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consciousness: the new cool? writer Aaliyah Triumph illustrator Victoria Martinez As fashion changes, it seems that what is culturally “cool” evolves with it. Think back to the cool girls of the 2000s; the manipulative and self-involved characters like Blair Waldor f, the carefree and casual girls like Serena van der Woodsen, or even Rory Gilmore, who maintained composure and concealed her emotions until she was in an appropriate location. Gone are the days in which the girls who seemed to have every thing together (and without even breaking a sweat!) reigned as the queens of cool. Today, we venerate people who are empathetic; people whom we recognize and love for their imper fections and suppor t of others. We do not have queen bees anymore (because we believe that we are all equally flawed and, conversely, equally per fect), but if we did they would be Paris Geller and Lisa Simpson--characters who are unapologetically conscious, empathetic, and themselves. The fashion industry seems to be sticking its hand in the pot of positivity and consciousness, but how genuine is there interest actually? When you visit websites such as Ref inery29 and Man Repeller, you’ll f ind at least as many, probably more, ar ticles about issues such as mental and sexual health or politics as you will about fashion itself. Man Repeller, which claims to address topics that you are curious about (style, feminism, culture, beauty, and careers to name a few) in a way that you would talk to friends (smar t but humorously), invites users to “be yourselves with us” and often hosts themed weeks dedicated to mental health or feminism. The website’s creator, Leandra Medine, does not wear makeup and writes about her decision and the reaction of others candidly. Recent ar ticles have addressed dealing with the stigma of a mental disorder in a new relationship and bir th control in light of the election. Similarly, Ref inery29 has become a vocal advocate of sexual health and reproductive rights. At 29Rooms, its annual “ar t and fashion funhouse,” the company teamed with Planned Parenthood to spread knowledge of sex--by, for example, giving out condoms in cute packages in a sexthemed room--and to procure donations for the organization. Individuals within the industry have become even more vocal than websites. Adwoa Aboah, a British model, speaks candidly of her experiences with addiction and depression to provide others with a platform to “openly share their experiences and feelings in a safe and trusting environment.” Her website and video series “Gurls Talk ” explores all aspects of feminism, such as the “Free the Nipple” campaign and often overlooked issues such as sex work and stripping. Instagram star Eileen Kelly (@killerandasweethang) has used her aesthetic appeal to attract viewers to her website Killerandasweethang.com, which offers extensive advice on sexual issues such as IUDs and oral sex. In an inter view with Coveteur, Kelly says that she talks “about things millennials need to learn about in a really chill atmosphere. But it is educational, and we put out the right facts and statistics. We’re working with Planned Parenthood and some clinics in New York City.” The emphasis that Kelly

Hoot Magazine: Fall/Winter 2016  
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