The Valiance Issue Spring 2021
COVER Model Kayinoluwa Ibidapo Photographer Megan O’Rourke Stylist Hannah Brower, Nicole Windram Dress Bibhu Mohapatra
The Valiance Issue Spring 2021
Editor in Chief Hannah Brower Creative Director Hannah Brower President Rylee Hanson Art Director Queena Chen Junior Art Director Kelly Fung Fashion Director
Beauty Director Francesca Byrd Photo Director Photo Editor
Megan O’Rourke Alyssa Latella
Managing Editor Shruthi Nattanmai Senior Fashion Editor Caroline Levine Senior Beauty Editor Lisa Hahner Senior Culture Editor Payton Bierk Editorial Assistant Alfonso Badillo Public Relations Manager Charlotte Harding Social Media Manager Georgia Solley Social Media Assistant Dani Zbodula Web Director
Art and Design Colette Antonaccio, Sharis Chan, Queena Chen, Kelly Fung, Donna Hellberg, Ava Herrera, Rebecca Rajgopaul, Christiany Sendar, Fanny Wu, Zhiyuan Xie, Veronica Montalvo, Riya Panjwani, Adi Nimrodi Photography
Rebecca Bast, Hannah Brower, Francesca Byrd, Charlotte Harding, Sarah Heditsch, Emma Kubek, Alyssa Latella, Mia Murphy, Shruthi Nattanmai, Dylan Newton, Megan O’Rourke, Angela Power, Siena Robertiello, Jordan Rush, Kennedy Stukes, Nicole Windram, Kendyl Woodruff, Christina St.Clair, Morgan McGarry, Lily Ferenc Jessica Bally, Hannah Brower, Charlotte Harding, Anna Lindsay, Isis Manzanilla, Catherine Nguyen,Victoria Panzella, Taralyn Peck, Mia Piazzi, Christina Saint Clair, Raelen Todd, Nicole Windram, Tricia Munro Francesca Byrd, Morgan McGarry, Karlee Ingegno
Blush is produced by the students of the Fashion Institute of Technology, part of the State University of New York, with funds provided by the FIT student government association. FIT is committed to prohibiting discrimination in its programs, activities, and employment, whether based on race, color, nation origin, sex, gender, gender identity, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military service status, genetic information, pregnancy, familial status, citizenship status (except as required to comply with law), or any other criterion prohbibted by law. Inquires regarding the nondiscrimination policy may be directed to the affirmative action officer/title IX coordination, (212) 217-3360, email@example.com. Blush is produced by the students of the Fashion Institute of Technology, part of the State University of New York, with funds provided by the FIT student government association. FIT is committed to prohibiting discrimination in its programs, activities, and employment, whether based on race, color, nation origin, sex, gender, gender identity, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military service status, genetic information, pregnancy, familial status, citizenship status (except as required to comply with law), or any other criterion prohbibted by law. Inquires regarding the nondiscrimination policy may be directed to the affirmative action officer/title IX coordination, (212) 217-3360, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Brower / EIC
Nicole Windram / Fashion Director
Rylee Hanson / President
Kelly Fung / Jr. Art Director
Queena Chen / Art Director
Megan O’Rourke / Photo Director
Shruthi Nattanmai / Managing Editor
Alyssa Latella / Photo Editor
Alfonso Badillo / Editorial Assistant
Payton Bierk / Senior Culture Editor
Charlotte Harding / PR Manager
Lisa Hahner / Senior Beauty Editor
Dani Zbodula / Social Media Assistant
Caroline Levine / Senior Fashion Editor
Georgia Solley / Social Media Manager
Francesca Byrd / Beauty Director
The Valia Issue
Fashion 008 018 022 026 034 040 044
Defining 70’s Black Owned Brands Circular Fashion Fashion as an Art Stepping up Menswear Exposed What Rules?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Culture 052 056 060 072 076 080 086
2021 Messages Who Wears the Pants? Sheer Personal Pedestal Not a Bandwagon Dive in Deep Sustainable Vs Ethical Digitized Editor Essentials Looking 4rn? Diary of a Pandemic
092 094 098
Beauty & Wellness 102 112 116 120 124 126 130 134 140
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Fresh Air Go Graphic Auras Featuring Features Anywhere but Here Dream Chasing Sexual or Sexualized Matcha Vs Coffee Natural Glow
editor’s letter It is with great joy and love, I introduce to you, the Valiance issue. The Spring 2021 issue of Blush is something very near and dear to my heart and I am extremely grateful to be able to share this with all of you. You are currently viewing the 20th Blush issue to date and I could not be more honored. This issue’s theme, Valiance, is having strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to face danger with firmness. It emcompasses bravery, boldness, and courage. It’s about coming out stronger than before, and better than ever. I wanted to capture that feeling of higher self. Imagining the best version you can be, and becoming it. Starting off, I knew I wanted to tackle the concept of something bright, hopeful, new, and fresh; and I believe this issue is all of the above. It captures everything I am passionate about and wish to be. We all had a rough and unimaginable year, craving growth, action, and often returning to nostalgia. Valiance is the breakthrough to a new era. Us creatives are the strongest force above all. We hold so much power and energy to push for change and optimism and I am grateful for Blush to be one of our platforms. My very first issue as Editor-in-Chief is everything I could’ve dreamed of and more. I have learned far more than I ever thought I would in this position. After obsessively checking everything and dozens of flipthroughs, it’s here and ready! Here’s to my executive team for being absolutely exceptional, I am forever grateful for you all. Thank you for seeing my vision through and bringing it to life. With being fully remote, the Blush team and all its contributors really made some dreamwork happen. Seeing every creative team working hard and being passionate has been such a joy to see and be a part of. I am so proud of everyone who worked alongside me on this issue. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to anyone who has ever supported me. My greatest goal is to be able to inspire people so I hope you are by the Valiance Issue. Best,
GRAPHICS BY SHARIS CHAN
BY AUBREY BETHON 08
AS POLITICAL, SOCIAL, AND CULTURAL MOVEMENTS OF THE 70’s ARE EXPERIENCING A REVIVAL, SO IS THE ERA’S FASHION.
SO, CAN YOU DIG IT? AGAIN? 09
PHOTOGRAPHER/MODEL Tricia Munro
From disco glam and androgyny, to eco-conscious clothing, the styles that defined the 70’s are back–but is it really a coincidence we’re seeing the resurgence of bohemian era trends at a time that’s so historically similar? Disco glam, androgyny, and eco-conscious clothing–the styles that defined the ‘70’s are back. It should come as no surprise that groovy trends have resurged at a time so historically similar to that of the bohemian era.
DISCO REVIVAL Bianca Jagger stole the hearts of young women everywhere in the 1970’s and has continued to influence present-day trends: bell sleeves, slinky metallic dresses, and choker necklaces are just a few examples of her notable fashions. Disco queen of New York’s famous Studio 54, companion to Andy Warhol, and muse to up-and-coming designer Roy Halston, Bianca Jagger is easily the “it girl” of 70’s fashion. Despite her reign as queen of the cool crowd, Bianca wasn’t the only celebrity icon pushing boundaries and inspiring contemporary fashion.
STYLE CHAMELEONS If there’s one thing David Bowie is remembered for, it’s his use of fashion to create an alter ego: Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Halloween Jack, and many, many, more. While Ziggy Stardust was established through over-thetop glam rock looks, The Thin White Duke took to the stage in more relaxed, polished ensembles. Known for morphing into many characters, Bowie used the transformative capabilities of clothing to personify various identities and inspired others to do the same. No stranger to reinvention, Miley Cyrus is a modern-day artist who has demonstrated time and time again her ability to transform herself–as proven by her recent rendition of “Heart of Glass” by 70’s rock band, Blondie. With her gritty vocals, revealing jumpsuit, and Rod Stewart-inspired mullet, the rebellious musician presented herself as a true rockstar and a fashion powerhouse while taking some style cues from this unforgettable decade.
MODEL Mahalia Galimore FASHION/ PHOTOGRAPHER Christina Saint Clair
MODEL Lina Cronin PHOTOGRAPHER Megan O’Rourke
ALL WRAPPED UP MAKEUP/PHOTOGRAPHER/MODEL Morgan McGarry
Belgian fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg created her iconic wrap dress in 1974, a garment designed to suit every woman’s body type and provide maximum comfort. The classic style and silhouette is an enduring one, remerging on designer runways as well as our closets. Diane Von-Furstenberg’s wrap dress isn’t the only quintessential style that has emerged in 2021. The most recent Bottega Veneta show is just one example of 70’s fashion in the modern world–the scene looked more like the entrance to Studio 54 than it did to a modern day catwalk. Models were adorned in bright colors, patterned trouser suits, knit dresses, and silky slips as they jived down the runway.
FLOWER CHILD FROCKS In a time of environmental angst and pollution disasters, barefoot bohemian earth goddess, Joni Mitchell became a proactive advocate for environmental change. She wore tie dye blouses and billowing frocks while urging mankind to make radical changes before it was too late. Celebrated by hippies everywhere, Mitchell also inspired the movement toward clothing with a more minimal impact on the planet. Fifty years after Joni Mitchell’s environmental anthem “Big Yellow Taxi” was released, the planet is at the forefront of social dialogue and fashion conversations once again. We’re seeing more natural fibers, recycled materials, and secondhand pieces than ever before as consumers demand brand transparency and environmental justice.
MODEL Sydney Avery PHOTOGRAPHER Kendyl Woodruff FASHION Christina Saint Clair
Dress Vintage Vest Charlotte Harding
FASHION/PHOTOGRAPHER/MODEL Off-Cut Lottie
THE TRANSFORMATION OF WOMENSWEAR
SEWN TOGETHER ARE THE PAGES OF HISTORY
Although glitz and glam had a considerable impact on 70’s fashion, certain celebrity icons questioned what really constitutes femininity. Film actress Diane Keaton distanced herself from the ultra-light fashion of the day by effortlessly mixing menswear into her wardrobe. Her neckties, baggy trousers, suit jackets, and vests often upstaged the Hollywood men she was surrounded by.
The iconic 70s Swedish pop group, ABBA, said it best: “the history book on the shelf is always repeating itself.” We know that in many cases, one can predict the future if they study the past, and fashion is no exception. What’s in style speaks great volume to trends in society, politics, and the arts. Clothes not only help identify who we are, but also how we live at any given time. They balance on a very sensitive scale; a change in culture will cause a change in fashion. Just as famous fashion columnist and editor Diana Vreeland said, “Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes.”
Long gone are the days where women were considered trailblazers for donning a men’s suit and tie on the red carpet. Trouser pants, blazers, matching suit sets, and neck scarves have captured the attention of women everywhere yet again. Business women are not only wearing typical menswear in the workplace, but sporting coordinated tailoring in more casual aspects of life. The main correlation between 1970’s and current fashion? The bold statements of rebellion and change. Whether this sense of liberation is embodied in a free spirited teenager wearing bell bottoms and listening to rock and roll, or a modern woman wearing a crocheted bra top at her local farmers market, one thing is consistent–the clothing we wear is a sign of the times we live in. So who knows, maybe we’ll be breaking out our leg warmers and shoulder pads next. Afterall, what was old can become new again.
DIVERSITY IN DESIGNER FASHION IS ESSENTIAL FOR A FUTURE OF INCLUSION AND INNOVATION.
BLACKOWNED BRANDS By Raelen Todd
When we think about the fashion industry and the creatives pioneering it, we recognize that fashion now is far more diverse than ever before. This transformation stems from civil rights movements that helped categorize diversity in fashion as a necessity. Black-owned brands have been historically fundamental in organizing grassroot efforts and, to this day, they continue to ignite social change. Proving to be more than just their products and services, these businesses are representations of a future grounded in unity and inclusion: each new designer or brand is an emerging voice for people of color in the fashion industry, and it’s important to appreciate the designers and entrepreneurs who are paving the way for younger generations.
Importance of the Diverse Designer
High-end, designer fashion was once completely white-dominated. Even black designers like Ann Lowe (the first renowned African-American designer) didn’t receive credit for any of her designs. Since then, the industry has done a 360, and designers like Kerby Jean-Raymond and Christopher John Rogers continue to break down the barriers once blocking black designers from reaching their high-end status. Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder of Pyer Moss and Your Friends in New York, a new platform designed to empower the next generation of black creatives, is a Brooklyn-born designer whose high-end fashion brand is continuously blowing away the fashion world and amplifying black voices in the process.
Creating Spaces to Fight Prejudice
While the powerhouse behind Pyer Moss has made significant change through his brand and through his individual voice, he struggles with how he’s perceived within the fashion industry as a black designer: “As much as I wanted to just be the black Yohji Yamamoto and not have my race show up in my work, I can’t because it was like the world was still treating me like what I am, which is a black man from Brooklyn who, for the most part people don’t respect until they learn what I do” he told Good Morning Vogue. Kerby Jean-Raymond is known for actively fighting for fair representation in the universe of high-end fashion, breaking ground for streetwear brands including Jackson Napier, 10 deep, 4hunnid, All Caps Studio, Wata, etc. to have successful platforms within this industry. By being a conscious black man in the designer world, he has extended the possibilities for every black streetwear designer for years to come.
“As much as I wanted to just be the black Yohji Yamamoto and not have my race show up in my work, I can’t because it was like the world was still treating me like what I am, which is a black man from Brooklyn who, for the most part people don’t respect until they learn what I do.” KIRBY JEAN-RAYMOND
Disabling the Feminine Narrative
Ahluwalia is a designer who, like Kerby Jean Raymond, fights for sustainability through her work.. She’s the founder of her eponymous luxury menswear brand, Ahluwalia, and she uses her brand identity to express the importance of sustainability. While talking to Good Morning Vogue about the amount of fabric we, the West, discard in Africa and Asia she explained why being a sustainable brand is important and personal to her. “And I think once I saw that and saw the sheer volume of like- what we discard, I think there was no going back after that...Where we grow the materials to make cotton, where we dump our rubbish, it’s never in the West...and it’s always someone else’s problem.” Her entire line/collection is made out of repurposed materials and fabrics and that’s what makes her so unique. She hopes that “the idea of having something that no one else has got exactly the same as you” encourages people to hold onto it. She has exposed the UK fashion industry to how Designers like Samuel Ross represent different nationalities and harmful our waste is, and in the process of practicing what she preaches, ethnicities in the fashion world. Samuel Ross (founder of ‘A-COLD- inspires brands like ROOP, Disa Allsopp, Tove Studio, Flat Fifteen, etc. WALL’ and ex-Virgil Abloh assistant) is a UK designer who began to integrate sustainability into their fashion businesses. his journey in the fashion industry in the projects of Brixton, London (the heart of the civil rights movement in the Uk) selling counterfeit sportswear. Once Ross moved outside of London, he told Good Morning Vogue how he experienced a “constant ebb and flow between cultural Each aforementioned brand is making significant change in the industry influences” that ultimately shaped him as not only a designer, but a by using their passions as tools in the name of activism. Their presence videographer, and an artist. His brand A-COLD-WALL is a high end shows the world that you cannot silence the black creative, and the menswear brand that is known for taking architectural forms, civil rights designers’ voices are essential in making fashion inclusive. Every new activism, and brutalism and combining them to create garments that black owned brand is an addition to the fight for change into a once represent the 21st century. Through A-COLD-WALL, Ross set up an excluded industry. They make room for the next generation of powerful initiative to distribute grants to black-owned businesses. As a result, he and talented black creatives to change the world. Raymond, Rogers, has begun to usher in a new generation of black creatives in London, Ross, and Ahluwalia represent multiple generations who have been making it possible for brands like Cold Laundry, B-Side, Lagoniassa, fighting for a spot in this prestigious, cut-throat industry. Every move they make is to encourage, empower, and shatter barriers so the new Labrum, Marr, etc. to have success. generations of black creatives can have a fair chance at success. From getting no credit on their designs to trailblazing through a gate-keeped industry, black designers continue to unlock the high-fashion utopia in order to expand the world beyond the gate for younger generations until it only represents freedom and inclusion. Christopher John Rogers, an eponymous brand, exists to create emotional and sensitive clothing with a focus on effortful dressing, directed towards an individual with a strong sense of self. Rogers, another Brooklyn Native, has dressed the likes of Michelle Obama, Lizzo, Rihanna, and Cardi B. Rogers’ abstract and funky designs help his customers feel unique in his clothes, empowering them to be comfortable as their truest selves. As a black designer who creates clothing for women, Rogers bridges the gap between masculinity and femininity outside the bubble of what the world expects from black designers. He continues to create space for black men to excel in creating womenswear, and brands like FE Noel, Telfar, Daily Paper, Oyemwen, Brandon Blackwood, etc. are examples of it.
International Significance of the Black Designer
Unlocking the Gate
BLACK OWNED BRANDS
GRAPHICS QUEENA CHEN FASHION
CIRCULAR FASHION by Caroline Levine
The disruption of linear fashion: How closing the loop can rewire the fashion life cycle, m arking a shift from textile disposal to regeneration . 22
THE ABCS OF CIRCULAR FASHION Amode for art, expression, liberation, and rebellion, fashion can also help restore humans as full participants in Earth’s cyclic processes of life. Circular fashion is regenerative by design. Just like returning nutrients to the ecosystem at the end useful life, circular fashion is rooted in the continuous flow of resources: a representation of symbiosis whereby fashion mutually benefits people and the planet. All of the industry’s notorious waton plundering of the land, not to mention labor exploitation, often culminates in mass disposal— tens of millions of tons landfilled, annually, to be exact. Despite the mass amounts of existing textiles trashed, more and more is produce... all to be thrown away… again? Here’s the solution: redefine our definition of waste and treat it as a valuable resource, not as garbage. Give these would-be discards a new purpose, using the least amount of resources and turning the vicious linear cycle into a closed-loop, healing one, so fashion is high-impact—but for the right reasons. With a creative ethos, fashion can take on the role of renewal, becoming enduring, timeless, and treasured again.
Biophilic Design Regenerative design, inspired by nature.
Textile innovation and biotechnology embodies this design philosophy, inspired by nature and working in tandem with it. Non-edible food processing byproducts are used to create wearable garments with minimal environmental impact. From vegan leather made with pineapple leaf fibers to yarns made from kelp, one of the most regenerative organisms on the planet, these materials use available resources and can be returned safely back to Earth. Using food waste as a resource embodies balance, channeling the self-sustaining systems found in nature. Beyond waste diversion, circular fashion is defined by its intersectionality, promoting social and ecological justice throughout the fashion life cycle. Engaging in the circular economy means dismantling systemic causes of social and environmental degradation. Keeping things in circulation means less production, and less production means less pollution and resource extraction, inherently improving quality of life: cleaner water, better air quality, and improved health. Let’s take a look at the big picture–the circular model helps fight the climate crisis, protecting biodiversity while amplifying silenced voices in the global fashion
industry. Circular fashion’s ethical facet means creating a just space for humanity through social equity, education, income, and health, all of which must be bolstered in this model to drive action in building a better, non-oppressive system.
COMMODIFICATION OF CLOTHING We’re living in a throwaway culture—but why?!
Corporate greed and the produce-more-for-cheap business model persists under the veil of seemingly innocent clothing purchases, coupled with an overt lack of transparency. Simply put, we’ve been wired to expect low prices, but at high costs—and turn over our closets each season to grasp after constantly-fleeting trends. So… now that we understand the ABCs of circular fashion, let’s escape from habitual modes of thought and expression, hold companies accountable, and add value back into the things we once deemed as disposable commodities.
Here’s How to Close the Loop 1. Demand change from corporations and the fashion industry that promote heedless extraction, pollution, and consumption. Reach out by contacting the companies directly and avoid fueling these detriments by buying less. 2. Opt for 100% natural fibers that can safely return back to Earth, avoiding petroleum-based, synthetic textiles like polyester, nylon, and acrylic that also release pervasive microplastics. All the more reason to divert these textiles (that are about as biodegradable as plastic bags) from landfill! 3. Reuse, reduce, repair! Yes, engaging in the circular economy, on an individual level, is as simple as thrifting instead of buying new, reusing instead of replacing, and repairing instead of discarding! Let’s buy things that bring us joy, and not just for a week— why do we have commitment issues with our clothing? Upcycle and swap clothes if you’re in need of a refresh (precisely why we need to treat our clothes with lots of TLC)! It’s all about disrupting the antiquated system and embracing longevity, with a focus on the entire scope of a garment: its inception, our consumption, and the garments’ end of life. This new, dynamic approach to production puts the planet, our future, and frankly our lives back into our hands. Let’s change the destination from in the landfill (or incinerator) to in the loop!
KEEPIN’ IT IN THE LOOP 100 billion garments produced per year. One garbage truck of textile waste produced every second. Companies sitting on billions of dollars worth of unsold textiles. These are all wasteful byproducts of the infamous fast-fashion model, and with a little imagination, we can think outside of these confines to bring continuity to the otherwise finite product life cycle. To transform this linear model, we can bridge the disconnect and “close the loop.” Where does all of this excess inventory and deadstock fabric go in a circular system? The recycled material, “shoddy,” sees circularity in action and embodies the zero-waste ethos: this yarn is made by shredding, grinding, and mixing scraps of textile rejects, regenerated into a useful material for stuffing, insulation, and even clothes. This is just one way that we keep what already exists in circulation instead of wasting and producing more.
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Kantamanto, A.K.A. “second-hand-city,” is a model of what the Global North now calls “sustainability,” the often unrecognized pioneers of the closed-loop ecosystem. They are the recipients of massive amounts of second hand clothing exports, becoming the dumping grounds for the excess of textiles. This global textile hub in Ghana is the largest second hand market in the world, representing a vast ecosystem of people and makers that challenge the constructed notion of disposability. The average Kantamanto shopper has an intimate understanding of how clothing is made and views secondhand as material for customizing. Waste is built into the business model. The different culture and interaction with clothing does not view clothing as a disposable commodity, and it’s integral that we channel this mindset to rewire the cycle.
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KANTAMANTO & SECOND-HAND-CITY
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Graphics Zhi Yuan
disposal, there are numerM ousultimate environmental and social implica-
tions that are often ignored for temporary, monetary gain. Circular fashion means redefining the formerly fruitless bottom line, “closing the loop” to decrease the strain on people and the planet—the real stakeholders. The garment’s end of life is introduced in its inception. It’s more than a second-chance, it’s the complete transformation of fashion—claiming its own new, intersectional identity.
Closing the loop redefines the industry ecosystem and our place in its dynamic network, linking us together through energy flows, promoting interconnectivity and rejecting disposability. While linear fashion is often associated with excess, circular fashion can be a mode for just systems, and environmental transformation. After all, what is the point of systematically engaging in a vicious cycle, wrought with mindless speed and unfulfilling consumption that seems to only benefit from its own acceleration? It’s time to rethink, regroup, and reimagine everything. The change has to occur within us first.
BY COLLEEN RODGERS
AS AN ART 26
TODAY’S RUNWAYS ARE TEEMING WITH ABSTRACT, AVANT-GARDE PIECES THAT, WHILE SEEMINGLY ABSURD ON THE SURFACE, SERVE AS POWERFUL ARTISTIC MEDIUMS FOR EXPRESSION. MOVE OVER PAINTING AND SCULPTURE– FASHION IS HERE TO CLAIM ITS RIGHTFUL SEAT IN THE WORLD OF ART. More often than not many of the pieces on the runway are “too avant-garde” for the average consumer to wear. Alexander McQueen, Iris Van Herpen, Maison Margiela, Rei Kawakubo (just to name a few) are often criticized by the public for these reasons. In a consumer-driven world, what is the appeal of putting these ornamental pieces on the runway, you may ask? The answer lies in the designers’ desire to create art–not a commercial product. Functionality is not fashion’s sole purpose: storytelling, emotion, curiosity, and expressionism all go into inspiring a designer’s work.
FASHION Nicole Windram MODELS Nicole Windram Danielle Windram OUTFIT Aldrian Diaz
FASHION AS AN ART
DEFINING ART The theory of aesthetics in art relates to a work’s ability to evoke reactions, intellect, and imagination. A fashion show can captivate an audience in a similar way through the performance, artistic makeup, music, and, of course–crazy garments. Critics in the art and fashion industry have long argued over whether fashion is really a form of art; and while it is rarely elevated to the same status as a Da Vinci, it is one of the purest forms of lived art. Art is defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination [...], producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” It is not limited to the traditional idea of a canvas hanging on a museum wall, art can be lived and experienced in our daily lives. The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art redefines fashion, showcasing it to the public and art critics around the world as an intricate mode of artistic expression, pushing beyond the typical confines of a canvas.
FASHION AS AN ART
PERFORM ANC E VS PAINTING Art historians universally analyze art by looking at its form, function, content, and context. If we analyzed Alexander McQueen’s renowned No. 13 show using the same lens, we would find that he used natural tones, ruffled lace, and elegant tailoring to lure the audience into a serene state. Of course, this chaotic fantasy was jolted to a halt when robotic arms began spray painting a woman in a pristine white dress. By using fear tactics in his shows to portray the theme of nature-versus-machine, McQueen created an unforgettable experience of performative art that raised the bar for how fashion shows should be conducted. He disrupted the traditional ideals of fashion shows and proved that the presentation itself can work in tandem with overall artistic expression.
Designers such as Iris Van Herpen, Thierry Mugler, Maison Margiela, and Rick Owens channel the same artistic energy into their designs and shows to provoke a response and create an experience, rather than focusing strictly on what’s going to sell best in stores. So, the next time you see an avant-garde piece on a runway that’s mocked for its absurdity, take a step back and think: where would art be if people thought the same about a Picasso?
Although some people might not understand the reason for a dress to be spray-painted on a runway, it proves that fashion can induce the same intrigue and passion that a Jackson Pollock can. What may seem to have just been splatters of paint on a dress or a canvas, could actually be an allusion to the anxiety in one’s head or the untamed forces of nature.
FASHION AS AN ART
With an Emergence of Silhouettes, Colors, and Prints Comes a New Era for Men’s Fashion Where the Sky’s the Limit. How High Can You Reach?
STEPPING UP MENSWEAR BY ALEXANDRA LEKAS
It may be widely assumed that men’s fashion isn’t as interesting or exciting as women’s, but the recent timeline of trends would dare to disagree. Individuality and expression in menswear has become more embraced than ever before. With the increase in popularity of skirts, statement sweaters, and tiny handbags, the world of men’s fashion as we know it is going through a major transition–and one for the better.
In particular, the video-sharing app, TikTok, has been one of the biggest influences on the newfound creativity in everyday menswear. People from all over the world have been sharing their outfit of the day (OOTD) and closet tours, inspiring one another to reinvent their wardrobe. There’s an incredible push from not only TikTok, but the main audience of this app, Generation Z, for men to be more expressive and innovative with their apparel. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the most With the huge influence the internet has on recent couture season as an example: Louis it’s users, the clothing industry has been able Vuitton’s kilted skirts, Prada’s chunky printed to thrive, expand, and revamp itself countsweater vests, and even Fendi’s corduroy suits. lessly, allowing for less boundaries and more However, it’s the changes happening outside artistry in every department. of the high fashion world that are really kick starting the evolution of menswear.
With the increase in popularity of skirts, statement sweaters, and tiny handbags, the world of men’s fashion as we know it is going through a major transition - and one for the better. 36
STEPPING UP MENSWEAR
PHOTOGRAPHER SARAH HEDITSCH MODEL SHARFARAZ KHAN GARMENT NOAH TAGER FASHION MIA PIAZZI ANNA LINDSAY
Outside of social media’s influence, celebrities such as Harry Styles, Billy Porter, and Ezra Miller have contributed to blurring the lines between traditional menswear and expressive fashion.
STEPPING UPMenswear MENSWEAR Stepping up
Outside of social media’s influence, celebrities such as Harry Styles, Billy Porter, and Ezra Miller have contributed to blurring the lines between traditional menswear and expressive fashion. Styles, for instance, was the first man featured solo on the cover of Vogue, photographed in a gorgeous blue dress. Although this sparked a bit of controversy among older (and even younger) generations, many people celebrated his gender fluid approach to fashion. The backlash Styles received even sparked a movement of men wearing typically ‘feminine’ pieces such as dresses, skirts, pearl necklaces, etc, to stand with him. This brings us back to the pertinent point: there has never been a better time for freedom and creative expression to showcase itself through menswear. For a long time, and still today, there has been so much untapped potential in the world of men’s fashion, and only now have we started to uncover it all. After years of adhering to basic blue jeans or the classic black suit, menswear is embracing the beauty of style and welcoming a new era of exploration with open arms.
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THE COST OF COPYING: COPYRIGHT VS COPYCATS FASHION’S KNOCK-OFF PROBLEM IS NOT NEW, BUT IT’S TAKING A TURN FOR THE WORSE. By Jennifer Hepler
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It’s no secret that the fashion industry is rife with copycats. One scroll through popular Instagram accounts like Diet Prada will show examples of big box brands, luxury designers, and popular influencers alike snagging style ideas from smaller creatives. Examples of designs being poached for profit sparks outrage on social media platforms and in the press, but this dark side of design is not unique to the 21st century, rather it has existed for hundreds of years. America’s apparel industry arguably was built upon US designers imitating the designs of European couturiers as early as the 1700s. So, if copying is almost as natural to fashion as creating, when does it become harmful and hinder creativity?
Large companies stealing from smaller designers is far more damaging than when established, high end designers are knocked off.
At the heart of the fashion industry’s copying problem lies the age old debate between what is legal and what is ethical. Copyright law does not protect the designs of items that serve a functional purpose such as clothes, shoes, or bags. Only specific logos and insignia can be protected. Outside of that, everything else is up for grabs. While copying may be legal, it is a far cry from ethical, yet it happens all the time. Historically, imitation in the industry was designer to designer, or large company to large company. However, nowadays social media enables large companies to go after the designs of individuals or emerging brands, not just established design houses. This shifts the power dynamic in the fashion industry for the worse. The fight between corporation and creative is not a fair one.
3. Established brands have the means to fight copyright issues.
Everytime a large, profitable brand or influencer mimics the work of a smaller designer, they not only sacrifice creativity, authenticity, and integrity but they also harm the designer they are stealing from. If a smaller brand’s newest design concept can be plagiarised by a fast fashion retailer and sold for half the price with no legal repercussions, how can designers feel safe to create? What’s the incentive? Graphics Christany Sendar
Here’s why: 1. Large designers’ core customer base will still pay for the “real thing” regardless of what knockoffs emerge. 2. Big brands have more name recognition, so when their designs are copied, many people will still know where the idea originated from
On the other hand, smaller creatives may not have gained widespread recognition for their work. When large companies steal their work, they are stealing more than a style or design, they are stealing their brand identity and means of growth in a competitive market. They are in a real sense stealing the brand’s future. It is ironic that it’s often the companies with the most resources who are the worst perpetrators of design theft. Retailing giants notorious for stealing design ideas should invest some of their revenue in their own creative abilities instead of investing time researching and leeching off work from others. Perhaps copying from large, recognized brands is too ingrained in fashion history and culture to be stopped, but stealing ideas from smaller, emerging brands has a true cost on the potential growth of not only that brand, but the fashion industry’s ability to create and innovate as a whole.
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What By Jacqueline Vu
The rulebook that once dictated what a person could or could not wear has become pointless. Why? Because
Generation Z said so. If we were to look back at our younger selves, these so-called “fashion no-goes’’ were considered unspoken rules everyone once followed— but not anymore. Today, we see Depop users fighting for any article of brown clothing and embracing styles we never thought would come back, like sweater vests and casual pearls. Styling prints on prints, wearing unorthodox designs, and thrifting for one-of-a-kind pieces are considered a part of Gen Z’s fashion identity. Long story short, we’re now wearing whatever we want and doing whatever we want.
It’s no surprise that styles we collectively deemed as hideous in the past would make an incredible breakthrough in today’s mainstream fashion. That’s right. We’re deviating far from normalcy when it comes to our clothing and accessories. As a matter of fact, normalcy is already out of the question, considering we’re over a year into a global pandemic. This newfound, isolating lifestyle leaves us yearning for more— more individuality, more free will, and more fun with our style.
Clashing prints? Funky pants? Wearing...brown?
The #1 Fashion Rule is:
There are none.
Remember the infamous no socks and sandals rule? Or the fact that the color brown could never be stylish? These rules of the early to mid-2010s were outlined in the hypothetical Fashion 101 textbook followed by consumers to designers alike. Fast forward a couple of years, and to much surprise, once “unsightly” styles have crept their way into the spotlight once more, this time, with the public’s opinion in their favor. You’re probably wondering; how did we collectively end up welcoming such unconventional trends with open arms? The phenomenon of trends coming and going every season isn’t new. After all, fashion is cyclical and it’s likely we’ll see more styles brought back to life in the foreseeable future. That being said, fashion’s current trajectory towards the unexpected is all thanks to Gen Z’s affinity towards progressiveness and their “don’t-care” attitude. We’re loud and aspire to be heard.
FASHION / MODEL Rylee Hanson PHOTOGRAPHER Aidan Snideman TOP Vintage PANTS Vintage Reminiscence
Life is Short, So You Might As Well Have Fun While You’re Here. Fashion’s current whereabouts are difficult to pinpoint as social media platforms like TikTok—a Gen Z-dominated video-sharing app—churned out a multitude of niche subcultures, driving our fashion trends in various directions. Punk, cottagecore, e-girl/e-boy, and dark academia are some of the many genres that enable us to explore the many facets of our style identity. Viral TikTok trends in conjunction with being stuck at home have allowed us to play around with different looks instead of adhering to a singular aesthetic. The majority of current popular trends reigning over social media are kitschy, eccentric, and sometimes even a bit ironic—in a stylish way. DIY clay rings, Lirika Matoshi’s whimsical dresses, and funky printed pants from Paloma Wool are making their way into many fashion aficionados’ ‘For You Page.’ Such playful motifs are direct references from the 1960s Mod subculture. Taking inspiration from postmodernism at the time— an artistic and philosophical movement riddled with innovation, irony, and imitation—Mod culture featured geometric prints and patterns, bold colors, and mini skirts. It was fun, feminine, and featured Andy Warholesque aesthetics. Continuing our generation’s love for revisiting the past, “kid core” is an ode to childhood nostalgia through its ‘90s references and child-like themes. From chunky toy-like statement rings to colorful beaded jewelry reminiscent of the ones you’d make in grade school, revisiting what we once adored during our youth enables some sort of temporary escape amidst all the chaos. With most of us being in our late teens to twenties, the uncertainty that awaits during adulthood can be terrifying. As a way of seeking comfort from all our anxieties, our youth uses fashion as a tool to embrace our playful, inner child.
It’s Not Just a Fleeting Trend.
It’s a Movement.
Gen Z takes pride in its unapologetic attitude and rebellious nature. Being so strongly opinionated leaves us socially and politically conscious, constantly questioning authority, and seeking new ways to be heard. Thanks to the digital age, we’re able to disrupt society with the push of a button. You’ll never be able to predict what’s going to go viral next. Who would’ve ever guessed that tastefully obnoxious prints and kitschy styles would be the new norm?
Are you okay? I know that downfall in 2020 hit hard. It’s almost like last year you were the side character who tragically got killed off. No worries, in 2021 you’ll be stepping into your power and making one of the most drastic comebacks, definitely casting you as one of 2021’s main characters. Healing is on your horizon as you start to regroup and find your sense of purpose within community and spirituality. Stepping into this energy, you’ll start to naturally attract everything you deserve. With Aries being ruled by Mars, which never goes into retrograde this year (unlike last year), you’ll be full of energy and drive. Let’s just think of 2020 as a crucial part of your backstory, and 2021 as your time to thrive.
Honestly, you guys are giving off main character vibes, but in an Archie-from-Riverdale kind of way. One second you’re pursuing a music career, and the next you’re fighting a war. Buckle up Taurus, because 2021 is continuing 2020’s theme of wavering self identity, especially in career. You may be questioning who you are, what you want, and if what you’re doing now is what you want to do for a lifetime. By the end of this year, you’ll have more answers than questions. In the meantime, listen to your intuition, and most importantly, your heart, because you’ve only been prioritizing what you believe to be logic. Loosen up, and don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone to find answers.
You could be a main character in a coming of age movie kind of way. 2021 is all about your glow-up! The two major themes in your year are self-elevation and discovery. You’ll stumble upon many new learning experiences that will help mold you into your best self for years to come. 2021 is full of enlightenment where you’ll gather knowledge that could change beliefs and mindsets you held onto in 2020. You may struggle with maintaining a reputation relating to your private life, but you’ll learn to have more trust in your intuition and to be true to you. You’ll leave 2021 with a new sense of maturity, a lot of stories you’ll tell for years to come, and the impression that you were 100% a main character.
Take a deep breath and relax. I know being a main character for three years in a row wasn’t easy. Consider this year as a reward. Towards the end of 2020, things may have taken a positive turn, and it’s sure to continue into 2021. You’ll build a deep and intimate connection with a romantic partner, friend, family member, or even with yourself. Whatever the case, you’ll feel empowered and that of your emotions are validated. This influence has major effects on your energy and mood which is promising for healing and self reflection. This positive transit lasts until April of 2026! Be wise not to repeat the same mistakes and become too dependent on whatever or whoever you build this connection with (unless it’s yourself).
You’re most definitely the Gretchen Wieners of 2021. You probably don’t like hearing this because it’s in your nature to be a leader, but it isn’t so bad. Last year, it may have felt like you weren’t as social or were disconnected from many of your relationships. You’re bouncing back with your 11th house emphasized, which means major growth in social life. You can expect a new form of influence or popularity(possibly be online given the circumstances nowadays). You may notice lots of people around you going through crazy cycles, and you’ll do your best to support them. But at the end of the day, you’re able to sit back, sip your tea, and focus on your desires which have great potential to expand this year.
You’ve been going through it for quite some time now. Yup, definitely the main character vibes. Another transformational year lies ahead of you. With transformation comes challenge, but with change comes opportunity. This year is supporting you recognizing your self worth and not accepting anything less. As your self worth expands, so will many areas of life you may currently deem incomplete. This doesn’t mean you won’t experience challenges, but these obstacles are what will help build the perception of your worth. In the end, this outweighs all the negatives.
Sorry to disappoint, but no, you’re definitely not one of 2021’s main characters. On the bright side, your year shows a major emphasis on health and altering your daily routines. You may set out to achieve your dream body, take better care of your mental health, or seek to pay more attention to your own needs rather than others. Whatever it may be, it’s something you’ve been putting off for a while. The results you seek look promising towards the end of the year. Go for it! Trust your intuition and make any changes you deem necessary. This is essential to “level up” and be that main character again.
You guys own 2021. We’re quite literally in the Age of Aquarius(which only happens every 2,150 years)! It’s your year, and we’re all just living in it. With this role, you must accept extreme ups and downs that are typical of a main character. Jupiter, which brings optimism, and Saturn, which brings challenge, are both entering Aquarius. 2021 will reward you greatly, but it will also put you to the test. Don’t sweat it. You’ve been working hard on yourself this past year, so you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way. Hey Alexa, play “Age of Aquarius” by The 5th Dimension.
You’re more than happy to step back from the main character role you’ve held for a couple of years now, and it shows. 2021 is asking you to look within and figure out what’s holding you back from fulfilling your full potential. You may want wealth, but also have a hard time appreciating what you already have (on top of some horrible spending habits). 2021 will be the year where you’re forced to prioritize your wants, break bad habits, pursue what you believe to be impossible, and establish your reality. Before any manifestations can come true, you must get rid of any limiting beliefs you hold. You can and you will achieve whatever you set out to do. You’re responsible for your happiness Libra. 2021 is what you make of it.
This one’s tough since you’ll be dragged into a lot of main character drama (like Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries). There may be something in life that’s suffocating you. It could be family, friends, work, your mindset, or even feeling the need to rebel and change your environment. The prominent Saturn energy of 2021 greatly supports this, especially during your season and the month of July. Part ways with whatever’s dimming your life, and you may attract deeper meaningful connections, a stable form of income, or even a long term relationship. Changes are going to take you by surprise whether you’re ready or not.
After a year of carrying 2020 on your back, you can sit back and be the lovable side character for a change. You’ll focus your energy inwards, and work on yourself. You’ll learn to appreciate your solitude more than ever and build a relationship with yourself rebuilding any confidence you may have lost sight of. There’s so many opportunities for expansion in career, relationships, spirituality, personality, and mental health! You just have to be willing to put in the work, and release all that no longer serves you. If you do, Jupiter entering Pisces will be sure to reward you. It’s nowhere near chaotic enough to consider you main characters again, and after being one in 2020 Pisces, is that so bad?
Seeds that you planted in 2020 have everything they need to begin sprouting this year, and blossom in 2022. Your year will be far from boring, but not in a main character type of way. After dealing with your shadow-self last year, you’ll find the ability to express your true self naturally and find a new outlook on life. This will draw in new people and opportunities almost instantaneously. This is the perfect year to make lifelong connections and become closer to people you already know, specifically family. You’ll also find yourself building on much-needed organization in your day-to-day life that will pay off in the following year. You have every right to be confident in what’s to come; however, beware that this confidence doesn’t lead you to bite off more than you can chew.
MODEL GEORGIA SOLLEY
BY ALAINA RANDAZZO 56
WHO WEARS THE PANTS?
AS WOMEN, OUR POTENTIAL IS ENDLESS.
MODEL MIA MURPHY
THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO EMBRACE WHAT IS AUTHENTIC TO US AND TAKE THE WORLD BY STORM. Graphics Donna Hellberg
The world is changing, and as of late, it’s in favor of those who choose to take all that it has to offer. This shift has been especially encouraging to women–a demographic that, in the past, has been warned against wearing the metaphorical “pants” that society had labeled as only for men. The beauty in this recent change is that the phrase, “ who wears the pants,” has steered away from concerning power dynamics or control, and has grown into an ideal that emphasizes the bravery, boldness, and inspiration of being a woman.
pursuit of changing the world. By being exactly who they are and who they are striving to be, this is where they find their real power.
Today’s world finds itself looking towards some of these remarkable women. Women like Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate who also started a nonprofit for Pakistan girls’ education; Ava DuVernay, who makes life-changing documentaries focused on justice; Lizzie Valesquez, a motivational speaker against bullying; and Pants are ever-changing. The evolution of pants, not only Samira Nasr, who is the first woman of color in Harper in fashion but as a symbol of equality for women, has been Bazaar’s history to be appointed editor in chief, to name a long time coming. This evolution, however, would mean a few. very little without the courageous “pants-wearing” women who are moving the world forward. As these women, and many others, continue to lead the way and pave the path to what is possible, it’s recognizable Although this evolution has changed the world for the better, that all of their strengths and achievements have become a unfortunately, women still find themselves fighting against beacon of hope for other women to follow in their footsteps. misogynistic beliefs and ancient stereotypes. These ideas stem from centuries ago when the very notion of pants In the simplest of terms, however, women themselves are weren’t seen as appropriate for women, and they fought to, truly just… inspiring. Their raw beauty, seen in so many quite literally, put a pair on. forms, impassioned, complex nature, mysterious aura, true grit, and overall ethereal temperament are unparalleled. Put Stepping out from their movie premiers, Hollywood icons, them in some pants? They’ll show you how unstoppable Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, both rebel- they can really be. liously dressed in full pantsuits to raise a few eyebrows. “I put on pants 50 years ago and declared a sort of middle Truthfully, it takes a lot of gut and soul to be a woman in road,” Hepburn said in a 1981 interview after wearing her this world. Another of the many reasons that women truly brother’s clothing. are so enchanting. The opportunities are endless with who and what women can now be. It’s an invigorating time to Women have come a long way since these times. “Wearing create a beautiful life that serves and truly fulfills them. the pants” is both a metaphor and a way of being. There A time where pants come cropped, ripped, colorful, and is beauty surrounding the individuality of women and even flared. And the best part? They’re no longer worn only their ability to be true to who they are, while in the by men.
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Checkered Pants Paloma Wool Green Sparkle Pants Rebel La Belle Green Spiral Barragan Brown/Orange House of Sunny CULTURE
Sheer by Payton Bierk
It’s time to be exposed. Raw. Real. Unfiltered. Transparent if you will? 41 61
TRANSPARENCY, IN ITS ESSENCE, IS TO BE S E E-TH RO U G H .
A very concept, that when implemented upon ourselves, is unimaginably daunting. To let the world see everything that you have been, are, and even could be, requires opening up and letting down your guard and defenses. By revealing this state of vulnerability, it unveils both our authenticity and courage. By being nothing other than–sheer, if you will–we’re actually revealing our greatest strength.
Model Rachael Dallara Photographer Alyssa Latella Fashion Isis Manzanilla, Hannah Brower
VULNERABILITY HAS LONG BEEN THOUGHT OF AS A POSITION OF WEAKNESS. Vulnerability has long been thought of as a position of weakness. That in some way, by opening up and letting down our barriers, we’re actually inadequate and even deficient for doing so. Somehow we’re just giving in and giving up, rather than digging in and powering through. This so-called “weakness” often lies more within the perceptions that others have of our vulnerability than any actual fragility of our own.
thoughts, but being vulnerable with the person you see in the mirror every day requires extensive self-discovery and time to uncover who you really are.
If you can’t be vulnerable with yourself, how can you ever expect to allow yourself to be vulnerable with someone else? Opening up to another person, especially someone you care deeply about, is intimidating, to say the least. Think back to the first time you admitted you had feelings for someone– Vulnerability humanizes us. It allows us to reveal our most terrifying. Or when you closed your eyes and sent that inner desires, our deepest fears, and that which we truly risky text (I know I still have relationship-PTSD from that). need. Communicating our feelings, especially those of our Emotional intimacy, however, is quite necessary to build a doubts, desires, or fears, takes incredible resilience. Ulti- meaningful, supportive, and loving relationship. It shows mately, exposing yourself to the possibility of harm, physi- the other person that you trust them to be able to understand cally or emotionally, requires unimaginable strength. and see all of your imperfections and insecurities. “Be true to yourself ” is about as cliché as it gets...right? This intimacy procures a stronger bond as you continue to Absolutely, but being able to face yourself is much easier let down your defenses and share your emotions. Creating said than done. Forget other people, opening up to yourself this bond and ultimately relationship lends itself to develmeans breaking down barriers you may not have even real- oping healthier communication, better trust, and a more ized you had. Bottling things up and pushing things deep, sincere love. deep down is an easy way to cope with our feelings and
INTIMACY Intimacy, though, crosses multiple thresholds. From healthy, emotional intimacy, stronger physical intimacy can grow. Sexual or physical intimacy puts us in one of the most vulnerable states that we can be in. Allowing someone to see all of you, can be nerve wracking and full of pressures. To let yourself be naked or completely bare for another person means not only breaking down emotional barriers, but also some physical ones. As the clothes come off, you can no longer hide behind them. Being vulnerable enough to be naked in front of another person does hold some power.
Some people, however, are taking control. The body positivity movement, for example, has taken over social media, with people empowering each other to be their raw, unedited, and authentic selves. Show those acne scars, those stretch marks. Embrace your crooked nose or those uneven teeth. Love your hip-dips and absolutely adore your tummy rolls. Take off the filters and let people see the real you, because in the end, who gives a f *ck what other people think?
So go on, expose yourself. Let people in, break down those walls you’ve built, and open yourself up, for in your vulnerSex is often construed as a game of power and control. Yes, ability, you’ll find your sheer strength. true, but how about in choosing who you allow yourself to be vulnerable with, by choosing sexual partners, you have your own control? Regardless of the level of intimacy, there’s a power in deciding who gets to see you at your most vulnerable. Whether you take a more submissive or dominant role in the bedroom, sex lets you find a command and assertiveness through your vulnerability and the way you choose to show it. Rather than hiding this intimacy from a relationship, giving into it will only deepen the sexual connection between you and your partner. A sexual dynamic that will only leave both of you more satisfied. Being vulnerable in today’s world also means putting yourself out there, and nothing is hidden anymore. Everything is accessible at a mere click, share, or download. The latest gossip? Already blowing up that annoying group chat that you’ve no doubt muted. That Tinder hookup? You’ve definitely stalked their Instagram and even found their exes on Facebook by now—whoops (note to self: don’t bring up their family vacation circa 2013). Society no longer allows us the opportunity to put up many barriers. Whatever we post is there for the entire world to see, and we’re all entirely vulnerable to this digital way of life. We’ve never been able to control what other people will say, think, or feel about us, and now more than ever, being behind a screen leaves us nearly defenseless to such ridicule.
PERSONAL PEDESTAL By Lisa Hahner
A Guide to Drowning Out Inner Self-Critiques While Discovering Your Full Potential
There is an incessant, nagging, and degrading voice that resides in many of our heads that has a sole mission: to make us question our self-worth. The voice of selfdoubt can turn excitement over a new job into fear of shortcomings. What if I fail at this job? A sense of accomplishment after running a 5K can quickly spiral into comparison and self-deprecating thoughts. How many people finished before me? Was I one of the last? We charge full speed into seemingly gratifying situations only to be blindly intercepted by worry and hesitancy.
In the back of our minds, the voice of self-doubt constantly begs the question: How could you ever be enough? The days when this voice was buried deep down seem out of reach. These were the days when sitting alone at a restaurant or testing out a different cut of jeans weren’t deemed as a trip into hidden insecurities of the mind. Is it actually possible to pry free of that voice and truly believe in ourselves? The short answer? Yes. There is indeed a secret to exuding more self-confidence. The secret? You–and your mindset.
The key to pushing past boundaries and climbing the way to your own center stage is a change in perspective. Many negative beliefs of self-doubt stem from misconceptions about ourselves and situations. To counter these misconceptions, we simply need to alter our thoughts. Making a conscious effort to thwart negative thoughts with positive sentiments can have profound results. When your inner voice echoes reminders of downfalls, counteract them with all of the moments where you came out on top. When the voice creeps in mentions of weaknesses, rebut with your strengths. Developing a habit of changing negative self-conscious thinkings into motivating, positive ones will deter the voice and leave it no place to go. The voice will slowly lose its, well, voice. Trying new activities, or activities that have always been intimidating, is another method of challenging inner critiques and pushing yourself past limits the voice has constructed. The boxing class which always incited nervousness? Sign up and go kick some ass. The painting lesson you always believed would result in a disaster? It’s time to order some new brushes! Engaging in activities the voice never permitted diminishes its dominance and sends a clear message: I won’t be taking any more orders from you. Taking risks does not look the same in everybody. Whether it’s a small plunge, such as signing up for an advanced yoga class, or a more dramatic venture, such as enrolling in graduate school, every push made will strengthen you to have faith in your abilities.
Mantras and affirmations can also be valuable assets when trying to break free from pessimistic, self-doubting ruminations. These aren’t just part of the latest wellness trends we see YouTubers engage in; they are influential and have the ability to alter one’s beliefs. Creating mantras and affirming that you are capable of all you desire will eventually become reality. It may feel silly staring at a mirror chanting, “I am powerful,” to seemingly nobody, but don’t forget, the voice of self-doubt will hear this too. Once the voice starts believing these positive thoughts, the new you has a path to shine through.
Many of us can’t truly explore our natural capabilities because we don’t allow ourselves to grow. Our inner monologue feeds us lies that make us afraid to veer from what’s comfortable. However, once the commitment of creating a change within is made, the tough part is already over. What’s scary isn’t the act of doing the things we think we fear, but the stories that the inner monologue fabricates in our heads. Our minds have the uncanny ability to catastrophize situations and psyche us out. By trialing If you’re struggling to grasp how you can find the drive activities the voice would have forbidden and using the to take these risks in the first place, there are things we power of a positive mindset, strengths and skills that laid can do to trick our minds into doing so. Visualization is dormant for years are bound to be revealed. By loosening a powerful mind tool that can help you feel more selfthe restraints on the invisible chains in our minds, we will confident about situations. For instance, you may be begin to crave more freedom. hesitant to go on that date because your self-doubts have already convinced you it will go terribly wrong. Instead When nothing seems off-limits anymore, that is when we of buying into that replayed scenario in your head– the are truly free. It all starts in our heads and trusting our one where you somehow manage to spill everything on inward abilities to overpower the incessant voice of doubt. yourself, trip the waiter, and stumble over every word– try Soon enough, the voice will be trapped deep within your reframing the picture. Envision yourself on the date, with head, begging to once again dictate your life, only to be confidence and poise, having an engaging conversation, overthrown. The new voice in charge will be your own. completely free from a lap full of spaghetti. When you And this new voice has some big plans for you. commit to it, visualizing positive situations will transform into reality. Before you let yourself get worked up over these stories, it’s important to ask yourself: When have any of these unsettling stories ever actually come true? Celebrate all victories, whether they be humble or substantial. Congratulate yourself on where you are and grow from it. You should be the first one to bask in your newfound capabilities. Also, remember to not give up if hardships are met. Instead of seeing failures as the end of the road, use them as incentive to climb up and drive your way towards triumph.
Graphics/Edits Sharis Chan
Fashion Nicole Windram Model Avni Shah Top Haus of Windram Pants J. Galt Shanghai Shoes ASOS
NOT A BANDW There’s no denying we all jump on the bandwagon, whether we’re buying into the latest fashion trends, obsessing over the newest celebrity, or digging into the hottest food craze. Our society has fallen victim to this psychological phenomena as we continue to crave the approval of the masses. In some cases, the bandwagon effect pushes us to desert our own beliefs and acquire the beliefs of everyone else. Mankind’s desire to be accepted by society has forced us to continually chase the most current bandwagon, creating an almost uncontrollable epidemic.
At the forefront of this bandwagon epidemic is activism. This effect has transported us from the days of physical activism into the era of “digital slacktivism”, where virtual “likes” have replaced legitimate “action.” Slacktivism is synonymous with social media, turning real causes into trends, hashtags, and photo ops. Platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have made jumping on the bandwagon easier than ever before. These slacktivists may claim to support a cause, but aren’t truly engaged or devoted to creating actual change.
NOT A BANDWAGON
WAGON By Viviana Harris
The last few years have seen those partaking in the act of “bandwagoning” mistake serious social causes as popculture’s newest trend. Consumers and brands are cycling through social issues like they cycle through fad diets: at their own convenience. Slacktivism may appear to provide a large quantity of allies, but the quality of each activist has dwindled. Nowadays, a mere ‘retweet’ on Twitter, ‘like’ on Facebook, or ‘hashtag’ on Instagram has become an acceptable mechanism for social change.
Performative activism has even spread throughout the corporate world. Brands view activism as a cash incentive, protesting for the “content” rather than the “cause.” They have awoken to the reality that today’s consumer demands transparency and action regarding various political, environmental, and social causes. Seizing this opportunistic marketing venture allows companies to increase their own social capital at the expense of the very people they claim to be helping.
Whether it’s the Black Lives Matter movement, sustainability or environmental concerns, the #MeToo movement, or the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, we’ve all witnessed these campaigns consume social media.
Many of these businesses are quick to develop a presence on social media, immediately adopting the movements’ hashtags, but refusing to show the same enthusiasm in their boardrooms. This allyship is welcomed, but moving forward, should be met with accountability.
The line between authenticity and inauthenticity, when it comes to activism, is thin. The worst offenders of this bandwagon behavior are members of the fast-fashion industry. They hop on the bandwagon of a pressing social cause and hop off almost as fast as they produce new collections. Notorious fast-fashion giant, Boohoo, was quick to post a black tile on “Blackout Tuesday” to show their support for the BLM movement and committed themselves to internal changes with the creation of a diversity inclusion board. A week later, the brand found themselves tangled in allegations of breaching the Modern Slavery Act as one of their suppliers was accused of underpaying workers. These empty promises were quickly exposed, and society jumped on the hashtag, #BoycottBoohoo. Ben & Jerry’s, on the other hand, is a prime example for how companies can genuinely work activism into their business models. They are the pioneers of corporate activism, from same-sex marriage, to criminal justice reform, to BLM, they’re exemplary of when jumping on the bandwagon incites change.
#Metoo # o o
oo #Me t Met
Similarly, the #MeToo movement began as a way to show solidarity with victims of sexual abuse, and ended with some marginal characters jumping on the bandwagon, searching for sympathy, and undermining the cause.
#Metoo # oo
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Last summer, we saw the exponential rise in performative activism as the BLM movement began trending on socialmedia across the globe following the murder of George Floyd. Those who found themselves on the bandwagon participated in the performative act of #BlackOutTuesday. A wave of darkness flooded Instagram as everyone began posting ‘black tiles’ in solidarity with the movement. This performative action was short-lived as the next day, feeds returned back to “normal”.
Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it has the ability to turn a serious social cause into the next big trend, then we as a society must take the time to reconsider our values. More often than not we see these social media outcries for justice fall short of tangible long-lasting change. The ease of activism has increased the prevalence of slacktivism. So next time you feel yourself jumping on the bandwagon, take a moment to think about whether or not you genuinely believe in the cause or if you’re just doing it because it’s #trending.
NOT A BANDWAGON
GRAPHICS BY QUEENA CHEN
BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON, TAKE A MOMENT TO THINK:
DO YOU GENUINELY CARE, OR DO YOU JUST WANT TO BE A PART OF THE NEXT BIG TREND? JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON HASHTAG CULTURE
NOT A BANDWAGON SOLIDARITY 79
FIGURING OUT WHO IS THE KEY TO CAN YOU IDENTIFY 80
YOU ARE AT YOUR LIVING A FULFILLING WITH YOUR TRUE
CORE LIFE. SELF?
DEEp by Olivia Siena
EGO The perceived self-image we’ve created based on who we think we are or should be. Day in and day out, are you trying to maintain the image you have of yourself? Are you living your truth, or are you living up to your ego?
DIVE IN DEEP
Stylist Raelen Todd Model Sierra Brave Photographer Mia Murphy CULTURE
DIVE IN DEEP
Your ego is the idea of who you are–the self that your subconscious has created as a result of your experiences, what you’ve been told, and who others think you are. To elevate your quality of life, it’s essential to dive in deeper and learn who you truly are underneath your perceived image. Most people aren’t even aware of their perceived self-image. The key to true self love and appreciation is to find out who we are underneath the titles, masks, and faces we portray. Who am I before I’m a student? An athlete? A sister? A friend? Who am I before I’m funny, kind, or intelligent? Who is the lingering self underneath all of my traits and perceptions? How do you find this? How do you make sure you live through this truth and not through the image of this “perfect self ” you feel you must maintain?
Are your wants, desires, and needs stemming from a place of true fulfillment, or are they arising from society’s pressure? Do you even know what you want? Do you know what feeds your soul?
Here’s a secret: you already know exactly who you are. All you have to do is watch and listen. Watch for patterns in the ways you react to situations, and listen to your inner voice; your intuition. Watch how you react to things that truly excite you, and listen to the whispers encouraging you towards the things you love.
the whispers pulling you towards who you truly are. We’ve all been there; we all have that one little far off dream, that far off lifestyle that we just know is for us; our calling. Anytime you do anything that isn’t in alignment with this deep vision, this can manifest into a feeling as if something is missing. In order to escape that feeling of off, that feeling that something just isn’t right, we must identify with these deep wants and desires, these deep goals and dreams, and we must accept that they are unique to our individual selves. They are ours; ours to own, ours to nurture, ours to chase. Oftentimes, we may feel lost due to societal pressures of where we have to go, what we have to do, and who we have to be. But in actuality, we already know our own answers, even if it’s deep, deep, down. THIS is your power. There’s no need to search externally for the answers, for all you need is already within.
Take a look at your fears. Are you afraid because of how you may look? Are you afraid because you may fail? Because society will disagree? It’s crucial to look at these There are many people who live their lives through their unlimited potential knowing things and truly ask yourself, “Are my desires and fears valid exactly who they are and their purpose in life. But if you feel like you’ve never identi- to who I truly am, or have they risen based on who I think I fied with anything but your attributes, it may feel extremely overwhelming to realize should be?” that there’s more to you than you originally thought. You may not even know where If you find yourself questioning what you want, this may to start to discover the self underneath. be a sign that you need to dig deeper into yourself and find
Begin to watch what feeds your ego. Are you following trends instead of doing what truly brings you joy? Are you posting on social media to seek external validation instead of using a platform to express your true self ? Are you seeking relationships solely because you’re afraid of being alone? Are you searching for more reassurance from others than from yourself ? These may all be signs that your subconscious mind is living through the ego instead of through your truth.
Searching for external reassurance isn’t necessarily always a negative thing! External support and validation are forms of community. Of course it feels fulfilling to be part of a relationship or community where you are seen, supported, and valued, but, if this is the only form of love and validation you seek, that’s where problems may arise. Strive to be seen, heard, and loved by yourself first. In order to be seen by others, you must first be seen by yourself. How do you truly see yourself ? How do you show up for yourself ? How do you nurture your passions? How do you hide from yourself ? What are you afraid you might find? Be vulnerable. Get real. Seek to learn who you really are and love it, instead of trying to change and judge who you are. Once you begin to live your life for yourself and only yourself, your heart will be open to receive love from others. Shedding the ego and expressing yourself for who you really are isn’t an easy task. It’s something that requires time, consistency, patience, and dedication. But if not for yourself, then who else? CULTURE
SUSTAINABLE vs ETHICAL By Phoebe Beirne
R A I L I M I S BUT DIFFERENT FASHION’S ECO-FRIENDLY GAME OF SPOT-THE-DIFFERENCE IS GETTING MORE CONFUSING BY THE DAY. 86
SUSTAINABLE VS ETHICAL
Have you recently come across the terms sustainable and ethical mentioned in the media and wondered what exactly they meant? Even though they’re often used synonymously, they’re actually quite different from one another. When it comes to the fashion industry, both terms are representative of slow fashion practices, but they also concern the fashion industry’s effect on the public and the planet.
The confusion between sustainable versus ethical practices is extremely common, as even major companies have failed in distinguishing between the two. As a result, some companies have not always been truthful when describing their products and the ways in which they are produced. This is why researching a company before making any purchases is imperative. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to uncover the information you seek.
The aforementioned fabrics are also biodegradable, meaning they will break down Sustainable fashion, at its core, aims to change over time, leaving little to no pollution after the fashion industry’s current practices and being thrown away. influence customers’ decisions. Currently, Ethical fashion addresses the morals behind the industry generates an alarming amount of manufacturing processes, animal testing toxins within their factories, making conditions practices, and the overall functions of a very unsafe for workers. They also use fabrics company. Being ethical tends to focus more containing microplastics that continue to on the safety conditions, or lack thereof, of pollute our oceans. garment workers. The sad truth?
It also addresses whether or not workers are working in “sweatshops” or if companies are using child labor. If a company claims that they are ethical, this must mean that every worker under their care has received fair pay, has union rights, and works in safe conditions.
FABRIC SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES— WHAT? LIKE, THEY’RE HARD?
With this in mind, shopping sustainably takes into consideration how the production of garments affects the environment. This includes thinking about whether too many resources are being used and then wasted, or if pollution is involved in any step of the production process. It’s also important to factor in environmental production costs such as pesticides, the amount of energy being used, the dyeing and finishing process, water and waste treatment, material selection, and the packaging process. If a company wants to be as sustainable as it can be, it needs to examine every impact a product has had from the start of its production cycle to the moment it reaches the customer’s hands. Sustainability also looks to reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair. So, the main goal? To reduce the number of clothes that are discarded, in the hopes of reducing the effect they have upon our environment. Another aspect of sustainable fashion includes the use of eco fibers or organic fabrics in production. This means that no pesticides or synthetic materials were used in the fabrics’ production processes. Certified organic cotton, upcycled and recycled fabrics, along with aloe, soy silk, bamboo, hemp, and linen are key examples. However, depending on the methods of processing bamboo and hemp, these fabrics are not always considered environmentally-friendly.
ETHICAL PRACTICES— THAT’S ALL. (DEVIL WEARS PRADA)
ETHICAL PRACTICES— NO-NO- THAT WASN’T A QUESTION. (DWP)
ETHICAL AND FABULOUS, EXCLAMATION POINT (SATC)
ETHICAL PRACTICES— ABSO-F-ING-LUTELY (SATC)
I LOVE FASHION... BUT I LOVE ETHICAL PRACTICES MORE (SATC)
Many brands don’t stop at ensuring ethical practices though. They also try to support their workers and improve their livelihoods, especially for those working in different countries. Brands help enably this by becoming more involved in their workers’ communities. Having both cruelty-free and vegan practices, meaning no harm came to any animals during production, is another huge element of being ethical. Organizations such as Fair Trade help brands to label their products properly, guaranteeing to customers that safe and ethical practices were put into place during manufacturing.
THE NEXT STEP While fast fashion may seem a “convenient” alternative to save a few bucks, there are options to consciously shopping more sustainably and ethically. Most notably, in the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed a surge in the popularity of thrift shopping and resell websites such as Poshmark and Depop. Through social media, there’s also been an increase in information and educational resources surrounding ethical labor practices and how the general public can help to ensure companies are held accountable for their practices. It’s clear that though we have a ways to go, the industry is certainly headed in the right direction. We, as a society, truly need to start being more mindful about our own sustainable and ethical practices. It’s so crucial to incorporate even the smallest bit into our lives in order to do our part in helping our planet. After all, we only have one.
Digitized By Donna Hellberg
On any given day I spend 90% of my time in the loving company of my screens. I assume I am right in saying you do the same. We’re past the point of avoiding it, so how can we maximise our digitization?
8:00 am The alarm rings on my phone. 8:18 am After blissfully hitting “snooze” two (or three) (or four) times, I pick up my phone for the customary morning scroll through the news and social media. Purposefully ignoring the terrifying Blackboard notifications that have snuck onto my lock screen. 8:30 am With my favorite playlist or an episode (or two) of Friends playing in the background I drag myself out from the comfort of my covers. I shower, “choose” what to wear (let’s be real it’s been the same outfit for the past 6 months), do my makeup (on good days), and have a quick breakfast accompanied by a gallon of coffee.
TIP! For my fellow multitaskers out there, don’t forget that you can split your screen to show two windows at the same time. Just make sure none of the windows are in full screen mode and you are good to go!
9:10 am With seconds to spare I hop on to class, during which I spend most of my time desperately hopping from tab to tab trying to multitask, responding to the sea of emails that rolled in during the night (90% of which are from FIT), and texting my friends in the class.
12:00 pm Three hours later… finally break time! Despite furious resistance from my inner voices telling me there’s more work to be done, I tear myself away from the screen. The part of me that cares for my mental health convinces me to go for a walk (or even to work out on occasion!). We all know what this means: AirPods on, volume up. I’ve become a podcast aficionado during this whole staying-at-home period. Not only do they keep me in the loop on my favorite topics, they also provide some much needed life advice.
Recommendation: No F*cks Given by the writer of Get you Sh*t Together
1:00 pm Lunch in one hand, laptop in the other, I hop online to attend club meetings. It’s so nice to finally see some human faces!
2:00 pm Work sesh #2 of the day (aka homework time). I sip on an oat latte (which you’d think I would’ve perfected after a coffee-shop free year, but still somehow tastes off) and work on this week’s list of assignments. I am only human, so I give myself short breaks throughout my study time to scroll through the socials. As job hunting has practically become my second profession, I’ve started scrolling through LinkedIn as I do Instagram. Seriously, who have I become? TIP! Google Calendar is your new best friend. Schedule in all of the tasks you need to get done during the day (including some well-deserved relaxation).
TIP! I’m going to let you in on a feature of Chrome that changed my life. I’m one of those people who has a phobia of closing a tab. As it turns out, Chrome lets you group your tabs! Just left click on a tab, add it to a new group, and watch your sea of tabs reduced exponentially.
7:00 pm As I feel the glass in my blue-light glasses starting to crack, I realize I’ve spent the past FIVE HOURS in front of my screen. This justifies some food, some GOOD food. I have tried to master the culinary arts from the confines of my home but, safe to say, that even after a year I am no chef. Dinner is also the cut-off mark for schoolwork (as much as my workload allows). Now is the time to relax on the couch with my good friends: Netflix and Disney+. 9:00pm As the binge-watcher I have become, I devour about 2-3 hours of Netflix shows before eventually calling up my friends for the latest gossip on their virtual dating lives.
My #1 rule: “Separation of Church and State”: if possible, never do school work in bed. Your bed needs to be a sanctuary dedicated to calm, comfort, and sleep.
Graphics Christany Sendar Fashion Taralyn Peck Model Emma Kubek Lily Ferenc
TIP! Do virtual “Wine and Whine” nights with your friends. There’s nothing quite like ranting with your closest confidants while sipping on some fine Chardonnay.
11:30 pm The goal is to be in bed by around 11:30 pm...which we all know never happens. For a week I tried doing the highly recommended “30-minute screen cleanse” before going to sleep, but I found it to be, quite frankly, impossible. At that point I might as well just sleep for those 30 minutes.
Digitizing is defined as “converting something to a digital form.”
Since being confined to the walls of my apartment, this is quite an accurate description of life. We continuously post about our lives on social media, attend school online, get our entertainment from our various screens, and so much more. The trend lately has been to encourage a break from screens. I disagree. Screen time is inevitable.
Taking a break from our screens means taking a break from our lives, so embrace the digitization! 91
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By Veronica Montalvo
Graphics by Queena Chen
By Alfonso Badillo
Not anymore. It’s the end of discreet, unattached flings, and the beginning of an era filled with self-empowerment and meaningful connections. Before the dawn of COVID-19, hooking up was a core aspect of gay culture. For some, limitations of the pandemic have not stopped them from turning to dating apps, such as Grindr and Tinder, to continue to engage in casual, sexual encounters. However, many have taken this time to reflect on this consuming, and even toxic, part of gay culture. It’s a break in the pattern–– one that’s festered for far too long.
An overarching issue that arises from this culture is that of power dynamics. Multiple factors play a role in this, such as age difference, the amount of experience a person has, whether someone is openly out, finances, and even one’s living situation. It places the young, innocent, and unaware in a situation where they are vulnerable. As a result, they are often sexualized at an early age, developing a dependency upon hookup culture as a coping mechanism after trying to For many gay, adolescent boys who grow up in an create the ideal “coming-of-age” dating experience. This environment where they aren’t able to openly be themselves, culture also provides a sense of acceptance for a community dating apps are often the sole way to connect with other that is generally oppressed in their upbringings. people in the community, while staying on the down low, but this comes at a cost. They are thrust into a microcosm of With the physical limitations due to COVID-19, the past discovery, relationships, and sex. year has been a time of great reflection. Those who have resorted to trivial sexual flings aren’t able to surrender to Many of these boys start exploring dating apps before they’re the vicious cycle of trying to fill the void. It all used to be so of legal age–-usually out of curiosity––and are frequently routine. Endless scrolling through faceless torsos, chatting sucked into the virtual sphere of this newfound, enticing to see if any conversations could carry on for more than a reality. New app-users lack the knowledge to navigate what mere hour, and maybe spending a night with a man who’s the rest of the community has learned from experience. only a few texts more than a stranger.
It’s become a sort of backwards rite of passage. Hooking up started to feel emotionally dissonant. Why are we going on these hookups? It became a way to fill the void of loneliness rather than a moment of genuine sentiment and pleasure. It was easier to partake in this developed system of comfort than confronting one’s emotions. While many have developed different coping mechanisms throughout this period of quarantine, overwhelming feelings of loneliness tend to warrant the old habit of hooking up. As everyone entered a period of tightened social circles, hooking up wasn’t a possibility anymore. During periods of intense, emotional lows, one couldn’t find solace in casual, sexual encounters. For a community that already deals with forms of social isolation from not being able to be fully out, or not living in an area with a thriving gay community, losing hook up culture during the pandemic took an emotional toll on many. For myself, this was the final straw in realizing that something desperately needed to change. I got rid of all my dating apps. I finally realized that it was just a distraction from my real emotions and not providing any benefits to my romantic life. I did a lot of contemplating while simultaneously trying to fill the time that was once previously consumed by anxiously waiting for the “trill” of my next Grindr notification. During that downtime, I focused on truly being in the moment, practiced mindfulness, and actively tried to take control of my own emotions. I didn’t need to appease my longing for connection through a dating app; rather, I needed to embrace the power of my own company. Eventually, a sense of clarity and empowerment fell over me.
There was a shift in the relationship I had to dating apps. In and of itself, dating apps aren’t just emotionless voids of mindless conversations and one night stands. Especially for gay communities, where connecting with others doesn’t always come easily, these platforms connect us to one another. This culture, however, has created an insane cycle of attempting to cope rather than creating a positive outlet to meet new people. This time to reflect has ultimately helped those in the community create healthier dating experiences. A typical reaction to these behavioral patterns are some regretful thoughts followed by episodes of loneliness. By putting the behavioral aspect on pause and taking away the option of the physical, we are able to think more intentionally, cultivate more true and powerful emotions within ourselves, and participate in behaviors that are genuinely fulfilling and meaningful. During a time when we must decide if a hookup is worth risking our health, we must continue to channel empowerment within ourselves. We’ve been granted an opportunity where we can potentially change a prominent part of our culture. How can we use this realized power to navigate how we create connections with people moving forward?
LETTE AN T
PHONE? CHECK. KEYS? CHECK. MASK? CHECK. PACKING UP MY ENTIRE DORM ROOM AND FLEEING IN RECORD TIME? DOUBLE-CHECK. 98
Online classes, how we love you–not. Blackboard Collaborate, Google Meet, and Zoom, in other words, FIT’s stylish, new classrooms. It felt as if all creativity was sucked out of classes. All of the fun disappeared faster than we could blink an eye. I quickly felt like I was drowning in assignments and doing work to simply get it done and get the grade, rather than truly absorbing or learning any material. It seemed as though some professors forgot we were in the middle of a pandemic as they sent assignment after assignment our way. It’s as though they thought with all of our newfound free time that there was nothing else to occupy our minds while we were stuck to the confines of our homes. Imagine that? It’s me… again... do you ever feel like the days just blend together and you’re just stuck going through the same, mind-numbing motions? I can guarantee you that you’re not alone... especially now. Nothing could have prepared any of us for what the pandemic brought in, and we’ve had no choice but to embrace it. Throughout the past year (and counting), there have been so many highs, lows, and feelings stuck somewhere in between. Initially, the pandemic didn’t feel real. March 2020. I remember sitting in the breezeway of FIT’s campus, talking to friends about what would come of our normal day-to-day lives if there really was a worldwide shutdown. What would a worldwide shutdown even mean? What should we prepare ourselves for? While walking down 26th Street, a close friend looked at me and said, “There are already 1,000 open hospital beds ready for when the coronavirus makes it here.” I will never forget the sinking feeling that followed. After hearing every broadcast and reading every news update each day, the anticipation to know what the future would hold grew exponentially. During the early months of the shutdown, the adjustment was inflexible. Everything we knew, every routine, was flipped on its head. The transition from in-person schooling to remote posed one of the hardest challenges for nearly everyone. Packing up and leaving behind the bustle of campus and city lifestyle to return to our homes was both heartbreaking and confusing. A semester and a half of the true college experience and–BAM–I found myself sitting on the train, staring out of the window blankly, heading back to my smaller and far more boring hometown. Back to a place that I had spent the last 15 years, but now with so many unanswered questions. What’s the next move? Will we even be able to pick up where we left off? And if so, when? It was hard to digest that the city I was leaving behind was not the same city atmosphere that I adored. I would ask my friends living in the city a million questions, desperately hoping each time they would tell me it was getting better and I’d be able to return in no time. Each time I’d ask, the response was, “During the day it’s like normal I guess, but at night the city seems empty.” For “the city that never sleeps,” I knew that wasn’t a good sign.
The pandemic didn’t roll in with sole negatives though. Forced to stay home, not being allowed around any friends, or have any social interactions...Having a hard time seeing a positive side to this all? I know, trust me. The shutdown paved the way for a lot of self-reflection. It especially shined a bright and steady light on mental health. I found myself turning to people closest to me and asking for help with what I could do to stabilize my conscience. I never considered how important seeing my friends, taking walks, or going out for lunch dates was until I didn’t have the option anymore. Without them, I felt really low, numb even, but I had nothing but time to work on my mental state. That’s exactly what I did. Many of my friends and peers did as well. The best advice I received? “Meditate, exercise, get sunlight. Also, pick up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. Do something that truly brings you joy.” Nowadays, social media seems like it’s the only way to connect with the rest of the world. Each Facetime call with my friends sounds like a broken record—“At home and in school, pretty much doing the same thing over and over.” My Snapchat stories now only ever see me laying in my bed or lounging on my couch. As I sit scrolling through my Instagram feed, it’s riddled with post after post about online therapists, people sharing their journey on navigating through this Twilight Zone we’re stuck in, and tons of “encouraging” posts. It finally hit me: I wasn’t so alone. Every single person in the entire world has been affected by this, and in some ironic way, despite all the horrific loss, that was a beautiful thing. To me, that meant that if nothing else, I had one thing in common with everyone, and we were all in it together. The lockdown truly forced us all to let go. It’s impossible to be in control all of the time. Sometimes all we can do is go with the flow, for you never know what tomorrow has in store. No one knows when we’ll be able to kiss our masks goodbye and go out into the world without fear, but I do know that the kids of the future are in for one hell of a ride when their history classes look back on the year 2020-2021.
Quotes via Ylanyi Mora, 21. FIT student
DIARY OF A PANDEMIC
BY MOLLY GELMAN 102
AN EXPLORATION OF THE VALUE NATURE HOLDS FOR OUR MENTAL HEALTH, AND WHAT WE MUST DO TO PROTECT IT. The simple act of taking a deep breath and relishing in the everyday miracles of birds chirping, babbling brooks, and sunshine peeking through tree branches. Feeling that rush of calm and serenity knowing that you are in the here and the now. This feeling is so effortless but, at the same time, can be so very rare. It is not always easy or even appealing to open the door and see the world in its actuality with the entire world at our fingertips, housed on our screens. It is often overlooked to peer into what is transpiring right in front us and breathe.
For a long time, many took for granted those aforementioned everyday miracles. The healing experience of breathing beyond the confines of our four-walled homes has always been within reach, but rarely appreciated. Ignored and overlooked, that was, until last March. In the blink of an eye, the outdoors became a newfound oasis. Suddenly, a daily walk had taken on the excitement of a night on the town, and a hike was as hot of a commodity as a Birkin bag.
During the lockdown, a fire was lit in many and a light was shone on what has been there for us all along: the outdoors. As David Attenborough said in his newest Netflix documentary, A Life On Our Planet, “People were coming to care for the natural world as they were being made aware of the natural world”. A treasure that was present all along had been discovered.
Throughout quarantine, the gaze shifted to mental health and wellness, and people came to notice a tool that has been there since the beginning of time, nature. Sometimes, the best medicine is to step outside, soak up the sun, and take a breath. Whether it’s taking a walk, sipping a warm cup of coffee on your fire escape, riding a bike, or enjoying a delicious picnic, studies have shown that fresh air can genuinely make you happier. A 2015 study reported by Harvard University saw those who walked for 90 minutes in either a natural or an urban setting had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region active while one has
repetitive–and most times negative–thoughts. The rejuvenating effects of nature have been proven to be so powerful that governments worldwide are beginning to view time outside as a legitimate prescription. In 2018, NHS Shetland, a government-run hospital system in Scotland, began allowing doctors at various medical practices to write nature prescriptions that promote outdoor activities. Additionally, according to the Institute at the Golden Gate’s 2018 ParkRx Census, there were 71 programs in 32 states for “Nature-Prescription initiatives” in which time outside was viewed as a form of healing.
Stylist Hannah Brower Makeup Artist Karlee Ingego Stylist Assistant Kristian Brown Model Sydney Kithcart Dress Jeanette Toscano
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IT'S TIME TO TAKE A BREATH AND REALIZE WHAT NATURE TRULY IS: A GIFT
While the phenomenon of simply breathing and reveling in the natural world may feel trivial and ever so accessible, it is in tremendous jeopardy. Nature can only continue to be a great soothing power if treated properly. At this moment, The Wildlife Conservation Society shares that a mere “23 percent of the world’s landmass can now be considered wilderness, with the rest—excluding Antarctica—lost to the direct effects of human activities.” Overfishing, deforestation, and exploiting natural resources for human use have vast negative impacts on the environment. Currently, our planet’s biodiversity is at immense risk of slipping through our fingers. One can only thrive if everything around is thriving as well. By destroying the sole planet we inhabit, we play an active role in eliminating the environment created for us to flourish, heal, and breathe.
replicate– it has become evident the true meaning of fresh air. Of course, we should care about saving nature because it is beautiful, because innocent animals are losing their homes to deforestation, and because our coral reefs are magical. But at the end of the day, we need to cherish our Earth because there is nothing more crucial for our survival. We need to take care of nature because even if we don’t always realize it, nature takes care of us.
Nature gives us respite when chaos feels like it has taken over, and gives us consistency when the rest of the world feels as though it has been turned upside down. It may have taken a global pandemic to turn human eyes onto the value of fresh air and the natural world, but the message has been clearly received. Now is the time to take note of nature and After these months of exploring the feelings this world can evoke in its ethereal beauty. It’s essential to educate ourselves and take steps to us–that no amount of hours scrolling through Instagram or TikTok can ensure we can keep it around for much, much longer.
GO GRa phic BY
They squint to smile, roll to judge, and wink to flirt. Yet as history has proven, the eyes can speak without the effort of facial muscles but with a smudged liner, false lash, or even a bejeweled lid. Eyes are the most expressive sensory organ, thus are beloved by the great poets, painters, musicians, and makeup artists. They are the window to Shakespeare’s soul, the source of Mona Lisa’s peculiarity, and the charm of Van Morrison’s girl.
In the new century, graphic makeup is not exclusive to Hollywood. The stage extends outside of the theater walls, granting the audience the same freedom of creative expression. 21st-century eyes are lined, dotted, splattered, and glossed. A world of shape, color, and texture transcends the time-honored black liner, evolving the language of self-expression. Looks electrify with neon bolts, blaze from red flames, bloom flowers with every blink of an eye, and smoke clouds that drift below the brows.
Through the years, the eyes have come to mean a myriad of things to various people in diverse contexts. Yet what remains consistent is their unfailing capability to communicate. Whether belonging to a royal Ancient Egyptian or a dewy Gen Z, the eyes serve the same singular purpose: to inaudibly voice Modern eye makeup is a boundless artform one’s truth. with the sole purpose of speaking one’s truth To the pioneers of cosmetics, the truth is and being loud about it. It is an age when au their physical, financial, and spiritual health. naturale is as vocal as avant garde; when blue Ancient Egyptians routinely painted their mascara is seen on a catwalk and a grocery eyes to reduce the sun’s glare, distinguish their run; when straight men are joining in on the socioeconomic status, and honor the deities. fun. Though highly diverse, the adorned A green pigment coated their lids. A stroke of canvases voice one succinct message: black kohl traced the almond-shaped circum- go graphic–a call to action echoing loud in a ference. Thick liner dragged out to meet the pandemic world. tail of the brow. It was dramatization for the Masks are in. With mouths covered and noses sophisticate, and it was this refined drama that tucked, the eyes are more salient than ever. galvanized the Western Roaring Twenties. They witnessed the tragedies of the passing The discovery of Queen Nefertiti’s bust was a game-changer in the 1920s. Flappers were fascinated by the theatrical emphasis of Her Majesty’s eyes, a marvel propelling eye makeup to the century. Egyptomania was alive and well with the sumptuous Ancient aesthetic decorating the 20’s. Yet the flash, boom, and swing of the decade were muffled on screen. An actor’s truth is her character, and in silent Hollywood, this is communicated through the accentuation of the eyes. Thus artificial beauty was born–a cartoon-like look defined by pencil-thin brows, smokey lids, distinct lashes, and dark kisses.
year yet reflect beauty back into the world. Scarface’s Tony Montana turns to Manny and utters his infamous line, The eyes, chico. They never lie. No matter the intended message, an emphasis on the eyes is an assertion of the truth. A touch of mascara sighs. A cat-eye whispers. A double-wing commands. Expression supersedes application. This generation unapologetically celebrates manifest authenticity whilst chasing the next opportunity to reinvent the self, rewrite the inner truth, and re-paint the canvas. GO GRAPHIC
Model/Makeup Artist/Photogrpaher Francesca Byrd
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
FIRST This layer holds the strongest energy. The whitish color is probably attributable to the intensity of the energy closest to the body.
(ENERGY FLOW LAYERS)
SECOND This layer is a few inches away from the body, that is commonly used to determine the state of health, the emotional state, or the personal characteristics of the subject.
THIRD This is the largest layer and is considered to be the more permanent mental, physical, and emotional state of subject. It is also thin and translucent and does not change much over a lifetime.
GRAPHICS FANNY WU
(SELFISHNESS) BEAUTY & WELLNESS
FEA TURING FEA TURES BY CARLY BURSTEIN
CROOKED TEETH, BUSHY EYEBROWS, BUMPY NOSES, STRETCH MARKS, AND DREADLOCKS– LET'S TALK ABOUT THEM
MODEL/PHOTOGRAPHER JORDA N RUSH GARMENT INTERNATIONA L CONCEPTS
MODEL FRA NCESCA BY RD
While that freckle on your foot or birthmark on your cheek may be common features, some people have a tendency to conceal characteristics of themselves that differentiate them from the rest. Why is that? Societies have set standards, labeling certain appearances as superior to the others. Aspects such as symmetrical teeth and perfect nose-slopes were placed on a pedestal, with society looking down upon those who did not fit this construct. In the last few years, however, we’ve observed a change in the narrative about what beauty truly means, and how it can radiate through all types of features. It’s about time!
Have societal standards been taken to such an extreme where some wish to have a deviated septum just so that they can have an excuse to get a nose job? The nose is a feature people can’t hide, so the alternative has turned to photoshop or surgery. In today’s day and age, it is prevalent for people to edit their noses to look a certain way to give an illusion of the “ideal” Teeth are showcased in almost every ad or size. People will invest in expensive makeup campaign we come across, whether on televi- and spend hours watching YouTube tutorials on sion, social media, magazine spreads, or even how to achieve the “perfect” contoured nose. your local billboard. In America, many people Our culture needs to start promoting all differtypically have braces at a young age, and from ent nose types, whether it be larger nostrils, a then on out, are deemed safe from social perse- bump in the middle of the nose, or anything in cution. What about those who don’t get braces between. It’s time to show off your nose and and may have a gap or slightly crooked teeth? kiss unrealistic expectations goodbye. Why aren’t these people told that their smiles Eyebrows are a feature that many, especially are just as radiant? It wasn’t until a few decades beauty lovers, obsess over. Making bi-weekly ago that magazines started featuring individu- threading appointments, tinting the eyebrows, als with gapped or crooked teeth. People need plucking them weekly, or even filling them in to see that their smiles are normal and there to ensure they look camera-ready is extremely isn’t a “one size fits all” guideline for toothy common. When did the idea of going more than grins. It is ingrained in us to believe that having a few weeks without altering the brows become a brilliant smile entails having straight, pearly an anomaly? Experimenting with the occawhite teeth. What isn’t taught is that the best sional unibrow and embracing bushy eyebrows smile comes from within–from the happiness can be empowering. Only recently have we and positivity you exude as a person. witnessed brand campaigns flaunting models or influencers who choose to let their eyebrow hair grow freely. There is no “right” way eyebrows should look. All eyebrow shapes are alluring and unique.
MODEL EM M A KUBEK
CHIPPED TOOTH Stretch marks and cellulite seem to be on most of our bodies, yet we manage to either avoid talking about them or cover them up. In the past, society has commonly viewed cellulite or stretch marks as “negative” aspects of weight gain. Not only has society progressed to the point where all weights are seen as empowering, but these once “negative” aspects are now recognized in a different light. Celebrities, models, and even the general public have been bringing up this conversation more, and we’re finally coming to the consensus that these features are perfectly normal. They are not a sign of weakness or points of insecurity, rather proof of how amazing and transformative the human body is.
MODEL LILY FERENC
Dreadlocks have been around for centuries and are finally being embraced by the fashion world in a more progressive manner. The hairstyle has been known to be representative of politics, spiritual beliefs, and many other elements of specific cultures. Dreadlocks are often seen as closely connected to reggae culture or as a symbol of reggae itself. Around the world, there exists a deep-rooted idea that straight, sleek hair is the ideal hair type. As a result, Black people, in Western cultures, have often been wrongly criticized throughout history for wearing this hairstyle. Dreadlocks have been called not as beautiful as the straight-haired ideal, and in corporate America, unprofessional. This standard needs to be changed. It is essential to grow and educate ourselves as a society and accept other cultures. Dreadlocks have the power to highlight one’s culture, as well as showcase one’s individuality. We owe it to ourselves to be kinder to our bodies, and everyone deserves to love the features that make each of us beautiful. Some advice: don’t obsess over fitting in, but focus on how you can stand out. Beauty isn’t defined by “perfection” or “normality”, rather by what shines from the inside.
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
ANYWHERE BUT HERE BY SHRUTHI NATTANMAI
Collage Ava Herrera
SOMETIMES, THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEYS LIE WITHIN ONE’S OWN IMAGINATION. Once upon a time, in a land as ordinary as could be, there lived a girl who wished to escape the restraints of her life–a life she deemed to be mundane, at best. She sat slumped in her tattered chair, head held in the palms of her hands. The girl yearned for excitement, adventure, and love, yet the seemingly endless tasks sprawled across her desk incited no such feelings.
With a deep exhale that held equal parts intrigue as it did defeat, she shut her eyes and was immediately greeted by a light breeze, pushing away the locks of hair that stuck to her cheeks. Hesitantly, the girl opened her eyes and scanned her surroundings.
“Will you be attending the princess’s coronation ceremony today, madam?” His voice was kind, exactly as she’d imagined it to be many moons ago. “I forgot about this place,” the girl mumbled to herself more than the man, a small smile on her lips.
The book remained in her hands, yet she no A scaled creature perched adjacent to the longer sat in her bedroom. Instead, a towering walkway swayed its tail, as if saying, “Welcome”. 2:29 am, the clock read. Its rhythmic ticks castle sat at the end of a winding pathway The girl laughed–truly laughed. She couldn’t mocked the girl. covered in words–– words from the novel she recall the last time she’d heard such a sound Time–she did not have enough time to held, the girl quickly realized. She couldn’t even escape her lips. experience adventure or finish her assignment. begin to recall the number of times she’d read She swore she could feel the golden dust Her head clouded with frustration, tears through the story. She couldn’t even reminisce that encompassed the book caress her arm on the last time she’d opened its cover. threatening to spill from her eyes. in response, like it too felt the same joy in She wanted to run. She longed to escape the Dragons, faeries, and wizards that looked escaping into a world that was not one’s own. suffocating routine of her daily life. She wished remarkably familiar, as if she’d dreamt about “Do try to keep us in your heart, lady,” the man them in the past, roamed the streets. They to be anywhere but here, the girl thought. waved at her, inviting her to join them wherever said. “And please, visit us again soon.” As if in response to her train of thought, a book they were headed. The girl found herself nodding, too stunned to perched at the corner of the girl’s desk fluttered The sky danced with picture-perfect clouds that form words. As the man departed to join the open, its pages emitting a faint golden light. grazed the spires of the shimmering building masses in their march toward the castle, the “Come inside,” the book seemed to purr, its in front of her–the glass castle that the girl had girl’s eyes closed to bask in the happiness that voice holding promise of everything she most spent countless years wishing she could roam warmed her core. desired–everything she felt she could not find the halls of. When they opened, she found herself back in in her own little world. Leading the crowd, in the distance, was a petite the messy interior of her childhood bedroom, The girl stared in disbelief. Even after she woman whose deep caramel skin glowed in the sitting in her too-stiff chair. Even then, her rubbed her eyes and shook her head, the light sunlight. The train of her emerald green gown beautiful smile lingered. persisted, beckoning her to pick up the book swept the cobblestone behind her as she strode The clock ticked once more. 3:30 am. that she’d failed to remember even sat on her toward the castle. A princess–she was the desk. When was the last time she’d picked up princess, the girl realized. A princess, who was The girl’s smile simply grew. The golden light within the book flared in response, then a book? When was the last time she’d risked a soon to be a queen. It was coronation day dimmed into darkness. glance away from her laptop? A light tap on her shoulder broke the girl “Run away with me,” the book said. from her trance. She turned to find an elderly Once upon a time, in a land as ordinary as could gentleman donned in what she could only be, there lived a girl who realized that there It was 2:32 am. She was going insane, she was assume was royal attire, smiling at her, his eyes was value in the ordinary and in a momentary convinced of it. escape. For her, that realization made all crinkled at the corners. Despite her conviction, the girl found herself the difference. picking up the novel, its light soon encircling her body.
CHASING BY JAYA LOCKHART
ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTANY SENDAR
TOO LATE TO
YOUR TRUE ASPIRATIONS.
WHO’S STOPPING YOU? One life–that’s all we have. No one had a say-so in how they got here, when they arrived, or the fundamental reason why they were placed on this planet in the first place. There is only one thing for certain: we are here and we have a place on this earth. It’s so easy to get caught up in the never-ending cycle of questions; Who are we? What is our goal? What if what I’m doing isn’t good enough? What if others don’t approve? These questions that seem simple on the surface can stir up so much internal chaos. Take a step back for a moment. Do you remember how it felt as a child when you would play, perhaps, even dream? At a young age, games allow
many to dip their toes into the world of make-believe. As a curious child, imagination is free to run wild and dreams are limitless. You see so much potential within yourself that you don’t even realize how big your hopes are, and then before we know it, we grow up. The childlike brightness of a smile, the joyous heart, and the ever so pure intentions vanish before our eyes. Our focus rapidly shifts from freedom to constraints. Imaginative games are traded for 9-5s, giggles turned into maturity, and the hopes we once envisioned, molded into new realities. In the process of growing up, it’s almost as if we are reprogrammed to just function in this world rather than actually live in it, basking in all it has to offer.
Many of us get caught up in the need to survive by working 24/7 in positions we convince ourselves are fulfilling, just to make ends meet. We age, and suddenly, become more focused on fulfilling the requests of the people around us that we slowly push away what we want in exchange for what is perceived as more practical. Many times, we turn to others for validation because we trust their insight. However, when they disapprove, we start to question our own mindset... But what if your dream is as grand as you believed, and the people who don’t approve lack the vision wide enough to understand exactly how high your dream reaches? You don’t need other people’s approval to go after what you want. You’re the only person you can’t get away from, so spend time making yourself happy. You have a purpose that deserves to be explored.
Ambitions are commonly tossed aside because we assume it’s too late or that our age makes us the wrong candidate. We give ourselves countless reasons as to why we shouldn’t do something, so much to the point where we become the very people who tell us no, rather than an outsider. This is a wake-up message to whoever has talked themselves out of their yearnings. Remember what sparks joy in your heart and chase after it unapologetically. Many invest so much time into external factors such as work, families, and school, that we neglect internal factors– being faithful to our dreams, pouring into ourselves, and putting in the same energy we give out. As Russ, an American rapper, singer, and songwriter states so beautifully in his song Sky,
“I hope you know that you’re your greatest stock and reinvest!” Don’t forget to remind yourself that you matter too. If you got distracted temporarily and let your focus slide away from your true purpose, it’s okay. But now is the time to follow your heart– no one and nothing can stop what’s in your heart. It may be challenging to go forward with a goal and not feel supported, but that’s when you have to remind yourself what it’s all for. You’re the lead director in your story, not anyone else. Feel free to write your own lines. You may brush off these words and still claim it’s too late, but do not forget that sooner or later, that dream will come up again. See, that’s the thing about dreams– they never stop, so you have to keep reaching.
Follow your heart while it’s still beating. Let your mind fill with the vibrant colors of your imagination, and let your actions paint your life with those exact same shades. Keep pouring into the drive you once had as a child. Don’t be scared to actually go after a version of yourself or passion that was once a dream, because in actuality, it’s already in you. Tap in and wake it up.
BUT WHAT IF YOUR DREAM IS AS GRAND AS YOU BELIEVED,
AND THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T APPROVE LACK THE VISION WIDE ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY HOW HIGH YOUR DREAM REACHES?
Stylist Victoria Panzella Photographer/Model Siena Robertiello
In American society, it is commonly understood that expressing sexuality and being sexual are negative traits. From a young age, girls are told they should not wear spaghetti strap tank tops, shirts with low necklines, or bottoms that are “too short” or “suggestive” by societal standards. Rules as such are even enforced in climates such as Southern California, where the sun beats down and temperatures soar to over one hundred degrees for months on end. Like wearing cool and comfortable clothing, simple comforts have and continue to be sexualized and deemed as evocative. Many have become accustomed to existing in a world where decisions are made based on someone else’s expectations. What if people desire to look and feel good for themselves and not anyone else? Luckily, the narrative in society is changing.
Since the 1960s and the Sexual Revolution– a movement that began to challenge women’s traditional roles and explore female empowerment–society has slowly started to welcome these once frowned-upon notions. Now more than ever, people are encouraged to wear and act in ways that radiate self-love and freedom. Recently, many have begun to explore this concept more in-depth. It is becoming less taboo to demonstrate one’s sexuality in any way chosen without being judged. To progress in society, we must continue to be comfortable expressing ourselves sexually and accepting other people’s embracing methods. However, no matter how much growth occurs, there will always be those who twist these ideas into a hurtful sexualization of something that deserves celebration.
Sexualization can be defined as “to make sexual or give sexual qualities,” thanks to a quick Google search. The term relates to being objectified and made the subject of superficial lust and unwanted association. Shoulders and knees, parts of the body that every person possesses, have become criticized to the point where revealing them in certain situations is considered inappropriate. For instance, in schools, young girls are constantly penalized by standards that adversely sexualize them. Such scrutinization may be due to the influx of provocative imagery available in popular culture, as now anything can be related to sex and become sexualized. As acceptance for sexual empowerment grows, so does unfair sexualization. It often seems impossible to overlook these unfair assumptions in American culture. To change the narrative, it’s important to remember the essence of what being sexual truly is: being empowered in oneself, confident in one’s individual choices, and unashamed of oneʼs way of life. Alternatively, the term sexual is defined as “relating to the instincts, psychological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction.” Despite its definition, this can be as much related to sex as a person wants it to be. Being sexual is a multidimensional process
that incorporates various attitudes and behaviors, including having a healthy body image and feeling the right to convey oneself. It is often misconstrued that for someone to be sexual, they must only want to be desirable to the gender they are trying to attract. However, this is not something someone else can decide. Only you can make the choice to be sexual. For some people, this may be dressing provocatively. For others, it could be dressing more modestly. Whatever the individual preference, it is essential to recognize that everyone has varying ways of communicating their sexuality and feeling validated. No one should have the power to dictate how another chooses to express or showcase themselves to the world. Being sexual can be as much about freedom, confidence, and free choice as it can be about simply feeling proud. Every morning, look in the mirror and ask yourself: Do I feel comfortable with how I look based on my standards and my idea of what being sexual is? If the answer is no, then go find something that emits the feelings you desire. The bottom line–Wear what you want, act how you want, and know that you will never hurt anyone by feeling beautiful in your own skin.
Being sexual can be as much about freedom, confidence,
and free choice as it can be about simply feeling proud. 133
Ma Coffe In the Search for Lasting Energy, Which Delivers the Best Benefits? By Clarissa McNeill For many, caffeine seems to be the apparent answer to mask eye bags after a restless, sleepless night. However, not all caffeine is created equal. Some leave you on cloud nine all day, while other forms spark a burst of energy that can quickly revert to drowsiness. Caffeine from matcha can provide you with steady stamina throughout the day, while caffeine derived from coffee may elevate insulin levels. The latter can lead to that not-so-favored “crash” felt midday. When that seemingly innocent morning cup of coffee is brushed aside, dreaded headaches, irritability, jitteriness and hunger pangs can be in the near future. It’s a good thing matcha is readily available to pick up the slack.
atcha ee VS
Illustrations Zhi Yuan
L-theanine decreases the chemical in the brain that causes stress, while also elevating dopamine and serotonin levels.
Matcha or Superfood? If you’re looking for a drink with numerous health benefits, turn to matcha. This naturally sweet, umami flavored green tea has been around for centuries and boasts cancer fighting properties and powerful antioxidants, among countless other perks. Matcha even helps promote relaxation thanks to the rare amino acid, L-theanine. L-theanine decreases the chemical in the brain that causes stress, while also elevating dopamine and serotonin levels. This can help to regulate emotions, appetite, concentration, and energy levels. It also has a quarter of the caffeine that a cup of coffee has. The lower caffeine level is what differentiates matcha from other caffeinated drinks and eliminates the negative side effects associated with coffee.
MATCHA VS COFFEE
Perfect Cup of Joe
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Coffee packs a serious punch and acts as a stimulant to the body, hence the alertness and awakeness felt shortly after consumed. Effects can typically last 3-5 hours, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of the clear when time elapses. Caffeine can stay in the body for many hours after initial intake, leading to insomnia and restlessness. Drinking more than 400 milligrams of caffeine from coffee can increase your blood pressure, cause dehydration, give you heartburn, and make you feel shaky. These effects may seem unnerving, but rest assured, coffee addicts–in moderation, the drink has its upsides. Caffeine in coffee has been shown to increase metabolic rates by three to eleven percent with regular exercise. It also contains the essential vitamins of B12, B5, magnesium, niacin, and potassium.
MATCHA VS COFFEE
Start Your Day With (Self) Care Little things that incite joy in the mornings are everything, especially during the time of lockdown. The therapeutic ritual of making a hot matcha latte or an iced coffee might be just what you need to ensure a productive day. If matcha is the decided drink of choice, look no further for a soothing start, from scooping the bright green powder to whisking it into a frothy beverage and topping with your favorite milk. If matcha isn’t your cup of tea (literally), making coffee can be just as comforting. Adding in your favorite creamer to a piping cup of dark roast can be just as calming and set the tone for the day. All you have left to do is sit back and sip away.
Baking Your Day Better Not interested in either beverage? Matcha and coffee can also serve as yummy additions to baked goods! Matcha adds a subtle umami flavor to pancakes, cookies, cakes, and muffins. Better yet, add it to oatmeal or a morning smoothie. Not only will the subtle pastel green add a little color to your day, but the minimal kick of caffeine will provide a much-needed boost. Coffee suits baked goods just as well. Coffee powder enhances the flavors in chocolate, so try sprinkling some into a batch of brownies, chocolate cake, or tiramisu. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it. Trying a new recipe each week can help promote creativity in a tasty way.
The Choice is Yours Coffee and matcha, while both delicious, serve different purposes. If you’re seeking a pick-me-up, turn to coffee. But if you’d rather feel revitalized with a sense of tranquility, matcha is your best friend. Either way, you can’t go wrong. A new favorite caffeinated beverage is out there waiting for you, longing to be discovered.
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
natural glow By Avery Herodes
Step aside, highlight palettes and dewy skin drops. The answer to a glistening complexion does not reside within the realm of cosmetics products. 140
Glowing, stunning, radiance, beauty–
Many search high and low for a miracle product that will render these results. It may sound cliché, but the truth is, Glossier will not create those desired outcomes. The key to bringing truth to these words begins with you.
Your passions, your dreams, your fearlessness, your valiance. Knowing what you love, what brings you joy, and what drives your life is the secret to radiating from within.
It is crucial to discover what gives life to your individual body and soul. Sometimes, no amount of makeup can compare to this feeling.
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Get Moving Being active is one of the best ways to induce natural radiance. Exercise releases endorphins in the body, which helps to boost mood and relax any lingering tension or pain. Increasing the heart rate, moving the body, and detaching from the stresses of everyday life can make a huge difference in revealing a natural glow. The term “exercise” may seem overwhelming or difficult, so try to view the concept in a different light. To truly enjoy exercising, it is vital to find what works for you!
This could be a peaceful yoga flow, a strengthening pilates class, a sweaty spin session, a serene hike, or even just a leisurely walk with your dog. Exploring various activities is a great way to uncover what truly motivates you. Engaging in physical activity, building up a sweat, and releasing those happy molecules are bound to mirror on the outside. The number one factor to getting some movement in is to listen to your body. After all, no one knows you better.
Nourish Your Body What we put into our bodies has a drastic impact on our skin’s texture, overall health, and luminosity. Replacing heavy, greasy fast foods with whole foods that grow from the earth can make all the difference. Particularly, aim for foods enriched with beta-carotenes–these will enhance outer luster. This is a red-orange pigment that naturally produces brilliance to the skin. Look no further; this pigment is abundant in delicious foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, and cantaloupe.Try starting the day with some hot water and lemon or a glass of orange juice.
These have the power to magnify the radiance of the skin, and help clear up stubborn blemishes. Everyone has only one body, and it’s essential to treat it kindly. The important takeaway is to never be too hard on yourself about food choices. If you want to indulge in a tasty bowl of bow-tie pasta with extra parmesan, don’t feel guilty about savoring every bite. And if you feel inclined to maybe sprinkle in some of those special glow foods, follow that feeling! Everything is a balance, and fueling the body with foods that double as fulfillment and joy is the number one priority.
ANOTHER PRO TIP: incorporate the super antioxidant of vitamin C into your daily routine.
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Find What Makes Your Heart Smile The physical aspects of eating healthily and exercising are crucial in bringing about that visible gleam. It’s the intangible pieces, however, that are just as vital. Everyone always talks about the pregnancy glow. This doesn’t happen because the woman uses her Ole Henriksen Banana bright serum every morning–although that for sure can help–– it is because she is happy. She has found someone who makes her smile from within and has chosen to build a family with them.
Happiness is finding what makes your heart flutter with joy and attacking it without an ounce of regret. Happiness is drowning out the noise that tells you what you can and can’t achieve and igniting that passion. Happiness can be chasing after something as rewarding and powerful as a dream job, or partaking in an experience of a lifetime.
Your inner shine may take a while to illuminate, and it may be as simple as a rich, mocha coffee every morning or a The key to glowing can be as simple as happiness, a comforting book in the mid-afternoon. What makes you word that is overused and whose meaning may have lost thrive is between you and yourself. And when you finally its influence over time, but a word that should not be find it, that glow will follow suit. taken lightly.
Graphics Adi Nimrodi Photographer Angela Power Model Kennedy Stukes, Shruthi Nattanmai, Rebecca Bast
Your passions, your dreams, your fearlessness, your valiance.
BEAUTY & WELLNESS