Friday, June 10, 2016

Youth Politics

This morning I was sipping my chamomile tea and scrolling through the website for i-D magazine (my go-to after Vogue), which I appreciate for its culture, diversity, and creative way of looking at fashion and music.  i-D has editorial with high fashion and exclusive interviews with designers and inspirers in the fashion world, but what magazine doesn't?  What sets i-D, which is British, apart from the rest, is how geared it is towards youth.  The images are provocative, eclectic, diverse, and beautiful in the most unconventional ways.  The magazine covers stories that pay homage to the London punk scene, disco, feminism, ethnic variety, and more. 


One of my favorites to peruse is the type of article that interviews youth in the streets of various cities around the world to gauge their opinions on everyday topics of controversy.  Although our culture glorifies youth for their beauty and glamour, I feel the youth is simultaneously underestimated and underappreciated, discriminated against in the more serious fields such as science, politics, and business.  Today's article, compiled by the i-D staff, interviewed youth in Harlem, New York about life, politics and world change.


Every interviewee had an interesting way to answer the few questions, but one in particular stood out to me.  When asked, "How do you think we can get young people involved in politics today?", 19-year old Harlem native Malachai Spivey answered: "Stop making politics so uppity and stuffy and kids won't feel so out of place." 


Maybe this answer is obvious to many, and in many ways it is to me as well, yet it really struck a chord with me.  Obviously that is what's wrong with politics, so why doesn't anyone do anything to change it?  Take this election for example.  Policies aside, how can any youth be expected to feel properly represented by Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders?  They are all over the age of 50 and at least the first 2 were born into privilege, never knowing what it's like to scrounge together enough cash to pay your bills for college courses or to ride the bus to your night job in LA.  I understand that the POTUS tends to be older in age based simply on experience in politics, but what about members of the Senate or the House?  It's all, put on this face and wear this pantsuit and make your citizens happy and do whatever it takes to get elected.  The reality is very behind closed doors.  That makes me feel cheated, manipulated, taken advantage of. 


Who else knows that the lead singer of the Dead Kennedys ran for major back in 1979?  And actually came somewhat close?  Sure, some of his policies were ridiculous, but he was a young punk with insight into youth culture and what we are fighting for.  Don't underestimate the youth--we have drive and passion.  We are just kept away from politics because of the way they are presented.  Maybe if the youth had more representation in government, we'd feel we had more of a voice.  Any thoughts?


XOXO,
Taylor

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