I have been meaning to write this post for several months. I haven't becasue there have been so many things I have wanted to say and I was having trouble organizing the thoughts. This is my attempt. Forgive me if it is not perfectly worded.
We all like to see people like ourselves reflected in art. How many times have you purchased an art print or a vintage image for you or a friend not just because you liked it, but because the person in the image looks a bit like the recipient?
Sometimes, I think people collect images of what they wish to look like. But, if your room walls are covered with images of women or girls who are what you want to look like, but do not, how would that effect your self esteem in the long run?
I think about these things often when I am looking at some of the beautiful art on Etsy. I think about it because as much as I love some of the pieces I find, I do not want to surround myself with images of thin women and girls. And on top of that, a lot of the art you see of females is extreme in the proportions, with large heads and eyes and skinny bodies.
I am not thin. I am a fat woman. When I find an artist I like and I look at their work, there are images of women or girls with all different colors of hair and skin - and yet none of them are fat or even chunky. All of them have the same body, maybe some are shorter and some are taller, but all are thin.
Why would I want to invest in this? I know this may seem extreme, because people have seldom questioned it, but stay with me here. How is it going to effect me as a fat woman who is already being told everyday in many ways that I am not okay, that I am not normal and that I need to change in order to be loved and valued?
How empowering would it be to be able to have images by artists you love of beautiful and lovely women and girls who are also fat? I think it would be revolutionary. Imagine if there were so many to choose from that a young girl or an older woman could have many choices of images of fat beauty available to her.
There are some fat girl art pieces out there, but it is often new age in style and usually the artist only does fat people. I really appreciate them doing what they do, but why the divide? Why can't people include chubby bodies like they include redheads?
I encourage artists out there to seriously consider this. I am tempted to link here to the artists that I most want to see this message, but I think I will not. But, I do think I will send this link to some of them and I hope that you will consider encouraging your favorite artist to include diversity in body size.
Here is an image of one of the fat positive artists on Etsy, ladyatlarge. This is one of the best I have found on there. Here is hoping there will be more featured in the future.