Marrying the man you love wasn't in the cards until the late nineteenth century. The decision of who would be your future husband depended on social and economic factors evaluated by a third person, mainly your parents. The concept of arranged marriages was common around the world, and even when it meant a nightmare for many, some women were relieved to not have to worry about that stressful decision. Nowadays, the number of arranged marriages has decreased, at least in the West; yet, in some places of South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America the custom of marrying women to someone they don't even know and, of course, they didn't choose, is still common.
If we analyze the evolution of freedom of speech and women's choices from a historical point of view, we can see that the situation of the female gender has changed considerably. It has been a difficult war and it will be won when all women walk side by side with men and enjoy the same kinds of success and opportunities.
We all have to make a choice and every day we must make decisions, from the monumental to the mundane. No matter if they're big or small, these decisions can be exhausting and stressful.
This is not about mediocrity or fear; what really makes us constantly doubt is our capacity to imagine all different scenarios or consequences. "If I chose that, this will happen; if I do it this way, I'll regret it later; if I don't go, I'll never achieve that; if I go, I might run that risk;" this is how our minds analyze things over and over again to make everyday decisions. Of course, there is a beauty in womanhood but it is rife with challenges as well.
Everyday decisions define our degree of happiness. Waking up and leaving the bed immediately or staying a few more minutes already represent a complex process of resolution. Washing our hair so we can have curls or not washing them so we can use an iron. Wearing black to look thinner and just adding an accessory to look elegant, or wearing colors to highlight every aspect of our look.
How much time do you spend on the big decisions and on the small ones? In a single day you can go through every decision you've taken, from your professional trajectory and university degree to choosing your partner, and even what you'll have for dinner tomorrow.
Even if making decisions stresses us out, the pleasure produced by making the right one is always beyond compare. While we may cringe at some mistakes, we also laugh at some of them, yes we feel momentary embarrassment and even anger, but these harsh emotions fade away with time. Gemma Correll illustrates those moments where we look back and laugh at our nonsense.
Gemma Correll's illustrations show that the inner struggle between our hearts and minds lies at the core of this constant doubt and indecision. This tug of war leads us to act irrationally and only when we look back do we realize how silly we once were.
You can also check how this illustrator calls out the forces that try to make women feel insecure.
If you want to know more about this artist, take a look at her Instagram: Gemma Correll
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards