How much do you like yourself?

The worries and dreams of Italian teens

Rose Mackworth-Young
January 19, 2012

What do young girls think about themselves? How much do the judgements of others define their own personality? What are their worries? Their passions? Their dreams? These are some of the issues examined in the current exhibition, Quanto ti vuoi bene? (How much do you like yourself?), by Australian photographer Jacqui James hosted by Microsoft Italia and Acer's “Responsabilita Sociale per le donne” (Social Responsibility for Women) project.

 

 

The show is a cultural and photographic study of around a hundred girls from all over Italy, from all economic and cultural backgrounds. Portraits of the girls, aged 9 to 16 are accompanied by quotes about their thoughts and fears: 'I feel beautiful when I manage to smile without feeling like an idiot' (aged 14), 'I don't like myself becuase I am a coward, I'm clumsy, and sometimes vindicative and jealous' (11), 'I like myself when I make bad moments beautiful' (15).

 

 

Indeed, the inspiration for the exhibition came from Jacqui's own experience, when her 15-year-old daughter came home after starting at a new school and announced that she must have skinny jeans immediately if she was so survive among her new peers. Does this need to fit in with and be accepted by their friends worry all girls of the same age?, she asked herself. The exhibition offers insight into the image that these girls, in the troublesome period between a child and an adult, have of themselves. Jacqui hopes that it will help not only their peers, but also adults, to understand the uncertainties that adolescents face, and how to assist them in being both stronger and better prepared when confronted with the challenges of growing up.

 

 

The photos are natural and simple, full of the energy and enthusiasm of the girls portrayed. They are untouched, in keeping with the theme of loving and accepting ourselves, just the way we are, and create a fresh and insightful take on the problematic themes of adolescence and acceptance.

 

Quanto ti vuoi bene? Palagio di Parte Guelfa, Piazza Di Parte Guelfa, 1January 18 to 28tel. 0552616029Free entry

 

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