This week, I met the most lovely young girl in my local coffee shop. Aminata is a first-generation American (her mother, her biggest fan, is from Sierra Leone) and she publishes the Bklyn Beauties tumblr, in which she simply documents the cool, interesting people she meets all over Brooklyn. I couldn’t stop scrolling through it, and it’s not hard to see why.

The thing that drew me in was how positive the site is. Aminata defines beauty as kindness, warmth, positivity — something that radiates from the inside. Then I was struck by the notion that while there’s so much talk about the awful things kids are doing with their social media accounts and risky apps, here’s proof that the next generation can do wonderful things with all these tools.

Whether she’s identified it or not, Aminata is also supporting small business with links to her subjects’ local shops and restaurants.

Galleria Antiques on Bklyn Beauties Tumblr | Cool Mom Picks

Brandon on Bklyn Beauties tumblr | Cool Mom Picks

Exotic Hair on Bklyn Beauties tumblr | Cool Mom Picks

Saskia on Bklyn Beauties tumblr | Cool Mom Picks

Najah on BklynBeauties tumblr | Cool Mom Picks

Awe Dacity on Bklyn Beauties tumblr | Cool Mom Picks

Take a look at the site and see how this young woman is perceiving beauty in the people around her. It’s a wonderful, unretouched, sometimes blurry, and totally authentic portrait of the real Brooklyn through optimistic teenage eyes.

For another wonderful look at the diversity of the city, also check out Poems by New Yorkers