Handsome Revolution ProjectA personal photography project that seeks to explore and celebrate the beauty and diversity of masculine-of-centre and gender-non-conformist individuals.

How do we define masculinity? This is the question that Bay Area photographer Miki Vargas is seeking to answer with her growing photography project. When she first embarked on this project she aimed “to explore and celebrate the beauty and diversity of masculine of centre and gender-non-conformist individuals.”

Starting in 2012, “Handsome Revolution” has grown into a national body of work that represents the expanding definition of masculinity. Vargas believes that “Masculinity does not define you, you define masculinity for yourself.” Her inspiration to embark on this project came from the lack of media that portrays masculine of centre and gender-non-conformist individuals.

When asked how she defines masculinity, Vargas said, “For a long time I thought I needed to be one or the other [feminine or masculine] but in the end to me, masculinity is an energy and a mindset more than anything else. I am not defined by it, it is part of who I am.”

Each participant is asked to define what masculinity means to them and these written explanations are attached with the photosets.

“Handsome Revolution” is bringing together a community across borders and encourages everyone to feel confident in their own skin. Vargas says that “being unique is perfectly okay and that being part of a community that is loving, supportive, welcoming and respectful is perfectly okay.”

Miki Vargas

There has been a great outreach from many cities nationally and internationally. Vargas has kicked off a GOFUNDME campaign to help fund the national and international tours.

Next month, Vargas will be heading overseas to Berlin, London, and Amsterdam. Vargas plans to show selected pieces from “Handsome Revolution” in Berlin and would like to photograph for two days. She would also like to photograph in Amsterdam and London for two days in each city. The travel has yet to be funded, and Vargas is looking for all the support available for travel costs.

Ultimately, Vargas wants to “travel the world with the exhibit and photograph the masculine spectrum in different places in the world.” as well as release a book of all the portraits.

Vargas is helping change the way we define masculinity and helping to create a more inclusive community where everyone can feel comfortable in their own individuality.