Dream Life

When I was 11, I wanted nothing more in the world than to be a teenager. It seemed so magical, and I kept daydreaming about what my days would be likedecorating my room the way I wanted, hanging out with my best friends, putting on makeup, reading magazines. I was obsessed with how teenagers create worlds for themselves within the walls of their rooms. As I got older, I started taking photographs. I wanted to immortalize the little world I managed to make for myself.

Lately, I’ve been feeling detached from the art I make. I’m trying to get my photography out there, and it made me lean towards making art I think people will like instead of art I know I will love. My work started to feel impersonal. 

To fix that, I did what I know bestI called up my best friends, rounded up all our makeup and magazines, and took their photos. It’s my way of reminding myself of why I started photography in the first place; I wanted to document adolescence in all its glory and gore. I will never not be fascinated of being a teenager, and I will never not make art that fascinates me. 

So to 11-year-old Andrea: 18-year-old Andrea may think being a teenager is not as grand as what you imagined it would be, but it’s still magical, in ways you may not expect. You’ll love it. 

By Andrea Panaligan

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