Lainey Molnar is an artist who is making millions of women feel seen and heard through her drawings. "I started creating comics as a hobby during the first COVID lockdown to help me process my own experiences as a woman in the world. That's why I use my own character frequently," she told BuzzFeed.
"I'm now 33, still single, still not considering having children, I don't have a degree, I can't drive a car, I've been self-employed jumping around gigs my entire life, I have 57 tattoos, I live out of suitcases, and spontaneously buy one-way plane tickets on a regular basis. I refuse to feel like these life decisions are any worse than anyone else's."
After Lainey's Instagram went viral, she started learning that women from all over the world, with all different backgrounds, go through the same things.
"From India to Nigeria through Canada and France, these are shared experiences that connect us all in a big, invisible sisterhood. So now it is my full-time job to add vision, color, and a form to this sisterhood," Lainey said.
The goal of Lainey's drawings is to honor personal life choices. "I also want to celebrate diversity in all ways — body, looks, personality, race, culture, preferences, hobbies, etc. — instead of labeling things as right or wrong because of limiting societal expectations and stigmas."
"We all think we don't belong, we are behind, we're getting things wrong, or we are flawed and it keeps our growth and potential at bay. I fight for the acceptance of everyone's unapologetic selves — as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, why should we hide or change who we are?"
Lainey wants her drawings to bring up deeper conversations, like mental health, fertility, generational trauma, and more.
"I'm a survivor. I'm open about my past with bipolar disorder, my self-made transformation from suicidal to balanced and happy, and my journey has an open door. It's a very vulnerable position to be brutally honest about things like this on social media, but I'm constantly working on compartmentalizing the freaky amount of hate and focusing on sharing the wisdom and life-changing thoughts along with my own experiences, because I know how much it means not to be alone."
This is why the comics Lainey draws are always very personal — they are inspired by her own life. "The goal is to start the conversation. Every message and comment and reshare is someone else's door opening," she said.
She believes that understanding, healing, and loving ourselves is crucial to finding balance and happiness and forming healthy relationships.
"There is no widespread education on healing, mental health, finding an identity, or finding a purpose, but there is deeply rooted conditioning from childhood on how a woman must look, behave, what they should want, need, and what milestones should they hit..."
"...So the majority of us live our lives trying to find ways to figure out the former while being stuck between the walls of the latter — worrying about being judged, rejected, disapproved of, hated, canceled, bullied, or abandoned."
Lainey's drawings are a push to move society in the right direction.
And in her work, she has been able to successfully encourage self-love and acceptance for who you are.
"We have to align our values (like love, kindness, or healthy boundaries) instead of our looks or life choices. If I can contribute to this in any tiny way, I consider it a success."
"We are all perfect just as we are — weird, flawed, unique, magical," she concluded.
If you want to see more of Lainey's powerful illustrations, you can follow her on Instagram.