There’s a revolution happening right now, on our very doorstep. For the moment, it’s quiet and gathering momentum, but it promises to grow at lightning speed, taking over your news feeds and your wardrobes.
The revolution’s name is Mude Threads, and its leader is Jazz Moodie. Mude is Jazz’s business, but also her art. She embroiders all her products by hand, and creates simple yet stunning products that display female nakedness in all its glory. As Jazz says, ‘I want to make nakedness wearable! In a society that has always shamed, sexualized and censored the female body, I want to hand back control to women and men in the form of rebellious, hand-embroidered and painted naked art on clothing. Nude stitches for badass bitches.’
When recounting the origins of Mude Threads, Jazz is a charming mixture of self-deprecating and quietly confident. ‘I started going to life drawing classes in my first year of Uni, mostly in an attempt to pretend that I was an art student rather than an imposter from the Business School. I keep all of my sketches from these sessions, so when I found myself at a loose end in France on my year abroad, it felt natural to get back into sketching nakedness…and eventually embroidering nudity. Once I felt good enough to vandalise one of my own sweaters, I hastily found an old life drawing sketch and sketched it onto the fabric with a chalk. I loved the sweatshirt, its new embroidered woman bearing all with both nipples out in a baby pink thread.
‘I wore it to my French University, full of quite conservative students and staff, and loved how powerful it made me feel. I felt that after so many years of feeling ashamed of my breasts and feeling like I should hide them from unwanted attention, I had finally reclaimed my power. I couldn’t be shamed for having my cleavage out, or having big boobs, if I had a naked girl on my sweater bearing all!’
It’s striking how much power a t-shirt can have. In every one of Moodie’s designs, the naked female body is portrayed with such delicacy and care that it’s impossible to feel when wearing a Mude creation that nakedness is something to be ashamed of. ‘I’ve always been fascinated with the power, diversity and fragility of the female form,’ she muses. ‘To me, it represents our power. The female form is used to control so many aspects of society. If we can rise above the narrow box that society has given us, our bodies can be much more than a sexualized symbol for the male gaze; we can reclaim control and show that we understand the power of our bodies, that we understand and will use that power.’
It seems that not everyone agrees with Moodie. Recently, her business Instagram account @mude_threads was shut down. ‘Instagram gave me zero warning of the deactivation of my account, meaning I had lost all contact with supporters, followers and customers,’ she recounts. Her account had been reported as “sexually explicit”, to which she says ‘the irony hadn’t escaped me. Mude’s mission is to prove that an empowered naked woman is by no means sexual, and nobody has the right to assume that. Society is adamant on viewing women as sexual objects, yet when we become comfortable in our own skin in an empowered, non-sexual way, we are shamed.’
My art and business account (@mude_threads) has been deactivated by Instagram. The irony is almost funny. I have been growing my Mude movement for almost a year, celebrating the female form in the face of societal censorship. @instagram have disabled all access to my business account, leaving many of my incredible customers and followers without any explanation or redirection on how to follow/purchase/support my art and embroidery. Under the misogynistic mantle of “sexually explicit content”, @instagram have single-handedly destroyed my business, but also have proved why I continue to fight sexualisation and censorship of the female form. Thanks for fuelling my feminist fire 🔥 long live Mude Threads and long live all the women and men who support me and the Mude message! #wearnakedness #nudityisnatural PS how fucking beautiful is this woman’s body. Beautiful. Not sexual. Pricks x
Speaking to Moodie a few days after the deactivation, she seemed determined not to be beaten by it. ‘I went into action and did everything I could to alert women to the disgusting labelling of our raw forms as “sexual”. Within a few hours of redirecting customers to my personal account, I had amassed over 500 followers. The best thing about this horrendously unjust action by Instagram is that not only have some of my old followers found me again, but new passionate women have too. We’re coming back stronger!’
Mude could not have existed at a better time; while recent events like the Presidents’ Club dinner are disheartening and sickening, it’s times like these where messages of strength and solidarity matter even more. ‘Movements like Mude are the tip of the iceberg. They’re manifestations of larger issues. I can speak for Mude in saying that its very grass-roots; I hope that friends and strangers who have come across the #wearnakedness message have begun to realise that feminism is not a dirty word. Nudity is not something to be ashamed of. These small shifts in mindsets means that the 18 year-old girl at that uni party won’t sit in silence when a person gropes her; instead she will have the confidence to understand her feminism enough and speak out.’
‘I have been hyper-sexualised without my consent my whole life due to my petite frame and unusually large breasts, so Mude is my way of sticking two fingers up to a society that is adamant to control how my body is perceived.’ We stand behind you, Jazz: an army resplendent in powder pink t-shirts complete with naked ladies.
Photos by Jazz Moodie
Find Mude on Instagram either at @mude.threads or @jazmoodie