Dusk to Dawn

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Letter from This is a very special issue. Not only because it contains extraordinary photography, illustrations, and written work. I mean that too. But no, because this issue is many years in the making, marking Align’s entrance to…the print scene. This was no small feat. It took years of building and structuring our team, establishing our place at the University of Oregon, and an extensive and ongoing learning curve. But finally, we’ve made it. Our first print issue. I have to look back to the history of Align leaders and thank those before me for helping get us where we are today. To the students that started the blog and Instagram account Ducksdressedup to document campus fashion. To Danika and Allison for turning that blog into Align Magazine. And to Gillian for leading us through the onset of the pandemic and fighting to get us funding. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come, and I can’t wait for you to experience Align in its physical form. Now to turn to content, stylistically, this issue is laid out in a progression from dusk to dawn. The idea, the brainchild of Kenny Park and Athena Nguyen, was a great way for us to enter the print scene with strong design to match strong content. The issue covers a wide array of topics from religion, to pandemic nightlife, perfectionism, addiction, self-love, and the many ways we see, use, and shop for clothing. On top of that, our Spotify team created a four-hour playlist following the same progression, so you can listen while you read. Find the barcode that will send you to the playlist on the page before. As cliché as it may be, you can’t deny the perfect timing of a dusk to dawn theme as we move from Winter to Spring. I think we all look forward to transitioning out of hibernation and into spending luxuriously long summer nights outside, and hopefully, this issue symbolizes that feeling. So now the time has come. It’s time for you to flip through this 70-page piece of magic. I ask you to bask in the dark and light photos and stories we have to share with you and revel alongside us in our transition from digital dusk to the dawn of print. With love, awe, and inspiration always,

Kaeleigh <3

the Editor

TABLE 09 . Prosperity and Innovation, Calamity and Want: Juxtaposing Two Defining Decades 13 . The Dark Side of Fast Fashion 15 . Perfectionism: The Ugly Truth 17 . An Ugly Pattern 19 . College Nightlife During Pandemic Times 21 . Religious Trauma 23 . What Do You Dream About? 25 . Villainization of Femininity 27 . Writing This Poem 29 . Illuminated 31 . Another Word For Funeral 33 . Weary and Wide Awake 35 . Behind the Sweet Illusion


CONTENTS Fashion Through Personality: East vs. West . 37 Self-Transformation Through Clothing . 39 Good Wine / Bad Morning . 43 Sex Work and Consumerism . 45 Twilight . 47 New Clothes are Hot! But so is Our Climate . 51 The Winter Solstice . 53 Tea . 55 Allowing for Self Love . 57 Guide to Be A Girlboss . 59 Deromanticizing Big City Living . 63 The Ritual of Finding an Alter Ego . 67


the 20s 10 ALIGN


uring the presidential election of 1920, Republican Senator Warren G. Harding triumphed to victory after conducting a front-porch campaign where he gave most of his speeches to those who visited his rural Ohio home. He campaigned on a “return to normalcy” that appealed to a wearied nation in the wake of World War I and the Spanish Flu. A hundred years later, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden won the presidency after being forced to mostly campaign virtually from his home in Wilmington, Delaware due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He promised to end the public health crisis and its accompanying economic crisis in addition to uniting the country after the divisive and tumultuous administration of Donald J. Trump. The same year that Harding was elected, Eugene V. Debs, an anti-war activist, union organizer, and the standard-bearer of the Socialist Party won over 3% of the presidential popular vote from behind bars as he was imprisoned for his public advocacy against World War I. Recent years have shown a growing interest in the ideas of socialism, communism, and anarchism and an increase in labor organizing in reaction to the presidential campaigns of Senator Bernie Sanders, the Black Lives Matter movement, and worsening economic inequality. In the 1920’s, the world entered into a new era of affluence and relative stability after having endured crises that shook the world before again returning to crisis with the 1929 stock market crash. During the decade, the rising accessibility and advancement of technologies such as film, radio, automobiles, and aviation along with the cultural ascent of jazz music ushered in a sense of modernity. In the 2020’s, so far we’ve seen the whole world rattled by the impacts of the COVID-19 virus’ massive disruptions to the economy, infrastructure, culture, and our psyches as the dire state of the climate crisis worsens and the already stark divide between the working class and the elite deepens. This decade has hitherto been defined by tragedy, loss, frustration, exhaustion, and cynicism. In juxtaposing these two defining decades, we see both striking parallels and contrasts that each can compel us to consider our place in the long narrative of history and how we best can shape it. In our popular conception of what the 1920’s were like most think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Great American Novel,” The Great Gatsby, which in many ways exemplifies the excesses and shallow opulence of the decade. Decades and centuries from now how


will our descendants think of our current decade? Will we be defined by the viral sensations of TikTok, the melodramatic visual splendor that is Euphoria, the utter stupidity and corruption of NFTs and cryptocurrency, the banal oddity of the so-called “metaverse”, or none of these at all? Obviously, we can’t predict the future or how our time will be perceived in it. However, it’s worth considering how we seek to define ourselves. As it seems, many of the people in our generation draw heavy inspiration from the aesthetics, fashion, music, films, and technology of previous decades such as the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s. Behind this fascination with the days of old seems to be, at least in part, an escapist yearning. In an era of such turbulence, there is unquestionably comfort to be found in the positive aspects of comparatively balanced times that preceded us. But, don’t we want to make our own distinctive mark for posterity? Inspiration is certainly important, yet we must always be striving to be reshaping ourselves anew in order to truly prosper and grow not just as individuals, but as a society and a culture as a whole. In some ways, we have already begun to push in a new direction. A broader range of gender and sexual identities are becoming more widely accepted than ever before, demands for racial justice are becoming more fervent and frequent, workers are demanding better from their employers and are organizing together to do so, and the status quo as a whole is coming under much greater scrutiny as it continues to hold us back from necessary progress. Yet, at the same time, we see misinformation and baseless conspiracy theories abound and the fascist movement both in America and abroad gaining ground. During the epoch of the Lost Generation writers, the artists of the Harlem Renaissance, and a growing queer subculture in places like Weimar-era Berlin, we also saw a rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States and the fascist movement in Europe. There has always been a contrasting push and pull of progress and regression across all time. What matters most is how we can continue to seek out ways to advance ourselves. We can only do so if we are constantly questioning our preconceived notions, seeking out new opportunities and perspectives, and envisioning an extraordinary and better new world for ourselves. Fresh and exciting prospects for unique approaches to art and design, fashion, technology, governance, economics, and social structures await us as long as we’re willing to dream of and fight for them.

PROSPERITY AND INNOVATION, CALAMITY AND WANT: juxtaposing two defining decades


he Dark Side T of Fast Fashion F

ast fashion is trending worldwide and we have just seen the beginning of the impact it has on the fashion industry. While companies like Shein and AliExpress are affordable, they often use unethical practices when it comes to sourcing designs and ideas. There is a dupe for everything. Whether the dupe is for a blanket or a pair of shoes, dupes can often be more accessible for people of lower economic classes to afford. Where do we draw the line between taking inspiration, and selling a dupe? Since the massive burst of interest in the changing fashion industry, many consumers are looking for ways to keep up. Consumers are looking at how many items they can buy compared to what is the best quality available. The quickness of the trend cycle has only helped the fast fashion industry to boom. Every couple of months we see completely different trends, and because of social media, it is now more than ever. But what is more important, affordability or ethicality? Imagine spending a whole term working on one singular project, you finally finish, and then see someone in your class submit the same exact thing, just of lesser quality? Wouldn’t you be angry? Imagine how it feels to designers who work countless hours coming up with intricate and unique designs only to be ripped off by a company that sells them for of the price. People fail to realize that while it might be nice to get a good deal, the quality and the sustainability of the item may be worse

than the one with a high price tag. In the end, the item will most likely not be long-lasting. Not only that, but the item could leave dye stains and cause allergic reactions. Mirror Palais is a sustainable womenswear brand, each piece designed and created in New York, and the brand focuses on providing fair wages and great craftsmanship. This is a 360 from the ideals that these fast fashion brands uphold. However, AliExpress recently created a $45 copy of Mirror Palais’ $595 fairy dress. While that is a major price jump, the standards that Mirror Palais uphold make the price worth it. Many fail to consider and look at what goes on behind the scenes. The factories that are making these lower-priced clothes are unsustainable and the workers are paid unlivable wages. These fast fashion companies are not only unethical but unoriginal. Small business designers go through hours of searching and designing new ideas that have never been seen before. There is more impact when you back an individual with important ideals compared to a company that has none. Small businesses go through so much work and effort and are focused on the consumer and the quality of the brand, whereas fast fashion brands could care less about the consumer and quality. Where do we draw the line between affordability and being unethical? As consumers, we need to look at how our habits have effects on not only small businesses but us too in the long run.







y mom always taught me that perfect should never be the enemy of good. As a little girl with OCD tendencies, a larger-than-life personality and an idealized version of how things are supposed to be, this was not something I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to be “good” because I wanted to be great. Not only that, but I also wanted to have a sense of control in a world where I couldn’t control anything. Being a little kid was hard for me; I wanted to do things my way and it had to be perfect. I have always considered myself a perfectionist, and for a while, I liked that about myself. I believed that it was a great quality. I also thought that it would help me become successful when really all it did was make me unhappy. In theory, perfection seems a worthy goal- one that society promotes. We all strive to be the best at something whether we realize it or not. People often believe that at the root of perfectionism is the longing to do well, and some may even equate it with ambition but honestly, perfectionism itself isn’t even perfect. At its core, perfection is the state of being free from any and all flaws but the danger is that if you’re always searching for flaws, you’ll always feel yourself falling short. As a recovering

perfectionist, I can say with certainty that perfectionism is no more than a manifestation of fear. The pursuit of perfection is the fear of failure in disguise. Perfection is an illusion that we believe can protect us from judgment and shame and that is why it is so destructive. The appeal is that if we are perfect, we can escape criticism. If anything, perfectionism causes an entirely new set of problems by creating unrealistic expectations for yourself. Of course, perfectionists have many good qualities, however, they are also likely to experience burnout, frustration, and disappointment. Essentially, perfectionism is the denial of two universal truths: the first being that we are not perfect, and the second is that we are not in control. To surrender control is quite frankly terrifying, but it is equally as terrifying to hold onto things that do not serve us. Sure, it takes a lot of courage to be imperfect and to be vulnerable, and that’s the beauty of it. I don’t think a “perfect” life is all it’s cracked out to be. A perfect life would be quite boring. There would be no mistakes to learn from, no wrongs to make right, and no real opportunity for growth. Ultimately, growth is one of the most fulfilling life experiences, but it requires letting go of unrealistic expectations. Ultimately, life is gorgeously messy; perfect cannot exist without imperfect, good cannot exist without evil, and love cannot exist without indifference. You can’t achieve perfection or even greatness without accepting the other half of the equation. The duality is what makes it meaningful in the first place. Instead of embracing this universal truth, we avoid it at all costs. We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards which only sets us up for disappointment. At the end of the day, a perfectionist will never truly be fulfilled. The lunacy of it all is that perfectionism cannot even be satisfied by perfection. It is a vicious cycle that ends in nothing but self-destruction we, and I have countless stories that illustrate my point. Just last week, I had a math quiz. It was simple enough- answer the problems on a separate sheet of paper, take a picture, and submit. I made a mistake on the last problem, after all, I am only human. Of course, the perfectionist in me couldn’t just cross it out, so I crumpled up the page, threw it on the floor, and began again. This might have been acceptable if it happened once, except it didn’t happen once. It happened three times and I submitted it two minutes too late. I held back tears knowing that I had, once again, allowed perfect to be the enemy of good. Usually, getting it done is way more important than making it perfect. Sometimes “good enough” is more than enough. It is hard to let go of control, and a bit frightening, but the freedom that comes with it is priceless. Young people, especially, are affected by the myth that things should be perfect. We engage in a cruel inner dialogue that tells us that things are never good enough- that we are never good enough. But equally as cliche as it is true, you are your own biggest critic. Once you accept that you don’t have to be perfect, you can simply be good…but probably great.


An Ugly Pattern



t’s 4:26 p.m. and I’m coming home. The condensation on the bus windows blurred the distant black birds soaring through the air. I pulled down my sleeve and wiped the wetness away with my sweatshirt, now moist. The sky—blue and bright with white dashes of paint—revealed itself and I examined the flying birds closer. The bus stopped a street down from my house. The girl sitting next to me was getting off after me, so she scooted out of the way as I quickly stood up and lifted my wheely backpack into the aisle. In the reflection on the rear view mirror, I saw the bus driver watching the clouds. A few minutes later, I walked up the cobblestone stairs to my front door. A drop of rain fell with a splat on the back of my hand. Another one hit my forehead. I opened the door and the house smelled dirty and moldy, almost like a skunk. I kept walking through the hallway and into the kitchen with my nose scrunched and my lips almost puckered. The light peaking through the bottom of the shades designed a shadow pattern on the wooden floor. The shadows carried onto the countertops and hid the empty pill bottles and drinks from me until I stepped a little bit closer. I stared at the pill bottles, gradually realizing what they were as smoke filled my lungs. It happened again. It always happens. She was in the backyard with the porch light on. The light illuminated her limp body resting up against the brick wall. Her legs opened wide with her knees far apart and her feet pointed towards the other. The top of her head was extended as far as it could go towards her stomach.

Her palms turned upwards and her left hand slightly grasped the half-smoked cig in between her fingers. The cigarette left ashes on the floor and tiny red specs of fire. The clouds were burning orange. I wondered if that was on purpose. I wondered if the clouds hurt like my mom did. Like I did. I thought she was dead the first time I saw her like this. The burning orange swirled into a deep flaming red. I was terrified the sun would go down. I saw myself drowning in the darkness, getting lost in the navy blue midnight sky. Less of me understood the reason why some things had happened and why some things happened again and again and again. I wondered why some things never did. I couldn’t quite snap myself out of it. The shadows across the room gradually died away as the light grew dimmer. The windows were dark and empty. And the pink and the orange and the bleeding red disappeared. I took a few steps closer to my mom, lost and faded and desperate. I snatched the lighter on the bench and started playing with it. Every time the little flame disappeared, I ignited it again and again under the pitch black sky until my finger turned blood red. I knew she was going to be fine because she always ended up that way no matter which drug she took or however much she drank. I didn’t want her to see me. I was scared of what she would do if she knew I was there. I lightly poked her shoulder a couple of times to get her to wake up. Before her eyes fully opened and she made any sudden movements, I slipped through the back door and into the house. I scurried up the stairs and into my room, turned off the lights, pulled the blankets over my head, and told myself nothing ever happened. 18 ALIGN



n the complicated pandemic era, college students and the experiences they gain have been largely impacted. Nightlife amongst the student body at the University of Oregon (UO) is a diverse scene. Although COVID-19 has largely changed the scale of nightlife, students’ efforts to create normality have yet to cease. The UO nightlife scene differs with the student’s interests and comfort level during the pandemic. Many students are choosing to stay home, while others hit the town to see what parties are going on. At any time during the week, students can find what Eugene, Oregon, has to offer. Bentley Freeman, a sophomore at UO, spends a lot of time with his friends. He enjoys going out to house shows and watching his favorite bands from the Eugene area. When COVID-19 permits it, Freeman also enjoys going to concerts and overall appreciates the after school scene. “While I don’t have much to compare it to, it’s pretty fun,” Freeman said. “There’s always something going on. You know there are concerts constantly, but there are also house shows.” For Freeman, house shows are a great way to hang out with friends and also get to know the community. Some of his most notable local bands are “Growing Pains” and “Novacane.” “Every house show is different. Usu-

ally there are three or four bands and they each have a set list of either like two, three or four songs,” Freeman said. Many other nighttime activities take added precautions to help combat surges. According to Freeman, house shows tend to require proof of vaccines and charge fees to limit overcrowding. With the concerns over safety regarding house shows and other activities, there is no simple right or wrong when it comes to nightlife during pandemic times. Many students choose to go out, but others, like UO sophomore Sasha Kaplow, find it more comfortable to stay at home with all the uncertainties. “I definitely love spending time with friends, but I haven’t really gone out that much to parties. I’m more of a homebody. Through COVID I’ve developed this kind of introverted-ness. I definitely prefer to stay home,” Kaplow said. Much like Kaplow, Tommy Douglas, a junior at UO, lost nearly a year of normal social activities. According to Douglas, it was common prior to the pandemic to hang out in big groups without worries. “This year it’s closer to normal but activities are a little more infrequent, a little smaller in group size and we are all still a little more cognizant of

COVID,” Douglas said. Safety is a high priority amidst the global pandemic. Yet for some, after losing so much time to COVID and the added assurance from vaccines, parties have largely made a comeback. “I try to go to some places where I know people,” Michael Wilkins, a sophomore at UO, said. “I go out to parties, apartment parties, house parties, occasional frat parties. There are a lot of people, and a lot of people not from the University of Oregon so you can meet people.” With the opportunities to experience nightlife in some form or the other at the UO, students have still been subjected to a less than normal standard. The longing for the lost time is apparent. “I really missed going to restaurants or just having a big group of people at someone’s house,” Douglas said. “It’s not so much as what I would’ve done differently as what I wished that I could’ve done at all.” College students like Freeman, despite their added difficulties, still have new things they hope to do around the town despite their lost time. “I wish I could have gone out way more,” Freeman said. “I think everyone has made the best out of the bad hand we’ve been given.” WRITTEN BY CORI CAPLINGER





I. Genesis The first lesson the Christian church taught me was obedience. Honor thy father and thy mother. Love thy neighbor. Thou shalt not steal. The Lord detests lying lips.

lay awake and weep not because of the monster that was hiding in my closet, or the fear of the dark, but because of the dread and terror I had about spending eternity in Hell. I would tally everything I did during the day that could be seen as bad or sinful and beg for forgiveness in my nightly prayers.

In the beginning you are taught to be good. I was raised Christian; I was baptized in the Nazarene church that my parents met through and were married in. My childhood was filled with memorizing Bible verses, sitting silently in rows of dusty pews, Sunday school, and prayer circles. I attended a Christian school until the fourth grade, and spent my summers at Vacation Bible School. Every waking moment of my childhood revolved around God. Among the virtues Christianity teaches, the main one is obedience. To listen, behave, be truthful, be kind, and be good. And I was. I was an obedient child. I was described as mild and reserved, and although I was quiet and polite like God wanted, it wasn’t out of sheer devotion, but out of fear. There were countless nights when I was little where I would 21 ALIGN

I would beg God to forgive me for everything. I thought everything I did was going to send me to Hell. When my family switched to a non-denominational church, the fear didn’t go away. This church praised enthusiasm, and the ones who showed the most eagerness for being at church were given the invisible badge of loving God the most. At this point, I had been led to believe that being a good Christian meant to keep my head down and silently follow instruction, but I wasn’t being rewarded for that anymore. Now, I was being judged by how devout I was. The workings of the world were explained to me as black and white, good or bad. All I knew was that I had to be on the good side, and this ideology was poison to me.

II. Rebirth I was around seventeen when I stopped going to church regularly. The Church had stopped making me feel good. What used to bring me some semblance of comfort now made me feel worse every time I sat through a service. At this point, my whole belief system was to be seen as and thought of as good. I did everything I could to fit the mold of a good person, but I was always left feeling empty— not good enough. When the church taught me the fundamentals of being good, they also taught that people are inherently bad, but that we have the choice to be better. Although I hadn’t yet connected this to my religious background, this concept corrupted good and bad for me as a child, and as a teen and young adult, sent me into a spiral of self-hatred and low confidence. I was no longer crying myself to sleep out of fear of going to Hell, but rather I was staring at the ceiling for hours contemplating my morality. I didn’t know how to be a good person when I was taught that I was innately bad. I didn’t start contemplating my religious identity until I entered my twenties and was beginning to figure out who I was. This was where I struggled the most, actually. I had separated

myself from Christianity and was trying to find solace in myself, but I only felt adulterated without religion as a foundation. This inherent evil was looming over me and there was no way to cleave it from myself; I was stuck with it. It was this thought process that sent me into a spiral of unhealthy coping skills and depleting mental health. This period of time forced me to rebuild. The structure that had been assembled for me to be a good person crumbled, and I had to dig myself out of the rubble. Writing and literature were comforting to me at this time. I put my pondering thoughts to paper and allowed myself to question everything, even if it felt sinful in and of itself. I sought a lot of comfort in Transcendentalism and delved into mythologies from many cultures which taught me different ideologies of selfdiscovery and transformation. Only after I gave myself the freedom to explore did I connect my childhood in the church to my conflicting identity. I started unraveling what I had been taught and how it polluted my perspective of myself. I didn’t realize how it subconsciously stayed with me or how my whole character had been twisted and molded to fit into it.

III. Reckoning Once I identified the origin of my insecurities, I was able to correct my course, although it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Even today I still struggle with the idea of if I’m a good person or not.

My whole childhood was built on the premise of being a good person. I was given the Bible, told to follow its rules, and when I broke them, confess my sins and ask for forgiveness.

My upbringing in the church gave me a lot of good things. It built my moral code and gave me good values to take with me in life, but it also built the foundation of a belief system that would become detrimental to my personal growth.

My experience with religion brought me more fear than peace. I strived for goodness out of fear that badness would damn me eternally, but really I was damned from the start. Until I severed myself from that fear, I found that you aren’t a good person just because you tell the truth, because you follow instructions, or because you’re not a thief.

I don’t dwell on my religious trauma or the things in Christianity that I disagree with, rather I focus on my personal healing and growing away from the skewed perception of the world I was taught. I still believe in divinity and a higher power, but I believe a person could be good without it.

What makes you a good person is yourself.




What do you

Dream about?



Looking Different

Flying represents freedom and elusion. You are at a point in your life where you can do anything you want to do. This is a good time in your waking life to spread your wings, and to chase your dreams. Flying can also represent escapism and getting away from the dreariness of everyday life. Either way, this is a sign to start an adventure, or just to get out of your daily routine.

Have you ever looked in the mirror in a dream and seen someone else? This can represent an aspect of your inner self that you aren’t expressing in everyday life, or represent a different perspective on who you are. If you look different in a dream, there’s a part of yourself you have yet to discover. Take time to try new things and figure out who you are.


Floating in Space

Have you ever heard the expression of drowning in your work? If this is what you dream about, this expression likely describes you. Water is often a symbol of emotions, so this can also represent something weighing on the emotions. Dreaming about drowning means you need to catch your breath in your waking life and take some time to recuperate from all the tasks you have to do.

Space has long been considered “The final frontier.” This dream is similar to flying on a whole new level. Space seems like an impossible goal, and dreaming of it means your goals are among the constellations. Being in space means you can achieve those goals and reach the final frontier. Now is a good time to start working towards goals and reaching for the stars.


Villainization of Femininity



he media I was exposed to as a child taught me to push my femininity so far away that it became unrecognizable for a time. Suddenly, after seeing Sharpay Evans in High School Musical and Regina George in Mean Girls, the feather boas and hot pink shoes in my closet became a strong symbol of character - of being a villain - and I began to look toward all the things that made me different from “that” kind of girl. I no longer embraced my barely blossoming personality, and I grasped for anything to make me stand out among the crowd. It’s difficult to break away from this way of thinking, and it’s difficult to embrace all the ways we are alike. Being like everyone else is so scary. It’s vulnerable. I can’t count how many times I’ve jumped at the chance to be “not like other girls.” Even in small, insignificant interactions. I avoided admitting that I watched the same movies and tv shows as everyone else, and the media I consumed taught me that I was better than other girls if I wore converse to the school dance instead of the popular strappy sandals. My answer to the “favorite color” question shifted with the popularity of different colors. In middle school, everyone was head over heels for rose gold. However, I decided that even though I too was a lover of rose gold, liking yellow would make me stand out. I was so desperately afraid of revealing that I was like everyone else, I convinced myself to shift my own likes and dislikes. I’m trying my best to come into my own. To embrace my wise, divinely feminine self who couldn’t possibly be influenced by

the thoughts and opinions of others. The nature of this toxic femininity shifted many parts of myself – at such a young age – that it makes me wonder what I’d be like if I was never exposed to this influence. I start to feel vulnerable – even when I like things just because they’re pretty or choose things because they’re aesthetically pleasing. It turns out that I love the parts of myself that I share with other girls. My traditionally feminine qualities connect me to so many people. I adore getting my nails done in French tips, I love sitting for hours at a coffee shop, and I would positively pee my pants if someone asked me to go for a picnic. I get a little giddy when I have to pick my skirt up to walk up the stairs, and my tinted pink lip gloss makes me feel so confident. It feels unreasonably vulnerable to admit those things, and for so long I deeply believed those were negative attributes. They were things that I would defend if I got called out, things that I didn’t want anyone to see. In an attempt to move away from toxic femininity, we can stop attacking other women over their traditionally feminine qualities. We can let femininity and feminism live as one. Villainizing femininity is so old. It’s tiring and unsustainable. Being inauthentic for the sake of others is such a deep form of hurting yourself and dimming your light. We are all deserving of connection in those ways we’re all alike, and we are so worthy of finding our little true selves. The little humans that existed before the influence of this feminine villainization.


right now it is 10 o’clock in the morning and i’m sitting in my room writing this poem or trying to write it so i switch on my lamp i open my window and the light just above me readjusts itself accordingly pen hits paper the ink guides my hand essentially moving just as i inhale and exhale blackness embedded on every line the priestess watches me from her deck speaking the words down my throat i think of how sweet the air smelled when i walked down that street when i walked in that shop what a beautiful morning we often share you saw the honeysuckle i saw the bees and i think to myself how could anyone think poetry is hard? i can do this i am doing this every movement of my hand so natural and right the paces between my body and pen similitanious separate from my mind a branch blocks my window and suddenly the ink slows to a halt the metal tip sinks its teeth in and dark black blood rushes out by hand is paralized by the grey deep shadow running along my now foreign page 27 ALIGN

leaves come in through the window rushing down and cloaking my hard cold hands the letters smudge across the page i run my finger along the lines to wipe the ink back into place quickly what was the name of that shop? the name of that street? the tower quickly draws my mind blank and dry the foundation finally breaks it’s sudden and scary and i cant fix it no matter how hard i try and what did i write? and where do i go? and poetry is hard and i hate it and i’m never doing this again and i’m sick of the cruel irony of remembrance they rush in like water out like mud a pushed hand or a hushed thought laborious to forget or remember, rather it is exhausting but a wind sneaks in whispering directions sending the leaves off my page i inhale and exhale the sweet smooth breeze white pages crisp with newness and i begin again





The switch is off, Stumbling to the bed on edge, This new room brings back juvenile fear Both claustrophobic and exposed Seeking solace in the cover of thinning sheets, My confidence lies in the beacon across the floor This neon goddess, Shining through the void; Celestial brightness followed me here Making the dark that much more bearable Sitting upright in the deafening quiet, I can see my hands, The years of work on them The years of work ahead of them Mapped out like an atlas, Light shed on what these hands have yet to accomplish WRITTEN BY BEAU GLYNN

All it took was one plug in the wall To remind me where I am, Colored light illuminates the familiar; Creased book covers, Unfinished tea mugs, Yesterday’s scramblings on torn pages So here I lay; No longer blind to the new world I found myself in, But illuminated The things I can see bring about the calm, A respite from the worries and concern The unknown become known, The blind blessed with Sight The void is unbelievably overwhelming; What’s in it? A limitless supply of heartaches, But that light, It burns it all away until something comes over me; The solace of home, the comfort of rest

You were here when I dreamt you telling me of your dying after I found you in the bathroom melting behind a closed door. I came in to ask if you were sick. You looked at me with the eye that you weren’t cleaning the residue out of and told me it had been happening for a while now, and you led us out the door for a walk.

Outside was orange, burnt, and there were things moving only in the direction opposite of us A short long round-backed green-blue animal that you told me the name of, I had never seen one, but you knew of it well.


You were even because I wasn’t looking at you. The clouds grew thick enough in the quiet pockets which should have held the sound of your steps that I knew we were walking to a place where you were gone. When I think of it now I know that I said nothing but in the orange dirt I was loud next to your silence.

You had another word for funeral, it doesn’t matter the word. You said it the way you say anything you know won’t be met with my eyes.




WEARY AND WIDE AWAKE. 8:00 PM It’s early in the night and I am already dreading the list of tasks I have to do. I feel weary. I’ll cook myself some warm food, a form of self care. I miss my mother’s casseroles and my father’s fish. 9:30 PM My candles are lit and my stomach is full of Trader Joe’s Thai curry. I grew up eating dinner late and I’ve carried that habit into my college life–it works well. I have to watch an episode of something. I want to feel numb in front of a screen. My roommates usually join me on our blue couch. 10:10 PM The episode of whatever trash show we are watching ends and I begin to notice my body and myself again. My eyes are dry from old mascara and staring at my screens all day. I remove my worn makeup and refresh my eyes with eye drops–tears fall down my cheek. I look at my bare face and decide I want to see my bare body. Stretchmarks, hair, bruises, and flesh. I don’t recognize it as my own and I regret feasting on my curry. I put on my baggy pajamas to hide. 10:30 PM I watch another episode of nothing remarkable. And another episode. And maybe one more.


11:40 PM I drag my feet to the bathroom where I pick at my skin, any clogged pore is noted. I tweeze my eyebrows. I reapply my deodorant. I pick at my skin again. My face, my arms, my legs. I consider painting my nails. I won’t, it’s already too late.

5:00 AM Fuck. I woke up and I can feel my body begging me to fall back asleep. A cold sweat takes over and I decide to take something. Perhaps CBD gummies, Advil PM, or Nyquil? The first option is probably the best considering the fact that it is 5AM. I could take 20 mg.

12:00 AM I’m hungry. I go downstairs and eat a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast. I feel guilty. I already had dinner. Am I actually hungry? I chug a whole bottle of water to “justify” what I ate. I know it’s silly and I know it’s unhealthy. I was just hungry. I’m always hungry.

5:30 AM I decide it isn’t worth taking any medication to sleep. I would be drowsy all day anyways. I try to let my body rest and slowly my brain empties. I forget about my relationship with food and I forget about the anxiety surrounding my sleep. I forget about the arms that I wish were holding me, rocking me to sleep. Finally, I have a moment of silence.

12:30 AM I walk upstairs and slither into bed. I think of their arms wrapped around me and their hands in my hands. Tying up my hair, I try to forget them. I try to turn my brain off. I’m unsuccessful. I wish they were here with me. 1:00 AM I have accepted that I won’t be sleeping tonight. I guzzle my water and hold onto my childhood stuffed bear. I want to feel like a kid again. I want to reconnect with younger me. She was often misunderstood. Now, I fully understand her. 2:00 AM My body is exhausted and I know I need to sleep, but the actual idea of falling asleep seems near impossible. Should I take some medication? It used to help, but then it became a habit. I miss the Nyquil dreams and melatonin heaviness. I’ll try to sleep again before I take anything.

7:00 AM I slowly stir in my sleep, going in and out of a senseless dream. Finally, I feel the motivation to roll over and open my blinds. I was hoping to sleep till 8:30, but this is as good as it’ll get. I hear the birds chirp and I am reminded of the world outside me. I enjoy feeling detached from myself. 8:00 AM After an hour of staring at my ceiling and phone, I decide to expose my skin to the cold air outside of the covers. I’m already dreading another night like the one I just had. I dress myself and slowly work my way to the kitchen. I feel weary as I begin my day.


Behind the





ccording to Amani, a dancer at Sweet Illusions and Stars, “anyone can get hired, whether or not you stay is another story.” Strip culture is built upon desire, passion, and power. Folks visit the strip club to explore their desires and to feel desired. For some, this may seem like a one-sided relationship or transaction, but to others being on the pole and stage is a form of empowerment and you can make good cash from it. Each individual is an independent contractor, meaning that they work separately from each other and the club, but according to Amani, the strip club community is strong and well connected.

For a typical shift, Amani’s routine is sleeping in from the night before, packing food for when she is on shift, stretching, showering, and shaving. “But no lotion because you’ll slip off the pole!” 35 ALIGN

said Amani. Then she gets ready by picking out outfits (she’ll change about 3 times a night) , packing a bag of makeup, masks, and two pairs of shoes: one lower heel and one thigh high heel pair. She’ll clock in somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00 and get to work trying to sell private dances that go for $20 for a three minute song. Best opportunity for making the big bucks? “A big ticket item that we sell is a 30 minute champagne room for $300 and $600 for the hour,” said Amani. “The appeal of those is that the DJ isn’t looking back there. Private rooms are set up like restaurant booths, where you can kinda see other private rooms, but champagne rooms are more private.” At the same time that Amani is interacting with customers, her co-workers are doing the same. Having a close knit community

is beneficial in many ways, but it can also make it difficult for newcomers to feel welcome, valued, and safe. Most club owners and DJs are men, but behind this seemingly patriarchal community is a collective of women who tend the bars, manage the schedule, and occupy the stage. This industry is catered around the desires of men, but after taking a closer look, the women who work in this industry are using it to their advantage. Unfortunately, because strip culture is built on desire and power, there are assumptions and stereotypes that are placed upon the women in the industry that can often result in harmful and even dangerous scenarios. Platforms like TikTok have glamorized the lifestyle, and many younger dancers on the app paint stripping and dancing as an easy, empowering money-making machine. Though there is certainly money to be made, colorful and fun outfits to wear, an increase in physical fitness, and potentially an empowering new experience, what’s not recognized frequently are the downsides which are too often dangerous. For example, dancer names, while fun, are also necessary to protect identity outside of the club. A lack of cameras in certain clubs allows for less accountability, as in the case of Sweet Illusions in Springfield. Amani has experienced first hand what it’s like to work in an environment where it feels trapping to work with a predatory employee without accountability. An analogy can be made to the blue wall of silence, a term that refers to police that cover up mistakes or crimes that the officers themselves commit. Similarly, predatory employees like DJ’s are not fired or called out because the community and club as a whole is scared to recognize the faults within the club, and for fear of the next guy who comes along to be worse. Dancers who have been in the industry long before TikTok are sometimes hostile and aggressive if they assume that a new dancer was inspired by a trend that they see as a lifestyle and way that many pay bills and provide for themselves and for family. The new wave of dancers are often not only ignorant to the reality of the space, but also inevitably make it more difficult for existing dancers. “Older strippers have looked down on strip culture and new strippers that are being bred because of internet culture. It makes it harder to find clothes and shoes, and I had a couple girls that wanted to jump me because they thought I was from TikTok,” said Amani. “Pleasers [one of the nation’s top distributors of stripper shoes] have become mainstream and celebrities keep wearing them too which makes it hard to find shoes. Most of the girls in Eugene have the same size foot, so it’s hard to find size 8 shoes anymore.”

Another downside to the industry, like many, is the lack of diversity. Despite the open environment for guests at clubs, there is still discrimination against potential new employees. “The owner at Sweet Illusions refuses to hire trans women, which I have a problem with,” said Amani. Not to mention the microaggressions and harassment from customers. “I’ve had people throw trash on the set,” she added. However, it’s worth noting that good people and good clubs exist and are becoming more popular. Amani has started to work at another club, Stars, in Salem for this reason. At Stars, dancers may clock in and out as they please, and there is food available for them while they work. In addition, “at Stars younger guys who are attractive and have money show up,” so staff are tipped out higher than at a smaller club like Sweet Illusions. As for the faces in the crowd, Amani said it changes daily. “Sometimes it’s construction workers on break, guys from local logging companies, but overall not a lot of college kids which is a blessing in disguise,” she said. “But unfortunately I’ve had Bumble matches come into the club, or one time friends of the guy I was talking to, so that was a little awkward.” It may come as a surprise to some that it’s not just straight men who are drawn to the dancers. “We have women come into the club and a good queer community that we love that come in pretty often and are regulars, some bi-curious people which is cool and interesting, and couples,” said Amani. There are even queer and women owned strip clubs that create a more inclusive space for customers and employees. Though strip clubs may be alluring with the high energy, colorful outfits, and surplus of liquor, there is more behind the curtain than what meets the eye. The women who work in the industry can feel empowered, whether by reclaiming their bodies and sexuality or through making good money. But, there is more to the industry than feeling sexy and being lucrative. These women also have to navigate existing within an industry that can take advantage of them. Oftentimes, the men in the industry feel entitled to access to women’s bodies, resulting in toxic and dangerous work environments. Despite the stereotypes and the history associated with strip club culture, many women have created a strong community by occupying positions within the industry that allows them to protect each other. It can be a touch and go industry and hard place to get all the rights that you deserve,” said Amani, “but it’s a really good atmosphere, where you get to capitalize on degenerate men.”


Fashion Through Personality:



hen Anna Bassman, junior at Pace University, wakes up in the morning, she says she chooses random clothes and rolls with it. This is a big shift from when she lived in California and would plan her outfit for each activity she was doing that day. She goes for muted tones today, with a lot of her pieces being in shades of green and brown. Bassman finishes her outfit with a 70’s coat that she found while thrifting in Brooklyn before heading out the door to New York City. Bassman moved to the East Coast around five months ago, after spending 18 years in California and two years in Oregon. She said the biggest change she’s seen has been with the people. “Everyone on the West Coast is much more relaxed and they’re not rushing to get to places,” Bassman said. “On the East Coast, everyone is always in a hurry, everyone is very upfront and blunt.”

With the difference in personality also comes a difference in style, according to Bassman. On the West Coast, she said she noticed a lot of warmer colors and flowy pants whereas the East Coast has a more vintage style. Leah O’Brien, a UO sophomore who lived in Connecticut for 18 years before moving to Oregon a year and a half ago, also believes that people on the West Coast dress more for the activities they are doing. Whereas on the East Coast, they dress for fashion. “Hobbies impact each person with their fashion,” O’Brien said. “I can always tell when someone is into 37 ALIGN



climbing because they’re going to wear climbing gear. On the East Coast, it’s much less practical.” According to O’Brien, people on the East Coast tend to dress preppy. Especially in suburbs and beach towns, which is where she’s from. She describes it as a conservative look: one that doesn’t show too much skin and uses dated

fashion trends. “In Connecticut, you have to be wearing clothes if you’re seeing people, you’re not going to hang out in sweatpants,” O’Brien said. “It’s not for comfort, it’s definitely to show off.” Isabella Cirillo, a UO junior who grew up in Georgia before moving to Oregon

three years ago, also said there’s a conservative look on the Southeastern Coast. She thinks a lot of people get inspiration from political leaders. “I’m thinking of Jackie Kennedy and all those preppy, very clean cut, very put together outfits,” Cirillo said. “I know a lot of (my) friends, and even my mom, were taught that every time you go out, you should have makeup on and look put together, because you never know who you might meet.” Cirillo said that since moving to Oregon, she’s been able to expand her style, incorporating overalls and androgynous pieces into her wardrobe. She said she thinks of the Oregon fashion as much more unique, which she believes is due to the heavy presence of thrift culture. “I feel like people here can have their own unique style because there are cheaper and more affordable options to curate their closet the way they want to,” Cirillo said. Similarly, O’Brien said that she found the styles in the West Coast have much more variation. “Everyone has a much more unique sense of fashion to the individual, they don’t really follow trends, I’ve found,” O’Brien said. “Things that would maybe not be so acceptable in Connecticut are very acceptable here.” However, even with the differences, Cirllo, Bassman and O’Brien all mentioned seeing crossover between the coasts. Basman said she notices it the most in summer and Cirllo said the college students borrow the same trends on the coast.


Whatever the trends are, I would say it hits both coasts,” O’Brien said. “When I was growing up, I would assume skinny jeans were popular here like they were there, and now they’re out of style. I would say more than ever, people just want to be unique in their pieces.” 38 ALIGN




s we grow over time, our sense of self goes through rapid transformations as we attempt to define who we are and search for what we think best expresses us. Particularly as a teenager and young adult, this constant change and need to define and express ourselves is at the forefront of our thoughts and experience - we worry a lot about following trends, what group we fit into, and how we come off to others. Some will debate if we ever truly come into our best or most true sense of self, but eventually as we grow we find a place where we are comfortable and stop our constant changing and searching and 39 ALIGN

settle into whatever style we think best expresses us. But the journey to that point is long, ever-changing, and deep. The young adult and teenage years are some of the most transformative years of our lives, and one of the main ways we express our constant feeling of growing up, change, and developing identity is through clothing. We see this with the microtrends so common across younger generations- we are so desperate to express ourselves but the way in which we do changes so rapidly that the industry can barely keep up. Things


explode in popularity, and then we move on to the next when we realize it no longer suits our style or how we want to be perceived, and the concept of what’s trendy is ever-changing. We also see this with personal experience, the changes from middle school to the beginning of high school, to graduation and to college are astronomical, and many of us cycle through so many styles as we try to find what we feel best suits us in the moment. There is nothing wrong with this, and it’s a big part of life and that experience of selfexpression. It is interesting to examine these trends and shifts though, and make note of how we change both collectively and individually. With the rise of social media and fast fashion, we’ve seen an increasing trend cycle and overproduction of items, as well as resurgences of different eras of fashion. Starting in the mid 2010’s, we had a comeback of 80’s fashion with high waisted jeans, bright prints, bomber jackets, and scrunchies coming back into the picture, and I will be the first to admit I definitely clung onto the trend. Older generations complained about some things coming back, and it was expected that the 80’s would stay in style for awhile, but soon we moved on to the 90’s in the late 2010’s, and now the early 2000’s at the start of the 2020’s. Over the course of about 7 years, we have cycled through three decades of fashion again, and we are continuing to redefine what is trendy and best suits us at this everincreasing pace. It’s this constant shifting of self and trends that fuel these rapid cycles.These changes in life and style are a big part of the process of self expression and discovery, and clothing is the most prominent way we see these differences in perception of self. Style changes rapidly, and the consistent physical changes in appearance are one of the primary ways we can see these changes in other people. We can’t see in the minds of others and see exactly when they have these changes in self or identity, but we can see their clothes and the subtle changes they make accordingly. Watching the development of different trends and designs and evolution of personal style is a fun way to see the different expressions of self and the changes in people over time. Clothing is a big part of identity and the changes in style we all experience are great indicators of the personal changes we’ve experienced. 41 ALIGN


On saccharine nights, I seep into the floor, Dance in puddles of cherry wine, And need nothing more than the kiss Of Dionysus. Bitter sips prick my desperate tongue, And I arrive, miraculous. There’s glory in time spent blurred. Through this perverse Communion I am maximized And heard. Brazenly, my voice blooms with declarations. I am so sure. Then night descends Into day. I wake to the split of my skull. Out jumps Athena, Leaving me Godless. Shimmering blades of sunlight stab dry eyes, A biting sign of my fall from Glory, And I am finally mortal. I die, having just been born.








ex workers have carried the weight of crushing sexual taboos and suffered the consequences of it throughout recent decades. They face ostracization and shame from the public: the very people who consume their media. Sex work has played a prevalent role in the life of billions since it first became popularized in the 1960s. Despite the history of this media, it was not until the 1920s when pornographic 45 ALIGN

films began to emerge. Nearly four decades later, porn became available in many different forms such as books, cartoons and films. With the rise of Playboy magazines, sex workers have become less stigmatized. Nonetheless, they still face rampant discrimination in a world that seemingly can’t live without them. In the sex industry, creators deal with

skyrocketing rates of mental illness. Those identifying as a sexual minority are twice as likely to be affected by mental illness. In a study done by BMC Women’s Health from 2010-2013, 48% of 692 female sex workers reported being diagnosed with a mental illness. There is a plethora of reasons for this abnormally high rate: they face constant objectification, are sexually exploited or face insecurity in regards

to shelter and food. The mental health of these creators have faced a serious decline in recent years, partly because the means of production has become more accessible and independent. The rise of online production has returned the power to creators. Sex workers have more autonomy with technology. However, this leads to more obstacles to overcome. In December 2020, Pornhub decided to remove all independently published pornography from their website overnight (Vice). This resulted in most X-rated videos being wiped from the website down to only 4.7 million videos, a mere fraction of the content they had. Many sex workers essentially lost their income overnight and had to become resourceful to independently produce their work. Independent production by sex workers allows for more interaction between them and their consumers, which has both positive and negative effects. In some cases, they feel less objectified in creating more intimate relationships with their viewers. But, this can lead to further degradation by the consumer since they feel more entitled to exploiting the sex workers. Ben Dreon, a sociology graduate student at University of Oregon, focuses his research on the consumer side of pornographic content. Through his research he found that those who consumed pornographic content typically had negative responses to sex in their personal life. This negative reaction can stem from their inability to act on their sexual urges leading to outbursts online where they express these shortcomings. Dreon’s observations describe how online consumers look


at pornography as more of a collection than a means to have a sexual outlet. Rather than watching pornography and being satisfied, the consumers become fixated with one sex worker. They view these performers as something to strive to attain, even if the act they are performing is falsified. Sex Work is ubiquitous, and has become widespread in the past few years with the development of Only Fans, Twitch streaming services, and sugar baby websites. Dreon notes that

"The sociological impact of sex work and people's addiction to it is not negligible for both the consumer and the creator.“ during highly populated Twitch streams, watchers often work together by copying and repasting foul messages in an attempt to receive attention from the streamer. Why do the watchers form a community through these exploitative means? Possibly because they know there will be no repercussion for their outburst, or because this degradation is how they get off. There has not been much scientific research into the consumer end of sex work, but there has been a few sociological experiments. Sex and porn addiction is now a recognized disorder by the American Psychology Association. Since porn and sex addiction has steadily increased through the past decade, this raises the


question of if porn and X rated media become too accessible? Answers may vary depending on if you are a producer or consumer of this material. For creators, the answer is glaringly obvious as the more their media is consumed then the more money they make. Sites for cam models or Only Fans have developed a more direct producer to consumer relationship, where there is room for boundaries and conversations regarding consent. Unregulated sexual content, however, revolves heavily around the consumer and their relation to these sex workers, lessening the mutual respect between the performer and watcher. On the other hand, sexual media can have a harmful effect on the consumer seeing as their perception of sexuality and expectations of sexual encounters may be skewed. This altered expectation of what the consumer feels like sex should be like, can have very real world repercussions. It can affect their relationships with family members and sexual partners and can lead to further frustration and isolation. The sociological impact of sex work and people’s addiction to it is not negligible for both the consumer and the creator. Porn stars and cam models rely on their fanbase to be able to provide for themselves, but at what price? Sexual content should be more difficult to access to lessen the consumption of it for those who may not be mature enough to consume it, such as minors or those prone to sexual violence. Overall, the stigmatization of X rated creators needs to end, and more resources must be provided to help with mental health and financial stability.



twilight 47 ALIGN




The idealization of romance versus the lived experience.


s long as I can remember, Y2K fashion as a whole was defined by blinged out outfits, luxurious athleisure (I’m still looking for a Juicy Couture track suit) and lots of bright colors and iconic patterns. Across many platforms, especially TikTok, I’ve found I’m not alone in buying into the bold, glitter glam aesthetic stereotypes of Y2K. All over my “for you” page I see Gen-Z creators creating content featuring “Y2K Outfits” or “Y2K Fashion Inspo”. Many of these videos have a lot in common, showcasing iconic fashions like the Juicy Couture track suit, Ed Hardy’s bedazzled graphic tees, and Paris Hiltonesque miniskirt fits. What about the opposite side of Y2K fashion? Moody, modern Victorian aesthetics, layered silhouettes, and iconic staples like Chuck Taylor Converse. While this may not be the side of Y2K brought to popularity in social media, this doesn’t mean it lacks its own claim to fame. One of the best unintentional icons of the Y2K time era, the Twilight franchise shows off a range of staple looks and trends while simultaneously using them to the characters’ advantage to highlight their dynamics throughout the films. Moody protagonist Bella Swan is the perfect example of the realm of layers & practicality when it comes to fashion. A lot of the same trends of the time that Bella followed in the series are coming back into fashion now; a quick google search of “bella swan fashion” generates millions of results describing how to dress like her or deriving inspiration from her outfits. Bella’s outfit of layered tops and low rise jeans from her introduction scene screams both Y2K in general, but also a great indication of her outfits to follow throughout the rest of the series. Throughout the series, Bella dons lots of similar staples like flannels, layered tee shirts, and casual classics like Converse. Bella’s style gives her an earthy, girl-next-door type of vibe throughout the course of the franchise. Bella Swan’s character was one of the first massively popular portrayals of a strong, interesting, beautifully perceived character who wasn’t being dressed to the early 2000’s stereotype of the carefully coordinated, ultra femme main character. Bella Swan proved to a generation of young women & femmes that practicality and comfort can coexist with beauty and strength. Edward Cullen, Bella’s main love interest, reflects a very outwardly formal appearance in line with his broody, mysterious character. We see at least a touch of Edward’s style is very clean cut; he wears a lot of chinos and straight, super dark jeans. Though he’s supposed to be blending in with early 2000’s high schooler students, he frequently dons button up shirts and the same grey peacoat. Though the Cullen’s all have their own distinct styles, they all convey a similar sort of formality and timelessness. The signature blue hue of the film accentuates the pale skin of the vampire clan and attributes even more to their cool, almost aloof image

above the more humanly characters of Twilight. Their entire aesthetic image, while coming across as fairly modern, is all directly related to their identity of being a vampire. In a lot of ways, it also serves as a major contrast to other characters in the movie. The disconnect between Bella’s down to earth, practical exterior with Edward’s classy, almost clinically clean look is more than just fashion deep. The juxtaposition of their very different fashion tastes only highlights the underlying deep differences between their separate identities of vampire and human. The Cullens as a whole have a similar aesthetic relationship with other characters in the film, such as the werewolf pack. Pack members like Jacob Black wear a lot of well worn, practical clothing. Their style lines up well with their rugged, werewolf image and similar to Bella gives them a slightly more secular feeling. This difference really highlights the juxtaposition of the wild werewolf and the almost supernatural vampire. Many qualities of the movie’s aesthetic as a whole lend to highlighting the differences between these characters, but the setting of the film enhances all of the characters as a whole. Forks, Washington, where most of the Twilight film series was shot, is located on the Olympic peninsula of Washington. Many people from outside of the state have no clue that the Olympic peninsula is home to the Hoh rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. This explains much of the dense fog and old growth forest that plays backdrop for much of Twilight. Not only are the woods of Twilight pretty to look at, but adds an extra air of mystery on top of all of the supernatural already present in the film. The Cullens blend right into the foggy forests, and they serve as the main dwelling grounds for the wolf pack. Bella and her Arizona roots at first stick out like a cold, sore thumb but as we see her fall more in love with Edward, we see her grow into the land around her as well. Without ever realizing it, the intentional choices about the fashion and environment of the Twilight movies enhanced our perception of them so masterfully that the movie is still wildly relevant over a decade after the release of the first film. The trend cycle has begun to bring back many of the early 2000’s trends, but some of the aspects of Twilight never left. Anyone still have their Team Edward or Team Jacob shirt? If not, you’re in luck as many online retailers still offer versions of the shirt, even if it may be a little bit of an ironic sense (hello camp fashion!). Whether you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob, everyone within the reach of the Twilight franchise can agree on one thing: the movies wouldn’t be nearly as iconographic without the masterful use of fashion and aesthetics to highlight the many complex dynamics of Twilight.

New Clothes Are Hot! But So Is Our




icture this: You open both your closet doors and spot your argyle sweater vests, collection of neutral-toned tennis skirts, and beige chunky loafers. So last year. Suddenly you’re surrounded by a heaping pile of your clothes like Cher from Clueless, shouting, “I have nothing to wear!” Evidently, fast fashion trends have a detrimental impact on our environment and what’s on the menu for today’s trends, won’t be à la mode tomorrow. Without a doubt, our generation does have concern for environmental issues caused by past generations, but our consumerism habits perpetuate fashion cycles at the expense of the climate. This ushers in the question: What may lie in the future? Our society’s obsession with purchasing clothes off-therack is a result of a combination of factors: wanting people to like us or wanting to be trendy. However, it becomes a problem when it takes a toll on the environment. Sometimes, the clothes we don’t want anymore even end up in the trash. We simply don’t see ourselves wearing it anymore due to an impulse buy of a micro-trend or our style has outgrown



it. According to By the Numbers: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts of ‘Fast Fashion,” The average consumer bought 60% more clothes in 2014 than in 2000, but kept each garment half as long” (Reichart). Truthfully, we’re getting bored of our clothes faster than we used to. In turn, this causes businesses to produce more apparel that harms the climate further. While the waste of old clothes has an impact on our world, so does the production of them. If you picked up your Align magazine copy on campus, chances are you may be wearing jeans and a hoodie right now. According to the same source above, manufacturing one single pair of jeans produces the same amount of greenhouse gasses as driving a car 80 miles! (Reichart). Because of supply and demand, businesses feel pressured to use intensive production techniques to make a profit. With a plethora of other statistics that prove that ‘fast fashion’ industries are hurting the environment and aren’t beneficial, it makes it hard to believe there is a positive side to this issue.

After reading this, your first reaction is likely to freakthe-freak-out! Yes, the fashion industry is contributing in massive ways to climate change, but a push in a different direction may halt our future doomsday apocalypse. Now picture this: You’re opening your laptop, clicking on Zoom, and hitting the ‘join meeting’ button for class. Suddenly you’re bored to death and online shopping because you couldn’t care less about The Canterbury Tales. Since the evolution of technology, and the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have become strongly digitized in ways difficult to imagine ten, or even five or less, years ago. This gives fashion retailers and designers the opportunity to use media and technology to market healthy fashion options to customers without hurting the environment. After a year of testing, Snapchat Inc. is launching “virtual try-on and AR shopping features” to its platform to promote fashion brands and healthier consumerism. This means you can use your camera to try on clothes and accessories through your Snapchat lens, then simply “swipe up” if you’re interested in purchasing an article. This digitized marketing strategy eliminates the waste of physical material that could’ve been tossed had it been created to sell in stores. Though for brands like Prada and Piaget, a part of this new tool is for profit, it also provides new ways for us to shop that can be one step forward to healing the climate.

Designers in the fashion industry are aware of the powers of technology too. Iris Van Herpen 3D printed her designs using recycled materials found in the ocean. Additionally, in 2018, Carlings released its collection digitally so customers could purchase the “clothes” by sending in a photo of themselves for the garments to be altered. Soon, Tommy Hilfiger followed suit and has digitally created and is digitally selling its upcoming Spring 2022 collection. Evidently, this new digital era in the fashion industry presents a new opportunity for consumption and less harmful production. What lies in our future, is hope. As consumers, we have a lot of power to create a change by just being cautious about what we buy. We only have one Earth. Nevertheless, it isn’t only up to us to change our shopping habits when it comes to buying clothes and assisting the environment to protect it. Maybe, when you’re out shopping next time, you could consider a more sustainable option which may be á la mode the very next day.



Norwegian cultures celebrate the winter solstice because it symbolizes the first day before we tread into deep winter. Cattle would be killed to store food for the winter, but also celebrated for providing resources to the people during the dark months. Wine and beer were finally fermented and ready to be consumed for the first time all year. Because of all the fresh meat and distilled wines, the Norwegian people would celebrate all night of the solstice. They believed the sun gods were preparing for rebirth and growth, resulting in the sun disappearing from the sky for a long period of time (Bierma, 2019). Although these celebrations took place at night, the use of light was crucial. Lanterns, candles, and warm fires were created to gather around and appreciate new warmth coming. They danced and sang of ancient legends telling the stories of sun gods or mythical monsters as the reasons for the darker days. They prayed and called out for the sun to return while lighting a yule log to help the sun gain her strength and light back. In Scandinavian cultures, this celebration would last twelve days (Stanton, 2021). The winter solstice has held significance since the stone age allowing cultures to understand the change in seasons. In northern parts of Europe, shrines and statues have been built to align with the sunrise of the winter solstice. The stone henge was created to orient with the peak of the sun during the winter solstice. We do know how this phenomenon was created, creating a strong magical and whimsical narrative to describe the solstice.


he winter solstice has always been known as the shortest day of the year followed by the longest night. For centuries cultures around the world have celebrated this time with day-long feasts, ancient stories and symbolic rituals of light. We often look at the winter solstice as just the longest night of the year before we head into winter, which has led to negative associations with the day and the season. However, the winter solstice holds immense power and significance in our world and in our personal lives. 53 ALIGN

Although winter is dark and cold, Pagan traditions celebrated this time because the sun gods would return new and reborn in the spring bringing new life with them. It symbolized hope and new beginnings. We often look at winter as a bleak dark time, but can we learn from these ancient traditions to our own world and lives today. The energy that comes from winter is a sacred time of rest and reflection.




During the winter months, we experience our own darkness–the darkness of self. As days get shorter and colder we are less inclined to go outside and engage with others. Winter is a time we can examine our own darkness, whether that be in actuality or metaphorically. Will this new light come to be a chapter of renewal and growth? How will we take the stillness of these dark nights and turn it into rebirth and renewal in the new celestial year? We become detached from the world around us at times and this dark period of being alone can be a time of self-reflection. Rather than dwelling on the extremes of winter and the malice around us, we must connect with ourselves to connect outward to the nature that surrounds us.

is difficult because it requires us to connect with our deepest and truest selves.

The winter solstice holds so much power because it is symbolic of the sun growing in her strength to create new life. We can be similar to the sun during this time and look where we need to grow. As we grow older and wiser, we have a better perspective of the world around us and our relationships with ourselves. You have to let old parts of yourself die to make way for the new life. In the darkness of ourselves, we must be with it and explore to let our new light in during the new year. This


Deep within the void of darkness, a speck of light is reborn that is a promise of new life to come in the Spring. The sun’s rebirth is a living symbol of hope for the future. As fifteen-hour nights give way to fifteen-hour days, the darkness of the past year can be viewed as a fertile time that ultimately births new light. We should not fear the darkness but embrace it. After all the dark we have seen, remind yourself light is coming. We will see physical light as the days get longer and spiritual light that comes from within. No matter how much darkness there is, light always comes just as the night turns into day.

Stanton, K. (2021, December 15). Winter Solstice Facts & Traditions: The Shortest Day of the Year UniGuide. UniGuide; https://www.facebook.com/ uniguide1/. https://www.uniguide.com/winter-solstice-facts-traditions/ Bierma, M., & Reese, T. (2019, December 9). Winter Solstice: Stories and Traditions From Around the World | Three Rivers Park District. Home | Three Rivers Park District. https://www.threeriversparks.org/blog/wintersolstice-stories-and-traditions-around-world 54 ALIGN




I always forget how impressionable I was, and still am. Green tea serves as a reminder. I remember starting to drink the beverage in high school because of the metabolic benefits. I would add honey until the liquid was sickly sweet and left a film on my tongue. Tea is bitter, but honey is sweet. We’re taught that bitter is bad. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Sweet on the other hand is good. We’re meant to have sweet dreams and to be sweet is a compliment.

She doesn’t try to make herself small anymore. It does make me angry for all the young women and girls still in the throes of society’s narrative. The “that girl” trend is the newest narrative. In this trend women are encouraged to eat clean, exercise regularly and go about their day with a certain level of aesthetic. How to shrink yourself both literally and personality-wise are lessons taught to women at far too young an age. Lessons that shouldn’t be taught to begin with.

Society tells women to be compassionWhat they don’t ate, polite and pre“You’re like an tell you about bitter sentable. To be good and sweet, about over-honeyed cup of friends, daughters life even, is that it’s and partners. At the tea. I shouldn’t like not a dichotomy. same time, we are exNot really. The bityou, but you go down pected to be strong, ter and the sweet driven, intelligent and easy.” blur together, they good role models. To coexist. push the envelope and bring about change. It It’s beautiful really. And encouraging is both exhausting and empowering. that a person can be more than one thing at once. The act of balancing what society expects from you versus what you want “You’re like an over-honeyed cup of tea. for yourself is a difficult one. But it’s a lot I shouldn’t like you, but you go down easy.” like tea in that it doesn’t have to be just one thing. I wrote this poem at peak tea consumption. Now as I look back, I can’t remember if it was a metaphor. I could have been talking about a person, experience or the beverage itself. I always go back to the bit about going down easy. It seems to encourage what is easy to swallow. Hiding the bitter by covering with the sweet.

Step 1: Add hot water. Step 2: Let steep for three to five minutes. Step 3: Add honey. Step 4: Combine and consume. Take the bitter with the sweet. And brew it strong.

It makes me sad for past me. But at the same time, I’m grateful that she outgrew the diet fads and this mindset.


Self-love and care can come in a lot of forms, and it changes for each person. Depending on each person’s life experiences or emotional environment, self-love can be practiced and viewed in several ways. Concurrently, recovery will be different for each person. While some go through the recovery of an eating disorder, addiction, self-harm, or other habit-based experience, recovery can also be from a mindset or state of being. Recovery can mean the process one goes through after a breakup or loss of a loved one. The importance of recovery is that it entails whatever your body and mind need in order to be loved, nourished, and taken care of.

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hen learning to practice self-care, it is easy to confuse acts of self-love with acts of selfishness. Learning to put ourselves first is a difficult mindset to learn in recovery when so often, these actions come after wanting or needing to escape a darker mental state where we are our last priority. Coming from these dark times we hear, we feel, and we live like our feelings do not matter. We convince ourselves we are not worthy of being first in our priorities or being treated with love. Taking these thoughts and turning them into words of affirmation like “I am worthy of happiness,” “I am loved,” or “I matter” can feel impossible. Meals turn into a chore, getting dressed feels unnecessary, and self-love becomes selfish.

for SEL F

An aspect of self-love that is consistent is learning to understand the importance of nurturing and prioritizing one’s emotional and physical needs. “Self-love is taking care of yourself,” said University of Oregon student Keyilah Harshman. “Put yourself first sometimes. Make yourself a priority. You don’t have to be your first priority, but definitely make sure you’re taking the time to appreciate yourself and what you do.” Harshman shared her experience going to therapy where she learned to acknowledge how much she does each day. From homework to personal errands, to even just making the bed or taking a shower, Harshman made a point of emphasizing that we need to acknowledge our busy lives. From there, it’s been a journey for Harshman of taking mental health days when she needs them, reaching out for help from therapists, and finding ways to make time for herself and her needs.

UO student Kaitlyn O’Rourke found that through self-reflection, she was able to develop a mindset that has helped her learn a new level of self-compassion. “I used to feel like I didn’t deserve selflove... I noticed the biggest change in view of self-love when I became my own best friend.” O’Rourke acknowledges a big turning point in her journey through recovery which was accepting that we are the most constant thing in our lives who can provide ourselves with the purest and most consistent forms of love. “There’s a lot of other stuff that you could be doing [besides practicing self-love], but sometimes we just need to


stop, pause, breathe a little, and not feel guilty about trying to take care of ourselves because who else will if it’s not yourself? That’s the goal,” said Harshman.


During the process of recovery or practicing self-love, it’s critical to keep in mind that it is just that: a process. Recovery is messy. Recovery is hard. Recovery is different for everyone and is not something that can be easily measured. One day in recovery or one day where we feel ourselves returning to past habits or dated mindsets does not determine the progress we have made as people and how much we have put into selfcare. “It’s not a linear process of recovery. It’s hard. Going through that is hard. You’re still going through it,” said Harshman. “Taking that time to take a step back from everything and realizing that some days are going to be really hard. Even doing the simplest things like brushing your teeth, getting out of bed, or putting on deodorant, those things feel like a chore sometimes. It’s okay to feel that way.” In times like this, it’s easy to riddle ourselves with guilt. There is no shame in having a difficult day, nor is there shame in having a day where you are your first and only priority. UO student Peri Krolczyk emphasized the importance of mindsets during these times where we feel guilt or opposition towards self-love. “Start by altering your thought processes when you think of yourself. Whenever you think something negative about yourself, force yourself to say three positive things,” she said. “Self-love is something I always put at the top of my list. I start off my day by saying my affirmations and I end my day by saying gratitude for myself and all the things I have accomplished. I practice it every day.” For someone who might be just starting in practicing affirmations or self-love routines, a good start could even be writing an affirmation on the mirror to look at each day. One of the most valuable things I have come to learn and accept is that there is no universal measure of pain or hardship. There are shared experiences and there is empathy, but there is no right or wrong when it comes to how we feel. In times where I have neglected myself or turned away from self-compassion because I felt that others have it worse, or that it is different when it is me, or that nobody cares; I have been wrong. Over the years, I have taught myself that putting myself first is selfish when really, it is the only way I will be able to be there for others. Being there for others has always been my priority, but it is also the culprit behind finding an excuse to ignore my own needs. Learning to balance and prioritize my own needs with the needs of others has been a lifelong struggle. During this process, I have found a new relationship of self-love and forgiveness and without that, I would not be the person I am today. With that, I encourage everyone to find that time in their lives to do those little actions of love which ultimately accumulate to a new appreciation and level of care. After all, as Harshman said, “it’s the little things that make the world go round.”


GirlBoss Guide to be a




ry this as an affirmation. I don’t chase, I attract. What belongs to me, will simply find me.” She thinks of this mantra while curled up in her cozy-as-a-cloud comforter, makeup running down her face. She is a lost and confused young person, navigating the trenches of college life. Not to mention, she is living through a pandemic. This shit is hard! She wishes that her life was filled with plentiful opportunities, but she lost her sense of motivation. So how does she find her go-getter mindset in times when opportunities seem limited? The answer… she needs to become a GirlBoss. But what exactly defines a “GirlBoss?” In simplistic terms, a GirlBoss is someone who takes control of their own destiny. They are this idea of a person, someone who has achieved living their ideal dream life. But how does one become a GirlBoss? The answer… manifestation. Now, this practice is founded upon the Law of Attraction, which is a universal principle that states that we can attract anything in life that we focus on. We are always creating pictures of our intended life– our hopes, dreams, and goals. Manifestation is about making choices and taking action in order to achieve what we desire. It’s definitely not a “make a wish and watch what happens” type of deal, it involves effort. There are 5 stages to this practice: Dreaming, Seeking, Action, Attraction, and Celebration. The Dreaming: The first step is to know exactly what you want in life. She knows that she wants to get out of her dreadful abyss and go out and live her life to the fullest. GirlBosses make their intentions as specific as possible. This is done by letting go of that cycle of fear, worry, or negativity that holds the dreamer back. She must get into the nitty-gritty of what she wants: qualities, characteristics, values, passions, etc. These categories include physical and mental well-being, style, career, finances, love, and friendships. The Seeking: Now that she has an exact picture of what she wants in her head, it’s time for her to start picturing her dream life. One approach to this method is journaling. According to a study done in 2015 by a psychology professor at the Dominican University of California, people become 42% more

likely to achieve their goals and dreams simply by writing them down on a regular basis. One way to enhance the GirlBoss process is to write down goals and break them down one by one by going through the release process. The release process is when the seeker writes down one goal, then writes out any limiting beliefs that come up, and finally asks their subconscious for the solution and writes it down. Another method of seeking involves the use of daily affirmations. According to a study in the journal “Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience” done in 2016, self-affirmations activate the reward centers in your brain by firing up the neural pathways. Making changes to those areas of the brain makes you happy and positive. A powerful affirmation that can help to achieve GirlBoss energy goes like this: “I am in control of my own reality. I attract all that is good in this universe. I find myself in a state of perpetual happiness.” Getting creative through methods of art, such as vision boards, is indeed the most aesthetic element of the GirlBoss process. This involves finding images and words that speak to you and your goals and turning them into a collage. It’s cute, it’s fun and it can motivate you to turn your visual dreams into a reality. The Action: This is the physical “doing” stage in the GirlBoss process. She puts on her grind-it-out playlist and gets to work! Gabrielle Bernstein, author of “The Universe Has Your Back” states that manifesting is also known as co-creating because it’s a collaboration between you and the universe. What is shooting for the stars if not involving follow-up actions? One of the best ways to go about the “action” process is by living life with five hobbies. Those five hobbies include one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, one to keep you creative, one to build your knowledge, and one to evolve your mindset. Henceforth, she creates her own personalized routine and follows it as strictly as possible. And, she reaches out to people. The more help she receives from others who can help her achieve her dreams, the closer she is to actually achieve those dreams herself. And what is the secret to really getting what she wants? She needs to live her day-to-day life as if she already has everything that she wanted. This involves asking questions such as: “how would a future version of me carry myself? What would she write? How would she talk?” She needs to know that GirlBosses exude confidence. So she goes to the gym every day. She makes sure to keep up on journaling her dream life, but she does it with ease. And when she is taking phone calls, she acts as the CEO of her own PR firm, wearing a designer Blaser and speaking with strong confidence. 60 ALIGN


The Attraction: This is where all of that hard work starts to pay off. There will come a moment in the near future of her manifestation journey where she literally starts to see signs of attraction regarding her goals. People will begin to reach out to her with job opportunities. She will feel secure in her body regarding her mental and physical health. But do not stop working because attraction is a process. She must keep up with the steps in her action process, but now she has reached the level where she can incorporate methods of gratitude toward the things that are starting to happen to her. Gratefulness and dedication are the keys to having manifestation pay off in the end. The Celebration: This is indeed the hardest step to get to in the manifestation process, but it is so worth it once it is achieved. There will be this feeling that sinks in. It’s a feeling of satisfaction. She was finally able to achieve that dream job. She feels confident, she feels beautiful. She found a balance in her mental and physical health. She feels powerful, and that power exudes from her. She inspires others to take control of their own destinies. When it all comes down to it, manifestation is about using your brain and aligning your energy in order to get what you want. That is how you become a GirlBoss. PHOTOGRAPHED BY HANNA REIMBOLD ART DIRECTOR EMILY CADENA MODEL RHEMY CRAWFORD DESIGNER LYNETTE SLAPE & SOPHIE SARGEANT



Deromanticizing Big City Living P

eople all across the globe dream of moving to a big city and striking gold. Songs like “Empire State of Mind” and “New York, New York” romanticize the lifestyle associated with big city living. But what is seldom talked about is the harsh realities people face every day while living in these skyscraper-filled towns. Of course, there are cons that people are aware of before moving to a big city: the high cost of living, lack of space, parking issues, high crime rates, crowds and many more. However, people do not understand the magnitude of these problems — how hard it can be to live with them on a day-to-day basis. Plus, there are a plethora of other problems people do not even consider until it is too late. Crowds are one of the biggest problems associated with big city living that people may not understand the degree to which it could affect them. Lines are everywhere! The grocery store, the gas station, the mall— they all have lines, no matter what. Moving to a big city means allocating one’s time to consider these lines. No longer can one make a “quick trip” to the grocery store, now one must consider how long the wait in line will be. Another con of big city living that will force one to reallocate their time is the parking issue. Now, this may not be a problem in New York, but places like Los Angeles and Dallas are riddled with cars. One must be prepared to

spend a significant amount of time looking for and paying for parking everywhere they go. The most known con of big city living is the lack of space and high cost of living. People love to think they would be perfectly okay living in a shoebox apartment that they pay $1500 a month for. Until they actually do it. Now, it is possible to do this, but lots of people are not used to living in such a small space. It is hard to have a pet, hard to find places to store one’s things and hard to justify spending so much money on such a small apartment (most likely with no washer, dryer or sometimes even no oven). Try falling asleep to the musical sounds of sirens and horns. It is not easy! The noise associated with big cities is another monster issue one will have to face — unless one lives on the 25th floor. It is common to live in a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th-floor walkup (meaning there is no elevator, so one will have to walk up the stairs each time they arrive and depart). This means getting used to the constant sounds of cars passing by, instead of birds chirping. One may be used to breathing fresh clean air and seeing a variety of nature every day — say goodbye to that! Big cities are filled with skyscrapers, garbage and pollution that could take a toll on one’s health. One must be prepared to change their lifestyle to accommodate this, or they may be sad and unhealthy in their new home.



If an individual happens to struggle with anxiety, big city living can potentially make it worse. People who struggle with anxiety regarding crime and violence may find the high crime rates alarming and a trigger for their anxiety. People who struggle with anxiety regarding crowds and social situations may find the high population rates and dense concentration of people in one city to also be triggering. In addition, although big cities are highly populated, they can feel extremely lonely. People who struggle with depression may find themselves feeling alone because they have no support system in place in their new city. It can be hard to form real friendships in a place where the population is so dense and where people are constantly on the go. This has been quite a brutal analysis of big city living. However, there are cons associated with all types of living situations; these are just a few to note for big city living. It is important to not get caught up in the magic and realize that big cities are not a healthy living situation for everyone. Some individuals may find the pros of big cities outweigh the cons detailed above, and that is fantastic. But some should realize they listened to “New York, New York” a few too many times. In reality, it is all up to the person, and they should carefully analyze their personal routine to see if they are the best fit for big city living.



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outines have taken over the internet – or my TikTok feed, at the very least. People share their morning routine, their workout routine, their cleaning routine, their pet care routine, their “going out” routine; the list is seemingly endless. For me, routine implies monotony. Tedium. I can’t find the joy in doing the same things that lead to the same outcomes every day.

transforms into Raquel the second that boldness enters her body. Another friend doesn’t believe she has an alter ego; she is simply herself at all times. By definition, however, an alter ego is only an alternative personality. I think our alter egos need not be imagined as complete departures from who we really are. We wear different faces every day, but those faces are still ours. Because we are different people in different settings does not invalidate

Instead, I like to think of the routines in my life as rituals. Ritual may imply a more religious tone, but it can also be understood as a series of acts repeated in a certain manner. I spend time endowing each step I take in my daily rituals with meaning and purpose, so they are never monotonous, never tedious. Each action marks a step taken toward transforming into the version of myself I want to be in that moment. Even if the actions are the same, the person is not. How many of us can truly say that we are the same person in our morning ritual getting ready to walk to class as we are in our evening ritual getting ready to hit the bars?

that these people are still true representations of us. Our authentic selves are composed of an array of alternate versions, like a photo edited with a thousand different filters. These alter egos do not need to be completely separate from who we are, but perhaps mere extensions of it.

Many think that they have their true selves and then an alter ego that comes out only in certain scenarios. One of my best friends named Rachael claims she

The tone I set for my day during my morning ritual is never the same, and it is certainly different from the tone I set during my evening ritual. One morning


“Allow ourselves to embrace changing who we are every day, every minute, every second.”

ritual defines a new self created for that specific day. Splashing water on my face, checking my agenda and drinking a big cup of coffee sets the tone for the person I choose to embrace. She is optimistic, focused and – let’s be honest – stressed. The ritual I undergo in the evening embraces a new me. I crimp my hair, do my makeup and don my favorite pair of white boots, and a new woman appears. She is more confident, louder, bolder. They are both me, but with a different filter overlayed. And with a gallery of endless filters to choose from, there is never a need to reuse the same one. What if we abandoned routines and embraced the ritual of becoming a completely new version of ourselves every day, as many times as we want per day? Rather than thinking that alter egos are people wholly different from ourselves, let’s think of them as alternate versions. Allow ourselves to embrace changing who we are every day, every minute, every second. From dusk to dawn, we can challenge ourselves to create as many versions as possible of who we can be.



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Articles inside

The Ritual of Finding an Alter Ego

pages 68-72

Deromanticizing Big City Living

pages 64-67

Allowing for Self Love

pages 58-59

Guide to Be A Girlboss

pages 60-63

The Winter Solstice

pages 54-55


pages 56-57

New Clothes are Hot! But so is Our Climate

pages 52-53


pages 48-51

Self-Transformation Through Clothing

pages 40-43

Sex Work and Consumerism

pages 46-47

Fashion Through Personality: East vs. West

pages 38-39

Behind the Sweet Illusion

pages 36-37

Another Word For Funeral

pages 32-33

Weary and Wide Awake

pages 34-35


pages 30-31

Prosperity and Innovation, Calamity and Want Juxtaposing Two Defining Decades

pages 10-13

What Do You Dream About?

pages 24-25

Perfectionism: The Ugly Truth

pages 16-17

College Nightlife During Pandemic Times

pages 20-21

Writing This Poem

pages 28-29

Villainization of Femininity

pages 26-27

Religious Trauma

pages 22-23

An Ugly Pattern

pages 18-19
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