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There are times when vulnerability is praised, even preferred when it constitutes what is considered appropriate for women.

As a woman raised in the south, I’ll say I’ve unquestionably been conditioned to have a “Let it roll off your back” mentality. Factor in negative encounters, regarding racism and sexism, plus the armor needed in order to combat these experiences, and finally you have a mentality centered on the obligation to have it all together, at all times – a mindset which often suppresses any thoughts or feelings that simulate vulnerability. From its definition, vulnerability has nothing to do with the person in question and everything to do with perception, relating to how others see us, and even more daunting, how others judge us. Society has depicted vulnerability in such a way which alludes to weakness that vulnerability and strength are two separate things. But the inability to be vulnerable is the true weakness.

 

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Photographer: Cath Nguyen

Photography Assistant: Savannah LaCroix

Model: Japarah Thompson

Art Direction & Styling: Whitney Sylvain

Makeup: Sophia Nava