Samantha Conlon

Before the media or society ever gets to a child the first construction of their identity is through their family. In a very natural way children become who they are by observing their surrounding environment and mimicking what they see. A mother can shape a human into any type of being with her own habits and projections; everyone dresses their daughters in tiny new pink clothes, so the new mother does too. Within the family unit girls seem to be socialized as ‘soft’ or ‘sensitive’ beings, we allow them the freedom of vulnerability and intimacy. This could be said for sons too, but what I found most interesting was how later in life daughters were still afforded this luxury. The access to touch, to constructed rituals that allow them to get close to each other. The touching of the face when applying make up for one another, the almost ancient ritual of plaiting another girl’s hair, the casual dressing and undressing together. These situations afford women the intensity of intimacy and the close bonds that inevitably come with it. However, these intimacies seem closed off to men because of their inherent signs of femininity. Signifiers of femininity eventually turn into something trivial; along the way somewhere, ‘soft’ and ‘sensitive’ become negative attributes. DAUGHTERS aims to show a portrait of softness as strength, to elevate the female experience and to show how important these intimacies and rituals between girls are to development.
Using Format