Frances Cannon shows the beauty in marginalised women

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Frances Cannon shows the beauty in marginalised women

“Give me the credit I deserve,” thinks a girl kneeling down with her arms above the air, showing her armpit hair. “I have the right to be who I am,” announce a couple of transgender kids. Welcome to the empowering world of Frances Cannon, the 24-year-old Melbourne-based illustrator seeking to break taboos around the female body one positive drawing after the other. A couple of days before the opening of her next exhibition Self Love Club celebrating the worldwide movement towards body acceptance, body positivity and mental health awareness (we can’t be there because of a slight hemisphere problem, but we’ll be avidly checking the artist’s Instagram for updates), we caught up with Frances via email to get some insight about her work and ambitions for her exciting future. 

Photos via Instagram @frances_cannon

Photos via Instagram @frances_cannon

Do you see yourself as a political artist?

Yes and no. I draw what is important to me, and sometimes those topics are political and sometimes they aren’t. 

I like how you use Instagram, a social media platform known for its idealisation of real life, to promote body positivity and “real” women. 

I don’t like the phrase ‘real’ women as all women are real. But I do use my platform to show the beauty in marginalised women (fat women, WOC, women with disabilities, women with acne etc). 

"Cornrow Goddess" (c) Frances Cannon

“Cornrow Goddess” (c) Frances Cannon

You are part of the “Self Love Club”, an online tattoo community where all the members have the namesake tattoo. Is is something you started or did girls around the world just randomly start to tattoo your design?

I started it. It started with a tattoo on my arm – I designed it and the artist Gemma Flack drew it on me – and I invited others to join :) 

Can you tell us a bit more about your project on Invasion Day?

I wanted to elevate the voices of Indigenous woman on Invasion Day (the Australian National Holiday marking the arrival of the first British fleet of ships, on January 26th 1788) and I knew that because I have a large audience, it would be a powerful project. It was really humbling and beautiful to draw and tell the stories of such powerful women. 

Drawings via Instagram @frances_cannon

Drawings via Instagram @frances_cannon

What is your biggest dream?

To have an exhibition overseas where I can attend. 

"Mirror" (c) Frances Cannon

“Mirror” (c) Frances Cannon