What would your favorite pin-up girls look like if they were hot dudes instead of sexy ladies? A: Adorable but ridiculous, if these photos are to be believed. In an effort to examine and de-normalize (I can make up words) the way women are depicted in society, photographer Rion Sabean created the “Men-Ups” project, wherein men are shown in traditional pin-up (girl) poses.
“Many people tend to believe that ‘being a man’ means something completely different than ‘being a woman,’” Sabean explains to The Huffington Post. “The ways we are taught to act and respond to the world are built on these assumptions that males and females can’t share traits, or shouldn’t. These gender rules mean nothing, because they are meaningless symbols built by society to categorize the sexes.” His artist’s statement is similarly clear: “Men-Ups! is a project aimed at reversing the stereotypes created by society, begging the questions; why is it sexual for a female to pose one way, and not sexual for a male? Why is it considered more comical or unsettling for males to act the more socially defined feminine?”
While some of the photos (like the ones featuring phallic objects and men being incompetent at things) serve to highlight the ridiculousness of certain pin-up tropes, it seems Sabean is not necessarily anti-cheesecake. Rather, he wants to know why men can’t participate equally in the pleasures of strutting one’s stuff for the camera. As someone who got hit on just the other night by a guy who asked me if I needed help locking up my bike, I support the former project. And as someone who enjoys enacting my “female gaze” upon male subjects (as well as posing for sexy photos myself), I support the latter.
Photos: Rion Sabean