Tumblr Star Molly Soda self-leaks Nudes, but is it art?

The thought of your nudes surfacing on the Internet would terrify most, but not Molly Soda, the internet it-girl who intentionally leaked her own nudes for her latest zine should i send this? / ur so emo about boys. The Tumblr star and viral artist, known for her GIFs and videos exploring contemporary feminism and gender identity, now tackles alienation and love with nothing but a cracked iPhone and her birthday suit. Her recently published digital/physical zine is a compilation of everything the artist would normally be too scared to show the world. It describes the struggle of making an intimate connection through foggy mirror selfies and tidbits of prose. Photos of Soda’s breasts and body hair that are coupled with lines of text like, “i’m exhausted but i can’t stop writing love letters to people who don’t think about me before they go to bed at night.” The zine was greeted with open arms by her Tumblr followers.

However when Dazed & Confused wrote about the project and labeled the artist a ‘Cyber Feminist,’ droves of critics, haters and trolls took to the comments section and flooded it with negativity. Some commenters claim that just posting nudes and labeling it ‘feminist art’ isn’t feminism, and no where close to being art. After taking shots from all corners of the Internet, Soda made a statement on her Tumblr: “If none of my photos had been nudes and there had only been the text I included in my zine (which is 50% of [the zine]) no one would be calling me vapid or trash. Doesn’t that have something to say about us as a society and the way we view women’s bodies [and our thoughts on] them having control over their bodies and the way they choose to share it?”

The life of an artist is not filled with sunshine and rainbows. In an age when almost anyone can access the internet, post their pics and label them #art, the definition of art is forever changing. Art is a channel of self-expression, and a medium of communicating feelings that are brought about by the current social situation. With Richard Prince selling stolen Instagram photos, who’s to say that Soda’s zine isn’t art? Selfie art hasn’t been around for long and is seen as subpar at times but, whether or not people like it, it has become an inescapable facet of culture.

The photos Soda features depict the vulnerability of romancing someone over text– especially the fear that your sexting partner might share your intimate moments with the world. By boldly publishing this piece, she ‘leaked’ her nudes before anyone else could. She embraced her body and empowered her viewers to be proud of what their mamas gave them. There is no right way to be a feminist and there is no right way to make art. The Internet might disagree on how Soda went about her statement, but the controversy spurred by her images has gotten everyone talking about feminism and evidently displayed the power of what she has created.

Photos via The Fabulous Stains and Molly Soda

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