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Youth Culture: Identity

Youth Culture: Identity

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Drawing influence from outside the society you live in is a creative task. We explore the lifestyle that is unique and promotes the ‘individualism’ in every aspect of life. The simplicity of accepting yourself gets complex with time when you start to discover your symmetry. There are no rules to being creative to your identity but some identities are hard to miss. It is their energy displayed in a fashion that looks distinctive and cannot be ignored. Featuring young unapologetic girls who live their identity as authentic to them as possible.

Featuring: @anna_vyas, @yoshi.headlesss, @thesologirl, @akriti_muddaiah, @nisham5560 and  @katyayayani

Anna (Dancer) @anna_vyas 
Anna is wearing @rishtabyarjunsaluja

“I would define myself as a free-spirited and intuitive individual. It was never about finding my identity it was more about acceptance of oneself and just being. I get those strange looks but I‘ve learned to wear my horses blind and I take the attention I get positively and appreciate all the comments. Also, over the last 9 years that I have had this hairstyle, no one has come to me saying they don’t like my hair or my style.” “Unplanned and spontaneous decisions have led me to this look and I would like to keep it that way. My hair is undemanding. It just needs regular buzzing once every 14 days. I don’t like to color my hair with chemicals. I would love to get a natural organic way of coloring…if anybody reading this lemme know for sure.

It’s not that I hate blending in. Honestly, I am not sure anyone would ever blend in on this earth if they would be themselves.” “People do judge my personality based on my appearance but the closer they get to knowing me they realize there is so much more about me than my looks and style.”

 

Yoshi, 23, Illustrator, @yoshi.headlesss 
Yoshi is wearing @hm

“I am a multimedia artist working across illustrations, videos, and sculptures to create a singular universe. I identify as a person that cares about the environment. I try and make conscious choices every day to create the least waste I can. Rather than shopping for new clothes, I exchange clothes with friends, DIY & upcycle (which is so much fun itself). I guess I also identify as a DIY queen.” “My hair will get shorter and weirder as time flies. The sillier I look the saner I feel. When I started cutting my hair I stopped visiting salons and it pushed me to try different looks, now I get bored of carrying the same look so I try at best to keep myself amused.

Sometimes people stare at me longer in public. I do get the more grim, unsmiling stares but most times, strangers will come up to me with sweet compliments, I find it a fun conversation brewer.” “In recent years I have come to understand myself better, I’d rather embrace my quirks than give them up to blend in”

 

Prabhleen Kaur, 29, @thesologirl 
Prabhleen is wearing @_huemn.

“I see identity as an inherent reality, which constantly evolves throughout life. It is what you are within, your core values. And thankfully, they have been quite easy for me to understand from very early on. I define myself as indigenous, maximal and playful.” “I have never cut my hair, but I style them differently now and then. I like to not be so attached to the appearance of it, as long as it is healthy. I keep on experimenting, with braids, hair color sprays, etc. And whatever feels exciting enough. So yeah, nothing is ruled out.

I am inspired by the women I’ve grown up admiring, mothers & grandmothers, who make it all work seamlessly with their work routines and beautifully adorning themselves. Also, the 90s and Harajuku influences are what I find interesting. As much as I love dressing up, it is only a detached exercise for me. I take it as a super fun activity and playful time. I don’t see my identity being defined or influenced by what I wear. To blend in, or to not blend in, is a question of beliefs, ideas, opinions. There is no harm in blending in. I do feel its important to have a say and a mind of your own, and not be a part of herd mentality.


Akriti, 21, Student & Model @akriti_muddaiah (@savino_yhome )
Akriti is wearing @sahilaneja.

“I’m a 21-year-old feminist student from Coorg, who’s just trying to *un*learn the ways of the world. I cut my hair short three years ago. It took a little getting used to when I first cut it, because I felt like my femininity was defined by longer hair. But now I love how it compliments me. I’ve actually wanted to shave my head entirely, but I like my hair right now and I want to try and experiment with it a little more.” “As a kid, I got teased a lot because I ‘looked like a boy,’ and that always made me want to grow out my hair. But I’ve come into my own, and I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to comment on the choices you make for your body.
My short hair can be a task because there are fewer ways to style my hair. I do think it restricts the kind of work I get as a model, but I also see that changing now.” “The world still has a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity (esp in the modeling and fashion world), but I’ll agree that we’ve begun to look beyond the existing body ideals. I didn’t think I’d ever start modeling, and until recently I thought I didn’t fit the image of a model. I see more and more people deviating from that image now, and I can only hope that we continue to appreciate all bodies.”

Nisha, 19, Footballer & Model @nisham5560 (@ninjasmodelmanagement )
Nisha is wearing @hm

“I don’t know much about the modeling industry and have never seen any modeling show on TV as well. But from what little I saw I thought that modeling is only for white/fair people.” “Being a dusky and lean footballer, I never in my wildest dream thought that I would be a model. I was wrong. People like my color and they like my footballer legs :D. Times are changing and it is changing fast. Talent is appreciated regardless of skin color, body shape and the rest that doesn’t really matter when you can do your job and do it well.

Many of my qualities as a footballer has been very useful as a model. Sport is not only about your physical capabilities it is a mental game as well. My physical ability and flexibility have helped me work long hours of shoots and my mental strength helps me not give up and gives me internal strength.” My inspiration in modeling is myself because I never thought that I can be a model but I did it and people like my looks and my color. In football, my inspiration is CR7. Ronaldo is the world’s best footballer ever and from him, I have learned to never give and never stop working on your dreams. My parents want me to be successful in the field of modeling but I always have a plan B and it is to join the army.”

 

Katyani, 24, Tattoo artist & Painter @katyayayani 
Katyani is wearing @_huemn.

“Black hair is beautiful, but I always grew up with this notion that brightly colored hair doesn’t look good on Indian skin, whatever that means. I hear this even now and it frustrates me because we can pull anything off if we want to.” “I am an artist based in New Delhi. I cannot stick to one thing so I’m constantly moving and learning new ways to express myself that help me gain a wider perspective. I buy jewelry and fabrics from different places I visit but don’t like to appropriate the local style of the people. I mix and pair these items with more contemporary clothing. I get some backlash for wearing dreadlocks because people think I’m appropriating black culture but while traveling I have come across many old Indian people, some who have never traveled out of their village, with locks, sadhus and women alike.

More than my appearance, I want my work to reflect my identity. I wear jewelry I make myself or use my face as a canvas because I want it to be a reflection of my art and not separate from it. I don’t want to look pretty, I want to look strange, and for people to find beauty in strangeness.” “Stares are forever, whether traveling elsewhere or within Delhi. Whether I’m wearing an oversized tee or a skimpy dress. Most people are merely fascinated and harmless. It bothers me a lot but more unconventional people need to take up space because public space is mainly taken over by cis-men, so it’s important for me, to stand my ground. Maybe this will help normalize it and ten years from now people can freely be themselves outdoors without feeling uncomfortable.”


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