Written by Stephanie Kleanthous
Illustrated by Thomas Jon Walker
“Step outside of yourself and into something wild” – BBYTTH: Escaping Reality.
Singer-songwriter Kenzie TTH has just launched issue 01 of her magazine, BBYTTH: Escaping Reality, which she creatively directed in collaboration with Depop. Kenzie releases her music on her own label BBYTTH (pronounced baby teeth) and also runs the online platform Sick Sad Girlz that claims a feature in the zine, urging you to “tell us where it hurts”.
With the help of creative friends from London, Paris, New York and LA, Kenzie has produced a dreamland for you to sink into and ruminate on a new vision of freedom. Prepare to be lost, found and creatively inspired amidst the pages of Escaping Reality. This engulfing realm of fashion, beauty, poetry, prose and satire ignites the corners of your mind that long for an alternative form of expression, breaking down the usual boundaries of print.
You feel as though you’re leering into the mind of another and suddenly find yourself merging with a sense of familiarity. More often than not we find sanity through losing it and ourselves entirely. The zine has the ability to shift your focus from trying to find an ultimate meaning in everything to finding solace and a “way in”.
Get lost in beautifully written words by Kenzie, Nicole Miglis and Tucker Bryant that don’t offer titles or typical layouts we often anticipate when consuming poetry and prose. The switch-up in layout feels celestially disrupted as our eyes sweep around the page. Words that spiral round as though you’re spiraling down the rabbit hole and away from the confinements of reality.
After prompted to wonder, “why stay grounded?”, we’re met with “something between a manifesto and a suicide note”. Words and feelings that are honest, identifiable and touch on mental health:
“Been spending a lot of time performing the necessary human actions required to keep myself alive, but not quite feeling like my feet are on the ground. Maybe that’s why I fall over as much as I do. No grips on my cleats to hold me to reality – trying to talk myself out of the hard truths, but my speech runs a lot like my legs do.”BBYTTH: Escaping Reality, p.9.
Here Kenzie explains that the magazine is something to hold on to in a world where her belongings are scattered across continents.
Not only is placement vital to this print, but textures have been undeniably mindfully picked to activate all of your senses. The velvets, silks and furs you can almost feel at your fingertips, the crunching of heaps of ice that almost tingle your ears, the salt from the sea you can almost smell with the gentle rolling of the pebbles, the puff of a cigarette you can almost feel hitting your lungs. With imagery so powerful it would be difficult to not release yourself from the restraints of the room you sit in, which you’re only reminded of as your fingers close the final page.
Kenzie has playfully replaced the mundane adverts that tend to be scattered through magazines with her own, satirical spin. The break-from-reality pill SONSHUN represents the ultimate temptress of escapism. It promises what SSRI’s and other chemical altering prescription drugs never could. The gore of bleeding gums is juxtaposed with sheer joy that exudes from the model. I wonder if this is a metaphor for smiling through the pain or finally finding the beauty in pain, a stark reminder of our humanity and the boundless emotions we can experience.
These adverts lie within pages of heavenly imagery. With each turn of the page you learn to expect the unexpected. Escapism has no solid route. The unpredictable nature of the magazine and the world it creates will immerse you into a turbulence of experiences where escaping seems to be synonymous with feeling free.
“I don’t really deal too much in definites, but this is something solid to have and hold on to. Maybe one day I’ll stop looking for a way out. Or maybe I’ll finally find one. This though, this is a way in. This is the first issue.”BBYTTH: Escaping Reality, p.9.
You can find Kenzie TTH’s music and socials below and be sure to check out her latest singles Losing Sleep and Needed More.