In the series, Protecting Popo, I photograph myself lifting a bodybuilder. Dealing with mass, strength, and the status of the underdog, I position myself, 4’11”, as a formidable, yet doubtful, opponent against a 200 lb. professional bodybuilder. Working together, he and I mix illusion with physical strategy to construct a mutable embodiment of strength and reveal multi-layered sides to power and intimacy. Evoking wide-ranging symbols of strength including: Atlas and his globe, Athena, strong man competitions, and the ballet pas de deux, the work addresses how strength is visually represented, shifting the assumed power dynamics of these conceptions.