TRIGGER WARNING: I talk quite frankly about my body image and some of it is less than positive, which may be triggering. Reading back it’s also very heteronormative and written from a cis-gendered standpoint.

I was recently alerted to this fantastic artist through the Manolo for the Big Girl post about her etsy series, Lady At Large:

Unlike when I see a lot of plus models in fashion and art, I find these fat positive artworks very inspiring. For all my FA reading and acceptance, I still have this sort of cognitive dissonance about my own body. Especially where men are concerned. I can’t seem to reconcile the idea of my naked body with something straight men (especially straight men I find attractive) finds desirable. I just don’t believe it’s possible somehow, even though there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

For example: I’m big, I’m fat (using the word as a descriptor, not an insult), but I would never call myself curvy, or use words like voloptuous or buxom to describe my body. These words imply extra flesh but in two places only: tits and ass. Anywhere else is unacceptable according to conventional wisdom. And while I have a whole lot of ass, my breasts are almost non existent which is really hard when the last resort of sexual appeal for insecure fat women is, according to public discourse, their larger than average breasts. It’s like a case of constantly being told by the media and friends “well the rest of your body might fail society’s standards, but you can whack up that rack instead!” which is bad enough in itself. But I don’t even have that luxury, and sometimes if I’m really honest I feel, as someone cis-gendered, incomplete and less of a woman because of my (lacking) boobs. Mad, right? But sadly true. I certainly never manage to feel ‘sexy’ in any way.

So seeing my form like this, in a way that is celebrated, portrayed as desirable and womanly, is really quite empowering for me. In my head I like to believe I’m a combination of those two paintings above, haha. The first one is definitely my body twin, and that her body isn’t detrimental to her gorgeousness definitely offers me some hope.