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EmPOWERED Women Project

In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Halloween, for the next few

weeks I'll be working on a project I call “emPOWERED Women.”

From a fun and creative aspect, I will be asking female strangers and friends to choose a card of out a deck of cards that I have labeled with super powers.

Then, on the spot, they will model that power for several portraits.

This project is about empowering women in the comic book industry; artists, readers, and the characters. Women are beautiful, and they are powerful. And yet so often they are torn down and told they're not worthy. I believe otherwise.

This project is dedicated to raising awareness about the mistreatment of women, and showing that they should be treated as fairly as anyone else. In addition to the photos, I will ask a few questions regarding their views on women empowerment.

I hope you enjoy this project, and that you'll help me spread the word about emPOWERED women!

EDIT: The 2014 iteration of this project has now ended, but the cause never will! Check it out below!

Scroll down to read about and watch the interviews with some emPOWERED women!

Jenna the Telepath


Jenna is a cosplayer I met in Richmond during the Cosplay Club at VCU's bake sale fundraiser. She was excited to be a part of my project and help raise awareness about emPOWERED women.

The card Jenna chose was "telepathy," the power to control things with one's mind, and she acted that power out flawlessly - check out the photo and interview below!

Jenna is the first participant in my project, and she raised a lot of important issues that were

really eye opening for me.

"There are women out there who are tough"

Check out the full interview below:

Jennifer the Flyer

An emPOWERED Woman

Jennifer is a classmate of mine in my theater class. She is a very talented individual, able to immerse herself into any situation when acting.

Jennifer's card was actually "Choose your own," and she decided upon flight, which, as you can see from the photos, we had a lot of fun with!

Jennifer told me about an animator that created a female character that was sassy and feminine, but also strong and independent. In the end if it's a good story, readers will come, without having to pervert the female characters.

"One thing I've seen is that the artists tend to pervert the women's body... It's giving the wrong image"

She informed me that it's not just western comics that are exploiting women, but manga and manhwa from Japan and Korea respectively too, and that is NOT okay.

Check out the full interview below:

Alexis the Invincible

An emPOWERED Woman

Alexis is also a member of the Cosplay Club @ VCU, and reached out to me after seeing Jenna's interview.

Alexis felt very strongly about the issue and was happy to share with me her opinion on women empowerment.

The power she chose was invincibility. Whether it's Superman or Supergirl, Mario's super star, or Sonic the Hedgehog's box of sparkles, invincibility's a pretty popular super power, and thanks to Alexis we have one more woman who's rocking it.

Alexis shared about her greatest inspiration, her mother, who fought against breast cancer. She taught Alexis that women can be strong and she realized this by the initiative her mother took to shave her head bald and to be proud and not discouraged by the disease.

"You're smart, you're talented..."

Alexis also shed some light on women empowerment in other cultures. September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month.

As an avid fan of comics, and heroines like Power Girl, Alexis had a few thoughts about the women in comics.

"Her costume wouldn't help in a fight"

In conclusion, Alexis encourages girls that they can do anything they want to do, regardless of if it's been done before, or if it's something that men typically do.

Check out the full interview below:

Kayla the Strong

An emPOWERED Woman

Kayla is a classmate of mine and was excited to help out with the project!

The power she chose was super strength, and as you can see from her chair lifting abilities in the photo above, she pulled it off pretty well!

But Kayla isn't just strong physically, but in so many other ways as well. In her classes she is a natural leader, intelligent, and pursues and accomplishes her goals.

On women empowerment, Kayla believes that the idea has already been around, but it's getting bigger:

"With the millenial generation it is coming more into sight..."

Check out the full interview below!

Rachel the Intelligent

An emPOWERED Woman

Rachel is my suitemate's girlfriend and when she heard that I was doing this project, she was more than happy to jump on board.

Rachel's grandmother passed away from breast cancer, but like Alexis' mother, she didn't show any weakness or disappointment throughout the experience. Not that showing weakness is wrong, but the strength she showed served as great inspiration to Rachel.

"I can get through anything because of her."

As an emPOWERED woman, Rachel is doing what's best for her, and has the confidence to do so thanks to the inspirations in her life like her mother and grandmother.

To push progress, Rachel believes that legislation for women's rights, and equal pay, is very important.

As a student studying music education, Rachel finds women in the industry, like conductors, to prove as a positive role model in pursuing her goals.

"Women are awesome. All the time."

Check out the full interview below!

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