer: I am delighted that yet another fan of this site has agreed to do some writing.  His first proposal is to do a series of commentaries on single ‘Compelling Images’ such as that of William Klein.  Many of the artists he proposes to cover have only done incidental work with little girls and so it is a great way to bring attention to these photographers.  The use of the handle “D.F. Ottewill” is an homage to the camera Charles Lutwidge Dodgson used to take the famous Beggar Maid photograph—the Double-Folding Ottewill.

Where One Can’t Prosecute, One Can Always Censor: One of our readers, who offers interesting leads from time to time is a child model agent.  She has offered a number of insights into the world of modeling and the conditions under which these children must work.  In the past month, two of her sites were shut down without warning with explanations that she violated the Terms of Service (TOS).  This tiresome tactic is used all too often to eliminate any material a company does not want to be associated with no recourse for the customer.  I have seen the site and can tell you that the top page has a few images of girls in various costumes (no nudity) and one can click to see the second page which contains some partial nudes.  I can assure readers that those photos were innocent out-of-the-bath/shower shots and contained no frontal nudity or suggestive poses —a towel, bath toy or other object was always strategically placed.  The agent has requested that Pigtails not link to her site in fear that more aggressive zealots would make even more trouble for her and her business.

Paranoia in the Streets of Paris: After producing the Perrusset post, the photographer told me a couple of interesting anecdotes about the challenges of his work.  I decided to add these to the end of that post so readers can take another look.

Dance Prodigy’s New Book: Maddie Ziegler, 14, whose interesting work has been posted on this site has now released a new book, The Maddie Diaries.

New Joshua Hoffine Film: In WCL’s post on this photographer, a new film had just been released and, at the time, no copies were available for review.  It is a pleasure to inform readers that the video can now be viewed on Vimeo.  If you are a fan of this photographer and filmmaker, take a look at Black Lullaby right away in case it should be removed.

Famous Postcard Girl: I have heard a lot in the past couple of years about the discovery of the identity of the little girl pictured in a number of iconic Edwardian postcards.  It seemed a suitable subject for a Pigtails post but since so much has already been published on the subject, it would be foolish to spend time duplicating someone else’s efforts.  If you collect vintage postcards of little girls, chances are you own some Grete Reinwalds.

Where’s the Line? One of the anecdotes offered by the agent mentioned above is the issue of what is acceptable nudity in child models and under what circumstances.  Whenever someone tries to spell out some standards, they seem arbitrary and absurd.  For example, another agent has taken nude shots of children (including her own), but does not publish them on her website.  However, her nudes of babies and toddlers appear openly without comment.  The Mexx Kids ad caused quite a stir but something like these Cinta Child ads (here and here) do not.  What’s the distinction?  Age?  Skin Color?

Removal Requests: From time to time, artists or their agents request that their work be removed from this site.  In the past, we have complied because we did not want to make trouble and wished to fly “under the radar”.  Since that is no longer possible, removals will only take place under compelling circumstances.  Otherwise, like it or not, artwork and other media images will be legally drafted in service to the noble political purpose of this site.  Given the usual ignorance and narrow-mindedness of these requests, it is not possible to spell out what is considered a “compelling reason” as artists will simply use one of these excuses to cover up their real objections.

Anime and Manga on Pigtails: A reader sent me samples of numerous manga artists requesting that we cover this medium/genre more.  The contribution is appreciated but the real problem is that none of us is knowledgeable enough to say something constructive about these works.  I would once again like to offer an invitation to manga/anime fans who can write to please contribute to this site.

The Quagmire of Internet Research: This is a bit off-topic, but one of the points of Pigtails in Paint is to make certain material accessible and not have to compete with more “popular” politically-correct material that may have less relevance.  It is annoying how many searches yield nonsensical results and one must sift through these redundancies just to find the object of one’s clearly-defined search.  Here is an interesting article that discusses some of the interesting aspects of this issue.

Maiden Voyages: March 2017

I do not have much to say this week, but I am glad that Pip, our Founder, and Christian, our Associate Editor, have messages for our readers.

A Reminder from the Founder: I understand that we have a wide range of viewers who are interested in our site. Some of them may even have a prurient interest in the images we post. While there is no way to actively bar such viewers from visiting, we would like to remind them that Pigtails in Paint is not, nor has it ever been, a child erotica site. We occasionally post artistic nude or demi-nude images of young girls in order to challenge the stigma against artists portraying kids in the nude, and to demonstrate that this sort of portrayal has a long and respectable pedigree through the entire history of art. Thus, if you are simply coming here to get some kind of lewd pleasure from gawking at naked underage girls, then I daresay this blog is not for you, and I courteously ask that you go do your ogling elsewhere. There are, no doubt, plenty of sites on the web that cater to your tastes. But if you insist on hanging around, then we ask that you keep your sexual comments to yourself. They are, at the very least, disrespectful to this site, its editors, and most importantly, to the artists who create this wonderful art, the girls in the images, and, by extension, all girls. Moreover, they directly threaten the integrity of the site. In short, they have no place here. We always welcome comments and questions that are insightful, informative or even challenging, providing they are respectful and conform to the rules and goals of this blog. Anything outside of that will be summarily deleted. Thank you.

Announcement from the Associate Editor: Christian has worked for more than one year to review, correct and update the whole contents of Pigtails in Paint: categories, tags and all posts. He still has to check the pages (see the menu under the banner at the top).

First, the categories and tags were reorganized and simplified to make searches easier and more efficient. Redundancy has been eliminated; there is no more overlap between tags and categories. Thus a “Tag Cloud” has been added to the right column to allow searching among the most frequent tags. The scope of existing tags has been extended (for instance “Feminism” instead of “Feminist Art” or “Parent and Child” instead of “Mother and Child”). New tags were created (for instance “Bigotry and Hysteria”, “Censorship” and “Destruction of Art”). There was a severe problem of tag duplication, with a single tag name corresponding to several distinct tags, each encoded differently in the system; the duplicates were removed, so posts needed to be retagged. For categories, the previous hierarchy (see here) was simplified from 7 groups to 4. The group “(C) Subject Themes & Special Presentations” and its categories were removed, since they are in fact covered by tags. The groups “(A) The Editors’ Journal / Maiden Voyages (Essays, Notes and Site Updates)” and “(D) Media” were merged into “(A) Topics”, with further categories added into it. The two groups “(E) Artists by Name” and “(F) Artists by DeviantArt Username or Similar Designation” were merged into “(C) Artists by Name or Username”. Some artists were included in both groups, by their name then by their username; in this case the two categories were merged under the form “Name (Username)”. The group “(G) Famous Girls in Art by Name” became “(D) Girls by Name”, so it grew by including “not famous” girls. Finally, the group “(B) Art Styles, Periods, Schools & Movements” did not change. This is true also in a negative sense: since Pip gave up the task of categorizing and tagging posts in November 2015, and Christian is not a specialist in art styles, all posts published since do not have any category from this group. We need an art style advisor to suggest new categories to include in this group, and to indicate art style categories to be assigned to posts dealing with art.

The biggest task was to review all posts for any type of defect or problem. This happened frequently with those from the first version of Pigtails in Paint hosted by WordPress (between February 2011 and September 2012): since the editors could not have a general backup of the site, individual posts had to be recreated by copying and pasting from various sources under varying formats, leading to frequent errors and inconsistencies. Some updates are indicated by an editor’s note: merging posts, adding images or providing better versions of them, answering queries about subjects or artists. But there was also a silent work of fixing a wide variety of problems: obviously updating categories and tags, correcting misprints and errors of language, repairing broken or dysfunctional hypertext links … but also badly positioned anchors for links, line breaks inside paragraphs, wrong vertical spacing, missing images, an image with a caption located to the right of it, images linking to other images or to web pages (normally every images links to its file, allowing thus to see it in its full size), parasitic code in the source file, normalizing the format of old comments manually copied from the WordPress version, etc.

Some previous errors may have been overlooked, or some new errors may have been introduced during the update, so if readers see any type of problem in a post, they can alert us, either by using the contact form in the ‘Contact Us’ page or by emailing Christian at the address shown here.

Flavie Flament Review: A reader informed me of an interesting review about Flament’s book accusing David Hamilton of sexual misconduct published shortly before he committed suicide.  You can read it here.

I would like to emphasize that I concur with Pip and add that not only lewd comments will be deleted, but simple frivolous comments and opinions about the beauty of the girls lacking any other substance will also be trashed.  In the case of legitimate comments of a sexual nature, such information and insights should be expressed in a clinical manner, again to emphasizing a respectful attitude.

I would like to offer my personal thanks to Christian for his diligent work the past couple of years.  The completion of his project means this site is more of an integrated whole than it has ever been since its inception.  I recall how relieved I felt when all the old lost posts from the first incarnation were finally replaced.  Other technical improvements to the site will be announced as each is put into place.  -Ron

Concerning the New Banner Design

It is my understanding that some people do not like the new banner/header design, with a specific complaint being that the little girl is a terrible artist. This, to me, is rather beside the point. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but children on the whole are not terribly accomplished artists. In fact, the messiness of her writing, and the fact that she clearly takes pride in it anyway, is, I think, far more characteristic of what children are like, and therefore a better reflection of what Pigtails represents. I know there may be some tendency among certain followers of our site to romanticize young girls. That’s fine to a point, and we have certainly not eschewed art that falls along those lines, but that is not, and never has been, the point of Pigtails in Paint. Before I say more, I would like to take the opportunity to post what I have said in private to Ron with respect to the new banner:

I rather like the idea that the title is not immediately legible and that it takes a few seconds of work to make it out. That will make it more memorable, since people must actively engage with it instead of just glossing over it. Which, I think, is a fundamental reflection of what good art is about, so the banner better represents what our site is. There are layers to it. It would be easy to make it all very pretty and simple—that’s how my earliest banners looked—but girls aren’t just pretty and simple, and that’s the point. The title reflects that they can be rough around the edges sometimes, but to me that adds to their charm. And it’s one thing to have a simple design when you’re just starting out, but we’ve hopefully moved beyond that. We are a well-established site now, and we’ve been through a lot. The new banner I think captures that complexity. The girl has made her mark, so to speak, and it cuts against the status quo, violates the simply ornamental. Like our girl (maybe we should give our mascot a name), we have made a mark, and we did so on our own terms. Anyone could post images that are simply pleasing and non-challenging—what we’re doing is exploring aspects of girlhood that much of society would rather we didn’t. There have been several attempts to silence our voice, but we didn’t let that stop us, did we?

That is the philosophical basis for the new design. I think it is a respectable goal for us to move past the pleasingly ornamental, which can be equated with vapidity, sentimentality and triviality. We are an art blog, and art takes many forms, not all of them immediately pleasant to the eye. As an artist myself, I know that the best art is often initially challenging to the viewer. That being said, a banner must first and foremost be functional. If it does not convey the information it is meant to convey, then it fails. Some followers of the site have expressed that the ‘Pigtails in Paint’ lettering is much too difficult to read, particularly for those viewers for whom English is not their first language, and that is problematic.

Thus, I will alter the banner design in the next few days to make the lettering more legible. I will not redesign the entire banner, or stray too far from the original concept—I stand by that. I will, however, try to make the lettering more legible to Pigtail’s readers, including our foreign fans. The new banner should be completed sometime before this coming weekend. Thank you. – Pip

Fudge Factors

Today is Pigtails in Paint’s 6th anniversary.  Not an auspicious one to be sure and I admit to some reservations.  For one thing, even though this site was founded by Pip 6 years ago today, it cannot be said that we have been in continuous operation that long due to technical issues and outright censorship.  Recently, Pip designed a little banner to celebrate our 1000th post, but again I have reservations.  As the site evolved, it made sense to consolidate a number of shorter posts and, on occasion, posts were deleted out of necessity.  And then there is the issue of monthly updates: do they count as posts or only those that contain images?  Some posts are long and some very short.  So I decided that, so that Pip’s efforts would not go to waste, I would post his celebratory banner on this anniversary date.  Thanks go to all our readers for their support particularly during these trying times.  -Ron