‘Modern Boyhood’ is a long-term project documenting the personal journey of my children while navigating complexities of early adolescence. Childhood is a confusing time and I feel it is important for my two boys to openly explore their identity without restrictions and preconceptions. While my husband and I encourage our boys to be true to who they are, the media and societal views play a huge role in shaping our youth. Our culture is moving toward embracing a less rigid version of masculinity and accepting alternative parenting styles but it is not yet the norm. Through these images, I am examining their behaviors both innate and learned while teaching the importance of empathy, vulnerability and self expression.
Struggling with speech delays, both boys grew up knowing they were different from other children. Early on, I realized how important confidence is to their development. Crying, admitting fear and having interests deemed feminine are not signs of weakness inside our household. Now, as they venture out on their own, they are becoming aware of how they are perceived by their peers and expected male behavior. My hope is that they retain the courage and confidence to measure themselves by their own standards.
This series began as a way to hold on to this liminal state of innocence. Fading in and out of their consciousness and only stepping in when needed. It became a way to cope with my anxiety of not knowing the future and hoping I have done enough. For these moments I am invisible.
This project is ongoing.