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Phnom Penh Photo 2012 –Dareth Rosaline

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Clothing was first used to protect the body... from the burning sun, from rain, from cold. It was also used to cover the body’s private parts. Then it became something functional—outfitted for work—then more decorative and attractive. Human invented fashion and styles that never stop changing. There are places where everyone wears the same clothing, a uniform: school, army, under certain regimes such as Maoist China where blue was everyone’s color. Using her skills to build on this idea of uniform, the fledgling photographer digs into the deep questions of identity. She asked everyone, male or female, whatever their age, to put on one of her dresses. Did they all turn out the same? No. They are different, or at least they look different from the way they usually look. Some men in a dress look feminine, while others come across more masculine that ever. Some older women look younger, while for others, putting on an unsuitable dress makes them look out of sync with their real age. Children make us laugh when they put on a dress that is too big, but who knows, is there a hint of their future sexual preference?

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