People seem to spend more time talking about things looking phallic than things looking vaginal. You don’t need to guess why, but I’m lately pleased with how often my eye has been catching on everyday objects/sights that are flower-paintings-level of pussy representation. This photo is something I must’ve initially seen on Tumblr:
I spent a lot of 2002 and 2003 deep in Christina Aguilera’s Stripped. I was capital-F Feeling It in a deep and worshipful way. It was her attitude that brought me into that particular church: a bratty, angry-as-fuck lashing out done as only a pop star, young and rich, can do it. She posed nude on the cover of Rolling Stone (strategically holding a guitar that she couldn’t play; Xtina says who fuckin’ cares dude?), wore chaps and bikinis as daywear, and fluctuated in body size while the public watched (and criticized). It was all a big, artless movie musical with real people and their mysterious intentions jumbled up inside of it. The music was good though, and sometimes great, marked skillfully by Linda Perry’s big-dyke stamp of a style. “Beautiful” was, you know, gay, because it was about suffering and loneliness and enduring in the face of all that. The way pop music turns endlessly complex life experiences into a quick, showy display of capitalist fireworks never ceases to make me feel both appreciative and horrified, mostly at my easy complicity in consuming what the business men and CEOs of the pop music industry want me and you to consume (that is, emotional triggers that cost money). At the end of the day I still love Christina. I want her to be happy, whatever it is that she’s doing. I love her armpit vagina. I guess it’s supposed to be humiliating but I can’t help thinking of it as just fucking cool, like, whatever man, she did it on purpose/she doesn’t care. She’s good with it, smiling in her high femme drag.
I’ve long found the artist Rachel Feinstein and her artwork compelling, but what I was really dying to see, for a long time– what I felt was the defining summary of her spirit/self, politics, art, and aesthetic– was a tattoo, located in her armpit and therefore absent in most photos: “I have a tattoo of my vagina in my armpit, that I did when I was going to Columbia University…there’s ants that are coming out of it and killing a dragonfly, and I did it when I was eighteen.” I love so much that it’s her vagina, not just some mystery cunt, a representation of her specific experience of cuntiness. When I found video footage in which I could see the glorious inked cunt I actually took screenshots of it because it made me so happy.
It’s easy for me to be enticed by Feinstein’s white-girlness: an ethereal redhead with a funny face (a funny face this is particularly beautiful, to me), big eyes, big romantic sculptures that reference the classics while being sharply toned with a very contemporary terror and sense of infinite mortality. I see what I’m drawn to and have to acknowledge what has charmed me and why. I can’t stop thinking that I am both a unique abstraction of a person and a perfectly-drawn example of racist, misogynist, heteroaffirmative late-capitalism packaged in Jewish white girl particular.
Feinstein on being a young artist:
“I ended up getting really obsessed with merkins and I made my own and thought that I was going to be able to sell them. And I applied to Yale for the MFA department wearing a see-through plastic skirt and a tiny little pair of underwear that had a big fake black pubic merkin underneath coming out of the underwear, that you could see…and I didn’t get into Yale.” And then in a different interview, on the same part of her life: “[The professor] accused me of being a third-wave feminist. He said I was a woman who forces her sexuality on men. He thought I was doing this for theoretical reasons, that I was trying to affront him with my girlhood. He tried to get me to defend myself. Needless to say, I didn’t go to Yale.”
And all that while, this tiny cunt hiding in her armpit, devouring or birthing little insects. What goes in one hole can come out the same hole, or disappear completely. What goes in your holes, and what comes out? Who or what do you consume, what sustains or feeds you, and what do you splooge out through the other side?