Let’s be honest. If you’ve ever found yourself taking a starkers selfie to send to somebody, the fear of them plastering it over the internet is bound to have crossed your mind at least once or twice. But what if you were to leak your own? Digital artist Molly Soda is about to find out.
Should I Send This? is Soda’s latest project. The electronic zine, hosted on New Hive (alongside a physical zine release), is a combination of unsent sexts and nudes that, up until now, have been buried on her phone. “The text/photographs were sort of piling up, both on my computer and in my head – I sort of needed to do a purge in order to move on,” Soda tells us.
Subtly confronting notions of femininity and womanhood throughout the zine – bums, body hair and breasts proudly on display – Soda says: “I’m not really concerned with what men think of my body hair or my body any more. I’m more concerned with how I feel about my own body. Other women’s responses have really encouraged me. I have a lot of girls messaging me about how my stomach hair makes them feel better/less self-conscious about theirs. That’s what I care about – not about whether or not men find it attractive.”
Far from a bunch of awkward nudes and cringeworthy chat-up lines, Should I Send This? highlights how we construct our intimacy while hiding behind a screen. “I want people to be able to relate and feel connected to it,” says Soda. “This piece isn’t about me, it’s about everyone who has ever tried to achieve validation/intimacy via sending a text message, a nude… anything vulnerable using digital communication.”