Today we’re reading NYLON, Seventeen, and Teen Vogue so you don’t have to, giving you an inside look into the complicated world of teenagers to find out what is on their radar… and why.
Cover Girl: Lana Del Rey represents the fervor of the American Dream. The 27-year-old grew up as Lizzy Grant in Lake Placid, NY and cultivated a “gangster Nancy Sinatra” persona with her 2010 debut album Born to Die. She has since become a cultural icon with a dedicated fan base who is drawn to her mysterious and soulful allure. Millennials crave authenticity from the people they follow, and Del Rey lives up to this notion since “there’s nothing inauthentic about what she does. Every song, every look, every video, everything she puts out into the world is all from her, and that’s so rare.” Del Rey’s self-made status continues to fascinate fans who are eager for the release of Tropico, a short film inspired by her 2012 EP Paradise, and her sophomore album.
Beauty Buy: As Hunger Games fans patiently wait for the release of the series’ second movie installment Catching Fire, (set to open in theaters late next month) they can get their fix with the Capitol Collection beauty line by CoverGirl. Interactive makeup tutorials on “The Capitol Beauty Studio” help fans re-create looks and test out the collection’s bold products like “bronze-and-tangerine-hued” lip gloss.
Fashion Forecast: Cara Delevingne is every Millennial girl’s model obsession as of late, and her goofy personality is often illustrated in her off-duty fashion choices, which include the quirky and cartoon-loving London-based label The Rodnik Band. Rodnik x Peanuts is the label’s new collaboration with the iconic comic strip, playing to the Millennialized theme of cultural splicing to give “Peanuts a spin, making it wacky by juxtaposing archival imagery with ironic statements.”
Festival Watch: Music festivals and maker culture have collided as Millennials flock to DIY stations, zine-making sessions, and “workshops in everything from belly dancing to guerilla gardening” at various big-name festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo. More personalized activities crop up with each passing festival, leaving us to wonder if the music is even the largest pull for Millennial attendees.
Cover Boy: As one of the stars of next month’s highly anticipated Hunger Games installment, Josh Hutcherson reveals that he is much like his beloved character, good guy Peeta Mellark, in real life. Hutcherson represents the modern Millennial male and isn’t afraid of showing his sensitive side, fighting against “this idea that guys aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings.” He uses his good will to help others as a part of the organization Straight But Not Narrow, connecting with teens and fans alike to create gay-straight alliances in high school across the nation.
What’s In, What’s Out: 69% of teens are over guys with full beards, differing from older Millennials who have fully embraced facial hair and movements like “Movember”—not shaving for the entire month of November to raise awareness for men’s health. Teens care less about these issues and more about scratch-free make out sessions, of course.
Sign of the Times: We know that Molly has become the Millennial drug of choice, perpetuated in the media and hyped by young celebrities, yet teens are beginning to realize the danger behind the substance. Many teens know someone that has taken Molly or ingested it themselves, experiencing the major highs and lows of the temperamental drug that is often mixed with other substances like bath salts, meth, and even heroine, despite claims of its “pure” nature. Overdoses are rising, seen at concerts, music festivals, and clubs, and are hopefully a wake up call for teens who often think they are invincible.
Stats to Note: Ever the optimists, Millennials are dreaming big in order to make their career goals a reality. 54% of teens say that having a meaningful career will be their number one priority in 15 years, and most Seventeen readers feel that they will be financially independent by age 25. Young females are an ambitious bunch, a third of whom think they will make more money than their partners, most likely inspired by their role model Beyoncé who represents the modern definition of “having it all.”
Cover Girl: Demi Lovato has “lived her life at a really intense level” and is taking a much needed time to unplug, though her ambitious nature still has her judging on The X Factor and starring in Glee as a lesbian love interest. Lovato is a role model to Millennials in many regards, openly dealing with body confidence and self-harm issues since stepping into the spotlight. She is honest with her audience and claims “I don’t have the body of a model or Barbie,” hoping to encourage more girls to be happy in their own skin. As teens continue to struggle with issues like the “thigh gap” that we mentioned in this summer’s Teen Mag Roundup, her new book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year could be a helpful tool and inspire them to find the road to recovery.
Social Media Star: YouTube original Michelle Phan has found major online success as the most-watched beauty guru on the social network, with almost 5 million subscribers. Her dedication to the platform and her beauty tutorial-based channel has also led to real life success as she debuts her own cosmetics line of over 250 products and opens the doors to her first flagship store in NYC, letting viewers try out Phan-approved products in person.
Sign of the Times: Mean Girls introduced us to the phrase “girl on girl crime,” and it seems to be rampant among college-age females via “slut shaming”—the act of making a girl feel guilty for her sexual activities, or lack thereof. Most girls will experience slut shaming at least once during their time in college, and in the age of instant connectivity, a girl’s reputation can be tarnished in minutes. There have been multiple accounts of slut shaming that have led to tragic results, and girls have started to rally against it, forming feminist clubs and standing together to try and delete the word “slut” from popular culture entirely.