You know Kitty. She might be your neighbor’s daughter. She might just be a girl walking to school through the neighborhood. She might be seen at the mall shopping with a group of other Kitties. She might be seen at church handing out cookies.
Kitty is beyond dolls but not yet a woman. Kitty is seeking a way to fit in. Kitty wants to be popular but doesn’t know the rules.
Kitty follows the trends to fit in. Kitty speaks the language to fit in. Kitty wears the fashion to fit in. Who gave the instructions to Kitty?
Fathers don’t want Kitty to grow up from being a little girl. Mothers worry that Kitty will follow her path. Kitty doesn’t know this. Kitty doesn’t care. She is on her own.
Kitty starts to hang around with boys. Kitty’s chemistry is changing. Kitty likes the attention.
Kitty may find a boy who respects her and takes her to the prom. Kitty may find a boy who takes indecent liberties with her. Kitty is growing up.
Kitty might go on to become a doctor or a lawyer or a computer technician or astronaut. Kitty might run with the wrong crowd and wind up a dead junkie in some back alley. Kitty might be a mother of four whom late one night after too many drinks wrecks the car and kills her family. Kitty might be the smiling neighbor living through domestic violence. Kitty might be the kindly grandmother who knits stockings for her grandchildren without telling them her history. Kitty works the check out stand. Kitty calls you to upgrade your electronics. Kitty cleans your toilet. Kitty hands you junk food. Kitty waits at the bus stop and wonders “What if?”
I know Kitty. You know Kitty. She might be your daughter? She might be you?
Photos by Sally Mann. http://sallymann.com/ or https://www.artsy.net/artist/sally-mann