These illustrations touch upon the many struggles women across the world face — in terms of weight, hair, clothes, sexuality, and more.
When Brazilian artist Carol Rossetti kickstarted a new personal project about 6 years ago, she wanted to say something worthwhile through her art. She gathered up some paper from her office in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and an old box of colored pencils and began sketching women in all shapes and sizes. Her illustrations touch upon the many struggles women across the world faced—weight, hair, clothes, sexuality, and more. Within months, Rosetti's illustrations gained global attention online as women from various parts of the world reached out to her, tell her how much they could relate to her work.
Speaking to CNN in 2014, Rossetti explained, "I think the point of my illustrations is to show, in a gentle and nonaggressive way, that there is still a lot of oppressive control over women's personal choices and identities, and expose a problem of representation toward women, people of color, people with disabilities, (LGBT concerns) and so on. I was really surprised by such a huge success, the way people shared my illustrations. I really wasn't expecting that. I fight prejudice in so many ways, and that doesn't mean I don't still have some of my own. I was surprised to see so many people that I thought would be very conservative sharing my work, and thanking me for doing it. Sometimes, we stumble on our own expectations, and sometimes that's a good thing."
Speaking of how her illustrations reflect who she is, Rossetti said, "I think they obviously define how I feel about many things, especially concerning the representation of people. Most of them were based on people I know, that are close to me. For example, my mother who has white hair, and I think it's gorgeous, but still many people tell her to dye it. In the end, I can relate to most of them, because they are all about the control over women's bodies, and I live that every day."
She added, "Whenever I see a newspaper criticizing a woman's appearance, it's like saying that every woman in every occasion can and will be evaluated by her looks. It doesn't really matter if she's receiving a Nobel Prize or saving people from drowning, papers will talk about her poor choice of shoes or a nip slip." Check out some of Rossetti's most powerful illustrations here: