We are not a physically confident nation

We are not a physically confident nation. When we think of ourselves making love we do not summon the blissful image of taut bodies coupling, but a vision of up-ended buttocks and too much cellulite. (…) Undressed we think of ourselves more naked than nude, the sort of nakedness you find in the self portrait of Stanley Spencer in which he shows himself crouching, pendulous, over his mistress’ body and a leg of lamb. The common denominator of the three forms is flesh.
Henry Porter, “Too close for our comfort”, The Observer, 13 October 1996

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