Zen Pencils Illustrates Frida Kahlo's "Strange Like Me" Quote To Fight Eyebrow Shaming Because Body Positivity Includes Our Faces
Just like every other feminist who started her education on Tumblr, I'm a huge fan of Frida Kahlo — not just for her stunning art, but for her rejection of Western beauty standards and norms. Zen Pencils is an inspirational cartoon website, where people can submit quotes to artist Gavin Aung Than, who will then create a cartoon from them. I've been a fan for a long time and the website is a great place to visit when you're feeling low. The creativity and thought put into representing each quote is truly special.
But back to Frida Kahlo: Not everybody has on fleek eyebrows and before eyebrows were really a thing, it didn't matter to most of us what our natural brows looked like. Although I had really bushy brows as a pre-teen, I had a fringe and it wasn't particularly something that I ever thought about. My mom had plucked hers into neat lines in the '90s and colored them in carefully every day — she was drawing on her eyebrows long before drug stores started selling eyebrow kits, a true pioneer.
Realistically, although I mourn the eyebrows I once had and paint them back onto my over-plucked face every day, my situation is a lot easier than some. Polycystic ovarian syndrome might've given me a mustache, but I have never had to cope with a unibrow. For a long time, a unibrow has not been seen as a sign of beauty. Even currently, the body shaming participants of the #dontjudgechallenge have been drawing in between their eyebrows as though they're a negative attribute.
Aung Than's interpretation of Kahlo's "strange like me" quote could easily have led to a piece about love, marriage, or friendship. Instead, he used it to give a strong body positive message. Although we may feel desperately alone or different for our appearance — for an aspect of ourselves that we've never seen represented or appreciated before — it doesn't matter. Someone out there is "strange like you."
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.” — Frida Kahlo
Images: Gavin Aung Than/zenpencils.com