How do we feel about the body of a naked woman?

How do you feel about your own body?

I hope you are not cringing.

If you are a brainwashed American, immediately your mind creates a visual image of either a thin body or a not as thin body. Did you notice my choice of words?

The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs an average of 145 pounds. In contrast, the average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 111 pounds.

Therefore, most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women. I would say that is a HUGE difference and obviously an unrealistic goal for over seven million American women who struggle with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, etc. This belief of only “thin is beautiful” also adds to their low self-esteem.

Dove, the soap company, reported that only 2% of women in the world think that they are beautiful.

We need to love ourselves and our bodies! Woman should concentrate on eating healthy, consistent exercise, and having a positive body image. We should ignore the media which is forever present with negative messages.

Obviously, deep down we must all believe that the woman’s body is beautiful. I believe this is why we celebrate the paintings hanging in our museums which we visit and admire.

Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917) a French artist is famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. Degas is now considered “one of the founders of Impressionism”. His portraits are considered to be among the finest in the history of art.

The Tub 1885-1886

Woman Bathing In A Shallow Tub

The Tub 1885

Nude In A Tub

Woman Drying Her Neck 1898

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640) was a prolific seventeenth-century Flemish Baroque painter, and a proponent of an exuberant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. Rubens was born in Siegen, Westphalia.

The Three Graces 1639

Jupiter and Callisto 1613

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912) was one of the most renowned classical-subject painters of late nineteenth-century Britain. He was born in the Netherlands, and trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium.

The Tepidarium

Dana 1554

A Favorite Custom 1909

Are those women “stick” figures? Did you find them beautiful?

I hope that you will take the time to appreciate your individual worth and beauty. Appreciate your body and stop comparing yourself to an unrealistic image that bombards you daily.

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good,
but that which is good is always beautiful.

~Ninon de L’Enclos~

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 CoffeewithZooly July 16, 2009 at 8:14 am

Hi Redhead Riter.
Just saw your blog and thought to stop & visit. You make a very good point and notice there's no modern painting of nude ladies – Are they too thin to be artist muses ?


2 Tammy Howard July 16, 2009 at 9:52 am

This message cannot be repeated enough. I have a teen and a tween daughter. They need to know this – to be assured of this – in a way that I never was. Dove's campaign is a good one, but it's not enough.

I adore the quote you closed with.

I wrote 'You Are Beautiful' on our bathroom mirror. 🙂


3 Ginger July 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm

GORGEOUS!- the art and the sentiment. Thank you for the reminder, SITSta. This made my day!


4 Lee July 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm

As usual, you have inspired! Love the pics…was art history major…love the quote and love the message.


5 withoutadornment July 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm

This is such an important message! The sad thing is that media/our society wants us to feel badly about ourselves so that they can keep on making money.

I admit that I don't have the most positive body image but it's something that I'm working on. Besides, real beauty comes from within!


6 mommaof4wife2r July 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm

i lead a high school girls bible study every wednesday and last week was focused on our body image. shocking, every single time to see that beautiful girls who are perfect in god's eyes totally struggle more and more with this every year. i'm 40, and still do…good post. good reminder. you know, i AM fearfully and wonderfully made…and i know that full well.


7 shortmama July 16, 2009 at 10:17 pm

I so needed to see this today!


8 Clare July 16, 2009 at 11:38 pm

What a great post. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed yours and will most def. follow you if you follow me.


9 Kimberly July 17, 2009 at 1:44 am

Fabulous, if only we could put it on billboards!!


10 {Kiki} July 17, 2009 at 2:54 am

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for sharing such beautiful artwork. My favs are Monet, Manet, and Degas. Have a wonderful weekend and take care.


11 Dee July 17, 2009 at 3:23 am

Girl I am so hot.


12 timethief July 17, 2009 at 5:04 am

I have never been on a diet. I've always been physically active as opposed to being sedentary. I am not self conscious and I modeled my fellow artists and photographer friends from the time I was in college until I was 50.

I'm naturally slender and no amount of eating has changed that. I have a high metabolic rate and not even menopause changed that.

Without doubt, I'm comfortable in my own skin, and I think it's sad that other women aren't comfortable in theirs.


13 Leslie July 17, 2009 at 11:45 am

The way I see it…I'm not fat; I was just born in the wrong century!!


14 Leslie July 17, 2009 at 11:46 am

They way I see it…I'm not fat; I was just born in the wrong century!


15 Aleta July 17, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I like this post. There's a lot of truth (and beauty) in it. I'm very far from a stick figure, and yes…. I did cringe some at the start of reading your blog. I like how you picked the classics to share.


16 Morgan July 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Beautiful post! I love the new Dove commercials and ad campaign of showing beautiful women as REAL women. Women with lumps and bumps and gray and short and tall and REAL! Thanks for stopping by my digs, sending you some luv too my fellow redhead! 🙂


17 Suecae Sounds July 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Thank you for this post. I have not seen some of these displays of classic art, but it sure is special. As a guy I totally agree that it seems that the media feeds women a very negative image of what it means to be healthy and beautiful. I think most men would agree.


18 cgw @ accidentally, kle July 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm

what wonderful images. I love 'Nude in a Tub'

Superb post! thank you! x


19 Debbie in Nashville July 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm

This is such a great post. It is so sad that so many women are not happy with their bodies. We are all beautiful!


20 Rbarakat July 18, 2009 at 4:58 am

I just did a post similar to this – of course not as eloquently as you 😉 but same principles.


21 MommyAmy July 18, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Love this post! And I totally agree. As a mom of girls I especially want to teach them by example that they should have confidence in their appearance. It's SO HARD to do, especially after giving birth to twins to love my post-baby body. I just have to look at it with admiration for what this body of mine is capable of rather than focus on the way it looks.


22 mira is triplet crown July 18, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Notice how all of them had pot bellies and large thighs? I know most men like a little to hold on to anyway, but it doesnt really help when I look in the mirror post babies. So hard to accept the changes.


23 It's All Good July 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I love naked womans bodies (im straight I swear!) but I think there is nothing more beautiful than our curves and breasts! Im not perfect, I know my flaws, but there is never a day where I dont feel any thing less than beautiful!


24 Madama Sebastian March 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm

A beautiful post….


25 Thad Snow April 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I have studied figure and portraiture for eleven years. All of our models were nude. The most attractive part of any of them was what was above the shoulders!


26 The Redhead Riter April 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

LOL Thad! I have never seen a nude model and don’t think I ever will, so I’m going to take your word on it!


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