When it comes to black girls, the U.S. Department of Education reports that we are six times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Black girls are frequently chastised for being excited or loud. We’re described as “ghetto” and “extra” when we’re emotional, while white girls who behave in similar ways are “enthusiastic” and “passionate.” These difference in labels may seem trivial but they determine who gets punished and who doesn’t. Black girls are severely penalized for displaying emotion, with little regard for what we are feeling or experiencing.
An alien girl finds herself on an unknown planet and begins her long journey home, but she’s not sure what home is anymore. It’s an existential crisis of the third kind—one that calls for songs of exploration, fear, and excitement, presented by the all-girl rap group Barf Troop.
“All people—no matter who they are, or how they look, or even how they behave suffer through insecurities and a feeling of low self confidence—myself included, by the way. […] When I was in high school, in junior high, I suffered with a weight problem, and it made me feel bad about myself, and I didn’t feel pretty. And now that I’m older I can tell you something that I know—not that I think, but that I know. Beauty comes in all different sizes, shapes, colors, genders, everything. Beauty is everywhere. And YOU are beautiful. Even if you’re not feeling it, okay? That’s really important to remember. I know that this is the case.”
Melbourne artist Minna Gilligan (@minnagilligan) sees Instagram as a personal gallery space where she can define her aesthetic and see her work in a fresh context. She describes her vibrant art as “psychedelic playgrounds of color,” which often feature characters from her collection of old books, objects and ephemera. “I like the idea of plucking people from a kind of cultural debris and then repurposing them into my own narratives.”
Minna, who frequently contributes to Rookie (@rookiemag), an online publication for teen girls, says that she finds inspiration everywhere. “I love making up stories about the lives of objects before I found them. I remember encounters with people, relationships, friendships—all of these things fuel my work.”
Here are some of Minna’s favorite personal gallery spaces to visit on Instagram:
Petra Collins (@petrafcollins) – “Petra Collins is a photographer who lives in New York. She also works for Rookie magazine with me, where we have collaborated on a number of collage series. I admire her as an artist immensely and am addicted to her magical Instagram feed.”
Filmme Fatales (@filmmefatales) – “My friend Brodie Lancaster (who also writes for Rookie!) edits this zine about women in cinema. She’s just about to release issue #4. It is brilliant.”
The Family Acid (@thefamilyacid) – “This Instagram account is amazing, they post scans of slide photography from the 1960s to the 1980s. The original photographs were taken by Roger Steffens and curated by his daughter Kate Steffens. My favourite photographs they post are from Vietnam in the 1960s. So, so fascinating.”
Beci Orpin (@beciorpin) – “Beci Orpin is a designer, illustrator and author in Melbourne. Her work is fresh, sharp and fun, and I look forward to when she pops up on my Instagram feed, a guaranteed smile!”
“For black ‘millennials,’ the push for self-love is inspiring major change, but for that change to have maximum effect it’s going to have to celebrate the beauty of darker-skinned, coily-haired women, too.”
ROOKIE is a website created by and for young women to make the best of the beauty, pain and awkwardness of being a teenager, and every school year they compile the best content from the site into a book. ROOKIE YEARBOOK 3 explores cures for love, girl-on-girl crime, standing for something, features interviews with Rookie role models like Sofia Coppola and Kim Gordon, and includes bonus exclusive content from Shailene Woodley, Dakota and Elle Fanning, Grimes, Kelis, Sia, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City, Haim, and more! ROOKIE YEARBOOK 3 comes out October 21, but you can pre-order it now!