Carol Rossetti – WOMEN

This is one of the reasons I love facebook and can’t quite give it up because I come across amazing things like this from the various pages I follow. This is the amazing work by Carol Rossetti, so simple yet so powerful! I wanted to share on the blog because I felt it so fitting and something a lot of woman will relate to. Also the illustrations are just too KICK ASS not to share.

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Posted with permission. Please go to http://https://www.behance.net/carolrossetti to see more of her amazing work!

“… I sometimes love my body but now when I put myself down I think about my girls and how they’re proud of their mum.”

What can I say about how I feel to be naked? I’ve loved my body. I’ve hated my body but I suppose I should really start at the beginning. I developed and became curvy very young. I was the only person in my primary to start her periods and have breasts and I was bullied for it.

In high school I quickly became prey and men took advantage. I became hateful about everyone and everything. I didn’t know or understand what love was because I’d never experienced it. In my middle and late teens I never had a problem with being naked, with wearing very skimpy clothes, I looked good and I knew it. I was a size 10-12, toned, rock solid dancer’s legs, my breasts were neither too large, nor too small for my body (although I wanted bigger) my hair was waist length and I had confidence by the bucket load.

I started going out with someone when I was 18 and slowly I changed. I stopped paying attention to my hair – it just got washed. Make-up – there was none. Tight flattering clothes – changed for baggy jeans and big jumpers. Secretly I hoped that my ex would fight for me and want me back (I lost count the amount of times he told me ‘I love you’) Obviously not enough. He started going out with someone, who I perceived at the time to be hideous. She told me she would have and take what was mine and I told her to try, she got him and I got my confidence destroyed by someone all wrong for me, and I went to a very bad place with drink and drugs. I stopped most of it, although I continued to binge drink and smoke a lot of hash.

I eventually went out with someone 21 years my senior, I quickly became pregnant and my first daughter was born, we were married the following year and a year and a half after that my second daughter was born. I thought we were happy. Sex was wonderful and plentiful but as I became larger and my body changed so did our sex life until eventually it became non-existent. I went back to college and he stayed at home with the children; all through that course he made my life hell with the constant put downs and heavy drinking. I started exercising and became toned again back to my small size 10-12 and his attention changed as well. I put on weight again and as the weight came he went and sex again became almost non-existent. I went back to do a different course, the girls were in school all day and so was I. I loved it! I made some amazing friends that I still have to this day and he even got his drinking sorted, although every time he had a relapse I’d get the constant put downs and snidy comments. My aunt told me he was jealous and to just give him time – ‘his male pride’s been hurt’ she would say to me. All through that time I couldn’t look in the mirror. I hated what I saw, because when I looked in it I saw a fat, frumpy, old house wife that’s long past it and I was only 30.

At 31 I fulfilled a life long dream and attended a course at the RSAMD where I found out about Trilogy and I had the privilege and honour of taking part in its final ever show. It was a sisterhood of strong, independent, amazing women, of all ages, shapes and sizes dancing naked together and for the first time since before my children were born I was PROUD TO BE NAKED AND A WOMAN. I often describe that time as a life changing experience because in many ways it was. I was so proud of all of us that I decided to show (who I thought were) friends the cast photo of us all. Suddenly my amazing experience that I was so proud of was turned into something sleazy, dirty and something to be ashamed of and I was asked to leave the job were I was because they’d put in a complaint at management level. I retreated way into my shell, although no-one would know because I hid it well, except from my oldest daughter. She pulled me up one day saying ‘mum, you’ve stopped exercising’ and I asked her how she knew and she told me it was because the scarf wasn’t covering the mirror anymore, I always covered the mirror when I exercise and here I thought no-one noticed. I started to cry and she gave me a cuddle and said ‘mum, I wish you can see what I see. You’re amazing, you’re gorgeous, you’re beautiful both inside and out, you’re talented, you have the biggest heart of anyone I know and I want to be just like you when I grow up.’ My 12 year old has become my rock when I should be hers (although she assures me I am) it’s because of her I started and continue with Egyptian belly dancing (although some of the costumes make me feel very self conscious) she’s my inspiration.

How do I feel to be naked? At the moment – I mostly hate my body and I avoid looking in the mirror. In certain clothes when they suck everything in I sometimes love my body but now when I put myself down I think about my girls and how they’re proud of their mum. I think about my Trilogy girls and the time we had. The girls are proud that their mum had the guts and the confidence to stand in front of an audience and dance in her birthday suit and deep down although sometimes I need reminding – so am I. I’m an artist – I love the human figure in all its glory of any shape and size. I just wish I could love my own again and I hope the next time I tell my story it’ll be from a happier place.

– Anon

“Since I stopped reading any women’s magazines about 6 months ago my self esteem and confidence has shot through the roof … Stop reading them for your own sake!”

I’ve learned to like every little and every big bit of my body by making my body look mad. I have bright pink hair, I’m pierced, I’m tattooed, I draw my eyebrows on so that they’re huge, and I make myself laugh. I’m an art student, so I use my body in my art, whether it’s dot-to-dotting all of my freckles or photographing myself, it’s always done with naked humour.

I really fervently disliked my body and my self from the age of about 11 to pretty much a couple of months ago. I was tall and gangly yet somehow wobbly and pudgey which translated into FAT. My “pudge” was actually skin, some puppy fat, and then some normal fat. Going from a size 8 when I was 12 to a size 12-14 when I was 16 was actually just growing and being a healthy size for a woman of 6ft. My “blotchy skin” was actually just a collection of freckles which are now a collection of summer days out with my mum. It took me a long time to realise that though.

I think things changed when I started laughing at the way I look, and started having fun. Ridiculous, ugly, charity shop clothes ahoy! This was at the same time as having hair of every colour in the rainbow. For me, it’s a relief to look different to the women in Cosmo, it takes the pressure off, and it allows ME.

Another big change was not filling my head with magazine gumf. Since I stopped reading any women’s magazines about 6 months ago my self esteem and confidence has shot through the roof. They’re legitimately bad for us! They pedal us lies and make us feel bad! Stop reading them for your own sake!

Another big change was when I started seeing my body as art. I life modelled for the first time when I was 17, was so nervous that I threw up, but then when it was done and I saw people’s drawings of me, I was elated. Some beautiful things had been made- out of MY BODY! My body was fine art! And that was so empowering. Because, I didn’t look like Rose in Titanic, I looked my wobbly, not big enough to be curvy but there’s still slight curves there self. And that was great.

Since then, I’ve become an intermedia student rather than a painter, and this has opened so many doors for me. My last three projects have used my naked body. And I always get great responses, not for how my body looks, but what my body is saying. And that to me is the best thing-

My body works (for the most part), it doesn’t matter all that much in the end if it looks nice, because for me, it’s a vessel for my voice. What I’m saying, what I’m shouting, what I’m singing, what I’m signing, what I’m making art on, what I’m writing, what the way I look is saying, the list goes on and on- none of this would be possible if it weren’t for my body.

Using my body as a support and as a canvas, for hair dye and ink and metal, for shouting and protests and growing my pit hair- that’s why I love it.

by reclaimthecunt