Women can experience an overwhelming amalgamation of thoughts when they get ready to go out: "Will this outfit make me look slutty?" "Is my makeup applied correctly?" Daisy Mojave Holland's 'Humor And Female Empowerment' illustration series both acknowledges these thoughts and puts them in perspective, ironically using images of women to shift focus away from women's appearances. The subjects of Holland's illustrations are wonderfully unapologetic about everything from their selfies to their clothing — and they're also a fantastic reminder of all the things women do not, in fact, have to apologize about.
"As a young woman, I am strongly aware of the expectations and social pressures put onto women, and it made me want to empower all women who have felt insecure in a humorous way and without casting blame," the London-based illustrator tells Bustle over email. Indeed, women spend an hour a day working on their looks on average, according to a TODAY.com survey, and the average woman has 13 body-hating thoughts per day, according to another survey by Glamour.
But rather than just encourage women to replace their negative appearance-related thoughts with positive ones, Holland hopes her work can help women forget about their looks altogether. "Women aren't there purely to look beautiful, and they have just as much right to go out and have fun, forgetting about social media's stress on female appearance," she says. That's what the illustration below gets across, with a woman enjoying a glass of wine despite losing some of her lipstick on it.
The other women in the drawings are similarly unapologetic for their exteriors, whether they have imperfect makeup, "slutty" clothes, tattoos, cheap accessories, or ungroomed eyebrows. You get the sense that these women have other things they'd rather think about.
Through slogans like "no bra, no worries," Holland also challenges the assumption that your bra — or anything else you wear — says anything about you. A woman's lack of bra doesn't make her "slutty," her tattoos don't necessarily make her a rebel, and her low-cut shirt is not a cry for attention.
Holland believes social media, where women's images often receive more focus than anything else about them, can promote these stereotypes and unrealistic expectations surrounding what women look like.
In addition to making an important point about society, the illustrations are colorful, fun to look at, and humorous. Holland said she hopes this style makes feminism more accessible. "Often, people see it as a radical subject which excludes others, and so, in this series, I am attempting to approach it in a playful manner that all women can relate to and everyone can appreciate," she said.
Although there is of course nothing wrong with putting thought into your appearance if you like to do so, the pressure to think about appearance constantly is definitely something a lot of women can relate to. As such, hopefully many people will appreciate the fun way Holland calls attention to this serious problem.
Images: Courtesy of Daisy Mojave Holland