One of my reasons for starting she is the light was because during my younger years when I had just moved to LA/NYC and began modeling professionally I didn’t feel that I had anyone to look up to or look to for REAL inspiration.

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Hollywood can be quite rough on a girls self esteem, even if you are beautiful. There is always someone lurking in the shadows willing to do whatever it takes to be more beautiful. It wasn’t til I got a little older that I realized, there was more to being a woman than being beautiful. All the things that make up a person and his or her heart, mind, and soul is purely where beauty comes from. I know I am speaking from a place of a person that on the outside looking in seems to have things, and opportunities again because of looks. But for me it’s not true. Everyday I receive comments, mail, messages or emails from young girls and girls my age saying I have inspired them. I am just like them and I am a normal girl, but maybe this is what we need to be inspired by sometimes. It’s one of the reasons that I love that the blogging movement has taken over because instead of only having unattainable people to look up to these days we have normal people doing obtainable things to look up to.

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I am starting a mentoring program in the fall that will allow women like me to mentor creative like minded girls coming of age. In France, like in the states kids graduating from highschool and made to decide what they want to study and “be” in life right away. In my eyes leaving little room for growth and really time to get to know themselves. At 18, I was not prepared to decide what I wanted to do in life, nor am I doing what I predicted or studied. As creative fields are growing I think it is important for parents and teachers to enrich the skills of the talented and creative so that they can study this, develop their talents and have the chance to make a career and living in the arts.

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To introduce my thoughts on the subject, I have interviewed Miako, 17 years old (16 at the time of our interview). I met Miako at Silencio last year during the Larry Clark Photo Exhibition. She came three days in a row and had a really difficult time deciding which photos were for her, and at 100 euro a pop who could blame her? Her choices were well thought out and beautiful and I really wanted to get to know her. She reminded me of me, and my youth. I wish for a moment sometimes now as a woman that I could go back and see just how precious these days were and that they would forever shape who I would become. From staying up late on the weekends reading Goosebumps and sneaking watching Friday the 13th with my dad, all the tennis and soccer matches on saturdays and sundays to episodes of SNICK and weekend hiking trips. Your youth really shapes and molds you as a person forever. We partly have our parents to thank for that, but sometimes we are just who we are.

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Name: Miako
Origin: Japanese/French
Age: 16

How does it feel to be 16?
Feels like I have my whole life ahead, lots of things to live and to discover.

Hobbies:
Tumblr, drawing.

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Do you feel that you and your friends are on social networking a lot?
I don’t realize this, but I guess we are.

Where do you look for inspiration:
Tumblr/movies

Tell me something we can’t know about you by looking?
I don’t know, you tell me.

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How do you feel your generation can or will change the world?
Tolerance, acceptance, no differences, gathering.

Who do you look up to?
A woman who used to take care of me and my brother when we were kids, my brother, raf simons.

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Future goals ( if any have arrived yet):
Create my own “Warhol factory”.

Favorite music:
Right now I’d say anything by Notorious big but I listen to everything.

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One of your favorite artists is Larry Clark, tell me why?
Because he captures teenagers in a way nobody else does, he shows what everyone else try to hide.

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If you could tell girls your age one thing what would it be:
Be curious, be open minded, discover as much as you can.

photos: simon betite
mua: hannah nathalie
clothing courtesy of sandie roy paris:
levis
urban outfitters
converse
alain figaret