This artist spotlight comes from our recent editorial tour of the west coast. While in Oakland we stopped to chat with the beautiful and powerful, Camille Urso, also known to the internet world as @brasiliangold. Through her posts Camille uses her voice to spread messages of body and sex positivity, her love for the (divine) feminine, and calls bullshit on all the fuckery directed not only toward her for being unapologetic, but also toward all women as a symptom of patriarchy. In addition to using social media, Camille published a book called Whorticulture, which is a series of 'poetic non-fiction' that documents her experiences surrounding the feminine body and sexuality, rape culture, and personal freedom.
When she opens the door to her crib (affectionately dubbed the Pussy Palace) she does not differ too much from how she appears in her posts, except where some people appear smaller IRL, Camille actually radiates more. Her energy is as her name indicates, gold, but rather than blinding light reminiscent of the sun, her gold is in the elemental form --- dense, grounding, and the real deal.
Earlier that day she was in the gym, like she usually is, testing her physical strength, but also taking notes for a women's self defense class she hopes to start in the near future. Empowering women physically is as important as empowering mentally, since violence is a reality that all women face. Camille recounts the time when she saw her abusive ex-boyfriend and beat him up and robbed him. "Honestly, I wish I would've killed him," she says, roach clip from mom in hand.While some people tell her violence is not the answer and other such things that are said to all people who systematically and consistently endure violence, she thinks that is bullshit. "Why would you be more upset at me taking revenge than what he did to me?" Valid question most should ask themselves more. She writes in one of her posts:
So, how do the dudes that follow her react to her? Well, they come for the pics, but usually stay for more. "I don't care if dudes are jerking off to my pictures, eventually they are going to read my words, and it'll have them stop and reflect, even if it's just for a little." But also, as is often the case with people who are born to crush others, be it based on their privilege as male or privilege as white, many think there is no way she is talking about them. Clearly some other dude. Some other white person. No, all of you. Camille rolls her eyes at them, and also warns about guys who claim to be allies. "A lot of them know what to say and not say to stay acceptable to [women like us], but they'll do the same 'dude' shit when given the opportunity."
As hinted at through the title of her book, Camille looks to nature for guidance and believes it holds the key to how the human gender balance should work as well. "Everything in nature has the female species on top---from the hunting, the birthing/caring of the young. Why would humans be different?" Because of this Camille feels strongly about a certain f-word and made a point of requesting that we, "not use the word feminism anywhere near my name." While feminism is a good start for some, Camille finds it weak and a label that allows people to be content with resting on an ideal of equality. "Personally, I don't want to be equal to men. Feminism is a construct of patriarchy in itself."