In our society, if you’re in your mid-twenties or older, and you’re not married yet, then you’re damaged goods.
My model wishes to remain anonymous, but she gave me permission to share her story:
She is almost 30 years old. She went through two engagements. She got divorced before she even started her marriage. To society, she is damaged, she is broken.
But to me, she’s beautiful. She’s independent, she has goals and dreams, she’s fearless. She doesn’t need a man to make her whole.
There’s so much pressure on her right now to “settle down” and start a family. She has to accept whoever comes and proposes to her because “she’s getting old” and “who would want to marry someone who’s in their thirties?” and “what are people going to say about you and about your family?”
It’s something that many Arabs need to come to terms with. So many women have the potential to do amazing things, but are held back by society’s rules and expectations.
I don’t care if I don’t get married anytime soon and I’m almost 25, but what matters is that when I do make that decision, it’s not because society forced it upon me, it’s because I found the right person. Or if I don’t get married then there’s something wrong with me, or I wouldn’t make a good housewife.
You know what? I take that back. I wouldn’t make a good housewife. Because I can’t and won’t settle for that life. There’s so much that I want to do and so many places I want to see. And if I’m considered damaged goods, then so be it. I’ll wear it with pride. And I’ll keep talking about it till we’re no longer considered damaged goods.
2014-2017 Thoughts amani alshaali arab photographer black and white conceptual conceptual photography culture fears female photographer female photographer dubai female photographer UAE fine art photographer fine art photography friends insecurities inspiration photography photoshop photoshop edit self acceptance society thoughts united arab emirates