Figura - The Enemy Angle
More than half of the time, I figure model.
Figure modeling is the job where a person sits in front of an artist or group of artists, and poses for how many hours long they have been hired/requested to pose. During this session the artist is, as most commonly phrased, drawing from life. He/She is drawing the figure model. Figure models are extremely vital to developing the skills of understanding how to draw and observe the human form.
The reason why I am bringing up this part of my life is because of what it entails, and why I actually do it.
I do not know exactly why I am so taken by whatever tests my patience and abilities, but I am. And being a figure model is one of those tests through and through. And I will be as daring to say, Figure Modeling tests me more than any shoot I have ever experienced. Because it makes me face my fears each and every time. Yet at the same time, helps me calm down and go through an array of emotions. It’s “forced me-time.” And although that sounds like something close to hell, it does start out as hell, but it slowly becomes it’s own sanctuary. And I do not think I am word-savvy enough to perfectly express this evolution, but I will try my best.
Like many women, and some men, I have extreme body issues. I’ve had them since I was 12. I have already written about my whole upbringing, so no need to re-write such a depressing chapter. But in my mind, the only way to confront that window of insecurities is to stand in front of a room of strangers and pose nude.
I don’t think anyone knows that I am dieing inside when I figure model. They have no idea that I am on pins and needles. The first half hour is always the worst. But then…something happens. Some sort of slow switch clicks, and I let go. When the head artist calls “break time,” I walk around the room and see the fellow artists results. And I am so touched and pleased every time. They don’t see me the way I see myself. And I can never put into words how thankful I am to every artist I have ever posed for.
Many might actually advise that I shouldn’t post this write-up. About admitting what I psychologically go through when posing nude. Because I make it sound like some sort of struggle. But that’s what it is. It is a struggle. And the answer to that is, “it’s okay.” And if anything, I am committing my own personal miniature percent of bravery.
See. The difference when posing nude with a camera is completely different to me. You can manipulate beyond the minds comprehension of manipulation *laughs*. You really can. You’re also not alone in this manipulation. The photographer knows what he’s doing, you know what you’re doing…and then the perfect angles are born.
But when posing raw in front of 20+ people…the only manipulation you can get away with is being able to stay in that one pose for 2 hours or more. Everyone’s eyes are on you from every angle, every hint of light…everything. To those who probably have the best bodies on planet earth, this is a piece of cake. But to those like me, who don’t and can’t see what’s in the mirror, this is an extreme test.
And I thank life for these tests…and I thank every single artist who’s seen me from every angle. I don’t have the words to express what it takes out of me to do this, all I can say is thank you.
And this is why I figure model.