London illustrator POLLY NOR has accumulated an Instagram following of over 300,000 followers with her satirical drawings of women infamously accompanied by demons. Sometimes these demons appear when the illustrated woman of choice looks in the mirror, explores her sexuality, or prepares to choose an outfit from a pile of clothes that she hates. Sometimes the female character will hold onto the demon or even appear as the demon itself, taking it’s costume off after a long day — a costume that is often illustrated as make-up and clothing.
NOR’s choice in self-expression may seem sinister at first. However, she’s actually providing a progressive take on how millennial women tend to feel about conforming to unrealistic social standards of beauty and behavior. Most of the time, the demon isn’t an evil entity in the drawings, but instead a looming figure that presents itself as the unadulterated and unfiltered version of the female character, who becomes herself when alone and unbothered by society. You won’t find a “picture perfect” woman in NOR’s drawings, as most of her depicted female characters have untamed body hair, range in size (as they should), exude raw emotion, and occasionally smoke a cigarette. She not only rejects the male lens of female beauty and sexuality throughout her drawings, but also rejects the social media standards that female internet users encounter in their feeds on a daily basis.
The sarcastic characters in NOR’s pictures know the 21st century woman all too well. These characters aren’t for the woman who’s already unapologetic about her lifestyle, but instead are intended for the woman who locks the unapologetic version of herself in a cage until she makes it home. The majority of NOR’s followers are exhaling and saying “I can relate” when they see her illustrations pop up, as a frank reminder that perfection doesn’t exist.
You can follow POLLY NOR on Instagram here.
“Too Good For You”
“Nothing To Wear”
“Face 2 Face”
“Learned How To Hide My Crazy”
“A Real Woman”
All illustrations courtesy of PollyNor.com.