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(Cheer Up Luv/Instagram)

‘Cheer Up Luv’

Photographer takes portraits of women, shares their stories of sexual harassment

January 15, 2018

Before the #MeToo movement became a viral world-changing sensation, London-based photographer Eliza Hatch was working on a similar project in which she took portraits of women, and shared them alongside their stories of sexual harassment and assault. The project, which Hatch calls “Cheer Up Luv” in reference to an annoying interaction she had with a stranger who felt she needed to smile more — a sexist trope that in recent years women have grown less and less tolerant of — arose from conversations Hatch had with her female friends about the “constant factor” of sexual harassment in their lives.

After some of her male friends “interjected with their disbelief,” Hatch told Jezebel, she “realized that it wasn’t just the harassment itself that was the problem, it was [also] the lack of awareness.” To start, she asked her friends whether they’d be willing to pose for her and share their stories, and, to Hatch’s surprise, “everyone responded positively and wanted to contribute.” With the growth of the project, she says, she now has a “constant stream of women coming forward to me, sharing experiences, and wanting to be photographed.”

Hatch explained to Jezebel that she takes her photos in public, everyday spaces such as buses, streets, and restaurants, in order to show the “unfortunate normality of harassment.” And before she ever takes a photo, she also spends time talking with her subject in order to ensure that she feels relaxed and comfortable.

“I want to show strength in place of vulnerability,” Hatch says.

Read the full story at Jezebel.

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