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Facade - Romea Kumar



‘Façade’ is my photography final, this name encompasses the concept behind the piece perfectly as the main elements revolve around displaying how the victim of social pressures feels when their outward appearance restrains them from being themselves. Throughout my exploration, I played with the idea of how femininity in a man causes society to have an altered perception of masculinity and therefore are thought of as less of a man.

If a man is thought of as less of a human for being feminine it shows how a female is scaled by our society, this issue leads to my interest in gender roles as I began to explore how in my personal experience my ‘role’ in society has been challenged. I am a flamboyant individual who chooses to wear things that may be considered feminine, which is where the idea of role reversal comes into play.

The mirror symbolises the perception of my reflection in the eyes of society, my body language and facial expression read pain and angst to escape the restricting values of gender roles, the aspect of nudity suggesting my body is only draped in the fabric, adds vulnerability challenging the views of society. It also represents the moment I became my authentic self. Using photography as a tool to express my feelings I was able to build up the courage and tell my parents the secret I had been hiding for 17 years, the repression I felt due to these gender roles held me back and took a toll on me emotionally and physically but by portraying my experiences in one image helped me say “I am Gay”. These words brought me closer to my family than ever before and I feel free with no façade to hide who I really am.

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