How to boost body confidence through art In an era of Photoshop and filters.

CultureLifestyleJune 05, 2020

In an era of Photoshop and Instagram filters, the need to boost body confidence has become more important than ever. Sadly, it is only too common to feel inadequate when looking at the “perfect bodies” on social media. But life drawing can help people overcome their struggles with body image.

Weare constantly bombarded with images of the Kardashians and Co. on Instagram. Especially for young girls, it is hard to tell what’s been modified by Photoshop or plastic surgery. The beauty standards have become simply unattainable because these images are unreal and unnatural. This causes a lot of distress, unhappiness, and health and mental health problems amongst girls and boys.

Nowadays, cosmetic surgeries to try to look like the photoshopped images of celebrities are becoming more and more common. According to a plastic surgeon of London Bridge Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Clinic, “Every year, almost 30,000 people in the UK undergo a cosmetic procedure. It is important that the majority do it to improve their quality of life rather than because of some unrealistic standards set on Instagram.


So here is where life drawing can make a huge difference:

What is life drawing?

Life drawing is the drawing of a human figure while observing the model posing, usually nude, in various postures. It is an excellent exercise for art students and used to be a prerequisite to painting.

How can life-drawing boost body confidence?

When drawing from a life model, you must learn how to really look at a person. You analyse all details of her body; something we cannot do in real life at the risk of being rude for staring at someone.

Life models are very different one from another; they come in every shape so that the artist learns how to draw all body types. Some are thin, others rounder or fat. They can be tall, short, with or without muscles, young, old, with big or small noses and so on. This variety helps youngsters who are used seeing on social media unreal faces and bodies that look all alike, to see what real bodies look like in real life. It helps them understand the beauty that lies in diversity and to accept their own body image.

Alastair Adams, from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, says: “What is out there online for youngsters is often superficial. And does not accurately represent what people look like in real life. I would think images seen online and on social media are having an impact of distorting reality. I’m sure cause people to have body confidence issues or think how their look is different.”

Luckily he’s not the only one seeing this problem.

The private account Celebface, which has 1.4m followers on Instagram, shows the truth. They juxtapose the original photo and the photoshopped version that celebrities and Instagram influencers post on their social media. Stating “Welcome to reality”, Celebface shows how unreal are the bodies we see on social media. The impossible wasp waists, big boobs and butts, plump lips, tiny noses, shiny hair and sparkling smiles set impossible standards.

Where can you life-draw?

In Vienna, you can take life drawing courses at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst. Or, learn and practice life drawing in the 6th district with the Monami Life Drawing in Vienna group.

Image from vcencyclopedia and Royal Academy of Arts, London