Episode 27 – Kevin Lowery, Masculinity, and the Skin Like Dawn Project
Kevin Lowery is an intimate portrait (boudoir), lifestyle, and wedding photographer based in the Metro Atlanta area. Kevin’s work is known for its human connection and vulnerability, and he strives to make photos with every client that push boundaries and dare to go deeper than skin-deep. Kevin lives in Marietta, GA with his husband and their 2-year-old son.
Kevin shares about his personal life, growing up gay, and his own struggles with the concept of masculinity. He started his inspiring Skin Like Dawn project to unpack how all men struggle with masculinity, and to see what men look like when they shed the baggage around it. How men put on the “manly” layer every day, the one that makes them be non-feeling and strong. The hoops that men jump through to make themselves seem manly. They shed the layers and dive deep during the sessions.
He wants to celebrate men in their most vulnerable state and make them truly feel proud of that person. Every man deserves to feel that way.
We go deeper into the conversation about men & vulnerability. We don’t give men spaces to be emotional and vulnerable, and this starts early in childhood. We don’t allow men to process their feelings, we don’t give them a space to process their feelings. We tell them to “man up.”
Kevin shares his perspective as the parent of a son, and how he even has to work to give his toddler son the space to cope with his feelings.
Until we allow men to have these feelings, and to feel valid in their vulnerability, women will continue in their struggles. Because they don’t know what to do with their emotions, it comes out in effecting feminism on the other side.
The issue of vulnerability and masculinity and feminism are more nuanced than two separate, divided issues.
Men, in their struggle to be manly, leave so many casualties behind them. Men end up hurting so many people along the way, and it is born from this internal struggle of living up to an ideal of what society tells them they have to be. It is a conversation we need to have collectively as a society because it hurts everybody.
Kevin & I also talk about raising sensitive boys. If you feel like you can’t change the whole world? This is something that you can do.
– Allowing your son to have the space to learn to own his emotions, that is ok to feel the way that they do. It helps to teach them empathy. To own their own emotions and vulnerability.
– If you’re a man, you have to allow yourself more grace than you do. Give yourself some slack and think about the ways that people around you influence the way you think that you should act.
– This comes to physical appearance as well. Love yourself more. Retrain yourself to actually look at yourself in the mirror, and say three kind things to yourself. Try to remember that other people do not see the things that you don’t like about yourself.
– If you want to help others love & appreciate themselves more, you need to learn to love your own body.
– Cut men some slack to have a space to have emotions, and allow their emotions to be valid. Allow them to feel safe, to have struggles, and to not require “maleness” to figure it out.
– HOLD THE SPACE for men to be vulnerable.
This is all a constant work in progress. We are socialized to be this way.
Sometimes men feel upset, and sometimes men don’t feel masculine, and sometimes men feel less than. You need to recognize when this happens and let them know that they are enough right now.
We need to recognize beauty in ALL BODIES. Women and men. The weight of this problem is big. It is everywhere. We need a bigger collective awareness. Validate all folks, no matter what their gender is, and give them the space without an agenda.
You can find Kevin’s work online at the spaces below. (There may be some nudity, and I’m not warning you because there is shame in that, but simply in case you want to make sure your boss or your children are not around.)
– Skin Like Dawn on Instagram
– Skin & Heart on Instagram
– Kevin Lowery
– Skin & Heart
– Teacher / Expert in the UnRaveled Academy
– Tomayia Colvin Education Platform
I'm a professional photographer and a story strategist. My Superpower? Helping you grow your confidence and build a profitable business that supports the life you want to live. It is time to be a Life Boss. You are Enough.