Vanessa Papastavros' Body Positive Comeback Series Combats Sexism Disguised As Flattery

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The fight to enforce body positivity and eradicate unreasonable female beauty standards is an ongoing one. Artist Vanessa Papastavros' body positive comeback series attempts to combat these misogynistic narratives with illustrations that take the sexist and bigoted comments frequently aimed at womens’ bodies and adds the reactions we so frequently hear in our own minds.

Papastavros tells the Huffington Post that the more subtle comments masked as flattery are the ones that caught her interest. “The insult is subtle, it's encased in some flattery, but at the end of the day it's still singing the same broken-record tune: as a woman, you are not meeting my standards,” she told Huffington Post.

But she doesn’t want her work to be alienating. She clarifies that this series intends to spark a conversation about the way we discuss women’s bodies, and is a subset of her larger body of work that addresses various subjects. “I still don't view my blog as a body positive art blog — it's just an artistic space that's safe for people who are learning to love their bodies,” she tells Bustle.

Of her own relationship with beauty, she says, “These issues are important to me, and the messages in them are rare in the mainstream media, so I make art to make up for that. I think true beauty is embodying good mental and psychical health, and encouraging that in others. That's an ideal worth striving towards.”

View more of Vanessa's work over on her blog.

Images courtesy of Vanessa Papastavros