Once, being a tomboy was a way to gain male validation. When adolescence brought on emotion and curves that were harder to hide, an expanded view of what womanhood could look like also flourished.
With circuses on the decline, photographs that preserve their legacy are becoming more vital. Photographer Aileen Barney talks about growing up in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the emotional portraits she’s made of her father, who produced shows for the legendary troupe.
You won’t be our priority.
I get all tangled up in your wires, mama
my dream had me on my knees
there are witnesses, they don’t howl
at night they don’t bark
their orders are written up
on a white board against black
hollowness inside your curved body.
At eight years old, everything is alive, and everything deserves love and companionship, which, come to think of it, even at 37 years of age, still makes sense.
When empathy is lost, what follows? What is the agenda? Perhaps, a steady march toward denigration and solidly placing the foot? The assumption of power surely is an unapologetic aphrodisiac.
As I listen to very well-meaning white people discuss white supremacy and the reckoning they are having with their own bias, they often forget to mention the work they’re doing with their children.
The other night I sat with my guy and had the talk. The talk you never want to have. That final talk. That talk where he is no longer my guy and I am no longer his girl.
I am a woman who was married to a woman. I am a divorced woman. I married a woman only my friends liked. I am a woman who spent five years in a marriage I thought would last a lifetime.