Anna Birkás has been inspired by the awesome men in her life to create these images reflecting their freedom of self expression.
The project explained:
I desire to support all men in finding their true self, without society’s limited vision of what is allowed. We are evolving to accept more ‘types’ of men, and different types of sexuality and gender expression. However, heterosexual men are still expected to stay within a limited sphere with regard to how they dress, touch each other, and express emotions.
Within my circles of friends I see a beauty and uniqueness in the way my male friends express themselves that is refreshing, dynamic, and yes, sometimes feminine (And very attractive). Some of them wear cute clothes and makeup, some are bi or just willing to cross the line and experiment, some are not, others wear velvet speedos. These men are not gay—they are not trans. They hug each other for real, hold each other when they cry, and support each other through depression and weakness. And they support us as strong and healthy women, because they understand the oppression and where it is coming from. They take the risk. They shine.
In each others company, the men in my life—these heroes—are free to be themselves. However, in the general public, or in the work environment, there is still prejudice that binds them in ways that women are not bound. The heterosexual “man box” can be smaller, and tighter, than that of other genders.
Patriarchy affects us all, men, women, children, and the environment. It affects our emotional and physical well being. Supporting women has almost become mainstream (something worth celebrating), but to be a healthy whole, we need to support men too.
By supporting men to be free in their expression, they can better support and peaceably interweave with all genders and species of the planet. We are part of a whole; we can best break through the oppressive forces that our hierarchical society lays upon us if we are all free to be ourselves and beautiful. This project shows a colorful and uplifting spectrum of male expression.
These photos of my friends were not posed, and the expression of love, passion and sometimes ‘femininity’ that they embrace is real. Thank you so much for the inspiration guys—I am so glad to have you as role models as I raise my son in your radiant presence.
You can view the entire series here.