That's What Girls Do

Francesca Stuart-Jones is a social documentary photographer, based between the Cotswolds and Brighton. Through her work she photographs young women in their personal surroundings, focusing on their relationship with beauty and how the current society has affected their views and actions around appearance. We take a closer look at her latest project 'That's What Girls Do'

"Beauty results in social and personal rewards. Conforming to the beauty norms
of our current society leads to positive and easy living outcomes for women.
These outcomes can range from employment advantages, positive perceptions
of others and higher self-confidence. As a result individuals undergo various beauty regimes, which in turn support the notion that attractiveness and youthfulness are superior. It's an on going cycle based on feeding the insecurities of women and for women to be seen as feminine. If a woman should fail these norms, such as having body hair, she is condemned ugly and unfeminine. If she is successful, her worth is defined by her desirability.

Opinions differ broadly over this matter, so there is not a definite agreement whether performing regimes is the right or wrong thing to do. However women are aware of these norms, and can do what they want and whatever makes them feel better within themselves. For individuals, the reasons for supporting various regimes are so small compared to the wider conceptions of beauty. The regimes vary from person to person, as do the reasons for performing them. It’s just what girls do."

Sarah, 24, single

“I use boob tape to make my breasts look perkier than they are, and it allows me to wear clothes that are only appropriate if you have small breasts. It does wonders for my self-confidence, as I don’t have to worry about them moving out of place.”

Pro: Makes my breasts look perky

Con: Painful to take off, and it leaves tape marks

Cost: £2

Char, 21, single

“I get massive spots, and I swear by toothpaste, it makes the appearance of them less red and obvious. Acne is gross and so annoying, and I can’t afford pricey products. By putting something directly onto spots just makes me feel I’m doing something to try and get rid of them.”

Pro: It’s so cheap

Con: Doesn’t actually get rid of spots, and toothpaste gets everywhere

Cost: £3

Charlotte, 19, single

“I choose to wear bras two sizes too small for me, to make my breasts look bigger, and to keep them pushed up so they don’t sag. It’s uncomfortable, but it makes me feel confident, and I never want saggy boobs.”

Pro: No chance for saggy boobs

Con: It’s painful and it leaves marks

Cost: £12

Becky, 22, single

“It’s a long process to cleanse, tone and exfoliate my skin. I’ve always struggled with my skin, and actually doing an intense routine weekly gives me satisfaction that I’m actively trying to better myself. You don’t see spotty oily skin in adverts and magazines, so why should I have to put up with it? My skin needs a deep cleanse after wearing heavy make up, and after the process it feels soft, and I don’t suffer from acne as much.”

Pro: A routine gives me confidence, as I'm trying to look and feel good

Con: Time consuming

Cost: £20

Emi, 20, single

“I use a charcoal nose strip and a hydrating mask to get rid of nasty black heads, and to keep my skin glowy and looking flawless. I got obsessed with the charcoal craze on YouTube, and it just seemed like it was the thing to do. It works so well.”

Pro: I gain youthful and blackhead free skin

Con: It’s painful to rip off and the charcoal can stain my nose sometimes

Cost: £15

Jessica, 21, single

“I choose to wax, as the hairs don’t grow back as quick and thick. Going through the pain makes it so satisfying when I can see the horrible hairs stuck in the wax. I get my legs out a lot, and I don’t want to be the girl with the hairy bloke legs.”

Pro: Don’t have to wax that often

Con: It’s painful

Cost: £10

Zoe, 22, in a relationship

“Contouring slims the look of my face and enhances my cheekbones. I saw online how easy and how much of a difference contouring makes. I like to keep on top of trends and this one is so great. Contouring can be done badly and I don’t want to take any chances, so I use cello tape to make it more precise. It works so well.”

Pro: Makes me feel more attractive

Con: The method looks ridiculous

Cost: £8


Marina, 21, single

“I am obsessed with lip products. When Kylie Jenner had lip fillers,
she just looked stunning and so much older. I decided to start self lip injections, as it is cheaper than surgery and it is so easy. Now all the attention is drawn to my lips, what else could a girl need?”

Pro: Makes me feel like a model

Con: Pricey and uncomfortable to do

Cost: £220

Keep up to date with more of Francesca's work here and here.

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