"Exhibit celebrates girls of 21st century Photograph exhibit shows 'Girl Culture,'" Adrian Stoica - October 05, 2006
"Pressure to be thin." Lauren Greenfield, author of "Fast Forward" and "Girl Culture," has devoted her work to shining a light on this growing problem in today's American society.
Brought to Evansville by the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, the Girl Scouts of Raintree Council and The Women's Hospital, Greenfield came to USI to present a side show lecture on her works, "Fast Forward and Girl Culture," which is currently on display at the museum. the exhibit will be open until December 3.
At the age of 14, she spent a year with an aristocratic French family for a year, later returning to document the French Aristocracy through photographs. "It was clear I could not be one of them," she said. "I saw how closed their world was."
Although she wasn't interested in photography right after she graduated from Harvard University in 1987, she landed an internship with National Geographic, changing her outlook.
During her internship, she documented a Mayan tribe who were wary of having their photographs being taken because they thought it would steal your soul.
"[I was] only able to document the surface of what I was seeing," she said.
After finishing her internship, she decided to continue her pursuit of photography, wanting to photograph something she could understand.
She went back to her alma mater to start working on her first book, "Fast Forward," documenting the world of private schools in Los Angeles.
"The interviews were so interesting because the kids were very insightful and critical," she said.
After working on "Fast Forward," she began working on "Girl Culture," taking five years to interview and document the lives of girls and women everywhere - from high schools to towns, from "fat camp" to strip clubs.
"Girl Culture" examines the pressures of conformity that women face today through the media and society and how it affects women and girls everywhere.
Having finished "Girl Culture" four years ago now, Greenfield has also made a feature-length documentary, Thin, about girls who are suffering from anorexia.
"I love getting to know the people," she said. "It's a privilege to be let in."
The museum is located at 411 S.E. Riverside Dr. For more information visit www.emuseum.org.