Seventeen year old Rosalind Jana of Clothes, Cameras & Coffee is a freelance writer, aspiring photographer, and possibly the most photogenic person ever. At 16, she won the Vogue Talent Contest for young writers, with her winning article being published in Vogue. Since then, Rosalind has also written for various magazines including Lionheart and Apartemento, alongside having articles on The Guardian and The Vogue Blog. Also a regular at London Fashion week, Rosalind is only getting started.
What is the most important life lesson you've learnt so far?
Achievement isn't everything, but that shouldn't stop you working bloody hard as long as you know your limits. I'm very academically minded and self-motivated, which is great, but I have to be careful not to let my self-worth be ruled merely by what grade I've been given or article I've had published. Of course I absolutely take pride in these achievements (ego still has its part to play!), but last year I used excessive work as a means to cope with and escape from my dad's severe clinical depression. He was very ill for six months and the effects reverberated through my whole family. My method of distraction as I buried myself in books and notes left me stressed and unhappy. Now I hope that I've learnt the art of balance - to enjoy hard work and the results it yields, but also to know when to stop and read a book or spend some time with friends. Life is there to be enjoyed.
What does the word feminism mean to you?
Equality, in a nutshell. It means respect being applied to both genders. It means trying to appreciate my body as it is - scar on my back, wonky shoulder blades (from scoliosis) and all - and thus advocate beauty in diversity, rather than according the narrow ideal we can be conditioned to aspire to. It means challenging rape jokes; engaging in discussion about the lack of women in politics and top corporate roles, the prevalence of domestic violence, and portrayal of women in the media; being aware of my luck in certain areas and thinking about ways that others' disadvantages could be lessened; and occasionally wearing high heels and lipstick whilst reading A Room of One's Own. That's just what it means to me though. 'Feminism' is something of an umbrella term that shelters a huge variety of topics, campaigns, aims and ways of living. Others' conceptions of the word will be subtly, or broadly different to mine - because of course one's understanding is partly going to be shaped by experience.
What one change would you like to see happen in the future?
Oh god, hard to limit it to one! Essentially I would like to see worldwide equality between men and women. There are plenty of problems in the West, but I think that eradication of sexism is much more of a global issue - and encompasses a lot of other tensions including race, culture, faith, class, money, identity and communication. It may be considered naive of me to talk from a point of limited knowledge, but in an ideal future I'd want there to be freely available education for all, autonomy in relationships regardless of gender or geographical location, achievement based on merit rather than privilege and an end to violence against both women and men. Not much to ask then…
Check out Rosalind's blog here.