I'm so excited to finally be releasing these images!! From the initial planning I started in January, to the travel and photoshoots in Miami back in July, and now to the final edits - it's been a long road. And almost too long as I really wondered if I would ever release this set .... sometimes life gets in the way and it's been a bit of life since July.
I wish I could say it was the editing process, or maybe my perfectionistic nature that has delayed the release of my Miami images. But it was not really any of that. In my defense, since I took the images I’ve been delayed with mourning and passing of my grandmother and new work that had me swamped. But more than that, I think the delay is mostly more related to my anxiety over how they will be received.
I’ve mulled over each image’s composition, meaning, concept; mulled over their selection, and then re-selected over and over again, edited and re-edited and then edited again –
January … July … October …. it’s been a long road since the start …. and I’m not done.
You get on this path where you start realizing these images are not necessarily something that you can just think up and spit out like a windmill. You have got to keep working it – you start on a concept and as you experience it, it evolves. And you evolve. Your skills and ideas evolve. Your thoughts on the meaning and imagery evolves. And then the project evolves. But the issues women face – they don’t change as quickly as we wish they would. I really wish they did. The fight is long and hard and requires so much patience. I think it was only fitting and aptly named “Strength Persists” considering all this.
In my last post, here, I discussed how I came to start this project from my own personal journey and what this project has meant to me.
The project started out as a metaphor for all the resistance that women have to endure and fight against through in their lifetime. The parachute being the visual representation of women and the resistance they battle. I almost wish we could say that awareness of women’s issues would propel immediate change. But our empowerment is the only thing that adjusts and changes so quickly.
And thank God for that. Because, let’s face it, women face a huge hurdle and resistance at every turn:
- Unequal access and treatment in education
- Unequal access and treatment in employment
- Unequal access and treatment for gender-based health issues and inequality in reproductive rights (and control)
- Disregard and lack of acknowledgment of the need for improvement of maternal health and family leave
- Disregard and lack of fighting against gender based violence
- Unequal expectations and treatment of women in domestic roles
- Unequal and unfair treatment and portrayal of women in media
- Unequal social treatment of women in society
- And truly? The list can go on and on ad-nauseum.
But I digress. While raising awareness of women’s issues had started out as the initial goal, and now has naturally guided me to ensuring that we remind ourselves of what women ARE and CAN be.
Reminding all women of our strengths and power has now become a part of this project.
So the images I created in Miami focused on our positives, our power, our force and what we ARE in the best possible way. We might face resistance in life and have to struggle to move forward, but we.can. and we.will. overcome every single thing in our path.
We have to remember this and steer our efforts to correct any wrongs with our strengths. Because like the parachute, despite the resistance that slows you down and pulls you back, we can still steer it to where we want and create our landing destination.
We *still* have so much control.
We are like the LIGHTHOUSE
We must always remember that like the light house, we women are the guiding light in life, for society and for our family.
Like the light house, we bring out the best in people. We bring them into safety. We as women need to remember we can guide with our light.
Like the light house, we shine in the darkest of times. We must remember to celebrate our light!!
We Are Like Calm Seas And A STEADFAST Force
The seas may get rough, the storms might be strong, the wind may try to knock us down and pull us away – but we have the power to hold strong, straight & calm.
We are always a steadfast force.
Despite the rough seas in our midst, despite the turbulence we endure, we must look around us and remind ourselves that it will die down and we will still be standing.
We must remember to celebrate each other! We are each other’s pillars and balance!
WE. WILL. ENDURE.
We Are The Roots
Like the tree whose roots run deep and hold the earth around it together, women are the root of the family. It may be a patriarchal focused society, but we are the matriarchs and must never forget that WE ARE the reason and only way for life on earth! We need to remember that WE are the ones who carry and give birth to the existence of everyone. We can and should control our reproductive rights. It takes two to tango, but only one to carry and bring it forth. We need to remind ourselves that this.is.all.powerful.
We are the root of the family. And like roots, we hold everything together. We are the glue and WE can make the difference for future generations in how we raise our children now. We have the strength and power today to influence changes in society and how we are treated. Changes CAN start with us and make life better for the future. We can teach our boys how to be better men and teach our girls how to be stronger. We can teach equality from the start. Our fight in all issues can continue on in the future without us, starting with our children now.
We are the foundation of the home. Not princess in a castle needing to be saved or too fragile to do anything. We do not need to be controlled or told what to do. We ARE the rocks of the castle and the foundation.
We have fought for and won the right to own land, the right to vote, the right to work, the right to education. We have fought for and won, as recently as this year in the middle east, the right to drive without being escorted by men. The fact is, we are always thinking about how to make things better for our lives, for our future.
We are intelligent and see through the junk thrown our way. The road is long, but we can make great changes. We are tenacious. We are relentless.
We can keep on the good fight – and we are succeeding!
We Are Glamour, We Are Timeless
We are beauty. We shine, we sparkle, we awe like the glitter and neon lights of the city at night. Like art deco, we are timeless.
We shape life around us, transforming generations of thought through our presence in media. We can dominate and positively influence society in subtle ways. What other force can influence people’s subconscious from the magazine racks to the clothes racks? We must remember to use this strength for positive influences.
And like the sun breaking over the horizon we are the dawn bringing light to those around us.
We are warm, inspiring and illuminating. We can change our world by informing and spreading knowledge. Without awareness of all the resistance women face, we can not impact change.
As light touches everything at dawn, we must remember that our strength in the fight has transcended and inspired generations.
There is no limit to what we can accomplish!!
And we can do it all with a smile :).
Now it’s time to put The Pink Parachute Project into further action. I have more that I want to do and more that I want to accomplish with this. Awareness of issues will continue to be the primary goal, and just as important a continuation of celebrating our strengths.
So now on to other cities and creating more images. So stay tuned because NYC, the great plains & San Francisco are yet to be explored. I won’t be releasing the images created for those until they’re all done & at that point you’ll have to see it all in it’s final form – a photo book!!
Thanks for reading, thanks for coming along with me on this journey – and above all, thank you for supporting this project!!
With all love and devotion,