GodsGirls – alternative models
GodsGirls get interviewed about their alternative modelling careers. Meet Atsuko and Adreena.
Alternative models: These two words conjure up piercings, tattoos, dyed bright hair and clothes that aren’t high-street regulated. But can you be alternative without modifying your appearance? We asked two GodsGirls…
GodsGirls alternative models challenge beauty norms
Websites like GodsGirls were originally created to challenge the conventional perception of beauty. The members submit blogs and ‘photosets’ of themselves and talk on the community forums. Other alternative model sites include BlueBlood and Suicide Girls. Although Suicide Girls is arguably the most well-known, GodsGirls seems to be the new favourite.
I spoke to two very different members of the GodsGirls alternative modelling community about life, GodsGirls and exactly what they think alternative beauty is. Enter Adreena and Atsuko…
A Cambridge, UK based lady with plugs through her earlobes, a couple of tattoos and a love of Hindu mythology – and creating art.
Atsuko has a shaven head, six tattoos, more piercings than can be counted in ten seconds and a dermal anchor in her cheek. She hails from Brighton, UK and says her political stance is ‘cupcakes, unicorns and magic’.
I threw both girls in at the deep end with a couple of meaningful questions.
What do you consider beautiful?
Adreena: ‘I love faces with character – I can fall hopelessly in love with a waitress or shop assistant because her mouth is too wide, or because she has dimples and muffin tops! A girl might not be classically attractive but if she has a quirky feature or a kind face, I think she’s beautiful. I really do think that personality shines through… some people get more attractive the longer you know them.’
Atsuko: ‘If someone is happy with the way they are and look it really shows, especially in photos, and makes them a hell of a lot more attractive as a person.’
What do you think makes an ‘alternative’ person?
Adreena: ‘I suppose not being involved so much in mainstream culture. For example, I don’t have facial piercings or pink hair but I still consider myself to be alternative because I listen to ‘alternative’ music and like independent cinema, etc.
Obviously the culture you immerse yourself in usually affects how you present yourself, but I really believe you shouldn’t have to prove yourself to anyone by looking a certain way.’
Atsuko: ‘I don’t think it’s always about looks. Its more about being open minded to different life choices and styles. For example some people are physically restricted from being able to express themselves alternatively because of the job they work in, but this doesn’t automatically make them mainstream. They will still have their same alternative ideas and thoughts and ways of life.’
And this is where the GodsGirls community came in. The photosets are not all the website has to offer members. Members and models can talk about themselves and their interests on the forums, write a blog to go with their pictures and talk to each other. Also, photosets do not have to be taken by a professional photographer and when considering the myriad other sites available, Atsuko chose to apply to GodsGirls for this reason.
GodsGirl alternative models – do they need professional photoshoots?
Atsuko: ‘Although GodsGirls does show professional shoots with photographers, it also allows you to shoot your own ‘DIY’ material which is what I found really appealing about the site. I’ve met some lovely girls through meeting up to shoot DIYs together and you get a more natural, less ‘staged’ set.
I also decided to apply to face my body fears and prove to myself ‘yes, I am different, but still beautiful’. It took me a lot of courage to pose nude but now my confidence has began to build and I really enjoy working on the site.’
Adreena: ‘I decided to join when I was 17 – it seemed exciting and different. I wanted to be part of the community and to have cool pictures. Now, with that all being less exciting, I just enjoy getting to chat to members, blog and hang out with the amazing girls I met through being on the site.’
Despite the girls’ answers, the stereotype that these sites cater purely to the tastes of pervy men still exists. I wanted to discuss this further with Atsuko and Adreena.
The GodsGirls website says ‘Alt-P*rn’ in large friendly letters…
Atsuko: ‘Nooooo! You are allowed to work to whatever level you feel comfortable with on the site, from just posing nude to hard-core shots and videos. No one has to do anything unless they feel comfortable doing so and want to. I like the fact that I don’t feel pressured into doing stuff.’
Adreena: ‘I find it [the term p*rn] misleading! I don’t see what I do as p*rnography. I don’t know how I would classify it. Nude modelling? I don’t feel like I do p*rn at all and it surprises me when I hear that. It’s mad how many girls just really appreciate female beauty.
A lot of them join for the same reason I wanted to – community atmosphere. Girls can go there and read about/chat with girls who are into the same thing as them. You can chat, exchange ideas and check out the girls you fancy. I do!’
And the pervy men?
Atsuko: ‘Wherever there are hot naked ladies, there are going to be pervy men! But the majority of the members are there to appreciate alternative beauty. It’s a big friendly community. We girls all offer each other support and advice in the chat rooms as well as gossiping away about life and relationships and so on.
Has being alternative ever lead to any problems?
Adreena: ‘I was teased at school but it was never severe and I just didn’t care or take it seriously. For years though, I would argue with my Mum. Mostly she was proud of who I was; for being different and having my own mind, but sometimes she would moan about my freakish ears or piercings and get upset that I was ‘ruining my beautiful body’. By now it’s got to the stage of ‘Oh that’s just her, she’s a bit odd’, and we co exist okay!’
Atsuko: ‘I’m a bald-headed lady, covered in tattoos and piercings. Prospective employers don’t take well to this at all unfortunately as there is still a lot of stigma connected to those who look alternative. I’m lucky at the moment with the job I have as they accept me the way I am and like the fact that I’m different. However, when I have been for job interviews in the past I have – on more than one occasion – had negative feedback about my appearance (even though I was wearing a suit and was well dressed.)
And how about times when you are thoroughly glad to be alternative?
Adreena: The other day an old woman stopped her car to tell me she liked my tattoos. That made me laugh! People love to talk about them, so that makes me happy. I spend a lot of time in tattoo studios and I love the atmosphere – they’re really creative places and being in that environment makes me glad that I’m this way.
Atsuko: Actually, the two groups of people who seem to really like alternative people are grandparents and small children! Kids love to see people with candy coloured hair and get fascinated by piercings and tattoos, bless them! I also often get compliments or comments from the senior members of society about how they ‘love my hair/boots/piercings’ and about how they used to either look like that when they were my age or wished they could have! My nan is brilliant – I get ready to go out or show her my modelling photos, and she is like, ‘you look wonderful, dear!’ as I’m covered head to toe in latex and sky high heels, or nothing much at all!
At a time when we can buy ready-ripped jeans from high street shops or see people like Britney Spears wearing a Motorhead t-shirt, it is becoming harder to label people as alternative or mainstream based purely on appearance. Maybe that’s a good thing?
To quote from the GodsGirls website: ‘You don’t have to have a tattoo to represent the alternative side of the street’.
With thanks to our featured GodsGirls models