Stacie Frazier – Thought provoking Las Vegas boudoir photographer and curator of Bag Lady series discusses body image in an online world.
Stacie Frazier – Body Image and The Female Gaze [Video Transcript]
Danielle Ford: Welcome this is Leading Las Vegas I’m Danielle Ford of DanielleFord.com where visibility makes a difference and I’m here with Stacie Frazier. We’ve been friends for years now worked on some different projects together and you guys have to check out her website and what she’s doing, because she’s always up to new. Really fun, creative projects that are always towards empowering women and showcasing the female body in a very positive way, which I love. But recently, she has launched a new project that I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ When I saw it I had to ask you about it. I had so many questions I wanted to just like blow her up on Facebook about it. But then I decided I wanted to ask you so everybody can hear about it. So we’re going to jump into that in a second, but first can you tell us a little bit more about what you do. You’re the owner of “Haute Shots”. And I think I say that wrong.
Stacie Frazier: Well, it’s really Haute Shots like Haute couture, but absolutely everybody says ‘Hot’ Shots. But I want to make sure people know it’s “Haute” because you know you actually spell it differently than hot, so it’s h a u t e.
Danielle Ford: Ok cool, so when you guys go check it out, make sure you type it in the right way, regardless of how you actually say it. So your new project that you just recently launched is called Bag Ladies.
Stacie Frazier: Yes.
Danielle Ford: And it’s so provocative
Stacie Frazier: I know!
Danielle Ford: And I’m so obsessed with it. Can you tell us a little bit more? Also I’m going to put links below. You guys can check it out and find my favorite pieces. But can you tell us a little bit more about what made you decide to do that?
Stacie Frazier: Oh gosh, I mean it’s been building for a while. As I age, as a woman ,you know I’m very introspective and I see changes with me and I see changes in society and with online dating especially. It just brought so many things to the forefront for me that are a real concern to the point where I began to feel like I was just a body. And that everything else that’s important about who I am as a person was completely erased or looked over. And I was thinking about this one day and I’m like, really? You know that saying, ‘just put a bag over it’? It’s true! I could literally just put a bag over my head, as long as my body is showing,and it looks hot, and thats all seems to really matter. I know that there are men out there that appreciate more. I’m not being a man hater or anything because I love men. I just want to be valued for more than my body.
Danielle Ford: Yeah, I think you’re right it kind of give you that disclaimer because I’m the same way. I’m not, ‘Aww, all men this and that,’ but it’s whether they do it consciously or not. It’s almost like they’ve been brought up to expect a woman to be a certain way. And then they feel disappointed if those needs that society has instilled on them are not met.
Stacie Frazier: And it really is not their fault. I mean, if you look at movies and television shows, I recently discovered there’s something called the “male gaze”. And that’s not gays, it’s gaze. Basically, it’s what we’ve all looked at in films and television our whole entire lives and it’s created by men for what they want to see in us. But not really who we are as people.
Danielle Ford: So what is the male gaze?
Stacie Frazier: Okay. So, well, imagine Playboy, for instance. It’s where women are really more of an object than a subject, And I recently just discovered this show called “I Love Dick” I’m so happy I got to say that! And I saw this and I thought there’s something extremely different about this show and I couldn’t really understand what it was. So I looked up the creator and she’s the creator of “TransParent” on Amazon Prime about the Transgender father.
Danielle Ford: I’m going to take up a mental note.
Stacie Frazier: You have to watch these two things specifically to see the female gaze in action. And it’s an experiment because we’re not really sure what the female gaze really is. But Jill Soloway has a talk about it where she was speaking to filmmakers and I realize that everything I’m doing with this project has everything to do with that. Trying to say “Hey! There’s more to us. And this is what we want you to see.”
Danielle Ford: So are you saying that there’s a female gaze and a male gaze and that they’re different?
Stacie Frazier: They are different and what’s funny what Jill Soloway had said “the female gaze is not the opposite of the male gaze.” So let’s say, remember they tried to do Playgirl? Kind of like the opposite of Playboy. For women. But who bought that? Men. So it’s totally different. it’s where we are subjects and we’re allowed to be complicated and messy beings, and we’re allowed to explore female desire which you know doesn’t get shown a lot. You have to watch “I Love Dick” and also the “Handmaid’s Tale.” That’s the female gaze too.
Danielle Ford: Oh I’m all about it.
Stacie Frazier: That’s the female gaze too. So, I’m excited! Because it’s finally starting to get some recognition, so we’re getting there.
Danielle Ford: That’s really interesting. How has this project been received by people? Oh really quick, in case anyone doesn’t know, because I’m just like, I assume everybody has seen it. The Bag Ladies project is women, like Stacie said, with literally a bag over their head. So you have no idea who this person is. And then naked. Standing there naked in all their glory but beautifully and the bodies are not Playboy models. I mean some are. Some could be.
Stacie Frazier: They could be and really and I was thinking about this, I think that I’m portraying, I’m actually portraying the male gaze because we’re saying ‘Is this is what you want? Is this all you want from us? Is to just be a body? For your pleasure?’
Danielle Ford: And it almost seems like men would look at that and still be fine with it. You know? But to me as a woman? I’m not fine with it right? Right? This picture has done its purpose that’s almost how I perceive men perceiving it, but then to me it makes me feel so sad.
Stacie Frazier: Oh my gosh! Well it’s so funny because the first responses that I got from men were completely based on judging the appearance of the women. And I had to tell one of them I said, “You just fell right into…”
Danielle Ford: You prove my point.
Stacie Frazier: Yeah, completely. And he still didn’t understand it. He thought he was being supportive. So I’m hoping that this thing is kind of like an educational thing fr everybody. Like what do we want? Who do we want to be? What do we want to be recognized for? And what do we want to be valued for? Because it feels like we’re all kind of drifting away from each other and I don’t think any of us really want to end up alone. But it’s looking like its heading that direction for me.
Danielle Ford: I know that you, there’s so many things I could ask you because I know you’re very passionate about this subject on many different levels. But what do you feel like it would take for women to feel more comfortable dating and in their own skin, especially later in life? And for men to be able to just accept the fact that’s what women look like. And what a woman is. And be turned on by it? What do you feel like that direction needs to go?
Stacie Frazier: I’m not sure exactly how to get there, but I know that’s possible because I’ve dated European men and they view women aging differently than American men do.
Danielle Ford: That’s really interesting.
Stacie Frazier: And I’m not sure where the disconnect is here. I feel like we are more about instant gratification here though and that falls into being a little more shallow as well. The things we value are just different and it has to do with money, appearance.
Danielle Ford: And the people that we idolize versus… See, I don’t know much about other cultures’ media, but I feel like our media is just crap.
Stacie Frazier: Yes it is, for women especially. Yeah it’s funny, I read studies about French women – how they have so much more sex than American woman because they’re being valued more. You know, they see the value in women as they age. I don’t know, I think they value intellect more than we do? So, I mean intellect is sexy. I hope more people start to think that.
Danielle Ford: Which is really really interesting because when I, I like to participate especially in Facebook conversations, and I see guys a lot and they’ll comment something like, ‘Women what is it that you look for in a man?’ And you see these women that are like, ‘Sense of humor, have to carry on a conversation, they have to be smart.’ And then when it’s flipped, it’s like, ‘Oh she has to be this height or under this height, or this type of hair or whatever.’ And intellect is never like one of those things.
Stacie Frazier: Right! And you can see that. When you’re experiencing online dating it’s insane. And you can see guys, like if you watch one particular guy’s profile, he’ll keep lowering his age. Lowering his age, because he obviously – well he’s not interested in women his own age and wants to date younger. And the things he lists kind of prove that too. Like I remember there’s one, all he put on his profile was sex and music. You know, really that’s shallow. He’s not looking for much of anything except sex and music.
Danielle Ford: Can you really base a relationship upon that? Might be something to go explore but, wow okay.
Stacie Frazier: So I don’t know. Okay so with Bag Lady series, I’m kind of dividing it up into different topics. I have one on online dating, which is called Piece of Meat and those have provocative headlines. And I’m not… am I a provocative person?
Stacie: I guess I am. But I definitely don’t want to turn anybody off to these things. But I think it’s necessary, because that’s how you feel – like a piece of meat. Like you’re just sitting there ready for somebody to send you a dick pic, you know.
Danielle Ford: Yeah, you know, oh my God I open my snapchat and I’m like, okay I’ve got ten new messages! What percentage of these are going to be dick pics? Like, let’s see.
Stacie Frazier: Oh my gosh.
Danielle Ford: And then I always say something like ‘Congratulations! I just submitted you to my girlfriend’s library of worst dick pics on Snapchat. You win!’
Stacie: Oh no!
Danielle: Yeah, it’s crazy just the fact that, I don’t know, if men think women want to see it? Like, that’s what we want to see?
Stacie Frazier: Yes! Okay so there’s another conversation that I stumbled on from somebody on Facebook. A guy who was saying ‘You know if you’re posting provocative images of yourself on Facebook, (to the women) you should expect that men are going to send you dick pics because they cannot control themselves.’ And I thought, wow, we could go so many places with that one. But no. It’s not okay.
Danielle Ford: The act of pulling up your pants, opening the camera on your phone, getting the correct angles, snapping a picture and then uploading. It is not an impulsive reaction.
Stacie Frazier: I don’t think they consider angles too much when I think of some that I’ve seen
Danielle Ford: I feel like we need like something in comparison, like a remote control. Like this is not working for you
Stacie Frazier: I’m almost like, ‘I’m a photographer.’ I almost wanted to give them tips on how to photograph it, or themselves, on my dating profile.
Danielle Ford: That could go viral. A blog like that? “Here’s The Correct Way To Do a Dick Pic.” Proper lighting, make sure the shadows…
Stacie Frazier: Yes please! Please, do us all a favor.
Danielle Ford: If you’re going to do it, please follow these five quick tips. Steps. Oh my gosh.
Stacie Frazier: There’s also one like, a porn star. You kno,w people are learning to have sex based on porn and that’s all from the male perspective. So I feel like women are getting kind of a raw deal out of that. But…
Danielle Ford: Aaand obviously, it’s all very young women you know. And so I think that’s incredibly important and one of the reasons why we feel the way we do with aging and men not appreciating it. Because male directors are choosing what men see as sexy and sexual and they’re brainwashed. You know, it’s like even in other cultures, like in African tribes sexy is completely different. In fact, you know they even put those chains on their neck to stretch their neck out. It’s just, I think it’s very important for people to realize that what you find as sexy has been taught to you from your childhood, from the media, and society and you don’t really have, and women too. You know, women have been taught, and have you thought about this, there is kind of reverse with the men – women are taught like men should be tall. It’s like what do you look for men? Tall, dark and handsome?
Stacie Frazier: Yeah. It’s so funny because I just had this conversation with Kat, my makeup artist. We were talking about height, like it’s only an issue I think for me if the personality isn’t matching. You know what I mean? Like I don’t know, somehow compensates a little bit? And that’s something I have to look into my own perceptions, why do I think that.
Danielle Ford: Or I’ve dated men who are shorter than me and I don’t care. But I do care that they’re sensitive about it. Then they’re insecure about it, and it makes me feel too tall.
Stacie Frazier: Right! That’s what I told her also. The only times it’s been an issue for me has been when they made constant comments about it. It makes you feel uncomfortable.
Danielle Ford: So but it’s they’re experiencing, the same thing we are just in different ways. So that’s probably a good way to relate it to men of how we feel about everything else.
Stacie Frazier: Yes right! They could maybe get it that way. That’s interesting.
Danielle Ford: Yeah. This have been really eye opening. I’m going to check out both of those things that you’ve mentioned I’m really excited about it. You guys, thank you so much for tuning in. Obviously Stacie is just a wealth of information and ideas and I can’t wait to see all the creative projects that come out of your brain.
Stacie Frazier: You could do it, by the way. You could be in it if you want.
Danielle Ford: Don’t say that. We’ll talk about it later. We’ll see. So they can find you at Hauteshots.com and you’re also on Instagram, that’s where you do most of your social media for your business.
Stacie Frazier: Yes, well also my Facebook business page too but it seems people enjoy the Instagram one so
Danielle Ford: Yeah cause it’s more visual and everything. And you guys check out that project. Check out Stacie, she’s an amazing boudoir photographer here in Vegas. All of her images are just mind blowing, but to me, this project is just so, just provocative and inspiring and much needed. Thank you for coming on the show.
Stacie Frazier: Thank you for having me.
Danielle Ford: This has been another episode of Leading Las Vegas. And we’ll see you in the next one. Bye guys!
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