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Birthday Girl challenges the perception of femininity represented in a photograph from my family album. This photograph taken when I was eight by my father on his Kodak Box Brownie camera shows me posing in our garden against a backdrop of roses. I am wearing my party dress, and a large bow adorns my hair, but I am standing awkwardly with my hands clasped in front of my body. In Birthday Girl, I present a performance that rebels against this notion of femininity; I dye my hair and eyebrows a vivid shade of blue, show disgust at wearing a bow in my hair and defiantly smoke a cigarette.

When a bride conforms to the cultural 'norms' of heterosexual wedding attire, she adheres to the long-established Western ritual of wearing a white dress, a lace veil and carrying a bouquet of pale-coloured flowers. However, the wedding dress is the most significant item of this costume as it symbolizes purity.This distinctly gendered look promotes the ideology of a fairy tale wedding with the promise of romance and happiness while continuing to advance and endorse the fabrication of femininity. The power and surveillance of consumerism ensure that women continue to promote and maintain this charade. This series aims to subvert the 'norms' of the white wedding dress. I tie up my veil and perform as a 'sweet bride' before cutting up the white wedding dress and throwing it away. All that is left is the veil and the flower.

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