PINK

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Earnest Hemingway was the first person to name an entire generation of people. The Lost Generation were those who came of age during World War I and represented the talented, and possibly revolutionary people who perished during the war. Since then we have had The Greatest Generation, The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and now Generation Z. Each generation contains characteristics that are shaped by the world, social norms, politics, and technology. And each is usually started by an important event from World War II to the Great Recession. While we don’t have time for an entire history lesson, we do have time to talk about our own generation; the millennials.

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Millennials are defined as people born in the mid-1980’s to the mid to late 1990’s. This is the largest group of people since the baby boomers. While a large portion of the world views these 20 to 35-year-olds as a job-hopping, attention seeking, narcissistic’; they are hardly right. Very few American millennials fall into these categories. You can’t toss out an entire generation just because of one bad seed. Ozark Collective is run by a group of millennials, so we felt inclined to show what we believe is the true essence of what we are.

We took a moment one day and started thinking, "What are the values and expectations of being a millennial?" Our first thoughts were empowered equal, diverse, dreamer, and impulsive. We chose these words because, for the first time in history, there are changes in laws and social norms to make these values become an actuality.

Empowered [em-pou-erd]

verb: to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means

Equal [ee-kwuh-el]

adjective: having the same powers, ability or mean

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Diverse [dih-vurs]

adjective: including representatives from more than one social, cultural, or economic group, especially members of ethnic or religious minority groups

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Dreamer [dree-mer]

noun: a person whose ideas or projects are considered audacious or highly speculative; a visionary

Impulsive [im-puhl-siv]

adjective: Actuated or swayed by emotional or involuntary influxes such as an incite to action

We decided to take these words and interpret them the only way we know how, into pictures. We met up with some major beauties to take photos that encapsulate what we believe shows the true essence of what a millennial means to us. What you are going to see are women who are powerful, daring, and simply different.

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So why pink?

The ‘millennial pink’ color started popping up, if you can believe it, in the 1950’s with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in Funny Face. Like all things Audrey, she was able to spot a trend long before anyone else.  This lead to The Pink Panther, Strawberry Shortcake, and queen of color herself, Elle Woods of Legally Blonde. The color you see today is a little different; it’s a softer shade that is absent from it's blue notes. This rose type pink started to rise in 2013 as social media continued to boom. It represented a more progressive generation that was less focused on gender norms but what looked pleasing to the eye. Pink stopped representing femininity, but now neutrality. Since the color took off the same time millennials came of age, it was dubbed ‘millennial pink’ and has stuck ever since.

We are honored to be partnering with the wonderfully badass millennials of Riffraff for this photoshoot; especially Kirsten Blowers (owner / creative genius) and Aryn Merritt (stylist extraordinaire) who provided us all these stunning outfits. And Heather Lanker for lending us the space of The Brick Ballroom in Siloam Springs. There was never a more perfect space.

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jared sluyter