This Calendar Will Challenge Your Idea Of What A Feminist Is Supposed To Look Like

andrea-mary-marshall-feminist-calendar

And by challenge your idea of feminism, we mean that in a positive empowering way.

Folks, we get it, the word feminism or the idea of calling oneself a “feminist” can be very threatening and in some cases hostile. It makes us incredibly sad to hear whenever a woman (especially) or a man distances themselves from the word because they think it means a bra-burning, man-hating, anger-fueled movement which only applies to women. Thankfully as time has gone on since the feminism began, the collective idea of what it stands for has also progressed to reflect present day struggles.

Let’s be honest, there are MANY: female genital mutilation, forced child marriage, sex trafficking, rape culture, the wage gap, lack of equal rights, sexual objectification in the media and fashion, and more. One of the ways we believe feminism has more power today than ever before is its focus on intersectionality. The idea that race and sexuality are a core struggle to the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

We couldn’t agree more! One of the ways we love to see feminism evolve and help change mindsets, is how it is challenging the popular notion of a woman’s body. For many years women’s bodies have been a consumed commodity, silenced, shamed, abused and devalued. Now that we see women standing up and taking their autonomous power back, it is a struggle for some to accept.

andrea-mary-marshall-feminist-calendar

Female pop stars dressing a certain way in music videos, the Free The Nipple movement, moms fighting back against prudish people who don’t want them to breastfeed in public, social media facing huge backlash for suspending accounts and removing images of breast cancer survivors or plus size women while the near-naked size 0 pics of women are common fodder, and the list goes on. It’s as if society is far more comfortable seeing women’s bodies controlled by another entity, rather than see them have their own power.

Even within feminist circles the notion of how an empowered, free women “should” use her body in public spaces has been problematic. There is the idea that to be a “real” feminist you can’t like fashion and upload selfies online, yet Amber Rose has proven this just leads to slut-shaming, not equality. One artist who is challenging these supposedly juxtaposing ideals of what really constitutes a feminist is brilliantly raising the conversation in a visual way.

New York based photographer Andrea Mary Marshall, whose provocative work has been featured in The New York Times and in exhibitions across the US as well as in the UK and Mexico, has released a pin-up calendar for 2016 called The Feminist Calendar references the annual Pirelli Calendar, known for its artistic nude imagery which has interestingly chosen to go a more clothed and feminist route over the past few years.

andrea-mary-marshall-feminist-calendar

andrea-mary-marshall-feminist-calendar

Andrea told .Mic that the idea behind this new series of images, on display at the Garis & Hahn gallery in NYC until November 14, will raise questions about how women are portrayed in the media and are expected to fit into one of two typical tropes: the “good girl” or the “bad girl”.

But for her, the idea that a woman, a feminist, has to choose one identity is absurd. She set out to feature herself in images side by side to show that there is more than one way to look like a feminist.

“They’re both the same side of me. I cannot say that one is more influential that the other. The main objective here is to say that they are the same. Both images are me, and one is not better than the other,” she said.

Some of the poses she exhibits are probably familiar as there are countless fashion campaigns showing women in objectified, dominated and subjugated positions.

andrea-mary-marshall-feminist-calendar

andrea-mary-marshall-feminist-calendar

“I was taking it to my own place and my own level, and I think some of the images are more actually exploitative than [Pirelli features] because I wanted to emphasize the idea of self-objectification and sexuality and see what it felt like for me,” she said.

Her message behind the series is that both types of images are equally powerful, beautiful and meaningful, as she defines feminism as “equal rights to self-determination.” The idea that women should be given permission to define who they are and how they contribute and move in public spaces is almost a rebellious one, because let’s face it, it’s still a fairly new concept.

But with images like these, and more and more women continuing to speak up and share their diverse and inclusive definitions, hopefully feminism will become less threatening and negative, and be an important source of a woman’s power in the world.

“However you want to portray yourself is your own choice. The most important part of female beauty is unapologetic authenticity,” said Andrea.

andrea-mary-marshall-feminist-calendar

One Comment

  1. Pingback: "I Am A ______ And A Feminist" The Damaging Ways Society Likes To Fill That Blank Space - GirlTalkHQ

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