Number 35 of 150

Representation of queer, or at least non-traditional, gender expressions was an important part of this project.

So far, we’ve had some characters that were deliberately ambiguous on gender, presenting as more-or-less androgenous. Today’s character is a little different. They’re wearing traditionally female clothing, but their hair and facial features are drawn using visual cues that typically read as masculine. However, I tried to make it ambiguous enough that it still wasn’t entirely clearcut. Personally, I’d hesitate to guess how this child identifies. I’d have to ask for their pronouns.

I’m not certain I got the age to read quite right. They may look a little older than they should.

A child, aged 7-9, stands with one hand up as if gesturing.  They are wearing a yellow button-up dress, with a long-sleeved t-shirt and leggings underneath. They're wearing red high-top sneakers and glasses.  The child is Middle Eastern and has a larger body type.  Their gender is ambiguous, but it possibly reads a little more male than female.

Number 33 of 150

Now we start the 7-9 age range. From here on out you’ll note that we have put all the characters in modest dress, though in this age range, the girls still have their heads uncovered. Since people with Middle Eastern heritage are often (though not exclusively) Muslim, we wanted to honor that by at least not showing lots of skin in this batch. But since our market is primarily US-based, we wanted to reflect what Americans Muslims of Middle Eastern descent typically wear. Therefore, we chose not to put girls in the 7-9 age range in hijabs, but you will see hijabs in the older age ranges.

A Middle Eastern girl, aged 7-9, stands with both arms as if gesturing while talking.  She's wearing a wrap-style shirt over a t-shirt, jeans, and flats. Her medium-dark brown hair is pulled back into a ponytail.