Why are single middle-aged women obsessed with making fun of traditional marriage?
As a single woman, she got fed up with the bombardment of questions about when she was going to get married. Tired of being pittied, she decided to confront this issue head on. She purchased two mannequins – one male and one female child – and the series Life Once Removed was born. Dressing up and posing with her fake family, she stages witty representations of the American Dream. Ski trips, vacations, and stereotypical romantic moments are all acted out by Heintz, and she sets the scene perfectly. These colorful images feel saturated, in both how they look and the emotional exuberance of the her expression and body language.
Because romantic moments are so stereotypical. And husbands and children are so 1950s oppression.
“The term ‘perfect’ is no longer used to describe what we’re all striving to be. Now it is called ‘fulfilled.’ But for women, the path to fulfillment is not through one thing, it’s all things—education, career, home, family, accomplishment, enlightenment. If any one of those things is left out, it’s often perceived that there’s something wrong with your life. We are somehow never enough just as we are. We are constantly set up by our expectations to feel as though we are missing something.
“In my case, it seems I was missing the family component, and was suspect for that gap in my resumé as a successful woman. I thought it was high time to call this nonsense out publicly, because this notion is not just about me, nor only about women in regards to marriage. 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. I want people to lighten up on each other and themselves, and embrace their lives for who it has made them, with or without the Mrs., PhD. or Esq. attached.”
So she’s spent thirteeen years taking those photos just to prove that women ought to “quit clinging to antiquated notions,” such as, oh, having a family. Riiight. Notice her strained rictus grin–I think it’s meant to be ironic–in nearly all the photos, as she grows progressively older and the husband-and-daughter mannequins stay the same age.
I have just one final thought: For a trillion dollars, guess the sex of the people who “bombarded” her with questions about when she was going to get married.
Posted by Charlotte Allen