That’s not about fashion! The art of Lady At Large

TRIGGER WARNING: I talk quite frankly about my body image and some of it is less than positive, which may be triggering. Reading back it’s also very heteronormative and written from a cis-gendered standpoint.

I was recently alerted to this fantastic artist through the Manolo for the Big Girl post about her etsy series, Lady At Large:

Unlike when I see a lot of plus models in fashion and art, I find these fat positive artworks very inspiring. For all my FA reading and acceptance, I still have this sort of cognitive dissonance about my own body. Especially where men are concerned. I can’t seem to reconcile the idea of my naked body with something straight men (especially straight men I find attractive) finds desirable. I just don’t believe it’s possible somehow, even though there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

For example: I’m big, I’m fat (using the word as a descriptor, not an insult), but I would never call myself curvy, or use words like voloptuous or buxom to describe my body. These words imply extra flesh but in two places only: tits and ass. Anywhere else is unacceptable according to conventional wisdom. And while I have a whole lot of ass, my breasts are almost non existent which is really hard when the last resort of sexual appeal for insecure fat women is, according to public discourse, their larger than average breasts. It’s like a case of constantly being told by the media and friends “well the rest of your body might fail society’s standards, but you can whack up that rack instead!” which is bad enough in itself. But I don’t even have that luxury, and sometimes if I’m really honest I feel, as someone cis-gendered, incomplete and less of a woman because of my (lacking) boobs. Mad, right? But sadly true. I certainly never manage to feel ‘sexy’ in any way.

So seeing my form like this, in a way that is celebrated, portrayed as desirable and womanly, is really quite empowering for me. In my head I like to believe I’m a combination of those two paintings above, haha. The first one is definitely my body twin, and that her body isn’t detrimental to her gorgeousness definitely offers me some hope.

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18 Responses to “That’s not about fashion! The art of Lady At Large”

  1. Bethamint Says:

    I just want to give you the biggest hug ever right now.
    I still struggle with my body image, and it’s hard to talk about, I don’t really manage to get into this kind of stuff in my own blog. Thanks for posting these pictures, they’re amazing!

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      They’re fantastic aren’t they? There’s about 50 of them and they’re all gorgeous.

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure whether to post this, but I thought I might as well as it does end on a positive note, you know?

  2. Katrin Says:

    I just now excactly what you me, the only thing is that I have enormouuuuse boobs! And they kind of annoy me sometimes, too. Difficult to get nice bras and never able to wear a deep neckline cause I always feel like I would only be made up of boobs.
    And yes, I have this feeling of not beeing sexy,especially when it comes to men, just the same as you described it. And even if I leanred alot about me and my body within the last year, I still have this bad days sometimes, and bad moment everytime when it is about men…
    So what I wanted to tell you is, that mostly every girl is going through this, even my near to underweight friend, and me with my huuuuge booobs, which dont really help me getting to know guys I might be intressted in.
    I think be better we feel the more attractive we are to someone else…i know its easier to say then to live like it.

    I really like the two pictures both are adorable women who look pretty and …sexy…arg actually I dont even like the word xD

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      Oh I can imagine – I wasn’t saying girls with big boobs have it easy! It was more that all bodies are beautiful, and while I know that, sometimes I forget that it includes my body too. Seeing these paintings reminded me :)

      You’re so right about the confidence as well – there’s nothing less attractive than hating yourself, no matter what you look like on the outside.

      And yeah, sexy is silly! I feel wrong writing it as well!

  3. corazonesrojos Says:

    I get ya, girl.

    You’ve really got me thinking about some things now. Hmm.

  4. Importance Modeling Poses for Fashion Models | Fashion Style Advice Says:

    […] That's not about fashion! The art of Lady At Large « Pocket Rocket […]

  5. Eline Says:

    I draw myself and though the majority of the girls my age tend to draw forlorn skinny girls I get dead bored by them and draw so much more inspiration from all women and men that don’t fulfil the current conventional beauty type. I don’t know what I’m saying with this exactly but I think you’re gorgeous in your own way and most definitely inspiring, especially since you have the guts to write these thoughts down in a public blog.

  6. Mars Says:

    Wow, these are awesome! And don’t worry, I feel the same way sometimes too :3! Most girls are self-conscious about one thing or another, have good days and bad…thanks for sharing though, it’s nice not to feel alone :)!

  7. Emily Says:

    I love the pictures you posted! They’re gorgeous and are giving me all kinds of ideas about decorating with some fat girl art.

    And I hear you on not always feeling positive about your body. For all the self acceptance I’ve done, it’s when you add someone else into the equation that things become iffy. I don’t feel sexy with my boyfriend… I don’t understand how anyone would find me sexy, even though I see girls of my size pretty often around the fatosphere that are GORGEOUS! (You’re a bit smaller than me, but you definitely qualify in the gorgeous category. :D) I think maybe it’s just hard for anyone to see themselves that way?

    I hope some day we can both get to the point of recognizing our bodies as the beautiful, sexy things they are.

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      They’re beautiful aren’t they? I’d absolutely buy a print of the first if the colours didn’t clash with my room!

      A friend of mine said on reading this that I was talking about the gulf between an accepting a given body image and that of your own. Which is true, I think larger bodies are gorgeous and totally sexy, but mine’s exempt. I suppose even thinner people have the same issue, although their insecurities aren’t confirmed by society every day the way ours are!

      But you know, we can do it. I’m sure your boyfriend thinks you’re gorgeous too :)

  8. alegra Says:

    may i just say: most men are pigs. mainly because they have structures in their head and a taste for women that don’t change (if at all) until they’re in their 40s. and im not just talking about girls being labelled as fat quite quickly, no you are also classed as unattractive if you’re not blonde, if you have short hair, if you are skinny but have a huge bum (cos that makes you fat, obvvviously), a spotty face, and what not. i find it all wrong and i hate being treated the way i am most of the times.
    BUT there is hope because rules include exceptions (a little german wisdom) and so there are people like my boyfriend. exceptions!
    don’t let it get you down, you know you’re as gorgeous as cheryl cole, in your own special way.
    btw my mum thinks i look like you! :)

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      Aww. Well I hate to judge all men, but I have to say I’ve dealt with my fair share of arseholes, which I guess hasn’t helped my self-esteem. To be honest, the industry that I’ve worked in for the past few years attracts a certain breed of them, and they’re lucky enough to impose their dickish ideas about women on the general population :( it sucks!

      I ended up showing my mum pictures of you – she says you look a bit like me, too! :D x

  9. alegra Says:

    i know sweeping statements are no good, but so many guys prove me right everyday, anywhere. i hate when people don’t have the decency to be nice to you. aaarghh!
    and we are long lost twins or so!

  10. Tracey Says:

    I completely understand what you mean. I look at the big models doing fashion shoots and I think she looks pretty good at a 14, 16, 18 or above but then I look in the mirror and go blech even though give or take a few centimeters here or there we’re damn near identical.

  11. Aurè Says:

    Viva l’Arte …I’m for Art!
    In my opinion, All type of Art is beautiful and breathtaking…and all Big Women are so Beautiful.
    So fat or curvy Woman, busty or flat, tall or short…Big Women be Happy, be Bold , be Sexy & Naive and enjoy the Life !
    Life is so Wonderful !
    Greetings from Italy/Sicily by a fellow naive Artist who love painting only Plus-sized Women and to celebrate their sparkling Beauty.
    Happy day & Best Wishes to all Plus sized women that read this message, ciao a Tutte Voi !
    Viva la Vita ! W les Rondes ! W the Plus-size Beauty ! W the the joy of curves!

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