This Artist's Kick-Ass Desi Wonder Woman Is Insanely Cool

By Haadia Paracha | 30 Aug, 2016

Why does this desi Wonder Woman piece tug at our heartstrings? For starters, seeing a bad-ass lady kicking butt with mehndi on her hands is way too cool. Also, there is certainly more room for brown female superhero figures in the mainstream media. And that is exactly what Shehzil Malik decided to do for desi women all over the globe. *more power*


Shehzil Malik is a designer with a staunch interest in social impact. 

Source: Shehzil Malik Art Via: Facebook


This piece based on her personal interpretation of a Desi Wonder Woman particularly caught our eye.

“I often feel there aren’t enough representations of bad-ass Muslim women- which is why I draw them myself”, she shared on a Facebook page.

Source: Shezil Malik Art Via: Facebook
“If I had grown up seeing strong women of color, it would have made me realize earlier that I am capable of so much more than the conventions I was raised with. I originally drew this image as a reaction to feeling trapped by arbitrary rules of modesty and the expectation to conform to the life expected of me.”
Sharing her thoughts on the desi Wonder Woman piece, Shehzil writes:

“Once I’d drawn desi Wonder Woman though, the ridiculous Burqini ban stories from France came out and I saw that I had drawn a brown version of a strong white woman (technically WW as an Amazon warrior wasn’t white but the comic book character certainly was). I realized a couple of things- One: I need more desi women warriors to look up to (shout out to Pakistani comic book artists!) and Two: we are all part of this new world where a mishmash of tradition, religion, pop culture and the internet forms our identity. Is there really an “us” versus “them” when we share so many human experiences? I grew up in Pakistan loving American comics-Wonder Woman is as much a childhood role model for me as it is for a girl growing up anywhere else.

I love this idea of having a shared humanity, the realization that we don’t have one fixed identity rooted in geography. Can we just embrace all that makes us strong and ourselves- as women and as people?”

Shehzil hopes to continue devising projects leveraging art and technology to raise important questions around identity and history with a visual storytelling approach.

Source: Shehzil Malik Art Via: Facebook
There is a lot of room in the art of visual storytelling, one that makes a lot of interaction in public spaces as well as everyday activities much more enjoyable.

She identifies as a South Asian, a Muslim, a woman and a feminist and draws what she interprets as such.

fashion industry (2)
 A prior Fulbright scholar with an MFA in Visual Communication Design, her passions of design and social responsibility result in consultancy work with nonprofits and collaborative projects. Having previously worked locally and internationally, Shehzil is also currently a visiting faculty at Beaconhouse National University’s School of Visual Arts & Design.
Thank you for the kick ass Desi Wonder Woman, Shehzil.
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