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  • Writer's pictureJoshua M, Editor-in-Chief

Cuerpo Hermoso / Body Beautiful

With Americans' current political climate (in which cis-straight-white America's President-elect and half of our citizens want to keep our souls segregated), I cannot fucking fathom how so many people want this country to contain only white, heterosexual bigots. This democracy-turned-movie in which all of Americans play a cameo reminds me of the movie ugly, hateful creature who camouflages itself, mimics positive rhetoric to draw in and confuse the ignorant and, for no good reason at all, uses and re-brands that rhetoric to destroy the lives of the working-class, lgbtq+, women, immigrants, etc. for no apparent reason except for the fun of the hunt and kill. My "progressiveness"...hell, even my love and appreciation of drag queens (whose lifestyles, by the way, I used to condemn in my closeted years) are all a result of leaving my small town bubble in Indiana and truly getting to know people from all walks of life and every corner of the earth.

This is what brings me to Orlando Torres Canela - a photographer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. I was shown his instagram by another photographer-friend and immediately fell in love. The bodies in Orlando's gaze aren't what you see walking down the runway at NYFW. They aren't the bodies on the posters you see hanging on a teenage girl's or boy's bedroom wall. When we see someone with a six-pack and think, "damn...that's hot," yet see someone with a booty-do and think "nah, not my type" before getting to know them, how is that any different than the bigotry for which I condemn these white, elitist assholes who aren't attracted to me or any person of color? Decades of porn, television, and cinema filled with affluent and beardy white guys has programmed us with a virus that renders us incapable of idolizing people outside the realm of Ryan Gosling or Colby Keller. Beauty is beyond a six pack. Beyond Boystown. Beyond your same (or comfortable) race. Orlando's stunning and unapologetic depictions of the human body shouldn't be shared or reblogged any less than a picture of Zac Efron topless at the beach, but that isn't yet our reality. There's still a lot of work to do within ourselves. It starts by popping the bubble and looking outside.

Check out more photos + what Orlando thinks of beauty, sex, and the media's obsession with petiteness below (Spanish and English translations included.)

What do you think of the media’s portrayal of beauty? The media is always concerned with selling something, but we live in a different reality. There are so many different body types that exist that don't always correspond with their concept of "beauty." The concept of beauty is not static. In my opinion, the media should rethink if their concept is necessary today.

¿Que piensa de la imagen de la belleza que los medios de comunicación han creado?

A los medios de comunicación les interesa vender siempre algo, pero la realidad que vivimos es otra, existen muchos tipos de cuerpo, que para ellos no corresponde a algo "bello", el concepto de belleza no es algo estático, me parece que los medios necesitarían replantearse si aún en la actualidad ese modelo es necesario que siga vigente.

What in your opinion is the most beautiful aspect of someone?

The way a person conducts themselves in life, how they treat themselves, and how they treat others. Everything happens depending on a person's attitude and not because of their physical appearance.

¿Que, en su opinión, es el aspecto mas hermosode alguna persona? Pudiera ser mental/física etc.

La manera con la cual se conduce en la vida, cómo se trata y cómo trata a los demás, me parece que todo pasa por la actitud de la persona y no por su fisico.

Have you always been body positive? What was the turning point for you? In art school they taught me about the Greek prototype of beauty, that which appreciates proportion and harmony. When I discovered the work of Joel Peter Witkin, I realized that other bodies can also be beautiful. In that moment, I became interested in portraying the human body in a way that does not correspond with the generalized ideal of beauty.

¿Ha tenido siempre una imagen positiva del cuerpo? ¿Cuál fue el punto de inflexión para usted?

En la escuela de arte me enseñaron el prototipo griego de la belleza, ese que privilegia la proporción y la armonía. Cuando descubrí el trabajo de Joel Peter Witkin me dí cuenta que otros cuerpos también pueden ser bellos, en ese momento me interesó retratar el cuerpo que no corresponde con el ideal de belleza generalizado.

How important is it to have a deep connection with someone before having sex? I think it depends on the circumstances of the encounter. From my point of view, the point of sex is to enjoy a certain kind of pleasure. If there exists a deep connection or not will depend on other factors. But in all honesty, it does not seem relevant to me.

¿Qué tan importante es tener una conexión profunda con alguien antes de tener relaciones sexuales?

Creo que depende de las circunstancias del encuentro, desde mi punto de vista la función del sexo es otargar un determinado placer, sí existe una conexión profunda o no va a depender de otros factores, pero en realidad no me parece relevante.

Do you use any dating/sex apps? How do you feel about our culture's obsession with online dating, hookups, and easy access to sex? The ways of socializing are already different. Networks have allowed us to have contact with so many people immediately. My experiences have been positive, both in finding models for my work as well as meeting people with whom I still to this day have friendships with and of course it has also allowed for occasional sex. I think the key is to use them responsibly.

¿Usa algunas de las aplicacíones basadas en la localización que se usan para citas y el sexo?

Como se siente acerca de la obsesíon de nuestracultura con estas aplicacíones y el fácil acceso al sexo?

Las maneras de socializar ya son distintas, las redes han permitido tener contacto con mucha gente de manera inmediata, en mi experiencia han sido positivas, tanto para encontrar modelos para mi trabajo, cómo también gente con la cual hasta la fecha tengo una relación de amistad y claro también se ha dado el sexo ocasional. Creo que la clave está en hacer uso de ellas con responsabilidad.

Write the first word you think of for each of these words: - Beautiful: art - Ugly: inequality - Tomorrow: unexplainable - Yesterday: memory - Family: happiness

- Boyfriend: nonexistent

Escribe la primera palabra que viene a su mentecuando lee las siguientes palabras: - Hermoso(a): arte

- Feo(a): desigualdad

- Mañana: inexplicable

- Ayer: recuerdo

- Familia: felicidad

- Novio: inexistente

Who in your life inspires you the most? Why? Generally, my inspiration comes from my family and the respect they have always had for me, as well as the constant support that always manifests me at every stage of my life.

¿Quien en su vida lo inspira más? ¿Por que?

De manera general la inspiración viene de mi familia y el respeto que siempre me han tenido, así como todo el apoyo constante que siempre me manifiestan en cada etapa de mi vida.

What advice do you have for people who have difficulty seeing beauty in themselves?

Every person needs to find themselves, accept themselves as they are. All bodies matter and all are unique in their shapes, sizes and colors. They are of great value.

Qué consejo tiene para las personas que tienen dificultades para ver la belleza en sí mismas?

Mas que dar un consejo, creo que cada persona necesita encontrarse consigo misma, aceptarse tal como es, todos los cuerpos importan y todos independientemente de sus formas, tamaños y colores, tiene un gran valor.

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