The Sublime Strength And Beauty Of Femininity in 12 Photographs - Cultura Colectiva

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The Sublime Strength And Beauty Of Femininity in 12 Photographs

(Fiction)People tell me I’m brave every day. They say they wish they had my strength and conviction. What they don’t know is that I hate it most of the time. A post shared by Matt Kelly (@_emkae_) on Mar 5, 2017 at 7:34am PST Why do I have to be the tree that still stands […]



(Fiction)

People tell me I’m brave every day. They say they wish they had my strength and conviction. What they don’t know is that I hate it most of the time.

A post shared by Matt Kelly (@_emkae_) on




Why do I have to be the tree that still stands after the hurricane comes to destroy it all? Is it fair that I’m made of oak mixed with concrete?



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Nobody notices how tired I am.

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Having to play the statue that is always there means I have to keep up a mirage of being functional even when I’m about to crack. So I hide inside myself. My mind goes on walkabout to the depths of my brain, nestled between my first memories and that moment I’ll never speak of.

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There are days when I just want to spend time away from this planet. I’d like to escape reality for just a little while in order to find solace and comfort.

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If everyone leans on me for support, where do I find rest?

(End of Fiction)

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We’ve all felt at one point in our lives that we’ve given more than what we had. As the world crumbles around us, we remain where we are. We’ll hear about how people admire our ability to withstand anything. Yet we don’t tell them that the reason we don’t run away is because we can’t. What happens when your strength is based on your unwillingness to change? Could you ever come clean about how your bravery is driven by your greatest fears?


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Why do we need to live up to the cliché of not crying or falling apart when the pain and pressure turn exasperating and claustrophobic? It’s almost as if we grow up to believe the lie that suffering is good for us. As if enduring and surviving the worst moments with a stoic face or smile will come with a promise for better days.

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As women we hear all too often stories about ourselves as if we’re these delicate vulnerable creatures made out of glass and lace. It’s funny then that we’re also expected to react like mannequins during instances of loss and despair.

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We are placed behind a glass of scrutiny where every action will be taken as proof of our inability to cope or as a reason to be piled up with more accountability. It’s a never-ending seesaw between being perceived as strong or weak. How do we fight against the ideas of those who wish to see us silenced or overwhelmed? Do we go with the flow and hope for the best? Can we look for an island of isolation? Or should we simply confront the status quo and search for a home where we are respected and cherished?

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Photographer Matt Kelly has a way of presenting the duality of womanhood, the vulnerability of having one’s entire soul laid out in front of us, and an inner strength that can be as powerful as any other force of nature. The collaborative process Kelly has with his models means that there is a constant dialogue between the artist and the subject of the images. It creates a space where the figures filling the space seem to jump out of the screen, confronting while standing away from the viewer. The result is like opening the pages of a diary and taking in all the emotions hidden in the heart.

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The women in these pictures are as brave as they are open about their fears and hopes. They present themselves as inspiration for others, and they also demonstrate the fatigue of having to constantly fight against stereotypes. They are heroines and protagonists of their own story, as well as archetypes for other women to follow.

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You can check out more of Matt Kelly’s photography on his Instagram or Official Site. 

Discover an infinite galaxy within an ocean of naked bodies.

Dive into the bluest of melancholia.

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