I am furiously determined and full of righteous anger today, so if that doesn't interest you, then sign out!
I want them to confront their own uptight, rigid, fear-ridden judgments about bodies. I want them to look at the bodies I've painted, to really see them. So what if some of the women have tiny breasts? Or huge pendulous ones. Or big hips. Or no waists. Or saggy butts. Or 36-24-36 hourglass figures. Or scars. Or warts. Or whatever the fuck they have. It actually isn't about our bodies, people.
It is about who we are on the inside that counts. And if we as a society or as an individual are spending all our time focused on the outside package - breasts, hips, thighs, faces, clothes, haircut, shoes, lipstick - whatever - then we are missing the most important thing there is in this world - the gorgeousness of our souls. We are each of us spectacularly fabulous human beings. Even the badly damaged ones. Yes, those of us who are damaged are amazing and deserving of love as well.
Lately I have photographed women who are overweight, who have piercings and tattoos, whom I might have walked past with trepidation in the past because their choices were unfamiliar and uncomfortable to me. But let me tell you, those women are enriching my life immensely. I am finding a depth of soul in them that I LOVE. They are deep, rich, soulful women with an enormous capacity for love, self love included. Heavy though they might be, they have come to terms with their bodies. They love them. Yes, they love their breasts and their bellies and their hips and their thighs. All the parts that would make some people walk past them and sneer. What a loss to those frightened people to miss the soulfulness. Do your own work, people. It's your stuff if you can't see their humanity.
A dear friend shared her belief with me that we are all part of God's artwork. The old gnarled tree in the forest doesn't deserve our distain just because it isn't bright and young and perky and flexible and springy. We don't usually detest a tree. We respect its age. We look at the crags and splits and wounds and admire the patterns that have been created by the years of being alive.
Why can't we do that with people? Why do we judge people's appearances? Why do we ignore elderly men and women? Are we really so frightened of our own mortality? Of our own ugliness?
I encourage you to not give in to those fears. I encourage you to sit with them, to become aware of them, to journal about them, to let yourself feel them fully. Only then will you be able to see others with compassion. Only then will you be able to face yourself with compassion.