As this site has pointed out consistently over the years, an awareness of the tradition of full-figured feminine beauty in Western art is absolutely crucial in dislodging people out of the state of ahistorical blindness in which they live, a condition in which they are duped into thinking that the modern starvation standard is the definition of beauty, when in fact it is an aberration and a sick inversion of the true beauty tradition.
I thought of this the other day when I encountered the following article.
It describes the efforts of one woman, who lost her sister to an eating disorder, to raise awareness about the issue:
On Sept. 24, Dreyer, along with the organization Networking, Women and Wine, will present the Sip and Savour event - a gallery crawl, wine tasting and food fest to raise funds for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and Melissa's Voice Foundation, Inc., an organization Dreyer started in memory of her sister that helps men and women pay for the extensive counseling and medical attention needed to treat eating disorders.
What makes the article significant, apart from its focus on the true
health epidemic confronting society (i.e., women needlessly starving themselves), is what triggered the organizer's vision of a fundraiser in an art gallery:
Dreyer, who is chairing the first annual NEDA Walk Charlotte on Oct. 22 to bring awareness to eating disorders, was thinking of creative ways to get the word out about it when a chance encounter during a morning walk through Myers Park provided the solution.
She was drawn into a building that housed a real estate firm to see if they would be interested in being a sponsor. To get to the office Dreyer had to pass through an art gallery. She was struck by the artwork of female images and body forms on the gallery walls.
"I immediately thought how beautiful women are in their natural, curvaceous womanly figures and said to myself 'I wish the world could see what I am seeing, that this is what women really look like and how amazingly beautiful they are,'" she recalled.
I find it fascinating that she had such an experience. In entering the art gallery, she encountered what was almost a secret treasure-trove (secret not by design but by cultural ignorance): a repository of culture from healthier, more noble ages than our own -- eras that recognized true beauty and celebrated it, enabling women to live freely and comfortably without a second thought about body image, other than to admire their own curvaceous physiques.
In essence, when Ms. Dreyer entered the gallery, she escaped into an alternative reality. Or to put it more precisely, she escaped into the true
reality, the natural reality in which we all should be living -- and would
be living, had the history of the 20th century turned out differently. The misbegotten, curve-o-phobic, media-controlled world outside the gallery, the world in which we are condemned to live today, is actually the sinister mirror universe, the evil twin, the distorted opposite of the healthier, nobler existence that the paintings depict.
But at least that visual record of a more natural, beautiful world exists, preserved on canvas. Seeing that vision helped Ms. Dreyer rediscover the true form of beauty. If more people could be exposed to this superior reality, their viewpoints might be transformed as well. Perhaps if Ms. Dreyer's sister had had such an epiphany, she would still be alive today, rather than being another tragic victim of the modern Death Aesthetic.