The Skin You’re In

The Skin You’re In
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

As I committed to a summer of creating more art, I attended several figure drawing sessions with live models. I wondered what propels someone to undress in front of a group of artists studying every nuance of his or her body, when many of my clients are uncomfortable with their bodies fully clothed.

Is it a desire to be seen and admired? I don’t know. I suppose it could be money. But I doubt the money is that compelling. What’s your price? What would it take for you to step on that stage?

Before you answer, know that good looks or a perfect body are not required . . . not that you aren’t nice to look at! In fact, generous bellies and bosoms are more likely to get you the job and is what artists appreciate in a subject.

What is required of a model is the ability to quickly and creatively change poses (every 30-60 seconds to start) and then to be able to hold a long pose (15 – 60 minutes) without moving. Most importantly, you need to be very comfortable in your own skin.

Being disgusted with yourself will not inspire great art and does not provide motivation or a healthy environment for change either, if that’s what you’re looking for. It provides negative feelings, which actually get in the way of positive behavior.

Next time you’re judging yourself for how you look, choose to love that body you don’t like instead. Send love to the parts you judge most harshly.

Don’t worry. You won’t become complacent because you love yourself as you are. But you just might feel better. Try to come from a place of self-acceptance and self-love and see what happens – with or without your clothes.