Photo exhibit encourages men on campus to face their insecurities

One of the photos on display at the exhibit. // Photo courtesy of Collin Li.
One of the photos on display at the exhibit. // Photo courtesy of Collin Li

Eighteen pictures of men and their insecurities were lined up against the walls of the Architecture Gallery Wednesday night as part of an exhibit entitled “FACE IT: What is a Man.”

The men, photographed in black and white, posed with their insecurities written in black marker on a part of their bodies. Next to the photos were explanations of why the insecurity was chosen.

The idea for the gallery originated after last year’s similar event about women’s insecurities in an effort to get men to share with the public what makes them feel inadequate.

“This year’s event is showing the vulnerable side of men, and how the pressures they face in society can play a role in how they grow up,” said sophomore Laura Burke, a co-chair of the event.

While some of the insecurities had to do with perceived physical shortcomings, the reasons that went along with them weren’t always because of a desire for better looks.

Sophomore Alex Jean-Baptiste, who opted to participate in the photo shoot, chose the insecurity of height.

“Without shoes on I’m definitely 5’5” on a good day maybe 5’6”,” he said. “That’s an insecurity more so because of when dealing with other people you feel like there’s a power differential when people are looking down on you.”

The men featured in the exhibit were present at the event, allowing the photos to make a deeper impact. Due to their braveness, some in attendance considered the men to be celebrities.

“I met ‘Baby Face’ and I feel like I met someone famous,” said senior Andrea Diez. “As girls you think we have all of the emotions and insecurities.”

Junior Lawrence Rolle, also known as Baby Face, said when he was asked for his insecurity he thought of something meaningful but not too deep.

“Baby Face” was the insecurity of not being able to grow enough facial hair.

“I didn’t think I had any shortcomings that I could put out that wouldn’t be too deep,” he said. “The first thing that came to mind was fear of failure but everyone says that.”

The photographs opened up discussion on the difficulties men are facing internally. Unlike women, who tend to have more space to speak up about what bothers them, this event served as one of the few outlets for men to say what affects them most.

Some of those insecurities included having a high-pitched voice, being closed off, too emotional, needy, an average Joe and never growing up.

In addition to the photographs, taken by senior Collin Li, there was also a video by senior Guerdiana Thelomar to show the behind-the-scenes making of the exhibit.

The event was sponsored by SPARK, Girls 4 Good, Brothers Overcoming Negativity and Destruction, Hurricane Productions and Student Health Advisory Committee.