Saturday, February 27, 2016

foremother dress up closet

A few years ago, when Maya still fit in the crook of my arm, I began to think about what feminism meant to me. What being a mama meant, what being a stay-at-home mama meant, what it meant to discuss heroes with my daughter.

I began to write poems about women I admired, women whose stories struck me. There are so many that haunt me.

These two photography projects do similar things to me when I observe them. In one, Jamie Moore considered dress-up in alternative to Disney princesses, an alternative to fantasy-life and more in celebration of women who have lived and deeply mattered.

(I want to emphasize that I do love dress-up and storytelling and folk tales and fairy tales and all the things that are rolled into princess dress-up and all the other kinds of dress up and fantasy-making that exists. I have my own set of problems with Disney, but I also have problems with denigrating what others might love for very good reasons.)

Recently, Janine Harper and her husband made a response to said project in celebration of African-American history. (Toni Morrison. Enough said.)

I love both so much. The idea of embodying women who dared, women who challenged, women who chased after dreams--it makes my heart sing.

And several of my personal favorite women-heroes are included: Toni Morrison because she has been one of my first literature loves and remains one of the strongest and most sacred to me, Amelia Earhart for her own mythic narrative, and Jane Goodall, whom I consider my daughter's foremother:

Aren't they marvelous?

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