A small town in Massachusetts, USA: although she’s only eleven years old, Emily D. already looks alarmingly tired and disillusioned. Emily is one of millions of girls in the USA who have already succumbed to the temptations of the beauty industry.

Or could it be that it’s not the girls but their ambitious parents? Families such as Emily’s pay 1,500 Dollar or more in participation fees for beauty pageants, for makeup, hair styling, false eyelashes, etc. so that their daughters get a chance to become famous. And that the parents get that chance, too. From the trailer park to the spotlight – that’s what they hope for. And in doing so, many girls show off a body they haven’t even grown into yet.

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Photographer Ilana Panich-Linsman, born in 1984, lives in Austin, Texas. Among other topics, she focusses on the everyday life of groups on the margins of the American society. And on the stolen childhood of their children.

Curriculum Vitae: Ilana Panich-Linsman (Keystone Agency)

UNICEF Photo of the Year Ilana Panich-Linsman

Ilana Panich-Linsman (b. 1984) is a photojournalist, multimedia producer, and documentary photographer based in Austin, Texas. She is represented in Europe by Keystone Agency. In the U.S., her clients include The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NBC News, The Boston Globe, and CNN.

In 2014, she was named one Magnum Photo's 30 under 30. Her work this year has also been recognized by the Lucie Foundation; the Oso Bay Biennial XVIII; and the Lumix Festival, Hannover, Germany. Her work will appear in the AI-AP American Photo 30 and Fotografia Magazine. Other awards and honors include the Multimedia Award at the 2010 Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism; also that year she was nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.

Ilana Panich-Linsman is a graduate of the International Center of Photography’s photojournalism program (New York, New York) where she was awarded a Director’s Fellowship. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Scripps College (Claremont, Calif.), completed the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2009, and will graduate in late 2014 from the University of the Arts, London, with a Master of Arts degree in photojournalism and documentary photography.


More information on the competition and the UNICEF-Photo of the Year 2014 reportages.

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More information on the competition and the winners of the previous years.

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