Images of Real Girls

posted Dec 4, 2012, 5:33 PM by Holloway McCandless
Princess Diamond endorses this recent TedxWomen talk by Julia Bluhm and Izzy Labbe, two real teenagers from Maine who are taking magazines like Seventeen to task for promoting unreal Photoshopped images of girls. The video* begins with another young woman's videoblogged riff about the lyrics of Beyoncé Knowles' "Run the World (Girls)"; Courtney Martin introduces Bluhm and Labbe around Minute 5.

All of the images in Princess Diamond and the Baseball Toad are un-manipulated except for exposure (I originally shot the images on Fuji Velvia slide film, and later had them digitized so I could import them into the iBooks Author App). Princess Diamond wore no makeup for the shoot, and her goal in the story is not looking beautiful or finding a prince. What Princess Diamond really, really, wants is to find her lost baseball.

Yes, the girl who plays Princess Diamond is blonde and blue(-gray)-eyed, but that's not why I asked her to play the part. Carmen got the part because:
1) she was a good actress who could convey Princess Diamond's assertive attitude, 
2) she was sporty and strong, and 
3) she lived two houses away and could come down to the garden on short notice when the morning light and the roses were just right. 

Here she is ready to whack a baseball, aged 10:
Princess Diamond with baseball bat

And here she is 11 years later, messing about in a frog cap: 
Princess Diamond in Frog Cap

Zero makeup, zero Photoshop, zero false demure. Girls got to be real.

For more real girl talk, read Bluhm's and Labbe's blogs on the SPARK a Movement site.

*Hat tip to Rachel Simmons, whose tweet led me to the TedxWomen video clip.