When I grow up I’m going to be…

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Anything I want. The idealism and aspirational yearnings of children make life between the ages of 0 to 12 the most exciting as we imagine our lives as an adventure that at one moment could have us delivering babies and the next see us standing in the spotlight serenading a crowd of millions. Children have the ability to dream without restriction before the responsibilities and reality of adulthood shatter the illusion.

Though there are a select few for whom the dream became real, and these intriguing photographs by Tricia Messeroux certainly suggest the importance of holding on to those childhood ambitions as you never know what could happen if you just keep on believing. Recreating iconic moments in entertainment and politics, Messeroux has unveiled her ToddleWood project, taking children aged 3 to 6 and placing them at the centre of these iconic photographs [pictured].

From the image of recently re-inaugurated US President Obama celebrating his victory by fist-bumping wife Michelle to Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt posing on the red carpet; Messeroux tells a story of ‘what if’. Launching the initiative as a charitable endeavour, the photographer asserts that its purpose is to “showcase the purity of aspirations and dreams.” Producing more than 50 images, recreating news stories, movie scenes and the moments that have studded the path to pop culture history, Messeroux assures us that her vision never wanders away from age-appropriate ideas. She told one newspaper, “I never go risqué. I never put kids in a position I wouldn’t want my daughter in.”

Away from the spotlight of cinema and music, what of me and my childhood dreams? Embarking on a life most fashionable I like to think that anything could be possible. With parents whose ambitions were to see their names in lights, from the world of musical theatre to the athletic stadium; though they may not have realised their dreams in their entirety they pursued them in one way or another. The message I think Messeroux is communicating is the importance of holding on to those childhood dreams because the minute you let them go they become nothing more than a memory.

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