We're all human, after all

It's always interesting to see how people view themselves - especially their bodies. We've been raised in a society to almost be ashamed of our appearances. There's always someone better looking - someone in better shape - some 'beautiful' airbrushed stereotypes made to convince us all that we're not good enough. What ever happened to appreciating the person and body we were both with, imperfections and all? To just be proud of who we are and be happy about it. Now, I absolutely think that we should be working to stay healthy and to better ourselves, but that shouldn't prevent you from being happy with who you are along the way.

A lot of this stems from thoughts running through my head while in figure drawing sessions at work last year. I'm lucky enough to work at a place where they let the few programmers that are artistically inclined (not nearly as talented as our artists) as least tag along and practice their skills with the other artists at the studio. We do nude figure drawing of various time lengths and mediums, which has proved to be inspiring in a wide variety of ways each time. For one, it provides an avenue for me to really tap into the artistic side of me that loves to capture inspiration however possible. But one thing that has always stood out to me is the amazing amount of confidence and pride that the models who come in have about themselves. They are of all shapes and sizes, from full figured to average to supermodel thin, but each one has the same level of confidence in what they're doing. I often find myself enthralled by it and downright curious of the person behind the flesh. There have been times where I've finished the pose early and just took the opportunity to look into their eyes during their mannequin-esque stillness and see nothing but a blank stare - so confident that the fact that they are fully nude has no effect on them. I often have bene curious whether I would have the strength and confidence to do that. Truly amazing.

The thought was rekindled after talking to a friend who exudes the same level of confidence, in an alter ego-esque way. She's helping out a friend with his portfolio by doing some non-nude poses, and I was amazed to hear the level of confidence she had in herself, in her body, and who she was. I don't know that I've met many people at all who held the same level of confidence in their physical appearance - especially not women. Needless to say, I was very impressed with her :) It seems like we focus so much on the harsh line between covering ourselves up in a utilitarian line and any form of nudity (even partial) being pornography. Has the concept of the human body as an art form totally escaped us? Is it possible for us as Americans (many other societies are unlike us in this respect) to see our bodies as beautiful, sexual, sensual art forms and be able to celebrate that? To be comfortable with the fact that the human form is inpirational on an emotional as well as a sexual level? To be able to embrace the imperfections we have and be able to wake up each morning, look in the mirror and be inspired by the person and body staring back at you?

Backdated post - completed 12/20/07 02:29:00 AM

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