The Influence of Instagram and The Wicked Jade
I came across The Wicked Jade on Instagram while I was working on collaborations project involving Lingerie designers. Sophie Thorne, from Twisted Lingerie mentioned her in the interview and I did some research and thought I just had to meet and shoot with her for future artistic photography projects.
One of the most inspirational people I have met, the first minute we were face to face she was already giving me advice on who to connect with to help build my business. To me I feel she is a true example of “Female Empowerment” – a woman who can hold her own, stand on her own, but also she shares her triumphs and skills to help others to progress too. I have shot with her on a few occasions and it is always a joy, she gives off this aura of strength that seeps into whoever is around her and you leave feeling so positive.
A busy woman indeed, The Wicked Jade took some time out to talk to me about being on Instagram, how social media effects her life, social media and women and more.
The Wicked Jade Herself
Name: The Wicked JadeOccupation: Lawyer and Style BloggerLocation: LondonFavourite Colour: Any colour as long as it’s shiny!
I don’t think I’m a sensation but I haven’t found anyone else on Instagram doing what I do, i.e. a mature, professional, Asian woman mixing fetish fashion, lingerie and body-positivity.
At first I wanted to document my signature style and to create an album of all my expensive and wonderful clothes, to record how I make an erotic statement with my clothing, and to bring fetish fashion out of the sub-culture and into the mainstream. Then it morphed into a personal journey to confound people’s expectations of me. The more I photographed and displayed myself for people to see, the less I cared about what they thought, and I realised that I was discovering something about my identity and my voice.
I have done two shoots with Alex (@acalculatedrisk), a very talented boudoir photographer with a distinctive cinematic style. Both shoots were fantastic and we got great images but I think we are both extremely proud of the “Archer Queen” series where I posed with my bow and arrow in Richmond Park on a freezing cold morning in January. The shots are quite far from both of our usual themes but the images are atmospheric and eerie, reminiscent of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
This was exactly what Alex was aiming for, and amazingly, we managed to do this despite rushing around trying to catch the moody cold winter light in a short space of time. I was so frozen that for the rest of the day I had to just sit wrapped in a blanket drinking hot drinks to raise my core temperature!
Now that I have a decent following, I have made great contacts with a number of brands. The small, innovative brands, where the designer is still managing the operation, are my favourites. They are usually working very hard to produce their ranges, whilst also doing all the marketing, business admin and the social media. There is a symbiotic relationship where I get to wear their latest designs in my photos, and they get a little bit of exposure and the use of some of my shots. However, I would still love other brands to get in touch and to find out how we can help each other!
I get approached sometimes to do nude boudoir photography. Whilst I don’t have any qualms about being nude, this is not what my instagram account is about. In case it isn’t obvious, my account is about fashion and clothing! If I’m not wearing anything, there has to be a very good reason for me not to! For example, I did a body painting project with Brierley Thorpe where I had my whole body painted in the style of Jean-Michael Basquiat and Grayson Perry motifs, along with words that are meaningful to me. This was my way of sticking two fingers up to people who were trying to shame me for my choices in life.
In all honesty, I was clueless when I first started posting. I was just documenting some of my lingerie and clothing. The pictures were basic shots on my phone and I did not worry about captioning them except just to talk about how much I liked the brand!
Yes I would say this is my hobby. I have a busy job and I’m a mother so I don’t have a lot of time, but this is a pleasant form of escapism and a way to scratch that creative side of me that wants to come out. I also like photography but my own “arty” photography is on another account – @audacious_londoner
Richmond Park in winter – see above.
My top 5 brands (not all of which I have worn and not all of which are lingerie) are:
What 3 items are on your wish list?
A bespoke corset
A full length translucent latex fishtail gown
A vintage silk kimono
There are so many ballsy, kick-ass women who inspire me every day. I’m also inspired by all the creative and artistic people who have a vision. One such person is Maggie Steber. She is a well known photojournalist, covering tragic humanitarian situations.
The Effects of Instagram and Social Media
Social media’s portrayal of women reflects society’s portrayal of women and there is a lot that is wrong about it which is too long to go into here. However I think there is something about Instagram which is quite positive in that women can claim back the narrative and actually gain a supportive network around her. There are so many body-positive accounts around and an increasing desire by certain Instagrammers to be authentic and real. OK it is still not necessarily the real person behind the account – we can all create a persona that is different from our real selves, but there is a desire to use the medium of photography to show us how we want. There are always the trolls but there are also lots of supporters who give us strength.
All the brands that I support are generally extremely gender-inclusive and are mostly run by women. I would not have anything to do with a brand that I felt was portraying or exploiting women in any kind of crass, sexist way or in a way that reinforces harmful stereotypes.
All the photographers I have worked with have been chosen because they are either women or have a creative and artistic vision that goes beyond just “taking pictures of scantily-clad girls”. I recognise that people will always want to look at beautiful women, but I want to be involved only when the images are visually interesting and not just titillating.
On LinkedIn, in my professional capacity as a lawyer, or doing the school run.
Instagram: The Wicked Jade