It is one of those things that you do not even realise it is there, until you do. You do not realise it is there, because it is always there. The gaze. Isn’t it a strange experience, growing up as an object of desire yet not being allowed to express it yourself? Not by your own terms anyways. Looking back to it now, it is not clear where the childhood ended or where the sexual curiosity started. I don’t think that it is something you as a girl get to decide by yourself.
I was a girl myself not too long ago and I keep thinking about girlhood as an experience. When I watch those music vides and commercial, I undeniably still enjoy a lot of that visual culture. But can’t also help and think, isn’t it fucked up too? Taking these young girls and presenting them in school uniforms, presenting them as sexy girls, as girls, as objects of sexual desire.
As the forbidden fruit.
Looking into female portraiture and collective gaze trough pop culture as well as personal archives of 14 women, Girlhood is a body of work about the incoherent experience of growing up as a girl in the 21s century.