Using your Body as Currency.

When teaching international trade we explore trading currency, services, information, products, and people. People in the tourist, immigration, visa sense. After listening to Terry Gross’ Fresh Air interview with Natasha Lyonne, I’m adding digital visuals to the list; photos. During the interview actress Natasha Lyonne, most recently in the Netflix show Russian Doll, mentions she wishes she didn’t take her body so serious in her younger years and used it more professionally. Terry Gross questioning if this was a joke pushed Lyonne to explain she envies her friends who put their body out their consistently whether on a bill board or social media post, stating they see it as another tool and not as linked to self as Lyonne does. This idea to use your body as a tool, as a currency is something I’ve dabbled with myself but never felt comfortable making it an integral part of my brands. Why, when we live in a world where nudity is not shocking, the female body is advocating for praise, and young and young woman are showing their bodies in all its diverse forms.


I remember a few years back I was on a quest to find a role model who I could look towards and strive to achieve the success, power, and respect they had, through the means they had acquired it. I never found one. Having dabbled with exposing my body, a body that I often joke has become more marketable and trendy in the past decade, always attracted the wrong type of attention. I often say, no matter how sexy, attractive, interesting I am, it does not automatically attract the same. If anything the sexier I am, the more insecure I appear and well insecurity attracts insecurity. Sexy, awful terrible men seem to appear out of nowhere. So what did I do? I proclaimed I didn’t want to look like a 10(scored 1-10 on sexiness), I wanted to looked like a 7(very subjective). I wanted to dress a bit dowdy, forcing my audience to have to look past my external self and look deeper within myself and judge me for my words, actions, and energy.


No shaming here though. If you use your body as currency whether on IG, your general marketing strategy, or a giant billboard, do you boo. Just one questions. Do you want your body, the image of your body, to be digital trash? To be quickly scrolled past? After a while the thrill you feel and shock or praise you receive will wear off. What will you do next to keep that attention going? For me, I will continue to hide my body under clothes, ethical clothes. If you want to see this body you are going to have to show up, typically to an NYC Fair Trade Coalition, #NYCFairTrade event, volunteer, give your time, effort, and energy to a worthy cause. That is the currency I will accept.



One of the few body shots. Makes me smile. This was after a long trip in Uganda over looking Lake Victoria. Makes me cringe to think about the unsavory characters viewing this shot very differently..

© 2019 by A. BERNADETTE.

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