The Illustrations that Brought Broadly Stories to Life in 2017

Our illustrators are cool as hell. Here's some of their best work from this year.

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Dec 26 2017, 6:03pm

This year, while the earth both literally and figuratively burned, our illustrators created artwork that either brought emotion to the ruthless ways of the world or allowed us to escape it—if only for a moment. From painting the frustrations of women whose doctors refuse to believe them to bringing the Babadook to life as a queer icon, our illustrators elevated our editorial stories, allowing them to touch our readers in a way that words cannot.

In honor of them and their work, we've compiled some of our favorite artwork on Broadly from the past year below. We couldn't include all of our favorites, but here are a few in no particular order:

Illustration by Grace Wilson

'It Was A Wonderful Adventure’: What It’s Like When You Retire From Sex Work

We spoke to former sex workers about their careers after sex work—from a professional dominatrix turned chef’s little bitch to the escorts who became leading activists and academics.


Illustration by Lucy Han

What It's Like to Have a Phobia of Talking

For sufferers of selective mutism, speaking is the most frightening thing in the world.


Illustration by Cathryn Virginia

India's 'Anti-Romeo' Campaign to Make Women Safer Has Become a Huge Problem

Street harassment, sexual harassment, and stalking are huge problems in India. But a new right-wing solution—setting up police groups tasked with targeting male harassers—has fostered paranoia and abuse, limiting the freedoms it was supposed to protect.


Illustration by Cathryn Virginia

When a Fetus Is a 'Child' Who Needs Protection, But a Pregnant Teen Isn't

For weeks, a pregnant, undocumented 17-year-old was held hostage by the government and denied an abortion. She was finally allowed to get one—but that doesn't change the horrific injustice she endured.


Illustration by Eleanor Doughty

The Public Pain of Announcing Your Miscarriage on Facebook

Pregnancy announcements, whether elaborately planned or quick and spontaneous, have almost become a genre on social media. But many parents-to-be struggle with what to say when those pregnancies end in miscarriage.


Illustration by Kayla Wasil

Inside the Babadiscourse: How 'The Babadook' Became a Queer Icon

The real question is not why the drama-loving supernatural entity became a symbol for the LGBTQ community three years after its eponymous film was released—it's why this took so long.


Illustration by Vivian Shih

The Hardest Part of Getting My Tubes Tied Was Making Doctors Take Me Seriously

I have no desire to have kids, and most traditional methods of birth control cause me pain and discomfort. It took me 13 years to find a doctor who listened when I said I wanted to undergo a tubal ligation.


Illustration by Eleanor Doughty

How Arbitration Clauses Silence Women Speaking Out About Harassment

Therese Lawless has filed lawsuits against Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies, often for gender discrimination. But a growing trend of arbitration clauses in contracts is effectively silencing many of the women she represents.


Illustration by Vivian Shih

Doctors Created Vibrators After Growing Tired of Masturbating 'Hysterical' Women

One hundred years ago, the vibrator was invented to relieve doctors, whose fingers were frequently cramped from treating "hysteria" in female patients. Afterwards, it became a popular household appliance to help women get off on their own.


Illustration by Jennifer Kahn

The Deeply Unchill Things That Happened When I Tried to Quit Weed

When I realized my weed use was completely out of control, I had to ask myself some hard questions. Will I ever be able to smoke again? Is life—God forbid—better sober? And what if "Shark Tank" isn't actually good?


Illustration by Magnus Atom

In the Age of the Ass, Our Teenagers Deserve Better Sex Education

We spoke to teens and sex educators to see how the pop culture era of all-things-anal has affected teens' sex lives.