Giselle Noelle Morgan's introduction to girl-on-girl hate started early. She was 14 years old when an eighth-grade girl sent her a death threat on MySpace.
"The hostility, anxiety, and sheer terror that resulted from this message created an internalized hatred for women within me that would take me years to overcome," Morgan wrote in her artist statement.
In order to break down this subtle hatred and competition between women, the 20-year-old feminist, artist and photographer created a photo series in April called "Our Lady Of Forgiveness." Each image features young women comforting, complimenting and empowering one another.
Morgan described the project as a "visual depiction of a formal apology for every time I’ve put another female down, as well as a piece to show my forgiveness to those who have inflicted pain on me."
"I’ve judged, stereotyped, and hurt women; women I’ve seen walking down the street and ones I had known from childhood. And it is something I regret immensely," Morgan said. "I deeply apologize for perpetuating girl hate and wish I could retract all the agony I’ve caused."
All too often this "girl hate" is created from our culture's practice of pitting women against other women (aka the patriarchy). Whether it's being prettier, smarter or funnier than another woman -- the list is long when it comes to how many ways women are taught to compete with one another.
"I now can step away from my actions and fully see girl hate for what it is: a system perpetuated by fear, jealousy, internalized misogyny, and the patriarchy," Morgan said. "The first step to eliminating girl hate is forgiveness and letting our remorse be seen by those we’ve hurt in return."
Head over to Morgan's website to see more of her work.
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