Old Large Format 8×10 Work from Spring 2010

Equal Empowerment

 

Carrie. 8×10 Digital Scan. 2010.

Stumbling along this path I call freshman year, I have made more than a few mistakes, but have experienced way more lessons that I ever thought I’d learn. It’s been a hard year, not only because its been my first away from home and the family I love, in a new environment, but because of other events that have happened that seem to still be getting in my way of finding happiness. It always seems that I’m under a cloud of confusion where the rains of emotions sporadically come and go. And just when I think the storm has stopped, sun shinning, there’s another down pour. Its hard to look past all the different traumas that have happened in my world, but honestly I feel that what one is suppose to do. Because this is not just my world, I share it with everyone, and though not everyone has the same experiences, we all experience the same emotions, emotions that connect us.

A couple of Friday nights ago, I did something crazy. Instead of going to a frat and partying it up, I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a house with a bunch of girls, whom I hardly knew, and had the most amazing, life changing conversation. I never expected my night to end up like it did, but I’m very blessed it had. With everything going on in my life, right there was where I was meant to be, and those girls inspired me. Growing up my role models changed daily from Britney Spears to Nicole Kidman, I admired those whose life I saw on a silver screen. And this screen was more of a curtain, for I never saw their true lives and strength day to day. I only saw the glitz, glamour, and what seemed to be happiness. However, this time was different, this random group of girls were real, and randomly they decided to do something out of the ordinary, something brave, that brought us all together. We bonded together that night, in a whirl of emotions, mainly of feelings most of us were to scared to ever admit to having, but had all felt at one point or another.

That night we discussed an array of topics, from the outrageous, controversial web page to our daily lives. However, one thing stuck with me that I truly took to heart and immediately knew I wanted to base my project on: the strength women have yet the suppression inflicted upon them both by their surroundings and by themselves.

Now I don’t want to start sounding like a feminist Nazi, but I feel this is a really true concept experienced by a lot of women today. I think its really messed up how as women we hold ourselves at a somewhat lower standard then guys. That during the week we expect guys to open the doors for us and be polite, but when it comes to the weekend we allow ourselves to simply be walked all over, taken advantage of, and basically a prize for a game. And then after we might say to ourselves “Well that’s what I wanted, just to be a fun girl who doesn’t really care about a relationship,” and yet, we still find ourselves questioning why he doesn’t call and finding new reasons to feel more uncomfortable in our own skin.

“Men are far less perfect creatures than women. They were given greater strength, but with less control” ~ Nancy McKenzie

Back in the day of 7th grade, I read this quote, wrote it down, and took it to heart. Now today, more than six years later, I’m finding relevance to it in my own life. Today, after starting my project, I see it in a different light. Men and women should consider themselves as equals. Though we might have different strengths, in a vast array of different areas, we are all human and should learn to love one another like so. As women we allow ourselves to faultier to the stereotype of letting “the man” be in control.  We allow him to play on our emotions “just to get a reaction, any sign of love.” ~ Maria Mena

Thus “the first problem for us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn” ~ Gloria Steinem. With this project I went out in search of women I admire, around Sewanee, whom I think are very strong and influential, portraying them to show others that it’s ok to have standards, it’s ok to want more than just a one night stand, and that no matter what no guy, no one for the matter, should have the power to make you feel less about yourself.

 

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