Underestimated: The Lives of Teen Girls
This series of work is driven by issues facing teenage girls. It began with an anonymous survey addressing teenage girls’ self-image, beauty standards, and peer relationships. Because the survey is anonymous, the girls answer with unbridled honesty about the pain they feel for one another, as well as the pain they inflict on each other and themselves.
Many of the models are my students or my friends’ daughters. Teen girls are battling not only their own issues of identity but the constricts of societal expectations and pressures. Decisions in career, ambitions, interests and defining themselves as individuals. Often overlooked, ignored and ridiculed as for living a perceived monolithic life, when in actuality teen girls are navigating a complex terrain. They are searching for guidance, mentors, inspiration and need to be empowered, supported, encouraged to find their path, their voice, their future.
I intentionally depict vague narratives in my work, allowing room for interpretation and creativity on behalf of the viewer. I am inviting others to celebrate this time of transformation, discover the depth, insights, and resilience hidden beneath the surface of teen girls. They are by no means angels but instead powerful forces fighting to find both themselves and a world to accept them. They are trying to fit in, be liked, be unique, stand out, blend in...often just wanting to survive this difficult period in their lives. I continue to explore the complexity and seemingly impossible journey of young girls knowing the voices of this conflicted generation, often perceived as self-absorbed or shallow, tend to fall on deaf ears.
“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows”- Sydney Harris