Humpday: How A Life Drawing Class Gave Me A New Perspective On Nudity
I have always been interested in art and had a creative brain. I feel so free when drawing mindlessly, and hadn’t drawn anything in a long while. When it came to it, I didn’t have the first the idea of what to draw. That’s when someone suggested a Life Drawing class.
Now at this point I'd never attended a Life Drawing class, and the thought of it made me chuckle inside like a small pubescent boy who's only just discovered his boner. Is it weird to be drawing naked people? Will it arouse me? Do they like being looked at by a load of strangers staring intently at their genitals to capture every pubic hair in sketched form? Despite all internal dialogues, I pulled myself together and signed up.
When I arrived there, the models were walking around the room greeting people in their dressing gowns. This isn’t so bad, I thought as I picked a seat and got myself comfortable. But I still didn’t know what to expect when they de-robed.
At this point, I hadn’t seen the naked body of another human — male or female — since my ex. I know that once you’ve seen one flaccid penis you’ve seen them all, but I had only known nakedness as an intimate thing, not something to model for art. Whenever I'd seen a class like this advertised previously, it was always beautiful thin women, aged women or males covered in gladiator-esque muscles. Clearly they didn’t have a problem showing off their body, so really, all things being equal, I shouldn’t be ashamed to look at their bodies either.
Then came the moment. The host kicked off the session with a brief description of the theme of the class, and suddenly the models were in position and ready. And with a nod of the host in their direction, the robes were away...
It was an exhilarating experience. However, not in the sexual way you — or even myself — may have imagined.
It was exhilarating because what was hidden under their robes were beautiful fatness. They were curvy in the way of the Renaissance muses, like how Greek goddesses were depicted with their soft bellies and thick thighs. It was two females and a male model, and each had their own unique shape which made them interesting to draw. They exuded confidence, bearing all to a large room with nothing to hide.
Not only was I immensely enjoying drawing them and getting creative with the art itself, but it took me to a place of comfort and excitement; what if we all approached getting naked in front of others like we were about to be admired and drawn? Like every time you channelled your inner Rose as Jack drew you like one of his French girls (you know the scene).
It’s not that the models were trying to be sexy at all, but I found their attitude and confidence inspiring for my own sex appeal. At that moment I could’ve whipped off all of my clothes and joined them. It's so important to stress that whilst bodies aren't made to be sexualised, we live in a culture where it's hard for them not to be. When you look at bodies exactly as that — as just bodies — the beauty that you discover, as well as the inspiration that you find not just artistically, but personally.And so with that, what started as an impulse to start drawing again grew into something so much more, a lesson in body positivity and learning to be sexy. And it was incredible.
Even if your artistic capabilities extend no further than a stick man, I'd recommend Life Drawing class to anyone. You never know what you'll take away with you in addition to the art.
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