“Fight Like a Girl” represents a group of females that hide compasses in their compact mirrors, wear spurs on their boots, and keep lipstick next to their handguns. The project showcases images of independent women who reject the patriarchy and champion self-defense, empowerment, and femininity. In other words, these ladies demonstrate what it really means to fight like a girl.
The emblematic feminist figures, Thelma & Louise, Annie Oakley, and the female characters in the novel Even Cowgirl’s Get the Blues inspired me to shoot this project. Their stories created an idea of womanhood in my mind made up of serene urban cowgirls eating strawberries in wood-paneled trailer park homes. I strove to visually manifest such feelings of nostalgia, empowerment, and girlhood through alternative, non-sexualized images of fierce women.
I focused on the color pink in this project to demonstrate how women can embrace traditional symbols of femininity and transform them into sources of resistance and empowerment. I coupled pink with glitter to further connect that symbol to girls’ childhoods. I, for one, distinctly recall my toys being saturated with sparkly magentas and violets. I transformed masculine weapons into symbols of feminine empowerment and revenge by coating guns, knives, and bats in pink, purple, and glitter. By placing those weapons in domestic settings, I imagine women fighting against the objectification and repression we often face as homemakers.
I hope that “Fight Like a Girl” makes you angry. I hope that these images show you ways you can use your womanhood to protest and fight – to take up arms against the patriarchy, in solidarity with other women. Destroy the idea that fighting like a girl means that you are weak, catty, or selfish! Fighting like a girl means owning your womanhood and your personhood – with all the glitter, pink, cupcakes, and lace you loved in your youth. Fighting like a girl means with other women as a united force against all intersections of oppression. Reclaim your independence through revenge and adventure.