(EXTRA)ORDINARY WOMEN: ERINA AND LAURA An interview with (extra)ordinary teens and best friends, Eri
Photos by Laura Ingram and Erina Law | Collage by Marlenne Jasso
Welcome to a new monthly feature on Mimp Magazine.
This is (Extra)ordinary Women, a column that showcases the thoughts, ideas, inspirations and passions of ‘ordinary’ girls from the real everyday lives of Mimp writers. The ladies of this column are the ones that don’t usually get interviewed. They haven’t written a book, started a clothing line or found YouTube fame (not yet anyway!) but their voices need to be heard all the same. Laura and Erina are two 17 year olds studying in the little grey city I call my home. Both of these girls are filled with passion and a vision for a better future. They are our first (extra)ordinary women here on Mimp and, being thoughtful, kind intelligent and brave, these girls are all that the word ‘extraordinary’ encompasses. Hello! First, could you guys tell Mimp readers a little about yourselves? Erina: Hi! Currently I am studying for my A-levels at sixth form, however I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading and dancing around to music instead of studying! I’m a vegan with absolutely no talent in cooking (I burn everything) and I write rubbish poems to get my feelings out. Laura: My name is Laura Ingram and I'm 17 years old. I'm half British and half French and am fluent in both languages. I'm about to finish my first year of A-levels studying Biology, Economics and French. Currently, I am interested in going into the Fashion Industry, either working with a fashion magazine or doing a degree at university in Fashion Management and Marketing. I'm really passionate about saving the planet and the animals and have been vegan for nearly a year now. What do you think makes someone extraordinary? Erina: I think it is very possible for all people to be extraordinary- all it takes is believing in yourself and helping others to believe in themselves too. Even though there are lots of negative things to be dwelled upon, a person who takes these things in their stride and still goes out into the world with love and positivity, trying to spread their kindness and passions to make the world a better, more loving place, is extraordinary in my eyes. Laura: Someone who is sure of themselves and believes deeply in what they are doing, despite receiving judgement from others. I feel that these days, people are so unsure of themselves as they are worried of what others will think of them. Someone who isn’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in is extraordinary to me. What are you passionate about? Erina: I am probably the most passionate about acting or reading- they seem very different, but, in theory, they both allow a person to travel into a different place and experience different things, and that makes me feel powerful. Laura: I am passionate about making a change in the world. At my age, I feel very restricted in what I can actually do to help people that are in need. In the past few months, I have seen the hard work of Jerome Jarre and other social media influencers who have turned their dream into a reality with the help of a hashtag and millions of followers supporting their every move. So far #LoveArmyForSomalia has raised $2.6 million in 2 months by over 92,000 people. With the money raised they were able to distribute 60 tonnes of food to people who were in desperate need in Somalia. Now they continue to raise money in order to support the local businesses and entrepreneurs who will then go on to employ the families who are in need, which in turn will boost their economy. It is my dream to volunteer in the developing countries of the world to help those who really need it. It still shocks and saddens me that in 2017 there are people without access to food and water. What is one book, song or film someone would have to read/watch/listen to in order for them to understand you? Erina: At the moment, I would say a song that best describes me would be “Titanium” by Sia. The message of being strong and building yourself up in the face of trials or negativity is very important to me. Laura: I have a favourite trilogy of books that I have probably read 5 times and am completely and utterly OB-sessed with them. I recommend them to everyone I meet. They are by the author Paullina Simons and their titles are The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross and The Summer Garden. It follows the journey of two lovers during the Second World War. If you do decide to read them (which I highly recommend) prepare yourself to experience the most epic love story EVER! If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? Erina: If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would choose to go somewhere completely different, with no Wi-Fi or technology, just being surrounded by nature and interesting people. Laura: It would have to be the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Just google it, and you'll see why I have fallen in love with this magical haven. What are five things you love with all your heart? Erina: Buying books. My incredible friends, who make me feel special and loved. Boo and Patch, my gorgeous pet rabbit and dog (they mean everything to me!) A picture of my Auntie Kaz, who passed away a few years ago from Motor Neurone Disease. When people come together from different backgrounds to support and love one another. Laura: I love my best friends who brighten my day. I love the taste of matcha first thing in the morning. I love singing in my room with the music really really loud. I love visiting new places and experiencing new cultures.I love learning new things. Where do you want to be ten years from now? Erina: In ten years’ time, I want to be surrounded by animals and the knowledge that, whatever career I am in, I am helping to make things better for other people and the planet (very cheesy!) Laura: I want to be having the time of my life, doing something that I'm passionate about. I want to enjoy the feeling of being free and to be connected with people who have a positive impact on my life. And above all, I want to be happy. What do you love about yourself? Erina: I love my imagination and my ability to make people laugh when they feel sad. Laura: I love the way I love. I see past people’s exteriors and get to know the person deep down for who they truly are, not for the front they put out to the world. This is an essential step in forming relationships that last a lifetime. Who or what inspires you? Erina: I find myself being very inspired by people around me. I usually write stories or poems based on people I love, including my best friend Phoebe, who inspires me to be myself and live in the moment, and Laura, who inspires me not to give up on what I want, even if it means working ridiculously hard to get there. Laura: People that break the mould. I always find myself being inspired by people who are doing something different. What is one quote that resonates with you? Erina: “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” This quote is from one of my favourite books, Paper Towns by John Green. I have it framed in my bedroom, and this quote gets me out of bed each morning. Laura: “Nothing in nature blooms all year.” For me, I first heard this quote being spoken by the beautiful and lustrous Steph Yu in a YouTube video she posted on her channel (Happyandhealthy96). I was instantly struck with how deeply this quote resonated with me and just started crying in a rush of happiness but also sadness. At that time, this quote was exactly what I needed to hear and reminded myself that nothing in nature blooms all year so why should I? How would you describe your style? Erina: Kinda edgy, kinda masculine. Laura: My style is very effortless. I always make sure that I'm comfortable but I still try and piece together items of clothing that make it look like I've put in more effort than I actually have. I believe that it is how you carry yourself that can make or break an outfit. Walk tall and confidently and you can honestly pull of anything! What cheers you up when you've had a bad day? Erina: When I’m having a bad day, I have a bubble bath with extra bubbles, stick on my favourite music and I read until I feel better. Oh, and my friends have this amazing ability to make me cry with laughter even on my bad days. Laura: Going to the gym and smashing out a killer workout while listening to the incredibly inspiring podcasts by The Messy Heads on repeat. Or the complete opposite would be staying in bed with as many blankets on me as humanly possible whilst eating a tub of Booja Booja caramel pecan praline icecream. Erina, what is your favourite thing about Laura? And Laura, what is your favourite thing about Erina? Erina: My favourite thing about Laura is her immense beauty, inside and out. She has this incredible aura about her, she radiates kindness and love. She also makes me a better person, when I’m near her she motivates me to work harder, love harder, and sweat harder when we go to the town park to work out together! I love her more than anything. Laura: I can't possibly limit this to one favourite thing, this girl is far too complex for that. Let me begin by saying that Erina is the kind of friend everyone wishes they had. Erina is the kind of friend you can have 4+ hour FaceTime calls with and once you've ended the call, you still have things to talk about over text. Erina is the kind of friend you can trust with absolutely ANYTHING because chances are, she's been through them all herself. Erina is the kind of friend who gives you the sort of advice she wishes she could give herself. Erina is the kind of friend who would give you the last bite of her sweet potato wedges. Erina is the kind of friend you call when you're having a breakdown and you both scream out the stresses of life to each other, for a good 5 minutes before speaking. Erina is the kind of friend you love unceasingly despite being mad at her. And finally, Erina is the kind of friend who will pick you up over and over again until you learn to love yourself the way she loves you. What does self love mean to you? Erina: Self love means to see all of your flaws and imperfections, both on your body and in your heart, and to live knowing that these things make you unique, special and all the more beautiful! Laura: Being able to talk to yourself, as kindly as you would to those you love endlessly. Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to all young women, what would that advice be? Erina: My one piece of advice to all young women would be to stop wasting time hating yourself- I spent so long doing that, and it takes all of your energy away. Spend your time instead caring for yourself, working hard, and surrounding yourself with good people. I promise it helps. I feel unstoppable now. Laura: Don't be afraid to follow your gut instinct and don't let anyone tell you what you should and shouldn't be doing. This is a reminder to love and support all the (extra)ordinary women in your life. We all have so much to give, no matter where we are in the story of our success. You can follow Erina and Laura’s adventures on Instagram @unsociable_eri and @laura_ingram!