So I’ve seen a whole bunch of posts about body positivity. And it would be great, but they’re really bad at actually representing different body types; big girls in particular. So I’ve drawn a comparison.
I’m tired of seeing posts that totally miss the point. Those posts are supposed to make you feel good about your body. But it’s hard for bigger girls to feel good about themselves if they’re represented by women that aren’t big. Fat is okay. But here’s some things that people almost always ignore when drawing bigger ladies:
- Stretch marks
And some misconceptions/ common mistakes:
- Larger breasts ( a LOT larger)
- Wider hips
- Same size waist as girls with less body fat
I’m going to put it bluntly: I’m sick of seeing fatter girls be misrepresented. I’m tired of seeing posts getting glory for drawing bigger girls when they don’t. I have yet to see a body positivity post that shows cellulite, stretch marks, folds, and spillage. These things are real, and they’re beautiful.
So try and remember these things next time you try and represent fat girls. Because if you’re not thinking about the “ugly” stuff, you’re doing it wrong.
This is something I think a lot about when I moderate this blog. We get a lot of submissions depicting fat people who aren’t really… well, fat.
Fatter than what we see in a lot of art, sure. And I know for a lot of the artists submitting work, this might be the fattest person they’ve ever drawn, their first dipping of a timid toe into new waters. And I never want to discourage that. And there’s more than one way to be fat.
But we are still often seeing a fairly narrow representation of fat people in the artwork that gets submitted, and it gives me pause to think of this blog being used to reinforce this narrow representation.
I want to encourage artists to stretch themselves in their subject matter. Go further than “slightly rounder.” Find references, do some studying, figure out the way fat really looks.
I find that there are fewer resources for drawing fat people than there are of thin people. Due to societal pressure, many fat people are unwilling to model, many photographers taking reference photos exclude fat people from the artistic conversation, and it can be very rude to approach someone unsolicited and say “Can I study your fat?” It’s part of why I started this blog in the first place. We can learn from each other’s art, techniques that are harder to find in the mainstream art world.
I wonder sometimes if I should start another tumblr looking for artistic resources of fat people. User submitted reference photos of fat people in various poses to be used for artistic study. There are other blogs showcasing wonderful arrays of various body types, but sometimes you need specific poses, closeups of a shoulder blade or an ankle, you know? Perhaps it’s time to make this happen.
It’s really annoying to see larger women always portrayed with still essentially “flat” stomachs, this idea that weight is gained either all over equally, or else in a visually-pleasing hourglass form. I can’t wear dresses because I’d have to go with a shapeless tent—an empire waist just accentuates the part I’d want minimized.
I’d share pictures of my shape if I had a good mirror (and not-disastrously messy room) to do that in. But I whole-heartedly support the idea of actually finding out what real women look like at the heavier side of the weight scale. Because even that drawing, as good as it is, still doesn’t represent me.