Following our profile and interview with Jazz Moodie – creator of emerging craft brand Mude Threads – we chatted to Laura, one of our contributors, about the other side of the Mude process: modelling and commissioning a nude. Read more about it below.
How did you hear about the project?
I’ve known Jazz for a while now and have been following Mude since its conception a couple of years ago. I admire how she’s taken a passion of hers, and managed to grow on that and turn it into a thriving business – all whilst at uni too! I wanted to show my support for her, and thought this commission would be a great way to get something personal out of it too.
Could you talk through the process a little bit?
The process was really simple and quick! After I expressed my interest to Jazz and secured my commission, it was up to me to provide the material. I sent a couple of photos to her which she then drew and then embroidered onto a top. It was all completed within a week. It’s so weird to think that I’ve posed nude and my body has been turned into a piece of fashion, but I’m thrilled with the result.
Were you nervous for the commissioning process?
Yeah, I was really nervous. Although I wouldn’t be modelling for Jazz in person, I was still nervous about having to send a naked photo (I’ve never been one to send them to a partner) (serious question: what is the female equivalent of a dick pic???). I saw it as admitting/accepting that this is how my body looks, and that idea terrified me. I put it off for ages! I also didn’t know how to pose in a “sexy” or “empowering” way, and the idea of taking a picture of myself nude made me cringe.
It took me a few days to build up the courage and take the first photo, but after I did I felt instantly relaxed. I actually found it kinda fun, and it took me a long time to narrow down which to send to Jazz as I’d taken so many. I took inspiration from photos of Jazz’s past commissions, and that made me feel more confident too. I don’t think I’ll be making a habit out of it any time soon, but I really enjoyed doing it. Jazz was also so positive and supportive throughout the whole process, she really calmed my nerves and put me at ease.
What does the body positivity movement mean to you?
I’ve hated the way my body looks for as long as I can remember, but only really acknowledged that when I started this process. I’ll always wear turtlenecks and/or oversized jumpers to hide my double chin and stomach, and will generally avoid getting any part of my body out at all costs. I wanted to challenge myself with this project and it’s made me begin to come to terms with both what my body is like and how I think about/treat it.
I think the body positivity movement is so important for accepting your own body as well as other people’s. I am lucky to be surrounded by women who continually support, congratulate and celebrate one another, but this process has made me realise it’s equally important to support, congratulate and celebrate yourself. This movement encourages you to show yourself the same love and acceptance we are so willing to give out to others, and I think that’s crucial to our development as individuals, as women and as a society.
How do you feel about the finished product?
I love, love, love the finished product. I’ve named my model Bridget and we are very happy together. I thought it was going to be a terrifying massive deal when I wore her for the first time, but it just wasn’t. There were no sirens, no spotlight, nobody pointing and laughing and that made me realise that nobody cares about my body as much as I think they do. I know that’s something people always say to reassure you, but for me I had to experience it to believe it, and I found it quite freeing. It’s funny to notice people’s sideway glances and double takes and I love confidently telling people where I got my top from when they ask. I’m not going to say that I have been instantly cured of my body anxieties and self-doubt, but I like to think I’ve begun the process to not only accepting, but enjoying my body in its entirety, and I wouldn’t be at this level without doing this project.
Check out Mude Threads here and if you’re feeling particularly inspired use our discount code, MUDE10, to get your hands on your very own product!
– Lowri Ellcock