This Artist Has an Epic Response to People Who Call Her "Girly"

ByAndrew Mitchell

France Corbel, 21, has wanted to be an artist since she was a child. But she didn't start drawing to change the world. 

"My first motivation is pretty selfish," she said. "I create because I love to."

France Corbel is 21 years old.

But Corbel, who is French, said she was also was frustrated with the everyday acts of sexism.

She and her friends experienced incidents like cat-calling, slut-shaming and belittlement. "Once, before my admission in art school, I was told by an artist that my sketchbooks were too girly," she said. "[It] was intended as a insult." 

Armed with her pencil, she decided to fight back. 

France Corbel/Tumblr

Corbel's artwork is intersectional, touching on issues from queer identity and body image to racism and the sexualization of young girls. (Corbel identifies as queer.) 

They have been widely shared on Tumblr and Instagram, inspiring others along the way.

France Corbel/Tumblr

They aim to shatter gender constructs. 

Why is that important? Because "gender stereotypes force people to stick to models even if they don't correspond to them," Corbel said. 

"[They] shame children for doing something society told them they're not supposed to do based on their gender."

France Corbel/Tumblr

Not every girl wants to be a princess, one drawing reminds us. There's no such thing as too gay, states another.

France Corbel/Tumblr

The drawings have made an impact already. 

Fans have told Corbel that her art helped them come out to their friends and family, provided a respite during times of mental stress or simply made their day a little better. 

France Corbel/Tumblr

Corbel is humble about her work's impact. 

"My activism is like a tiny activism," she said. "I make drawings that sometimes make people feel better. It's not big, but from time to time someone thanks me, so I know I helped."

France Corbel/Tumblr

And the man who called her sketchbooks girly? 

"If he saw my drawings now, he would know what girly is," Corbel said.