WOMEN

27 Women On The Vulnerabilities That Don't Define Them

"We all have a story to tell and we all want to share it without being judged."

"I am not my bulimia."

"I am not my panic attacks."

"I am not my sexual assault." 

These are just a few of the deepest, darkest thoughts that people have revealed to photographer Steve Rosenfield in his photo series "What I Be."

Over the past five years, Rosenfield has asked 2,500 people to share some of their most "intimate insecurities" with each participant finishing the sentence: "I am not my ___ ." Participants share insecurities that stem from a range of personal issues, qualities and experiences that include mental illness, sexuality, body image, sexual abuse, gender identity and skin color. 

"By stating 'I am not my ___,' [participants] are claiming that they do in fact struggle with these issues, but it does not define who they are as a person," Rosenfield wrote on his website. "They are not denying their insecurity, they are owning it." 

The result of people owning their insecurities is undeniably powerful. 

Although the project includes people of all genders, the gender that's most highly represented is women. The women featured share experiences of body image, sexual assault, eating disorders and countless other intimate anxieties. 

"I am not my skin."

Eighty percent of the 2,500 participants are women Rosenfield told The Huffington Post. "I definitely think that women are more accepted in society to share their feelings and vulnerabilities where as for men, we are taught to 'be tough' or 'suck it up,'" he said. "One of the biggest insecurities a man has is sharing his insecurity."

"What I’m out to accomplish with the project, is to show we are all struggling with something," he said. "Doesn’t matter if we are male or female, famous or not, we all have insecurities and vulnerabilities." 

Rosenfield created the project in 2010 and has been photographing people of all ethnicities, genders and ages across the U.S. He visits colleges, music festivals, yoga studios and more, looking for people to photograph. As the project has grown, more and more people have reached out to Rosenfield to get involved.  

"We all have a story to tell and we all want to share it without being judged," Rosenfield said. "I want to show as many people as possible that it’s OK to be us and comfortable in our own skin."

Take a look at 26 women owning their deepest, darkest insecurities, by sharing them. 

  • <em>"I am not my sexual assault."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my sexual assault."
  • <em>"I am not my bluntness."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my bluntness."
  • <em>"I am not my accident."&nbsp;</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my accident." 
  • <em>"I am not my Alzheimer's."&nbsp;</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my Alzheimer's." 
  • <em>"I am not my sexuality."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my sexuality."
  • <em>'"I am not my reduction."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    '"I am not my reduction."
  • <em>"I am not my lesbianism."&nbsp;</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my lesbianism." 
  • <em>"I am not my panic attacks."&nbsp;</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my panic attacks." 
  • <em>"I am not my razors."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my razors."
  • <em>"I am not my psychotic disorder."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my psychotic disorder."
  • <em>"I am not my beliefs."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my beliefs."
  • <em>"I am not my attempt."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my attempt."
  • <em>"I am not my invisibility."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my invisibility."
  • <em>"I am not my bi-sexuality."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my bi-sexuality."
  • <em>"I am not my abuse."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my abuse."
  • <em>"I am not my blackness."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my blackness."
  • <em>"I am not my clothing."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my clothing."
  • <em>"I am not my accent."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my accent."
  • <em>"I am not my past."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my past."
  • <em>"I am not my weave."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my weave."
  • <em>"I am not my age."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my age."
  • <em>"I am not my body."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my body."
  • <em>"I am not my bulimia."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my bulimia."
  • <em>"I am not my body image."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my body image."
  • <em>"I am not my TMJ."</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my TMJ."
  • <em>"I am not my voice."&nbsp;</em>
    Steve Rosenfield
    "I am not my voice." 

Head over to Rosenfield's website to see more of his work. 

Also on The Huffington Post:

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