251mc: Research: Jessica Maria Manley ‘The age of innocence’

The works of Jessica Maria Manley have provided a huge amount of inspiration for my project and what I hope to create. The project ‘The age of innocence’ aims to explore the sexualisation of youth, Manley shows the effects that the sexualisation of youth has had on the ways young girls are viewed. Her images show a a very young subject photographed in adult situations; she is seen drinking, dressed provocatively and putting on make up. The shocking thing about Manely’s images is the age of her model – it makes a viewer think about the current representation of young girls. This image series simply makes that representation more obvious by using a model much younger than the models we are used to seeing. Her images also highlight what media representations are doing to young girls – from an early age young girls feel a huge amount of pressure to grow up, wear make up and dress, look and act a certain way which tarnishes their innocence. The expressions the subject makes in these images show vulnerability, uncertainty and slight confusion which I think makes this image set honest. The subject is not pouting or trying to be serious, her gaze makes us uncomfortable because she looks like she is questioning what she is doing/ where she is. It looks as if she does not understand why the camera is present (especially in the last image) and this is something I wanted to present in my own images through expression and pose.


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