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From Publishers Weekly
Greenfield's stark photographs of girls and young women doing everything from practicing Tae-Bo in Beverly Hills to performing lap dances in Las Vegas aren't for the faint of heart. But the collection is so hard to put down that it's not destined to languish on a coffee table, either. Images of teenagers at weight loss camp or getting ready for a quinceanera (a 15th birthday ritual in the Hispanic community) come to life thanks to frank, first-person monologues from the girls themselves. A photograph of Erin, 24, getting "blind-weighed" (with her back to the scale) at an eating disorder clinic in Coconut Creek, Fla., is accompanied by this hair-raising commentary: "I'm known for my eating disorder. It's my identity.... My nickname is Itty-Bitty, so what am I going to be without it? It's what makes me special. So I would just be ordinary without it. And for me, that's hard to admit." Although much of the text focuses on typical (but still depressing) teen issues such as peer pressure and drug abuse, readers should hang in there for glimmers of optimism and even brilliance. Jessica, 20, a member of Stanford University's women's swim team, says, "I think any female athlete has a sense of being kind of like Wonder Woman. You are able to do things that are a little closer to superhuman than normal girls. There's a little bit of Wonder Woman in everyone." Indeed, Greenfield's unflinching portraits, which will be at New York's Pace/MacGill Gallery this fall and will travel to the West Coast, are a testimony to that spirit.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Lauren Greenfield is renowned photographer whose work is in many museum collections and appears regularyy in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper's Bazaar, and Time. She has been the recipient of several major awards and grants, including the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer of the Year. She lives in Venice, California. Joan Jacobs Brumberg is a professor at Cornell University, where she has been teaching history, human development, and women's studies for over 20... read more
Renowned photographer Lauren Greenfield has won acclaim and awards for her studies of youth culture. In Girl Culture, she combines a photojournalist's sense of story with fine-art composition and color to create an astonishing and intelligent exploration of American girls. Her photographs provide a window into the secret worlds of girls' social lives and private rituals, the dressing room and locker room, as well as the iconic subcultures of the popular clique: cheerleaders, showgirls, strippers, debutantes, actresses, and models. With 100 hypnotic photographs, 20 interviews with the subjects, and an introduction by foremost historian of American girlhood Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Greenfield reveals the exhibitionist nature of modern femininity and how far it has drifted from the feminine ideologies of the past.