They’re silly, they’re awkward, and yes, these pictures will make you laugh. Because there’s something undeniably comical about a grown man dressed in a pink tutu, hugging trees or dancing in a meadow. The subject in the photographs is actually a New York photographer. Bob Carey has been posing for self-portraits across the US, wearing nothing else but the tutu. Before you jump into conclusions, he is neither gay nor a crossdresser. Bob is a happily married man who takes pictures of himself in a tutu to help his wife. Once you know more about the cause behind his photographs, they will seem less funny and all the more heart-warming and endearing.
The first time Bob took a picture of himself in the tutu was for a media campaign in 2003. It was just a silly idea back then, but the garment remained in his closet. Six months later his wife Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was cured at the time, but the illness returned in 2006 and she has been under chemo treatment ever since. Linda’s condition has served as a reminder to Bob that laughter is really the best medicine. So he started posing in the tutu once more in order to make his wife laugh, calling it the ‘Tutu Project’. He began taking self-portraits at beaches, parking lots, subway stations and even amusement parks. The unexpected strangeness of these photographs has been very well received. Bob’s pictures have become immensely popular, which has inspired him to work on a book of his images, called ‘Ballerina’. The book will be dedicated to women fighting breast cancer, survivors, relatives and physicians who work for the cause. He plans to donate the proceeds from all sales to breast cancer organizations.
You might think that the images of pudgy Bob dressed in a little girls outfit are bizarre, but surprisingly, they aren’t the least bit weird. There’s something different about his expressions and body language that only extracts a ‘laugh-out-loud’ from the viewer. The one I like most is where he’s peeping into a window of an old building. Of course, the final pictures are pretty silly and funny, but Bob has had his share of trouble during photo shoots. Which is natural, given that all the pictures are taken at public places. Once, he was trying to shoot on a car ferry and found himself confronted by six crew members along with a German shepherd. “I asked for permission to shoot but apparently I didn’t talk to the right people. They discovered I was harmless,” says Bob. Sometimes, though, luck favored him. “Finding the Bedford Avenue stop empty still baffles me. It was 7pm on a Friday night! And to have two trains pass at the exact moment I wanted to shoot? Stars were aligned.” Bob’s photo shoots are pretty random, and the locations are selected according to convenience. He carries the tutu along with him on the road, stopping to shoot whenever and wherever possible.
Bob hopes to raise $75,000 through pre-orders, in order to cover costs of publishing ‘Ballerina’. If you’re interested, you could sponsor $500 to get your own copy of the book, a 20×24” signed tutu print, acknowledgement inside the book, and also recognition on the official Facebook page. You could even purchase t-shirts or pledge as little as $1 to receive a signed ‘Ballerina’ postcard. Learn more about it, here.
Photos copyright of Bob Carey
via IB Times