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Hollywoodland is a series of portrait photographs that examines issues of gender that lie

beneath the glamourised aesthetic surface of the 1950s and 1960s. Inspired by my endless

fascination with classical Hollywood cinema, this series explores women’s idealisation,

objectification, and vilification within society as propagated by the silver screen.

The protagonist emulates the ideal of the Hollywood blonde: an image made desirable by

the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, and Lana Turner, and often achieved through

manipulating her natural appearance to conform to male, manufactured perceptions of

beauty, as after all “gentlemen prefer blondes”.

Each photograph features a clapperboard with a film title taken from the golden era of

cinema, which intends to simultaneously add meaning, and ambiguity, to the roles being

acted out by the protagonist. These roles are perceived as necessary to the female, or are

marketed as such in the glamorous, stylised way of the fictional lives of women on the


During Hollywood’s golden age, women were led to pursue unattainable ideals of beauty,

femininity, and their domestic role within society, which inevitably led to feelings of confusion,

inferiority (both towards men and in terms of their natural beauty), and unfulfillment. My

intent is to convey the overwhelming social pressure to conform to such ideals that are

glamorised by cinema and thereby internalised by the female.