We do so much fat hating in our culture, don’t we?
Like seeing a fat person at McDonald’s and thinking, “well you wouldn’t choose a salad bar, would you?” or sitting beside a fat person on an airplane when they’re taking up the armrest. I think on a long flight even a Buddhist thinks, “that fat, arm-resting fucker.”
I used to be 40 kilograms heavier. I was Rubenesque.
I was also, at the time, a life model: a job where you take your clothes off for people to paint pictures of you. I decided to give it a try when my skinny life model friend bemoaned their use of her straight-lined body as their ‘masculine’ model. They asked if she knew any curvy women willing to pose. Curves, I thought? I have 47 of those. I think they mean me.
Watch this TEDx talk on what it’s like being a plus-size model. (Post continues after video.)
I preened for my first session, trying to make myself hairless, scar-less, spotless. I arrived expecting that ‘Titanic’ scene. Chaise lounge, heart of the ocean. “Draw me like one of your French girls”. I found myself in a community hall. Summer. No air-con. A few milk crates. One bright spot was the sponge cake and cups laid out for morning tea. The artists watched me impatiently.