In our society, labels exist to help us make sense of the world and our role within it. These labels can sometimes be helpful but, more often than not, they limit us.
Women are given the label “feminine” from birth and are taught to display that in specific ways throughout their life. If women aren’t first encouraged to grow into this mold by their family unit, the idea is later fostered by their community of friends, partners, and social media. This is clear in the expectations to wear makeup, remove body hair, and diet to maintain a certain weight/appearance. These practices are commonly introduced at a very early, developmental age.
But this lingering label results in more complex decisions: the sports/activities women choose, the careers and leadership roles they seek, and even their self-worth.
A seemingly simple label has far reaching effects, hindering how women value themselves and therefore how they build relationships. These are the kind of decisions that determine how someone grows and moves through life, and ultimately what kind of person they become.
But femininity is being challenged—and it’s evolving.
We’re now expanding and expressing femininity in more intricate, fluid ways. This photo series is a celebration of the idea that being a woman is more complex and beautiful than any label would have us believe. We are not limited by our gender. We are free to express ourselves in whatever way makes us feel like our most confident and authentic selves, encouraging those around us to do the same.
We are all human. We’re intrinsically complex and cannot be expected to express ourselves in any singular way.
Model: Auburn @whoissoyboy
Ting Ting Chen