Views From The Backstage

by Abby Eastman

This weekend was incredible. As a self proclaimed pop culture junky, I think being able to be fully submerged in what makes the industry tick just for a weekend, was truly an unforgettable experience.

On June 10 - June 11, Moschino and Golf Wang (by Tyler The Creator) held fashion shows at the LA Live event deck and yours truly along with the beauty arise team had the opportunity to help work backstage. Racks of designer fashions, photographers' bulbs flashing (with the exception of Tyler's show; it had very limited media backstage coverage) and people running around placing final touches, it was a dreamy peak into a world we see only from our television screens.

It almost didn't feel real. Everywhere you went you were surrounded by beautiful people who were just as pretty in person as they were in the magazines. People that the world admired, as well as some that I personally had admiration for. I stared straight into the eyes of models and celebrities who I didn't know but admired for their work and the small bits of their character that I saw through the media's lens. It all felt so normal-- it was as if my television had deceived me. I think that's what God taught me and a bunch of other girls from our team this weekend: that it's normal because they are normal. Maybe I'm late with fully understanding the constant message we hear, that "celebrities are normal people just like us". It's like I knew but I didn't really understand it until I was surrounded by people who had both fame and fortune.

One thing I think I have always been good at is looking at everyone with equal worth. My heart has always broken when I could see and feel people placing others above themselves or beneath themselves. We are so the same at the core. We all feel heartbreak and sorrow and happiness and pain. We are all talented and creative and gifted. We all have our faults, we all say the wrong things. We all breathe the same air and gasp for it when we weep-- who are we to build a social hierarchy? This weekend I got to really put into practice what I have always known and believed: that we are all the same and created in God's image. What we do or what others say about us will never determine our worth.

I was also reminded this weekend that there is freedom to be ourselves. I have known about Tyler The Creator for awhile (my best friend is a huge fan) but seeing him in person and watching him work was such a privilege. He has these wacky ideas that he isn't afraid to share. He is exactly the same way he is portrayed in the media: high energy with a voice that isn't too scared to give opinions, no matter how taboo they are. He is far from fearful of being himself. I loved that so much. You can see it in a collected mentality amongst his crew (Odd Future plus friends were his models) he basically gave them a choice to wear what they wanted to wear during his show, which you don't normally see from a designer. It was fascinating. He wanted them to be themselves on the runway and encouraged them to goof around no matter how unconventional it was. 6 hours of watching Tyler work made me want to go home and pursue my own strange and wacky dreams. I ended up watching the recorded live stream of the show when I got home and was touched by his constant appreciation for his friends and their support of his dreams. Life seems a bit sweeter if you know yourself and encourage others to know themselves as well.

I am still exhausted and my eyes are fighting not to shut, but my heart is alive with this weekend's experience. Tired yet inspired, I will forever be thankful for my 2 days spent in real life tv land.

- Abby

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