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Research and life experience have revealed that many obese individuals constantly deal with personal and social issues. Alienated in a society where the Hollywood idealized, medicalized to a pre-conceived perfect body and face is often revered, some obese people feel embarrassment, even shame at their appearance. These negative feelings are strengthened through the media, which is guilty of perpetuating the myth of an idealized, perfect, youthful body. In a youth focused, obesophobic society overt and covert discrimination can negatively impact the self-esteem and well-being of many individuals.
The second panel is a complete contradiction to the first. The same historical piece is revealed. Now the artistís original figures have been replaced with bodies so idealized that they become objects, in the form of Barbie and Ken dolls. Physically impossible to achieve, the dolls reference societyís ongoing obsession with, and quest for the perfect body and the youth implied therein.
In the unspoken dialogue between the two conflicting narratives some of the psychological turmoil inherent in the issues of obesity and weight loss can be found. Together, the paintings present a symbolic manifestation of the inner conflict between self acceptance, and personal and societal pressure to be better and more beautiful by appearing slender and youthful
Conceptual in nature, this diptych endeavors to raise issues about the complexity of this condition. The first panel promotes notions of societal and self acceptance while questioning obesophobic and idealized concepts of the human aesthetic. Signifying individual beauty and acceptance on all levels through inclusion in famous art, the symbolically supersized figures replace the artistís original subjects. The obese figures are placed in a context of implied honour and respect.