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Pregnant Belly Body Painting
When a woman is pregnant she needs to avoid all sorts of things so that there aren't any side effects on the developing baby. Tattooing, piercing and hair dyeing are all right out. But for body art lovers who wish they could do something during this special time of bodily change and creation, they don't have to look any further than their own growing bellies for inspiration.
Doing body painting on a pregnant woman's belly isn't anything new, although it certainly isn't something that's gotten into the mainstream yet. In the late 1980s Re/Search book MODERN PRIMITIVES, Canadian multimedia artist ManWoman describes in his interview how one of the forms of art he practices is "bellicology," the name he gave to doing body painting on the stomachs of pregnant women. At the time he said it was something fun that women could do when many of them found themselves feeling somewhat at odds with their changing bodies. According to him, many responded to the act of making this growing part of their body beautiful with a piece of painted art, and noted that he liked to do faces as the extended navel made a great nose.
Certainly the large expanse of smooth and taut skin makes for a perfect painting canvas. Pregnant bellies are only beaten out by the human back when it comes to finding a large area on which to do body art. And the process of body painting is easily done as something both temporary and non-toxic to both mom and baby. Body paints that come in stick or paint form can be easily applied as well as washed off later. You can use either water or oil-based paint, and don't forget a touch of glitter!
As for designs, the sky's the limit. You can get as elaborate as you or your hired artist can draw. Designs such as flowers or vines can wrap the curved surface. Bright colors provide upbeat energy. Paint something appropriate for the little boy or girl that you are anticipating. If you have younger children who are awaiting a new younger sibling, you might want to let them doodle or write a message to the new baby.
Wear a skirt or pants that ride low below your pregnant stomach, and a shirt that stops below your breasts so that your painting area is clear. You might put down a towel in your lap so that you have a place to put art supplies, or to protect your clothing. Make sure you are seated comfortably, slightly reclining or upright, whichever feels best. If you want to watch the work in progress, be sure to have a mirror nearby, either handheld or angle a standing one so the mom-to-be can see. Once you are done, take a bunch of pictures to save this temporary work of art forever. The goal is to have a good time, celebrate your body and bring some light-hearted fun and body art to the process of being pregnant!
Content copyright © 2013 by Rae Schwarz. All rights reserved.
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