If I offend dog lovers by dressing pooches up in frocks, I am only using these sad little confections as a metaphor for what we tend to do with our human pets.
That Pinking Feeling
Pink is a delicious colour but little girls, particularly the ‘tween’ market, are bombarded with pink merchandising opportunities that dominate their wardrobes, their accessories, their worlds. This seems to pose no other narrative, no other gender choice than a ‘girliness’ that is becoming commodified and toxic: contaminated with sentimentality, anxiety and a sophistication that only accelerates the loss of childhood innocence.
Most of these paintings were made for an exhibition at Southampton Solent University in 2008. The horrible phenomenon of the beauty pageant was an insistent idea behind this somewhat uncomfortable project.
Are You Sure You Really Love Me?
All images © Rosie West