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What’s A Young Girl To Do?

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In ‘Theory of the Young Girl’, American photographer Kelia Anne MacCluskey confronts the social expectations and the cultural image of ‘a young girl’.

“There are certain cultural expectations for the experience of being a young girl.”The series is loosely based off Tiqquin’s, ‘The Theory of the Young’, which “latches onto a shared cultural mentality by portraying the self-actualization and a developing awareness associated with juvenility,” explains the photographer. The recurring female subject in her series acts as the main character, while the others as supporting roles to her theoretic journey.

To explore the notions commonly associated with being a ‘young girl’, such as beauty, youth or innocence, MacCluskey creates visual representation of each of them. “There are also certain cultural expectations for the experience of being a young girl that resemble a passage or ‘coming of age’ – such as infatuation, falling in love, and the realization of one’s own appearance and sexuality. These ‘ideas’ are commonly reinforced through media,” she adds.

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All images © Kelia Anne MacCluskey