Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Man as Woman Instagram account challenges traditional gender binaries

beautifulboy.PNG

When Simone de Beauvoir wrote  “one is not born, but rather becomes a woman,” in her pivotal 1949 work, The Second Sex, the existentialist was arguing that femininity is an idea and that gender is merely a social construct people gradually learn and adapt to fit into throughout life.

Many people have been challenging the traditional gender mind-set - fighting to push the idea that one’s view of their own gender sits on a spectrum, as opposed to on two opposing poles. Most notable of these is transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner, who recently transitioned, and Orange is the New Black star, Ruby Rose, who refers to herself as ‘gender fluid.’

Recently, the #FreeTheNipple hashtag has fought to expose social media’s gender inconsistencies – allowing exposed male nipples in photographs, but not female ones. A backlash has recently led to women photoshopping men’s nipples over their own, to highlight what they see as absurdity of the rule, and a Free the Nipple film.

21-year-old actor, Antonio Marziale, is the latest gender campaigner working to blur the strict divides through his Instagram account @manaswoman.

AUGGIE

A photo posted by Man As Woman (@manaswoman) on

On his account, Marziale posts beautiful photographs of men in traditional ‘feminine’ garb – make-up, dresses, nail varnish, and as pietas, gently cradling babies.

The photographs not only challenge gender binaries, but also focus on the idea that femininity is shrouded in negative connotations and that society tends to “idealise the straight, white male", as Marziale told i100.co.uk.

KI

A photo posted by Man As Woman (@manaswoman) on

One of Marziale’s photographs is of Jason Greene, with long hair and lipstick and wearing a silk dress that has slipped off the shoulder, to expose a bare nipple - highlighting the contradiction behind social media's stance on exposed breasts.

JASON

A photo posted by Man As Woman (@manaswoman) on

Marziale told i100.co.uk that the ‘Man as Woman’ project is intended to “make people feel uncomfortable,” challenging the status quo.

But Marziale is keen to press that the project:

“Is not about making the men look like women, it’s about them adopting what is feminine, becoming feminine and so experiencing what that feels like.”

JOSHUA

A photo posted by Man As Woman (@manaswoman) on

So often, ‘feminine’ attributes such as being in touch with one’s emotions, are twisted into negative words like as ‘hysterical’ or ‘weak.’

Whereas women can proudly be tomboys, Marziale says, men are not applauded for expressing femininity.

“I think that has its roots in misogyny – that we’re allowed to glorify what is traditionally masculine and are ashamed of what is feminine. I think that’s really sad that so many men are never able to experience the power that comes from that feminine energy,” he says.

JORDAN

A photo posted by Man As Woman (@manaswoman) on

There are much deeper problems in society caused by enforcing strict gender binaries than simply whether or not we can expose our naked breasts on social media (although, it certainly exacerbate the problem), one such being the higher suicide rate amongst men, which psychologists have largely attributed to the stigma surrounding men who bottle-up their emotions rather than expressing them openly as women often do. 

ZACHARY - In the Womb

A photo posted by Man As Woman (@manaswoman) on

Through these photographs, Marziale hopes to scrap gender boxes, “flipping the categories on their head.”

Words: Harriet Hall

Images: @manaswoman

Related

rexfeatures_4889873w.jpg

Caitlyn Jenner makes emotional plea for Transgender acceptance

rexfeatures_4842917ab.jpg

OITNB star Ruby Rose opens up about deciding not to transition

mother.jpg

Slovenia vs Britain; maternity rights and the gender pay gap

discrimination.jpg

UK companies will be forced to reveal gender pay gap from next year

rexfeatures_1634740a.jpg

The five greatest feminist comic book characters

roxi1.jpg

Would you dye your armpit hair?

Comments

More

Are you ready for the ultimate gin and gingerbread masterclass?

Lessons take place in a luxury spa, if that helps to seal the deal…

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Feb 2017

This is officially the best place to live in the UK

And, surprise surprise, it isn’t London…

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Feb 2017

This Is Us star asks viewers to reach out to lost loved ones

“Tomorrow is not promised”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Feb 2017

Inside the bar where men aren't allowed to approach women

"If a gentleman is lucky enough to be approached by a lady, he speaks to her as if he would speak to his mother”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Feb 2017

Everything you need to know about growing your own vegetables

(Even if you don't have loads of space)

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Calling all vino fans: are you ready for red wine ice cream?

Ice cream and red wine, together at last…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Letters penned 100 years apart show unchanging attitude to abortion

"I'm in the family way again, and I'm nearly crazy..."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Woman opens up about having her grandmother as her bridesmaid

“She’s my best friend”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Artist captures how mental illness feels with sketches of houses

“It belongs to our lives and we must not stigmatise it”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Pair cheese and wine like a pro with this incredible interactive map

Winchester Aged Gouda with a glass of Amarone della Valpolicella, anyone?

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017