Third Year Projects

Molly Steels Socializing Girls

2020, 17”x22”

My series, entitled Socializing Girls, draws attention to the stereotypically gendered toys and interactions used to socialize girls from a young age. From makeovers to kitchen playsets, “girly” toys and games often revolve around nurturing behavior, domestic actions and beauty. Playing is a key practice for children to learn how to socialize, develop skills, and practice who they want to be when they grow up. It is often where they learn about their interests and their place in society. Through toys and behaviors that revolve around feminine stereotypes, compliance with gender inequality is taught to girls at a young age by encouraging an idealized femininity and care-taker role. The resentment I feel towards a system I was born into and unknowingly shaped by is reflected in photos that hold a sense of discomfort and strangeness. I aim for this series to critique what’s been passed down onto girls, as well as highlight the subtext within the common ways girls are treated.

    Socializing Girls