I have had the chance to work with teenage models before, but so far they have been given very edgy, high fashion looks that make them look a lot more mature than their age, especially when they are unusually taller than the average teenager. For this shoot, I was asked to create a fresh and youthful look to embrace the girls’ teenage years.
I have already had a peek at Tamezin’s website prior to the shoot, and I was very much in awe of their moto. Tamezin is for young people and by young people, who “want to make a difference to the youth culture” through the magazine. The team’s focus is on real girls because let’s face it, in today’s society, there is so much hype over celebrities; every young girl wants to know them, look like them, be them. The problem is, often celebrities dress very provocatively. Now, there is nothing wrong with embracing and loving your body and the way Mother Nature made you, but we seem to forget that young, teenage girls are still growing up, still figuring themselves out and confused about their sexuality. But how can they find who they are, learn to accept themselves fully and learn what true beauty is when they are surrounded by this illusion of “perfect” beauty?
The magazine encourages girls to understand that everyone is different and beautiful, even with their unusual bone structures, their curves, their “vertically challenged state” (moi! : P). Plus, you don’t have to dress sexy to look great. So for this particular shoot, Melissa Shefiq and I gave four girls a very fresh makeover to bring out their girlishness. The eyes were smokey blue, the cheeks rosy, the lips glossy and natural. We also styled their hair, each one different to bring out the best of their qualities – from bouncy curls and smooth hair to plaits. After the styling was complete, the girls looked like stars. The outfits they had on were pretty and elegant, with not one ounce of provocativeness in the air. Why look up to airbrushed images with amazement when we can find unique beauty from within ourselves!
I hope that my contribution to this shoot will help young girls accept their own qualities and see fashion and beauty in a different kind of way. I hope that they can embrace who they truly are and be whoever they want to be without feeling the pressure to look, be or act in a certain way that the media can sometimes encourage them to. Heck, I hope that even their friends and bullies can’t phase the realness of their spirits.