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As a child, I was a "tomboy" who always repelled things that were considered "girlie." As a result, I hated the color pink and to this day have a negative feeling that arises when I see it. I now realize I CAN embrace every aspect of myself, including my feminine side.
* The following is an update from the artist, submitted on August 5, 2013:
Embracing my feminine side may not seem like a huge deal, but it’s really big for me. In making my I CAN, I’ve realized that my fear of the feminine has been a metaphor for deeper issues. Since I was a girl, I’d always gravitate towards stereotypical boy activities and clothing. I’d have a very strong negative reaction toward anything that had to do with femininity, especially the colors pink and purple.
The fear had been so long-standing and increasing that, at a recent workshop I was facilitating, I’d asked my participants to pick a color that represented anger. I picked the color pink. It was then that I realized I’d always aspired to independence and power, both of which I associated with colors that are opposite of what pink and purple represented to me—taking care of babies and cooking for a family, without a successful career outside the home. There was also this associated idea that boys didn’t need permission to do the things I wanted to do, from playing on jungle gyms to flourishing in the workplace. Perhaps it’s why I preferred pants to skirts and rough-and-tumble play to dress-up.
When I made my I CAN, it became a reminder that any strong negative reaction to anything is indicative of deeper issues and patterns, and that there’s something for me to work on in order to break negative cycles and forge new paths where I don’t become so reactive. Getting to a place where I can wear bubblegum pink on my nails is tremendous progress. It makes me feel good, strong, and proud, and that I’ve come very far in making my I CAN, and the metaphorical representations of it, come to fruition.
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