Photographer Michelle Ma, who emigrated from Australia to Brooklyn hipster haven Bushwich, was initially aggravated when a local bar started selling a calendar featuring scantily dressed women. “It set me off,” she told Brooklyn Magazine. “I thought, ‘Here we go again, another calendar full of trashy photos of women.’”
But rather than curse the darkness, Ma decided to (metaphorically) light a candle with a calendar of her own, “Babes of Bushwich,” featuring neighborhood guys in seductive poses.
The invitation for the accompanying exhibit, which opened last week, read “The days of gratuitous boobie calenders are behind us. The time has come for chest hair and unbridled masculinity.”
If your dream man looks more like a barista than a Chippendales dancer, this is the calendar for you. All of the guys live and work in Bushwick and we can safely presume none have ever been to a waxer.
“At first it was going to be a totally trashy oiled up fireman-esque thing,” Ma says. “But the more friends of mine signed up to model, the more I realized that that was exactly what I didn’t want, because why would I want to objectify my friends in a degrading way.”
But how hard was it for her to get the boys next doors to pose? “After different levels of badgering, they all agreed to pose for me,” she says. “some more enthusiastically than others.”