Coloring books are very trendy right now.
Whether as part of a larger trend of adults revisiting childhood activities, a nostalgic return to pen and paper, or a mindfulness practice, the adult coloring book is definitely having a moment. And of course, activists and progressives of all stripes have jumped into this coloring fad with gusto. Check out a few favorite feminist coloring books, for adults and children alike!
Girls Are Not Chicks (Jacinta Bunnell & Julie Novak)
“Color the Rapunzel for a new society. She now has power tools, a roll of duct tape, a Tina Turner album, and a bus pass! Paint outside the lines with Miss Muffet as she tells that spider off and considers a career as an arachnologist! Girls are not chicks. Girls are thinkers, creators, fighters, healers and superheroes.”
Dream Big! More Than A Princess (Stephanie Tabashneck)
“Every day we’re bombarded with images of girls in one-dimensional, passive roles. There are very few books for children that capture the strength and ambition of girls today. The situation for girls of color is even worse—they are virtually absent. As a psychologist, I’m very aware of the devastating impact these subtle messages have on children. I wanted to be a part of the solution.” Check out Ms. Blog’s profile of this gender-role-bashing book.
Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon (Jacinta Bunnell & Nathaniel Kusinitz)
“We have the power to change fairy tales and nursery rhymes so that these stories are more realistic. In Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon you will find anecdotes of real kids’ lives and true-to-life fairy tale characters. This book pushes us beyond rigid gender expectations while we color fantastic beasts who like pretty jewelry and princesses who build rocket ships. Celebrate sensitive boys, tough girls, and others who do not fit into a disempowering gender categorization.”
“I drew these images while serving as a children’s librarian at Queens Library in New York, where I noticed a need for kid-friendly books about women’s history. Hopefully this coloring book will do its part to fill that need. This is a great gift for kids, feminists, teachers, librarians, history buffs, coloring enthusiasts, and anybody who wants a bit more color in their life!”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Coloring Book (SheKnows)
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg… the kind of badass feminist who encourages us to color outside the lines. It seems only fitting she get her own coloring book. And here it is! Your very own printable coloring book featuring the one and only RBG. So grab your crayons and your colored pencils, and don’t be afraid to make a mess. She isn’t.” You can read more here.
Colour Her: Mix ‘N Match Coloring Book (Iris Glaser & Katrin Leblond)
“Colour Her invites us to discover and play with the myriad roles we inhabit as women. It’s equally a fun and creative tool for young girls to explore images of women beyond the princesses and ballerinas of traditional coloring books.” This book allows you to express your creativity not only by coloring, but also by mixing and matching heads, torsos, and legs of different female and feminist figures. Check it out!
The Big Gay Alphabet Coloring Book (Jacinta Bunnell & Leela Corman)
“Sixty-four page coloring book illustrating twenty-six words that highlight memorable victories and collective moments in LGBTQP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Pansexual) culture.” Alphabet soup just got a lot more exciting!
Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace: A Body-Positive Coloring Book (Nicole Lorenz)
“There’s a whole universe of body types out there, and they all deserve to be represented. This coloring book features eighteen fat scifi heroines doing what they do best: trekking across the time and space, blasting off into adventure, and saving the day.”
SuperNatural! (Janine Carrington)
“SuperNatural! is a fun fresh colouring book for colorers of all ages. On the pages you’ll find seventeen dynamic super heroes sporting glorious magical curls. Our heroes use their hair to harness the sun’s energy and enhance their natural tendencies, making themselves SuperNatural! Using your crayons, pencils markers chalk etc give them the style and colour they need to accomplish their mission.”
I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos (Andrea Pippins)
While we’re on the topic of hair—this versatile book also offers us a lot of ways to love it! “I really wanted people to think about hair as something fun and lighthearted, but hair can also be seen as political or rebellious. I also wanted to give individuals the power to think about hair the way that they want to.”
Cunt Coloring Book (Tee Corinne)
This old-school adult coloring book, first published in 1975 and still available today, is designed to be fun, liberating, and educational. “In 1973 I set out to do drawings of women’s genitals for use in sex education groups. I wanted the drawings to be lovely and informative, to give pleasure and affirmation. I organized the drawings into a coloring book because a major way we learn to understand the world, as children, is by coloring. As adults many of us still need to learn about our external sexual anatomy.”
The Post-Structuralist Vulva Coloring Book (Elly Blue & Meggyn Pomerleau)
More vulvas! Radical vulvas galore! “The Post-Structuralist Vulva Coloring Book demystifies gender and pleasantly confuses your assumptions as you are drawn into its mesmerizing bricolage of patterns, folds, and whorls. Color away the false binaries between male and female, words and text, inside and outside, art and nature… No longer must vulvas be either crudely objectified or shrouded in mystery! All hail the vulva! The vulva hails you!”
Soften, Open, Release: A Coloring Book of Birth Affirmations (Amber delaine)
“Soften, Open, Release is an adult coloring book of eleven inspirational birth affirmations with illustrations. Color them during pregnancy to relax and mentally prepare for childbirth. They can be used on a birth altar or hung where you give birth to help you through labor. Many of the images are also intended to provide inspiration and comfort in the early months of motherhood.”
I’m A Fucking Unicorn: A Queer Self-Care Coloring Book (Sam GlitterWurst)
“Self-care is key to our survival. Take a moment to color, journal, and doodle in this nifty queer self-care coloring and activity book. Loaded with great self-reflection activities, inspirational quotes, coloring pages, and puzzles. You can color everything in this zine!!”
The Badass Feminist Coloring Book (Ijeoma Oluo)
“You’re never too old for coloring books & you’re never too young for feminism.” Really, enough said.
This concludes a list of 15 adult coloring books that will not only be a source of enjoyment, but also a source of motivation!
Image courtesy of Getty Images.