Many women are used to feeling ashamed about bodily 'flaws': stretch-marks, scars, and even having a period every month. Spanish artist Cinta Tort Cartró wants to turn this around and help women see the beauty in these marks (or bodily functions).

"We have to accept that people have different bodies"

Cartró is a 21-year-old artist based in Barcelona. She started her work on female bodily "flaws" a few months ago.

As a woman living in a hetero-patriarchal system, I've always felt a strong pressure to look a certain way, particularly when I was a teenager. At that time, I had an eating disorder, anorexia, because I wanted to be very thin. I didn't want to have body hair, I wanted my stretch marks to disappear, I didn't even like my hair... Basically I just didn't like myself.

But gradually, I realised that I had to learn to accept myself. It took time and it wasn't easy, so I wanted to show the struggle I went through in my art.

"Every body is beautiful"

It all started a few months ago, when I started to paint my own skin and my own stretch marks. Then I did the same thing on six other women's bodies. Each time, we would talk about our own stories, and they always liked the finished result. I use different types of paint, but mostly tempera, which is a bit like acrylic. It stays on the body for a few hours. 

Stretch marks painted over with glitter. Photo from Facebook page "Zinteta".

I want this art to show and fight against the pressure that women are under to have a perfect body that fits with the "norm". We have to accept that there are different types of bodies and every body is beautiful. Stretch marks are a reality; we have to show them.

As well as painting stretch marks, I also paint knickers, tampons, and sanitary pads. Periods are still taboo, and the idea with this is to make them visible and something totally normal.

It's the same kind of thing with body hair: I've done a few drawings where I depict it.

A painted sanitary pad, from Facebook page "Zinteta".

"I stain and that doesn't disgust me", says the caption on the second photo. Photos posted on the Facebook page "Zinteta".

Photos of knickers, posted on the Facebook page "Zinteta".

"My body hair doesn't care what you think", says the caption on this drawing. From Facebook page "Zinteta" by Cinta Tort Cartró.

Article written with
Chloé Lauvergnier

Chloé Lauvergnier , Journaliste francophone

women /  art /  Spain