Be Still, My Heart: British Teenage Moms in Marta Giaccone’s Project
Born and lives in Milan. Studied documentary photography at the University of South Wales, UK. Was an intern at Magnum Photos, while there worked with Bruce Davidson, Alessandra Sanguinetti, and Mary Ellen Mark. Published her works in The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Jesus, Grazia Italia, Wales Online and other editions. Currently works for Anzenberger photo agency in Austria.
After seeing many girls pushing prams in Newport, where I was living for a year, I decided I wanted to know more about their lives.
I met most of my sitters in the streets of the town centers or in shops, and 4 of them through an association that gives opportunities to young parents who want to go back to work.
I spoke to roughly 60-70 girls in total and most of them turned me down on the spot, or maybe said yes at first, but then stepped back. So I am extremely grateful to the 20 or so girls who have let me take their portrait and opened up to me about their lives.
All of these young women are happy to be mothers. Even though most of them were scared at first – who wouldn’t? – now they all love it and do not regret their choice of going through with their pregnancies.
Since there is still a social stigma around young mothers, I wanted to try and give a voice to them, let them tell their stories through photos. It doesn’t matter how old they are, they are all amazing mothers, very responsible and mature.
I’m not saying all women should have children in their teens, but if it happens and their families support them, then something beautiful will come out of – perhaps – an unfortunate situation.