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Role Play: Portraits of Men Wearing Their Girlfriends’ and Wives’ Clothes

Nothing about my  relationship with my husband has been conventional. Not the way we met and most certainly not the roles we both slipped into over the nine years of our marriage, especially when it comes to parenting.

When Violet was born Serge was definitely more of a stay-at-home parent than I was. I had a great job (with great health insurance) as an executive producer for the local news that required me to be at work from 1pm until 11pm. Serge was able to reduce his full-time hours working construction (with no health insurance) to part-time and so it was that he ended up being our daughter’s primary caregiver during the first two years of her life.

Although I felt like I missed out on a lot (spending more time with family is what ultimately prompted me to become a freelance writer) it was beautiful to witness this man, who had absolutely no experience with children, forge such a strong relationship with our tiny girl. Serge’s willingness and excitement about being a stay-at-home dad is an example of the positive outcomes of the change in roles in heterosexual relationships over the past fifty years. But oftentimes, as a result of women’s struggle for equality, men end up feeling lost and uncertain of their new role in this new world both sexes are trying to figure out. Equality can only be a good thing but it has come at the loss of chivalrous behavior and the small niceties men used to bestow upon women as a part of the traditional male/female set-up.

That confusion many men experience as they struggle to figure it all out is what Jon Uriarte had in mind when creating his photo series The Men Under The Influence. It features men wearing their wives’ or girlfriends clothing. Here is what he says about the project:

“The Men Under The Influence addresses the recent change in roles in heterosexual relationships from the relationships of our predecessors and how those changes have affected men in particular. the photos attempt to capture mens’ sense of loss reference, now that women have taken a step forward and have finally come into their own as equal partners. The project consists of full-length portraits of men wearing the clothes of their girlfriends or wives, taken in the space shared by the couple.”

It’s an interesting, humorous way to represent the fumbling loss so many men feel when it comes to negotiating relationships with women of today. I find  the serious, thoughtful, almost sad expressions on the men’s faces a stark contrast to the humorous circumstance of wearing women’s clothing which is a perfect way to illustrate men stumbling through a world that demands they are flexible enough to deal with women in search of someone to take care of them all the way to women who seek relationships that are nothing short of complete and total equality.

All photos used with permission from Jon Uriarte who you can find on his website, jonuriarte.es

  • Role Play 1 of 11
    PicMonkey Collage

    All photos used with permission from Jon Uriarte who you can find on his website, jonuriarte.es

  • Javi & Gabi 2 of 11
    men-04

     "We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters."
    ― Gloria Steinem

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Santi & Sabela 3 of 11
    men-05

     "How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"
    ― Maya Angelou

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Carlos & Naia 4 of 11
    men-02

     "A woman is human.

    She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative, or more responsible than a man.

    Likewise, she is never less.

    Equality is a given.

    A woman is human."
    ― Vera Nazarian,

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Nick & Reiko 5 of 11
    men-03

     ". . . women were brought up to have only one set of manners. A woman was either a lady or she wasn't, and we all know what the latter meant. Not even momentary lapses were allowed; there is no female equivalent of the boys-will-be-boys concept."
    ― Judith Martin

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • New Item 9 6 of 11
    men-07

     "The word feminism has become synonymous with man-hating when in fact it has more to do with women than men."
    ― Aysha Taryam

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Guiellermo and Beatriz 7 of 11
    men-06

     "All through life there were distinctions - toilets for men, toilets for women; clothes for men, clothes for women - then, at the end, the graves are identical."
    ― Leila Aboulela

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Jose & Ainara 8 of 11
    men-013

     "Society tells a man: You are a Warrior, the world is yours to Conquer. But never prepares him for 'fall-back' action when that fails."
    ― Eresi Ann Uduka

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Marcos & Lucia 9 of 11
    menyes

     "I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves."
    ― Mary Wollstonecraft

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Victor & Ana 10 of 11
    menyes1

     "If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things."
    ― Plato

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

  • Steve & Fonlin 11 of 11
    menyes2

     "I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be beautiful."
    ― Michael Cunningham

    Image source: JonUriarte.com

Read more from Monica on Babble:

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