Strike a pose, there’s nothing on it

A fortyish Brit, mother of four, poses for some Italian art students, and the first thing anyone sees? Butterflies:

My stomach was made of ice. My legs were shaking. Clad in an ancient dressing gown from Next, I knew that in 20 seconds’ time I would have to walk out before 18 art students who were going to spend the next hour surveying my every pore, every lump of flesh and every fold of flab (caused largely by the aforementioned four births, but a penchant for brie and red wine might also come into the equation). How on earth was I going to get through it? The whole ordeal suddenly seemed like the worst idea in the world. The perfect location? Irrelevant. Donatello may well have achieved his spectacular sculpture of the nude David in this very city, but didn’t he use a hard, glamorous (male) body of about 16? Whereas I am 41, womanly and only vaguely glamorous when in a pair of M&S support knickers and a black jumper. Trickles of sweat began to run under my arms.

But one must rise to the occasion regardless:

The students were still chatting among themselves. Didn’t they realise what I was about to do, for God’s sake? I stepped up onto the stage, dropped my dressing gown and kicked it away with what I hoped was a haughtily insouciant gesture. Silence immediately fell over the studio. All eyes were on me. And everyone started to draw. Oh, the power! There is nothing quite like nakedness. It’s like using the very worst swear word you can. Once you’ve said it there’s nowhere else to go. Indeed, once I had rid myself of the inadvertent spectre of burping — or, even worse, farting — that was it. From the position of worst possible, things got a bit better.

We will not mention that upon her return to Blighty she dropped fourteen pounds.

(Seen here; this link may not be safe for work.)





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