Bikini Pic Breakdown

by Ryan Benson

Illustration by Sally Sasz

It is March. I know this not only because I write it on the top right corner of pages and pages of lined-paper daily (skooooooool amiright), but because my Instagram feed recently acquired a new motif: bikini pictures. Ahhhh, yes. Spring break means many things (strawberry daiquiris, Netflix, forced family fun), but perhaps the most ubiquitous thing spring break means to our social-media-enslaved society is, you guessed it, bikini pics.

There's always a lot of talk surrounding pictures of women and girls in swimsuits. Rarely this talk is positive. My mom thinks bikini pictures are "tacky" and "inappropriate." My dad warns me that if I post one it may prevent me from getting job offers or acceptance letters to certain colleges. Some of my friends deem swimsuit photos "slutty." These reactions to women in swimsuits not only infuriate me, but they incite me to ponder looming questions in  my, and many other girls', lives. I mean, when women celebrate their bodies why do we (meaning, like, everyone, like, society) feel inclined to view them as inappropriate or promiscuous?  Why can my brother post a picture in a swimsuit and my dad think nothing of it, but when I post a picture in a swimsuit my future is suddenly on the line? Why do we scrutinize bikini pictures, searching for flaws in our friends and peers? When a girl posts a picture of herself in a swimsuit, why can't we all just appreciate the fact that she feels comfortable enough with her body to show it off? 

A swimsuit picture is not just a picture, it's a proclamation. It's a girl saying, "This is my body. Yes, believe it or not, my body is that of a woman. I am a woman! I like my womanly body. I'm comfortable in it." That, my friends, is what I like to call phunkyphresh self-confidence. Yes, self-confidence is unspeakably phunkyphresh, indeed. So I propose we all make an effort to stop shaming women for having, dare I say, confidence! Let's cut the lambasting and scrutiny and make an effort to cultivate confidence in all women, eh? Why don't we stop looking for flaws in others? Why don't we come to terms with the fact that many women, in addition to having outstanding brains and very warm hearts, have boobs and vaginas! Now that would be doing society a major favor, amiright? 

Finally, I'd like to see a little more variety in body type of bikini pics. If you have abs of steel, that's awesome! Post a pic, flaunt your stuff, do your thang. But if you don't have abs of steel (I know I don't), you shouldn't let that hold you back from publicly proclaiming your body's awesomeness. If you have curves, a little love-handle action, some cellulite here and there (hey, I know I do), then take ownership of that! Use the hashtag #phunkyphreshbod on your swimsuit pics this spring and summer and tag us on Instagram (@youthbyryan) to spread the word about "Bikini Pic Breakdown." 


MUSE: "Climbing Faces" by Sydney Farris

by Sydney Farris 

"Climbing Faces" by Sydney Farris

I love painting because there's no rules. When I paint, I feel liberated. I experienced a similar feeling of liberation this summer when climbing the Grand Teton in Wyoming. I learned to take what you need from the mountain, leave behind what's holding you back, and find your new face. These lessons inspired this piece, "Climbing Faces." The piece relays the importance of focusing on the ups in your life instead of the downs. 

Medium: acrylic paint


YOUTH Radio: Tyler, the Creator in All His Glory

by Amy Karp

Tyler, the Creator, who turns twenty-four today (yay), is a rapper, record producer, actor, artist, designer, and founder of the rap collective "Odd Future." Impressively, he built his entire empire well before his twenty-fourth birthday; he founded Odd Future when he was 16 to be exact. But he is so much more than those aforementioned titles. He's a promoter of the weird and different, a supporter of individuality, a role model, and an inspiration. His most unbelievable trait, though, is that even with his incredible, successful career, he stays insanely grounded and humble. 

Upon meeting him in September while I was at his store in LA, I witnessed this trait first hand. He was leaning against a tree trunk, skateboard in hand, surrounded by some of his vast group of friends and me. A lot of people would walk or skate by and yell things like "dude you're awesome"(surprisingly I was the only fan who bothered him for so long). In response he would simply say "nah I'm okay" without any indication that he felt differently or was joking at all.  

The way that he never takes himself too seriously or regards himself too highly is a contributing factor to how he is able to do so much so well. He is always striving, trying to be better, never complacement. Today, on his birthday, we should all just take a moment to recognize the great things Tyler, the Creator has done for the betterment of society from hilarious YouTube videos and Vines to the album Wolf
Please enjoy the compilation of all things Tyler below(:

these lyrics
these dance moves

this thoughtful tongue waggling 

this music video

this necklace

those glasses
this Larry King interview
this dance move from the Happy video
this sentiment
my favorite quote in the whole world
this high five
this appreciation for the individual

this logic


"Volcanic" Style Inspiration from Duckie Dale

by Ryan Benson

Duckie Dale, spunky side-boy supporting actor in Pretty in Pink, outfit aficionado, and dude with the diggiest dance moves on the big screen(sorry, Swayze... but that boy can GROOVE), is a character that oozes with inspiration. Not only is his outlook perpetually positive and his prom get-up spot on (the velvet tux/gem bolo tie combo was the epitome of phunkyphresh), but his sense of self is something to which we all should aspire. In an earlier post I discussed how style should be a tool that helps you find yourself. Well, the Duckman masters the use of style as a form of dynamic self-expression, and for that we envy, applaud, and idolize him. Duckie, dear, you are, as you would say, "volcanic" (hot and dangerous). 

Thank you, dear Duckster, for blazing the trail of sporting beat-up white shoes with formalwear. We credit our white-converse-sundress combos to you.

The gem bolo tie. The blue velvet tux. The rad rings. The scrumptiously fluffy hair. Duckie, darling, you've done it again.

Volcanic, to say the least.

Where can I find a pair of those quirky-cool glasses???

Click on the photos below to shop my Duckie-inspired picks.

Shades from ShopBop

Floral Blazer-shorts combo from ASOS

Scuff up these cool Jeffrey Campbell loafers for a Duckie-esque feel. 

Pair this classic shirt with the floral blazer/shorts for a deliciously Duckman pattern combination.