Meet Anita Cheung. She is a is a creative who moonlights as a yoga therapist and a meditation teacher. She is passionate about mental health and elevating others. With all of her work, she is on a mission to help others discover themselves and feel less alone. When she isn't at photoshoots, designing brands, or trying to make meditation cool with "In Bed With Betty", she can be found napping and watering plants.
I was so excited to connect with her after learning about her amazing project, #GLITTERGURLZ, a series of photos exploring 'the money shot' from a female perspective. Anita's series seeks to counteract the typical image of dominance and power as the climax, through the female gaze, and using glitter, and consent. I asked Anita a few questoins about her interest in consent. Check out our mini interview below!
How did you begin teaching teenagers about sexual health consent in your previous role? What was the most surprising thing you learned about how consent is taught?
I facilitated sexual health, healthy relationship & gender identity workshops for high school students in grade 8-10 when I was going through university. It was a volunteer position with the local Health Association and I absolutely LOVED it. I came into my sexuality fairly early and had always felt really confident in my understanding and in myself - thanks to this same program that I received as a high school student, so it felt good to give back and impact youth the way I was impacted. The program did a great job of teaching young people that sex ed is so much more than the sexual organs and STIs- it's relationships, and gender, and consent and more. I remember that we talked about consent in all of the workshops as a verbal YES! and a physical YES! (Giving examples of what a physical No would look like despite a verbal Yes.)
I remember that we talked about consent in all of the workshops as a verbal YES! and a physical YES!
We also talked about the age of consent and when consent gets grey (alcohol, positions of power, etc.). One thing I did learn was all about Peer Sex - the laws in place that allow young people to have sex with other young people without breaking any laws while protecting them from being taken advantage of.
With that said, this was all pre-instagram and pre-snapchat so I'm sure the consent conversation is so different these days/ needs to include and cover so much more.
Your #GLITTERGURLZ photography series explores the "money shot" through the female lens. How do these pictures capture "consent" from a female perspective that isn't explored in typical pornography?
There are so many layers to unpack in typical pornography! The "money shot" is intended to imply power from the perspective of the male gaze. However, the photos from #GLITTERGURLZ showcase the "money shot" in both the fantastic and the mundane --> something that women in hetero relationships can actually want and enjoy (without being made to feel like a slut), or simply something that... happens- Something that they have to clean up, and deal with. The idea is that it is unique to each and every individual and the only way to know how a woman feels about having cum on her face, her breasts, her back... is.. well, to ask.
We don't talk about sex enough and we don't talk about how SEXY and a part of the sensual process consent can be. It doesn't have to be a buzzkill! With #GLITTERGURLZ, I wanted to capture consent and sex from a more realistic lens and threw in glitter just to have some fun with it.