Loving your body
Last weekend I ran a lovely event up in Egerton near Manchester. It is beginning to sound like a cliché for me to say that they were a lovely bunch of ladies at a rather amazing house, but it’s true – it was, and they were!
Anyway, at the end of the hen party life drawing session, one of the ladies started asking me some interesting questions, which I don’t think that I managed to answer properly.
She asked me how I have become so confident without wearing clothes and about body acceptance. In my line of work, it’s rather crucial to be happy being naked in front of people, but how did I get to this point? I found it quite difficult to answer directly and I had to have a really good think about it.
It’s no coincidence that there are more people with body issues since the advent of this all encompassing infatuation with celebrity culture. It’s been more prevalent with women historically – expectations to have the perfect body as seen by celebrities. In the past few years, the obsession with male perfection has also followed closely.
Photoshopped images of beautiful people have warped the way we look at ourselves and others. Until recently, the curse of photoshop was blamed on the editors of magazines and newspapers, but now even the celebrity models are photoshopping their own photos for Instagram etc. Notable examples being Kim Kardashian and Kelly Brook to name just a couple. (Here’s another interesting angle on this)
There are also mixed messages sent out by the media. As well as the ‘beautiful photos’ in the next week’s edition, you will see photos of the same people in very unflattering situations or those ‘happy to be larger’ features where said celebrities have put on a few pounds are in bikinis.
This way of undermining confidence is both subversive and worrying.
For men, it’s interesting. You see more young men with false tans, huge muscles and plucked eyebrows these days. They’ve become clones of the guys you see in reality shows such as Geordie Shore etc. In contrast, at the other of the scale you also still see as many men who are overly proud of their massive beer bellies!
I don’t want to look like a character from Geordie Shore; I don’t want a big beer belly; and I don’t want to photoshop photos of me either.
A body like Brad Pitt
When I was younger, I wanted Brad Pitt’s body in Fight Club. He probably had the time and money to devote to getting a perfect body. Doing some exercise and eating well is all the effort I’m willing to make. I never did get that perfect body, but I’m fine with that.
I find that mentally, it’s important for me that I look after my body and the modelling helps me to keep tabs on how my body is doing. I’ve seen countless unflattering photos of myself taken by girls at the hen parties. It’s either a matter of persuading myself it was just an awkward angle or accepting that it’s what I’m like, and promise myself I’ll do half an hour more in the gym. I try to do the latter.
Being ‘exposed’ to groups of women, week in week out, has definitely helped with me in accepting my body for what it is – it’s actually alright.
So, stop browsing those celebrity magazines, eat well, exercise a little for mental health – and give life modelling a go. It is very liberating and it does change the way you view yourself.Here’s a really interesting article about a lady who found her self confidence becoming a life model. Learning to Love Your Body
Do you wish to book a life drawing class? Click here at Hen Party Life Drawing and book your class today!