How do you know who you are when your body is changing dimensions on an almost daily basis and your hormones are playing tricks on you every 5 minutes? It must be exhausting!* Your sense of identity is in constant flux as a teenager and it’s no surprise to me that young people can find it hard to communicate. It’s not just a matter of finding out what you want to be but also how and why you want to be that way. All you know is that you don’t look the same as you did 3 years ago and you’re likely to feel like you’re someone else again in another 3 years time. The only people who seem to understand are also teenagers. How can you fit in when the people around you are in constant flux themselves? Expressing yourself when you’re going through this many changes can be difficult and intimidating. Being asked by adults to say how you feel can seem pointless when half the time you don’t know yourself. Sometimes you don’t have the words to know why you feel how you do. You just know that’s how you feel.
Luckily a picture speaks a thousand words and taking selfies is a great way to take stock of who you are, well at least who you are today. Today we asked young people in Neath to Look at Yourself! and find different ways to express themselves using the camera. We asked the question “What is a selfie?” and “How do you capture a photograph of yourself?” In just two hours the group went from believing a selfie needs to be the same as everyone else to believing that a selfie can be an awesome way to be unique. Unique isn’t something to be scared of. Embracing the positive things you have going for you through photography is the perfect way to work your way through your teenage years and show the world that you have loads of unique skills to offer.**
Well done to the young people of Neath who took the challenge today. Hope to work with you all again soon! Here’s their photographs from today.
*Pregnant women sometimes eat differently and want to sleep differently thanks to their hormones. Being a teenager isn’t all that different. But being some sort of she-demon and craving eating your own bodyweight in cheese and chips is accepted if you’re pregnant but frowned on if you’re a teenager. I’ve never quite understood that one.
**Meanwhile I reckon you should go ahead with the cheese and chips thing. Just be yourself (whatever that means) and hang on in there. You have loads to give the world, it might just take you a little while to work out what that is. Be good, be careful, be happy, and be patient with adults. They don’t always get it but they’re doing their best.