Why these body positive activists posed nude together for a life art class
The Succulent Six are out to prove that every body is beautiful in the first episode of their new series
In the Baroque period of Art History, Peter Paul Rubens and other painters often portrayed women as soft-bodied, passive and decadently beautiful subjects. Rubens was quite fond of painting full-figured women, which led to terms like "Rubenesque" being used to describe curvy women right into present day. Intent on recapturing a time when women were revered for being fuller figured, and not reviled, The Succulent Six - a team of 5 pseudo-superSHEroes united on a mission of body acceptance - came together to dive into fine art for a day of life modelling.
When the five of us initially banded together, we wanted to push the envelope, and rewrite the way that society (and the media) portrays plus-sized women. Coming from an art history background, I wanted us all to experience the neutral gaze and non-judgemental acceptance that fine art models receive from the artists who capture them. In a world that often sexualizes nudity and that hypersexualizes the female form, our challenge was to be vulnerable, open and absolutely stripped down to our most basic forms - and give over the power of capturing our images to an audience of (professional) artists who would see us as the most simplified shapes and form, and the lights and darks that made up our bodies.
Baring all for a class of artists whom you've never met is not exactly run of the mill, nor was it a comfortable concept for our team to envision - the sheer vulnerability of it all really tested our friendship amongst other things! Join us in this first episode of The Succulent Six,, in our first attempt to reclaim our bodies and our self worth as our own, and our sexuality as its own separate entity from our bodies.
Steff Ivory Conover (Ivory) is Toronto based artist and a founding member of the Succulent Six, Canada's team of Curvy Super SHEroes, Canadian Confidence, a collective of plus-sized bloggers, models, artists and and activists fighting to reclaim their right to feel beautiful at any size, and Les Femmes Fatales, Canada's premiere burlesque troupe for Women of Colour, you can follow her antics on Instagram and Twitter @pureivorydotca and online at www.pureivory.ca.