Ep. 1 of Figure Isms: Roarie Yum

I get to explore this small part of myself, that I don’t feel safe exploring in a larger part in society, because of the way that others treat me.
— Roarie Yum

I'm excited to announce the first episode of my new podcast Figure Isms with Grant Trimble! My vision for this is to release two of these a month. 

The format of the show is to interview creatives who utilize nudity in their work. The purpose of this is to try and understand the message, meaning, and personal journeys behind these choices and generate a greater understanding of the people behind this work.

My first guest is Roarie Yum. If you've followed my work you can see that I've had the privilege of working with her before. In this interview I talk to her about her journey to being a freelance art model who uses nudity, her perspectives and choices along this path, and why she considers herself an "art facilitator".

Check the show notes below and make sure to follow along on Apple PodcastGoogle Play, or  SoundCloud

Let me know your thoughts and feedback at grant@gtrimble.com. 

Listen on Google Play Music

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • Introducing Roarie Yum and how she lives like a turtle out of her backpack. [2:40]

  • Discusses newer art project in North Carolina and her role as the art facilitator, studio manager, art director, and person who wheres many hats. [5:57]

  • What is an "Art Facilitator"? Here she talks about a film that helps explain her definition of wha that means. [6:20]

  • Typical expectations of a human mannequin and what it's like being a woman in a man's world.[7:38]

  • Find out what "Hallways and Doors" are and how Roarie stretches the boundaries of model/photographer roles. [9:46]

  • On the intuitive process of collaborating, checking egos, creative freedom, and the evolution of her work style with Yerum Roth. [11:40]

  • What it was like growing up with "pretty girl parameters" when she was the kid climbing trees and playing in the mud. [15:26]

  • Roarie's conundrum on being a women who wanted to have short hair and wear men's trousers yet being told to shut up and be pretty by her modeling agency. [17:40]

  • "Well behaved women seldom make history" Laurel Thatcher Ulrich [19:30]

  • Discusses what types of jobs she would get in agency and how she shaved her head and left. [19:54]

  • Find out what the two types of models typically are and how she decided to be Roarie Yum. [22:07]

  • I discuss my own difficulty with not being able to fit the expectations of the world I grew up in. [23:18]

  • Roarie talks about defined and undefined paths and how she was born with an "I don't give a fuck" button. [24:35]

  • My very un-academic definition of culture. [25:16]

  • Roarie discusses "call to authenticity," how she likes to shoot, where she gets energy, and how two heads are better than one. [26:02]

  • She explores some of her family backstory and the juxtaposition of how her parent's lived, raised her, and how she chose to live. [29:03]

  • Roarie: and how she lives on a "shoe-string" budget traveling the world. [30:53]

  • When nudity became a part of her modeling career and her mentor, Swinskey, who introduced her to it. [31:51]

  • Pubic hair and the concept of inifinity. [32:54]

  • "Miniature Explosion!" Roarie talks about her non-comformist personality, European fashion. and how it played into her pursuit of nude modeling. [36:00]

  • Can a model be nude and respected? Roarie explores this and expounds on using her body as an art tool. [38:00]

  • Where we find out Roarie's nickname in school and her perspective of nudity growing up. [39:55]

  • Social standards of women, and of course, fart jokes. [41:13]

  • I talk about my trip to Europe and how it changed my own cultural perceptions on nudity. [41:40]

  • Roarie discusses the contrast between nudity in American culture vs. other cultures. [43:40]

  • Roarie shares her religious background and conversations with her family revolving around her identity as a queer woman, art model, her place in the world, and how contrary it is to theirs. [44:40]

  • How does her queer identity and androgynous look play into art modeling? [46:22]

  • Learn through Roarie what androgyny is and how it encapsulates male and female natures. [47:20]

  • What is the difference between "fuck you fashion look" and "fuck me glamour look"? [50:17]

  • Roarie reflects on her contribution to modeling and her present conundrum of whether her social media presence is justified or not. [51:18]

  • Roarie discusses becoming an art facilitator, and why she is changing the direction of her life. [52:35]

  • Roarie opens up a discussion on pornography and Asa Akira. [53:19]

  • The misrepresentation of clothing and how Roarie find her voice through modeling. [55:44]

  • Where the "Dandy Boy" look takes effect and how it freed her to explore aspects of herself, outside the confines of social expectation. [57:25]

  • Roarie recommends modeling to others for self-exploration. [58:45]

  • Where we find out why scrapbooks occupy an important place in Roarie's life. [01:00:45]

  • Roarie's affinity to travel vs. the stationary life. [01:02:17]

  • She explores the relevance of travel in becoming more culturally aware. [01:02:15]

  • If you want to know what "slab city" is and why 100 bowling balls with googly eyes is important to Roarie, listen up. [01:04:15]

  • I give a bit of backstory on my family and our struggles with finding a place that coincides with how we want to exist. [01:06:52]

  • Roarie discusses "Patreon Day" at her art space and her WARNING on what would be expected there, and her reflections on that. [01:08:22]

  • The point of the podcast is brought to light here, how to restructure a narrative of nudity, and a creating space to explore that. [01:11:04]

  • Roarie talks about: labeling, exploring identity, pronouns, gender, and androgyny. [01:12:19]

  • Discussion of photo series Roarie and I did where we played with the ideas of masculine/feminine roles. [01:14:12]

  • My reflections on gender and positing, if god exists, what gender god would occupy. [01:14:55]

  • We discuss positions of power between men and women in our culture. [01:16:36]

  • We delve into what sexualization of is nudity, nude beaches, and what attitudes our culture has toward it all. [01:19:25]

  • The poverty of language in regards to sexuality and sex. [01:25:15]

  • The limitations as a women modeling and her answer to this. [01:26:06]

  • Our gender fluid shoot and what the inclusion of other perspectives is like in the creative process. [01:29:05]

  • Roarie tells us about her urinal/stall shoot, the bathroom act of North Carolina, Doc Martens, and to quote Roarie, "we poop, we pee, we have sex!" [01:30:12]

  • Roarie lets us in on the next chapter in her life after being on the road for 5 years. [01:34:25]

  • Come join her bohemian traveling circus act! [01:36:50]

  • Find out podcasts and films that Roarie recommends, including Queery with Cameron Esposito. [01:37:10]

  • How Hedy Lamarr also refused to shut up and be pretty, and how this classic film actress is responsible for your wifi connection. [01:38:55]

  • Roarie highly recommends the documentary, "13th", on the prison system. [01:39:20]

  • Roarie talks about comedian Hannah Gadsby [01:39:39]

  • Contact Roarie and check out her work through her email roarieyum@gmail.com or her IG @roarie_yum. [01:40:20]

  • Thank you Roarie!!

People Mentioned

  • Yoram Roth

  • Twiggy

  • Kate Moss

  • Swinskey

  • Helmut Newton

  • Ellen von Unwerth

  • Asa Akira

  • Cameron Esposito

  • Hedy Lamarr

  • Hannah Gadsby