Girl Wrestle is a visual exploration of girls’ youth wrestling in North Carolina. Rachel Jessen M.F.A. ’18 captured club practices and team tournaments, combined with portraits, to create “a holistic view of distinct individuals united by their love of the sport.”
What’s clear in these images is the fearlessness of these girls, not yet burdened by societal notions of femininity. They are therefore free to assert their power, says Jessen.
“It is far too often that the experiences of young women and girls are trivialized and flattened into a single, homogenous story—a story that is not always heard or believed or respected. This project not only highlights the growing popularity of the sport among women and girls, but also complicates the notion of what it is to be a young girl, demonstrating the nuance of a single person’s experience. This work also questions larger power structures and the ways in which girls have been socially conditioned to be or behave.”