Update: I almost forgot to give a shout out to Big Fat Blog, which got a mention in the article.
The New York Times featured a story on Leonard Nimoy’s fat nudes exhibit in Northhampton, MA. Here is an extended quote from the article:
He knows that he is an unlikely champion for the size-acceptance movement; body image is a topic he never really thought about before. But for the last eight years, Mr. Nimoy, who is 76 and an established photographer, has been snapping pictures of plus-size women in all their naked glory.
He has a show of photographs of obese women on view at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Mass., through June; a larger show at the gallery is scheduled to coincide with the November publication of his book on the subject, “The Full Body Project,” from Five Ties Publishing. The Louis Stern Fine Arts gallery in Los Angeles and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston have acquired a few images from the project. A few hang at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York. (Their explicitness prevents the images from being reprinted here.)
These women are not hiding beneath muumuus or waving from the bottom of the Grand Canyon à la Carnie Wilson in early Wilson Phillips videos. They are fleshy and proud, celebrating their girth, reveling in it. It is, Mr. Nimoy says, a direct response to the pressure women face to conform to a Size 2.
“The average American woman, according to articles I’ve read, weighs 25 percent more than the models who are showing the clothes they are being sold,” Mr. Nimoy said, his breathing slightly labored by allergies and a mild case of emphysema. “So, most women will not be able to look like those models. But they’re being presented with clothes, cosmetics, surgery, diet pills, diet programs, therapy, with the idea that they can aspire to look like those people. It’s a big, big industry. Billions of dollars. And the cruelest part of it is that these women are being told, ‘You don’t look right.’ ”
If you want to read the whole piece go here.
On a personal note, I have been thinking about generational differences (or in sociology speak cohort effects) in attitudes towards fatness. While I remember my grandparents making comments about how fat people were, I don’t remember the ire associated with it that you see for so many younger people. It also seemed to me that their definition of fatness was different.
I started thinking about this after reading this piece because I’m not so surprised that this is coming from an older man of my grandparents generation. I would have been much more surprised to see a younger male actor or artists come out for fat acceptance/rights.
I’m just speculating, but what do you think about this? Do you think there are generational differences around attitudes toward fatness? If so, what do you think they are?