Six months ago Esquire asked more than fifty of the world's most celebrated photographers ‑men and women‑ to photograph any woman or women they chose, in any way they wanted. The assignment was to visually answer the question: What does the American woman look like? Surprise us, we told them. They did. On the cover and at right are Matthew Rolston's photographs of the lissome Jennifer Connelly, star of this summer's The Rocketeer. Following are forty photos of emblematic American beauty, some representing celebrities, some unknowns, and some an abstract idea of womanhood. The images include an ethereal Jessica Tandy by Joyce Tenneson, three strangely affectless girls on spring break by Mary Ellen Mark, two rough-and‑ready Gray Panthers by Larry Fink, Deee‑Lite's fabulous Lady Miss Kier by Guzman, and many more surprises.
Spring Break, Daytona Beach, Florida
By Mary Ellen Mark