BUNNIE ZINE by Karolyn Pho
WORDS BY : LIZ RAISS
At first glance, Bunnie, the new zine from stylist and photographer Karolyn Pho, seems subversive, even vulgar. But the 40 pages of women, naked but for the same plastic bunny mask, are something like a love letter to the normality of nudity. The models are sometimes posed but more often just doing everyday shit like going on the computer or doing dishes or smoking a cigarette. The series, which Pho characterizes as “candid moments…a glimpse of something intimate,” feels like a refutation of — or at least a refreshing alternative to — the artificial, banal sexuality of, say, a Richard Kern.
And about that plastic bunny mask: rather than functioning as an adornment to or commentary on the models’ bodies, it actually functioned as an empowering, protective talisman against the kind of scorn images of women’s bodies somehow (still!) invite. “The mask was a tool to make the women feel more comfortable and for some, played a major part in their participation.” Pho continues, “I think the anonymity provides a kind of protection from societal judgement or personal fears.”