30 Photos That Reveal How Women See The World (NSFW)

Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
While describing the problem with women's representation behind the camera in photography, photographer Amanda de Cadenet invoked an old adage: "You can't be it if you can't see it."

It was this, the lack of successful female photographers, that inspired her to create GirlGaze, a multimedia project that helps women break into the industry. "It started from a desire to highlight more female perspectives, to get those perspectives seen — and ultimately, hired," de Cadenet told Refinery29.

GirlGaze is twofold: There's the curated Instagram account and a physical exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, both populated by the work of talented, up-and-coming female artists. De Cadenet explains that the diversity of the work within GirlGaze is thanks to its open call for submissions. The project has received 750,000 submissions to date. (And yes, the use of the word "girl" is purposeful — according to the site, the project aims to "[take] back the word" and use it to "[push] back against the cultural projections and traditional gender roles imposed upon girls.")
"We have created a place that gives girls permission to tell their stories through their images and that’s powerful," de Cadenet said. "There are so many talented, creative girls in the world that just have not been encouraged to share their point of view."

Here, we've assembled a selection of GirlGaze-submitted works that show how women really see the world. Whether the photographers are documenting the grief of others or using photography as a means to heal from their own personal struggles, their stories, according to de Cadenet, often go unseen in mainstream representations of women's lives.

"If you don’t see your challenges being written about, photographed, filmed, you just feel isolated," she said. "Unless you are female, you do not know what it’s like live as a female identifying person navigating the world."

Click through to view the world the way these female photographers see it. Find out more about the exhibit here.
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White

White uses her work to explore how sexuality and mortality interact.
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White

"Vulnerability and power are not mutually exclusive," White said.
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White

"Beauty can be found in dark places," White said.
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Photo: Courtesy of Logan White.
The Weeping Rose
Logan White
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz

Spitz's series follows her mother as she struggles with mental illness, substance use, and addiction. Throughout her journey, her relationship with Spitz changes, as well.
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz

"I am fully aware that my mother thrives on being the center of attention and that, at times, our portrait sessions encourage her erratic behavior," Spitz wrote in her artist statement.
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz

"I am inspired and driven by stigmas and untold stories," Spitz said.
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz

"I really enjoy making photographs about things people do not want to talk about, or of things that people have told me I should not be photographing," Spitz said.
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz
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Photo: Courtesy of Melisssa Spitz.
You Have Nothing to Worry About
Melissa Spitz

"I think everyone is fascinating and deserves the attention of a camera," Spitz said.
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Photo: Courtesy of Riley Haliday.
Regrowth
Riley Haliday

Haliday said that photography encourages her to take on a different perspective: "I think [photography] can make the very ugly parts of life beautiful, and that’s the kind of comfort we all need."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Saleski.
Stanley Sessions
Whitney Saleski

Saleski's work, named for her father who died by suicide in 2014, is a series of portraits of people affected by suicide.

"[My father's] suicide marked my reluctant entrance into a new chapter of my life, and for a long time, I fought it," Saleski said. "I was consumed with depression, grief, and fear, but art still allowed me to get out of bed every morning. Now, more than ever, photography is not what I want to do — it feels like something I have to do."
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Photo: Courtesy of Whitney Saleski.
Stanley Sessions
Whitney Saleski

"When I look at these photos, I do not feel so alone in my struggle. May the same comfort [will] find you," Saleski wrote in her artist statement.
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Photo: Courtesy of Samera Paz.
Abuela's House
Samera Paz

Paz's series is set over the few months every year that her grandmother goes away and leaves her house open to Paz and her family.
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Photo: Courtesy of Samera Paz.
Abuela's House
Samera Paz
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Photo: Courtesy of Samera Paz.
Abuela's House
Samera Paz

"My work is inspired by my need to hold onto people, places, and emotions that I may never have again," Paz said.
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Photo: Courtesy of Samera Paz.
Abuela's House
Samera Paz
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Photo: Courtesy of Alice Joiner.
A Diary from the 5 years I lived with an Eating Disorder
Alice Joiner

Joiner explained that photography has helped her through her recovery from an eating disorder: "The simple act of taking a photograph can help me to understand how I am feeling. It makes me feel safe when, historically, I always felt so unsafe when I was unwell. The camera has literally helped me to heal. I found a way to make something beautiful out of being in hell for many years; it was the one single thing that I had that I understood and nobody could take it away from me."
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Photo: Courtesy of Alice Joiner.
A Diary from the 5 years I lived with an Eating Disorder
Alice Joiner
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Photo: Courtesy of Alice Joiner.
A Diary from the 5 years I lived with an Eating Disorder
Alice Joiner

"I want young women to know that they can choose to have faith in whatever it is that they are dealing with, because one day it will become their cure," Joiner said.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
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Photo: Courtesy of Brittany Greeson.
Sølund
Brittany Greeson

Greeson is a documentary photographer whose work focuses on social issues and income inequality.

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Photo: Courtesy of Brittany Greeson.
Sølund
Brittany Greeson
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Photo: Courtesy of Brittany Greeson.
Sølund
Brittany Greeson

Greeson's caption for this image reads: "Anthony Kucharski, 33, of Royal Oak, kisses the grave stone of his father, Ronald W. Kucharski, a Vietnam veteran who passed away on October 5, 2013, following a Memorial Day service on Sunday, May 24, 2015 at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. Anthony had been sitting whispering to the headstone 'I love you daddy.'"
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