What Are Little Girls Made Of? is a postcolonial exploration of nursery rhymes in which animation and the textures of personal memories are ironically juxtaposed to comment on the continued legacy of European cultural colonialism in India.
As an Indian woman reminisces about growing up in India, a child’s drawing unfolds on the screen, narrating the well-known English nursery rhyme, “Little Miss Muffet.” The woman recalls her deep desire for a white dress and blond hair, as her own dark skin relegates her to the position of “boy” in school plays. The memories, seemingly nostalgic, are juxtaposed with an ironic depiction of a blond Miss Muffet’s encounter with the “other”—the spider—inside herself. Through this juxtaposition, a dissonance is set up between the memories and the animation, providing a commentary on western standards of beauty and the legacy of cultural colonialism in India.
Mixing computer animation, video, and interview footage, this video explores the fictionalization of documentary memory through animated drawings that reflect the subjectivity of the memories being narrated. Through this, the video challenges conventional forms of documentary.