Yesterday afternoon we hit up Seventeen‘s party for its Pretty Amazing contest finalists. The purpose of the contest is to find girls who possess both outer talent and inner beauty, and one thing’s for sure: the five girls who have made it to the final round are doing some incredible things.
Girl power anthems like “Stronger” by Britney Spears, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child, and “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyoncé played in the background as each finalist had her very own red carpet moment. It was appropriate since these girls are doing things like fighting for the LGBTQ community and flying solo across the country. When the results are announced in September, one of them will win a $20,000 scholarship and appear on the cover of the magazine. Pretty amazing is right.
First we spoke with Seventeen editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, who is also one of the Pretty Amazing judges. “We launched this contest to celebrate our leaders, to celebrate what makes them awesome in the world,” she said. “We do that in so many ways in the magazine. We use real girls as models in the magazine, we tell real girls’ stories. They’re our experts in fashion, they’re our experts in beauty, and the next frontier was, ‘Let’s put a real girl on the cover of the magazine.’ It really speaks to our mission to be authentic and to celebrate our readers in every way possible.”
Next up was the afternoon’s top-billed guest, actress and contest judge Emma Roberts — and she was shockingly, well, normal. We chatted about the contest, teenage awkwardness, and age denial. She also had an excellent piece of advice for teen girls:
“Probably to just not worry so much! Because I look back at pictures of me when I was younger, like when I was 16 or 15, and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I don’t know why I cared so much!’ I should’ve just been having fun and not worrying about what I was wearing. I used to flat iron my hair to a point where it would just break off, and it looked terrible, too! And I’m like, ‘Who wants their hair to look like that?’ But it’s just funny. Don’t worry about that stuff so much, because it really doesn’t matter.”
Of course, she does miss those teenage years. “It’s so sad to say I’m in my 20s. I forget that I’m in my 20s,” she told us. “Someone asked how old I was and I said 18 the other day, and I was like, ‘That’s a complete lie. I’m 21, I don’t know why I said that!’ So I mean, yeah, I don’t know, I’m still adjusting to my 20s.” You’re not the only one, Emma!
Photo via Amanda Schwab/Starpix for Seventeen