The very earnest art student

I may have mentioned that I work at a few colleges as a life model. I mostly keep to myself, I chat a bit with the teachers and read my book in the breaks, occasionally I speak to the students but not too much. Today the new students of the year began their life drawing classes after getting their GCSEs in the summer. I sometimes forget how earnest and serious you can be at that age, bless their cottons.

I was reading Paranormality by Richard Wiseman (very good by the way, surprisingly funny) when a young girl came over to me and introduced herself. I was a little taken aback and regressed into British formality by shaking her hand. We then had a short conversation which I will transcribe to the best of my memory.

All the words in bold reflect my thought process at the time.

Student: I don’t think it’s weird that you’re a life model.

Me: People – people think it’s weird? Uh, thank you.

Student: It’s not a sexual thing, it’s society that’s sexualised it

Me: They have? That’s right, yes.

Student: Does it make a difference when the artist knows you well, cause people just look at the model as an object which is horrible

Me: OK, I think I remember being like this Uh, well, I pose for friends too, and it’s fine either way