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Trend Opinion: Figurative Women

“The recent greeting card trend of female-centric figurative artwork should come as no surprise,” states Helena Maratheftis, marketing manager for Roger la Borde before elaborating on this important trend that is currently being reflected on so many publishers’ current ranges (as illustrated by the card designs, selected by PG Buzz, in this article)

Above: A celebration of female friendships on a Glass Menagerie design from Roger la Borde.
Above: A celebration of female friendships on a Glass Menagerie design from Roger la Borde.

“Women of all races, ages and religions are demanding to see themselves represented in places where they were once frequently side lined: in the boardroom, in politics, on the silver screen and beyond. In a post #metoo world of Women’s Marches and fresh awareness of feminist issues we have seen a wider, diverse pool of female role models emerge (think Malala Yousafzai, Emma González or Jameela Jamil). With them, the notion that ALL kinds of women should be visible is being reinforced. This is a refreshing attitude, and it has tapped into what is clearly a huge appetite for women to celebrate other women.

Above: Supportive and affirming, a Jennifer Bouron design from Lagom.
Above: Supportive and affirming, a Jennifer Bouron design from Lagom.
Above: Greater diversity in Pigment’s Hey Girl collection.
Above: Greater diversity in Pigment’s Hey Girl collection.

It is wonderful to see this reflected in greeting cards. We are seeing a greater diversity of figures represented, especially in terms of racial diversity, but also in terms of general appearance – for every glittering glamorous model there is now a blue-haired figure in jeans. We are seeing more images of women doing what real women do: going on adventures, relaxing at home, and simply celebrating themselves and their friendships. The women on these cards feel true to life – perhaps because they come from, and are for, the female gaze. They are not caricatures of femininity.

Above: Solidarity, friendship and fun – a The Cardy Club design.
Above: Solidarity, friendship and fun – a The Cardy Club design.
Above: Tigerlily’s Hip Edition is a range of fun characters from friendships to girl boss.
Above: Tigerlily’s Hip Edition is a range of fun characters from friendships to girl boss.

As for why buyers no longer need to identify with the look of the figure on the design? The cards are used as symbols – of friendship, solidarity and empowerment. The sender is saying, “I think you are as cool and strong and fun as the woman on this card!” The cards depict role models… and happily we are finally learning that any woman can be a role model. Like the wider cultural shift these cards reflect, we hope they are more than a fleeting trend.”

Above: A reassuring friend design, a How Funny design from its new The Girls! range.
Above: A reassuring friend design, a How Funny design from its new The Girls! range.
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