Tag Archives social media

Mike Heslin Satirizes Pursuit of Social Media Stardom in New Mockumentary, “The Influencers”

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Many of us dream of becoming an influencer. But how far would we go to achieve fame? What happens when we lose control of our manicured Instagram persona? Creator Mike Heslin affectionately parodies this scramble to the top in his new series, The Influencers, which follows a group of thirsty social media starlets as they battle it out for a brand deal. The Influencers is now available to stream internationally on Revry, the first LGBTQ+ virtual cable network.
 
Cliché: How excited are you to be able to have the opportunity to work with Revry? 
Mike Heslin: Super excited! As a queer filmmaker, it feels like a great fit since Revry is a LGBTQ network. One of my production company’s missions is to elevate LGBTQ+ stories, characters, and artists – so we are thrilled to find a new home and partner in Revry. 
Tell us about your new show, The Influencers.
The Influencers is a new satirical comedy series that follows six social media “stars” as they compete in a series of creative challenges under one roof for an exclusive brand deal with the latest millennial juice craze: Jücytox. As cameras capture each influencer in real life, the manicured versions they present to the world online implode before our eyes. Witty and fun with a dash of heartbreak, The Influencers combines the best of mockumentaries such as The Comeback and Best in Show with the latest obsession-worthy reality TV formats to provide a satirical behind-the-scenes look at the lengths people will go to in their quest for (insta)fame. 
 
What about the influencer world lends itself to the mockumentary format? 
Everything! Influencer culture is all about a perceived, curated “reality”, so the idea of a show within a show where we get to see both the filtered versions they present online as well as what they are like in reality when they can’t perfectly edit and manicure everything really tickled me. For people who so carefully curate their image, I thought it was a compelling and interesting idea to see what these people would actually be like if you put them in a big-brother style house where they no longer have control of the edit.  
Influencers are often stereotyped as vain and superficial, which is perfect for parody. Are any of the characters inspired by your own experiences or interactions with influencers? 
Some of them but I can’t reveal which characters! I was between acting gigs and was freelancing for a social media agency working as a social media director and creative director. Casting and contracting influencers was part of my day to day and while there are tons of influencers out there who are super intelligent and incredibly business savvy, I happened to work with a few that were gorgeous, sweet, but who were lacking any real skillset. I started to wonder what would happen if these individuals had to prove themselves in a real public forum and how they would fare on an unfiltered platform where you couldn’t perfectly curate your persona. Thus the inception for The Influencers was born! 
 
Would you say you’re attempting to poke fun at the influencers or humanize them? Or a bit of both? 
It’s satire, so a bit of both. Most of us are active participants in today’s social media culture in some shape or form, so I think it’s important to be self-aware, to laugh at ourselves and to not take everything so seriously. 
What do you think it says about the current state of our society that everyone is so obsessed with follower counts? 
I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon. I think with or without social media, everyone just ultimately wants to be liked and respected. That being said, social media certainly can exacerbate the need to be liked and can be very polarizing (especially in times of political turmoil and a pandemic). I worry about the effect it has on our youth who are being raised in an era of unrealistic standards, but ultimately would argue that social media connects us and brings us together despite all of the negative attributes that can come with it, and connection is always a good thing. I feel connected to more people and like checking in with and keeping tabs on distant relatives or old friends from back home that I probably would have lost touch with had I not had social media. I also think it can be a great tool to market and educate but again, it definitely is a double edged sword. 
 
Does the show examine what drives people to want to become social media influencers? 
It more so examines what comes with online fame and the lengths people will go to to achieve it. It also examines what happens when you put someone who essentially doesn’t have a real skill set in coveted positions of power and/or responsibility. 
 
If you were an influencer, what kind of content would you make? 
I try to do my part to help advocate and educate for my LGBTQ+ community online already, but if I could be any kind of influencer I’d want to be a travel influencer. Getting paid to jet set around the globe and stay in five-star hotels in different countries doesn’t sound like the worst job in the world.
 
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Mike Heslin Satirizes Pursuit of Social Media Stardom in New Mockumentary, “The Influencers.” Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mike Heslin.

 

Sarah Barrios Releases Full Version of Her Viral TikTok Track, “IH8EVERY1”

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May 26th, 2021 (New York, NY): Sarah Barrios has released her latest single, “IH8EVERY1”. This song was created as part of Sarah’s “You Ask, I Write” series on TikTok with a short snippet initially shared on May 3rd of this year. After its viral response on TikTok with over 3 million plays and over 650k likes, Sarah had to release the full version.

Image Credit: Jamie Rosenberg (Jar Photo)

“Fairytales are hard to believe sometimes, especially if your prince or princess charming doesn’t turn out to be who you hoped them to be. It’s easy to give up on love and hope altogether and can make you feel like it’s you against the world. But every once in a while, you meet someone you don’t mind being around, and you start to feel that small sliver of hope. That’s what this song is about.” – Sarah Barrios

“IH8EVERY1” was written by Sarah with Wyatt Sanders and produced by Evan Gartner. The release of “IH8EVERY1” comes shortly after her single, “Have We Met Before?” featuring Eric Nam. The latter garnered a lot of attention on streaming platforms and receiving praise from outlets such as Teen Vogue, Ones to Watch, Sweety High, and many more. She is definitely one you want to keep an eye on.

 

Image Credit: Jamie Rosenberg (Jar Photo)

ABOUT SARAH BARRIOS

Sarah Barrios is a breath of fresh air. With her unapologetically sweet voice, infectious melodies, and playful pop musicality. A proud reading enthusiast, her approach is akin to that of writing a novel. Weaving together stories with raw human emotion, Sarah wins her audience at first listen with a textured experience of imagery and color. Influenced by an intelligently diverse spectrum ranging from Jane Austen to Sci-Fi books, The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac to Jon Bellion and Paramore, Sarah’s music evokes both nostalgia and anticipation for the future. After years of songwriting with the likes of Zara Larsson, Alec Benjamin, Why Don’t We, Rita Ora, Andy Grammer, etc., Sarah is stepping out on her own.

For more information about Sarah, please visit:

Instagram|Twitter|Facebook|Youtube|TikTok|Spotify

Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Images Provided By Jamie Rosenberg (Jar Photo)

Mya Xeller is the Next Big Thing

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Mya Xeller is America’s next big thing. She stars in Amazon Prime’s new reality show “Next Big Thing NYC” which follows the successful yet young lives of thriving teenagers. For Mya, she has made tremendous footholds in the pageant and fashion industry. She has won various titles including 2019 Miss Teen World Connecticut and 2020 CT Royal International Miss Teen. She has also modeled for a variety of designers at New York Fashion Week and numerous magazines. 

Mya is, above all, a person. She has hopes to use her platform for good and to use her voice to help others. Learn more about Mya’s plans for herself and others, for now and later. 

What was your first experience on a reality TV show like? 

This was my first time ever filming for TV, so I wasn’t really used to having all the cameras that like every angle of me catching every single word that came out of my mouth. Definitely had to be careful there because sometimes you say things under your breath and well, that’s on camera now so it’s definitely different for me, but I’m a very outgoing person so it didn’t make me nervous at all. It was a lot of fun the first time we ever filmed. I was definitely more held back then than I am now, because I’m so used to it now since we filmed for a full year.

But definitely has been a dream since I was very little, so having that dream come true and actually being on a TV show now is incredibly insane because I didn’t know that it would come too soon in my life, and I know that this is only just the first step to being really a TV star, and my expectations for filming “Next Big Thing” I didn’t really have any to be completely honest because I didn’t cast for the show. I actually just got reached out to and casted for it, so I didn’t really plan on it to be 100% with you. So going into it, I was kind of just free falling. I didn’t really know how it was gonna be, I didn’t know what it was gonna be like filming, it was really just me walking into it being like, “Alright, I guess I’m doing this now”. 

I went and I filmed and from there we kept getting, you know, emails and stuff that we were going to be filming here and here, doing this and this. It was really cool because I knew everybody on “Next Big Thing” before we filmed, but some of the cast members I didn’t know too well. I just saw them at New York Fashion Week in previous years so filming day one was really like getting to feel everybody out and see, “oh I know you but I don’t really know you, do I want to know you” all that kind of stuff, and I definitely formed, really good friendships with the cast throughout filming. 

In addition to that, did you have any concerns with the camera not really picking up on the entirety of your person? Were you worried about the camera not picking up on other facets of your personality?

Definitely one of my big concerns (after at least the first day of filming) was that I could be portrayed in many different ways. Because once you’re on a TV show and you sign those contracts and you agree to be filmed and put on a show, they can really manipulate and edit that show however they want to, so you have to be very careful about how you’re acting and what you’re saying, on camera for sure. 

One of my concerns definitely was, you know, I don’t want to be portrayed as someone that I’m not, and I don’t want to come off as someone that I’m not because I’m a very down to earth person I like to keep it very real. I like to be very genuine. So when I filmed I really didn’t put on an act at all I just stayed 100% myself, and I acted as I would in my everyday life, just because that’s how I want to be portrayed on the show. I didn’t want to look like I was putting on an act, because that’s not me at all. So throughout filming, I never was trying to be something or somebody that I’m not. I was always just being 100% myself, and I said you know what this is going to go on TV and either people are gonna love me or hate me and that’s just how it works. You just have to accept it that way. 

Photographed by Brett Martelli

What do you think then you’ve learned from your time on this reality TV show? What kind of lessons did you take away from your experience?

From my time on “Next Big Thing NYC”, I’ve definitely learned that friends will always be there. But there are friends that turn family, and those are the people that I will look back at “Next Big Thing” in forty years and be like, “Wow, I remember this time with Isabella and Peter and I remember when I did this with Eden”, and I’m going to look back at that say they were really there for me. And the same goes with the entire cast because we have really become a little family of our own, just from filming and spending so much time with each other because we always were that little support group for each other. And so my biggest thing that I’ve learned from “Next Big Thing” is definitely cherish those moments with your friends because you never know when that will be your last, and you never know when you’re going to want to look back on this and reminisce about the memories you’ve had with your friends that literally turned into your family. It also taught me that there’s friends, and there’s best friends that turn into a family. Friends will say they’re there for you, but it’s different when somebody says it and when somebody shows.

The focus of Next Big Thing NYC seems to be trying to channel your stardom and really achieve your aspirations even at this early stage of life. So my question is what is your definition of being a star?

Well, let me start here: “Next Big Thing”, yes, is defined by teens who are up and coming and trying to reach that all-star level of stardom, but it also is meant to show what goes on behind the scenes, and who we are as people, and the stuff that we do that shows our normal teen side because I think a lot of people see what we all do and they think, “well they’re missing out on you know being a being a teenager and doing all these fun things and they’re all they’re doing is like all this series business stuff”. “Next Big Thing” really does let you get a grasp of us being normal teenagers and just having fun and doing fun stuff that everybody in the world does so, I think that’s probably the most awesome and relatable part of the show because you really get to see relationships being formed or ending. 

My definition of being a star is having a platform that you use in a positive way because I think there are a lot of stars in the world and a lot of people who are considered famous, but not all of them really use it in the right way sometimes. I know for me, with pageants and stuff and holding a big national title, my biggest goal is to use those platforms to be a positive impact on people and be a role model for people that are looking up to me. The platform doesn’t really mean anything unless you’re using it the right way because then you don’t have an army behind you when you’re really somebody who is a role model and inspires other people and you are likeable. That’s what makes you have an army, that’s what makes you have a fan base. I always tell people, my goal is not to be famous and be rich, my goal is to gain a big platform so that I can do what I love and my dream, but also it will give me such a big platform to be able to be the role model and be the leader to younger generations that are looking up to me.

Photographed by LeRed Photography

I know in your pageant days you started All About Pink to support breast cancer awareness, so what kind of positive impact besides, or in addition to that, do you want to do?

Being a role model to me means that you take the platform that you’re given, and you use it to inspire younger girls and boys to be the best versions of themselves and to do good, don’t sit there, don’t allow people to hate on you, don’t allow people to hate on those that you love. Always keep striving for what you want to do, no matter how mean, or, you know, hateful people can be. We live in a really, really sad society sometimes when it comes to things like social media and people having dreams that they’re really working towards. People like to kick people down when they see them trying to do good. 

And so for me being a role model is inspiring younger kids to keep up the hard work, keep reaching for your goal because someday you’ll get there. It might take longer than it does for other people but you will get there it will happen for you, and you know just inspire younger kids and anybody looking up to me, really, to use your talent and use your platform to do good things, not to be famous, not to have money, not to have followers, but to really inspire other people to do the same because I inspire them, they inspire somebody else and that person inspires the next person in the list and it just keeps going on and on. I like to inspire young people and anybody looking up to me, to do good in your community and put hard work into doing community service and all that kind of stuff because it really, it’s a very gratifying feeling to do good things like that and I never used to prioritize that when I was younger but now that I’ve grown up and I’ve been given big pageant titles, that’s something that I really cherish and that I actually love doing, with or without pageants, I’ll always continue to do my community service projects.

Could you tell me about these community service projects that you’re involved with?

Yes. So last year 2019 I was the Miss Teen world America Connecticut, and I placed first runner up for Team World America. I was actually the youngest one in the top five, which was really awesome. And when I won for Connecticut and I was preparing for Vegas for nationals, I decided that I wanted to have my own platform. At this point in the pageantry, you kind of need it. 

And so I was planning and I was thinking what do I want to do, I need something that’s personal to me that I can really connect with on a personal level, because that’s what will inspire me to do it. I lost my aunt when I was younger to breast cancer, my entire family did, so at a young age I kind of got to see how that affects a family when you lose a loved one. I was young but still old enough to realize you know how it was emotionally affecting everybody and I got to see how if you don’t know that you have a gene, or you don’t know that there’s a possibility that you could get breast cancer or any type of illness for that matter, how do you prevent it? You really can’t. Once you have it and you don’t know for a while and you’ve had it, there’s not really a way to backtrack. Starting All About Pink, the goal is obviously breast cancer awareness in the fight against breast cancer, but really to help have these fundraisers and donate the proceeds to bigger breast cancer organizations that work in all different areas: genetic testing, simplifying health insurance difficulties, all of that kind of stuff. Those are the things that prevent other families from losing their loved ones because then they can have the means to find out if there’s a chance that they could be diagnosed with cancer, breast cancer more specifically. 

My grandmother had the gene, my mom had the gene, my mom actually had preventative surgery so that she did not risk, you know, not being here today. And yeah, so I definitely connect with all about pink in the work that I’m doing very personally because it’s been in my own family so I definitely feel that in my heart when I do stuff with that. And All About Pink has recently partnered with a nonprofit More Than Likes, it is run by another local teenager in Connecticut. We’ve teamed up, we actually have our first fundraiser started, Pennies for Pink. The proceeds will be donated to See More Pink, which you might not know but that’s a Connecticut breast cancer organization. I’ve actually done work with them before, I love what they stand for, I love what they do. So yeah, the proceeds will be donated to them, and this is just our first fundraiser and there are many more to come.[The partnership] is basically all about breaking the stereotype of teenagers just being a like or follow on social media and actually having them do good in the community and put hard work into helping others that need it more. We have a lot of fundraisers planned and we are in the works of all of those but currently Pennies for Pink is out and running. 

Furthermore, with my pageantry, I’m currently holding a new title: Connecticut Royal International Miss Teen. I’ll be headed to Florida in July to compete for Royal International Miss Teen, and also the role model competition as well so I’ll be going for two national titles. Royal International Miss the Pageant Circuit is very big on community service work, and, you know, your platform. It’s not just about beauty, it’s not just about the dress, it’s not about money, it’s about seriously the hard work that you put into earning that crown and with that crown and with that title. Every month Royal International Miss has a monthly service project which I’ve been partaking in. I spend countless hours just driving around. We did eyeglass donations that were donated to the Lions Club in Connecticut. We collected toys, I’m grateful to everybody who donated all these things but spent so many hours just driving around and networking on social media posting about all of these fundraisers, and it’s really awesome that this pageant circuit gives me an opportunity to do such good things every single month, as well as the things that I’m already doing on my own with my own platform.

Photographed by LeRed Photography

Well, congratulations. I know you might need a breather after listing all those accolades. It seems like pageantry and activism takes up a lot of your time but how do you wind down and enjoy this normal state of just being a regular teen?

I’m also a competitive dancer, so I dance at a dancing studio and it’s actually competition season right now, like in full swing, so dance is kind of a crazy schedule for me right now more than usual, but I’m actually really happy about it because I’m grateful that we’re able to do competitions, even though it’s COVID style. I’m just grateful because we did miss out on a whole year last year. I dance pretty until pretty late at night most nights that I’m there. 

When I get home, I obviously take a nice shower, I lay on my bed and I find a new Netflix show to binge watch until I just get too tired and I have to turn it off and go to sleep. I also do online school at home so hours go into that as well. But being online actually works so much better for me with my schedule so it kind of worked out for me this year. 

I definitely have a packed schedule. I really wouldn’t have it any other way because everything that I’m spending my time on I actually love doing so I don’t mind being busy with it.

Even though you have so many things going for you now, what do you see yourself doing either in college or adulthood? Are there any concrete goals that you’re working towards now or you hope to achieve?

I am a big makeup and hair junkie, I love everything to do with beauty. I definitely want to get my cosmetology degree so that I can maybe one day have my own salon or be a traveling makeup and hair artist. I love that kind of stuff. That’s definitely something I would do. 

But in reality, my dream and what I’m really working towards is continuing to be in the TV industry and hopefully book more jobs and just get bigger and bigger and bigger, and as well as modeling, that’s something that I hope to carry on. And you know I love performing. I love dancing, I love singing, and that’s stuff that I’ve been training for for years, so I don’t have a solid one direction plan, but I hope to just be able to accomplish all of it. But like I said, I do want to get my cosmetology degree so that I can open up my own business or be a traveling makeup and hair artist, because you know it’s always good to have a plan B for everything. 

School wise, I’ve been thinking about a few different performing arts schools where I could focus on dance, singing, acting, stuff like that because that’s what I really enjoy. And yeah, I mean I always tell people, if it comes down to not doing what I love and working in an office, I might just live in a cardboard box. I cannot see myself working in an office or working at a counter. it’s just not something I see myself doing and I’m definitely not the person that wants to be working a job that turns into a lifestyle when it’s something I don’t love, because I feel like then yes, you’re making money, but you’re not happy, and I’m not somebody that thinks that money makes somebody happy. It definitely can make you happy in the moment but when it comes to your life, definitely is not something that would keep you happy. 

I really have to be doing something that I love and that I have a passion for sure.

I can just tell that your passion is probably not going to lead you anywhere near that carpet box. I know you’re already in the very early stages of your career, but has being in the public eye been taxing on you as a regular teen that’s just going through development?

I think that even though I am only in the first milestone of my career, there is a lot of hate. 

I’m a very, very strong person. I don’t let most words get to me. Yes, it makes you feel down for a second, but I think that I’m very, very strong, so a lot of people’s words they just come in and they go out, because I, I know where I want to be, and I’m not going to let anybody tell me I can’t get there. I know for myself that I just have to put in the work and I just have to wait until it’s my time. I’ve faced a lot of hate, a lot of negative comments, a lot of people who just definitely don’t like me for some reason. And it really hasn’t thrown me off track. I just listen to it, throw it out and keep on moving.

But for a lot of other teens, words really strongly affect them. And I think that’s one of the cons with social media, is that there’s a lot of bullying and a lot of hatred spread on there. Although there is good, there’s also a lot of hate and negativity, and it can be very detrimental to, you know, becoming an adult and growing up because it makes you feel like you’re less than you really are. Being in the public eye and just on social media in general can be, can be very stressful to young teens and young adults because it’s just for some people that can’t handle that pressure that hate being put on them, can definitely put them down and throw them off track of whether where they’re really trying to go.

How did you develop this strong of a mindset, able to deter every hateful comment that you come across? Would you say that it was something you were born with or can you attribute the development of it to something?

I would definitely say that growing up as a little girl, my mom definitely she’s my biggest role model. I love her to death. She definitely taught me how to be strong, and not to let people or my losses get me down. Like I said I’ve been competitively dancing since I was very young, and I never used to be the big winner out of my age group, let’s be honest, I never really won. As a little girl I would always start to cry, and then my mom would grab me by the ponytail and say, “you don’t cry, do not cry one more tear right now”. She taught me that if you’re going to cry over a loss, we can’t do this because that loss might be a win next week. It doesn’t matter because you’re not really losing. You’re just getting the experience and you’re growing and you’re learning, and from that you’re just going to keep working hard. You don’t always win, not the same person is going to win in every single aspect, every day of life and I think that’s what I’ve grown up to learn because of my mom. 

For me, I definitely think it has developed though. I would say definitely through elementary school and middle school even. I was always worried about what other people thought of me, always worried of what other people thought of my clothes, how I acted or even how I talked, just basic anxiety and worry that people might not like me. That always really got in my head, really trying to like change myself to make sure that I was making other people happy or satisfying other people. Now that I’m in high school, I’ve learned that people are going to love me, or they’re going to hate me. As long as they don’t hate me because of me treating them badly, then I don’t worry about it. I’m going to be nice to everybody and I’m going to do me and I’m going to be 100% and whether people like it or not. I just have to leave it because people sometimes just aren’t going to like you just because they don’t want to like you and that’s how it works today 

My mom has definitely been that role model who taught me how to be like that. And I’ll be forever grateful for that.

I think that concludes our time together. Are there any last words that you would like to say, or include in the article? 

Definitely just my instagram handle is ‘at’ myaxeller

This article has been lightly edited for clarity
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Q&A with Alex Jackson, Branding Genius & Advocate for Racial Equality in the Influencer World

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Media Girls LA Founder Alex Jackson. Photo Credits: https://enspiremag.com/2021/03/media-girls-la-founder-alex-jackson-on-marketing-and-wage-differences/

On-camera media personality, SHEEN Correspondent, and founder of Media Girls LA, Alex Jackson is a pioneer of strategic marketing and a champion of equal representation in the influencer world. Fusing her talent for and experiences in event curation, influencer branding and marketing, and publicity, she founded her own agency, Media Girls LA, in 2018 to help connect influencers with established brands across the country. As her monthly flow of brand deals became increasingly prolific, she learned that her white counterparts were paid significantly higher. The stark pay gap between Black and white content creators with the same following was jarring, and she committed to focusing her work on promoting and advising influencers of color. When the pandemic hit, both brands and content creators experienced insurmountable barriers, which created few opportunities for promotions and sponsorships. Rather than giving up, however, Jackson broadened her approach to strategic brand deals to include a more diverse array of influencers and tactics. With a rapidly expanding network, ultimately, in 2020, she closed the highest number of brand deals since the launch of her company, securing $100 thousand in brand deals for Black content creators. Working with influencers such as Mehgan James, Romeo Miller, Master P, and Miracle Watts, Jackson hopes to continue expanding her network and advocating for equal pay and representation for Black influencers. In this interview, Jackson shares more about the genesis of and mission behind her company, her aspirations moving forward, and the lasting impact of her work on racial equality in the media. 

Please tell us about your career path, leading up to the launch of your company, Media Girls LA. What inspired you to found this company?

Most people don’t know the planning of MGL initially started with 4 ladies working within the media industry.  The initial idea of the organization spawned from a thought on the Soul Train Awards’ red carpet, where we decided to host our first event as a women’s media brunch. What can I say, the strong survive. But seriously, although the event was a success, it was clear the collaboration was not going to work, so after the first event I continued MGL in 2018 as a solo endeavor.

Beauty Meetup with Macy’s. Photo Credits: https://www.mediagirlsla.com/gallery

How did the pandemic affect your work and change the trajectory of your career?

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was very rocky being that all my speaking engagements were canceled, along with my MGL scheduled events. In addition, I was in the midst of launching my t-shirt business, and my media junkets out of town were all placed on pause, as well as all the branding collaborations engagements I had solidified for the upcoming months. Literally, everything I do to make money was at a complete halt, but what’s crazy, I still wasn’t worried. I knew God was going to see me through it; I didn’t know how, but I knew it would be okay. That’s when I went in complete hustle mode. I started to make and sell  E-books, webinar replays, and virtual events and come up with different strategic plans to broaden my reach when it came to influencers and brands.

What is your central goal as a content creator, and how do you work to make space for more influencers of color in the media?

Once finding out that Caucasians influencers were making more money in the industry, my mission has been solely to make sure they get the money they deserve. My primary goal started with me recruiting influencers that look like me and that I knew had  great content to help them run up a bag! I’m very picky as to who I take on my roster now compared to the past. I teach them how they should stand their ground on their pay request and help them with understanding how much they should be charging for their services as well.

Compton’s School District Girl Empowerment Symposium. Photo Credits: https://www.mediagirlsla.com/gallery

What was the biggest challenge you encountered in obtaining sponsorships and brand partnerships? 

I would say for brand partnerships, it has been finding the contacts, and sponsorships would probably be about the same. Either way, I don’t give up easily and quitting is not an option. As I have learned to do more, I’ve become creative in my approach to discovering different ways to find contacts.

In addition to racial equity and representation, what are some of the central issues you see in influencer culture? In your experience, how has the influencer business impacted body image and mental health among millennials? 

It’s definitely a wage gap between races without a doubt, and everyone knows it. It’s really unfair especially being that in a lot of instances those black influencers have more engagement and followers. I have had to give a few pep talks to my content creators when some of them have felt like giving up on YouTube because they feel like they play favorites. It discourages them and leads them to think their content isn’t good enough. A lot of influencers I’m friends with feel like they need to have surgery to keep up their looks, or women who want to be influencers feel like they need surgery to be noticed as an influencer, but none of that is true at all.

Alex Jackson, Champion of Equality for Black Influencers. Photo Credits: https://enspiremag.com/2021/03/media-girls-la-founder-alex-jackson-on-marketing-and-wage-differences/

What are some ways media consumers can contribute to a more equitable and healthy space in the media industry? 

Just like any other industry, we have to let it be known that this behavior exists. For many people,  all this is still new, although it has been around for over a decade. The more consumers understand the dynamics behind what we do and the work involved, they will be able to contribute on a great scale toward equitable measures. In the mean, influencers and content creators need to shed light on this issue to make consumers aware. 

What do you think will be the lasting impact of your work, even in the post-covid era? What’s next for you? 

I think the lasting impact of my work will be the footprints that I have left for those who are interested in getting into the industry. The foundational vision of MGL derived from being a beacon to help others starting out in the business, and it has continued to be our foundation to this day. 

I plan on doing in-person events post-COVD to teach influencers how to make a bag from social media. I’m also releasing two E-books, “How To Make A Bag From The Gram,” and one about how to obtain sponsorships for events, as well as building my tee shirt business “Statement  Tees” @statementtees_    . Media Girls LA is already on track to supersede our number of brand deals from last year and to increase our network. 

Read more lifestyle articles at Clichemag.com
Photo Credit: EnspireMag,  Media Girls LA

Ava Jules : Youtube, Fashion Design, and Hawaii Life

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Ava Jules is a 20-year-old lifestyle and beauty Youtuber based in O’ahu, Hawaii. She is an advocate for Environmental and Oceanic Preservation, as well as Body Positivity. Ava has 1.3-Million subscribers on Youtube and over 100-Million views on her main Youtube Channel alone. She has balanced College classes, launching a jewelry line, and designing her own sustainable fashion brand. 

What was it like growing up in Hawaii? 

Growing up in Hawai’i was filled with beach days, island fun, and lots of good memories. I definitely feel very connected to the ocean and nature because I grew up learning to love and care for it.

You began your Youtube Channel in 2013 in an effort to show your love for Justin Bieber. How has your content evolved and what are some of your favorite videos to create? 

 Unfortunately I do not make Bieber fan videos anymore. My content now is very much a representation of what my life currently is like, so it’s bound to change as I change as a person! I love creating vlogs that bring people along into my life and tell a story. Lately, my favorite videos to make have been a new series on my channel called “Home in Hawaii”. 

What is something that you enjoy about creating content whether it’s on Youtube, TikTok, or Instagram?

I love seeing the comparison between the raw videos and the final edited version of the videos I create for YouTube. It’s absolutely hilarious to me that I’ll sometimes have more than two hours of footage, then end up with a seventeen minute video.

You act as a role model to many by using your voice to shine a light on body positivity and environmental preservation. Do you have any role models, or someone who acts as an inspiration to you?

I’m really inspired by Blake Lively because she’s spoken up about issues she cares about in a very informative and empowering way. It inspires me to use my voice and platform to do the same. 

Photo by: Sienna Morales

 What is a piece of advice you would give to someone about body confidence?

Speak to yourself the way you would speak to a dear friend.

Fashion has always been a part of your life, and now you are launching your own sustainably-designed fashion collection. Can you share a little bit about what the creative process was like? 

Everything starts with a “vision”, as dramatic as that sounds. I love coming up with designs and (very roughly) sketching them on my iPad is probably my favorite part. It’s a long process to create clothing, with a lot of back and forth and re-designing, but to see the final product is well worth it. 

 

Being a college student, content creator, and fashion designer, what does the average day in your life look like?

No day is really the same because there’s always different things that need to be done and things tend to pop up out of the blue. BUT, I do have a steady morning routine that I do pretty much daily. I start off by waking up, drinking water, and I’ll either workout or take my puppy for a walk. Then I’ll have some breakfast, shower, do my skincare, and get ready for the day. After that, it’s really unpredictable.

Photo by: Sienna Morales

You met your best friend, Hannah Meloche, through the Youtube Community. She is now in Hawaii and you guys just collaborated to create the “Ava x Starlite Village” jewelry collection. What was it like working with your best friend? How did the idea of the Jewelry collaboration come about? 

Working together to create something that represents a piece of our friendship was so much fun. The best part was probably launch day, and seeing the little dots pop up on the world map of where in the world people were on the site. The idea to do a jewelry collaboration randomly happened when we were in LA together in February of 2020. Hannah and I were chatting and she looked at me and went “We should do a collection together.” 

 

What can we expect to see from you in the future? What are some goals that you have? 

Oh man.. who knows? Between you and me, I don’t think too far into the future because it’s so unpredictable and gets me kind of anxious. However, I think the future will bring a lot of changes in my life and my career online since I still am so young and have lots of life ahead. One of my biggest goals is to create something that is bigger than myself and helps/inspires others.

 

Where can we follow you? 

 You can find me on almost every social media site if you search up my name, Ava Jules

Youtube Main ChannelYoutube Vlog Channel |Instagram| Tik Tok |Twitter|Snapchat|Facebook

Read more Interviews at ClichéMag.com
Images Provided by: Sienna Morales

Fashion – the Power of Social Proof

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Today we want to talk to you about the power of social proof. Social proof has always been an important factor in advertising, but with the adventure of digital media and online culture new forms of it have emerged and older practices have been adapted to the new environment. Social proof has different forms, but in each, the power of group thinking and collective mentalities influence individuals like the force of gravity. 

Expert Social Proof

Busy female freelancer with laptop taking notes in kitchen

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels

Expert social proof is the seal of quality given to a brand by an expert in that industry or field. It tells customers and users that a product satisfies their lofty standards and fits in with the other products they offer. It’s a powerful association. 

This Expert social proof is not difficult to achieve if you have the right know-how. First your product will have to be of a certain quality and standard. After that it’s simply a case of contacting the right people and sending them samples.

Celebrity Social Proof

In the past celebrity social proof meant the biggest stars on the planets and getting their endorsements was far from easy, or cheap. This market has now diversified significantly with the rise of influencer marketing. A celebrity now means someone with a YouTube channel and few thousand followers. 

Fashion brands looking to take advantage of this effective social proof strategy will have to identify suitable celebrities in their niche and start following them. Depending on the budgets involved a brand can gain endorsements from different levels of influences. 

User Social Proof

Laptop technology ipad tablet

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

The online marketplace has really opened up in recent years and people want to know selective details about a product before they hit the buy button. They want to know the product’s quality, its delivery details, and what the fit is like. This is why reviews and ratings make all the difference. 

It is now commonplace for fashion brands online to contact you following a purchase and ask for some feedback. This feedback is vital social proof for the website and brand, but it also helps out fellow shoppers interested in the same fashion lines.

Wisdom of the Crowd

It’s a well known social phenomenon that people follow crowds. If there’s a large queue outside a restaurant people assume it’s high quality, if you don’t know the speed limit on a highway you follow the other traffic. This phenomenon also manifests online.

Fashion brands usually have a Most Popular section on their website, or a Trending Now section. This gives you the products and articles most people are interested in and it’s effective at directing attention. Similarly, a lot of social media activity indicates better quality.

Wisdom of Friends 

One global consumer survey suggests that 77% of people say they are more likely to buy a new product if it’s recommended to them by a friend or family member. This review management is a strong indicator of effective social proof.  

Fashion brands can benefit from. This powerful form of social proof by expanding their reach on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The more friends are connected to a brand and share the updates, the more the brand will grow its appeal.

Read more fashion articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Why You Need to Embrace Influencer Marketing

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Today we want to discuss why you need to embrace influencer marketing.  Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that involves using influencers to endorse products using social media. The brand and the influencer work together to convey the communication and marketing messages. These are the reasons you need to embrace this marketing style.

It Saves Time

Engaging an influencer to help with your marketing saves you time. You do not have to create social media content alone. This person understands the fans better and so they will make posts that resonate and align with the followers.

Furthermore, your potential customers will contact the influence before entering your sales funnel. This means they are likely to get your product compared to clients you attract through other channels.

It Creates Returns for Businesses

Many businesses are making significant returns from influencer marketing such as cosmetics influencers. Besides, this marketing strategy is the fastest growing. According to research, this method converts more clients who ultimately stay with the brand for a long time. That is, you get to attract much longer high- quality customers when you use influencer marketing.

The strategy enables you to build meaningful and long-lasting relations. You get loyal and high-value customers since social media users are likely to recommend a product or service to their buddies and family once, they test and prove its worth.

It Improves Your Brands Awareness

Embrace Influencer Marketing

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels

When you use influencers or hire a brand ambassador agency, you expand your audience and positioning online. The fans of the influencer or tradeshow models who may not be your clients will begin to know about your brand, who you are, and the solution you are providing. The fans of the influencer who may not be your clients will begin to know about your brand, who you are, and the solution you are providing.

But for you to maximize influencer strategy, you need to provide valuable content. That is your product or service should add to the influencer’s and the follower’s social media presence.

Helps You Build Trust

Influencers have taken their time to interact with their fans, build trust, and credibility. People are constantly looking for genuine and authentic content and when an influencer endorses your product, it builds trust and transparency. The followers respect their recommendations and content. Therefore, you can share this influencer’s content and they may ultimately begin sharing yours. When they do this, their significant flowing begins to learn your message.

It Helps You Build Essential Partnerships

Photo of laptop near plant

Photo by Tobias Dziuba on Pexels

When you partner with an influencer, it may be the beginning of an important relationship. When you connect and you intend for it to be in the long run, the connection may amount to real Opportunities in the future

Helps You to Effectively Reach Your Targeted Audience

When you decide to try influencer marketing, it’s best to partner with relevant individuals. That is the influencer niche should align well with your brand. By partnering with a relevant influencer, they share your content with social media users interested in your niche. The audience already understands your niche and so you don’t have to spend additional funds on testing them.

Enables You Avoid Pushy Advertising

The traditional advert can be pushy. These ads do not resemble a paid commercial. Also, they target a given audience and so they will not come out as pushy which may repel the potential customers.
Influencer marketing such as cosmetic influencers saves you time, helps build trust, creates a return for the business, improves brand awareness, and help you create essential partnerships.

Read more fashion articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

5 Women That Could Have Hosted the 2019 Oscars

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With the 2019 Oscars just a little over a month away, it was announced that the show will go on without a host. Kevin Hart was originally appointed to host this year’s telecast. However, after old tweets from the comedian resurfaced, which were explicitly homophobic in nature, Hart decided to step down from his hosting duties. He explained on Twitter that he “did not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past”. Fellow comedian, Ellen DeGeneres revealed on her show during an interview with Hart about the controversy that she pleaded to the Academy to rehire Hart as host of the award show because she felt that he has “grown and apologized and has apologized again.” Ultimately, however, Hart stuck to his initial decision and not host the show. This prompted the Academy to announce that the show will not have a host, and instead, will feature high profile names to announce and present each category.

If Kevin Hart had gone through with hosting the Oscars, it would have been the fifth year in a row that a man has hosted. The last time a woman was named host was back in 2014 when Ellen DeGeneres was given the honor. In a time when the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are flourishing in our society, and rightfully so, it is rather peculiar that the Academy did not think to designate a woman as host of the show. Unfortunately, it is not happening this year. However, here is a list of 5 powerful women that could have hosted the 2019 Oscars. Hey, there’s always next year!

 

Wanda Sykes

Can anybody think of a better apology to the LGBT community than to have another openly gay comedian, Wanda Sykes, host the 2019 Oscars? She’s lovable, funny, and would have brought something different to the Oscars than what we have seen before. Maybe one day, Wanda will have the honor.

 

Tracee Ellis Ross

Black-ish star, Tracee Ellis Ross has no shortage of hosting experience. This daughter of a musical legend has hosted several music award shows, among others. She is also beloved, hilarious and relatable to so many. She would have been an amazing host!

 

Maya Rudolph

When you think of Saturday Night Live, you can’t help but think of Maya Rudolph. Also the daughter of a music icon, Rudolph made viewers laugh for seven years on SNL, with her many famous impersonations such as Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, and Beyonce. Like Ross and Sykes, there is not a bad thing to say about Maya Rudolph. She would have made an excellent host for the 2019 Oscars.

 

Leslie Jones

Following in the footsteps of Maya Rudolph, Leslie Jones has been a standout on Saturday Night Live since 2014. She is also known for her impersonation of Oprah Winfrey, in addition to Whoopi Goldberg and Omarosa. In 2016, following the release of Ghostbusters, Jones became the target of Twitter users making racially charged attacks. This forced her to leave social media. Not long after, she was targeted again after several private photos were released on her personal website, which had been hacked. After these two unfortunate incidents, she gained an overwhelming amount of support from her Hollywood peers, as well as fans alike. Hosting the 2019 Oscars would have been a big “F U” to her attackers and haters.

 

Whoopi Goldberg

On the December 11, 2018 episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg seemed to offer her services to host the 2019 Oscars. “I realize I may not be anybody’s first choice. But…” Whoopi has hosted the Oscars four times in the past: 1993, 1995, 1998, and 2001, and she never disappointed! She has the experience, she’s a legend, she’s honest, and she genuinely loves the movies. How about a fifth time, Whoopi?

The 2019 Oscars will air on February 24 on ABC.

 

Read more entertainment articles at Cliché Magazine

5 Women That Could Have Hosted the 2019 Oscars: Featured Image Credit: SpilledNews

How Netflix’s Bird Box Became A Holiday Hit

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When you think about Christmas movies, a film about a mysterious creature on a killing spree shouldn’t be the first that comes to mind. But yet, that’s the exact film that people spent their Christmas holiday watching, thanks to Netflix and Sandra Bullock! Here’s how Bird Box became the official Christmas movie of 2018!

Bird Box premiered on Netflix on December 21st. It’s no surprise that many people off from work stumbled upon this film while looking to unwind and jumpstart their vacations. By Christmas day, if you happened to scroll through social media it seems as though everyone was simultaneously watching Bird Box and posting about it. The release of Bird Box was ideal timing. Within seven days of its release, Netflix announced that 45 million people streamed the film during the holiday week. It quickly became the most successful film Netflix has launched. Every successful film needs an eager audience and Netflix’s audience was already indoors looking for some entertainment. Whether you were extremely bored or excited to watch anything with your family, Bird Box became Netflix’s Christmas gift to you!

One simply cannot talk about Bird Box without mentioning the memes that took over social media after it’s release. Almost overnight, you could not scroll through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook without a meme referencing it. And if you didn’t catch Bird Box by the time the first wave of memes hit (like me!) you definitely put it on your to-do list after seeing them.

Combined, the ideal timing and memes had us flocking to press play. But there was one more component that worked in Netflix’s favor: The FOMO. The “Fear Of Missing Out” drove us all too quickly to watch the film during our holiday break. We wanted to: A) be able to laugh at the memes along with everyone else and B) join the world in posting our own thoughts about the film. The era of social media and the new unorthodox way of watching films online make it effortless for us to insert ourselves into the conversations about “what’s trending?” in one simple click.

 

Read more Entertainment News at Cliché Magazine

How Netflix’s Bird Box Became A Holiday Hit: Featured Image Credit: @BirdBoxMovie on Instagram.

Supermodel Lindsey Pelas Raves About Her Modeling Career and Fighting Internet Trolls

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You may have seen bombshell Lindsey Pelas in publications such as Maxim, GQ, and Playboy. But now the supermodel and social media sensation has taken on the world of podcasts with her very own one, Eyes Up Here with Lindsey Pelas. We chatted with Lindsey about the podcast, her life as a model, and the challenges she’s overcome in her career.

 

Cliché: Can you describe the vibe that you got after amassing more than 13 million followers on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter?

Lindsey Pelas: It’s been a whole lot of fun! There were a lot of times where I thought, “Okay, now what am I going to do with all of these eyes on me?” But now I’ve got a lot of focus and direction.

What was the transition like moving from Louisiana to Los Angeles to start your modeling career?

It was pretty surreal but felt right at the same time. I actually just moved here thinking that I would be a bartender for a while. I never imagined having the luck I’ve had.

                                  Image Credit: Madelene Lisella

You’ve modeled for Maxim, GQ, Playboy, and others. What was that experience like shooting for these publications? What was the most transformational moment during your modeling career?

It’s been cool getting the chance to appear in these publications. It feels normal shooting them, but when you hold the magazines in your hand it’s a really cool feeling. The most transformational moment during my career was very early. One day I picked up my phone and quit my bartending job and decided I was going to figure out how to make this a career. I’m glad I made that choice to be fearless now.

Over the years, you have talked about the adversity that you were faced with such as growing back pain and harsh criticism from many people on social media. How did you manage to overcome these challenges and still paved the way for a great life? Can you tell me about your biggest buzzkill moment?

Image Credit: James Thompson JZL

I’ve been prepared for the rude people and criticism for a long time. I’m an outspoken, free-thinking girl from the South with DDD boobs. People have been stressing about me for a long time. My biggest buzzkill was almost getting a Carl’s Jr. commercial. One of my good friends ended up getting the part though so it was actually a sweet silver lining and a lesson in patience and perseverance.

What’s the message that you hope your fans take away from your podcast, Eyes Up Here with Lindsey Pelas? Why did you feel it was critical and important to launch your own podcast?

I hope fans enjoy my guests and I hope they take away that there’s more than meets the eye with everyone’s story. We make judgments and decisions based on our assumptions about people and ideas and a lot of the time, we get it wrong. Everyone has a story, and everyone is human. I actually had a lot of requests for a podcast. My Twitter followers really wanted one and I thought it would be a great way to connect.

How would you say your social media outlets influenced your career?

Social media is 100 percent responsible for my career. No one would have invited me to model, but I started doing it on my own. I’m thankful for the mobility and opportunities social media has given me.

It’s worth mentioning that you have very good taste in fashion. What’s your personal style? How did you develop it?

Image Credit: Dmitriy Plyusnin

Thanks! I am actually so thankful to work with brands who help dress me and get me together. My personal style I don’t show that often. I’m a lot simpler than you’d probably think. A black turtleneck and jeans and some sneakers are my go-to everyday normal-wear.

What’s your advice to your fans looking to pursue the same path that you took to become a public figure and to gain popularity? How much importance do you put on being a role model for them?

My advice is to believe in yourself. Only you know what you’re capable of. I think we suppress a lot of our instincts and true desires in life but feeding into your dreams is the only way to be truly happy. If you are pursuing your dreams with excitement and passion, people will take notice. I hope to be a positive role model. My final objective in life is to make an impact in some way. My goals in life are setting me up in that direction.

At this point in your life, who was the person to help guide you to where you are now?

Image Credit: Bryan Dewitt

Many random people helped guide me to get me where I am now. I’ve had a lot of casual influences end up helping me make majors decisions. For instance, former relationships, bosses and strangers. I get direction from all sorts of people. I’m always learning.

What do you do on your off days when you aren’t modeling or acting?

No one ever says this, but I love watching television. I also enjoy sitting on the sofa with my dog, Tosh, binge-watching, and eating Oreos… That’s the life.

Are there any big surprises that your fans should be on the lookout for on social media?

My 2019 Calendar!

What are your future plans?

I plan to do a lot more acting and modeling and slowly taking over the world. It’s going to be great.

 

Read more Entertainment articles at ClicheMag.com

Supermodel Lindsey Pelas Raves About Her Modeling Career and Fighting Internet Trolls. Image Credits: Martin Depict, Madelene Lisella, James Thompson JZL, Dmitriy Plyusnin, and Bryan Dewitt

How Social Media can Inspire Your Interior Design

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Social media has introduced us all to a whole new world online and, as part of that, a new window has opened into the world interior design. Now, if we wish, we can have an exclusive domain of designers and influencers filling our news feeds on a daily basis with their beautiful spaces and interior trends. Plus designers are continuing to act as the pioneers for our interior scene, it is bloggers and influencers that our taking everyday products to the people and creating content that inspires people. With that in mind, it is no wonder we are all turning into budding decorators and DIY addicts.

interior design photo

It is no surprise that Instagram is one of the main social media platforms for influencers. It can offer creative inspiration and is platform driven by visual imagery. With the app becoming the fastest growing social platform, a huge opportunity has presented itself for influencers to build a big following here.

As a marketing tool, Instagram allows an influencer to give their followers an insight to their personal life and for them to explore, see and read all about their beautiful homes. With still and moving images, followers can really ‘get inside’ an influencers home and find inspiration. Whilst doing so, this builds a relationship with the influencer and their audience (as well as promoting lots of different products too).

blog photoHere we have put together a handful of creative and clever social media influencers who you can learn from to enhance your interior design.

Emma’s Designblogg
Instagram: @emfex

A Stockholm based influencer, Emma allows you to get lost in hours of photographs of stunning interiors that are best described as Scandi-rustic. For soft minimalistic styles and functionalist beauty, this is the one for you.

Print & Pattern
Instagram: @printpattern

If you need wallpaper, fabric or wall illustration inspiration you can guarantee you’ll find it here. Combine both the blog and Instagram together and you’ll be overwhelmed with patterns that you can put into your home.

If, while reading this, you feel like these designs and inspirations simply won’t work in your home, maybe you need to consider buying some new furniture to dress up. A great place to start would be with a new bed for a comfortable and great night’s sleep – and to cover in beautiful bedding to make a design centrepiece. Divan Beds Centre has a great selection to choose from. The bedroom is a great starting point before moving on to the rest of the home.

instagram photoHabitually Chic
Instagram: @Habituallychic

Based in New York City, Habitually Chic is all about being modern with an uptown taste. From her Fifth Avenue apartment to her beautiful dressing-room, there’s much to be inspired by here. For all things fabulous, floral and bright, you won’t want to miss this account’s posts in your feed.

Jonathan Adler
Instagram: @jonathanalder

Looking at Jonathan Adler’s feed is like gazing into a fantasy of bright colours and styles from a diverse range of sources. Here you will learn how to mix together colours, prints and art in ways you never even dreamed off.

Apartment Therapy
Instagram: @apartmenttherapy

Keeping up with new trends, this is a small-spaced-focused account showing you everything from industry trade shows to fascinating before and after photos. It’s a great mix and gives you inspiration for your bedroom, office, living room and beyond.

So, whether you are seeking some inspiration to update your space or just fancy some interior escapism, these are the Instagram accounts that you need for inspiration.

Read more Home Decor articles at Cliché Magazine
Images provided by Flickr CC License