1. Name - Aaron Tsuru
2. Age - 44 (yikes, when did that happen?)
3. Instagram handle @tsurufoto
4. Where are you from? Originally from Tampa, FL currently live in Brooklyn, NY
5. What inspires you? So much! I'm literally inspired everyday by things I see, read, and experience, but in my work, I'm mostly inspired by people's selfies, specifically nude selfies. For cis women, transgender men & women, and non-binary peeps, I can't think of much more bold and empowering than claiming ownership of your body in all wonderful shapes, sizes, colors, bumps, and lumps, being proud and confident, and having a little fun with something as normal yet taboo as being naked. Instead of being presented nude from the male gaze or from someone else's point of view, it is you presenting yourself how you want. I love that. And the more natural and real and, therefore, brave after all the years of conditioning about what beauty is "supposed to" look like from tv, magazines, movies, and the attitudes from people surrounding us, the better. <3
6. Why did you choose women's' bodies as your subject? See #5. It's not just cisgender women though, it's transgender & non-binary people as well.
7. Describe how you think your art can make a change. I think we, as a society, have built up some pretty fucked up and extremely narrow views of what is considered normal and/or beautiful. Especially when you consider most all the things society looks to for guidance is faked out through photoshopping, meaning what society thinks we should be looking like isn't even real. I want to show people that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and with all kinds of flesh globules in all kinds of shapes, it truly comes from within. I think we need to normalize reality again, normalize it and embrace it and cherish it and love it. Love what makes us unique and let's stop striving for some social construct. How many of us hide ourselves out of fear of rejection. I know I do. But dammit, my body is a wonderland unique to itself, I should love it, my partner should love it, and we should love each other and have fun with our silly bodies!
8. By displaying the naked woman, you put something out there that can sometimes be taboo. Do you get a lot of hate for that? Not hate in the way you see in politics or anything. The most I get is a lot of ew and gross, but oddly, that's almost always on the work with body hair, quite possibly the most natural thing of all. Look, when it comes to body hair, you should do what you want to do for yourself that makes you feel good. Shave, trim, go natural, arms, legs, pits, bushes, whatever. You do you and everyone else can go fuck themselves.
9. Do you consider yourself a feminist and/or an activist? How does your art affect your activism? Yes I do. It's very important to me. It affects everything because it's part of everything. It baffles me that in 2017 that not only do we still have to fight this, but it's actually become worse.