Monday, August 03, 2009
I was suddenly reminded of something this weekend, and I thought I'd share.
I did some nude modeling at a local university for an art class once.
I was 6 months pregnant, and this was before my breast reduction, so I was hardly the American ideal of beauty.
The teachers were so excited to get a model that wasn't a size 2, because normally the only people comfortable enough with their bodies to model for art classes are very thin, and change is good.
So, I sat there, naked, and got paid $35 to let people draw me.
At the end of the class, I covered up and I went around and looked at the drawings.
As I looked at the students' drawings, I saw that none of them looked anything like me. They had changed my proportions drastically to make me look more like America's socially acceptable ideal of beauty.
I wondered why they made me look so different.
Did they actually see me that way?
Did they only see the figure they expected to see, instead of what was actually in front of them?
Or did they consciously change their drawings of me to make me look "prettier"?
You'd think I'd have been flattered, but I wanted to cry.
I was ashamed that they felt the need to "hide" the body I had, and replace it with a body that had no bulges, bumps, or sags.
..then I came upon the last student's drawing.
He drew me accurately.
He drew every part of me that I hated, and captured it all so perfectly.
This one stranger saw me exactly as I was.
This one stranger saw artistic value in my every imperfection.
This one stranger took the time and effort to preserve every one of them on paper.
I stood there staring at his drawing, and I never felt more beautiful than I did right then, in a roomful of 20 strangers, wearing nothing but a bathrobe.
I wish I could have kept his drawing.
So if you look in a mirror and only see your flaws, and you wonder how anyone can see past your flaws, know this:
No one has to "see past" your flaws.
Your "flaws" don't have to be hidden or ignored for people to find you beautiful.
Your "flaws" are beautiful and amazing because they're part of YOU.
..and if you have a hard time remembering that your imperfections are a cherished part of you, don't feel bad.
I forget sometimes, too.