Pennsylvania's Jamie Keiles, 18, is choosing to live her life according to Seventeen magazine for the last month of her senior year of high school. This could lead to all types of kooky situations and insights, and it has. You can read about her daily challenges on her blog. We had to find out more about the girl behind this adventure. I Heart Daily: What inspired you to start The Seventeen Magazine Project? Jamie Keiles: I had an unexpected free period at school, and I decided to spend it in the library reading teen magazines. Reading Seventeen got me thinking about the current state of my life, and the teenage experience in general. I thought it might be interesting to dedicate my final month of high school to a project that explores this line of thinking at an extremely literal level.
IHD: Cool! So what is the strategy? JK: From May 21 until June 21 I am living my life according to the advice provided in the June/July 2010 issue of Seventeen magazine. This time period encompasses my final month of high school, my senior prom, and my graduation. I’m recording my results on my blog, along with commentary about modern teen life and culture. A complete explanation of the project can be found here.
IHD: What has been your favorite day of the experiment so far? JK: Probably the second day when I wore heels to DSW. Something about being overdressed in public makes people seem really excited to see you, even if they don’t know you.
IHD: What do you hope other readers might take away from your project? JK: I would love to get people thinking critically about beauty, media, and the role they play in our society. Our society’s concept of what is beautiful is rather limited, and our perception of what is beautiful is controlled by an even more limited group of people who design our clothes and publish our magazines. If I can foster a discussion that broadens someone’s view even slightly I’d be satisfied.
IHD: What is inspiring you right now? JK: Lately I’ve been really into storytelling podcasts like The Moth Podcast and NPR’s This American Life. I love riding my bike, and working in my garage on the bike I’m building. A new ice cream store just opened at the end of my block and they have peanut butter ice cream with pretzels. I primarily read non-fiction books, but for a great summer novel I’d recommend Jeffery Eugenides’ Middlesex. I’m a fan of Virginia Heffernan’s column “The Medium” in The New York Times Magazine. My favorite album is Pavement’s "Terror Twilight." I just saw Kid Cudi in concert and he put on a great live show. As a guilty pleasure I listen to Meatloaf’s "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" in the car all the time. When it comes down to it, though, I get most inspired by the future. I’m really excited to go to college this fall and eventually get out in the “real world.”
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