How to have the perfect body? This question has fuelled my recent painting campaign, capturing and promoting the organic nature of the real female form, and with it, its beauty. Stumbling across the below illustration, I thought it summed up that question in its purest form. When you see a bloom of plants, no one has the same shape or size, they are unique and that diversity is embraced in a flourishing garden. So why are aren’t we as kind to ourselves?
This post is dedicated to the three artists that have enriched my ongoing passion towards capturing the beauty of the diverse female form through art. Each of these women has influenced me for different reasons, but have one thing in common, they are making change happen, now.
1. Chidera Eggerue, AKA “The Slumflower”
Illustration by @theyammymammy
Chidera Eggerue, AKA @theslumfower, the campaigner behind the “saggy boobs matter” movement and the author of “WHAT A TIME TO BE ALONE”. Chidera has used social media platforms to empower women with the courage to go beyond self-acceptance, to self-love. Chidera is unapologetically shaking up society, with her powerful words both as a writer and a motivational speaker.
“A strong woman is a woman who knows herself, her purpose and her value, regardless of how many people, situations and circumstances have tried to convince her otherwise. A strong woman is a woman who chooses to rise through it all, no matter how long it takes her. She does not beg to be accepted and she is aware of her power. A strong woman will not wait for you to validate her.” – The Slumflower
In a world where limits have been imposed on her, Chidera fails to accept them, she is breaking boundaries. Initially, as a style blogger, Chidera has expressed her frustration with being ignored online, “I was screaming into a void and no one was listening to me. As much as I tried and tried and tried, because I was a woman everything I said was seen as less valuable or less important”.
Well, people are sure listening now. To her TED talks and TV interviews, the audience she is branching out to is vast and the positive recognition from large media influencers such as Elle and Vogue are only snowballing her positive influence! She is truly a tribute to the limitless possibilities a woman can achieve.
This artist uses digital graphics to emphasise the strength of a woman by comparing her pregnancy stretch marks with that of a tiger, both brave and beautiful.
Illustrations by @theyammymammy
This proud mother speaks up about her body and her mind during the transition of becoming a mother, a beautiful and natural process. Sadly the reminders a woman’s body is left with have negative perceptions in today’s society and are labelled scars.
“Having my body change for my child was the best thing ever”
@theyammymammy is changing perceptions and rebranding her post-natal body, she has “earned her stripes” and her illustrations convey the beauty that should be associated with the gift of becoming a mother. If there is anything important @theyammymammy has given me, it is that my mental and physical marks from the conquests of my life tell a story, one I am proud of, and that is a powerful tool to create art with.
3. Ellie Kammer
Both an artist and activist, Ellie Kammer has both raised awareness and money for endometriosis in her exhibition, “NESCIENCE”.
Artist Instagram – @elliekammer
There are many praiseworthy attributes to Kammer’s work, in particular, her ability to externalise the inner suffering of the many women who have this disease, and often suffer in silence. Kammer is reminding women to never feel ashamed over a disease that makes ignorant people feel uncomfortable. Kammer’s use of bold, deep red markings for blood makes the pieces eye-catching in a brutal way to grab the attention of the viewer, demanding engagement.
The second attribute of Kammer’s work that influences my own is her depiction of the female form. The conscious choice to represent the body of a woman in its organic, fleshy form. Kammer is promoting the real woman, one who has pubic hair and natural breasts and I admire her for this.
So, although in a world dominated by social media and unrealistic expectations, for all the unrealistic portrayals as a woman, there is also a growing force of unstoppable women who are telling an important story, a woman’s truth.
We have hope ladies!