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Before the ages of science and industry, many world cultures believed that magical spirits ruled nature, guiding the elements and protecting the waters, forests and its creatures. We have since replaced this wondrous worldview with reality television and day drinking, but the world is still a mysterious and magical place, and these pictures of bears dressed as woodland nymphs, mermaids and fairy princesses prove it.
The playful images come from Heather Larkin, the Georgia-based photographer behind Fairyography, a business that stages “fairy tale photo shoots” for children. For April Fools Day 2016, Larkin decided to change Fairyography into Hairyography and shoot some fairy tale photos with big bearded dudes instead.
“I like the concept of April Fool’s when it’s funny in a nice way,” Larkin said. “I don’t like mean jokes, or jokes that make people feel bad or stupid. I like stuff that you can tell is a joke, but it’s still funny anyway.”
Her pictures show a bunch of hairy guys wearing tutus, tiaras, makeup and bows, throwing glitter and just looking playful and brilliant. While we wish they had a bit more racial diversity, they’re sweet, vulnerable and kind of sexy in way that men rarely get depicted.
We chose a handful of the most magical shots for the gallery below, but you should check out the entire collection:
You might be delighted to know that fairies and queer men have a long close history (not that we know for sure if any of the Hairyography dudes are queer). Gay men have been called fey or fairies since 1706 if not earlier. In response to ‘50s-era consumer culture and Christianity, a group of ‘70s-era gay San Francisco men established the Radical Faeries, a fun-loving spiritual group who rejected consumerism and consumption in favor of environmentalism and creative living. The Faeries still exist and helped inspire the legendary, theatre collective The Cockettes and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the drag nuns who help fundraise and promote sexual health in LGBTQ communities across the world.
Anyone who has written off the next four years as endless dumpster fire can bring some magic and wonder back into their lives by ordering Larkin’s 2018 Hairyography calendar. Now, everyday can be filled with dream bubbles, sassy mermen and glitter fairies, no matter who else tries to steal the world of all its wonder.