Illustrating love for our lumps and bumps

 
 
 

“I had everything a person could wish for and I was ignoring it.” When she was a teenager, Sian Fletcher struggled with anorexia. “I was so consumed,” she says. Now 24, she’s on the road to self-acceptance. But she’s not alone. “Women and men are told from day one that they are not good enough,” Fletcher says. To inspire a fresh attitude, Fletcher flipped open a sketchbook. Using her talent as an illustrator, she began confronting the real issue – the perception that our bodies are imperfect. “People try to cover up their insecurities,” Fletcher says. “But I want to draw them and celebrate them.”

Across cultures and countries, people constantly strive to alter their physical appearance. Keeping up with beauty trends takes money, time, and even surgery. Though some find fulfilment in recreating their image, acknowledging the beauty we’re born with is its own form of power. Fletcher realised that to heal, she had to reach the person who needed to see change the most – herself. “I started these drawings as a way to learn to love myself,” she says. Her portraits deliberately include details most magazines would rather brush over. In pastel colours and whimsical prints, lumps, bumps, wrinkles, freckles, scars and marks are all embraced. Quirky and creative, Fletcher’s artwork is a delicate expression of joy.

By showing people their bodies in a loving light, Fletcher’s work helps us improve our own self-acceptance. Each piece is a portrait of appreciation for the things that make our beauty unique. “They are a part of us,” Fletcher says. “They tell a story.” Written into the lines and dots on our skin is the tale of humanity. By exposing our vulnerability, we can discover our own strength. “We are all so different,” Fletcher says. “That is what makes us special and deserving of our own love.”

 
Nuraan Shaik