Portraits of men wearing their girlfriends’ clothes is entertaining stuff
PORTRAITS of men wearing their girlfriends’ clothes is entertaining stuff.
After several conversations with (male) friends about how relationships between men and women have changed since their parent’s generation, Spanish photographer Jon Uriarte had a brilliant idea for a photo series. He wanted to make images that showed not only the equality of balance in heterosexual relationships, but also the feeling of confusion the male may be experiencing with this change. He began this series, which he calls The Men Under the Influence by taking photos of couples together in the same image. After some time, he realized that a more effective image was to photograph the man alone, dressed in his girlfriends clothing in their shared apartment or house. Uriarte photographed the series over a period of three years in both the US and Spain.
Great photos. But has anything changed?
In 2012 art dealer Philip Mould looked over the work Portrait of a Woman. He’d bought the 19th Century painting for $10,000. He stripped away the varnish and realised that the eponymous woman was Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Eon de Beaumont, a French diplomat and spy. He was a transvestite best known as Chevalier d’Eon.
Simon Burrows, professor of modern European history at Leeds University adds:
“D’Eon was sent by [King] Louis XV to England as a spy. But after a massive row with the French ambassador Conte de Guerchy about d’Eon wanting his job, he had to hide — not just in another person’s house but as a woman.”
He came to prefer womanhood.
Grayson Perry, the transvestite artist also known as Claire, said: “I was influenced by him when I first began dressing as a woman.”
Perry added in a Times interview:
His wife and daughter are relaxed about his alter ego but don’t share their clothes. “We’ve got different tastes. And I’m a bloke, I don’t have bosoms.” He would never have turned up in a dress for parents’ evening. “That would have been cruel.” His daughter has not followed him into art. “Chemistry, a proper job.”
Britain is, he thinks, much more tolerant now. “People have mellowed out. The prejudiced ones seem like the freaks now.” It would not be impossible to have a transvestite prime minister “but I don’t know if he would be able to carry out his job dressed up. A man in a frock is inherently disruptive and amusing.”
Sean Bean, the rugged actor, played a transvestite in the TV show Accused:
“I met some trannies who were doing it for a laugh and some because they were seriously considering transexual surgery. There were others whose wives and girlfriends enjoyed it and even went shopping for clothes with them. Tracie’s story is not supposed to be atypical. There is no typical story…“[Wearing] Spanx felt like someone tightly cupping your buns the whole time which was weird at first but not entirely without pleasure eventually…. [Breast were] huge statements of power.”