Chosen Family Photos for INTO MAGAZINE
These images by photographer Ellie Kitman feature MI and their best friend from high school, MC. The two friends, with the help of a plastic baby, explore the importance of chosen family. Choosing one’s own family allows the individual to escape the puritanical and consumption driven values imposed by the so-called American Dream and its narrow construction of the ideal family. These expectations marginalize the lives and lifestyles of individuals for whom these categories do not work. The chosen family challenges this by creating a more capacious structure for kinship and support.
Clad in OR’s recent collection for DRØME at Art Basel Miami, MI and MC illustrate one form of alternative family structure. OR exposes and dissolves the gendered expectations encoded in traditional societal structures, such as the heterosexual nuclear family, by transforming formerly gendered garments into a new non-binary body of work.
Ultimately, Official Rebrand’s ethos challenges not only traditional social structures, but also the consumption patterns these structures are intertwined with. Contemporary buying habits are constructed by the planned obsolescence and the unrelenting pressure to update, accumulate and replace. By repurposing discarded clothes, Official Rebrand derives new gender-free pieces from waste to encourage consumer conscientiousness. Gendered expectations and marketing driven trends play a massive role in choosing how Americans choose to clothe and present themselves. These images are a reminder that confining social expectations and wasteful industry standards need not be the norm.