The photographer Suzanne Heintz is sick and tired of being told that she needs to marry and have kids. Although she acknowledges the strides made by women in the past decades in her interview with Feature Shoot, she feels now that a new sort of feminine mystique has emerged in the past years; rather than being expected to be perfect housewives, society now demands that women have the family, the career, and the flourishing social life. Amidst pressure to “have it all,” Heintz has proudly declared herself a “spinster.”
Her recent series, titled Life Once Removed, hopes to lay bare the confusing path set before modern women by posing with a mannequin family. In the style of 1950s suburban ad campaigns (see: Mad Men), she travels from Paris to the face of a Christmas card, driving the heavy burden of what she calls her “uncooperative fiberglass quadriplegics” with manic determination. In the end, her journeys are futile; at her table sits an impassive husband and daughter. The modern woman’s expected path is shown to result only in forced smiles and gritted teeth, and the message that emerges is a simple one: each person has the right to determine his or her or hir life’s course. “It’s about anyone whose life doesn’t look the way it ‘should.’ I’m simply trying to get people to open up their minds and quit clinging to antiquated notions of what a successful life looks like,” says the artist.
Thanks to Feature Shoot
Images via Feature Shoot