Written and Illustrated by Bethany Reid. You can see more of her work at bethanyreidillustration.tumblr.com
I came across this fascinating picture last week. It’s a photo of Rihanna, with three striking illustrations next to it. And it got me thinking:
I don’t know about you but I’ve spent LOTS of minutes of my life analyzing my body, comparing my body, sizing up other people’s bodies… in general just thinking a lot about the size of my body in comparison to whomever else is around.
I think most of us do this.
Strangely enough, the deeper into the fashion industry I get, the more free and confident I become. How so? Whether I’m working with models backstage at a fashion show or teaching fashion students principles of fashion illustration… I still spend the majority of my time looking at and analyzing the body… and it’s so beautiful. In every size, height and color, the female body is just lovely! I quickly learned that fashion is full of many shapes and sizes. The petite women maybe sew the clothes, the strong women direct the shows, the tall-lean women model. Stepping backstage for my first time 7 years ago I was surprised to feel no pressure to be as tall or lean as the models… I respected and loved how they were built and somehow loved my short and strong build even more!
As a Fashion Illustrator, I daily draw the body in a variety of positions and whether it is fat or thin, it’s ART all around!
I’ve heard (even said) negative things about the thin-ness of models. Did you know some women are just BUILT that way?! (I’m aware there are many dark spots in the modeling world…) I just want to say it… lets not overlook the beauty of the 6ft model. She’s lovely and clothes look great on her. Around 1910 American fashion designers began using taller models on which to show their work because there was more height of body to put clothing on. Their clothing looked more dramatic when worn by someone of that height and the trend caught on. And the ‘tall- lean’ body ideal was born.
Also, you all know I love a STRONG body. I love muscles on women and found tremendous freedom when I embraced DEVELOPING mine and let them pop. A strong booty is a big booty and that’s just fine with me. I love this video,’ Letting Beauty Speak‘ you should definitely take a look!
The curvy, round body… oh my! It’s extravagant and sensual! I love to draw that one too!
The body is a beautiful thing, purposely built in a wide variety of shapes and sizes! We often perceive ourselves as fat, others as ‘perfect’ and even speak ill of the ‘model-type’ body. But we just need to work for the best we are made to be and celebrate who we are and who those around us are.
Vive la différence!