Teenage Collage

collage of magazine photosI have a rough idea of when I made this: 1993 – 1995. I was 17, 18, or 19 years old; high school aged and college bound. This was before I decided that glossy magazines were not good for my self-image or mental well-being. Already, I had a dim view that women – all women – needed to be seen more than wives, mothers, sisters, etc. That our self-worth could be defined by how we saw ourselves and not how others saw us.

What does not surprise me is the lack of otherness this collage doesn’t contain. I see two people of color here; while one is Asian, she does not necessarily represent me. I doubt that I had a sense of intersectionality, especially when most of the magazines I bought were of white women who seemed put-together, happy, and on top of their game.

If I were to redo this today, it would most certainly look different. People of color; trans people; people with disabilities (obvious and not); people with mental health issues; people along the spectrum of sexuality; people who look like me; people who look like me; people who look like me.

Have I missed a group of people? I am sure I have. I am still learning. Please be patient with me.

One more thing. If I were to redo this collage today, I would most certainly research any famous people before I plastered them up on poster board. There is one person in this collage that my teenage-self didn’t know. So, I covered that person up. I cannot and will not show or mention this person’s face in light of the #metoo movement.