THE ARMOR ISSUE
t a k e a t a k e a t a k e a taaaakkkkeeee aaaa t t t t a k e a t a k e a t a k e a t a k e a t a k e a t a k e a t a k e a taaaakkkkeeee aaaa t t t taaaaakkkkkeeeee aaaaa aakkkkkkeeeeee aaaaaa kk ee aa 57 Rosie Was Raised by Racism
29 What’s happening to the haven that is the Tumblr Fashion Community?
What Paganism offered to a teenage witch that Christianity couldn’t
Ask the Industry with an activist, a top model, and a CEO and more
8 Featured: young artists who can alter the art world through their own self
D E A R R E A D E R S
fight all day, r generation. Rebel and ou for nior year and when you get home, write it down. The One day during my ju getting world will be scary but our communication of high school, I was . l school and education can be resistance al sm y m r fo ed w ie rv inte ves Teen Eye has committed to raising Li ue Bl e th on er newspap ts of as d printing the though an up PASSIONATE, Matter movement. any UNCENSORED, m st the sentiment. ACTIVIST TEENAGERS as we can fit into Shocker: I was firmly again e -- my town’s fire an outline. Téa, Clara, and I have spent th The situation was this ble di e movement’s flag past months working with an incre department had put th s, suggested I go easy group of artists, activists, and powerhouse up. A peer of mine had h ering I lived in a all nineteen years old or younger (so muc id ns co e, ns po res y m in to g in the force. They so that we took several extra months town full of those servin keable Activist, so figure out how to best display them all!) suggested I should be a Li ss. Ultimately, my on of little I could get my point acro This is the culminati I ly, est on “h th wi d s a rte answer in the paper sta t growing bigger. Here’ en rm we po . em etc , on d an nt on ing the Nipple at think it’s bullshit” and I we firsthand guide to Free situation up for winter protests. Here’s intimate stories is th g in br I on as re e Th ing e 6th one Teen Eye describing chronic illnesses and stand our ARMOR ISSUE, th s, is because labels out in school; here's embracing rap, hijab Magazine has released, e th never know which and paganism. Here's interviews with are swarming up, and I p a nice feminist... Is fleekiest of the teen Instagram makeu to swallow. Should I be re gain respect… Am artists that always pop up on your explo it better to provoke or ly d, if so, how many page. Here's an editorial by the tru I a student primarily an ld follow? How brillant 17 year old photogapher Sophia hyphenated labels shou e up? What am I Wilson (and yours truly) playing with much space should I tak ification of protest. high fashion's commod entitled to? ts of ic and poems and chan us m m e th tea s e re’ Ey He en Te at otions. Armor, the team here . survival that let us process hard em zz bu e th pe ca es to y wa has decided, is our e nd skeleton (one Keep regenerating your power, Teen Ey It can be both our seco steel and the softer readers. Soak in stories. It’s that we craft) made of entation alone and normal to fall back but let’s flesh covering it. It’s pres at parties. It’s the keep pushing forward at every presentation at school, outfit for a protest. end. way you pick out your iform before you It’s the tightening of a un It’s routine, but it’s head to a sports game. n, if we share these not banal. And, in tensio werment & get to little patterns of self empo , community wise, other groups, town wise mething powerful nationwide, we can do so
Em Odesser, Editor in che if
Meet the teens who helped make it happen. Whe from a fire-b
Sophia Wilson is a NYC-based fashion photographer. She has been shooting for 4 years and sources her inspiration from everything around her-- from her neighborhood to global injustices. Find her work at sophiawilson.nyc and @phiawilson on IG. "I'd save a box of neapolitan style pizza."
Kyle Caruthers, 17
Kyle is a photographer. For him, home is wherever any idea or way of living is welcome (or more realistically, South Jersey at the moment.) "I would probably defend virtually anything I hold close to heart, rather it be a living being, or even simply an inanimate object that meant a lot to me. Usually I’m one to risk myself instead of others."
Logan Klutse (17), Sydney Johnson (17) Get It Right
Sydney and Logan are rising seniors from, respectively, New Jersey and Colorado. They met at the New England Young Writers' Conference and set out to illustrate some of the common microaggressions directed at people of color, specifically with regard to those who are mixed. "Nothing! As soon as we see a dragon we're out of there."
Image by Siobhan Brennan, 18, she/her/hers
ere they're from, what they do, and what they'd defend breathing dragon.
Soukay Cissé Mbaye, 17
Defend Planned Parenthood
Soukay Cissé Mbaye is an artist in all senses of the word. She plays violin, piano, drums and guitar, writes songs and sings. She also tap dances, serves as president of Urban connection at her highschool, and sketches and paints. She is an activist no matter which context she is in. "I'd defend Social Justice"
Larissa Dubrowsky-Ryan, 19
Larissa Dubrowsky-Ryan, 19, is from a little place called Adelaide in Australia. She is currently taking a gap-year before heading to University next year to study Creative Writing and Literature. "I’d love to think I would charge towards it in true Jaime Lannister fashion, but given that my ‘fight or flight’ instinct tells me to run in most situations, I’m not sure how accurate that would be."
Sarah Kadous, 15
Sarah Kadous is a 15 year old activist and author from San Diego, California, USA. "I'd defend the resilience of the princess that will slay him."
Omanshi Sabharwal, 16 Be Your True Armor
Omanshi (she/her) is a poet and illustrator based in Noida, India. "I would defend my makeup box from dragons. Let's be honest, everyone loves their makeup."
Lauren Cho, 16
Rosie Was Raised by Racism
Lauren Cho is a writer, blogger, and poet based in New York. When she is not writing, she enjoys creating aesthetic lists in her journal, collecting socks and mugs, and shopping for used books. "I would defend my manuscript, which is strictly handwritten in black pen."
Jao San Pedro, 18 Taking Shape
Jao San Pedro is the creator of Cool Girl Studiosâ„˘ and a visual artist and fashion student in the Philippines. "I'd defend myself !"
Caitlyn de Groot, 19 Taking Shape
Caitlyn is based in Toronto, but is continuing her travels for modelling and currently working in Japan for the second time. At 19, she is excited to have her first ever published written/illustrated piece in Teen Eye during her final year as a teenager. "I'd defend my mock Juicy Couture sweatshirt -- it's polyester and highly flammable."
Maya Rigby, 17 Teens Taking Over
Maya Rigby is a blogger and artist from Salt Lake City, Utah. "I'd defend my two cats!"
Griffin Joerger, 14
Made-up, but Not Pretend
Griffin Joerger is a gay 10th grader based in Hastings on Hudson. He enjoys serving lewks and experimenting with different makeup techniques. "I'd defend my sickening glow."
Clara Joy Radical Chic
Clara Joy is a recording artist based in New York City. At 17 she has released four albums and has been surrounded by contemporary art since childhood. "I'd try to tell it a joke to make it laugh, then walk away slowly."
Carson Gartner, 19
Why does fashion capitalize on Feminism?
Carson lives in New York City, where she studies the modern connotations & consequences of femininity at the Gallatin school at NYU and occasionally works as a model. "I'd definitely run and find a cave to hide in. Dragons are not to be messed with."
Rachel Taylor The Binding
Rachel Taylor, 18, is from Bellingham, Washington. "Iâ€™d rather let the dragon crisp whatever heteronormative prince comes to rescue the maiden and befriend the dragon to defend myself from political overthrow. And also teach the maiden some self defense skills. And if she already knows those, Iâ€™d rather just ask her out to tea.
Alula Hunsen, 17
Rap. Reinvention. Revolution.
Alula Hunsen lives in the present but his parents live in Ohio. "I would defend from a fire breathing dragon Pete Rock's record collection: I'd hate to see that sample collection burn into a noxious pile of plastic--it'd be terrible for the environment."
E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s 0010 E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s E d i t o r s Eddd diiiittttoo o r s E d i t o r s o r s r s r s d i t o r s ddiiiitittttooooorrrrrsssss ittttoooorrrrssss toooorrrrssss o r s o r s orrrrssss rrssss
Em Odesser, 17 EDITOR IN CHEIF
Seventeen year old New York native Em Odesser has been a teen for most of her life and feels very strongly about guaranteeing the accurate representation of her generation. She joined the Teen Eye team at itâ€™s 2014 inception as the fashion editor, citing Tina Weymouth as her main influence, and wants more than anything to have a worldwide matriarchy where no one makes Lolita jokes and everyone understands the huge range of talents that teenagers worldwide have always possessed.
Clara Scott, 18 CULTURE EDITOR
Clara Scott is an eighteen year old college student in the Midwest with a passionate interest in culture and all that comes with it. Clara has always been committed to following the ripple effect that culture creates in modern society. The rich culture and history of her home in the Detroit area began this passion, and it has grown into a full-blown pursuit to share culture with the world. Her work with Teen Eye focuses on highlighting the experiences of diverse youth while giving them a platform to use their editorial voice in an encouraging environment of free thought.
Sophia Hall, 18 DESIGNER
Sophia is an 18 year old artist and designer from Bellingham, Washington. In her work, she seeks to examine the past and learn, expand, and grow from it. She currently attends Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.
Tea Lindsey, 18 ART EDITOR
TĂŠa Lindsey is an eighteen year old college student in love with art, creation and challenging the status quo. She has a drive to innovate, and often pulls inspiration from the spirit of her generation to do so. As someone who overflows with passion, putting it to good use is her life mission. It is with activism, innovation and little bit of badbitchery, she hopes to accomplish this. Her divergent thinking, combined with that of her peers, is a force to be reckoned with.
Ramisha Sattar, 18 FEATURED ILLUSTRATOR
Ramisha Sattar is an artist from Dallas, TX! She is currently a freshman in college! She loves all types of art, from film, fashion, painting, embroidery, and music! Ramisha loves to use art to speak out on many different issues surrounding equality! Her artwork supports people of any race, gender, sexual orientation or religion!!
0012 Furqan Mohammed, 15 WEB TEAM
Born and raised in Toronto, fifteen year old Furqan Mohamed has the big city experience, and as the teen daughter of two immigrants sheâ€™s had her fair share of culture and the clashes that come with it. Having identities that cross multiple intersections, things can get hectic, which in turn makes for beautiful art and word play. Her favourite mediums are poetry and prose, using them to explain her views on beauty, feminism, love, politics, and religion. Inside the occasional rant and composed essay, she looks for inspiration from other powerful women and the world around her.
Nyah Hardmon, 16 WEB TEAM
Sixteen year old Nyah Hardmon spends most of her time writing her heart out. She's an avid fan of the arts and resides in Miami, Fl where she has fallen in love with the melting pot of cultures. She users her online platforms to voice her countless opinions on anything from social justice to fashion week. An aspiring journalist, Nyah has learned the value of screaming whatâ€™s important to you from the rooftops, and continues to make sure her perspective along with the voices of the unheard are accounted for.
Sarah Issever, 17 SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
Growing up a Turko-Japanese woman in New York City taught Sarah Issever the value of culture and identity. This curiosity for self and surrounding bled into her writing as a poet, and into her everyday life as someone with an appreciation for style and design. Sarah wishes to intertwine culture into all her passions, and hopes that someday her work may speak to somebody elseâ€™s identity, as well.
Jessie Gilles, 18 SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
Eighteen year old Jessie Gilles is a bay-area native and has lived on the outskirts of San Francisco for her whole life. Her passions include drawing, playing music, taking pictures of everything from the sentimental to the mundane, and fighting against fascist institutions. Now, by moving to New York City this year, she is pursuing her artistic dreams and expressing herself using the sidewalk as a runway for her eccentric wardrobe while also making a difference with her art. Above all of hopes and dreams, she wants to be a catalyst for change, by any means necessary.
P R E F A C E Artists take the shape of many things. An inventor, a poet, a philosopher, an activist. A photographer is a storyteller with their compositions. A poet is a painter with a verbal medium. They fabricate elaborate productions, giving insight into their realities (and fantasies,) that are nevertheless a piece of themselves. No matter the age of an artist, they will always play this existential game of dress up. Their titles will constantly change. Because of this, having a strong sense of self is essential to being an artist. Who are you at the core of your being? Once you know the answer to this, what you present on the outside is subsequent. Artists tend to pull from both of these parts, their internal and external selves, for inspiration. When art is created, it comes with a sliver of the artist; their soul, their personality, their message, their mask, their armor. It is both who they are and what they project that you, the audience, sees. The way I see it, it is our external that represents our internal. We use our external selves as a decoration, a statement, an act of resistance. For must of us, our internal selves stay -- you guessed it -- inside. When we display the external selves through our art, it is an act of expression. And when we share our internal selves- it is an act of courage. Iâ€™d like to thank this issueâ€™s contributing artists for their acts of courage.
T E A
L I N D S E Y
FF E EA ATT U UR RE ED D P PO OE EM M SS
d e s i a R s a W e i Ros m s i c a R by Lauren Cho, 16, she/her/hers
On the first day of kindergarten, as Rosie skipped to school, Racism told her, “If anyone asks where you’re from, say China. It’s easier.” Rosie frowned. Racism adopted Rosie (“for government benefits”) from Korea, not China. They were two separate countries, but Racism said it was good at making things simpler by combining them. When Rosie was nine, she was playing on the swings when a boy ran up to her. “Do you want to play with me?” She asked, and the boy laughed. It was not the kind of giggle her friends had when she told a funny joke. He wore a hyena smile and hyena eyes. They were wild with glee. He looked like he was about to burst with happiness as soon as his mouth opened. He stuck out his tongue and used his fingers to make his eyes droopy and thin. “Fish eyes!” He cried, then ran off. Racism shrugged when Rosie told Racism what he had done. “Things like that happen. Do you want plastic surgery on your eyes next year for your birthday?”
When Rosie was twelve, she went to the movies with her friends. They stopped at the supermarket because the candy was cheaper than at the movie theater. She was chatting with the cashier when the girl behind them muttered, “Chinese people, always so stingy. They have ugly accents too.” Rosie nearly dropped her bag of Tootsie Rolls. There was anger inside of her, but it was overrun by shame. She was confused on whether she should scream or apologize to the girl. In the end, she said nothing. Racism always said the best thing to do was to ignore.
When Rosie was seventeen, her best friend asked her to prom with a sign that said, “Cho Chang, will you be my date to the Yule Ball?” Rosie was confused. Cho Chang was the only Asian characters in the series but also had one of the fewest lines. Cho Chang was Harry Potter’s love interest but never his friend. Cho Chang flirted with Harry but was dating Cedric Diggory. Cho Chang was only meant to be Cedric’s arm candy to the Yule Ball. Cho Chang was only an object. Was Rosie just an object? On the other hand, Racism was delighted. “I just saw a dress at the department store. It’s red. We should go check it out.” When Rosie turned 21, she went to a bar for the first time. She was wearing a blue tank and her favorite black mini skirt. A man came up from behind and squeezed her, hard. Rosie jumped and slapped his hand away. Surprised, he put them up in the air, but then swayed to make it look like he was dancing all along. “Sorry, I have a thing for Asian girls. You people are exotic.” Rosie spent the rest of the night crying in a bathroom stall.
020 Rosie joined her college’s Asian Culture club the day after. She met plenty of people who were also raised by Racism. Racism was stealthy. It had many different appearances and had many different names.
Rosie had never hated anyone more than Racism. Racism pushed her down every hill she came across and stepped on her at the bottom. It made her ask if every choice was “too Asian” or “trying too hard to be white”. Racism made her feel like she was less than what she was worth. Racism was never able to give her the affirmation she so badly needed. It had taken Rosie much too long to realize that Racism was wrong. She was not subhuman. She was worthy of being loved by everyone who was worthy of loving her. Rosie watched with a hardened shell as her weakness bloomed into strength.
When Rosie graduated from school, she ran up to Racism, looked it in the eye and said, "Racism, I do not belong to you. I am not scared of you anymore.â€?
022 016 protect me, mini skirt armor when he tells me i’m “not like the other girls” know me, mini skirt armor when they call me a dyke. guide me, mini skirt armor when i’m eroded raw. cover me, mini skirt armor when my chest is illegal contraband. shield me, mini skirt armor when roadside whistle sounds. save me, mini skirt armor when you’re all that’s left. Jessie Gilles, 18 she/her/hers
t h g i R Get it
Sydney Johnson, 17, she/her/hers Logan Klutse, 17, he/him/his
‘The dark mocha girl sat there, drinking a Starbucks coffee as brown as her skin. The moonlight smoothrose ivory tinged boy watched her. I could drink her like chocolate syrup, he thought.’ I am mixed.
What kind of a description is that?
Son of a bitch? More like son of a slave, I’m shook, Salty, Strung out. I once heard a girl describe her boyfriend as a Kit Kat Like melanin is a knick knack Like tic tacs found at a store. Once, a girl called me “fat” lips Hundreds, Even thousands of dollars, To get those beautiful Kylie Jenner lips. I once watched a movie where a man kissed another man at a party And the lighter one said to the darker one “I could eat you like a Hershey’s” Like he was something exotic To be tasted To be conquered To be colonized. It almost sounds like cannibalism But for that you’d have to consider me human first. Now because a white girl made of plastic made it popular, I’m beautiful. Sorry I don’t fit in your cookie cutter concept of beauty. Bantus are twisted bun buns, Cornrows are boxer braids, Authentic robes are “printed t shirt dresses”.
024 How dare you bully me for my culture,
Call me too white, then steal from me years later.
When were we first called exotic? I guess everything seems foreign when you’re living on stolen land. The same people who call me exotic, are the ones who told me to put relaxer in my hair. When did we become a product in America’s import/export trade? Columbian exchange, Maybe that’s why I’m always stopped at customs. Because Jefferson couldn’t get enough pasty sex of his own, He sold and raped, Women of whips who couldn’t say no. He’s still a Founding Father though?
Get it right.
You know, If you’re going to compare me to food,
I’m not cheap chocolate, I’m not an Oreo, I’m not a bird of paradise, I’m not a tiger in Maine, I’m not exotic.
Get it right.
Get it right.
I’m not a $2 Hershey’s Bar I am a Luxor truffle confection German chocolate and African cacao mixed to perfection
Get it right.
I’m not a cheap dollar store Oreo, With blue, thin, plastic wrappers, Contained in a clear rigid box. Get it right. I’m not found in a gas station or corner store I’ve waited four hundred years to be something more Black men aren’t a commodity To make your mixed kid dream a reality
Get it right.
Bleach my skin like MJ, Cut my broad nose, Get me my blonde and blue eyed, light skinned baby, My fetished skin color.
Get it right.
I’m not a midnight snack I am a luxury I am treasure wreathed in gold leaf Get it right. I am not a McDonald’s treat in a cone, A twist of vanilla and chocolate, I am fresh Italian gelato Expensive and rich in flavor.
Get it right
I am not your food Don’t try me because I’m not a free sample. Not free like my people in Africa. Food reminds me of lunches spent alone When the only person who would talk to me would be the black security guard ln a white town, surrounded by white tables, white trays, white beliefs. Food reminds me of my life I’ve always been in supply Yet I’ve never been demanded until I’m ripe enough. Ripe enough to be used for cheesy smiles on diverse college campus pictures. My only use is for university government funding. Dark enough to be exotic for white women but light enough not to make them clasp their purse tighter in the elevator. Segregation was only declared illegal 53 years ago. Yet time rewinds when you call us “chocolate delight” I can still feel last century’s spite.
Get it right.
FEAT URED ART 026
CARUTHE CARUTHER “what always fascinated me about a group of people wearing unified clothing was always the fact that they all bled through as one”
030 â€œwhile my friends may come from different backgrounds of ethnicity and sexuality, they are always able to stick together as allies. presenting
a muse-like physique that influences me everyday, i know i can always count on my friends as an emotional shield and learning platform on social issuesâ€?
SA SAN “what always fascinated me about a group of people wearing unified clothing was always the fact that they all bled through as one”
AN PEDRO N PEDRO
D E N N O A O L H P T N E R PA
d n e f e d
Soukay Cissé Mbaye, 17, she/her/hers
Editors note: I met Soukay and her friend, Carly, at a Defend Planned Parenthood protest. They were standing right in front of the stage in open windbreakers, excitedly Freeing The Nip and offering tape to anyone who was interested and posing for a veritable swarm of photographers. After they helped me get my own tape on, they started dancing along to the protest music and flipping off Tr*mp paper mache statues. I was impressed. By the time they started picking up ice off the February ground to apply feminist temporary tattoos, I was in awe. We swapped emails, and here's the story now in Soukay's own words.
efending Planned Parenthood was one of the most riveting experiences I’ve had this whole year. From meeting up in Grand Central to go shirtless (in the freezing cold), wearing strips of black censor tape over the parts of my anatomy deemed inappropriate by society; to being featured on Dazed magazine’s Instagram story, Planned Parenthood’s Snapchat story and many other
photographers’ social media, making myself so vulnerable to the public and taking charge of my body was the most empowering experience that went above and beyond my expectations.
When my friend and I first walked through a huge crowd of people surrounding a stage, we nudged our way all the way up to the front, using the skills we’d acquired from many music festivals and concerts. There was an array of entertainers and speakers; from Daily Show co-creator Liz Winstead, and “The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler, to a French techno shredder singing a song called Ne Touche Pas (which means Don’t touch in French). The speakers were profound and inspiring, speaking on their personal experiences with Planned Parenthood and the life changing services they’ve been provided with for years (cancer screenings, abortions, birth control, Plan B and much more). The majority of the speakers stressed how a personal and medical choice pertaining to a woman’s life and body, should not be placed in the tiny hands of a rich, white, pussy-grab-
Soukay, Carly Photo via Planned Pa
Matsui (17), and Em arenthood Snapchat Teen Eye
bing male. It should be a personal, individual choice. The speakers ranged from college students to 70 year olds; addressing sex, promiscuity, morals, roles, hard life decisions, and the American societal taboos associated with these topics; especially in regards to women. For much too long we’ve been told what to wear, how much skin to show, what we can and can’t do with our bodies, and what we should do to fit into the suffocating, and restrictive American beauty standards. What if we say no? What if we put our foot down and say “I am good enough. I am a woman, and however I chose to present myself to the world is woman enough.”What if we say “No, you actually can’t tell me that my body is inappropriate or sexualize it, or control what goes inside of it.”
What if we say no? What if we put our foot down and say “I am good enough. I am a woman, and however I chose to present myself to the world is woman enough?” We all have skin. Why shouldn’t I, a young woman, be able to show mine?
Everyday I relish in my freedoms. One of my favorites being the freedom to express myself; whether it be through makeup, clothing, music or words.. but when I’m constantly reminded of the limitations on my freedoms of expression in an American society; due its crippling beauty standards (i.e if you wear a short skirt, you’re a slut; long skirt, you’re a prude; too skinny, you’re flat; too big, you’re fat; too much makeup, you’re insecure; no makeup, you’re immature; if you’re deemed unattractive, you won’t get the time of day; if you’re attractive, they’ll assume you don’t have a brain etc....) I find that those limitations clip my wings and put me in a box. A box where all the underestimated lay. Where all the people who were told they were incapable, less than, or not good enough, struggle to escape. I work hard and try to put my best foot forward in everything I do. When I pick something up, whether it be an instrument, a hobby, a new skill etc.. I don’t stop until I excel at it. My horizons expand to the ends of this earth and I will no longer be put in a box. This culture war isn’t going anywhere until women’s rights to their own body and lifestyle are restored. ◀
A TIMELINE OF MODEL ACTIVISTS
Images and words by Caitlyn de Groot, 19, she/her/hers
he fashion industry of today is constantly adjusting to utilize the everbearing power of social media, and it has indeed come with a set of unanticipated challenges for brands, designers and aspiring models alike. This focus on followers has created a new pressure to pander to the hive mind of Instagram in order to gain exposure- which oftentimes leads to sacrificing artistic integrity. It is important, however, to note the opportunities this has created for those pursuing careers in fashion -- an industry often interpreted as superficial -- who also wish to make a more tangible societal change.
As a model, myself, I have always looked up to the those who have gone on to use their platforms and accumulated knowledge that their careers have granted them, to invest work and time into a cause that truly matters to them. Until recently though, I was under the impression that models had to wait until they were very highly established after working quietly for at least a decade in order to be listened to and taken seriously when it comes to discussing real issues. This is one career aspect that social media has definitely changed for the better. Whether or not you have a large following, you have by default a
Beverly Johnson A true pioneer of change within the industry, Johnson’s career landmark was when she appeared, as the first person of colour on the cover of Vogue US in 1974: after eight decades of publications. Without any models like her to look up to, she persevered despite unusual and unfair treatment throughout her whole career without a clear path to follow. She reports that during that time, professional photographers, hair
stylists and makeup artists were not expected and made virtually no effort to learn how to apply their skills to black models. Sadly, many models of colour like Jourdan Dunn and Maria Borges have spoken out on this still being a problem. White hairdressers were confused by the discovery of her hair’s texture and camera film’s colour spectrum had to be adjusted in order to capture her true colour.
1970s Johnson’s hard work paid off and her milestone had a major impact on racial representation in the US. She says that now over 40 years later, she is still regularly approached by other black women who remember her cover and stress how much it changed their lives, as well as the importance of being able to identify with and recognize yourself in mainstream media.
voice and a platform once you log on. No matter who you are, you are almost totally free to use them to draw attention to anything you deem worthy, and collaborate with others who share similar ambitions. This is an especially valuable tool for models, as we see the lines between our professional in-
dustry becoming blurred with Instagram. Many of the currently working models I look to for inspiration are taking advantage of this and are known for their charitable work after a much shorter time in the business. To recognize their efforts as well as investigate the issues they are working to change, here is a list
Christy Turlington Perhaps now as well-known for her past and present philanthropy as she is for her legendary 90s Supermodel status (which is saying a lot), Turlington has dedicated herself to a variety of humanitarian and health causes. In addition to being an anti-smoking advocate, and an ambassador for Product Red, Turlington devotes her efforts to make quality care for maternal health accessible for women after she herself experienced a medical complication after her own daughter’s childbirth in 2003. This was the catalyst for her pursuit of a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. By 2005, she began her work as CARE’s spokeswoman-ship for maternal health. In 2010, she made
the documentary No Woman, No Cry. The film highlighted personal stories of women in Tanzania, Bangladesh, central Florida, and Guatemala who suffered -- in some cases, fatal -- effects of a lack of access to necessary treatment. After an eager response from her viewers, Turlington launched her non-profit organization, Every Mother Counts, which both fundraises to support maternal health programs in Haiti, Indonesia, Malawi, Uganda, and the US, and informs the general public about the harrowing statistics it strives to improve. Although Turlington reached her level of celebrity decades ago during the peak of her modelling career, the results of her humanitarian aid continues to grow and stay relevant. It is interesting to note as well how
The first name that leapt to mind when I was thought of which figures’ work I would write about and quite possibly the most famous supermodel of all time, this ‘90s icon has used her stardom to found and represent her own reputable organizations. Campbell established Fashion for Relief in 2005 to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans via a semi-annual fashion show. Fashion for Relief has since been held to aid in relief for various other recent crises including the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the West African Ebola virus epidemic. Also in 2005, Campbell campaigned to fight poverty alongside then-President of Brazil Luiz
she uses social media as an efficient tool for informing the public. Upon visiting the official organization website: everymothercounts.org, you are instantly presented with an informative video for her #OrangeRose campaign that of course promotes the importance of all kinds of support for women during pregnancy and with childcare.
Inacio Lula da Silva, selling “We love Brazil” T-shirts to support local artisans while the profits went towards Brazilian children’s charities. Campbell has supported thirteen other charities for causes including AIDS/HIV, Cancer, accessible education, environmental issues, and women’s health. Her wildly successful career alone is no small feat considering the rare representation of black models before her time. While diversity remains a major issue in the modelling industry, she has without a doubt helped fight for recognition of models of colour, and inspire them to persist despite the unfair challenges they are presented with (see The Face, season 2).
of models from various fashion eras who have been renowned for their humanitarian work.◀
1990s Alek Wek
Hailed for her game-changing stature, this South Sudanese-British model is widely known for her role in working to diversify the fashion industry’s beauty standards as well as her human rights activism today. After the outbreak of the Sudanese civil war in 1982, Wek and her family suffered many hardships and separations in the process of fleeing their hometown. It wasn’t until 1991 that she was accepted to live in England under refugee status. Wek’s cWWareer as a model took flight soon after being scouted at the age of 18 in 1995. Due to the blatant scarcity of black models during this era, Wek’s distinctive features, skin colour, hair, and presence on the runways alone was enough to start a muchneeded conversation about the importance of equal ethnic representation in fashion. One of her most memorable moments is
from the Betsey Johnson FW/98 show: Wek walked out, styled in a long, blonde, straight wig which she removed at the end of the runway and threw into the audience. This statement resonated with many as an act of rebellion against the commonplace eurocentric perception of beauty (a sentiment expressed by Teen Eye contributor Ugochi Egonu in issue 5). Apart from her modelling career, Wek recalls her own experiences as a refugee to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan as a member of the US Committee for Refugees’ Advisory Council, and a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Additionally, she is a spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders and the H&M Conscious Foundation, a missionary for World Vision and a UNICEF volunteer.
2010s Adwoa Aboah
Winner of the “Breakout Star” and runner up “Humanitarian” industry-voted 2016 rankings on Models.com, industry newcomer Aboah has been quick to use her social media following to shed light on voices of young women fighting for equality, as well as her own. Inspired by her past experiences with depression and drug addiction (which she openly discusses in a video for SyleLikeU’s The What’s Underneath Project), she has founded the online platform Gurls Talk to provide a safe space where women are encouraged to be vulnerable and talk about their feelings without fear of judgment. With this project, she aims to remove the pressure to convey a false “everything is fine” image she felt during her most difficult times and that made her feel so isolated. It was the support of other women in her life who helped Aboah overcome such a dark period, which is what led her to realize how crucial such
a resource is for those in need. resented with the slogan “LETS GET GURLS TALKING”, the foundation focuses its online presence on its official website (gurlstalk.com) as well as an Instagram account (@gurlstalk) with 92.6 thousand followers and counting. Visitors of the website are immediately presented with creative think-pieces, articles, artwork, graphics
and videos -- all focused on showcasing expression from a diverse variety of women, as well as a page where they can inquire advice from their team including a psychologist. Having only been launched in 2015, Gurls Talk is a fast-growing entity still is its early stages with plans to develop into a fully established charity.
Hanne Gaby Odiele
2000s Already admired for her eccentric street style and resilience as a model even after a serious injury in 2006, Odiele is now shifting her focus to represent and advocate for the rights of intersex people. She came out as intersex herself just this past January, and has since has taken countless opportunities since to normalize and spread awareness about intersexuality. In her breakthrough interview for Vogue, she recalled her personal experiences and how the stigma surrounding such a harmless and common
physical condition affected how she grew up. Her main goal in educating and discussing intersexuality is to prevent intersex babies and children from undergoing non-consensual, unnecessary “corrective” surgeries, like she did, that have serious health repercussions. A quick scroll through her Instagram shows numerous posts centred around these issues: a series of intersex discussion videos she made with Teen Vogue, an event she teamed up with Aboah’s GurlsTalk to hold, and her partnership with the inter-
Nyah Hardmon, 16, she/her/hers My whole life has been them funny!” one predominantly white Looking back, this response my community after the other. melanin tended to provoke didn’t
My family has always moved a lot, yet each new town lacked the ‘new girl’ glow that seems to compromise almost every teen movie. Instead, I tended to be one of few black student in my class. This difference only super-enhanced itself once I began to excel academically, into a realm where there were even fewer students that looked like me. It didn’t take long for me to become accustomed to sticking out, to always being the first person spotted in a room, and the last person offered a passing-by smile. As a token minority, I had the pleasure of getting tormented constantly, and while the undermining was often a product of unconscious mechanisms, the constant stereotyping and generally low expectations took a toll. I realized the full extent of the battlefield I was thrown into during high school, where the halls reeked with lingering stares and I convinced myself that my forehead reaped a note that screamed: “Tell me all of your racist jokes, I promise I’ll find
affect me as much as it should have. When you’ve been breaded to battle since the day you were born, you develop a personal armor of sorts. Every black woman is born with their own armor; a second skin to protect them from the trials they will inevitably face. Our armor provides a way for us to make it through the day, to finally be comfortable in a world determined to condemn us. My freshman year of high school, I built my armor out of my sense of style. I began to use my clothes to make sure that the first thing people noticed about me was not my race but what was situated on my melanin skin. First impressions can be fatal, and when you’re black it’s as if your skin does the talking for you. People tend to take one look at your skin and assume every aspect of your life. But when you make people notice your perfectly fitted jeans or satin blouse, before they even have time to process your race, you’re immediately nipping all assumptions before they can even form. As I started putting more effort into the way I dressed, I be-
NED BLUES fashion
gan forming an alternate exterior for people to focus on besides my race. I knew that there was no changing who I was, nor would I want to; so, I used my clothes to put myself ahead before anything or anyone could shoot me down because of my ethnicity. I used my outfits as an armor to gain
I gave myself a running chance before caving in and letting the stereotype win. back the control over my self-image. I gave myself a running chance before caving in and letting the stereotype win. This armor that I constructed over the years protected my own self-esteem from this outside world who seemed hell bent on breaking it. Instead of merely being the black girl, my armor transformed me into the girl who’s into fashion. My armor of clothes enabled me to find a niche where I belonged, with each “Nice outfit!” and “You have to tell me where you buy your clothes!” I could feel myself reeling over gaining recognition over something other than being “pretty smart” for a
“black girl.” My armor enabled me into a position where my art wasn’t questioned, it was celebrated. This shield made of fabric deflected questions and banished insecurities. On the outside, my fascination with fashion may appear shallow or insignificant, maybe even a little narcissistic. But my clothes became so much more than pieces of fabric, I used my sense of style as an armor to protect me from every stereotype, every rash judgment, every discriminatory heuristic. Of course, my armor carried chinks; through holes in my favorite teeshirts and rips in my favorite jeans, my vulnerabilities bled through. But those cracks in my armor are fundamental to staying true to who I am. It’s one thing to use my fashion to ward off stereotypes, but I refuse to let it block out who I truly am. Falters in my protection allow me to be both black and fashion savvy. The weak spots create room for diversities in my personality; they allow me to be both the next Steve Jobs and Naomi Campbell. As cliché as it may seem on paper, my armor ensures that as long as I’ve got my leather boots and favorite Levi’s, I’ll be just fine.◀
TEENS TA K I N G O V E R Maya Rigby, 17, she/her/hers
ashion makes me feel like I am part of something bigger. I grew up involved in the Tumblr fashion community - it was a magical little place that existed away from the real world. I feel like high fashion wasn’t a topic of discussion in everyday life, many people viewed it as something silly and utterly materialistic! But when I talked to other lovers online and watched fashion shows of the 2000s - think Alexander McQueen and Sonia Rykiel - I felt so inspired, and I felt bold. It was all about feeling bold. I wanted to casually rock a Valentino gown at the grocery store (I still do). The online fashion community served as a thriving source of inspiration that soon influenced my real life. I remember watching Paris Fashion Week on my phone in my middle school math class (y = mx + Balmain?) and printing out editorials and taping them onto my bedroom walls - I was in love! And I think that is how the fashion community eventually transformed into something different. We started as the watchers, and now we are the doers. No longer are we simply observing fashion and it’s many
forms, we are part of it! It would be silly of me to talk about the Tumblr fashion community (and fashion en general) without talking about the rise of social media. Burberry’s '24-hour fashion campaign' on Snapchat shot by Mario Testino and Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign come to mind. Brands are now utilizing the power of social media to further their images. By including music artists (FKA Twigs!) and introducing upand-coming models, it feels more personal and raw. Social media made fashion more accessible. It’s now so easy to follow your favorite models and designers on Instagram! We can follow these models and see them hanging out with friends, doing everyday stuff, living their actual lives! Teens ourselves are taking over Instagram as well - Tavi Gevinson, Willow Smith, and Rowan Blanchard, just to name a few! Social media and high fashion have become interconnected, and we’re in the middle of it - even now, I’m writing this in #mycalvins. These two worlds that were so separated at one point are now playing off of each other. High fashion brands are
influenced by teen style and teen style is inspired by high fashion (think those clear jeans from Topshop?). The idea of being “fashionable” has changed. Now, it’s all about being unique and being unapologetically you. With so many freaking people on social media - Instagram alone has 700 million active users - we want to be different! And brands now know that.
I grew up involved in the Tumblr fashion community it was a magical little place that existed away from the real world. Also, I think that it is important to bring up inclusivity in social media and fashion. When I asked my Tumblr followers about what they would like to see in my piece, a lot mentioned this topic specifically. It is very important to people, it needs to be talked about. Mainstream fashion used to be very one-sided, barely involving people of color, the LGBT community, and other marginalized groups. Of course we have Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Chanel Iman, and other amazing supermodels, but the gap between white models and models of color is still much too wide. The Fashion Spot examined the Fall 2016 season and found that of the 312 shows, 75.25% of models
were white. This is an improvement from earlier seasons, but still goes to show how fashion needs fixing. Luckily, big designers such as Zac Posen are making statements by casting shows almost entirely made up of models of color! Last week I went to Target and saw Halima Aden at check-out, on the cover of Allure, looking beautiful in a hijab! I was so happy to see the first hijabi to be featured on an Allure cover, and I’m hoping that she isn’t the last. Social media has the power to alter fashion in that way. Teens, like Rowan Blanchard, use their social media platforms to talk about social and political events, and it is powerful. The more we talk about things like this, the more we can change it. Inclusivity is so vibrant, don’t you think? No longer are we simply drifting in a fashion current, we’re on big sparkly ships and we are guiding it! Teen creativity and spirit is continuing to thrive. With social media, it is completely possible to be our own bosses. Yes, we did kind of lose a special community that didn’t exist much outside of Tumblr, but it’s been replaced by something bigger, something even more magical! So much has changed in the past few years, I’m excited to see where we take fashion, and where fashion takes us.◀
IMAGE: DIOR FA Dior's promises:
Why does fashion capitalize on Feminism?
Carson Gartner, 19, she/her/hers
eminism has become a trend. Regardless of whether you call yourself a Feminist or align yourself with the ideology, that statement is a difficult one to challenge. Where does the line between social amelioration and corruption lie?
Simple t-shirts with big, bold text declaring solidarity with the Feminist movement such as the ones shown above have permeated not only the fashion industry, but thousands of closets the world around. Visit any high street apparel website – Topshop, H&M, Forever 21 – and you’d more than likely find at least one cheaper knock-off of the more expensive blatantly ‘Feminist Fashion’ (though, can you really ‘knock off’ a plain
t-shirt with a few simple, common words printed on the front? That’s another discussion entirely) peddled by high fashion houses like Dior. Ambiguous manufacturing practices aside, what are the consequences of this recent popularization of ‘Feminist Fashion,’ and exactly how “Feminist” is this apparel? Fashion is an industry rooted in trend. Sometimes designers create new trends,
ALL 2017 (retails for $710) “A portion of the proceeds will go to Rihanna’s nonprofit The Clara Lionel Foundation.” Teen Eye
but often we see age-old concepts “re-introduced,” such as the exploitation of ethnic and cultural practices through the unfortunate and unfortunately common
practice of cultural appropriation. This ‘Feminist Fashion’ trend obviously doesn’t fall into that category, but there are striking similarities between the exploitation of Feminism and the exploitation of ethnic culture. Instead of creating new and innovative designs, these designers have capitalized on the resurgence and sudden popular favor of Feminism that has occurred in recent years. On a surface-level, of course, further popularizing the Feminist Movement is a positive thing for the push towards gender equality. But taking a surface-level stance on the issue is ignorant. There happen to be a bevy of issues with this form of ‘Feminist Fashion,’ politically, socially, economically, and…well, the list goes on and on.
‘Feminist Fashion’ is privileged. Feminism is meant to focus on issues all women around the world face, and it’s just not very likely that someone who has the means to drop over $700 on a white t-shirt declaring “We Should All Be Feminists” really gives much of a shit about anything beyond their own firstworld scope. Dior has said that a portion of the proceeds from the shirt will go towards Rihanna’s nonprofit, The Clara Lionel Foundation…but what exactImage credit: REX
ly does that mean? “A portion”? Anywhere from .01% to 99% of the $700 each shirt retails for could go towards the charity. Knowing fashion and, well, the capitalist system as a whole, it’s far more likely that the “portion” will be miniscule. Anyways, in what world does selling a white t-shirt for over $700 make close to any sense, even if it is Dior?? You’d be much better off just donating that $700 to an organization that benefits women, and Dior would be better off taking whatever the costs of designing, manufacturing, shipping, advertising, etc. add up to and donating that money to a non-profit that benefits the Feminist Movement.
Peddling apparel under the guise that you aim to benefit the movement, while racking up the retail price of that apparel to, at the lowest, about 1000% of what it costs to produce, is textbook exploitation. Not to mention, the companies behind this apparel -- both the high fashion houses and high street labels -- rarely operate under ethical manufacturing practices. You may be wearing an absurdly expensive t-shirt with the word FEMINIST in bold, black letters and patting yourself on the back, thinking ‘Good on me, I get brownie points for openly
being a Feminist!’. Meanwhile somewhere in China, thousands of women spend nearly all day, every day locked up in overheated factories, producing that very shirt on your back that you think is so damn Feminist, for meager, unlivable wages. Which, as you can hopefully piece together, is not exactly a Feminist practice. In many cases, ‘Feminist Fashion’ does more direct harm for women than it does good.
Image 1: PRABAL GURUNG FALL 2017 COLLECTION
(retails for $195)
Photo: Yannis Vlamos / indigital.tv Image 2: JONATHAN SIMKHAI (retails for $95) “All proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood. To donate to Planned Parenthood, please click here.” Credit: jonathansimkhai.com
This one is pretty simple: what sort of a bona-fide Feminist would spend hundreds of dollars on a ‘Feminist’ shirt when they could donate that money to a pro-woman cause? Who cares if it’s ‘designer’? Nobody but you would know or care. If you really, truly need apparel with the word “Feminist” pasted across the front, just go to Custom Ink or some other design-yourown-t-shirt website and make one for $20. Or better yet, get an old t-shirt you already own and print the words onto it yourself.
4. Feminism is more than you think it is.
Wearing ‘Feminist Fashion’ doesn’t make you a Feminist. If you want to learn more about the history of Feminism and the innumerable positions, views, and facets the movement encompasses, pick up a book and learn about it! For your benefit, I’ve compiled a cursory list of texts I’ve read that have helped me to understand Feminism in a more concrete sense: dThe Sexual Contract – Carole Pateman bA Discourse On Inequality – Jean-Jacques Rousseau dNietzsche, Feminism and Political Theory – Paul Patton bThe Human Condition – Hannah Arendt dFeminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt – Bonnie Honig bHistory of Sexuality, vol. 1 – Michel Foucault dGender Trouble – Judith Butler bThe Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory – Lisa Disch and Mary Hawkesworth dGender and the Media – Rosalind Gill bThe Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change – Angela McRobbie dWhat A Girl Wants: Fantasizing the Reclamation of Self in Postfeminism – Diane Negra bCupcakes, Pinterest, and Ladyporn: Feminized Popular Culture in the Early Twenty-First Century – Elana Levine dThe Economy of Desire: The Commodity Form in/of the Cinema – Mary Ann Doane
And for a more on-brand perspective, here are some readings on femininity as it relates to fashion: dInsecure: Narratives and economies of the branded self in
transformation television – Alison Hearn bBetween Frivolity and Art: Contemporary Niche Fashion Magazines – Ane Lynge-Jorlen dThe Short, Passionate, and Close-Knit History of Personal Style Blogs – Rosie Findlay -Luxury – Elizabeth Wilson dFashionable Personae: Self-identity and Enactments of Fashion Narratives in Fashion Blogs - Monica Titton bLuxury, Consumer Culture and Sumptuary Dynamics – Mike Featherstone dVogue’s New World: American Fashionability and the Politics of Style – Alison Matthews David
The exposure of Feminism to the general public that ‘Feminist Fashion’ grants can and has been a good way to further mainstream the movement. But the bottom line is that Dior, Prabal Gurung, and the like are exploiting a global movement to capitalize through privileged consumers who likely don’t feel – and possibly don’t understand or care much about – the true repercussions and oppressive nature of gender inequality that the Feminist Movement aims to amend. Ditch the trendy t-shirt and take action!
R RA AD D II C CA A LL and theres nothing we can do and theres nothing we can do im just as bad as you im just as bad as you corrupted feminism wrapped up for us to buy my girlpower t-shirt was made in a sweatshop in dubai we bought the movement cause we slapped on a price and theres nothing we can do and theres nothing we can do im just as bad as you im just as bad as you and even if we try to escape the coorporatism by thrifting all our clothes to avoid the market system our trendy winter coats were someone elses only option a photo on our instagram, #ilovefashion and theres nothing we can do and theres nothing we can do im just as bad as you im just as bad as you
Clara Joy, 17 she/her/hers Clara Joy is a recording artist based in New York City. At 17 she has released four albums and has been surrounded by contemporary art since childhood. Her most recent album discomposed is an example of her interest in language as a creative medium. "The album symbolizes many things to me, mainly focusing on everyday life. The song radical chic uses language to confront capital's attempt to use feminism as a way to make money."
LL C CH H II C C
THE MAGICAL WORLD
OF VFILES (Sophia Wilson, 17 year old photographer extrodinaire, shoots the intimate and extravagent preparation for the VFILES SS18 show)
CASTING CASTING Teen Eye
Made-up, Bu Not Pretend
A new wave is sweeping over the Instagram global network and an explore page near y a wave carrying beauty blenders, the sharpest eyebrows you’ve ever seen, sometim outrageous foundation applicators (notably, we’ve seen a brick, someone’s balls, a condo and slime -- maybe parody, maybe not), and always, always, a contour. The value of post this meticulous and difficult to replicate craft on social media isn’t new: gurus have lo held a monopoly on Youtube. But makeup pages have gained just as much of a hold a famous reputation on Instagram. We spoke to five teens who have carved out their p form and established themselves as distinct, beautiful, and explorative artis
Griffin Joerger, 14, he/him/his (@griffylipshitz) Em Odesser, 17, she/her/hers (@emilyodesser)
you: mes om, ting ong and platsts.
H a e R o s a e @haebearbeauty* TE: Who do you look up to in the beauty world?
HARD STATS: -19 years old -Henderson, TX, USA -she/her/hers
HB: FlossyNubian is my favorite beauty YouTuber. I look up to her so much because she embodies confidence and is in no way apologetic for it.
When you're wearing makeup, how do you feel?
I feel empowered and as if I could become anyone I want.
When you're planning a look, what inspires you?
The small details of daily life, my favorite shows, albums, and other works of art trigger me to consider how I can create a new look.
How would you describe your makeup style?
My style is out-of-the-box, colorful, unwearable, and challenging.
What story does makeup allow you to tell?
That I can tackle anything.
How did you start doing makeup / who taught you? At the age of 15, I started using make up as a coping
mechanism, because I developed a chronic pain disorder which eventually led me to be physically disabled. In my senior year, I was in too much pain to physically go to school, so I completed high school from home. I have been home bound for the last year. Because of this, I am not able to work a normal job like others my age, so I have poured all of my time and energy into my art. Before I got sick, I was an artist who used painting and drawing to express myself. Because of my disability, I am no longer able to do art in that form. I taught myself to take that art, and began using my face as my canvas instead. "MAKEUP IS ARMOR. ARMOR EQUALS STRENGTH AND BEING STRONG IS EVERYTHING TO ME. TRYING NEW AND DIFFERENT THINGS WITH MY MAKE UP HELPS ME FEEL LIKE I HAVE CHALLENGED MYSELF AND I CAN CONQUER ANYTHING."
* = On October 1st, Hae's Instagram will change to @haerosae
N i c h o l o s @thebestbroski
TE: How would you describe your makeup style?
@TBB: It’s very difficult to describe my makeup style, but I feel that I would best be categorized under drag artist.
What story does makeup allow you to tell?
HARD STATS: -18 years old -Western NY, USA - They/them/theirs
ANY! Depending on the mood I am in on a particular day, I can be a (what society considers) “natural” or I can be something out of a mathematics textbook. Whatever story you want to depict, you can just by using your face/body as a canvas.
How did you start doing makeup / who taught you?
I label myself self taught, but YouTube was my teacher. I would watch beauty gurus like Gigi Gorgeous and Michelle Phan, but I would also watch Special Effects makeup artists too. I was simply intrigued by seeing these people transform themselves from a human being into this completely different person/creature.
Why do you use instagram?
I use instragram because it is a simple, easy and free place to share your creations and receive feedback from the millions of other users. Like an artist hangs there art in a gallery, I hang mine on a social media application for millions of people to see.
What story does makeup allow you to tell?
I feel that makeup is more of an armor that a mask. But this question troubles me because I personally tell people that no matter what makeup you wear, you are still the same you underneath. If you put on makeup and feel confident, you need to own that confidence with or without makeup. And yes it may be difficult to do, but you will achieve it.
How are we (teens) doing things like no other age has?
I think we are paving the way of self acceptance, as well as societal acceptance. I think that in the age of technology we are so quick to judge and speak our mind because we are not always seeing the other person’s reaction. We hide behind our screens and type awful things to people we have never met. I think that we need to understand that each person is their own independent person. How one chooses to present them-self, is up to them. Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.
"I USUALLY LOOK AT PHOTOGRAPHS AND DRAWINGS FOR INSPIRATION. VERY RECENTLY I HAVE BEEN VERY INSPIRED BY PHOTOS OF VICTORIAN ERA CLOWNS. BUT I THINK EXPLORING WHAT YOU FIND INTERESTING IS A GREAT WAY TO INSPIRE YOU TO PAINT YOURSELF LIKE."
O l i v i a @spoiledlilshawty
TE: When you're wearing makeup how does it make you feel?
HARD STATS: -16 years old -Columbus, Ohio, USA -she/her/hers
@SLS:Well it mostly depends on the look I do for that day. For instance, if I'm doing something more creative I feel accomplished and it gives me an outlet to express whatever I have on my mind, but for an everyday-wear situation I mostly don't wear natural makeup because I'd just rather be in my own skin sometimes than try and cover every perfection.
When you're planning on a look, what inspires you?
I would most definitely say anime inspires me a lot. From the different characters to the different colors in each scene can have such an impact on the colors I used and how I want to incorporate it into the look. I would also say that I'll look at inspiration from other enthusiasts/artists and see how I could add my own spin on things.
How would you describe your makeup style?
I honestly wouldn't know how to describe it. A lot of people would just say it's "mainstream instagram looks" but to me it's so much more. I definitely love my thick eyebrows and bright orange eyeshadow but I also love softly blended brows with no contour and chapstick. I really try to incorporate all different styles from using pro-artist tips and the enthusiast tips and blend them into my own. I feel like I have yet to show my final style, but I'm still coming into my own along the way :).
How did you start doing makeup / who taught you?
I started getting into makeup around 2013, about the age of 11. I noticed I had darkness under my eyes and wanted to conceal it to look prettier. I remember always being conscious to make sure I wasn't wearing too much makeup so people didn't think when I took it off I'd be a different person. Since my high school years, now that I'm 16, I've realized makeup wasn't about being prettier as I grew older, but how I expressed myself in a form of art and realized I'm beautiful with or without it. I haven't been taught by anyone to do makeup but I've learn from so much practice. I never saw any youtube videos on how to do the looks I do or did and I feel like I have accomplished a lot on my own but also by the people I know online who helped with tips a long the way
"MAKEUP ALLOWS ME TO TELL ANY STORY I WANT. HONESTLY, FROM A WIDE SPECTRUM, MAKEUP CAN CREATE ANY STORY YOU FEEL LIKE TELLING AND SHOW THE MEANING OF IT. FOR EXAMPLE, I DID A LOOK WITH PURPLE FLOWERS AND WHITE CLOUDS DRAWN ON MY FACE AND IT RELAYED THE STORY OF SPRING. I DEFINITELY WOULD LOVE TO DO LOOKS WITH DEEPER MEANINGS AS I GET MORE ADVANCED. I SEE A LOT LOOKS WHERE I CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE MESSAGE OF WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO SHOW AND IT'S VERY BEAUTIFUL HOW POWERFUL IT CAN BE."
078 O w en O s l a y w e @ o s l a y w e m u a TE: When you're wearing makeup, how do you feel?
HARD STATS: -19 years old -NY, USA -he/him/his
OO: When I'm wearing makeup I feel courageous. This whole journey has not been nearly as simple as I thought it would be. I feel courageous because I'm doing something that I enjoy, but that other people see as wrong. Courageous because I know that I don't have the full support of some important people in my life.
What story does makeup allow you to tell?
The story that makeup allows me to tell is one of togetherness as people of this planet. I say this because I want people to understand that boys/men in makeup is something to be accepted. There are many assumptions made, some negative, with boys who wear makeup.
How did you start doing makeup / who taught you?
I am a self taught makeup artist. I started doing makeup when I practically had to draw in my eyebrows sophomore year in high school. I was one of those kids growing up that made the mistake of shaving all of my brows off! So back then you can imagine my eyebrow hairs were very scarce. By the time senior year of high school came around I had already makeup for my sisters and a lot of my friends, that was when I realized that I could be getting paid for doing this. One of my closest friends, Sister Starr, her mother pushed me to do always put out my best work and search vigorously for ways that my talent could get me paid.
Is makeup a mask or an armor?
Makeup is a mask! I wish people would get that through their thick skulls! I'm a human being, does it look like I have pink and blue eyelids in real life?! Makeup comes off. I think I we all know what Neutrogena makeup wipes are right? I personally love the feeling of removing a face, especially after a long day. I personally really prefer to moisturize and sketch in some brows because my skin is easily irritated. Your face is as canvas, some of us only moisturize and some of us paint! Makeup is a mask that enhances the unique features that each of us has, that is what makes us all beautiful. "I WOULD DESCRIBE MY MAKEUP STYLE AS COLORFUL. RUPAUL ALWAYS SAYS TO “USE ALL THE COLORS IN THE CRAYON BOX” AND I TRY TO DO EXACTLY THAT. FOR EXAMPLE, THE COLOR GREEN MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL. HOWEVER, THERE WAS A NIGHT WHEN I WAS PLANNING A LOOK AND I FELT LIKE I HAD BEEN USING THE SAME COLORS, SO I DOVE RIGHT INTO THE GREEN SHADE IN MY URBAN DECAY PALETTES AND CREATED A GREEN CUT CREASE."
S o f í a H e r n a n d e z @ s o f i a . m n n TE: Who do you look up to in the beauty world?
HARD STATS: -18 years old -San Diego, CA, USA -she/her/hers
SH: Growing up I loved watching my mom do her makeup and when she wasn't looking I would take random lipsticks and eyeshadows until she finally introduced me into the makeup world. However now that I am older there are many artists out there who inspire me from the friends I have made on Instagram to bigger social media starts such as Daisy Marquez.
When you're wearing makeup, how do you feel?
When I wear makeup I feel free. I feel like I can be myself and it allows me to express how I am feeling that day. Makeup is beyond just trying to cover up imperfection, it can show the world who you are and if you’re feeling girly or more edgy. With makeup you can decide who you want to be.
How would you describe your makeup style?
I think my makeup style is bright & colorful. I love vivid colors because they give off a cheery mood and it is what I find beautiful in my own looks.
Is makeup a mask or an armor?
Makeup is an armor! It makes us braver and more confident. Makeup allows us to express ourselves as crazy as we want to! We can be as bold or as simple as we want. Whatever you are comfortable with, makeup should never be your mask. There is a very big empowerment about wearing makeup.
How are we (teens) doing things like no other age has?
We are a generation of people who are now braver than ever before! But we are also a generation still facing a lot of judgement and bullying no thanks to social media. But on the upside we are now allowed to express ourselves in anyway we want! We can openly be who we want to be and know there is a whole world out there full of people who are. Bound to support you. We can express opinions, thoughts, moods and not be ashamed to feel! We are teenagers who are discovering who we are in the world and go all out to find out who we want to be. Like other generations we don’t have to worry about social standards or our gender to want to be someone in this world.
"I HAVE HAD INSTAGRAM FOR A VERY LONG TIME BEFORE I STARTED DOING MAKEUP. INSTAGRAM FOR ME WAS A WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY. I HAVE MOVED COUNTRIES MY WHOLE LIFE AND IT WAS THE BEST WAY TO BE CONNECTED VISUALLY WITH PEOPLE. I SAW THAT PEOPLE HAD MAKEUP ACCOUNTS AND THAT PEOPLE SUPPORTED THEM AND SHOWED SO MUCH LOVE, THATS WHEN I DARED MYSELF TO START MY MAKEUP ACCOUNT. I DIDN’T THINK PEOPLE WERE GONNA LIKE ME OR CARE ABOUT ME. BUT A COUPLE OF MONTHS INTO IT NOW I LOVE EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS ME, WE ALL HAVE EACHOTHER'S BACKS AND KEEP EACH OTHER GOING!"
080 R o b @ r o b x q u i n TE: Who do you look up to in the beauty world?
@rxq: Definitely Pat McGrath. No question. Very few come close to matching what that woman can do to transform a face. No one is more iconic than her, in the fashion and make up industry she is MOTHER and QUEEN. I love her.
When you're wearing makeup, how do you feel?
Empowered. I feel like a completely different person. When I do a look, I step out of my identity and take on a new one. There's no feeling like it. Not to say that I don't like being me.. I love myself, but I like to think of myself as a chameleon, taking on different colors and flavors
How would you describe your makeup style? Why do you use instagram?
Eclectic. I don't like being a one trick pony. The more versatile my style is the better. I try to draw references from anywhere. It's the easiest platform to get your work out there and seen. The beauty community on there is so positive, welcoming and supportive. It feels like family.
How are we (teens) doing things like no other Teens these days are bad ass. We are so influential and we age has?
sometimes don't even realize it. We live in a time where the average teen is more woke and smart than some of the older generations are and we are tremendously outspoken. We are truly rapidly taking over the world and my biggest wish is to remain a teen forever!
"ON A DEEPER NOTE, I LIKE TO THINK I'M CONTRIBUTING TO THE NARRATIVE BOYS IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY HAVE BEEN EXPRESSING FOR A FEW YEARS NOW. BEING A BOY WHO WEARS MAKEUP IS MY FORM OF ACTIVISM IN WAY. MY RESISTANCE TOWARDS SOCIETY'S RULES, AND I'M WRITING MY OWN STORY AS I MOVE FORWARD."
HARD STATS: -18 years old -Miami -He/him/his
K e n n e d y W i l l i a m sfashion 081 @ g l a m b y k e n Teen Eye
TE: When you're wearing makeup, how do you feel? @KW: i feel not more confident, but just as if my features are enhanced (:
When you're planning a look, what inspires you? definitely other [MUA]'s looks. also just looking at a palette and imagining different shadows together and thinking of other ways to make it extra.
How would you describe your makeup style?
"SOCIAL MEDIA IS A VERY SCARY PLACE AND YOU HAVE TO BE PRETTY HARDHEADED TO MAKE YOURSELF PUBLIC. I THINK OUR TEENS ARE NOT AFRAID TO SHARE THEIR WORK/ BE SCARED OF CRITICISM BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE DOING WHAT THEY WANT TO DO ONLINE. I THINK OUR TEENS ARE MAKING IT EASIER FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO BE THEIRSELVES AND SHARE THEIR DIFFERENT WAYS OF EXPRESSION THROUGH USING SOCIAL MEDIA."
All over the place. Some days i'll do full on crazy colorful shadow with some hardcore face beat. other days i'll go more natural with a neutral eye look with only concealer and some powder.
What story does makeup allow you to tell?
How i'm feeling that day. If I do a more toned down/ not as extra look, it means I'm feeling tired and just wanted to slap on something for my page. But when the crazy colors and glitters come in, I've been waiting all night and all morning to do that make up look.
How did you start doing makeup / who taught you? I started doing make up when I was around six years old, my dad bought me my first kids make up playset-type of thing. no one ever really had to teach me, I just describe myself as self taught as I have never had any paid lessons, only watched YouTube videos and such.
Why do you use Instagram?
Instagram is an amazing place to share different things. As for me, I wanted to start out with an Instagram before going straight into YouTube as I was super scared. Then once I got my follower count up, I started to make YouTube videos. I think it's just a really good starting point when it comes to wanting to go farther with things. for me, neither.
Is makeup a mask or an armor?
I don't like to think of it as a mask because it is still me and I don't think I look like a completely different person unless I'm meaning to.
HARD STATS: -14 years old -Oklahoma, USA -She/her/hers
G E N D E B Y C H Sarah Issever, 17, she/her/hers
nisex clothing, according to most fashion magazines, is 'all the rage' these days thanks to the gender-neutral movement. However, what we consider unisex differs for different minds. What do we see when we think “street style?” Personally, I picture an androgynous gal in a cool blazer and platform boots, or a dude in an electric pink faux fur jacket and embroidered loafers. I see these looks because unisex to me means breaking gender norms. And because style interests between genders are crossing more than they ever had before, the strict line between male and female is becoming increasingly blurred. So, lest you think gender is subjected to a specific uniform, fashion now is proving more than ever that that is not the case. However, the fine line between what we consider unisex and what we
consider gender fluid gets trampled on when certain brands confuse activism with capitalist fashion. I bring to you brands like Guess and Zara. These brands, on a basic level, have tried to utilize their large platforms to advocate for gender neutral clothing: clothing that should make us feel comfortable and safe, as all clothes should. However, their “basic” lines border on lazy. Guess’s “His & Hers” collection is a supposed unisex line, but seems to have only dressed typical men’s loungewear onto a woman’s body. The CEO of Guess, Victor Herrero, announced that Guess would help “blur the line with a collection of premium staple pieces made with luxe fabrics in classic shades and styles.” Yet, the collection (let alone its own name) seems to give into a gender binary more than it probably hoped.
R L E S S H O I C E
Zara’s revolutionary “ungendered” line sounds ground breaking to the ear, but to the eye it is a cursory attempt at putting 10 pieces into a different category of clothing that were presumably already genderless by style. A plain t-shirt and sweatpants is not bold. It is simply a plain t-shirt and sweatpants. As Tyler Ford, writer and public speaker for transgender and non- binary people, tweeted, “when will we move past this notion that genderless clothing simply = plain t-shirts/ sweatpants?”
“It is true that high fashion brands have been showcasing true gender fluidity for years now, but we can’t all break the bank for non gender conforming clothing. So, where can we find genuine gender fluid fashion? Where does genderless clothing reside?”
ABOVE: A cropped image from the Zara "Ungendered" 2016 campaign.
084 This isn’t to say that all fast-fashion brands aren’t making genuine attempts at gender- neutral clothing. H&M’s unisex denim line may be fast-fashion retailer’s most progressive line yet. The 19-piece collection is made of sustainable fabrics like recycled and organic cotton and encapsulates gender-neutral wear to its core. H&M’s spokesperson stated that it was “very natural” for them to launch a unisex line because the fashion industry is evolving to show that “there are no boundaries in democratic style.” I couldn't agree more, H&M.
ABOVE: An image of H&M's 2017 Unisex collection.
It is true that high fashion brands like Nicopanda and VFILES have been showcasing true gender fluidity on the runway for years now, but we can't all break the bank for non gender conformist clothing. So, where can we find genuine gender fluid fashion? Where does genderless clothing reside? My answer for now would be 2 words: in you. We owe it to ourselves to not live in the binary, to be fluid and wear what we want to wear, so that we can become the images we see when we think street style. When we think openly. ◀
SS18: PT. II
AN OUTLINE what we saw, and what we thought. Words by Em. All pictures by Em except Philipp Plein pictures, which are by Sophia Wilson.
BLEMISHED BY APPROPRIATION What happens when innovative designs are paired with blatant appropriation? A real uncomfortable time. Our first event of the season was the presentation by Canadian brand Laurence and Chico, a creative event irresponsibly blemished. Every human, especially those with public platofrms, should know the ramifications of using offensive details -- in this case, sherbert and rose tinted afroes on white models -- in their art. What could've been a favorite for the innovative designs (vivid Kawakubo-esque silhouettes in chemical shades of silver, green, turquoise and pink) and mystical set (vivid moss entangled in jagged spills of crystals) became a standout for all the wrong reasons.
I'd like to send a giant hug to the Barragรกn team. Not only to congratuate them for pulling off their first ever runway show (!) but for letting Gabrielle Richardson, aka the 21 year old Art Hoe @fridacashflow, make her runway debut. It was glorious and she looked amazing. Though it probably isn't hard for her. A, she's an honest to God ANGEL, B. the collection was spectacular. Barragรกn is quickly moving towards being one of the most recognizable new brands showing at NYFW. When you see a sexy epicene silhouette in earthy or gemstone shades on that leather paper-bag-esque material, you can bet it was created by creative director Victor B. Like those of many other young NY-based brands (read: Namilia and Philipp P show embraced the 'trashy' to reach sexual liberation. The collection was insp early 2000s fratboys and featured bumsters, neoprene blouses exposing hipb Puka Shell necklaces. Nipples and chest, leg, and tummy hair were all fair gam ungendered, creative, cohesive, and exemplified all my favorite parts of NYFW
Plein), the pired by bones, & me. It was W.
A TRIUMPHANT RETURN Babyghost is back! Let all rejoice! One year Teen Eye after their last NYFW public presentation (they opted for a live-streamed breakfastfashion last seaon), they've returned. And maybe Josh's hair was a little blonder and Ran's was a little shorter, but they've continued on their path towards greatness -- though they've changed the strategies.
First off, they added menswear. Well, kind of. I noted the change to Josh and he shouted through the smoky room that it wasn't really menswear. They just styled the boys in the clothes too. I liked that alot. Secondly, Ju Xiao Wen, their eternal collaborator, muse, and close friend was now on the video screen (through the brand's skating friend, Van Alpert's, camera), no longer bubbling through the rooms hugging fans, but sporting a pink wig as she she played through the streets and office lobbies of China. Models IRL sulked and chatted, playing with light up toy helicopters and sucking lollipops, offering a closer look at the collection -- a stunning range of graphic touches and lush fabrics. So while the medium was different from past seasons, it was welcome, and totally exciting. No brand stays static. Thank god!
The biggest change was the brand's goal. After massive success in China and the U.S, Babyghost changed their schedule. They showed FW17 in the SS18 season as See-Now-Buy-Now. It's a tactic that frustrates us when it's utilized by the age-old brands. (What extra boost could Tom Ford need?) But Babyghost is experiencing rapid, expnonential success, and though it's a business-oriented decision, it may just pay off. Vogue labelled the choice a "push toward affordability and salability." The brand is never toning down their dedication to art -- the film, the room design, the choice to take a fabric as timeless as brocade and a color as lush as jade and combine them into something that fits into a skate park makes that obvious. While the new schedule is disorienting, I have no doubt that Babyghost will continue their streak as a worldwide excitement.
STREET STYLE, AS ALWAYS, WAS A TIME CONSUMING DELIGHT AT CHROMAT, CALVIN KLEIN, AND CUSHNIE ET OCHS.
CREATIVE PURSUITS PAY OFF
The casting of this season’s Namilia show, co-designer Emilia Pfohl admits, was “the hardest yet.” She holds my hand backstage, glowing from the flash of cameras around her, and explains the challenge. “We had to find girls who’d be really confident and comfortable. They had to walk in those shoes, show their butt…” and trails off, laughing. Across the room, Nan Li, the other designer who heads up the ingenious brand, is hugging a model and surrounded by a swarm of photographers, #influencers, and fans just as large as the one surrounding Pfohl. Models in the next room are rubbing off the glue that held golden whiskers in place and pulling pearls that rested right next to their corneas. They emerge laughing about the nudity, the silver glitter that surrounded their eyes distributed by the makeup wipes across their cheeks and forehead. It’s the calmest I’ve ever seen the pair and their crew, after three or four seasons of backstage entry, but it’s clear: this is the happy chaos that only follows a Namilia event. And, following tradition, every season, it may get harder, but it also becomes more familiar for the team, which leads way to more daring, more outrageous, and more exciting forays.
As Emilia and I chatted, I confessed that I was invited to a few other events the night of the show but gladly skipped them for Namilia. Where else would I sit in a room of latex wearing spectators as models walked out in half-renaissance, half-dominatrix thong/ballgown medleys as “When You Wish Upon A Star” floated out under an electronic girl claiming on repeat “I can get dick anytime I want”? The Berlin-based brand is the winner every year when it comes to art, not business, on the runway, and I wouldn't miss their events for anything.
HARD BLOCKS OF SUGAR Who at NYFW has championed the uberromantic aesthetic better than Chloe and Parris Gordon of Beaufille fame? Every season, the sisters uphold the sophisticated elements of the "handsome girl" while becoming more sophisticated themselves in their approach. The result is always a light-as-air collection with silhouettes exactly as delicate as they are strong. This season was the most succesful yet.
An all white outfit with oversized puffed shoulders was coated with a textured wave patterns so natural it looked as if the Gordon sisters had simply dropped it in nature to form. Red silk chiffon was expertly molded to catch the light and expose the silhouette of the wearer's legs. Poplin was sculpted into school shirts -- Victorian, not foppish. The burnt oranges and narrow black and white uniform stripes were underscored by red thread or hints of amethyst silk. It was romantic enough to fit in perfectly with the Francoise Hardy Pandora playlist a backstage assistant managed, but twisted, pleated, and cut enough to make it clear that the Beaufille is always in control. The sugary eyeshadow was kept from being saccharie with the help of Grace Hartnett's cement heavy set design. Balance in design is tricky to master, but the Gordon sisters make it seem just as effortless as the ruffle of wind going through that purple silk.
No one puts on a production like Philipp Plein, the German Wunderkind. His brand has been presenting in Milan since 2013 -- his debut was presented by Grace Jones, so, you know he's DAMM GOOD at putting on a show -- but SS18 was his second American foray. And it was extra and wonderful and overwhelmingly dramatic in the true Plein fashion. Studies show that around 5,000 people attend each fashion week. I'd guess 200 of those can fit into one show, but maybe that number will grow closer to 500 if the brand is gunning for a lot of drama. So imagine our correspondent and photographer Sophia Wilson's shock when she arrived to a line stretching down Ninth Avenue: 2,000 people were trying to get into the spacious Hammerstein Ballroom. And once they got to their seats, who greeted them on stage but Dita Von Teese and Future? And who strutted down the runway but showstoppers including Daphne Groeneveld, Adriana Lima, Irina Shayk, and 21 Savage? And who would Plein elect to close it all but the electric, totally ripped, pasty wearing Teyana Taylor? There's no one who gets close to the spectacle Plein throws each season, and that's pretty much the point.
Now that the environment has been described in full, lets get to the show itself. Plein is famous, or infamous, depending on who you ask, for his marrying of gimmicks and high fashion. I haven't agreed with all of Plein's choices in the past. His revamp of Tr*mp's slogan -- "Letâ€™s make New York Fashion Week great again" last season -- definitely left more than a sour taste in my mouth. But I think he's hitting his stride and getting closer to the right blend. His signature ripped jeans and leather jackets were joined by pictorial ballgown skirts, underboob-ready silk blouses, and a slew of garters and floral harnesses. These bondage looks gave way to the gimmick, which, again, left me a little uncomfortable. The invite and most model's shirts displayed a busty depiction of Cinderella in a ballgag, hands tied behind her back. "Prince Charming Made Me Do It!" she explains. Love that Cinderella is experimenting. I'm really proud of her. But the sexualization of products made for little girls will always make me cringe. Overall, the show was succesful. I loved the Disney temporary tattoos on the remarkably chiselled stomach of Raf Miller. I loved the inclusivity when Plein burst out and screamed, "EVERYONE HERE IS INVITED TO THE AFTERPARTY!" I really loved the chance to talk to Daphne Groeneveld after the show -- that icon was the first model I became obsessed with, and I used to watch her Fashion TV interviews weekly. I have a strong feeling Plein will continue experimenting to find the lin between pop culture and art -- it's a noble and reasonable quest (though, please, no more childhood characters made even more submissive!) and I'm looking forward to seeing his next spectacle.
Ask Ask the the Industry: Industry: WHAT IS YOUR ARMOR?/ WHAT DOES ARMOR MEAN TO YOU?
Edition Edition 66
Teen Eye Magazine
Model @ Women NY
My armor is beautiful clothing... when I was bullied in high school, all throughout high school, I would save up my money for, like, a beautiful Proenza Schouler piece, or a Prada piece, and I'd wear that, and it was like, they could hate all they wanted, but I was the best looking bitch in the classroom!
ph: Karina Twiss
Editor-at-large @ The Business Of Fashion
"I think Armor is someone's curiosity. Never lose interest in life, the environment you live in, the people around you. I think the more you learn, the more useful you are in your world, the more useful you are to other people, and the more interesting and richer life you will live... I'm a big fan of curiousity.
Lexi Boling Model @ IMG
Photo: Luigi & Iango
"My armor is definitely the clothes I wear. It helps a lot."
Emily Weiss Photo: Amy Lombard for The New York Times
Founder and CEO of Into The Gloss and Glossier
â€œMy personal Armor is my daily meditation practice. I do meditation twice a day, twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes at night, and it helps me stay really centered, and be nice to people during the day! Ha.â€?
Model @ Re:Quest
Photo: Steven Meisel
"What's my armor? It's having a good soul and letting it shine through"
Linda Sarsour Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images
Civil rights activist, National Co-Chair of Womens March
"My Armor is showing up, organizing, using my voice. I feel proud to be an American and live in a country where we have freedom of speech, and that I have the right to assemble and protest and organize, and I hope everyone uses that right."
Alok Vaid-Menon "My personal armor is a functional five or six inch heel that you can take off and whack the people who harass you."
Gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer
WE ARE C L ASarahMKadous, S 15, Hshe/her/hers ELLS
s a clamshell floats across the surface of vast waters, she is met with several irritants. The stubborn grains of sand thrust themselves against her interior, she seeks defense. The clamshell begins to form layer upon layer of protection, surrounding the intruders threatening her peace. Never does she quit, never does she give into the pulling waters. The result of her relentless strength leaves a lustrous pearl within. Her determination is miraculous, as it is also vastly rewarding.
We live in a society that creates personalities, not people, and for that, we need a form of defense to protect who we are. I, Muslim-American female, have developed an armor for my identity within. I grew up in a world that taught me my self-value required the
admiration of others. Something, everything, about who I was contradicted their illustrations of an ideal girl within their minds. My face was too round, my cheeks burned too rosy. The Egyptian hair on my head was excessively curly, frizzy, untamed. When I raised my hand at any chance, I was titled “a know it all”, and if I lead in group work I was deemed “bossy”. I asked more than enough questions to fill up a class period, and was told my curiosity was disruptive. After all, curiosity did kill the cat, didn’t it? My ears heard, my mind followed. I straightened my hair, skipped dessert. I learned to answer my own questions and voice my unpopular thoughts on paper. This tactic worked for quite a bit, until I made the decision to wear my Hijab. It is truly remarkable the impact a fabric has on the eyes of spectators. What were smiles in the city that birthed me became stares, if not stares than pity, if not pity than sheer hatred. The soft fabric on my head was viewed as a threat and my value as a female became irrelevant to those who shared
culture a different belief than mine. After fifteen years of living between walls manufactured by conforming opinions, I have come to a rather sick conclusion. There is great possibility in the friction between who we are and who others believe we should be- as long as who we are prevails. I am proud to say that I have mastered the completely unsubtle art of embracing my individual femininity in all its glory. This is my pearl: the beauty that I have created in the wake of struggle. We live in a society that creates personalities, not people, and for that, we need a form of defense to protect who we are. You too were raised in this world, and if you remotely resemble me than you may’ve been treated like a coinThrown, tossed around, shoved out of sight, lost or hidden somewhere deep. But unlike these rusty metal disks we cannot be sorted and labeled by our value. Our beauty will not be kept a secret. A human being -a real human being- does not fit into any created personality besides one’s own. And in the face of
humanity when we are told otherwise, we hold up our armors as evidence of our individuality. Each scratch, each layer of our armors symbolizes the spirit we carry into every obstacle we face. It is a representation of the many paths, the different paths we’ve been dragged through and the pain that was caused by them. Only when we are faced with opposition does our armor slowly flourish into development. No defense is created without the presence of an antagonist, and therefore, strength is but a side effect of wound and hurt. We are clamshells- transforming pain to release fierce beauty. ◀
“Culture Pearls” Mitsukuri, K. (1905) Cultivation of Marine and Fresh-Water Animals in Japan
P. S . YOU’RE B L ANyahCHardmon, K 16, she/her/hers
W “Your Best Body” Illustration by Susan Spangler
hen you’re young and black, no one ever tells you that your race is accompanied by an asterisk of sorts, a disheartening ‘P.S’ at the end of your birth certificate. I grew up in a predominantly white and Hispanic community; an environment where I was forever reduced to being a minority. Looking back, the notion of being the minority, still, in a community of minorities is almost unbelievable. My skin color was the very first and very last thing people
noticed about me and after a while, I stopped finding solace in my most obvious feature. I felt claustrophobic under the weight off my race, and the implications that came along with it. For a long time, I only focused on the vulnerabilities that my skin subjected me to- the name-calling, prolonged stares, and unwarranted opinions. I limited my perspective to only the darkest side of my melanin, and refused to see how it could do anything else other than hold me back. When I entered high school, I was welcomed by the undeniable force of black students on campus. Yes, we shared the same race, but more importantly we shared the same experiences. Our backgrounds were intertwined in this beautiful cultural quilt that created a bond unlike any other I had ever experienced out-
side family. When you are one of few people of color on campus, you find it second nature to cluster to familiar faces, ones whose looks urge you to relax rather than tense up. Ones who grew up lands far away from suburbia, whose hair looks like yours and who understand the way you speak. It’s more than simple cliquish tendencies, it’s about finding a haven in my environment where I could finally feel comfortable, and more than anything, safe. By the first week of my freshman year, I learned how my culture could protect me rather than smother me with negativities. The other black students on campus forged together to form this armor of sorts, a sense of protection that ensured that as long as we were together, everything would be alright. Together we protected each other by letting one another know that we were never truly alone even when it seemed like it. Through passing by head-nods in the halls, we created a coat of arms bonded by our culture and experiences that provided a safe space in each other’s company. On my own, it was incredibly easy to surrender to the song that the whole world was pitted against me; it seemed as if every day was game for notso-discreet stares and the sweet yet menacing challenge of “Can I touch your hair?”. But behind this shield of box-braids and melanin skin, I finally found surroundings where I was not
afraid to be myself. My culture protected me from feeling like I didn’t fully belong in this strange world by letting me be me. Suddenly my jokes weren’t as misunderstood and my
“My culture protected me from feeling like I didn’t fully belong in this strange world by letting me be me.” childhood stories were that much more relatable. It took years for me to realize that my culture wasn’t meant to strangle me, it was the one thing that truly protected me through the good and bad. I stumbled across an incredibly welcoming black community when I needed it the most and, over the months, I learned what it meant to have someone that had your back. We used this newfound protection to cast away stereotypes and misjudgments and create a space free from our daily prejudice. My culture was the sword that defended me from condescending monsters and judgmental goblins. It was always there to come home to and always had my back on hard days. Behind this coat of arms, perhaps, we were too loud and listened to music on full blast, but we were unapologetically us- guarded from anyone who dared to stomp out our joy. ◀
theBINDING Lost in Christianity, Found in Paganism
Rachel Taylor, 18, she/her/hers
ne of my earliest memories is of preparing to walk through an Easter Parade, one that my church held every year on Easter Sunday. Each participating child held a balloon, or tied one to their wrist, and followed one another in a train through the church pews while live music played and adoring parents looked on with cameras in hand. As a child who absolutely detested balloons and was constantly surrounded by other children obsessed with noise, the memory is only enjoyable for those few moments of having my father smile at me as I passed by. Even then, I was only vaguely aware of who Jesus was, and I was definitely unaware of how present he was in the lives of my father and stepmother. I was 7 years old, and I remember ask-
ing one of the teachers about Baptism. “It’s a dedication to Christ, committing your life to serving his, and believing in him with all your heart.” She said it cheerfully, in that false miasma of enthusiasm and rapidly failing energy levels that only caretakers of very young children have the ability to express. Given my cognitive abilities at the time, I was only able to understand Baptism by way of social popularity: if EVERYONE was doing it, why wasn’t I doing it? Jesus was the same way, although even from infancy there are far more pictures of me standing proudly against a backdrop of mountains and flowers as opposed to church activities. Don’t worry, there are those too. Even in middle school I attempted to connect to this strange concept of Je-
Teen Eye Teen Eye
sus, but the routes I was given to connect with him were slim and didn’t do much to convince me of his holiness and greatness. At the youth group I regularly attended at the behest of my parents, the overarching themes of chapstick, Aeropostale t-shirts, pin-straight hair (with two or three pins in it), chunky eyeliner and mainstream music reigned supreme alongside sugary descriptions of Genesis and Job, although in my eyes at the time this inner fatigue at the lessons wasn’t something out of the ordinary for a kid my age and would quickly pass like it did for all of the other rude and excluding girls. Given that I was the girl who wore “The Who” shirts, wrote moody poetry and never wore my hair out of a ponytail, I stuck out like a sore thumb. It’s a cruel gift to be
lonely due to your emotional maturity or even just a difference in perspective,, and what I now assume to be the old soul in me communicating with the universe was at the time a frustratingly isolating feature.
“It seemed beautiful to me, these people were expressing a freedom over their life that I did not have, and my own destiny could never be changed.” This trend continued into high school, where I got better and better
at making the right noise at the right time in church service and worse and worse at remembering my own needs and wants while sitting in torturous small groups. To be safe is to be a good Christian, I was taught, and even though I was the personification of a safe person, the inner readings of the Bible and words of my peers in that religious community sat at a surface level compared to the depth of feeling I held in me. Sophomore year would change the way I saw myself forever. When I began dating my first boyfriend, I was able to explore and recognize several key components of myself. First, I found an adoration for analyzing the human mind. I am amazed by peopleâ€™s expressions of uniqueness and power, and I am fascinated by the figures of logistics and reasoning capable of growing and expanding inside the world of consciousness. Secondly, I found that I crave human connection in all its forms. Through the love my partner and I had, I was able to open myself to the endless variations of togetherness, self exploration, and nurturing possible with the presence of someone committed to understanding and honoring the life force inside me. And me for him. My walls melted when we were together, and the thoughts of rules and restrictions covering the human heart I had learned over 9 years fell away like paper. Lastly, I remember discovering the intense desire I had to expand into the world beyond the pages of the bible,
to read the worldâ€™s great literature, to examine the worldâ€™s other great religions, to see the power I myself could wield over the forces of my lifespan. And, as if by fate, I stumbled on a Pinterest page littered with written spells. At first I was completely terrified; how could people believe in the total rightness of changing their own destinies? What would happen if a higher power had any say? What would happen if they could never be forgiven if they were wrong? And then I stopped. What was wrong about it? Why was I judging myself so strongly for even looking at this particular page? Why was I suddenly such a rigid person in the face of my relationship and newfound desire to
At first I was completely terrified; how could people believe in the total rightness of changing their own destinies? see the universe for all it was? Slowly but surely my inner conditioning faded as I continued to look at page after page of incantations, potions, poems, spells, crafts, lore, and much more of pagan and witchcraft-related material. It seemed beautiful to me, these people were expressing a freedom over their life that I did not have, and my own destiny could never be changed. I was envious of their position, and grew to resent my small
culture groups and church gatherings as I saw more and more differences in how I viewed the world versus them. I had sex. I had sex again. I had sex both before and after a a 10 day long missions trip. I never felt any remorse, and I fell in love with the act of exploration in the process. Understanding that the human body isn’t a landmine of sin and is made to be adored, discovered, and pleased was a lesson I couldn’t get enough of for those three months. The high of participating in this strange ceremony, this organic, fulfilling ritual with another person I craved, was enough of a trip that I never wanted to go completely home again. The world I came from was a repressed, isolating place in the middle of intellectual nowhere, and after all, being true to oneself feels like coming home anyways. It was only when my partner peacefully left me to go to college in the fall that I devoted myself to learning even more intensely about this mysterious practice. It wasn’t a religion, but a way of life centered on the care and dedication to oneself and those they loved. It was a channel for emotion, a safe place for building protection, and a joyous experiment in the power and unity of the human spirit and its connection to the cosmos at large. I fell in love again with the energy of the universe waking up in me, and when I cast my first feeble little friendship spell a few months later I nearly shrieked with joy when I received a chaotic cluster of adventures shortly after. In that moment, I bound myself in dedication to
honoring the voice within me that had stayed silent for so many years, and this binding keeps today. The timeline of my life brought me to witchcraft in order to solidify me. As a deeply empathic person easily winded by the expressions of others, discovering the ability to calm my mind and create safety was incredibly useful and empowering for me. The pagan community at large was able to teach me the importance of knowledge, of knowing your sources and strengthening your voice, and I am grateful to the wonderful circle of witches I have found both online and in my hometown for inviting me into this journey. Armor is not only the wall separating a person from the harms of the outside world. Armor is the rock protecting and nurturing the fire beneath it. My armor came with the discovery of my inner voice and innate power as a creation of this universe, and in my expression I find clarity and drive either on my own or with the combined voices of others singing in solidarity. Although I still cannot come clean to my parents about the nature of my beliefs, I do not let the barriers of my current situation detract from the personal inspiration and growth I feel every day when walking this path. Witchcraft is the way of honoring oneself, holding oneself accountable, and furthering one’s own dreams and passions through the amazing energy invested within the spirit. With this in mind, I strive forward into my future with confidence and grace, firm in my ability to forge my own destiny. ◀
RAP. REINVENTION. REVOLUTION. I am a pseudo-existentialist. My critiques of materialism and superficiality manifest in an annoying and questioning exterior, presented mostly as sheer precociousness on my part--I’m a smart ass that aggravates people. However, this critical outlook has developed into a search for similarly inquisitive figures--people to identify with throughout cultures in philosophy, politics, even art, that questioned the goings-on of their day, from Adam Smith to Marvin Gaye and many in between. I’ve been an avid rap fan almost my entire life--my dad would never admit to it, but he introduced me to the rangy wares of Tupac and Biggie--and I always viewed this interest as parallel to but in no way related to attempts to philosophize; after all, what could another club hit
Alula Hunsen, 17, he/him/his
about dancing and drugs have to offer in sociological discussion? Moreover, why did an enjoyable form of music need to connect to my neurotic tendencies, when sometimes I just wanted to dance? (I would not do drugs though, my African father would kill me). Stumbling across Mos Def in an admittedly bumbling effort to expand my understanding of context New-York-hip-hopculture-wise, I listened to his 1999 debut album, Black on Both Sides. From the intro track entitled “Fear Not of Man” through to the jazz-soul finale in “May-December” with detours into Brooklyn and battle rap culture as well as the black experience as a whole, this was my first real exposure to “backpack”-rap on a legitimate, introspective level, and the first artist I’d listened to that was adamantly vocal on a myriad listing of
social mires. After linking this with an existing connection to Common, poet-turnedrapper-turned-poet-again from Chicago, this consciousness and lyricism evoked in me an ability to understand stories and lives both familiar and unfamiliar to my own sheltered life. I re-listened to To Pimp a Butterfly, and 2014 Forest Hills Drive, while discovering wordsmiths like Talib Kweli, Isaiah Rashad, Lauryn Hill. This consumption led me to tunnels into underground hip hop and pioneers like Murs, Phonte, and Clear Soul Forces, even Mobb Deep (rest in power Prodigy), all of whom frame answers to my questions and the world’s threatening offerings in a new, easily ingestible way.
culture Moreover, the soulful samples over which these rappers’ cadences flow and their position in the zeitgeist have better connected me to black culture and history; the underground group Strange Fruit Project’s name and album introduced me to Billie Holliday’s “Strange Fruit”, written describing the Black American experience metaphorically in 1937. A Tribe Called Quest regularly sampled soul records including those from Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye; my introduction to them then led me to “You Haven’t Done Nothing” by Wonder, a protest song of the Nixon administration, and of course “What’s Going On”, questioning policing and the destruction of black neighborhoods nigh in the 1970s. This added dimension of reaching into the past then opens hip hop to a full examination of the spectrum of social issues for years, especially on tracks that reference samples to draw the listener to the history of both the music and the people. Through hip-hop, I was better able to explore such topics as Afro-centricity, mass incarceration, reparations, even materialism and power dynamics(listen: “Just Begun” by Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek, noteworthy guest appearance by Mos Def; and “I Gave You
Power” by Nas, respectively). This culture and this lyricism also engendered my interest in slam poetry, and it has fueled numerous small failed ideas and projects that have nonetheless inspired me and provided the armor I use to get by. When people attempt to debase myself and black people in general with claims of contrived hardships, I turn to “Mathematics” by Mos Def: an entire song filled with statistics on the Afro- and Black American experience in America. As we continue to demonize, or at the very least fail to relate to, both the urban and rural poor, I enter into my rotation Phonte’s “The Good Fight” or Scarface’s “On My Block” to fend off these attacks on my brothers and sisters all over the country living on the precipice of not having enough.
As the president presents odd affronts to those not included within a privileged class of Anglo males, I immediately turn to FDT, by cultural philosopher YG, but also to less-related and more uplifting works--Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, for instance, in response to Trump’s blatantly disrespectful and scary machomasculinity, or Common’s “A Song for Assata” to empower myself amid Trump’s cries for the return of stop-and-frisk era profiling. Black Star’s debut, Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star, stays in play at my house with uplifting messages on black self-love, hip-hop culture, and urban life; living in Cleveland for years while going to school in a suburban bubble creates a certain complex of inferiority. This album helped me work through this and take pride in who I was, where I lived, and what my culture comprised.
Listening to music has become both an exposing and an insulating activity, as I use hip hop to connect with the world around me from within the cocoon of conscious rap, as a protective armor to experience and interact with nuance. Don’t get me wrong: as a medium, there is much work to do in expanding this faction of hip hop. It is important to begin introducing more liberal perceptions of sexuality and gender as such themes of misogyny, homophobia, and indeed misanthropy throughout much of the genre. However, I gain some glimmer of hope whenever I listen to, “The World is Yours” by Nas, entreating the will to power to the next generation to do what they wish; I feel uplifted when Bilal’s soothing voice rolls over my speakers as his caramel, soulful voice cascades over jazz instrumentals on any one of his albums or features- this cultural aspect buoys me over the turbulent and murky waters of society with commentary and relatable wit, providing me with the armor necessary to plug willfully through my dayto-day life.
ALULA'S DEFINITIVE LIST 089 culture0113 OF RAPPERS YOU NEED TO KNOW Teen Eye
Larissa Ryan, 19, she/her/hers
“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command”
he other day, I was having a discussion with my co-workers regarding racism. Both women were making arguments purely based on their opinions; which given the cramped, fluorescent-lit room we were working in, was appropriate. However, when it came time to share my view, I was met with a chorus of “What are your sources?” and “How do you know?” I can’t help but feel that I was met with these responses due to my age, and the stereotype that befits my generation. In the public’s eyes, millennials are all glued to our phones, social media obsessed, and overuse the words ‘like’ and ‘literally’. Many adults seem to believe that somehow, taking selfies equates to being too self-obsessed to care about what is happening in the world. But I don’t see it like that at all; instead, I see a generation that
has redefined what activism looks like. The rise of social media is unabashedly the most obvious reason for the new ways we share and digest news. No longer does one have to read the morning newspaper to be informed, or stand outside parliament to get their message across. These days, a single tweet has the power to spark worldwide conversation. However, this non-traditional form of social outreach has left many skeptical. The fact is, social media allows us to connect and converse with the youth of the world. As we use social media as a means for enjoyment, but also social activism, the two blend together to make ignorance a luxury we don’t have. We are in Ferguson, protesting police brutality and racial bias. We are at Standing Rock protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. We
are at JFK chanting #LetThemIn. We are contributing to causes from our places all over the world. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, over the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of millennials involving themselves in political activities. I believe the reason for this is a mix between empathy for others and also our bleak awareness of things like climate change and affordable housing directly affecting our futures. We are the ones who will deal with the aftermath of these issues, so shouldn’t our opinions on them be taken more seriously? I’m tired of being excluded from the conversation purely due to my age. Sure, young millennials are glued to our phones, but through them, we access a world of information. No longer is mass media in charge- we are- and we young people are reinventing the way we protest. Even though I may be a teenager, I know that my views are just as valid as an adult’s. Like, literally. ◀
THE GARDEN Clara Scott, 18, she/her/hers
F “The Rose Garden” by Carl Aagard
or a long time, I thought that I had been robbed. Robbed of my golden years, robbed of all of the experiences I could’ve had, robbed of the relationships I would have made with people I would have met. It is easy to believe that living in pain is worth nothing;
that the brutal experience of being a kid sick with an invisible condition is only negative. In reality, living with a chronic illness as a teenager has given me something I don’t ever think I would have gained without it: perspective. During the bulk of my high school experience, I suffered from severe chronic migraines. When I graduated this past June, my transcript noted a total of two hundred two and a half absences over four years, not including a quarter that I was pulled out of school to briefly recover. That’s an estimate of around two hundred and fifty days that I missed. Two. Hundred. Fifty. It’s strange looking back on it, because all I remember are the days I returned to school. I felt lonely, isolated, and because I wasn’t pockmarked or green or bald, many of my classmates whispered, questioning if I was really sick or not. I don’t blame them, honestly -- no sixteen year old in their right mind really understands pain like that without having experienced it themselves. I managed to gather a small group of understanding friends, but beyond that, my condition was a mystery to the kids in my school. All they knew was that I wasn’t there. All I knew at that point was that I wasn’t there. Despite this, I reached out -- I spent more time online than I probably
culture should have, but in the process found friends who understood me for me, and not just for my absence. Instead of existing as a girl-shaped hole in the lives of my friends and family, I was just Clara. I think that if I hadn’t had the online community I managed to create for myself, I would have spiraled even deeper into the pain and hopelessness that an invisible illness creates. I started working for an online magazine -the one you’re reading right now- and had an outlet where I could pursue my interests on whatever healthy time I had. I was still suffering, but I was trying to distract myself with the things I loved: people, art, anything outside of my situation.
Although it was incredibly painful and at times spiritbreaking, I think that the experience made me immensely stronger. Doctors don’t even understand migraines completely, they’re essentially an electrical-circulatory shitstorm which brews in the brains of people genetically or environmentally predisposed to them. Lucky for me, both of my grandmothers, my father, and my uncle had experienced debilitating migraines at some point in their lives. I drew the short stick of the bunch, and ended up with something I not only couldn’t control, but sequestered me in a dark room for two hundred and fifty days. Being involuntarily isolated that much forces you to understand your-
self in ways you wouldn’t otherwise. Pain, especially, cuts through any facade like butter, because you truly can’t hide anything with such little energy. I was alone with myself, without bullshit or pretension. It is the most unhindered and brutal therapy you can imagine- to be alone with your thoughts, literally in the dark, all day and all night for days at a time. Although it was incredibly painful and at times spirit-breaking, I think that the experience made me immensely stronger. It is a kind of armor, trauma. Pain to the level I experienced can destroy you completely, but it also offers a way to build yourself back up, to become something new, to leave with an absolutely different worldview and perception of life. I am not my illness, and yet, my illness has made me who I am. After four years of trial and error with medication and different doctors and a seemingly endless parade of false hope, I finally found a treatment that softened and eventually erased my condition. Unfortunately, it only came during the last quarter of my senior year; fortunately, I had already gained an almost invaluable amount of perspective on life. I may have lost hundreds of days to pain, but I believe that my days now hold much more meaning because of them. When you are sick, you learn to hold onto the good days, the good hours, even the good minutes and make them last, trying to smell the roses for as long as possible. In the wake of a banished illness, every day feels like a garden, just waiting to be savored.◀
HOW TO SURVIVE THE
TR MPOCLYPSE Y
A SATIRICAL GUIDE TO STAYING CHIC WHILE THE WORLD IS BURNING styled by em odesser, 17 shot by sophia wilson, 17
model: alice metza, 19 @ the society mua: mia varrone, 20
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one last thing?
We promise we're better at goodbyes than this, but... We have one more important thing to say. Teen Eye strives to publish the opinions of all teenagers -while we work hard to collect as many perspectives as we can, we always keep an open mind on how we could improve. If you have an opinion or belief* that is not expressed in this magazine, and can further our goal of intersectional empowerment, DROP. US. A. LINE! Email us. Send us pitches. We're friendly and talkative and always on our phones and we want to hear from you. Bye for real now. â—€
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Teen Eye Magazine, the publication created entirely by and for teens, brings you their 6th issue, which centers around the idea of creating...
Published on Sep 30, 2017
Teen Eye Magazine, the publication created entirely by and for teens, brings you their 6th issue, which centers around the idea of creating...