The Phantom Inker




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Big girls can be beautiful too.

In the old days, the renaissance masters would paint women who were not skinny blow-away-in-a-strong-breeze waifs, but who actually looked like they'd eaten a few meals in their lives. There was nothing wrong with that; they were normally-proportioned, and they were very well-painted, and they were attractive. This picture is drawn in that renaissance composition and style, although nowhere near as well as the old masters did it.

The renaissance masters drew women that way because weight used to be a sign of health: It meant you could afford food, that you weren't dirt-poor broke, that you were comfortable and happy. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar says very pointedly:

Let me have men about me that are fat, Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

Somehow we got it into our heads in the 20th century that skinny-as-a-rail was the physical ideal of the world. I'm a victim of some of that brainwashing too, and you've seen it show up in my other artwork. It shows up all across the anime spectrum, to be sure. But real people rarely match up to anything even remotely close to that skinny-as-a-rail design. I'm not overweight, but I don't have a six-pack either. Same's true for most of the people I know. Real proportions have some chunk to them.

My lovely wife looks a bit like this girl (minus the horse). When I look at her sleeping comfortably beside me, I don't see a weight problem: I see a beautiful girl that I'm lucky to be able to say is sleeping beside me every night. I see a complement to myself who amazingly wants to be the mother of my children. I see happiness and I see joy, and I take comfort in her closeness.

This girl is beautiful. Big girls can be beautiful. And don't you forget it.

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