“But NORMAL People’s Bodies Didn’t Look Like That!” …right?
Some of you may have seen my post about Baroque artists and their realistic depictions of human bodies as having skin and fat.
I’ve had a lot of negative and frankly fatphobic comments on that post, calling the people in the paintings “fat” and “obese,” mostly along the lines of this:
“It’s because the artists are depicting rich people, who were fat and lazy. Normal people didn’t look like that!”
The idea, of course, is that these artists wouldn’t have ever drawn bodies that looked like those in the Baroque paintings, if they weren’t painting super-rich people that stuffed themselves with food all day.
Supposedly. We’ll see how well that holds up.
Today I was in the library looking at a collection of drawings by Albrecht Dürer, and learned that in the early 1500’s, Dürer tried to put together essentially a “how-to-draw” book, showing how to draw people. His work was controversial, because of his technique of “constructing” figures using rules about proportions. (A quick and easy method of inventing realistically proportioned bodies out of thin air? Cheating!!)
However, in his “constructed” drawings, Dürer had to figure out how to handle the range of variety in bodies, and ended up breaking down how to create a variety of body types in correct proportions.
I’m showing the women, to contrast with the post on Baroque paintings. Here are some of his drawings that I thought y'all should take a look at.
These are a couple of his more “average” women—the one on the left is from his drawing book, and the one on the right is one of his drawings.
Here’s a “strong woman” and “A very strong, stout woman”
This is what he refers to as a “stout woman.”
Here’s where it gets interesting: this is what Albrecht Dürer refers to as a “peasant-type” woman
^That. That’s what a “peasant” body type looks like.
He labeled this one “A peasant woman of 7 head lengths”
in case you missed it: this figure drawing by a guy in the 1500’s is literally labeled as being of a peasant woman! this is what a “peasant woman” body type looks like!
He did draw similar amounts of thinner figures, but they’re not particularly emphasized over the “Strong” and “Stout” figures. Nor is there exactly a “default” figure. He’s just…going over the range of variations that there are?
Here’s another “stout woman,” covered in notes on how to draw the proportions:
now that’s too technical for me to make any sense of but
this was in the 16th century!! This body type was apparently not incredibly rare in the 16th century. This body type was important enough for you to be able to draw, as an artist, in the 16th century to be handled in detail in a 16th century artist’s drawing advice
In conclusion: yes this is just what people look like, yes it’s important to know how to draw fat bodies, even this dude from the early 1500’s is telling you so, Die Mad About It
all of this is from “The complete drawings of Albrecht Dürer” by Walter L. Strauss
I see a lot of talk about “actually check ins can be so hot” or “scene negotiations can be sooo hot” or whatever and sure, they can be, explicit consent can be hot, but also.
It doesn’t have to be.
It’s okay if your negotiations are clumsy and awkward, if you kinda slip out of your roles for check ins during scenes, if the consent discussions aren’t the hot parts for you. They don’t need to be hot. They’re necessary for everyone’s safety, and having a safe and healthy environment for your kink is infinitely more important than avoiding awkwardness at all costs.
You and your partner(s) are worth the possible awkwardness. Consent is mandatory, even when it isn’t sexy.
The amount of soldier boys in the notes getting pissed at this is hilarious, sorry nobody cares about your ‘service’ of blowing up brown kids because the oil baron who owns your squad told you to bozo
Maybe if you don’t wanna get shit on you could get a real job lmfao
perhaps were also pissed that half of the entire federal budget goes to funding the military when a fraction of that money could drastically improve everyones lives
i mean, why have universal healthcare when we can have 2 days of occupying a foreign country for ambiguous reasons
i have a weird appreciation for Baroque artists, in particular Francois Boucher and Peter Paul Rubens, for depicting the human body in lush detail at a time that predates the standards for bodies to be thin and airbrushed with no wrinkles or cellulite
it’s just really interesting to me
so many the things women are taught to hate about their bodies—pudgy bellies, fat rolls, double chins, and cellulite—used to be ideals of beauty shown in depictions of goddesses
Remember in those days being plump meant that you weren’t starving and could afford to eat that much. But there is a difference between being pleasantly plump like the women in these paintings and being morbidly obese.
Didn’t it occur to anyone that those artists had a fat fetish, like so many men do nowadays? Sexual deviance isn’t a modern thing.
I wish I could reach inside the dim neurons of your brain to understand what you think a “woman” is.
Does your understanding of “woman” include skin? Does a “woman” have eyes? Is she a mammal or a limbless invertebrate? Is she even made of cells, or is she merely a smooth piece of poreless plastic?
Women can be older than the age of 30, and women older than 30 even are naked sometimes. How does this statement make you feel? Does it baffle you? Does it open a pit in the bottom of your stomach, filled with a dread you cannot name?
With all due respect, which is none, do you understand that women are living organisms, made of cells, lacking the stiff supporting structures of cell walls, possessing tissues of varying types, one of which is fat? Do you understand that these tissues are pliable substances, soft to the touch, affected by gravity?
Many men have what you would call a “fat fetish,” yes. Very often, these men also have a “skin fetish,” and a “hair fetish,” and a “spinal column fetish,” and a “central nervous system fetish;” in fact, most men have a frightening array of sexual deviances that assemble themselves into what must be to you the most disgusting perversion of all: they are sexually attracted to living things, animals with complex body plans, vertebrates, mammals even!
In fact, an incredibly large proportion of men—you may want to sit down for this one—are sexually aroused by other humans!
It is generally thought that the way Rubens and Boucher drew women was based on their wives.
All three of the women in this painting are thin. Even by the standards of Body Mass Index, they would almost certainly be considered perfectly healthy. What is so repulsive and alien to you is that they are depicted by a man who has seen the real, living body of an adult woman, even touched her sometimes. Peter Paul Rubens did not have to imagine in his head what a woman might look like in real life. He was married to one.
Have you ever seen a woman who has given birth?
How do you imagine that works? Do you imagine that women are made of some smooth, plastic-like substance that can be inflated like a beach ball?
What do you think a “fetish” is? My understanding of the word is that it refers to something that deviates from the norm of human sexuality, sexuality here understood to relate to human reproduction, which involves other, fertile humans.
This is not a “fetish.” This is the prototype, the OG, the Ur-Fetish from which all else derives. If fetishes are considered sexual “deviance,” this is what they are “deviating” from. Being attracted to this is, in other words, straight-laced sexual orthodoxy.
Approximately half of the people in the world are women. You have no excuse not to understand that they’re humans.
Adding my tags here because I know people are going to want to “clap back” by pointing out Rubens’s issues
these men didn’t paint this way because they were like, Super Feminist or whatever. that’s kind of the point? It wasn’t a statement at all it was just a super detailed rendering of the body.