THE SUMMER ISSUE
summer returns youth to those who have forgotten it AFFECTION MAGAZINE
enter: the endless summer. 3 Photographed by Taina Millsap.
editor in chief
eloisa de farias
editor in chief
senior writing editor design
taina millsap gabriela portugal julia smith
faith bugenhagen olivia cigliano eloisa de farias madison goldberg audrey jaber gabriela portugal talia smith
ummer. It smells like coconut lotion and feels like sea breeze at night kissing the sunburn from earlier that day. Growing up in Hawai’i, we essentially grew up with summer all year round. Beach days after school were normal and summer always felt like an elevated version of every other day. That being said, summer just always feels like home. This summer felt a little different. Walking around our favorite spots on the island, we noticed our view was obscured. Obscured with people who wanted to take pictures of the pink-orange sunset, people who wanted to get a closer look at the peaceful monk seal on the beach, people who spilled their sticky shaved ice remains on the white sand. A stark contrast to the quarantine era— when all you could hear was the quiet lapping of foamy waves at night and watching a lone gecko lick honey off of a deserted restaurant table. Now, you can feel the presence of someone to your right and left. You can almost smell the intoxicating scent of plumeria perfume they bought at the souvenir store next door. But what upset us wasn’t seeing so many faces.It was the customer ordering ice cream at my friend’s job, yelling back at her when asked to wear a mask. It was the father and daughter duo who were petting the head of a basking turtle until someone implored them to stop. It was the endless videos we saw scrolling through TikTok of people moving to Hawai’i and displacing the native Hawaiians who can no longer afford their own homes. This issue is dedicated to the native people of Hawai’i. To those who have had to sacrifice their water so that tourists may enjoy the luxuries of their island. To the bright coral under the turquoise water that isn’t so bright anymore no matter how many times tourists were told not to wear sunscreen that isn’t reef safe. To the sea life who once lived unbothered but now might desert their sunny rock because they are afraid that someone will try to slap them for a TikTok video. This island is our home, but it does not belong to us. It belongs to the native Hawaiians who were overthrown and whose land is used for the benefit of others without hesitation. We dedicate the pages of this magazine to long ago summers. Quiet summers. Just you, a burning sunset, murmuring waves, and a melting ice cream cone in your hand.
HAGS and with affection, Eloisa De Farias Julia Smith
CONT E N T S
stop coming to hawaii
don’t step on the coral reef!!!
the age of airbrushing
5 early-2000s summer movie rewatches to boost your mood
this or that / summer edition!
when the tide rises
the drunken mermaid
girl’s night in
sia shells – making a splash
affection’s summer 00’s mixtape
beneath the waves
summer “it girl” essentials
rom rose colored sunglasses to earrings that will ensure your AirPods won’t fall into the ocean, these are a few of my suggestions for summer fashions that will help you feel tropical and trendy at home. Take your tacky summer party fit to the next level with these must-haves!
Crap Eyewear “The Supa Phreek” Sunglasses, $80, crapeyewear.com
written by Lauren Dillow
My favorite: These retro sunnies that came straight from the $1 accessories bin at Goodwill are one of my favorite thrift finds. My vintage Chanel sunglasses are cool, but these have a summer vibe like no other.
Bonnie Clyde “Show and Tell” Sunglasses, $158, bonnieclyde.la
Prada Symbole Sunglasses, $410, prada.com
My rec: Farm Rio Floral Sea Midi Dress ($200 at Saks 5th Avenue). Gone are the days of Lily Pulitzer. You can find any kind of eclectic, colorful sundress imaginable from this brand. The moment I laid eyes on this, I fell in love. As well as rompers and swimwear, this brand will have the summer pattern for you, from sea life to rainforest fauna. It’s the first hot girl summer after a year long pandemic. I’m going to brunch for frozen fruity cocktails in this dress and you should, too. Kamila Aubre Summer 1928 Perfume, $105, kamilaaubre. com
House of Sunny Blue Crush Dress, $138, houseofsunny.co.uk
Ralph Lauren Rosamund Floral Silk Cocktail Dress, $2,490, saksfifthavenue.com
My favorite: Diptyque Do Son Eau de Parfum: ($188 USD). Each of this brand’s scents is enthralling, but the craftsmanship and storytelling behind each product is even more fascinating. The art accompanying this perfume is inspired by the mother of one of the brand’s founders who spent her days lounging in the shade and buying “whatever was fashionable from Paris” at the department store. Perfumes are essential to immersing yourself in the fantasy, and this is absolutely what I consider the ideal lifestyle.
By Rosie Jane Leila Lou Perfume, $65, sephora.com
MISHO Pebble Pods, $120, mishodesigns.com
My earring rec: Completedworks Scrunch Gold Vermeil Earrings, $404, ssense.com. These earrings definitely cost less when I bought them last year. At least I hope they did, otherwise I don’t think I can explain myself. No matter what, I don’t regret purchasing these. They’re my nicest pair of earrings and get me compliments wherever I am. They’re making an appearance at brunch, too. Bonus: My Different Bugs necklace, obviously. The perfect way to add some unique expression to your outfits this summer is with a one-of-a-kind charm necklace, made with love by Sabrina Harris. These pieces can be customized to your liking, with natural pearls and vintage charms, or you can snag one during select drops. Canvas Madison Heart Padlock Bracelet, $14, thepaperstore.com
tops My favorite: When you stumble upon a designer piece on Depop for a dangerously reasonable price, it’s pretty hard to care about the authenticity of the item. This fuschia, may-or-may-not-be Chanel halter top is my prized possession this summer and absolutely screams poolside Sharpay Evans.
4uonlyusa “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” Tank, $40, 4uonlyusa.com
cydn3yyy David Bowie Tee, $25, depop.com Calzedonia Lisbona String Triangle Swimsuit, $50
Fine Southern Gentleman “Virgin Suicides” Tee, $32, finesoutherngentlemen.com
Honolulu Swimsuit Bottoms, $25, calzedonia.com
Rixo Swimwear Kristen Swimsuit, $148, rixo.co.uk
swimwear My favorite: Reformation Tropicana One Piece (originally $128) I originally hadn’t been looking for this one piece in this print, but I’m definitely thankful the pattern I’d originally wanted was sold out. This purple floral swimsuit is my obsession, despite the fact that I maybe swim twice a year. I’m much more of a poolside lounger. Don’t fear the cut out in the middle. The tie in the front easily comes undone. You know, to avoid the tan line.
The Summer Of
WRITTEN BY FAITH BUGENHAGAN ART COURTESY OF BRIAN LEVIS
n the corner of closets, covered in dust, once vibrant t-shirts labeled with every location imagined sit. Unloved and untouched. These t-shirts once were housed on street-side vendors’ carts, appealing to the audiences of tourists, casually pawing through them to find the perfect one to encapsulate their dreamy vacations. Airbrushing artists paint all-things cheesy and commercial affiliations of the place that these items are supposed to remind the consumer of. Their tacky trademarks are symbols of a fun-time had, an endless summer’s night, and adventures that will be discussed for years to come. 14
Yet, there’s a transition occurring in these once-loved, vacation-themed garments. A change that is being spearheaded by the artists who want this practice to be recognized and respected as the art form it is. Bryan Levis, a twenty-seven-year-old airbrush artist based in Ocean City, feels the limitations of the stereotypes attached to the art form he found and fell in love with— airbrushing. “I think a large part of our work is attached to memory, having a t-shirt that commemorates what was going on in that moment,” Levis says, “Yet, I have
never really done that vacation-nostalgia aesthetic, I tend to want to bring airbrush and my work away from the tackiness often displayed within it.” Levis, a Jack of all trades having dipped his toes in tattooing and graffiti, found airbrushing through an ad on Craigslist. The owner of Fat Cat, the only existing brick-and-mortar airbrushing shop on the East Coast, posted job availability to work in their shop. Fat Cat opened their doors to the public in 1996 and has been one of only two airbrushing places on the boardwalk of Maryland since. AFFECTION MAGAZINE
“I felt like it was a good idea that merged doing graffiti, or at least something similar,” Levis said, “I fell in love with it immediately— to the point where they would have to kick me out of the shop at the end of the day,” he joked. Levis loved the joy that went into his artform and seeing people thrilled at the designs he was producing on each custom piece. He eventually realized that this was something that he was good at, and that he wanted to continue to pursue in his professional life. He desired for an implementation of his own personal style in what work he was creating. 15
“I am no longer with them today. I started doing things online and trying to modernize the art of airbrushing, focusing more on airbrushing for millennials,” Levis said, “I like trying to blend more of the graffiti-style art with the airbrushing I’m currently doing.” Levis started to look towards platforms of social media that were popularizing local artists’ work and propelling different crafts to consumers. He found that the community of airbrush artists online could be utilized to his advantage. “One day I had a video of my graffiti go viral, this really reignited my excitement for my work. It reminded me of what it’s like for people to really like what I put out,” he said. “I just feel like taking my work to social media has shown other people that I’m not just an old, outdated, or grouchy airbrush artist.” Since being on social media, Levis is able to do more customized pieces, as well as host Instagram Lives to do quick pop-up art works for consumers that are viewing the stream. This has allowed him to focus on engagement with his customers and other air-brush lovers that he hadn’t initially anticipated— which has only made him want to keep on working. “I had never really considered myself a real artist until now,” Levis said, “but this has really opened my eyes to show me that I’m good at what I’m doing.”
stop glamorizing a lie AFFECTION MAGAZINE
5 MOVIE REWATCHES E A R LY- 2 0 0 0 S S U M M E R
ss 2 TO BOOST YOUR MOOD WRITTEN BY TALIA SMITH PHOTOS BY JULIA SMITH
espite being the most unusual and underwhelming time of my short and naive life, the summer of 2020 evoked feelings and habits that still, over a year later, I just can’t seem to shake. What started as one or two binges on regrettably forgetful Netflix or Hulu shows spiraled into somewhat of an unprecedented consumption of noncurrent media— and a quick-fix reversion that provided comfort when I needed it most. My excessive re-watch tendencies began with a ritual full-day screening of every movie in The Twilight Saga, some filler episodes of That 70s Show, and a connection to Avatar: The Last Airbender that was so strong it resulted in naming my kitten after a secondary character. After realizing that almost everything I was watching had been released well over ten
years prior to the very idea of ‘quarantine,’ I recognized the pattern of good feelings that accompanied my second or third watch of things that defined life before. Reminders of a time filled with little to no responsibility, sweat-glistened foreheads and pure admiration for mid-2000s screen style pushed my fragile mind into a sea of cozy childhood summers. The more I watched the movies I loved years ago, the more I was reminded of the anticipation that used to cling itself to the very concept of summer vacation, hence the deeper my dive into the past went. One calendar year and two vaccine shots later, I’m reminded of the feelings of summer’s past and the inkling of hope that these rewatches provide.
As if this movie needs any introduction at all. The combination of mermaids, beach town scenes, summer romance butterflies and the iconic long-sleeve turned halter-top light blue dress makes this movie a staple pre-summer rewatch. Not to mention, the soundtrack features a Jonas Brothers classic. Be still, my eight-year-old heart!
Mama Mia (2008)
The star-studded cast goes without mentioning, as does the soundtrack. Aside from being widely loved and having a sequel that arguably exceeds expectations, this movie is and always will be the pinnacle of a vibrant, exciting, and slightly scandalous summer story. Not to mention my long-lasting crush on both Amanda Seyfried and Maryl Streep.
High School Musical 2 (2007)
Although not my favorite of the HSM series, the combined plot line of working at a country club with all of your best friends and the piercingly saturated blue filter that lays over the entire movie almost forces you to think about summer. That, and knowing every word to Ashley Tisdale’s poolside performance of Fabulous or Miley Cyrus’s end-credit cameo made this one an unforgettable summer view.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)
One summer school trip to Europe, two characters played by Hillary Duff, and the revenge plot against a man who cannot sing for his life. If I have to prove why this movie is the perfect warm-weather, summer fun anticipation watch made to-date, let me break it down to one simple phrase: girl boss behavior. And they’re in Rome. Away from their parents. Eating pasta and driving Vespas. What more is there to say?
Bring It On: All Or Nothing (2008)
Yes, this is the one with Solange. And yes, it’s the most quotable movie of the series. Not only does this rewatch convince me that my flipping, tumbling and dance battling skills are soooo close to being unlocked in my psyche, but the fact that Rihanna is on the cast list is simply more than any of us could have asked for. It might not be set in the summer, but why not rewatch anything that was produced in 2008? Is there a better year to jump back into? I don’t think so. If it weren’t for the easily admittable fact that I wanted to be quite literally anywhere else than where I was (mentally, physically, conceptually) last summer, then I might have been a bit concerned with the habitual state my family’s living room couch gave. However, these movies made last year’s hot months just a bit better. So what’s stopping me or you from watching them all over again?
THIS OR THAT WRITTEN BY TAINA MILLSAP
water balloons slip and slide early morning swim late night swim picnic in the park backyard movie night pool ocean road trip overseas trip lake house beach house flamingo floaty pineapple floaty popsicle ice cream water Skiing tubing surfing SUP cherry lip gloss watermelon lip gloss flip flops with rhinestones flip flops with tropical print s’mores ice cream sandwich blue hair extensions feather hair extensions puka shell necklace dolphin charm necklace H20 mermaids: just add water aquamarine bikini one piece 26
biking on the beach walking on the beach hiking swimming tanning while reading a book tanning while blasting music on a speaker lemonade iced tea music festival carnival riding the ferris wheel winning a teddy bear at the carnival games sunglasses hat sand volleyball game outdoor concert sun dress overalls pool party beach bonfire strawberry picking flower fields summer bucket list with your summer fling summer bucket list with friends temporary glitter tattoos temporary colorful tattoos hammock outdoor couch kayaking snorkeling making jewelry painting camping in the mountains camping in your backyard building a sandcastle going on a scavenger hunt stargazing late night car drives people watching reading a book sleepover spa night with friends sleepover baking night with friends dancing in the rain spotting a rainbow piña colada mojito sunrise sunset AFFECTION MAGAZINE
When the Tide Rises written by Eloisa De Farias
un-dappled turquoise waters playfully kiss the lava rock studded shoreline in the background. I finally sit down with Native Hawaiian activist and photographer Kapulei Flores. Freckles and bits of sand decorate her face and she looks off at the beachgoers splashing among the waves. The clear blue skies reveal the grandiose volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the distance. “Aloha aina is tied to everything. It’s tied to everything I feel Hawaiians do and everything that is our culture and the way we like to conduct ourselves,” Flores reflects. At the time of our interview, we were approaching the second anniversary of the 2019 Mauna Kea protests. After almost ten years of opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) that was to be built on the sacred mountain, the culmination of continued disregard towards local 30
photos by Julia Smith
communities and native peoples reached a tipping point. What occured in 2019 was the catalyst for an awakening for a new generation of protectors of the land. The TMT movement has always been more than a pastel colored Instagram infographic for Flores— it has become her and her family’s life. Completely engulfed in the movement, Flores spent most of her time in high school on the snow-speckled mountain chanting Hawaiian songs and prayers, fighting on the front line of the protests in efforts to make native peoples’ voices heard. Meanwhile, her family petitioned on behalf of the protectors and fought to ensure the land would not be desecrated. Those who stood on the mountain top daily began calling themselves protectors. Instead of protesting the telescope that would harm the mountain that is an extension of the Hawaiian people, they were protecting it with all they had.
In 2015, lines of protesters marched up Mauna Kea road. Along with her fellow protectors, Flores began to perform a traditional hula. The power of their movements brought dust up from the ground the energy radiated far up the cracks and slopes of Mauna Kea. While their fury-soaked words echoed through Mauna Kea, the police began to infect their protest lines. Squeezing their way through the protestor’s song and dance, their heavy footsteps contrasted the powerful spirit of the hula they performed. As a police officer approached 15-yearold Flores, a family friend Flores considers family jumped in front of her and was arrested by the police. “We were all just crying and chanting to him while we watched him through the [police car] window. We were like, ‘yes, we’re all in this pain. We all feel it. We’re just going to hold each other and then keep going.’ It just showed how, even if you’re not close with everyone, we’re all there for a collective thing. We all kind of just had each other’s backs no matter what,” reflects Flores. Flores’ involvement in the movement began to garner global attention when she began 32
photographing the protectors of the mountain. Moving images of the Hawaiian flag flying over young and old native Hawaiians, chanting and pleading for their land, touched the hearts of many who came across them. With a camera in hand, Flores was able to put the movement into perspective—to share the stories of her people and of the mountain that has become so influential in her life. Her photos tell stories through native eyes and have been a significant part of the movement through visual storytelling on her instagram photography account @kapzphotogrpahy, as well as on a social activism account @ protectmaunakea that she also runs.
On May 10th of this year, Flores was featured in the documentary “Standing Above the Clouds.” The documentary tells the story of her and her mother’s involvement in the TMT movement, as well as demonstrating how women-lead the Mauna Kea movement was and is.
“The documentary shows what a movement and activism can do to a family and how it can affect you. I’ve been in the movement since I was in elementary school, so it’s been my whole life growing up,,” says Flores. “It
documented how we feel and how we deal with going through all of it. I think it’s just a different perspective. I’m really glad it’s highlighted, because I feel like how people deal with [activism] isn’t always as highlighted.”
The same energy that ementates when she chants and dances hula on cherished Mauna Kea. It’s a spirit that never leaves her. On her rib is a snow-capped triangle tattoo symbolizing the mountain that has become a part of her. On my drive home, I see it. Mauna Kea peaking When Flores finishes answering my questions, in between clouds in all of its divinity. And if she brings her eyes up in an almost sovereign I squint hard enough, I can see Flores’ name way. She is still, but there is a movement to written on it along with all of the other protectors her. An energy that never stops. who safeguard the exalted Mauna Kea. AFFECTION MAGAZINE
drenaline coursed through my veins as I sat on the deck of a cramped dive boat, speeding through the water of the Cayman Islands. The vibrant turquoise waves surrounded me as the islands disappeared into the distance and we made our way to open water. On the perimeter of the boat were two dozen oxygen tanks, ready to help us breath 60-feet below the surface. At the front of the boat was the captain and two dive guides, all dressed in bright red matching t-shirts. “Hello everyone and welcome! I hope you’re excited to dive the USS Kittiwake Wreck,” one of the instructors shouted. He was bubbly and eccentric, and sounded as if he was working at an amusement park rather than on a boat. On an ordinary day, this unwarranted exuberance may have grated on my nerves— 40
but I fully understand his elation to dive. In his overly enthusiastic style, he announced important safety protocols, mixing in far too many corny jokes. “We have the perfect diving conditions today and should have about 100 feet of visibility,” he continued. “While the main attraction of this site is obviously the wreck, we can also expect to see an array of animals, including nurse sharks, eagle rays, groupers and barracuda,” he explained. Five minutes out from the destination and the high-spirited instructor finally finished his speech. Now it was time to don our equipment. I put on my flippers and strapped eight pounds in weights to a belt around my waist. In 85-degree water, no wetsuit is necessary. Instead, I pulled on my dive vest — which held my oxygen tank, buoyancy control device (BCD), regulator and
dive computer — over my bikini. Finally, I slipped my mask over my face and prepared to jump into the water. Although diving into potentially shark-infested seas with almost 45 pounds of equipment strapped to my body could be considered nerve-wracking, I could only feel excitement and anticipation. I eagerly stepped off the back of the boat and into the water. For a second, I bobbed at the surface as stray waves from passing boats made the water momentarily choppy. Soon after, I released the air from my BCD and slowly descended to the ocean floor. No matter how many times I scuba dive, the experience never fails to astound me. The silence of being fully submerged was comforting rather than unnerving. Myy equipment felt weightless, instead of cumbersome like it did on the boat. I found myself looking
BENEATH THE WAVES
WRITTEN BY AUDREY JABER ART BY SAMUEL SMITH
around, attempting to take in all of the sites and aquatic creatures at once. Beneath me a school of blue tang — otherwise known as Dory in Finding Nemo — traveled effortlessly through the water, their vibrant blue color standing out against the pale white sand. From the coral reefs below a moray poked its head out of an innocuous crevice, as if to take note of the visitors trespassing on his turf. Finally, my eyes landed on the colossal shipwreck— our real destination under the sea. The ship, known as the USS Kittiwake, is one of the best-known wreck dives in the Caribbean. In 1945, the Kittiwake was launched as a submarine rescue vessel. In it’s 49 years of service the ship traveled the world, retrieved lost subs, rescued Cuban refugees in the Atlantic ocean, and even recovered the black box of the Challenger space shuttle.
The ship was tilted on its side and covered in algae. Chains much bigger than me hung off the edge of the deck and large shadows from the mast cast down on the ocean floor. The closer we got to the boat, the more enormous it looked. I swam through the massive propeller that at one time pushed the 2,200-ton ship across the ocean and couldn’t help but be completely in awe. We entered the ship through a circular hole on the side of the boat and suddenly all of the light from the sunny day on the surface was gone. Now, guided only by the flashlight of the person who happened to be leading the pack, we maneuvered our way through the wreckage. It would have been eerie if it wasn’t so damn enthralling.
Today, the striking 251-foot boat lays at the bottom of the ocean, simultaneously decomposing and providing a home to arrowhead crabs and elkhorn coral.
Swimming through the skeleton of the ship felt like a high-risk obstacle course. One wrong move and I could cut myself on the 76-year-old metal shrapnel or upend a family of peppermint shrimp that had made itself at home on the debris.
I, along with my fellow divers, made my way to the wreck, excited to explore what was once a working military ship. In the past, my diving experience was limited to coral reefs and sandy underwater mountains, but now I ventured into the remnants of a sunken vessel.
I navigated through enclosed passageways, intently observing my breath-taking surroundings. With one large inhale, I rose up through a cramped smokestack, as the only way to move vertically while diving is to control your buoyancy. In other words, breathe in to move up, and breath out to move down.
As I emerged from the top of the smokestack, I swam to what was once the mess hall of the great ship. It was surreal to imagine what the sizable room looked like when the USS Kittiwake sat on the water’s surface, rather than the ocean floor. I pictured people sitting at long tables, eating their meals, and chatting about the long workday ahead. I continued my exploration of the old boat, attempting to see every bit that I possibly could. On a small surface of the rusted ship, I noticed a family of tiny sea turtles soundlessly resting. They looked impossibly peaceful and completely out of place in the dark derelict boat. Before long, I exited the wreck through a small opening and found myself at the helm of the boat. I was amazed that after all these years, the captain wheel still stood proudly at the bow. I took my place at the wheel and looked up to see a spotted eagle ray soaring above me. The majestic creature moved so gracefully that it looked as though it was flying. The ray wasn’t alone, however. Out of the confines of the shipwreck I was surrounded
by countless species of marine animals and underwater life, from neon parrotfish to spiny lobster. If I didn’t have a regulator in my mouth to breathe, I would’ve been rendered speechless. I noticed several divers pointing off into the distance and I turned to see a nurse shark tranquilly traveling over the reef below. While on the surface the thought of a shark would be terrifying, when deep below the water it was simply alluring. I didn’t see a bloodcurdling beast, but a magnificent creature. I swam closer to get a better look, but was distracted by a big leatherback sea turtle gliding through the water above me. There was no shortage of unbelievable views to take in. All too soon, I looked down at my dive computer to see that 45 minutes had passed in what felt like a matter of seconds. It was time to ascend back up to the surface. I looked around one last time, attempting to commit my stunning surroundings to memory. I never want to forget how it feels beneath the waves: tranquil yet full of life. Vast and alien, yet welcoming. Entirely unforgettable.
SIA SHELLS –
MAKING A SPLASH written by eloisa de farias photos by sia shells
ome people believe in magic. And some are a part of the magic themselves. Vehicles of whims and enchantment, these are the people that turn a grey-toned day into a sparkling mosaic of color and bliss. Sia Shells is a professional mermaid, lifestyle blogger, and musician who is responsible for a whole lot of magic. She takes with her the sounds of waves crashing and splendor of the underwater world wherever she goes. Her silvery blue hair and ornate tails are only a fragment of the ocean life she leads in Toronto, Canada. But she is not alone. Hundreds of other individuals around the world have found solace in swimming with a mermaid tail and soaking in all the ocean has to offer.
“It’s really cool seeing how many people actually are into the whole mermaid lifestyle. It’s just become such a popular, accessible thing for people to buy mermaid tails and go swimming. And I think that’s super great because everyone can just live out their fantasy as a mermaid.” Shells says. Shells received her first tail eight years ago as a gift from her father. While most of us desperately wait for our older sister to outgrow that favorite glittery top of ours, Shells was ecstatic when she received a second hand tail from another mermaid with the same measurements. “The first time I put on a mermaid tail, it was literally like the most magical thing ever. It’s what I wanted to be as a kid
and I can do it now, it’s not just in my head. I can actually live out this fantasy. So it felt like the best feeling ever.” Shells reveals. Although she’s dabbled in the world of performing for birthdays and events, Shells much prefers immersing herself in the community and sharing her blue-colored life on her social media accounts. Scrolling through Shells’ instagram account, @siashells, you’ll find hundreds of calming blue hues and mythical images of her and that glorious mermaid tail she wears. Residing in a concrete jungle might seem out of place for such an ocean-loving individual, but Shells makes sure that pearls and starfish still have a spotlight in the big city. Amidst gloom, she is a burst of blue light bringing the foamy sea wherever she goes. “I have to have everything in blue. My hair is blue, most of my closet is blue. It’s just a color that I feel so connected to and I mean, I don’t know if you believe in auras and stuff like that, but I’m pretty sure mine is blue,” she says with certainty.
As a mermaid, the ocean is a place Shells would call home. Having seen the harm that commercial fishing has done on the ocean and having cried watching documentaries such as Chasing Coral on Netflix, Shells decided that she would use her emotional connection to the sea to make big changes. As a performer and blogger, Shells uses a lot of makeup wipes. To her, something felt wrong about throwing away so many wipes while knowing they would likely end up in
the ocean. So, Shells launched Seabae Beauty. Iconically blue and shaped like small shells, these biodegradable and reusable makeup wipes were Shells’ way of giving back to the place she has such an affinity for. In addition, the company is connected to the nonprofit Sea Turtles— meaning every time someone purchases a Seabae wipe, $1 goes straight to the organization. “It’s a cause that’s really close to my heart and I’m passionate about. I definitely try to raise awareness about our oceans through my social media and through my platform, because I think it’s so important,” Shells remarks. “I really want people to understand that this issue isn’t going away. And you know, mermaids live in the oceans, so if you love mermaids, you should also love the ocean and care about what goes in it.”
Seabae is only one of the ways in which Shells uses her voice to speak on topics she cares about. Shells is not only a mermaid, but a musician as well. She debuted her single 3% in May, a song that talks about phone separation anxiety— a topic we’re all too familiar with, but don’t talk about enough. “I’ve been on my phone in the most uncomfortable moments. When there’s something weird happening, I feel like it is a comfort thing to go on your phone and just kind of escape for a second. Instagram has literally become almost my second life, I spend so much time on it. I really wanted to create a song that illustrates that in a playful way,
because I just think that people do have phone separation anxiety and it’s really becoming a dependence that could be a problem,” she says. Shells is a breath of mysticism on Earth, a place where life sometimes doesn’t feel at all magical. That being said, we could all learn to care about the ocean like mermaids do and approach life with the same calming energy they hold. When asked what she holds affection for, Shells replied with the answer only a true mermaid would give: “Sunny days, sand between my toes and anything connected to a beach day.”
School’s Out, Directed by Talia Smith. Modeled by Gabriella Avelino. Photographed by Talia Smith.
written by madison goldberg photos by julia smith
AFFECTION’S SUMMER 00S
MIXTAPE If you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, it might just be time to hit the beach. After a year of seemingly endless lockdowns, the world is slowly but surely reopening. For all this change soon to come, you’ll need a soundtrack. Here’s my summer mixtape, inspired by beach days in the early 2000’s.
I’m Yours Jason Mraz
This song is the ultimate beach anthem. The ukulele and positive lyrics transport you to any tropical location, surrounded by friends and loved ones. The song makes you feel like you’re losing track of time, and just living— something many of us are craving after the year we’ve had. Grab a piña colada and take in the ocean views, drifting along to Mraz’s smooth vocals. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “I’ve been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror/And bending/over backwards just to try to see it clearer/But my breath fogged up the glass/And so I drew a new face and I laughed”
Time for Me to Fly The Jonas Brothers
I’m sure you remember the movie that defined the summer of 2006: Aquamarine. This Jonas Brothers song came at the very beginning of the boy band’s career. The pop-rock sound that dominated teen movies was just beginning to take hold. Picture driving up to a beach party after school’s just ended for the year–this song is the perfect soundtrack to the beginning of summer, on the brink of endless possibilities. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “Time for me to live/It’s time for me to sing/Time for me to lay down all my worries/And I’ll spread my wings/Time for me to fly”
Pocketful of Sunshine Natasha Bedingfield
This track recently made a comeback on TikTok, introducing a new generation to the sounds of Natasha Bedingfield. This song immediately makes me think of sun-soaked days, frolicking through a hidden landscape that was newly discovered. This is the perfect song for a road trip down the shoreline with friends— all while on the lookout for new adventures. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “Take me away (Take me away)/A secret place (A secret place)/A sweet escape (A sweet escape)/Take me away (Take me away)”
Island in the Sun Emma Roberts
Another favorite from the Aquamarine soundtrack is Emma Roberts’ cover of Weezer’s iconic 2001 summer hit. This alt-rock track covered by Emma Roberts has a hint of teenage angst coupled with relaxing guitar riffs pair perfectly with your summer bonfire on the beach. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “On an island in the sun/We’ll be playin’ and havin’ fun/And it makes me feel so fine/I can’t control my brain”
Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat Jason Mraz had to have another song on this mixtape. This duet with Colbie Caillat is a sweet summer love song that will make you dream of an island romance. Listen to this song with someone special in your favorite spot, or with your friends as you daydream about finding new love this summer. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “Lucky I’m in love with my best friend/Lucky to have been where I have been/Lucky to be coming home again”
I Gotta Feeling
Mr. Brightside The Killers
This track is still a college party staple more than ten years after its release–– clearly, it’s a good one. This song makes possibilities feel endless, and makes you nostalgic for so many good memories. And, it’s a great start to any dance party. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “Destiny is calling me/Open up my eager eyes /’Cause I’m Mr. Brightside”
The Black Eyed Peas
This was the ultimate party song in 2008, making it the perfect addition to your beach party mixtape. The Black Eyed Peas anthem is the perfect way to hype up a crowd for a great night. Watch the sunset with your friends, and get ready for a night you’ll tell stories about one day. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “Tonight’s the night/Let’s live it up/I got my money/Let’s spend it up”
Castaways The Backyardigans
Yes, this mixtape ends with Castaways. Hear me out, it really is the perfect summer song, even though it came out on a children’s show. It’s recent viral status on TikTok has led to numerous great covers too– and I recommend checking out Andy Yu’s cover of it on Spotify. This is by far the most bizarre Y2K throwback to make a resurgence as of late, but nonetheless, I love it! Laugh along to this song with your friends, and remember the simpler times. Lyrics for a summer sing-along: “Castaways, we are castaways/Ahoy there, ahoy, we are castaways/We’re stuck where we are/With no house, no car”
Moonlight Beach, Directed by Taina Millsap. Modeled by Anna Griffin and Tatum Goodbody. Photographed by Taina Millsap.
sunscreen that smells like bananas • glass straws bikinis • lilikoi hawaiian sun juice • dried lavender macadamia milk creamer • cake by the ocean • l wiches • slip and slides • lemon granita • seagulls dogs with mustard • sandy feet • kalua pork • fake ice with mochi • bright nail polish • high powered f ise water dappled with sunlight • pareos • sunshin nights • shot glasses • naked lady drawings • tote • complimentary colors • antique shops •green na sets • watching old movies with my sister • vintag with old friends • sunflowers •banana slings • roas enteen magazine • aya takano • fruity drinks • row • white and fluffy clouds that look perfect enough • stained blue mason jars baskets • handmade anWHAT DO YOU HOLD strawberry downeast hard rolls • red framed sunglasses • the little frills on t that doesn’t smell like strange liquid on the the floo the lethargic feeling that summer brings when the is on your floor • glitter tattoes • booties • red so sunscreen and chlorine soup • the feeling you get and shower and then you feel the evening seabree the sand only for it to disappear in seconds • shav a hot new england day • boat rides • six flags • lob suit wedgie • skinny dipping • hair claws • lake d tattoos • the song of achilles • pumping your own fires • themed bars • the r train • falling asleep a fun • when the top of your head gets really warm 80 conditioned store after being in the hot muggy hea never changes no matter how old you are and alwa
s • cute teacups • cabanas • fruity drinks • thong r • basking turtles • mattress pads in the ocean • licorice tea • denim cutoffs • chips inside of sandwho perch and wait for you to drop your food • hot e grass • dogs at the beach • skipper boats • shave fans • salt on watermelons • eyelash glue • turqoune • tans • stressless days • cicads buzzing • sticky e bags • post cards • hair clips • the beach at night ail polish • unread books • frozen margaritas • sunge shops • long walks with my dog • reconnecting sted mashmallows and oranges • smile lines • sevwboats • maxi dresses • boxers • cliffside beaches to sit on • peeling sunburns • tiny ice cream cups • sidewalk moss • wicker klets • cropped jumpsuits • D AFFECTION FOR? cider • hubba bubba gum the tops of peacocks heads • purell handsanitizer or of a frat party • glass cups • handheld vacuums • e heat creeps into your room and the coolest place olo cups • chimichurri • red solo cups • flip flops • t after being at the beach all day and you go home eze on the way to dinner • writing sweet nothings in ved ice • coconuts • chasing clams in the sand on bster rolls • hurricane harbor • snorkeling • bathing days • press on nails • blueberry pancakes • fresh gasoline • beach parties • yellow nail polish • bonat the beach and you wake up sunburnt • making after being in the sun so long • walking into an air MAGAZINE 81 at forAFFECTION so long • the way that the feeling of summer ays bring you a sense of join • x the affection team
stay here forever in the eternal summer
Photographed by Taina Millsap.
84 Photographed by Emanuela De Farias