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Girl Culture

             Lauren Greenfield's exhibition Girl Culture captures the unique yet widely shared experience of growing up female. Greenfield uses vivid color photographs along with textual interviews of the subjects to explore what it's like to grow up female in today's commercial society. She exposes the contrasting ideals that young girls are taught about the importance of being an individual, but also are constantly bombarded through various medias to our society's narrow ideals of beauty and sexual appeal. Through her photographs Greenfield reveals the details of this superficial culture, explores the environment of growing up female in today's society, and the influential fashion industry. The media influences how girls see themselves and also how others perceive them, the body has become the only way for girls to express themselves. .
             The media is a substantial influence on our society. It projects the idea that in order to be happy and successful you must conform to a certain beauty standard. This idea has done serious damage to young girls who are still trying to form their own identity. Our commercial culture has taught them that to be happy one must conform strictly to this image of beauty. In Greenfield's exhibit, many of the girls expressed their feelings of the pressure to conform. "There is so much peer pressure . . . but with the fact that everybody has to look the same . . . You have to be the same supermodel everyone else is" . For girls from other cultures, it is easy for them to see how American culture emphasizes appearance. "If you"re brought up here [America], you"re taught that you have to look good to succeed, that beauty gets you what you want and gets you where you need to go. I have noticed how, if you"re overweight, people treat you differently . . . And it's everywhere. It's not like something that only a small portion of people do. It's a lot of people now, and it's getting worse.

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