At least three times a day, I feel like I’m drowning. I can’t breathe and in those moments, I truly understand panic and fear. A flood of to-do lists suffocate my mind while my pulse races from the stress. This photo collection “Under Water Pressure” is meant to visualize my personal feelings of anxiety and responsibility as I’m on the verge of exiting teenagehood and entering the autonomy of being an adult.
I wanted to juxtapose panic and pressure with the ethereal and peaceful images through the serenity and calming aspect of water. This photo collection is meant to express the stress I feel as I’m on the brink of turning twenty years old. I wanted to communicate the five major pressures I struggle with often; the perpetual labor of technology, striving for an unattainable ideal of beauty, thriving in higher education, balancing money, and the strain of an outstanding love life.
I chose to represent the fluctuation of my relationships through a clenched bouquet of roses. The intention behind using the jeweled hand mirror and holographic hairbrush was to demonstrate the purgatory of being caught between girlhood and womanhood and the different definitions of vanity.
The use of the pink keyboard and computer were to demonstrate my attachment and reliance for technology. Academic pressure and excellence is reflected through books and is highlighted with the chapter titled “Genius” alongside a painting of Mona Lisa.
Lastly, I represented my struggle with money through images of picking up pennies and truly feeling the weight of what’s considered a pointless member of the American currency.
As isolated and unique as I feel, these trials in my life are common among young adults and I wanted to represent the tragedy of the deconstruction of childhood. I was greatly influenced by the feeling and sound of screaming underwater since it cannot be heard above the shore. During this time in my life, I feel as though I have to conceal my emotions to myself. “Under Water Pressure” is not only the representation of the stress of becoming an adult, but also the loneliness of an individual twenty-something year old attempting to figure the balances and scales of life.