You wrote a beautiful essay for my book Natural Beauty about your experience working with me as a model. Can you elaborate on this sentence, “I had not realized that I had been suppressing so much of my sensuality for so long.”?
Sometimes it is when you get your wings back that you realize they were not there in the first place. There was a deep sense of freedom that overcame me when I removed my clothes and surrendered to what we were going to create that dawn in the desert. It felt like my inner wild woman had wings again like I was really listening to her for the first time and my pathway to her was this renewed relationship to my senses and the pleasure she allowed me to feel through them.
On your website, you quote Clarissa Pinkola Estés, the author of Women Who Run With the Wolves “Within every woman, there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species.” What do you think by what she means by, “But she is an endangered species.”?
Despite the rise we see in women reclaiming this part of themselves, the majority of women today are in a form of deep sleep where this aspect of themselves is but a distant dream –if present at all. What I see as the tell-tale sign of her near extinction is the excessive shopping, binging, dissociation, toxic relationships, negative self-talk, victim mentality we see in today’s world as these realities I believe are the result of a woman that has lost connection with this force and timeless wisdom. The good news is all it takes for her to awaken is a desire and space to connect with her.
What does “an empowered woman” mean to you? Is it an apt term or a cliché? Is there a better way of expressing the concept of female empowerment?
I appreciate this question. I personally prefer the term reclamation versus empowerment if used singularly. Reclamation brings attention to the fact that we already have this wisdom within us, we just need to remember and reclaim it as our own. Empowerment on the other hand I think can suggest that we are powerless to begin with. I prefer a combination of reclamation and empowerment. Where it is through our full reclamation of the feminine that we become empowered as women.
On your website, you wrote an essay called “My Sensual Reclamation.” Can you explain what this essay is about to someone far from your circle of friends, from a different culture or worldview?
Writing that essay was part of my initiation into the role of Headmistress of the school. I felt called to share the reclamation of the part of myself that was so crucial to my own feminine reclamation: that of my sensuality. As I share in the essay, for me this process was largely about balancing the part of me which is always on a look out for danger, my inner warrior, and the part of myself that trusts life and is able to receive the beauty of being alive, my inner lover.
In terms that someone outside our culture might understand, what do you want to achieve with your work at Red Dress School? reddressschool.com
What I hope to achieve through my work with RDS (Red Dress School) is a reduction in sexual abuse, rape, domestic abuse, incest, corruption, addiction –which mirrors the destructive way we are treating the planet– and contribute towards a world that loves and honors all life. With the performing arts as the language of RDS, the sensual revolution takes place within the performance space where I support women artists in becoming conduits of this energy that loves and honors all life through their artistry.
Is there a question that you would like me to ask you as it relates to Natural Beauty and women’s empowerment?
I would ask, how does it feel to be a part of Natural Beauty, to have images of you as part of a collective of women from all over the world?
My answer: it is an honor. It is invigorating, inspiring and uplifting beyond what words can say to be a part of writing a new story where women feel comfortable in their own skins again. Then there is the fact that these photos were all taken in natural environments which makes the coming home to our bodies even more powerful for I believe it is our disconnect from the natural world that has led to a disembodied, fear led society. This story is rapidly changing though. Your book, Natural Beauty is a beautiful example of that.