Switching Places

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This is an image from the photography project Switcheroo, by Ana Pesut. The project is described by its author as follows:

“Switcheroo is a self-funded portrait series that I started 2 years ago where accomplices are photographed twice: once in their own outfits and again wearing each others outfits against the same background.”

I discovered this project in a blog post about gender and embodiment. Here is an interesting comment about the project, taken from that post:

“The images that stand out most in the collection are those with a man wearing clothing that is strongly coded as feminine. We’re not surprised that a woman would wear pants, but a man in a skirt or dress — that is, a man openly performing femininity — is still unusual in our culture and violates the cultural norm that masculinity might be good for everybody, but femininity is just for women.”

The author of the blog post uses the project to illustrate how men and woman learn to use their bodies differently:

“…think of the difference in how men and women tend to hold cigarettes, how women are more likely to sit with their legs crossed (even if they’re not wearing skirts), and other ways in which we learn to use or position our bodies differently.”

I, myself, am convinced that although we definitely do learn to behave according to our gender, for each of us some behaviours are more natural than others. The problem is that when our natural behaviours don’t satisfy our gender expectations, we try to adapt the behaviours and not the expectations.

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