Miley Cyrus is only one of many, many women to be called a slut.
And she’s one of more than 100 who will be featured in a new book that celebrates women’s power while condemning slut-shaming. It’s called A History of Sluts and it’s due out this spring.
“I was documenting the slut-shaming stigma that those women have experienced and realized that this isn’t an isolated issue,” author, Chelsea Dom, told People. “I have been slut-shamed myself and so have most, if not all, of my female friends. Slut-shaming has become so ingrained in our culture that it’s now a normal and accepted practice.”
Twenty-three-year-old Dom is a student at Parsons the New School for Design in New York. She was working on a photo series about prostitutes and strippers when she had the idea to document how many powerful women society labels as sluts. She teamed up with artist, Alice Lancaster, who draws portraits of each of the women.
“I wanted to reinterpret what it means to be a ‘slut’… redefining the word in a positive way,” Dom explained.
“The word is very charged and stigmatized. However, I think after learning more about the project, and how we are trying to combat the consequences of slut-shaming, people will be more receptive to the idea.”
In addition to the book, Dom’s and Lancaster’s work will be featured in an interactive installation in New York. There’s also an Instagram account for the project, which pairs the ladies’ portraits with quotes.
“I would love to expand the project further and collaborate with other artists and writers to present new work and ideas concerning slut-shaming to the public sphere,” Dom said. “Women are taught to see their bodies as objects, as something shameful. I want to show through this project that some of the most powerful and influential women in history have been slut-shamed. It’s okay to be confident and empowered. We have to take away the fear associated with the female body, and not ostracize those who openly express their sexuality.”