Infinite Diversity In Infinite Body Types

By T'Bonz
December 15, 2007 - 12:33 AM

An encounter at a seminar with a zaftig woman turns into a book project for the former Mr. Spock.

As reported recently at Salon, Leonard Nimoy's lifelong enjoyment of photography has led to another book showcasing his talents. "The Full Body Project" is different than his previous book, Shekhina, but like that book, is sure to provoke comment and controversy.

Nimoy explained how he got involved in this particular topic. "I was doing a seminar with some earlier work," he said, "and a lady in the audience came up and said, 'I'm a model, and I'm a different body type than what you've been working with. Would you be interested in working with me?' I discussed it with my wife, who is very much involved in what I do and very much involved in contemporary art...She encouraged me to go ahead and do it."

The project made Nimoy conscious of body size and body image in our culture. "I could have gone my whole life without paying much attention to the question of body image and what women are experiencing," he said. "This particular project has put me richly and intensely in touch with this cultural question of beauty. Women are being sold a concept of beauty. In other countries and at other times, and even in this country at other times, a robust woman was considered beautiful. In other countries, these women would be considered affluent."

While acknowledging the real issues of health concerns, Nimoy discussed the dangers of struggling for that perfect body. "...there's the alternative question about anorexia and bulimia. Look, the fact is that young girls 12 and 13 are already becoming disenchanted with their bodies. They're looking in the mirror and struggling to achieve something that, for many of them, is unattainable. You're born with the body that you're born with, and you can work and diet all you want, and for many women, it's still unlikely you'll attain the look that advertisers say you should."

A burlesque group in San Francisco were the models for his book. Nimoy used photographs by Herb Ritts and Helmut Newton, as well as paintings by Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp and Raphael as inspiration for his own photography.

To read more, head to the article located here.

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