Musician Amanda Palmer is no stranger to criticism. Though she has found herself in a couple troublesome situations which have concerned, confused, and occasionally offended some, she always handles it with grace.
One of these tricky situations was that of her side project, Evelyn Evelyn. She and her friend Jason Webley created a back story for a fictitious set of conjoined twins, both named Evelyn. The two of them performed in costume as conjoined twins and put out a full length album. Disability rights advocates feel as if this project contributes to stereotypes of people with disabilities. Though Palmer’s critics will often refer to her as an ableist in reference to this event, she responded to the backlash by explaining that her intent was never to harm anyone and that it was simply a creative project. Palmer once said, “It is always very interesting when people misinterpret art, and then get angry about it. It tells you a lot about how people work, how they think things should work. It tells you what they hold dear, and what they are afraid of. It can be a very good litmus test for which way the wind is blowing.”
After the uproar in response to the poem she wrote to cope with the bombings in Boston, I made a point to tell Palmer personally how much I admire her voice and was ecstatic about her response.
@carlycarbonate ain’t no other way. you make art, you speak feelings, people gonna bitch. the alternative is to hide and wither in fear. xx
— Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) April 22, 2013
Often times in situations like these, instead of shying away from all public discussion, Palmer encourages it and often responds to comments in her blog posts. Palmer has always been an advocate of intelligent debate, and more importantly, having a voice and using it.
Which brings me to an article posted by The Daily Mail titled “Making a boob of herself! Amanda Palmer’s breast escapes her bra as she performs on stage at Glastonbury“. If you are any sort of aware of Amanda Palmer, you, like me, probably looked at this article and shrugged because it is not the first time Amanda’s nude body has graced your field of vision and Amanda knows this. She has been comfortable with being nude in many of her performances, photo shoots and music videos. Palmer doesn’t fit the Hollywood beauty standard by any means but she doesn’t care and neither should anyone else. Her confidence, in all honesty, is something I remind myself of I am ever having a low self-esteem day and it always makes me feel better to know that everyone knows what she looks like naked and absolutely nothing bad has happened. If anything, she rocks even more.
In response, Palmer performed this amazing song that she says she finished an hour before performing it. In it, she says “your focus on debasing women’s appearance devolves our species of humans” which pretty much sums it all up. Whether you agree or disagree with each of Palmer’s individual decisions, you have to hand it to her for her body positivity, and consistent outpouring of creativity and wit.