Renaissance Beauty

by Susan Iannuzzelli

Bather Arranging Her Hair, 1885
Pierre Auguste Renoir

Is your body living in the wrong century to be appreciated? Mine is, thanks to my daily need for sensuous indulgences chocolates, cookies, pies, cakes, gooey candies, and breads. Most of you have heard of the Renaissance beauties of the fourteenth century. Do you think they ever worried about ten or twenty extra pounds? You can bet your last dollar they didn't.

Imagine yourself back then, a beauty of course, the type artists the likes of Leonardo da Vinci might have painted. (Remember the Mona Lisa?) Your beauty has overwhelmed him, and paint you he must. You are his model. In his studio he unveils your voluptuous body, and blankets it with a delicate bouquet of spring flowers. He positions you, so that part of your ample bosom becomes very noticeable. All who view his work will experience the essence of your beauty on canvas. In your dream, you are admired and appreciated by all.

Slowly come back to the present (ah, but you must). Ask yourself upon awakening "Is my Renaissance Beauty appreciated today?" You already know the twenty-first century answer, but don't despair fight back!

Join with me and begin a campaign for the appreciation of the Renaissance Beauty, a newly formed club by "moi." You will begin by treating yourself to a visual feast. In your mind, conjure up sensuous treats ranging from the diminutive Oreo cookie to the enormous banana split. Notice already, the stress is beginning to leave your body. The tightness fades around your brow, the fine lines around your mouth relax, and your body begins to tingle in anticipation of giving in to your desires.

Now just for a moment, leave your fantasy and learn how you can once again be proud of your body in real life. Begin by faithfully following the rules below:

Rule one. Never believe anything you see or hear about diets. Always remember that those skinny little bodies belong to the "just out of braces stage" average age, 15. Do not buy or read any magazine that flashes the word "Diet" on its cover.

Rule two. Never, never again lie on your bed to squeeze your soft, rounded Renaissance body into anything that is the least bit snug. Why should you torture yourself all day only to find that upon retiring, your tummy looks like Route 66 (with a few scenic alternate routes thrown in).

Rule three. Save your money! Stop paying diet clinics to reconstruct your exquisite body. Think of the chocolate cheesecake you have regretfully turned down! Think about never having to be reminded that diet clinics exist as you drive to your favorite ice-cream bar. Think of the power you have! Not patronizing them for one month would destroy them.

Rule four. View your bathroom scale as potential enemy number one. Ignore it, hide it, refuse to succumb to its call. Better yet, get rid of it. It is only in the way; it does not add to your home. Have you ever overheard a decorator discuss the whereabouts of the bathroom scale?

Rule five. Read articles that detail why dieting is foolish and spread the word. My favorite one is the latest research from Australia, indicating that dieting is a lot of bunk. I have made a hundred copies and distributed them to all my friends. Have you received yours?

Review all five rules if you should feel the least bit of guilt over your body. Forget the compulsion to become skinny and remember that you are living in the wrong century to be appreciated. Think again of the Mona Lisa. A bag of bones she wasn't, and look where she is today. If we all follow the rules, think of the impact we would have over the media, the dress designers, the fat farms and the diet clinics. The field is unlimited. Happy eating Renaissance Beauty!

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