An examination of the perception of acceptable gender-related ideals within mass-media culture. The most prevalent themes and concepts that emerge from this photographic series are related to the idea of gender identity. The photographs in this collection demonstrate the notion that gender is neither a purely biological, nor an external presence - rather, it is one’s internal perception of their gender or lack thereof. This is accomplished in part by using myself - a male - as the model. Being less divisional about the clear-cut perception of gender is an attainable ideal, but only once gender itself becomes more free to ambiguity. This collection attempts to function in creating a more thorough and personal understanding of gender and its facets. Ideas of gender identity, gender roles, and gender itself become more personally and complexly understood when one is subjected to ideas regarding the subject that are foreign or confusing. And while the external factors that influence understanding gender remain constant today, these photos attempt to lead to a personal development of gender ideals that is more open and free to interpretation. In order to deconstruct the theories of both gaze and gender, the relational aspects of male gaze are challenged, and by obscuring the conventions of gender dynamics / identity, the disestablishment of the power relations of the gaze creates an abstracted portrayal of gender representation. Ultimately, Gender Fucked Me serves as a stepping stone to understanding, which is critically important in establishing equal freedoms, liberties, and knowledge for the gender spectrum.
Henry is a photography student in his junior year at Columbia College Chicago.