Empty Bleachers

6 March 2019

Feel the fading kiss of the setting sun on your neck. A glimpse of tyre-tracks in the sand and the colourful laughter echoing along the distant shore. There is peace in being alone in the light, seeing each strand of your hair glisten. Through windswept fantasies and rising smoke, photographer Coraima Mena hovers on the surface of reality. Capturing the hot Mexican air that shadows Santiago Carrascos’ silhouette, together they close the promises of the day.

Wandering through the empty bleachers, Santiago isn’t one to bite his lip - he’s the type of kid in school who speaks his mind with authenticity. Jumping the hurdles that come with adolescence, he has found fragments of himself in his personal mistakes. Whether it’s leaving school or packing the belongings from his childhood home, the core of his spirit has found strength in these premature lessons. A kaleidoscope of youth filters through his aura. It’s in the true emblems of teenage discovery - experimental hair colours and piercings, and in his natural urge for his dreams to filter out into his style. Stylist Anthony Rivera paints Santiago's exploration with authentic pieces.

Sometimes the act of not defining your path is the wisest of all; behind his emerald eyes is this knowledge. Sitting in solitude, watching the mysteries of the sky darken into a sea of pink and blue, he bids farewell to his old limitations. He knows that with the lights out it’s less dangerous to dare. It’s that split moment between being awake and dreaming, where all surrealism comes to life. The secrets lurking between day and night reveal the greatest truths.

Who is Santiago?
Santiago is a funny and a spontaneous guy. A fearless one, and in some point, self-confident. Moreover, he is kind of shy. Happy and friendly, yet modest. I’m very passionate and I give myself to what I do.

Above: Overall by FOREVER 21, Striped t-shirt by OSCAR CAST

What are you passionate about?
I’m very passionate in my short career as a model. I'm also passionate about drawing, learning new things, and meeting new people. I love art.

What is it like growing up in Mexico?
Growing up in Mexico, in my point of view, is like growing up in a very cultural place. I love the food and the rustic view of my country. There are a lot of beautiful things. People… there is people with a very strong personality. On the other side, there’s people very kind with others. In my life I only have met kind people (fortunately). To have fun I go to the beach, to the movies, and I hang out with friends… whatever makes me happy.

What makes you happy?
That the people I love are fine.

What is your approach to life?
I would like to do things right. I don’t wanna leave this planet before doing something significant. I want people to never forget me.

How do you like to express yourself creatively?
I express myself through drawing and writing. In the fashion show I express what I feel in that moment. At the time I start walking, I’m very nervous. But being out, with the public, in that moment it feels really good. I feel fuelled by adrenalin.

Above: Leather jacket by BERSHKA, Transparent shirt by PULL & BEAR, Jeans by FOREVER 21

If you could have a perfect day, what would it be like?
A cloudy day. I like cold days. Maybe in a forest, in a place in peace somewhere in nature. I prefer being alone, but if somebody else is with me, he or she will be someone that I can trust to.

Are you into fashion or use fashion to express yourself?
Fashion is with me all the time, all day and all night. Fashion is with me when I dress up. If I’m feeling happy, I try to wear very comfortable and colorful clothes. Enough to make people say; “Hey, there goes Santiago, you can tell he is happy”, haha. Trendy clothes and trendy designs, that’s what I love.

What is it like to be a teenager today?
Nowadays being a teenager is like being yourself. Expressing yourself. Adolescence is made for one reason: to start looking for what you like, what you are. It is a phase of trial-and-error. In my case, adolescence has helped me a lot, I have become an uninhibited boy - and I like him.

How has growing up in Mexico helped shape you as a person?
It has helped me a lot. My personality is stronger now, and I don’t let myself to stay in silence. Living in Mexico isn’t easy. Unfortunately sometimes adults make us feel uncomfortable with who we are or what we feel. Dark days are coming to this country, but the only thing we can do is act for ourselves is being kind and staying safe.

If you could live somewhere else, where would it be and why?
I would like to live in EEUU or Europe. The main reason is because, in places like those, trendy clothes are like something usual, but here in Mexico trendy clothes are REALLY trendy, like “wow”. I have visited some places in EEUU and I really like them.

Above: Boots from PULL & BEAR

What challenges do you meet as a 19 year old living in Mexico?
The major challenge is me. My personality. Problems that I have faced or caused areleaving home or quitting studying. They have been personal challenges, but the good thing is that I went through it. We can overcome any obstacle if we don't give up.

What are the good things about being young?
This is a good one haha. Uhmm… you can dye your hair the color you want, and because you are young it suits you - it looks “cool”. At this age you enjoy more, you join parties, you show what you really are.

What are the most important things in your life?
My sister and my little brother. My friends and I. My sister is 16 years old and my brother is 12, she is my best friend. We trust each other and we tell each other our secrets. I always count on her and I can speak to her of any topic without feeling judged.

Do you ever cry? Is it ok for boys to cry?
Yes, it’s okay to cry. When I was younger I tried to seem like that “strong” man, and I never cried in front of others. But time has showed me that crying is a way to remove all the negative emotions that are inside of you. If you feel like a tight knot, just cry, and tears will do the rest. Everybody cries.

Do you have any advice for the BBG readers?
Follow your purposes. If you want to innovate, if you want to do something that you’ve never experienced, then do it. That’s what I did. People told me “you should join a modeling school, it suits on you”. I didn’t want to, but in the end I did. It is a totally different world, but I liked it and I wanna keep moving into it. The Boys by Girls team gave me a really big opportunity I can’t miss. I feel happy and excited! And I promise I will learn english this year, haha.

Grooming by Itzel Salazar.
Word by Matthew Regan.

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