RISK MAGAZINE: Do you see your body as art? Have you always seen it that way? What work did it take to see that?
Isa’ah Baker: I absolutely see my body as an art form. I haven't always seen it that way, but eating well, finding a love for things like yoga, and a lot of alone time with my phone and a mirror definitely helped with that.
RISK MAGAZINE: How has technology impacted the way we see and enjoy sex / erotica?
Isa’ah Baker: Technology has completely transformed the “sexual experience” from what we used to know. It’s now become something of a visual act that is preferred to actual physical stimulation simply because it's so accessible.
RISK MAGAZINE: What do you think about the hyper sexualization of the black body? Why do you think this exists and how can we combat it without desexualizing ourselves?
Isa’ah Baker: I think it’s been developed from a long history of black people being seen as objects. For me, the best way to combat those constructed ideas is for us to own our sexuality in all ways and all forms it comes in. To have power over it and hopefully create a new view of it.
"Respect & emotional awareness. That’s sexy."
RISK MAGAZINE: What scares you about sex / sexuality / your own body?
Isa’ah Baker: The only thing that worries me is the desensitization of sex and sexual stimulation of the body. With everything at our fingertips we kinda maximize all of our pleasure. Is there a limit? Will I care later? And do my desires and what make me desirable have to combat this? ... probably not, but it's a thought.
RISK MAGAZINE: What would it look like for us to express ourselves creatively and sexually without the gaze of ANYONE? What would you do?
Isa’ah Baker: That’d be true freedom. But I also believe no one is actually stopping you from feeling that free except yourself. Not giving into gazes and allowing them to dictate how you feel about yourself and your liberation.
RISK MAGAZINE: How much does outside validation contribute to your overall self-esteem?
Isa’ah Baker: It’s played a huge role in how I’m able to move through life and how I feel about myself. Validation and affirmation are major contributors to know you’re doing a good job and the effect of your presence. But, I don’t allow it to rule how I feel about myself.
RISK MAGAZINE:Historically, what is your relationship to shame? How are you unlearning shame?
Isa’ah Baker: I’m very familiar with the feeling of shame, from myself and others. I’ve had shame transfer into guilt when it wasn’t a necessary weight to bare. I’ve realized shame can become a blockage to freedom and abundance. It’s difficult to “shame” me today.
In a Risk Magazine series "Decolonizing Sexuality", Isa'ah Baker stars in 'Choke' photographed and styled by Ranxelle Levin Soria. Wearing pieces by Duality Junkie by Dj Chappel, Ranxelle Levin, Mowalola and Balenciaga.
Photgrapher/ Stylist Ranxelle Levin Soria
Model Isa'ah Baker