Photography and Text by Lilibeth Montero, Copyright 2018
What’s in My Bag?
This year has been filled of advances for women. One of the biggest movement’s #metoo have given women the ability to speak out against the systemic oppression that occurs in the workplace, and society. I am so proud of the accomplishments of brave women this year, yet there is still so much to change. Looking in my bag I find it to be completely unfair that I have to carry objects like a rape whistle and a pepper spray in order to feel safe. Sadly, I noticed that it has become almost instinct, to grab my pepper spray every morning.
Looking forward, I know that my struggles are not comparable to the struggles women before me faced. I am so grateful of the strives women have made. A lot has changed this year, and I am so proud because I know future women like my younger sister will not have to endure the hardships of oppression that for so long has attempted to silence women. Additionally, my intention with this piece was to honor all the great strides women took this year.
For my image, I was inspired by a trend on social media called “what’s in my bag”, it involves women showing the contents of their bag on camera. The images I captured take a twisted turn on “stereotypical” objects associated with women. In order to criticize traditional women’s role. I used three bags, a wallet, handbag and a makeup pouch. I wanted to pair these objects with something like pepper spray, or newspaper headings of the “#metoo” movement to depict that there is a great deal that needs to be done to help women. I wanted the images to reflect someone literally dumping their belongings on their night stand. I also placed a newspaper heading called “feminist” because I think there has been some flaws in understanding the term. I captured the pictures using natural light in my room. I put the ISO up to 600 and increased the shutter speed to increase the amount of light available. In Photoshop I fixed some lighting issues by increasing the brightness and red tones within the image.
About The Author: Lilibeth Montero is a freshman enrolled in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Lilibeth Montero, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/lilibeth-montero-looking-at-photographs/