Alexandra Svokos
August 06, 2015 6:25 am

Artist Giselle Noelle Morgan set out on a project to stop a cycle we’re all too familiar with.

When she was 14-years-old, Morgan received a death threat over Myspace from another girl. This experience was so unsettling that it put her on a path of judging and hating other women —participating in “girl hate.”

“Recently, it has occurred to me that my hatred was dormant within my internal thoughts,” Morgan wrote on Bitchtopia. “With this realization, came an understanding of the cyclical nature of hatred and the severe impacts it has on an individual’s future relationships, actions, and outlook.”

Morgan no longer wanted to be a part of the cycle of hate. Rather than continue to hate those who hurt her, she wanted to forgive them.

Morgan made a photo series called “Our Lady of Forgiveness” as part of that process. The series depicts images of women comforting and empowering each other with a variety of symbolism and beautiful imagery.

In some images, there is writing on women’s backs, a sign of “how we absorb each received virulent remark of hatred into our skin.”

Morgan writes that “girl hate” stems from competition a desire for individuality, which makes women then put other women in simple categories. This categorization is a misogynistic tendency as we flatten the women around us. Instead of continuing on the path of internalized competition — whether that’s for friendship, self-image or love interests — women should act with togetherness.

“The inspiration for ‘Our Lady of Forgiveness’ is to experience a cathartic release by forgiving those who have given us malice to hold, like a death threat, purposefully vicious comment, or physiological torture,” Morgan explained in her artist’s statement. “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. The first step to eliminating girl hate is forgiveness and letting our remorse be seen by those we’ve hurt in return.”

“Our Lady of Forgiveness” is a beautiful step in the direction of positivity and mutual empowerment, and a reminder that we can all play a part to stop the cycle of hate.

(Images by Giselle Noelle Morgan with her permission and Bitchtopia)

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