Naked, Fat, and Fabulous

Life Models in the Visual Arts


  • A.W. Eaton University of Illinois Chicago



Life Drawing, Fat Studies


This paper attempts to bring together two lines of thought that might seem unrelated. The first is the idea that the life class should be a safe space that respects and nurtures the creative autonomy of life models. The second is the idea that it is morally, socially, and aesthetically permissible to be fat and that fat persons are entitled to the same dignity, respect, and celebration to which straight-sized persons are entitled. Putting these two thoughts together, I explore the idea that the life class can be a space for the aesthetic exploration and appreciation of fat bodies and hence an important space for combatting fat oppression.

I would like to issue a warning about content that may be upsetting or triggering for my readers. In section II, I briefly discuss sexual harassment and sexual assault. In section III, I give quite a few examples of the kinds of harassment and hostility that fat persons face.


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How to Cite

“Naked, Fat, and Fabulous: Life Models in the Visual Arts”. 2023. Aesthetic Investigations 6 (2): 174-92.