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14x17" drawings, erasable crayon and felt pen, 1987/12/8, by Chris Wayan

Paulina Porizkova modeled swimsuits in Sports Illustrated one summer. Her beauty was a guilty pleasure for me--living in San Francisco, a town very concerned with feminist issues, it's hard to avoid worrying about the trend toward anorexic models. But... she was gorgeous.

Then I read an interview with Paulina and was startled to learn her height and weight were close to mine. And like me, she didn't even diet--it was just her genes! Suddenly America's resentment of skinny models felt like an anorexia witch-hunt, felt PERSONAL--they could just as well be trashing me. In fact they do, though differently, because I'm male: the same proportions that make models both sought after (and criticized) make women shun me--they figure I'm dying of AIDS. Same numbers, same body type, same genetic cause: supermodel if you're female, diseased pariah if you're male. Go figure!

So, in a rebellious mood, I set out to draw me/Paulina with more body, though not exactly the "more" the fat liberationists usually mean...

Paulina Porizkova as a centaur model posing on beach at sunset in red swimsuit. Click to enlarge.
I wonder how you put on a swimsuit like this? Maybe I should have stuck to a simple, tasteful trikini.

Hmm. Her skin is a bit orange because of a flashbulb used for fill against the low sun. I wanted to be faithful to the photo, aside from my minor anatomical innovation.

Let's try a less photo-bound sketch, without the silly suit and that backlit sunset.

Sketch of a supermodel-thin centaur at the beach, in muted sandy colors. Click to enlarge.
Proceeding even further, instead of scratchy old sand, how about some color? Waves of levitating flowers...
Felt pen study of a supermodel-thin centaur, nude but finely dappled; with background of flowers and blue ripples. Click to enlarge.

LISTS AND LINKS: body image - anorexia - AIDS - babes - sexy creatures - figure studies - centaurs - gender issues - humor - crayon and pastel art - felt pen

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