NYC Intimate Photography | Role Clarity..or Confusion?

To know me is to know that I am a HUGE believer in the universe. I always say – the universe is always listening, be careful what you tell it. Knowing that I believe so strongly in this power, you would think that I wouldn’t be so floored every time it works. However, I still am. Every. Single. Time.

The universe worked it’s wonders again a few weekends ago. On a fateful Sunday, I met  (via phone) Will Pollock. Will is writer for Professional Photographer  Magazine (among many other things). He was assigned to write about me for an upcoming issue for the magazine.  We set aside an hour to chat about boudoir, me, my business, etc… Little did we both know that an hour would change both of our views (and I do believe also kindle a future friendship).

I won’t give away any details of what we spoke about for the article, that is Will’s job after all. I will however tell you what he said when we were done.

He told me he is the male version of me. Of course I wanted to know how so, and so he explained.

See, I view part of my life work as breaking down the walls of what we perceive femininity to be. For example, I believe  women can and should be able to be strong and powerful and not have to label that as “masculine”. I believe a woman in a power spot doesn’t have to tone down the “female” side of her and amp up the “masculine” side to be taken seriously. At least it shouldn’t HAVE to be this way. Somehow society screwed that up. So now it’s our job to fight societal rules and  put the feminine back into feminist.  Let’s embrace femininity and still be successful  – what a concept that is!

Will explained to me that part of his life work is for men to feel comfortable embracing their “feminine side”, and yet still be viewed as a strong man. In his eyes, it should be applauded that a man embrace his gut instinct and emotions like women do.  In fact, it would make men MORE successful in life if they did so.

I couldn’t agree more.

As I was listening to Will speak, it really struck me, that these labels we are putting on what masculine and feminine is… well, it’s awfully confusing isn’t it? I mean, we give labels to things so we know how to categorize things in our life, right?  Is it possible that the labels and the way we assign gender roles is really just clouding our perceptions? I am starting to think that is the case. It became clear to me that Will and I are both trying to meet somewhere in the middle.

He wants to be a sports watching, pizza eating, self made man who is also seen as smart, strong, successful, caring, vulnerable and  makes decisions by using his gut as his compass.

I want to be a sports watching, pizza eating, self made woman who is also seen as smart, strong, successful, caring, vulnerable and  makes decisions by using her gut as her compass.

Coincidence? I think not.

Maybe these labels and roles we try to fill by societal standards are stale. It’s time to reevaluate them. Yes, we are still physically a man or a woman, but maybe emotionally the sexes are starting to become more and more similar. It’s surely time to evaluate each person we meet as an individual and learn from them how they each operate. If you are open to it, imagine the possibilities. The amazing people you will connect with. The acceptance we would all feel. The relief of the pressure we all have felt to be as our label calls us. What a wonderful world this would be if we could all just be the best me we could be.

Want to know more about Will? Check him out here:

Twitter: wildcatatl





3 Replies to “NYC Intimate Photography | Role Clarity..or Confusion?”

  1. You’ve gone and done it again, Jen. Sometimes I feel like you’re in my head, which is weirder than it sounds, considering I’ve only met you virtually. I admire how real you are…all the time. Your more recent focus on Feminism and what that means has really made me think about how this plays out in my life.

    I was just at the gym this morning and they have boxing bags there (not a boxing gym). I used to box, a lot, and decided to hit the bags for my sweat sesh instead of running. I was getting all sorts of stares from the women that were around, and the men, but the looks of the women were more puzzling to me. They were more puzzling because they were critical looks, sizing me up kind of looks, and almost looks of WTF are you doing, lady. Just when I thought it was just me, and I was being paranoid, a woman actually came over to me when I was packing up my gear and asked me if I was ok because I seemed really angry when I was punching the bags.

    I informed her that I was fine and I was just training hard. As I grabbed my son from daycare and walked out to the car, I found myself entertained and a little bit pissed because this was classic “gender discrimination” that I was just on the receiving end of. I’d be willing to be my last dollar that that woman never would have approached a man who’d been working the bags over and asked him if he was ok.

    Apparently, I didn’t fit the preconceived notion of what a feminine role was for this woman. The experience just has me thinkin’…why is there such a disparity for some people between being strong or being feminine. To me, it doesn’t have to be one or the other and it gets really good when there’s both.

  2. I love all the images from this session and I love your message. Thanks again and again!

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