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A LAS magazine
Co-Editors-in-Chief: Marlo Jappen & Lindsey Paradis Creative Director: Bella Wattles Design Assistant: Samantha Harton STYLE Editor: Antonia DePace Writers: Sara Henke, Sidney Lee, Casey Tsamis HEALTH Editor: Annette Choi Writers: Emma Dunn, Olivia Woollett CITY Editor: Samantha Harton Writers: Jessica Filippone, Hannah McKeen GLOBE Editor: Suchita Chadha Writers: Maria Garcia, Lala Thaddeus, Katja Vujic ONLINE ISSUE WRITERS Writers: Caitlin Smith, Jackie DeFusco, Sarah Hope COPY EDITORS Head Copy Editor: Allyson Floridia Copy Editors: Caitlin Muchow, Caitlin Smith, Alysen Smith, Katrina Taylor PHOTOGRAPHY Photo Editor: Evie Hansford Photographers: Jacob Cutler, Nick Vigue, Nora Wilby MARKETING TEAM Marketing Director: Shelby Carney ATLAS ONLINE Blog Editor: Charlotte Slota Bloggers: Lauren Lopez, Caitlin Muchow, Margeaux Sippell
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Meet the Editors
Lindsey Paradis Co-Editor in Chief
Marlo Jappen Co-Editor in Chief
I am a remix. Throughout elementary and middle school, I was considered a tomboy. I wore baggy boys T-shirts—which were often handed down to my little brother—and my hair was always thrown up in a ponytail. I didn’t care if I got muddy or scraped knees, I inserted myself into the boys soccer games at recess, never backed down to a challenge in gym class. In high school, I wore dresses and skirts every day—layering them over tights in the cold Massachusetts winter. I often played the airhead, saying anything stupid for a laugh, and the optimist. I was the girl who didn’t really party, didn’t really drink. Toward the end of senior year, I was in NYU-rejection depression and completely over who people thought I was. I closed myself off from my friend group—I felt like an outsider anyway—and went on and on about how I wanted to get drunk and all the tattoos I wanted. Now I’m at Emerson. I’m happy where I am, realizing I wouldn’t have liked being so far away. I wear jeans at least half the week, which, for anyone that knew me before, is a big step. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be alone. I say what I think. I’m not afraid of bad opinions. “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then,” wrote Lewis Carroll in “Alice in Wonderland.” And it’s true; I’m not the same person I was before. I’ve remixed myself multiple times—and probably will again. And a big thank you to Atlas’ staff this semester, who worked really hard on creating such high quality content. This includes Marlo Jappen and Bella Wattles, who are graduating this semester. For the past year, Marlo Jappen has been my Co-Editor-in-Chief—helping me evolve Atlas, all while learning the ins-and-outs of printing, funding and so much more. And none of this would’ve been possible without Bella, our amazing Creative Director. Don’t be afraid to remix—whatever that means to you.
Tell a room of creators, “Nothing new is original.” There’s bound to be silence and looks of apprehension. At least that’s what happened when my Women’s Magazine Publishing class watched the TED Talk, “Creativity is a Remix.” A few minutes into the video, the speaker—Kirby Ferguson—assured us that there’s no shame in drawing from what’s around us. Inspired by this video, I mentioned it during an Atlas meeting. It resonated with the staff and they came up with their own interpretations. “Remix” is about opening yourself to the world, being brave enough to reinvent what already exists. It means abandoning your comfort zone. As an introvert, I’m most at home in corners of cafés and in quiet libraries. I remember my initial hesitation when I first interviewed people as a freshman: What if I ask the wrong question? What if no one wants to talk to me? I’ve since overcome this nervousness after discovering the wisdom and insight of those who allowed me into their world. I’ve had the honor of speaking with an eclectic range of people, from a former prisoner of war to a law professor who dances with Boston Ballet. Reporting is now a passion of mine, something I truly hope to do for the rest of my life. A million thanks to Professor Susanne Althoff for sharing the TED Talk that helped spark this issue. Who knew a ten-minute video would lead to a 60-page magazine? Since it’s my last semester both at Emerson and with Atlas, I’d like to thank the entire staff for building the publication with their extraordinary ideas and talents. I’d especially like to thank CoEditor-in-Chief Lindsey Paradis for being an amazing partner this past year. We appreciate all of our readers and hope something in the following pages connects with you.
Atlas’ Remix issue focuses on taking inspiration from our surroundings and the culture we’re immersed in. It’s the process of revamping old ideas and presenting them in a new light.
Best, Marlo Jappen
Best, Lindsey Paradis 5 | Remix
Meet the Atlas Magazine | 6
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IN THIS ISSUE
CAMPUS We Came, We Saw, We Sprayed pg. 10
Two Emerson College Ultimate Frisbee players share what it’s like to be a skunk.
CITY Bringing Back the Culture of Cinema pg. 16
A look at Emerson’s Bright Lights film series.
Meet Emerson’s Unicorns pg. 14
Samantha Gardner, President of Emerson’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, discusses community service and communication disorders.
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Kwohtations pg. 20
Local company, Kwohtations, creates quirky rather than conventional greeting cards.
Molecular Gastronomy: Food of the Future in Boston pg. 23
Malachi and Yassky’s “Way of Life” pg. 12 Emerson students and rappers, Malachi and Yassky, talk about what music means to them.
Science is the secret ingredient in some of Boston’s best dishes.
ABOVE PHOTOS : Evie Hansford, Nick Vique, Nora Wilby COVER PHOTO : Evie Hansford SECTION PHOTO : Evie Hansford, Nick Vigue STAFF PHOTOS : Evie Hansford
Maddie Jay’s Acid Jazz: A Fusion of Sounds pg. 26
Berklee band, Maddie Jay & The pH Collective, stays out of the mainstreaming by mixing and ignoring traditional genres.
GLOBE The Imitation of Other Cultures: Appropriation or Appreciation? pg. 30
An exploration of the line between appreciation and appropriation.
Artsy Fartsy: How Copies Can Breathe New Life into Classics pg. 32
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and sometimes even better than the original. A look at da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and a copy.
The -ollywood Influence pg. 35
STYLE Open Style Lab: Fashion for the Disabled pg. 40
Open Style Lab, based in Cambridge, makes style accessible to people of all abilities.
Post-ironic Fashion: The Fanny Pack of Trends pg. 42
New trends are bringing back old styles, so break out those chokers and scrunchies.
Contouring 101 pg. 48
Experts advise on the correct way to contour.
HEALTH A Smoothie for Everything pg. 52
All smoothies aren’t created equal. A breakdown of the different blends.
How Omnivores Can Cut Back on Red Meat pg. 55 A look at other options for omnivores.
Ditching the “Bikini Body” pg. 56
An exploration of American media and body positivity. Does ditching the term “bikini body” really help?
A breakdown of the world’s top film industries—Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood. 9 | Remix
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CAMPUS We Came, We Saw, We Sprayed // pg. 10 Malachi & Yassky’s “Way of Life” // pg. 12 Meet Emerson’s Unicorns // pg. 14 Bringing Back the Culture of Cinema // pg. 16
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WRITER : Annette Choi PHOTO : Nick Vigue ILLUSTRATION : Shawnie Wen
Did you know that Emerson College has an Ultimate Frisbee team and that their team mascot is a skunk? Emerson College Ultimate (ECU) players Stig Reagan, visual and media arts ’18, and Noah Wisch, visual and media arts ’18, explain what it’s like to play an often misunderstood sport, how students can get involved and what it takes to be skunk. WHEN WAS THE TEAM FOUNDED? Stig Regan: We started trying to fill the team at the beginning of our freshman year, so I guess almost two years ago. But it really started taking shape at the end of spring semester last year. WHO WAS THE TEAM FOUNDED BY? Noah Wisch: There was a group of six of us: Jack Worth, Ross Ketschke, Nick Chieffo and Conner Carrico, in addition to me and Stig. WHAT PROMPTED YOU SIX TO CREATE THIS TEAM? NW: Well, I came to Emerson hoping there would be a team because I played throughout high school. And when I found out there wasn’t, I was pretty motivated to find some people who also played or also just wanted to go out and try playing. Then I met Stig and some of the other guys who had actually played before. WHAT HAS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT BEEN AS A TEAM? SR: It’s hard to pick [just] one! NW: For one tournament, we went 2-2 and finished 3rd in our pool on the first day, so we didn’t qualify for the championship bracket. On the second day, we went 3-0 and won the 13th place bracket, which basically means that we were the best team that didn’t qualify for the championship bracket. WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THIS TEAM FROM OTHER ULTIMATE TEAMS IN THE CITY? SR: Our social media presence is significantly stronger. To the point where it’s not even fair. I also think we just have an all around better vibe than other teams. NW: We’re all like best friends, is the thing, so we hang out a lot outside Ultimate. [It] helps a lot on the field too.
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TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR COMPETITIONS. WHAT ARE YOUR GAMES LIKE? NW: So, Ultimate is very tournament-based rather than like day-to-day games, just because there isn’t as much funding in it. We pay for everything out of pocket because we get no funding from the school yet. Tournaments are generally $300– $500 for one weekend, just for the fee. That’s where you kind of play your most games and determine where you are in the rankings. HOW CAN INTERESTED EMERSONIANS GET INVOLVED OR SHOW THEIR SUPPORT? SR: I think as far as joining goes, even though we’re becoming a very competitive team, when we play at tournaments and stuff, our overall vibe is very inclusive. Anyone can drop by at any point. NW: We’re always looking for new people. We have a bunch of new guys this semester that have come out to play. Some of them have never played before. But we’re a very easy group to get along with, I’d say, so we’d love to have people come out to practice and try it out to see how they like it. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? SR: It’s very much a proper sport. There’s definitely a misconception of what frisbee is, and understandably so. Just because it’s at the club level and it’s not a typical sport doesn’t mean it’s not a competitive athletic activity. Also, we do player bios so if you want to get to know the skunks individually, check our Facebook page [at] ECU: Emerson College Ultimate. NW: People who are not familiar with Ultimate see it as not a legitimate sport. Basically, when people think of frisbee, they think of hippies out in the park tossing a piece of plastic around. But once you get up to a higher level, people are very serious about it and very competitive. I’d like to think that we’re part of that group of people
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Malachi & Yassky’s
“Way of Life”
WRITER : Samantha Harton PHOTO : Evie Hansford Atlas Magazine | 14
It seems like everyone wants to make music these days. With things like SoundCloud and YouTube, anyone can create tracks and put them on the Internet for the world to see. Some do it for fun, while others are trying to make it big. For Malachi McDonald, acting ’19 and Tyler Yassky, visual and media arts ’19, it’s “a way of life.” The two started writing lyrics and rapping over beats at a very young age, but only recently started collaborating and playing shows around Boston as “Malachi and Yassky.” They claim not to be a rap group; they’re just two friends collaborating and making good music. As far as what “good music” is to them, the lines are a little blurry. Yassky explains that he doesn’t “like the idea of elitist hip-hop,” and McDonald adds that there are different ways to portray hip-hop, which is important for them to remember as they try to make music they really believe in. The two grew up listening to hip-hop legends like Nas, but are also fans of more contemporary artists like A Tribe Called Quest. McDonald explains that their influences come from all kinds of genres, including grunge rock and musical theater. Listening to the two talk about their influences makes it easy to see how much they care about music and art, but not everyone around them realizes how much it means to them. “It’s so diluted, especially with the Internet,” Yassky says. “Anyone can put out a track if they want to, which is a beautiful thing, but it’s hard to get any type of credibility.” McDonald explains that this kind of doubt usually comes from older generations who see what he does as more of a hobby than something he really wants to pursue. Even some of his peers don’t realize how much music, and art in general, mean to him. He says that he has always wanted to make “quality music.” Now that he’s starting to have more musically driven goals, he’s had to cut a lot of negative people out of his life in order to stay focused on his art. Even though the two are taking their music careers more seriously, credibility is just as hard to gain because there are so many people trying to make it big, especially in the rap genre. McDonald doesn’t seem too stressed about the millions of other people trying to break into the hip-hop scene. “It’s not necessarily about gaining credibility, but staying true to myself. That’s how credibility will come my way,” he says. Staying true to themselves and their art starts with the lyrics, which McDonald and Yassky have been writing for a long time. Yassky takes a nonlinear, “sporadic” approach, writing verses down in a notebook—one he’s had for about eight years—as they come to him and putting them together much later in the process. He says that he takes his time, writing half of one verse and half of another, skipping back and forth between things that he’s written and eventually tying it together. For McDonald, “It’s a lot of ebbs and flows.” It all depends on how he is feeling on particular days and if he is inspired in the moment. “Finalizing it is more of a tedious process,” he says, “but writing is something I try not to stress about.” Lyrics are obviously not the only thing that goes into making a song. When they first started making music, they would
take beats and songs off YouTube and play around with those, rapping over them instead of creating their own music to put behind their rhymes. Over the last year, Yassky says he’s been getting more involved with his own beat-making and mixing, which has made him feel like everything “has come full-circle.” Learning the technical side as well as having creative inspirations has made the process more interesting. Lucky for them, people in the community are really into what they’re doing and are consistently giving them beats to rap over. McDonald and Yassky clearly have a huge passion for music, and are using that passion to create inspired tracks. Right now, you can only find their music on their respective SoundCloud pages, but they’re starting to take the possibility of a career in music more seriously and are trying to get their music out there. They’ve recently played a few venues around Boston, including the Middle East, and have gotten positive reactions from the Emerson community. As they look to expand their music beyond Emerson, they explain that “summer is a big time.” They’ll both return to their hometowns, reconnect with their high school friends and work in an environment more familiar to them. They have big ideas for projects for their individual careers, but as of right now, they’re just two, good friends bringing great music to Emerson and Boston.
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Meet Emerson’s Unicorns: The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association WRITER : Antonia DePace PHOTO : Nora Wilby
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is the student affiliation to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), an organization with over 186,000 members of audiologists; speech language pathologists; speech, language and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. President of the Emerson chapter of NSSLHA, Samantha Gardner, communication disorders ’16, is working towards creating a greater presence on campus for the student chapter so that they can involve others in the community for change.
Samantha Grader: We do community service. We also do networking, fundraising and general awareness events to promote awareness for communication disorders. Some fundraising that we did this year...we actually walked in the Walk To End Alzheimer’s. Some people who have Alzheimer’s end up seeing a speech pathologist. And we raised around $800 for the walk, which goes into Alzheimer’s research. We just recently did a bake sale fundraiser and we donated the proceeds to Small Steps in Speech, which is a nonprofit organization that provides grants to children who can’t afford speech and language services.
HOW DOES EMERSON’S CHAPTER ACCOMPLISH NSSLHA’S VISION OF “MAKING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION A HUMAN RIGHT, ACCESSIBLE AND ACHIEVABLE FOR ALL?”
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR WITH NSSLHA THAT YOU ARE PROUD OF? Northeastern has a professor, her name is Rupal Patel, running this thing called VocaliD, which is basically an online
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resource to record people’s voices. You can donate your voice for those who have Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). People record their voices so that they can make AAC more human like, which is super cool...So NSSLHA, this year, started a service project where our members go on and donate their voices. You can do it online, and anyone can do it. It’s something like 3,000 sentences that you have to record. You can use your computer, you can use your phone, you can use anything to record them. And you can do it 5 minutes a day, or as long as you want, until you finish recording them. So your voice becomes synthesized with other people’s voices through the program until the person who is getting the voice decides ‘that’s my voice.’ DOES NSSLHA EVER WORK WITH ANY STUDENTS ON CAMPUS WHO MIGHT NEED HELP WITH SPEECH? I do know that some members of NSSLHA seek the organization maybe because they have something that they want help with, or they know someone, so they want to learn more about these communication disorders, get more information and then they can share it or use it themselves.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT EMERSON TUCKS DISABILITIES AND COMMUNICATION SCIENCES AND DISORDERS (CSD) MAJORS UNDER THE RUG? I’d rather not speak for the college itself. But I know that the undergraduate CSD program director is working hard to promote the CSD major more. WHAT DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW? I think the biggest message that I want to get across is that you don’t have to be a CSD to join NSSLHA. It’s for anyone who is interested in communication disorders. Take for example, just last year, everyone got into the ALS bucket challenge. ALS is an area that speech pathologists work with, you know, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s. A lot of people have grandparents with those disorders, so they care about things like that. Even deaf culture; a lot of people are interested in that. So you don’t have to be someone who is going to become a speech pathologist to join NSSLHA. There are things that we do that you would be interested in, that anyone would be interested in, just to make a difference to help people.
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Bringing Back the Culture of Cinema WRITER : Suchita Chadha PHOTO : Jacob Cutler
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In the past nine years, the Bright Lights film series have become an integral part of the Emerson community, and Anna Feder, Director of Programming, has been there since the start. Free and open to the public, the series has two major components: the screening of films that have been released in the past two years, either theatrically or in film festivals, and a discussion following it. These discussions are always accompanied by someone who can add value and insight to the reflection, including filmmakers, the subjects of the film or professionals from the community. The films themselves come from a varied selection as well, Feder adds. “We really try to program as diverse a group of films as we can in all facets. We show some work that students will know—films that are typical art-house fare, that have been marketed, like ‘Room’ and ‘Carol’—films that draw on their own. And then the idea is to weave into the program films the students wouldn’t have heard of, and possibly give them access to films that they might not see otherwise.” Feder studied film analysis and technique at UMass Amherst, and after a period of continuing her work on film festivals she’d started in college, completed a Master of Fine Arts in film production at Boston University. She’s been an active member in the indie-film circuit, having worked on an extensive list of film festivals including the Boston LGBT film festival, the Northampton Independent Film Festival and the Boston Underground Film Festival. Featuring films showcased in festivals like these is important for Bright Lights as they provide a glimpse into a topic or a life the Emerson community may know little to nothing of. While some films are certainly on the students’ radars, the series encourages students to take a risk and watching something new, and perhaps entirely different from what they’re used to. “A lot of what’s marketed to them is kind of homogeneous,” says Feder. ““There are a lot of gatekeepers. [For instance, in relation] to whose film you see” in the cinema, who gets to make these films and whose story gets told. In the festival world, there’s a lot more discovery, so the idea is kind of balancing that [in Bright Lights].”
For Feder, the discussions are even more important, and having equal representation in the audience is a key part of that. “Dialogue is richer when there is a mix of people from the Emerson college community and from the Boston community,” says Feder. Despite drawing in many film students, the sole focus of these discussions is rarely on the technical aspects. “Certainly we’ve had a filmmaker there where students will ask technical questions,” says Feder, “but most of the conversations that happen in the cinema are about the content of the film.” The audience has a bigger part than just engaging in the discussions that follow. “My biggest mission is this idea of cinema culture. Something that has sort of been lost. This idea that you see a movie at a particular place, at a particular time, at a particular setting,” with an audience. When Feder did a screening of Wolfpack, she had an audience of 160 people who could have just seen the film on Netflix. “Why did they come?” asks Feder. “Because there’s something about the cinema environment. And it’s not just about having people there from the film. It’s not just about the image quality or the sound quality—but it’s also the audience. It’s changed my viewing of films, to see something with a Bright Lights audience.” Feder has recently begun teaching a course at Emerson called “Behind the Scenes: The Mechanics of Film Exhibition” (VM 331), which explores the many factors that arise with putting on a film series. This includes programming, print traffic projection and promotion. Feder laughs when recalling an anecdote where she encountered a technical problem during a screening. “We had a filmmaker that never ended up getting a copy of the film. So we ended up having to stream it, and then [I don’t think] the filmmaker really wanted to lead the discussion afterwards. They didn’t join for the Skype Q & A we scheduled.” It worked out, and Feder wants to expose students to this world of showing a film. Next steps for the series include increasing the number of screenings per week and creating a theme in programming to form mini-series based on a person or topic. Feder says, “Not all films are for all people. The quality of all the work is high, but it may not to be everyone’s tastes.” It’s important that the films start a conversation.
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Kwohtations // pg. 20 Molecular Gastronomy // pg. 23 Maddie Jayâ€™s Acid Jazz // pg. 26
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Kwohtations WRITER : Hannah McKeen PHOTO : Nora Wilby
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“Thanks For Watching Me Ugly Cry” is one of many quirky phrases you can find on a Kwohtations card. 28-yearold Janine Kwoh is a local artist who is reinventing the classic greeting card with her company, Kwohtations. Kwoh handmakes these cards and creates unexpected phrases for the front of each one. What started as a hobby is now a well developed business that is revamping the identity of greeting cards. Mainstream card companies have a narrow view of what life experiences are worth celebrating and limit their greeting cards to the celebration of birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Kwoh believes it’s important to acknowledge more unique aspects of life like gender identity, quitting a job and finding love online. Kwoh says that her cards, “reflect the wonderful diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation and life experiences that make up our communities.” According to their website, Kwohtations’ mission is to “spread joy and bring people closer by making cards that recognize, embrace and celebrate the absurdity of life.” “I really try to highlight all those other life experiences, big or small, that make our lives both really complicated and wonderful, ” says Kwoh.
Kwoh was born in San Francisco, but soon after moved to Shanghai, where she spent her adolescent years. Her time in Shanghai allowed her to embrace various cultures and expand her mind to embrace creativity and differences. Once she graduated high school, Kwoh attended Brown University as a commerce, organizations and entrepreneurship major because she wanted to study something practical—and that didn’t require any math courses. This major ultimately led her to where she is today because it helped her ease into the flow of owning a business. Kwoh began making cards in 2011, but in mid-2014 she decided to commit to making Kwohtations a real company. “I really started trying to think of and manage it as a business,” she says. Kwoh now sells her cards through her Etsy shop, markets and wholesalers in eight retail stores around Boston. Right now there are over 40 designs on the Kwohtations Etsy shop. Some of her popular cards include “Sorry I Got Drunk” and “You Give Me Feelings.” Kwoh sets aside at least 20–25 hours a week for the making and managing of Kwohtations, which has proved to be a very liberating but also daunting process because she does everything by herself. Kwohtations spreads love all across the country, not just here in Boston. They are shipped and delivered right to people’s doors through local company Boston & Bale, which
works with makers in the Boston area to deliver packages to your home that are filled with locally made goodies. Boston & Bale founder, Michelle Wax, gushes about Kwohtations and attributes Kwoh’s success to the fact that it’s a twist on the common card. Wax added Kwohtations to the circulation of Boston & Bale because “the relatable, sassy tone she’s got going on” sets her apart from the rest. When she first started, Kwoh used hand-carved linoleum stamps to stamp the characters and rubber stamps to create each letter. She takes these stamps, paints on the colors and then presses them onto her cards to create words and characters. Last year, she changed her supplies to make the process more efficient by learning letterpress. Letterpressing is an old form of printing that uses raised letters and ink to put words on paper. She uses the letterpress studio Arbalest Press, but still paints in the characters by hand and packages the cards at home. “It’s definitely a labor of love,” she says. The early orders that kept Kwoh busy were from friends and family, which gave her the initial boost of confidence she needed to try selling to strangers. She remembers a different sense of joy and possibility the first time a stranger bought a card from her online store. “When you see what you’ve made resonates with a total stranger, that is a very different feeling. It takes your mind to different places in terms of where your business could go,” says Kwoh.
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I haven’t found another
way where I can make 100200 people laugh in a single day, so that is a really special feeling.
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That happiness makes every late night worth it for Kwoh. Her best moments with the business have been selling Kwohtations at markets, where she can connect with the consumers firsthand and watch them smile at her cards. She says, “I haven’t found another way where I can make 100–200 people laugh in a single day, so that is a really special feeling.” Managing a business isn’t always easy for Kwoh. The biggest hurdle for her has been turning Kwohtations from a hobby into a business. “Suddenly it is not just about what I want to make or what I think is funny. I also have to think about what other people want to see and what sells. All of those considerations you don’t have to think about when you’re just making it for yourself,” she says. “That’s something I’m still figuring out.” When Kwoh moved to Boston she was inspired by the thriving artistic community which has allowed her business to grow. Kwoh’s time spent at Boston markets has given her experience working with other artists who have given her constructive criticism to keep her business growing and evolving with the others. Looking forward, Kwoh hopes to develop an audience outside of Boston to see how well her humorous cards resonate with people all across the country. Although sending a card in the mail isn’t the norm anymore, the personal humor in a Kwohtations card is worth putting a stamp on.
Molecular Gastronomy: Food of the Future in Boston WRITER : Jessica Fillippone PLATED BY : L’Espeliar
PHOTO : Aliza Eliazarov, Star Chefs
Foie gras “royale” with a Chardonnay grape veil, fermented Burgundy truffle and banana bread This is made by the same process as the previous pate. There is a fermentation of the truffle - which we do in-house. This consist of yeast, toasted barley, water, sugar and salt - the truffle ferments for three to four days and is then refrigerated to retard the process. Both the slices and gel on the dish are made of this. 25 | Remix
Foie gras “pate” with bing cherry, Chartreuse meringues and pistachio granola This is another tasting menu item. There is a foie gras mouse wrapped with a cherry veil. Both are stabilized with agar and gelatin - the former also with egg yolk. The meringues are made with “versa whip” and then dehydrated. Gibbs, the recipe, is named after the famous physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs. Using an egg white whipped with oil, a white mixture is created. Cooked in a microwave oven at 100 degrees Celsius, the water heats and expands. This temperature is crucial because it is higher than the coagulation temperature of egg white proteins. The mixture is then trapped into a gel. “Of course, oil does not necessarily taste good, but imagine infusing vanilla pods in egg white, dissolving sugar into the mixture and adding very good olive oil before microwave cooking,” writes Hervé This in his article “Food for tomorrow?” Gibbs is made possible with the use of molecular gastronomy. The term itself is a style of cuisine where chefs explore thousands of culinary possibilities by borrowing tools from the science world and combining that with ingredients from the food industry. The end results are delicious dishes that are nothing out of the ordinary. Originating in Europe, molecular gastronomy is a “scientific discipline that studies the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking,” according to MolecularRecipes.com. The overall purpose is to look at the chemical reactions created when using certain ingredients and chemicals together to make extremely different, delicious dishes. How ingredients are changed by different cooking methods, how the senses play their own roles in our appreciation of food and how our brains interpret the signals from our senses to tell us the “flavor” of food are all major concepts of this science-based culinary process. The process itself includes a variety of ingredients and techniques to make these new molecular meals as delicious as
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possible. Carbon dioxide plays a major role in creating bubbles and adding foams to dishes; foam may also be created using an immersion blender. Liquid nitrogen is used for “flash freezing” (freezing items in a few hours by subjecting them to cryogenic temperatures, or putting them in direct contact with liquid nitrogen at −196 C) and shattering, while maltodextrin is used for turning high fat liquids into powders. Aromatic accompaniments are used as well: gases trapped in a bag, a serving device or the food itself; an aromatic substance presented as a garnish or creative serveware; or a smell produced by burning. The creations are essentially endless. In a recent Boston Globe interview, Michael Brenner, Harvard professor and director of the Science and Lecture Series, says the public’s current fascination with molecular gastronomy is exciting. “Scientific advances in the modern day, such as the development and understanding of gelling agents and other [natural] food additives have enabled chefs to create entirely new foods,” he says. According to “Food for tomorrow?” published by EMBO Reports, the three most known foods that have come from this practice are Gibbs, Vauquelin and Baumé; all are egg-based dishes. Nicolas Vauquelin inspired Vauquelin, which is “when an egg white is whipped and a small quantity of foam is formed. If the foam is cooked in a microwave oven, a chemically jellified foam is formed. To achieve a better‐tasting product, chefs use orange juice or cranberry juice instead of water, and add sugar to increase the viscosity and to stabilize the foam before cooking,” writes Hervé This.
Baumé is created when you put a whole egg in alcohol. Eventually, the ethanol will crack the shell and promote coagulation. After a month’s wait, the result is a coagulated egg, named after French chemist Antoine Baumé. Only five restaurants in Boston are currently using the technique, but it’s predicted to grow as more chefs learn the art of molecular gastronomy. The first Boston restaurant that decided to try out this method was Clio, which was created by Ken Oringer and located at 370A Commonwealth Avenue. It has since closed and become UNI, a sashimi bar also created by Oringer. Clio’s philosophy was based solely around the culinary method sweeping the nation. “Molecular gastronomy is a way of revolutionizing the texture of food,” says chef de cuisine Douglas Rodrigues in an interview with Boston Common Magazine. “We do it mainly to give our dishes a more creative and modern edge.” Rodrigues has been a major part of Clio’s two molecular best sellers: feta cheese and olive bubbles and a sphere called crimson “cherry coke,” which is made from combining a gel with reduced cola and cherry juice. Cilo’s founder, Ken Oringer, started his culinary career in New York and spent a short time at elBulli with Ferran Adrià. Adrià was the head chef at elBulli, a restaurant in Cala Montjoi, Spain, and is considered “one of the best chefs in the world,” according to The Guardian. Oringer has a sense of pride when discussing Clio’s success. Since the opening of Clio, only a few other Boston restaurants have taken up the culinary process, including Menton on Congress St, Salts in
Cambridge (closed), O Ya on East St and L’Espalier on Boylston St. O Ya’s chef–proprietor Tim Cushman says in an interview with Boston Common Magazine, “With molecular gastronomy, if it’s not better than the original then I won’t do it.” According to MolecularRecipes.com, molecular gastronomy requires a “good balance of left and right brain thinking. Most of the molecular cuisine recipes need to be followed precisely. Steps need to be followed in a very specific sequence or the whole dish may be a disaster [and] quantities are measured in fractions of a gram or fractions of a percentage. Slight variations in food acidity levels could be disastrous for some dishes.” Adding the wrong amounts or even using the wrong temperatures can mark the end to a dish. These chemical reactions only happen under the correct circumstances. “The creative process within [molecular gastronomy] is always a challenge,” says Oringer, “but things should never be taken too seriously.” “We have been featuring [molecular gastronomy] for quite some time, and we haven’t had any problems in Boston,” Oringer says. “The general public has reacted well. It is not used for shock value because the flavor and overall integrity is the most important part.” As more molecular gastronomy restaurants and molecular menus rise around Boston, the dish combinations are essentially endless. Oringer believes that the food focus has changed since the start of molecular gastronomy in Boston, but that doesn’t mean the overall creative process has changed.
Jameson Farm’s Lamb, roasted and raw fig, fennel, and Pernod-olive oil coulis. This was a tasting menu main course - we were really trying to have a delicate meat dish, which can be unusual. The coulis is made with fennel juice, olive oil, Pernod and an emulsifier.
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Maddie Jayâ€™s Acid Jazz: A Fusion of Sounds WRITER : Samantha Harton PHOTO : Evie Hansford
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In a Berklee rehearsal room, Maddie Jay spits words in an abnormal, original rhythm, hitting accents at the most unexpected times. The neck of her bass rests in her left hand as her right hand occasionally sends out signals to the rest of the band. She hits the last few bars of her rap, moves her right hand to the strings of her bass and the band follows her into a jazzy chorus with fluidity. They are all focused, and the vibe of the room is serious, but not tense. When they finish a song, there is no time for pondering or contemplation. Jay moves right into critiques, tweaking every last chord, every last note. Gradually, the rest of the members join in, all of them trying to find the perfect vibe of the song, debating between which harmonies work well together and which bass line sounds the best. Maddie Jay may have written the lyrics to this song, but the production is clearly a collaborative effort. There isn’t much time for jokes in between and after a relatively long debate about the chorus, Jay says, “Let’s just loop it.” Maddie Jay & The pH Collective has only a couple more weeks to prepare for their studio sessions, where they will record their first full-length record. During these sessions, bassist and rapper Maddie Jay, vocalists Miette Hope and Madeleine Rosenthal, guitarist Brian Stanish, pianist Danae Greenfield and drummer Jonah Summerfield will essentially lock themselves in a studio in order to make a full album of original music. (They have since logged over 30 hours.) However, even in a rehearsal so close to recording, they are changing bass lines, guitar riffs and harmonies. Watching them go back and forth during rehearsal, one would think this band has been together for years, but the only original members are Jay, Summerfield and Rosenthal. Greenfield joined The pH Collective in January, but Stanish explains that even with the short amount of time they’ve spent together, all the members trust each other and their suggestions. Finding the right people has been one of the biggest challenges for this band, but Jay says that this is the best group of people she’s ever worked with. Finding a sound, however, has not proved as difficult. Not limiting themselves to the confinements of established genres, they have branded their authentic and eclectic sound “Acid Jazz,” which is a combination of easygoing jazz vibes, funk influences and a hip-hop twist. Jay’s lyrics are dark and personal, and the sound has a heavy groove, but is still easygoing and mellow. One would struggle to find another artist with a sound similar to The pH Collective, and there is certainly no one like them in the mainstream. Jay’s affinity for unorthodox sounds and clear disinterest in traditional genre lines has been anything but a hinderance to musical success. She currently has over 3,500 subscribers and almost 350,000 views on YouTube. She has used her channel to share covers and a few of her and The pH Collective’s original tracks, two of which were shared by online bass magazine No Treble. These subscribers have been an essential catalyst in pushing Jay’s career forward, as many of them donated to the Indiegogo campaign that is funding Maddie Jay & The pH Collective’s new album. When Jay set up the Indiegogo campaign, she set their goal at $2,000, but ended up receiving more than double that amount from donors eager to hear more original music from Maddie Jay & The pH Collective. With all the success Jay has had on her own, it’s not hard to imagine what a full-blown band and upcoming LP will do for Maddie Jay & The pH Collective. 29 | Remix
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GLOBE The Imitation of Other Cultures // pg. 30 Artsy Farsty // pg. 32 The -ollywood Influence // pg. 35
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The Imitation of Other Cultures: Appropriation or Appreciation? WRITER : Maria Garcia-Arrazola PHOTO : Evie Hansford
MODEL : Suchita Chadha HENNA ARTIST : Eve Smith
When thinking about cultural appropriation many words come to mind: ignorance, racism, fashion, privilege and perhaps even Halloween. Recent pop star scandals and debates on social media express the need to decompress this very broad term, make sense of it and find solutions to prevent it. However, in doing so, we encounter a brick wall: where do we draw the line that differentiates appropriation from appreciation? This central question fuels heated debates on social media and beyond, but talking about it can help in coming closer to an answer. Tikesha Morgan, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs & GLBTQ Student Resources at Emerson College, defines appropriation as “taking something that is sacred to that culture, or something that they created, and taking it as their own and saying ‘we created it, we found this brand new thing.’” Examples of this happen frequently in the United States and abroad, which has made everyone question its fairness. But what does the appropriation process look like? It is when a person coming from privilege “borrows” something that is valuable to another culture (i.e. bindis, dreadlocks, headdresses), makes it their own and completely ignores its significance. When it comes to the appropriation debate, it is very important to consider the reasons why people appropriate as well as what they get out of it. Tamera Marko, professor of translingual writing at Emerson College—which focuses on surpassing language barriers to attain richer writing—describes the uses of appropriation as “play, profit or some form of being como en la moda. It’s hip, it’s in style, it’s fleeting, it’s temporary.” Sadly, however, appropriation has become a way to be “cool” or “stylish,” while at the same time, ignoring the historical roots of the cultural artifact that is being appropriated. Marko describes this process as “cutting out what he or she
wants for his own use.” While appropriation consists of overlooking the complete story of a culture and taking fragments from it, appreciation, on the other hand, would consist of looking at the whole picture instead of the pieces. Even though appropriation is certainly a problem in fashion, things get a bit more complicated when studying the relationship between cultural appropriation and socioeconomic imbalance. Tikesha Morgan mentions a recent incident on social media where MAC Cosmetics featured an ad with the lips of an African American woman and received derogatory comments. “If one of the Jenner’s faces was on there and had their lips pumped up to look like the features of someone who is African American, it would have been praised,” says Morgan. “Why is it that they can love our features, but they can’t love them on us?” Apurupa Balasubramanyam, president of Emerson College’s new cultural organization, Desi, which focuses on South and Southeast Asian culture, shares a similar perspective. “When someone from any culture is using their own symbols they’re put down, but when someone else is doing it, they’re like, ‘good for you!’”  Desi says. This explains why appropriation cannot be examined without taking into account the unequal power dynamics in society, which makes the issue at hand even more complex. If pinpointing an instance of appropriation becomes even more difficult due to factors like socioeconomic imbalance, then distinguishing appropriation from appreciation becomes even more challenging. Lately, appropriation has been the most evident in the media. For instance, Coldplay and Beyoncé received backlash for their recent music video “Hymn For The Weekend.” This music video, which was filmed in India, portrays different aspects of Indian culture in an exotified way, which is the case with
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the Holi festival. However, many have critiqued Beyoncé for wearing Indian bridal wear, to which Balasubramanyam says, “I was so mad. If she were wearing Indian clothes, that’s kind of OK, but this is like, are you a South Asian bride? Are you marrying a South Asian?” This case is definitely problematic because it reflects how these artists didn’t take the time to properly research different Indian clothing. Are celebrities really aware of the culture they are borrowing elements from? Additionally, these instances do not occur in a vacuum. Celebrities are role models for thousands out there, and as Morgan mentions, “The fans are mocking and doing what they see their favorite stars do.” To better understand the consequences of cultural appropriation, Marko, who is the director of “Proyecto Carrito”—a movement through stories that strives for changes in immigration and education—provides an interesting metaphor. She compares every culture to “a beautiful garden” where “people have been working with the earth, and learning from each other.” She describes cultural appropriation as someone walking by and “ripping down not just the flower, but the roots,” and gaining benefits from the flower while the roots die. She adds, “Sometimes the person culturally appropriating doesn’t even know there are roots to be tended to.” As a consequence, appropriation can be a form of disrespect towards any given culture because it is overlooking the meaning and significance behind the artifact that is being borrowed. Going back to Marko’s metaphor, appropriation is the same as disregarding a culture’s roots and complex history only to celebrate and “appreciate” a pretty flower. Selecting only what is aesthetically pleasing, “in style” or “cool,” is anything but appreciation. It takes a complete understanding of a culture and its roots to fully cherish and appreciate a culture. An example of someone who has grown to value and appreciate another culture is that of 28-year-old clarinetist, Shankar Tucker. Born and raised in Boston, Tucker graduated from the New England Conservatory and has since revolutionized the way in which music can combine to express different cultures. The mixing of classical Indian music and jazz make his sound unique and avant-garde.
Tucker moved to Mumbai in 2010 to connect with Indian artists and learn more about their music. The fact that he has immersed himself in Indian culture, rather than just “borrowing” their music from the comfort of his home in Boston, shows that he truly cares about this culture. This extra effort sets him apart from those who appropriate within the boundaries of their country. For those who are seeking to truly appreciate a culture, Marko identifies a way to do so. “We have to come together face to face and listen to each other. We have to live with each other, eat each other’s history—literally, eat each other’s food, be in each other’s homes—and oftentimes that means crossing borders.” She adds how this might mean borders in the city, international borders, cultural borders or class borders. This immersion into another culture will bring about not only a complete understanding of its roots, but also a sense of community where the other culture becomes just as relevant and significant as one’s own. Similarly, Morgan alludes to respect and research as the best solutions to the problem. In order to defeat appropriation and reach appreciation we need to thoroughly understand the history behind the cultural artifact being borrowed. It is also important to keep in mind the reasons why something is being borrowed from another culture. If the reason is to be “in style,” then perhaps it’s being done wrong. Indeed, it’s a very different thing to be invited by members of a culture to appreciate their culture than to just walk by disrespectfully from a position of power and “borrow” without asking or taking the time to research more on a given cultural artifact. The difference between appropriation and appreciation is definitely complex, but there are other, and better ways to appreciate a culture other than wearing a sari for Halloween. Traveling and interacting with other cultures is the best way to learn from others and their traditions. It is also important to ask members of another culture how they feel about a specific cultural artifact being borrowed because truly appreciating comes from a place of understanding, valuing and respecting other cultures, their history and their practices.
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Artsy Fartsy How Copies Can Breathe New Life Into Classics
WRITER : Katja Vujic PHOTO : Stacy Wyss, Unsplash
Imitation is the highest form of flattery. That’s the saying, at least. However, it has often been given a negative connotation. Originality is far more valued, and someone who copies—whether they do so through the medium of music, literature, painting or anything else you can think of—is looked down upon and not given as much merit as it often deserves. A third grader in art class who draws a copy of the painting that hangs on the wall is less creative, less of an artist, than the one who draws her family as pumpkins. It’s about time that mindset came to an end. Imitation and originality can go hand in hand; just look at Shakespeare. He is known for the originality of his dialogue, inventing new words and setting a precedent in theater that many still look up to today. However, Shakespeare’s plots were all loosely based on either historical events or previously existing tales. He simply gave them a new life. Imitation, especially when it comes to art, can be incredibly innovative. It can help us discover something new about Atlas Magazine | 34
a piece that hadn’t previously been considered. It can, in some cases, actually come closer to the original than the original does, which can be enlightening. Rob Dückers–art historian, curator and expert–argues that imitation was essential to the development of art. “The importance of imitation cannot be stressed enough,” he explains. “Nowadays, we value originality above everything. An artist has to have his own unique style and should be original in his works. This is completely contrary to the tradition of learning an artistic craft: you went to school in the workshop of a master who taught you how to draw in his style using his works, models and studies. Only once you mastered that and were able to leave your master’s workshop were you allowed to develop your own individual style.” In the work of each famed artist, one could see hints of the master who taught him. Early work was distinguishable from later work, as the artist came further into their own and developed their personal style. Dückers says, “We often see that the pupil retains something from the master. There can be
no early Titian without Bellini or Raphael without Perugino and Leonardo, and we see ‘quotations’ of the works of the masters appearing in the works of the (former) pupils. If you learn from the best by imitation, it can only improve your own style.” The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It marks a moment in art of innovation, of a complete rethinking of the painting techniques that had always been used. It also is a tangible object representing the genius of its artist, Leonardo Da Vinci. Experts say it’s his best work, further proven by the fact that he kept it in his own possession through the end of his life. One would think, then, that seeing it in reality would be a magnanimous experience for anyone who values art even slightly. Dückers begs to differ; “If you go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, you are bound to be disappointed. Amidst a crowd taking picture after picture, you only see a dark painting, so much smaller than you imagined it to be.” In fact, the great fame of the piece may well detract from the viewer’s enjoyment of it.
“I enjoyed the experience of seeing the Mona Lisa more than I enjoyed seeing the painting itself. The whole thing was kind of a spectacle,” says Mandy Seiner, writing, literature and publishing ’18. The painting was heavily protected, encased within a glass box with a semicircle of empty space sectioned off around it. Lauren Addicks, marketing communications ’18, with her small stature, had to push through the huge crowd like a football player just to get a tiptoed glimpse. “I wasn’t really amazed by the painting, but I felt a sense of accomplishment that I went and saw it,” she says. The tragedy of Da Vinci’s surviving works is the improper preservation of them, which resulted in extensive damage. This is most clear when finally seeing the Mona Lisa in Paris. Unfortunately, the painting as it is today is far from how it looked when he first painted it. The varnish is heavily darkened, clouding details and colors, and many details have also faded. Experts have pronounced it too fragile for restoration. 35 | Remix
For many, seeing the Mona Lisa has less to do with the painting itself and more to do with what it represents – that is, a revolution in portraiture prompted in large part by Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s one of the greatest works of art to ever exist, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that if you simply went to see it at the Louvre. A recently rediscovered copy of the painting now hangs in Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado. Most art historians agree that it was likely painted by Francesco Melzi, one of Da Vinci’s students. It is believed by many that he painted his copy alongside the master himself, and may have even met Lisa. Melzi’s version, much better preserved, tells a completely different story. As Dückers describes, “It is brilliant in color and you can see all the details of the landscape, the dress, the chair the woman is sitting on, even the two columns that frame her—which most people don’t even realize are in the painting. The copy allows you to get a clearer picture of what the original must have looked like.” Here, the imitation is essential in order for the viewer to get a real sense of the masterpiece’s significance. This type of imitation is not the only kind with value, of course. A modern reinterpretation of an older work of art can give it a completely new meaning or tell a part of the story that may have been missing. In Jean Rhys’ “Wide Sargasso
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Sea,” for example, the story of Jane Eyre is retold from the perspective of an important, but minor, character in the original. Her perspective lets the reader see the tale with new eyes and reinforces a meaning that may not have existed in the author’s original intention, but which adds a necessary lens. Cindy Sherman, an artist working since the 1970s, is known for her photographic reinterpretations of the paintings and portraiture of the old masters, often including a contemporary feminist message. This type of imitation is valuable because it fully turns the original piece on its head, giving it a meaning completely its own. That meaning wouldn’t be able to exist, though, without the message of the original works. Many of the paintings of the past promoted misogynistic female stereotypes: either the virginal, pure, innocent and submissive woman or the overtly sexual woman who uses sex to lure men to their doom. Collectively, standards for women’s beauty and behavior were created and strengthened. By rethinking those standards in her modern portraits, Sherman was able to use imitation to create something completely new. Imitation and originality are not mutually exclusive. In many cases, they work together to create something wonderful. Pure copies, too, can be incredibly valuable, as seen with the Mona Lisa. It’s important to appreciate imitation for all it can do.
The - ollywood Influence WRITER : Lala Thaddeus ILLUSTRATION : Tricia Sullivan Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood have virtually nothing in common besides the “-ollywood” ending. The different countries these films originate from (the United States, India and Nigeria, respectively) each have different cultural values, norms, histories and, therefore, different preferences for entertainment. These differences have resulted in each country developing its own distinct form of film that suits the entertainment needs of the people. Despite the names of the two non-U.S. film industries, Bollywood and Nollywood did not originate from Hollywood. Rather, Hollywood and Bollywood developed independently and became popular around the same timeframe. Nigerian cinema started in the 40s and began thriving in the early 90s. Unlike Hollywood—which is located in Los Angeles, California—Bollywood, which is the Hindi film industry, does not occupy a city after which the industry was named. The
name was a result of joining Bombay (current day Mumbai) and Hollywood. This coining was inspired by Tollywood, another portmanteau word used to describe Telugu cinema in southern India. “Bollywood movies do not represent the entire country [of India],” says Emerson College Associate Professor of Media Studies Shujen Wang of the Department of Visual and Media Arts. The -ollywood similarity between the industries unintentionally draws people to make comparisons between the two despite their lack of similarities. Judging the success of each industry is thus based on revenue and expenditure per movie. In terms of numbers of movies produced per year, Bollywood created 1602 films in 2012 compared to Hollywood’s 476 annual hits. The current highest grossing Hindi film is “PK”, earning $110 million, while the highest grossing U.S. film is “Avatar” at $2.7 billion. Forbes found that Robert Downey Jr.
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is the highest paid American actor earning an annual $80 million, while the highest paid Indian actor is Amitabh Bachchan at $33.5 million. Based on volume, Bollywood reigns supreme. Nollywood, which is the name for Nigerian cinema, also produces more films for less money than Hollywood. The Nigerian film industry managed to produce 1844 movies in 2013 alone, surpassing both Hollywood and Bollywood’s film productions. Nigerian cinema is the world’s second largest film industry, second only to Bollywood. In 2014, the Nigerian government estimated the industry to be worth $3.3 billion. More importantly than revenue are the themes portrayed in films, which serve to reinforce a country’s identity and cultural values. “Films in India play a far more important role in shaping people’s identities than they are in the U.S.,” says Wang. To compare Bollywood by American standards would be flawed. Wang points out, “Not all national cinemas are affected by Hollywood. Bollywood has always been a bigger industry than Hollywood and it has its own distinct forms and contents.” Additionally, despite the economic, ethnic and cultural diversity present within the United States, Wang says, “There are also far more diverse socioeconomic groups in India.” This means that the film industry has to be varied enough to serve the interests and experiences of over a billion people who come from wildly different backgrounds. Indian cinema, though, had a direct influence on Nigerian films. An article titled “Bollywood Comes to Nigeria,” written
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by Brian Larkin for the South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection, describes the emergence of Indian film in Nigerian society as a reason for its success over Hollywood films. Indian cinema has been popular in Nigeria since the 1950s, when Lebanese movie distributors started importing Bollywood films to the country. Despite the geographical, religious and ethnic differences between the two nations, Nigerians accepted Bollywood films because of some cultural and historical commonalities, such as respecting women by having them dress modestly and rarely showing physical intimacy on screen. “The themes of Indian movies are often based on the reality of a developing country emerging from years of colonialism,” writes Larkin. “The style of the movies and plots [of Indian cinema] deal with the problem of how to modernize while preserving traditional values,” which explains why Nigerian and Indian youth relate to the issue of arranged versus love marriages, a subject American movies have not broached. Despite Bollywood’s influence on Nigerian cinema, Nollywood has created its own medium that combines film and television. It’s called videofilm. These productions were originally taped using home-quality video cameras and edited through a VCR, meaning they were low-budget and did not follow the multimillion dollar investments usually required to create a movie. The first videofilm, “Living in Bondage,” was shot in one month with a $12,000 budget. This 1992 film by Kenneth Nnebue sold over a million copies and jumpstarted Nigerian cinema.
“[Nollywood’s] initial approach to production and distribution had nothing to do with Hollywood. And both its production methods and its aesthetics were influenced by television,” says Dr. Vinicius Navarro, an Assistant Professor at Emerson’s Department of Visual and Media Arts. Nigerian cinema depicts culture-specific genres, such as “horror, comedy, urban legend, mythic parable, love and romance, juju, witchcraft, melodrama and historical epic,” Uchenna Onuzulike of Clark University writes in “Nollywood: The Influence of the Nigerian Movie Industry on African Culture.” One aspect that sets the Nigerian film industry back is piracy. While Nigeria’s film regulatory agency has passed laws against copying copyrighted material, movie producers still feel there needs to be more done to preserve the integrity of the original copies. A majority of revenue is also not going to the people directly involved with the movies and many Nigerian actors have yet to become well-known outside the country. Although the names invite a comparison, the Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood movie industries are unique creations of their respective countries and those countries’ values, cultural perspectives and thematic interests. Rather than seeing Indian or Nigerian cinema as products of Hollywood’s global influence, one needs to understand the circumstances that influenced each industry as well as realize that a Western moniker does not denote imitation. As emerging industries, Nigerian and Indian cinema are influential in gaining a better sense of other countries’ values and learning about the different forms of film around the world.
To compare Bollywood by American standards would be flawed.
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STYLE Open Style Lab // pg. 40 Post-Ironic Fashion // pg. 42 Contouring 101 // pg. 48
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Open Style Lab: Fashion for the Disabled WRITER : Sidney Lee COURTESY PHOTO : Open Style Lab Cristina Zizza always knew she was different. Growing up with cerebral palsy, all she wanted was to feel like everyone else in some shape or form. She was limited by her disability, yet she found joy through fashion. When she put on her shoes that were compatible with her braces, she felt frustrated by the fact that they looked like shoes Frankenstein would wear. Zizza struggled to find clothing that would fit her definition of fashionable and fit over her braces. “My big thing was that I couldn’t put my shoes on by myself,” says Zizza. She was eventually able to accomplish the task, and then wanted to try a pair of UGG boots. She says, “I brought them in and for weeks we tried to find ways to put them on. It was an exercise. And one day we just threw our hands up in frustration.” The UGG boots were not wide enough to go over her leg braces. When her occupational therapist gave her a pamphlet on Open Style Lab, it seemed like a perfect fit. Open Style Lab, based at the MIT International Design Center, started as a student club three years ago and has developed into a nonprofit fashion organization.The organization strives “to make style accessible to people of all abilities.” Open Style Lab is a ten-week interdisciplinary research program where approximately 12 participants, designers, en-
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gineers and occupational therapists, team up to produce clothing items for clients with disabilities. Each team is assigned a client. The client then explains their disabilities to team members and after much research and deliberation, the teams try to come up with a product that satisfies the client’s needs. Zizza’s team designed a pair of winter boots that would withstand Massachusetts weather. Her team began the process by asking her to demonstrate how she put on her socks and shoes. They observed and realized it took around five to seven minutes. They also realized she needed a boot with extremely good support, was warm, breathable, easy to fasten and had rubber soles and adjustable lengths. During the process they had difficulty making a decision between a completely new shoe design or adapting shoes Zizza already liked. They made a pinterest board of her ideal shoes and after she chose one, they produced two prototypes she was able to try on. She says the end product was a sturdy leather boot that resembles a winter boot. “I can wear them three to four times a week,” says Zizza. Her overall experience with Open Style Lab was a very positive one. Lea Yoon, a member of the board of directors, was originally the Education Director of the organization last year.
She watched Open Style Lab develop and helped founders Dr. Grace Teo and Alice Tin create the student-run club at MIT in 2012. While there was a lot of clothing available for those with disabilities, Yoon discovered that the options were often unattractive and not fashionable. “No one actually thought, ‘Hey, a person in a wheelchair would like to have fashionable garments,’” she says. Yoon describes the lack of clothing options as a social issue. “We thought it was very unfair that [people with disabilities] have to face criticisms in addition to hearing ‘You’re not wearing the right kinds of clothes,’” she says. Through their hard work and determination, Open Style Lab has been able to satisfy clients with their products by adding features such as flexible, protective arm pads and heating face masks. The RAYN jacket, which is a waterproof jacket with a foldable lap cover, was inspired by wheelchair users and is available to anyone. The jacket is the organization’s first product for mass market.
Another project that the lab has worked on was a pair of pajamas for a young boy who had a condition where he couldn’t control his bladder. Because he would wake up soaked in his urine, his mother would have to do laundry every day. To solve this, the team made a pair of pajamas where the collection process was so good that he was clean when he woke. This way, his parents only needed to change his pajamas rather than the entire bed. Zizza’s boots and the young boy’s pajamas are two examples of how the Open Style Lab helped make fashionable clothing for people who normally would not be able to wear it. In the fashion industry, it doesn’t seem to always occur to designers that their clothing might not fit everyone. People with disabilities are a section of fashion society who are often forgotten and, therefore, left with a limited selection of designs. Open Style Lab allows people with disabilities to feel included by incorporating current fashion trends and styles with clothing items that are accessible to those with physical disabilities.
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The Fanny Pack of Trends WRITER : Sara Henke PHOTO : Evie Hansford MODELS : Lenny Alcid, Amelia De Elizalde STYLIST : Camille Serlin
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When talking about post-ironic fashion, Lizzie McGuire is a great jumping off point. Think back to the blond perky pigtails, pink scrunchies and choker necklaces. Think about how all of these things have slowly crept back into mainstream fashion. This return of the tacky, of the infamous fanny pack fad, is a phenomenon known as post-ironic fashion. Post-ironic fashion began as an anti-fashion ideal that emphasized “has been” looks and outdated trends. Eventually, this anti-fashion statement from high-end designers created a revival of what was no longer considered “trendy” in the mainstream. What was once outdated has been marketed purposefully and knowingly by brands like American Apparel, who recognize the return of the look’s popularity. This return of old trends goes beyond simple ironic fashion. In a sense, it is something that has become enjoyable or trendy again. Emily Stikeman, visual and media arts ’18 and casual fashionista says, “This trend tends to bring in a lot of things that people wouldn’t [expect]. They were fads in the past and they’ve totally burnt out and people thought they would never come back. But they did. I went out and bought a bunch of turtlenecks and the cashier was looking at me like I was crazy.” Lenny Alcid, film ’17 and Fashion Director of Emerson Fashion Society, talks about this transition. “Some people might have ridiculed it when they were wearing it ironically or before it became popular. Some people will jump on it just because it’s trendy or quirky or they see a BuzzFeed article on it,” Alcid says. “That happens with every trend. There are the curators, and then there are the people who just jump on the trend.” Some specific trends that fall into the category of post-ironic fashion are normcore and health-goth. According to The New York Times article, “The New Normal,” normcore is a return to bland, suburban, anti-fashion attire. This would include the turtlenecks and mom jeans from American Ap-
parel, paired with Reebok or New Balance sneakers. This can also translate into oversized, plain-looking clothing. A typical health-goth look, on the other hand, would be a black Adidas T-shirt, running shoes and edgy lipstick. This look could be described as your typical basement-show-punk meets the girlwho-works-out twice-a-day. These two trends have carried over to the music industry in a big way as personal appearance and brand identity. Stikeman refers to Drake as an example of post-ironic fashion. “He doesn’t wear anything blingy. He brought back the turtleneck, which is a huge component of post-ironic fashion,” she says. Drake is so involved in post-ironic fashion that he is not only the curator of the turtleneck trend, but also experiments with other anti-fashion looks such as all black athletic clothing, black sneakers and black sweatshirts. In other words, Drake epitomizes the definition of health-goth. Drake especially exemplified the look when he wore a shiny white vinyl raincoat during a Paris performance in 2014, and also when he brought back camouflage cargo pants in his 2013 music video, “Worst Behavior.” Alcid agrees that the rap community has pushed a lot of fashion boundaries, naming A$AP Rocky as another figure to look to. He says, “Streetwear became post-ironic like with a lot of the graphic or oversized T-shirts.” Some examples of post-irony in A$AP’s fashion include jean jackets, graphic T-shirts, running sneakers and oversized sweaters. Alcid also mentions Kanye West as a rapper who embodies the post-ironic trend. West just recently unveiled his Yeezy Season 3 clothing collection along with his newest album, “The Life of Pablo,” at Madison Square Garden. The clothes from the collection take on a lot of neutral colors, reflecting a major characteristic of normcore trends. There is also a big athletic influence in the cut of the clothing, as is typical of health-goth looks.
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In other areas of the music world, there are singers like Hannah Diamond who push a different aspect of post-ironic fashion. Diamond is the quintessential return of that “Lizzie McGuire” look embodied by hoop earrings and newsboy caps. Even trendsetter and pop–soul extraordinaire, Beyoncé, wore a bucket hat and various black sports jerseys in her 2014 “Feeling Myself ” music video with Nicki Minaj. This trend has been around for a few years now, and Stikeman and Alcid both say they have taken advantage of the trend for their own wardrobe. “I love wearing very long things,” says Alcid. “I try to model it to my personality and I change it up a little bit. I look at current trends. Definitely the oversized look has been good because I have long legs, disproportionately long legs.” Stikeman draws on normcore trends. “I own a pair of light wash, high-waisted jeans that I got at Forever 21 and, I’m not kidding, I wear them every single day. There is nothing that doesn’t look good with them. I also have a pair of sneakers that are Converse, but they look like New Balance. They would fit the category really well,” she says. Whether or not every person subscribes to the idea of post-ironic fashion, it is definitely a trend that has returned to the mainstream fashion world. The trend picks at the same area as buying cassette tapes or using a polaroid. It is the result of dejected trends from years past come alive again.
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WRITER : Casey Tsamis PHOTO : Evie Hansford MODEL : Lizzie McDowell MAKEUP : Emily Kirk Thousands of makeup artists on YouTube are teaching millions how to contour with easy techniques so that everyone can become a beauty expert with chiseled cheekbones and defined jawlines. With contouring, you’re able to sculpt your cheekbones and add a gorgeous highlight to your face.
What is Contouring?
Before contouring became a makeup trend, it was mostly used for actors performing in front of big audiences and was used to help show their emotion. It soon evolved into a sharp bronzed look and was introduced into the makeup world by the Kardashians. The key to contouring is to highlight parts of your face where the light naturally hits it, adding dimension to the cheekbones, chin and forehead.
Only a few brushes are needed for this look. A stippling brush, which has a flat, bristled top, is used for powder, concealing and setting the face. A buffing brush has a thick, round top, and is mostly used to blend foundation, blush and the bronzed shade of your contour. Lastly, an angled brush has an angled, fluffy side to create the dimensions of your contour and blend the bronzer into the blush color.
Setting and Highlighting
You can set your face with a cream or powdered set based on your skin type. Setting your makeup is a strategy used to prevent oily skin and to have your makeup last longer. “If you’re oily you might want powders, if you’re dry you might want to try creams. You can layer the two of them if you want an extra dramatic contour,” says Natalie Kurpeski, local freelance makeup artist. The Sephora beauty advisor recommends the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette, as it gives you several highlighters and bronzers in one kit. “What I see a lot is an over-contour and not enough highlight, so when you brighten parts of the skin, by contrast you’re going to see a natural darkening of the parts of the face that tends to be hollow like the cheekbones.” Start with a complexion powder so the skin is very even. In other words, spot concealing or foundation is the best way to go. Spot concealing hides any redness or dark marks on the face, like pimples or redness around the nose. After applying your foundation with a stippling brush, it’s important to use
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concealer under the eye area with a shade or two lighter than your face. This way, you can have a bright under eye, which will help you to look more awake and well-rested. Take the concealer up to the top of your cheekbones, right below the corner of your eye. Kurpeski then says to press a fluffy, angled brush in a highlight shade in the kit that matches your skin tone and pat it on the face so you don’t get any creasing or texture. Add any blush color on the apples of your cheeks for a rosy touch.
Creating the bronzed look
For the dark shade of the contour on your cheekbones and forehead, you’ll need two different shade bronzers: a cool tone and a warm tone. Continuing with the angled contour brush, go in with the warmer bronzer first. If your brush has a long handle, hold it at the end in order to control how much product you’re putting on. The less pressure you use, the lighter the application you will have. Blend the bronzer in an upward motion. Madeline Kawalek, theatre studies ’17, and makeup artist at Nordstrom, recommends to stop your contour at the corner of your eye. She suggests using the Anastasia Beverly Hills contour palette and Jaclyn Hill’s collaboration with Becca, Champagne Pop highlighter. For blending, Kawalek starts in small portions. The goal is to have the contour shade darker by your hairline, and lighter on your cheekbones so it’s not just a line in the middle of your face. Kawalek also contours her forehead, her jawline and sometimes her nose as well. If your contour is too deep and not blended out well, start with sheer layers. It’s easier to add on a bronzed shade than to take it off, so use a highlighter to buff it out. However, once you layer a lot of powder on your face, it’s going to look cakey, so hold your brush at the end of the handle. Practice makes perfect. Once you get the methods down, you’ll be able to contour very quickly. The secret is to blend everything out so your face looks naturally dimensional. This trend has become the most popular technique in makeup and is simple for anyone who wants to achieve the look. With that, you can pull off the Kardashian cheekbones and strut down the streets with a gorgeous highlight.
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HEALTH A Smoothie for Everything // pg. 52 How Omnivores Can Cut Back on Red Meat // pg. 55 Ditching the “Bikini Body” // pg. 56
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A Smoothie for Everything WRITER : Emma Dunn PHOTO : Nora Wilby
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In the past few years there has been a smoothie craze, and for good reason. Not only is it easy to pack lots of healthy nutrients into a drink, but it can really cut carbs, calories and sugar. It’s easy to think that drinking a smoothie automatically means you’re eating clean and healthy, but the bottom line is all smoothies are not the same. Some blends will give you energy while others fill you up and curb your appetite. These drinks can be broken down into three main categories. Whether you’re a smoothie newbie or a smoothie connoisseur, everyone can learn something new.
Juice bars and restaurants around the country have recently been taking advantage of the “green smoothie” trend. Green smoothies consist of lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber, nutrients and vitamins. It’s important to note that not all green vegetables are of the same nutritional value. The best green vegetables are the dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV). This category includes spinach, kale, broccoli, romaine lettuce and collard greens, to name a few. DGLVs contain vitamins A, C, E and K. Vitamins A and E act as an antioxidants. Vitamin A contains retinol, which helps strengthen vision, while vitamin C is important because it promotes growth and strength of hair, skin, bones and teeth. Finally, although vitamin K isn’t frequently mentioned, it really keeps your body working smoothly, clotting blood and forming strong bones. According to Health Day, an online health publication, “Less than 9 percent of Americans eat two to three cups of vegetables every day as recommended.” Green smoothies are a great way for people to meet their recommended vegetable intake as well as get the their recommended daily intake of water.
vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and fiber. Skip the pill form and add one of these fruits to your smoothie to boost brain health and improve cholesterol. Kathy Major, chef and general manager for Sodexo in the Hillsborough, New Jersey district, has been working in the kitchen for 32 years and has great advice about smoothies. Major explains that smoothies were developed as meal replacers. When trying to cut calories and lose weight, that’s when they’re most effective. For those who are not vegan, Major recommends starting with a, “low-fat [plain] yogurt as the base of the smoothie and adding berries, in particular, blueberries because it’s one of those superfruits.” Another option is starting with a juice base made from juicing your own fruits or buying them. Major warns students to be aware of the added sugars and high-fructose corn syrups often hidden in yogurts and juices because there are plenty of other healthier options. She also recommends finding out what kinds of fruits and vegetables you like and starting from there.
For those who exercise regularly, this smoothie option might be the perfect fit. Pre- or post-workout protein shakes may seem easy, seeing as you usually just add powder to water or milk, but there are many elements that need to be considered. Benjamin Long, psychology major at Boston University and gym enthusiast, recommends protein shakes to those who realize they are starting to physically “plateau,” as he describes it. In other words, when you’re “working out consistently and not feeling like you’re getting much stronger.” Protein shakes
A classic smoothie is a fruit blend which is naturally sweet. But don’t forget how important it is to limit your sugar intake; the fruits with the highest amount of sugar include grapes, mangoes, cherries and figs. Although bananas are also a high-sugar fruit, they contain many benefits such as potassium, which helps promote strong bones and fluid blood flow. Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, cantaloupe and apples are loaded with
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are used interchangeably with the term post-workout, although they don’t need to be solely taken after a workout. Long says, “Pre-workout is a combination of ingredients that help recovery, increase blood flow into muscles, reduce achiness and pump you up.” On average, Long works out about four to five times a week and drinks a pre-workout shake almost everyday before working out for about three weeks. He explains that it’s important to take a break from drinking pre-workout shakes because, just like anything, you can build up a tolerance to it and it won’t work as effectively. He uses protein drinks as post-workout recovery, but he explains that it’s a matter of personal preference. There are so many different protein powders to choose from, it’s easy to get talked into dozens of them at GNC.
Kale Apple Smoothie ½ apple ½ banana A few large kale leaves (ribs and stems removed) ½ cup orange juice 1 cup ice
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Whey has a high amount of protein, it’s low in carbs and calories and it’s cheap. Other great powders include casein (milk) protein and egg white protein. If you’re a vegan, you can get powders made out of soy and hemp. Add a scoop of low-fat chocolate yogurt to add more flavor. There are concrete reasons why smoothie popularity is growing. The drink that suits you is determined both by your preference and health needs. Rather than take vitamin pills that deliver a micro amount of benefits to your body, throw together some fruits, veggies and anything in between, stick them in a blender and drink up. Not only will your body thank you, but so will your tastebuds.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Blueberry Banana Smoothie
1 banana 1 cup strawberries ½ cup vanilla yogurt 2 teaspoons of honey 1 cup ice
1 banana 1 cup blueberries 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 cup ice
How Omnivores Can Cut Back On Red Meat WRITER : Olivia Woollett PHOTO : Jacob Cutler Every five years, a panel of nutrition scientists meets to discuss and update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, an official report published by the United States government containing nutritional information and recommendations for healthy eating patterns. The newest update was released to the public in January. Alongside concerns about sugar and sustainability, the advisory panel recommends telling Americans to cut back on red and processed meats. The question of meat-related health risks and benefits is a controversial one in the food world today, with some people disputing the conclusions drawn by multiple studies. But no matter which side of the debate seems reasonable, now may be a good time for omnivores to start imitating their vegetarian and vegan friends by looking for ways to reduce the meat in their diets, even if they’re not willing to eliminate it completely. The USDA defines red meat as “all forms of beef, pork, lamb, veal, goat and non-bird game (e.g., venison, bison, and elk)” and processed meats as “products preserved by smoking, curing, salting and/or the addition of chemical preservatives.” For many Americans, these products are dietary staples as sources of protein, iron and B vitamins. However, in excess they may also cause an increased risk for heart disease and other maladies. The World Health Organization’s report in October linked processed red meat consumption to increased cancer risks and a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine indicates that people who eat red and processed meats daily are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Consuming meat in moderation is key, but there are other methods of obtaining these nutrients that don’t threaten your health. Black beans, nuts and leafy greens are just a few protein-packed alternatives to meat. Additionally, lentils and peanut butter are both easily accessible and particularly heavy hitters—each contains 25 grams of protein per 100 gram serving (comparable to sirloin steak, which contains 20 grams). Quinoa is another versatile option which yields even more added health benefits. “Quinoa’s one of the few complete proteins,” Adam Settlage, musical theater ’18, says. “It has all nine of the essential amino acids that our body doesn’t create.” Settlage, who has been a vegan for six months, says he also relies on beans, chickpeas and tofu to supplement protein in his diet. Imitation meat products such as tofu, seitan and tempeh are growing increasingly popular and can be a good choice for omnivores who want to expand their palates but don’t think that beans or a salad constitute a main course on their
own. Tofu, made out of coagulated soy milk, has become fairly common, but tempeh—another soy product made out of fermented whole beans—and seitan, made out of wheat gluten, have even more nutritional value. They both contain significantly more protein than tofu, at 19 and 75 grams per 100 grams, respectively. Seitan is also high in iron and calcium, while tempeh has been shown to have cardiovascular benefits and anticarcinogenic properties. Both products can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for meat. Being more aware of what you’re eating can also aid in making choices which include less meat. Tracking your diet with a planner or calendar is a great way to visualize and limit meat consumption. There are also online communities like the #MeatlessMonday campaign which provide motivation to keep up with their goals. Moreover, it’s easier to stick to a change in diet if you’re not alone. A survey conducted by Aramark food service in 2004 shows that 25 percent of college students think it’s important to have vegan options available to them, and the demographic has only grown since then. More than 7 million people in America now follow a vegetarian-based diet, with a higher concentration among young people. It’s likely there is someone in your friend group who is a vegetarian, vegan or is at least interested in cutting back on meat. “It’s definitely a lot easier having other vegans with me,” Katherine Logan, acting ’18, says. “My mom did it first, I jumped on board and eventually my sister. Having my mom prepare vegan food for me when I go home is a huge reason why I’m able to keep it up.” Home cooking isn’t the only way to get a decent meal free of animal products. There are a number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Boston area, from My Thai Vegan Café in Chinatown to Veggie Galaxy, a vegetarian diner in Central Square whose menu accommodates vegans and those with gluten aversion. The most important thing to remember when making dietary changes is to be kind to yourself. Incorporating changes into your life can be overwhelming, and it’s normal to struggle at first with meeting your dietary goals. As the Dietary Guidelines for Americans update emphasizes, “Every food choice is an opportunity to move toward a healthy eating pattern. Small shifts in food choices—over the course of a week, a day or even a meal—can make a big difference.”
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Ditching the “Bikini Body” WRITER : Annette Choi PHOTO : Shawnie Wen On February 15, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 revealed three covers for the upcoming year, one of which featured body activist and model Ashley Graham. At size 16, 28-year-old Graham is the very first plus size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Graham says, “To have somebody who has cellulite, who has things that jiggle, who has back fat and actually talk about them…that’s real and that’s what we need in this society.” Flattered to appear on a magazine cover that formerly spotlighted women like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks, Graham hopes to change the lives of young women by proving that bodies don’t need to fit a checklist to be considered beautiful. It seems modern American media is beginning to make some small, but significant, strides forward in terms of body positivity. Women’s magazines and brands are making the effort to challenge the rigid standardization of beauty. In December of 2015, Women’s Health magazine vowed to part ways with the term “bikini body” in an effort to promote inclusivity and body diversity. Karin Yehoudian, marketing communications ’18, says that although the term comes with certain societal connotations which imply that a woman should “have a nice body, toned, thin, things like that, to make it ‘presentable’ for the public to see,” a bikini body can come in any shape or size. Women’s Health hopes this decision will allow their readers to realize that every body is a bikini body. Any and every individual should have the liberty to sport a two-piece swimsuit and feel good about it. “So this is movement in the right direction, but it’s so slow,” Susanne Althoff, publishing professor at Emerson College, says. “The models that are used on women’s magazines are still overwhelmingly super skinny.” A number of powerful social media campaigns have surfaced in the past few years, and they are determined to break down the barriers of conventional beauty standards. These campaigns include the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel movement. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty strives to bolster self-esteem in young women. Their most recent efforts include the promotion of #speakbeautiful, which encourages women
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to partake in positive self-talk. The campaign urges women to question and challenge the stereotypes that connect thinness with beauty. It inspires women to find confidence, and not anxiety, in beauty. Dove recognizes that modern beauty standards are often irrational and impractical and hopes their campaign will help others realize that too. Victoria’s Secret launched “The Perfect ‘Body’” ad campaign in November of 2014, promoting a very specific body type as the “perfect body.” This highly controversial campaign was quickly discontinued as it was met with a furious audience and even a petition asking the company to apologize for body shaming. Five months later, plus size retail women’s clothing chain Lane Bryant launched their new lingerie line, Cacique, with the hashtag #ImNoAngel seemingly as a response to Victoria’s Secret. The campaign featured six plus size models in a rather similar photo shoot. The brand used this campaign as a platform to “redefine sexy” and encourage women to post photos of themselves proudly. Despite the notable progress that has been made in the industry, there have also been some obvious steps back. The glorification of “skinny media” continues to skew perceptions of body, beauty and even happiness. While ten years ago, plus size models were between size 12 and 18, PLUS Model Magazine says that most plus size models today range between size 6 and 14. It seems that the gap between reality and the idealized American body is only getting wider and it’s affecting the way people view themselves from a startlingly young age. According to Heart of Leadership, an organization that offers resources and support for girls and women to live up to their full potentials, 80 percent of 10-year-old children are afraid of being fat. More than 90 percent of 15 to 17-year-old girls want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance; body weight ranked the highest on the list. The pressures of media and body image are not, however, specific to females. Heart of Leadership also says that up to 12 percent of teen boys admit to using unproven supplements and/or steroids.
“[Children are] constantly bombarded with images of the ideal body, the ideal everything— like face, hair and clothes,” Yehoudian says. “You haven’t developed your own sense of self, and it’s like they’re doing it for you. They’re telling you how you should be as opposed to you choosing that on your own.” According to WebMD, the average woman is about 140 to 150 pounds and a size 12 or 14. While 50 percent of women wear a size 14 or larger, the majority of mainstream clothing departments only carry sizes up to 14. Yehoudian says, “I’m a 12/14 and it’s really difficult to find clothes at stores like H&M. I have to go online. It kind of makes you feel bad not seeing clothes in your size.” Modern advertisements often depict unrealistic and even absurd body ideals. Trends like bikini bridges and thigh gaps pressure young women to alter their bodies. Commercials have a toxic tendency to feature thin, fair-skinned models who portray the ultimate image of beauty in America. Advertising companies link happiness with body modification, enforcing the message that having clearer skin, flatter stomachs and bigger breasts will inevitably lead to a better life. However, it’s about time consumers begin taking some responsibility too. Althoff says consumers are sending mixed messages about what they really want. “It’s interesting because readers complain about the models that are used today and complain about the unrealistic images that are in magazines, but then when alternatives are created, they don’t respond to them,” Althoff says. “Consumers really
have to act with their pocketbook if they want to see results.” While various start-up magazines have tried to tackle this persisting issue, not many have reached financial success. For example, Verily magazine is a unique online women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine which takes on a pledge many mainstream magazines are unwilling to do. They guarantee unedited photos wherein freckles, wrinkles and birthmarks are welcomed. In February of 2014, Verily revealed that it was no longer able to fund a print magazine. The fact that they had to close the print issues is evidence that they weren’t finding an audience. Instead of waiting for change, Althoff encourages those who are dissatisfied with what they’re seeing to start their own publications. “We may have to wait a really long time until magazines like Cosmo change the way they depict women. I mean, there’s a chance of making financial success and there’s a chance of changing the industry.” Hopefully, American media will continue making major strides to promote a more accurate representation of the American people and body. Graham says, “I proved to them that, yes, people want to see a woman my size, and men and women are really excited about it.”
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From the Blog:
Atlas Online Reclaiming Your Identity After a Breakup WRITER : Margeaux Sippell
So you’re single now. If there’s anything I’ve learned during my first year of college, it’s that life is a wild ride. Friends come and go, opportunities are lost and new ones found, relationships are made and broken. Upon a series of events (whether fortunate or unfortunate only you can say), you’ve found yourself out of another relationship. Maybe it was for the best. Maybe you feel lost and really, really confused. Maybe you don’t feel anything. It doesn’t matter whether the relationship was long term or only a brief romantic encounter–each one hurts in its own unique way. You may be reading this on your phone at the grocery store, thinking, “I’ve read this post a thousand times. What makes you think you have anything new to say about break ups?” Well curious reader, as the saying goes, originality is nothing more than undetected plagiarism. That being said, I do have motive for opening up this overplayed dialogue once more. I’ve seen far too many people I care about spiral into a twister of angst and turmoil after breaking up with someone. What I want most of all is to speak directly to each one of my friends who I’ve seen go through this very thing. I would tell them the only way to truly move on from this is to stop thinking about the person they’ve broken up with and start thinking about themselves. https://atlasmag.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/reclaiming-your-identity-after-a-breakup/
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We’re All in This Together WRITER : Lauren Lopez
There’s a lot of emphasis placed on reunions. High school reunions happen as early as five years after graduation, families reunite if they all live in different places and don’t see each other as often, and there are even more informal reunions such as coffee with old friends when you’re all back in town. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of reunion shows commemorating various anniversaries or whatnot of TV shows. Full House recently debuted its spin-off series, Fuller House, Gilmore Girls is having a four-part revival miniseries on Netflix, the Friend’s cast reunited to commemorate the 1,000th episode that James Burrows directed in his career and the High School Musical cast reunited to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Let’s reunite with these shows with a breakdown of each reunion. When I first heard about Fuller House, I was incredibly excited for it. I remember buying all the Full House DVDs and proudly lining them up on my shelf. I remember watching it before school because it was always on while I was eating breakfast. I didn’t watch it live because it was an older show, but I remember how sad I was when it ended. Now the cast is back together in the same house but with different stories. https://atlasmag.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/were-all-in-this-together-tv-showreunions/
All The World’s A Stage WRITER : Caitlin Muchow
While sitting in the audience of a production of “Twelfth Night” during a particularly hilarious scene, I saw a hand creep into my field of vision. The hand was inviting me to come with it onto the stage and a jolt of fear ran through my body. Though dubious, I ultimately decided to follow its command and found myself on the stage dancing and singing with two of the main characters in the play. When I didn’t think it could get any more bizarre, the ushers started running through the aisles and onto the stage with boxes of pizza. This, my friends, is the magic of live theater. As essentially an English major I’ve read a lot of classic plays. But it’s pretty hard to get into Shakespeare when you’re listening to a teacher you probably don’t like all that much talk about major themes in the least interesting way possible. Unfortunately, that is the way most of us are exposed to great plays rather than seeing them on stage as they were meant to be. And without that opportunity, some never get to experience the way a production can breathe new life into something everyone thought they knew inside and out and make you experience something entirely new, like two plays I have seen recently. https://atlasmag.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/all-the-worlds-a-stage/
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