Rebecca Jurgens is a 21-year-old photographer and videographer on a mission to shatter stereotypes about gender identity.
In her latest series Boys Will Be Girls, she asked eight men to pose as if they were women being featured in a magazine editorial. The result is a natural and beautiful portrait of a man who looks comfortable in women’s clothing, without the camp or irony of a stereotypical “drag queen”.
Also, these aren’t men trying to look like women. Instead these are bearded, manly men who just so happen to be the kind of dudes who like to wear a dress occasionally, no big deal.
“My purpose is to bring light to an important message regarding gender identity: Glamour and beauty are not exclusive to any specific gender or sex,” Jurgens says about the photos.
The series, she says, was inspired by images from the group FCKH8.com. She explains that much of the reason men who dress like women are viewed as taboo can be attributed to society’s general view that women are weak and inferior.
“In truth, there is nothing wrong with wanting to appear like a woman, because women are powerful and equal to men, despite what others might believe,” she adds.
Images like these aren’t just powerful to look at, but they also help expand the narrow definitions we too often ascribe to gender roles. Being a “man” doesn’t necessarily mean dressing like one all the time.
This isn’t Jurgens’ first foray into using her work to break down stereotypes. She also created an incredibly powerful photo series called In a Harlot’s Heart, which deals with sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
Jurgens says about the men who posed for these portraits that she’s “happy to know such open-minded, wonderful people.”