H O N O R T H Y M O T H E R
In my early twenties my pious “old fashion" Hispanic parents divorced. Years later they confessed their most devoted accomplishment was “sparing [us] the un-pleasantries associated with step-parents.” Yet almost immediately my mother began a relationship with a man who had two sons, while my father courted many women. Baffled, I witnessed my strict marital ethics unravel through the adults that enforced them and seamlessly integrated into a “modern family." Through the years, I have witnessed the evolution of the progressive and blended family. As this dynamic ensued, it revolutionized societal doctrines that enforce what a mother should look like and instead beckoned she reinvent herself unconventionally and with disregard to social apropos. Using props, make-up, and minimal post-production, I create these humorous and dynamic self-portraits concentrating on the gamut of the contemporary mother prototype. I recreate these personas from personal experiences, and visual studies taken from dramatized and colorful characters portrayed in a variety of media platforms. The title of each image is significant as they persuade the viewer not just to question their own biases towards physical appearances, but also their paradigm ideologies of what they conceive to be a “suitable” mother.
The contemporary mother is an independent crusader. She is inducted into motherhood in unconventional methods such as artificial insemination arrangements, self-commissioned adoption agreements, volunteered foster custodial responsibilities, and of course conventional marriages. Augmenting to the layers of today’s family narrative is the legalization of interracial marriages (since 1967) and same sex marriages initiated in 2016. And due to new age media, feminist movements, and plastic surgery these women live longer, appear younger, and remarry multiple times -as my story illustrates. Currently I have custody of my three biological children. The two eldest are from my first marriage and share the third with my current husband, whom has full custody of his son from a previous relationship. These compiled statistics confirm the unorthodox physical attributes the modern matriarch may aspire to embody. Her flamboyant and defiant demeanor inevitably rejects the gender-infected façade endorsed by masculine dominated status-quos, which were exemplified in the mid twentieth century.