Artist Cecile Dormeau's Illustrations Highlight Body Image Issues Women Face (Even Though They Shouldn't Have To)
Have you ever felt like you literally had three stomachs, or two chins, or the body hair of a gorilla? These body image illustrations by Cecile Dormeau hear you. Giving literal form to many women's worst body anxieties, the drawings simultaneously understand these worries and help viewers take them less seriously. "We hear and read everywhere that we should be proud of our bodies the way that they are, that all bodies are beautiful," Dormeau tells Bustle via email. "But on the other hand, we are constantly bombarded with fitness and diet ads. 'Eat less cheese or your butt will sag.'"
She adds that the hyperbolic images — like a stomach that serves as a shelf and a body that crushes people underneath it — were for both humor and relatability. Most people who have struggled with body image know that sometimes the way we see ourselves really is that exaggerated. Dormeau hopes her illustrations can help women see that they're blowing their bodies out of proportion, literally and figuratively:
We girls have a tendency to easily find faults in our appearances, so if my followers can recognize themselves in my illustrations and laugh at them (and with them), I hope that it can help them de-dramatize the flaws that they see in themselves. Once assuming your flaws, you can finally stop caring about them and start to focus on what really matters to you.
Here are some of the body image issues Dormeau illustrates, which women shouldn't have to face, but often do anyway. They'll make you feel better both about the body parts you obsess over, and about the fact that you obsess over them in the first place.
1. Stomach Folds
Nearly everyone has these! Yet many of us feel them so acutely, it's as if they've taken on a life of their own, faces and all.
2. Droopy Breasts
Despite what most magazine photo spreads would have you think, breasts are subject to gravity. But these unrealistic depictions leave even young women feeling like old ladies (and while we're on the subject, there's wrong with old ladies, either).
3. Body Hair
While men are rarely expected to shave anything outside their faces, women are taught to feel like feral animals if they have a single strand of hair anywhere on their bodies besides their heads.
Our society teaches us that "fat" equals "lazy," as well as indicative of poor discipline. Obviously none of this is true, but sometimes we feel like it is anyway.
5. Being Bigger Than Your Boyfriend
We often compare ourselves to other people in general, but in particular, gender roles teach us that men should be bigger than women. When this isn't the case, it can lead women to feel self-conscious.
6. Small Breasts
The hilarious thing about this "16 sizes bigger bra" is that it's not too far off from a lot of the products marketed to us.
View more hilariously accurate manifestations of our worst body image fears on Cecile Dormeau's Tumblr.
Images: Courtesy of Cecile Dormeau