When I came up with the concept five years ago, I knew I wanted my cast to be nude. I have a love for fine art nude photography and I wanted the audience to feel the shamelessness in each of the empowered women I chose for this project. I felt it was very telling of the comfort level that they have and I believe we all should have with our bodies. Sexuality permeates so much of our existence and journey.
There is an homage to Marilyn Monroe — a quote from her last interview opens the film. To create an intimate setting, I wanted to shoot in black-and-white and on a bed with white sheets, just like some of her most famous photoshoots. I wanted the audience to feel like a voyeur. My goal was to celebrate sexuality in a beatiful, artistic way and make it highly stylized, not just a talking-heads documentary. I edited it layering the nudity and personal moments with the cast to accentuate the personal story of each woman.
They now say Marilyn was bisexual, and she was the most legendary sex symbol the world has known; she really embraced it, she was a sexual goddess. I wanted to represent as much diversity as possible to create an all inclusive film on sexuality, as it is I barely scratched the surface. Diversity exists in all of creation, so I believe all preferences should be honored and accepted. I do not believe in shaming.
I wanted to do a piece that would get people talking about their own journeys and open their minds so they ultimately come to a place of love and acceptance for themselves and others, no matter what their preference or experience.
JENNIFER ILENE PERRY is director of The Goddess Within. Support the film on Indiegogo.