Artist, Amputee & Champion of Body Positivity

Every body is beautiful to Cynthia Fleischmann, who has captured this in her art since 2009. In today’s episode of Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories, Cynthia tells her story of being a body paint artist, the special connection between people and place, and how a life-changing accident (causing her to lose her leg) hasn’t stopped her from living a life she loves.

Art has always been a part of Cynthia’s world. Even when starting college with a more “practical” course load, she realized after only a few months that art needed to be a part of her life long-term. She loved spending time in the studio with her work and seeing her pieces come to life. When she was a senior at the University of Miami, Cynthia did something for the first time that would become a huge part of her creative path: she painted on a body. She describes her work as creating harmony between people and their environments, just as animals have with their environments. In 2009 Cynthia started Body Paintography, documenting her art on the human body through photography, and symbolizing humanity and connection.

After capturing the beauty of other bodies for years, Cynthia’s life was turned upside down. In 2015, Cynthia experienced a life-changing accident that forever altered the way she lives and works. While riding a motorcycle on the highway, she and a friend were suddenly struck by a car cutting into the toll-only express lanes on I-95. Cynthia lost her leg. Her friend broke her ankle. It’s a miracle, she says, that they survived.

Even though Cynthia is now in the “disabled” demographic as an amputee, she maintains a positive outlook. She feels grateful that it wasn’t worse, that she is still here today, and that it pushed her to improve.

Regardless of shape or ability, Cynthia wants everyone to see the beauty in our forms, and that we all have more in common than we think.

What else can you expect in this episode?

  • The reason why painting bodies is such a great fit for Cynthia.
  • How becoming an amputee introduced Cynthia to the “Disabled Community” and why your body doesn’t have to shape who you are.
  • Cynthia’s experience with the Bold Beauty Project.
  • What Cynthia describes as one of the highlights of her career (hint: it happens at Burning Man.)
  • The significance behind the red hands in her photographs.

Where to find Cynthia Fleischmann:

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