We asked photographers to submit an image that best represents the word to them.
What Does the Word ‘Girlhood’ Mean to You?
After sending out an open call, photographers from all over the globe submitted imagery and discussed what the word ‘Girlhood’ meant to them. Here are some of our favourites…
“We’re all different, we’re all in the same place, we should be kind to others, girls should be kind to girls. Girls support girls.” – Julia Carbonell
“I think teenage girls have the hardest time – they’re so fetishised by society but nobody ever really listens to what they have to say. They have all these hormones and ideas about the world, but no agency over their own lives. No wonder girlhood friendships are often the strongest, most intense, long lasting and tender. <3 <3 <3 xxx ” – Tean Roberts
“To me, girlhood is a sisterhood. Girls are so smart and complex and diverse and I get so excited when I manage to capture any one of these qualities in the photos I take of my friends. I think it’s really important to celebrate and uplift one another and I guess this is sort of my aim in taking these. Girlhood is an experience, and a shared one.” – Carolina Mills
“On a road trip back home to Michigan, I happened upon a sleepy, desolate little town in South Georgia and saw the shrine of trophies in an abandoned business. Young females are taught the rules of a destructive and heteronormative culture of competition. We’re taught to be jealous, to gossip, to hold pageants and contests in hopes of being the best, the prettiest, the pinkest and shiny. We aren’t supposed to be like “other girls,” we’re supposed to be better. This image is important in the way that it symbolises the inherited misogyny found in America. However, it holds a slight, subtle glimmer of hope. The trophies are in a case, stained with nostalgia but forever, on the wrong side of the glass. Their metaphor is meant to be remembered, but the values they hold are fading quickly into the past, just like the town that holds them.” – Jess Farran
“The images I have sent you are from a recent shoot I did for a module at university. The shoot is named ‘The Same but Different’. For me, I believe these images subtly reflect key aspects of ‘Girlhood’, as they follow a distinct theme: wanting to fit in with your social group, but also wanting to maintain individuality. This is something which I think most women can relate to during some part of their lives.” – Tara Pertwee