A Real Woman of the Wild - Jeffrey DeCristofaro & Tae Ashlandi

February 2024 Artistic Nude Issue - - Posted:

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina - part of an extensive chain that stretches over 600 miles from Carlisle, Pennsylvania to Mount Oglethorpe in Georgia - has much to offer in terms of natural beauty. High peaks, lakes, waterfalls cascading into pools, rock outcroppings, scenic overlooks, various flora and fauna, trails including the Mountains to the Sea, not to mention beautiful foliage during the spring and autumn which attracts tourists and residents alike of all ages and all over the world, a number of which have come as tourists before settling permanently as residents. And the region - particularly the "Land of the Sky" itself, Asheville - is filled with various artists (models, photographers, filmmakers, painters, sculptors, jewelers - who not only take inspiration from the surroundings for their art but go so far as to venture into the wilderness to create visionary masterpieces, a number of which involve collaborations.

Working with local artist Tae Ashlandi is one such spirited collaboration that has already resulted in several already-published pieces in international magazines such as Sensualidad and InFrame. Tae is a wonder to behold and a joy to work with, already so experienced in modeling that she requires minimal input to help photographers bring their visions to life. Furthermore, she's also a photographer whose pictures of the Blue Ridge wilderness can be viewed on her additional Instagram account @eartha.primitiva.

And it is that totally primitive feeling of the Wild Woman that I wanted to capture not so far from home.

For a number of people, especially in the wake of #MeToo, the Wild Woman is automatically regarded as an outdated eyebrow-raising stereotype easily prone to exploitation. But for more perceptive, progressive folks, the Wild Woman represents something far more important - FREEDOM!!! Freedom to live life on its own terms, to co-exist with the wilderness rather than view it as something to be conquered, and certainly without being repressed by puritanical notions that have sadly become just one adverse effect of supposed civilization and movements like #MeToo. The Wild Woman - bold, sexy, powerful and caring for all living things - is an emblem of everything that cannot be lost forever.

Sadly, like many species of plants and animals currently threatened with endangerment and extinction during these ecologically fraught times, the Wild Woman herself is becoming an endangered species. As Mother Nature is threatened - and there HAVE been severe effects of climate change on the Blue Ridge during the past decade including drought, flooding, false springs, wildfires on the NC-Tennessee border and more, further encroaching on this paradise's chances of existence in the Southeast United States - so is the very character of the Wild Woman, an embodiment of Mother Nature and all she has to offer. More importantly, the Wild Woman - whether a jungle queen, cave girl or native islander - like her background, should not only absolutely continue to exist, but serve as a symbol of the need to restore and protect all of Mother Nature at home and abroad, and teach many to do the same.

There is much to learn from the Wild Woman, who is certainly NOT a savage, and to truly help her, we must do more than merely hope that our natural world will remain - we MUST restore and protect her kingdom for future generations, and better educate ourselves to share it with her in the best way possible!

To learn more about the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and how regional communities benefit from it, feel free to visit sites such as https://blueridgemountainstravelguide.com/ for more information. And for those wanting to book Tae Ashlandi for a similar shoot and/or other ideas to help her and her collaborators build both their portfolios and create pieces of art, or even hire her for nature photography, message her for availability and rates at her primary IG account @tae.ashlandi and her Link Tree account @link.tr.ee/goblinpussy. And be sure to pay a visit to her IG photography portfolio @eartha.primitiva - this Wild Woman and her kind needs all the love and help she can get!

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