By Vlad Kovin, Maria Oborina, Daria Lebedeva, and Sofia Fedotova.
Vlad Kovin (journalist, blogger)
For me, this project is something like psychotherapy, in which I try to overcome my complexes, find inner harmony, and prove to myself that being myself, feeling liberated, looking as I want, loving who I wish, and believing in myself. This is true freedom, this is a real buzz. This also needs to be learned, we have to cultivate the power to live by our own rules.
Sometimes, of course, the herd instinct takes control, we are tempted to avoid the world and its problems. But this is a weakness, and leads us nowhere. Following this path will never allowed you to be accepted as you are.
On my day to day I often hear “faggot” from passers-by. Unfortunately, in Russia, where intolerance to people who stand out even slightly, allow themselves to be bright, to differ from the majority, is part of the culture and mentality. They insult and humiliate us and even beat us sometimes.
Laws that discriminate against minorities are adopted. Homophobia is almost a national idea, even the President makes fun of gays, and the rainbow is banned because it is a symbol of LGBTQ+. For example, our project may cause a judicial investigation under the “propaganda of homosexuality” article.
Even worse than this is the fact that we have completely stopped fighting for our rights, for our values and ideals. We’ve just dealt with that by a preference to blend in with the crowd so that we are left alone. We lie to ourselves, saying that everything is OK, that we can live, that these are not our problems. We are inactive, silent, and openly encourage intolerance. The bottom line is that today people actively hate LGBTQ+ representatives, but tomorrow they can start hating and humiliating anyone for their religion, political position, love of Pushkin’s poems, or a passion for collecting wild flowers. And nobody will stand up for each other. Therefore, we want to convey a simple, probably naive and utopian truth, that people should be equal, everyone has the right to freedom and justice.
Maria Oborina (freelance model, traveler, teacher of mathematics and English)
For me, projects that broadcast a certain public manifesto are of particular value. This is one of those projects in which photography can express not only the visual, but also the mental component, our inner world, our point of view, our appeal.
Man in suit – woman in dress, a man in dress – a woman in suit, a man with makeup – a woman with a short haircut and a minimal makeup, a man with no makeup – girl with makeup. Masculinity in the feminine, femininity in the masculine.
We are not just one colour, we are an infinite mixture of shades, we are millions of facets. I don’t want people to be shy about themselves, shy about appearing real, just because society only accepts certain kinds of behaviour.
The world has infinite variety. Express this diversity, get rid of stereotypes, throw off the social frameworks, if they bind you, feel the FREEDOM to be yourself, broadcast it, love and LIVE!
Daria Lebedeva (psychologist)
I am not a professional makeup artist, and I took part in this shoot only because I think such projects are extremely important for improving the lives of specific people and our society as a whole. And if I can do this not only by changing the mindset and popularizing psychology as a science, but also convey it through the visual component, then it will be doubly beautiful. Maria is doing an amazing job and it is an incredible honour for me to take part in this project.
Sofia Fedotova, (photographer, director, actress)
I worked for a long time on one of the state TV channels and I know firsthand what censorship is. Therefore, it is important for me to be as free as possible in each project, as far as the declared history, location, and experience of models in the frame allow. Self-expression is a basic need, and I am convinced that everyone can and should declare what they consider important.
Models // Oborina Mariya @oborinamariya & Kovin Vladislav @kovinvv
Photographer // Sophia Phedotova @actresswithcamera
Mua&Hair // Dariya Grubtsova @lebedevaadarya
Glitter gel // “Alloybodychain” by Alla Polkovnikova @alloy_body_shine
Editor’s comment: Peachy Magazine features both independent and established artists and creators with a story to share. Showcasing a creative, original and diverse range of artists is a core value on which Peachy Magazine is driven.