The Photographic Journal

Dreamy Handsome Soft Boy

Essay 170 • Jul 17th 2017

The idea of the female gaze is…complicated to say the least. For me, anyway. Apply it to the female form, and it’s often a reductive characterization of feminine identity — The Male Gaze 2.0™. Apply it to men, and it usually doubles down on masculine power and dominance, pandering to a trite perception of What Women Want.

So, with these images, I wanted to subvert both of the above by applying feminine aesthetics to the male form and create a male identifying character I rarely see. He is object, not subject. Stars-in-your-eyes kind of dazzling, but still not quite human. A not-real-boy always making themselves smaller, at your service, ready to take your breath away.



Iris Ray is a photographer by trade, fangirl at heart. Photography is the medium through which she channels her enthusiasm for all things cute, kitschy, and crude.

Model: Jesse Jaramillo