©2017 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved
Reflecting on aesthetics, I couldn’t get Alessia Cara’s song out of my head. Really, I am still humming it as I write. She sings “Scars to You’re Beautiful”. She tells the tale of a girl, like me, that you don’t see in magazines. A girl craving the adoration reserved only for the beautiful, or so she assumes. Alessia’s observation is that, “She don’t understand she’s worth it.”
I decided to take a look at full figured aesthetics in the arts; and how artists reflect on what is striking, sensual, lovely. Artist Peter Paul Rubens offers vast examples of women considered full figured at the time; but like the plus sized models of today they rarely measure past size 14. Yet, still there is no Twiggy here. Venus at the Mirror (1615) and Ermit and Sleeping Angelica (1628) are two of my favorite paintings. I love the movement, you see the ladies stretched luxuriating, fluid in their stance. Still life paintings that move.
Photographer Leonard Nimoy (Spock on Star Trek) went where few have gone before in real life. Nimoy’s photography celebrates women who Hollywood has passed by. In his book the Full Body Project (2007) he showcases ladies of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Rebecca Ruiz’s article on Mash.com, outlines why our beloved Mr. Spock chose to feature larger women.
Natalie Angier, an author who wrote the introduction to The Full Body Project, told Mashable that Nimoy was deeply troubled upon hearing that most women felt some degree of body shame.
“It really disturbed him that women who considered themselves overweight had this terrible feeling about themselves,” Angier said. “He wanted to show the world that there’s beauty to be found in different body types.”
There’s never been more of need for a Vulcan Mind Meld; then there is when the media world shuns the majority of women.
Choreographers aren’t seen as folks who work with the hefty. Adjectives to describe their clientele would be slender, svelte, willowy. Well, get ready for a Pretty Big Movement created by Akira Armstrong. Armstrong, a dancer/choreographer with a lush, cushy, flourishing frame; outlines her journey in a mini-documentary “The Scene”. She is destroying dance stereotypes by putting her moves on the stage and wowing judgement to silence. Click here to see her testify as to why. There is also 4Thirty-Two, a dance group promoting self acceptance at any size. Their moves are current, young, carefree, and outstanding.
Cara is still crooning in my mind, “She craves attention, she praises an image, she prays to be sculpted by the sculptor” She testifying about how a world’s image can weigh down the spirit of one who can’t conform. Aesthetics view is broadening. The world is changing and selfies that get liked look like most. Yes, media is holding onto a limited standard, with both hands and two feet; but its grip is loosening. I hope, like Cara, that the world will change its heart. Beauty is more than the skin we are in.
Also checkout gorgeous in gray