I LOVE art. I enjoy looking at sculpture, abstract oils, photography, so on and so on. But, after a while, I began to be board with the way artists and even the media displayed the female form. The over exuberant breast augmentations and air-brushed porcelain skin – even Dove’s attempts of showing women in various forms – began to both me. ALL of these women – at a spectrum of ages and weights – were still PERFECT. Yet, THESE were the images of women that I am surrounded by. Is THIS what we all strive to achieve? An over-processed figure? A carbon-copy size 2, cup size DD, and hair flowing to our waits… I guess I don’t fit the mold.
Under these layers of skin, I could still see that former version of myself. The shimmer of that woman I used to be still existed. And, with my two children screaming in the background, I was determined to find her again and merge her with the woman who I now could see in the mirror. So, I began to eat better, became more active, and lost weight. I did feel better about myself and happier with that figure that stared back at me in the mirror. I FELT beautiful even if I didn’t fit the art world’s and media’s definition.
So, I turned the camera on myself and posted some of the pictures. I wanted to show my imperfections in an artistic light. My skin looks like it hangs on a woman well over twice my age, my breasts no longer retain their youthful bounce, and I have two scars to proudly show that both of my children did emerge from me. The reactions were mixed from viewers, family, and friends. Most couldn’t believe that I posted the pictures. But, I still FEEL beautiful and am not ashamed of my current form.
Have I merged my former self with my current person? I think that I have been her all along. I am so much more comfortable with my figure than I was ten years ago – although, I will probably NEVER wear a two-piece swimming suit again. It was just a matter of seeing through the shell …
Some artists HAVE shown women’s imperfections. In Leda Atomica, Salvador Dali painted his wife in all her imPERFECTions later in her life. Other artists have and still do explore the idea of how women’s bodies had changed during childbirth. Granted, I do realize that these will be the exceptions versus the norms, but the fact that these areas of our beings are explored brings some hope.