Women, especially young women and girls, are barraged each day by idealized images of what “pretty,” “normal” and “healthy” is – images of stick thin photo-shopped celebrities or older female faces so filled with Botox they can’t show expression. Body shaming is alive and well in our youth-obsessed culture.
Thomas Park resident Robin Okun has devoted her art to un-shaming the female body. A self-taught artist, Robin creates artwork that celebrates the female body in all its size and strength. “My goal is to honor women of all shapes and sizes to inspire self awareness and acceptance of ourselves and our bodies,” she explains. “The criticism and judgment that women have to endure is pervasive in our daily lives; we tend to internalize these judgments that chip away at our body image and self esteem.”
Robin is a psychotherapist who moved east from Ann Arbor two years ago. Her practice has mainly focused on working with women around issues related to body image, self-care, weight and self-esteem. “The average size of a woman in the United States is 14, it’s not a zero, a 2 petite or an 8. Smallness does not equate to beauty.”
Robin mostly paints colorful pieces of curvy women who have “larger, rounder and fuller body shapes.” “I gravitate that way because the larger female body is usually not celebrated and honored in our society,” she explains. She is motivated by color and almost always starts a painting with color.
“I’m at a point in my life where in my mind and my heart I want to be as creative and connected to myself and the world as I can be, and I achieve this through painting. When I go into the studio I never know what is going to emerge,” she added.
Robin paints and displays her work at her home studio gallery and welcomes visitors. See samples of her work on her website: “Making art that honors the Divine Feminine with color, movement, imagination and love.”