Saturday, June 6

Body Confidence at the Museum



I recently wrote an article for Elephant Journal about body confidence and tips to feel better about yourself. While most of that article is about other things,  my personal confidence story is something I revisit whenever I am in a museum.  Here is a my number one tip for feeling better about the skin you are in.

1. Visit a Museum
I will tell you, as an Art Historian, that museums are the best place to see a true evolution of body types throughout visual history. Somewhere in one of those portrait galleries you are sure to find at least one time period or society that praised your unique form as it exists today. Just because you aren’t currently in vogue does not mean that you aren’t timeless.

On a recent trip to the Norton Simon Museum my boyfriend casually pointed to a nude sculpture and said, “Honey! It’s you!” I was momentarily shocked, and then flattered as I saw how he sees me. The figure in front of me really did have my body type cast in marble. I was able to see that most of what I criticize about myself was once so admired that it was cast in stone. Who cares that I don’t have an ample bust? I have strong legs, with thighs that touch, and a rounded perky ass!


There are countless body types depicted in pretty much any museum you choose—at some point in the visual narrative you will recognize your body, honored and painted because someone thought it was worthy.

This is not exclusive to female bodies by the way. If you think that “Dad Bod” is a new movement, I suggest you look at the sculptural work of Andrea Riccio, the paintings of HonorĂ© Daumier or the photographic work of Max Koch and Otto Rieth.

In Art History there is even room for transgendered bodies to be praised—this Roman sculpture appears at first to be a female nude, but when seen from the other side it is apparent that the sleeping figure has male genitalia.


To read the rest of the article visit Elephant Journal here

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