We often talk about finding our own identity, about being comfortable with ourselves. We talk about gender and sexuality but before we get to know our sexual tendency, we should start to get to know ourselves better. We need to start loving ourselves before we start loving others. This is a phrase that everybody knows and it is a lot easier to write it down, then to actually do it. How are we supposed to start loving ourselves, when there is so much that we don’t like about us in first place? And why do people keep saying that all these flaws are parts of us and we have to learn to love even the parts of ourselves which are not perfect? I don’t have to love my personality or my appearance in any way in order to love someone else, do I? 

Sophie Dherbecourt is an independent artist and illustrator from Paris, who deals with the topic of self-esteem among others. She has a clear opinion when it comes to this subject and she found a great way to show it – through her art. Sophie grew up by the sea in Northern France and moved to Paris three years ago. She worked as an art director at Parisian agencies before she quit her job to start working as a freelance artist.

„Femininity isn’t about gender but more a form of attitude.“

Sophie has a special scene when it comes to aesthetics. With her sensuous drawings, the young artist transmits in an emphatic way a warm and beautiful perception of our bodies. She got inspired by mostly Greek and classic art, Matisse drawings and Tamara Lempicka’s paintings. But the young artist got the inspiration from everywhere, she told me how we have to be careful about the things surrounding ourselves because anything leads to emotion and she wants to transmit this emotion into a drawing. Sophie describes her style as melancholic, poetic and strongly feminine.  I asked her what femininity means to her and she said: „Femininity isn’t about gender but more a form of attitude. I mean, femininity isn’t being a female, it is this way to behave with this sensible, caring strength, these graceful moves and tender looks that lead to a more poetic, beautiful world. I am inspired by tons of people, women and men, and my favorite part is when you get to see a part of their intimacy, the most sincere and naked part. «Naked» is a word I like, not as a nude body, but more as an honest soul. Also, it is important to know when you see my work, that I think of bodies as some sort of poetic architectures, nudity isn’t a provocation, but the sincerest lines that build a body“. 

„We need to learn to love ourselves rest in order to love others.“

The more we live in a constant change where it’s sometimes hard to find something to hold on to, the more we need to be in harmony with our own bodies. Nudity is one way to show intimacy, and intimacy is something that we don’t want to share with everybody. Sophie wants to transmit emotions with her paintings, she wants to use her drawings, to express her way of looking at things, when words aren’t enough. The artist explained that she wants to express the melancholy that lives in everyone of us, but also the pop culture that inspires our generation. 

She draws beautiful almost naked women and men with sensual curves, dipped in warm colors. They take selfies in their Calvin Klein underwear, wear fishnet tights and the latest Nike Shoes with those white tennis socks. Sophie is capturing the youth in their most vulnerable moments – the moment when they start dealing with themselves by recognizing the picture they just have taken. 

Our generation has a lot to figure out these days. The first step, and a really good one, is to find self-esteem. „Self-esteem is an expression that resonates inside our head as a kind reminder that we have to be gentle and patient with ourselves. We need to learn to love ourselves rest in order to love others and it is so important to be confident in life, not full of oneself, to believe, build and accomplish the dreams we have. This is what modern romance is about, to start loving ourselves. This shouldn’t be new, but yet it’s more important than ever,“ said the French artist. 

„Our society is changing, and lots of beauty hides inside of it, art has its goal to show it.“

This modern romance is a great love story. Probably the best love story that ever existed. For Sophie modern romance means the relationship we have with ourselves and others. „It’s also the romantic side of us that remains despite the cynicism and sarcasm of the society. Self-esteem is the first step to the acceptance of yourself, by loving yourself, you make people love you as well. By accepting yourself, you become less scared regarding your feelings and body. With self-love and confidence, you’re more open-minded to the world and people, you’re less scared to be curious and to take a step toward rapprochement with others. But there is a huge difference between self-love and presumptuousness, self-esteem is caring while presumptuousness is selfish, love yourself, but don’t be selfish,“ said Dherbecourt. 

In our digital world, where our social media platforms are covered with mirror selfies behind closed doors, it’s hard to find the truth. Sophie found a great way to communicate her idea to the next generation. Sophie explained, that she wants to use her art to make this topic approachable – because it is. „Our society is changing, and lots of beauty hides inside of it, art has its goal to show it,“ said the French artist and she is more than right.



You can find and buy Sophies artwork on Instagram and on her website!

Photo material by Sophie Dherbecourt.

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