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NO. 12

ngers brushing your cheek, confetti cake baking in the oven, stubbing your toe, a warm sweater

ight out of the dryer, combing your hair, freshly cut grass, taking your bra off, a head buzz from

our glass of wine, hugging your mom, rain on pavement at dusk, vintage leather, petting a bodega

at, scraping off weeks old nail polish, sticky air, peeling a screen protector on a new phone, glasses

linking, subway steam in your face, wind in the leaves, heels clacking on marble, chickadees

inging, hearing your favorite song on a random radio station, a crisp dollar bill in your hand,

biting your cheek, mothballs in the attic, popping champagne, kissing a stranger in a club, burning

our fingertips on a hot pan, taxi honking, watermelon juice dripping down your chin, hugging

n old friend, munchies, peeling a clementine, full body chills, putting on a velvet strapless dress,

lacs in bloom, resting your head on new pillowcases, cracking an egg, confetti cake in the oven,

uman urine on a hot sidewalk, loud bass booming on speakers, new deodorant sticking to your

kin, blisters forming on your pinky toe from a new pair of shoes, bubblegum lip gloss, sheets fresh

rom the dryer, bonfire smoke stuck in your hair, puppy breath, pencil shavings, getting fingered,

buying a new pair of shoes, spitting out a cherry pit, sniffing the rubber of new sneakers, getting a

paper cut, making grilled cheeses at midnight, burning your hand on an iron, getting a nosebleed,

ghting a new vanilla candle, biting into a hot dog, getting a massage, getting a message naked in

bed, having a popcorn kernel stuck in your back molar, drinking a cup of hot tea at 9am, getting

brain freeze, rolling a joint, having red lipstick on your teeth, pressing snooze on your morning

larm, almost peeing your pants while stuck in traffic, holding hands, slurping spaghetti, getting

our nose pierced, applying lotion to your shins, unfogging the bathroom mirror with your breath

fter a shower, stepping in a puddle, cough drops coating your throat, nicking your ankle while

having in the shower, flossing your teeth, driving in a convertible with the top down on a summer

ight, snuggling with a kitten, chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, your mom’s chocolate

hip cookies baking in the oven, fitting into old jeans, burning your forehead while straightening

our hair, taking a photo of your smiling friend, peeling layers of a sunburn off your skin, twisting

our ankle on the curb, plucking your eyebrows, swimming in the ocean, lighting a match, stepping

n dog poop, smelling cigarette smoke outside your window, lemon juice stinging in a fresh cut,

etting kisses from a doggie, first swim of the summer, bacon sizzling, your favorite scent, blowing

our stuffy nose, that itch you can’t scratch, eating a cup of noodles, accidentally stabbing yourself

with a pin, yeast infections, getting the wind knocked out of you, cracking open a library book,

melling the must of a thrift store, the sea-breeze on the back of your neck. drinking cold cereal

milk, getting tickled, finishing issue no. 12 of flash magazine. THE SENSATION ISSUE:













LAYOUT TEAM Simone Schade, Will Smith, Callaghan Bartlett, Amanda Chang, Fefi Martinez












All layout design was done by our layout team and Creative Director.




WORDS BY NINA AVRONEVA ILLUSTRATIONS SUBMITTED BY COUNTR Over this weekend I had the opportunity to interview Manon Roux, girl boss and founder of Countr. Countr is the new and exciting way to create, share, and shop fashion/lifestyle content. The app is about empowering micro influencers rather than large brands, and creating a more personal shopping and social media experience. Manon and I got to talking about her background in fashion, Countr, how she started her own company, and how the fashion industry has changed with the rise of Instagram and influencers.

Before we talk about Countr, tell us about yourself. Where you went to college, have you always worked in fashion, what did you do before founding your own business? My mother has been a makeup artist for 35+ years so I grew up on photo shoots and in the agency world. When I attended SUNY Purchase College, I majored in photography, but studied a variety of mediums from traditional painting, drawing and sculpture, and interactive design. After graduation, I went on to work as a production manager at 2B management, a creative agency that boasts an array of top shelf clients including Bloomingdale’s, Cartier, Lipman, Ralph Lauren, Revlon, Town & Country and Vogue.I left that job and took a hiatus to travel a bit and find my next steps. I then went on to study marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology and this is when the idea for Countr came about.


Tell us a little bit about Countr and how the app works. Countr is a social shopping app where users can shop with friends, showcase their style, and earn money for your taste, all in one place. We’re calling it shopping with your style tribe! The best recommendations come from your friends (aka your style tribe) so we’ve built a community of trusted shoppers who give personal recommendations (no ads or sponsored content), and enjoy sharing with their style tribe. You can shop from 1000s of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands including Glossier, ASOS, Kylie Cosmetics, Topshop, Urban Outfitters and more. Countr’s goal is also to empower the shopper, giving them the opportunity to become an inspiration and lead the way to smarter shopping. Users can showcase their style by posting their looks, beauty shelves, shopping tips (and more). Followers can support your content by “Cheering” you on with coins so that you can keep posting even more quality content for your style tribe to enjoy.

What inspired you to create Countr and what sets it apart from other shopping/fashion social apps? The idea for Countr came after one too many frustrating shopping experiences. I used to spend hours online browsing through hundreds of pages of random products I didn’t like, or searching for deals that would only materialize—as if by magic—after I’d already made a purchase. Stores were getting my money and all my information, only to spam me endlessly afterward. Unlike other apps, we make shopping more fun and personal by only showing users things they’ll love and by building a community of trusted shoppers who give personal recommendations (no ads or sponsored content). Sharing within the community is a natural behavior, and we invented a fun and easy way to get paid for your taste.

What is your biggest goal with Countr and what do you hope people get out of using the app? Countr’s mission is to make shopping better for everyone. We want to simplify your shopping experience and create a community of like-minded individuals that makes it easier for you to share and shop products from people you trust. We believe that the consumer has the power to determine how brands evolve and what better way to have a platform where you have access to define those terms.

Unlike the typical fashion br and or pla tfor m, Countr is currently building their presence through young, college campus ambassadors. What inspired the decision to grow through “micro influencers” rather than one or two big influencers with large followings? College students are scrappy and savvy individuals looking to make their mark. We want to engage people in the creation of Countr and be key stakeholders in determining how and what we build.

One of Countr ’s goals is to provide a platform for people to get recommendations on products from their social circle rather than curated ads. Do you think the “preferential” treatment brands receive on Instagram affects the way people shop? In the process of building Countr, we’ve spoken to a lot of users who say they do discover new products and brands through Instagram. Facebook does a great job at targeting these ads, but because there are so many ads, users are starting to glaze over them. I believe that Facebook does a great job at targeting you for these ads, but the majority of us still rely on friends and people that we trust for recommendations.

As a female CEO and founder of a business, what is your advice for young girls who also want to have their own company/product? Cut your teeth somewhere else for a few years before starting your own thing. Building a company or a product requires a lot of confidence in what you are doing and perseverance because it’s a long and difficult road, no matter how rewarding it may be in the end.

What are some of the mistakes you’ve made along your career that you’ve learned from? Not knowing my self worth earlier and feeling too shy to go after what I wanted. At the end of the day it’s all about building relationships with people who will grow with you.

What are your thoughts on the growth and rise of influencers in the fashion industry? In your opinion, is it affecting the industry in positive or negative way? I think it’s made brands wake up and realize that they are not the ones defining the trends anymore. The e-commerce and retail experience has been so detached from the consumer that the rise of influencers really made sense. But I think being ad sponsored is not a long term solution for either influencers or brands and that there is a better way to make the everyday consumer feel heard and recognized for what they have to share.

The Lack of Touch & Feel When Online Shopping WORDS BY EMMA MADORE COLLAGE BY FEFI MARTINEZ I am guilty of spending a lot of my day scrolling through fashion retail sites such as Zara, Forever 21, Aritzia and many more. I look, I fall in love with an item or two, but rarely do I ever go through with the purchase. With online shopping, you never really know what you are ordering until the item is in front of you and in your hands. The size might be all wrong, the quality may be questionable, and the comfort of the item may be deceiving from how it looked online. Despite this, online retail shopping is a booming business. In 2017 alone, consumers spent 453.46 billion dollars (yes, billion) on retail purchases. There are a lot of positives when it comes to online shopping. It takes the hassle out of going to the store, there is a large variety of merchandise, and there are usually discount codes or cheaper prices on the website. It seems like online shopping would be a perfect scenario, but, unfortunately, there are some downfalls. Though the list of advantages is long, there is one just as big for disadvantages. What troubles me, and I am sure other online shoppers, is the inability to touch or feel the clothing. Just last weekend I was walking through Zara, when I noticed something interesting. Shoppers, of course, look at the clothing, but they also spend the same amount of time just feeling the clothing. When showing a sweater to her friend, the first thing a woman said was how soft the sweater was. Another young girl was telling her mother that she wanted a certain jacket because of how comfortable it felt. Consumers value the feel of clothing because no matter how beautiful or trendy something is, the desire to buy something reduces significantly if it is not comfortable to wear. This is not to say that women never sacrifice comfort for fashion. High heels rarely yield the same comfortable experience as wearing a good pair of sneakers, but we wear them because they make our legs look long and toned, which in return makes us feel confident and sexy. Everyone has that dress that is worn on all special occasions because


it hugs the body just perfectly. However, it also has a zipper that digs into your skin, squeezes you so tight, and makes it slightly difficult to breathe. But what constitutes something as being comfortable? This could differ depending on who you ask, but many might say the fabric and fit of an item are what makes it comfortable. Just recently when browsing through TJ Maxx, I found an amazing oversized cream sweater with a full and enticing turtleneck - perfect for a New York City winter day. I went to grab it, thinking I just found a great discovery hidden amongst the racks and racks of clothing when, suddenly, I found myself very disappointed. The sweater was scratchy and itchy, and just the simple thought of wearing it and having that fabric rub against me made my skin crawl. I walked away feeling discouraged. If I had seen that sweater online, I would have bought it thinking it was going to be a staple piece for the upcoming winter. It would have shown up to my dorm, I would have taken it out of the box, and ultimately I would have had the same reaction after feeling the sweater. In the store, I just walked away and moved on with my life. But, if I had bought it online, I would have had to bother finding the return label, sending it back, and waiting to be reimbursed. Like all our other senses, touch is extremely valuable for humans. It is important when choosing the right comforter to use when sleeping or examining the comfort of the seats when buying a new car. Touch is needed just as much when shopping for clothes. Touch, however, cannot be used when online shopping. Online shopping is supposed to be convenient, but sometimes you don’t want to take the time and effort to look at the fabric of an item and then research the comfortability of it. People buy clothing online because it is quick, easy, and pleasing to the eye, but the opportunity to actually feel the clothes is taken away. With all the advancements in technology, maybe, just maybe, one day consumers will be able to feel the clothing through the screen. Now that would make online shopping perfect.

Ones to Watch:



While most of his friends were playing video games and skateboarding, 12-year-old Matteo Staltari was printing t-shirts in a warehouse. Each day after school Staltari spent his free time with a printing press and t-shirts. Little did he know this was the start of his design career. While working with his friend to print t-shirts, Staltari became interested in the textiles they were working with. He wanted to apply his knowledge of graphic design to enhance the style he was creating. At 15-years-old, Staltari launched his first brand, Smoking Kills, combining his love for streetwear with his skills in graphic design. His brand was edgy streetwear that fostered a community among his clientele. His work caught the attention of many notable rappers, such as Cousin Stizz, Pistola, and K$ace. Smoking Kills was incredibly successful, despite Staltari never having a formal sewing lesson and still attending high school.

A year after Smoking Kills launched, Staltari’s cousin died from a drug overdose. This event made Staltari reflect on his life, his brand, and his career. “Life’s too short to not be making something that’s meaningful to you in the long-run,” he said. He soon realized Smoking Kills was becoming a brand that he was creating for others, not for himself. He redirected his focus to creating a brand “with more substance” and meaningful garments. Six months later, Staltari launched his second brand, Stand By Me. Stand By Me was inspired by monochrome, sleek designs that featured simple styles with clear concepts. One of the garments in his latest collection included a white t-shirt with large writing that says “climate control.” For Staltari the new brand provides him with creative freedom and the ability to design purposeful garments, something he was unable to do with Smoking Kills. After graduating from high school, Staltari moved to New York City and started college at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). At 18-yearsold, Staltari is currently in his first semester of college and has continued producing content for his brand.


“Life’s too short to not be makin g somet hin g t ha t ’s meaningful to you in the Staltari takes great pride in being a self-taught designer but he also recognizes it has its setbacks. “I regret not getting a formal sewing lesson until freshman year of college,” he said. Because he is just now learning how to properly sew, he often finds himself “playing catchup” to keep up with his peers. While he admits that education is not necessary for everyone in the industry, he has found it to be incredibly beneficial because he is able to learn the fundamentals of sewing and continue to grow as a designer. Staltari is currently taking a hiatus from Stand By Me to refine his sewing skills before launching his next collection, which he wants to be his best yet. He plans to achieve this goal by including “durable pieces that are able to take some serious wear and tear” while still conveying a clear message to his consumer. These past experiences have shaped Staltari into the designer he is today. He is continually grateful for his current opportunities and does not take his career for granted. “The fact that I’m doing what I love is something I don’t take lightly at all,” he said. Readers can watch Staltari’s journey on his personal Instagram account @yungteo and look out for his next collection @stndbymeusa.


SENSATION IN FASHION SENSATION IN FASHION SENSATION IN FASHION WORDS BY NISHITA NAGA ILLUSTRATION BY JENNY SCHOENFELD A sensation, when defined as a noun, is something that causes excitement. More specifically, a sensation may also be the object of excitement, especially someone who incites this feeling in others by being exceptional or outstanding. Sensations in fashion tend to stimulate audiences visually, in terms of touch, or even audibly. The greatest fashion shows in the modern era have stunned audiences with the art presented, and have drawn on all of their senses, creating a lavish experience of texture and color. These shows can excite an audience through over-stimulation or even relaxation; observers have the opportunity to enter the world of the show itself. In such a dynamic, the appeal of a fashion show comes from its ability to be “stunning.” With this circumstances, it is hard not to wonder, what makes a person a fashion icon? The answer is simple: a fashion icon possesses the ability to stun. If an individual’s style consistently catches the most eyes and speaks to the taste of the largest audience, it becomes a figure of inspiration, informing style trends created and adopted by the very same observers. Art is meant to grab attention and make the viewer feel something. In the art of fashion, the style that consistently catches the most eyes and speaks to the taste of larger audience is the style that awakens the senses that are being engaged in the viewer-- most common sight and touch. This principle can be observed on both the red carpet and in the street style of stars like Rihanna, known for a style that is eye-catching and original. Take the 2018 Met Gala red carpet, for example. This is the fashion event for icons. The intent of every costume presented is to stimulate the viewer. Through the use of high fashion designs, the best-dressed of the event captivates spectators. Rihanna, serving as Co-Chair for the event, brought her first Margiela look to the red carpet—an entirely jewel-encrusted gown


resembling a Pope’s robes. The dress stimulates the viewers visually, urging them to reach out and touch. We can see this similarly in Zendaya’s outfit for the night, a chainmail Versace gown which resembled the armor of Joan of Arc. Both dresses are made of materials with a unique and almost palpable finish. We can see the texture of the dresses without even having to touch them. The uniqueness of the way they feel, even when a viewer solely lays eyes on the material, is what adds to the stunning quality of the design. Like the breathtaking gowns Rihanna dons, the Met Gala’s attendees keep an iconic history in their wardrobes because we find our senses engaged by the colors and textures displayed on the red carpet. The 2018 Met Gala was not Rihanna’s first notable red carpet appearance. Her 2015 gown designed by Guo Pei for the 2015 Met Gala red carpet included a rich yellow gown covered in shining satin. The conjunction of the yellow with the texture gave the gown a golden hue that left the viewer’ senses in awe. These traits were only exaggerated by the brilliant train that accompanied its wearer as she ascended the steps of the Met. The dress was the topic of discussion online for days following the event, making this much clear: Rihanna had left her mark. Icons do not just shine on the red carpet; they bring their emblematic style into everyday wear. Rihanna’s street style combines the best of high and low fashion; it is dressed down but still appeases the desire for the senses to be stimulated. Human nature is to seek exploration, pleasure, and comfort through touch. Fashion is not only about the show, but it is also about the reaction the art elicits from the audience. This ability is most prevalent on the red carpet due to the focus on what those present are wearing, drawing out our senses to take pleasure from the various colors and textures displayed.








New York City is full of pop-up shops and shopping experiences—I can guarantee they are better than a Sephora online order. Next time you need a date with yourself or your bestie is in town, try out these activities. Here is the rundown of my top three picks.


Glossier Showroom 123 Lafayette Street, PH Floor WHAT IS IT

A showroom staging all of the Glossier products in an aesthetically pleasing fashion.


While Glossier has all their products online, it is helpful to be able to pick up and test the products in person. Buying makeup is an emotional experience, and you vibe with certain products over others. Glossier is the Chickfila of makeup when it comes to service. You are greeted at the doorway, at the elevator, and at the entrance into the showroom. Helpers, clad in pink jumpsuits, are willing to guide you through the maze of products and answer any of your burning questions.


Ranging from a $9 cleanser to $16 brow gel and $60 perfume.


There are mirrors spaced throughout the store that compliment you and your future mirror selfie. All along the far-left wall, there are posters promoting body positivity that you can stunt next to. Although the space is small, the entire room is pink (including the employee uniforms) with a simplistic aesthetic that could work with a quality candid pic.

Bite Lip Lab 174 Prince St WHAT IS IT

A personal handcrafted lip color experience where artists adjust the shade, texture, finish, and flavor of a lipstick designed just for you!


I had the privilege of getting two bespoke lipsticks for my birthday after seeing Sayfia Nygaard’s Youtube video (check that out for an inside look at the experience). It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. As someone who bleeds lipstick, it was pure heaven, but it’s just as fun to stop by and look around! I know that I struggle to find the perfect pink for my skin tone. With a customizable color, you are guaranteed to leave the store with the color that perfectly suits you.


It is pricey! A la carte is $55 per person for 1 lipstick, $80 for two. Two completely artist-created custom shades is $150.


Get a classy boomerang of your shade being mixed in front of you, the lipstick being poured into the mold, or the lipstick being placed into your personal tube. With exposed brick and mirrors covering the walls, any spot within the cozy lab has a great background and lighting for you and your pals!

The Winky Lux Experience 430 W Broadway


Eight rooms that completely transport you and celebrate the drastically different products of the Winky Lux makeup brand. It is a phototaking, girly, creative haven!


The space creates eight different instagrammable backdrops and, more importantly, a $10 in-store credits towards any of the adorable products sold in store!


Only $10!!!


Literally every room. The front of the store is a wall of flowers with an adorable bench. The lobby is pink and simplistic. There is also a giant teddy bear in the waiting area, ready for cuddles and pictures. It’s an insta paradise.


As someone who struggles with anxiety, I find it hard to describe. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, I started to look for anything that would help me feel in control of my life: actions, emotions, physical appearance. I used to look down on makeup because I did not see any point to it, but I found myself turning to makeup for a source of comfort. Mental illness is a deep and complicated journey that is personal and intimate for each human being. For short-term relief, I use makeup as a creative outlet to help me feel a mini sense of control over the uncontrollable panic. Although these looks cannot cure anxiety, I hope that you, dear reader, can try and experiment with small tasks in your daily life that comfort you in bouts of anxiety.


On days that … Some days, I want to look cute but do not have the energy to sit down and plan out an eyeshadow look, or do not want to commit to maintaining a liquid lipstick all day. Some days, I need to go to the gym and do not want to have to take off a full face of makeup. A simple solution: glitter liquid eyeshadow or eyeliner. Some of my favorites are Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, Glossier Lip Topper, and Too Faced Glitter Eyeliner. If I want my entire eye to be aglitter in a very bold way, I use Stila, which tends to have large chunky glitter that catches the eye. I do a single swipe, or a few dots on my lid and blend it out with my fingers. I usually pair it with black eyeliner and I’m done. If I’m feeling subtler, I use Glossier, which is more sheer and adds some dimension to your eyes. I just swipe on some mascara to open my eyes, and I’m done. A simple lip gloss will complete the look.

On days that … Some days, I crave a creative outlet. Not everyone has the time or means to sit down and paint something beautiful, or write out their feelings, but your eyes are always available to be your canvas. I love a good rainbow eye look: something simple that makes an artistic statement. I use the Morphe 39A Dare to Create palette, which has every color. I start with a sparkly red on the inner corner of my eyes and then work my way across the eye with orange, gold glitter, a neon green, dark blue, and finally a dark violet. I finish it off with a simple black eyeliner and mascara. Try the toned-down version by picking three of your favorite colors. Start with the first color in the inner corner of your eye, blend the second color into majority of your eyelid, and finish it off with the third color on the outer side of your eye. On these days, I like to do a colorful liquid lip with a metallic gloss over it, creating dimension and adding to the artistry of the look.

On days that … Some days, I do not feel like myself. The things that usually bring me joy like reading, writing, and seeing my friends do not bring me out of the funk that I am stuck in. On these days, I need a reminder of who I am and what makes me happy. My favorite color is purple, so I blend every shade of purple that I own onto my eyes. I have purple glitter to make the inner corner of my eye pop. I have a dark eggplant to deepen the outer corner of my eye. I have a bright magenta that makes the center of my eyelid pop. If you do not have a favorite color, pick a favorite palette that you depend on. I know that I can always turn back to my Modern Renaissance palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills. It always helps me to apply a statement lip, preferably purple, as a BOLD reminder. A toned-down shade like a pink nude works just as well.

On days that … I usually follow all the classic “rules” of makeup: a combination of eyeshadow blended over the eyelid, eyeliner drawn in a tight line near the eyelashes, and a nude lip. However, some days I feel trapped in my own skin and I want to try something different. A slightly more complicated look is tracing your eyes with eyeliner. Start with the classic cat eye, a thick black line across the eyelid that ends with an upward flick. If you own it, add a line of white eyeliner on top. Then, finding where your eyelid crease is, draw a black line from the cateye up halfway across the lid. It should create an arch across your lid. Then fill in the gap between the cateye and the arch with small black dots. This creates a beautiful gradient that will flutter as you blink. It is a graphic and edgy look completely different from my regular routine, which helps me step back and appreciate myself.

These are just a few of the makeup looks I turn to as an escape from my mind. I hope you have fun trying out a few and taking a personal spin on any of them! Remember: feelings will pass and you will be okay. Nothing bad can ever come from creativity, so try it out!




PINK Water Lotion: Ocean Extracts $16.50 Find it at: Victoria’s Secret 4 / 5 stars

I get it: showering in the dorm or your small apartment just does not compare to the feeling of being back in your shower or bathtub at home. But worry not: I am here to save the day with some products to help you feel rejuvenated and relaxed. Turn your shower into an experience with aromatherapy, exfoliation, and texturizing! Better yet, you do not have to break the bank to do it: here are our favorite shower products to help you engage in wallet-friendly luxury.

Charcoalology Soap Set $5.99 Find it at: TJ Maxx 4 / 5 stars

I swear by charcoal skincare products, so I was excited to incorporate charcoal into my shower routine and was not disappointed by the results. This value pack contains four soaps made of bamboo charcoal. Each bar contains different additional extracts to perform one of four functions: smoothing, soothing, clarifying, and recharging. Following their use with moisturizing lotion helps restore skin’s hydration after cleansing. The smoothing bar is my favorite: it is embedded with charcoal bits that gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it soft. The clarifying bar is formulated with similar exfoliating bits that allow a deeper scrub. Every bar delivers a skin transformation, and the whole set is a quality choice for a reasonable price.

This is the product for those of us who would rather be on an island somewhere away from the winter chill. With its infusion of sea salt and strong pineapple scent, you will feel like you are washing off in the Caribbean waves. I recommend using it in conjunction with PINK’s Soap & Skin Dual-Phase Coconut Oil Body Wash. Although marketed as a soap, it works great as a shaving gel: the ultra-light formula will not clog your razor and the coconut oil will leave you feeling unbelievably smooth. Then, you can apply the Ocean Extracts to lock in the moisture after shaving, as it has a somewhat heavier formula for a water-based lotion. Use them together, and you will be in (and smell like) piña-colada paradise.

Broken Dreams Texture Paste $7.99 Find it at: TJ Maxx 2.5 / 5 stars

Your dreams about this product’s quality should not be broken. This cream can be used in place of conditioner to soften and texturize your hair. You can also use it on dry hair on the days you do not wash it to add some bounce and volume. It does make wet hair appear a little flatter immediately after application, but after setting for a few hours, the increase in volume is noticeable. It works best to achieve flowy, beachy waves.

Lush Cherryish Shower Scrub

The Aromatherapy Co. Therapy Range Rosehip Wand $12.95 $3.99 Find it at: TJ Maxx 3.5 / 5 stars

This wand can easily be incorporated into your shower routine. The product is a little, easy-to-use brush that releases a mixture of rosehip, lavender, and pomegranate seed oils. After drying off, you can brush it over acne scars, stretch marks, or any skin in need of firming. Doing so right after a shower when your skin has been steamed allows the oils to fully sink in. You can also just leave the top open and place the brush in the shower for a floral aromatherapy experience.

Find it at: Lush 5 / 5 stars For all you sugar-sweet snacks and cherry bombshells, this little heart-shaped bar is easy to love and almost sweet enough to eat. Scrub it all over your skin to exfoliate and hydrate after your normal body wash: you will smell like a chocolate-cherry treat for hours and feel as soft as whipped cream. And let’s not forget the cherry on top of all this goodness: all of Lush’s products are completely vegetarian and not tested on animals, so your conscience will feel just as great as your body!


how i became a


I have been a freelance makeup artist for

almost three years now, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve always loved makeup, and doing my own makeup has been my favorite creative outlet for a while. But, I didn’t have the courage, or think I had the right to call myself a professional and ask people to pay me for my work until more recently. Here’s the thing: you don’t need to have some sort of certification or have graduated from beauty school to be a makeup artist for two reasons. First, most people don’t care what your certifications are. They care more about if you’re good or not and if you can make them feel and look beautiful or not. Second, with YouTube and other social medias, you can learn anything you’d learn in beauty school online, if not more. Here’s how I did it.

I started out when I was in high school; after loving

makeup and watching tutorials on YouTube I figured I could do it too. I posted in my town’s Facebook group asking if anyone needed holiday or party makeup done. I was booked to do makeup for some upcoming holiday parties and this was my first experience doing makeup on other people besides my friends and family. It felt great to see my work on others, and even more great when they loved how they looked! Around the same time, a local photographer reached out to me after seeing my post in the Facebook group, saying she was looking to do more glamour shots and work with women and girls and would love to have a makeup artist on her team. We started working together on shoots and I was able to use professional shots of my makeup for my portfolio—my Instagram page, that is. These shoots were essential to starting my own business as a freelancer.

When I went to college, it was harder to freelance and

charge people, because most people around me are also college students who don’t have as much of a budget. But, being that I really just needed to continue to build my portfolio, I would do my friends’ Halloween and party makeup for free just so I could post pictures of others in makeup by me. I knew that even if I wasn’t charging, it would help me in the future to market towards different demographics who I could charge. It became harder and harder to devote time and energy to building my portfolio my business, as it can be if you’re in school or have a 9 to 5 job. It’s easy to let your passion project feel less important. I am still a work in progress as a freelancer, an artist, and a business. It’s still something I love, so I do what I can even if I have other priorities like school. The key is to just keep going. Even if it can’t be your full-time job, it’s still amazing to do something you’re passionate about and get paid for it! Every successful artist or business person or entrepreneur started somewhere. My long-term goals in the cosmetic world are bigger than being a freelance artist or an Instagram artist. But I’ve got to start somewhere!

in a nutshell, here are my top tips on how to start your business as a successful freelance makeup artist:


Practice your skills: the first step to being a professional and being treated like one is to be good at what you do. Keep learning new ways to do cool things and keep practicing even basic skills like blending. There’s always room to get better.

2. 3.

Use social media as your portfolio. It matters how your Instagram looks. Try to consistently upload quality content.

Invest money into building a professional kit--tools and makeup in different shades that you use on clients only. The less work the client has to do, like provide his or her own makeup, the better.

4. 5. 6.

Work with a photographer. Photographers can give you exposure to, for example, magazines or models or other artists, and you also get professional images of your work.

Determine what you can charge people. You’d be surprised what people might be willing to pay. Most importantly, do not sell yourself short. Your skills and work are worth a lot!

Make and give out business cards. Telling people you’re a freelancer or on Instagram isn’t enough to make them remember you. In any social interaction, what you do for a living or for fun is bound to come up—if you have a business card on hand, it turns a casual interaction into a potential client or business endeavor.


Fake it until you make it. Bobbi Brown started as a freelance artist with only a small portfolio under her belt and Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, started as an entry level Sephora employee. The next cosmetics household name could be you.


Smell is one of the most powerful senses

as it can evoke the strongest memories of different people, places, and events. Not only can smells signal memories, but scents can also completely transform your mood or redefine a space. Perfumes, colognes, or eau de toilette sprays are an essential last step to your routine to define your mood and express personality. These are our top picks for spring scents!



Floral scented perfumes are sweet,

youthful, and elegant. The right floral perfume can help you feel sophisticated and flirty. Notes of flowers like rose, jasmine, or violet define these classic scents we know and love.


$84 for 1.7 fl.oz


Top Notes: Crystalized cloudberries Heart Notes: Daisy tree petals Base Notes: Cashmere musk, driftwood. Like a warm spring day spent outside soaking in the sun, this scent embodies a carefree and joyful attitude.

For a clean and awake feeling, choose a

fresh scent. A fresh perfume can feel like a breath of cool, clean air which may be an ideal and quick escape for those living in a congested city. Fresh scents combine the sweetness of floral scents with the natural tones of earthy scents.


CHLOÉ EAU DE PARFUM $76 for 1.0 fl.oz Top Notes: Bergamot Heart Notes: White rose, Magnolia Base Notes: Cedar, Musk. This perfume perfectly captures the essence of delicacy, poise, and French beauty. Spray Chloé to instantly transport yourself to a quaint Parisian cafe on a sunny morning.

$72 for 1.7 fl.oz Top Notes: Crushed mint leaves for top notes Heart Notes: Jasmine, peony Base Notes: Cedarwood, labdanum. This Armani scent is the perfect start to a determined, powerful day. With its crisp, natural tone, it will clear the mind and create balance before you step out the door to conquer the day.


$49 for 2 fl oz Top Notes: Water lily Heart Notes: Leafy greens Base Notes: Frosted Musk Pure Grace evokes the smell of freshly washed sheets hung out to dry. This light spray is perfect for anyone who loves a bright, refreshing feeling.




e.l.f. Stardust Glitter Eyeliner Find it at: Ulta Beauty FOR $4 Rating: Popped/Flopped

Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Lip Topcoat Find it at: Sephora FOR $20 Rating: Popped

There are days to go natural, and there are days to break out your inner ultra-glam diva and go for your most striking makeup look. Bright pigments and glitter, I am looking at you. Luckily, making a statement doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, but there are some things you’ll want to splurge on too! I tried these five products −here are my thoughts on which ones popped, and which ones flopped.

I tried this product three ways: solo, on top of Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polish, a shimmery gloss, and on top of Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss Lipstick in Poe, a deep navy shade with a slight metallic finish. In all cases, the topcoat took the subtle sheen of the undercoat and amplified it into a dazzling sparkly highlight. The product is basically concentrated liquid glitter. I tried the shade Fever, which appears pinkish, but has a blue-green shift in the light. So no matter what colors you use in the rest of your makeup look, they will bring out the colors in the lip. And it certainly lives up to its name-- it does not budge. After eating a sandwich and later trying to wipe the gloss off, the sparkle still remained. I loved this gloss for its durability and its standout shimmer; it totally popped!

Have you ever heard that saying, “We’re all made of stardust”? Use this out-of-this-world liner and you will believe it. You can layer it on top of a darker liner or bold eyeshadow to illuminate it. It is light enough, too, that it can double as a pearly eyeshadow or a blinding highlight. However, it is not super noticeable without a base of some sort, so it flops as a standout product on its own. You can use it alone for a subtle pearlescent shine. Overall, for a drugstore brand liner, I’d call e.l.f.’s a star for sure.

Milk Holographic Stick

Find it at: Sephora FOR $28 Rating: Flopped This convenient little tube of highlighter is great to tuck in your bag and sweep on for a glow on the go. I tried the shade Supernova, but it does not exactly live up to the ultra-brightness of its namesake star. It may be high-end, but you will not get a blinding shine even after a couple layers. If a subtle, luminous glow is all you need to complete your look, then this stick should do the trick. Ultimately, though, this one flopped; it is not worth the price for the glow you get. If you really want a bold galaxy-toned shine, Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Aurora Glow Kit has six super-pigmented shades made for just that.

N Y X F o i l P l ay C r e a m Pigment

F i n d i t at : N Y X O R U lta Beauty FOR $7.50 Rating: Popped If a little sparkle on the lips is not quite enough, NYX has got you covered. This product is very buildable to suit any level of shine you are going for. It is versatile, too-- the pigment works well as an eyeshadow, eyeliner, lip topper, or even to add a little sparkle to your brows. I used the shade Dagger, a brassy gold-bronze shade that can match almost any outfit or makeup look. Foil Play pigments also come in silver, light and hot pink, and lime and emerald green for the daring among us. This one gets a pop by all accounts!

Ulta Beauty Face & Body Glitter Find it at: Ulta Beauty FOR $8 Rating: Popped

As with any loose glitter, it is bound to get everywhere--but maybe that is okay. Ulta’s glitter works for everything from a small highlight on the eyelids to a full-out glitter explosion in your hair or a standout topper on a liquid lip. It is not as concentrated as the Foil Play pigment, but with a few layers and some primer, you can build it up to a pretty intense pigment. I tried the shade Sunset, which is bronze with a rose-gold shift. It amplifies a natural, rosy glow to the next level. The glitter also comes in pearlescent silver and yellow gold. I recommend layering it between two layers of your favorite gloss for an unbelievable shine. This one gets a pop for its versatility and stunning color shift.


The feeling of soft, supple, and hydrated

skin is a feeling like no other and can help you to radiate confidence from the inside out. Adding this luxurious step into your skincare routine can aid in feeling pampered and ultra-moisturized. There are so many different products on the market targeted towards different skin concerns; it can be confusing to pick the best products for what your skin needs. Here are some of the best oils, serums, and essences tailored to meet your needs and help your skin glow. If you really want


to take your skin care to the next level, layering different products can do wonders!

Rosehip Seed Oil What It Is: Rosehip seed oil is a pressed seed oil from the seeds of the wild rose bush, commonly found in the south Andes.

Skin Type: Acne-prone Benefits: Brightens, evens skin tone, lessens acne scarring, softens, multipurpose (this oil can be used on hair and nails as well)

Jojoba Oil What It Is: Jojoba is a desert-thriving plant found in North America with many healing properties. It contains a high amount of fatty acids that help with acne, burns, hair loss, psoriasis, and even sunburns.

Skin Type: Oily Benefits: Antibacterial, sebum-control, improves collagen production, anti-inflammatory

Marula Oil What It Is: Marula oil is derived from the marula tree found in parts of Africa. It protects against environmental damage and prevents stretch marks and scarring on the skin. Skin Type: All Benefits: Breathable, hydrating, gentle, reduces dark circles & wrinkles


Don’t be fooled: oils are not only for the

very dry-skinned. Often, a super oily complexion is due to overly dehydrated skin: depriving your skin of proper hydration means your skin is working overtime to keep you hydrated and in turn, overproduces oils! Adding oils yourself will keep your natural oils at bay. A little goes a long way: put one or two drops of oil on your hands and gently pat it into the skin before moisturizer.

Argan Oil What It Is:

Argan oil is pressed from the

seeds of the argan tree, native to Morocco. It is incredible at locking in skin’s moisture-it contains squalene, an organic compound that assists with hydration, regeneration, and oxygenation

Skin Type: Oily, Dry, Sensitive Benefits: Calms, rejuvenates,


elasticity, multipurpose (can be used all over the body and most popular in hair)

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum What It Is: Vitamin C is a vitamin found in citrus foods that contributes to immune system strength. When applied to the skin, it aids in collagen synthesis, which improves elasticity, moisturizes, and reduces fine lines and discoloration.

Skin Type: Acne-prone, Acne-scarred Benefits: Improves discoloration & texture, brightens, firms.

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist What It Is: An unscented essence containing 90% fermented yeast extracted from Himalayan purple barley

Skin Type: Sensitive Benefits: Brightens, clarifies, improves texture, corrects pigmentation.

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence What It Is: An antioxidant essence with active ingredients kombucha, plant extracts, and hyaluronic acid (for plumping & hydrating)

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination, Oily Benefits: minimizes lines & imperfections, improves elasticity, defends against pollution.

Serums + Essences Like oils, serums and essences are powerpacked skin care essentials catering to a wide range of skin care needs. Serums and essences serve similar purposes, mostly differing in consistency. Serums tend to be thicker while essences are on the lighter side. Apply these to the skin just as you would apply an oil.

Glossier Super Pure Serum What It Is: A super serum containing Vitamin B3 and Zinc

Skin Type: Oily, Acne-prone Benefits: combats hormone related skin issues, reduces redness, flushes impurities, reduces sebum.









In the six years I have owned an iPhone, I have used the Notes app only a handful of times. Within it, my files are a disorganized mix of inconsequential names, numbers, grocery lists, deadlines, and movie recommendations. However, many of today’s celebrities and online personalities have begun to utilize the app for something else. In today’s digital age, the act of addressing scandal or controversy via a press release has been replaced by a phenomena known as the “social media apology”. The apology is carried out in three forms: (1) a written statement formulated in the Notes app which is then posted to social media, (2) a video posted on YouTube, or in some cases (3) both of the above. One infamous case of a YouTuber apology gone wrong took place at the start of 2018. In a since-deleted video, titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese suicide forest…” YouTube star Logan


Paul comes across a suicide victim while trudging through the Aokigahara Forest, also known as Japan’s “suicide forest.” While filming for his primarily middle and high school aged-audience, Paul does the inexcusable – films himself gaping exaggeratedly as he zooms in on the victim. Despite blurring it out in a half-baked attempt at decency, Paul shows a blatant disrespect for the victim and his family. He then exploits the video as clickbait, setting the dead man as his video thumbnail, expecting it would get him more views. Needless to say, the internet was quick to react. Paul faced immediate backlash for the video, and responded by posting a Notes app apology to Twitter the following day. In a tweet captioned, “Dear Internet,” Paul claims that his intention for posting the video had been to “raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.”

To justify his actions, he claims he got “caught up in the moment without fully weighing the possible ramifications.” The apology, which seemed fabricated and insincere to most, led Paul to be slammed with another wave of criticism, this time with major celebrities joining in on the conversation such as Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and Fordham alumna Lauren Duca. The influx of negative comments prompted Paul to release a second apology, this time in the form of a 2-minute video. This follow-up video of a teary-eyed Paul was poorly received for reportedly being monetized. Following the criticism, Paul then announced that he would be taking a short break from YouTube. Cut to September 2018, the internet was stunned once again when Shane Dawson announced that his newest docu-series would feature Jake Paul – Logan Paul’s equally problematic younger sibling for his racism and domestic abuse allegations. The announcement of the eight-part series, titled “The Mind of Jake Paul,” quickly sparked public controversy. Dawson’s viewers took to Twitter to express their discontent with the series and threatened to withdraw their support for the creator if he followed through with his idea. Although Dawson has become one of the most well-known and respected creators on YouTube since joining the platform in 2008, his path has been littered with his fair share of scandal, including several instances of racism, blackface, and other unacceptable behavior in the name of comedy. Some worried Dawson was in danger of crossing the line once again, citing another one of Dawson’s recent docu-series as evidence. In August 2018, Dawson released “The Secret World of Jeffree Star.” The series focuses on the private life of the elusive YouTube veteran Jeffree Star, a beauty guru with his own incredibly tarnished past of racism. Despite Star’s release of an apology video last year, titled “RACISM” which got 4.5 million views, continued accusations have many convinced that he has not changed. As a result, Dawson’s series received a lot of pushback for offering a platform to an alleged

racist. While Dawson sits down with Star to address the beauty mogul’s past controversies, the attempt to show viewers Star’s vulnerable side behind the screens inadvertently creates a narrative for a “redemption arc,” as Dawson appears to sympathize with Star. Thus, some viewers were especially concerned about the series on Paul. At the beginning of the series, Dawson stated that he knew he would have certain responsibilities to fulfill while filming his documentary, he says: “I want this time to actually sit down in a room with him and be like, this is why people don’t like you, this is what you did that was bad. I want you to tell me why you did it, be honest about it, change your life, and fucking stop.” Many fans stood by his decision to continue filming despite the pushback. But in the end, they were met with disappointment. In his heart-to-heart talk with Paul in the two-hour series finale, Dawson not only seems to sweep the star’s controversial comments under the rug, but also appears to excuse his actions by shifting the blame onto his “toxic” family. Instead of holding Paul accountable, Dawson sympathizes with him in a similar manner to Star. Some on the internet were outraged causing “#ShaneDawsonIsOverParty” to trend on Twitter. Dawson’s massive fan base, at 19 million strong, trust him. He has a responsibility to be transparent about major issues, especially as a documentary creator. In downplaying the controversies of his interviewees, whether intentionally or not, Dawson creates an opportunity for young viewers to misinterpret that toxic behavior is excusable or inconsequential. The bottom line? Whether well-executed or not, public apologies spark both conversation and controversy. Due to the accessibility of the internet, viewers have the chance to be more involved than ever – to support, to criticize, or to condemn. As YouTubers’ followings grow, so do their responsibilities. While social media apologies are still a relatively new concept, the apologies of online personalities need to be held to the same standards as their more professional counterparts, and critiqued as such.




It has been said that an album released after an artist’s death is the biggest seller of their career. In our society, artists tend to be posthumously immortalized and honored, even if they were not all that well-known or well-liked prior to their death. In 2018 alone, the deaths of XXXTentacion and Mac Miller caused both artists’ previously released content to skyrocket back to the top of the charts. On Oct. 15, the single “Arms Around You” was released, featuring X, in addition to rappers Lil Pump and Swae Lee, and Colombian singer Maluma. The song, which Lil Pump said was released to honor X’s legacy, was the second most played hip-hop song on Spotify during the week of Oct. 29. However, in releasing such a song, what is the legacy we are honoring? XXXTentacion has been accused of domestic abuse—a claim that has been corroborated by a recently released audio recording of the rapper confessing to the crime—and it may be difficult to reconcile the art with the artist, especially if the artist has been the subject of controversial issues in the way that X has. Though the circumstances of his death may have been tragic, does the active effort to honor such a problematic person after his death excuse his behavior during his life?

Mac Miller is another artist with a troubled past that has been glorified and praised posthumously, though there is no evidence pointing to the fact that he had a history of being physically abusive in the way that XXXTentacion had. The artist passed away on Sept. 7 as a result of a drug overdose; Mac Miller had been in a relationship with singer Ariana Grande that ended a few months earlier and internet trolls were quick to blame her for his death, citing that she had likely broken his heart after their breakup along with her swift engagement to Pete Davidson. Though Grande noted on Twitter that their relationship had become toxic and it was in her best interest to move on, there is a distinction that must be made between honoring a well-meaning person that struggled with addiction and ignoring or excusing the violence of a remorseless abuser. Though many of the individuals that follow these artists’ careers aid in perpetuating these issues, media outlets should also be sure not to ignore any past history of abuses or dangerous behaviors in their coverage of these deaths. And because many of the consumers of this media are under the age of 30, this group is clearly more susceptible to the influence that this glorification may have. Of course, it is not normal or excusable to ignore one’s unapologetic abuse, even—or, rather, especially—if they are famous. Our society should actively work towards a system in which we can condemn the wrongdoings of an artist and ensure that we do not worship them while also admitting that their death may have been tragic. If we fail to do so, the consequences of society’s and the artist’s actions run the risk of being ignored.

“...there is a distinction that must be made between honoring a well-meaning person that struggled with addiction and ignoring or excusing the violence of a remorseless abuser.”






Two Gardens, One Senior Exhibition WORDS & PHOTOS BY CARMEN RECIO An examination on a grandfather’s impact on his granddaughter’s appreciation for nature and conserving the environment.

Earlier this year I found myself in Jardin des

finished my study abroad program in Spain, and was

Plantes, peering into a greenhouse where Gilberto

ready to start research on my senior thesis on botanical

Rodriguez once worked. He was a Venezuelan botanist,

illustrations inspired by my grandfather’s work. Naturally,

ecologist, and carcinologist. He was also my grandfather.

my first stop was The Jardin des Plantes.

My most cherished childhood memories took place in his

own tropical oasis in San Antonio, Venezuela, a magical

behind it gave way to a winding dirt path. As soon as

garden around his house where my cousins and I would

my mother and I stepped through, the bustling of the

hide from our mothers and play capture the flag. The

city was muted. Guided by her fuzzy childhood memory,

most mysterious bit was home to his cherished species

we made our way to the Galerie de Botanique located

of plants and was naturally forbidden to us kids. Gilberto

at the heart of the garden. What started out as a royal

admired Heliconias, a family of bright, pointy tropical

medicinal herb garden in 1635 is now home to wildly

flowers also known as “lobster tails.” Incidentally, he also

diverse species from all over the globe, where young

loved crustaceans. At what I consider the most interesting

banana trees live directly across a path from Hare’s

point in his career, he had a crab named after him

tail grass. The plants are arranged based on scientific

(“finders keepers” applies to scientists too). I only knew

classifications in neat plots of land on either side of a

bits and pieces about Gilberto’s work before I traveled

main walking path. Shallow ponds shelter aquatic plants

around Paris with my mother, coaxing information out

and numerous frogs that sing to their heart’s content.


of her over many tapas and glasses of wine. I had just

A tall iron gate with even taller trees towering

I was reminded of the small pond Gilberto had

Venezuela who was his girlfriend at the time. Two

in his own house. It was elevated, so I had to stand on

years later, they married. His letters are a frequent

my toes to look into the murky water and dip my fingers

topic of discussion amongst his children to this day,

in. Huge aloe plants grew at the base, and so did a

but no one besides my grandmother ever laid eyes on

row of palm trees that lead into the main entrance.

them after they crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Word is he

Walking through the Jardin des Plantes examining

had a great sense of humor, but no one knows exactly

the different species of plants made me wonder what

what was said in the letters, or where they are today.

exactly Gilberto’s work has consisted of during his

Hearing this from my mom was both intriguing and

time here. I only knew him as my grandfather, but

irritating. Why did no one bother to save them? “He

he had been so much more to his family and to the

was a private person,” was all my mom could say in

scientific community. Over the course of my week


in Paris I realized that there had been family history

buried by both time and my growing distance from

1970s his family went with him. My mother and her


five siblings, none of whom spoke french, were sent

Something I will never be able to recover are

to l’Ecole Active Bilingue. On their first day of class,

his mysterious letters. From 1955 to 1957 Gilberto

Gilberto took the metro and accompanied each child

wrote letters from Miami, where he was getting his

to their respective school. On the second day, they had

masters in marine biology, to my grandmother in

to find their way on their own.

When Gilberto moved to Paris, France in the

This brought to mind my own first day of

were surrounded by twelve worried adults. Gilberto,

school in the States, when my parents walked each

more intrigued than concerned, captured the scorpion

one of my sisters to our classrooms. One by one we

in a glass jar and taught us about pointed out to us the

wished each other good luck and felt our stomachs

pincers and the sting like it was a specimen.

dip as we entered classrooms full of children speaking

quickly and incomprehensibly.

lead him to study marine biology. He wrote his graduate

I reflected on these similarities as my mother

thesis on the marine communities of Margarita Island

and I walked the route she used to take to school,

off the coast of Venezuela. Decades later, I would

only to find out that l’Ecole Active Bilingue had closed

frequently visit this island on family vacations, but

a few years ago. Then we visited her old home at 9

for a reason unbeknownst to me he never came with

Boulevard de Magenta Diciem, and looked up at the

us. He went on to get his masters in Miami University,

second floor balcony. We turned to look across the

and his PhD in Wales University, all the while going on

street at the Hospital Lavoisier where her mother

expeditions to study freshwater crabs. He pioneered

Selva worked while my mother and her siblings were

marine ecological studies in Venezuela, founding

in school. We browsed the Gibert Jeune bookstores

the Center of Ecology of IVIC (Venezuelan Institute

where she bought her school supplies. We ordered

of Scientific Investigations) in 1970. Still, when I

her favorite crepes from a street vendor. We stared at

attended his wake at IVIC in 2004 I didn’t comprehend

artworks at the Louvre, Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, and

the magnitude of losing him.

Musée Picasso. We visited Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde

at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

are being affected by the contamination of the ocean.

By the end of our trip we had completed the

With my art exhibition I can only hope to communicate

same route my mother had set out to see with her own

the fascination with nature that I share with my

mother twenty years ago, only that time I had been in

grandfather, and spark a conversation about the

a stroller. There are places that my family seems to

ecological issues that are threatening species all over

return to over the years, as if to renew memories or

the globe. Learning about the important contribution

rediscover family history. My trip with my mother was

Gilberto made to the scientific community not only

a reiteration of this tradition.

inspired my thesis, but also made me see Venezuela

On our last day in Paris, we returned to the

in a positive light, something I haven’t been able to

garden to say goodbye to Gilberto. It was chilly. The

do in a long time. I hope that amidst the chaos in

frogs croaked louder than ever. “At least I can visit him

Venezuela people can see the good that people like

here,” I thought. I recalled an afternoon in his garden in

my grandfather have done, and that those whose

Venezuela when my youngest sister, Eleonora, came

reality is one crisis after another can find some hope

across a bright red scorpion. As any five-year-old

to hold onto by looking back at our history.

would do she knelt next to it and reached her hand

out to touch it, as any five year old would do. And as

leaving behind old clothes. Our next and final stop was

any poisonous scorpion react, it tried to sting her. Her

Madrid, where we would go on to visit more museums,

screams bounced off the brick walls and soon we

try tapas, and ponder over family gossip.

His fascination with animals and their habitats

My thesis is focused on coastal species that

Back at the Airbnb I downsized my luggage,

A Reflection on the Crisis in Venezuela WORDS BY CARMEN RECIO

Hyperinflation is “a rupture that occurs when a

heavily on oil revenue to fund his programs. When oil

government persistently spends (or prints) money that

prices dipped in 2008, instead of securing another

it doesn’t have, and the public loses confidence in the

means of revenue, Chavez indebted the country. His

process,” according to a recent article in The New York

successor Nicolas Maduro followed suit.

Times. Combined with food and medicine shortages,

hyperinflation has impoverished the vast majority of

maintained itself afloat despite strong opposition.

people in Venezuela. According to the Migration Policy

Protests and riots have been met with violence time

Institute, the political, economic, and humanitarian

and time again. In 2017 200,000 people marched

crisis that only keeps getting worse has created a

against President Maduro, and clashes against the

mass displacement of people, ranging from 1.6 million

government’s troops resulted in at least 47 deaths.

to 4 million people abroad as of early 2018.

A survey from 2017 found that “as many as 70% of

With oil reserves larger than Saudi Arabia’s,

Venezuelans want to see Mr. Maduro removed from

how did we get to this point? Some people blame the

power as he increasingly relies on military support to

country’s decline on bad leadership. Starting in 1998

cling onto power.”

with Hugo Chavez’s authoritarian government, a series

of changes were made to the constitution to ensure

to wait in ridiculously long lines to buy basic necessities

that the executive branch could rule free of checks

like bread and milk. Those that have migrated abroad

and balances. He won support by making socialist

can only watch as the country where they used to live

promises that only managed to hurt those he promised

crumbles under Maduro and everyone but him suffers

to represent. He nationalized companies and depended

from it.

The Chavez-Maduro socialist dictatorship has

Venezuela’s future is unclear. People continue


My #MeToo Experience


“Look me in the eyes while you eat that banana.” My twenty-four-year-old manager said that to me nearly every day for three months during my final summer working at the local town beach. Each time I would laugh through a clenched jaw as I ignored the knot tightening in my stomach. I didn’t find it funny. I felt cheap and embarrassed as I sat there laughing with a small shake of my head. I started working at the beach when I was fifteen years old, in the summer of 2014, and returned each summer for four years. I was a shy, awkward girl who thought I was just experiencing “boys being boys” and I had to deal with it. I wanted to fit in. I thought the only way to do that was to be “one of the guys” and play along. High school and college football players dominated the lifeguard staff at the beach. Most of them got their job because the Supervisor also happened to be the high school football coach in my small town on Long Island. Towering over me with their thick arms and wide torsos, the boys asserted their control over the environment through constant joking questions. Each time a joke was made the fact that I was the only girl in the office would become blatantly obvious. Suddenly all eyes were on me.


“Which lifeguard would you be most likely have sex with?” “If you had to have sex with a girl who would it be?” “If you’re a vegan can you still give head or is that not allowed?” “Are you going to call the sexual harassment black lady?” They would joke, in reference to the woman working in Human Resources at Town Hall. I would give a small smile and roll my eyes in an effort to take back some sense of control over the situation. I made sure to never give them an answer in the hope that eventually they would get bored. The feeling I got was exactly the same with every question: my neck would tense as I clenched my jaw beneath my hot cheeks and my stomach would twist back toward my spine with a tightening in my chest. With each joke, I would get painfully still, afraid that the slightest movement would imply encouragement. I overthought everything I said and did in order to limit the ammunition I gave them. It didn’t occur to me that the treatment I was receiving was sexual harassment. I kept trying to convince myself that I was imagining it. I thought maybe I was overthinking it or taking it too personally. I didn’t want to be that bitch at work that complained about a joke or the girl who thought a boy talking to her meant he was in love with her. So I never told anyone. Even if I wanted to, I was too embarrassed to repeat what they said.

“Which lifeguard would you be most likely have sex with?” “If you had to have sex with a girl who would it be?” “If you’re a vegan can you still give head or is that not allowed?” “Are you going to call the sexual harassment black lady?”

It wasn’t until the start of the #MeToo movement in October 2017 that I began to understand the environment at the beach office allowed for the behavior that completely undermined my personal autonomy. When the flood of women began telling their stories I recognized that this isn’t about Harvey Weinstein or Charlie Rose. This is a movement meant to reshape our systemic misogynistic culture. I realized that the boys at the beach were protected by a system that allowed for them to make all jokes they wanted while I sat their silent like a good, uncomplaining girl. At the beach, this system was maintained by the domineeringly patronizing supervisors. Three men in their fifties that sat in the back office, only showing their faces when it came time to reclaim their youth by comparing the hottest girls on the beach with the lifeguards. Then, to assert their dominance they would order me to clean something, which I did without question. “You need to learn to mop better. You want to make your future husband happy right?” one supervisor, Tom, said to me as I mopped the back office one late afternoon. We were the only two in there. He was in his late fifties and known for pointing out when a cute teenage girl in a bikini would walk by the office. He then rubbed my upper arm and, with a small squeeze added, “use your muscles, it feels like you’ve got some.” Without even thinking, I reverted to my usual response, the same one I gave every time a joke about me was made, a small laugh that didn’t reach my eyes and a shake of my head as I looked down at the mop. My jaw was tense and my face was hot. My chest was so tight I could barely breathe and my stomach was in knots. I never felt unsafe but all I wanted was to get out of that room and away from his gaze that I could feel on the back of my neck as I looked at mop sliding across the floor. I can still feel the way he rubbed my arm and the small squeeze he gave my bicep.

Is that sexual harassment? I don’t think so, but it put me in my place. Under his gaze, under his authority, he made it clear that I had a role, one that required pleasing the men in my life. It set a tone throughout the office that I had to allow every boy to view me as an object for their own amusement. They had the power to make me uncomfortable in times of boredom. My subjection started at the top which enabled everyone else to treat me as a joke. For all the humiliation and awkwardness, the lifeguards made me feel, the supervisors established the culture in the office that allowed for it. I understand that now but I still need to remind myself of that every day because when I look back now, one year into the #MeToo movement, I am not consumed with rage for all the men in that office. I am mad at myself. When the time came to prove my feminist strength and stand up for myself I failed. I am embarrassed about what they said to me, what I let them say to me. I am still worried that it is all in my head. I am ashamed that I never said “stop.” I blame myself for what I didn’t do. I am confused because I still consider some of those guys my friends. I don’t feel empowered to share my story alongside all the other women coming forward. I feel like an idiot. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exemplifies that it’s nearly impossible to forget the feeling of being subjected to by a man even though other details might get erased. I don’t remember every single joke or crude comment said by the boys I worked with, but I remember vividly the way they made me feel every day in that office; the laughing I would give through a clenched jaw, tense neck, knotted stomach, and tight chest.

The Homeland Generation



With emotions running high after the attack on the Twin Towers, the United States government and its citizens sent out a cry for help. The country was in shambles. Everyone wanted change and so, the Patriot Act was easily passed. The new law enacted measures allowing the government to collect private information from citizens including bank and credit card information, emails, and internet activity. At the time, the country was so rattled from the 9/11 attacks that almost no one gave the act a second look. It was time for change. The United States had to bounce back to its former glory. Change began slowly. For many, it was hard to tell. They felt safe with these new measures and President Bush finally coming into his own. Their children were growing up in a time where security was a priority. These young kids would come to be known as the “homeland generation.” In 2001, most of the homeland generation were young toddlers aged from two years old to six. Many of them have no recollection of the event – only some can recall having an early release from school or the relief in their parent’s eyes when they were picked up. These children lived through a disastrous event that changed the course of their lives and their thinking for the rest of time. Without 9/11, surveillance and privacy in the United States would be a completely different game. It is difficult for these young people to think about an America without the Department of Homeland Security or without the Transportation Security Administration. In fact, I asked some young people about what 9/11 did to this country and they were dumbfounded to find out that these two organizations did not exist until after the attacks on September 11. Children and young adults have become numb to heavy surveillance. We have unknowingly built up a tolerance against it. I sat down with Nicole Mueller, a 19-year-old college student currently on a pre-law track. I began questioning her about privacy and the Patriot Act to which she quickly replied, “Truthfully, I was not aware that the attacks had such an impact on national security. I always have found it so normal to have to take off my shoes or take my laptop out of my bag or even just have my body searched when I go through security. I have never really thought about what is was like before and how easily people could get away

with stashing illegal items on planes. I guess it is just because I grew up thinking that that is the way it goes. I don’t know if it is okay to say this but I kind of like it. It does make me feel safe.” She was shy in admitting her lack of knowledge on the subject but confident that her information was not a threat to her since she has nothing to hide. The truth is there is a divide in this country between generations as well as a lack of education. Arguably, the internet has changed it all. It has become a platform to learn, to educate, but also to abuse. Many young people, who have grown up using the internet since they were seven years old, are not aware of all of the negativity that can come from the misuse of information. We willingly put out our addresses, our phone numbers, our personal beliefs, and our feelings on a database that logs everything into the system forever. I think it is a moral question instead of a practical one. The question behind data manipulation should be considered an ethical dilemma. Robert Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks, also agrees with this idea. He does not want to jump on the bandwagon that technology is heading towards a dark place. Technology does not manipulate people, the people behind the tech are the ones with the ability to exploit their consumers. Glaser stated that the “biggest flaw in the system today is that it is opt out instead of opt in.” He proposes that companies educate their consumers and offer incentives for the consumer to opt in to giving up their data. Glaser continued to explain that companies like Facebook automatically opt you in for data scraping. Naturally, most people sign up anyways. They are uninformed about the consequences or if they are informed, they do it anyways because the internet is essential in the modern age. The CEO says that companies should change their ethics. They should offer the consumer a choice. Then again, he talks about economics and argues that this opting in strategy would not hurt the company at all. For example, if Facebook were to offer a “premium” plan for consumers who opt in to have their data scrutinized then most people would, just based on the promise of something new and rewarding. It would no longer be a moral dilemma for the company but instead it would be up to the consumer to truly educate themselves on the topic.

Many people are already making headway to educate themselves on the pros and cons of the internet and data privacy, especially after the recent Congressional hearings featuring Mark Zuckerberg. He has completely changed the way that information is handled and interpreted by millions of people across not only the United States but the whole world. Zuckerberg’s attitude during the questioning by Congress was not really a remorseful one. This was something that caused a clear generational divide. While an older crowd took Zuckerberg as entitled and evil for the misuse of information, the younger crowed who tuned into the hearings did not take it as seriously. Instead, they created memes and joked about Zuckerberg’s alien like stature and his constant reach for his glass of water. It is incredibly hard to generalize different groups solely based on the year they were born. However, after careful interviewing, I found that there were certain attitudes tied to young people and others tied to the older people I questioned. I do not want to say that the younger people were misinformed because a lot of them have made strides to educate themselves on the topic. However, they were incredibly less skeptical about the use of their technology. Adding on to that, every single one of them had over three separate social media accounts. Devin Dyer, a sophomore at Fordham University Rose Hill, is a student in Professor Michael Price’s Privacy and Surveillance course. He was one of the most well informed interviewees, as he has become increasingly interested in the ethics of information: “Basically I think the state of privacy in this country is at a serious crossroads. For years, privacy was eroded secretly, bit by bit, until it was almost entirely gone. Then, that came to light with Snowden and other leaks but nobody even seems to care that much. Now with things like Cambridge Analytica, I think it’s been shown that people are willing to give up their privacy because they think it’s a non-issue. I think this is the time where people have to actually think for a while and decide what their privacy is worth to them. And if nobody does that then the serious consequences of government surveillance and both private and public

sector data collection will really start manifesting.” Dyer continued to explain his thoughts on the country’s division between younger people who have never lived a life without surveillance and an older generation who do not understand how young people give up their information so easily. “I think older people are a bit more skeptical because they’ve seen more overt examples of authoritarianism globally, especially with the Cold War. I think young people aren’t as concerned because they don’t fully realize there are alternatives to the very public lives a lot of us lead. I think social media and other communication technologies have become too much a fact of life and young people either don’t want to or can’t visualize a life without them.” Dyer was well informed about the lack of privacy in his own life previously having looked into Edward Snowden and the information leaks of the past decade. His interview was an exception. It is important to be skeptical, yes. But at the same time, older generations have expressed such disinterest and even fear at new technologies such as Augmented Reality or Artificial Intelligence. For example, Sophia, the newest robot developed by Hanson Robotics, recently burst out saying she wanted to “destroy humans.” This caused a lot of controversy but all I heard from people my age was how they could not believe we were able to develop a technology like her. It is such a small divide between wanting to explore new technologies and also fearing them. There needs to be a higher implementation of tech education among all ages. The tech industry is growing and becoming one of the most influential businesses in the United States. And like all big industries, there will be abuse until there is legislative change. However, change will only come if we push for it. Change will come when American citizens begin to fight for their own human rights and push companies, like Facebook, to start a new code of ethics for the internet. It is time to bridge the gap between older and younger generations and push for more ethical practices of internet privacy. I challenge tech companies to start implementing their own moral strategies and I challenge Congress to formulate questions that will push these companies to ignite change.



“I’m almost here,” blinked a text message on my phone. I wiped slick palms on my jeans, anticipating. I was, like many 20-somethings have done before me and many will do after me, waiting for my first face to face encounter with somebody I’d met online. In this case, a boy from Tinder. I had high hopes. He was just my type--a film nerd, seemingly edgy (his nose sported a shiny silver ring), and lengthy our virtual banter had gone as well as I could’ve hoped. I was no fool; I’d gotten his Snapchat to make sure I wasn’t being duped by a catfish. Put together my idealistic nature and our chemistry over the phone, and I was anxious to meet the boy who I hoped would be my cheesy New York romance. I looked up and saw his silhouette in the distance. My heart raced. He walked up, we exchanged an awkward hug, and...nothing. I didn’t feel a trace of the “chemistry” that had come so easily over Tinder, and later text. Instant disappointment cut through my adrenaline, but I didn’t want to be hasty. I walked with him to the café where we’d planned on having hot chocolate and spent a drawn-out hour with him that I can only describe as uncomfortable. It wasn’t that he didn’t look the way he did in his online photos. It wasn’t that he was rude, or callous, or didn’t check the box on any of the characteristics I value in my relationships. It was just that the click I’d felt radiating out of my phone screen didn’t exist in real life. It was false intimacy. It’s difficult to arm yourself against something that you’re unaware exists. I didn’t know about the phenomena of false intimacy on this first Tinder date; I assumed that there would be no difference from one dimension to another. Apps like Tinder do not match the narratives about dating we heard from our parents, older sisters, movies, and music growing up. No longer do young people need to go out to bars equipped with wingmen and women to meet somebody; we can look through a hundred potential partners in the ten minutes before we fall asleep each night or in a break between classes.

Dating apps present an uncharted landscape-Tinder hit smartphones in 2012. Bumble, another dating app that condenses potential partners into a photoset and short biography, launched in 2014. In the last decade, scores of other apps aiming to simplify dating have filled the market: Hinge, PlentyOfFish, Happn, Grindr, Her, Tastebuds. As the selection grows, so does the specificity. Users refer to Tinder as “a hookup app,” according to William, a gay college student in New York City. “I know people who’ve met their boyfriends, girlfriends, whatever, on Tinder, but if I had to pick one thing most people on it are looking for… it’d be sex.” Will laughs wryly. Marie Claire, too, categorized Tinder as a “sex app.” Bumble has a bit of a different reputation. “If I see somebody on Bumble, I feel like they’re looking for something more serious,” says Will. His friend Margot, another student, jumps over the end of his sentence: “They’re looking for looooove.” They laugh. “Aren’t we all looking for love in the wrong places.” It’s an afterthought, but Will’s comment hits me. I ask him what he means “I guess...I don’t know.” He hesitates. “I just can’t see myself starting a relationship off of a dating app. I want to meet someone in real life. Whatever that means. But at this point, I’m not sure that’s realistic.”

“I just can’t see myself starting a relationship off of a dating app.”

He’s not alone in this sentiment. Dating apps aren’t romantic; they’re not the meet-cutes rom-coms fed us. They’re not meeting someone’s eyes as they help you pick up the books you just dropped. But they are popular, a means to an end. According to President Sean Radd, Tinder generated 8 billion matches as of 2015. That’s almost three times larger than the world’s population and, three years later, Tinder is just as trendy with 18 to 20 something-year-olds. Considering the growing amount of apps on the market tailored

to increasingly specific needs (casual sex, serious relationships, different sexual orientations, and gender identities) and their popularity, it would seem that dating is easier than ever before. You “match” with somebody you find physically attractive, and if you hit it off chatting virtually, you meet up and start your happily ever after. But this isn’t always the case. If your new online romance has you dreaming into the long term, your hopes can come screeching to a halt on the first date, or as I found before you even make it to the café. “It almost feels like a betrayal,” says Emma, yet another 20-year-old living in the city. “You thought this was going to work, and then…” she pauses, splaying her fingers and sticking out her tongue, “splat.” Splat. The words somehow sum up the disappointment I felt on my Tinder date, coiling in my throat by the time the first “how are you’s” were exchanged. For Emma, the “splat” refers to a specific Bumble date she went on last winter. “I don’t go on many,” she says. Emma is, at 20, one of the girls I hoped to be when I dreamed about moving to New York for college. She edits, writes, and publishes her own magazine; her résumé would make any Career Services department drool. Clearly ambitious, Emma says she knows what she wants. “He seemed great. He even made me a playlist, which looking back, is a little weird since we’d never met, but it felt like a sign. Our music tastes matched exactly.” I ask her how the date went, and she practically shudders. “We had absolutely nothing in common. It was one of the worst dates I’ve ever been on. I cringe even thinking about it, honestly.” Almost all of the dating app users I talked to had their own splat moments--some more serious than others. For Morgan, a history major with long, holographic nails, a boy who “felt like a personality catfish. He read as cool through Tinder and text and then weird, way incompatible, in person. It was awful.” For Jon, a sophomore at Skidmore in Saratoga Springs, it was “an incredible connection over text that didn’t translate when we actually met in real life.”

For Milan, a Penn State freshman, the “most confusing date” she’s ever been on. “He said he wasn’t looking for a hookup. He took me on a nice date, we had a great conversation, and he was not a Trump supporter. Hallelujah,” she tells me dryly. “Fast forward four hours: we were in bed, he told me he was in an open relationship and didn’t want anything serious.” She pulls a face. “I was just really confused. I didn’t talk to him again after that night.” If one snake in the pit of false intimacy is miscommunication or misinterpretation, another is oversharing right off the bat. “Self-disclosure appears to be richer and to progress faster since the Internet affords a level of anonymity that can reduce feelings of discomfort one may experience in face-to-face relating,” write psychologists Rhonda Richardson and Erich R. Merkle. People who meet virtually tend to get personal more quickly than when communicating face to face since there are no stakes if the interaction goes sour. Says Priscilla, a senior at NYU who tells me she goes out with men from dating apps “probably every two months,” “there’s way too many options to trip up on any specific person.” When you don’t know somebody at all, there’s no personal investment and no real-world consequences to what you tell them. So online relationships can skip through bonding and getting-to-know-you stages at lightning speeds, creating the sense of a much closer relationship than exists in real life--as in the case of the boy who made Emma a playlist. Josh recalls of his own date that “there was little chance that the heightened romantic frenzy buzzing between our smartphones could survive outside of its digital bubble.”

Among the negative encounters and disappointment with the apps that claim to make dating more fun (“like a game,” says Sean Radd), I talk to a few students who have stumbled upon better ways to approach online dating. Betsy, a blonde acapella singer at NYU, tells me that she’s not “heartbroken when things [don’t] work out” with somebody she meets online because she knows that the two don’t have “any true connection in real life.” When I ask her how long she texted the boys before she met up with them, she says “at most a week. Probably less.” And the dates? “Surprisingly good,” reads the diagnosis. Priscilla, who has the most upbeat attitude about online dating out of everybody I speak to, chimes in. “I’m not looking for a relationship at all. So it’s a really fun way to meet people I wouldn’t necessarily cross paths’s just so cool to see how many different people there are my age in the city.” She describes her online communications pre-date as “pretty surface level and quick. Chatting online for an extended period of time is really time-consuming for me because I don’t even know if I would like them in real life.” These two girls, the only ones I speak with who say “Tinder” through a smile, seem to have pinned down the savvy way to online date. Limited expectations, short periods of virtual communication before the face-to-face encounter, and, interestingly, neither are looking for anything in particular. It’s not unwise to get on dating apps looking for a relationship--most of the handful of friends I have in relationships met their significant others through apps--but a realistic attitude is paramount. Beware the splat.






Profile for FLASH Magazine

FLASH Issue No. 12