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    27 Photos Look At Small Town Girls Around The World

    An Australian photographer traveled to little-known parts of the United States, South Africa, and her own country to document the lives of the teenage girls from small towns.

    When photographer and journalist Elize Strydom turned 29, nostalgia for her teenage years set in.

    She told BuzzFeed News that she felt she had motored through those years, and yearned for a way to revisit them.

    That desire spurred the creation of Strydom's Small Town Girl photo project. The Australian native traveled to 18 towns across her home country, South Africa, and the United States, photographing girls aged 14 to 18 who live there.

    Strydom, who is now based in Sydney, grew up in a small town, and focused specifically on areas with fewer than 20,000 people.

    "I went into it thinking, 'You really matter, and I want to know who you are right now, not who you plan to be. Not who your teachers or coaches think you are,'" Strydom said.

    This is where she went, and these are the girls she met.

    Happy β€” Botha's Hill, South Africa

    Emily β€” Grafton, Australia

    Hannah β€” Ellenwood, Georgia

    Jannah β€” Broken Hill, Australia

    Maya β€” Justin, Texas

    Merryn β€” Lismore, Australia

    Mpho β€” Jouberton township, South Africa

    Rebecca β€” Nieu Bethesda, South Africa

    Sarah β€” New Waverly, Texas

    Merryn β€” Byron Bay, Australia

    Savannah β€” Parkes, Australia

    Tara β€” Winthrop, Washington

    Varoux β€” Eendekuil, South Africa

    View more of Elize Strydom's photography on her website here. The Small Town Girl project is also on Instagram.