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For the Inner Toddler in All of Us: 18 Playful, Bizarre Portraits Capture Adults as Their ‘Outer Child’

When you think about what makes a toddler look like a toddler, you might imagine their chubby little hands moving wildly to match their mood, a wide-eyed expression of wonder, baby teeth still in tact and the ability to burst into laughter or tears on a dime.

Paris-based photographer Quentin Curtat and retoucher Cristian Girotto seized on this idea that most adults still have a “a young core, instinctive, creative but also innocent and naïve” little person inside. Their series (which we first saw on FStoppers.com), called “L’ Enfant Extérieur” (“The Outer Child”), uses the magic of post-production to transform full adults on the outside into what their inner children might look like.

It’s “an examination that begins from the classical dichotomy shape-substance and that questions itself about the nature of purity and the unavoidability of the corruption, without taking itself too seriously, because in the end, you know, children like to play,” writes Michele Panella.

The results are definitely strange, seriously funny, and eminently captivating. Take a look:

nggallery id=’131044′

  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 1 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    By photographer Quentin Curtat and retoucher Cristian Girotto
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 2 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."
    - Walt Streightiff
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 3 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance."
    - Franklin P. Jones
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 4 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Children make your life important."
    - Erma Bombeck
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 5 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "In a dark moment I ask, 'How can anyone bring a child into this world?' And the answer rings clear, 'Because there is no other world, and because the child has no other way into it.'"
    - Robert Brault
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 6 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring."
    - Liz Armbruster
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 7 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn't act that way very often."
    - Author Unknown
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 8 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "We've had bad luck with our kids - they've all grown up."
    - Christopher Morley
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 9 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it."
    - Harold Hulbert
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 10 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music."
    - William Stafford
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 11 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep."
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 12 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Youth is a perpetual intoxication; it is a fever of the mind."
    - François Duc de la Rochefoucauld
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 13 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."
    - Angela Schwindt
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 14 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "What is a home without children? Quiet."
    - Henny Youngman
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 15 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Creative play is like a spring that bubbles up from deep within a child."
    - Joan Almon
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 16 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child."
    - Frank A. Clark
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 17 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children."
    - George Bernard Shaw
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 18 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Children make you want to start life over."
    - Muhammad Ali
  • ‘L Enfant Extérieur’ (‘The Outer Child’) 19 of 19
    'L Enfant Extérieur' ('The Outer Child')
    "Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next."
    - Franklin P. Jones

All images used with permission from Cristian Girotto

More from Meredith on Babble:

Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her weekly column every Friday on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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