“What ever happened to women with shaved legs, lipstick, hairdos, and skirts? I miss them.”
That’s the opening line of the 1972 opinion piece, “Where have all the feminine women gone?” It ran in the November issue of Prism — the original version of Xpress Magazine.
Yes. Our publication printed that article 50 years ago. Today, Xpress now proudly features stories about plus-size, nonbinary strippers and queer burlesque dancers of color embracing their inner sexy and providing a life for themselves. If that story was pitched 50 years ago, it probably would have been laughed out of the newsroom.
Well, damn. How times have changed.
The Prism article continues with the author describing how his “delightful, previously uncompli cated pastime” of observing beautiful women like paintings was tainted by what he called the “organ ic woman”:
“The female with the frizzy, hanging, lifeless hair; the un-made up face that looks faded and erased; with the hairy, unstockinged legs often decorated with scratches and small bruises reminis cent of the shins and calves displayed in a boy’s high school locker room.”
I’m not sure if the article is blatant sexist subjectivity, or a failed attempt at satire. What ever it is, it would never fly in our newsroom or department today. It’s now a space filled with not only strong women of all shapes and colors, but also a team that understands the dire need to break society’s harmful stereotypes and shed a light on all voices.
Yes, I am aware that society was different in 1972, and that kind of writing might’ve been deemed “acceptable” at that time. But it really makes you take a step back and realize how far we — and especially, this publication — have come in terms of acceptance. We still have a long way to go, but at least the foundation is there.
I first came across this piece while skimming through our magazine archives that sit mostly un touched on the bookshelves of Room 306 of the Humanities Building. After I brushed off the layer of dust and cracked the spine open, this bound collection of old magazines told the story of our publi cation, this department and society’s evolution.
These archives were like time capsules, filled with both gold nuggets and, occasionally, chunks of coal. These told the stories of their time. All the protests, the movements, the trends and fads, the events of the world — and even the outdated opinions — were perfectly preserved by those who experienced them firsthand.
Xpress Magazine continues to do this by printing our issues. Yes, we do live in a digital world where these archives can be saved to the cloud in a matter of a few clicks, but being able to vi sualize and flip through 53 years of a publication physically just has an authenticity that could never compare to a digital copy.
Maybe it’s that same authenticity that drives people to use dark rooms to physically print their photos, fueling the resurgence of film photography?
This desire to return to the old-fashioned, physical world has cleared a spot on the archives shelves for our winter issue. This issue tells the story of our world in November 2022. In 50 years, students will be able to flip through the glossy pages and learn about the unrest and unfair treat ment of women in Iran, or about how growing up on an unrestricted internet has impacted much of our generation.
My hope for the winter issue is that it will touch and inspire our readers to not only embrace their inner badass selves, or to say “F the system,” but also to try something new. Maybe take a ferry ride across the Bay, or host a food party in your dorm with the recipes from this issue. Who knows? You may be the next Post-it Picasso.
Winter brings the premonition of rebirth. Many trends are being “rebirthed” in a sense, and through these resurgences of the past, one has to wonder if history will repeat itself.
Will ferry travel ever be as popular as it was before the pandemic? Will film cameras emerge vic torious in a digital world? Will women in Iran gain freedom? Will society revert back to an unreal istic view of beauty?
So many questions. Only time will tell.
EDITORSAngelina Casolla Nathan Hitchcock Destiny Walker Ciara O’Kelley Asiah Capponi Giovanna Montoya Caroline Van Zandt Kamal Taj Ximena Loeza Art Editor Abraham Fuentes Photo Editor Sarah Bowen Copy Editor Oliver Michelsen Multimedia Editor Justine Brady Diversity Editor Nadia Castro Social Media Editor Daniel Hernandez Design Assistant
Get Your Sea Legs BackBy Kamal Taj
The resurgence of the ferry service for commuting and leisure in the Bay Area
View from the Cetus’s fantail as she leaves San Francisco’s ferry building in transit to Alameda on Nov. 14, 2022. The Cetus is a hydroplane vessel, meaning it has an open bottom hull and transits faster than a stan dard vessel. (Joshua Carter/Xpress)
WWaiting in the parking lot of the Oakland Ferry Terminal near Jack London Square, the morning marine layer begins to burn off, receding back towards the peninsula. The thick, gray fog gives ways to a cerulean-blue sky smudged with wispy cirrus clouds. The ebb and flow of the tide softly slaps against the pier’s mooring poles, and the distant ring of a buoy bell fills the air. The ferry hasn’t arrived, but riders begin to gather around the gate, slowly lining up in anticipation of the ferry’s landing.
The engine’s rumble and the churning of water gives the ferry’s approach away, ac companied by the somewhat-robotic mumble over the intercom. Staff hop off the ferry, tie the vessel off and drop the ramp. Passengers make their way on board, the sound of their footsteps echoing on the thin steel ramp. Below deck, the ferry’s engine turns into a deep hum. The heaters inside offer passengers a cozy, warm relief from the brisk morning chill. The strong smell of old, somewhat-burnt cheap coffee permeates the room.
Growing up in the Bay Area, many locals are introduced to public transportation fairly early. From field trips to the Opera House on BART to ferry rides landing at Alcatraz or Angel Island. There are a variety of ways to get from one place to another in the Bay Area, many of which are taken for granted or blur into our mundane routines.
However, one way in particular holds a special place in the hearts of residents around the Bay, and that’s the ferry. Maybe it’s our inner pirate, the free spirit— someone who en joys the salty air, the crash of waves against the hull, the sound of gulls squawking as they follow our wake. Or maybe it’s simply arriving in the city by water? Disembarking right at the water’s edge and stepping into the Embarcadero, the city somehow appears larger. Dwarfed by the towering buildings of the Financial District, the buzz of the city fills the air.
“It’s nice to be out on the water, especially without having to own your own boat,” laughed Michael Carrow, a Bay Area native riding the Oakland to SF ferry. Carrow with his son Owen sit on the upper back deck of the SF Bay ferry and look out at the city as it grows in size.
“With the pandemic and everything, it’s just nice to be outside, enjoy the fresh air…it gets tiring being indoors so often,” said Carrow.
Carrow raises his son to show him the full view of the Ferry Building. The clock tower, caught in a ray of morning light, dazzles in the sun. As a method of travel, the beauty of ferry transit is truly beyond comparison. “I used to use the ferry when I lived near Jack London Square, it was relaxing and convenient…instead of the usual bus to BART routine,” said Carrow.
Ferry service has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area since nearly its inception. With the population boom after the gold rush in 1849, a quick route between Oakland and San Francisco became necessary. The ‘Creek Route Ferry’ was one of the earliest routes that connected what’s now Jack London Square to SF’s western waterfront.
One of the earliest ferries built primarily for trans-bay service was a 449-ton, 170-footlong steam engine ferry called the Contra Costa. The vessel was a paddle steamer — a ship powered by a steam engine that drives a massive paddle wheel through the water. Before the propeller was invented, paddle steamers dominated the waterways.
Beginning in the 1860s, railroad ferries were established. These ferries were capable of carrying entire passenger train cars, sometimes including their locomotives. When trains arrived at Oakland via the Central Pacific Railroad line, passenger cars were loaded onto ferries and delivered to the San Francisco Belt Railroad, a line that ran parallel to the Embarcadero.
As technology advanced, ferries began to see a decline in the mid-1900s from the arrival of cars and construction of bridges. Since then, cars have become the predominant method of travel and commuting. In fact, driving alone to work is still California’s most used method of transportation for commuters. Transit, even before COVID-19, saw a steady
dip in riders. Quarantine and the pandemic only made it worse
The Richmond, Harbor Bay and South San Francisco ferry lines were entirely shut down and lines across the bay saw historically low numbers. After all, if a respiratory illness reaches pandemic levels, the last place you’d want to be is on a packed public transport with several dozen strangers. Now that we’ve started to make our way towards normalcy, transit numbers have slowly started to return to pre-pandemic numbers.
As the ferry pulls up to the Embarcadero, water churns and bub bles as the vessel nears the dock. The muted honking of cars grows louder and the sounds of the bay are replaced by those of the city. The ship raises and lowers with tidal flow and rubs into rubber bumpers that line the port’s docks, making a loud squeak that echoes through the shallowing water resembling an eerie whale call. Deckhands rush to the ship’s starboard side to tie off the vessel and let passengers off.
“I’ve been with the ferry for about a year,” said Eric Lim, a deck hand aboard the trans-bay liner. Lim throws off the last mooring line as the ship heads back towards Alameda. Standing at the stern and staring into the wake trailing behind, the city’s skyline beaming in the morning glow, “postcard perfect right here,” said Lim.
Many during the pandemic felt a change, a moment of clarity
brought about by chaos. People reevaluated themselves, their lives and the things most important to them.
“I was riding for spare-the-air day with my family from Seaplane…I was stressed out at my sales position, in front of the computer for 8 to 10 hours,” said Lim. For Lim the suggestion to give the position of deckhand has brought him peace. “It’s laid back, beautiful, you get to meet some great people, and get your sea legs.”
It took federal aid to rescue California’s public transportation and infrastructure. Help came in the form of the American Rescue Plan Act, which provided $30.5 billion specifically for transit. The federal stimulus allowed California transit to come back from the brink and ferry lines like the Harbor Bay and South San Francisco to be reinstat ed..
From June 2019 to June 2020 ferry service saw a systemwide drop from 302,143 riders in 2019 to 11,969 in 2020. The WETA (Water Emergency Transportation Authority) Pandemic Recovery Plan began in July 2021, looking to not only restart suspended lines, but also enhance service by increasing midday and weekend periods to meetA commuter docks their bike aboard the Cetus in San Francisco, Calif during transit to Alameda island. Commuters bring their bikes, pets, and cameras for what is arguably the most luxurious form of public transportation in the Bay. (Joshua Carter/Xpress)
demand after quarantine ended. In terms of public transit passenger’s choice of transportation, the ferry doesn’t top Muni, BART or bus lines. However, since increasing its service schedule and departures, ridership has increased. More riders have returned to take the ferry — not solely during peak workweek commute hours, but also on recre ational weekend trips.
Public transit has a way of bringing people from all walks of life to gether. We may come from different backgrounds, but all share a com mon need; to commute. “You meet all sorts of people on public transit, and develop a community of commuters that you can’t do behind the steering wheel of your car,” said Thomas Hall, Public Information & Marketing Manager at the WETA.
Hall, who grew up in Fairfield, remembers taking the city bus as a kid to go to middle school. He’s been at the WETA for about four years and has had an interest in public transit from an early age. “Some thing to do with the ability to transport people without everyone need ing to get into their own cars…and creating a shared space,” said Hall.
The Sacramento State alumni was actually a journalism major and later transitioned to government communications. As a lifelong public transit user Hall agrees that there is something special about the ferry. “I’m a regular rider now and use the Vallejo line to get to work
about three times a week,” said Hall. However, during the pandemic, commuters from all around the Bay had to make changes to their daily routines.
With many working from home, the drastic change left some feeling out of sorts, but ferry riders especially. “We heard from a lot of people when the pandemic hit, they didn’t miss going into the office but they did miss their commute,” recalled Hall. There is something special that resonates with many riders of the ferry, whether it be a 20 minute ride from Jack London Square or an hour ride from Vallejo, being out on the water does something to you.
Maybe the fresh air, beautiful views and leisurely boat ride appeals to those that have been trapped inside during quarantine for the past two years. When daily commuters take a second to pull out their phones and snap a quick photo on their way to work or back home, it becomes less about the commute and more about the journey. Hall explained, “It kind of offers commuters a place to decompress and do whatever they feel like doing…it gives you an opportunity to clear your mind.”MIDDLE RIGHT: The Bay Bridge sits in the foreground as the San Francisco ferry goes underneath on Nov. 14, 2022. “The ferry is the best way to see the city,” said Steve Diling, who helps with commuter interactions on the pier. (Joshua Carter/Xpress)
WOMEN RISE UP
Protests against Iran’s Islamic Republic regime continue world-wide after the death of
Mahsa AminiBy Angelina Casolla
“Did you know that letting your hair blow in the wind is a crime in Iran?” is written on a bright orange sign held high in the air. “Stop Killing Us’’ is written in white letters atop a black mask covering one woman’s face. A variety of loud chants echo in the air across Iran: “Death to the dictator!” “Say her name!” “Women, life, freedom!” Women dance in the streets as some burn their hijabs and cut their hair. Their male counterparts protest next to them in support.
Day after day for over a month, Iran’s protestors have demanded freedom and met brutal crackdowns. A women-led revolution is underway. The trigger: the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini.
Amini died in the custody of Iran’s notorious guidance patrol, more commonly known as the morality police. The unit enforces the country’s rule on a modest Islamic dress code. Amini, who was visiting the capital of Tehran from her hometown Saqqez in the Kurdish region, was taken to the morality police headquarters for an “educational class” for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly. Within two hours, Amini was in a coma at Kasra hospital. She died three days later.
Ever since the eyes of the world turned to Iran in September, the knocking on the door at SF State’s Center for Iranian Diaspo ra Studies has been constant. SF State is the only CSU with a Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies. The Center, established in 2016, is the first or ganization of its kind, and it is dedicated to researching and teaching the his torical and cultural experiences of the worldwide Iranian diaspora community.”
Several Bay Area news outlets have quoted the head of the center, Persis Karim, in their cov erage of the protests, thrusting the center into public light. Karim encourages a younger generation of Iranians to speak out and share their stories.
“It’s good that people are interested,” Karim explained.
Amini’s death caused large protests both within and outside of Iran. Iran’s Islamic regime is now under global scrutiny for its treatment of women. Amini’s death acted as the catalyst that sparked a feminist revultion, and Iranian women intend to never go back to how they used to live.
Hundreds of people in the Bay Area have shown their support by joining protests, organizing teach-ins and signing petitions to bring awareness to the situation in Iran.
Ferdos Heidari is an Iranian-born SF State student working towards her Master of Fine Arts. Protesting has become part of
her weekend agenda.
“I felt so empowered,” Heidari said.“I felt privileged that I can go out, and no one is going to shoot me in the face for saying that. I wish people in Iran had this opportunity. We are trying to inject hope for them. And it also feels empowering for us to be able to go out — and sorry for my French but — to say fuck the Iranian government.”
Ava Parto, a pen name, is an Iranian-born student studying in San Francisco. She is unable to use her real name out of fear of punishment from the Iranian government upon returning home.
“It was good to be able to protest without fear for your life — just chanting and being heard. And seeing Iranians from all different backgrounds and different beliefs coming together for just one cause. I think that was really beautiful, It’s indescribable,” Parto explains. “But you can’t help but think about the people who are risking their lives by doing the same thing,”
For over 40 years, Iranian women have been coping with discriminato ry laws and strict social rules. When the Islamic Republic of Iran was founded in 1979, Iranian women lost their right to choose how to dress. It was a freedom they had before that time — a freedom that many want back.
Heidari, who left Iran when she was 12, recalls her encounter with the morality police. She was out with her cousin for a fun day of shopping. When she hopped off the bus, two women followed her.
“They started to shout at me and call me a whore,” Heidari said. “Imagine you are 13 and don’t even know what that means.”
Pedestrians on the crowded street turned to stare as Heidari cried and ran away. As a Christian living in Iran, these hos tile interactions were not her only hardship.
“We basically do not have any freedom in what we believe,” Heidari said. “On our second visit back after we moved out of Iran, the government found out about us being Christian, and now I am blacklisted. I cannot go back to my country. If I set foot in an Iranian airport, I will be taken to prison.”
Parto explained the stress of normalized violence and feeling distrust in her own city after multiple encounters with the moral ity police. While she was still living in Iran, Parto was taken to the same center that Mahsa Amini was taken to. Although she was not physically beaten, she felt the verbal abuse and humiliation greatly affected her.
“I’m glad the world is seeing what we have always had to endure,” Parto said.
School yards in Iran have also now turned into protest sites, with teenage girls leading the movement, demanding eradication of the morality police and an end to the Islamic regime.
Most recently, plain clothes militia officers ambushed the prestigious Sharif University of Technology in Tehran on October 2, 2022. Pro testing students were trapped by security forces in a parking lot and tear gassed. As students tried to escape, riot police threw rocks and shot at them with rubber bullets and paintballs. Some students barricaded themselves in their dorm rooms, taking turns keeping watch as the riots ensued.
“These young women’s mothers and grand mothers have had to deal with the erosion of their rights,” said Persis Karim, Chair of SF State’s Cen ter of Iranian Diaspora. “There have been numerous efforts on behalf of women to change some of the discriminatory laws, to challenge the punishment of veiling practices and they haven’t succeeded. So, for these younger girls and women, seeing the humiliation of their mothers and grandmothers and feeling like the Islamic Regime is not open to change — I think it’s the right mix of frustration and hu miliation and recognition.”
The Islamic regime is violently retaliating against Iranians participating in this anti-regime revolutionary movement. Yet women remain on the frontlines, despite the risk of punishment or death.
“I don’t know what non-Iranians know,” Ar sham Pourfallah, assistant to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, said. “I think they know very little. They definitely don’t know to what extent people are being brutally killed, raped and tortured. They’re only seeing a very little glimpse of it,” Pourfallah was born in Iran and built a new life when he moved to San Francisco 12 years ago.
“It is not safe,” Pourfallah said. “The reality is that they’re going around shooting people. You can’t be just going outside. They shot a girl on the way to the dentist. They just shot her dead – everything is complete chaos.”
Pourfallah refers to Hanaheh Kia, a 23-year-old Iranian woman who, according to citizen journalism site Iranwire, was shot dead by security agents as she came home from the dentist.
Pourfallah remembers peacefully protesting during the 2009 Green Movement when he still lived in Iran.
“Everyone was just sitting down peacefully in a square, just chanting and talking,” Pourfallah explained. “The Islamic Republic police just started raiding. They started shooting at people. They started throwing tear gas, and everyone got up and started running.”
Pourfallah was paralyzed with confusion and couldn’t understand why they would do this to peaceful protestors. He left Iran shortly after.
“While we were running, I saw one of their cars run over an older man,” Pourfallah said. “The man was running away, and we were all running so we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Freedom of the press is limited in Iran, and the regime continues to block internet access. News outlets only air glimpses of the events that unfold within the country. Social media is an important tool that provides an international stage for this movement.
“The Islamic republic is shutting off the inter net, because in that silence, they get to kill more people,” Parto explained. “ If the social media mo mentum dies, they will get what they want.”
Pourfallah feels that one of the biggest issues with social media is the reliance on it for news.
“We’re getting everything through social me dia, which shouldn’t be the case. ” Pourfallah said. “It’s kind of hard to verify things, because where is the solid evidence?”
In Honor of Victims of the Iran Protests 2022
Fereydoon Mahmoudi Reza Lotfi
Fouad Ghadimi Danesh Rahnama Sadreddin Litani
Milan Haghighi Amin M’arefat Mehdi Asgari
Seyed Mehdi Mousavi Hadis Najafi
Behnam Layeghpour Hossein Ali Kia
Mohammad Hossein Sarvari-Rad Morteza Nowroozi Javad Heydari Pedram Azarnoush Mehrdad Behnam-Asl Amir Nowruzi Farzin Lotfi Sasan Ghorbani Yasin Jamalzadeh Mohsen Gamshadzehei Emran Hassanzehei Yaser Shahouzehei
Amir Hossein Mir Kazehi Riggi
Mohammad Ali Gamshad-Zehei
Amir Mehdi Farrokhiour Rafe Narui
Ali Agheli (Narui) Mokhtar Ahmadi Amir Hossein Basati Morteza Hassanzani
Zolfaghar Jan Hassanzani Azim Mahmoudzehi
Mohammad ShahBakhsh Ghazaleh Chalavi Hannaneh Kia Mahsa Mogouei Parsa Rezadoust Saeed Mohammadi
Amir Ali Fooladi Mehdi (Mohammad) Fallah Erfan Rezaei
Mohammad Hassan Torkaman Reza Shahparnia Mohsen Gheysari
Matin Abdollahpour Fardin Bakhtiari Milad Zare
Mohammad Reza Eskandari Sarina Esmailzadeh Iman Mohammadi
Mohammad Amin Gamshad-Zehei
Mohammad Reza Adib Tootazehi
Mohammad Brahui Aminollah Ghaljaei
Abu Bakr Ali-Zehei
Abdollah Mohammadpour Erfan Kahzaei
Abdolsamad Sabeti Zadeh
Ali Kurd Kalahouri
Yahya Rahimi (Sarab Shahraki)
Mohammad Rakhshani Sina Naderi
Abolfazl Adinezadeh, Abdussalam Qadir Galvan
Asra Panahi Jangah
Hamed Baji Zehi
Mohammad Javad Zahedi
Ali Bani Asadi
Adel Kuchakzaie (Barichi)
Matlab Saeed Peyro
Esmail Moloudi (semko)
Fereshteh Ahmadi Mohammad Lotfollahi
Keyvan Darvishi, Sarina Saedi
Kobra Sheikh Sagha
Momen Zand Karimi Mehdi Hazrati
Jalil Mohammad-Zehei Hamid Isa-Zehei
Nematollah Kubdani Hamid Narouei
Mohammad Seddigh Narouei
Lal Mohammad Alizehei Hamzeh Narouei Omar Shahnavazi
Abdulghafoor Noor-Barahui Hamid Narouei
Amir Hamzeh Shahnavazi
Lal Mohammad Anshini Balal Anshini
Mohammad Eghbal Naebzehei (Shahnavazi)
Ali Akbar Halgheh-Begoosh
Amin Goleh Bache
Mohammad Reza Sarvari
Abdul Wahid Tohidnia
Musa Dovira (Narui)
Mohammad Hossein Salari
If you look closely at the hands of someone who spends a lot of time on their phone, you’ll notice a distinct character istic — dented pinkies. Many people who spend hours at a time on their phones can run their fingers across the inside of their pinky and feel a slight indentation, and some can visibly notice the dent. Despite the fact that there are cur rently no studies conducted on the topic, it is something that smartphone users are noticing.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, doctors have said this physical alteration is not necessarily permanent nor something to worry about. But, it does raise the question of what non-physical effects being attached to a cell phone — and in turn, the internet — can have.
Jane Doe was 11 years old when she made her first social media account on Facebook, which was quickly followed by a Tumblr account when she was 12. By the time she was 16, she had amassed over 30,000 followers on Tumblr and had become — in her own words — “tied down” to the site.
“I felt like I belonged…like I was a part of something,” said Doe. “They gave me the sense that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling, and that I had a community of friends and peers.”
This feeling of camaraderie and companionship is the internet at its absolute best—the notion that people from all backgrounds can come together and form circles of trust they might not otherwise have in their real, day-to-day lives. At its worst, the internet can be a dangerous cesspool full of harmful images and ideas, predators and deceit.
“On Tumblr, I found a lot of pro-ana and self-harm glorifi cation which really plummeted me into my depression and eating disorder when I was 13,” Doe said. “Those things stuck with me for years.”
Pro-ana is an internet term that means the promotion of anorexia. This side of the internet encourages users to incorporate anorexic practices into their lives and glorifies unhealthy thinness. While Doe does not solely blame the in ternet and Tumblr for her struggles with mental health, she does believe that they introduced her to topics she might not have known about otherwise.
The Wall Street Journal reported that “32% of teen girls said that when they felt badly about their bodies and Ins tagram made them feel worse.” Though teenage girls being unhappy with their bodies is something that has plagued women for decades, it seems social media has exacerbated the issue.
SF State Alum Keani Lastra made her first Facebook profile in 2010 and her first Instagram account back in 2012, when she was a freshman in high school. At the time, Face book was used by kids to rate the appearance of their peers in exchange for likes, as well as to post selfies multiple times a week, trying to garner as many likes on them as possible.
“I spent a very long time associating my self-worth with the amount of likes my photos would get or with my num bers of friends and followers,” said Lastra. “And the even bigger problem here is that I was never satisfied. I always felt like I needed more likes, more comments, more views, more friends…”
This need for more engagement on social media is not unheard of and can be seen from all over the internet. In a study conducted by SF State’s, it was discovered that there was a negative correlation to technology usage and self-con trol. This means that the higher the usage of technology, the lower levels of self-control were found in the participants.
“We found that there was a direct correlation to high usage of media and media multitasking, meaning when you have multiple devices out at the same time, and a lack of self con trol,” said SF State graduate student John Majoubi, who led the study.
The study consisted of an extensive questionnaire that asked about overall self-esteem, mental health, satisfaction of life etc., of participants. The more the participant used technology and media, the more negative answers they had. The LACE Lab opened the study up to everyone, spanning across all countries, ages and genders. Researchers found the one question that was the biggest indicator of the nega tive correlation between media usage and self-control was, “Indicate the degree to which each statement applies to youI feel distracted when I am waiting for responses to my social media posts.”
The need for engagement on social media posts can be detrimental to one’s focus, mental health and wellbeing. This is a notion that is seen across the globe and across all ages. The study also showed that women on average have a more negative relationship between media and self-control than men do.
One of the scarier parts of the internet comes in the form of predators. Hidden behind a computer screen, predators have access to people, sometimes children, they might not normally get in real life.
When Jada Trail, a soon-to-be first-year student at SF State, was 11 or 12 years old, she was sexually harassed on a live stream.
“At the time, I knew I was uncomfortable with what was going on, and tried my hardest not to engage,” said Trail. “I wasn’t fully aware of the situation until a few years later, reflecting on the incident.”
Sexual harassment is nothing new for young girls using the internet, especially in the 2010s with the rise in apps such as Kik Messenger and Omegle. Omegle is a free online chatting website that allows users to video chat and message random people in a one-on-one setting. What makes This this website so dangerous because is that there’s no need to register and people can stay completely anonymous. There is also nowhere for a participant’s age to be verified before they’re granted access to the website.
“I saw my first of many penises on Omegle when I was 12,” said Doe.
This is not an uncommon scenario for young women who grew up using Omegle. The company has dealt with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit and a UN Special Rapporteur investigation for its enabling of sexual harrassment and child pornography.
The phenomenon of growing up online is something that is still relatively new to the world, but it’s already rearing its ugly head in kids and young adults today. With new applications such as screen time and sleep timers, some progress has been made. But there is still a long way to go to create a more healthy relationship between the internet and its users.
Pop a Pasty
Historically overlooked plus-size burlesque dancers and strippers take the spotlight in San Francisco clubsBy Caroline Raffetto An audience member puts a bill into Ruby Roulette’s fish net during a set on the stage in The Oasis on Oct. 26. (Abraham Fuentes/ Xpress Magazine)
AAndy Rose nervously stands backstage behind a velvet red curtain in her light up rainbow pleasers, pounds of body glitter, fishnets and rhine stone- studded lingerie. Even after years of performing, she still feels the butterflies fluttering around in her stomach as the nervousness sets over her body. She starts whispering positive affirmations to herself as the rum ble of the crowd pumps her body full of adrenaline.
As her fellow dancers pass by they only have one thing to say —– their equivalent of “break a leg”...pop a pasty!
Burlesque dancing has always been a part of San Francisco nightlife. This style of performance can be traced back to Europe as far back as the 16th century, but however the modern style of American Burlesque emerged in the 1920s. These elaborate performances feature dancers in outfits glimmering with rhinestones and donning sky- high heels, seducing the audience with their enticing stage personalities and suggestive dance moves. Historically these dancers have been mostly skinny, female- pre senting and white. Back then, society never would have dared to feature cellulite, fat rolls and ‘non-traditional’ dancers on stage. However, with the shift in society to become more accepting of all bodies, plus-size dancers are stealing in the spotlight.
ThiccTease, a Burlesque show in San Francisco that which features plus-size and non-traditional dancers and strippers, was created in August 2021 by Shanelle Jones.
“I was a stripper from 18 to 20,” Jones explained. “When I was strip ping, I was thinner. I was definitely more like the standard view of what a stripper would look like.”
Jones remembered how easy it was to book jobs when they were that size., Bbut that all changed after they gave birth to their child and their body was not what it used to be.
“My body changed, and I couldn’t work anymore,” Jones said. “Nobody would book me, not even at the clubs that I had worked at previously.”
The frustration that came along with being overlooked for jobs, and treated differently because of their body size, fueled Jones to create a show that was not only owned and operated by sex workers, but also a safe-space —, welcoming of ALL bodies.
“The frustration and the hurt that I felt at being turned away, and seeing my friends still dancing in the club, was some thing that I don’t want anyone to ever feel.” Jones explained. “This team has just been healing for me personally. I think it’s touched a lot of people.”
Endless photos on Instagram of models and celebrities with the perfect hourglass figure, no stretch marks, tiny waists and flat stomachs flood society’s view of what beauty is. Plus size bodies are often overlooked because they do not fit into this mold.
According to a study done by the Women and Equalities Committee, 57% of adults said that they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ see people who look like themselves reflected in pic tures on social media.
“There’s no visibility for plus size people,” Rose, a dancer with ThiccTease, explained. “For the longest time, society has told us that we need to hide our bodies, that we should not be seen, that we need to cover up. You see any thin white person on Insta gram, wearing a bikini and everyone celebrates it. Then you put that same bikini on a larger bodied person, and there is an uproar. It’s insane.”
A study done by the American Psychological Association found that out of 50,000 adults, 60% of women were self conscious about their weight and felt they were too heavy. 30% of women reported being too uncom fortable with their body to wear a swimsuit and 20% felt that they were unattractive.
Strawberry has been a stripper with ThiccTease since its conception. Jones and Strawberry met at a sex worker picnic and hit it off. They bond ed over their mutual struggles and frustrations with not getting booked because of their size. Shortly after, ThiccTease was born —– featuring Strawberry as one of their OG strippers.
ThiccTease had their first performance at Good Mother Art Gallery in Oakland. Strawberry remembers how juvenile that performance was compared to the elaborate productions ThiccTease puts on today.
“It was just so makeshift, and we did what was possible at the time,” Strawberry explained. “It was difficult trying to find venues who under stood the mission of ThiccTease.”
A year after its conception, ThiccTease now has nine dancers, over 3,000 Instagram followers and performs at iconic LGBTQ+ San Francisco venues such as OASIS. Jones’s idea of creating a safe space for all plus-size dancers blossomed into a full stage production with lights, poles, music, props — and of course, tons of glitter.
Even with a strong senses of self-confidence and a bad bitch attitude, many of these dancers found the stripping world to not be all glitz and glamor, especially for people their size.
After Rose gained weight, she was asked to leave the strip club she worked at. She recalled the manager telling her that if she could not lose a certain amount of weight, she would not be able to work there anymore because she was getting “too big.”.
“I almost didn’t notice that I was gaining a lot of weight,” Rose said. “It honestly took a huge toll on everything that I have built, all that strength, and I was super depressed for a while.”
This triggered an eating disorder for Rose in her early 20s and forced her to stop dancing. Years later, when she rejoined the scene, she con tinued to find that she was still not getting booked for jobs because of her weight.
Rose would pull all the tricks out of her bag, climbing the pole and suspending herself in mid-air. The crowd would go wild over her seductive moves, sparkly outfits and bubbly stage presence — but she still would not get booked for the job.Blue sits on the stage of The Oasis during a set for Thicc Tease on Oct. 26. (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine) Amber Lust, dressed as Tiffany Valentine from Bride of Chucky, stands on the top of the stage of The Oasis on Oct. 26. (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
*This story uses widely-known stage names to protect the identity of the dancers and sex workers*
TOP: Snaxx, dressed as the Hamburglar from the McDonald’s characters of the 90s, dances on the top of the stage of The Oasis on Oct. 26. (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
MIDDLE: Bazil B. Dazil stands on the sidelines of the stage in The Oasis on Oct. 26. (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
BOTTOM: Nani Panther stands on the top of the stage of The Oasis on Oct. 26. (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
FIRST: Strawberry poses on their couch in their apartment in San Francisco on Nov. 6. (Abra ham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
SECOND: Strawberry poses on their couch in their apartment in San Francisco on Nov. 6. (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
THIRD: Strawberry hangs from their pole in their apartment in San Francisco on Nov. 6. (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
“I have tried to apply at strip clubs.” Rose said. “Honestly, I’ve kind of given up on it. I don’t want to be a part of it. I want to be somewhere that I am cele brated. They can have their little dancers. I’m gonna go where I am wanted and loved and celebrated. Period.”
She knew she needed a change, so she started go-go dancing at LGBTQ+ bars such as Q bar in the Castro. Go-go dancers hype up the crowd at bars or events by dancing on some sort of elevated surface. Rose fell in love with being the life of the party and fed off of the crowd’s energy.
“I was able to build my confidence back up again,” Rose explained. “I started seeing more and more plus size dancers and I finally felt like I found the com munity, I found a home. It wasn’t just me, there were so many other beautiful, beautiful plus-size dancers.”
A year ago Rose was approached by ThiccTease and jumped at the opportu nity to perform with them.
Strawberry remembers when they started dancing at strip clubs in San Jose and would also get turned away from strip clubs because of their size. They believe this was due to strip clubs only servingcatering to the male gaze.
“The managers in strip clubs are just really stuck in their own understand ings of what’s going to cater to the male gaze,” Strawberry explained. “Part of that has to do with people’s own tastes that can be really affected by all of these isms and phobias.”
Strawberry explained that the male gaze strip club managers cater to was very much stuck in the 2005 standard of beauty- blonde hair, fake boobs and skinny figures. This narrow view of beauty led to exclusion and discrimination in many strip clubs.
“That excludes so many different people,” Strawberry said. “There’s also racial discrimination that’s rampant in the clubs, as well as fat phobia, trans phobia, etc.”
One of Jones’s main goals when starting ThiccTease was to give a platform to not only plus size bodies, but also for queer people and people of color. Jones felt that queer, plus size and people of color weren’t being represented in the burlesque and / stripping scene, and wanted to give them a platform.
According to ThiccTease’s unreleased 2022 dDemographics report, 40% of their dancers are bBlack, 30% are lLatino/a/x, 20% are wWhite and 10% are iIndigenous. 100% of the dancers identify as LGBTQ+. ThiccTease said their goal for 2023 was to hire more masculine- presenting go-go dancers, larg er-bodied go- go dancers and go go dancers over the age of 40.
“There’s so many beautiful bodies out there,” Rose, who identifies as Black, lLatina, and qQueer, said in regard to ThiccTease’s goal of inclusivity. “I think something that we really need to focus on is uplifting our plus-size, trans and non-binary babes, because there are so many amazing performers that don’t get any recognition… Burlesque and go- go dancing is not just for femmes. It is for everyone.”
Strawberry believes that when Assembly Bill 5 passed in 2019, it sparked even more hiring discrimination within strip clubs. This law was meant to pro tect exotic dancers by requiring their employers to pay them minimum wage and, overtime, give them access to health care and allow them to unionizethe ability to join unions. However, for plus size dancers, it did the opposite.
“They see you as a liability if you’re not able to fit into this really niche box of what they think is going to be successful in the club,” Strawberry said. “That
stereotype, that mold, is so exclusionary, and excludes all kinds of different people.”
Through all the ups and downs of the industry, for some, dancing can be a form of therapy.
Amber Lust made her debut with ThiccTease at the beginning of 2022. Lust is originally from Panama and has been burlesque dancing for nine years. After she created her own burlesque show — -which she admits was more like a variety show —- in Panama, she decided it was time to move out to California.
Lust has always dealt with depression and body image issues. Through burlesque, she was able to embrace her body and transform all her nega tive thoughts into creating a badass performance.
“It helps a lot with my confidence,” Lust said. “It helps to have some where where I can put a whole bunch of feelings into one thing, you know?”
Rose has danced her whole life. When she was younger, she was constantly bullied for her weight and it took a toll on her self confidence. However, once she graduated high school, she decided it was time to make
a change and reinvent herself, to have a clean slate.
“I feel like this part of me has always been in me, but I was never able to set her free,” Rose said. “It was something that was very deep down.”
Rose started stripping right out of high school and also worked a retail day job. Through stripping, she was able to pay for college, support her fam ily, buy her first car and start her own business:- The Baddie Playhouse. ItBut it also gave her a newfound sense of power.
“A lot of people look at sex workers and strippers as a someone that needs to be saved, like the damsel in distress,” Rose said. “But honestly, there’s so much power once you hit the stage or the pole. I found a lot of confidence through stripping.”
Burlesque and stripping has also helped Jones get away from abusive situations.
“It’s a way for me to be independent and have a lot of income coming in,” Jones said. “It allowed me to literally escape. I know that it’s a really good form of financial stability for a lot of femme women or people. It’s just important that everyone has access to that.”
FIRST: The cast of Thicc Tease stands on the stage of The Oasis after their show ended on Oct. 26.
SECOND: Nani Panther stands on the sidelines cheering the other cast members on the stage of The Oasis on Oct. 26.
THIRD: Luci Deville, dressed as Freddy Krueger, on the stage of The Oasis is interacting with the audience during their set on Oct. 26.
FOURTH: Bazil B. Dazil stands on the sidelines of the stage in The Oasis on Oct. 26.All Photos by (Abraham Fuentes/Xpress Magazine)
Out of the Picture
Film photography fights to stay in the light in a digital worldBy Kamal Taj
As one steps into the void, their eyes narrow to help adjust to the darkness. The pitch black gives way to a martian red. A dank, metallic smell of chemicals strikes the back of their nose. The sounds of paper sliding across workstations, flipping old mechanical switches and splashing of liquid filled trays perme ate the air. As the room finally comes into focus, the precautionary hand that was once slightly in front of them to keep them from blindly bumping into something lowers, and they realize they’ve entered a darkroom.
In a world that’s gone digital, analog mediums have been replaced by those that are faster, less messy and more efficient. Film was once considered a dying medium, but with increasingly rare supplies becoming more expensive, photographers find ways to make ends meet. As film fights to stay in the light, analog enthusiasts breathe life back into the medium. New hobbyists and artists have kept film from becom ing a forgotten relic.
“Everyone’s either digging out their old film cam eras, or a lot of younger people are just getting into it for the first time,” said Matt Osborne, owner of Glass Key Photo in San Francisco.
Film may be considered antiquated, but that doesn’t mean it’s lost its charm. Many still find joy in developing film, and appreciate the artistry behind the chemistry.
“I enjoy this [film photography] a lot…the process of it,” said Joshua Charles Nero, a third year student at SF State.
Nero wants to continue working with photogra phy after graduating.
“I love the battle between uncertainty and trust that goes into shooting film,” said Nero. “Not knowing what an image looks like until you develop it.”
Nero, who has roots in Louisiana, remembers where his passion for the medium began. Traveling between California and Lousisiana in his childhood exposed him to a wide variety of lifestyles, sparking his interest in taking pictures. As he got older his photography evolved from landscapes to portraits.
“Being able to capture images for artists and brands on a consistent basis is one of my main goals,” said Nero.
His dream would be to open a creative studio to showcase his work and the work of other talented artists that look like him.
Angela Berry, a photography professor at SF State, said the darkroom is “the point where science and art combine…it’s pretty much a chemistry lab.”
Berry, who just began teaching at SF State, loves the sensorial experience that is film photography. She has worked with her own photographs, taken with her phone, and made digital negatives processed by platinum palladium or gum bichromate. Effective ly bringing digital back into the analog process.
One of the first cameras Berry has shot with and still uses today is a Hasselblad 500cm. A clas sic, square format Swedish camera with a vertical viewfinder usually held at chest or hip level. Berry originally went to school for writing, but always loved visual and sound arts growing up. In college she made the switch and majored in painting, but a study abroad program in Berlin with a camera around her neck brought the transformation full circle.
Berry’s relationship with film photography runs hand in hand with her perspective on visual arts.
“It’s narrative and anti-narrative at the same time, it’s explicit and ambiguous, it’s a fragment of something but it’s not the whole thing,” said Berry.
Film photography has the ability of being a medium that is malleable, able to change, bend and flow with every artist. Maybe that’s the allure — the beauty of creation, of seeing a moment become
reality. It can feel a little supernatural, to dip a white, gelatin-covered paper into a solution and watch rich-black tones grow deeper and white high lights create detail. A test strip becomes a guessing game in a way, moving closer to figure out the photo, squinting to discern between subject or background.
However, with a medium like film, supplies have become difficult to come by – especially in mass quan tities, due to how expensive they are. Film cameras and supplies that were once at rock-bottom prices have skyrocketed. “We sell a film called Kodak Portra 400 which is normally $15 a roll that’s now $40 a roll,” said Kevin Jordan, an employee at Looking Glass Photo in Berkeley, CA.
With film photography, a common element that most point out as their favorite aspect of the medium is the time, technicality and process of composing an image. From the moment a photograph is taken in film,
“It’s a different shooting experience, you have a fi nite amount of photos you can take which changes your
mindset and thought process,” said Jordan.
Film requires you to be more careful and metic ulous. Artists approach the process at a slower pace which causes more thoughtfulness in regards to what and how they’re shooting. Whereas with digital, they can kind of “spray and pray” according to Jordan. Film is the opposite. It makes the photographer slow down.”
Nero begins the process by making test strips of the image. This saves time and paper and reveals enough of the image to discern whether or not the photograph needs more or less time exposed to light by the enlarger. Time is also key in the development process. Nero places a strip beneath the enlarger, flips a switch and waits several seconds for the enlargers beam to switch off.
After repeating the process at different lengths of time, each strip can now be placed into the developer solution. The solution bath portion of the development process has three main parts; developer, a water bath or stop bath and fixer. Placing his strips into theJosh Nero sits for a portrait with one of his film cameras in his apartment on campus on Nov. 3, 2022. Nero is in SF State’s darkroom class, and regularly uses film to shoot portraits and life in San Francisco. (Juliana Yamada / Xpress Magazine)
Josh Nero holds a sheet of negatives up to the light in his apartment on campus during a por trait session on Nov. 3, 2022. Nero, a third-year student, has shot film for years and hopes to make a career out of film photography. (Juliana Yamada/Xpress Magazine)
Josh Nero reviews his prints in his apartment during a portrait session on Nov. 3, 2022. Nero, a third-year student, has shot film for years and hopes to make a career out of film photography.
(Juliana Yamada/Xpress Magazine)
“You have to learn to work with what you’ve got — to troubleshoot. In any art medium, problem solving is a really empowering skill set.”
developer bath tray Nero agitates the test strip by gently shaking it as it’s submerged in the sulfite solution.
Silver halides are converted into silver metal, making the invisible, visible. The pale-col ored silver halides are then converted into black-silver metal, leaving an image created by the contrast between black and white.
Digital may offer several advancements to photography and a camera’s ability, but some times having a 64GB SD card that can hold somewhere around 12,000 images can hinder the creative process.
The process of developing film is a time and labor intensive journey that requires patience, a bit of chemistry and several tools focused to create a single composition. The necessity for a room that offers a slight bit of sensory depriva tion seems serendipitous.
Darkrooms have been used to process photo graphic film since the medium’s inception. Even before cameras were invented, the ability to create an image from light was only possible in a room free of any other sources of light except from one precise point; a camera obscura.
Records date the invention of the obscura at around 400 B.C., which was little more than a sim ple room with a small hole on one side and a cloth draped on the opposite. When a darkroom is cre ated with the correct light conditions, an inverted image will naturally be cast onto the opposing wall. As time went on, the room was downsized into a more manageable, box-like device, becoming some of the first pinhole cameras. These devices would eventually lay the foundation for what we know today as a modern camera.
Photosensitive silver-nitrate is the key chem ical in creating an image. This material allows light to essentially burn an image onto a surface. Older ‘prints’ would have been created on paper, but were faint and temporary. Paper was replaced by glass, glass by metal and metal by celluloid; or what is now called film. The chemical process has evolved but remains largely similar to those of the past.
Even today the modern photosensitive pro cess requires the use of a room that blocks out all other light that would threaten the development of the film. Chemicals like hydroquinone, acetic acid and sodium sulfate are some of the culprits responsible for giving the darkroom their pungent smell. These ingredients are found in most photo developers and are toxic if not used in safe, venti lated conditions.
For as much joy as the medium brings to those interested in it, scrounging for materials can burn a hole in their pocket. “It’s definitely been rough,” said Osborne. “Fuji has not produced film since pre-COVID and Kodak was having supply chain issues like crazy...feast or famine, really.”
People found things that they could do out side, creative outlets that were once tossed aside as too time consuming suddenly found a purpose. Those that may have not previously had time for the art, found time during quarantine.
As frustrating as supply issues may be, they aren’t enough to keep enthusiasts away from film.
“You have to learn to work with what you’ve got — to troubleshoot,” said Berry. “In any art me dium, problem solving is a really empowering skill set.” The ability to make your work in any condi tions and to adapt — these are some of the values that film photography has the ability to develop.Maleah Welsh reviews a sheet of negatives in the SF State darkroom on Oct. 6, 2022. (Juliana Yamada / Xpress Magazine)
SF State’s Camera Picks
As digital photography continues to be the dominant tool used within the media, a few SF State students still prefer that time less appeal of film. Xpress Magazine asked our editors and students about their favorite film cameras they use to encapsulate those passing life moments.
Favorite film camera: Nikon Lite-Touch Zoom AF 35 Film Camera.
Cost for you to buy and develop film: “It costs me around $19 per film to scan, develop and print.”
Type of photos you like to shoot on film: My friends, myself, everyday scenery and wall art
Experience shooting with film: 2-3 years
The appeal of film over digital: “The grainy effect and the excitement of developing film. My pictures are always high quality and [it] gives off an early ‘90s/2000s vibe that I love.”
Favorite film camera: Canon AE-1
Cost for you to buy and develop film: $7 for film and $20 to develop a roll Type of photos you like to shoot on film: Friends, landscape photos, skyline
Experience with shooting: Three years
The appeal of film over digital: “I like that you don’t know what your pictures are gonna look like until you get them back. When I get them back and I see memories from the past year. And I’m like, ‘Oh, that was so fun. Remember when that happened?’ It’s fun. It’s kind of like a time capsule.”
Xpress Magazine and Golden Gate Xpress’s Editors picks:
RENE RAMIREZ: Multimedia Editor for Golden Gate Xpress
Favorite film camera:
Canon AE-1 Program
Cost for you to buy and develop film: $13 for film and $17 to develop
Type of photos you like to shoot on film: Well-known Bay Area artists/rappers and concerts
Experience with shooting: Six years
The appeal of film over digital: “You have to be really picky choosing when to press the shutter. But also the feeling of the unknown. Not knowing until you get the scans back to see if your photos are fire adds so much for me. It never gets old.”
Abraham Fuentes: Photo Editor for Xpress Magazine
Favorite film camera:
Bronica ETRS, Canon F1N, Olympus AF-1
Cost for you to buy and develop film: Costs $10 to $12 and $20 to develop
Type of photos you like to shoot on film: Portraits, landscape, experimental Experience with shooting: 5-6 years
The appeal of film over digital: “I do like the idea of film being more organic. And it’s just a lot of fun to see how much [I] have grown from the beginning and also see that those were really good photos and really good memories.”By Justine Brady Photo by Abraham Fuentes Photo by Abraham Fuentes Photo by Nawal Nazar Photo by Nawal Nazar Photo by Rene Ramirez
S a v o r t h e s c r e a mBy Destiny Walker Aaron Kerner, a professor from SF State’s Cinema department poses for a photo inside of his office on Nov. 8, 2022. (Miguel Francesco Carrion / Xpress Magazine)
Why do we enjoy being scared? The elements behind successful horror movies and why we react to them
Cindy Campbell screams as the phone rings in her quaint suburban home. Her screech amplifies as the camera quick ly zooms into her face — then, dead silence. She picks up the phone and Ghostface, a white-masked murderer, responds with a whisper. Ominous music plays, growing louder and louder until the camera cuts to where she spots him. He pops out from the curtain with a hook, and the chase begins.
This sort of damsel-in-distress chase scene from the come dic horror movie Scary Movie, can be found in thousands of horror movies.
Horror movies originate from the works of George Mellies, a French illusionist, actor and film director. He directed what is believed to be one of the first horror movies in 1898, named “Le Manoir du Diable,” which translates to “The Haunted Cas tle.” Horror films today have expanded from black and white to many sub-genres like comedic, supernatural, psychological or slasher.
But why would someone want to be frightened? What is so ap pealing about watching a movie meant to make people uncomfortable?
David Matsumoto, a psychology Professor at SF State, ex plained that for those who watch horror movies, the fear they experience when watching may morph into happiness or relief.
Emotions are triggered in our mind as it evaluates the stimuli it perceives. These stimuli can be external — like losing a game, or feeling offended — or generated internally by mem ories of the past or thoughts about the future.
Alan Gomez, a senior at SF State and presi dent of the first Latinx Film Club at SF State, loves horror films, particularly paranormal or psychedelic horror.
“I like when my adrenaline is pumping throughout the film,” said Gomez.
Matsumoto believes that the pleasure horror movie enthusiasts get is from the rollercoaster of emotions.
“On some level, it’s all about achieving the anticipated emotion,” said Matsumoto.
One of the main emotions horror mov ies activate is fear.
The response starts in the amygdala — a set of nuclei in the brain’s temporal lobe that activates a fight-or-flight response, triggering the release of stress hormones.
The amygdala, hippocampus and prefron tal cortex all work to help the brain determine threats.
“All those horrible things that elicit fear —, they have some kind of image that our brains perceive to be threatening in some way, shape or form, either physically or to yourself,” said Matsumoto. “It could be Freddy Krueger coming at us with a knife, or falling off a cliff or something like that. But
all about threats to ourself and our survival.”
Horror movies can make people con front their biggest fears, such as death, dismem berment, disfigure ment or “creepy
crawlies” like spiders or snakes.
For Gomez, any horror film that features sounds or visuals of “creepy crawlies” freaks him out.
“I just don’t mess with them,” said Gomez. “If something’s coming up, like cockroaches or stuff in the scene, I don’t mess with that.”
Darkness plays a big role in triggering fear. The darkness of the room, and not being able to see what is lurking around the corner makes the scares in the movie even more bone chilling.
Likewise, sound can elicit emotions and create moods to make these feelings more intense. Creepy or unnecessarily loud noises accompanied by flashes of lights can induce a startled response.
“Sound is so critically important to hear, and is one of the things that we maybe take for granted or don’t really think about,” said Aaron Kerner, a cinema Professor at SF State. “Sound is actually waves, and they actually touch us. There’s already a physical connection between what was in the movie that we’re watching and in our own bodies.”
Individuals find excitement in certain sounds because it gives them an adren aline rush. The fear and anticipation that these sounds produce makes their hearts beat faster and forces them to the edge of their seat.
“Sounds would be critical in terms of stingers or jumpscares,” said Kerner. “Those are often accompanied with or just are simply the product of a particular sound element.”
According to Kerner, when Eli Roth, a famous American horror director, sends his movies to the ratings board, he also submits a cut without the full suite of sounds in it.
“That’s where the scary stuff is – in those sounds,” said Kerner.
According to Matsumoto, one’s emotional reaction creates physiological responses, like heart palpitations and sweaty or cold hands.
Those who like watching horror movies still feel the same anxiety, shock and tension like non-fans. But according to Mat sumoto, they’re just wired differently.
“It’s not that they don’t get afraid,” said Matsumoto. “They get afraid, but they like the fact that they are afraid, or they like the relief from being afraid.”
Filmmakers use different techniques like the classic jump scare, mounting suspense or over-extending scenes to evoke fear. These technical elements are just as important as the ac tual content of the horror movie when trying to elicit a certain response from the audience. . Imagine watching a film without technical details like unsettling music or shadowy lighting — wouldn’t that be a lot less scary?
“It’s the whole package in terms of it’s not just the narra tive that is critical. It’s just how that narrative is presented to us,” said Kerner. “The sound, the editing, the cinematography, the lighting, all that stuff that can definitely make for a scarier horror film.”
you notice they’reDestiny Walker and Daniela Perez look at a projection of horror movies inside SF State’s newsroom on Nov. 7, 2022. (Miguel Francesco Carrion / Xpress Magazine)
Students at SF State decorate their dorm room windows with an unlikely mediumBy Caroline Van Zandt Photos by Joshua Carter
Locals recognize SF State for its diverse student population, gor geous campus and history of activism, but any student can tell you that even its buildings are packed with personality. If you’re ever walking through the student-housing sections of campus, look up, and you’ll be met by dorm windows decorated with colorful designs made entirely of sticky-notes, ranging anywhere from friendly greetings like “hi,” to more blunt messages like “SHUT TF UP” or “Bush did 9/11”.
There isn’t a dorm building on campus that doesn’t have at least one window covered with sticky-notes from the inside. Some students make elaborate artworks out of sticky-notes instead of just words. De pictions of smiley faces, hearts, naked women and even more explicit images are proudly displayed for passers-by to interpret.
Grace Harpster, who works at the housing office on campus, is currently in her third semester at SF State. She has been seeing these sticky-note windows since she first started here.
“I feel like definitely in fall, like when people get settled in, there’s a lot more,” Harpster recalled. “Just because they’re probably excited.”
Despite the raunchy nature of some designs in the dorms, the art that students create and display from their windows is almost always protected under the university’s time, place and manner policy. Ac cording to Harpster, students take full advantage of their free speech rights.
“I’ve seen weird ones that are still there,” Harpster said with a laugh. “I remember last year there were boobs, or something like that.”
There are even school-sanctioned window decorating contests, according to Alvin Navarro, a SF State RA.
“People do the themes, like pumpkin-themed– stuff like that,” she said.
However, SF State students are not unique in their office-supply art medium. Georgia Tech, University of Maryland and Penn State all par ticipate in these types of shenanigans. It seems to be a part of college culture.
Finals are coming… and so is winterBy Oliver Michelson
With fall coming to an end, a brisk winter breeze has filled the San Francisco air… depending on what neighborhood you’re in. With final projects and test prep piling up, take a load off for a couple minutes to give yourself a lower-stakes challenge with our winter cross word. Our latest issue tackles a litany of issues, with stories on everything from unrestricted internet access to the months of protest surrounding recent events in Iran. As always, if you’re strug gling check out some of our online exclusives for more hints.
1) Photography that uses chemical pro cesses to capture light on film.
4) A popular chat site that pairs you with strangers to speak with.
6) This style of horror relies heavily on the use of prosthetics. Popularized by directors like David Cronenberg.
7) Social media site centered around profiles called “blogs,” popularized as a forum for fan fiction and other, raun chier, material.
8) ________ effects are visual effects produced physically, as opposed to digitally.
9) A boat or ship that largely trans ports passengers, usually over short distances.
10) Housing primarily used by college students living on campus.
2) The state of being free from outside control.
3) Political statements or actions ex pressing disapproval of something.
5) _____ dancers are hired to dance at nightclubs or other entertainment venues.
6) A raunchy, slapstick style of variety show derived from the Italian word for “mockery.”
8) Don’t break a leg, pop a ______!
11) Type of plant that’s leaves stay green throughout the year.
12) Gliding, either on wheels or ice, as a pastime.
13) Film photography relies heavily on this scientific field to pull images out of sun exposure on film.