Spring 2019 the bright issue ATLASMAG.WORDPRESS.COM
cover art by Micaela Dix
letter from the editor
To Our Readers, The intersection between being bold or being bright leaves many of us paralyzed. For years we are told to pick one and embody only the traits that apply. If that’s bold be: strong, dramatic, loud, fearless. If that’s bright be: optimistic, dainty, bubbly, reserved. So rarely do we employ both, and if we do, society shames us. However, we at Emerson College are breaking that mold. Our staff are champions of individuality, fostering an unapologetic spirit, and hope to espouse the same impulse in our readers. Categories are made to simplify, and humanity isn’t simple. Atlas expanded the characterization of bold & bright from the purely editorial to the aesthetic, including colors and textures to promote our dogma. While four of our five sections leave their impressions on either bold or bright, style explores their duality in Atlas’s first ever flip issue. This flip isn’t merely an innovation of design, but a reminder that we choose to be whomever we want. For those of you who have been following Atlas for the last few years, you may note that our fearless leader, Caitlin Smith, has graduated and is pursuing a life outside of these 8.5 x 11 pages. So, for my first semester as editor, I could not have envisioned a more salient message to convey. To our creative and art teams, who continually push the envelope, to our writers and editors, who make the most of every word, to our photographers who capture each moment, and to our copy editors who make sense of our madness—your passion and determination drive each issue. I am humbled by this work and this team and am thrilled to see where our next issue takes us. Atlas Editor-in-Chief Allie DiGennaro
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boston’s underground art scene strays away from the ordinary by Dani Ducharme
empowerment through the workout by Andrea Williams
brattle book shop: the west street nook by Ditti Kohli
true teas and herbal “teas” by Monica Petrucci
minimalism: the trend that’s cleaning up by Dana Gerber a light cresendo inot music theray by Abigail Michaud
in this issue
green is the new black: sustainable apparel by Abbrianna MacGregor thank your local drag queen by Allison Hoag
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The Verb Hotel
Amali Dunmore and Yujia Zhu photographed by Stella Drews-Sheldon and Cameron Kingdon Makeup by Lexi Leap
boston’s underground art scene strays away from the ordinary by Dani Ducharme
FOR THE AVERAGE Boston resident, the art scene in Boston consists of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—the two largest art institutions in the city often claim all the fame. When the spotlight moves away from these two forces in Boston’s prominent art scene, what are we left with? The city’s smaller galleries house artists with unique backgrounds and stories that translate into compelling art of all mediums. Smaller Boston galleries are taking a more non-traditional approach in artistic expression. The word “art” usually evokes the thought of a typical acrylic on canvas piece for most of the population. These galleries and their artists, however, stray away and produce art that is anything but traditional.
fort points art community gallery
the hidden art gallery
Nestled in the quiet, tight streets of Beacon Hill amongst the rustic brownstone buildings and hilly streets, a small window looks in upon beautiful, bright art. The window belongs to the Hidden Art Gallery, founded in 2011 and owned by artist Zoe Arguello. One multipurpose room makes up the gallery, a clinic for reflexology—a type of alternative medicine that uses pressure points on your feet relieve muscle pain—and a meditation center. Arguello’s husband, well-known local artist Patrick Anderson, also shows his work at Hidden Art Gallery. He paints portraits of Boston’s most iconic landscapes like the Massachusetts state house or the Esplanade at dusk. “It’s not a high-end gallery but it has high-quality art.” said Arguello. Arguello’s pieces range in artistic styles from abstraction to impressionist to the more unique, spiritual pieces. These spiritual pieces are painted during meditation in order to reflect what she feels onto the canvas. “These pieces are painted using the energy and feelings that come to you during your practice,” said Arguello. The spiritual pieces can also be used during meditation, and are designed draw attention and focus on the light of—for example—scattered light bulbs, to avoid any outside distractions. “I draw my inspiration from great artists, such as Monet, Mary Casset, and Edgar Degas,” said Arguello. Arguello’s art is unique not only in its spiritual purpose, but also in s its style. The gallery is bright and full of life. In her paintings, she uses bright colors and vibrant portraits in order to tell a story. She uses unorthodox colors in realist pieces, like bright blues and oranges for a simple painting of a mother with her child. After working in a mundane office job, Arguello decided that she wanted something more fulfilling and went on to study visual art at University of Massachusetts. Upon completing her degree, she opened her gallery. The gallery only opens a few times a year for exhibitions or by appointment. Arguello and Anderson’s works, however, get the biggest volume of patrons at a community ice cream shop, J.P. Licks. Being a smaller gallery in the relatively quiet area of Beacon Hill, Arguello says that these events are what gives her art the most exposure. “We sponsor events at J.P. Licks as a way of showcasing our art and artists, as well as giving exposure to local musicians,” said Arguello. Along with the J.P. Lick’s showcases, Arguello displays her art at hotels and conference centers around Boston. “The business of art selling is reliant on location and exposure,” said Arguello.
Sitting on the cusp of Boston’s beautiful, oceanside Seaport District, Fort Points Gallery is located in the Artists Building—a massive brick building that houses the art of over 300 artists within its walls. As stated in the gallery’s mission statement, it strives to provide its artists with “a broad and diverse audience as well as a creative, culturally environment for artistic expression.” For artists Isabel Beavers and Laine Rettmer, the gallery provides them with a space to showcase their latest artistic endeavour, MELT. MELT is an exhibit that consists of video, photo, performance, and sculptural elements. They are meant to interpret “Norse” or Scandinavian mythology origin stories. The exhibit examines Icelandic landscapes, gender identity, and how the structures of mythology can be tied to these elements. The back wall of the exhibit features a video projection that shows different shots the Icelandic landscape, all while music plays in accompaniment. Placards surround the gallery, explaining how the land layout impacted how mythology. Photographs explained historical context and the role of gender in the myths. In the center of the room, metal sculptures that depict the drastic melting of the ice caps over the years. This installment is the pair’s first collaboration together and was the product of a residency at the Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts in Seydisfjordur, Iceland. “The goal of this project is to look at the structures of mythology and how we can reinvestigate the land they came from,” said Rettmer. Beavers and Rettmer use their unique educational backgrounds to produce art that strays away from all conventionality. Beavers, an environmental studies major from the University of Vermont, always had a passion for art and wanted use her knowledge of the environment and works it into creative projects. “I want my art to make its viewer question or understand something in a new way,” said Beavers. Rettmer has a bachelor of fine art in stage design from New York University, thus her interests lay more in performance and how the stage design can impact or manipulate perception. “I want to use the narrative structure and performance in hopes that my viewers explore and learn with me,” said Rettmer. When straying away from Boston’s more traditional art scene, you’ll find that magnificent art is hidden in the most unexpected places. This art is thoughtful and unique in its nature. In the words of Polish-American novelist Jerzy Kosinski, “The principle of true art is not to portray but to evoke”.
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empowerment through the workout by Andrea Williams
GYM OBJECTIFICATION by men and athletic fashion concerns can become tiring for women who work out. Ariel Sher works out at Healthworks Fitness Center, a women-only gym, to avoid these interactions. While she has never been a member of a conventional gym, she recognizes that this aspect of working out is something that could happen to women. “I liked the fact that it was a women’s only gym because it makes me feel more comfortable and it is a safer place to work out,” Sher says. “There also doesn’t feel like any pressure of being approached in a dating-sense when I go to work out.” Sher is not the only member enjoying this innovating gym. On the various Facebook pages that Healthworks Fitness Centers has, many women that are a part of the gym franchise enjoy everything that they have to offer. Many women often highlight the classes and spa that are offered in Healthworks Fitness Centers. In 1977 Healthworks Fitness Centers opened as a women-only fitness center in Boston, Massachusetts. It aimed to change aspects of conventional gyms to make women, including those who are female-identifying, feel more comfortable. Sher hails from Boston and joined Healthworks in October 2018. She said she felt drawn to the gym because she saw her roommate join and was interested to see what Healthworks Fitness Centers had to offer. She said she stayed at the gym because she saw the empowerment that the gym was giving to its members. “I think Healthworks is empowering women to work out together and support one another by doing something that is healthy, active, and strengthening,” Sher says. Jen Sadowski, a representative from Healthworks Fitness Centers, says that empowering women to be strong is important to all of us. “Having a club dedicated entirely to that is why a women-only club is so important,” she says. Sadowski said the gym’s mission sets them apart from other gyms in the area. “[The] clubs are a safe and inviting space for women to achieve their fitness goals without intimidation often associated with weight-rooms filled with men,” she says.
Healthworks Fitness Centers operates four locations in Boston. Members of this gym can enjoy group classes, personal training, and a nutritionist to help improve their diets. The gym also has a kids’ corner for children to play in while their mothers work out. After their workout, members can enjoy a spa day with many massage options or a shower in the locker rooms. Ali Sy, a sophomore at Emerson College has been going to a traditional gym for a few years now and she runs into some issues even though she enjoys working out. “I find it really difficult to find a gym that really works for me—in terms of practicality … but also in the community within the gym itself,” Sy says. “It’s probably the reason why I’ve jumped around so many different gyms over the years.” She also noted unwanted attention she sometimes receives from men while she is working out. “I have had a few experiences in gyms where if I’m not with a personal trainer, a few men will approach me and flirt with me or would try to ‘teach me’ how to use equipment,” Sy says. “They’re obviously really uncomfortable situations because I feel so put on the spot and really vulnerable in those moments as well as I simply just don’t want to be bothered.” Especially in this era, women’s empowerment is more important than ever—it is key to have a place where women can come together and work out. Sy recognizes the importance of empowering women through an all-women space. “I think giving women the space to work out is important because we deserve a space where we feel entirely safe and comfortable in this everyday activity,” Sy said. “I have a handful of friends who have felt discouraged to work out due to men weight-shaming them or laughing at them as they work out—something that they’ve expressed as situations only men put them in—and I think that’s incredibly unfair because everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable in any environment they’re in, especially in a place for self-betterment and self-care, like a gym.” While there is nothing wrong with wanting to work out at a traditional gym, being able to connect with other women and empowering each other through a fitness journey is at the heart of what Healthworks Fitness Centers is trying to achieve.
Ximena Delgado, Kayla Randolph, and Joe Colucci photographed by Estifania Martinez
Makeuo by Lexi Leap
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art by Natasha Arnowitz 12
the west street nook by Diti Kohli
A SIGN RECOGNIZABLE to Boston locals adorns the storefront of the Brattle Book Shop on West Street. The sign reads “One of America’s Oldest Antiquarian Book Shops.” In Brattle’s 5,500 square feet of real estate–– three story building and outdoor sale lot included— roughly 250,000 books retail anywhere from a dollar a piece to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The shop smells of leather binding, aged wood, and old ink from new prints and collectibles alike. Poster-size versions of rare covers and newspaper pages tag the walls, and shelves lined with colorful copies span from floor to ceiling. Established in 1825, Brattle is a rare breed— resale bookstores are now globally an endangered species. Despite Brattle’s acclaim, an 2017 article in the New York Times found bookstores are closing even more rapidly in recent years after decades of steady decline. The number of resale book shops in Boston has plummeted from a century ago when dozens of comparable stores packed the city. Proprietor Ken Gloss accredits the store’s success to its token ability. “We specialize in not specializing,” he said. Depending on the collections they purchase, the store tries to sell books on every topic––some recent hoards even include parapsychology and boxing. Customers can peruse the narrow aisles of general books on the lower two floors or rows of resold rare copies and collections on the third level. The cheaper bunch of the store’s acquired collection are sold in the empty lot next to the store for $1, $3, or $5–– inexpensive enough to buy by the bag. Because of the ever-changing nature of Brattle’s inventory, the store attracts both returning customers and tourists. After spotting the lavish rows of treasures in the lot, tourists are drawn to the shop, believing their discovery of the quaint store is unparalleled. As for customers, employees cite one passionate buyer who has come in every day for over 50 years even calls into the store sick to ensure new books he is scouting for don’t get away from him. The establishment’s three experienced buyers, owner Ken Gloss included, appraise and resell masses of books daily. Brattle gets most of their inventory by sending out its buyers to estate sales descendants hold after their relative’s passing. They usually purchase all the offered books at the sale after evaluating their worth. But books make their way to West Street in a myriad of other ways as well––divorce settlements, downsizing, and even theft. Giving up books isn’t as easy for sellers as some might expect. Though reselling books may be a simple way to get some quick cash, Brattle rarely comes across people who are selling their books solely because of financial need. “When people have books, they’ve collected books, sentimentally, it’s very hard to give them up. So it almost has to be forced like the downsizing or someone’s died,” Gloss said.. “Not that many people sell because they’re in desperate need of money. And that can be really tough because if it’s something they really love, really want but can’t keep, it’s sad.” Books that don’t make it to the cozy, inside shelves are showcased on the carts and shelves between Brattle and the neighboring brick building outside. “There’s only so much room inside. And the outside allows almost like a pressure valve for the store to keep it from filling up so much that it bursts,” Gloss said.
The shop also capitalizes on the allure of decadent, organized bookshelves. Business, restaurants, and even movie set designers approach Brattle, asking them to decorate sets, walls, and shop windows. Gloss tells of a time he and his colleagues worked with a department store that requested 60,000 red, rustic-looking books to adorn the shelves at 60 of their locations. Gloss said the most difficult part of managing the store is acquiring the books to sell. “You have to get the stuff,” he said. “You have to know what to be able to pay, you have to negotiate. That’s the hard part.” Without the expertise of knowledgeable buyers like Gloss, stumbling upon rare books is highly unlikely. Mary Warnement, the head of reader services at the Boston Athenaeum who works with uncommon books often, said these relics are difficult to spot because age isn’t the only factor that goes into determining a book’s rarity. “It may be that even though it’s old, there’s many, many copies,” said Warnment. “It can be rare because of it’s old, but not necessarily. It can be rare because it’s beautiful, but circulating things can be beautiful too. It can be rare because of association–– who owned it, who wrote in it. And it can also be rare because of its vulnerable state.” Gloss blamed astronomical rent rates for the death of the used book stores worldwide—he said internet book sales have also sped up the process. “The problem is not people don’t like books, buy books, sell books, read books, it’s that property value has become so expensive that running old bookstores which are not so efficient business-wise all over the world are going out of business, because just the overhead, the cost of real estate, the rent,” Gloss exulted. Warnement agreed, saying young readers are still resorting to physical copies of books when reading for pleasure–– though they have transitioned to digital forms for news and academics. Luckily, Brattle has sidestepped the pitfalls that are killing other book shops everywhere. Gloss’ parents bought the current West Street building instead of renting from the previous business, a petite women’s shoe store called Cinderella Shoes, in the 1980s. Regardless of the book store’s extinction, Warnement said readers everywhere, including younger ones, hold onto the practice of reading from physical copies as digital options continue to grow. “For work, [this generation] reading on their devices, their phones, all kinds of formats. But when they read for pleasure…... they like a book. It’s more pleasurable,” she insisted. Gloss never imaged taking over the family resale book business. In college, he was studying to become a chemist and took over the shop only when his father fell ill during his gap year. “I needed a year off and that year was forty-something years ago,” Gloss said Today, he proudly manages the historic shop tucked in a snug corner of the downtown and can’t imagine doing anything else. Seemingly everywhere, there are more shops, businesses, and skyscrapers being built in Boston. Emerson’s own campus is blossoming with construction only a half mile away from the shop’s site. But lucky for locals, as the city urbanizes around it, Brattle Book Shop shows no sign of closing down and no need to “catch up” with the evolving world around it. The shop remains a portal to the atmosphere and culture of Boston past.
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Eryn McCallum and Liza Xiao photographed by Stella Drews-Sheldon makeup by Lexi Leap
Although not as high as white tea, green tea is still very high in antioxidants. It’s been proven to be helpful in the weight loss process, because it can boost your metabolism.
Black tea is the most oxidized of all variations of the tea leaf, and therefore has the highest caffeine content. Consider swapping your morning cup of coffee for an Earl Grey or English Breakfast every once in a while —it’s known for raising energy levels, and stimulating mental alertness. Black tea is also extremely rich in plenty of vitamins, and filled with antioxidants. It’s even been used to treat cuts, bruises and sunburns too!
Green tea has even been linked to reducing cancer growth in certain studies. In addition to that, it has been shown to fight high cholesterol levels, neurological disorders and risks of stroke. A cup a day could definitely keep the doctor away!
Caffeine content-wise, white tea puts you in a relaxed, yet focused state — to better paint that picture, it’s used by monks during meditation!
herbal “teas” hibiscus
Although not technically “tea” (the camellia sinensis plant), herbal teas are made of herbs, fruits and other plants, but it’s still classified as tea. Herbal teas are always naturally caffeine-free and usually contain health benefits of their own. They’re sometimes even combined with true teas to create herbal infusions that allow you to enjoy all the flavors and benefits together!
This is the least oxidized form of the plant, and therefore the least processed. Because of this, white tea has the highest amount of antioxidants! This makes white tea extremely powerful in fighting the flu, pneumonia, and other infections. It’s even been proven to be helpful in fighting acne and maintaining clear skin. Add this to your skincare routine!
All “true teas,” like black, green, and white, come from the same plant — the camellia sinensis plant — who knew? These different types of tea differ depending on how the leaf is oxidized. Each type has their individual health benefits!
by Monica Petrucci
This tea is also made from a flower plant, and when steeped, the tea water becomes a pretty red color.
But it’s not all about the looks — studies have proven hibiscus tea to be helpful in lowering blood pressure levels, fighting digestion, immune, and inflammatory system problems. Enjoy your summer Starbucks beverage guiltfree this year!
You might have already guessed that peppermint tea is made from the herb that we enjoy in gums, mints and seasonal mochas. This tea is most popularly known for its digestive treatment; it has been proven to help with digestive problems like bloating, nausea and indigestion. Those with IBS, or even just the occasional upset tummy, would benefit greatly from a nightly cup of this tea. Peppermint tea has also been shown to be helpful in treating menstrual cramps, bacterial infections and headaches!
This tea is most commonly associated with relaxation, and rightfully so — studies have shown that chamomile tea is substantially helpful in treating anxiety and panic attacks, as well as sleep disorders. It’s made from a chamomile flower, so it has a light a spring-like aroma and flavor that make you want to cozy up and relax! It can also be helpful in treating skin conditions like eczema, and other inflammation in the body.
minimalism: the trend that’s cleaning up by Dana Gerer
PART OF KRISTEN KINDRED’S JOB is examining the expiration dates on spice jars. She owns Kindred Organizing, a decluttering and organizing service in Quincy, Massachusetts. She started her business in 2017, building on her career as a personal trainer. She noticed that helping her clients take control of their lives went beyond the walls of the gym—their chaotic home environments were affecting them, too. “You know, you want to come home to a house that’s relaxing and clean and not junk everywhere,” Kindred says. “Having all that stuff in your house can be super stressful.” Minimalism—a popular lifestyle movement that picked up momentum in 2018—is based on the goal of simply living with less. Surviving with fewer items becomes the foundation of organizing your entire life, amplifying overall mindfulness and control. But, as can be expected, most items aren’t as easy to purge as spice jars. “Decluttering and organizing isn’t just getting rid of the stuff,” Kindred says. “It brings up a lot of good and bad memories for people.” Kindred’s decluttering missions involve going through every item in every room, but people are often hesitant to say goodbye to items that were once significant or that they hope someday will be. However, Kindred argues that it is worth the struggle. “[Minimalism] means hard work in the beginning but a super simple life,” she argues. Despite the lighthearted and quirky approach that popular Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, takes to minimalism, it is actually an intensive lifestyle choice, as shown by the people who truly take it to heart. Jess Moore, a full time RVer and minimalist in Colorado—who travels with only the possessions she can fit in her vehicle— agrees that letting go of material items can often be the most freeing thing you can do. “I feel like I have that flexibility to really choose my path,” she says. Letting go of her items allowed her to mindfully seek out more exciting and challenging opportunities, such as exploring various art shows around the country. “I am happy. I am in environments that make me happy, and I get to choose.” Moore says that physical benefits are also a side effect of minimalism. “My body has responded really well to my lifestyle,” she says. Although she was active before, her current lifestyle now allows her to fully integrate physical activity into her lifestyle through hiking, setting up art booths, and travelling national parks. Despite followers like Moore, the push for minimalism has become more of a cultural phenomenon than an individual trend. Everyday, Kindred sees the toll that excessive possessions can take, and argues that it is a widespread problem. “Maybe it’s an American thing or something that the more stuff we have … we think we’re happier,” Kindred says. Although many people feel emotionally tethered to their things, she argues that they never regret decluttering after their leap of faith. “Nobody ever misses anything that they donate,” Kindred says. “And I’ve asked.” Despite its growing popularity, many people are intimidated by minimalism, and see it as a complete lifestyle overhaul. Kondo’s show especially displays minimalism as an all-or-nothing regimen, and many don’t feel prepared to change to that extent. Kindred, however, argues that minimalism does not have to go to the extreme depicted on Kondo’s show. “Most people aren’t going to do that,” she says on Kondo’s method. “What I consider minimalist is … I don’t need ten black shirts. I need one.” Despite the stereotypes, minimalism isn’t simply about folding your shirts into perfect cylinders, donating old knick-knacks to Goodwill, or living as a possessionless nomad. What the minimalist movement tries to communicate is that giving up life’s surpluses is a way to find inner peace and order. Being chained to unnecessary physical possessions will only keep you from life’s unexplored experiences. And at the end of the day, the things aren’t what you will remember. “What I have in the end are my adventures, and who I’ve connected with, not the things I’ve connected with,” Moore says. “I can take it with me.” bright | 17
MUSIC HAS BECOME an expression of emotion in reaction to the artist’s world around them, and the content especially hits home for those who share similar issues. But that begs the question, how can artists render and manipulate sound to evoke emotions? How are they able to bring about tears of joy, spouts of tranquility, and spirals of depression? Ryan O’Neal, singer and songwriter of Sleeping At Last, collects different personal sounds to incorporate into his music, like his daughter’s laugh and his wife’s heartbeat. Most of his music is light and introspective, which creates a calm mood in the listener. “Melody, harmony, and rhythm have the ability to breathe new life and meaning into words and emotions,” O’Neal said. If done positively, music can be used to heal or uplift your emotions and bring you into a more positive state of mind. Music has been proven to soothe and heal individuals who experience stress, depression, and anxiety, according to Ashley Wade, a licensed mental health counselor in Massachusetts. It also can help people calm down and focus. “As a therapist I recommend listening to ‘upbeat’ and ‘positive’ music when a client is depressed. Music can trigger neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine, when an individual relates a song to a positive experience,” Wade said. She also recommends soothing meditation or spa music for individuals with depression and anxiety because it can release stress and relax muscles. “For those who need sleep, ocean and rain sounds are also quite helpful,” Wade said. Many participate in “music therapy” which can help with sensory and motor skills, as well as cognitive function. Music therapy can be in the form of certain sounds. As an example, Wade provided Tibetan Singing Bowls. These metallic bowls create harmonies that are very relaxing. “These Bowls are often used in sound therapy to help clients when meditating,” said Wade. Others find it helpful to create music of their own. Jack Newton, a freshman creative writing major, dabbles in innovative expression through both writing and playing the piano. For him, he lets off energy and stress after school through music. “Oddly enough, it took the lowest point of my life to make me recognise the true value of playing music. It became a great positive force in life, and I give it significant credit in pulling me back up.” Newton has played the piano for twelve years, and is often inspired to play after listening to a song that “speaks to [him] in some intangible way.” As for genre suggestions, Newton finds that highbpm music (such as eurobeat, electronic, and synthpop) is good for fostering positivity and energy. In comparison, for sleeping or writing, a more ambiguous track is helpful (industrial/dark ambient, instrumental synth, shoegaze, etc). “Many video-game soundtracks are highly underrated sources of very good instrumental music of all moods,” Newton said. “Some of the most powerful music I have heard was from a video-game soundtrack, all instrumental, and I listened to it on its own for the enjoyment.” Both Newton and Wade recommend instrumental music over music with lyrics. “I utilize instrumental music the most. I believe it provides me with deeper introspection,” Wade said. They agree that music with lyrics can be a bit more distracting, and Newton highlights this especially when using it as a “backdrop or an inspiration for other activities.” 18
a light crescendo into music therapy by Abigail Michaud
As for O’Neal, though he loves listening to instrumental music, he finds lyrics just as meaningful. These lyrics “say something that the listener has felt but couldn’t find the right words to articulate. My Mom always told me that music can reach people where nothing else can. I believe that.” Sharing personal stories can help to ease the stress on a person, but it can be a bit withering—especially when expressing them publicly through an art form, like writing or creating music. “There is no pressure to share what you make with anyone until you want to. Never let fear of sharing keep you from creating, because creating has so much value--whether it’s for a million people to enjoy, or just for you. Remember that you and your story are the only you and story that exists. Be so proud of that.” said O’Neal.
For those of you that might not know where to begin, or need some inspirational music right away, I created a personal spotify playlist that I use to get some light and happy vibes. For me, creating playlists and listening to music is a way that I can unwind from my stressful and demanding schedule. Who knows, maybe you’ll find creating playlists just as fun as I do!
Destini Stewart photographed by Jonah Higaonna Makeup by Daysia Tolentino bright | 19
WHEN ONE THINKS Burberry, a myriad of images featuring the brand’s iconic antique yellow trench coats, cashmere scarves, and perhaps the British flag are apt to flood the mind. Up until recently, millions of dollars worth of Burberry Brit labeled clothing strewn in a heap to be ignited in flames likely wasn’t even in close to being associated with the prestiged brand. Any designer clothing line would cringe at the thought, and for good reason. After a story debuted in July 2018 that revealed Burberry had burned $36 million in clothing and perfume in 2017, the British brand faced immediate backlash via social media. The thought that a brand people had once adored would incinerate piles of highly desirable clothing rather than donate it to a worthier cause didn’t exactly sit well with consumers. The inconvenient and highly unfortunate truth is that many brands are resorting to burning their excess clothes and have been for years. Why these powerhouses don’t simply mark prices down to get items that didn’t sell at full price off their hands has everything to do with their reputation, though this justification proves self-destructive. Constant sales and markdowns can have a negative influence on a brand’s prestige. Part of their allure is being unattainable. If prices are cut, consumers who wouldn’t typically feel enabled to buy brands such as Burberry just might. The thought of accessibility is so unappealing to luxury labels, they’d much sooner burn millions than draw a red line through a price tag. Although some materials used in the crafting of clothing are actually friendlier alternatives to other items that could be burned, such as coal, some items featured on certain garments, such as plastic zippers, are not helpful for the environment in the slightest. When plastic is burned, it doesn’t turn to ash. Instead, the burning of plastic emits highly toxic chemicals, dioxins, into the atmosphere. Some dioxins can be very harmful to humans and the environment--many are known to cause cancer and developmental and/or reproductive problems. H&M partnered with a Swedish power plant in 2017 to help them reduce their burning of fossil fuels in exchange for renewable and recycled fuels, exhibiting a positive example to their fast-fashion industry counterparts on how to consciously dispose of excess product. Although news stories and figures such as these paint a bleak picture of the fashion industry’s current state, many small businesses and fashion lines are actually adopting eco-friendly business models. Hermes, a well-known prestige label, fosters an initiative called petit H. Petit H repurposes leftover material scraps into creative fashion articles, and sells them to consumers at special sales occurring in a myriad of Hermes boutiques around the world. Through this vessel, Hermes is able to prevent waste by designating its surplus materials to worthy purposes without putting items on sale. With this said, Hermes’ initiative serves as proof that there are methods in which a brand can prevent waste without negating the label’s prestige. 22
Apart from the world of designer fashion, small Boston-based boutiques are amongst businesses in the garment industry that are taking steps in a more ethical direction. Amongst these is Ash & Rose, a small clothing boutique in South Boston owned by mother and daughter team, Nea and Mary Savoca. The shop was established with three main values in mind: sustainability, fair labor, and empowering women. M. Savoca detailed unique brands Ash & Rose carries that foster a zero waste policy. “One of my favorites is called Tonlé. They’re a zero waste brand and they actually source all of their fabrics from factories in Cambodia, where they’re located. These are major brands that throw out a ton of fabric, so what they’re doing is gathering the fabric that’s being discarded and making their own clothes out of it. They’re making full garments and also piecing their scraps together to make patchwork garments and if they have shreds of fabric left still, they use it to make paper.” Ash & Rose isn’t the only business putting an eager step forward in an effort to break free from obsolete, environmentally-unaware practices accustomed to the fashion industry. Companies worldwide are striving for a waste-free business model that produces looks that people can not only look good in, but feel proud to wear due to their miniscule carbon footprint. Swedish Stockings is, as you may have already guessed, a Swedish brand with aims to reshape the hosier industry. They produce their pantyhose from consumer nylon waste utilizing a production process that drastically deviates from the usual nylon production process. The standard process at hand sends harmful emissions into the atmosphere via a petroleum based manufacturing process, which Swedish Stockings recognizes and opposes through their greener model. The company also pioneers a recycling program that they estimate has saved thousands of stockings which will be repurposed to a variety of causes. Though the fashion industry has had its share of controversy concerning its eco friendly measures, or lack thereof, many businesses are emerging whose manufacturing practices and values suggest a brighter, more sustainable future in fashion. A kaleidoscope of companies have established themselves as advocates for a greener fashion world. From Hermes to Ash & Rose to Swedish Stockings, brands both big and small have demonstrated their capability to forge a conscious change. Environmentally conscious consumers can only hope that more brands choose to follow in the footsteps of these industry pioneers, thus creating a happier, healthier, greener, and more stylishly guilt-free world.
green is the new black: sustainable apparel
art by Olivia Kelliher
by Abbrianna MacGregor
art by Olivia Kelliher
thank your local drag queen by Allison Hoag
A SHARP CONTOUR, bold penciled-in brows, over-lined lips, long lashes, and flawless eyes—The look is instantly recognizable and covers our Instagram feeds. Recently the Instagram “baddie” makeup trend has taken over the internet, as one simple Google search will show. But, where did these styles and techniques come from? Although many will credit the Kardashian/ Jenner family with the popularity of heavy contours, cut creases, and exaggerated lips, this is discounting the lasting legacy of thousands of drag queens who were performing long before the Kardashians were there to keep up with. In an article titled, “The Kardashians’ Makeup Artist Is the Most Influential Artist in America,” Broadly interviewed Joyce Bonelli, the Kardashian’s long-time makeup artist, and the force behind Kim’s infamous 2012 selfie mid-bake and contour. Following this photo, hundreds of “Kim Kardashian” tutorials have popped up across the internet; however, as Bonelli herself acknowledged, neither herself nor Kim (or any other Instagram “baddie”) invented these techniques. Many of these now famous and popular techniques actually have their origins in the drag community. “I’ve taken notes on drag everything and anything,” Bonelli admits when discussing her makeup education in the Broadly interview. “Drag queens have been shifting beauty trends from behind the curtain unrecognized,” says Nikki Playdough (@nikkiplaydough) a drag queen who performs throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She refers to makeup as one of the three main components of drag and notes that “makeup is where most people enter into drag, playing around with eyeshadows, lipsticks, and lashes.” Not only did these now mainstream techniques originate in the drag community, but makeup also is often what makes drag more accessible to younger queens. Unfortunately, makeup artists currently seem to be some of the few people who are actively acknowledging the influence the drag community. Many of Boston makeup artist Kiara Medina’s (@glammedbykm) clients have begun to ask her for “bolder and more Instagram based looks,” without realizing that they are asking for drag-inspired looks. “Drag makeup has a huge influence on [more dramatic looks],” Medina notes, “because drag is basically an exaggeration of the face.” Drag queens use makeup to achieve a more feminine facial structure by essentially reshaping their entire face, a technique that has been played out in popular makeup trends both by the emphasis on contouring and in the even more recent cultural obsession with highlighting.
Shamona Small (@makeupbyshamona), a Boston based makeup artist who has been working professionally since 2014, has clients who she says will “request a Kim K look, or [the looks of ] other popular celebrities or beauty influencers” when getting their makeup done. “Drag makeup has definitely influenced current makeup trends,” she says, citing the defined brows, baking, contouring, false lashes, or full lips, all features that her clients commonly ask her to accentuate specifically. Small additionally notes that “from YouTube influencers, everyday clients, or talent on a production, everyone requests some trend that originated from the drag community, whether they know where that trend originated or not.” Although many people want to partake in this trendy look, there are still unfortunately many who either don’t know or don’t care where the vital techniques for their desired looks came from. This isn’t to say that everyday people can’t enjoy expressing themselves through makeup techniques pioneered by drag queens decades ago. However, given the discrimination and prejudice early drag queens—and even current queens—faced because of their adamant refusal of gender conformity, it is certainly time for all of us to actively begin to recognize the contributions the drag community has made to the current beauty world. However, drag queens have recently received more public attention, largely due to the ten successful seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race (and the All-Stars spin-off seasons). The art of drag performance has slowly become more mainstream and less taboo, with some queens accruing Instagram followings that rival even the most popular influencers. Aside from allowing the contributions of the drag community to be recognized by a larger audience, Drag Race has also been pivotal in helping young queens discover and accept their identity. “Makeup is and will always be a forever changing medium, drag queens are just usually the ones who push the limits and make the waves that reach the mainstream,” remarked Nikki Playdough. No matter how natural or bold you prefer to do your makeup, chances are you probably owe at least a step or two of your everyday routine to the drag community. So, next time you pull out your highlighter, contour palette, or fill in your brows, make sure to thank your local drag queen. bright | 25
Taylor Thai and Alfonso Mateo Photographed by Stella Drews-Sheldon Art by Natasha Arnowitz and Micaela Dix Makeuop by Lexi Leap