Lauren Greenfield began by discussing her early work, including her documentation of the French aristocracy. These photographs helped her obtain an internship for National Geographic; a huge break for her career as a photographer in a tight and uninteresting job market. However, Lauren was still miserable, because it was hard to gain access to Mayan culture she photographed. She began to daydream of a place where people wanted to be photographed where better than Los Angeles? She began photographing at her own high school.
When she began her photographic project, she noticed that materialism and consumerism was a powerful force; the fascination with celebrity and Hollywood was as strong as it was interesting. Yet she also found the unexpected, which influenced the course of her project. She observed the strong influence of MTV, the exaggerated materialisms, and the strong emphasis on the image and the brand name. Lauren started to photograph younger women, and noticed that even five-year-olds were striking a striptease pose. She learned that the culture of girls has changed drastically in the United States. Lying about the origins of artificial tans to gain popularity, adopting complex social ranking systems, institutionalizing the transmission of these rankings to the parents all of these are new.
Today, ³beauty has no privacy,² and the male gazer has become shameful through inducing an unnatural sexual image of women. We have created a myth of the sexual woman, insisting she await us with the same open arms of her counterpart in the media. Through her lens, Lauren saw the consequences of this gaze, capturing how young women constructed their identity, ideas, and possessions in pursuit of popularity. From Laurenıs lecture, we felt the stress of young women as they focused on the superficial and unnecessary; we have seen parents shocked to discover their true daughters, but happy to make the discovery.