For years, media and advertising have set the standards about how we’re supposed to feel about our bodies. We are constantly bombarded with ideas and opinions from other people, not to mention every ad and billboard around.
Starting in adolescence, we begin to explore our bodies. This is a natural process through which we all go through. It helps us understand how we function and how we react to different impulses. It’s at this stage when we slowly start to value ourselves. Sadly this is also at the time when many reject their own bodies because of the societal disapproval they perceive.
Women seem to be more affected by these prejudiced beliefs that only seem to grow. One of these ideas is that women should be more demure than men in order to find their place in society, this while also having to take responsibility for fitting into what others expect from them. They need to look a certain way so that they won’t be judged or marginalized by others.
How can anyone speak out against this problematic situation? Many women simply refuse to follow these standards. By rejecting them, they are also protesting against this ideology and absurd imposition. Others like Gemma Correll, Agustina Guerrero, and Cécile Dormeau have found creative ways to not only protest, but also show the world the difficulties faced by women on a daily basis. These images display all the things they need to worry about in order to not be ashamed or embarrassed in front of others.
Breasts that are too far apart or too large, legs with body hair, or uneven tan lines are just some of the situations this French artist captures in her drawings. Her intention is to portray what the average girl must endure or sacrifice in order to not fall victim to comments that can further hurt her self-esteem.
There is no acceptable reason for them to be ashamed of their bodies. If they’re meant to live in that body for the rest of their life, then it only makes sense to accept and love it as it is and appreciate it despite what others might say or do.
The women in these funny illustrations are real human beings who refuse to fall prey to societal constructs. They teach us that it's possible to exist far from media standards and advertisement industry. They are able to ignore hurtful comments that seem to be made without being aware of the wounds words can create.
You can find more of Cécile’s illustrations on her Instagram page.
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Translated by María Suárez