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These Bold & Beautiful Illustrations Show Everything That An Indian Woman Is (And Isn't!)

These Bold & Beautiful Illustrations Show Everything That An Indian Woman Is (And Isn't!)

Somehow, somewhere through time, people conjured up the idea of this perfect woman, who doesn't really exist. The women who did exist, however, were now under this immense pressure to match up to her. You couldn't have a single strand of hair anywhere on your body, you needed to have a different digestive system than that of men because it's not ladylike to burp or fart and you just had to look beautiful at ALL times. But the truth is real women are nothing like this. We're very hairy (and waxing is so painful!), we burp, we fart, our bodies are a tiny bit disgusting and we couldn't care less about wearing makeup all the time. 


With increasing number of women breaking gender stereotypes and refusing to conform to the norms of the society, an Indian artist on Instagram started to capture the struggles of today's women perfectly. Kaviya, a 28-year old, Mumbai based artist was tired of the picture-perfect depiction of women in media before she took it upon herself to break some myths. 


Keeping in line with the viral Instagram #100DaysOfHappiness, Kaviya started her own #100DaysOfDirtyLaundry on her Instagram account, wallflowergirlsays. All of her illustrations are all about the lighter side of life. Have a look for yourself!


1. Your fears make you who you are!




 

#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 65 - Deep dark fears ft. Gregor Samsa(s) . . . In no particular order, 'Fears' - . . - A dying baby animal/plant . . - Counting minutes left to leave office, counting sheep unable to fall asleep at 3 AM, counting days left till Friday and counting weeks left till the next long weekend and one day suddenly realising life actually passed by in entirety without realising. . . . - 6.22 PM Virar fast local (Come see maximum city, minimum dignity of life) . . - Compliments on work (The imposter syndrome - 'You talking about me? Really?') . . - A life of mediocrity. . . - Everything without legs (snakes, fishes) and some with legs (creepy gutka-spewing humans, cockroaches) . . - Blind cynicism (The subtle art of not giving a fuck is cool and all but what's life without atleast some things that you give a fuck about?). . . - Excessive vulnerability (this project for one) . . - Unrequited love and at the other end of the spectrum, the ones I rebuffed. . . - Extremism & fanaticism of any kind (nothankyou) . . - Dying in my least favourite clothes and without my eyeliner game on point (Hail narcissism) . . - Tangled messy eeky hair in the bathroom sink. . . - Sleeping alone, horror movies, nearly-headless ghosts under bed (Shameless adult-child forever) . . - Not walking the talk. . . - Rage . . - Strange surreal dreams and the uncomfortable truths they make bring out. . . - Money, less money & more money. . . - Also, people in general. . . . . . . . #the100dayproject #gregorsamsa #illustration #instaart #digitalart #sketch #fear #fears #deepdarkfears #phobia #spooky #overthinking #creepy #nightmares #scared #instagood #anxiety #instalike #afraid #graphicdesign #indianillustrator #artistsoninstagram #indianartist #india #womenwhodraw #art #artist


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2. We're women, not treasure that you need to keep us hidden!




 

#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 21 - Piece of meat . . (Model ref: Stock) . . Women's breasts are commodities. To be gazed at. To be used for selling men(& women) stuff. To make women everywhere believe that their own is always inadequate(whether its a 28C or a 40D). . . . Some years ago, I read a desperate click-baitish headline 'Free the nipple movement gains huge celebrity support'. I couldn't help but wonder if this was another sexist ploy by men to 'convince' women to bare it all. . . The campaign's virality might have partly been due to that, but it started out as a fight for Gender Equality arguing that women, like all men, should be free to bare their nipples in public - Be it a mom breastfeeding in public or a woman who just felt hot in the sweltering heat. Quite naturally, the controversial campaign went viral. Celebrities & millions of supporters were quick to join marches, quick to upload their bare-top photos on social media, only to have police dissolve their protests or Facebook & Instagram remove their photos citing vulgarity. . . I have mixed feelings about the campaign. But the question that it raises is interesting - "It is 'illegal', a state crime for women to willingly go topless, yet you can buy dozens of magazines or hit Ctrl+Shift+N to search for a woman without her top. You can use her breasts to sell everything from alcohol to cars to creams, but you cannot let her wear her own breasts?" (Violet Rose, #freethenipple) . . That a woman can take control & sexualize herself willingly is ofcourse wrong and disgusting. Slut, bitch and other familiar name-callings basically. . . The premise is interesting considering in the 1900s it was illegal for men to walk around shirtless in the 'progressive' western world. I am not even kidding. Things changed when four guys went topless in 1934 on a beach at Coney Island, NY and were each fined $1. They protested the fine and won their case. By 1936, it was completely legal for guys to walk around with nothing on top. Men basically had their own #freethenipple campaign even before hashtags were invented. . . Closer home we have an equally controversial story that's quite the opposite. (Continued in comments)


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3. There really is nothing more natural than your period!




 

#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 40 - Whispers & murmurs . . I wanted to colour the stain under the legs blue, just like an innocuous ink blot, just like the ones in those sanitary pad ads. Red does look weird I agree, even when I look down every time, 4 days a month. Wish I didn't have to bleed blue only for the Indian cricket team. . . Hush, I already hear screams of taboo, so let's quickly wash the stain off my lingerie - . . - it's disgusting YET a necessity for every woman out there. It's simply utterly disgusting if u are a woman even acutely interested in procreation. . . - I wouldn't have hated it with such vengeance if all it did was appear coyly 4 days a month & quietly made its way out. But no, it needs drama, just like every woman ever? So it plots to make me sulk, weep over rom-coms 3 days prior, bitterly cry for Ramsey Bolton's murder 2 days prior & transform me into Dracarys, the dragon a day prior. Basically, do not disturb me when I'm PMSing or else I will find u & burn you. . . - quick math- so that's 4+3 = 7 days, only a week a month losing my sanity over the red devil. Just maybe 1/4 of my life ok? Crying, acne-puss secreting, bloating, bleeding, more wailing, more bleeding. . . - what's the new furore on the net? New-age startups introducing an OPTIONAL 1 day off for women on their 1st day of period & everyone's already losing their minds. Isn't 12 weeks of maternity leave already enough? 1 more day off a month, that's 12 more days a year(for periods!), aren't you giving companies more arsenal to keep women off the workforce? Feminists disagree. I really don't know. Will some women misuse it? Maybe. Will some really need it? Absolutely yes. (For men wondering, it hurts. Maybe like when you get hit there?). . . - which brings me back to something that happened in office. Colleague approaches & whispers in an inaudible voice - psst, do u have it, do u have it? Do I have what? Dragonglass? Cooties? Ebola? Oh, you mean a sanitary pad! Yeah I do. Next time, don't bother whispering. Let the guy eavesdropping in next cubicle know u are looking for a sanitary pad. Why the secrecy about 1/4th of your life? #normalizeperiods #hateitneverthless


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4. Social media can be one of the best highs and one of the worst hangovers!





5. One of the worst things, for a woman, is having to wear a bra at home!





6. Kaviya nailed the pressures of getting older!





7. If your relationship status on Facebook doesn't say 'committed', are you even in a relationship?




 

#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 74 - It's very, very complicated. . . If your relationship isn't online, is it even real? . . But your WhatsApp profile picture is only of you staring into cosmic emptiness, your Facebook relationship status is undefined, both of you don't tag each other in hilarious Buzzfeed/AIB memes, your instagram has no trace of birthday gifts or fancy AF dinners with your 'fave' boy, there are no common movie or pub check-ins, no photos together with a dozen comments of 'you guys are so cute ❤' written underneath, are you really, really sure your relationship with this 'guy' you proclaim isn't imaginary?. . . #willyoubemyitscomplicatedonfacebook? #millenialandgenzproblems #hobbestomycalvin #imaginaryfriends #loveinthetimeofhashtags


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8. Now, taking offense seems to be a national pastime.





9. Do you see a disturbing pattern here?





10. The truth about living in a country of creeps!




 

#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 51 - Creep-nation . . (Face reference - sutabombay) . . 5th standard. 8 AM over-crowded local bus back home from summer sports camp. "You look exhausted, do you want to come sit on my lap, child?" smiles the 40ish bus conductor with yellow teeth. I oblige, it was a 2 hr journey after all. I kept quiet because nothing wrong with a stranger's kindness right? . . High school. Physics Lab. A girl's only class. A brilliant 50 year-old Physics teacher. Beads of perspiration on my forehead anxiously awaiting the Mid term results in his hands. "Come here kid, you have done good. 98/100, next time I expect a centum" Pulls me in a tight embrace & appreciatively pats on the back, then the lower back. I was the happiest kid in class, finally I get to beat my best friend. Until, he does the same to the next girl, and the next and the next. Marksheet, embrace, pat on bum. I kept quiet because nothing wrong with a respected teacher appreciating students with hugs & pats right? . . Freshers party. Thrown by seniors at a hip club. 3 rounds of tequila shots down, two of us giddily walk into the girl's restroom only to find a friend sitting on the floor staring into space. "The party's just getting started, don't tell me you are already sloshed". No answer from her. "Are you ok?". "Well, I was dancing with the girls. A senior guy pulled me from the group insisting on one dance. The girl's egged me on, "Common, he's cute". Halfway through the dance, I am pretty sure I felt something rock hard grinding on my back. I turn around shocked & he gives me one of his coy smiles. Next minute, he is off causally to dance with the other group". I kept quiet because I told myself what could I do? . . . Last year. Juhu beach. Sitting alone after a run staring into the sea thinking about the last 2 years in the city. "How much to go?" asks the curly haired stranger. "I'm sorry what?". "How much is the rate to go?" he repeats, placing a hand on my shoulder. I kept quiet & ran. . And these are only the ones I feel vulnerable enough to share out. . . All the dirty hands that want to grab a piece of a woman. Last I heard even Trump wants to right? Go grab them. . . (Cont)


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Published on Jan 18, 2018
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