It's Nimoy's turn to celebrate eight decades, and to be celebrated in turn with some of my favorite pictures of him. There’s a reason that, over on Tumblr, I tag anything he’s in with: “I love this man”. The following are some of the reasons why. (Warning: I'm an unabashed fangirl.)
I love him because he’s a photographer, degreed in it and everything, and a damn impressive one. He's worked in digital and in color, but his preferred medium is black and white, old-fashioned, developed-with-his-own-hands film. I am someone who will never willingly work in black and white - color is part of the tactile joy of photography to me - and even I have to admit to being amazed by the way he makes black and white sing.
I love him for Spock. Everything he has done to create and flesh out the character, from -- as the well-known story goes -- using a rabbinical hand symbol to create the “live long and prosper” hand sign, to giving an economy of movement to Spock after seeing a Harry Belafonte concert and realizing how powerful that can be, to the amazing, subtle (and sometimes not so) expressions he allowed to slip through. For creating the entire Vulcan culture almost single-handedly, and creating the consummate Vulcan… who also had a sense of humor.
I love him for having done a wide-ranging body of work and done it all so well. For still having such love and affection for Trek as a whole, its fans, and his character specifically after 45-ish years, despite also having worked in films like A Woman Called Golda and Never Forget, and Equus on Broadway, and his one-man play, Theo. And this doesn’t even touch his directorial work or published writing.
I love him because he created a photo project/book called The Full Body Project, in which he took pictures of obese women, mirroring poses in famous fashion photographs or paintings, and of the experience, said the following:
“The average American woman, according to articles I’ve read, weighs 25 percent more than the models who are showing the clothes they are being sold,” Mr. Nimoy said, his breathing slightly labored by allergies and a mild case of emphysema. “So, most women will not be able to look like those models. But they’re being presented with clothes, cosmetics, surgery, diet pills, diet programs, therapy, with the idea that they can aspire to look like those people. It’s a big, big industry. Billions of dollars. And the cruelest part of it is that these women are being told, ‘You don’t look right.’ ”
Happy 80th Birthday, Leonard Nimoy. I wish you, too, a hundred healthy, happy, productive years.