Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Illustrations beautifully capture the imperfect reality of women's everyday lives

Sally Nixon 11.jpg

Remember when Girls first aired, and how revelatory it felt to see Lena Dunham's naked body onscreen? It was almost shocking. Dropped among the depictions of nude women we were used to seeing on TV – gorgeous, glowingly lit, and completely hair- and cellulite-free – the normality of Dunham’s figure felt like a quietly radical act.

Artist Sally Nixon’s illustrations elicit a similar feeling. Unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret model, the women she draws probably look quite a lot like you. They sometimes wear great lipstick or groovy glasses, but they’re not glamorous, exactly; they have soft thighs, wide hips, and breasts that don’t stay up without a bra. Their bedrooms are messy, they eat crisps while reading in their pants, and they don’t look especially seductive while pulling on a pair of tights. 

Sally Nixon
sally nixon
Sally Nixon

“It’s important that the women I draw aren’t rail thin with huge boobs,” Nixon told the Huffington Post. “I think there are enough images of bodies like that out in the world. The ladies I draw typically have small-ish, droopy breasts and thick thighs. They’re kind of lumpy but in an attractive way. Just like real people.”

Almost 16,000 people follow Nixon's illustrations on her Instagram, and a glance at the comments on each picture reveals that she's striking a chord. Beneath a picture of two girls sprawled out watching TV, one Instagram user has tagged a friend and written, “This is legit me and you!“ Another commends Nixon for the racial diversity in her artwork.

Nixon, from Little Rock, Arkansas, in the US, told Stylist in an email that she has “been completely surprised by the response“ to her illustrations. “But it's been amazing. I'm so glad other ladies can relate to my drawings.“

You can see more of Sally's work here.

Sally Nixon
sally nixon
Sally Nixon

Pictures: courtesy of Sally Nixon


Father Daughter 6.jpeg

Illustrator draws the father-daughter relationship she wishes she had


Illustrator captures the beauty of being single


Beatrix Potter stories have been given a high-fashion makeover


Illustrator perfectly captures the everyday anxieties we all deal with


Inside the beguiling world of illustrators at work


Illustrator captures how our phones are taking over our lives


Illustrator’s witty drawings capture honest moments in everyday life

The Trouble With Women hb.jpg

The witty feminist cartoons exposing history's sexism

heartbreak 3.jpg

How to heal a broken heart through comics



Bake Off’s Mary Berry confirmed for brand-new cooking show

And it’s hitting our screens in time for a very Berry Christmas…

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

This 'Very British Problems' Twitter account is all of us

"Best weekend activity: a really nice sitdown"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Oct 2016

13 Going on 30 is the latest film to get a musical makeover

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

This streaming service is so boring it will send you to sleep

Forget Netflix and chill

by Harriet Hall
24 Oct 2016

Poldark slammed by women’s rights campaigners as “romanticising rape”

“It’s worse than if it had been a straightforward rape scene”

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Oct 2016

The selfie vs. the group photo: which actually makes us happier?

Time for an Instagram break?

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016

Backlash follows Wonder Woman’s appointment as UN ambassador

The move has been called 'reductive'

by Harriet Hall
24 Oct 2016

Bake Off fans scandalised by Berry and Hollywood news: “I am OUTRAGED”

"It makes me feel sick and empty inside"

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Oct 2016

Meet the 'supermodel' dog whose hair is bewitching the internet

She probably has better hair than you

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Oct 2016

Male contraceptive pill (and nasal spray) could be here by 2021

Breakthrough “switches off sperm within minutes”

by Anna Pollitt
24 Oct 2016