Sanchez became a mom at the young age of 23 and her interactions with fellow parents were quite memorable.
“When I would take my children to daycare, I felt kind of… like I didn’t look like the other moms,” Sanchez said. “They were much older than me. I just felt kind of separated from them. I would get a lot of ‘Oh you’re so young to be a mom,’ ‘You don’t really look like a mom,’ and I always thought that was a silly thing to say: ‘Oh you don’t look like a mom.'”
A portrait photographer by profession, Sanchez reached out to friends and strangers for a powerful portrait project—“DEVOTED”, that featured ‘non-typical’ mothers and their children.
These moms have body art and modern clothing—not your typical moms as projected by Hollywood and tradition, but devoted mothers nonetheless.
That’s the entire point of Sanchez’s project.
“I’m not a woman of words,” she said, “I like to show people.”
For the past three years, she shot various portraits of these women and their children. She hopes that this will eventually encourage people to stop looking and judging these mothers differently.
In her own words, “You don’t have to look a certain way to be a mom.”
According to a 2015 Harris poll, nearly half (47%) of millennials and more than a third (36%) of Gen Xers surveyed reported having a tattoo. And respondents with children were nearly twice as likely to have a tattoo as those without children (43% vs. 21%).
Brian Pool and his wife Meg run a Facebook community group called ‘Parents With Tattoos’. He said that parents with tattoos often get negative points in regards to others’ first impressions.
“I don’t get a lot of comments, but I get a lot of snide looks. You can definitely tell people from their body language, the way that they look at you,” he says.
This prejudice has led to many severe consequences for his family. Once they were turned down from renting a house. He is still surprised that in 2017-18 this kind of discrimination exists!
Sanchez worked hard to promote these champion mothers who still are still strong, despite the prejudice.
“I just wanted to show women—mothers—who weren’t… sacrificing their personal style,” Sanchez says. “Being a mom, you get lost in your children and I really love the fact that these women didn’t lose themselves. They didn’t lose their identities. They’re still themselves. They’re still great parents.”
Raising a child is a tough feat all by itself and when the judgment and prejudice come into play, it becomes significantly more difficult.
So, check yourself if you see a mom or dad that doesn’t fit your image of an “ideal parent”.