Caitlin Stasey’s website, Herself.com, encourages women to feel comfortable in their own bodies, to put across the message that nudity and sexuality is something that should not be feared. However, when Good Weekend created a concept for an article which meant that Stasey had to pose nude, she refused. Why? Well, when Caitlin Stasey gets naked, it’s on Caitlin Stasey’s own terms and that is something she has been preaching with the release of her website earlier this year.
The magazine got in touch with her earlier this year, when Stasey saw the mood board with the intended style of the piece, she declined. This is when the magazine began to delay the interview, claiming they were downsizing the issue and no longer had space for her.
Stasey spoke to Pedestrian about the piece that was supposed to be done with Good Weekend, stating that the issue of posing nude is, “one of consent and context, both of which were disregarded by Ben and the team at Good Weekend. He’s acted like an entitled frat boy who can’t understand why a woman won’t sleep with him, simply because she’s slept with other people. That’s the crux of the issue, assuming a woman is available to you and your agenda purely because you desire it.”
Stasey also expresses her frustration at the notion that people believe just because she has posed nude before, that she will be fine with doing it again, “[Also], Herself is a heart project, something I deeply believe in, a non-profit platform to negate the hyper-sexualization of the female form. Good Weekend sought to take advantage of the liberation I experienced, and to turn it into a profit margin for themselves. Also, at the end of the day, I don’t need a fucking excuse; where and when I choose to be naked is my business alone. I don’t need to justify my reasons, but saying there’s no difference is tantamount to assaulting someone based on the fact that they’ve been sexually active in the past. It’s the asshole who won’t stop hounding a woman because she’s wearing a short skirt.”
A lot of Stasey’s ideas about feminism come from the idea that the female gender and sexuality need to be claimed back instead of manipulated by society and popular mass media, which is the basis for Herself.Com. On a personal level, I agree with Stasey’s ideas about sexuality and the female body, as I feel as though society has forced women into a Virgin/Whore dichotomy. With Stasey’s message in mind, it doesn’t matter which, if either, you identify with – as long as it is on your own terms and not anybody else’s. This is an important message and for Good Weekend to still insist on overriding it demonstrates just how much feminism is needed in this particular sphere.
Ben Naparstek released a statement saying “I totally understood and respected Caitlin’s decision not to pursue our shoot, which would have been a classy shoot with a leading American fashion photographer in line with the beautiful artistic imagery she’d published of herself on Herself.Com, which she’d just launched. We decided not to pursue the shoot when her agent offered us access to existing portraits instead. But with the Herself.Com peg no longer as strong, we chose to delay the profile until later in the year so it could be tied to the new seasons of her series Please Like Me and Reign.”
A version of this was published in 2015 here