Keeping it Reel

22 / 05 / 2013

These two images of ‘Fitzy’ and ‘Bam-Bam’ come from Lesley Turnbull’s Throw Like A Girl: The Tomboy Project

Lesley writes: The archetypal tomboy as portrayed in children’s fiction and adult literature is commonly posited on the brink of adolescence. The tomboy (revered in childhood for her ‘tomboyness’ – qualities pertaining to independence and adventure), is now cast either as rebel, seen to repeatedly wrestle against a performance of femininity; or as queer, shamed by her seeming inability to be feminised and thus becoming outcast.

Throw Like A Girl: The Tomboy Project is the result of a practice led research project 2011-2013, investigating the concept of ‘the tomboy’ beyond the childhood stage. This body of work – twelve large-scale photographs with text-based images– responds to both the actual experience of the tomboy during adolescence and through differing stages of adulthood, whilst mapping the landscape of the metaphorical and poetic associations of this aspect of the female experience.

To make the work, I enlisted willing participants who identified themselves as tomboys, either currently or in the past. It was paramount that all participants self-identify. The project includes audio tape recordings with those who proffered stories about themselves in relation to their ‘tomboynesss’.

To read more – and see more of Lesley Turnbull’s work, check out her blog here, and website here.


Show Us Your Pics!

Photographers of all persuasions please note – if you have an image you would like to share with us and our readers, send it to us for publication consideration (

Send us the photo, subject (if they wish to be named), where it was taken, and a sentence or two about it.

Please note: main photo subjects need to give their permission for their photograph to be published on Sheilas. If you have any queries, email us at