I have this friend. She is a fighter, survivor, activist, caregiver, and world traveller. She is visiting during the holidays in the middle of a year long mission in Tanzania. She is working hard to help people better their lives. And that is not an easy thing to do for so many reasons.
And that can really wear on your mind.
She gets cat-called every day, or is called by racial slurs, and it has caused her to lose touch with her femininity, because when that kind of abuse happens you fall into yourself. You retreat and try to make yourself small and invisible.
And that can really wear on your heart.
So when she came to visit me today, I had her put on some comfy clothes I have added to my studio wardrobe, sat her on a chair and just got her to talking about what she has been going through. And as she spoke I photographed her. I could see the struggle, I could see the vulnerability... but through that all I saw her never ending beauty that radiated from within and I saw her strength. I hope when she sees these images she sees that too. Because no matter what is happening to her, she will always be this person. This will never change.
This is the truth about femininity. It is flexible, strong and timeless. It can withstand the heaviest of blows. It can withstand the most intense abuse. femininity is something that can never be taken from you. It is always going to be there to carry you through anything you encounter.
Women are the strongest beings in my mind. And interestingly enough I hesitate to include myself in that statement, but that is the struggle we all face... we fight for everyone but ourselves, and deal with the most earth shattering things. And we still shine through it all. We still find the strength to reach out to another in need, to hold their hand and be a source of support. This is the truth about femininity.
Look deep inside yourself... you know I am right.