From Captivity to Liberation: A Coming of Age Story

by Rayno Kivo What does it mean to “come of age”? Why and how does a certain year of life determine when we identify a certain sense of individuality? Why does the “coming of age” genre typically revolve around young women? This series narrows the lens on the psychological transition in relation to one’s environment during the prime development period. The stages go as follows:

Captivity “Girls must cover their shoulders at all times while on school property.” “Are you sure you want to wear all that makeup? Natural suits you.” “Only boys wear that.” “You should wear your hair down.” “But you look so pretty in that dress.”

Metamorphosis “Have you tried waxing?” “You should straighten your hair. It would really bring out all your features.” “No, sorry these are the only sizes I have in the store. I can order it online for you if you’d like?” “I would love to wear that, but I’m nervous about what other people will think.” “That is SO you.”

Liberation “Congratulations! On behalf of the university, I am pleased to offer you admission to the class of...” “Your soul is beautiful. I’ve never met anyone like you before.” “This is great work, you have a strong creative sense.” “Yes, I’d like to dye my hair that color.” “This is me.” What you find is the more social bondage one holds themselves to, the more superficial attributes become psychological traits. Only upon true self-identification and self-love do you, and the others around you, view more than what’s on the surface. People no longer have the control of the outside, therefore they must look deeper and appreciate the inside.

To “come of age” is an attempt to weave through the pathways of standards, expectations, and assumptions and realize as a human, you deserve the right to individual interests and desires. To be raw is to be true. And to be true, well, that’s just everything.

Photographer: Tommaso Tancredi Model: Yasmine Saliba Concept Creation & Styling: Rayno Kivo, Zein AlSheikh, Alessandra Ziadé

Hair & Make-Up: Anastasiya Goncharova Fashion Direction: Daniela Fiorilli

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