Direction and photography @usfsherif
Modelling by @hennessynyannyieer
Makeup by @farahalymakeup
This article is a supplement within the “The Wawa Complex” issue

The editorial shoot is on identity and beauty. Where do we find the ability to love and embrace ourselves? How can we be truthful to who we are, even when others might not accept us? 

Featuring Hennessy, a South Sudanese trans woman, this shoot documents how she embraces her truth despite the difficulties she faces. Surrounded by symbols of her identity, Hennesy does not shy away from her background or style. The South Sudanese flag of her home. The bag of clothes deemed “unorthodox.” The elegant dress draped over the furniture, the first she’d worn. The Barbie, a gift from a friend that she would have been prohibited from playing with when she was younger, is like a sassy little guardian cheering and supporting her to embrace her truth. 

This shoot brings these elements together to show just some of what makes Hennessy’s unique style. She dresses as herself, unapologetically, despite the harsh words or stares she may receive along the way, and despite it rarely being safe or easy. Nevertheless, rooted in symbols of place and strength, she manages to create moments of beauty wherever she goes.

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