Do Not Enter Diaries: Teens Start Documentary Project About Peers' Bedrooms (VIDEO)

Jan 25, 2013

From a high school baseball player's Harlem pad to a young artist's room with its own stage, teenagers' bedrooms are about as diverse as their personalities.

Founded based on the idea that a bedroom is an extension of one's self, The Do Not Enter Diaries, a new web video series created by best friends and New York City natives Emily Cohn and Emma Orlow (ages 18 and 17, respectively), showcases teenagers in their most intimate, personal environments. In a series of videos shared on their website each Wednesday at 4 p.m., teenagers in the U.S. and abroad invite the world into their own private worlds.

Cohn and Orlow explained in a press release: “We believe that the bedroom is a physical manifestation of a diary."

The friends' goal is to show young people as they really are, not as they're represented in the media, according to the New York Times.

“You look at Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. There’s such a specific picture of a teen character. Most are aloof and goofy,” Cohn told the Times. “They’re an equation. They do something and you laugh at it. I don’t find it amusing.”

The weekly documentary-style videos feature a teenager giving a tour of their bedroom and explaining the significance of the items to be found inside. In the latest video, New Yorker Alex Poeppel gives a tour of his musical bedroom in Manhattan, complete with vinyl covers hanging on the wall, instruments lying around, and recording equipment. Alex spends most of his time in this unique space that doubles as a personal sanctuary and a creative work space. For Alex, his bedroom is a part of who he is.

“I think it’s really important for young people to create themselves first and foremost to really try to understand themselves and to love themselves,” Alex says in the video. “I encourage young people to do that soon. Bite the bullet and get to know yourself.”

But Cohn and Orlow acknowledge that many teens across the world don't have bedrooms or even homes to call their own. The website solicits donations to Habitat for Humanity as a way to give back to young people who are less fortunate.

In a comparable project last year titled "A Girl And Her Room," photographer Rania Matar took portraits of teenage girls from around the world inside their bedrooms.

"The teenager's room is her cave," Susan Minot writes in an essay featured in Matar's photography book. "It is here she can meet herself undistracted by the new hassles life is making for her. Here she can reflect."

Do you see your room as a part of who you are? What do you love most about your bedroom? Tell us in the comments or tweet @HuffPostTeen.

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