Mary Ellen Croteau - September 2010


This project was designed to help kids really look at advertising, and see how media images are constructed to manipulate our self-image.  The children were asked to pick an ad from the New York Times Fashion Magazine, study it, and pose themselves as they saw the models do. 

The resulting photos say as much about the individual kids as they do about the ads.  Some saw the vacuousness in the model’s face, some just saw the pose, but in the end what shines is the kids themselves.  These faces are rarely seen in American media culture, but their beauty far outshines the hollow shells being portrayed in the ads.

Many thanks to Rachael Bild, children’s librarian at North Pulaski branch of the Chicago Public Library, and the children and parents of the Summer Reading Program.

Contact this Artist via Steve Bild: or