In these portraits of men photographed in poses typical of the objectification of women I sought to satirize society’s visual portrayal of femininity and reveal its absurdity. I started this work not to celebrate what Western society thinks of as a “feminine” attitude, but to point out how in many regards it is a construct of the male gaze.
Femininity could be considered a natural condition of being a woman with intrinsic biological characteristics either accepted or perhaps overcome. Feminine traits exhibited by men are considered unnatural and thus a condition they have chosen to express rather than an inherent, underlying trait. In my observation of our culture, men who fail to exhibit traditional masculine traits are categorized as “other.”
But many men, for a variety of reasons, choose to adopt femininity and display it with pride. Those men put themselves at risk of being bullied and abused by people intent on regarding those men as perverted. I see how society treats, jokes, and talks about the feminine and I want my photographs to prompt viewers to consider how they define “celebrating femininity,” and ask themselves who they believe has permission to celebrate it, and why doing so is fraught with risk.
It is my mission that this work helps combat the societal abuse of men who celebrate their femininity, and the treatment of women as objects or possessions.