Friday, August 31, 2012

Nude Leonora?

Yes, world, I just posted a photo of myself nekkid, in a tub, taken by my friend for her art class.

But really, you would have no clue I was wearin' my b-day suit unless I told ya.

See, being an artist really changed how I viewed the human body. When I was in my Junior year of college (Probably 19, 20 years old?) I had to take this class called "foundations". No matter what type of art major you were eveeeeeryone had to take foundations or else you didn't graduate.

Basically its art boot camp. You meet up 3 times of week for a total of 13 hours and you only got 5 credits for it. Oh yes, a class that should've been worth at least 9 credits was only 5.

On the first day of drawing class the professor announces that our final assignment for the end of the year would be a life size drawing of ourselves.

Ok, life size drawing? Thats challenging but I can swing that, sure I love myself why not let's go for it.

He then throws in there "oh, and by the way, you're nude".


I'm sorry, you want ME to make a LIFE SIZE NUDE self portrait of myself, hang that sucker up on the wall, sit back, let 30 of my peers stare at it, and CRITIQUE IT?

By this point the entire class was pretty much ready to take the closest paint brush and stab it into their eye ball to see if this was indeed real life right now.

Oh, oh it was real life, and it was happening.

I did what any normal 20 year old does at the time "oh, I'll let future Leonora worry about that, it'll be HER problem, ha sucker"

Well, 9 months later and future Leonora turned into present Leonora who was then wishing she was past Leonora (are you with me? good)

The time come for us to draw ourselves life size and nude.

Don't worry guys, this was HOME WORK, there wasn't a bunch of naked college kids running around an art room staring at ourselves in a mirror.

So, I teetered my camera up on my dresser, hit the self timer button, bee lined over to my bed, sat down and strategically covered my no-no parts by bringing my knees up to my chin.


Now let's upload this bad boy to the family computer so I can print it out.


Cause ya know back in 2004 generally everyone in the house shared a computer. Which is great because the one thing you want your mom finding is naked pictures of her daughter for ART CLASS.

No mom, I know, it looks weird right now but I swear its for school. Right, I know, I don't understand why this will help me be a graphic designer. Yes yes I know you are paying 14,000 a year to have me upload naked pictures of myself on the computer but just trust me mom I know what I am doing.

I didn't know what I was doing. In fact I was pretty much as loss as her, but being 19 years old you can never admit to your parents that you relate to them, ever.

You deny and deny and deny ever being on the same wave length as them. Cause, like, they're old and why would you ever think like an old person.

So, up went my 6 foot roll of kraft paper on the back of my bedroom door and out came the charcoal pencils. It was time to face my fears.

But a strange thing happened as I was drawing myself. I started to like it.

I even included that gnarly roll on the left side of my stomach that showed up when I sat down.

Why? Because it was me.

It took about 5 hours to draw but I was done. And I loved it.

I couldn't leave it up on my door so I of course let it set on my dining room table.

My dad questioned if I HAD to leave it there.

Yes, father, its art can't you appreciate it?

By the way to all my teen readers right now if you want to keep your parents out of your bedroom and never look at you straight in the eye ever again just make a giant life size nude self portrait of yourself and hang it up on your door. It's instant parent repellent. You are welcome in advanced.

My mom tried to be more supportive. She handed me her aqua net so I could set my charcoal drawing.

Maybe she just wanted to finally finish up her bottle of aqua net from the 80s, or maybe she thought to herself if she could prevent this charcoal drawing from smudging then there would just be ONE life size nude of her daughter lurking around the house as opposed to 2 of them.

Either way, thanks Ma.

So, the time came for me to put myself up there and be critiqued. A really strange thing happened though. All those kids who 9 months ago wanted to stab themselves in the eye with the closest paint brush were also all ok with sharing their naked selves to the class.

As you can guess 99% of us were clever with our poses and you couldn't see anything inappropriate at all. But there is always that one girl whose all like "Haaay guys look at my chest!"

Hey, it happens. You know that girl.

For the next couple of years I started to be OK with my body. I learned to love every curve and every imperfection because when you're an artist you see it as art.

But I've been out of school for 1 6 years now, and it pains me to say that I have reverted back to 19 year old me. I am starting to be super insecure again and am starting to hate seeing photos of myself.

What a cruel way to think--that you actually HATE photos of YOU.

I don't like it, and I want to change this ASAP.

Cause I don't want to look back in 20 years and think to myself "wow, I wish I had more photos of myself in my late 20s, what the heck was my problem"

I am challenging myself and anyone else who wants to join me to stop being so negative on themselves.

Each time a negative thought creeps up replace it immediately with something positive.

I am hoping to slowly get back into being ok with myself, cause life is too short to focus on the unimportant things.

Anyone else joining me?


  1. Wow. What a great post and what a beautiful shot. Speechless... ;-)

  2. Great post! I'm trying to make myself take more self-photos, be in photos more, etc. I lived in Europe for two years, traveled to 14 countries, and dodged out of photos at any opportunity because I didn't like photos of myself. You can bet I'm kicking myself for that now.

  3. such a good post, girl!! of course, i laughed a few times (esp you know me - the girl in the never nude club!) but by the end, i wanted to raise my hand and say 'i hear ya.' it's really funny how our own minds and eyes and perceptions of ourselves can trick us, consume us - and before you know it, time goes by, and you're like "really? i was so focused on that?"

    anyways, i think YOU are beautiful! i know sometimes that can be hard to hear when we ourselves can't see it when we look at ourselves in the mirror, but i think that is why we are provided real friends to remind us of that truth. love you!

  4. Great post! I will join you! Confidence is the most attractive quality! Well, within reason of course! :)

  5. Love this post!! I took a similar class in college, but we never had to draw OURSELVES nude! Just other crazy peeps (like fellow peers or really old people) who got paid a little cheddar to sit in our extremely longggg class. Good for you! If only we REALLY knew then what we know now ;)

  6. preach it girl! if i have problems with the ol' body now, what will i be like when i'm 70? i don't want to not appreciate who i am and what my body can do (breathing everyday, pumping blood? pretty sweet job, body.)


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