I felt sad and alone and most of my life was the inspiration to create these unique illustrations. Struggling with depression since I was a teenager, it took me years to learn a lot of ideas that I had socialized to believe, many of which had a negative impact on my mental health. I am still finding out how I can live in this world, but sharing my thoughts and realizations with others has proved to be a very rewarding process. The more I learn about how to live and love more the more I like to share my thoughts and realizations with my online community recipes for self love. I have been running my Instagram account for about two years now and have built a network of more than 445,000 people from all over the world. I want to continue growing my online community and spreading awareness and truths that I think have helped me a lot.
More info: Instagram
Not everyone's family is a source of love and support. Setting limits can be extremely difficult, especially with the family, but it is important to do this to protect yourself
Do not be ashamed that you need the time to hide from the world – take the time you need to rest and recover
Do not give up too much for your work, do not lose yourself and your value from the eye of work pressure. You are replaceable in any position, remember that no job is worthy of harming your physical, mental health, valuable relationships and happiness. Capitalism does not care about us, it is simply not worth it
You do not have to spend time with people who take you down and you feel bad, you just do not
We often feel the need to be nice, because we run the risk of being labeled "a bitch" for practicing characteristics such as daring, assertiveness or critical thinking. It is also often safer to be nice and to use de-escalating tactics to reduce conflicts in potentially violent situations. Your safety comes first of course, but remember in ordinary situations that you do not always have to be nice. If you have little energy, keep it to yourself
We are not competitors, we are allies. We must work together to destroy oppressive power structures that want to distract and control us
Sharing your emotions requires courage, it often brings you closer to the people you share with. Sometimes people make you weird when you share them, but maybe it's not you who are weird, but those who feel uncomfortable because of your vulnerability. Try to practice sharing your emotions when you feel compelled to do so, perhaps you remain aware of who you have chosen to be open.
Self-preservation! Often you have to put yourself in life first, and there is nothing wrong with that. You have to take care of yourself and protect yourself, and this does not mean that you are an egoistic or bad person
No smile, no fascinating conversation, nada. Men are not entitled to women and trans-female bodies and attention. You owe them nothing
We all grow and change over time, just like our relationships. Not everyone must be in your life forever. Friends come and go, allow them, and are not afraid to let go of relationships (platonic / romantic) that are no longer good for you
The world is trying so hard to convince us that the way we look is the most important and defining of us, when it is actually not important at all. We are so much more than our body, we are magic!
You do not have to know where you are going. You do not need a clear plan or path. Do not let them know where you are going to prevent you from moving. Keep going and you will come
There is only one you have ever been and will ever be. You are so precious and unique, so celebrate that!
In work and relationships it hurts to hear that someone does not want you or your ideas and it can really make your self-worth. Do not let it take you down, the world has a way to work things out. Try to process and release those feelings. Everyone experiences rejection, it will happen and happen again, it is not the end, trust that there is something better for you
Do not joke about their fashion, or their hair, or whatever. Do not worry about other women, the world is critical enough
Het leven is vaak moeilijk en verwarrend, je bent niet verantwoordelijk voor hoe je je voelt over de dingen die met jou en met jou gebeuren. Je kunt je gevoelens niet beheersen, het enige dat je kunt doen, is beslissen wat ze met hen doen wanneer ze aankomen. Probeer niet weg te lopen van je gevoelens, zelfs degenen die zich niet goed voelen. Probeer te onthouden dat je niet je gevoelens bent en dat je gevoelens niet altijd realiteit zijn
You’re not perfect and you don’t have to be. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but it doesn’t matter. Don’t change yourself to get other’s approval, don’t apologise for who you are
Although it might feel like you’re barely surviving rn, and you’re drowning, it’s not always going to be like this. There are new and positive experiences you’re going to have, people you will meet that will make you happy you’re alive, don’t lose hope
Don’t spend time with people who bring you down, drain your energy or make you feel lonely. There are plenty of precious connections to be made with people who will enrich your life, invest in those relationships
It's still fat shaming! Everyone's body is different and you cannot tell someone's health by looking at them, ALSO, even if someone is unhealthy it doesn't make them a bad person or any less worthy of love. Moral of the story… don't talk about other people's bodies
You’ve heard the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and there is a lot of truth to it, but sometimes what doesn’t kill you leaves you fucking traumatized and/or with PTSD so be gentle with yourself when it comes to facing life’s many challenges. Don’t let platitudes like this make you feel like you’re failing to somehow “rise above” your circumstances
Whatever you're going through right now, be it a goal you're wanting to reach or a personal issue you're working through; remember to be patient with yourself and love yourself through the process
Afro hair is not unprofessional or untidy. No matter your hair type, good hair is healthy hair.
Sex is a beautiful way to explore human connection, intimacy, vulnerability, and pleasure. Sex positivity is about helping people be totally happy with their sex lives whatever that may look like. Sex positivity is about encouraging people to embrace who they are, what they're into and to explore in a safe, consensual, fun and shame free way
Society as lead us to believe that our ultimate goal is to be beautiful because according to the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy beauty = value. Beauty standards exist, they are narrow and limited, some people fall into the category of what is considered “beautiful” and some don’t. The truth is we don’t need to be beautiful!!! It’s not the most important in life – we are so much more than that. Let us be weird, ugly, gross, have bad taste. It doesn’t mean we’re any less amazing, valuable or worthy of love
This if often easier said than done but it's really helpful when you can get it right. Don't worry about other people, what they're doing or what they think of you. Stay focused on yourself and your goals
Gaslighting is a super manipulative form of psychological abuse, intended to make someone doubt their own perception or sanity and is often used against women by their partners. No, You’re not “crazy” or “imagining it” or “creating drama” as is commonly what women are told they’re doing when they exercise emotional maturity and articulate their feelings of dissent. Learn to identify if you experience gaslighting in any of your relationships and call that person out for using this shitty tactic/get out of that relationship
It might take a bit of practice but boundary setting is so important when it comes to protecting yourself
Life can be so busy and stressful at times, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself and the things you enjoy. Try set time aside for your hobbies and side projects, they’re important
The patriarchy makes us all think that being beautiful is the most desirable thing as a woman. Even within body positive movements the idea of affirming beauty or "beauty in flaws" is prevalent. Here's the thing, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL! It's a social construct that doesn't really exist and it's a load of shit invented to oppress women and distract them from achieving greatness
Holiday season. Festive food. Unconscious family. Sending love to those with eating disorders this time of year can be extra challenging
You should be able to walk around butt naked and still be respected. Clothes do not equal consent
Try to see the prevalent injustice all around as as fuel for our fire to destroy the systems that keep bad powerful men protected and their victims quiet, or not heard/believed. I am angry, get angry and don’t give up
You know who you are, and you’re getting to know yourself better & better. You don’t need to wait for permissione approval to be yourself
The idea of ‘virginity’ is rooted in heteronormativity and religious tradition that pretty much sees women as objects and child bearers. There are many ways to have sex that don’t include penis in vagina. This misconception excludes a myriad of other forms of sexual acts, is heteronormative and also can minimize the experiences of sexual assault survivors by questioning their victimisation if there was no ‘actual penetration’. As for the hymen being a representation of virginity, this is a load of horseshit biologically speaking, also not all girls have vaginas/hymens
Different stages of life and states of mind bring about different sides of us – all of which need to be tended to with care. Try to accept and love yourself through your your failures as well as your triumphs – it’s all you
Casual sex isn't wrong but it's not for everyone. Often internalized sex shame stops women from living their best sex lives, past sex related trauma can be an issue affecting one's sexual behaviour, casual sex may just hold no enticement, or simply being asexual or on the spectrum will affect one's drive. You don't need to be having a lot of sex in order to be liberated, but for some women it is how they exercise their agency. Sex positive feminism is about helping folks be totally happy with their sex lives, whatever that may look like. Love sex; have lots of it, or don't, but whatever you do support other women's choices and don't contribute to the slut shaming culture we live in
THEY COULD NEVER! You are literally the only you in existence, 100% unique and totally rare. Whenever you start comparing yourself to others or thinking about standards society has created remember that your path is unique and you stand alone on it, forget the others and go get yours!
The world is full of criticism, don't add your harsh words when speaking to yourself. – wisdom from my mother
It's not rude or wrong to remove yourself from situations or the company of people who are draining your energy and putting strain on you
When you feel your energy levels getting low, take time off, do an assessment of yourself, your head, your heart and body
Some people in your life need to be loved at a distance, some need to be removed from your life
So much contributes to you being you. Like a faceted diamond you shine different colours in light. You can be into nerdy things and party hard, you can be deeply spiritual and and also like watching bad reality TV. Allow yourself to be all the different yous that exist!
Oh and btw things that you might not think affect you actually do. For example most men don’t realize that they also suffer from the patriarchy. Toxic masculinity is a dangerous by-product of the patriarchy and restricts and punishes men for deviating from a particular idea of masculinity. This hurts them, and in turn they hurt us. It is in all of our best interest to rid this world of oppressive power structures!
There is always so much pressure on us to be happy and it’s unrealistic to be expected to sustain contentment. Allow yourself to be happy, allow yourself to be miserable, and everything in between
Don’t be envious of other people’s good qualities/talents, you have your own unique set of gifts and good qualities. Think about the things that you really love about yourself and remind yourself of them every time you start to compare yourself to others
We pick up a lot of toxic habits from heteronormativity, for example the idea that jealousy is an indication of love or conflict is a sign of passion. The media perpetuates these conceptions and they're pretty dangerous
When you love yourself you are exercising independent thought, you are actively rejecting society’s pressure on you to hate parts of yourself. Self love is revolutionary, self love is political
The idea that the word "fat" is an insult is based on the notion that thin bodies are better than fat bodies. This is untrue and there exists a variety of bodies on this earth, all of which are great. Try to interrogate your unconscious bias concerning particular types of bodies.
Women's relationship with food is notoriously complex. Food and eating can be a cause of trauma for so many women. Paying too much attention to food and eating, albeit when trying to be 'healthy', can be triggering for even the most body positive person. Building a better relationship with food is a difficult and ongoing journey especially when constantly being bombarded with external pressure and internal guilt. Although difficult and ongoing, this journey is one that is most definitely worth the effort. Love your body, love your food, it's fuel to keep you being the amazing person that you are!
You don’t need to be desired to be valued. You’re amazing, plain and simple. You don’t need to be found attractive by someone else to be worthy of love, you are worthy of love because you are you
Maybe you didn’t think you would make it through, but you’re still here. You are tougher and more resilient than you realize
Your feelings are valid, absolutely all of them. Especially the negative ones, feel them fully, process them and then let them go
We are constantly changing and growing. Like animals that shed their skin we shed our past selves sometimes a few times in life. Our past selves are important facets of who we are now. Love them, learn from them
No two of us are the same and that's a wonderful thing. Unfortunately society tricks us into thinking we should all be the same and look/be a certain way. We have to actively reject this thinking and celebrate what makes us unique. It's often easier said than done but is life changing when you get it right
There is so much pressure on women to have clear skin. Everyone's body is different just like some bodies are fat and some are thin, some people are prone to oily skin or acne. This topic is seldom spoken about within body positive discourse and people with ‘bad skin’ are heavily underrepresented. Similarly to fat shaming, people make judgments about those who have acne, for example – assuming they're dirty or eat badly. People are sometimes classist too, expecting those with acne to seek out often expensive treatments that many don't have access to. Don't hate people with pimples! You can be beautiful with acne! Acne doesn't = ‘bad skin’!
All those quirks and oddities that make you you need to be shared with the world. Don’t be shy to be your awesome self. The world needs you
You don’t need to censor yourself, and you certainly don’t need anyone else to censor you. You’re allowed to be angry, there is a lot to be angry about. Express your anger how you see fit
If you care too much about someone’s approval you become their captive, you give them power over you. Rather focus on your goals and how you feel about yourself and don’t concern yourself with what others think
We all live our lives shaping our identities, being conscious of the people we are and how we project ourselves into the world. Often we are faced with situations where we find ourselves saying “this is just not me” and that’s fine, but sometimes it’s good to shake that identity up a bit and try something new or different. You can be who ever you want. Don’t let the person you think you are hold you back. Allow yourself to surprise yourself
You’re never going to not make mistakes. Remain conscious of how failure is often the best teacher. As long as you keep learning from your mistakes, keep making them
This can be such a difficult thing to do. We (some more than others) would like to control everything in our lives. Of course it’s impossible and can be pretty damaging and anxiety causing. Try your best to recognise the things that are out of your control and learn to let them go
It’s easy to develop a dependency when the world is constantly wearing you down. Not all women have the same access to support or the capacity to withstand the onslaught. Love and support women with addiction
So often we’re made to feel like we’re somehow wrong for being or looking the way we do. Try to disrupt those thoughts when they come to you and remind yourself that there is no wrong way to look or be if it’s you
I'm not just talking pits and pubes, I'm talking facial hair! Remove it, or don't, it's up to you – but know that having it doesn't make you any less wonderful
You don’t have to be fearless to be courageous, the two are not mutually exclusive. We often spend so much of our lives in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure and maybe even fear of success. Embrace your fears and listen to what they tell you about yourself
I'm not just talking pits and pubes, I'm talking facial hair! Remove it, or don't, it's up to you – but know that having it doesn't make you any less wonderful
There’s such a huge stigma attached to STIs that stems from ignorance. Having an STI doesn’t make you unclean or gross. Break the stigma attached to STIs, it perpetuates slut shaming culture. People with STIs are no less worthy of love, sex and happiness
There is pain in growth and growth in pain, the two often go hand in hand. See if you can try realise the wisdom and depth gained from times of trouble
You know that dream you have? That really big, audacious thing you want for your life? It’s there for a reason, it’s there to lead you forward. You know what you want, trust your inner vision and go chase that dream!
Our society is obsessed with romantic love – we've had this stuff shoved down our throats from the time we were tiny watching Disney movies. The impact of this not only enforces heteronormativity and gender stereotypes but also leads us to believe that romantic love is the most important and we will be unfulfilled until we find our "other half". The truth is there are so many kinds of life-giving-loves that can bring joy every day. Remember you don't have to subscribe to all the V-day stuff – love yourself, love your friends, get yourself a nice body scrub, hell get your friend a nice body scrub, have a body scrub party and love your wonderfully smooth self. @frank_bod would be a good place to start
With Halloween around the corner think about how cultural appropriation reduces entire cultures, histories and heritages of marginalized people groups to fashion accessories and caricature-like costumes. It’s offensive and not cool. Reminder to all white people to stay away from dressing up as any non-white stereotypes this Halloween
IT AFFIRMS UNREALISTIC BEAUTY STANDARDS and supports the idea that thin bodies are better than fat ones . Also there are many reasons for weight loss, some of which are complicated and drawing attention to someone's weight loss can be a micro aggression. Financial pressure resulting not having money to buy food will affect one's weight, if someone has an eating disorder or is suffering from an illness that has lead to weight loss, drawing attention to it might be triggering. There are many ways to compliment someone without talking about their weight
- The White Savior Industrial Complex conceptualised by Teju Cole is personified when a person of privilege (usually white) picks a cause they know little about and insists on solutions that inevitably can cause more harm than good. Here is how to not be a white savior. .
- Think about your motives. Look at your local community, town or city. There are issues of poverty and inequality in towns and cities everywhere. Start your advocacy work there, be a community activist. .
- Educate yourself on the struggles of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) face in your own community, town, regionally and nationally. Learn about immigration and immigrant rights. .
- Read books and literature that are written by BIPOC authors, as well as African, Central and South American, Caribbean and Polynesian, and South East Asian authors. Talk to your family and white friends about these issues. .
- Educate yourself about colonialism, post-colonial policies, brinkmanship, World Bank and IMF austerity policies towards the Southern Hemisphere, multinational corporations abuse of resources and people of the Southern Hemisphere, the unequal trade imbalances and tarrifs between the Western World and African, Central & South American & S.E. Asian Countries. Get to know the community of immigrants that live in your town, and just LISTEN and LEARN. .
- Find local organizations that are doing CO-CREATIVE/SYMBIOTIC work communities and support them either financially or with a specific skill-set that they need and you have. – words by @nowhitesaviors
Assuming someone is straight when they're not is a micro-aggression & can really bum people out. Rather don't assume
Lots of people get periods, some women and girls, some trans men and boys, some gender non conforming people. That’s a lot of people, let’s break the stigma surrounding menstruation. Let’s talk about it more. Let’s normalise it
Don’t be afraid to post those thirst traps! Women’s sexuality is constantly commodified for capitalist gain but when women project images of themselves as sexual they are shamed for it and it’s bullshit. You’re damn sexy and you know it, so don’t be shy, share your gorgeous selfies!