No one really prepares you for the struggles of adulthood – living alone, cleaning your house, paying the bills on time, getting your heart broken, dealing with health issues. It’s a wild ride that hits you all at once and sweeps you away into a chaotic world that lies beyond the bridge of blissful childish ignorance.
‘Single Brown Female’ is a comic strip created by Mumbai-based artist Sam Madhu which aims to capture the journey of a young, 20-something Indian woman who does not have her life together at all. The character was born out of a period of depression, self-examination and the struggles of adulthood as experienced by the artist while she was living in Brooklyn. The character very much represents the artist and the situations she had to deal with in real life – she is portrayed with messy bleached hair, baggy oversized clothing, dark circles and serious acne.
The comics are supposed to be self-explanatory and tongue-in-cheek. If you are going through something remotely similar, it’s likely that you will get the gist of these little drawings right away. The comics show SBF in situations like lying on her bed with a vibrator and a Macbook, staring into her computer at work having an existential crisis, sending nudes, gobbling down vitamin pills for breakfast, taking selfies with prettier friends, playing with her belly fat and much more.
After moving away from Chennai at the age of 17 and living in a giant, concrete jungle like New York – the artist faced a lot of trials and tribulations which were culturally, socially and emotionally jarring. Dating toxic men, working in boring jobs, dealing with skin problems, cooking, cleaning, exercising and even basic everyday tasks became chores and burdens. Single Brown Female is a journey and reflection on overcoming mental issues through art and humor.
By creating these comics, the artist was able to use humor to deal with her issues and make her problems a little more light hearted and relatable. She hopes that people going through similar quarter-life crisis can look at these drawings and have a little chuckle before getting back to their daily routines.
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