Teens on Self-Image, Social Media and Life in an Age of Uncertainty – WWD | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

Frankie B.

15

Melbourne, Australia

Frankie B. 
Courtesy of Frankie B.

What’s happening in your world right now? 

I’m in Melbourne and we are in COVID-19 lockdown. School is online and I’m really missing my friends. We’re allowed to exercise and my rowing training is all online. I’m a bit confused with what is going to happen for the rest of the year. I really want to go on a holiday to Noosa with all of my friends, which is what we normally do in September. It’s getting warmer so I can spend more time outside which is good.

How would you describe your personal style?

Relaxed. I like vintage athleticwear, especially Nike. I really love trainers and swimwear. I’m sort of into Nineties fashion. I go to an all-girls school and we have to wear a uniform every day. I’m starting to get more interested in fashion and I do most of my shopping online.

How much do you think about your appearance? 

A lot. I think about my skin and about the beauty standards and what people classify as pretty…clear skin, good body, cool clothes.

What makes you feel great? 

Going on holidays.  Exercising — I like the feeling after. Hanging out with my friends. Drawing. Creating collages.

What do you worry about most? 

I don’t really worry a lot, but I think a lot about things like Black Lives Matter and climate change.

Where is your happy place? 

When I’m with my friends. Also I like when I’m with my family.

What are some of your favorite beauty brands?  

Summer Fridays — I really like the masks and the vibe of the brand. Diptyque — I love candles and I think it’s a nice brand. I don’t buy these, but Mum does and I love them.

What do you expect from a brand? 

Cruelty-free, vegan. New products. On trend.

How do you discover new brands? 

Instagram. Celebrities. Pinterest.

If you could invent a product what would it be? 

A good hair defrizzer that doesn’t harm your hair like the keratin ones.

Who influences you more — your friends, your family or your phone? 

My friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

A lawyer.

 

Melanie and Marie-Diélé M.

Both 16

Dakar, Senegal

Melanie and Marie-DiŽlŽ M.

Melanie and Marie-DiŽlŽ M. 
Courtesy of Melanie and Marie-DiŽlŽ M.

 

What’s happening in your world right now? 

Marie-Diélé: We’ve been disturbed by corona[virus], but for once, Africa is not the worse place to be in the world. In fact for me it has never been. We are back to school with small changes. Half classes and wearing masks, but that’s all.

Melanie: Yes, we only had a curfew for three months. Many beaches are still closed, but as we are surfing, we can still enjoy the only spot that is still open for us in the Almadies. We are going to the beach almost everyday, but we cannot go out dancing as the nightlife is shut down.

How would you describe your personal style?

Marie-Diélé: I’m still looking. I’m trying all sorts of things to see what fits me. It’s not easy to choose.

Melanie: My style is boyish and sporty. I like to be free to move and do whatever I like. I’m an easygoing person and it shows in what I wear.

How much do you think about your appearance? 

Marie-Diélé: It depends on the day.

Melanie: Yes…It is coming and going.

What do you worry about most? 

Marie-Diélé: I try to be positive about the future, as I think we are lucky to live in this family. As adults I am sure that our generation will find solutions to build a future for the next one.

Melanie: I’m worried about the environment and the growing inequalities in the world, but apart from that I feel very safe in my country with my family.

What makes you different from your friends? 

Marie-Diélé: I sometimes feel that I think too much, and that it creates problems in my head when I should just be enjoying life.

Melanie: I was adopted when I was 10. Because of my life before, I have been used to moving from place to place regularly. So even though I hate changes, I am the one who fits everywhere very quickly. It’s a strength that allows me to be very happy and positive all the time.

What are some of your favorite beauty brands?  

Marie-Diélé: We are fans of Fenty, because of the unique way Rihanna has come and said, “I work for all women.” It is great to see this brand advertising with all colors, all sizes, all genders. It speaks to our generation, who look for inclusion.

Melanie: I also like Cantu for my hair, and for my skin I use a lot of natural oils like karité, argan or prickly pear seed.

How do you discover new brands? 

Marie-Diélé: My mother or Instagram.

Melanie: My mum or sister.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Marie-Diélé: I want to be an entrepreneur, in the transport and tourism sector or in personal care for women.

Melanie: I want to be a movie director because I love stories. I have many stories to tell already, because of my life. I am a very creative and imaginative person. I like to share emotions with others

 

Dylan C.

13

New York City, U.S.

Dylan C.

Dylan C. 
Courtesy of Dylan C.

 

How do you see yourself versus how you think the beauty industry sees you?

I’m confident in myself, which includes my appearance. The beauty industry includes many types of people of different cultures and sizes nowadays. It doesn’t matter what everyone in the world thinks of my beauty, but I do care what my family and friends think.

What’s happening in your world right now?

COVID-19 definitely puts a strain on our school activities and life. This year also happens to be my last year at my school. So I will have the challenge and excitement of looking forward to high school. This happens to be a very stressful period, but things are looking better every day.

How much do you think about your appearance?

Since I’ve grown older, I’ve thought of my appearance even more than before. As a whole, I do like my appearance, but there are aspects of it that I do not quite appreciate. It is easier to say that nobody needs to follow the beauty standards or look a certain way, but it’s harder to apply your advice to yourself. There are aspects of my appearance that I wish I could change, but then I remember what I like about myself. Having certain characteristics is what makes everyone unique and special.

What makes you feel great?

Being with my friends and family. I love spending time with them and especially laughing and hanging out with my friends. Just living my life and going on adventures, traveling, all make me feel great, because I tend to forget about everything else.

What do you worry about most?

My future and the choices I will have to make to get there. It is not just when I am older, but the changes happening daily that affect my life. High school is a big decision for everyone and I will have to make it sooner than later. I dread the thought about a new environment and change. Since I have been getting older, the future that I have always thought was years away is coming closer and closer.

What makes you different from your friends?

My friends and I share similar traits, but we are also very different. I’m very loyal, kind and studious, but I love to have fun and live life in the moment. I’m different from my friends because I tend to be a little bossy, controlling, straightforward.

Where is your happy place?

My home and my school. Even though I do not enjoy school all the time, I’m so used to the surroundings and people that it is somewhere I feel happy and safe. My home is also somewhere I feel the most comfortable, where I can always be myself.

If you could invent a product what would it be? 

It would be two products that would work together to help curl and lengthen eyelashes. Whenever I curl my lashes, they straighten out soon after and I have to re-curl them. The first product would be a heated eyelash curler and the second would be an oil and gel clear mascara to help lengthen your lashes.

Who influences you more: your friends, your family or your phone?

My friends, family, and my phone all influence what I love in different ways. My friends and family introduce me to new things daily. But my phone is a way for me to see new trends, fashion and more.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don’t know, but I would love to work in the business side of fashion, beauty or design. For example, marketing products and getting items exposed seems to be interesting, fun and exciting. I’d like to work somewhere where I can use my creativity.

 

Arzoo K.

15

New Delhi, India

Arzoo K.

Arzoo K. 
Courtesy of Arzoo K.

 

How much do you think about your appearance?

I’ve always been really conscious about my appearance. Over the years I have gradually become a little more comfortable and accepting of myself. Usually, I’m very laid-back, but when I’m going for a social, I make a lot more effort — I get my hair done, use a nice moisturizer and either Nivea lip balm or a lipstick I borrow from my mother, L’Oréal or whatever she has. I don’t really apply nail polish. Schools are strict about having short nails and a neat hairdo.

What makes you feel great?

Whenever I feel confident or when I feel that all my efforts have paid off.

What do you worry about most in the world?

The tendency of human beings to compartmentalize everyone. The belief that you have to be certain things or abide by the “societal rules” in order to get respect is something that is quite alarming.

What makes you different from your friends?

My style is quite different as I generally follow my instincts instead of what is trending at the moment. My friends have more social beauty platforms they follow, but I tend to go in for what looks good at the moment. My friends are very certain what they want to shop, but I like to explore.

What are some of your favorite beauty brands?

Nivea face creams and Forest Essentials face wash. I keep changing hair products, and don’t have any brand preference for fragrance, but I like anything flowery and natural. Usually these are gifts.

What do you expect from a brand?

I expect a brand to offer a good variety. A brand should have options that every person can identify with. For example, people with every skin tone or physique should have an equal amount of options.

If you could invent a product what would it be and why?

Either a cream that is very active on acne issues or a fragrance that lasts long.

Who influences you more — your friends, your family or your phone?

My phone. Most of the trends I come across are on the Internet, on the phone, mainly Google and YouTube. I’m not on other social media platforms.

What makes an influencer seem authentic?

Most of the beauty influencers I’ve come across try to spread the message of body positivity and impart the message to viewers that they should be confident in their own skin. But most of the viewers try to copy their style and start believing that there’s only one definition of beauty. It’s generally the viewers who misinterpret their message.

How would you describe your personal style?

As Coco Chanel put it, ”Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance,” and that’s the lifestyle I tend to follow.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a medical scientist.


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