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Affinity Omg!

Awesome Albums Of 2016

“Super Girl”

s r e y M a i Mar Trump Is President WTF AMerica!


Winter 2016/2017


2016 Sucked, Hello 2017

2016 was actually horrible, I think we can all agree on that. However, there was some decent things that happened in 2016. Affinity grew leaps and bounds throughout the year. Thanks to the support of our readers, we were able to expand our audience and gain many awesome new writers! I’m so thankful for all the continuous encouragement we receive from our readers online. We haven’t released a print magazine for quite some time, but, from now on, I think we will do one every once in a while because it’s fun! I hope you enjoy this issue and hopefully you will submit to our next print magazine coming soon! Thank you,

Evelyn V.Woodsen


How Black Art Stole 2016 Written by Nyah Hardmon 4 | DESIGN MGZ 6

ly take the time to fall asleep to the rhythm of your life. So when Kendrick Lamar or The Weeknd blares on the radio, while the catchy admit, 2016 definitely had its downbeats are definitely there, you can’t underesfalls. One has a hard time knowing where to timate the truths in the lyrics. 2016 is one begin when reflecting the various disappointments from the last year. From celebrity scan- of those years that America will look back on dals to political mayhem, it’s hard to get past and shake their heads. The lack of representation was outshined by the blatant racism and the burning dumpster fire of 2016. But alas, avoidance of diversity. So to see Black queens there is always light at the end of the tunlike Beyonce or even Drake top the charts nel. And at the end of this long, long tunnel sparks at least a little hope. I know, it sounds was the excellence of Black music and entercheesy and a bit over-dramatic but that’s tainment in general. Yes, we have had better coming from a stance where we take diversiyears, but this year still was pretty great. ty for granted. Even in America, diversity in We were blessed with beauties such as Frank the entertainment business is lacking. It’s to a Ocean’s Blonde and Beyonce’s Lemonade and point where viewers can always point out the sole person of color in a television show or Solange’s A Seat at the Table and pleasantly surprised by more hidden gems like the Black pinpoint the sole artist of color lucky enough indie film Moonlight. In each piece of Black art to get past the white-washed entertainment lied stories of struggles and small joys of be- business and top the charts. So, yes, I will ing a breathing living Black person in America celebrate each and every win that the Black and there is perhaps no other time when this community will scrape up because they don’t was needed more than now. Music reaches be- come often at this point. yond the speakers into different communities, car radios, and bed rooms. Films reach through This year was one of few when entertainers, Black artists especially, began to use their the dimly lit theater into audience members, offering a platform for the misunderstood and platform to speak up for real issues in our community. They pressed for young adults to misrepresented to shout their experiences from the rooftops. It’s taken a while for Black vote and protested police brutality right along with us, providing a voice to the previously entertainment to gain the attention and apunheard. The least we can do is celebrate the preciation that it deserves, but I believe the response of Black music from the general pop- achievements of a marginalized group, who work hard to make sure that young Black boys ulation was on the right path this year. And while Black films and albums aren’t necessarily and girls can see themselves in the characmeant for those outside of the community be- ters on TV and hear their voices on the radio. cause of the inability to relate, it is more than We’re especially lucky because this year made it easy for us to carry out this task. So simply welcome to open ears and eyes. sit back, relax, and enjoy the sweet taste of Black excellence. It’s not often that people will actually stop and listen to your story, that they will actual-



WTF ?! Europe 2015 was the year my hope in the future of the European Union was restored. Although the Greeks were in quite big financial trouble, the E.U. offered them, time and time again, bailouts. They were there for their friend in need, because friends is what the member states of the E.U. are. It’s a union of friends. Or is it?

Written by Theodora Moldovan

2016 proved us quite the opposite. Back in April, I would have never thought I’d be fearing the end of the European Union by the end of the year. People began writing about what would later be called the “Brexit” vote, and I admit to laughing thinking anyone could think the United Kingdom would leave. The end of June came soon after and I was the happiest I had been this year, I had just got to the United States, where I spent a large part of my summer: with friends, on Long Island. I started panicking, and because I was jetlagged, I would spend nights worrying about how Brexit will affect me. 6 | the DESIGN 6 To me, U.K.MGZ represented Plan B, it’s where I was con-

sidering going to university, because I could take out a loan for tuition, as I’m from a country that’s part of the European Union. But I’m not the one who’s most affected by the vote, I don’t need to go to school in the U.K., nor do I want to move there, something which would have been extremely easy if the United Kingdom were still part of the E.U. The people who are going to be suffering from this are people my age, those a bit older, and perhaps those younger too. They may not have showed up to vote, which was a mistake on their side, but they wanted the opportunities the E.U. had to offer, they needed them. I’m not just talking about citizens of the U.K., but citizens of the E.U. as a whole.

“The people who are going to be suffering from this are people my age. “ because they were tired of so many immigrants.

It was after Brexit that we started to fear the death of the European Union, which proved to be more and more likely as the year went by. Countries fought over whether to accept refugees or not, and if so, how to split the number in between the 28 member states. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban opposed the idea, submitting a plan to ban the refugees, in the form of a constitutional amendment, after a similar proposal failed to pass by referendum because of insufficient voter turnout. “Lawmakers in Hungary, however, rejected the proposed national ban on refugees relocated from the rest of the European Union,” reported Balint Bardi and Palko Karasz in “Hungary’s Lawmakers Reject Plan to Block Resettlement of Refugees” on Dec. 8, in The New York Times. I know Hungary all too well, as I’ve been there many times, since I live in a town in neighboring Romania, fairly close to the Hungarian border. Under the proposed European Union program, Hungary would have had to take in less than 1,300 refugees, a number certainly not that big. I do

think these immigrants would have had a hard time adjusting to life in Hungary, as it’s a country with a lot of national pride, a country where you might not get by with English (even ordering food), unless you’re in the capital, Budapest. That certainly doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have tried, and banning refugees altogether is certainly not acceptable. Despite Hungary’s proposal of a ban, there’s still hope in Europe. If you look at Germany, they’re taking in an incredible amount of refugees, and they’re helping them settle in, attend school, learn German and integrate in their community. I can only imagine how hell would break loose if Romania had to take in refugees. My own country’s views are even more so radical than Hungary’s, but luckily for my government, most refugees do not want to settle in Romania, and I definitely can’t blame them. Instead, they continue their journey to Western and Northern Europe, where countries much more friendly await them. But not the United Kingdom, who primarily voted to leave the E.U.

Italy voted ‘no’ on constitutional reform, an idea that resembles the one behind the Brexit decision, earlier this month. “Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stepped down last week after the defeat of a referendum on constitutional changes that he had hoped would streamline Italy’s government. He staked his seat on the outcome, and failed,” wrote Gaia Pianigiani in The New York Times on Dec. 11, in “Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s Foreign Minister, Will Try to Form a New Government”. Mr. Renzi’s resignation ended Italy’s 63rd government in 70 years, a country many people fear will leave the European Union, albeit not quite soon. Brexit negotiations will take years, and it’s likely that the U.K. will only officially be leaving the E.U. in the spring of 2019. But they’re leaving; and soon, other countries will want to do so too. Members of the European Union have had a lot of fights this year, and I fear their friendship might end soon. I never thought I’d fear the death of the European Union, but 2016 proved me wrong. We are all extremely likely6 |to7 witness DESIGN MGZ the end of this great union in our lifetime.

Color some positivity into your life! Drawings by Mahika Halepete




Teens Making A Difference! Gone are the days where teens were silenced—now teens are making noise and making waves!


am Lilli Marvin and I am 17. I am a melomaniac in every sense of the word, I grew up on the Talking Heads and lusting to recreate Tame Impala music videos. Throughout my highschool career, I have cultivated both my eye for design and photography through working on staff of Craze Magazine. I founded Wicked Soul Media my senior year, and hope to move to L.A. or Chicago to develop the brand name while attending university. The whole philosophy behind Wicked Soul Media is a creative platform to connect photographers, videographers, designers, and artists to each other and to musicians to enable collaborative projects to occur. Additionally, it serves as a platform to promote up and coming artists of all forms and help kickstart their portfolios and brands.


Meekah, 19 Right now, I am working hard writing and recording new music. I have a single coming out pretty soon called ‘Cheated’ that I will be giving at least half of all proceeds earned to an organization called To Write Love On Her Arms, which helps fight depression, self injury, addiction, and suicide. My goals for the rest of this year are to play some more live shows, direct and film my own music video, and continue writing about subjects that other musicians find difficult it write about (like the stigma behind mental health, women’s rights, racism) fighting my own mental 12 | DESIGNall MGZwhile 6 health battle myself.

Isabella Dias, 18 Isabella is a photographer that has been featured in Vogue Italia. As I grew up, my art stopped being just my safe scape and private vision of the world. It also became a space for me to talk about social and political issues, like the lack of female, POC, and LGBT representatiion in art; so that my art can specially be a safe space for those who are part of minorities. And, by being a female artist from Brazil, a place where artists are terribly under appreciated, my art will never be only an aesthetic statement, DESIGN MGZ 6 | 13 but also a political one.

Ian Alexander, 15 Ian currently plays Buck on The OA. He is also transgender. I’m a kid who wants to make a difference - whether that’s through acting, art, music, or advocacy. I want to be able to show other trans teens that even if their parents don’t accept them, or they’re struggling with mental illnesses or other difficulties, that they can still persevere and accomplish their dreams like I did. Overall, I want to be a symbol of hope for lost/confused LGBTQ+ youth. I hope that The OA, which is on Netflix this December, will resonate with a lot of trans youth who watch the show and connect with my character. 14 | DESIGN MGZ 6

Photo by Lula Hyers

Bailey Brown, 19 Bailey is a photographer that has taken photos of Kali Uchi. In the future,I want to shoot for magazines including fashion and music. I really want to photograph hip hop artists in particular. One day I want a photo catalogue or magazine of my work.



Michaella raised $8,225 to build and operate a public library in Fond Jean-Noel, a rural village in southern Haiti. It’s called Biblionation.

I au pair for a French family to teach their children English and I take French and Arabic to prepare for college courses. I intend to partner with the Fond Jean Noel Education Center, the community-driven charity that created the first primary school in the village in Haiti, to further increase each student’s academic potential. 16 | DESIGN MGZ 6

Eboni Jazzmine, 19 Eboni has her own business, is a public speaker and travels around photogrpahing celebrities. She has her own business, is a photographer, event producer/promoter, social media brander, publishing-copyright, writer and visual marketer since she was 17. She’s published as a photographer/written in several magazines & popular music blogs. She has her radio show on XXL Magazine’s Dash Radio station under TheEarplugs that’s all female. She is the the youngest host and one of the only females. She wrote a mini memoir from my experience doing my 1st solo journalist task for a corrsp. at Fox News for a program on Muhammad Ali’s funeral.


Ramisha Sattar,17 Ramisha is an artist fighting Islamophobia through illustration. I want to continue working in the journalism side of the music industry and interviewing bands and raising awareness for different charities, along with also sticking to art, as it has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. I also wanna take advantage of social media and the platform it gives me, and use my voice to speak out about bigger issues, such as Islamophobia!


Kasey Lemley,19 The Help Hotline was started by 19 year old Kasey Lemley in 2012. It started as a page to not only help other people, but help herself too. Living her entire life surrounded by mental illness, Kasey wanted to use her story to help others. I was always bullied when I was younger which made me not only turn into a bully to my classmates, but to myself as well. Years of hating myself made my mental health worse, but then I made The Help Hotline. Kasey started The Help Hotline as a Twitter account when she was 15 and is still amazed by the amount of support it’s MGZ 6 | 19 received - 51,000 followersDESIGN and counting!

Art by Maria Myers


“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ― Barack Obama

Art by Maria Myers DESIGN MGZ 6 | 21



by Julia Albert

y c n e d i s e r P Trump’s l l A s U s t c e f Af Written by Gabrielle Mendoza Ever since the 1890’s, the United States has always been in ties with the Philippines, whether it be on good or bad terms. The U.S. used the country as a military base, its government as a puppet and its citizens as a charity case. With the Obama administration, the relationship between the countries has been in a somewhat better light because let’s face it, Obama was pretty cool. Adding to that fact, the Philippines also didn’t have a president who jokes about rape or fixates on killing anyone who says the word ‘drugs’....

Photos by Gage Skidmore

until now. Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States and Rodrigo Duterte is the Philippines’ unfiltered President. Going back to history, the United States basically controlled the Philippines on what it could know and


couldn’t know by importing American textbooks, having soldiers as teachers and using English as the primary language of instruction. The Americans also took over Philippine trade and left the economy in pieces, as well as shattering their freedom of speech to pieces. The Philippines became dependent on the U.S. and has remained this way to this day even though President Duterte had announced his separation from the United States. No matter how much anti-colonialism

groups and sentiments arise, the fact of the matter is that Filipinos have learned to follow trends, practices and traditions in the United States because that is the practice that they themselves taught us. These days, a large number of Filipinos frequently visit or live in the United States. Why is this relevant? Because Donald Trump called the Philippines, along with eight other countries, a terrorist nation. Even go-

“ Even more astounding and unbelievable is

the fact that the United States of American let an orange with a toupee be their President. Are we really going to let Donald Trump rule such an influential country?


ing as far as implying that the citizens were animals. All of this was said during a Trump rally when he was discussing his stand against illegal immigrants and banning Filipinos from the United States. With these quotes Donald Trump, one would think that any Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the country would vote against Trump. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In a voters survey that was done, a quarter of Filipinos were said to have preferred Trump as President, which made Filipinos have the highest favorability rating among ethnic groups. Before the election, Trump also announced the members of his Asian Pacific American (APA) advisory, in which five of them were Filipino-Americans. Moreover, President Duterte was also in favor of Donald Trump as this was his predicted winner when he was asked about his opinions on the election.

that the United States of American let an orange with a toupee be their President. Are we really going to let Donald Trump rule such an influential country? Are we going to risk the possibility that the American occupation in the Philippines might happen again? Did no one think about the fact that he might actually ban Filipinos from the United States? Did no one think about the fact that he is racist and sexist and ableist and disrespectful and a hypocrite and- Why did he win again?

Donald Trump called the Philippines along with eight other countries, a terrorist nation.

It truly is astounding and unbelievable that there were still Filipinos and Filipino-Americans who actually supported Trump. Even more astounding and unbelievable is the fact



Written by Christine Tannous


Took The Only Celebrity I Cared About

It’s 2008. I’m 10-years-old. I’m on a vacation in Baltimore, Maryland, for our once-a-year family visit. I’m in the basement of my aunt and uncle’s house staring at an array of plastic lightsabers and blasters. “I wanna be Obi-Wan!” states my oldest cousin. He grabs his toy lightsaber as my other cousins name their favorite characters: Anakin, Mace Windu, Darth Maul. After all the boys have finished, I proudly declare, “I want to be Princess Leia!”

General Organa, she appeared as a strong leader in the rebellion even though she had been dealing with tremendous loss. Leia embodied everything I had hoped and still hope to become.

As amazing as Princess Leia was, the actress who played her was greater. Carrie Fisher fought her own battles during her lifetime, including bipolar disorder and drug addiction. However, it wasn’t her struggles that I found inspiration in - it was the way she handled them. Instead of closing off Star Wars has been my favorite major film franand being secretive about what she was going chise for as long as I can remember. All my sibthrough, she chose to be open with the public, lings and cousins loved it, so I learned to love it despite the disrespect that ensued from the metoo. I was intrigued by the idea of a chosen few dia. She published books educating people about who used their power to help people and prevent the effects of her mental illness, combating stigevil. I absolutely loved the racial diversity the films mas around bipolar disorder. Furthermore, Fisher brought - I could always spot someone who looked often made light of unreasonable body standards like me. However, even as the Star Wars universe in Hollywood. When being made to lose weight for made huge steps forward in racial representation, The Force Awakens, she exclaimed, “They don’t I cannot say the same for gender representation. want to hire all of me – only about three-quarIn fact, I can count the number of strong female ters!.. I’m in a business where the only thing that characters on one hand. matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up.” This lack of female representation in Star Wars only further highlighted my love for Princess Leia. In spite of the backlash she received from HollyShe was strong-willed, confident, and unique. She wood, Carrie Fisher remained unapologetically hernever backed away from a challenge and was self through her entire life. Thank you, Carrie, for fearless on the battlefield. She survived her home all you did for Star Wars fans like me who needed being demolished as well as learning the dark truth character they could look up to. You’ll be missed DESIGN MGZ 6 | 27 about her family. In the latest movie, returning as deeply by many.

Photo by Ariella Bourdeau.

Art by Maya Aristimuno 28 | DESIGN MGZ 6

Art by Tazia Cira



Maria Myers

“Supergirl� Maria is your average teenage girl, except for the fact that she travels all over the world and has her own foundation called Pretty Purposeful. Her foundation focuses on providing obstetric fistula repair surgeries for women in Africa by raising awareness, putting on events, and selling products made by fistula patients to raise funds for surgeries. She has spoken at the United Nations and does all of this while taking AP classes, yes Maria is certainly a super girl.

Get A Glimpse Into Her World... DESIGN MGZ 6 | 31

I was raised to care about the world and do everything possible to

help others. What sparked your interested in activism? I was raised to care about the world and do everything possible to help others. When my sister and I watched the documentary “A Walk to Beautiful” when we were 12 and 14 we knew we wanted to do something to help obstetric fistula patients and at least fund one repair surgery. We put on a one-day event for the girls in our community focused on empowerment and raised enough for 5 surgeries. After that we became an official foundation.

You do so much, how do you have time to be a teenager? Sometimes I’ve had a lot of free time to work on different projects or hangout with my friends, and other times I’ve had none at all. I think I’ve learned it’s less about a perfect balance than taking it week by week and being in tune with your needs. I’m a really extroverted person so I try to find ways to spend time with other people whenever I can instead of working or studying alone.

What’s the best advice you would give to teens wanting to Can you tell us about your foundation Pretty Purposeful? get involved in activism? Pretty Purposeful is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that raises Focus on a specific issue you care about, and research it. awareness and funds for obstetric fistula repair surgeries in Become an expert on that issue. Start something, even if it Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Malawi. We put on events, work seems simple or small at first – like a website or a twitter with corporate sponsors, and sell products on our website account, and grow from there. You can always make it ofhand-made by patients to fundraise for surgeries. ficial later. Think of how you can use your talents and passions to further your cause. There’s so many ways to make What have you achieved so far with your foundation? a difference, it definitely doesn’t have to be the nonprofit To date we’ve raised enough funds for over 70 repair route. Bringing attention to an issue through art or joursurgeries as well as contributing to the refurbishment of a nalism can be just as powerful. Also, reach out to mentors clinic in Sierra Leone that serves up to 300 patients a year. and people who can help you/your project grow! We work with the West Africa Fistula Foundation in Sierra Leone and the Freedom from Fistula Foundation in Kenya How you balance school and everything else? and Malawi. I’m honestly not the most organized person, but I try to use a planner to keep track of important dates. I’ve also How was it speaking at the United Nations Assembly? been trying to use any extra time I might have during the It was amazing! I spoke at the U.N .for the first time in day, like riding the bus or lunch break, to answer emails or 2014 on the Global Partnerships panel and in 2015 my sis- catch up on homework. ter and I led a workshop on youth social entrepreneurship. In 2016 I got to speak about how youth can play a role in What’s the future looking like? achieving the UN sustainable development goals for InterI’m hoping to study economics and/or development in 32 | DESIGN MGZ 6 national Youth Day. It’s been a huge honor to be involved college (no idea where yet). I hope to one day live in New with the Youth Assembly and each time I’ve met so many York and work to further human rights. incredible people.



y n a m o s s “There’ e k a m o t s way ” e c n e r e f a dif


2016: A Year

IN Need Of Empathy Written by Sophia Friedman

2016: The year of obsessing over a dead gorilla and As Jia Tolentino from The New Yorker put it, “Donald Trump’s election is a vind coming to terms with a new president-elect. Aside cation of prejudice as a national foundation and a signal of severe global instafrom the humor and the comic relief, this year has bility to come.” seen before. The issues at stake, immigration, women’s health, religious freedom, no longer became debatable issues of politics but rather been filled with tragedy. questions of morality. As November approached it appeared as though President-Elect Trump had dug himself a deep grave. From insulting the Khan Two unarmed black men were killed on July 5th and family to the pussy-grabbing video, many Americans believed that a Trump on July 6th. According to The New Yorker, Alton presidency was impossible. The hate spewed on TV and Twitter by Donald Sterling was pinned to the ground and shot by a Trump was matched by his supporters during rallies and in viral videos. policeman in Baton Rouge, and Philando Castile was With responses from notable celebrities and President Barack Obama, it killed by police during “a routine traffic stop” in seemed as though his campaign would be stopped. But it didn’t. Minnesota. On July 7th, during originally peaceful protests in Dallas against these tragic police killings, After the election, many of us were numb. We felt a lack of empathy. Because 2016 was a year filled with hate, it felt as though five police officers were killed. there was no understanding left; that the qualities that make us human beings had been stripped. Heading into 2017, we need 2016 was filled with countless events of terror: to set examples for our peers, coworkers, and family members from Nice to Baghdad to Syria to Orlando. From the that our differences are what makes us beautiful; that it’s our growing refugee crisis to the bombing in Brussels. first amendment right to freedom of religion and that in our Watching the nightly news throughout the summer smaller communities we must try to empathize and spark was difficult as it seemed like a new tragedy filled conversation. airtime night after night. Just when one thought it couldn’t get worse, a new story would spill out of We should not all agree on all issues, but rather we our televisions and our screens, causing us to hope should respect the opinions of others in order to that the next tragedy wouldn’t be closer the next understand complex issues of race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Having discourse is healthy but time. thinking that a person is fundamentally superior to another based on the belief that one race, reliBut what makes 2016 different from all other gion, ethnicity or gender is better than another years? 2016 was the manifestation of the hate and is part of the reason why 2016 was such a prejudice that is still alive in America. It brought out tough year. The other part is our inability to understand one another. We need empathy. a side that had seemingly been buried for a long time. How could we have our first African-American president followed by a man like Donald J. Trump? It is that very question that is the issue; many people believed that racism was dead with the arrival of a | DESIGN MGZ black 2president. But 62016 has shown us that this is false.

Photo by David Goehring/Page Designy by Lauren Breach



My First Time, Their Last Time Written by Fernando Reyes Running through your teen years is, to say the least, a tough, lots-of-crying, emotions-killing-you type of time. You attend school 5 days a week (maybe more depending on your livelihood) from 8AM-3PM, stress about insignificant others that make you miserable, cry about grades with your closest friends, yet no care enough to change them while constantly thinking about social media and obsessed over the most outrageous and scandalous pop stars in the world.


school in general. Do I have a story about being beat up in a parking lot? tereotypically, it’s what hapNo, I am forever thankful that my pens in teens’ years. Hollywood has situations never reached a climax so a completely different perspective horrifying and devastating. That, of on the life of an adult on the rise, course, doesn’t exactly counteract which influences the general adult my experiences and fears of critipopulation, propelling me to somehow understand the reasoning behind cism; every [LGBT+] kid deals with the scathing comments expressed by different levels of bullying, all which the older generations. That, however, are unfair and extremely hurtful. doesn’t dismiss them, but helps me “Every [LGBT+] understand in a rather uncaring way. What many adults fail to realize kid deals with is the inner struggles of countless different levels teenage minds and souls. In regards to this piece, I’m referring to LGBT+ of bullying, all teens in the world who face prejuwhich are unfair dice and discrimination for existing, and who hate their own existence for being treated like a mistake, and for extremely the kids trying to progress beyond hurtful.” high school (or school in general), who would loathe becoming the staAll this fear and anxiety eventually ple gay; the “gay friend.” I am one of those teens. In previous led to me isolate myself, to exclude myself from the entire high school years, I’ve faced plenty of criticism culture around me. All his seclusion and4 |anxiety, leading to my lack of DESIGN MGZ 6 led me to realize that I had to do care towards participating in school something; I had to create stories events, or activities connected to

about my adolescence that I’d be able to speak on in years to come. I had to live someway and somehow. That being said, I wasn’t going to force myself into something that would ultimately bore me to death, something that would make me despise living a little bit more. In the wake of that, I began a fashion blog. My writing discussed a range of topics; I spoke about my life, social issues, fashion (hence the term FASHION blog) or sometimes just prolonged, never-ending monologues on how much I abhorred my school. There was really no in-between. I invested time, money, and energy, – blood, sweat and tears, if I may – everything into that website, but most importantly: I attempted to launch myself into the circuit of Los Angeles fashion. In retrospect, that didn’t exactly work like I had planned it to. I definitely met tons of interesting people (even that guy called the “human ken” that has a ton of plastic surgery!);


in fact, I met one of my best friends at one of the fashion shows I attended in November 2015. Her name is Andrea and she’s an accelerating, little ball of energy. I adore her. With these events came my interest in parties, I discovered pleasure in dancing the night away, forgetting about the world for a few hours, sweating amongst other thirst-trapped party animals. I, being a minor in every aspect, including that of my face and nonexistent ID, never went too many. However, when any sort of celebration blazed around the corner, I, without overthinking, asked my friends if they had any sort of interest in going with me. For the most part, it was usually my friend, Andrea, who is now in Morocco, luxuriating in their warm African sun, which I always invited. She has always been my most interesting friend. Last year, in June, whilst searching for some fun, I recalled my feeling of disappointment in not attending Gay Pride [the year prior; 2015]. “I can’t miss it this time around,” I said to myself, with 6 | DESIGN MGZ my heart beating of6excitement. “Do you want to go to pride?!” I messaged Andrea immediately reading details and

after conversing for a few minutes, it was decided, we were going to Pride. Like every gay boy attending his first Pride, I was in a state awe; full excitement, I wanted it to come so badly. Finally, it was June 10, the day before the WeHo located event (shocking, right?) and I was texting Andrea. “I cut my pants and made them into shorts but I still don’t know if I wanna wear them,” with an accompanying photo of my terribly cut, distasteful “shorts.” “What are your other options? I mean the shorts look good tho,” she replied, clearly trying to the nicest person possible. I can’t say she lied to me because, truthfully speaking, she never said they looked nice to begin with. “I have these ripped jeans and that’s pretty much it because I didn’t bring much to my aunt’s house. for the first time I’m gonna take no sweater which is so scary for me,” discretely bringing up my insecurities. Fast forward the following day, the day of Pride but like the well-behaved son I am, I hung out with my dad. Could I have thought of it as a financial situation? Possibly. Anyways, the sun was beginning to set

itself, making itself appear like a half cut orange, and my brother drove me to West Hollywood Park. I did have a small feeling of remorse that night; I flaked on my cousin’s graduation party just to attend. I said to myself, “Look, this even is once a year. You see her every weekend. She’ll understand if you don’t magically show up to her party.” Turns out, I was correct. My cousin invited her friends, which translated to me that more than likely I was going to be ignored. My brother and I headed to the park, and after over an hour of disgraceful Los Angeles traffic, we arrived where he dropped me off in front of an art store in Melrose. I called Andrea, frantically asking her where she was loitering. Eventually we met up on the corner on San Vicente and Melrose, in front of a sushi bar titled “Catch LA”. We walked to the entrance of the festival where self-proclaimed “Christians” welcomed us, and dozens of others. They were protesting with signs that exclaimed things such as “Sodomy Is A Sin” or bible verses that I don’t care to remember. Finding them was, of course,

and say something in the lines of, “Well, if I yell random bible verses and tell them they’re going to hell for ass-fucking, then maybe they’ll leave their “lifestyles” and follow the word of God.” Genuinely, I always wonder why they assume anyone genuinely cares for their absurd antics. Thankfully for us, an overweight, overly confident leather man gladly, with a smile, welcomed these unrighteous ignorant beings with his ass hanging out. He was my inspiration for me that night. We scanned our tickets and entered an ongoing, safe haven of gays and ALL types of people. I was a bit shy but after time you realize that the people who attend events as such are there for the same things that you are: they just want to express themselves without the prejudice of society. I danced – and this is meant in the most literal form – the entire time that I was there at the event. I felt free; I was wild, expressing affection towards everyone out of pure fun and enjoyment. Andrea wasn’t left behind either; she shook her way through Formation by Beyoncé without an utmost care to the world. When she was nowhere to be found I’d message her texts like “are you gonna come back?” and she’d reply with a cute number like “Lol yes I’m on my way. FYI don’t go to the bathrooms...DISGUSTING!!!!” After multiple performances and groovy jams, the night begin fading away, leaving the event to be continued the following day. This was devastating to me; I wasn’t planning to return to following day and I had met the most positive filled people to breathe on this planet. Eventually, I messaged my brother and, where we picked me up in the exact it spot that he had previously left me in. Throughout the car ride, I was mocked by my older cousin, her boyfriend and my

brother for behaving “like a drunk” despite not being drunk – at all. I was plenty tired, showing itself through drowsiness and fatigue-like eyes but I didn’t care. I was so happy to have been in such a nourishing safe space. Since my brother did stay at my cousin’s party, he went back to their house where we slept over and I chatted with my Mexican mother and aunts about my wild night. I chatted with my cousin about all the fun, provocative details until I was ready to drop dead.

“I’m afraid I’m going to die but I want you guys to know that I am gay.” I feel asleep with a smile and woke up feeling sick after reading the news. It was Sunday, and I was waking up rather late when my cousin, who by the way was one room away from me, messaged me and sent me a “snapnews” screenshot of the tragic and absolutely heart-wrenching Orlando shooting. At first, I didn’t understand the seriousness of the case. After a few minutes, I fully woke up, mainly because my dad was on his way to pick us up at my aunts’ house, but I read everything in sync with the shooting and I didn’t know how to feel. I was reading Twitter, President Obama was making state-

ments, the world was in a state of shock, I was utterly speechless on this atrocity. I’m fifteen years old. I had barely attended my first Pride that exact same night. How was I supposed to feel? I was afraid, there’s no way I can discuss my incredible night without feeling guilt inside of me, I was dancing and having fun while people were being killed at a place that was supposed to be safe for them. I went to be safe, and so did they but didn’t come out alive to talk about their wild, promiscuous moments. I cried plenty that day; I didn’t know who to go to. No one around me understood what I felt. It was a blue day, with heat waves sweating our faces. At around 1 PM, I decided I was going to come home to my brother and sister. I don’t recall exactly what I told them, but it was somewhere along the lines of, “I’m afraid I’m going to die but I want you guys to know that I am gay.” They both supported me but despite revealing, or perhaps confirming, my “huge secret” I felt empty, hollow on the inside. That day revealed so much to me about just how cruel and unfair the world really was. People still criticized the LGBT community, while gun activist stepped up their game to not allow the banning of guns, while others defended their religion. It was chaos all in my face. I didn’t care about the guns, or what religion the murderer was; to me, in that moment, those 49 precious faces were all that mattered to me. They were imprinted in my mind. Since that day, the world has remained the same. Except now I’m wondering if the law will be on the side of the oppressors. I wonder people will care less for the LGBT community, if the hate crimes on my community will begin rising and rising from both the people and the politicians. Where do we go from here? I’m not quite sure, but I can smell a revolution. I expect a revolution. DESIGN MGZ 6 | 7

Creative Direction / Photographer: Maya Aristimuno Makeup Artist: Beatriz Bellido DESIGN MGZ 6 Models:8 |Trinity Thompson, Anna Gustavsen, Anoushka Aurora, Beatriz Bellido.


e t a G e Locht

e g e l i v i r P e t i h W & Written by Clay Morris


he 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil

may be marked as one of the most talked about Olympics of all time. With both good and press surrounding the event, one bad thing that America should not forget is the interesting case of 32-year-old Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte lying. In an interview with Bully Bush on August 14, 2016, Ryan Lochte made the following claim about being robbed at gunpoint with his fellow teammates James Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger in Rio: “We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.” What was revealed to America subsequently after a police investiga10 | DESIGN MGZ 6

tion of the altercation occurred was that Lochte and his teammates had

attempted to use the restroom at

missing explanations. It seems that

a gas station, and when they found

America unconsciously clung to the

it locked they urinated behind the

story of a White male who was in

building and ripped down a framed

danger and beloved in the hearts

picture from the walls of the build-

of America, without questioning his

ing. The men that accosted Lochte

story, or his actions. After losing

were, in fact, police officers coming

major endorsement deals, (most of

to apprehend the swimmers for their

which were conveniently nearing

crime, and did not rob them or hold a

their end, or were one-year con-

cocked gun to Lochte’s head. Lochte

tracts), with Ralph Lauren, Speedo,

was charged with falsely reporting a

Airweave, and Gentle Hair Removal

crime, and banned from competing

Ryan Lochte released a half-hearted

in the 2017 World Championships, as

apology that does not truly recognize

well as suspended from swimming

the issues within what he did:

with the American National Team for ten months. After this reveal, in

“I want to apologize for my behavior

an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer,

last weekend — for not being more

Lochte recanted his exaggerations

careful and candid in how I described

by saying that he “over-exaggerated

the events of that early morning.”

that story, and if I had never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess.” White privilege never fails to reign in America, and this is just one example of the social instituion’s effect on the American society. When the story of Ryan Lochte’s “robbery” hit America and news outlets, Lochte was immediately labeled as the victim, although his story was inherently vague, and seemed to be


privilege never fails to reign in America”

The rest of his apology goes on

Super Bowl many people called

to explain the dangers of being

her racist, wanting to incite

out late with friends in foreign

violence, and anti-cop/white.

countries, and plenty of other

But in the case of Ryan Lochte

things that have no relation

mass points of outrage did not

to the scandal that he faced.

ensue, and Lochte himself was

Ryan Lochte also agreed to pay

not boycotted by the American

$10,800 dollars to a charity to

people; Ryan Lochte was instead

settle his court case.

helped by the American people, and continues to be seen as a

So what if this had been an

role model for children because

Olympic athlete of color such as

he “owned” up to his mistakes,

Simone Biles, or Usain Bolt? It

even though they were arguably

is discerning and unnerving to


see how quickly Ryan Lochte’s mistakes were brushed under

And in the wake of Donald

the rug, and in fact rewarded

Trump’s election, there is

as Lochte retained his contract

now an even bigger threat of

with Dancing with the Stars, and

White people expanding upon

picked up endorsements from

their privilege and lessening

the Pine Bros. cough drops com-

the safety and humanity of

pany and crime detection ser-

African-Americans within the

vice, Robocopp, both of which

United States. While it may be

seem to mock the seriousness

easy for those like Ryan Lochte

of the situation that Lochte

to move on from the scandal

was the ringleader of. Lochte’s

and take absolutely nothing

Pine Bros endorsement tagline

from it, in 2016 people of color

is “Pine Bros.: In this Season of

were forced to look at the situ-

Forgiveness.”, while in the ad

ation with lenses that exposed

for Robocopp Lochte says that

Lochte’s white privilege and

the device “can get you out of a

the United State’s acceptance

bad situation.”

of this abuse in all situations whether they are big or small.

White privilege never fails to reign in America and this is

So, if Lochtegate blew by you

just one example of the social

in 2016 don’t think that you’re

institution’s effects on the

out of the loop. It is probably

American society. It seems that

that you have become numb to

it is only okay for White people

the abuses of white privilege

in America to make mistakes,

in America as a person of color

whereas it is never okay for

yourself, or that you are White

African-Americans to have even

and did not see the big issues

the slightest bit of controversy

surrounding Ryan Lochte’s irre-

surrounding them. When Be-

versible actions.

yonce debuted Formation at the


Art by12 |Maddy Rambeau DESIGN MGZ 6


Where’s the Body Positivity For Men? 14 | DESIGN MGZ 6

Written by Alex Brown

Over the past few years, the discussion about body image in general has been sparked and taken social media and pop culture by storm. On multiple occasions, the hashtag #BodyPosi has trended on Twitter encouraging users to post pictures of themselves to show that they love their bodies. Body positivity has even taken form in song; “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor became extremely popular (although she actually shames a certain body type within the very song meant to be body positive... okay then). But one thing I’ve noticed with this movement is that it is dominated by female body positivity. Now, don’t get me wrong; female body positivity and empowerment is freaking awesome, and it’s great that it’s becoming increasingly present in our society. But where is the body positivity for men? Where are men supposed to look when we need encouragement about our body image? As a fat man, I have seen little to no positive representation of my body image. Body positivity often spotlights female bodies but leaves out men. But it’s been proven that body dissatisfaction is not a “female-exclusive” issue; it affects men just as much. In a world dominated by Channing Tatum-esque male body types, it’s time for us to expand the body positivity movement to also include men.

In fact, the gender difference between body dissatisfaction is shrinking. In other words, men are almost just as insecure about their bodies as women are. And just like women, a man who has a negative body image is more inclined to social anxiety, body dysmorphia disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. And I can attest to this. I have noticed that I have become increasingly anxious in social settings primarily due to insecurities in body. And there have to be millions of men who feel the exact same struggle about their body that I do... yet we have nowhere to look for encouragement. The lack of male body positivity is probably attributable to the restrictions of the male gender role. Men are supposed to be emotionally “tough”, not allowing things such as body image to impede on our happiness. But this expectation is simply unrealistic; how are we supposed to ignore body image issues? We are supposed to repress these feelings which in turn makes situations like low self-esteem all the worse. (Trust me, I know.) This is why we need a push for more male body positivity. Men need to see other men happy and confident in their bodies just as much as women need to see other women happy and confident in their bodies. Once we increase the male body positivity across the board, all men will begin to feel more comfortable and self-assured in their own bodies. And there’s definitely no harm in that. DESIGN MGZ 6 | 15

Photo by Tamara Beckwith

We’re Doomed

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Winter 2016/2017  
Winter 2016/2017