Feminism. A strong word with multiple meanings for different people. To me, feminism is freedom of choice, gender equality and the hope for a better future for my daughters.
My name is Nathalia Frykman, photographer, mother, business owner, student, wife, immigrant, Latina and considered a little bit of a rebel by conservatice acquaintances. However, I'm not a rebel by choice. Wouldn't life be so much easier if we all just accepted the way things are? Not if you ask me! Through how I live on the daily basis, I'm able to advocate for social causes, disrupt normality and make people question unspoken social rules little by little. It is painful to watch injustice happening and just sit back quietly in my corner. I'm almost physically compelled to act against unfairness, sexism, racism and discrimination by a power beyond me.
Talking about being disruptive, although I absolutely love my job as a photographer, it is easy to see that the industry sells a biased beauty model that is unachievable for most. Some photographers may say it just how things are and that they don't make the rules. WRONG! As photographers, we are strongly present in nearly all social media forms there are and we are selling these ideals reinforcing social exclusion of marginalized groups. We are influencers, we can help make people proud of who they are. If we are able to help build up the confidence of one girl or boy it is all worth it already! Creatives tend to be more liberal than the regular folk, but how avant-garde are we really if we do not intentionally disrupt such rules?
When I heard that feminist brands, especially the ones targeting the Latina community, were looking to collaborate with a photographer, I gladly volunteered. It all came down to one thing: representation. Latinas of all shapes, sizes, hair types and skin color came together with a wonderful team of creatives and feminist brands to bring our vision to life. I finally felt like I found my tribe. I was no longer the odd one out. I became part of the resistance! And it was such an amazing feeling, I want people out there to know they are not alone! You deserve to feel like you belong too.
I'm a full time visual novelist, telling love stories of couples madly in love worldwide, but there is nothing more beautiful than self-love! Confidence looks gorgeous on anyone. No child should grow up thinking they have "bad hair" (like I did), being ashamed of their heritage or thinking they can't do certain things because of their gender/sexuality/ethnicity. Everyone deserves seeing themselves well represented in movies, tv shows, social media and in Congress. Women, people of color, disabled people and the LGBTQ+ community have been demonized for too long, especially for not fitting "desirable" stereotypes. I want my deaf daughter to be able to look up to someone and understand she is more than enough. She is not wrong or defective. She is an amazing human being just like my hearing daughter, so amazing that we don't need to "try for a boy!" Do you understand how this very typical view diminishes girls? What about being judged solely because of your accent? How uncomfortable is that?
As I said, feminism to me is the freedom to choose and the ability to empower women and other minority groups. You can take simple steps to empower people around you and most of it is not radical at all. It is just fair! Don't think people are overreacting just because you can't relate. Be kind. Recognize your privilege and do not use it to invalidate people's experiences. Be mindful! Be considerate. Take one step a time towards feminism by valuing yourself and respecting others and soon enough you'll feel free of so many labels and will want to sprinkle this magical feeling all over!
See you next time!
- Nathalia Frykman
A special thanks to:
The Models - Nikki G., Natalia Pierre-Paul, Barbara Silva, Chani Maisonet, Ashley D'Antignac, Emma Rumps, Esha Ray
The HMUA - Allison Burns, Ashley Ann Smith, Shellie Goydish