Nude Modeling: Confronting Your Fears

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Published September 14, 2015
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The Montclarion
Photo Credit: Tony Cheng (flickr)
  Have you ever woken up from a bad dream where you found yourself standing completely naked and exposed before your family and friends? If so, you’ve probably been pretty relieved and slightly embarrassed to awake under the safety of your sweet, concealing bed sheets. Well, don’t tighten your grip on those sheets just yet, because posing in your birthday suit may not be as scary or humiliating as you may think! It all starts with your local art classes, as they can be beneficial to more than just the artists.
     If you’re an art student or know of one, you’ve probably heard of their different types of muses within the studio. One of these includes a nude model, who can vary in all different shapes and sizes. Models act as visual references which allow artists the opportunity to analyze fully the different shapes and curves that make up the human body. However, in order to insure proper proportions, the model must maintain some sort of pose fully nude. Many types of different people become art models as a side job, even students. As odd as this occupation may be, it’s actually much more common than you may believe. Rarely does the model even feel any result from baring it all and in many cases, the job gives back.
Photo Credit: Tony Cheng (flickr)

Photo Credit: Tony Cheng (flickr)

 

     Although nude modeling provides excellent references for some brilliant ideas in the art community, the act also gives the model the opportunity to eliminate shyness. As you can imagine, being in one of the most uncomfortable positions you can be in strengthens your ability to communicate and interact with others on a daily basis. Think of it as this; if you can stand completely naked for three hours in a room filled with people, you are certain to amaze while giving a speech to a class of students or to confront your  mother-in-law after her distasteful comment towards your cooking.
  Being capable of overcoming your speech class isn’t the only skill you may gain through figure modeling. As you may imagine, the act of exposing one’s self does not usually fit into anyone’s comfort zone and few would accept that being in a state of discomfort from time to time can be beneficial. However, as many can agree, we are constantly being put in an uncomfortable position many times in our lives, whether we choose to or not. Like a muscle, practicing being in a state of discomfort allows us to confront any uncomfortable situations that may arise with ease. Although it may not seem so now, allowing yourself to feel free from judgment by shedding some fabric can remind you that other hardships may not be so difficult after all.
     It’s very common that the average person views the naked form as something sexual or taboo. Nude modeling allows our society the opportunity to view the naked body for more than what we are accustomed to. Due to art models being of different sizes (fat, thin, curvy, etc.), all outward appearances can be appreciated through the artistic form. Gesture classes, for example, display a model posing in multiple different poses in a span of a few hours. These poses display the model in a very dynamic gesture that can allow the artist to truly test their observational skills. The model is appreciated as a whole and a clean form, not for the simple fact that they are naked. Art modeling can truly extract the taboo mind-set of a pure naked form to one that is truly beautiful.
     Bowls of fruit are great for color references, especially for the starter painter. However, art models really set an atmosphere and can assist artists with their human proportions. As mentioned before, gesture drawing courses can really get an art party going as the model allows artists to form a narrative depending on the poses. It also allows the model to interact with artists in order to come up with some unique ideas. Being nude allows people to connect through a common passion and mission, thus creating a judgment free zone. Many of these benefits leave the studio with the model, as they ultimately gain confidence in not only who they are, but to overcome the obstacles they’ll face. So before you start considering that retail or office job as a side job, consider what you’ll gain as a figure model!
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