This series explores female empowerment and vulnerability in the face of what modern day sexism looks like. In my day-to-day life, I am confronted by men’s (and occasionally women’s) comments and glances, which suddenly make me aware that I am a woman with womanly parts. The garments, which I have created, reinforce this sensation.

In spite of this objectification, I strived to demonstrate real women just being the dynamic and complex individuals they are. This group of women, who all graciously volunteered their time for the project, encompass so many things in their lives: professionals, students, mothers, creatives, adventures and beyond. I asked each to emote what being a woman means to her and how it makes her feel in the moment. This photo shoot documents her response.

I think an important part of feminism, which is often misunderstood, is aspect of choice. Sometimes it means being nurturing, and other times it is seductive. It can mean feeling emotional, while other times stoic. Feminism can be many of these things, and it also can be none. From the results of the photo shoot, I captioned each woman’s portrait with text expressing aspects of sincere feminism. As a result, the project became an overview of what modern day, female empowerment looks like. This series culminates in a final image of everyone together, in support of each other, owning their space, being direct with their gaze, and standing proud to be “Woman.” There is nothing that cannot be accomplished when we stand together, use our voices, help each other and be proud of who we are. We are Woman.

Photographer: Molly Van Kley ( website / IG )
Models (in order of series): Astrid Von Winter ( website / IG ), Azia Gutierrez, Kristine Rodriguez,
Rebecca Sibley, Jeannine Steinkuhl ( website / IG ), Natasha Carter, Emerald Phoenyx ( website / IG )
MUAs: Elizabeth Pearson ( IG ), Joansie Rose ( IG )
Hair: Christine Malcom

Thank you to the beautiful, creative souls listed above, who volunteered their talents and time towards making this project come to life. And a special thank you to the women, who modeled in this series and dared to me vulnerable, for inspiring me to do the same. xKristine of DECLARATIVE

To get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this project, read more here. 

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