This was posted on my Instagram @klowlisa
Last Fall I did some posting about my Grad School Figures. And I realized the reason I like to work big is to be seen (when I wrote about the Figure in my profile pic – see this blog post here). But I have still been thinking about why I wanted to portray my body back in Grad School, and what I was trying to say.
Body Image for me has always been a complicated issue. Recently I have been wondering how it is that we learn to hate ourselves? Because this is learned behavior.
I wrote a paper in Grad School about Women and Consumerism, how marketers try to make us feel bad about ourselves or believe we need fixing so we will buy more stuff.
This past Valentine's Day there was a hashtag on Twitter #revolutionarylove . A young woman in Canada summed up my entire long paper with a Tweet: "#revolutionarylove is loving yourself in a society that profits from telling you not to."
In January I began this figure. I was also working on other art projects, but she stayed up on the wall and I considered her for awhile. I wasn't sure what I wanted to say.
I started calling her January Figure.
I finally took her down and scribbled a bunch of stuff that always seems to be rattling around in my head.
The Negative Self-Talk that has been playing in my head for so long it doesn't even faze me anymore.
It's like I left a radio on, tuned to a station I don't even like, and I don't have Pandora Radio to ask me: "Are you still listening?"
What I usually do - and often don't even realize that I'm doing it - is fill my head with distractions. Busywork. Trying to drown out the noise.
But often trying to drown out the noise in my head just makes it worse. I know it's still there, the radio station still playing. Turning up different noise just turns into Stereo Wars, inside my head.
What has helped quiet the noise in my head is questioning. Like Pandora:
"Are you still listening to this nonsense? Why?!"
And going quiet.
Wordless, as Martha Beck calls it.
This is a very hard thing to learn. Quieting my mind is still a work in progress. But the calmer my mind, the easier it is to spot this bullshit and recognize it.
So these are some of the thoughts that were rattling around in my head back in Grad School, and before, in my Undergrad program.
How I felt about myself, in particular my body. Body shame. Weight issues. Self Image. Self Esteem. Self Hatred. Where did my ideas about myself come from. Where does Self Worth come from. Where do my own drawn or painted Figures fit into my art, my stories, my life. Where do they fit into the World of Art and why was everyone trying to discourage me from pursuing the Female Figure?
I don't have any answers, just questions.
Paths to pursue.
The Female Figure to draw.
Societal pressure to fight.
Stress to quiet.
And a body I am continually learning to love.
My Instagram Profile Pic - me with my Big Figure, but filtered so the colors really stand out: