Photography for Girls By Girls: Cassidy Paul is the Voice We Need

by Mary Rockcastle

Photography about womanhood is nothing new, but at the same time we always seem to be surprised by a female up n’comer. From Cindy Sherman’s iconic self portraits to… James Franco’s dumb parody of Cindy Sherman’s Self Portraits, photography remains a boys game on the surface. Men seem to have the historical advantage. 

But with girls like Cassidy Paul holding cameras, it looks like woman’s photography has a promising future. Paul is a senior photography student at Parsons the New School for Design. During her time at the New School, Paul has created a number of photography series’ about girlhood, heartache, and coming of age.

These series involve both Paul’s evolution as an individual, and the more abstract journey into womanhood which we can all relate to. In her series Feminine Rituals, for instance, Paul styles herself as a narcissistic pink-loving girl named Britni, who even has her own Facebook page.In her most resent series of photographs, Paul creates a deeply personal photo essay about her most recent relationship and its demise. The series is called This is My Goodbye, and comes in two parts: before and after the breakup.

But I think Cassidy Paul’s most relatable series is called Girlhood. These images depict the process of becoming a woman. The artist writes:

“This series explores issues surrounding young woman in their transformation from adolescence to womanhood. It seeks to address ideas that begin at birth and continue throughout their adult life, such as misinformation on sexuality and their own bodies, to a gendered expectation of what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’”

With young artists like Cassidy making loud work about womanhood, the world of photography can’t help but accept that girls are here to stay. 

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