Mona Lisa Smiled

In 1996, I saw the Mona Lisaat the Louvre in Paris. Standing there in front of the painting, I heard – like many before and after me have heard – an American woman say, “It’s so small.”

The woman was disappointed. She came from a culture where something was being evaluated based on its size. Hearing her, I felt disgusted. As I turned around, I saw—with joy and satisfaction—that she was fat and wearing clothing of no particular style, along with a yellow cap with a guide logo on it. She was part of group wearing identical caps. She didn’t want to get lost. 

Read the rest of my essay in Critical Read