Some of you may know that today is the 10th anniversary of when Pip posted his first item. Pip’s idea was that due to excessive prudery, interesting and legitimate art was not available on the internet. At first, the site was to cover children of both genders but given that he had so much more material on girls, he decided to focus on that. Reaching this landmark is a testament to the approach we have taken on handling a sensitive subject. Although my lifestyle precludes me from spending much time on the site anymore, I do intend to keep it running as a resource as long as practicably possible. I have ceased the ‘Maiden Voyages’ posts but will post them occasionally when new information is offered by readers. Even if we were shut down tomorrow, Pigtails in Paint has gained new ground in spite of the zealous actions of people who would rather live with the simplicity of arbitrary standards rather than put thought into complex issues. There are certain important ideas that should be shared mostly to do with the reason for our success and what we all should strive for in the future. I will add these items to this post as I think of them over the next couple of days. I suggest readers check in again on the 20th to make sure they have not missed any items.
Base Impulses: it would be naive not to realize that most readers were drawn in by the allure of the girl children presented here or shocked at one artist’s presentation or another. One of the pitfalls I see most people fall into is misinterpreting their own response to the images. Children move us for a reason, in fact for their own protection. We treat them with kid gloves so they may develop into healthy adults. The assumption that this attraction is sexual (in the adult sense) is misleading and can lead to maladaptive behavior conditioned over time. It was not our intent to have a peep show of cuties (and let the chips fall where they may) and when I joined the team, I felt it important that all images should be accompanied by some kind of text. Some thought should be given to why we react to these images and not make simple assumptions about complex interpersonal issues.
Balancing Quality with Respect: When I mentioned the principle of having text for every post, my friend Graham Ovenden whole-heartedly agreed. In addition to that he felt it was also important to present images of high quality. There have been too many examples of bootleg productions—in print and on the net—that are poor reproductions and obviously pandering to prurient interests. On the other hand, we deliberately avoided sharing images of such high quality that someone might violate an artist’s copyright and profit without permission. So we tried to find a happy medium and in a few special cases present lower-grade items if it was felt important to present. Graham’s commitment to this idea is reflected in his beautiful publications under the banner of Garage Press.
Real Feminism: All the while working on this site, I would look within and ask myself what I am getting from the experience. One of the remarkable conclusions is that it is a genuinely feminist act. I began to realize that the problem with feminist movements in the past is that they are mostly run by women. It seems reasonable that women should take the lead in so-called women’s issues but the problem is the mentality of the war of the sexes, as though all men did not have women’s interests at heart. Given the typical personality and behavior of the “typical” woman, the success of such movements are ultimately limited. It is important that men and women be thought of as complementary partners and achieve greater results when working together. To that end, Pigtails in Paint presents two sides of girls: 1) who they really are and 2) what projections of fantasies we have of them. These fantasies are hard-wired in our brains and it is reckless not to acknowledge them and pretend that we only see girls for what they really are. I actually got some flak for this when someone accused me of endorsing the traditional paradigm of the “feminine mystique”. Despite conventional wisdom, this mystique is not strictly a cultural construction but a cultural manifestation of a primal response. Ignore it at your peril!
Animal Spirits: We must have a respect for the past as well as an eye for the future in equal measure. When it comes to the beauty of the human body and the acceptance of our sexual natures, there have been many movements in the past. The existence of naturist colonies is one of the modern remnants of that. While researching items for Pigtails, something that was on the periphery suddenly came into sharp focus. There is a modern day equivalent of the “hippie” movement and it is receiving a lot of ridicule as so many have received in the past. But these things don’t exist in a vacuum. People participate because there is something there for them they cannot get from mainstream society. What I am talking about is referred to as Furry Fandom. On the surface, it is a kind of ludicrous fantasy, but dig deeper (the values vary from person to person) and one finds a striving for freedom of personal and sexual identity. The partial or complete fantasy of it allows people to play with social interactions in ways not possible in their workaday lives. As civilized people it is all too easy to lose sight of the merits of our animal natures and become cogs for the sake of convenience and survival. Sexuality being one of our most repressed aspects always leads to experimentation in movements like this and there is heartache, personal epiphany and profound acceptance to be had. We naturally project our ideas on things in the world around us and that includes little girls, however much we can really know them, and those projections would perhaps inevitably find expression in anthropomorphic renderings of our animal friends as well.