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

Maiden Voyages: January-February 2017

As we had to shut down in December, it was not possible to make a January ‘Maiden Voyages’.  A lot has happened and I am proud that through our supporters, the site was essentially up and running again within a month!

Our New Banner: By now, you have noticed the new banner.  This one is a breakthrough in two respects: 1) it is an original work of art by a U.S. painter with a background designed by Pip and 2) Pip always liked the idea of a banner with the girl actually drawing the letters of the site’s title.  The old banner has been archived in Pigtails’ third anniversary post along with all the earlier incarnations.  The banner is only the start as we modernize and organize this site to make it more accessible.

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, 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? -Pip Starr, February 1, 2017

Our Domain Name: The change of the domain name was originally a practical matter because we were having trouble reaching the domain registrar to forward searches to the new IP.  This has now been remedied.  All links and references to pigtailsinpaint.com will now be forwarded to the corresponding pigtailsinpaint.org page.  Please make the necessary adjustments to your search engines as the old name will be permanently retired in November 2017.  The decision to stay with the .org designation was to give Pigtails in Paint a more institutional feel as the site becomes a more important clearinghouse on materials connected to the topic of little girls.  One of the side effects of this change is that, for the time being, Russians now have access once again.  In fact, Russian visitors currently outnumber Americans two to one!  If this site should be blocked in your country, there is also a mirror site pigtailsinpaint.uk which will have a distinct IP address once the complications of mirroring have been solved..

Vindication after the Witch Hunt: Pip has mentioned the case of Mike Diana before on Pigtails. He’s the only legitimate artist ever to have been convicted on obscenity charges for his underground comic Boiled Angel that featured graphic depiction of violence and sexual abuse. There is a documentary in the works about this case. It will feature interviews with such comics luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Peter Bagge and Steve Bissette. You can see a teaser here, which is called The Trial of Mike Diana. The producers have been seeking funding for it on Kickstarter and they have been so successful that not only is the film completely funded, but they used some of the additional money to clear an outstanding arrest warrant on Diana in the state of Florida.

Closing the Barn Door: One of my associates discovered this interesting document online.  It lists material considered inappropriate for viewing by imprisoned sex offenders in the UK. They include artists like Graham Ovenden, Jan Saudek, Hajime Sawatari, Jock Sturges, Sally Mann, Oliver Hill’s Garden of Adonis and nudist magazines.  It also includes various texts on sexology and pedophilia which do not contain any “offending” images.  The Ministry of Justice also flaunts its ignorance a bit; one of the banned books is Thomas Hamilton’s The Age of Innocence!

Will the Real Artist Stand Up? The October 2015 ‘Maiden Voyages’ showed two photographs falsely attributed to Lewis Carroll.  An associate has found that one belongs to nude photographer J.L.M.E. Durieu mentioned in a short Pigtails post.  The site identifying the real artist can be found here.

Orphans Looking for Names: When Pip became semi-retired from Pigtails in Paint, he wanted to make sure that important images and other materials were not lost and would eventually find a place here.  These included a number of intriguing but unidentified photographs.  So in addition to the restored ‘Dream Girls’ images that have yet to be identified, there is a new batch.  So please take another look at the ‘Little Orphan Images’ page and help us find homes for these wayward pictures.

Hell No! We Won’t Go!

This title is really too militant for me, but it somehow seemed appropriate in this instance. There has been yet another attempt to shut us down. While those opposed to this site make moral arguments, the companies—such as JaguarPC—always have a loophole in their Terms of Service (TOS) to allow them to refuse service to anyone on spurious grounds. All protestations of free speech and expression aside, these companies simply want a source of easy money and will act in self-preservation when 1) the work needed to keep a particular client outweighs the benefits and 2) the client expresses views which would reflect poorly on the company in light of mainstream public sentiment. Under different conditions, I would be content to let our detractors have their way but I have learned two important things in my time running this site: 1) Pigtails hold up a mirror to society revealing the flaws it does not want to face and 2) little girls are a kind of spiritual symbol that tells us what is wrong and a clue on how to remedy it. In other words, Pigtails in Paint is of political import and for our own sake, should not be summarily cast aside.

Our New Service Provider: One of the heartwarming things about Pigtails is how it motivates people to help out when it is needed. Our new service provider is in the U.K. and certainly many have commented that a site such as ours needed to be hosted in Europe. Our new host assures us he can handle the usual abuse from fanatical and ill-informed social conservatives and if a legitimate law enforcement authority or an order from the courts is received, we will remove the offending material. In addition, we will continue to comply with U.S. law.

New Facebook Page: I have been thinking about this for a while now. I felt there needed to be a separate site that was part the of Pigtails community for two reasons: 1) In cases like this when the main site is shut down, it can provide and alternate channel of communication to inform readers what is happening and 2) it would be a more practical place to have discussions and debates that do not properly belong to a specific Pigtails post. Other than the site avatar and banner, no images will be posted there. It will also be used to flesh out any details regarding the design of the main site and minor revisions that are being made that are not apparent to those regularly visiting the site. You can visit the Facebook page here.

About the Mirror Site: Our host has also set up this mirror site at pigtailsinpaint.org which is a duplication of the main site. The advantage is that in places, like Russia, where this site is blocked, there is a backup place to go. It will have a separate IP address as well in case the main IP should be blocked as well.

The Protests: The outpouring of concern and support is quite moving. I have been informed of a few places where there have been written protests of the denial of service by JaguarPC. Most notable is this one which has received numerous comments and copied on a few other blogs.

Our Detractors: After being shut down, one of my associates was looking for what people were saying about us. Our most virulent detractors have some strong words about what they think Pigtails is about (note especially posts dated November 9 and 10). This blogger acts as though he were on the inside track. If it weren’t for the fact that many readers lap up these salacious rumors, it would be quite amusing. It seems the blogger is privy to information that even those who run this site are not aware of!

Reinstating Stolen Dreams: In order to cooperate with our former service provider, I agreed to remove the images on the post ‘Stolen Dreams and the Japanese School’. The original request to have these removed did not come from a proper government authority, but a watchdog agency claiming to work closely with the police. Our new host assures me that it is understood that Pigtails does not contain or will ever contain images that satisfy the definition of pornography. Any requests for the removal of materials—under US or UK law—will only take place if given by a proper authority, Our new service provider understands the important contribution this site makes to society and should continue to evolve.

About the Domain Name: There is a temporary problem with the domain name and so, for the time being, Pigtails in Paint will be accessed at pigtailsinpaint.org. Unfortunately, that means that the hard-coded links to other posts on the site will not work properly until this matter is resolved.

End of Pigtails?

Pigtails in Paint Suspended: As of December 21st, I was informed that Pigtails in Paint will be suspended by our host, Jaguar PC. There is no explanation other than the tiresome complaint about content. They offer no legitimate reason, simply that they do not want this material on their network. Therefore, for Pigtails to continue a new and more tolerant service provider will have to be found. I have backed up the site so that everything up to this point will be saved. Do not bother to add any comments from hereon in as they will not be saved. I am uncertain whether the site will be reestablished or some kind of foundation will need to be formed to preserve that material which might otherwise fuel the bonfires of narrow-minded zealots. You can contact me directly by email at

Naturally, this is a dark day, not only for freedom of expression but for society’s own psychosexual health. The tides of history have driven Western Civilization to this attitude which is neither healthy for its members nor based on sound scientific foundations. I know such a statement may sound high-minded, but my work on the site has taught me that there is a lot more to this situation than the obvious claim of vulgar sexual titillation by a small minority of readers. The site offered academic merit, a feminist perspective, thoughtful discussion and a plenitude of warm support from those who really understood what we stood for.

Thank you everyone for your support and congratulations to those working hard to inaugurate a new dark age for humanity. -Ron, Editor-in-Chief

If you wish to file a protest, you can do so using the following contact information:.
JaguarPC
Call us: (888) 338-5261
JaguarPC http://www.jaguarpc.com
Email: qa@jaguarpc.com.

You’;re currently hosting pigtailsinpaint.com (209.140.30.185) which contains images which can be considered child pornography. We cannot allow this content on our network. We can only be able to unsuspend your account upon your confirmation that the site will be removed IMMEDIATELY upon re-activation and not allowed on our network again. I’m afraid this is not a negotiable situation and we can only re-enable the account upon your confirmation the site will be removed from your vps immediately.

Maiden Voyages: December 2016

I had not intended to do a Maiden Voyages this month as I had no new news leads to share.  However, a reader just informed me about the tragic death of David Hamilton. Readers are reminded that even though I have not been active lately, I have not abandoned this site and continued leads are encouraged so that other readers may be kept up-to-date.

David Hamilton Dies: The controversial photographer who inspired so many collectors and other artists died on November 25th.  So far, the police believe it was a suicide—presumably out of despondency from the accusations of former models claiming rape by the man in their youth.  The first accusation came from Flavie Flament in a novelistic memoir entitled La Consolation where she describes the incident.  Flament would not confirm Hamilton’s identity publicly but featured one of his photos on the book cover. Given the timing of the death and the reputation of the photographer, the police needs to exercise caution about making hasty conclusions.  With what little information has been shared publicly, it seems equally likely to be an act of vigilantism.

I am not in a position to weigh in on the veracity of the rape accusations or Hamilton’s intent to sue for slander.  But such a turn of events once again brings us to the question of the value of an artist’s work.  Do the circumstances of a work’s creation have to be taken into account when evaluating it?  Whatever the facts may be, do they diminish or enhance its visceral impact?  Because of the taint of association, will the future yield no new artists who will admit to admiring his work?

la-consolation-cover-flavie-flament

Addendum: Sometimes I get leads from readers uncomfortable with having their comments published even under an alias.  I would like to add a few details that came my way about the circumstances of Hamilton’s death: found at the scene were sleeping pills and a plastic bag (presumably for suffocation).  Also, the door was left open and it should be clarified if this is commonplace among suicides.  Additionally, there was an exhibition of Hamilton’s work scheduled and so the context needs to be cleared up: in the light of these accusations, was he looking forward to it or did he become concerned about a public lynching?  Or was this a plot engineered to put an end to the exhibition of his work and ones like it?

[170203] A reader informed me of this interesting review of the Flavie Flament book.

Maiden Voyages: October-November 2016

Welcome readers to a belated Maiden Voyages.  Within two weeks of my fruitful research trip, Mother Nature unleashed her chaos and I had a freak accident at home which sent me to the hospital.  As traumas go, it was a minor one but recovery is gradual.  My injuries have made it difficult to sit for a long time which is why there have been no posts from me in a while.  To make matters worse, my private business has been busier than ever.  Many days I have intended to work on a post or reply to emails to find myself too exhausted mentally and physically.  This has taken an emotional toll as I deal with bureaucracy of the broken American medical system.  I thank my friends and readers for their well wishes and promise to continue as I am able.  My research trip has been an inspiration and I have many interesting things to share.  However, producing a post to my standards does take time and cannot be done in one sitting.  I still believe Pigtails in Paint has an important function and should continue to do so.  I also encourage those interested in composing posts for this site to please do so.

Mission Statement: One of the ideas that came from my trip was the urgent need for a mission statement.  It goes without saying that Pigtails covers a number of controversial subjects associated with little girls.  However, like the proverbial elephant in the living room, it is an important subject that the conventions of society would have us ignore, trivialize or offer patent simplistic answers to.  Once posted, the ‘Mission Statement’ will reflect what I have learned to date about the valuable function this site serves, whether people want to acknowledge it or not.

Lessons from Behind the Iron Curtain: A Jock Sturges show titled ‘Absence of Shame’ was recently closed in Moscow after protests and charges that the work was child pornography. The government investigated and concurred with the complainants and ordered it shut down.  Given the U.S. President-Elect’s admiration for Russian methods for controlling its people, one has to wonder how much the United States will be following suit in the years to come.  Our readers should be reminded that Pigtails has been blocked in that country since 2014 and can only be accessed through proxy servers.

A Fresh New Site: I was informed of an interesting new site covering young girl portraiture.  The blogger states that: “The intention is to help redress, in admittedly a very limited way, the imbalance that exists with regard to images of girls online.”  It seems that image sites such as Tumblr delete any blogs that seem to be concentrating on young girls though specific policies regarding young girls are not clearly spelled out in the respective ToS (Terms of Service). Girls’ Portraiture intends to offer proper context to images rather than the popular convention of presenting a mash of random and unidentified images.

New Sia Video: Here is another one featuring Maddie Ziegler (plus a bunch of other kids).  There are also a couple other older videos of hers that may have been overlooked. One called Big Girls Cry has Maddie in it and another called Alive has a cute little Asian girl doing martial arts. It seems that the theme of children and little girls is a long-standing one for Sia.  In Alive, the little girl does a series of forms (kata in Japanese) which happen to be very advanced—done only by brown and black belts, an impressive accomplishment for a girl that age.

Vintage Postcards: An excellent collection of vintage postcards featuring girls and children has been brought to my attention.  Take a look here.

Site Design: Thanks to the efforts of supporters, there will be a noticeable change in the appearance of this blog.  It was my intent to have these changes take effect this month when our domain name was renewed.  However, unavoidable delays on all fronts means that these changes are likely to be implemented in the new year.  There will be a new banner designed by one of our artists and the layout style and site functions will be updated to make the site more professional.

The Kiss of Death: It has been brought to my attention that one of the films reviewed on this site, The Spy Who Caught a Cold, was deleted from YouTube.  It has become clear to me that because of the large readership of Pigtails, we have become a source of intelligence for the “decency police”.  Therefore, readers should know that any relevant video materials appearing on YouTube are copied in the course of doing the relevant posts.  If any reader would like an MP4 copy of such a film that can be viewed on a computer, it can be made available for download (assuming the video is unavailable elsewhere).

International Day of the Girl

Hey, folks!  How’s it going?  Just a little reminder that today is the International Day of the Girl-Child, so designated by the United Nations, so it’s a great day to celebrate girls, including girls in art (and girls in the arts!) This is the fifth anniversary of the UN-created observance, founded in 2011 and initiated by the charitable organization Plan International.

Further Reading:

Day of the Girl (Official)

Day of the Girl Summit 2016

Wikipedia: International Day of the Girl Child

International Business Times: International Day Of The Girl 2016: Quotes And Facts To Celebrate, Empower Young Women

The White House: Presidential Proclamation — International Day of the Girl, 2016

The Guardian: How are you marking International Day of the Girl? Share your stories

Maiden Voyages: September 2016

Hiatus and Research Trip: Usually, I get a lot more done in the summer on Pigtails because my work schedule slows down.  However, this year I had the opportunity to make a special trip to visit one of my special collectors.  Sometimes you just have to meet someone in person and, if all goes well, this will be a windfall for the readers of Pigtails. Now all I have to do is produce it!  For a while, I will be focusing on films and the new material I just received interspersed with items I had already been working on.

I would like to thank Pip, Christian and Arizona for keeping the home fires burning by contributing posts during this past month.

Maiden Voyages: August 2016

Light Month: Probably due to the vacation season, I have not received a lot of leads worth reporting this month.  I would like to advise readers that we will be changing the appearance of the site.  When the current theme was selected, I had assumed that the fonts could be easily changed.  Once we committed to it, it became risky to change it without losing information (and our hard work).  I have been assured by our new site technician that we can have a more up-to-date template, that it will have a more suitable appearance and will have more features consistent with the design of professional-looking blogs today.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, -Ron