DEW Magazine #45 The Gentle Issue Fall 2022: Let’s shift our views slightly and open our minds to a new definition of what strength could be.
The quality of being ‘strong’ is often associated with looking out for yourself first, and although being taught to be self reliant isn’t exactly bad, a little too much emphasis on this value could lead to a lack of empathy for others. Even when we were in school or university, we were always being warned of ‘the real world’ being much less unaccepting and strict than the academic world was, and the only way to survive was to be thick-skinned and quick-witted.
With this concept of strength usually being revolved around building the strongest walls around ourselves and showing no vulnerability to others, some might overstep the line and end up seemingly rude or cold in order to remain powerful and respected. On the contrary, this belief has led to most of us associating emotions, vulnerability, sympathy and empathy as signs of weakness. And in order to avoid our surroundings being aware of what our weaknesses are, we tend to repress and subdue any of these tendencies.
So rather than to repress and keeping everything to ourselves, let’s start to embrace the softer side that’s present inside all of us. Instead of pushing ourselves to build sky-high walls and avoiding vulnerability to protect ourselves, let’s instead see all these gentle traits as a show of strength. In a world where everyone is trying their best to remain stoic and self-indulgent, having empathy and sensitivity can be perceived as a challenge not everyone can complete.
Let’s shift our views slightly and open our minds to a new definition of what strength could be. Perhaps strength is displayed by our ability to be kind and gentle despite the amount of boulders that’s been thrown our way. Perhaps strength is defined by how we can embrace vulnerability whilst remaining strong and persistent in each of our journeys. So in this issue, we encourage you to appreciate these gentle qualities we tend to overlook, and find our own definition of strength. (Text Vanya Harapan)
Photography Yung Hua Chen
Styling Chen Yu
Hair Fran Lin
Make-up Lin Wang