Constructed Childhoods

This project explores the impact of images that surround children’s everyday life. These images, found in advertisements, magazines, television, the Internet and other media, toys and even some food products have a significant impact on how children view themselves.

These images allow children to construct ideas of the ‘ideal’ body appearance, house, car, and life that they desire. They create aspirations for material possessions and success and generate unattainable ideals. They also help to shape boys’ and girls’ perceptions about their future roles as adults. Evidence suggests that children go through considerable anxiety about their bodies, possessions and aspirations and find it difficult to resolve the differences between their own lives and the ideals that surround them.

Children look to see themselves reflected in this multitude of images and, in part, they construct their own sense of self from these images. My project explores these constructed childhoods using different media surfaces to represent children’s ‘ideal’ selves, in relation to their reality.