Hopefully this will be another regular feature. I got the idea from the late lamented "Huge", a surprisingly nuanced, thoughtful, and feeling show about kids at fat camp:
Summary for Non-US readers: In a crappy summer camp cabin Niki Blonsky is cutting up teen magazines: "It is my duty as an angry feminist to destroy it."
Catty girl: "So I guess you can't afford your own magazines"
Angelic Blonde: "Don't even talk to her"
Niki Blonsky "Yeah, don't even talk to me." *defiant shirt removal*
Angelic Blonde (looking at pictures of classical art fat ladies stuck all over Niki Blonsky's bed post and officially rationed wall space): What's that?
Niki Blonsky: "It's fatspiration"
Angelic Blonde scoffs in disgust at Blonsky's failure to understand that fat ladies are ugly and she really ought to hate herself.
In the show this was a response to Angelic Blonde posting a whole lot of "thinspiration", or pictures of skinny women meant to "inspire" the viewer to become thin and beautiful instead of being fat and disgusting. Thinspiration was originally a practice encouraged on pro-ana sites but has migrated to mainstream dieting practice (because what's a better idea than taking cues from people devoted to promoting their own and others' mental disorders? amiright). Oh course unlike its thinner, disturbed sister fatspiration is not about promoting the idea that only fat is beautiful or that you should be trying to make yourself fatter. That's just silly. It's about showing that all bodies can have beauty (and not in some crappy inner beauty kind of way) including, most importantly, your own. This of course includes thin people, but yours truly is fairly convinced the documentation of beautiful thin people has been well-covered,oh, pretty much everywhere.
Since most of the "fat ladies in art" you find is classical; I decided to start with one of my favorite contemporary artists: Ursula Vernon.
All Images are exclusive copyright of Ursula Vernon re-posted with permission.