Georgina Callandar, an 18-year-old university student, was the first victim of the Manchester Arena bombing to be identified by British authorities. She was among the 22 victims of a suicide bomb attack on the evening of May 22 at the concert venue where American pop star Ariana Grande was performing. In the hours before the concert, Callandar expressed her happiness and that she was "so excited" to see the singer before the outrage occurred. Two years ago, Callendar met Grande and took a photograph with her.
The Manchester Arena was near its 21,000 capacity where many of the victims were children, some under the age of 12. In a last post on Twitter, Callandar tweeted to Grande: "So excited to see you tomorrow."
After the bombing by a Muslim who was born in Manchester and radicalized in Syria and Libya, one of Callandar's friends tweeted her, "I heard you were at the concert tonight, there are people looking for you. Are you safe and ok?"
Callandar died at a local hospital with her mother by her side just hours after the bombing. A second victim was identified as Saffie Rose Rousse, an eight-year-old schoolgirl. There has been an outpouring of grief and worry about Callandar and other victims. Sean Maguire, an actor who met Callandar, expressed his shock over her death.
Like many music fans and others who use Twitter, Callendar was fond of retweeting posts from others. She used the handle “Emilie Satwell.” In advance of the fateful concert at the Manchester Arena, it was obvious that she shared the enthusiasm of other fans of Grande’s music. She retweeted a post from “Timmy” on May 18, which included a photo of a fan holding tickets to the concert, where one of the photos had text on it that read "retweet for good luck."
The next day, she retweeted a post from Jordan Uhl, a liberal journalist and frequent critic of Donald Trump. Uhl tweeted a response to Ivanka Trump, who is currently accompanying President Trump on his first foreign trip as president. Ivanka Trump tweeted, “Looking forward to a meaningful visit to the Middle East and the Vatican in promotion of religious tolerance globally." Apparently nonplussed, Uhl responded, "Your dad literally tried to ban a religion from entering the US." His LinkedIn page describes him as the director of "The Opposition."
Teen Girls, Social Media, and Politics
Just as many teen girls in the past found style advice from fashion magazines, many teenaged girls today read them online via social media. One of the most popular online fashion magazines is Teen Vogue. Besides offering news about celebrities and fashion, Teen Vogue also offers a progressive take on politics. For example, columnist Lauren Duca, in a series titled “Thigh High Politics," penned an op-ed at the "Why we All need to be activists right now."
Issuing a call to teen girls to involve themselves in the anti-Trump movement, Duca wrote:
"This column is going to aim to be a starting point for empowering you with information, including resources for activism and further reading. If you can stomach only one political thing a week, let this be it. Or pick something else. But definitely, pick something. And then do something. That can be small, like a visit to the representative-contacting resource 5 calls, or big, like bring food and water to a protest. Trump's war on the truth take aim at the foundation of all efforts to fight back. Staying informed is the bare minimum."
Teen Vogue also regularly reports on Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories. On April 24, the website warned: “Ivanka Trump's Clothes Were SECRETLY Being Sold Under Another Label This is alarming.” The article reported that her line of clothing was being sold under the Adrienne Vittadini label at Steinmart department stores. The article noted that some retailers had dropped the Ivanka Trump label because of leftist and progressive protests about her association with the president.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.