Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, 1995
I love the paintings of Lucian Freud. This one has made the recent news because it is appearing at auction in New York next month and is expected to smash the current world auction record for a work by a living artist, held by Jeff Koons’s Hanging Heart which fetched £11.3m last year. I couldn’t find the dimensions for the actual painting, but the model Sue Tilley is life-size.
Besides appreciating this as a great work of art, this painting makes me think about a lot of things . . . . the value of art, nudity in art, women’s body size & media images of women eg what is “socially acceptable”, the tyranny of slenderness . . . .
I don’t watch TV or take in much mainstream media, but I am very much aware that looksism is alive and well. Not only in terms of ideal body size, but in the promotion of cosmetic surgery and anti-ageing products.
Don’t Buy It has some thought provoking, eye opening posts on body size and the sexualization of women and girls in toys and advertising. It links from Jade Nadezhda’s website about negative messages in advertising, including her book proposal.
Size 0 vs Size 18
Venus of Willendorf, 4 ½”
The Love Your Body campaign is a good starting place for information about the proliferation and negative effects of commercial images of women and some positive things that you can do.