Cynthia Lopez, High-School Junior

Photo: Jake Chessum

Tell me about your look.
A lot of it is influenced by Japanese street fashion, but mostly I wear band gear. My favorite band is Glassjaw.

What are they like?
It’s hard to explain them, but it’s music that you want to hear when you break up with the love of your life. Very emotional. Very angry. Honestly, I’ve never had a love of my life, but if I did, that’s what I would listen to when we broke up.

How did you get so into Japan?
When I was in the sixth grade, I saw an advertisement for a video game, and it completely entranced me. Every year I fill out the student-exchange form, but I never turn it in because something interesting might happen while I’m gone.

How long does it take to do your eye makeup?
Honestly, not long. My hands guide themselves. Normally, I don’t tell people what I use, because I’ve worked hard to figure out what’s best, but it’s M.A.C.

You have a lot of piercings.
I like the way they fit my face. It’s the same as someone putting on blush, or getting a Botox injection. I don’t consider myself a normal person, and piercings aren’t something you normally see.

What about you is not normal?
I don’t get along with too many people at my school, because I have larger concerns than hanging out. I’m concerned about global issues.

Which ones?
I’m an AIDS activist, and I try to do all I can. And I don’t wear leather, fur, suede. Or silk. I know people are like, “They’re just worms.” But they’re still beings, and they shouldn’t be treated as nothing more than our lingerie.

Cynthia Lopez, High-School Junior