A Photo Editor’s Nest Goes From Empty to Full, as #ThisIs18 Is Born

As I dropped off one 18-year-old, I inherited more than two dozen other young adults: girls from around the world who were taking photos for an exciting, visually driven New York Times project.

Comments: 17

  1. I really appreciate pieces like this because they deliver well selected, but still very real, information from around the world, which is a rarity these days. The hard work paid off.

  2. @Bill Decker, but only about half the world.

  3. Although the content was interesting, the visual aesthetic of the #ThisIs18 article was decidedly Baby Boomer in design and outlook. The chosen aesthetic evoked a Boomer high school scrapbook from the 1980s, not the Digital Age.

    Although I understand that Boomer Culture remains both unacknowledged and unaddressed at The New York Times, presenting younger cohorts such as minority Generation Z women in a way that white Baby Boomers would prefer them to be is an inter-generational form of cultural imperialism.

    You shouldn't force your own culture upon other cultures.

  4. Well put. Something is definitely off in this article, and I think you nailed it.

  5. @Sándor in other words, "please also post this wonderful piece of journalism on Snapchat." Ah well, the world must not be all bad, when we can still take the NY Times for granted.

  6. Thanks for this article, wonderful.

  7. Thank you for this illuminating initiative and wonderfully authentic article. Reading it made my heart swell with joy, tenderness and pride for the younger generation. What a beautiful age 18 is, full of endless possibilities. I love your thoughtfulness and rigor for these young seedlings and the ability to see their potential and gift. Bless you and everyone involved in this inspiring project, loved the photos. Bravo!

  8. Somehow the author chose to profile girls from several Muslim countries but couldn't find any girls in Israel or Orthodox Jewish girls worth profiling?

  9. What about the blind, lesbian, transgender, black girl from Greenland? It is a shame to think the NYT would be so careless to exclude this traditionally marginalized member of our society.

  10. I am confused as to why women were chosen exclusively. Do you plan to do a similar project for young men?

  11. How about trying a little originality? Isn’t a little attention to boys and young men long time overdue? EVERYTHING these days — and for many, many days — and years —- has been about “gender,” which of course means specifically just one gender. Guess which. Boys and young men have been at a growing disadvantage for the past 50+ years, with all attention and most calls for change going to girls and young women. Ok, I concede that for centuries, men have had certain advantages that were unfair, on one hand, but explainable on the other one. If that was wrong, does another wrong really make it right?

  12. This project is one of the most inspiring socially engaged journalism projects I’ve seen in a mainstream media outlet. I am so impressed with the effort made to support young photographers with mentorship, guidance, and above all the chance to launch their careers by being published in one of the world’s most prestigious news outlets. Ms. Stevenson, your writing is beautiful, and reading your personal perspective on the project made me appreciate it that much more. I hope the Times will support you and your team to take this experience and apply it to other subjects and settings, as an ongoing series.

  13. Lovely project -

  14. Timed to coincide with the United Nations Day of the Girl, this project is simply brilliant. A snapshot into girls around the world as they come of age. Each unique in many ways, yet similar in that youthful, hopeful, aspiring way that 18 brings. --And to have 18 year old girls photographing the girls...it's just so inspiring. In dark times at home and abroad, this is a breath of fresh air. A way for us all to feel young with them, to dream with them, to be in awe of them and to learn from them. Thank for this extraordinary piece of journalism. And --the format is outstanding! Every piece of this project fits with every other piece. I just love it.

  15. Just reading your article and seeing the photos here gives me hope that the future is in good hands. So awesome. Good luck with the project!

  16. I enjoyed this piece for the International Day of the Girl in 2018. As I get older with each year, I realize that girls (and women) have similar expectations across cultures and religions. Maryclare’s comment about having to learn how to cook really hit home. Almost thirty years ago when I was in high school my dad said the same thing to me. Infuriating! Yes, if he said it was a life skill to nourish yourself I would have learned sooner. I love hearing about the girls’ dreams to travel and experience the world. Go for it!

  17. The time and effort it took to compile these stories and showcase them in the multi-media format is WHY I LOVE THE NYT. You are our best hope at marrying technology, investigative journalism and the fundamental longing we all have to connect with others (close by and far away) in a meaningful way!

    Thank you!