Being that we are more or less entrenched in a society that demands we dislike ourselves to keep consumerism thriving, body positivity is a radical, beautiful thing. When it comes to all the ways we can celebrate healthy and happiness, these comics about body love definitely make a statement. Created by artist and illustrator Ronnie Rene Ritchie, they place "fitspiration" messages next to messages of true positivity, and the results are really heartwarming.
Ronnie lives and works in Peterborough, Ontario, and is a BFA graduate from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. According to their site, Ronnie has worked as a Contributing Comic Artist for the online magazine Everyday Feminism, and has had art featured in the Sweet Treats zine as well as the Pacific Rim charity fanbook, Beyond the Breach. Ronnie's work is inspired by traditional tattoos, shoujo manga, and Victorian broadsides, and utilizes flat shapes and bright pastel color palettes.
This particular work of hers is especially topical, given the rise of "fitspo" on social media platforms. Even if you've never heard the term "fitspo," you've definitely seen it around: it refers to what is an endless stream of images, messages, quotes, and articles that are meant to "inspire" you to want to be fit. However, it is intensely problematic, as the line between "desiring health" and "wanting to be thin and masking that desire with the idea of health" is heavily blurred. Let's get one thing straight: health and fitness are important, but mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. Often when people misconstrue what physical health really is with these "fitspo" images that only represent one body type, we compromise our mental and emotional health by not fitting the standard they project. It's because of this that it's important to acknowledge and speak about these very pervasive, very unhealthy ideas that some people are touting as aspirational.
This is why artists like Ronnie create the things they do: to differentiate what's rooted in self-dislike and what's motivated by self-love. When you see the comics below, you'll be able to tell the difference without a doubt. The switch between telling yourself that you're "not hungry, just bored" and learning to recognize when you are, in fact, definitely hungry, won't only ease your stress, it will help you be more productive and energized. The switch between stressing out over how many calories are in a cookie and learning to savor every wonderful bite is the difference between whether or not eating is a stressful chore or something you can enjoy. These comics serve as much needed motivation to learn how to trust yourself and your body, shake loose the pervasive images we're berated with on a daily basis, and root your mindset in self-love and positivity.
When You're Feeling Hungry
When You're Having A Treat
When You're Getting Dressed In The Morning
When You're Choosing Physical Activities For Yourself
Images: Courtesy of Ronnie Ritchie (4)