Greenfield, Lauren

American (1966-)

More than any other photographer, Lauren Greenfield is recognized as a chronicler of contemporary adolescent culture. Her photographs have been widely published, from Time to Vanity Fair, from People to National Geographic, from Harper’s Bazaar to The New Yorker. And she has tackled an array of issues with her hallmark sensitivity: body image, sexual identity, eating disorders, domestic violence and the effects of advertising on self-perception.

Graduating from Harvard in 1987 with a BA in Visual Environmental Studies, Greenfield completed an internship at National Geographic before investigating the role of the image in popular culture. These explorations led to her first book, which National Geographic helped publish, entitled Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood. Engaged by the effects the media had on youth, Greenfield next exhibited with “Girl Culture,” an exploration of the self-esteem crisis among American women. She quickly moved into documentary filmmaking and debuted her first feature on HBO. The film, Thin, and a related photography book, chronicle the lives of young women at a residential treatment center for eating disorders in Florida. Today, Greenfield continues to create media projects that counter the dominant voices affecting young women.