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.
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.
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.
"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: