Even during the heat of battle, take time to smell the roses is the message
that I had in mind when I created this image as part of the pocho series entitled
Machos Sensitivos. I want to challenge the traditional stereotypes of macho
by envisioning alternative ways of appreciating and expressing machismo. Finding
the courage to express our emotions, particularly those that reflect our capacity
for tenderness and the non-exploitative appreciation of beauty, brings us
closer to realizing our humanity and multi-dimensionality. I juxtapose historical
photographs of the great machos of the past with actual miniature accessories
representing traditional female roles to heighten the sense of reality and
promote a re-evaluation of how these roles define, restrict and divide our
relationships with the opposite sex.
This image was appropriated from the icon of El Valiente found in the popular
Mexican version of Bingo entitled Loteria. Traditionally, El Valiente carries
a bloody knife in one hand with a serape draped over his shoulder. In my version
of El Valiente, his knife is replaced with a box of Huggies and he carries
a baby in his serape. The message is simply that the true Valiente takes an
active role in the nurturing and care of his children. This is an especially
important message to promote because of the circumstances of teen-age parenthood
prevalent in our barrios. The true macho finds meaning and fulfillment in
his life by taking responsibility for his actions and participating in the
cycle of life. By giving, not taking.
Women find men who do housework more sexually appealing than those who don't.
What an excellent indication that it's time to update our vision of macho.
In this image, the classic portrait of the great Mexican revolutionary Emiliano
Zapata, I have exchanged his sabre with a broom and his rifle with a box of
Tide. He's also wearing an apron. Why would anyone, especially one of our
own, so defile one of our most treasured icons? To dismantle the dominant
patriarchal paradigm that so often divides and restricts us as well as perpetuates
inequality between the sexes. What could be more revolutionary as we begin
the new millennium?