Since 1975 Cindy Sherman has created staged portraits of herself, combining the roles of director, photographer, and leading actress to explore the myriad constructions of female identity in American popular culture.
This particular work is part of a series reprinted recently to benefit Planned Parenthood. It seems related to a recent series of color portraits of women confronted with middle age and their own distorted notions of beauty. With poignancy and humor, this woman seems to convey both a sense of misspent youth and the dangers of unplanned pregnancy-she simultaneously inhabits the roles of teenager and an older woman. The digitally changed background gives an intentionally poster-like quality to an image that seems almost “over-the-top” and “cartoony.”