This is the headline that caught my attention. As a working mom in a pandemic, it required no further explanation for me to process, then nod in understanding.
In a society that tells little girls we are to equal to men—that we should be educated and professional and equal in our married partnerships—we tend to leave out a harsh reality. Moms are expected to work for free. No salary, no benefits, no retirement plan, no breaks. According to Salary.com the 2019 median salary of a SAHM would be $178,201.
Whether stay at home or working moms, on average we do about 30% more housework than dads. On top of which, while outpacing men in education, we have not yet reached a stage where we get equal pay for equal work. And, as with everything else, the numbers get worse for every step you go down the privilege ladder.
And the thing is, this statistic doesn’t just apply to moms. It’s women, generally. Women are shouldering an outsized burden. It is an extraordinary time for all of us. And we’re all feeling the stressors in different ways. I’m not here to explain equality or dissect the myriad ways that our country and economy have been built on un(der)paid labor. And of course there are exceptions. I know that. But this statistic points out that those exceptions are not enough. That if women were truly equal in our society, that statistic would have been cut in half. Only 50% of the jobs lost in December would have been positions held by women.
With all this mulling around in my head, I came up with the concept of doing a series of composites featuring the hidden superpowers of women. It’s a way to honor those underappreciated qualities. It’s a way to, regardless of economic compensation, make her invaluable contributions stand out. To give her a physical representation of how badass she truly is. One that I hope will be printed and hung up to remind her of her own awesomeness, even and especially on days she isn’t feeling it. And it’s a way for me to help lift up the women around me.
My professional mission is to empower women through creativity. It feels good to work in alignment with my core values. If you’d like to sponsor a worthy candidate of your own, send me a message with the hidden superpowers of an under-appreciated woman in your life and I would love to create a custom composite for her. Let’s keep building each other up.
This is Julia Sage, musician, photographer, Reiki practitioner. Her superpower is healing. As an active participant in her creative community she uses her powers for good to spread healing and positive energy wherever she goes.
And, for the nerds out there (like me), as a way to show exactly how much time, energy and expertise goes into creating these images, here is the breakdown:
3 days editing
150 layers in Photoshop.