This Artist Is Changing the Way Women View Their Bodies One Powerful Drawing at a Time
Over the past few months as I'm trucking along on my self-love, body-accepting journey, I started following a bunch of intuitive eating Instagram accounts. They've been incredible at inspiring positive thoughts and actions, and to help me feel supported rebelling against diet culture. While scrolling through, I stumbled on Rachel Jean Design and instantly felt drawn and connected to her message of body confidence.
When I reached out to ask permission to share her powerful drawings, we had a wonderful conversation, and I asked what her inspiration was for her art. She said, "It's always been about my own relationship with my body. I always felt 20 pounds away from my 'goal weight.' I've done all the diets from WW to Noom, to low-carb and slow-carb. Nothing worked, and the common denominator was me; so I concluded that I must be the one failing."
It helped her see health in a different way as she started peeling apart the misinformation she once thought was fact-based. Rachel said, "I was seeing my body in a different light. I started to shift from thinking my body was the problem, to realizing that society's expectations of our bodies is the problem. And in that shift, I found so much contentment and inner peace."
Rachel shared honestly that it's still a struggle. "I have days where I look at myself and think, 'If only I was 20 pounds lighter.'" But she's learning to rewrite the script in her brain and this body positive community has helped so much. "This is my way of giving back, of taking the messages and reminders I need to hear and sharing them with others," she said.
"I want every women who has ever felt like me to find some comfort in my art," Rachel said, "to know so many women share this journey and these struggles. And to show them that learning to love yourself unlocks your potential and allows you to be yourself."
I'm grateful to Rachel for sharing this important message so things can change and improve not only for ourselves, but for future generations. Scroll through to see some of her amazing work.
"Let's end the cycle of shaming. ⠀
Let's stop photoshopping our bodies. ⠀
Let's stop hiding our curves and rolls. ⠀
Let's show our cellulite, our stretch marks, our scars. ⠀
Let's normalize normal bodies."
"It is so important to start seeing women accurately represented in our media and in fashion. We are constantly forced to compare our very real and very normal bodies to unrealistic and edited bodies and the result isn't good for our mental health."
"Our softness, both inside and out, is what make us human."
"Who wants to be a rebel!?"
"If this is something you struggle with, there are some great resources out there, professionals who can help you work though your shame and overcome it, and hopefully someone you trust that you can open up to about your feelings."
"It's just that simple."
"Take the time to get to know yourself, for all the wonder and joy you bring into the world.
And to be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with caring about your appearance. I love wearing makeup and putting on outfits that make me feel confident and comfortable.
Just make sure you get to know yourself beyond your appearance too.
You have so much to offer the world. And it R E A L L Y doesn't matter what you look like doing it."
"You guys. Losing 'fat' won't make you love yourself or your body more."
"Next time you stand in front of the mirror, instead of poking and pulling at all the wobbly bits, stressing over cellulite, or worrying about the hair on your legs . . . try speaking kindly to yourself.
With a little work, patience and practice, you can learn to flip the script in your head to one of gratitude and gratefulness."⠀
"Happiness does not lie in how this body looks, but in learning to love it and appreciate it. ⠀
To embrace it. ⠀
For all it's done for you. ⠀
For all the love it's given. ⠀
Maybe it's time to give it some love back."
"When we talk about a child's 'health,' their mental and emotional health needs to be a part of that conversation. There is not one body type we all need to conform to and it breaks my heart that young kids are already feeling this pressure. ⠀
Let's change the conversations we have with our bodies and teach the next generation how to have a healthy relationship with theirs." Yes!
"We know comparing ourselves to edited models and unrealistic beauty images makes us feel like crap. It impacts self-esteem, self-worth, and self-acceptance. It pushes us toward diet culture and the magical fix they try to sell us. ⠀
It's a slippery slope for young women. Dieting often leads to eating disorders or feeling even worse about yourself when you fail the diet (crazy that the diet never fails you, eh? You must have done it wrong . . . ) ⠀
This is why it's so important to show our rolls, curves, dimples, cellulite etc. It's time to normalize these things."
"This time of year is hard. It can make us feel like failures if we abandon our unrealistic New Year's goals. Or we may be dealing with trauma from being with family over the holiday. Oh perhaps the grey skies, slush, and bone chilling cold are just making you feel BLAH.
Whatever you're facing, let me remind you that being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others."
"We are al humans sharing this experience; let's treat each other with respect."
"What amazing wonderful things has your body allowed you to do?"
"Self-limiting beliefs are defined as our assumptions or presumptions about our abilities and how the world works. Often times we use these beliefs to justify why we can't do or try something. 'I am a horrible writer, I could never wear that, I could never do that.'⠀
Build a circle of women who lift you up past some of those beliefs and into a better head space!"
"Beauty IS a feeling. And it's time we all get to feel GOOD AS HELL, am I right?"
"The number or size on your bikini has nothing to do with your worth or value as a human being."
"Some days your journey will be full of acceptance and other days you will need to constantly remind yourself not to fall into the traps your own worse critic and society set up for you. (AND THATS OK!)"
"At the end of the day, body assumptions are bullshit and body commentary is NEVER necessary or helpful."
"I know it's so hard to stay body confident or body positive when you feel discomfort and pain.
How do we love our bodies when they are holding us back? This has been a struggle for me for years. I can love my body when I'm feeling good, but when I'm not, it's easy to fall back into old thought patterns like 'I am disgusting, worthless, etc.'⠀
For myself, I have started to focus on loving my body by taking care of it in this state of discomfort."
"Diet culture values size, weight, and shape over well-being.⠀
Surrounded by edited beach bodies and photoshopped bikini-clad women, it's very hard to not feel the need to be a certain size, to get yourself below a certain weight, to starve yourself into changing your shape. It becomes too easy to create the narration that you are somehow less, that you are a failure if you did not achieve those 'body goals.' ⠀
But you are not a failure, you are so much more than the numbers on a scale or the size of your waistband. Your value doesn't disintegrate with your arm flab, or because you have cellulite on your thighs that whisper to each other when you walk. You are a human, with so much more to offer the world, and really, fuck diet culture for making you feel anything less."
"MY BODY IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
MY BODY IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
MY BODY IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
The society we live in that has twisted our worth into the number on the scale, the size of our waist, the perfection of our skin . . . that is the problem."