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Digital Freedom

When the new generation of social networks first gained a foothold in the United States about ten years ago and shortly afterwards in the rest of the world, they were a welcome showcase for reaching people beyond the boundaries of the open Internet. So we built up small communities on Facebook, Twitter and later on Instagram, only to realize way too late what a hopeless dependency we were maneuvering ourselves into. Suddenly the networks were demanding money for us to reach our organically grown target groups, after we had been voluntarily and free of charge luring users to these same companies for many years before.

Today, we find ourselves in the strange situation that we have to deal with reaching only a fraction of those who have subscribed to our website in social media on Facebook, Twitter & Co, because we are not only systematically minimized and even censored there, but also have to live in constant fear that our channels will be blocked if we show even the slightest hint of a female nipple or are targeted by a small group of users who have been offended by one of our articles, and thanks to the automated reporting function are put in the digital pillory.

But that’s not even the real problem. If we were to stand behind the values these companies embody, we would continue to fight to increase our visibility in their channels, we would be happy to abide by their old-fashioned house rules, we would also feel comfortable convincing our readers that it’s a good idea to open accounts there to follow not only us, but also other interesting websites and individuals. But not only do we not stand behind the values of these corporations, no, we are downright disgusted by what they have become.

Because let’s be honest: Facebook, thanks to its agenda and riot-programmed algorithms, is nothing more than a breeding ground for the extreme fantasies of early retirees banned from society, Twitter has turned into a tunnel filled with hate and screams of politically motivated idiots, not least thanks to the presence of Donald Trump, and those who seek their happiness on Instagram are forever lost, merged in a painting altered over and over again thanks to Photoshop filters with other poor souls who have long since left reality behind.

That’s why we have decided to stop being an active part of these so-called social media networks from now on and to switch to an only automated approach on our broadcasting channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and whatever else has accumulated over the past decade. We won’t answer questions there, won’t reply to comments, won’t counter critics – we won’t even read any of that. And we won’t follow anyone else. Instead we will simply share our articles – in a fully automated way.

There are probably enough social media managers out there who consider this step to be an absolute digital suicide, but we have seen all kinds of start-ups in recent years that have burned out entire editorial offices on these very channels, only to go down in smoke shortly afterwards. We’ve also disabled comments on AMY&PINK, but if you want to let us know your opinion, you can do so by sending us an electronic letter. And if you want to know more about why social media is bad for you in general, we recommend reading the book “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport – it’ll blow your mind, in a good way.

Another and much better way to consume our articles, which we fully encourage you to do so, is either by visiting our website or by subscribing to our RSS feed. The latter works for example via websites like Feedly, Feedbin and Inoreader, apps like Reeder, NetNewsWire and Flym or the Feedreader Plugin from Feeder for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. There you can not only add AMY&PINK, but also all your other favorite blogs and online magazines and in some cases even Twitter accounts, YouTube channels and Instagram profiles. That way you won’t miss anything anymore and you won’t have to deal with any mysterious algorithms, preselections and bells.

With this step we want to restore our independence as an online magazine as well as make a small contribution to an open Internet. Because it can’t be that for some people the Internet isn’t just much more than Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – or in what kind of bubble they’re vegetating in. The Internet is big, colorful and exciting – and that’s exactly what we want to prove as well as live with AMY&PINK. We want to be a good example. Who knows, maybe in the near or distant future there will be a new generation of social networks, which share these seemingly outdated values, but until then, we enjoy our newly won freedom with a cool glass of gin and tonic.

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Photography by Prateek Katyal
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Nude Girls

Old people have invented a particularly creative term for sending nude photos of yourself to your fellow students: sexting. And because they’re not exactly thrilled about us showing each other our primary and secondary genitals, there are always educational and media campaigns to warn and discourage us from sending our own exposed bodies across the Internet. Since we are all aware of the benefits of such initiatives, namely none at all, and that professors, who are always loudly and publicly outraged, probably jerk off themselves first when they discover photos of their own students on the Internet, here are some valuable tips for digital nude photos – so that you don’t end up looking too stupid when half the campus gets their hands on them.

Every few weeks, the internet pours out more bad than respectable nude leaks of some mostly third-rate celebrities who look as if a paparazzo had just frightened them through the bathroom window while taking a shit. Bad light, even worse pose, worst resolution. Who wants to go down in history like that? If you take the trouble to show off your uncovered body, you must celebrate it in a way that blows everyone else’s mind and never again questions yourself and your views on life.

So beware of quickly making any filthy pictures of your breasts with bra marks or of your pussy covered with stubble, lint and white snot. Put on make-up, style yourself, wash yourself and your hair. And shave if you’re not one of those girls who celebrate the warming bush and don’t want to look like a grade school girl down there. Just try a little harder, because you don’t want to make the same amateurish mistake as so many other gullible people before you and, worst of all, you don’t want to be forced to do nudes in the most inhuman way between two important dates, which you can only feel sorry for afterwards. Because regret is a terrible feeling.

Nothing is more embarrassing than a naked picture of you looking like an 80s porn star. Don’t throw make-up and lipstick in your face, don’t pose as if a horse from another dimension is about to run into you from behind and don’t lick your drooling mouth lasciviously. Nobody wants to see that! The more natural you look the more sexually attractive you feel and are to others. Stand or lie down normally, look sexy but not exaggerated, and refrain from stupid gestures like duckface, poses from movies or the peace sign stretched into the camera.

If you look sexy in a natural and self-confident way, even in nude pictures, you gain the respect of the viewer as well as your own. Literally everyone is able to undress and make pictures of themselves. But bringing out the magic of someone’s naked body is something that very few people can do. Even girls with the most beautiful aura, the brightest eyes and the hottest smile have already stumbled upon one thing: A room peppered with rubbish. Because in the photos that you blow into the world like this, not only yourself can be seen, but also your relentlessly portrayed open life.

Dirty underwear mountains on the floor, filthy bottles full of Mountain Dew on the cluttered desk, old pink teddy bears on the cupboard, embarrassing children photos of your preschool years on the wall and, best of all, your vibrating best friend on the bed – by sexting you sometimes confess more to the world than you want to. So either make sure you find a place in your room that doesn’t look like World War III has just broken out, or escape to another room – preferably the bathroom. And if you decide to take a picture of yourself through a mirror, clean it first! Streaks and stains have been the absolute doom of many sisters before you.

Anyone who, for whatever reason, still runs around with his flip-up and almost falling apart Razr from Motorola knows how shitty some built-in mobile phone cameras can be. And everything you photograph with it looks like shit. Which means for you: Your body looks like shit. Either you use the latest technology for sexting, i.e. the brand new iPhone, a very good Android gadget or an expensive SLR camera, or the exact opposite: analogue, i.e. the good old Polaroid format, which makes you look even more creative. Sexting? No: It’s fuckin’ art!

Pixelated pictures of your cunt may hide some details, but basically it only means one thing: In the end everybody knows that you sent nude pictures. The only problem is: You look like 2003 on them. And you really don’t want to do that to yourself. Or anyone else out there. If you’re doing a nude selfie for the first time in your life, you might be a little overwhelmed with the possibilities of exposure. How much do I show? What do I show? How close do I show it? Does my face have to be on it? Is someone out there fetishizing my oddly shaped feet?

First of all: photos of your body, on which you have cut off your face due to an apparent anonymity, seem to be the most logical at the beginning, but the real eroticism unfolds only when your eyes can be seen. They are the key to digital and, if we are honest, analog sexuality. But you don’t have to cram a whole mutated zucchini through your extended labia deep into your uterus with your legs spread wide apart to attract even the slightest bit of attention. Start small, show only one nipple at first – and if you feel comfortable afterwards, maybe more. Don’t let yourself or your horny counterpart rush you.

Yes, the temptation is huge to just brush away your full-grown fat rolls, stretch marks or the cellulite that suddenly appeared after the pictures were taken with Photoshop, Facetune or Afterlight, but the problem is that you’re just not great with any of those apps. In the end the background bends or the colors don’t fit or your body looks like a cartoon character – and that’s embarrassing. Plan ahead before you take the pictures so that all the problem areas that you might want to hide are not necessarily visible. And find an advantageous pose in which your whole belly doesn’t stick to the chair or both of your sagging breasts, for whatever reason you already have them, swing left and right.

If you want, you can either use an Instagram filter to adjust the contrast and color levels to make you look better, or go for black and white. If your little brother then finds your pictures on the Internet, you can at least say in your defense that you took them for an art project. Or something like that. It’s best to take as many photos of you as possible, with different facial expressions, poses, angles. Once with and once without self-timer, once from near, once from far. Afterwards you can choose in peace and quiet which pictures you want to release and which ones will be deleted.

Be very careful and pay attention to every imaginable detail in the selected photos. Because you have to consider: Each of these little time bombs can theoretically be exactly the picture that bites you in the ass in a couple of months or years – and you have to be able to stand by it one hundred percent. It’s best to delete all the original pictures you don’t need from your camera, your mobile phone and your computer forever. And your USB sticks, and your CDs, and your floppy disks. And from the cloud. So that the whole folder “My Pussy 2020” won’t appear on the next university computer in the end.

If you’re already a bit advanced in this area, you’re welcome to become more creative. At some point, you’ll get tired of standing in front of your mirror and taking blunt full-screen photos of your stature one after the other. Selfies can be so much more exciting than that. Whether you’re driving to the nearby forest to sit in white socks on a tree, taking an unprecedented nudist trip through Southeast Asia, or pressing yourself into your favorite nerd costume just to have a clear view of what’s going on in the right places: sexting can be fun!

And you don’t have to be alone with the camera – get your very best friends, your current lover or your just recently popped out kitten, as long as you don’t do anything forbidden with the little bundle – that won’t go down very well with the masses out there. Whomever you send the photos in the end, you can be sure: Sooner or later they will show up on the internet! Either because your ex-boyfriend is mad at you and uploads revenge porn on YouPorn in a horny moment, because the constant synchronisation with your devices automatically sucks every little piece of crap into the net – or because you simply publish the wrong picture on Facebook.

Therefore three things are especially important. First: You must not have a problem with other people seeing you naked – whether it’s your colleagues, your friends or your family. Second: You have to be sure that you only send photos that you stand a 100 percent behind. And third: Be mentally prepared for it. It’s not the end of the world if total strangers see your tits. After all, 50 percent of the world’s population and quite a few fat guys also have breasts (and mostly uglier ones…) – and even a pussy is nothing special. Don t let you be bullied either! Most people who bullshit you have the most problems with themselves. It’s best to ignore them and live a more sexually fulfilling life with a new experience in your mental luggage.

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Illustration by Amedeo Modigliani
Category is Life while topics are Girls, Internet, Nudes, Photography and Sex
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His Name Was Peter

The first time I fell in love was in the third grade. His name was Peter. He had dark curls, played soccer and liked to throw paper balls at me in class, which, when you rolled them apart, showed that he had made them from the pages of his maths booklet. This probably explained his poor grades in this subject. Peter was a rebel. And that’s what I liked about him. Of course I had long since realized that he liked me, too. At least in elementary school you can still trust that there’s really something to the old saying “What loves, teases!

I was a rather shy child. And apart from that, I found boys – at least when my friends and parents asked me about it – pretty stupid, considering my age. It was something like an unwritten law at that time that boys up to a certain age had to be considered stupid – and vice versa. In reality, however, most of us had our first little crush when we were in kindergarten.

Anyway, I would never have taken the first step and confessed my love to Peter. Although it was quite obvious that I liked him and he liked me. And so for almost a whole school year only paper balls flew back and forth between us, or we stole each other’s ruler, which is what you do as a child when you want to attract someone else’s attention. In retrospect, the whole thing was of course pretty silly, and I think both Peter and I can be glad today that these actions did not result in an entry in the class register.

However, towards the end of the third school year a few things changed. Peter suddenly became calm, hardly looked at me anymore. I had already come to terms with the fact that my first love was no longer interested in me, when shortly before the summer holidays something amazing happened: After an hour of social studies, Peter came to me and placed an envelope on the table without saying a word and without even looking at me.

My friends had not missed this, of course, and so I had to open the envelope before their eyes during the big break and read the contents of the letter out loud. It was an invitation to Peter’s birthday party, which took place in the last week of the summer holidays. My heart was beating up to my neck. My friends, however, didn’t like it as much as I did. They regarded it as a kind of treason if I went to that party – after all, the invitation came from a boy, and boys were our greatest enemy at that time. Besides homework and unannounced tests, of course.

The date, however, fell exactly in the period of time I would spend on family holidays in Spain, as I learned when I presented Peter’s invitation to my mother in the afternoon. My dream of hooking up with what I believed to be the greatest boy the world had ever seen was thus once again shattered. I was sure that Peter would never look at me again if I didn’t come to his party – especially since I knew that he had invited a few girls from the parallel class who all thought he was great and wouldn’t miss the chance to spend a whole afternoon with him.

At the beginning of the fourth grade I had actually already finished with the subject of Peter. I was far too young for a boyfriend anyway, and besides, I had other things on my mind in the meantime, such as which secondary school I would probably go to and how I could persuade my parents to buy a Tamagotchi. Besides, I had just started to play the piano and I spent all my free time learning pieces that my piano teacher would never have put on the music stand.

But then came my very first class trip. And that changed everything again. We were in some rural school, not far from home, and were forced by our teachers to go hiking every day. It was hell, because somehow we all imagined our first big school trip differently – more like in the movies we saw on TV.

One day, however, has remained in my wonderful memory to this day. Peter and I hadn’t spoken a word to each other for weeks, but on this one day, on one of our trips, he walked next to me – and just took my hand. Just like that, without saying anything. And I let him. From that moment on, the hike we were on didn’t seem as bad as before.

We never really talked about it, but since that moment Peter and I were together somehow. A couple, just as adults were couples, at least in our childhood notions of couplehood relationships. We wrote each other notes in class about how much we liked each other and in the breaks we held hands. Our relationship never went beyond this kind of affection – but we were still children, and somehow what we had was really beautiful.

After the following summer holidays, however, we parted ways because we went to different schools in different cities. There was never a promise that we would keep in touch. It ended as gently and wordlessly as it had begun. But somehow it was not bad, but in its own way just right. And I think there are few people who can say about their first relationship that it was beautiful through and through, from beginning to end. Peter’s and mine was.

A few days ago I typed his name into Google. And I actually found his phone number. I would have liked to call him and ask what he was doing today. How his life and his relationships have been going since we lost sight of each other. I decided not to do it, because I like the memory of him, my very first love, but sometimes you just have to leave it at that.

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Category is Life while topics are Boys, Girls, Love, Relationships and School
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When I first started AMY&PINK in 2007, after I closed down another personal blog, and turned it into a magazine, together with my friend Hannah, a couple years later, I had only one goal in mind: World domination. And it felt great. To earn money felt great, to get free stuff felt great, to hear from completely strange people that they love what we’re doing felt great.

But there was one problem: AMY&PINK was written, with a few exceptions along the way, in German. At first, that was totally fine. We had fantastic readers, brands paid us to write about their products and parties, we were invited to events in New York, London and Rome. What could you possibly want more from life? But nevertheless the last few years I felt more and more empty and depressed.

AMY&PINK went from the feeling of possible world domination to an everyday job, without slim chances of growth. On my trips with journalists and bloggers from all continents, I was constantly reminded of a much bigger and more important world out there. And no matter how hard I tried to be successful with AMY&PINK, the truth, that most people don’t care, pushed me into a burnout.

I’ve done a lot of things to get out of this miserable feeling. I closed AMY&PINK and started a new online magazine. But that didn’t work. I turned AMY&PINK back into a personal blog. But that didn’t work. I created a bilingual version of AMY&PINK. But that didn’t work. A couple of weeks ago I wanted to sell AMY&PINK. Just to get rid of those decisions – for good.

We love AMY&PINK. We really do. It’s more than a website for us. And maybe it’s more than just a chapter in life for many of us. There are so many memories attached to this colourful logo and this strange name. And I realized that the only way to get rid of those constant worries is to get over my fears of losing money, losing readers or losing some kind of image. It’s better to try and fail than to hesitate forever.

So I’ve decided to make a clean cut, delete the German AMY&PINK and start over with an English version about the topic that I love most: Pop culture. Music, fashion, art, movies, games, food, travel and thoughts about love, sex and life in general. Everything I like, everything that I personally think is worth writing about – for everyone who’s interested in that kind of things.

I exchange safety for a unique feeling of freedom, of hope and of this amazing feeling of possible world domination, which I’ve lost over those last couple of years. And I’m quite sure this feeling is more important than anything in this mostly generic and disillusioning world.

Yeah, I know. I’m not a native English speaker. And many people from all over the world are going to be aware of that. But I’m not only willing to learn, I’m happy to. Because this decision (hopefully) leads me out of a dark place, where my thoughts wanted to crush me, into a room full of new open doors. Or something like that. Call me the great master of metaphors.

I’ll be happy if you’d accompany me on this new way to see where this is all going. But I totally understand if you’d rather want to stay with a German blog or magazine, because they’re easier to read or provide more German topics. If that’s the case, then you should try sites like Mit Vergnügen, Im Gegenteil or, I don’t know, maybe the German edition of VICE.

Thanks to everyone who made the last years of AMY&PINK great, memorable and epic. And I’m pumped to see how an international version of AMY&PINK about pop culture can affect creative people from all over the world – and myself. Like Hannah told me a couple of weeks ago: “Don’t be afraid!” Maybe that’s the best advice someone can give you. It’s about time for world domination. And gin and tonic.

Photography by Sari Yamagishi
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Marcel Winatschek

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