JOE Oâ€™BRIEN SHAUMUT COMMUNICATIONS GROUP ETHAN BROSNAN SAKS FIFTH AVENUE BOSTON CASTANET
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Adam Ward ASSISTANT EDITOR Joseph Boudreau DESIGN DIRECTOR Enne Goldstein EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Margeaux Sippell PHOTO EDITOR Allison Nguyen DIGITAL DIRECTOR Abigail Baldwin MARKETING DIRECTOR Marni Zipper FASHION DIRECTOR Katya Katsnelson BEAUTY DIRECTOR Courtney Kaner ASSISTANT DESIGN DIRECTOR Chloe Krammel ASSISTANT EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Abigail Baldwin ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Mana Parker
MANAGING EDITOR Dan Kam ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Nathaniel Smith EDITORIAL Abigail Baldwin Joseph Boudreau Samantha Bratkon Erin Christie Delia Curtis Melissa Gauger Jenny Griffin Izzy Kings Hannah McKennett Margeaux Sippell Marni Zipper ILLUSTRATION Katrina Chaput Casey Denton Enne Goldstein Timothy Jordan Chloe Krammel Coco Luan PHOTO Quinn Albert Allison Nguyen Sabrina Ortiz Mana Parker Tarik Thompson Milan Sachs Adam Ward
MARKETING ASSISTANT Carly Durant
COVER PHOTO Sabrina Ortiz
ASSISTANT FASHION DIRECTOR Amanda Zou
COVER MODEL Julianna Quiroz
ASSISTANT BEAUTY DIRECTOR Amaia Rioseco
THEME PAGES Casey Denton
C O N T
How We Wear America
My Creativity: BROKE
Age of Expression
Responses in the Age of the Internet
Color me Bold
Identifying Red Flags in the # MeToo Era
Ladies and Everyone Please Welcome to the Stage...
The Sound of a Ding
It all started with the 2015 Oxford Word of the Year — the Face with Tears of Joy emoji. A pictogram became equal to language. There was no need to explain it through the written word — like when Parkland student Emma Gonzalez stood on stage at The March for Our Lives and went silent mid-speech for six minutes and twenty seconds.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
We realized that using the written word to justify non-verbal communication defeats its purpose. For em, “!” stands loudly as a symbol for this communication and it’s subsequent visceral reactions. ADAM WARD, EDITOR IN CHIEF
photos SABRINA ORTIZ lighting ALLISON NGUYEN styling AMANDA ZOU beauty COURTNEY KANER models EMILY LAUTCH, CONNOR JORDAN, JULIANNA QUIROZ & CAROLINE LONG
shirt12RAF SIMONS X ROBERT MAPLETHORPE
HOW WE WEAR AMERICA words MARGEAUX SIPPELL photos TARIK THOMPSON
From cowboy chic to hard-edged streetwear, this season’s runway looks nodded to the staples of American fashion -— the definition of which has always eluded us. Calling on classics like studded leather and doubling down on denim, for once, the American look was divorced from tackiness. Taking its place, this season’s styles come with a side of irony — in the midst of political turmoil that has caused a large part of youth culture to turn against patriotism, we cling to the comforting silhouettes of bygone eras. 13
Design duo Eckhaus Latta mixed tried and true staples like white button-down shirts and strong-shouldered blazers with crop tops, mini skirts and sheer fabrics. Melding clean lines with slate-grey body and face paint, the resulting look was at once poignant and subtle. The brand’s choice of models put the exclamation point on modern American, showcasing old, young, plus size, gender fluid and tattooed alike. Even a pregnant model’s round belly peeked through her partially unbuttoned dress. The more established Balenciaga took less social risks but played with a similar theme, modernizing preppy, retro classics like plaid, gingham, pinstripes and cardigans tied around shoulders. Artistic Director Demna Gvasalia set off these prints not only by letting them clash, but also by pairing them with spiked stilettos and huge dangling earrings. Contrary to the “Ready-to-Wear” moniker, the runway is a far cry from depicting the climate of fashion across the states. Though forward strides in runway trends push what is socially acceptable to wear, the reality of the working American’s closet is one of safe choices and comfortable utilitarianism. If runway models walked beside average bystanders on the street, the contrast would likely be night and day. As Meryl Streep so eloquently explained in The Devil Wears Prada, by the time runway fashion trickles down through commercial retail stores and into the hands of the average consumer, the vision of the fashion overlords have been rendered unrecognizable. One unique name that bridges the gap between intangible runway trends and socially acceptable looks is Calvin Klein. This is the brand that defined denim, the life’s blood of American fashion. The case could even be made to declare Calvin Klein as the most American brand of all. Their most recent campaign, American Classics, takes advantage of that legacy. Klein has stayed
unfalteringly relevant since putting America’s sweetheart Cindy Crawford on the map decades ago. Today, their biggest face is Kendall Jenner, whose livelihood arguably reflects the flaws of fame and the American dream. Another, more admirable campaign features the A$AP mob. Rapper A$AP Rocky, the most prominent member of the Mob, is also a distinctly American choice — Rocky has played the JFK to Lana Del Rey’s Jackie O in the music video for the songstress’ hit song, appropriately titled “National Anthem.” The music video begins with Del Rey reenacting Marilyn Monroe’s famous rendition of Happy Birthday for President Kennedy, representing both sides of one of our country’s favorite dichotomy — the mistress and the doting wife. Del Rey, who was once known for her frequent romanticization of patriotism, has recently vowed to stop using patriotic imagery in her videos and performances, as a criticism of President Trump’s policies. Though her days of tire-swinging and wrapping herself the American flag are over for the time being, the sentiment expressed in songs like American were relatively innocent in purpose — Del Rey was nostalgic for the days of Springsteen and Sinatra. Still, her fashion sense continues to pay homage to retro American beauty icons like Monroe and Priscilla Presley. But perhaps it is time for a departure from the emulation of heroes. After all, American fashion is first and foremost selfmade — for every pack of followers, a leader must emerge. There comes a time when each generation must turn away from altars made in the image of James Dean and blindly forge a path as frightening as the streets of New York City seem every future star. In a time when loving this country is unfashionable and even frowned upon, the only way to hold on to American glamour is to resurrect it from its own ashes and dress like it never died.
sweater RALPH LAUREN
A SPOTLIGHT ON KEVIN ABSTRACT AND BROCKHAMPTON
MY CREATIVITY: BROKE words ERIN CHRISTIE illustrations TIMOTHY JORDAN
Cis, white heteronormativity: These have permeated the film, television, and music industries. For decades, creative work focusing on straight, white couples, hyper masculine men, and dainty women, has been promoted like it’s “fresher than sliced bread.” This creates a dilemma for people who don’t relate to this material. In all aspects of life, we crave validation — to feel loved, supported, and uplifted by those around us so that we can find light in this often dreary world. Providing audiences with validation in the form of content is an important aspect of the entertainment business: people tend to enjoy and want to consume content that we find ourselves relating to because it validates us. It makes us feel whole. It gives us something to look up to and celebrate. Kevin Abstract, a founding member of the boyband Brockhampton has perpetually craved an outlet where he can express himself and also help and validate fans in the same way that his idols did as he came into his own concerning his identity. Abstract posted a comment on a Kanye West fan-forum expressing interest in redefining the term “boyband” to refer simply to a group of people who loved music equally. Soon, the fourteen boys, eager to create music of the hip-hop/RnB spectrum, banded together and moved into the “Brockhampton Factory” in Los Angeles. There, each room is filled to the brim. Lyric verses are scrawled all over the walls, literal trash is piled high in every corner, and creative artistry overflows effortlessly through the entire building. Brockhampton rose to prominence following the release of their most recent projects, the Saturation trilogy (Saturation I, II, and III). As their song, “Boogie,” states, they’re the “best boyband since One Direction,” with the goal to constantly push the envelope. Comprised of a large member of queer people of color, Brockhampton is truly a boy band unlike any other. The prospect of releasing three albums in one single year is wild enough, but on top of that, the boys have been hard at work, building an empire within the “Brockhampton Factory” much larger than they ever anticipated. As noted by Abstract during an Instagram Live session, the group has done everything completely on their own and without the help of a major label. Everything that they release, write, produce, and record — concerning the members’ solo projects and otherwise — comes from their own label, Question Everything, Inc.
The fact that Brockhampton have been successful without the help of industry “bigwigs” is inspiring to kids who want to pursue an independent career like they have. For Logan Wilder, a student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the band’s impact on him personally is clear. “Brockhampton single-handedly changed the way I approach my visual art, and with that, they gave me all the more reason to want to pursue my dreams,” Wilder said. Brockhampton has undoubtedly touched hearts worldwide, creating an immense community of like-minded individuals, each joined together through mutual love and appreciation of the art and message that they promote. Abstract’s sophomore record, American Boyfriend, became a staple for fans worldwide, opening up a new lane for queer content within his genre. For Tyler Herson, 16, of Boston, it was so important to see an artist like Kevin going outside the norm and speaking about things that truly matter. “[He] breaks the stigma of homophobia in the [rap] genre, and makes myself and many others feel like we have a place in the community,” he said. “Seeing them live made me more confident to be true to myself and do what I love regardless of what anyone tells me.” Throughout his first headlining tour, Viceland followed Abstract during his journey through the documentary series, American Boyband. The cameras caught Abstract experiencing a whole new type of connection with his fans. Being a black, queer artist, he is an inspiration to kids like him- those marginalized, invalidated, and ignored- as well as to kids who want to pursue music and haven’t felt brave enough to. His success and his bravery to do what he loves no matter the “norm” is proof that even if you’re a black, queer kid from Texas, you can be somebody and that your identity isn’t something that can hold you back. He has inspired a whole a generation of confident and self- aware queer kids, ready to take the world by storm like he has. Brenna Rosman, 18, of Portland, OR started listening to Abstract back in January of last year. “Since then, I’ve come to be more confident in myself and how I communicate with others,” she said. She then was able to see him with the rest of Brockhampton later that year. “Seeing their energy and hearing their lyrics about being gay today is so inspiring,” she said. Straight sexuality is celebrated in a way
“[He] breaks the stigma of homophobia in the [rap] genre, and makes myself and many others feel like we have a place in the community,” he said. “Seeing them live made me more confident to be true to myself and do what I love regardless of what anyone tells me.” 20
those growing up gay don’t have the luxury of experiencing. Mainstream content constantly promotes white, cis heteronormativity, whether in terms of television shows and movies solely depicting straight, white couples, or magazines teaching readers how to “please their man” with “60 useful tips for the bedroom” that can only appeal to those preferring the heterosexual lifestyle. When finally queer content is made, though, individuals depicted typically die and/or face difficult trauma, enforcing a mentality that
queer relationships will never work out and only cause heartache. No matter the area of entertainment, it is rare to find positive, healthy representations of queerness depicted, and this doesn’t make coming to terms with one’s own queerness any easier for a consumer. In only being exposed to content where your love results in a deadly disease or heartbreak, or solely straight, cis, white content with which you cannot relate, it would be difficult to imagine how being yourself is
okay to any degree. It’s up to the entertainment industry to step up and make a difference. Promoting solely cis, white, heteronormative content is exclusive to a large part of the population, and outdated beyond words. Despite the fact that unapologetically expressing queerness is still something that goes against the grain, Brockhampton’s audacity to do so is enough to prove that strides are being made toward further representation in media.
words JENNY GRIFFIN illustration ENNE GOLDSTEIN
SEXCLAMATION “Unless you’re three or a Pisces, using spoken language to genuinely express feelings is rare.”
“Why the two extra heartbeats, Juliet?” I aimed by question at her fabled balcony as I scanned the off-beat lines in one of many famous speeches in Romeo and Juliet. Most of Shakespearean verse consists of iambic pentameter: ten beats with a combination of stressed and unstressed syllables. This rhythm represents the steady heartbeat of a calm, cool, collected person. With a few exceptions, the lines that break iambic pentameter only occur when Juliet mentions the name “Romeo.”A simple name sets Juliet over the edge and messes with the steady control of basic iambic pentameter. Shakespeare had a vocabulary of over 60,000 words, and he chose that? Baby girl was 10 beats confident when she talked about Romeo, but why is it that when she actually said his name she needed a hot sec? Even though Juliet isn’t actually having sex in this monologue, just speaking about it gives her the same excitement. Blurting out “Romeo,” was just something she couldn’t control. Exclaiming a name during sex has always been a thing, and in a way. isn’t it kind of calming to recognize that human reactions have been consistent throughout history? Even though we may never reach the intensity of Juliet’s bodily IMAX experience (or flirt with cardiac arrest because of the Italian hunk at the foot of our balconies), it is kind of insane that the noises made during sex are relatively universal. Within the family of random sounds and swearing, involuntary sex noises are essentially the same in comparison to any other involuntary reaction. Stubbing your toe,
slipping in a bath, stepping in dog shit will usually cause the same noises. Uttering “what the fu-” is a totally valid reaction — there’s a reason we don’t break into elaborate poetics when we step into shit or have an orgasm. According to researchers at McGill University, human sounds, because of how quickly the meaning is conveyed, represent emotions better than words do. Many times during a sexual climax, the emotional and physical sensations are so strong that they produce an immediate response. This leaves the brain no time for damage control and has everyone in your building wondering why you sound like you’re underwater when you pray into your pillow to JeSus FucKing ChrisT. The study shows that vocal response in order to communicate emotion comes from the older, evolutionary system in the brain. Eventually after language was created, new brain systems evolved in order to express emotion through words. Unless you’re three years old or a Pisces, using spoken language to genuinely express feelings is rare. All of the sudden, people had control over how they shared their feelings, ironically losing much of the primal ability to truthfully express themselves through sound or slang. Why? Because a whale mating call in the middle of your cubicle is not going to be received well, regardless if it accurately expresses how much you don’t want to be there. The belief that politeness should override personal needs has crept into more than just street cred at work. According to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers asked 71 sexually active women why they vocalize during sex. 66% percent of women said they moan
simply to speed up their partner’s climax, and 87% percent said that they moan to boost their partner’s self-esteem. During heterosexual situations, although “female orgasms were most commonly experienced during foreplay, vocalizations were reported to be made most often before and simultaneously with male ejaculation,” wrote the researchers. In direct contrast to this, the French are known to practice le non-dit, or “the unspoken,” during sex. Words aren’t even expected to come out and neither is the pressure to prove it feels good by memorizing a “Talk Dirty to Me” article you read in the waiting room at the gyno. Anything “spoken” (moans, swears, names) is caveman natural, and if the French aren’t feeling it, then c’est la vie because they won’t fake it. “Le non dit” preserves the immediacy of pleasure that can sometimes be lost in American pursuit of “more communication in bed.” The psychology behind what we say in bed is like that of any poetic thing; it’s better left alone. Sex and sunsets are meant to be experienced, not dissected. Therefore, stop judging yourself for the stuff you say in bed! Who cares? If your vocals are shocking, (like time to reconsider my goals level shocking) change your perspective. So much of our time is spent keeping a tight grip on impulse that of course you’re going to scream vulgarities when granted the opportunity for relief. As long as there’s clear consent, mutual trust, and a surface that won’t crack your skull, give yourself a break. Why wouldn’t you? It’s Shakespeare tested, French approved.
bag LOEWE shoe FENDI
Objectify Abstraction through concrete forms.
handbag LOUIS VUITTON
photos ADAM WARD production design DANIEL KAM production assistant MARNI ZIPPER styling ADAM WARD & AMANDA ZOU wardrobe SAKS FIFTH AVENUE BOSTON
shoe PRADA bag ALEXANDER WANG
shoe SAINT LAURENT
shoe GIVENCHY belt OFF-WHITE
shoes STELLA MCCARTNEY
words MARNI ZIPPER illustration ENNE GOLDSTEIN
“Whether one is wearing their heart on their sleeve, their feminist beliefs across a t-shirt, or dresses in a nonconforming manner, declaring and accepting these traits on a digital platform allows communities to speak globally.”
Digital platforms for self expression have exploded amidst innumerable suppressive mechanisms being deployed by political “leaders” and social figures in today’s world. Humans have expressed themselves through physical means since the dawn of time, but digital platforms now allow us to declare who we are to the world and be connected to highly supportive communities. It is important to point out that freedom of expression applies disproportionately more to privileged communities and individuals. The acceptance that we experience in America is a privilege that does not exist everywhere, but is expanding via social media platforms. It’s a privilege to openly express our identity or beliefs. There are still countless places where people cannot live the life they identify with. It is vital to acknowledge this shift, in hopes that one day we can erase societal stigmas, allowing individuals to live however they choose. More parts of society are willing to learn and accept all of the identifications and traits that make up one’s true self. Because of platforms like Instagram, self expression is at an all time high — we are given this space to demonstrate our morals and beliefs. As a result, communities have sprung up both digitally and in reality, thriving off of the pride that comes from self declaration and identification. At times we dress or act in a certain way to maintain the labels we identify with, but because of the uprising in self expressionism and self declaration, more people are beginning to come out comfortably. Coming out encompasses identifying as LGBTQ+, but can also mean coming out with beliefs against gun violence, condemning racism, advocating for women’s rights, condemning hate crimes or simply feeling the ability to express outwardly. With numerous digital platforms at our disposal, we can show the world that we are complex, imaginative and emotional beings that cannot be boxed into one perfect label. We are moving away from the mold. Labels, especially normative ones, have no physical existence. Just because one might identify as a gay male, that doesn’t mean the person might not still outwardly express themselves in a plethora of ways, not just as what the societal norm for a gay man is expected to be. It’s antiquated to believe that all people identify as just one version of themselves. The way we express ourselves is on a spectrum rather than a very black and white standardized view. Whether one is wearing their heart on their sleeve, their feminist beliefs across a t-shirt, or dresses in a nonconforming manner, declaring and accepting these traits on a digital platform allows communities to speak globally. With the advent of social media, as well as working to defy oppression, we can show off the clothes we choose to wear that may signify all the attributes that make us who we are. We can proclaim our “pro choice” beliefs. We can stand with Black Lives Matter. We can be an ally to the trans community. We can even to announce to the world how many times we listened to that one Brockhampton song, or danced around to Charli XCX’s Pop 2. Outward expressionism is more important now than it has ever been, but with a will for change comes a need for action. Feeling empowered to express our beliefs while listening to one another brings us one step towards enacting that change.
RESPONSES IN THE AGE OF THE
INTERNET words JOSEPH BOUDREAU illustrations CASEY DENTON
From February 7th to March 20, 2018, a new exhibit titled Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today is happening at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Over 60 artists, collaboratives, and collectives are unified together. Like the Internet, the exhibit is expansive, moving, and at times...horrifying. But the most uncomfortable parts of the exhibit are also the most rewarding. By dramatizing our normal experiences into weird and absurd situations, a refreshing perspective emerges. Walking though this exhibit is like walking through our culture personified. You smile at an installation, turn your head in revulsion or embarrassment at a video, or try and deny the situation altogether. Art in the Age of the Internet is a visceral experience, though admittedly not one I am ready to have again.
Getting Intimate With Art Expanded from Walter Benjamin’s argument in The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, a new viewing experience beyond the cult and exhibition value has emerged because of the Internet. Coined the “interior value,” it is defined as a more relevant and transcendental relation to art. Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today, an exhibit from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, is used to visualize the ways in which people interact with art over the Internet, and how that experience is more intimate, relevant, and transcendental than the cult or exhibition value of art. The definition of “aura” is revived to fit a modern text, the purpose being to reclaim the power of the aura by explaining how elements of its definition (permanence and uniqueness) are present on the Internet.
art history Walter Benjamin Internet aesthetics
Your Favorite Porn Website Is The New Aura of Art: A Reflection on the Intimate Experience of Art in Technology Think about the most intimate experience you’ve had with art. Were you at a museum, looking at the original Mona Lisa? Were you in a house, looking at a copy of the original? Or, were you on your phone, watching something, all alone? Since the special interaction between a person and a work of art can be such a powerful moment that it risks becoming quasi-religious, the intimacy of that experience comes close to Walter Benjamin’s idea of an “aura”: the unique quality of an individual work of art. When the word intimacy is substituted for the word aura, the question of intimacy with artwork, apparently, is already answered. With his paper, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Benjamin provides the strongest argument to this question. He theorizes that seeing the original is the most intimate experience someone can have with art. Claiming that in 1936 is a lot more understandable than in 2018, for the world of 1936 had not become numb to images; the technology at that time had not satisfied “an urge to get [a constant] hold of an object at a very close range by means of likeness;” the people could not have private or mediated interactions with art. Simply put, they did not have the Internet. While the “aura” that Benjamin speaks of may be dead, his definition, if refined, is useful for explaining society’s current intimate relationship with art on the Internet. To get to this new definition, permanence must be redefined to fit 2018. With the original definition of “aura,” permanence is alluding to the promise of an original; it is preserved, sacrificed and reliable, contained within a specific space. He says that there’s an atmosphere of transcendent beauty and power with seeing an original. It’s the same search for authenticity that brings throngs of tourists to see the Mona Lisa, even if that view is behind hundreds of people in a roped off area. The permanence of the Internet, however, is what Benjamin calls the “close range by means of likeness.” Having The Great Wave off Kanagawa as a screensaver— looking at it each day, showing it to friends,
continuing a conversation about it— is far more permanent to the individual’s reception of the art than going to see it one time at the MET. With the Internet, artwork can always be revisited, always be permanent. The second part of the definition for aura that needs to be adjusted is the idea of uniqueness. Benjamin compares the uniqueness of originals to the special fact that it’s the first and can not be mimicked. In the age of the Internet, the unique quality about an art piece is its direct relation to the viewer. Physically close, often viewing it alone, with tools to explore it more intensely, the artwork has a far more personal quality to it. There are two reasons why the idea of art having an “aura” has been revived and reappropriated. First, it’s a useful word to maintain when talking about art, even though it has mythical tones and a defined past. “Aura” is a lucid feeling, a compelling notion, a signifier for the strongest response to art. Secondly, it provides a nice groundwork for explaining why art as consumed through the Internet is more intimate. This groundwork is needed before exploring the other impacts the Internet has on our relationship with art. It’s important to distinguish here the difference between what Benjamin calls the exhibition value (that happens because of mechanical reproduction) and what I am calling the interior value (that happens because of the Internet). The exhibition value is the ability to see and appreciate an artwork, even if it’s not the original. Although this mass production removed the cult value of art, it made art more public and members of society more culturally literate. The Internet has not only extended this literacy, it has also made art more personalized. As opposed to having a painting in a house, people can have a painting on their phone. The change from art before mechanical reproduction to after was the change of art as elation to art as ownership. Now, with the internet, the reception of art has changed again. This time it went from ownership to identity. Not only is art experienced with more intimacy when it is viewed through the Internet, art becomes more relevant and transcendent. These effects of the Internet are powerfully represented at an exhibit happening in the Institute of Contemporary Art titled Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today. Although the featured work at the exhibit travel nearly three decades, and are organized non-chronologically, similar concerns arise and bubble to the sur-
words HANNAH MCKENNETT photos QUINN ALBERT
Purple Reign Prince knew before any of us: purple is the new black (or, should I say, the new Millennial pink). In retrospect, we should’ve jumped on board with the gender bending king of sex years ago. I mean, who else could change their name to the “Love Symbol” and get away with it? But, according to the Pantone Color Institute, 2018 is the year we need an Ultra Violet take-over, a la the legendary artist. By naming this rich, electrifying shade of purple the Pantone Color of the Year, the institute has officially set the mood for 2018--and it’s a mood that refuses to be ignored. Coined as “inventive and imaginative,” Ultra Violet is the modern day beacon of hope, the symbol of boundary-breaking vision and expression. As Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, notes, “The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.” High fashion couldn’t agree more. This color of the cosmos is already making statements on the runways, from Gucci to Moschino. And mainstream retailers are quick to follow, with the color trickling down into lipstick lines and statement pumps, available to the masses at chain stores such as Sephora, H&M, and Zara. Like all good fashion trends, Ultra Violet’s claim to fame is its cultural relevance. It’s not a coincidence that bright, enigmatic purples have been tied to music icons—and raging individualists—Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix. As Refinery29 writes, “Remember the purple-accented Ralph Lauren trouser suit Hillary Clinton wore to nobly concede defeat to Donald Trump in November 2016?” By incorporating the color of 2018 into our everyday lives, we are embracing all that this powerful color represents: rebellion, the confidence, and the possibility.
“Isn’t the reason we put so much thought into the fabric we cloak our bodies in—to communicate something of ourselves?”
The Hue-man Experience This is the moral of the Ultra Violet story: Color is power. It’s how we interact with ourselves, the people around us, and the society as a whole. Is the reason we put so much thought into the fabric we dress in not to communicate something of ourselves? According to color therapist Constance Hart, “Colors are life-enhancing frequencies that influence the way you feel, think, and experience life in a hue-man body.” Just the simple colors of our wardrobe affect both the way we experience every day and the way every day experiences us. Color trends are so much more than an article in a magazine or a well-curated rack in Urban Outfitters. Cultural revolutions throughout our American history can be linked to the colors used by their participants. Red, white,
and blue was protested by the LSD-inspired kaleidoscope of colors in the sixties and early seventies. Then the sun set, and these pinks and reds and oranges turned to black—a different kind of rebellion. The era of punk donned its leather jackets and black hair in mourning of the failures of the hippie generation and in assertion of its anger at the society it was at war with. With eyeliner and dark denim, the late seventies were proving that a lack of color holds power, too. In the words of Joan Jett, who wore black on principle, “You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation. A girl can do what she wants to do and that’s what I’m gonna do.” As cultures change, colors change, too. The eighties were neon; the nineties were back to black. The LGBTQ+ community flies a rainbow flag. And the past few years have been pink: the bubblegum pink claimed by the Millennial generation, the pink of the pussy hats, the pink of a new era
of girl power. But as our culture shifts into a new revolution, it demands a new color that expresses the struggles, goals, and ideologies it represents. Paint it Black...and Purple 2018 gave us a new color, but it also gave us the lack of it. When the film industry’s biggest stars arrived at the 75th Golden Globes dressed all in black, they recognized the power of color. Black was a color of protest, as with the punk revolution in the seventies, and a symbol of solidarity for the Time’s Up movement. They were shifting attention from glamour to a revolutionary movement currently taking hold of America, in which people are finally speaking out and standing up against power-based sexual assault. Yet, black is not our color of the year, though it would seem fitting following the
turmoil of 2017. As Vanessa Friedman notes in the New York Times, “In these dark, chaotic times, it would not be unrealistic for someone, when asked what color will represent 2018, to look around and guess, say, black. Or maybe deep, bloody burgundy.” But the revolution has taken this year in stride and refuses to be limited — just like the people who are taking part in it. While we recognize the power that comes from withholding color, we equally recognize the power of embracing it. Time’s Up at the Golden Globes gave us an all-black fashion statement, but Time’s Up at the Grammy’s gave us Kesha’s Rainbow. Our revolution is combination of both expressions. 2018 is both the “Love Symbol,” the individual, the statement piece, the artist, the protest, the anger, and the solidarity. In each case, 2018 is colored by the future. Wear it boldly.
A V E U E L C A A V F E E C U A L F A V E U E L C A A V F E C U A L F A V E U E L C A A V F E U L FAC A V E U E L C A A V F E E L FAC A V E U E L C A A V F E E C L FA A V E U E L C A A V F E E C A F A V E U E L C A A V F E E U C A F A V E U E L C A A V F E E U C A F V E U E L C A A V F E E U C L A F V E U E L C A A V F E E U L FAC E U L A V E E U C L A FA
photos MILAN SACHS models BRANDON JOHNSON & MARINA SACHS styling KATYA KATSNELSON & AMANDA ZOU wardrobe SAKS FIFTH AVENUE BOSTON
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E U VAL E U L VA photos MILAN SACHS styling AMANDA ZOU & KATYA KATSNELSON models AMANDA ZOU & KATYA KATSNELSON
full look HELMUT LANG
t shirt KENZO jacket OPENING CEREMONY pants KENZO
full look OPENING CEREMONY
denim jacket HELMUT LANG
words DELIA CURTIS photos MANA PARKER styling AMANDA ZOU
One by one, the models begin their descent down an elevated platform. A long white gown hugs one of them; chest flat, the sheer, gauzy material hanging over her. The tight neckline is stretched back, pulled over a circular protrusion. Jutting out from her back, the disc tugs at the fabric and tapers in against the waist. The wave continues to round off the irregular “M,” the fabric running up and over a second protrusion, flowing down. The protrusions contort and distort the body, pulling up, down, in, and out. This second protrusion, a makeshift bustle, begs the question, ‘What are you? A bump, a lump, a hump?’ It is no secret that with runway shows like this, high fashion designers like Maison Margiela, Y/Project, and Rick Owens are trying to push boundaries. Often these designs are unattainable, avant garde, and outlandishly impossible to wear in everyday lives. But what’s important to recognize is that certain designers do not create for functionality, but rather for their pieces to be seen as works of art to be decoded and descontructed. High fashion designers comment on the human condition and criticize how consumers approach, visualize, and understand clothing. This phenomenon is consistently present in fashion, as designers send models down the runway donning unconventional garments and uncommon shapes. Rick Owens champions this type of dysfunctional fashion. The 56-year old designer has been churning out eccentric garments for 22 years, continuing to shock, surprise, and intentionally discomfort his audience. California born and raised, Owens’ conservative, Catholic, rural upbringing prompted his rebellion and partiality for unconventional looks. He often draws inspiration from this part of his childhood. Using a style of drapery mimicking that of robed saints, he nods to biblical themes. Owens consistently finds inspiration in architecture. According to Dazed Magazine, “‘The logic and brutalism’ of architects such as Le Corbusier, Carlo Scarpa and Luigi Moretti” are among his most recurring influencers. Brutalism, a type of architecture born out of modernism, in style from the 1950s to the mid 70s, stems from the French word for “raw.” Known for its harshness, this style contrasted the more pristine forms of architecture that
had been popular in earlier decades. Owens’ looks incorporate the edgier aesthetic in the form of distinct angles, distorted shapes, and oversized garments, often aiming to shock the audience, and even Owens himself. Take, for example, Owens’ garment, the human backpack, featured in his SS16 collection. In this show, a model walks down the runway wearing a black dress, cinched and crinkled. Yet the dress isn’t the focus of the ensemble. The focus, rather, is on the backpack she sports. The garment acts as a sort of satchel that straps another woman onto the back of the model, bonding them as one being. The model struts down the runway in her metallic gladiator-style sandals, hair brushed out and teased. Looking at her directly from the front, all seems as it should until you notice that there are a pair of legs draped around her like a necklace, and a second pair of arms dangling just below her own. The other woman looks as though she is hugging the other. There is a sense of discomfort evoked from the scene: too many limbs, a second lifeless body hanging off the model. The garment is out of the ordinary, uncomfortable and strange, something out of a science fiction novel. When Owens’ dresses women, he
“We have this innate craving to understand fully and completely, but what if we are unable to situate something into a neat little box?”
does so in a way that empowers and emboldens them. They are pronounced and striking, holding their own on the runway. The human backpack may seem odd at first, but then once realizing that the female model is adorned with another model — hugging her, acting as shelter and protection — the backpack emphasizes the female bond. Owen says his human backpack was inspired by “nourishment, sisterhood, motherhood, and regeneration,” in a statement made to Dazed magazine. This
can be seen as the model walks down the runway, protected by the other woman strapped to her back. Perhaps, if we alter our perception, it’s the other way around. A woman carries another woman, guiding her somewhere safe. Meanings found in fashion allow audiences to perceive in a way that is at first foreign and unfamiliar, but slowly, we begin to understand the layered meaning behind garments that may initially shock, scare, or threaten us. What happens when we can’t place an
object? As humans, we categorize, label, and diminish. Everything is stripped to its bare bones. We have this innate craving to understand fully and completely, but when we are unable to fit something into a neat little box, we become annoyed, angry, or afraid. Our inability to hone in on what something might be creates tangible tension. We see it on the faces of passers by, confusion in their eyes, mouth slightly agape as they see something exceeds their own imagination.
top & skirt JEAN PAUL GAULTIER 66CÃ‰LINE sweater
PERIPHERY PERIPHERY photos MANA PARKER production assistant JOSEPH BOUDREAU models ELINOR BONIFANT & ANANDITA CHOUDHARY styling KATYA KATSNELSON beauty ELINOR BONIFANT wardrobe CASTANET
sweater RALPH LAUREN jacket OPENING CEREMONY & MAGRITTE dress KNAPP STUDIO pants J. CREW
IDENTIFYING RED FLAGS IN THE #METOO ERA AND GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE.
words ABIGAIL BALDWIN illustrations COCO LUAN
In the era of the # TimesUp and # MeToo movements, it’s easy to be exhausted by the sexist and demeaning behaviors of men. It’s understandable to feel completely blindsided by men in the media and in your own life who have shown their true colors long after you’ve decided to trust them. I’ve struggled with feeling absolutely betrayed by men throughout my entire adolescence and early adulthood, and I’ve learned that anyone can be a gross, sexist abuser. So, let’s unpack some of the toxic behaviors in men toward women — because for those of us who date men, it’s important to know how to identify the red flags that signal disrespect, hyper-masculinity, and predatory behavior. He’s rude to service people. When I surveyed young people about how they spot red-flags in guys, this was the most common response I received. Truly, it’s one of the first things I look at in a guy. Nice people do not act like they own service workers and waitstaff. Mistreating service people is a huge indication of entitlement and a superior attitude. He’s nice, but only to you. Anyone who grew up watching teen shows is familiar with the bad boy character who’s softened by falling in love. The Bad Boy With a Heart of Gold trope: Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl, Barney on How I Met Your Mother, Logan Echolls on Veronica Mars and literally any vampire lover-boy. Television viewers, often young women, are manipulated into wanting these hunky bad boys to fall for the lead, even when they’re violent, verbally abusive, and standoffish. PSA: If a guy is mean to others and only reveals his tenderness to you in private: YOU. ARE. NOT. SAFE. It is not your job, nor will it ever be, to heal a bad boy and help him find the ability to love. A troubled, angry soul might be sexy on TV, but he’s scary in real life.
He thinks r*pe jokes are funny. This one speaks for itself. He goes out of his way to point out how he is more feminist than other men. Many of us are familiar with “feminist guys” that use the label to manipulate women and win them over, but don’t actually behave like they believe in the equality of the sexes. Case in point: James Franco wearing his #TimesUp pin proudly while denying his own sexual misconduct, corroborated by five women. Some guys are aware of what behaviors are red flags, and go out of their way to show that they are way less sexist than other men. They feign feminism to attract women, and may even believe themselves to be feminists. But if their behavior doesn’t match their words, it’s a red flag! If he calls himself a feminist and “supports” feminist movements, but still associates with and defends his friends who have been called out for harmful and abusive behavior, he’s not safe. He doesn’t know how to apologize. A friend of mine recently told me that the new guy she’s dating “apologizes like a woman.” I instantly knew what she meant. We discussed how, compared to her last relationship, this new guy is perfectly comfortable admitting fault and acknowledging when he has hurt her feelings. He’s eager to apologize and make things right. That, my friends, is pretty hot. If you confront a
guy about hurting or upsetting you, and he skirts around an apology, making you feel like you just “misunderstood” him, run for the hills. We see this behavior even in the public “apologies” of famous men who’ve been exposed for sexual misconduct. Kevin Spacey used his apology for sexually abusing a minor as an opportunity to come out as gay and garner sympathy. Louis C.K. went so far as to admit his actions in his “apology” letter, but never actually said “I’m sorry.” Instead, he waxed poetic about how awful he feels. Aziz Ansari responded to allegations against him by saying he was “surprised and concerned,” but not sorry. He doesn’t want to meet your friends. This is probably because he knows your friends will tell you to dump him. He wants you to be his “sexy little secret.” There are a couple red flags associated with this behavior, but most of them come down to him being somehow ashamed of your relationship. Ask yourself why. Is he in a position of power over you that makes your relationship inappropriate? If this is the case, and he is ashamed, then deep down he believes the relationship is wrong and is choosing to be in it anyway. Perhaps he’s hiding you because he’s lying to you about his level of commitment. This is a bummer, but he could just be sleeping with other people and not want you to know. In the end, if he truly values you for who you are, he’ll want people to know you are
together. Perhaps his friends are the ones he’s ashamed of. If this is the case, than he could easily fall into the caliber of guy I mentioned earlier, who chooses to associate with and accept men who are harmful and abusive toward women. He values the opinions of his male friends less than yours. I cannot stress this enough. If he laughs at your opinions and doesn’t take you seriously, he doesn’t respect you. If he believes his thoughts and opinions are more valuable than yours, than he will most likely put his needs first as well.
balance of power, in which his partner may be the submissive and not even know it. He gets pouty with you when you deny him sex. Trying to make you feel guilty for not wanting sex is manipulative, coercive, and abusive behavior. There is no grey area here. If you feel pressured to have sex and guilty about saying no even in a long term relationship, seek help from someone on the outside who can help you leave the relationship. He interrupts you constantly.
He thinks he’s an expert on female sexuality.
…because he thinks he has something better to say.
He has particular trouble with female authority figures.
He puts his pleasure before yours. Okay, look, if you have a clitoris and he doesn’t know where it is, he can learn. The concern here is, does he care? Furthermore, is he concerned at all with your pleasure? Is sex with him merely an opportunity for him to get off, and you’re just lucky to be there? The experience of going down on a guy and not having him offer to return the favor is common. If he does offer, but takes your pleasure merely as an opportunity to show off, it’s a red flag. In the words of Samantha Bee, “If you say you’re a feminist, then fuck like a feminist.” If he doesn’t care if you finish, chances are, he never will. He calls all his exes “crazy.” Anyone who leaps to call all their exes crazy, was probably the actual problem in the relationship. Anyone who frequently calls women crazy doesn’t care to make any attempt to understand women or the issues facing them. He only dates women considerably younger than him. Is this because he can’t attract women his own age? If so, is it because older women see through his lies and manipulative behavior. Is he specifically not into women his own age? This could be because he’s is unable to assert dominance and control over them. This kind of man thrives off of an im-
This behavior is indicative of insecurity with his own masculinity, that ultimately materializes in a lack of respect for women. He takes issues with this list and thinks it’s man bashing. This may seem like a long list of gripes and grievances, but actually, it’s not that hard to be a decent person. You just have to genuinely respect people other than yourself. Some questions you may be asking yourself: What do I do if my partner exhibits one or many of the behaviors on this list? What do I do if I know in my heart that the person I am with doesn’t respect me or treat me the way I deserve to be treated? To put it quite simply: it’s time to leave. For those of us who find it incredibly hard to end relationships of any kind, this is difficult to hear. Leaving someone, especially someone that you genuinely love or someone who is manipulating you to stay, feels impossible. But you deserve to be with people who understand and appreciate your value. Seek help from someone outside the relationship if you feel unable to leave on your own. Chances are, your friends be supportive of making the healthiest decision for you.
WELCOME TO THE STAGE...
words CAROLINE LONG photos MILAN SACHS
“Quelle surprise!” Four years ago, James Von Handorf turned this French expression into the moniker for his drag persona, Raquel Supreeze, a woman who can only be described as “a glamorous idiot.” 27 year old Von Handorf, who goes by Jay, grew up with a background in musical theatre and performance. He started dance at a young age, and recalls his parents taking him to see Swan Lake at the ballet, where they told him with practice, he could make a handsome Siegfried. Despite the promise of a handsome role, he was drawn to the glitz and regality of the Swan Queen. He decided that he would much rather be a queen than a boring male lead. Today, he teaches jazz dance to children at the same studio that taught him years ago, and several nights a week he commutes into the city to perform in drag as Raquel Supreeze, at last embodying the
elegance and poise of royalty. While Von Handorf is cis-gendered and uses he/his pronouns, Raquel is a female character that uses she/her pronouns. For the continuation of this article, I will be using the desired pronouns for both personas; He/his when referring to Jay Von Handorf, and she/her when referring to Raquel Supreeze. I first met Raquel outside Jacque’s Cabaret in the South End at 8 p.m., her makeup done with hours to spare before showtime at 10:30. Inspired by French film actresses of the ‘60s, her crisp, winged eyeliner and the overdrawn lip-liner were incredibly symmetrical and almost formulaic. “I learned from the best,” she told me. “Youtube.” As we sat down in a dressing room behind the basement stage of Jacque’s, I began to notice the contrast between her detailed makeup and the clothes she was still wearing — Jay’s t-shirt and pants. Her wigs still
rested on a shelf behind us, quaffed and ready to be shown off. It was a physical representation of the suspenseful, in-between life as Jay by day and Raquel by night. “She’s an extension of myself… not a different person, but a heightened version of me,” Von Handorf said. Jay’s first experience in drag was for a group Halloween costume, and from then on he began going to drag clubs in Manchester, NH. Familiar with his background in theatre, his friends encouraged him to perform, and he began booking shows in the Greater Boston Area as Raquel Supreeze. “Drag helped me reel myself in, and in a way it gave me a sense of responsibility,” he said. On the topic of gender boundaries, he adds, “Some people put something on and they’re a completely different person and that’s therapeutic for them. Some people are pretty much the same in or out.” Raquel has a long night ahead of her. Af-
“She’s an extension of myself… not a different person, but a heightened version of me.”
ter the “No Filter” show at Jacque’s, she and three other queens are off to Jacque’s sister club, Machine in Fenway, to perform another set. In addition to performing at the cabaret, she hosts the early show at Machine’s All-Star Mondays. The hour and a half show can be roughly described as a 4 a.m. Youtube deep dive of drag comedy, a night of idiosyncratic lip-syncs and voiceovers. Featured acts include a lip-dub compilation of Tanisha’s meltdown on Bad Girls Club (“I ain’t get no sleep cause of y’all”) and a sexy saunter over to the bar where Raquel requests a cocktail, only for the bartender to hand her a glass of shrimp cocktail sauce with a straw in it. The club erupts into a riot when she picks it up and drinks it seductively, pulling shrimp out of her handbag to dip. Another queen performed a lip-sync to the song “Pupusa” by Hi Fashion, and in between choruses accompanied by grinding and twerking, she took out a fresh ball of dough and taught the audience how to make pupusas, a Salvadorian delicacy. The show is an eccentric step away
from what you might see on an episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race, a cross between America’s Next Top Model and the world of drag performance. RPDR has catapulted drag into the mainstream, but Von Handorf says that like all things that become popular fast, the show isn’t an entirely inclusive representation of drag culture. “[In] Drag Race, there’s a lot they do showcase, but there is a certain expectation they have on the show, and there’s a lot of things they don’t showcase, like genderqueer or bearded queens. That’s really important in the drag and LGBTQ community,” he said. For many (including Von Handorf), RPDR can be a first taste of drag, but there’s more to the art than just production value and competition. “One thing I’ve noticed being in drag is that you have a lot of voice in the community, and that’s something I wasn’t expecting at first,” Von Handorf said. For Raquel, riskier acts and shows like No Filter aren’t just ways to engage an audience, but opportunities to amplify that voice. “I think it’s pretty important now in this country’s political environment to have
things that push the boundaries of gender and gender expectations and queerness as well. We kind of still need to hold our own unfortunately, and I think it’s really good to push the buttons on gender… male and female and everything in between.” Raquel may only be one performer, but drag is never one character, one show, or one note. “Drag is a lot of misfits,” she says. “A lot of people have quirky idiosyncratic things about them.” Her co-hosts at Jacques, Emphysema Menthol One-Hundreds and Violencia, bring their own style to the show, and the three bring the house down on a regular basis. Lately, there’s been a higher demand for drag, with shows migrating from gay bars and cabarets to restaurant and popular brunch spots. At its core, drag is a queer artform, but there’s something everyone and anyone can take from it. “With the queer community and in general I think a lot of people come out and love drag because it speaks to that inner different,” Von Handorf says. “Drag is for everyone… it should be for everyone.”
MY LIFE IS DICTATED BY THE SOUND OF A DING– words IZZY KINGS illustrations KATRINA CHAPUT My life is dictated by the sound of a ding — a buzz, a vibrate, or even just the faint light my phone emits when I get a notification. I’m thinking about how many emails are piling up in my inbox right now, and the need to check it feels like an itch I can’t scratch. Maybe it’s the fact that I can scratch it, with the click of a button, that makes the urge so invasive. Our phones have become technological vessels of our own souls. The ads on the side of our Facebook pages are curated specifically for us, and our Instagram explore pages contain content we care about. Our photos, notes and texts, all feed us what WE want to see and hear. Sometimes I feel like a living, breathing Vine compilation, only really processing six seconds of content at a time. Also, I have checked my email since writing this. Twice. And honestly, not much has changed in between page refreshes. I fall into the rut of “browser hopping”—of going from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, etc. and repeating the whole process all over again. Every notification satisfies my limited
attention spans. I yearn for it like dogs begging for food underneath the kitchen table. Though most social media users are probably not dogs, they do respond to calculated stimulus in an eerily Pavlovian way. The allure behind notifications resides in psychological factors as well as emotional and mental compulsions. These are triggers, external and internal. An example of an external trigger would be Facebook showing you a photo you took five years ago and asking if you want to post it. An internal trigger would be feelings of nostalgia. Because we feel nostalgic we may want to post this five year old photo to our timeline. If you didn’t have that external trigger prompting you, you wouldn’t have posted it in the first place. The truth of the matter is that in the 21st century, your external trigger could simply be the weight of your phone in your pocket. The biggest perpetrator of phone checking is boredom. It’s hard to imagine a time when people could sit quietly on the train and instinctively reach for their phones.
This “boredom” is simply an excuse for our helpless addictions. It is during these moments when we are seemingly unstimulated that we reach for our phones and the cyclical “browser hopping” occurs. Social media apps are specifically created to produce an array of external triggers to stimulate the user. For instance, Facebook gives us lots of daily notifications, but when we look closely, these notifications usually have nothing to do with us directly. They simply pertain to groups we are apart of or people we are friends with. Still, we check them because we’re “bored.” Chelsea Chang, a student at Ohio State University, says that she most often opens Snapchat when she is feeling “hyper or lonely.” Nathaniel Peterman, a junior VMA major at Emerson, says he opens Snapchat whenever he’s “drunk and wants to document what he’s doing to small groups of people.” Julie Marro, a student at Brooklyn College, says seeking attention is what makes her post on Instagram. “If I’m wearing a cute outfit or went somewhere exciting I want to post about it so others can see.” The consensus amongst Snapchat users (whether they know it or not) is that Snapchat is a means of expelling unwanted energy while gaining attention from peers. Thoughts fueled by loneliness, like the
need for a date or to get laid, often prompt people to use apps like Tinder and Bumble. But what makes us stay on the app was the satisfaction we feel from swiping. Similarly with Instagram, there is a subconscious desire to judge people safely from the protection of our own homes that makes us obsessed with keeping, maintaining, and looking at appearances on social media. Alessandra Albino, a student at Syracuse University, said, “I do most of social media browsing at night before I go to bed.” She’s not alone. What used to be unwinding with a good book at the end of the day has become a bottomless pit of digital content. It’s not just phones. People have literally died as a result of conditioning, and have propagated witch hunts, enslaved and killed groups of people over their race, religion, and sexuality. Even modern day television and movies condition us to believe ideals and societal norms. If anything, our phones are just another means of making it conditioning acceptable. There is power in understanding what is conditioning you and trying to take control. So next time you feel hungry, think twice before getting lost in an endless loop of Tasty videos like a mindless zombie. The best advice for smartphone addiction? Know what owns you and own it back.
HARK words MELISSA GAUGER
The exclamation point is humanity’s grammatical statement piece. In one simple motion, a writer can change the sentiment of a phrase entirely – rather than read a word, one reads an entire feeling. A simple change in punctuation makes “Duck,” into “Duck!” There is urgency, immediacy. (Or perhaps one is just really excited about aquatic birds.) It is only natural that exclamation points should migrate from literature into texts, emails, and other online communication. Exclamation marks have become so commonplace The Onion wrote an article headlined “Stone-Hearted Ice Witch Forgoes Exclamation Point.” This line-and-dot greets every new message or ends every question. The exclamation mark has become the centerpiece for a plethora of emotions; while it signifies pleasantry, friendliess, and goodwill, it can also be used for sarcasm and playful self-loathing. Exclamations have been essential to grammar for millenia. Many believe the exclamation point derives from “io,” a Latin exclamation for joy. According to the BBC, in the fourteenth century, the exclamation was the “point of admiration.” Writers used it to express thankfulness, appreciation, and admiration. Victorians so loved the exclamation point that they wrote short stories about it. Read: “The Exclamation Mark” by Anton Chekhov, about a man who realized he never used an exclamation. Eventually, as people began using the punctuation in “passionate” sentences, it became today’s “exclamation mark.”
“Young people simply do not like to appear too excited or over-ecstatic over text. By remaining conversationally distant, the sender gains mystery and mystique.”
Although the Chicago Manual of Style says the exclamation mark “should be used sparingly to be effective,” exclamation points litter all sorts of online messages. Technology alters modern punctuation use; as communication takes to the screen, virtual conversations lack the tonal and vocal inflections a face-to-face chat provides. Punctuation therefore becomes the tone instead; rather than function as grammar, punctuation becomes the deciding factor in discerning whether a text should read enthusiastically or seriously. The absence or appearance of a single exclamation can change an entire tone from engaged to indifferent: the appreciation of “That’s cool!” suddenly becomes distant nonchalance with “That’s cool.” Reading into punctuation helps Emerson student Xun Zhuo understand what mood his friends are trying to convey, as English is not his first language. He explains, “I’m afraid my punctuation will bring some...discomfort into my conversation, so I always pay attention.” Emerson freshman Angela Piazza finds herself drawn to the sarcastic side of exclamations. With one close friend, she sends multiple exclamation marks to accompany memes. Even so, she still follows certain guidelines. Although the close friend may receive a boatload of exclamations, Piazza says that typically any more than two is like “you’re really excited, so I’m kinda doubting [it].” There is no sending “So excited!!!!” to one’s crush before a date. It’s unclear why Piazza believes more than two exclamation points, at least with a stranger, is too many. Perhaps the belief stems from a larger phenomenon, which Piazza calls “the cool factor.” Young people simply do not like to appear too excited or over-ecstatic over text. By remaining conversationally distant, the sender gains mystery and mystique. “It has to do with the idea of just being like, chill and nonchalant, and just like, ‘Whatever!’” Angela speculates. “That’s what’s cool” However, once too many exclamation points enter the frame, the sender now seems to care too much, and the receiver then becomes “weirded” out. “Excitement just goes along with like, caring, and I think caring in modern millennial society can just be off-putting if you don’t know the person well enough,” Angela explained.
The idea, in essence, is that by showing too much emotion, the sender loses their mystery, and therefore, their “cool factor.” Perhaps, then, the cool factor underlines many of the punctuational decisions made each day. While many will not hesitate to send an over-abundance of exclamation points to their closest friends in an ironic way, they follow strict guidelines when texting a casual acquaintance: more restrained, more formal, more polite. Anthony Rodriguez uses exclamation points quite often; he says the over-abundance first led his roommate to believe he was a very upbeat person, a personality trait Rodriguez insists is not wholly accurate. But with strangers, he adamantly does not use more than one. To Rodriguez, more than one exclamation after a phrase like “On my way!” sounds like screaming. It’s acceptable to use one at the top of a text and again at the bottom, but these marks can not be together at the end of a sentence. Rodriguez believes everyone has their own “thing” with texting, and therefore, each texter presents themselves differently. “It’s a whole new persona you’re taking on, it’s how you want to be viewed as when you text,” Rodriguez says, explaining how most people text differently than how they talk or act in person. The man he is currently seeing ultimately appreciated how Rodriguez “came on strong” via text. Personal quirks in texting can also cause misunderstandings or discomforts. People can misread a text; someone like Rodriguez could mistake friendly exclamation marks for pterodactyl-like shrieks. According to Piazza, “There’s just so much behind the tone of your voice and body language and facial expression that can reveal a lot more meaning than what’s in a text.” “If there’s a possibility, I would always prefer to like, talk to someone face to face,” Zhuo says. “I think that the punctuation system we are using is...too outdated. I feel there should be more punctuations because our emotions are very complicated, and I don’t think period-question-dot-dot-dot exclamation can help us express all our feelings.”
K. Kk Ok OK Ok... Okay Okay! OKAY Okay? Okkkkkk
TYPOLOGY words SAMANTHA BRATKON
What is typography? When it’s 11:55 P.M., you’re 500 words below the word count and your assignment is due at the stroke of midnight, the last thing you’re thinking about is typography. Right before you click submit, you’ll most likely change the font to the MLA approved 12 pt. Times New Roman and forget this step was ever even an option, nevermind one of consequence The term “typeface” was born with the Gutenberg press in 1436, back when printing was done by meticulously arranging individual letters, coating them with ink before being pressing them onto paper. The word “typeface” refers to the literal face on the type of each block. Note the difference between a font and a typeface. A font is an assortment of individual characters, and can change when adjustments are made such as editing size or italicizing/bolding certain text. The typeface is the design, which remains constant. Helvetica is a typeface while Helvetica Neue is a font. Why is typeface important? Bolded fonts are dominant. Serifs are timeless. Sans-serif are simple and straightforward. Italics are decorative and suggest motion. Bubble letters are cheeky and casual. Script is elegant and feels personal. The design of the characters should match the mood of the words. Fonts like Helvetica, Times New Roman, and Arial
are all popular because they are neutral and can therefore be to converting a variety of meanings. Newspapers don’t write obituaries in Comic Sans. Times New Roman and Arial are prefered among professors. Helvetica is a designer favorite and can be seen in multiple brand name advertisements. “I consider typeface its own visual language,” said former Emerson student Lizzie Mooney. “Text is used to tell stories, so the visual representation of those stories through text is integral to the way those stories are told,” she said. Lizzie is a freelance graphic designer based out of Los Angeles, and enjoys doing calligraphy in her spare time. “Calligraphy is a great example of typography that conveys emotion. Western calligraphy has been around since ancient Rome and was used to write the Latin alphabet. It has and always will have rhythm. The text moves on the page as though someone were speaking it,” Mooney said. Serif vs Sans-Serif A serif font uses small strokes at the end of each letter, like a tiny boot or a hat, making them appear more ornate than the straight, extensionless sans-serif. Classic Serif fonts work better for printed pieces because the serifs make letters more distinct and therefore more easily recognizable. Sans-serif fonts are prefered for web content because they retain shape well when their size is changed, making the character recognizable across most mediums.
Ecofont: The Swiss Cheese of Typography Ecofont is a software that turns your type into swiss cheese by putting holes in individual characters. When blown up, it appears that someone has taken a hole puncher to the word. This way the text uses less ink when printed. The program works with printers allowing the user to save money and ink without having to print any less. The goal of Ecofont is to keep typeface sacred while preserving the environment. For the most part, they succeed in maintaining a recognizable design. Designers, however, feel that the change in software impacts the style. “The holes in the font, while practical, bring their own energy to the perception of whatever font is being used, which can take away from the message,” says Emily Tivnan, who majored in Communications Media at Fitchburg State University and aspires to one day be a creative director at an advertising agency. Environmental Impact There are other ways to save ink without putting holes through your letters. If you plan to be printing quite a bit, chose a sans-serif font. There are still plenty of options that convey different moods but don’t use the extra ink. Some examples of ink saving sans-serif fonts are Calibri and Century Gothic. To save ink but use a serif font, chose Courier. Because it was created for typewriters, Courier was literally designed to save ink.
With the body, we should accept that illness or distress will occurâ€“theyâ€™re part of human life. Growth can be agonizing. 94
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