Jessica Maria Manley, the artist behind the Melissa project, posts an insightful question on her Kickstarter page: “is there a definitive turning point in one’s life transitioning from childhood to adulthood?”
As senior at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, Jessica began this project with the goal to raise awareness concerning the ideal image that is being promoted towards young women these days through advertisement campaigns and shows like Toddlers in Tiaras. The Melissa project is a collection of photos that Jessica took of her sister posing in untimely mature context, eliciting an uncomfortable response on behalf of the viewer.
It is precisely this uneasy engagement with this set of photographs that drives the potent message behind the Melissa project and forces people to question what is appropriate and acceptable in regards to endorsed images of the ideal female form.
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