Table of C Features
Louie Lino: Music Maven By Mia Pfluger
By Hannah Gordon
By Nancy Sang
Angelic Pop Star
Think Before You Speak
By Nancy Sang
By Mia Pfluger
“Confessions of a Shopoholic” Review By Hannah Gordon
Contents Other Stories American Idol: Where are They Now?
12 Must Have Essentials
Summer Hot Spots
Weirdest Celebrity Baby Names
Fresh For Summer
Are You Asian?
By Hannah Gordon By Nancy Sang
By Mia Pfluger
By Hannah Gorden
By Mia Pfluger
By Nancy Sang
Hannah Gordon is a bubbly 15-yearold girl living in the fabulous city of Austin, Texas. She thoroughly enjoys taking photographs and writing riveting stories for her magazine. While she is not working hard on Bubblegum, Hannah spends her time going to fun-filled concerts, hanging out with her crazy friends, watching comical movies and swimming with her year round team. Her favorite band is Jackâ€™s Mannequin, her guilty pleasure is to watch The Office, and she frequently loves to wear her outrageous black gladiator sandals in the summer. You can constantly find Hannah jamming out to her favorite music and singing at the top of her lungs. Her pet peeves are fake people, fake fans of musical groups and people who wear out-of-style fashions. Check out her piece, The Weirdest Celebrity Baby Names if you want to have a good laugh!
Mia Pfluger, now 15, was born as Maria
Christina Pfluger in beautiful and rainy Seattle, off the Puget Sound. She enjoys cozying up on stormy days with a funny comedy and a group of friends. Her involvement with Bubblegum has brought her love of traveling and pop culture to notice. While not involved with schoolwork, she rides her bike all over Austin, plays piano, and listens to music like 3oh3!, Kanye West, Lily Allen and Erin McCarley. Her pet peeves include candy-hoggers, chapped lips and low batteries. Mia loves cooking and eating foods from all over the globe. She likes neon colors, Australian accents, the smell of cookies, and trampolines. Mia would love to travel to Bora Bora, as well as many other exotic places. Mia has a passion for designing her bedroom and making films and music videos. Take a look at her music piece, Fresh For Summer!
Nancy Sang is a 14 year old Asian girl. She has
lived in Austin for one year, and she finds Austinâ€™s culture so different from other cultures that she has been exposed to. She kind of likes Austin, actually. Having lived in Japan for half of her life, Nancy is well acquainted with many different pop cultures. Nancy loves fashion, puppies, Victorian hats, perfume, and Asian boy bands. She also loves to read and write, and has currently published a fiction story in the LASA Literary Magazine. Her dream is to travel all over Europe and Asia one day, as someone famous. Nancy hates narcissists, Beethoven, rude people, and zits. Nancy is kind, meticulous, and fabulous (ha-ha), but she can also be lazy, spaced out, and confusing at times, according to her now ex-friends (just kidding). Check out her feature about anorexia, Hungry! 0
Dear Bubblegum Readers,
The magazine you are about to read showcases our love of pop culture and everyday life. Since each of our passions vary, some of the pieces you will read will be about music or movies, while others will be about traveling around the world, anorexia and common sterotypes. All of the pieces that we spent time writing for our readers showcases our three personalities and how different we are. Even though all three of us have various views of the world, we were able to come together with a common love and produce, what we see as, an extraordinary magazine. When I was a little girl, I used to perform and produce musicals in my living room and dress up in dramatic costumes for my parents. My lifelong dream was to become an actress/singer, which is what all little girls wish for. Even though I am getting older and realizing that that dream may be a little far fetched, I still have a love for everything that has to do with music, movies and fashion; some of my friends even call me a fashionista. With Bubblegum, I was able to bring my perspective about pop culture to notice and I had a fun time working on the magazine with my co-editors. Hannah Gordon Pop culture and things of the sort have always seemed so magical to me. The glamorous life of celebrities, fairytales, fashion models. Everything about pop culture and Hollywood has brought a certain idea of a charmed life and has added so much to our culture. I think this magazine really captures the products of Hollywood and our society, be it movies, music, or novels, as well as its imapacts on each of us and how we have grown up. This magazine was great to work on with my co-editors. Mia Pfluger I think that Iâ€™ve been in love with fashion and journalism for quite a long time. As a child, I would love reading all sorts of books and magazines, and as a teenager, Iâ€™ve actually began to write my own stories and started designing my ideas. In this magazine, I was able to write piece that were emotional and funny, and I was able to bring my love for fashion and art by designing my pages and incorprating fashion and art into the pop culture theme of the magazine. I really enjoyed the time Iâ€™ve spent working on this magazine with my co-editors, as well. Nancy Sang 0
was the first to claim the title of American Idol, by beating out fellow contestant Justin Guarini. Since her reign on the reality show, Clarkson has recorded three top selling albums, Thankful (2003), Breakaway (2004) and My December (2007). Worldwide, she has sold over 20 million albums, more than any other American Idol in history. Clarkson just released All I Ever Wanted in March and it debuted in the number one spot on Billboard 200.
Ruben Studdard was
the second winner of American Idol, only receiving 134,000 more votes than his component Clay Aiken. During the competition, Studdard was loved by many Americans and was referred to as the “velvet teddy bear” of America. After his win, he released Soulful (2003), I Need an Angel (2004), and then The Return (2006). All of his albums did relatively well, but it seems that he has faded into the background.
America Where Are T David Cook
won American Idol as the rocker with the electric guitar and beat out youngster David Archuleta for the title. A week after he won American Idol, he broke the Hot 100 record for most singles debuting on the chart, by having eleven singles, and beating the previous record of six set by Miley Cyrus. Since then, he has released his debut album, David Cook (2008), and it has gone Platinum. His new single, “Come Back To Me”, was just released and is climbing up the charts. Cook is currently touring around the country and promoting his music. 0
was crowned the American Idol winner in season six and was the youngest to ever win the competition, being only 17. Her debut album, Jordin Sparks (2007), was released and her first single, “Tattoo”, made it to the Billboard top 100. Her next single, “No Air”, was a duet with Chris Brown and jumped to number three spot on top 100 before it was even officially release Since then, Sparks has won an American M People’s Choice Award and was nominated for “No Air” in the category of “Best Pop C With Vocals”.
Fantasia Barrino won sea-
son three of American Idol and was known as the young girl with a big mouth, but an even bigger voice. She released her first album in 2004 and it was nominated for a Grammy. She did not win the Grammy, but she wass soon cast a part in the Broadway production of The Color Purple. Her great performance on Broadway got her cast in the film adaptation of The Color Purple. In other news, if you like to know what has happened to old reality stars, Fantasia is set to star in her own reality show on VH1, coming in 2010.
Carrie Underwood was the
first country singer to snag the title of American Idol. She released her first album, Some Hearts (2005), and it was certified seven times platinum. Her next album, Carnival Ride (2007), sold 2.7 million copies and she has released five top singles from the record. In addition to selling millions of records, Underwood has won multiple Grammyâ€™s, including Best New Artist, and Country Music Awards. This year, she received the honor of Entertainer of the Year at the Country Music Awards, making her the seventh woman to ever win that award.
an Idol: They Now?
n the Billboard ed as a single. Music Award, a d for a Grammy Collaboration
by Hannah Gordon
Taylor Hicks was
known as the soulful singer with grey hair on American Idol. After his win, he released his debut Album, Taylor Hicks (2006), and it did not do as well as his label thought it would. It seemed that his devoted following, the Soul Patrol, wasnâ€™t so devoted anymore. He had the lowest debut album sales of any past American Idol winner. Hicks was then dropped from his label, but was luckily picked up by a smaller label. Now, he is touring with Grease, playing the role of Teen Angel in the original Broadway play. 0
Photo Courtesy of Louie Lino
he K-Rock concert. Los Angeles. Lineup: Nada Surf, Death Cab for Cutie, The White Stripes, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Depeche Mode. On one of the circular rotating stages stands Louie Lino, an Austinite and a father of two. This is only one concert of many; Lino estimates he has played 100 to 200 gigs. Though he has also toured in Europe with Nada Surf, from Germany and France to Austria and Switzerland, Lino has no grand plans of going platinum. His family is his top priority and he plans to keep it that way. But it’s not always easy. “What’s hardest is when I was touring because then you are basically just gone [from your family],” Lino says. “I don’t know how bands can even keep good family life going sometimes. It’s super hard. I think [me being gone on the Europe tour] was hard on my wife, Kelly, and the kids.” 0
By Mia Pfluger
Lino does admit that he must make sacrifices both for his family for his musical career. “It’s always a compromise because both [my family and producing music] can be really demanding of my time,” Lino says. “At times I’ve only done half of a tour so I wouldn’t be away from my family for too long, but I’ve also had to be away from home longer than I’d prefer.” To make this compromise easier, Lino recently built a music studio in his backyard to produce music and record artists.
“It’s really the best working situation I’ve had,” Lino says. “I can get home in ten seconds. I’m right there.” Leaning back in his chair, hands tucked in a pair of gently worn-in jeans, Lino claims that, with the new backyard studio, the balancing the two acts is much easier.
“Even though when I’m working, it’s a lot of long hours,” he says, “I can still take breaks to have dinner and help with homework.” During these long hours of hard work, Lino records bands and arranges their mixes. It isn’t all engineering the sound of their music, however. “It’s really not that technical of a thing, it’s just psychological where you’re telling [the band to] relax or play a little faster or just take a break,” Lino says. “[It is] just managing them as a band.” Lino even goes as far as to relate the relationship between a producer and a musician to that of a mentor and a student.
“It’s more like being a coach,” he says. “[It is] my cheering them on and keeping everything positive. I’m like the technical and emotional enabler for [the bands] to create good recordings.” Lino explains that it can be challenging for bands to record music because a studio is such an unnatural place for a band to perform.
recorder and a microphone. “After that,” Lino says, “there was no turning back.” While working as a prop builder in New York, Lino began to pester the producers of the show to let him do sound design and music for whichever commercial they happened to be working on at the time. “Slowly I built up a reel of work and eventually I was able to put together my studio for doing music for TV and film work,” Lino says. At this time, Lino also began to record some of his friends’ bands and realized how much he enjoyed recording and producing. Nada Surf was one of the first bands Lino recorded.
The best things are the things I’ve never heard of. - Louie Lino, Austinite producer/musician
“A good example of [the need to be a coach] is when we are doing vocals. [It] is the most vulnerable part [of recording]. Sometimes [hearing every flaw in the vocals] makes [the singer] feel uncomfortable, but my job is to be very supportive and coax them along if they need it and diffuse any insecurities,” Lino says. Lino’s dream wasn’t always to be a producer, however; he didn’t know that he wanted to produce music until just a few years ago. “When I started [producing music], I realized [that] this is what I’m good at,” Lino says. “I had a knack for it.” Lino says that he got into the music producing industry “through the backdoor.” He had always had some kind of recording equipment. Then, while in college, Lino built a small mixer and bought a four track reel-to-reel
“I moved to a new apartment and Daniel, from Nada Surf, moved into my old apartment. I used to get Daniel to come upstairs and play bass on pop songs,” Lino says. “Nada Surf was a few years from being formed then, [but when Nada Surf was formed], it was a natural progression for them to bring projects to my studio.”
After doing some pre-mastering on Nada Surf’s second album, The Proximity Effect. Lino continued to work with and become more involved with Nada Surf. Lino was a producer on Nada Surf’s third and fourth albums, Let Go and The Weight Is A Gift, respectively. Lino played and recorded on The Weight Is A Gift, and he played keyboards on Nada Surf’s most recent album, Lucky. “I would show [Nada Surf some mixes of songs that I did] and they actually liked it!” Lino remembers, smiling. “A lot of them made it [into] the record; a lot of the parts I played and a lot of the mixes, so it’s exciting!” Though Lino’s involvement with Nada Surf began with his friendship with Daniel, he scouts out other bands to record. Continued on page 31...
Must Have 12
Every girl has a beauty item that she cannot live without. And so the editors of Bubblegum each came up with four items that they each deem an esential in their every day life. By Nancy Sang
Fekkai Glossing Cream
This glossing cream is a magical hair cream. A small amount will deliver megawatt shine to all hair types. The high quality ingredients will keep hair from becoming damaged. Definite hair must. Nancy
Garnier Fructis Deep Conditioner Garnier Fructis
Cover Girl Exact Eyelights Mascara Gorgeous colors
to bring out gorgeous eyes. Cover Girl Eyelights Mascara comes in different colors to bring out the sparkle of any eye color. Hannah
conditioner keeps hair ultra soft. Even for swimmers, chlorine damaged hair is taken care of with this conditioner. Plus, the fruity scent is a added bonus. Mia
Owl Magnifying Necklace Interesting necklaces are the best ways of starting conversations. This unique necklace is fun, old fashioned, and pehaps even useful for starting fires and reading tiny texts. Hannah
Lancome Juicy Tubes With its rich juicy gloss and pops of bright colors, Juicy Tubes are girly and fun. Helps lips retain their moisture while plumping them with glossy color. Swipe a coat on and pucker up! Nancy
Harajuku Lovers Lil’ Angel Perfume Combined with a
fruity celestial and super energetic Japanese scent, this perfume is chic and hyper at the same time. All Harajuku Lovers perfume bottle comes with an adorable Harajuku doll. Kawaii! Nancy
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm A super moisturizing
lip balm made from all natural bees wax. The nice minty smell freshens breath, as well. Mia
Sephora Metallic Silver Liquid Eyeliner
With specks of dazzling silver in this eyeliner, each swipe will make eyes look wide and bright. Perfect for any occasion, the thicker the eyeliner, the more dazzle and “pop” the eyes give off. Mia
Sunsilk Waves of Envy Spray Light weight and
misty, Waves of Envy Spray will give volume and gorgeous waves to hair of any texture. Spritz some on and try to ignore those stares of jealousy. Hannah
Boscia Fresh Blotting Linens
Instantly blots away excess oil and perspiration so your personality can shine, not you skin! Made from all natural ingredients and the exotic Abaca Tree Plant to soothe and freshen skin. Nancy
Converse Black Low Tops
Sporty and cool, this all time classical footwear can be matched with a girly dress or a boyish outfit. Either way, it gives off a relaxed, yet polished look. Hannah
Colorful Nike Sneakers
Expressive, sporty, and yet so cute and young, colorful Nike sneakers can jazz up any outfit. There are tons and tons of colors to choose from to match any personality and mood. Mia
Confessions of a Shopaholic Review by Hannah Gordon It’s every woman’s dream to have twelve credit cards in their wallet. In Rebecca Bloomwood’s world, that’s reality. But there is just one slight problem in her seemingly perfect life of fashion. She is drowning in over $16,000 worth of debt, but trying to deny it by stashing the bills under her bed. Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers) jumps onto the big screen as the vivacious and fashionable Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic. The adaptation of the best- selling novel by Sophie Kinsella follows Rebecca’s journey as she aspires to become a thriving fashion editor at a Vogue-like magazine, Alette. Instead of getting the dream job, she ironically lands a job at Successful Saving Magazine, all while her debt collector is on her Prada-clad heels. At Successful Saving Magazine, Rebecca begins to write a column that gives personal financial advice to the average person. But of course she finds a way to tie it into fashion, somehow comparing finances to a favorite pair of shoes, all while trying to fight her urge to shop and buy too many designer duds. The column becomes a hit, and she catches the attention of her hunky editor of the magazine Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). Immediately, Rebecca starts pursuing him as her Prince Charming. Director P.J. Hogan (My Best Friends Wedding) stayed true to the best-selling book, which is uncommon in many book adaptations. Hogan does not rush the events of Rebecca’s life, and instead makes it effortless to follow along with the story, even if the viewers have not read the book.
Director: P.J. Hogan Writers: Tracey Jackson, Tim Firth, Kayla Alper, and Sophie Kinsella Starring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter Runtime: 104 minutes
Many adaptations of books add nonsensical scenes that were not in the original plot. This film, too, adds scenes that are not in the book, including romantic ones between Luke and Rebecca and a comical dance number that shows Rebecca’s quirkiness. Luckily, these scenes fit well into the story, making it one fun-loving movie! Every character portrayed in the movie seems to have jumped straight off the pages of the book. Isla Fisher’s performance as Rebecca is just as charming, funny and naïve as the literary character, making it simple to fall in love with the character all over again. Krysten Ritter glides seamlessly through the role of the supportive best friend, Suze, and Hugh Dancy plays Luke with the charm of a true gentleman. The chemistry between the characters add to the movie’s ability to pull the audience in. Many viewers, even men, will be able to relate to the movie as well. With our country in an economic crisis, American’s have had to cut back on their purchases. Countless women have to watch what fancy clothes they can buy, and can no longer splurge on anything they want. Rebecca is having the same exact problem and figures out how to still love fashion, but cut back. Some critics may argue that one of the problems with the film is the fact that the last 30 minutes of the film swerve away from the pages of the original best-selling novel. Although the ending is different than the book’s, it’s the perfect fairytale ending for a girl like Rebecca. Continued on page 31... 1
S u m m e r
Le Meridien Motu Piti Aau, Bora Bora Set over the beautiful turquoise ocean, Le Meridien Hotel in Bora Bora boasts multiple huts, all with their own spiraling sets of stairs leading into the ocean. Le Meridien is perfect for a honeymoon, small family get-together, or a summer vacation with your girlfriends. The open huts allow for the soft ocean breeze to waft through your room and the glass in the floor allows you to peer at the sea life or the occasional swimmer right from the comfort of your room! Scuba diving is offered and there is a beautiful restaurant with Mediterranean food on the oceanside.
Top photo courtesy of Tim McKenna Bottom photo courtesy of wimproduction.com
Fafa Island Resort Fafa Island, Tonga For the ultra-relaxed vibe you have been craving this summer, take a trip to Fafa Island Resort, which is located on an uninhabited coral island in Tongatapu Lagoon, near the city of Nukualofa. This secluded island has deserted beaches, which allows for one of the most tranquil environments in the world. Swimming in the clear waters of Tongatapu Lagoon is only one of the many pleasures on this island. Polynesian massages are also offered and there is a bush trail to explore the untouched natural beauty of Fafa Island. Sailing, whale watching, scuba diving and snorkeling are also offered.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
By Mia Pfluger
The Annabelle Kato Paphos, Cyprus
Jade Mountain Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
At The Annabelle Hotel in Kato Paphos, Cyprus, you will see people of all nationalities coming to enjoy this elegant hotel. There is no shortage of necessities at this hotel, which is home to four restaurants and bars, as well as two swimming pools. For our more traditionally American travelers, the rooms and suites are supplied with satellite TV and many of the rooms have Jacuzzis or private pools. The Annabelle doesnâ€™t lack activities, either, and offers its visitors options including playing tennis, waterskiing lessons and day trips to the Andromeda Spa, not to mention the amazing nightlife in Kato Paphos.
Jade Mountain Hotel, located in the Caribbean, is a masterpiece of architechture, designed by owner Nick Troubetzkoy, who believes that building should be in harmony with nature. This is just what Jade Mountain is, with stunning views of the Piti and Gros Piton mountains and the Caribbean Sea. Each room has a private and unique infinity pool. Restaurants, bars, boutiques, an art gallery, a spa, watersports facilities, and beaches are accessible to the guests of Jade Mountain. Jade Mountain also holds a refreshing getaway from society, due to the fact that there are no telephones, radio or television.
Photo courtesy of The Annabelle Hotel
Photo courtesy of Jade Island Hotel
H o t s p o t s
The Producer StaRring Susan Cartsonis By Hannah Gordon
ven as a young child, Susan Cartsonis had producing in her blood. She remembers “producing dinner” for her four younger siblings and babysitting them nightly. “I actually think that my best qualification for being a producer is that I am the oldest of five kids,” she says. Those nights, Cartsonis held a different kind of producing role. Now as a successful producer in Hollywood, she has produced over 30 feature movies and television series and is the president of her own production company, Storefront Pictures.
Cartsonis was not always a hot-shot movie producer, though. She still remembers her first job as a lifeguard at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. “[Life guarding] was hot and boring, but my fellow life guards and I spent a lot of time talking and telling stories to each other by the side of the pool, and once we went to see the movie Lifeguard together,” she reminisces.
and started a literary magazine. I thought it was interesting to talk to him, “ Cartsonis says. The literary agency was located on Sunset Strip, one of the premier streets to spot celebrities. “I used to see movie stars driving down the street and that was exciting,” Cartsonis says. Fox Pictures was her first big leap as a producer. She spent a decade at the large company, where she rose quickly through the ranks. Cartsonis learned how to work with all sorts of people and was involved with making over 20 feature films. “It was interesting because I started as a junior executive and left as a senior executive,” she says.
Being a producer is like being the caulking in a bathroom.
Cartsonis began to pursue her career through studying theater at UCLA. Her biggest influences, she says, were filmmakers like Francois Truffaut and Federico Fellini. She also idolized “wonderful story tellers like Shakespeare and The Brothers Grimm,” but decided the writing life was just not for her. “I studied acting at UCLA, but when I realized that I didn’t like the process of auditioning I tried writing. Writing requires a person to be alone and I’m pretty sociable, so producing was my next move,” she says. After studying at UCLA, she received her master’s degree from New York University. Cartsonis obtained her first job in the movie industry working for a literary agent at the Kohner Agency. Some of her time was spent talking to the writers the agency represented. She particularly enjoyed talking to a prisoner in Louisiana named Wilbert Rideau, whom the agency represented. “[Wilbert] had committed a murder at 18 and spent his whole life in prison and became a great poet and writer
Cartsonis produced hits such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Rookie of the Year (1994), Dying Young (1991), and many others. During her time at Fox Pictures, she even got to supervise the deals of Johnny Depp, Richard Gere, and Geena Davis.
Her first full-time job as an executive producer was on the movie Where the Heart Is, starring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Sally Field, and Stockard Channing. It was shot in Austin, Texas and Cartsonis says she enjoyed it even though it was extremely hot. Since this was her first-full time movie, Cartsonis worked around the clock, but was excited to film it in Austin because some of her family lived there. Her sister and her nephew were even able to visit the set one day. She recalls a funny incident with her nephew on set. “My nephew Jeremy loved Star Wars and was very excited to meet Queen Amidala, but when he met Natalie Portman he didn’t recognize her [because she was] out of her queen costume!” she says. Cartsonis says that she learned a lot from the movie because it was such an interesting experience. Cartsonis followed up her success from Where the Heart Is with another big blockbuster, What Women Want, a romantic comedy. This go-around, she was working with Paramount Pictures. What Women Want starred Mel Gib1
son and Helen Hunt and earned over $182 million in the United States. With the success of these two movies, Cartsonis was named one of the top five grossing producers of the year in 2000 by The Hollywood Reporter. Cartsonis had a fun time filming on set with Mel Gibson and the other actors. She talks about her favorite memory of Mel Gibson playing a prank on the director, Nancy Meyers. Gibson had put on a rubber mask and pretended to be an intruder on the set. Meyers was terrified when she saw Gibson coming towards her and he looked more like a grizzled old man than an actor. “[Meyers] was so scared of [Gibson] in his rubber mask that she tried to stab him with a pencil!” Cartsonis says. On some sets, Cartsonis gets to be more than just a producer. In Aquamarine, Cartsonis’ favorite movie to shoot because of the beautiful Australian scenery, she got to write many of the scenes with and for the director. On another movie set, Cartsonis faced the task of cheering up one of the actresses. The movie was supposed to be a comedy, but one of the actors was not being funny. The main actress was depressed about working with her costar and found it difficult to work with them. “I had to cheer her up and figure out how to allow her to express her sense of humor,” she says. Life as a producer does contain the glitz and glamour of Hollywood; but Cartsonis admits that sometimes it has its challenges. One thing that frustrates Cartsonis about the business is that you do not get as much financial support as other members of the creative team do, even after you become recognized. Cartsonis is extremely passionate about this topic and has joined the Producer’s Guild to build a union so they can “defend the financial rights of producers.” “Don’t get me wrong, there are rich producers!” she says, “But the ones you hear about are the exception rather than the rule.” In Hollywood, the big studios make all of the money from the hard work of the producers, and end up keeping most of the profit. “I’m hoping that in the future, [the studios] will share in some of the success and money,” she says. Since her two big hit movies, Cartsonis has produced movies such as No Reservations, (starring Catherine ZetaJones, Aaron Eckhardt and Abigail Breslin); Mistress of Spices; and Aquamarine. Even though Cartsonis’ credits continue to grow, she still takes her job just as seriously as before. “Being a producer is like being the caulking in a bathroom,” she says. “If you are doing your job really well, there are no problems and no one notices you.” And with that, she is off to produce her next feature film, Beastly, starring Vanessa Anne Hudgens. 1
Angelic Pop Star By Nancy Sang
Young girls of this pop generacowboy-country song singer-redneck tion are facing more stress and father, just like Hannah Monpressure from the society more tana, she shows them how to than ever before. Anyone can correctly fix parent and children tell that with the current TV relationships: write sad songs shows, fashion magazines, about your dead mother to try and advertisements, girls are to make your father so guilty forced to become and folthat he ends up taking you low impossibly complicated on a shopping spree. Each behavior and beauty standards week, while young girls are declared law by the all-mighty watching Hannah Montana fashion magazines and MTV. shows, they are all probably With plenty of fake role modthinking to themselves about els these days, little girls need how her show can’t get any someone real, honest, and strong more reliable and helpful. Take to look up to. That’s why Disney has for example, Hannah Montana managed once again, to create an fans like seven-year old Yiding Li amazing human being who declares of Canada. She is often found quoting herself to be the savior of young Hannah Montana around the house, girls, an angel who will lead all little and her parents has said, every time seedlings composed of two X chroYiding is faced with a challenge or an mosomes to a world filled with righteousness argument, the usual quote, “Hannah Montana, and equality, all based on her examples said or did so,” is used. Yet, despite all of holy living. In short, everyone of the advice that Hannah Montana should bow down and praise the has already shared, she somehow awesome wonders of Hannah manages to pump out one amazMontana, a.k.a Miley Cyrus. Young ingly realistic scenario after another. girls of this generation are doomed if they How to deal with being a rock star, meetdo not have Miley leading them down the righteous path, ing boys at a beach who are five years younger than you, paved with her real life and TV examples and lessons on friends who wear blue wigs, having Dolly Patterson as how to conquer the evils of our current society. your aunt, keeping a double life, and dealing with high school brothers who never go to school: it just can’t get First of all, every young girl will appreciate all the realany more realistic. life situations that Cyrus teaches us in her TV drama as Hannah Montana. Disney has always outdone itself with Miley Cyrus herself is also admirable and disall the realistic and helpful shows that it produces, but plays excellent role model skills for young girls. After Hannah Montana has got to be the best show ever prodeclaring herself as a pure Christian girl, she also manduced. All the trials that Hannah Montana faces in her aged to capture the hearts of Nick Jonas and an older life are so relatable to all little girls. Because thousands underwear model. of girls in America will often fight with their super-rich Continued on page 31... 1
Think e r
k a e Sp 2
By Mia Pfluger
“Ugh, gross! These shoes are so gay.” Yeah, you’ve heard that before. At least you have if you live anywhere near civilization, cities or, God forbid, malls. I’ve heard it; those little preppy teenage girls bopping around the mall like it’s their second home, talking in that high, very “attractive,” nasally voice.
from London, explained how and why this can be such an offensive and hurtful action: “Consider a teenage boy or girl, just coming to terms with themselves and hearing the common term describing their sexuality – gay – being used as a synonym for something uncool, ‘sad’ and disappointing.” People who understand social norms understand not to cuss in public or use racial slurs to describe people. These same standards apply to “gay.”
Do these bimbos realize that this is offensive, ignorant, and a misuse of the word “gay?” In the typical present-day high school environment consumed with Unfortunately, the popularity, the word “gay” now cold hard truth ‘ ’ [at 83%, is now] the top holds fairly heavy comes out: no negative connotaone cares who insult in schools, above ‘ ’ tions and has shifted you’re insulting, in common meanintentionally or ing. According to at 49% and ‘ ’ at 26%. not, as long as Denise Winterman you’re popular. at BBC news, 83% What else could of teachers claim to possibly matter? “Gay” is being used more have heard the word “gay” used as an insult and more to take the place of the common regularly. A survey by the Association of insult “lame.” In a society growing continu- Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) shows that ously aware, conscious, and open-minded this makes “gay” the top insult in schools, about issues like gay rights, the fact that above “bitch” at 49% and “slut” at 26%. “gay” is used as an insult is incredibly regressive. In short, “gay” should never be Of course, many seemingly harmless acused as an insult. tions are now considered “gay.” Giving another man a hug… gay! Calling a woman Some may argue that the people who use back after a date… so gay. Crossing your the word “gay” to mean “lame” don’t mean legs a certain way… you guessed it! Gay! if offensively. Offenders allegedly don’t Another BBC.com poster, Ray Ward, from mean to be anti-gay or cold-hearted. Maybe London, also picked up on these stereoso, but it doesn’t matter how the term is types and misconceptions about homosexumeant. What matters is how the term is als. Ward wrote that, “[There is a] common, interpreted, and for many, the term would vulgar assumption that only rough, tough be offensive. One BBC.com article, “How working class types are ‘real men,’ and that ‘Gay’ Became Children’s Choice of Insult” any male showing any sign of intelligence generated significant feedback from reador interest in cultural or intellectual matters ers. One poster, David Phillips, a gay man must be homosexual.”
Continued on page 32...
Weirdest Celebrity Baby Names
We all know that celebrities love the spotlight, but when it comes to naming babies, they shouldnâ€™t try to stand out so much. by Hannah Gordon
Name: Tu Morrow Parents: Rob Morrow and Debbon Ayer Comments: Just say her name out loud. Thats all I have to say.
Name: Kal-el Parents: Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim Comments: Kal-el is the birthname of Superman. Maybe they thought their son would become a super baby?
Name: Apple Parents: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin Comments: Either Gwyneth or Chrisâ€™ favorite fruit is an Apple, or they just wanted a unique name. Lets hope it was the second reason.
Name: Messiah Ya’majesty Parents: T.I. and Lashon Dixon Comments: T.I. is one of the defenite rap kings, but just because he is, doesn’t mean that his kid gets to be majesty too.
Name: Suri Parents: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Comments: Suri means red rose, but Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wanted it to mean princess. Whatever the meaning of the name is, it still sounds weird.
Name: Pilot Inspektor Parents: Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf Comments: They could possibly have hopes and dreams about their son becoming a pilot. The only thing they can count on though, is their son getting teased about his name in school.
Name: Willow Camille Reign Parents: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett- Smith Comments: They named their kid after a tree.
Name: Bronx Mogli Parents: Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz Comments: In the future, maybe they were hoping that their son would live in the Bronx, NY and star in a new version of the Jungle Book!
Name: Bluebell Madonna Parents: Geri Halliwell (former Spice Girl) and the father is unknown Comments: Halliwell said that the name Bluebell was inspired by how rare bluebell flowers are. But when I see the name Bluebell, I just think about yummy vanilla icecream.
Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Creative Commons
H U N G R Y T
By Nancy Sang
aking out a plastic red and blue lunch box, Joan* stared blankly at the box of fried rice. The smell of fried chicken and eggs was replaced by the stench of oil and grease as she silently studied the oil-layered rice. 2
Opening up a new pair of chopsticks, Joan slowly forced her hand to scoop up a few grains of rice. The once noisy high school cafeteria quieted as she tried to eat some of her lunch for her mother’s sake. But before the rice reached her mouth, Joan abruptly stood up, grabbed the plastic box, dumped the rice in to the trash can and sat back down with her friends, laughing normally, despite the looks people gave her. “I didn’t want to eat at all,” Joan remembers now. “It was like food has suddenly become some kind of disgusting substance, that I just couldn’t force it in to my mouth. I guess I felt pretty bad for wasting food though” she said. One and a half years later, Joan, a tall, confident sophomore at Westwood High School, munches on a hamburger as she chats confidently about the eating disorder she suffered through in her during 8th and 9th grade.
us really cared about boys or such things.” Joan Said. Then, towards the end of 7th grade, all of Joan’s friends began to become interested in pop culture and, like most of the teenagers at school, her friends found, shopping for clothes and shoes more interesting than just talking with each other. Soon afterwards, Joan says, she started to become very aware of her image in the social structure amongst other teenagers. “Suddenly, all my friends just wanted to talk about who was cute and who looked good in that or whatever,” she explains, I tried to join in their conversations too, but the more I tried, the more I became self conscious of myself.”
Joan recalled listening to the insults and vicious gossips that her friends and classmates often shared behind each other’s backs. Most of the time, the hurtful comments were It was like food has sud“I don’t reabout the physical ally mind talkappearance and denly become some kind of ing about it,” she weight of the studisgusting substance, that I says. “I mean, I dents around them. just couldn’t force it in to screwed up and “I started to hear I didn’t have any kids making fun my mouth. respect or confiof each other and dence in myself. I saying rude things knew that anorexia was dangerous and such, but at about each other, like calling each other ‘fat’,” she the time, I felt like just going on a diet for a while says. And I started to think that maybe kids would wouldn’t hurt me at all. Who knew that [the eating make fun of me as well, when I wasn’t there.” disorder] got so extreme?” Standing at around five feet five inches and Since childhood, Joan never paid attention to weighing 120 pounds, Joan knew that she was clothes, appearance, or weight issues. In fact, until not slender like magazine models and pretty girls the end of the seventh grade year, she had never in her middle school. However, she never really heard of fashion magazines. She spent most of her thought of herself as overweight either. Still, Joan time reading books and sketching stuffed animals. remembers feeling larger and heavier everyday as she stood in front of her mirror. Soon, she began “As long as I was clean and felt comfortable, I to spend more and more time scrutinizing every was pretty much okay,” she says Basically, I was little detail of her physical appearance. oblivious to the latest teen trend, but it didn’t Continued on page 32... matter at all. I had friends and back then none of
Fresh Summer For By Mia Pfluger
Summer is great: laying by the pool, sipping ice cold lemonade, and just relaxing with friends. But what would summer be without music? Here are five amazingly fresh artists or bands to check out!
y A lle Newest Album: n It’s Not Me, It’s
You Songs to add to your summer playlist: “The Fear,” “22,” “F**k You,” “Who’d Have Known,” “Back to the Start” Previous Album(s): Alright, Still Sounds Like: A witty Brit with biting lyrics
gs n i T g Tin The Newest Album:
We Started Nothing Songs to add to your summer playlist: “That’s Not My Name,” “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” “Great DJ,” “Fruit Machine,” “We Walk” Previous Album(s): None Sounds Like: Cool, pounding beats with punky vocals
Erin M cCarle y
Newest Album: Love, Save the Empty Songs to add to your summer playlist: “Pitter-Pat,” “SleepWalking,” “Blue Suitcases,” “Sticky-Sweet,” “Love, Save the Empty” Previous Album(s): None Sounds Like: A down-to-earth singer-songwriter with Southern roots and soft, thoughtful vocals
The Han Secre t dsh ake
Newest Album: Lessons to Be Learned Songs to add to your summer playlist: “Sweet About Me,” “Sanctuary,” “Cigarettes and Lies,” “Safer,” “Save the Lies” Previous Album(s): None Sounds Like: A teenager with a big voice; Amy Winehouse with a younger, more hip and an occasional bluesy or jazzy vibe
Newest Album: My Name Up In Lights Songs to add to your summer playlist: “TGIF,” “Saturday,” “Nothing Can Change That,” “Little Song,” “All For You” Previous Album(s): This Is Bigger Than You and I and One Full Year Sounds Like: Feel-good dancing music with punchy beats and smooth vocals
m l i C la l e i r Gab
Photo courtesy of artists’ album covers.
a i s A
u o Y Are a s i e r e h t if
e e s o t z i u q s i h t e k a T
Your teacher just handed out the latest math test grade. You look down and see a huge B+. You:
Go up to the teacher and tell them that you appreciated their joke but joking around with your life is not that funny, and you would like to receive your actual grade now.
a. Ofcourse you know them, because you only
b. Pretty upset with yourself and try not to think of the disap-
listen to Asian music. And you proceed to tell everyone around you all the albums, biography, and blood type of each band and band members.
pointed look in your parent’s eye when you show them your grade. Immediately resolve to study lots more in the future.
c. Quietly put the test away. You can probably do better, but it’s
b. You have heard some of their music and actu-
not a bad grade at all.
ally like some of these bands and their music.
d. Jump up and down in joy! Finally your first B since this six
c. A little confused. You think that you may
-week! You cannot wait to show the grade to our parents and finally receive that incentive they have offered.
d. Who? What?
Are they some sort of food? You didn’t even know that Asians had a pop culture.
a. The latest TI calculator that you begged the company to b. TI 89
c. TI 84 or whatever other calculators you find lying around the house.
a. Get in to an Ivy League school and plan to
and so what is the point of buying a calculator?
Your family eats rice:
profession you enjoy and one that your parents will approve of. And then work as hard as you can.
a. Every day b. Couple times a week
c. Once a week d. Once a month
Your future plan is to: be a workaholic and the CEO of some corporation and never take a single day of break till you die.
d. You don’t need calculators because you do not do any math,
have heard of them somewhere.
Type of Calculator you have:
give you even before it went out in the markets.
Your reaction to these names; DBSK, NEWS, Arashi, KAT-TUN, Wonder Girls, SHINee, and Big Bang (this is mainly for girls)
b. Get in to a good college and plan to work in a
c. Get into a college and plan to work in whatever profession that is available and suits you the best.
d. You haven’t thought of anything you want to
do. In fact, you don’t really want to go to college. You would rather live with your parents.
? n a
Photo Courtesty of Photobucket
. u o y f o ng n inside ancy Sa
a i s A e u r t a
Do you play an instrument?
a. Yes, you play either the piano or violin or both, since
you were two years old, and you go to, like five billion competitions every year, and you never place below gold.
b. Yes, you play either the piano or violin or some other
instrument, and you go to competitions and you usually do very well.
c. Well, you used to play either the piano or violin, but now you hardly ever practice anymore.
d. Does air guitar and guitar hero count? If so, then yeah, you play two instruments, and you are really good at it.
Someone asks you if you are fluent in an Asian language. You than reply by:
a. Talking to them in all four of the Asian languages you know, and then pick up a book and read a whole passage in all four different languages.
Types of book that you like to read are:
a. Manga, Asian books, classics, scientific books, and books that have tons of SAT vocabulary included in it.
b. Classical books, Manga, fiction novels, and whatever book that your teacher recommends to you.
c. Whatever book you English teacher forces you to read and the Harry Potter series.
d. You hate reading and you will never ever pick up a book with just pages and pages of words as long as you live.
b. Yeah, you are pretty fluent in one or two Asian language, but you can probably understand or know a little bit about three more other Asian language.
c. Uhh… You say that you are somewhat fluent in the Asian language that your parent speaks, but other than that you cannot utter a single sentence to save your life.
What brand of clothes do you like to wear?
a. Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister, Armani Exchange, other designer clothes, and lots of Asian brand name clothes as well.
b. Some designer clothes, and some normal retail store clothes.
c. You don’t really care about the label that much, but mainly retail store clothes.
d. South Pole, Hot Topic, and other totally unheard brands.
Your teacher just handed out the latest math test grade. You look down and see a huge F Your reaction is:
a. Check the name. Yep, this is
definitely not your paper.
b. Check the name. Yep, this is definitely not your paper.
c. Darn it. You could have studied much
harder, but an F is not the end of the world.
d. Not good, but not too bad at all. Didn’t your parents just say that consistency is a virtue?
? u o Y e r A
Yep, you are most definently Asian. A fresh off the boat Asian. Even though you might not be biologically Asian, you are one. Congradulations! And if you are actually an Asian, then well, there isn’t much to say. Continue to make every single Asian stereotypes in the world true!
You are an Asian, but you are not a FOB. You know how to live with two cultures at once, and even though you do live up to very Asian standards, you are not going to live up to all of them. But if you are not biologically Asian, you are just probablly confused. You don’t know if you want to be an Asian or not. Choose a side already.
You are just alittle bit Asian. You don’t want to be associated with “those Asians,” but you kinda want to be aliitle Asian. Afterall, there are lots of advantages, but you hate it when people call you Asian. If you are not biologically Asian, your inner Asianess is just awakening. Try to ignore it if you don’t won’t to become a FOB.
You are most definently not Asian. That’s okay, because there are probably thousands of Asians like you. You are sometimes called a Twinki.. It’s okay, except for the fact that you will always have Asian blood in you. Non Asians will still think that you are Asian, while Asians will think that you are umm.. ah.. interesting. Anyway, if you are not biologically Asian, congrats! 3
By the way, this quiz is made up, and every thing is just an exaggeration, and so if you get upset, you need to stop takiing everything so seriously.
Continued from page 9 (“Louie Lino: Music Maven)...
“The best things are the things I’ve never heard of,” he says. “I go out to clubs and hear bands I like and try to introduce myself and invite them to come record.” Lino considers himself to be more of a musician than a producer, however. “[A musician is] kind of what I am. Even as a producer, I always think of myself as a musician first,” he explains, “Being a musician informs my producing and helps me to do that. I know exactly what the band is going through [and] how their thought process works. I like to play the rock music!” Back at his studio, three electric and two acoustic guitars lay against the wall and guitar picks scatter Lino’s keyboard, showing that he is a musician at heart. In fact, Lino plays keyboards and some guitar part time for Nada Surf for the past six or seven years. Though he is a musician, Lino does not consider himself a singer. “I’m like the worst singer in the world,” he laughs. Lino kept away from the mic while touring with Nada Surf in Europe, calling the experience “like a vacation.” Lino says that touring was “a little bit of a grind, but still really, really fun.” Though Lino is much more laid-back and relaxed while performing now, it wasn’t always that way. “The reason I am playing with [Nada Surf] is a funny story. [Nada Surf] did an Elvis Costello cover [at a show in NYC],” Lino says. “I think one too many beers may have been involved, and I told [Nada Surf] that they can’t really do an Elvis song without the keyboard part.” The next day, Daniel from Nada Surf called Lino and told him to practice the Costello song. “[Daniel] hung up before I could speak,” Lino laughs good-naturedly. “I literally practiced that one song for 8 hours a day for a full week. I was convinced I had stage fright.” Lino ended up having the greatest time of his life and has been playing with Nada Surf more and more throughout
the years. “And [I] still love [performing]!” Lino adds. Pictures flash across Lino’s computer screen of gigs he has played with Nada Surf and his two children, demonstrating the two central points of his life. A picture of Lino’s family floats smoothly on and then off of the screen. Memories of family adventures line up side-by-side with Lino’s own touring adventures with Nada Surf. Lino quietly leans back in his chair. “[Being a music producer is] more like [being] a psychologist than anything,” he concludes after a short pause. “The technical part is easy. The hard part is making it all work together.”
Continured from page 13 (“Confessions of A Shopaholic”)...
She ends up happy, and nothing could be more perfect for the now-recovering shopaholic- or the viewers. In the book, the author leaves you with the question, “What happens next?” But in the movie, the writers give you a sense of closure and the moviegoers know that everything in Rebecca’s life will fall back into place. With Fisher’s bubbly and hilarious performance, viewers will likely find themselves rooting for her from beginning to end. This classic chick flick can make anyone feel fabulous even when they are having an “off” day. After all, who needs Gucci, Prada, or Dior to make themselves feel good?
Continued from page 19 (“Angelic Pop Star” )...
She is also very friendly and bubbly, and so she is able to make lots of friends and she demonstrates proper sleep over behaviors for young girls, by posting her party picture on line so little girls can learn how to act at a sleepover. Some people may say that Cyrus is a horrible role model based on her boyfriend choices and her questionable Myspace photos, but Miley is merely educating girls on the healthy behaviors of adolescence. Miley Cyrus is teaching young girls the proper way to break up a relationship, and she is teaching them to date older guys because older guys are probably much more mature than younger guys. 3
She most definitely demonstrates a very pure relationship with her current older boyfriend, Justin Gaston, by always never leaving his side in public and focusing all her attention on him. Critics might say that she should never have said that she was a role model because they think that her actions and her beliefs are different. But, she does demonstrate role models skills by ignoring the opinion of others and by declaring herself to be whatever she wants to be. This is just proving to all girls everywhere that you can be something that you are not and that you shouldn’t let society dictate your choices in life. Miley Cyrus can wear a purity ring even if she isn’t pure because she thinks that it looks nice, and so young girls everywhere can understand that purity rings are only there because they are pretty. Then, other people, like parents of little girls, may say that those Vanity Fair photos that she took weren’t artistic at all and it ruins her Christian image. Christian magazines like Brio, say that, “we were disappointed with Miss Cyrus for taking those Vanity Fair pictures.” This however is unfair: nudity is totally art, even for a fifteenyear-old Christian girl, because art has no boundaries. Besides, all those paintings with naked angels prove that Christians have no problem with nudity at all. Miley Cyrus is a gift sent by God and her examples and behavior is one that all young girls should follow. Her purity, creativity determination, kindness, modesty, natural beauty, intelligence, and down- to- earth qualities are traits every girl can relate to and admire. Seriously, how much more realistic can you get?
Continued from page 21 (“Think Before You Speak”)...
Even TV shows have taken note in the shift in the meaning of the word “gay” and have worked this into their plotlines. In a particularly ironic episode of The Office, Michael Scott, the least politically correct character on the show, says, “Did you know that gay used to mean ‘happy?’ When I was growing up, it meant ‘lame.’ And now, it means a man who makes love to other men.” This obviously pokes fun at the American lexicon and how it has twisted the meanings of words. But it’s not just happening in America the Beautiful, known as the most opportunistic, free and open-minded country in the world. According to Denise Winterman, 3
“gay” is used as an insult in Britain, and “schwul,” the German word for “gay,” is used in Germany. Carl Lander, another poster on the BBC.com article, explains his stance on the issue, writing, “It’s wrong to use [gay] as a term for lame. If someone was to use the ‘N’ word in the same respect, we would not hear the end of it.” So why is it socially acceptable to use “gay” as an insult and not other potentially offensive terms? Whenever I hear anyone use the word “gay” as an insult, it honestly reminds me of the stereotypical cheerleader or dumb jock in chick flicks. The ones who try to dumb themselves down, in an attempt to sound cool, the ones hidden by a complete façade. I’m not saying that the people who do this are dumb. They are just trying to fit in and be popular, and they sound dumb in the process. Recently, I was standing by a bleach-blonde young woman on a sidewalk. She was probably in her 20s or 30s, was chatting on her cell phone animatedly, while picking at her hot pink acrylic nails, batting her fake eyelashes furiously, and eyeing her plastic boobs and spray tan. “Hehehe!” There was that stupid, fake laugh. “Ehmahgawd! Did he seriously sayyy that to you, girl? Ew he is soooo gayyyy! Hehe!” There was that stupid, fake girl. Fake nails. Fake eyelashes. Fake boobs. Fake skin. Fake brain. Fake, fake, fake. Even my friends can be culprits. When I’m on Facebook, and I see a friend’s status claim that, “Homework is so gay,” I can’t help but roll my eyes. It may be accepted more with teens, but when these people mature and grow up, their more intelligent peers will never respect them. Make a conscious effort to prevent this offensive slang. Be aware of yourself. Be aware of what you’re saying. You don’t want to sound like one of those bubble-brained teenyboppers, or worse, an insensitive and disrespectful person. Think before you say, “That’s so gay.”
Continued from page 25 (“Hungry”)...
However, she never really thought of herself as overweight either. Still, Joan remembers feeling larger and heavier everyday as she stood in front of her mirror. Soon, she began to spend more and more time scrutinizing every little detail of her physical appearance. “I suppose that most girls will go through this phase where they become very obsessed with looks; it’s what society tells us [to do],”she explains Back then, I felt like girls were just supposed to be beautiful. It really
didn’t matter anymore if we were smart or nice; the only thing that mattered at the end was to be slender and gorgeous. “ Joan’s mother had also started to comment on her weight around that time, telling her daughter that she shouldn’t eat so much and that it wouldn’t hurt for her to go on a small diet. “I guess I felt really bad when my mom started to notice my weight,” she says. “I mean, she didn’t say anything before, but now that I’d suddenly become a ‘big girl’, I had to care about my weight. It wasn’t okay for Asian girls to be chubby, according to my mom.” Joan slouches back slowly as she remembers the first time that she tried to do something about her weight. “I think it hit me suddenly that I was fat when I went shopping with my friends and we were trying out pairs of skinny jeans at Nordstrom,” she says. “ I remember stepping out of the fitting room waiting to hear my friends’ opinions and when I looked up they were just trying not to laugh, and I quickly looked up at the mirror and saw the bulges of my fat just bursting under the dark denim. I felt so disgusted with myself.” After that incident, Joan tried to stop eating. She remembers thinking that she would stop her diet once she lost about 15 pounds. “The first couple days were very hard,” she remembers. “It was hard both ways; trying to stop eating and trying to eat once again. I don’t know why I did that to myself, but at the time, I just felt like I had to achieve something. Basically, I just had a granola bar or an egg or a small bowl of rice and soup every day.” By the time Joan entered 8th grade, she had lost quite a lot of weight and, as a result no one recognized her. “I remember seeing my friends so surprised when they first saw me,” Joan says At that point, I felt great, like I’ve accomplished something.” The attention and compliments Joan had begun receiving from her friends made her want to lose just a little more weight every time tried to start eating. “By [the end of 8th grade], I was probably around 110 pounds or less, but every time then I would still feel fat when I looked in the mirror, and I thought that
because people were finally complimenting me on my weight, I should just lose a little more,” Joan says. Things started to become more extreme for Joan as she slowly ate less and less every day, till she stopped eating at all. Joan remembers feeling tired and sick every day, as her waistline shrank, but she still felt fat and she still refused to eat. By then, her friend’s compliments had turned into concerns, and Joan often recalls people asking her if she felt okay. “My hair was getting thin, and I couldn’t go up a flight of stairs without feeling sick, but I would still pinch the fat around my thighs and refused to eat,” she remembers. “ Now, I realized how blind I had been. I would have still felt fat even when I could just feel my bones.” Joan sighs slowly as she remembered the day her mother finally noticed her daughter’s condition and forced to visit her doctor. “I kept on telling my mom that I already ate, and I wasn’t hungry. But I guess she noticed by the end of 8th grade, when I wore a tank top due to the weather, and it probably shocked her to see how thin I had become,” she says. “Now that I think about it, I must have looked really sick and scary. She made a doctor’s appointment the next day.” At the doctor’s office, Joan was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. She remembers her long struggle of recovery began that very night. “The doctor told me that I had a BMI, body mass index, of 16 and that my blood sugar level was too low. He studied my hair and asked me if I felt tired at all,” she says. “I was probably trying to act healthy and fit, but honestly, I felt horrible by then. My parents tried to make me eat that night. That was the worst experience of my life.” Trying to get recover was not easy for Joan during her 9th grade year. “By that time, food had somehow become so hard to eat,” she explains. “It was really scary, because back then, I had no idea what was going on. Eating dinner became a screaming match with my mother as she literally forced food down my throat.” 3
Joan stilled refused to eat anything when her parents were not watching her. “During school, I wouldn’t eat my lunch and after I went home, my mom would make me eat a large dinner. I felt so defeated like I’ve lost and became fat again,” Joan said. Eventually with the help of her church counselor and her mother’s determination, Joan regained her confidence and was able to block out the messages that the current pop culture sent out about her body image. “I realized then that the media was a big lie. There is no way that I could have been satisfied no matter how skinny I was,” she says. “Looking like a skinny model is unhealthy and I would never have been happy with my body. After, I realized that I was really sick and I needed to do something about it, I eventually started to try to recover.” Joan stands up, as she had to leave. Her eye looked suddenly tired as she paused for a minute trying to think of one last thing to say. “ Basically, I listened to a bunch of lies and made myself really sick so that I could look like what our culture defines as beauty,” she says. “I tricked my mind and myself.” Joan is all better now, despite the harsh struggles she went through during her last years of junior high. Wanting to let other girls like her to realize the truth, the biggest hope that she has is that no one should ever starve themselves just to please the demands of a society. “I just want to tell every girl out there that they shouldn’t listen to all the lies our culture feeds us about our body image. If they really believe that looking like a walking skeleton means beautiful, then they are in serious denial. Like I was.”