Bwog staffer Brendan Ballou sat down with Columbia junior Jamie, a writer for the Fed, the former singer for the F-Holes, and current Suicide Girl to discuss knitting, pornography, and why the Blue and White is too pretentious.
Don’t I know you from somewhere?
Well, I’m naked on the Internet. I feel that it’s something not a lot of Columbia people get paid to do. Most of the modeling I do is for money. And it is work, and it’s a job like any other job. It can be boring. It can be hard. It can be creepy.
What is Suicide Girls?
It’s a cool website full of pin-up style photography and alternative looking women who don’t fit the normal notions of beauty—although some of them are skinny and white and have big boobs—but not all of them, and that’s a common misconception. But it’s fun for me. It’s a community, and a lot of my friends are Suicide Girls.
Are there other suicide girls on campus?
No, there’s only one other suicide girl who’s gone to Columbia, and she wasn’t very involved in campus life either—probably even less than I am. She taught me how to knit the other night. She’s kind of my mentor.
[Jamie me shows her pink knitting project in her purse] What are you knitting?
Well it’s the first thing I’ve ever knitted. It’s not really, well it’s –I told my boyfriend it was a ball cozy for him so his balls don’t get cold when he’s running.
Wouldn’t that get itchy?
Well, it’s probably going to be scarf or something.
How do you define yourself sexually?
I don’t define myself. I’ve always been open to new things.
Is this just exhibitionism?
Well obviously any time you put naked pictures of yourself on the Internet there’s going to be an exhibitionist aspect to it, unless you’re being totally exploited and you need the money—which I don’t, although it is nice. It’s a fun thing to do, I like the pictures, they’re very tasteful. I’ve been lucky to work with some of the site’s best photographers.
[I get] $300 for every photo shoot I send in, which can take anywhere from half an hour to a few hours. You can send in a few a year depending on how good your photo shoots are. I got to go to Italy this summer, they rented us a villa.
How do your parents react to all this?
My dad must never know. He doesn’t even like it that I have tattoos. But my mom knows, and she thinks it’s cool. She used to model in New York in the 60’s and 70’s.
There is this one time that I don’t really recall when I was younger, when I apparently found some naked pictures of my mom that my dad took of her on the beach in the south of France. And I got all excited and was like, ‘Ooh, naked pictures!’ and I showed them to all my friends and I was like, ‘look at my mommy!’ And she was like, ‘No Jamie, that was bad, you shouldn’t show those to people. There’s nothing wrong with being naked but…’
How old were you?
I must have been about three. It was at the dawn of memory. She was a pretty prolific model. She had her picture in the MoMA.
You went to Kingswood Oxford prep school in Hartford. Is it true that your main athletic rival is the American School for the Deaf?
I don’t know—well mind you, I didn’t have a terrible amount of school spirit but I do know that we used the American school for the Deaf swimming pool for practices because we didn’t have one. But no, we didn’t actually play against the deaf children. That would have been unfair because they can’t hear.
I’m going a little bit deaf myself, I’m going to have to start wearing earplugs…I’m in a band. The F-Holes. It broke up.
The F-holes. What happened?
I showed up to practice about a week ago, like normal. We’d just had a great show at Asterisk, a really cool venue in Brooklyn. The Deli magazine wanted a CD from us and we didn’t have one yet. And this guy from Serious Records wanted to produce our EP.
And then I show up to practice and everyone’s been there for like an hour already which is strange. And Jim’s like ‘I don’t want to do the band anymore’ and I’m like ‘What the Fuck’ because I thought the band was going great and he says he doesn’t think our sound is going anywhere…and it’s not what he wants to do anymore and everyone agreed with him and I thought it was a little too easy. [Name withheld] said he didn’t want to be associated with a porn site because he’s a teacher and he was afraid he could lose his job, which is utter bullshit… And I think my guitarist probably had a crush on me, or that’s my theory anyway.
So I said ‘ok’ and I gave them my key and I left and I fucking cried for hours because I loved their band.
But, but, I found their ad for a new singer on Craigslist, which strikes me as a little suspicious. So they pretty much lied to me and they’re not my friends anymore and they never were.
That really sucks.
Losing a band is like a break-up, except more people saying they don’t like you. I just want them to call me up, and say they made a mistake. Yeah, it broke my heart. I loved that band. But I’ll find a better band.
You write for the Fed. What can the Fed to that Spectator can’t?
Well, mainly we’ve got chutzpah. I’d have to say our balls are probably a little bit bigger. We’re not afraid of being arrested for the sake of journalism or to take down corrupt politicians in power. But we’re just better.
And we’re dorky too, and you guys [the Blue & White] are dorky too but you’re just afraid to show it. I remember I took my boyfriend to a Fed party and then we stopped by a Blue & White party, and he’d never been to either type of party. And he was like ‘wow you know, your friends are pretty dorky, but at least you guys are real. Everyone [at the Blue & White] was trying to play grownup cocktail party. And people at the Fed party were like watching anime and wrestling with each other and drinking stupid drinks, but it was fun.
But don’t you think the Fed is offensive?
Well, I try not to be offensive just to fill space. I mean, I am especially critical of things I care about, such as Columbia, such as the Fed even. And I like to point out the things that are ridiculous in a humorous way that will disarm people so people won’t say, ‘you’re just being a negative Nancy.’