Limit #10: fat people shouldn’t make art of themselves.
Today’s post is inspired by (read ‘nicked from’) one of my favourite bloggers – The Militant Baker.
Jes Baker will probably never know it, but she is the powerhouse who first got me onto the road of body positivity.
But I didn’t realise until a couple of months ago that she started a Think You’ll Find I Can-esque series YEARS before it even occurred to me that not hating my body was a possibility.
This is about number 9 on her list: Fat People Shouldn’t Make Art of Themselves.
I’ll admit, when I first read the title I somewhat misunderstood it, and thought “I’ve been doing that since primary school!”. Because I read it as making art actually of themselves. Like this:
That’s sharpie on my thigh. Because I’m an adult now and Mum can’t stop me drawing on myself with permanent marker.
But away back in school, when I couldn’t even touch a marker without adult supervision, I had a neon green gel pen. And in every lesson that I deemed boring, where I was sitting somewhere out of the teacher’s main line of sight, I gel-penned my left hand with something that looked like this:
And there was the time just over a year ago when I decided to buy a set of face paints. I have never looked back.
So it’s never really crossed my mind that I shouldn’t make art of myself. But art about myself…that’s a whole different ball game.
One of my exes is an artist. He never drew me, and that never bothered me. I looked at his drawings of life models, and felt a distinct urge to cover myself up even though I was fully dressed. I couldn’t bear even the thought of someone looking so closely at so much of my body.
And to make a permanent, visual copy of it?? No chance.
Of course this is a fear thing; I’m afraid of someone looking at my body and judging it. I’m afraid of someone looking at a drawing/painting of my body and judging it. Y’know, that fear of social judgement I’m putting so much energy into fighting.
The thing is, I can’t draw for toffee. I can doodle and make pretty patterns with face paint, but creating an accurate representation of something is beyond me. I can’t make art about myself.
So I’ve done something ridiculous. Something I never in a million billion years thought I would ever do.
I’ve signed up to be a model for a life drawing class.
Hands up who saw that coming (I didn’t!).
So, I’m sure I’ll blog about the what-the-heck-was-I-thinking meltdown when it comes. But I’ll do the class anyway, because my body is just as worthy as anyone else’s of having art made of it.
Wish me luck!