Bridget Moore, is a Los Angeles based artist who is better known under the moniker, Handsome Girl. She mainly focuses on digital illustrations revolving around intersectional feminism, body positivity, and female empowerment. Deeply rooted in the movement of inclusion and representation, Handsome Girl is on a mission to make sure womxn of all backgrounds and experiences are seen and heard. Her design path started as a therapeutic outlet for her own eating disorder, in which she secretly struggled on and off with for over 15 years. Moore started drawing as a way to celebrate the beauty of her own body and other womxn’s bodies. All things that have been fundamental elements in her own personal recovery and ongoing journey to practice radical self-love and appreciation for all the diverse beauty in this world.
Read our Q&A with Bridget below to know more about her parcours and the aim of the design she created for the new Curated By GIRLS t-shirt collection.
What’s your background as an artist? I grew up in a very artistic household, so it’s always been part of my DNA. Growing up we had unlimited access to all things creative and my sisters and I were always encouraged to create anything in our own way. But I was never “trained” as an artist, other than high school art class which I flunked I never really let myself be taught proper techniques, I’ve always been a more I’ll figure it out in my own ass backwards way.
Tell us about Handsome Girl: Who is she? Why did you choose that name? Handsome Girl is a little bit me, a little bit you. She’s about reframing what we we’ve been taught about beauty standards, she’s about celebrating every shape, size and shade beauty can come in and most importantly she’s about representation. I felt there was so much out there that reinforced the feeling that I needed to change to be considered beautiful, I never felt like I saw myself represented, I didn’t feel like I saw my friends represented, I just didn’t feel like I saw so many womxn represented, so many stories untold. So I wanted a space to let others feel seen, feel loved and especially feel so goddamn beautiful. As for my name? When I was thinking about starting my account I could not think of a name, I didn’t really want my name attached to it but something that paid homage to me, and it came to me with a bang, or should say bangs? Back in June 2018 I went to get bangs and when the stylist spun me around to show me my new cut, he exclaimed, “What a handsome girl!” and that it was it done. I sped home started my IG account bought a domain that very night.
Your designs have an intimate feel, dealing with acceptance and body positivity. How do you experience these themes personally and how does that translate in your work? All of these themes are a daily presence in my life, thoughts and actions. I deeply struggled (and still struggle!) with an eating disorder since a young age, when I went into recovery in 2014 part of my treatment was to journal, which wasn’t really for me, so I did it in my own way and drew how I felt. I drew the parts of me I hated, loved, parts of me that I wish looked differently it was extremely therapeutic outlet and it let me be honest with myself and let me develop a voice that I let be stifled for so long by my eating disorder. Flash forward to today, my work is still therapeutic but it’s not just about telling my story, it’s about the inclusion of other babe’s stories, struggles and triumphs. And it’s about creating a space where me and anyone else can come to feel some much needed love and positivity.
How did the t-shirt “Still Not Asking For It’ come about? What was your inspiration? A couple of months ago I was going for a run it was a hot day so I was just in my sports bra, I passed an elderly woman watering her yard, I smiled and waved and she just shouted “You’re asking to be raped dressed like that!” I was so taken aback; it was the middle of the day in a quiet neighborhood and I was working out – yet somehow grounds to be raped because of my outfit? It just reaffirmed to me how present victim blaming is still in 2020! “She was asking for it” is a message heard all too often when it comes to sexual assault, harassment and rape around women. She wasn’t. She never is. No one deserves to be touched in a way that isn’t welcomed. So, I wanted to create something that highlighted you are NEVER asking to be raped, even if you’re doing a naked handstand for the world to see, that is not “asking” for it.
No matter what she’s doing, wearing or saying no one deserves to be touched in a way that isn’t welcomed. She could be covered head to toe, she could be walking home in a skirt, she could be doing a handstand naked at a party – no matter what… She. Is. Still. Not. Asking. For. It.
What kind of reaction do you hope to get from people who see your t-shirt? I wanted to make a playful take on an extremely serious issue. Victim blaming in rape culture is still so painfully present in society – So I hope people can see the shirt get a smile and more importantly get the message that no matter what a person is doing, they are not asking to be raped, harassed or assaulted.
Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh said “There are always those who want to tell women that their experiences are not valid or not important whenever they speak up. For me, as a black woman, this is particularly true. Wanting the basic right of feeling comfortable and safe and not sexualized as I walk out of my house is very much worth prioritizing.” How does this statement resonate with you? A loud round of applause for this! Yes, I think this should be a priority for all of us to focus on betterment. We all deserve to feel safe, comfortable and not objectified. We also all deserve to be heard because our thoughts, experiences and feelings are all valid and all important.
Any tips to stay positive in confusing times? There’s nothing you that you have to be doing or have to be feeling during these times where you are, how you’re feeling, how you’re is perfectly right. This isn’t a productivity contest, this isn’t a transformation challenge, this is a pandemic. And whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable, loved and safe doesn’t have to match anyone else’s