Life Affirming Beauty

My dearest friend invited me to a gathering at her house whereby her women friends may meet for the first time, and transform energy in her house which had had too many experiences with men in it which she wished to put behind her. It did exceed all her expectations and I met the loveliest of ladies there who with open hearts did connect easily sharing food and stories, advice and laughs. It was a breakthrough and my friend cried with joy to bring her life to this place of amazing uplift. I felt honoured to share in her experience and to have been with her the longest time on her life journey. We have been through shit together and seen each other in decidedly unfavourable circumstances. We fell out too at least once when working on a performance project together brought us to breaking point. A few months later after not talking, we realised we had overcome some block and were closer than ever. We reached a new level of being able to be with each other and it was a relief. Having said our worst to each other, we’d had it out, and there was no need for more upset, just gratitude for each other’s friendship. I am so proud of her now.

When are unkind words necessary?

When you run out of options, patience is exceeded. If they are not nasty for the sake of it, then some difficult but honest words may bridge a gap in time. Some things are hard to say and may only emerge in a conflict, but from there growth is possible, and if embraced can lead to greater clarity.

Re-Modelling the Past

Getting my kit off for the first time to model, was not actually the first time for me. As a teenager I worked as a stripper amongst other more dubious professions in the sex industry. It’s hard for me to relate to many women’s anxieties of weight or other physical issues; due to my background however, I’ve certainly had self esteem problems connected with my actions and society’s judgement. Loads of women dip into the sex industry to support themselves so it ought to be less taboo.

 

Trying life modelling was a revelation as it was like reclaiming my nudity in a more positive, less pressurized setting. Staying still is a challenge, but being left to your own thoughts is a far cry from performing sex acts in a dingy Soho backroom.

I came to relish the basically innocent and positive appreciation one gets from being a life model. It is not devoid of sexual undertones but these are muted and quite under control.

 

I was just in my 30s when I started life modelling so there had been a good decade since my earlier escapades. I hadn’t realised how I had become inhibited about my body, but after modelling a while I did feel more vibrant and attractive. When you are in long-term relationships or not in any at all, you can forget the thrill of being found exciting and gorgeous; so being admired in some sense by artists may restore that.

 

On a fundamental energetic level, simply having all those artists’ attention on you for several hours can give you a boost, like they are filling you with energy. As they get immersed in their painting it’s like they fall in love with natural beauty of the body and at this point it doesn’t matter what you look like. I know this apart from what they say, from having tried life drawing myself. When you see the model in a pose in which you discover beauty, the pleasure you elicit from finding a way to capture that on paper is enormous, and you feel such gratitude towards the model. Further, without knowing the model or anything about them, you can share quite an intimate moment.

The beauty of a pose may be derived from nothing conventional, but simply consist of body shapes and the way light falls and illuminates.