The competition was intended to break misconceptions about feminism and communicate the movement in a new way. For Guessous, the project was a way for her to make sure the movement was seen in a positive and all-inclusive light.
When Guessous, an art director at an advertising agency in New York, heard about the competition, she asked herself, “What’s wrong with [feminism]? Why are people not seeing it the way we see it?”
She said people often see feminism as something negative and exclusive. But for her, feminism is respectful of all peoples' opinions, and it is something she holds dear. So, she set off to solve the task at hand.
“This was my calling,” she said.
Being in advertising, where women are still a minority at the top, she said that diversity as a whole is something she is very passionate about.
She said her posters are the manifesto of a bigger campaign and represent diversity in the movement.
“I see this as just the beginning,” she said.
Guessous believes that a bigger discussion needs to be had as to why people don’t call themselves feminists and what we can do to break stigmas surrounding feminism.
“I really want people to ask themselves the question of, 'Am I or am I not [a feminist]?' It’s not a right or wrong answer. It's a choice,” she said.
One of the competition's judges, media critic Jennifer Pozner, who is the author of Reality Bites Back and the Executive Director of Women In Media & News, described the work as "simple, clear and focused. It invites people in, is pointed about those who want out and has a quiet strength about the direction forward."
Guessous said winning the competition is just the first step in a larger picture. She plans to take the inclusiveness of her posters to the next level and start a mini campaign to make feminism something everyone can agree with.
“A lot of people are feminist,” she said. “They just don’t want to admit it.”
Takeaway Thoughts from Mariam:
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