Girling Up


Girling Up is a collaborative website and instagram page that serves as a tool to educate and empower parents to grow confident girls. This is my capstone project presented to acquire my degree at The University of Texas at Austin. View full process booklet here.


For decades, media and advertising communicate to the general public how women should look and act, creating and enforcing gender stereotypes, sexualization of the female figure, and the thin ideal. The over saturation of these messages throughout decades created unrealistic body standards that became embodied in our culture, which may lead to greater issues such as obsessive behaviors and eating disorders. The extent of which a female will be negatively impacted by these unrealistic standards relies on the environment that she was raised in and in certain cases, it may even lead to greater issues such as obsessive behaviors and eating disorders.

view full research HERE.

Parents’ actions and word choices are just a few examples of ways that they can unintentionally guide their kids to be more judgmental of themselves and therefore more prone to believing in unrealistic body standards. Because of that, it's important to talk to parents and make them aware of this issue in order to grow confident girls.


Nowadays, parents are busier than ever. Housewifes are less common and in most families, both parents are working professionals. Their lack of time and the rise of technology made many parents drift away from parenting books and skew towards blogs and social media pages. 

There are many parenting blogs out there, so why another one? Most of them seems to be designed for kids instead of parents and none of them are dedicated to educating parents about how their words and actions influence their daughter’s self-esteem in the long-run. This is where Girling Up comes in.



Negative body image, eating disorders, and telling parents how they should act and talk to their daughters are delicate topics. Therefore, it's important to be passive, knowledgeable, and optimistic.

"Health is beautiful, regardless of your body shape". This is the main message that Girling Up wants to spread and therefore guides visual brand decisions such as color and illustrative style.


After observing and studying body positioning and composition, I did an exercise where I created blobs with watercolor and made them into people by drawing on top of them. This exercise permitted me to explore a way to create fluid drawings that could possibly be body-neutral.



After completing the watercolor exercise, I moved some of my drawings to the computer, where I refined them. In order to finalize the illustrations I had to manipulate the initial form of the watercolor shapes in order to cover more of the body of my characters so that the viewer couldn’t identify what body shape and size the characters have. I also referred back to my body composition study sketches while finalizing the illustrations in order to adjust the positioning of my characters so that the actions looked more natural.

click HERE for website prototype


The Girling Up website is a hub of resource for parents. The website continues the theme of natural, simple, and knowledgeable.

My goal with the website was to provide informative content in an approachable matter. Besides having the full blog posts, parents can also find information on the issue of society and media promoting unrealistic body standards, activities to do with their daughters such as gratitude journals, and they can also share their stories in order to help other parents through their own experience and to show that they aren’t the only ones.

©2020 by Carolina Baruzzi. All rights reserved.