ReaLnezz ISSUE 1:
e Coming of ag
BY L A Z Y O A F
Contents: WHY BEING AWKWARD IS BOMB.COM? - I FELL IN LOVE WITH MY BFF - ME, MYSELF, MY DILDO AND I - WHY CAN'T I BE LIKE HER? - THE GREAT UNKNOWN - SPILLING THE TEA ABOUT INSECURITY - FOREVER YOUNG & IDGAF - AND MUCH MORE
L i H
! d n ir e
Hi Lazy friend, While writing this letter I actually have so many questions popping up my head: “Why do we have to grow up so fast?” “Why did I actually thought becoming a grown up would be the best thing ever” and “Why do we all feel the pressure to act sooo mature?". In today’s society we see a romantized image of the coming of age phase. The media shows a one sided image of how a teenage girl should feel, how they should dress and how they should act. Realnezz knows that growing up is one of the hardest things we have to face in our lives. We empathize with the notion of feeling misunderstood throughout these years. And you know what? We want to put this amazing phase in the spotlight because, yes, it actually is HELLA FUN! We say YES to: awkward questions, not knowing what you want and most importantly, giving you, A.KA. our fab-u-lous readers the space to feel safe, understood and experience vulnerability. Because hey, we are also trying to figure life out too lol.
Realnezz stands for spilling the tea about life. We want to tackle topics we feel like people should talk more about and address the whole story, so not only the perfect stuff. Because that’s like soooo 2013 anyway. With our first issue we are focusing on the topic “Coming of age”. We place attention on the mental side of growing up, because it’s okay not to be okay and we want to be open about that. Okay so I see we have a little more space left, can I quickly give a BIG shoutout to my amazing girl team? Yes? Okay thxxx. I honestly feel so inspired working with them and in the future YOU will be able to work with us too. Because we from Realnezz want to tell real stories created by girls for girls. Ok, momma Realnezz is done for now. Enjoy reading and thank you for becoming a part of our community.
Isabelle Renzenbrink Editor in Chief, Art Director, Creative Director, Stylist & Illustrator
Lisa Dana Celena
Editor & Writer
Naomi 't Hart
Sarah 't Hart
Femke Jezebel Writer
Jasmijn van der Klei Writer
Willemijn Schilten Writer
Esmee de Groot
Annelotte-Beau Santing Graphic designer & illustrator
Mare De Campos Neto
Big thanks to: Our models A.K.A muzes: Margot SaďŹ , Wendel Muller, Lauryn Pontier, Pilar Madimin, Catalina Rodriguez, Djenna Cornelia & Hanna van den Berg. Our MUAH'S for making our girls look FAB AF: Jetty de Wit & Rosalie Hendriks. Graphic designers Petra Verkade and Dayo Scholing for helping out last minute. Sportpark de Eendracht for letting our cute cheerleaders shoot on your ďŹ elds. The Student Hotel Amsterdam City for letting us have the most fun slumber party ever while shooting in your crazy pink suite.
Lois De Muynck
C NTENTS Girls like us 07 Why being awkward is bomb.com 13 I fell in love with my bff 17 Me, myself, my dildo & I 21 Boobie businezz 25 Teenage dream shoot
Dear Diary 36 Why canĘźt I be like her? 42 Spilling the tea about insecurity 46 The great unknown 51 Slumber party shoot
Create yo'self 61 No winner baby, girlz support girlz 64 Realnezz playlist 65 How to become the boss ass bitch you knew you were
69 Forever young and IDGAF 72 Self love club with Lucinda Graham 76 Forever young shoot
ReaLnezz BY L A Z Y O A F
Extras Yes girl youʼve read it right, weʼve got some extras for our readers. Skip to the back of the magazine to ﬁnd some DIY cut pages, our Realnezz sticker sheet and some blank note pages for you to let out your own thoughts. Maybe we will see them in our next issue? ;)
e us - Girls lik
ir e us - Girls
GIRLS LIKE US
Within this secti on we want to dive de ep into topics that we as gi rls feel almost too awkw ard to talk about. Guuur l, let us tell you one thing: you are not the only one. W e from Realnezz are here to spill some tea, so no topic is too crazy ;)
ls s - Gir e u
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like us - G irls l ike
us - Girls lik e
k us - Girls li
us Gir ls like us e ik - G us s l irls like us - Girl e k
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G s Gi u rls like
BAD DAYS D FRIES BEFORE GUYS
By WillemÄ³n Schilten
GIRLS LIKE US
When you type the word ʻawkward’ in Google you ﬁnd things like: How to Stop Being Socially Awkward (20 killer tips) and How to Overcome Awkward Situations. I think that these kinds of self-help articles are bullshit. You shouldn’t try to prevent awkward situations and you sure as hell shouldn’t adapt to the norm. Roaming the school halls with my pink Adidas tracksuit and matching fuchsia braces really made me the person I am today. I’m an expert in the awkward arts and I plead for more awkwardness in the world. In contrary to the Internet I can assure you: being awkward totally rocks.
Where did the awkward phase go? To begin with, where did the awkward phase even go? Nowadays this is a dying out phase in high school culture. That, I think, is because of social media, movies and internet. Young girls copy these images and it screams a lack of creativity. While some girls look like mini-adults, others are cloned, young Instagram models. Sure, it’s okay to copy someone or a look, or whatever. But put some elements of your own style into the fit. It will be yours and you won’t look like a starter-pack-meme. Also taking the time to find your own style and not copying a picture or personality is cool. Even when it includes hideous clothing and bad hair decisions (crimped hair was the worst trend for me). Just don’t take yourself so seriously all the time. You are a teen, you don’t need to look and act like an adult: you have the rest of your life for that. Keeping up your appearance is a bigger responsibility today because you’re constantly under a magnifying glass: social media. There are countless tools to look your socially-accepted, very best. So if you’re a bit insecure (and who isn’t?) it may seem like the easiest way to dress ‘cool’ is by finding a role model and copying them. However, it can turn you into someone you are not and give you false expectations about life, because eventually you are not the person you look like. For example, I have mixed feelings about the popular Netflix series that teen girls are raving about – me too secretly – all starring Noah Centineo, who gracefully plays the perfect boyfriend. They are selling you a concept that a simple, ordinary girl can find the perfect boyfriend. But try to look at things in real life. Maybe awkward Redneck Billy from the village is the one for you. AND THAT IS OKAY. My point is: don’t get carried away with all the (electronic) information you receive today, because you may end up disappointed with sky-high expectations.
My awkward trophies My high school pictures give the prime example of someone in their awkward days. I had the whole package: the side swept fringe, chubby face, braces, fried frizzy curly hair, blushed cheeks and a non-existent make-up game (girl, she was NOT blended). Then I started to grow from awkwardly chubby to awkwardly skinny and tall (6’1). I had sad little A-cups that only added to my insecurity, so I wore two push up bras at the same time, which looked ridiculous of course. My attempt to enhance my non-existent boobs with stuffing poking out of my shirt made my body proportions look obviously very weird. At the time, I really wanted to emulate Paris Hilton (who was blessed with D-cups) and bask in my girly pink princess phase. Because, that’s hot.
S When Christm I was ﬁfteen and ha as scho da ol dan a Mea ce and n Girls bough inspire t d dress .
AD AYS FRIES BEFOR E GUYS
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My Pa ris Hil ton p h THAT'S ase, oh m y god HOT!
GIRLS FRIES BEFOR E GUYS
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BA D DAYS
When i ever y used to st raigh day a te nd th ought n my hair it look ed nic e.
FRIES BEFOR E GUYS
“Thank god we have memes nowadays. It proves youʼre not the only one.” Let’s not forget there was also a horrible emo version of myself when I was thirteen years old (thanks to Avril Lavigne). Neon bracelets, anyone? Later when Twilight aired I wanted to look like Kristen Stewart and be that tough, mysterious, grungy girl (side note: I had the emotional stamina of a shrimp). So I dyed my blonde hair black, which was probably the worst hair decision my short life had ever seen. I looked cool, I smoked cigarettes; I was the ultimate grungy babe. That is, until I slipped in the lunch cafeteria in front of everyone. Over a Doc Marten shoelace. A great reminder of who I really was; super clumsy. My new image wasn’t quite credible anymore after that. Looking back at my awkward stages I took a lot of inspiration from movies. When I was fifteen I had a Christmas school dance and I bought a dress inspired by the Mean Girls ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ look. It was furry, red and very short. I didn’t look like myself, which I thought was amazing. Thankfully my mom stopped me there (she was a regular mom, not a cool mom – thank God). That night I had major expectations of the dance, it felt like the biggest event of my life at the time. My mom made me wear an old dress, which was a little too small for me. After two hours of waiting for people to dance, I sat down and ripped the flippin’ dress. Right at my butt. I couldn’t find Noah Centineo either. There goes my high school fantasy. I thought I would die of embarrassment and disappointment. So goes the life of an awkward person. Splendid.
Awkward situations So now we’ve noted that I looked awkward. My behaviour was totally awkward too. Starting with greeting people. My handshakes always went wrong, don’t even get me started on that! That awkward goodbye hug still haunts me in my sleep and a peck on the cheek that ends as a very awkward lip kiss… SHIT! How do other people do this? When you run into someone on the street and sidestep them, but they go in the same direction as you — and you do it seven more times until it ends with under-your-breath, awkward laughter. I also always have sweaty palms (my little sister calls them froggy hands) and I’m always scared to introduce myself by giving people that amphibian hand. Previous boyfriends didn’t feel comfortable holding that sweaty hand, yet I bet Noah Centineo would do it with love.
Shame and vulnerability With awkwardness comes vulnerability. It shows you are human and not perfect. That you’re capable of making mistakes. In this world the most beautiful things seem perfect and by not trying to be that – or striving to be the opposite of that, results from great bravery. Awkwardness is that small window where vulnerability is involuntary: giving up that kind of control can be a challenge, especially when you’re very insecure – which I sometimes still am today. But I am not ashamed anymore of being awkward. I think shame is a weird concept in itself. Children don’t experience shame until they reach a certain age and then suddenly they’re confronted with it. By your teens you’re ashamed of almost everything. You don’t need a rulebook to tell you to feel that way, you just know. Shame is such an integrated concept of modern day society that even young kids feel how it dictates what they can and can’t do.
GIRLS LIKE US
Shame is a way of controlling people who don’t fit in the perfect picture, and I don’t like that idea. Other people shouldn’t make you feel ashamed, even if some people are more sensitive than others. I think people should try to rid themselves of feeling shameful in every day circumstances, especially over little things or being themselves without a filter.
Awkward heroes Even in the kingdom of awkwardness, we have heroes. Think of Bridget Jones. She is my awkwardness spirit animal. Haven’t seen Bridget Jones’ Dairy? GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. Don’t read further, abort mission. She is a great inspiration. I envy her because she always perseveres and doesn’t give up, no matter how awkward or difficult the situation is. And, *spoiler alert*, she ends up fine anyways (hi Mark Darcy, how are ya?). Some wise words about awkwardness come from my forever girl crush Drew Barrymore. She said, ‘Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into a beautiful graceful butterfly that everyone loves.’ I think that’s true. People just have to find their own individuality in their teens and sometimes that can be very awkward and challenging. But, you learn from your mistakes and you grow, and eventually you turn into the most beautiful version of yourself.
“Awkwardness is that small window where you are vulnerable without choosing to do so.”
By Lisa Bakker
''It felt so electric when she touched me there. I couldn't get enough of it.''
an... ere it h g all be W I think it started when I was 15. I started to have feelings for my best friend at the time. We were… how do you call it? In high school, you’ve got different kind of groups you sit with at lunch. You’ve got the pretty girls, who all the boys we liked wanted. The jocks, the nerds. And so on. I guess we were somewhere in-between the freaks and geeks? We had our own clique and were kind of nerdy too. Very well behaved. We didn’t drink and barely got into trouble in the first years of high school. Of course, that changed quickly. My best friend and I hung out a lot. I remember sitting on the ground listening to the distinct way she played her keyboard. I remember how I loved to watch her press her fingers slowly on the keys, making the most beautiful melodies. In those moments, when she would switch to a new song and take a moment to look at me, I was stunned by her beauty. You know how you don’t know if you want to be that pretty girl? Or want to kiss her? I was overcome by that feeling. She was my first love and as a teen I didn’t have anyone around to tell me what this feeling meant. We did not know what was going on. Our bodies were changing. We were feeling this feeling we could not explain. In school, my clique noticed we hung out more than usual. One day one of my friends walked up to me and yelled at me, ‘You’re in love with her, aren’t you?’ She shrieked, 'Everyone! Selena is in love with Ashley!’
GIRLS LIKE US
In that moment, it felt like the whole school was looking at me. Even though now I realize, it must have only been a few kids who overheard. But as a teen, everything feels so much more dramatic. So, it really did feel like I had a million eyes on me while I turned completely bloody red. In that moment, I totally denied it. But every time we hung out, we somehow ended up on her bed, innocently watching our favorite shows. It started as slowly tracing the moles on each other’s back. Secretly tracing the lines of our bras. It felt so electric when she touched me there. I couldn’t get enough of it. Eventually she removed her bra and we went on slowly touching each other. Finally, we exchanged a look. Our lingering gaze ended with me getting on top of her and kissing her softly. My first kiss ever with anyone. Was with her. It felt good. Safe. I was curious about her body. About my own body. I experienced feelings I had never felt before and no one told me what it meant. At that moment, it felt like I was in love with her. The way I was in love with watching her press her fingers on those keys. Making beautiful melodies. You know how every song has a contrasting part that prepares you for the return of the verse? They call it the bridge. Those days I spent more time at her house than at my own. I remember how we would lay on her bed, making out and trying to be quiet knowing her family could walk in at any moment.
We were so electric. But every song has their bridge. So did our melody. As a teen, I couldn’t imagine that you could have this intoxicating feeling of lust. She felt it; the lust. She felt it; the trust we had. Everything was our secret, and so safe at the same time. She didn’t want to break my heart. She said she was afraid to do it and I get that. In your teenage years, the friends you make could be your friends for life. You don’t want to lose them. They don’t understand what they’re doing. And you don’t understand it either. But together you make it through. Our bridge ended with, ‘I’m sorry I don’t love you in that way.’ Our melody was a love song that I sometimes still replay.
"I experienced fee-
lings I had never felt before and no one told me what it meant.”
GIRLS LIKE US
y mind e on m ʼr u o y t tha r strange u neve Isnʼt it hen yo W ? lf e ys touch m when I inside. on the e m d uche even to
You say you have trouble sleeping. I get it. I cannot sleep at night thinking of you not sleeping Beside me.
Please stop. It feels so good.
you. gets e h s f der i id. I won ver d e n I e Caus
I never knew how to heal. I think unconsciously I nev er wanted to. If I could not get your love , Then I would need someon e elseʼs love more than ever. To try to forget that you nev er did love me. I just wanted something I could not get. And there will never be a replacement for that.
What’s the point of forgetting you. When I wrote about us. To remain forever.
Poems by Lisa Bakker
By Emma-Chase Laflamme
GIRLS LIKE US
‘YOU WANT WHAT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY??’ My mom said a little
too loudly, as the heaping spoonful of her diet cereal hovered impatiently by her mouth. ‘Well, we all said we’d get each other one for our sweet sixteen...’ I mumbled into my pancakes. I’m sitting at the kitchen table in my childhood home, arguing with my mother over why I should get a dildo from my friends for my sixteenth birthday. Despite my mom describing the ins and outs of giving a blow job the week before, the idea of me owning a sex toy before I even lost my virginity was far too much for her to handle before her second cup of coffee that morning. I knew I wasn’t going to win this one, so I hiked up my little uniform skirt to a porn-star height, chugged the last few gulps of my green juice, and ran out the door. Teen-dramas and gossip magazines had warned me that sex talks were awkward. I knew this. And despite my mother being incredibly open about how I’d one day prefer a dick over a sprinkle-donut, she never once talked to me about how I may want to learn that on my own first. For a long while, my friends were no help either. Despite Katie’s openness on how she made it to second base at that party last Friday night, she turned the colour of a tomato when I asked her if she had ever watched porn before. I felt like an alien for wanting to talk about the kind of sex that didn’t involve someone else, because clearly, absolutely no one wanted to talk to me about it. At this point, I’m going to be brutally honest with you. Maybe I’ll even make you uncomfortable, since this may be the very first time you’re reading an essay entirely devoted to masturbation. EW! What a dirty word. I mean, society already makes you feel gross
about it, so why not give it the worst sounding word ever? They could have LITERALLY called it anything else. Ugh, such a shame to call one of the funnest things in life something so gross sounding. Anyways, if you ever want to brainstorm a cuter, girlier term for it, slide into my DM’s. Back to what I’m trying to say... Since basically the dawn of time society has shamed girls and women for owning their own sexuality. Although sex-shaming is mostly force-fed to us through media, it’s also engrained in the smallest of everyday interactions: boys always making the sex jokes in school (and getting away with it), moms yelling at their daughters to cover up, and old chubby construction workers who still think whistling at someone will get them laid. Women, especially girls, are constantly being broadcasted the same, ridiculous message: your sexuality does not belong to you. Which, I’m here to tell you, isn’t true. It seems about time, in 2019, that we flip the script. Because I was already fed up as a teenager, when I felt time and time again like my body didn’t even belong to me. And let me tell you, I’m even more fed up now. Why you might ask? Because even though our society has progressed to the point where I can Uber-Eats 46 pieces of fried chicken to my house at 4am, I still have to adhere to the archaic mentality that because I’m a woman I have to keep my sexuality to myself. Which, judging by my track record, I’m terrible at. Even as an awkward 14 year old who had just discovered the kind of magic some alone time with a shower-head could create, I felt this overwhelming sense of shame for what became a very frequent activity. Which only made me want to talk about it more.
So finally, despite feeling like my BFF was about to totally judge me, I spilled the beans about my new affinity for spending excessive alone time in the bath. To my surprise, she jumped in my arms, looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘OMG, I do it too! I sneak into my hot tub late at night to use the jets and tell my parents I’m going for a midnight swim.’ We were both so relieved, not only because we finally weren’t alone, but because talking about this stuff became so much more normal. What could’ve been one of the most awkward conversations of my teenage existence turned into one of the most important talks I’ve ever had. From that point on, the rest of my friends became more open, since my BFF and I started the new ‘girl talk’ trend in our friend group. What once made everyone blush was now just a regular part of lunch table talk, and it felt so good to have a little space in this world to be open about our own sexuality. Now at this point in the story, we’re back to where we started, with why my mom and I were arguing about dildos over breakfast. At some point during my lunch hour at school, one of my friends suggested that we all get each other the same present for our upcoming sweet sixteens that year. I suggested dildos, because we all wanted one, despite the fact that not a single one of us had had sex before. We all liked the idea because it felt rebellious and naughty; thinking back on it now, I realize that we were just a bunch of girls trying to find a way to celebrate our sexuality in any way we knew how. As exciting as this ‘dirty’ idea was, I was also honestly terrified. The only image I had in my head of a dildo at that point was some scary, massive piece of plastic that was hot pink, glowed in the dark, and moved too aggressively for it to look fun. I so badly wanted to be part of the group, but I was also really
questioning whether this was even what I really wanted. Like, how the hell was that thing supposed to fit inside of me anyways? Even though some of my friends had already gotten theirs and started using them, and really liking them, I still wasn’t totally convinced. So once my birthday rolled around, I told my friends that I didn’t want one after all, even though the whole thing was kind of my idea. Everyone was shocked, but oh well, it just didn’t feel right at the time. Even though I said no to the dildo, I was determined to have my say-yesto-the-dress sex toy moment. So I started to do a little research, and "The only image I had I even went in to a in my head of a dildo couple sex shops at that point was some after school, which scary, massive piece of probably looked plastic that was hot pink, quite wrong in my glowed in the dark, and school girl uniform. moved too aggressively It was then that I for it to look fun." was introduced to the concept of a vibrator: aka world’s tiniest life changer. Not only was it small, cute AND baby pink, it also didn’t look scary at all. After going back to the shop a couple times, I finally brought one home and never had to use the bathtub again. A couple of years, and a couple more vibrators later, I finally got my first dildo with my college BFF. We had a romantic Italian dinner together, took cute pics of each other on the busy city sidewalks, and stumbled into a local sex shop after a couple too many glasses of wine. We both bought a matching silicone dildo, hot pink of course, that was still quite small in size but also vibrated. At the end of the night we kissed each other on the cheek, and said goodnight knowing we were both going to bed early to try out our new toys. The whole experience was such a special thing to
GIRLS LIKE US
share with my best friend, it felt almost as important as loosing my virginity, although I ended up waiting longer for the dildo- hahaha. Your sexuality is yours, and as a teen girl it’s not said to you enough. I mean, no one ever said it to me, and I almost lost my virginity to a dildo trying to figure that out (which by the way is also okay, you’re allowed to get to know your own body before someone else does, especially if that’s what feels right for you, it just wasn’t right for me). What I hope is that every girl gets to have a safe space to talk about these things, like I did at my high
school lunch table, and feel like what they’re going through is normal. Talk to your friends, talk to your mom, and OWN your sexuality like the other half of the population has been allowed to. Whether you’re already ready to jump right in and get yourself that glow in the dark magic stick, or feel like you need to start slower, just trust that wherever you’re at with yourself is totally normal and we all go through it. Do whatever is right for you, and don’t waste your time arguing about dildos over breakfast; your pancakes will get cold.
"Was it what I really wanted? Like, how the hell was that thing supposed to ﬁt inside of me anyways? "
BIE BUSINEZZ By Fenna Beeren
GIRLS LIKE US
What�my�biology�teacher�and� orgasms�have�in�common Do you remember your sexual education? Where your fuzzy biology teacher became the number one inappropriate guy to talk to in the entire building? When he tried to be all cool and funny when pulling a condom over this weird plastic penis? Remember that? Kay, cool. ʻCause I don’t. I just don’t remember my sexual education and I ﬁnd that worrying. Apparently, I did all the where-does-this-body-partgo-discovering on my own. After asking some of my classmates from back then, it was in short, just scaring a bunch of teenagers about STD’s and becoming the next MTV teenmom. Where’s the fun in that? In the Netherlands, where I grew up, schools have to talk about sexual education. But that’s the only rule. That’s it. How they do it is totally up to them. Even if they wanna say sex is a bad thing, they can. I mean, for real? Step up your game, schools! I had a little chat with Belle Barbé about this. She’s a sexual educator and owner of Wipsite: a website that teaches you about sex by using abstract drawings so everyone can relate. Sounds cliché, but not one penis/vagina/ nipple looks the same. Learning how to suck, lick and thrust, would’ve totally boosted my confidence during my first time. From her I gained some insight about the average sex education nowadays. Most schools still stick to their own biology teacher and biology, well… teaches you about biology. Its main focus is on our changing bodies. In this sexual revelation boys are being taught about their first ejaculation. Yay! Fun! Sperm and a good feeling. Girls are being taught about menstruation cramps and the choice about vacuuming out your vagina or not. Not so much fun. Barbé says these two moments are treated as equals, which is kinda pathetic. Ever heard of the female orgasm? If you ask me the equivalent would be stimulating the clitoris. Right now, our little bean is treated like that essay you’re supposed to write: wise to look into, but just feels too unimportant to put so much effort into. It seems as if these 50 minutes of awkwardness might just be the base of the twisted idea that us girls should only worry about unwanted pregnancy and boys about their orgasm. As a feminist I’ve got something to say about that.
With that one lesson we are being set apart from boys. Both literally and figuratively speaking. Sex education definitely puts male pleasure first and encourages boys to not worry too much about female discomfort. Like when they get sent out of class when girls get educated about menstruation. That gives off a signal that they don’t even need to know about it. My 20-year-old male roommate absolutely freaked out when my friend and I were discussing that time of the month. It’s gross! While us girls have to deal with dumb-ass stereotypes, boys have to deal with some unreasonable stuff too. There’s this huge testosterone tower they have to live up to. Nothing in the world boys like to lie more about than sex. We can’t deny that locker-room talk and the gender-gap stays if we don’t do something about the culture we let our boys (and girls) grow up in. “Ah man, I totally tapped that ass!” which is followed by several high fives and shame from the boys who haven’t had sex yet. Basically, we teach boys to behave all rough and tough from a very early age. What else can we expect from them but to behave a little selfish to a certain degree? The gendergap is part of our society, not something that’s part of our hormonal package. Since it has it’s (very obvious) effect on sex, maybe we should talk about it a little more often when we grow up. There’s more to making love than just the technical stuff. Which, to be honest, we know quite a big deal about at the age of 15. But clearly, we knew too little about sexual harassment when #metoo got introduced and it was necessary to make a
"Right now, our little bean is treated like that essay youʼre supposed to write: wise to look into, but just feels too unimportant to put so much effort into." consent-condom. Sexual harassment should be part of sexual education. Sex isn’t just sex. It’s also the context it happens in. If calling girls sluts is so common in school culture, we should do something within this culture. But still, we have these norms that guys should take initiative and girls should be submissive. You could say that’s because chivalry isn’t dead, but also because gender rules still exist. Even I wanted my boyfriend to ask me out first (side note: I hit on him first and was the first to say I love you). We need to talk about the orgasm gap, how to say no, respecting no, slutshaming and discovering sex with your partner without pressure. ‘Cause half of the time all this bragging in school hallways is not even true or something that might just not work for you under the sheets. Which brings me to part two of my witchhunt. Some lies are quite obvious and easy to spot, like the aforementioned bragging, but some are just a swipe away. A critical article isn’t truly critical if you haven’t mentioned something about social media’s bad influence. Because of it the age for losing our virginity has gone down. That’s not a bad thing in itself, but Instagram is when it’s because of the huge insecurity it causes concerning our body image. They all say your first time’s gonna be painful, awkward or probably both. But now it’s also affected by false expectations. Bodies of teenage girls don’t look
like those influencers. Even influencers don’t look like influencers. Snapchat filters have actually made people book an appointment at the plastic surgeon to get that teeny tiny jaw. Hellooo!? There’s clearly something disturbing going on here and we need to talk about it asap. So, what do I want then? After spending the last few paragraphs spilling the tea about my biology teacher (who was actually extremely nice). I can’t just leave with a solution. So yeah, sex does have dangers. An itching crotch is quite inconvenient when you want to be a strong independent woman and stuff like that. And yes, of course we should mention everything that’s already being mentioned. But if that’s the only thing we’re gonna discuss during the horror that is puberty, I think we’re not even doing the bare minimum. I need educators talking about context, ethics and the way both male and female bodies work. It might be awkward at first… yet, the less we talk about it, the more we feed the taboo. Looking at myself we can definitely conclude that the standard lesson doesn’t have any effect. So we need to keep the conversation going. Sites like Wipsite (NL) and The Sex Ed (EN) explains how to have sex, what you should keep in mind and without weird body ideals or judgement. If this is too much to ask to talk about, at least reference to these sites so the kids can discover on their own. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
"We need to talk about the orgasm gap, how to say no, respecting no, slutshaming and discovering sex with your partner without pressure."
GIRLS LIKE US
Illustrations by Annelotte-beau Santing
E G A N TEE D R E AM
Let's be honest, before going to highschool we all expected the teenage dream as seen in Highschool Musical, Clueless and other cheesy teenage romcoms. Such little time to enjoy the typical highschool days; eating gross lunch, gossiping while having class and even having a little break to change books. Art direction & Styling : Isabelle Renzenbrink Photography: LoĂŻs De Muynck Models: Djenna Cornelia & Hanna van den Berg
GIRLS LIKE US
GIRLS LIKE US
GIRLS LIKE US
GIRLS LIKE US
DEAR DIARY Stories told by girls for girls. Our writers have written out th eir deepest thoughts and emotions in our Realnezz Diary. This section is m ore focused on mental h ealth, becau se we feel lik e there is not written enou gh about the mental side o f a coming of age phase. We see it as our little safe place, wanna join?
Twinning is winning
By Sarah t'Hart
S l umber part y
Gossiping about boys, eating popcorn, having make-overs, watching movies, having mini performances, eating again because it's cheatday everyday--- duh? Having a slumber party with best friends feels like the safest place on earth. Can we join these girls plz? Art direction & Styling : Isabelle Renzenbrink Photography: Roos Alberts MUAH: Jetty de Wit Models: Margot SaďŹ , Wendel Muller, Lauryn Pontier, Pilar Madimin
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We are not here to teae chY but only to inspire. We o ’ l se want you to acknowled ’se lf o ge Y -Create that you can achieve your wildest dreams and that there is no so such thing as “too crazy”.So this section is focused on ho w to become the best ve rsion of yourself.
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By Esmee de Groot
Currently the mentality within girl groups has changed. From #nohomo to complementing the fuck out of each nother. We as women should all lift each other, because we are amazing creatures and we deserve some positive attention within this male gaze world. Being competitive is a part of human nature; everyone experiences the intense urge to be the best at something at one point in their lives, whether it’s in sports game with your friends when you’re five years old or a board game with your parents at ten years old. For me, it started when I was about twelve years old, and it wasn’t just a shortterm feeling; it stuck with me without fail for seven years. In my case, it wasn’t just because there was a board game I wanted to win, or an exam I wanted to get a better grade on than my classmates (I never really cared about my grades that much anyway). Instead, it originated when I began to notice the changes around me; I was changing, my body was changing, my friends’ bodies were changing, even the way I looked at a lot of things, including myself, was changing. At the time, I wasn’t aware that it was happening, at least not in anyway that I could have done something about it. I think that’s partly because it wasn’t just me, because all the girls around me were experiencing the exact same thing, and they weren’t aware of it either. What happened is that all of a sudden I started feeling this extreme urge to do better than every girl around me. I wanted to look better than them, I wanted people to like me more than they liked other girls, and I wanted to perform better in many different ways. I now know this is toxic, and even though I kind of always felt that, I only started truly realizing this a few years ago. I was extremely jealous of girls around me all the time, even though I tried my best not to show it. A lot of my friends
started gaining weight in puberty, and they started to get curvier. I, however, stayed very skinny, which I didn’t like, mainly because of the nasty comments from boys around me and because they kept comparing me to other girls. Boys in my school did this all the time, to every single girl. If people start comparing you to others, you will eventually start doing it yourself as well, especially if you’re twelve years old. This can really fuck up the way you see yourself, and that’s exactly what happened to me, and it happened to all my girlfriends, and at the time it felt like there was virtually nothing we could do about it. The idea that women have to constantly compete with each other, is one of the innumerable consequences of living in a male-dominated world. Men have been making women compete with each other for ages. And if it wasn’t bad enough that we were constantly competing with each other, with the rise of social media we started competing with strangers on the internet as well. As an insecure fourteen-year-old girl whose friend group was falling apart because of constant rivalry, my self-image grew to be so fucked up. I felt so alone, and at one point I made me really depressed. I never felt good enough for anything or anyone; I always thought everyone else was better than me, prettier than me, and smarter than me. I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to because I had alienated myself from all my friends. Meanwhile, the nasty comments from boys kept coming. I remember one day, these two guys in my high school were
comparing two girls that happened to walk past them, and said ‘I mean, she’s got a really ugly face, but she’s got an amazing body, so if she could suck you off with a bag over her head, that would be amazing,’ followed by, ‘The other one’s got a pretty face, but she has small boobs, so I would definitely not fuck her.’ The girls they were talking about were thirteen years old at the time, and hearing the way these boys spoke about them, I thought, they must think I’m ugly as well. Side note: one of these boys is unemployed, single, and still living with his parents. The other one’s in jail. When I was fifteen, and had two more years of high school to go, I met a lot of new people who seemed to understand me really well. They were very open-minded and had this incredibly positive way of looking at things. One girl in particular always amazed me with her knowledge and her positive vibes. She’s the person who really taught me that we don’t have to compete with each other. She always spoke about other girls in such a positive way, instead of dragging them down. She supported me, and she made me feel like I was worth something again. All of a sudden, I realized that I would be so much happier if I started supporting girls and if they started supporting me too. It’s exhausting to constantly compete with others, every minute of every day. I started feeling so much lighter and happier, and especially more confident. This change didn’t happen overnight: it took me a while before I could completely stop competing. Of course, I still compare myself to others now and then, but now I can tell myself that they’re not better or prettier than me, and I’m not better than them: we are equal. We should all be able to love ourselves and not feel the constant pressure to compete. However, men are still trying to make women compete every single day.
When you notice someone doing this, speak up. Tell them to stop. It happened to me recently: a close (male) friend of mine said something to me at a party, where a girl was wearing the same dress as I was. He said: ‘You look way better in that dress than she does.’ He was trying to compliment me, but I was not having it. If you try to compliment me by dragging other women down, it’s not a compliment. We are not competing with each other. We both look amazing, and you’re making a fool out of yourself. Stop. It. Through all of this, the best thing that has happened is that I eventually reconnected with my old friends. We had all changed a lot, and we started encouraging and supporting each other as much as we could, and we could tell that it was genuine. ‘GIRL, you look HOT!’ ‘Yaaas, flaunt it!’ We scream these things at each other all the time when we’re getting ready for a night out, or just whenever we feel like it. Also, we learnt that a little bit of self-mockery can be fun, if you use it without actually meaning it or making someone feel bad about themselves. Instead, we laugh about it and then compliment the shit out of each other. Of course, I still have some insecurities, I think everyone does. It’s fine as long as you can keep seeing all the amazing things about yourself, and especially as long you can keep loving yourself. Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, with a lot of good friends who I can openly share my insecurities with. We make each other stronger every single day. You should do that, too.
“Teach your girlfriends, teach boys, teach yourself, teach your future daugthers to support girls. We need to stick together. Every singe one of us. Empowered women empower women.”
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Always wanted to become a real boss ass bitch? Our girl Mare de Campos Netto explains us how you can become the ultimate boss ass bitch you always knew you were. Are you ready for a powertalk? Let's gooo.
Deep down we all know some boss ass bitches. For example, Miranda (aka Meryl Streep) in the Devil Wears Prada. Or simply that one girl that you follow on Instagram and you just can't take your eyes off her feed! It's so perfect, it’s almost annoying. For me, and I think for a lot of girls, being a boss ass bitch can have a negative influence. For example, in movies a lot of B.A.B's (Boss Ass Bitches) are cool, have a great style, get everything they want and are respected by everyone. This isn’t always in a positive way, as according to the storylines, the B.A.B tends to take advantage of other people to get what they want, with the help of their overwhelming power. But, hello, we are not in the sixties any more honey, it's fucking two thousand and nineteen, and this typical character trope is old news. Girls and women can be B.A.B’s; it's a whole new term and meaning in this century. In fact, I think every girl has a B.A.B in them, some girls just haven’t figured it out yet. My journey to becoming a B.A.B was a long one, you could say. If I remember it correctly it all started in high school, I was around fourteen or fifteen years old. Back then I had this best friend, or better named, BFF (Best Friend Forever). You know the kind of friendship that just feels unreal. I really thought I had found my soulmate, she was almost just another version of myself. We loved the same things, did the same things and had the same future plans. We were both very creative, her dream was to create movies and mine was to be a photographer. We created so much content together, people could barely see the difference between us anymore. The end of the school year had come and we both passed our exams with the grades we needed. Her score was a bit higher than mine, which meant she could go to a higher level. I had found a school where I could learn everything I wanted to know about photography and they accepted my score, winner! At this point you’re probably thinking, why is she telling this story? And I know, it sounds a bit boring because everything seems to look all perfect, it’s like okay, we get it now. But what happened next is what’s important: my so-called-soulmate found her first love. By the time I had started at my new school, she didn't even notice me anymore. I felt a little stranded, but that wasn't really the worst part. She had chosen herself, so I did too. That was my first B.A.B moment; choosing myself and investing all of my time in my own future. You know how older people always seem to say, 'Hard work pays off' or, 'You won't achieve anything if you don't work for it’? Well, that's true sweetheart, believe me. I felt so lonely during the first year of my new school; I didn't have any friends, my best friend was gone and I didn’t really connect with anyone. Despite all this, there was a spirit in me to create a shit ton of content, since I really didn't have anything else to do. So I learned every tool there was in the world of Adobe (editing program), I did my own photo shoots and made my own mini-magazines. When I look back now on that time of my ‘oh-so-short-life,' I was really just processing the grief of losing my best friend, not physically of course, through art.
At that point, I really felt the B.A.B spirit in me. If somebody in school told me I couldn't do it or make it, I did it and proved them wrong. Not in a rebellious way of course, but it definitely helped me express my voice in various art forms. I was constantly improving my creative skills. I also focused my attention outside of school, on this brand in Amsterdam. I was really impressed by them; they had so many positive influences on young people here in the Dam. So I grew some lady balls and I collected all the B.A.B spirit that I had and decided to reach out to the owner. That’s when a miracle happened: they wanted to start a magazine. They had seen my previous work and were already planning to ask for my help. I remember being so filled with joy; my whole body was shaking and my heart was racing. I was so very proud of myself. At that time I was only fifteen, which is already four years ago. And since then, you could say a lot has happened. I’ve almost survived my three years of school, my exams are around the corner, internships are finished and I can finally say that I'm a real B.A.B. Many girls, nowadays, are struggling with a lot of pressure: from friends, school, love life, social events, Instagram, how they look, etc. I still experience those pressures and fears too. Maybe at this point it's easy for me to be a B.A.B, but becoming one was hard. You have to step out of your comfort zone, and put yourself out there, especially in new things you’ve never experienced before. You, your body and your mind will see and understand that you got this, sis. But also don't forget who you are and what makes you happy.
“You, your body and your mind will see and understand that you got this sis. But also don't forget who you are and what makes you happy.”
For example, look at my story. The relationship I had with my best friend was very toxic for me; we were so similar that we couldn't learn from each other. Sometimes it's hard, but for the sake of your own happiness, you have to end those toxic relationships; in your work life, love life, even in your household. Toxicity can happen anywhere, and when you recognize it, it's all up to you to use your B.A.B power: choose yourself, stand up for yourself. You deserve that job, you worked all your life for it, so own it and make it yours. Trust yourself; you are worth enough to put yourself out there. As a young adult, and especially as a woman, you’ll experience these phases and moments in your life. Sometimes these moments can have a huge impact, but sometimes you’ll look back in a few years and think about them differently. Experiences, changes and learning is what makes you a real Boss Ass Bitch.
By JasmÄłn van der Klei
For a long time I thought that my real life would begin ‘later.’ I envisioned it would begin after I turned 16, or when I got my ﬁrst boyfriend, or when I ﬁnally turned 18, or when I graduated high school, or when I got into university and moved away from my parents. I had all kinds of daydreams about how my life would be and I wanted it to happen ASAP. I was always so eager to ﬁnd out how amazing my life would be in the future - and here we are - reminiscing about how great it actually was to be 17 y/o. . To be fair, I might have forgotten some of the lesser and duller moments of being a 15 to 19 y/o. That's the thing with memories, I tend to make things slightly better in my head. However one thing I do know for sure, when I was younger I constantly wanted to take the next step and go further in life, but right now I just wanna fly away to Neverland with Peter Pan and never grow up. Is that a bad thing? Did I do the whole growing-up thing wrong? At this moment I’m 23 year old. The first four years of my life I had no obligations whatsoever, the only responsibilities I had was eating sand from the sandbox and throwing tantrums in the grocery store. In The Netherlands - when children turn 4 they go to primary school until they are 12 or 13, and so did I. This was eight years of doing multiplications, learning Dutch and English and putting up a poorly executed musical around Christmas. This was where the whole growing-up razzle dazzle begun. Everyone was holding hands for the first time, maybe even snogging a little. My classmates often became ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ for 5 days, just to completely stop talking on the 6th day because that is easier than the break-up talk. Not me though, I never had a boyfriend and that troubled me a lot at the time. Near the end of Dutch primary school some of us got our first period and started to develop in that way. I hated this soooo much! The fact that I wasn’t a child anymore was so hard on me. I always wanted to be mommy’s little girl. So I didn’t tell her I got my period - I just fixed it with some tissues and toilet paper - and I even tried to flatten my boobs. Everything to hide away my new womanly body. However my mom noticed all of this of course - because moms know everything. So I learnt a thing or two and started to accept the arrival of puberty. When I was 12 it was time to start high school, and I was like, okay let’s do this: new school, new me. My high school was a pretty good school, not very large and it felt very safe. Bonus for me, my older brother was a senior there and I thought that was the coolest thing (he did too). During high school, because of hormones and constantly looking up to my friends, I always wanted to take the next step and be ‘more of a grown-up.’ The fact that I hadn’t had a boyfriend or a first kiss until I was 15 drove me insane. When I read back diaries from that period in time, it is literally the only thing I mention page after page. It felt like the most important thing. All my friends had already been kissed and the older I got the more I worried that people would think I was weird, too ugly to kiss or - god forbid - lesbian.
“Because deep down, we all want to be ʻcoolʼ. We all want to be validated, we want to be ʻthat girlʼ.”
At the time it was such a relief when I finally had my first kiss. In hindsight I really don’t get why. All this build-up and worrying just to french with a guy for 5 seconds who clearly just ate a full bag of cheesy onion chips. But at the time it felt like a huge thing, it was like saying to the world that you are open for business (with ‘world’ I mean ‘all the boys from the high school basketball team). Also, the way we dressed. My friends and I would always wear high heels to normal school days. I’m talking peep toe stilettos. We really just wanted to dress like grown woman. I also had this thing when I was 16, that I only wanted to drink dry martinis. Because nothing screams ‘grown, classy woman’ than a teenager, in the local pub, with a dry martini. In high school everyone was sure they would nail university and have a huge career within 6 years accompanied by a love life you would only see in the most romantic of romantic comedies. I’m talking La La Land and Notebook, anything Ryan Gosling. In short, I couldn’t wait for my real, grown-up life to begin. Now here I am, the present day. To be fair, I now have the sweetest boyfriend, and my study, along with the people I’ve gotten to know with it, are cooler than I ever could have imagined. But I stopped wanting to grow up at some point. Maybe it was when I got my first bill for ‘waste taxes.’ Because no-one told me when I was young, that at one point in life I
would have to pay hundreds of euros for my litter to be picked up (which I mostly separate and recycle of course because sea turtles are just so cute.) I can’t imagine that one day I might be too old to be comforted by my mom when I’m sick. I just want her to feed me soup forever. Also, the future is way scarier now than it seemed in high school. The older you get the more you learn about the world and prospects on jobs, loans, housing and all that grown-up stuff. When I have to think about what I’m going to do after I graduate college, I just want to jump into a time machine and go years back so I won’t have to worry about that for a long time. So, a lot has changed in the way I look at growing-up. I don’t feel the hurry anymore - I would actually like to travel back in time. At first I thought this was a bad thing. It felt like I maybe didn’t enjoy my teenage years enough and that was why I didn’t want to get any older. But then I realized that I only miss things that were good. So now, when I feel a bit nostalgic, I see this as a sign that I really did have a lot of great moments and experiences. In a way, I feel like I wanted to grow up too soon and now I feel the real effects. But I learned to be okay with that, because there is no blueprint for how you should develop as a human and the stages you need to go through. During all these years of puberty and adolescence I also learnt how to live my best life and what it means to feel true joy. So I’m just going to continue that for now, as a bit of a Peter Pan version of myself. Lucky for me, bouncers at the club always ask for my ID, so they think I’m 17 anyways.
CREATE YO'SELF “I canʼt imagine that one day I might be too old to go to my mom when Iʼm sick. I just want her to feed me soup forever.”
G H LU A CIND
By Isabelle Renzenbrnk
Instagram has the chance to be detrimental towards our mental health, but only if we allow it to be. We are the ones in control. That means who you follow, what visual narrative and message you allow yourself to consume online. It How did you got into self love? n it always seems so much easier tha actually is donʼt you think? Oh totally!!!!!! I’m very wary of the e in Instagram self love culture, becaus the to une a way we can become imm raw Biggest inspiration? importance of the message. How an Theres a lot of people that inspire me and real it is, and we can feel like creatively and really push me to be my even bigger failure because we can’t I best, but I would actually say that my quite make it to loving ourselves yet. my all e anc ear day to day inspirations are my friends app hated my body and ion and the people around me. How they life. It wasn’t until I started my fash d lise rea I overcome the stresses of life and every- degree at art college that I had day heartaches. They push me to be that something HAD to change!!! tal my best and to keep focusing on what endured eating disorders and men was is truly important. health issues, and my self esteem e ther t tha w kne just I at rock bottom. This . this n What is your motivation in life? What tha had to be more to life self would you like to become? was about 5 years ago, so before lly rea e am My motivation in life is totally faith love and #bodypositivity bec ’s based. To see people restored to God popular. I tried to find people who d and to know their worth and value. journey I related to, and encourage est Such as working with youth, education me, as well as being open and hon was I how to on mental health issues and eating as me with those around elf, disorders. Restoring the planet and struggling to love and nurture mys elf. educating those within my reach via rather than punishing mys social media, about the ethical and h environmental harm of Fast Fast fashWhy do you think self love is suc ion is also a big passion of mine. I am an important topic we need to talk motivated by the fact that to save our about? planets future, we NEED to act now! It’s important because we need to To My goal essentially, is to continue to know that we are ALLOWED to be. res. failu and create, collaborate and educate, and exist. With al of our faults be able to sustain a living from these We are enough!! things! Creative work, like art direction or documentary work is something that I’m increasingly interested in and would love to move into.
Whatʼs your name, age and where are you from? My name is Lucinda Graham, I’m 23 years old and I’m from and live in Belfast Northern Ireland!
What does self love mean to you? Self love means honesty with those around me. It means active steps towards my holistic health. So mentally, physically and spiritually, I’ll be taking active steps to look after myself. To take the time to cook, keep my sleep balanced. Take time out and such. But life doesn’t always hand us a balanced deal. Life gets mad and crazy and hectic and I’m not always the best at getting the balance right. Not everyone has the privilege of taking time out to chill, or the money for the gym or yoga sessions. So for me it’s about listening in to where I’m at and treating my body with as much kindness as I can muster in that season. With self love also comes accepting your own body. How do you feel about the whole body positivity trend nowadays? LEAPS AND BOUNDS. The diversity of online content is amazing. You can find anything and everything that will relate to your circumstance and background or the issues that you struggle with. And if you can’t? Then maybe that’s the space that you have to fill!!! At least that’s what I found anyway with my story. I think that this online diversity gives us the thumbs up, the approval that we are allowed to have our own space and to exist and be. HOWEVER. As this exists online - its a weird line to walk, because you may have a safe place to retreat to online, where you feel safe and understood, but you could be the only person that looks or sounds or takes up space like you do in your workplace, social scene, or even city. So it’s important that we don’t fully rely on these online pockets to sustain us alone, but rather we build ourselves up to be bold in ourselves!!!!!!!
We saw on your Instagram that you also post to create awareness about feeling happy in your own skin, is this something you feel like your Instagram could be a platform for? Oh yes absolutely!!!! I’ve always always wanted my Instagram page to be a safe space. Some profiles you come across, and almost instantly, you feel inferior, poor quality, not good enough. There’s something in people’s personas that comes across when they want you to envy them. I don’t want you to envy me. Just experience me and my journey. I’ve experienced a lot of health problems in my time, including eczema, psoriasis, IBS, food intolerances, as well as being physically disabled as a child. A lot of these bodily issues still take a toll on my confidence. But if I can bring comfort and solidarity to others in sharing my skin issues, then I think that it’s worth it!! To display the sheer JOY that being yourself can bring!!!!! How do you deal with the hate that comes along with it? I’m very lucky to not experience a lot of hate, because my page is so supportive. However you do experience the odd rogue comment about you being ‘too masculine’ ‘too fat’, ugly or whatever. It’s hard but you just have to remember that they must be hurting somehow to want to hurt other people so much!
What is the most important thing you want people to think twice about? Think twice about people who are on the periphery. Loners, outsiders, people who struggle socially. We live in such an elitist world but we all need community. Not just because someone is cool or aesthetic, but we all need to be seen or known. So no matter how busy your life is, take the time to make people around you feel loved and blessed! When was the moment you truly accepted and loved yourself? And how did it go? It was really a gradual process!!!!! It definitely did not take place over night. There’s still times that I feel really low, and my people around me need to remind me of who I am!!!! Probably especially this past two years, I’ve really discovered how to just BE and exist in a place where I love myself! It comes with time and repetition. Do you have any tips for all the girls on how they can take steps to love and accept themselves? Start rewriting your thought processes. A little bit every day!!! If you could write something for your younger self, what would you say? Go easy on yourself!!! You are worth so much more than you ever know!!! Own yourself. Work every line and dimple and fat roll and eczema scar because there will never be another you!!!
“I tried to ﬁnd people whoʼs journey I related to, and encouraged me, as well as being open and honest with those around me as to how I was struggling to love and nurture myself, rather than punishing myself.” 75
r y e o v u e n r g Fo
Why do we have to grow up so fast? When feeling like a child can be more fun, like A LOT more fun. We feel so much pressure to act mature and grown up, well can we just not? Ain't nobody got time for that guuurl. Art direction & Styling : Isabelle Renzenbrink Photography: Nisa Lavin MUAH: Rosalie Hendriks
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Realnezz is an independent teen magazine focused on the coming of age phase, where we zoom in on the mental process behind growing up. A gra...
Published on Jul 2, 2019
Realnezz is an independent teen magazine focused on the coming of age phase, where we zoom in on the mental process behind growing up. A gra...