How to look good naked. Lessons I learned on Creativity by Looking at Classical Art.
This is not a blog for work out advice on how to get your summer bikini body.
I have often encountered the question (as I am a total Art History nerd) from many friends, "What is the deal with nudity in Classical Art?"
As a society we have some interesting thoughts surrounding nudity and I wont delve too deeply into that, but Classical Art has a lot to teach us. Nudity in Classical Art can mean a lot of things. It can be about studying the 'ideal form', painting that which is 'divine', fertility or youth, and so many other meanings dependent on the piece, time frame, artist and place.
I have to say this is one of my favorite pieces, especially when discussing this topic. This painting by Delacroix depicts Liberty or Freedom guiding the people through the French Revolution. It is a powerful image, especially if you love art, history, and Les Miserables.
When studying this piece for Art History class many years ago, a friend of mine asked, 'Geez, she is heading into battle with all these dudes and whoops, her dress comes off?!'
The exposed breast is not a sexual symbol in this piece.
It is a symbol of freedom.
Freedom, strength, beauty. The woman was not actually in battle, but she was an embodiment of the symbol for Liberty. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Lady Liberty was a gift from the French, so we can see that the strong, feminine is used regularly as a symbol of Freedom.
Why do I bring this up, then, about how to look good naked?
When we are sharing our art, our creativity, our selves, we can feel very vulnerable.
Vulnerability is often described as feeling naked. Feeling exposed. Feeling as though the hidden parts of ourselves are being revealed to the world. That fear of vulnerability is often what keeps us quiet. That fear is often what keeps our art from being fully realized in ourselves and shared with others.
We feel naked and vulnerable and we view that as a scary and bad thing.
What if we instead viewed our vulnerability and our sharing of it as FREEDOM?!
What if we viewed that moment of sharing our art and ourselves as STRENGTH?!
What if in our moment of stepping up, flag flying, heart exposed, we saw what we were doing as BEAUTIFUL?!
When we learn a little bit about Art History, suddenly we are not viewing all this nudity in a naughty way.
When we learn about the FREEDOM, STRENGTH, and BEAUTY in our vulnerability, our baring of our true selves through our creativity and our UNIQUE ART in the world, suddenly vulnerability doesn't seem so naked. It doesn't seem so bad.
It becomes a moment of FREEDOM.
This week you will be met with an opportunity to share yourself or your art in some real way. You may feel vulnerable. You may feel scared. You may feel naked and fearful of rejection, as we all do at from time to time.
Instead of fear, try on a new view. Try viewing that moment as an opportunity for FREEDOM.
The more times I do this, it becomes just a tiny bit easier and I build up for myself more of a track record, more of a history, more of a strength in my vulnerability.
You may be surprised at the results.
Let me know what happens for you in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Keep nurturing your Creativity,
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