A 21-year-old artist, Cinta Tort Cartró, just made a bright, bold statement about period and body shaming with artwork she created and posted to her Instagram account.
The artist, who is an illustration student from Barcelona, Spain, has used rainbow palettes to turn stretch marks into colorful stripes, and period stains into bursts of multi-colored splashes.
Her captions on Instagram, written in Spanish, show that these posts are in celebration of the body's natural "flaws," and a direct statement against the shaming that many women experience when it comes to their bodies' natural processes.
Cartró tells Elite Daily that her feminist work was inspired by her own body image struggle.
Throughout my life, especially my teenage years, I have lived bad experiences related to aesthetics pressure. Throughout my teens I lived with many eating disorders, like anorexia. I wanted to be thin, not have [body] hair, remove my stretch marks, and I did not like my hair, etc... Over the years I saw that if I did not accept myself, then I could never know nor love me. It was in this process of self-acceptance that I began to want to show all this anti-aesthetic pressure through art.
Cartró shared her specific thoughts about stretch marks in one post that has been translated in part below.
Each of us is different and, at the same time, each body is one way or another and has its own essence and energy. There are many types of bodies, just as there are many types of stretch marks.
All bodies have (more or less) stains, hairs, freckles, stretch marks, curves, lines, wounds, wrinkles ... and all are equally valid. It is time for us to begin to love ours because, after all, this is our tool of communication with the world. And if we do not like the tool we use for it, we can hardly feel free. Once again, to love oneself is a revolutionary act.
Cartró also gave underwear, pads, and tampons the color treatment.
As expressed in one of her photo's captions, Cartró's work is also inspired by the photographer, Hannah Altman, who used glitter as a visual substitute for body fluids like blood, vomit, and tears.
The artist also shared a personal menstrual cup to enforce her point about women not being ashamed of their cycles.
Her photo caption, translated from Spanish to English, reads,
My revolution. I stain and I do not disgust. Our flows are the rivers of life.
Cartró also shares with Elite Daily the negative feelings she had about her own period.
During my adolescent stage, I was not shamed [for] my menstrual cycle, but I was really scared. During my adolescent stage I was afraid to stain chairs or to stain my clothes, because I was ashamed. It took a lot reconcile with my period. Fortunately, over the years and to start using the menstrual cup I began to relate to my period and understand that it is a cyclical period we must understand in order to learn more about us.
Another part of her artistic body positivity movement is her support for the #FreeTheNipple movement.
She tells Elite Daily,
#FreeTheNipple was born of the need to fight against all censorship in relation to women's breasts. Why can [people] see a photo of a man's nipples and not a picture of a woman?
Cartró's hope is that her artwork inspires people to think more about the social norms we accept and can be oppressed by.
I make art to express everything I feel, live, think, and fight. It is a pleasure that can reach many people and that they can reflect on all these personal struggles like feminism, anti-racism, environmentalism, and aesthetics pressure. I hope my works inspire people to reflect on their actions and to reflect on the pressure at which the system often engulfs us.
Right on, sister. Or, perhaps I should say paint on sister!