under the surface

Text by #GIRL

Don't take me for the fool I appear to be, in love and full of youth, right in the back of my mind, my dreams rest peacefully, you can't shake me. Am I afraid at times? Yes. I sure as hell worry but I never stop chasing my ambitions. 

"Growing up is learning that not everyone grows up with you. Growing up is learning that people are going to be left behind by the process of life. Growing up is learning drug culture and finding your happy medium before life finds it for you. Growing up is learning that everyone still needs nap time, but it never actually happens after daycare. Growing up is adhering to the 'so important and unbreakable' gender roles and fitting in, and also finding yourself and who you are, no matter who might not accept it. Growing up is knowing that all we need is kindness and genuineness, but what we really must survive by is lying, dirt, and cheating. We all know what's right in our hearts, it's something that human nature instills within us upon birth, but growing up separates the strong from the weak. More importantly growing up separates the good from the evil. The hardest part? Choosing your side." @malmerk

But as the "millennials" of this generation, we have the luxury to entitle ourselves as "self-employed" , one of the frequent questions we ask ourselves , "is it worth it for the long run"? 

"We don't particularly want to be a generation living at home and off our parents, but we've little choice. We're making less money than them, with reports showing this generation typically earning £8,000 less in their 20s and spending £40,000 more on rent costs by the time we turn 30. Now add into that tangy tinned-cocktail hurdles such as the likely negative impact of Brexit on our bank balances. The labor market in the U.K. means nobody is handing out permanent contracts anymore, job security doesn't exist and paying 5p a year into a pension fund doesn't seem worth the payoff." quote from I-D magazine. 

The bigger question seems to be pressured by finance and family members, we all struggle to decide , whether to follow our own dreams or the secure job that pays off our student's loan, rent and some new clothes. 
Guilt is the number one cause of fear, we want to please our parents,we need their support, not just financially but morally. To be completely understood as to why we chose to be artists, models,bloggers, writers, photographers, filmmakers...can simply be life changing. For the longest time, I struggled in school, I was terrified of tests, no matter how much I studied, I'd just panic. I have always had the support of my parents as a creative but I always worried about the context of the art I would create if I truly unleashed all that is within me, all that expresses who I am as an individual, would they change their opinion? would they shame me? 

That fear is almost gone, that one stepping stone will help you build your confidence, it wouldn't matter what anyone thinks as long as you know that you're doing what you were born to do. When you barely have rent or money for food, the thought that you actually have the freedom to your own beliefs and dreams will help you cross any hurdle that comes your way. You can't start a business hoping you don't go bankrupt; you start it planning for success.

Media used to demand for what's on the surface, the egoist, the "me,me.me." but more than ever we started following the people that go  "Underneath The Surface" , getting more real with our emotions, captions, our collaborations. When you project your real self to the world through what you do, you help create an everlasting change, the possibility to move someone from the edge of their seat and follow their dreams. We started talking about addiction, sexual abuse, rape, lost dreams, alcohol and political girls that can wear pink, feel sexy and demand rights at the same time. It is empowering to know that your own brand, the platform that you use to engage with people is your new diary. By giving everyone the opportunity to raise their voice on #GIRL , I allow myself to grow even further. Big companies and brands should overlook the number of followers and likes, (that adds so much more pressure, how many times do you find yourself worried sick about a reply that you haven't received yet, or waste hours writing, deleting the message you wrote about what you do or who you are?)
 This "insta fame" is an ongoing race that we need to stop supporting, that's why it is very important to me to keep  my platform open for everyone. So many creatives are overlooked because of their numbers, I mean they are practically rejecting future brands that are gonna have even more followers and growth in the future. 
Yes , numbers do help get you more work but it doesn't MAKE you, it doesn't give you your individuality. Just like a professional camera can't give you your own unique perspective, it just adds more pixel quality to the image. 

As you get older, people start to expect things from you. Do you have your driver's license yet? Do you have a degree? Do you live on your own? Do you have a job? It creates a kind of pressure to perform. It's important to stay true to yourself and do what you like, at your own speed and in your own way. All of a sudden people expect you to know and understand everything.

Discovering who you are and developing your own perspective on life should come gradually. The carefree parts, that is the best part of youth, you get to put everything on Pause, you get to be anything you want, be anything you need. Boy, girl, alien,lover, mother, brother.

Exploring with your identity definitely helps you in terms of your art influence, who your friends are, subject, just like the muse "Petra Collins" that leads all-female collectives with the aim of empowering young women to be individuals and to have confidence in exactly who they are. "Do not let anyone tell you what you should look like, tell you how to be" Owning your body is very empowering, it opens up a world of missed doors, it is that simple, when you love yourself, nothing can put you down, you just believe in yourself all the way. 
A lot of the pressures have to do with self-image and self-worth.As women, we're living in this non-existent space where we can't fully exist as ourselves because once we go through puberty we're just taught to like, hide all of it, so that becomes very confusing.

Some memories fade in the haze of new realities, but others stay with us and they can still make us laugh, wince, smile, and cry, underneath it all , we need to dive in, bring out the soul that makes us individually special, rather than look for the irrelevant fears that aren't even our own. Let's talk about depression and pain then let's try our hardest to be happier,mentally healthier, focused on who we are rather than finding comfort in labels that others have given  us.  

"Understanding your self-worth in a world that constantly tells you there's something wrong with you."  Isabella Colantoni