“I began going to county fairs and small town festivals in 2009 to document the ‘queen’ competitions. Although my original interest was with the young women involved in the pageants, I soon discovered that these dynamic community gatherings are fertile ground for exploring some of the most important social issues we face in Texas today, including the complex nature of identity in this diverse state. In this photograph from the McDade Watermelon Festival, the Tiny Tot Queen is escorted to the stage for her crowning while a group of young girls watch with reverence. The image captures not only the pressures we put on girls at a very young age, but also what it feels like to be on the outside.”
See more of Austin photographer Amanda Mullee’s work at http://amandamullee.com/. CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seeking Texas-based documentary photography that captures the strangest state. Please send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.