Girl Culture (Chronicle/Raincoast) is a coffee table book that is both attractive and disturbing. Lauren Greenfield’s photographs document how American girls relate to fashion, culture and their bodies as they grow up in the most superficial society on earth. Some girls flash for the enjoyment of the men around them on spring break. Others prod themselves uneasily, noticing invisible flaws. Toddlers try on lipstick and totter around in high heels. An anorexic girl writhes in discomfort as she is weighed. Some of the photos are innocent fun but most of them expose the impossible standards of female beauty that have evolved in North America. The photos are accompanied by narratives written by the subjects themselves: thin girls who spend the summer at weight loss camp, a girl who hates hair, a youngster who can’t wait to be a cool teen like Britney Spears. Greenfield probes her subject delicately, showing with subtlety the ways in which American girls learn that clothes and beauty will bring happiness, and the disappointments in store for them as they fall for the promises of a society that is only skin deep.