Developing as a teen girl on the internet sets the stage for damaging interactions. Hidden under the veil of anonymous texting apps and social media platforms, the opportunity for unwanted exposure to predatory figures is inevitable. As teen girls seek positive reinforcement to sooth growing self-perception, communication with men can bring up deep seated misconceptions about womanhood. As the fragmented woman develops, she discovers that the plasticity of girlhood was not made to be stretched this far.
In our world today, women are hounded for nude selfies/photographs of themselves daily by men who then grade how attractive/desirable they are. In an act of frustration and an effort to raise awareness about this behavior, I have created an 'unfuckable' (unscrewable) object for a man who asked me if I had any sexier photos to show him after just showing him a casual photo of myself, fully clothed.
In an effort to merge the technology of social media with traditional craft production, I began the Pixel Quilt series, quilted photographs printed on fabric depicting blurred self portraits. These works invite thematic connections between pixellation, (in)visibility, fragmented selfhood, and feminism in art.
Throughout the past two and a half years, I have been researching and creating work around the issues of teen girls coming of age on the internet and how their interactions with adult men online negatively affect how they grow into women. This specifically talks about young girls being inappropriately fed information surrounding their expected sexualities, body images, and self-worth in general. In a sensitive time where acceptance by peers is at its peek, many young girls fall victim to the instant gratification that the internet and social media can give them. In addition to being damaged emotionally, many girls are made at risk by these interactions with adults because it opens them up to being persuaded into dangerous situations in real-time such as assault and sex trafficking.
Sarah Catherine Blanchette is photo and fiber artist based in Detroit, Michigan. Calling on quilting as a form of documentation, Blanchette aims to bridge the gap between generations in order to bring awareness to the dangers of teenage girls coming of age on the internet.