I ate my way to Renaissance Centrefold

I eyed the bakery box longingly, but I was all too aware that my jeans were feeling tight. I felt like a martyr as I poured a bowl of Special K and sprinkled Equal on the cereal and added some 2 percent milk. When Sam looked as though he wanted to make a comment, I narrowed my eyes at him.Sookie Stackhouse, Dead Reckoning

Unlike Sookie Stackhouse, I am no martyr – which has done nothing to satiate the burgeoning bulge of my voluptuous ass. I would have gobbled it up and swallowed it down in the name of deliciousness rather than hunger – and more than one most probably. Self-discipline is clearly not my most prominent character asset.

A baby and 29 years of living has made my body a little… soft. I would like dimple free thighs and smaller bingo wings but I don’t do much to assist the change. Which begs the assumption that I must be okay with the way I look; curves and all. This also leaves me little room for complaint. And complain I do. But my words are hollow. With an attitude of genuine appreciation I have come to accept the pattern of the pear that permeates my person.

Don’t get me wrong; I am as vain as any other, and am totally invested in my appearance – clothes, accessories and make-up are three of me bestest friends. All I’m saying is that I have come to terms with my body shape. Simply stated; I like to indulge. I’ll not give up red wine and coffee because it’ll stain my teeth, I’ll not stop at one chocolate because it’ll make my jeans a little tight and I will have the extra cupcake even at the risk of an extra kilo. It’s just not how I roll.

I sometimes look at Posh the lollipop and think that it would be nice to be skinny. And I probably could be skinny if I tried hard enough. But I like my lifestyle. I like what I eat; the fish, salad and vegetables as much as the pastries and cocktails. What it comes down to is that I love food. I’m healthy and active and I LIKE TO EAT – my body is a testament to my passion for decadence.

The artists of the Renaissance revolutionised the depiction of the human form by investing their paintings with a deep admiration for the embrace of life’s pleasures. The two-dimensional, flat figures of the Middle Ages were replaced with voluptuous, sexy women who were not inhibited by their bumps and bulges. Now here’s something interesting; many artists of this period acknowledged that nude paintings were rarely based on real models; often the same facial type was repeated in various paintings. In an essay entitled Perceptions of beauty in Renaissance art , Neil Haughton writes “Indeed Renaissance portrait artists tended to avoid realistic interpretation, emphasizing instead the positive attributes of their subjects, both physical and political.” I love this notion because it suggests that ‘fat’ was the Renaissance ideal – in modern terms at least. The doctrine of Humanism caused artists to move away from religious and mythological subject matter in favour of the human spirit as a subject for evaluation and representation. A Renaissance woman’s physique is a symbol of self-gratification and satisfaction. Perhaps I am alive in the wrong era?

The corollary seems to suggest that chubby chicks are content and bony beauties are not. Which is, of course, not true. It is however undeniable that society is obsessed with looking thin; it is an engrained doctrine that permeates every aspect of existence and turns us all into food martyrs to some degree or another. The practice of ‘moderation’ is good, and necessary, but a little carpe diem magnanimous hedonism is good for the soul.

Just eat the damn cookie!