It’s also a body-positive account that covers everything from the right shade of makeup to dealing with anxiety or sweating, according to its creator, Christine, who describes herself as a 20-something woman living in NYC.
Christine uses her “Lizzie McGuire”-like alter ego “Krysteen” in her doodles, and she admits the character is “a bit more dramatic and more comfortable” with herself than she is. Last month, the work of Christine/Krysteen and her friend Adi at Goodbadcomics went viral for a comic they drew about women’s body hair. It got a lot more negative attention than the two bargained for.
“We’re both brown women and brainstormed ideas for comics for experiences a lot of brown women have, and settled on doing something on body hair,” Christine told HuffPost. “In the end we decided on making something lighthearted but empowering on our choice to sometimes keep our body hair and sometimes not.”
This is the controversial post:
The response was so malicious that Christine decided to turn the comments off on her post.
Christine provided examples of the things people wrote, which included things like, “I think I found a new reason to burn jews,” “Gross shave yourself, pig,” “Get fucked you femmie faggot,” “Good luck finding a boyfriend,” and “Sometimes we’re rapists, sometimes we’re not, it’s our choice we do what we want.”
“The response was so ridiculous. The level of ignorance I was getting was honestly baffling,” Christine said. “It was laughable to me, but also so concerning that many people have that much visceral hatred over women growing hair on their bodies and felt the need to comment on an Instagram comic about it.”
She added, “It was interesting that I made the comic about occasionally being hairy and so many people made it about how women relate to men and how body hair affects a woman’s attractiveness to men. It was also interesting that a ton of people saw this one women’s issue as a corollary to men’s issues and men’s rights when that’s not what the conversation was about at all.”
Though the outrage was beyond frustrating, Christine said it’s important for her to keep drawing about issues that are important to her and to show more representation in comics.
“Women are still shown a lot of images that make us think our lives should look a certain way, and at least for me, that used to make me feel terrible,” Christine said. “Now, I’ll unfollow an account that’s posting things that make me feel bad about myself. The comics I draw are a way to reinforce to myself that it’s fine to just be a person without trying to achieve this unmaintainable level of perfection.”
She added, “I also think it’s important for people who aren’t brown to see experiences of a brown person that are similar to their own experiences, and I think it’s important for brown women to see themselves and their experiences represented and validated. I also think that if a brown girl sees herself represented somewhere, she is more likely to feel like she can do that thing too.”
This interview has been edited and condensed.