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.
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11 thoughts on “Beauty, Art and Post-pregnancy (Gil)”
I think we need to change our own definition of what “perfect” is. What is perfect? And who is to say you are imperfect? Maybe the size 2, overprocessed magazine model is imperfect.
Hidden in our proud sentences of body reclamation & warrior screams are still words of hurt, shame & judgement: battle scars, saggy, flabby, misshapen, imperfect, etc. While we may try to use them in a context of pride, our inner judgements shine thru & our true feelings taint our positive intentions.
See yourself as the shining, perfect example of womanhood that you are, at any size.
I agree with you, I am sick of seeing the media’s take on perfection, I have stopped buying cosmo, glamour etc…you cant escape it, I even cut down on tv time…I feel better.
Fantastic! I love it. True art should be an expression of oneself and carry a statement; at least in my opinion. Art is fluid and will take on whatever the viewer percieves and is true to any perception. To me I percieve inward and outward beauty. The striking black and white images are very strong which I suspect is a quality you possess too.
I love your photos of your body. Beautiful.
These are stunning. †he expression and boldness are amazing. Stretched, bigger, smaller, or whatever bearing children has done to our bodies; they are all beautiful, no matter how they have changed. These photos exemplify that, and prove that no mother should feel that she is not beautiful.
I checked out your art and you are extremely talented. Thanks for your post! You’re beautiful.
These are fantastic and breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.
THESE PICS ARE SOO BEAUTIFUL! YOU ARE A TRUE ARTIST!
your pictures are amazing!!!