What is Feminist Scrapbooking?
Here at the Awesome Ladies Project, we believe that feminist scrapbooking is the idea and practice of telling your stories with pictures, words, and your personal style. Just like everything else here at the Awesome Ladies Project, you can take this definition and turn it into whatever works best for you.
I (@rukristin) came up with the term ‘feminist scrapbooking’ a few years ago after trying to reconcile the need to document my life with photos, words, and pretty paper with a few things.
Here’s what I came up with:
- the patriarchal notion of ‘oh, that’s a thing that women do.’
- people who believe that you should only scrapbook if you’re a mom (with a working husband, two kids, a two-car garage, and a freshly painted white picket fence), and
- the idea that it should be something that you are doing ‘for your children’.
That’s not how I roll. I don’t have kids. I don’t have a husband. But I do have a partner, and friends, and family relationships that are worth celebrating. I have stories about far-away adventures and hometown favorites.
I have stories that are worth documenting.
One of my personal favorite quotes about feminism first perfectly into our feminist scrapbooking definition.
A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life.
— Virginia Woolf
As long as you’re telling the truth about your life, you’re a feminist.
If you’re taking physical scraps of your life, whether it be photos, journaling, memorabilia, pretty paper, artwork, or anything else, and putting that together into a book/album, you’re a feminist scrapbooker.
We document our lives because we are the best humans to do the job.
We take photographs, words, and bits of our lives and we turn them into beautiful creative representations of our experiences here on Earth.
Feminist scrapbooking celebrates the diversity of women. We learn so much more about ourselves not only when we tell our stories, but when we watch AND LISTEN to other women tell their stories.
The beauty in our overlapping experiences is just as exceptional as the beauty of their divergence.
Just as there is no universal definition of woman or feminism, there’s no universal, one size fits all, definition of feminist scrapbooking. It’s different for each one of us.
For me, feminist scrapbooking is about telling my stories with photos, words, and pretty paper through the lens of me. It’s about being present in my memory-keeping.
It’s about scrapbooking my life as a woman, in my home, with my work, documenting the stories of today, the themes of my right now life, and some pop culture and current events to ground my story in a greater worldly context.
There’s a lot of me in my scrapbook. I’m the best person to tell my story. I’m the narrator of my life, and you’re the narrator of yours. What I wouldn’t do to have scrapbooks like mine made by my mom or my grandma (or my dad and grandpa). What was life like for them when they were 20? 30? 40? What TV shows did they watch? What did they wear on their 21st birthday?
Finally, feminist scrapbooking is about embracing your right-now story and scrapbooking it the way you want. No matter who you are, you deserve the space to tell your story. It doesn’t matter if you have or don’t have kids or a spouse. It doesn’t matter if you think your life is boring. It’s not going to look boring in 5, 10, 20, or even 50 years into the future. You are awesome. You are the best person to document your story.
The Awesome Ladies are here to help you become the best version of your storytelling self.