I know that “body image”, “size acceptance” and “self-esteem for women” are not generally fun topics!
So one of the things I try to do with both my art & writing is to take a light-hearted look at things that can often be emotional and serious for many, many women. My illustrations are usually happy women, comfortable in their bodies, going out in the world with a positive attitude.
As an illustrator, I love seeing how women’s bodies have been interpreted by various artists.
Occasionally I find one who also seems to have a sense of humor and light approach.
So here we have “Hilda”, created in the 1950’s by Duane Bryers.
Hilda, this young, cute, curvaceous, smiling redhead carries wood in the nude!
She rides a bicycle in a bikini with a puppy in a basket! And talks to a phone on a tree!?
And does many other silly things that are quite ridiculously retro-funny (kind of like recipes that feature Jello).
As an illustrator, I find her quite adorable in a bygone pin-up style.
But the thing that makes me love her is the fact that she seems to be going on about her business
(no matter how bizarre) with a great show of glee!
Golly Gosh, ask me to carry driftwood while strolling naked on a windy beach and I guess I’d be giggling too!
Images of women have always been idealized in one way or another.
Pin-ups are just another variation of women filtered through the eyes of a male artist.
But its hard, for me at least, to feel too much irritation at this somewhat patronizing portrayal of a woman.
She’s just too cute and funny and silly.
And, she seems perfectly comfortable in her own skin, something that many of us struggle with on a daily basis.
As always, I appreciate your comments and feedback!