Did you know that yesterday was the 105th International Women's Day? How incredible is that?
I went through the day thinking about the countless women who have had such an impact on my life. Women - whether celebrities, family members, friends, artists and teachers have shaped the way I see and walk through the world, and I am so grateful for what they have done for me. And yet, though they have changed the way I walk through the world, I do not walk in their world, and there are challenges that they face simply by their gender that I cannot fully understand.
I wanted to make an illustration for International Women's Day, and the first person that came to mind was Frida Kahlo. Here are a few of her quotes that I particularly love:
"The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”
“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I paint my own reality.”
“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.”
Marie Claire UK posted this interesting roundup of quotes articulating the importance of International Women's Day:
One of my favorites:
"We still need International Women's Day because some people think what Hilary wears is more controversial than what Trump says." - Olivia Wayne, Sky Sports News Presenter
And then, International Women's Day made me think of another story that I read a few weeks ago about Marley Dias, an 11 year old who was tired of reading books about white boys, dogs, or white boys and their dogs. She wanted to read books about black girls like herself, so she started #1000blackgirlbooks, to collect stories of books that she could relate to. She almost quadrupled her goal in a matter of months! It's an amazing start, but how much more do we need to do to make individuals feel represented in what they learn, read, and see on a daily life? I wonder what role I need to play in that work, too - how can I think broader about the people I depict and the stories I tell?
Anyway, Marley is a total hero of mine. Here's a link to the article where I learned about her:
Happy (belated) International Women's Day!