Monday, August 18, 2008

Art and the Olympics

Like billions of others, I've been spending too much time watching the Olympics on TV -- and I'm not even a sports fan! But there's something special (the idealism?) about the Olympics, so for me anyway, that makes it much different than a football game between the Minnesota PieKings and the Oakland Faders.

One thing that I, as a guy, notice in the Games is how healthy-looking some of the female athletes are, especially in the water sports. Some of the women seem thin and muscular, but others appear toned but filled out.

Now -- we older, married dudes aren't supposed to so much as notice other female human beans. (I'm sure my wife notices good-looking guys -- we're both only human!) But I will say I'm one of those who find the women who appear in Old Master paintings -- you know, women who were obviously overweight -- attractive, as those in the attached painting by Poussin. While I can't deny the health risks overweight people people face, I know I and many other males prefer that look, short of outright gross obesity.

The women athletes in the Olympics are not overweight, but -- for my personal taste -- are much more attractive to me than the "ideal" women we see in the entertainment industry. So many of them strike me as downright unhealthy and skinny, and I'd be hardpressed to think of any that compare to the Olympians. Some of the female actors and singers may have pretty faces, but from the neck down -- sorry, even if I were single, young and prone to teenage crushes on celebrities, I would say: "No, thanks!"

If I painted the human figure more than I do, I would try to contact some of those swimmers and divers to see if they'd have time for a sitting. I wouldn't call any of the Hollywood types.

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