Depicting women as naturally armored animal hybrids, my current series validates certain ego defenses that women are commonly criticized for exercising. Each portrait illustrates an archetypal narrative speaking to the necessity of specific female protections. Where terms like “having walls” or “being guarded” are often deployed pejoratively within social contexts, Natural Armor reveals the beauty behind the buffer, acknowledging the unique origins and critical vitality of each defense. Women such as myself are frequently urged to let down their guard and open up to forces that may or may not be damaging to their stasis or sense of self. We often internalize these demands as personal issues that scar our existence. Whether helpful or harmful, necessary or excessive, armor evolves in reaction to specific circumstances. I urge women to honor their armor and decide for themselves when and where to take it off, without shame, pressure or scrutiny from others.