Naked

Ha! That got your attention ūüôā But it’s not what you think.

I was watching a BBC documentary tonight about body image. The show featured men and women of all ages who worry about how they look. Some diet excessively. Some spend hours in the gym. Some distort their faces with botox. Some (men and women) spend hundreds of pounds a week on clothes, make-up and hair and skin products.

Three things struck me about that:

  1. everyone looked better before they applied the make-up and product
  2. I always thought it was evil that women were persuaded they needed to spend money on covering themselves up before going out in public. I hoped feminism would change that. It hasn’t. All that has changed is that young men now feel they have to do the same.
  3. What a hideous waste of time and energy it is, and how joyless their lives are.

But the show also featured a few people who don’t care how they look. An elderly obese¬†actress who loves her food and a middle-aged, very¬†overweight couple who live as naturists and very rarely wear clothes.¬†They might not have looked buff (FAR from it!) but all three of them oozed happiness

“Who would you rather spend time with?” asked the show’s host. And of course the answer was obvious. We would all choose the people who simply accepted themselves as they were and¬†asked us all to do the same.

I think that’s why I like my blind drawings much better than the ones I spend ages on. In drawing quickly and without looking, I create art that is emotional, revealing, and that has a chance – just the smallest chance – of touching others. No, the drawings are not photo-realistic. No, they are not even anatomically accurate. But they are honest and heartfelt and without pretence.

In these blind drawings, I am naked.

IMG_3750.jpg

This is #293 in a year-long series of self-portraits. The others are here.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Naked

  1. Keren Duchan

    I love this.
    I have quite a bit of grey hair (I’m 38) and about a year or two ago I stopped coloring it. The lady I went to for waxing and such told me I need to color my hair ASAP and I decided I’d stop going to her also. As much as I feel this is just how it goes, this is me accepting aging, and there’s only going to be more to accept as the years go by, almost every day I worry – what do people think about how I look? And maybe I should go back to coloring it black?
    It’s not just the white hair, it’s the weight I’ve put on (about 12 Kgs in the past two years) and lack of physical exercise and I don’t buy clothes hardly at all and I don’t put on makeup. I feel like there’s a part of society that’s ingrained inside of me telling me I am worth less because I’m not as pretty or attractive as I used to be, and that I don’t make an effort to be. I would like to exercise for my health, but you bet I want to fit back into my older clothes and one of the reasons I don’t buy new clothes is because I want to fit into the old ones and not get bigger ones. So even though I’m actively going against “fashion” and “beauty standards”, and even though my boyfriend supports me 100%, I still feel that I am less.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      I so feel you! I gained a lot of weight in years past and lost some of it a few years ago. I have resigned myself to the fact that I likely won’t lose the rest, but I work to maintain the weight I am now with a semi-sensible diet and quite a bit of exercise. Still, I am not happy with how I look. I am much older than you (53) and part of me wishes I could just let it go and enjoy my life, but I hated how I felt when I was two stones heavier. Could I be happy if I went back there? My mum is 73 and she STILL wants to lose 2 stones. Makes you wonder, at what point does it stop?

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s