Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Body Positivity: Figure Drawing

My cousin-in-law is an artist and, when I was 11, she began taking me to a figure drawing studio every other Sunday.  This continued until the studio closed six years later, but then I took honors art classes in high school and those involved figure drawing.  And then I kept doing figure drawing throughout college.

It took a few years, especially since my mother poked my belly and called me fat when I was in middle school, but this exposure to naked bodies dramatically changed my beauty standards.  In figure drawing, the most interesting bodies are "flawed" - fat, saggy, scarred, and marked.  Drawing different bodies so frequently shifted my understanding of the "ideal" body, so I rejected the mainstream standards in favor of every body.

The best way to develop body positivity, especially in children, is to see every kind of body in a welcoming setting over a long period of time.

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