Women's History Month

It's 2017, And This Is What Feminists Look Like

Happy International Women's Day.

Carey Lynne Fruth and Sophie Spinelle were among the millions of people who joined the Women's March on Jan. 21. Galvanized by the energy they felt there, Fruth and Spinelle, both photographers at Shameless, a body-positive boudoir photography studio, launched the photo series "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" — a reference to what was initially a claim from President Obama (then later popularized on T-shirts and protest signs) as a declaration of solidarity in the struggle for gender equality. 


Carey Lynne Fruth

The project's primary goal is to shatter the tired stereotype of man-hating feminist. "I don't want people to have to be afraid to be labeled feminist," Spinelle said in a press release. "Being a feminist is simply means that your values tell you that everyone is equally deserving of respect and justice."

Fruth, who was behind the American Beauty photo series in 2015, added:

We are trying to break that stereotype and show that anyone can be a feminist and what it's really about is inclusiveness and compassion and respect for all.
Sophie Spinelle

Spinelle and Fruth took care to recruit a diverse cast of people for the series in a bid to encourage intersectionality, a quality that the movement, dominated by white women thus far, has been criticized for lacking. Women of color have become increasingly vocal about feminism's failure to take into account the experiences of anyone other than white heterosexual women, and are making a concerted push for the cause to encompass issues affecting other minorities. 

And it's a point that Fruth and Spinelle wanted to make in their photo series.

"I'm a feminist because all women deserve equal rights, and investing in women means investing in our country's future." — Meena Harris of I'm An Entrepreneur, Bitch Photo by Fruth and Spinelle

"Being a true feminist is about fighting for equality for all. Not just white, straight, abled, cis-women," Fruth said. "A true feminist recognizes their privilege and uses it to uplift and support those with less."

As for the participants, the project gave them a platform to voice their beliefs, as well as helped shape a new idea of what a feminist looks like — which, frankly, is anything. 

See more photos below:

 "I'm done being quiet and polite. I'm ready for uncomfortable conversations and to be seen and heard." — Vivian Chen   Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
 "It feels like we have forgotten that none of us would be alive, none of the world's achievements would be possible without women. Women's rights mean freedom for everyone." — Janusz Welin Photo by Angela Altus
 "I want to see a world where me and my friends can exist with confidence and assured safety." — Riya Bhargava Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
 "To me, feminism is the freedom to be who you are, or whoever you choose to be — your gender should neither dictate or limit your choices." — Leslie Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
"There comes a point when we just have to say enough is enough. I'm done dreaming about the day where the identity of the feminine is fully liberated and free. My whole body and soul says it has to be NOW. Not tomorrow, NOW." — Ryan Fukuda   Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
"Prior to Trump I never used the term feminist in any capacity. Now it is important for us all to own our truths. I am what a feminist looks like." — Ventiko Photo by Angela Altus
 "Being a feminist, to me, is confidence. Falling in love with myself no matter my size, so I can help other people feel beautiful, too." — Rosie Reigns Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
"My greatest accomplishment as a feminist would be to bring up daughters who are not afraid of anything." — Sunil Bharoava Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
"My greatest accomplishment as a feminist is my self awareness as a woman and my self care. The greatest thing a feminist can do is preserve their mental, physical and spiritual health." — Karrie Myers Taylor Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
"I want to live in a world where girls grow up without shame and fear." — Annu Yadav Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
I come from a country that keeps women for men's support only. I have a mother and two sisters [and I] always thought that double standards were not acceptable." — Raoul Tenazas Photo by Angela Altus
"My mom raised me to be a feminist even though she never used the word. She showed me how to be a strong, smart, and independent person, and this is what I want for my child, too." — Mai Photo by Fruth and Spinelle
"Whether a woman is wearing a burka or a bikini, she should be respected equally to a man in a suit." — Rubina Abdul Photo by Angela Altus


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