11”x14” coloured pencil, figure drawing from life drawing session,
Graphite drawings on A4 paper (my favourite for quickies). These are all one and two minute poses
Last nights model was heavy, possibly in the obese category, which was interesting, because lately obesity has been raised to the level of vice, and the latest target is ‘junk food’. On the news, there was serious discussion of putting warning labels on ring-o-lo’s or whatever, to combat the growing girth of children. Most of the brands and items shown as examples of this rising evil where recognizable from my own childhood, a time when fat children were a rare thing (I was so skinny my little tummy stuck out from my ribs). Obviously there is something more going on than junk food for sale (I LOVED (and LOVE) Fudgee-o cookies). Or maybe not so obvious, as while sugar is villainized these days, nothing is said about the tethering of children (literal and figuratively) to a hovering parent. I spent my childhood playing OUTDOORS and OUT OF SIGHT of my parents, in the woods, up cliffs, by the water, on the water, in the water, down the street, up the creek, through a hole in the fence, behind the factories, down the road, on the road, at the park, on the swings, through the woods, on the ice, etc… Exercise was not a concept, or thought, and I was not involved in anything I called sports, but there I was, running, walking, swimming, biking and no one around to stop me. In this century, it would be considered criminal neglect, and yet, without trying, I was healthy and fit. Many others from my generation can say the same thing. Risk was involved (did I mention cliffs? ice?) but not much is ever accomplished without risk.
And then there is obsession with weight that we have, whether too much or too little, it gets measured in increments, graphed and documented. We have fashion models built like sticks, an impossible ideal and folk so fat they can only waddle splay footed down the street as they guzzle the big gulp. But somewhere in the middle (and it’s a very large middle from fairly skinny to pretty darn fat) is the truth, where one is fit and healthy, something that no scale or measurement will tell. Which brings me around our model, who walked, talked, and carried herself as someone who is supremely fit, and by her dynamic poses, I’m pretty sure she is, and if she is comfortable in her own skin (I should hope so) she has every right be as she is so obviously strong and muscular and healthy. She was a great model, and her weight, and the way she carried it (looked wonderful) made me think that the media have it all wrong, forget the junk food, the calorie counts, the weigh scales and callipers and fitness clubs and just get people out and about moving and playing and exploring and having fun.
Maybe the primary menace in our lives is the chair, whether it be at our desk, in our living room, or the comfy upholstery in our gasoline powered cars. So if you can, get out and walk (or run, or bike, or ski, or swim, or dance).