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Illustration by Christina Atik

It’s not nice for a girl to…

illustration series by Christina Atik

shado sat down with Lebanese illustrator and artist Christina Atik to hear more about her aims and motivations for her series “It’s Not Nice For A Girl To…”

I created the illustration ‘This nose isn’t nice for a girl’ because of my sister’s love/hate relationship with her nose – which was due to a lot of comments she heard from people around her. Everyone would tell her that it wasn’t feminine, and that she should have it surgically fixed. I really tried to encourage her not to listen to anyone and to embrace her beautiful nose. After I made the first illustration, I decided to expand on it as a theme, as I began to realise how many times I had heard “it’s not nice for a girl to…”

I suppose this illustration series is my way of getting the frustration out, and I definitely did not expect so many to share it. I’m so humbled and happy so many women from different Arab and non-Arab countries could relate to them – although it is sad that we all go through all this pressure.

The only negative comments I have read online regarding these illustrations are related to body hair, and they are usually from men saying that body hair on a woman is “dirty” and unappealing. Another is the illustration about homosexuality – ‘It’s not nice for a girl to like another girl’ – and the criticism stemmed mainly from religious reasons. It has sparked some debate online and among friends, but I am happy about this. I’m just glad people are talking more about things like identity, body image, abuse, queer identity… It makes me happy to have participated in whatever small way I could.

1. This nose isn’t nice for a girl

Illustration by Christina Atik

2. It’s not nice for a girl to have body hair

Illustration by Christina Atik

3. It’s not nice for a girl to live alone

Illustration by Christina Atik

4. It’s not nice for a girl to love another girl

Illustration by Christina Atik

5. It’s not nice for a girl to say what she likes

Illustration by Christina Atik

6. It’s not nice for a girl to stay out late

7. It’s not nice for a girl to tell anyone

Illustration by Christina Atik

See more of Christina’s work on her instagram @daydreamsforjack

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