Nikia Phoenix Founder of Model Liberation discusses female sexuality from a standpoint of self love versus provocative sexuality.
Photos: Kat Harris
*click photos for enlarged view




It’s Mine, All Mine
by: Nikia Phoenix

Eight o’clock on a Saturday night and my phone rings. It’s my mother. Wait shouldn’t she be asleep? It’s already late on the east coast, and somebody’s got to get up early the next morning. “Hey Ma. What’s up? Are you okay?” She starts speaking in low like a whisper “Nikki, I’m looking at this picture of you on Facebook and I just don’t know what to say.” Whoa. What! For a second, I’m in a bit of a panic. What pic is she talking about? Then she goes on to explain that it’s a photo of me practically naked. I know for sure I didn’t post a nearly nude image of myself on Facebook for this very reason. Apparently, one of our mutual friends liked it on Instagram and it showed up in her feed for my own mom to see. Go figure. Anyway, an argument ensues. At first I felt like a teenager who’d been caught making out with a boy in a parked car. “I can’t believe you would do this. I mean, you’re putting it all out there for people to see,” she says. Then something inside me clicks and I buck up. “Hold up, Mom. Can you see my nipples? Nope because they’re covered. No harm done.” She comes back swinging with “Well, I can see everything else. Is this pornography?” Oh no she didn’t! 




At this point I’m thinking my mom is totally tripping. She says I’m selling myself short by posing topless even though my nipples are covered. I try to assure her that I was in complete control of my body during the whole shoot. I mean, come on. The photographer was Kat Harris, a woman herself who’s all about modesty and showing positive images of other women. The pose isn’t overly sexy or provocative. We’re shooting at a beach and I’m wearing a bikini bottom. There’s nothing to see. So why was my mother having a hissy fit? But then dear old mom goes on to say “Well you know men are probably looking at it getting turned on. How does the guy you’re dating feel about this?“ 


Ah, there it is. The match point in this argument comes down to a man’s opinion about what I do with my body. Maybe it’s a generational gap, but I could really care less what the male gender thinks about these photos. Sure it’s a plus when my guys likes it, but I’m not doing it for him or them. I’m a grown woman who loves my body and displays it proudly when I want. My physique is a work of art. A labor of love. I’ve earned the right to flaunt it. I am mature enough to make wise decisions when it comes posing nude. Ten years ago, maybe I wouldn’t have done it. Now, sure but with taste. As mentioned in the Huff Post Live interview, we women are displaying our sexual selves for ourselves and not for the benefit of the male gaze. Females are naturally very…Read more of Nikia’s story here