Let’s Be Honest About Our Bodies

by Denise Klimentova

 

The artists I adore the most are the ones that have their own unique style, in addition to making you laugh with their art and motivating or supporting you in any way. I follow most of the artists I love on social media. I believe it’s crucial to realize who you are actually following. Is it someone who makes you feel inferior, negative, or jealous? Or are we following the people who make us feel safe, make us laugh and most importantly people we can identify with? That’s why I especially adore the work of Fran Meneses (@frannerd). She has a very pronounced personal style, and on top of that, the topics she tackles can fit each and every one of us. She shows us just way we are – no filters. She makes sure to include details in her art which despite being natural are often seen as flaws. Her illustration ‘I have Hair’ says it all.

Planet Prudence (@planetprudence) is one that always makes me laugh, and I can fully identify with her ‘Expectation vs. Reality’ works. It reminds me of the importance of being able to laugh at yourself from time to time.

Last but not least, I love Priscila Barbosa (@priii_barbosa). Her work pictures this whole thing we call ‘womanhood’ with such elegance and lightness, that it always makes me realize why it shouldn’t be a taboo to talk about the ways a woman’s body works, as she shows it in such a pretty and natural way.

These women, among many others, inspire me daily so in my illustrations I’m trying to point out some absolutely natural things, which, in today’s world of social media, have turned into something virtually non-existent, because of Photoshop.

Wrinkles, stretch marks, birthmarks, freckles and scars are being retouched, boobs enlarged, hips scaled down, noses straightened up, lips enlarged, eyes enlarged, legs lengthened, and the list goes on and on. All of these things, which are usually hidden in today’s world, are the memories of a good laugh, growing up, scraping open your knee or winning a fight against a disease. None of these things is something to be ashamed of.

I’m inspired by women in my surroundings, I enjoy talking to them about the problems they feel most affected by and that is usually where I get the ideas for my art. I was seriously surprised by how misinformed today’s girls can be. For instance, believing that orange peel cellulite is exclusively an issue of girls with a few extra pounds, or that stretch marks are something to be ashamed of when these might just show that a girl turned into a woman early in her life.

Nowadays, when there are so many different versions of the same and so many opinions, it’s kind of hard to “decide” what to believe, which piece of information is the right one?

My biggest success would be to open girls’ eyes and make them realize that what is eating their heart out, or what they might be ashamed of, is natural, or even attractive.

Never ever forget that girls have to support each other.

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DENISE KILMENTOVA

Denise is twenty-five years old and comes from a small town in the Czech Republic. She has been drawing and painting for so long that she cannot even imagine her days without it. When she was a child, she used to draw mainly princesses, and that’s what she has come back to now, just in a little different way. This year she began sharing her illustrations through an Instagram account which has resulted in her collaborating with the @girlstogirls_eu project (a network about beauty, culture, food and self-care from girls for girls). Her dream and overall goal is to become a full-time illustrator so that she can take care of herself and her cat, Bellatrix.