Ha ha! What kind of Woman would do such a thing? Crazy, nutter, psycho, weirdo, histrionic freak! Is that what comes to mind when you see these photos? If so, then you have proven my point. You’ve just judged a woman without knowing her. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Most often a woman is defined by the relationship of Wife and Mother. Without those roles, she lies outside our frame of reference. So we find other labels for her. Most of them not so flattering.
I started this series of self portraits in the early years of my photo career, when I began to face what seemed to be universal pressure to hurry up and “make it happen,” before I shriveled into a “Spinster.” It seemed such an old fashioned notion. Naively, I thought Gloria Steinem took care of all that when I was a kid. Mmm, not so much. It appeared that I’d be thought more successful if I found any available body and quickly settled. So I made a point of doing just that, in a peculiar, funny way, that would point out what’s wrong with that picture.
While I’ve used myself as a subject, this really isn’t about me at all. It’s about what is expected of all women. How do we now define ourselves, instead of letting tradition do it for us? If you’re really smart, you can see how this isn’t just about women either. It’s about judgement, both of ourselves and each other. I’ve taken this effort to a wildly challenging extreme, because the issue requires it. The challenge inspires me. I think I’m man enough, woman enough, funny enough. Try me.
More info: suzanneheintz.com
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