It’s not unusual for job descriptions to contain particular requirements; must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds; must be able to stand for long periods of time; must be willing to pose in the nude in a class of 20 to 30 people. Well, perhaps the latter of these requirements may seem peculiar, but for University of North Texas alumna Destiny Lambert, it simply made for another day at work.
During her time as a college student, Lambert worked as a figure model for the university’s art classes. She had first heard of the opportunity to work as a figure model through a friend on Twitter.
“She posted a job opening from our university’s employment opportunities page and was surprised by how much they were offering to pay, but also reluctant because of the nudity,” Lambert recalls. “It sounded interesting to me because of how unique it is and I’d also get to be a part of the art process without actually having to use artistic skills.”
Although figure models are expected to work in the nude, the nudity is simply for artistic purposes and not sexual in nature. While some works of art may contain sexual themes or undertones, most models enjoy modeling as a means of finding comfort and solace within their own bodies.
“Modeling, at least for me, is about being a part of a process that in any other capacity I couldn’t make happen,” Lambert says. “I can’t draw or paint well, but I can be the subject for someone else. The artists bring our essence to the page but with their own signature style; they make people see something that maybe they wouldn’t from just looking at a nude human in person.”
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Lambert admits that when she first started modeling, she was nervous, but more about being able to hold certain positions, and less about nudity. Over time, she has built the dexterity and strength required to hold all kinds of stances.
“I would [tell newer figure models] to look up poses online and practice many different ones before [their] first session,” Lambert says. “You don’t realize how difficult it can be to hold your body still for thirty minutes at a time and some poses are not easy to hold past even five minutes. It also keeps classes fresh and you don’t freeze up trying to think of a pose if you already have some in mind. YouTube has great resource videos of real figure models to get references from.”
During her time as an art model, Lambert says she has not run into any situations where she felt uncomfortable by the people around her. She says that modeling has helped her feel more comfortable in her own skin and has helped boost her confidence.
“If you enjoy figure modeling, you try to focus on how you’re just in your natural state,” Lambert says. “You look for all the good things about your body and a lot of those are reinforced when you see someone’s finished drawing. Those I’ve interacted with during the sessions always make you feel so courageous. It’s funny that people usually talk about some variation of a nightmare where they’re naked in a room full of people— for me that’s just another day at the office.”