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Vol. 2 No. 2

ISTINCT. MAY 2017

Let's Talk About

SEX

Are you actually an ambivert?

Comfy FINALS Outfits

MENS FASHION

How to be Professional on Social Media Makeup Decluttering

Anna Gardner:

Activist pg 23


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sara Belcher CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emma Noblesala HEAD OF COPY Annika Kushner FASHION EDITOR STYLE EDITOR BEAUTY EDITOR LIFESTYLE EDITOR HEALTH & FITNESS EDITOR CULTURE EDITOR

Tara Stacy Stephanie Cordova-Rodriguez Serena Weiss Kalia Kornegay Samantha Brodsky Mirelle Tinker

ART DIRECTOR Courtney Yule DESIGN TEAM Raquel Borges, Zoe Jenkis, Annika Kushner, Meghan Muldoon, Tori Sciara CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Madison Barlow, Raquel Borges, Anna D'Arcy, Christine Gaba, Raelyn Giansanti, Kalia Kornegay, Annika Kushner, Katherine Ly, Natalie Pappas, Yuhan Qiu, Tara Stacy, Madeline Strauch, Mirelle Tinker, Serena Weiss, Sam Brodsky, Deanna Wetmore CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Raquel Borges, Alessia Di Nunno, Devin Kasparian, Lanise Starnes, Kevin Swann FACULTY ADVISOR Katie Marks COVER PHOTO Alessia Di Nunno 2


CONTENTS FASHION

Men's Fashion 6 HiFashion Show 8 Finals Lookbook 9 Insta Inspo: Youtubers 13 Bloggers with Lines 15

BEAUTY Backgrounds & Beauty Standards 16 Declutter Your Collection 18 Brow Products 19 Beauty Boxes 21

ANNA GARDNER 23 Distinct || MAY 2017 3


CONTENTS LIFESTYLE

College Musicians 30 Ithaca Warm Weather 32 Ambiverts 34

HEALTH & FITNESS

Friends & Mental Health 36 Sex 38 First time Workout Class 40

CULTURE

Social Media 42 Windows Books 44

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Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, Thank you for picking up this copy of IC's Distinct Magazine! We hope this isn't your first time visiting our magazine —but if it is, welcome to the family. As I always do at the beginning of every issue of Distinct, I need to send out a huge thank you to every person who helps make this magazine a reality. I love and appreciate every last one of you, and everything you bring to the table. This issue was especially hard to produce, because we were caught up in the stress on midterms as we approached some final deadlines. Thankfully, our writers and photographers were able to stick it out and still produce the best magazine we possibly could. We love the creativityof each of our team members, and we're excited for all of the talent that they bring to the table. That being said, IC Distinct is constantly growing as a magazine and a brand, and we have some amazing things in store for all of you. Look out for an exciting announcement in our next magazine — it's a big one! There will be even more opportunities for you to get involved, so feel free to join our team at any time. We'll welcome you with open arms! Until then, keep reading, and good luck with finals! Sincerely,

Sara Belcher

IC Distinct Magazine Editor in Chief

DISTINCT dis • tinct /dә'stiNG(k)t/

merriam-websters definition (adj) presenting a clear unmistakable impression

our definition

(n) a fashion and lifestyle magazine that celebrates the idea that beauty is inherent in individuality of expression Distinct || MAY 2017 5


One of the most amazing aspects of style is the ability to express your personality to someone who sees you from across a room. First impressions are immensely important — and “impression” even has the word “impress” in it. Use fashion to draw people in. There are some easy ways to incorporate who you are into your everyday style. Whether you are in class, hiking at the gorges, or at a bar downtown, utilize fashion to show on the outside who you are on the inside.

Men: Find Yourself Through Fashion

Written by: Anna D’Arcy Photography by: Devin Kasparian

For the Casually Collected: You like to look effortlessly good and tend to incorporate a lot of athleisure (athletic leisure) into your day-to-day outfits. You manage remain comfortable, but still find versatile outfits that make you ready for whatever the day holds. Some styles you should try right now are bomber jackets, joggers, and canvas sneakers. Make sure you aren’t wearing visible contrasting brands; for example, Nike sneakers and Adidas joggers with both logos showing. Also, try and create a balance with your loose and tighter fitting clothing so that you don’t appear shapeless. Your go-to brands: Urban Outfitters, Adidas, Vans 6


FASHION

For the Classic Charmer: Whether you are about to have a day out on a boat or cocktails with a colleague, you’re the perfect amount of prep. You exude confidence and your style reveals a drive for success. A timeless trend is a collared shirt with a sweater overtop. This is goes very well with a large-faced watch and Oxfords. Keeping with a neutral white, cream, and brown color scheme can help you match and stay classic; but if you are feeling ambitious, pull in the blues, greens, and corals — just not all at once. If you are going to mix in prints, stick to one at a time. Looking business casual prepares you for any unexpected networking opportunity. Your go-to brands: Nordstrom, J.Crew, Banana Republic

For the Outgoing Outdoorsman: You are ready for any and all adventures. You’re spontaneous and feel most at home when you are out in nature, which is reflected in your style. While your taste in fashion used to only really be seen on campers, many pieces have become more mainstream. A simple flannel and hiking boots goes a long way and can take you as far as you need to go. Take advantage of the ability to fashionably wear many layers so that you are ready for whatever the weather brings. Be sure not to mix too many bright colors, and try to wear ones that could be found in nature. Your go-to brands: Patagonia, L.L. Bean, Levi’s Distinct || OCTOBER 2016 7


Runway Rhapsody

HiFashion Studios’ Spring Semester Show Written By: Raquel Borges

H

HiFashion Studios is a student run organization that was created seven years ago by eight students that had a love for fashion. HiFashion Studios produces two runway shows a year, one each semester. Along with runway shows, they also produce an online magazine. You can find them on Facebook as well as on Instagram. Students are responsible for everything from planning and advertising to designing and modeling. They are gathered from various majors, and every student involved goes through an application and interview process. thaca College senior Shey Aponte is president of HiFashion Studios this year. She is the main point of contact for all the models Photo and all the members of the organization. She also speaks to Campus Center and Event Services to map out what the stage is going to look like the day of the show. Coordinating the photo shoots for the online magazine and holding club meetings are among the many things that she is responsible for. ach semester the organization hosts a runway show with a different theme. Past show themes include a pop art theme, a circus theme, a “Timeless” theme (which showed fashion throughout the decades), and finally last semester’s theme, “Sporting Gold” where models showed off athletic clothing. This semester the theme was “Runway Rhapsody.” Models wore clothing to represent different genres of music: jazz, pop punk, rock and disco funk. There was lots of sparkles, fur, grunge wear and unique articles of clothing overall. I was really excited to do this theme,” Aponte said before the show. “I think it’s going to be really cool to integrate the clothing and music. I’m excited for the different performances that we will have for each genre of music. It’s not going to be like your typical fashion show.”

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E

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FINALS.

FASHION

Study and ace your finals WITHOUT SACRIFICING STYLE. Photography By: Devin Kasparian Styled By: Emma Noblesala

Cropped Tank American Eagle Leggings Forever 21 Sneakers Nike

Distinct || MAY 2017 9


Bralette American Eagle Cardigan Garage Jeans American Eagle Moccasins Target

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FASHION

LEFT: Loose mom-jeans or boyfriend jeans are the perfect jeans to get comfortable and lounge in. Style them with an 80s inspired off-the-shoulder top, and a bralette for comfort while studying.

Cardigan American Eagle Tank Top H&M Joggers Uniqlo

ABOVE: When you’re stuck in the library all night to cram in as much as you can before that big final, sweatpants are a must. Stylish joggers put together with a basic top and cardigan will keep you comfy & cute.

Distinct || MAY 2017 11


White Tee Topshop Dress Hollister Co. Sneakers Adidas

TIP:

DRESS FOR SUCCESS NO PJ's. Putting on clothes that don't feel like pajamas will help you stay awake during your final! 12

Jacket American Eagle Dress H&M


FASHION

YouTubers Follow on Instagram

to

Written by: Tara Stacy

YouTube has been known throughout the years for the communities it has developed among content creators and their subscribers. Different niches have been filled during the time that the site has been up, spanning realms from comedy to beauty and fashion. The world of beauty gurus was one of the first, and (for a long time) most prominent, niche communities on the site. Some of the people in this community still identify that way, but others have moved on and are now specializing in fashion or lifestyle videos. This group of YouTubers have become influential on social media, and many of them have huge followings on Instagram. Due to this influencer status, some of them make money off of sponsored posts, but they also post things that they truly enjoy, including their outfits, travels, and accessories. Again, some of these YouTubers’ posts are sponsored, and the clothes and products they post are sometimes given to them for free, but they are still real people. Although YouTube and social media is their job, the ones I mentioned above especially love interacting with the community of subscribers they’ve built: They recognize that it is their communities who have made their new lives possible.

Lauren Elizabeth Lauren lives in Los Angeles, and she tends to post photos of her life there, her outfits, and her dog Stella. She also posts about mental health and encourages others to take a deep breath and take time for themselves. If you love relaxed and trendy outfits for on-the-go, Lauren is the girl for you.

Distinct || MAY 2017 13


Claudia Sulewski

Claudia is another YouTuber that lives in LA, and she focuses more on fashion and travel posts, but has recently started posting more about fitness. Claudia is a college-aged girl that tailors to her own age demographic, and is great about tagging where all her pieces are from. If you love aesthetically pleasing food pics and trendy athleisure pieces, definitely check out her Instagram.

Alex Centomo

Alex is a Canadian vlogger and model. She travels a lot for her modelling career, and always vlogs her trips. She also stays extremely grounded and is grateful for every opportunity. Her Instagram is a photobook of her travels and her extensive wardrobe. If you tend to reach for oversize sweaters and jeans, you’ll love her feed.

Tess Christine

Tess is well-known on YouTube for her “Get the Look” videos and other fashion lookbooks. She resides in New York City and also gives her viewers a look into her life with travel diary videos and NYC guide videos. Her Instagram reflects her travels, but is more often a diary of her outfits and pieces. If that weren't enough, all the photos are extremely aesthetically pleasing and documented by her professional photographer boyfriend. 14


Bloggers

FASHION

Product Lines With Their Own

Written by: Natalie Pappas

For those who may think that blogging is not a legitimate career goal, think again. In recent years, fashion blogs have evolved from glorified personal journals to a popular monetized resource for fashion trends and tips. Bloggers use this kind of forum to promote their own style as well as share their voice. For some bloggers, it might have started out as a hobby, a way to share their passion with a community of like-minded people. But there are a select few who have developed their online presence into a brand they can profit from.

Chiara Ferragni, The Blonde Salad

Chiara had a significant following on her Instagram and personal blog. As her readership grew, she created a shop on her blog that increased engagement and traffic to her site. Eventually she was able to create her own shoe line, the Chiara Ferragni Collection, which is sold to retailers from around the world.

Aimee Song, Song of Style

Aimee utilized Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube as her main social media platforms to promote her online presence. Her blog allowed her to create and connect with a community of fashion bloggers and brands. She eventually was able to launch her own jewelry line, sold in stores like Bloomingdale’s, as well as her own clothing line called “Two Songs.”

Kristina Bazan, Kayture

Kristina has a significant following of over 2 million fans on Facebook and 2 million followers on Instagram. In 2016, she launched her makeup line with L’Oreal and worked with couture brands like Valentino and Louis Vuitton.

Dani Mansutti, Dani Beauty

Dani originally gained a following through Tumblr but developed her online presence by using Instagram, YouTube, and her personal blog. She has a few million followers combined on her accounts and has collaborated with makeup brands like Tarte and Urban Decay. She recently has developed her own eyelash line.

Rumi Neely, Fashion Toast

Rumi was unable to find clothes that matched her personal style, so she developed her own clothing line, “Are You Am I.” She collaborated with brands like Reformation and appeared in campaigns for stores like Forever 21. These bloggers maintained a unique voice and created engaging content that their audience identified with. As their sites gained more views, they were able to grow from being bloggers to influencers. Because they were knowledgeable and dedicated figures within their fashion niches, brand and industry leaders wanted to form connections with them to collaborate and promote their own products. With the financial support from these brands, they were able to monetize their blogs and create their own independent brands. These are a few examples of bloggers who created engaging content in their blog that attracted a readership large enough to eventually generate an entirely profitable and influential brand. Distinct || MAY 2017 15


The Influence of Cultural Background On Beauty Standard Written By: Yuhan Qiu

A majority of women from the United States strive for tan skin and a toned body. But on the other side of the world, women from East Asian countries are spending a lot of money on skin whitening products, trying to achieve the pale look that is adored by Asian culture. The definition of beauty around the world can vary a lot depending on culture and religion. Even students with different cultural backgrounds on a college campus could value one particular look over another. In order to have a deeper insight into how culture can strongly impact one’s beauty standard, here are three students and one faculty member from Ithaca College to share their stories. Two of them are international students from Nepal and Mali. The other student is of Indian descent, and Diana Dimitrova, director of International Student Services, is from Bulgaria.

Nepal (freshman Ashley Gurung): In Nepal, most Nepali are either solely Mongolian or are of mixed Mongolian and Aryan descent; their facial features and skin tones are different depending on their racial background. But one undeniable fact is that most of the girls pursue what is sometimes an unrealistically light skin color. Gurung told me her story of shopping for foundation. “While all the cosmetic shops only store light shade foundations, it is difficult to find a foundation for my skin color, which is relatively darker compared to other Nepali,” she said. “They assume that all the women want to look fair. And the cultural value of putting on foundation is to shift your skin tone to lighter shades.” This kind of cultural pressure is not limited in purchasing cosmetic products, but can come from everywhere, even school. “When I was performing a traditional dance at my high school graduation ceremony, the teacher put layers of foundation on my face to make me ‘look nice,’ and I was quite irritated by that,” Gurung said. The craze toward fair skin tone is not restricted to the face. It is also applied to the body. The fear of get16

Photo provided by Anoucha Coulibaly

ting darker overrides the heat in summer. During the summer, the temperature in Nepal can get up to 90 degrees. But it is fairly common to see girls walking on the street with full coverage — long sleeves and pants to protect their skin from getting darker under the sun.

Mali (freshman Anoucha Coulibaly):

“Thick” and “plump” are the key characteristics of a beautiful woman in Mali. People there believe that a “thick woman” is wealthy and desirable and takes good care of herself. This preference can be traced pretty far back. In a tradition reaching back many centuries, some West African peoples have a room designed for feeding girls to prepare them for marriage, called the “fattening room.” In the fattening room, girls eat high-calorie foods to gain weight to increase their desirability in the “market.” As time passed, the ritual of having a fattening room became less popular, but this standard of beauty lingers. Similar to a voluptuous curvy figure, a head wrap serves as a uniform of communal identity for women. “It is a sign of women,” Coulibaly said. “And I feel like a woman when I wear a head wrap.”


BEAUTY

Photo provided by Anika Verma

Photo provided by Anoucha Coulibaly

The symbolic importance of women’s head wraps is really ingrained in Mali’s culture and beauty standard. In some weddings and other rituals, women dress up in custom-made head wraps — wraps made with colors and patterns to express formality. Just as “thick women” are associated with wealth, a big and heavy head wrap can suggest a higher social status — which makes the wearer seem more attractive.

India (freshman Anika Verma):

Like other East Asian cultures, India adores women with big eyes, a fair and even skin tone, and most importantly, glowing and smooth skin. One traditional method of skin care, which has been passed on to Verma from her grandmother, is called “ubtan.” “When my mother was young, the servants will put ubtan — a mixture of turmeric, chickpea flour, yogurt, and rose water — on her skin every day before shower,” Verma said. “And I was taught by my mother to do the same thing.” Each ingredient in ubtan serves a different function. Turmeric and chickpea flour exfoliate, yogurt moisturizes, and rose water provides a healthy glow. Skin care routines require a lot of commitment and time — especially those that, like ubtan, incorporate so many natural ingredients. But the time commitment does not stop Indian women pursuing perfect skin.

Bulgaria (Diana Dimitrova):

“I think that traditionally — especially if you look at our folklore, which has been pretty constant over cen-

Photo provided by Ashley Gurung

turies — physical beauty tends to reflect how our general population looks,” Dimitrova said. “We tend to be brunettes; for women, long, healthy hair; and for both genders, healthy and strong posture. And speaking of hair, Bulgarians are very superstitious and we have a lot of beliefs around the power of hair. For example, pregnant women don’t cut their hair. It is supposed to be a protection to have all your hair.” Bulgarian popular culture now is very westernized, and so their people are often subject to the same impossible standards of physical beauty as everyone else. Their pop music stars and popular actors and actresses seem to be striving to look like the global stars: The women tend to want to be skinny, with the latest hairstyles and outfits. The men often look like they spend a lot of time bulking up at the gym. Nowadays you also see a whole lot of “exotic” beauty — people trying to look “Asian” or “African.” It’s important to embrace diversity — because that is what makes our world interesting and unique. By learning about beauty from the perspective of our students and faculty and listening to their stories, we can create a more inclusive culture where both men and women feel confident and beautiful. After all, there will always be a part of the world, possibly right down the street, that holds you up as the standard of beauty. If you truly accept your own natural look, this type of love can start from within.

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It’s Time to Purge (Your Makeup Collection) Written by: Katherine Ly | Illistrations by: Courtney Yule It’s probably been a while since you’ve taken a good look at your makeup bag or drawer and gotten rid of products you haven’t used in ages. I know, sometimes we form such an attachment to our makeup that it’s hard to let go, but trust me: You’ll be glad you did this. It’s important to occasionally declutter because expired makeup can harbor bacteria, which causes acne, irritation, and infection. A consolidated collection also keeps you productive and less stressed. I recommend storing the makeup you end up keeping but don’t wear regularly in a cool, dry, and dim place (i.e., tucked in a drawer away from the heater) so they stay fresh. In addition to giving away products to friends and family, you can donate them to women’s shelters! Byrdie.com and Oddsandenns.com have a couple of general tips to keep in mind: Get rid of the “dupe” if you’ve upgraded; and the more moisture a product has, the shorter its shelf-life is. The reason for this is that bacteria thrive in wet environments. Here are some more tips on how to effectively declutter your makeup.

Eyes: It’s important make sure that anything that comes in close contact with your eyes is clean and fresh. If

not, your eyes can get infected and you will need to replace all of your other eye products to keep the infection from spreading! Liquid eyeliner and mascara usually last for up to three to six months after opening; cream eye shadow lasts for six months; and powder eye shadow and pencil eyeliner lasts for up to two years. On many containers or packaging, there is a tiny image of an open container with the amount of time it’s good for; for example, “6M” means it is good for six months after opening. You can also tell your mascara has gone bad if it gets clumpy or smells weird, and your eyeshadow has gone bad if the formula looks inconsistent or streaky when you swatch it. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself if you just have way too many of the same products: How often do you reach for this product compared to the others? How often do you actually wear this color? Does it give you your desired effect? If you choose to let go of eye products that are not yet expired, I recommend tossing them instead of giving them to someone else.

Face:

We all have those foundations and concealers that don’t match our skin tones or skin types, and we’ve all told ourselves that we should save them “just in case,” but let’s face it: How often do you actually switch up your foundation and concealer? It’s good to have a couple extra on hand for days that your face is unusually dry or oily, but chances are, you’re only using a couple of them regularly. Ask yourself: Does it feel good on your face? Does it give you the coverage you’re looking for? If the answer to these questions is no, pass them on or toss them. Cream and liquid formulas are good for six months to one year, whereas powder formulas are good for two. On the other hand, it is always good to have a variety of blushes and bronzers. I narrow down my supply of blushes by grouping them into similar shades and keeping one from each category. I narrow my supply of bronzers down by grouping them into “effects” and keeping one from each of those categories. For example, I have one that gives me a “natural glow,” one that is good for contouring, and another one that I like to use in the summer when I’m tanner. Most blushes and bronzers come in powder form, so they’re good for two years, but cream formulas would last for one year.

Lips: I definitely get out of hand when it comes to lip products. There are just so many formulas, shades, dupes,

and finishes that it’s hard to let go of any of them! A few good questions to ask after organizing them by shade and formula are: How many of a similar shade do you have? Which formulas are you more into right now? How long is the wear? Do you find any of them drying or messy? Toss out the ones you haven’t been reaching for for one reason or another and I assure you, you won’t look back. Lipstick generally lasts for two years, but toss them sooner if they’ve dried up or become goopy. 18


All About Brows

BEAUTY

Written by: Madeline Strauch

T

he power of the eyebrow has taken social media and beauty culture by storm in recent years. Because of this, the beauty industry has placed a huge emphasis on eyebrows and brow products. Many cosmetic companies have released brow campaigns through social media to promote their new products. Eyebrows can be essential to your beauty look because they frame the face and highlight certain facial features. Whether your brows are angled, thick, straight, or super arched, they are uniquely yours, so always remember to show them some love. With the endless number of products and tricks today, you’ll be sure to find the best way to play up your brows.

T

ip: Try to match product shades to your hair color and undertone. For example, if you have brunette hair and a warm undertone to the face, go for a warm brown pencil. If you have brunette hair and a cool undertone to the face, try a cooler brown. If your complexion is pale or has more pink or red in it, you are probably cool-toned. If your complexion is darker or has a yellow or olive hue, you are probably warm-toned. One of the best ways to figure out what undertone you have is to look at the color veins on the inside of your wrists. If they are more bluish or purplish, you are most likely cool-toned, but if they are more green or olive in color, you are most likely warm-toned. If you have a mix of both, you’re neutral — and lucky, because you will most likely pull off both warm- and cool-toned products!

Here are a few of the most popular kinds of brow products:

Pencils

An eyebrow pencil is a great tool for beginners because of the easy-to-use, precise point. The tip easily draws over brows and fits in tight areas like the tail. Pencils come in different forms. There are pencils that can be sharpened, and there are retractable pencils that easily twist up and down. Pencils are also great because they do not require additional tools like a brush. However, many times pencils will include a spooley on one end. Spoolies are great for brushing through the brow hairs to disperse the product and help make the product appear more blended and natural.

Try Rimmel’s “Professional Eyebrow Pencil,” includes detachable spooley

Try Anastasia Beverly Hills “Brow Wiz,” comes in 10 varied shades Distinct || MAY 2016 19


Pomades

A brow pomade is perfect for a long-lasting look because it is waterproof and smudge-proof. The texture is creamy and glides effortlessly. Pomades also dry fast and set in place to last an entire day. The formula makes them sweat-proof which is perfect for a day out in the heat. This particular product provides great color coverage to fill brows in; however, it is more difficult to recreate natural-looking brow hairs with a pomade as opposed to a brow pencil. Therefore, pomades may be more suitable for more experienced makeup users. Another pro is that they are a one-step product for your brows — no powder or brow gel necessary! But remember is that a brush is needed. An angled brush is excellent for pomade application. Try: Anastasia Beverly Hills “Dipbrow Pomade,” comes in 11 varied shades

Try Makeup Revolution “Brow Pomade,” comes in six shades and includes a brush

Powders

A brow powder is fantastic for eyebrow beginners or anyone looking for an easy, natural look. This is because it is not a harsh product and therefore is more forgiving of mistakes. Brow powders often include more than one shade because some people fill in the start of the brow lightly and then darken the arch and end of the brow — making it appear less harsh. This product requires an angled brush, but lots of angled brushes for brows have a spooley on the other side to help brush out powder. A powder will not stay in place as long as a brow pomade, but it will stay put once a brow gel is applied. Try E.l.f.’s “Eyebrow Kit,” includes brow powder and matching gel duo with double-sided brush

Try Urban Decay’s “Brow Box”

Gels

Brow gel is used to coat brow hairs down to make them stay in place all day. This is great to apply after powders and pencils, and it is also perfect for those who have fuller brows and just want more hold. While brow gels are not necessary after some products, tinted brow gels do exist to add color. Try

Try Benefit’s “Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel,” comes in three tinted shades

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Maybelline’s “Great Lash Clear Mascara,” a multi-purpose, clear gel

*All images are stock images and not IC Distinct Magazine original content


Subscription

BEAUTY

ADDICTION Written by: Serena Weiss

Sometimes finding the time to go shopping for makeup can be difficult when you have so many other commitments in college. Subscription boxes can make life easier for busy college students — and people who are just interested in testing out new products. These beauty boxes are a nice way to check out different products without having to leave your apartment or dorm. Also, let’s face it — opening a package delivered to your door every month feels just like you are getting a present, which is a perk.

Sephora Play

Sephora’s “PLAY!” gives you five deluxe skin care, makeup, and hair care samples that are curated every month. The products also come in a cute collectible bag. The box only costs $10 per month, which is a bargain. And every month there is a specific theme such as “The Gleam Team” or “The Eye Openers.” When subscribing to the box, Sephora asks you to create a profile on their website, which helps them figure out what products will work best for you. While most subscribers get the same things, your profile tells Sephora if you’d maybe prefer an eye product to a lip product. A “PLAY! PASS” comes in your bag, which gives you the chance to redeem in store for 50 bonus Beauty Insider points if you decide to purchase a fullsize product from that month. Additionally, that pass gets you a free one-on-one tutorial on how to use the goodies in your box. The box also comes with a “PLAY! BOOK” with tips and tricks on how to use each individual product and ways to incorporate them into your beauty routine.

Ipsy

Similar to Sephora’s “PLAY!,” Ipsy costs $10 per month and provides you with four or five deluxe samples, but will occasionally include a full-size beauty item, which also comes in a Glam Bag. The service asks you to take a beauty quiz so it understands your

Distinct || MAY 2017 21


skin concerns and beauty interests to know what kinds of products you are looking for. Some questions regard your skin color, how comfortable you are with makeup, and what sort of makeup brands you’d want to test out. Ipsy really aims to customize your experience and wants you to receive products that you will actually use. Unlike Sephora, Ipsy offers online brands such as Ofra, Makeup Geek, and Colourpop, while also including well-known brands.

Boxycharm

Boxycharm is a little more expensive, costing you $21 a month, but the retail value is over 100 dollars. The service also offers a three, six, or 12-month subscription. The reason Boxycharm is more expensive than the previous two subscription boxes mentioned is because you receive four to five full-size or luxury-size products. Products range from makeup to skin care, haircare, and even nail care. Each box comes with a card that mentions the items in it. So while this box may be more expensive, you get a better value for your money, which you might appreciate more.

Birchbox

Birchbox provides you with five samples: makeup, skin care, and hair care tailored to you. This one costs you $10 a month or $110 a year, depending on your level of commitment. The beautifully designed boxes will be enough for this box to grab your attention. Birchbox also has a questionaire so it understands what you want to use. Get this, though: The service also offers a subscription box for men. How cool is that? BirchboxMan is more expensive though, costing them $20. The box includes four deluxe grooming samples and a lifestyle product. Know any guys who would be interested? Let them know or buy them a subscription box as a present.

Petit Vour

Vegan people unite — there is even a beauty subscription box out there for you. In Petit Vour you’ll receive non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, and ethically-made products curated to match the beauty profile you create on their site. The cost is $15 a month and it comes with four items, which are sometimes even full-size. Since the products are made with natural ingredients, it’s nice to know that they won’t irritate your skin or cause any problems. In the end, you’ll be happy to be slowly accumulating products. And even if you don’t use them all or don’t like a specific one, your friends will be happy to take them off your hands or even exchange products with you. Subscription boxes make your life simpler — and hey, you don’t need to interact with anyone in stores. 22

*All images are stock images and not IC Distinct Magazine original content


Anna Gardner

Anna Gardner is a sophomore double major with an intense desire to spark change in the world. Through the many positions that she holds, she finds ways to raise awareness for the causes she’s passionate about, and she hopes to continue pursuing these passions through her post-graduation work. Gardner was also elected SGC’s Vice President of Campus Affairs for the Fall 2017 semester, and is a 2017 New York Women in Communications Scholarship winner.

Photography by: Alessia DiNunno Distinct || MAY 2017 23


Sara Belcher: To start, tell me about everything you do here at Ithaca College. Anna Gardner: School wise I’m a double major in film, photography and visual arts and art history, so that influences a lot of what I do outside of school. I really like to get involved in film festivals. That’s something I’m pretty passionate about. So in the past I was working with FANtastic, which is a local horror film festival, but I’m currently working on the Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival. I’m programming that which has been really fun so far. Job wise I’m the special events coordinator at The Studio at the Park school, which is basically a creative incubator for film and TV projects, so I do a lot of planning events around student films and also helping bring in alumni to help meet with students. In addition to that I’m the community director at VIC Radio. Then I volunteer at the Tompkins County Public Library — that’s fun, I read to kids and do puppet shows. But I guess as far as campus involvement goes I’m the Vice President of Campus Affairs for Student Governance Council; I’m part of our executive board so I kind of help oversee our senate. I’m not a voting member but I help do a lot of the communication between students and the administration. I’m also the Vice President of IC Feminists United, we’re an activist-based club talking about intersectional feminism. I’m the marketing chair for the Red Cross Club on campus, and that’s been really interesting too. I’ve been helping with some initiatives, talking about blood deferrals that are against gay men, so we’ve been having conversations about that. I guess basically, in regards to everything, I always kind of try to bring an activist lens to whatever I’m doing. And I’m also a part of Women in Communications on campus, but I’m also part of the larger NYWICI organization. I’m part of their sponsorship committee so I help them fund events like the Matrix Awards and the Student Conference. But I’m also a 2016 scholar. And this upcoming summer I’ll be interning in New York City at Kino Lorber Films; they’re a film distribution company, so basically what they’re doing is that they’re going places like film festivals or film makers come to them, they buy the distribution rights, they make the DVDs, get all the Netflix, Hulu, all that stuff figured out. And so they’ve been around for a long time so they’ve got a great collection of old films, like classic German expressionist films and also take in a lot of new films. One of their most recent acquires is Oscar nominated documentary so they’ve got a really cool variety so I’m really excited to be working with them. I can say right 24

up front that I do too many things — no one should actually do this many things, I’m working on not doing as many things. Belcher: How do you find time to manage everything? Gardner: I’ve talked about this with my friends a lot. I’m the kind of person where I either have the normal amount of workload and I’ll procrastinate everything because I don’t have enough deadlines, or I’ll have too many deadlines and too many things, and that’s how I keep myself motivated. Because it’s funny to think I’m actually probably one of the biggest procrastinators you’ll ever meet, but it doesn’t seem that way. I’m just kind of jumping from project to project. I think for me, too, the one thing that has been lacking is definitely social interactions with people. I definitely haven’t been able to hang out with friends as much this entire year. I can definitely kind of see the parts where this is not a sustainable way to do things. I think it’s a good lesson for myself to kind of know where my limits are. And everything is fine right now, but it’s not the perfect situation. I think I’m kind of figuring that out. And I’d rather figure that out in college and not later in my life and get burned out. Even my first year here I did a lot, but definitely not as much as I’m doing now, so I think hopefully in my junior year I will find that happy balance. But I’d say right now I really love everything that I do. I think that’s one of the things I like about myself is that I’m interested in so many things, and I definitely see myself as a life-long learner. I love going to my classes, and I’ll sit in the library for research papers — like I definitely nerd out like that. It’s definitely not for everybody. I’m definitely more introverted, which kind of helps me. I’m more of an introspective type person where if I can give myself time for self-reflection, it can kind of keep me going. For some people it might be going out and seeing your friends and hanging out for a few hours. I think it is a little different than some people, but it also is the way I like to function. Belcher: You said that you look at a lot of things with an activist lens, so what makes you passionate specifically? Gardner: So I couldn’t tell you like the exact moment when it really hit me, but I definitely say within the past year it’s been more of an extreme development of where I was feeling more discontent to a point where I was not okay with not doing anything anymore about it. Especially being on a campus like Ithaca College and have my first year be during the large student


protests, I think was really inspiring for me. And I think, too, the first big event I did my freshman year that really kind of tuned me in was going to Take Back the Night through the Advocacy Center, which is an event that’s been happening since the I believe the late 90’s on college campuses. But we marched from Ithaca and people marched from Cornell to the Commons. Basically survivors of sexual abuse and rape share their stories, and there’s musicians and we hold a vigil. Walking down the street from Ithaca to the Commons and holding my sign, and shouting and having people from their houses jeering at us, being like “Y’know this doesn’t matter, and you’re all sluts and bitches,” and it’s like that’s crazy. But I saw in that moment how important it was that I was there. I was just talking with someone — y'know the biggest part about Democracy is showing up, if you’re not there, then what does it really matter? The hardest part is having people who are there so that’s the least that I can do, is try to get to as many events as I can and [for] the things I’m passionate about help organizing those. I had a great conversation with someone, also from the Advocacy Center; we were kind of talking about how there are obviously so many injustices in the world that it’s overwhelming when you start to think about it like “Oh my God, what am I supposed to do, change everything?”

and that is not possible, obviously. The way that she described it is to find two things that you are really passionate about that affect you personally and another thing that you’re passionate about that does not affect you personally. [One of] my two main things, I would say, is feminism. Y’know as a woman, but also as a privileged woman stepping into that kind of field and talking with people that are similar to myself, too, to talk about the injustices. That women are not homogenous and so we have to respect the differences. Also as a vegan I think animal and environmental rights, those two are the things that I think really affect me personally. But the other thing that I’ve recently picked up in the past year is immigration rights, immigrant rights. I was able to go with two professors and three other peers from IC to an event at the Mexican/U.S. border in October and [heard] people’s stories first hand. This is something I’ve never experienced and no one in my family has ever experienced, but it’s hard to hear stories of mothers and children being killed and finding them outside their doorstep. Y’know it’s hard to not be empathetic towards that and have a really guttural reaction and so I think that was kind of the moment that I realized this is something that’s really important right now that needs to be addressed. Since then, and in the Ithaca community at large, I’m part of

Distinct || APRIL 2017 25


the Tompkin County Immigrant Rights Coalition, so I was invited to speak at a rally here on campus. I spoke at a different sanctuary rally at Cornell’s campus. That’s something that doesn't affect me personally but I think there are so many people like myself who don’t think of it as “this is important.” That if I can be a person that someone sees themselves in, and I go up and say this is an injustice and we need to fix it, that will inspire other people. So I kind of say those are my three big things. And also too, as far as activism goes I think sometimes it’s a really scary idea or concept for people but it’s really important to know that activism isn’t just getting out and protesting for a day. It’s really great to go to something like the Women’s March and to be a part of that and it’s something so big, but it’s also a really fleeting moment where the next day it’s not going to be there anymore. So it’s important, whether it be going to your congressperson and sending them letters or calling to work on that more sustainable plan for the future and legislation, but also too in your personal life. Even being someone who won’t be a bystander if you see someone being discriminated against in public, or even in the workplace or if you’re at school. It’s even in those little actions — even if you’re not going out and doing something big. Activism can be the smallest thing. And it’s in those cases too where you take it into your daily life and you use it each day — where we’ll have a much longer impact on the people around you. I hope by talking with my colleagues and people that I meet is that they see that this isn’t some foreign concept, that it’s something out there like, “I could never be an activist.” I think there are definitely people we can look up to who are huge activists. It’s not like we’re all going to be Martin Luther King Jr., but you can be an activist in the smallest way even amongst your group of friends! So I think that’s something that I find really important, is to show by example so people around me know if she can do it I can do it too.

date on the news on what particular topic you’re interested about, so you can be knowledgeable about it. But especially living in a place like Ithaca, there are many, many opportunities to get involved, so it’s important to know what’s going on in the community and finding those organizations, non-profits, and collectives that are working on issues. Sometimes it’s hard to go somewhere by yourself, and there might be a moment where you’re telling all your friends, “Hey, there’s this event going on and I’d love for you to go,” and they all say no. The hardest part sometimes is to just be like, “I’m going to go to this anyways by myself, and it might be really scary, and I might not know anybody.” If it’s something you’re really passionate about, you’re going to find that you’ll connect with the people really quickly, and that’s the part about social rights activism: You won’t be alone. There are many people who have come before you and many people that are here right now, and they need you and they want you. Never be afraid to take the first step by yourself, even if you don’t have someone else. Once you take that first step, that is when you will find people to support you. And then from there it will become much easier. If there is something that you really want to do, take that first leap into it — and you really won’t be disappointed.

"Never be afraid to take the first step by yourself, even if you don’t have someone else."

Belcher: Any other advice for people who do want to get more involved in the activism scene? Where do you recommend they start? Gardner: I think that’s always another really hard part. You kind of have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. First, do as much as you can online. Start reading articles from people. Make sure you’re keeping up to 26

Belcher: What advice do you have for people who are worried about the judgement? Gardner: I think it’s really interesting about labels and people saying, “I don’t need to call myself a feminist, I’ll just do it.” And I think there’s a lot of power in calling yourself something. Even the fact that in my Twitter bio I say feminist — that’s a big thing. That might really freak somebody out, and that could bring a tax; but I think if you’re able to use labels in that way — if you feel like it’s something that defines you, and you’re able to talk about it — it’s a really great conversation starter. I’m from rural Minnesota, so I’ve come into Ithaca as a completely different type of place. Especially when I go back home, it’s something that’s really hard to talk to somebody and be like, “Here’s all the things I’ve been doing.” Because half of the things I’ve been doing my family would be like, “Well that’s really nuts and crazy, like why would you ever do that?” I learned this from a feminist scholar who came to campus: Robert Jensen. He was talking a lot about how when you kind of first approach people, you


have to talk about it in their self interest. You use the example of changing your light bulbs to an LED. The environmental perspective is that, “Okay, this is using less electricity, this is good for the environment.” But for someone, that might not change their mind. If you say, “This is going to save you money on your electric bill,” someone’s like, “Oh, well this is benefiting me. Awesome, I’ll do that.” And so even though sometimes it seems contradictory to do it that way, I think a lot of the time you can kind of break down something and talk to this person. Especially in regards to feminism, say: “Well, do you believe in equal pay? Do you believe in reproductive rights?” and there’s very particular ways to be part of that. So like there are things where it’s like, “If you don’t believe that, then no. You’re probably not a feminist.” But you find someone agreeing with these things, where you can give them examples, and then bring up, “Well, why wouldn’t you call yourself a feminist?” I think it’s important to see and to relate things back to the person that you’re talking to. But to also really listen to them and validate them, because I think about where I was when I was much younger and how much my ideas have changed — and I’m only 20 years old. If you’re talking to someone who’s been living a certain way their entire life, it’s not going to be over night that you change their mind, so it’s important to respect the person that you’re talking to; always hear out all of their ideas. But then the best way to incite that change is to care what they’re saying, and then if you can relate something of what you’re doing and how it could benefit them, once they start to realize the benefit — “Oh, well this will save me money on my electric bill,” — then they will come to find, “Oh, this is saving the environment, and I think saving the environment is awesome, so I’m going to do more things like that.” So I think that’s kind of a great way to progress into it. But I obviously understand if you’re ever in a situation where it could be dangerous for you to express your beliefs or to act in a certain way, and have to take that into your own hands and decide what you want to do. It’s entirely up to the person, but if you have the space where you can confidently say who you are and what you believe in, you should really take advantage of that. Belcher: Tell me more about your whole idea to shave your hair for the Ithaca Women’s Opportunity Center. Gardner: So it was funny — one of my friends, her boyfriend ended up doing a similar fundraiser for Planned Parenthood where he lives and it was like a 28

big deal. He had long hair and he shaved all of his hair off. And I was like “oh that seems like a really cool idea, and I’ve been wanting to shave my head for awhile”. And I mean my hair’s been pretty short for most of the later part of my life thus far. So there wasn’t like a ton up there, but I was like — the one thing I was thinking was like “oh if I shave my head for a reason then my mom can’t be too upset with me about it.” Don’t worry I never let what my mom says determine what I do or do not do. But i just thought it would be a fun way to encourage friends and family and people I don’t know to donate. aIt was really fun, too, because when I ended up going to the salon to get it cut, there were some other women there getting their hair done, and we ended up talking about the organization. That was the biggest thing I wanted to do — if people see my hair or heard about it, that it ignites that conversation about “oh here’s a local organization that’s doing something I really care about” So I think it was really great to be that conversation starter. But too why I particularly chose the Women’s Opportunity Center; I think places like Planned Parenthood are obviously great, but they’ve got really large national campaigns going for them and I think sometimes our local organizations kind of get hidden under the rug. Especially, too, in a place like Ithaca where a lot of the population influx is college students. Something we [don’t] think about a lot is how extremely privileged we are to be having these opportunities. And the women who go to the WOC are people who don’t have money to afford the work pants to work at a retail job or a job at a restaurant. They can’t afford tampons or pads, they don’t have internet access. So a lot of things we take for granted — and those are such small things that shouldn’t be holding anyone back, but they are so. As a college student in this particular town, I’m having this experience while someone who lives two miles from me is having this completely opposite experience. [It’s] something I wanted to bring to light to my colleagues and those who were donating. I think they’re a really wonderful organization, and I think too just for more people to know about Ithaca outside of South Hill, that there’s so much more out there and people that live there, and have lives. This isn’t like their transition period — this is like where they are. So for us to respect that and for us to be involved and be part of the Ithaca community I think is really important as college students. Belcher: Did you end up reaching your goal of $500? Gardner: No. So I got to $425 but that is where I’m not


a quitter, and so I decided to shave it anyway. But like I said this was all just an excuse to shave my head, but not really. I think it’s important too. I’ve been telling myself this a lot lately, that even if you set goals and you can't make them to not be disappointed because $425 is a lot more than nothing. So I think I’m really proud of what I was able to do and too it’s obviously hard, too, especially when you’re fundraising by yourself. I’ve found when you’re like “I’m doing this because I want to” people are just like “Well that’s kind of bizarre.” They like to have a big campaign behind it. I don’t define myself by missing my goals.

bachelor's degrees because there’s so many things to learn about. I think definitely doing something that’s volunteer based post-graduation and then either going back into the workforce or going on for a graduate degree would definitely be what I’m looking at. The only part about the Fulbright program in China is that they don’t have English teaching programs, so I’d have to do research. But their film industry is so nuts, especially the way that government regulations go. There’s this whole underground cinema scene, and people get arrested and like they shut down — it’s really intense, like I want to do that.

Belcher: What are your current plans for after graduation? Gardner: I think that’s definitely the fun question. It’s definitely evolved even over the past year and I’m like, “Well, I still have two more to go, so let’s see what happens!” I know especially once I get into a career field, something that I’d really like to be working in [is] film festivals or some type of arts and cultural management related to film. I think someone could say, “Anna, you’re such an activist. Why would you still have a job?” Because everybody’s like, “Oh, you’re a film major. What are you going to do with that?” But I think for me, too, it’s finding that way of okay, here’s a job that you wouldn’t typically think would make a change in the world and then taking it. [Like] having a feminist film festival. Those are things that I don’t see that I would love to create. Or someone who’s working in film distribution and taking on places like Women Make Movies and they’re supporting exclusively women in film. So I think that’s where I would see my trajectory going with a career. But post graduation I’m kind of toying with doing some type of either research abroad or teaching english abroad. I would really love to go to China, I really love east Asian culture and it’s art is awesome, so I think it would be really fun. I’ve been looking at places like the Peace Corps, or if I would be into Fulbright — those are definitely programs I’m looking into. It’s kind of like too, especially in like the media industry and the arts industry, they’re like graduate and then you get a job. I think too that’s kind of where I see I’ve been doing so much where like that would kind of be my thing post-graduation to treat myself; where this is something that I want to do before I die and now is the time to do it. But also graduate studies are definitely something I would like to pursue in the future. Like I said I love learning and I love going to class ,and if I could [I’d] get millions of

Belcher: Is there anything else you would like to say? Gardner: I think I was kind of thinking about the mission of the magazine, and I was like, “Well, where would I fall into that?” I definitely have a look going on all the time, but to say if that’s fashionable or not. I think that’s something that I love, and what I love about Distinct and the stories that I’ve read is that highlighting so many different people — to embrace the uniqueness of so many individuals around you. And I think that’s something that I find even calling myself a woman: What does that even mean? That’s not a homogenous idea. People are so different and so I think that’s something that I really love about that word “distinct,” is that even if we can group people, you never really know anyone’s full story and who they are. So I think it’s very true, that I may be a feminist, but I sure am a Distinct one.

Distinct || MAY 2017 29


Drumming To a Different Beat:

The Life and Challenges of College Musicians Written by: Christine Gaba | Photography provided by the respective artists

Off stage, he is Ithaca College sophomore Damiano Malvasio. On stage, he is “Damiano The Don” or “The Miserable Genius,” who, on March 3, performed as half of the rap duo “WackGenius” as the opening act for rapper D.R.A.M.’s concert in Emerson Suites. A Grammy-nominated artist, D.R.A.M. is wellknown in the music industry and is a prominent member of the hip-hop community. To be able to perform on the same stage as him as his opening act is a huge deal for any aspiring musician, especially a rap and hip-hop artist like Malvasio. “It was like being at the tip of a roller coaster,” said Malvasio. “And to have them all scream your name like that. … That was insane. It was such an adrenaline rush.” With over 800 people in attendance, this was one of Malvasio’s biggest shows to date. However, as a full-time TVR student, it was very challenging for him to find enough time to properly prepare for the concert. Between classes, exams, homework, and

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other responsibilities, it was, and continues to be, a struggle to keep himself afloat academically. “I really feel like I’m living a double life, like some Spiderman s---,”he said. For many college musicians, balancing school life with their music career is one of the toughest challenges they encounter. This is especially true for students like Malvasio, who are not music majors and often don’t get the chance to work on their music once they are out of class. There’s always something essential that has to be done before there can be time to work on music — school work, a job to help pay for school, work for internships, etc. However, this is not a problem exclusive to college musicians who are non-music majors. Neoclassical heavy metalist David Willett, a sophomore music major, said that he, too, struggles with handling the heavy course loads and finding time to work on his music outside of class. “I can barely handle either one on its own,” Willett said. “Right now, pretty much everything for my solo project is on the back burner. I do have to put school first, but basically the best thing for me to balance it is to just work on everything over breaks and just push it as much as I can.” Other challenges college musicians face involve their genre popularity. If their music doesn’t fit into


popular music genres, especially ones regularly searched for on the internet, college musicians can find it difficult to get people to notice their music outside of niche markets. For instance, Willett said his classical guitar professor was only made aware that neoclassical metal existed when Willett had him play an Iron Maiden song he had transcribed for solo guitar. The more the genre deviates from its general category — classical, metal, jazz, etc. — the harder it is for these musicians to be noticed. Anna Marcus-Hecht, a sophomore composition major, has been composing her own music since she was 13 years old. She has had first-hand experience with the difficulties of attracting a wide audience because of the unpopularity of her specific genre of music. “Contemporary classical music and stuff like that, the stuff that I like to write … it’s not a frequent search term,” said Marcus-Hecht. “Of all the things that I have posted onto my Youtube, my most successful thing has been a Hamilton meme. It wasn’t even the actual Hamilton cover that got a lot of views, it was the meme. And then my least watched video is my original piano piece.” The internet is not the only place where college musicians find difficulty pursuing their specific genres of music. Music schools commonly only offer courses on classical music or other branches of common genres such as jazz. This can inhibit college musicians who work outside of these genres because they are denied access to resources that expand their specific craft and improve their skills. “Music schools don’t respect hip-hop,” Malvasio said. “Unless they want to make money off of it, they don’t respect this as a real art form and as real music. There is no hip-hop scholarship, there’s nothing like that. … I feel like if you’re not playing music from dead white dudes who have been dead for centuries, then you’re not in the music school.” In addition to opening for D.R.A.M., Malvasio has released two albums since he first started writing raps at the age of 12. Marcus-Hecht has scored music for Park projects and released several tracks of original music and covers of songs on her music sites. Willett has started his own band, “The Age of the Fallen,” and has headlined for shows in New Jersey and opened for bands as famous as “Memphis May Fire.” They all

continue to work at their music, and currently show no signs of slowing down. Choosing to be a musician while in college is not a decision to be taken lightly. Marcus-Hecht said she went into student musicianship knowing it would be hard and has since gone through self-doubt about her music. However, she said, it’s worth it in the end if her music can emotionally connect many people regardless of their personal experience with music as a whole. “It’s going to be hard,” Marcus-Hecht said. “And if you love this stuff — if you really like music and see yourself performing it or writing it or teaching it or any of that, if you see yourself doing it — then push through. And don’t let anyone, or what anyone says, change that.” To find out more about the musicians mentioned in this article, here are their music links: Anna Marcus-Hecht: • Youtube: articulatelyComposed • SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/ articulatelycomposed Damiano Malvasio: • SoundCloud:https://soundcloud.com/ damianothedon/sets/ugly-as-sin David Willett: • SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/ david-n-willett

Distinct || MAY 2017 31


Ithaca Warm Weather Written By: Kalia Kornegay | Photography By: Keven Swann Few things compare to the city of Ithaca when the cold weather breaks. After months of below-freezing temperatures and incessant snow without any snow day breaks, IC students are more than ready for the warmth of spring. Although school is only in session for around four of the warmer months, students have found ways to get the most out of the area while balancing class and other responsibilities. In addition to the traditional on-campus attractions such as the Natural Lands behind Terraces or simply walking around the small campus, the town of Ithaca itself has much to offer.

The Commons Ithaca’s small, but bustling “downtown” center called The Commons lies a short 20-30 minute walk from campus. Filled to the brim with quirky stores, restaurants featuring various cuisines, and exciting nightlife, The Commons is a place many at IC have come to love and frequent. Junior Riho Yamaguchi said The Commons is her favorite destination because of how much there is to do downtown, and how easy it is to get there. Some of her favorite go-to stops are Mockingbird Paperie, a stationary and paper shop, and Petrune, a vintage clothing store. “The Commons is one of the places I go most of the time when I go out,” Yamaguchi said. “I like to take walks, look around, or go into the shops and cafes. It’s not important for me to spend money, but I just like to look around. If I go with my friends, sometimes they buy things like new clothes and other things. I mainly like to take a look and go with them, though.”

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LIFESTYLE

Cass Park The gorges aren’t the only natural views that Ithaca offers. Located near the Ithaca Farmers Market, Cass Park features an ice rink, dog park, swimming pool, and amazing views of Cayuga Lake. Junior Ahana Dave said being in nature is one of her favorite things to do around this time of the year. “I enjoy walking around Cass Park and reading and having a picnic day at Taughannock Falls park,” Dave said. “The views during the summer are absolutely stunning, and it's very calming being near the water. I like biking and walking or going for short drives because the views are stunning.”

The Gorges According to the VisitIthaca website, there are around 150 waterfalls decorating the town, meaning it’s more than easy to stumble upon one. With the abundance of natural beauty, students often walk or hike to nearby gorges to enjoy the natural landmarks. Freshman Katherine Perdomo said coming from a big city means she’s never been exposed to so much nature at once, so visiting the gorges is something she’s looking forward to doing. “I really want to explore the gorges because I’ve never hiked before at all,” Perdomo said. “I want to fully experience nature because I’m come from an overpopulated city. It’ll be nice to see more of nature especially because I’m not that used to it.”

Taughannock Falls

Purity Ice Cream As his last semester at IC comes to a close, senior Nigel Cyril said he will miss the shift in mood on campus when the weather improves. “I’ll miss seeing all my friends emerge from the darkest hours and doing homework on the lawn,” Cyril said. “The hibernation period is real.” In terms of activities, he said one of his favorite things to do is hike around Buttermilk Falls and then treat himself at Purity Ice Cream. From the bustling downtown life in The Commons to the natural beauty surrounding the town, there is no shortage of activities for students to engage in now that the snow is officially gone. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone and try something new! Distinct || MAY 2017 33


What Ambivert Students Want You To Know Written by: Sam Brodsky | Illustration by: Courtney Yule

When asked to pick sides, it can be quite simple. Some people know they’re strictly dog lovers. Others know they prefer cats. Some of us identify as early birds — love to rise and grind — and others of us are night owls who can stay up for hours (perhaps with the help of bright lights and double espressos). In the same sense, some students — such as junior Allie Hartley — know they’re extroverts. “I would say I’m an extrovert because I thrive more and feel more like myself when I’m surrounded by people,” said Hartley. Others, such as senior Andrew Seiden, define themselves as more introverted. “I think I’m an introvert because I enjoy time by myself, and I tend to focus and think better when I’m alone,” said Seiden. “I always liked the quote, ‘The less you say, the more people remember.’” But like any extremes, there’s often a gray area between the two. Some people, naturally, like both cats and dogs, are sometimes night owls and sometimes morning people, and can feel like an introvert one minute and an extrovert the next. If you’re anything like me, you don’t know which to choose. Some days you’re excited to be around people and are ready to speak your mind, while others you just want alone time and are more of an observer than a talker. And either way, you’re fiercely determined — you’re just not always so keen to show it off. Senior Adam Sharabi said depending on the circumstance, he can feel like an introvert or extrovert. “Sometimes I feel like I’m an introvert around new people in a social situation,” he said. “Once I get to know people, I’m more of an extrovert, and I think that helps bring out others’ best qualities.” There is a name for this gray area between the personality types. The term is “ambivert,” and the Today show reports that 68% of the population identifies as such. “Ambiverts are kind of in the middle of the road,” 34

director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast, Bernardo J. Carducci, told the Today show. In class it can seem easy to identify who’s an extrovert and who’s an introvert. There are people who constantly make conversation with those around them, engage with guest speakers, and answer questions even if they’re not sure of the right response. Then there are those who barely talk at all, the ones who take detailed notes and keep to themselves. But, like the old cliché states, don’t judge a book by its cover. You can’t necessarily pinpoint whether a student is an introvert or extrovert based on how they portray themselves in class. Again, it depends on many factors: the course itself, the people in that class, even what day it is. More people identify as ambiverts than you’d think, and here’s what these students (myself included) want you to know: Just because we may talk in class doesn’t mean we like it or do it all the time. We can assert ourselves in certain situations, but it doesn’t mean we’re always 100 percent comfortable doing so. It’s true — sometimes I literally have to make myself raise my hand. Also, just because we talk in one class doesn’t mean we participate as frequently in a different course. We might participate more in our 8 a.m. than our three-hour lab. It all depends, really. “When I'm comfortable, like in my photography class, I'll crack jokes and am more participatory and engaged with the other people,” said sophomore ambivert Maddy Bellard. “But in other courses, I’m more reserved and don’t raise my hand. It’s not so much out of shyness. I just prefer to disengage.” Don’t assume we’ll take the lead on a group project. Even if we do talk in class and seem like the typical extroverts, it doesn’t mean we’ll automatically take the reins on group work. Again, it’s a matter of who we’re surrounded by and working with. Some people think we’re quiet and other people


LIFESTYLE think we’re loud. The Muse that people who are “flexible, adaptable, Ambiverts are a mix between the two extremes and and self-aware [like ambiverts] are able to bring what’s depending on who we’re with, we’ll either tailor our needed to a given situation,” and that plays to their behavior to balance out that person, or we’ll take on advantage in the workplace. the same type of temperament. For instance, if we Just because someone is a television-radio major have friends who are bubbly and sociable, we might doesn’t mean they’re not an ambivert — they could match their enthusiasm and exude our extrovert-like very well possess qualities of an introvert. On that qualities, or we’ll want to grow quieter to level out the note, just because I’m a writing major doesn’t mean I mood. Whether we act more like introverts or extrocan’t be outspoken and authoritative when I need to verts has to do with the relationship we have with that be. Sure, I love to hide away and immerse myself in my person. work — all I need is a quiet room and the sound of my “If, say, I'm at a party and everyone is having a good nails typing — but that doesn’t mean, as an ambivert, I time, then I'll be much more extroverted around every- can’t go for jobs that require me to really use my social one,” said sophomore Madison Barlow, who identifies skills and be assertive with my ideas. as an ambivert. “But on a normal day-to-day basis, I “Working in communications, one might assume tend to share parts of myself and have more in-depth that I love or crave verbal communication with others, conversations with some people compared to others.” but as a graphic designer and musician, I’ve realized You might hear us talking about our “crazy weekthat I can communicate my thoughts in other ways ends,” but that doesn’t mean we don’t like sitting at than just verbally,” said sophomore ambivert Eli Potts. home watching Netflix. “I’m usually working alone, but there’s no way I could Sure we like to go out and have a good time — may- do my job without communicating.” be even talk about it with the people sitting next to Ambiverts are everywhere, and the next time you’re us in class — but that doesn’t mean we let loose every asked to pick sides, know that it’s OK to settle for the weekend. Trust me — sometimes all I need are my go- balance of the two. You can act like an extrovert in to red slippers, a pair of sweats, and a few (but really a your Media Planning class and then take a back seat lot more than a few) episodes of “Vampire Diaries.” and become more reserved in Biology of Sex (which Our major or career paths don’t necessarily reflect many of you, thanks to the ICC, will have the … um the type of personality we have. … pleasure of taking). For once it’s OK to tread in the Ambiverts can thrive in many different work settings gray area. Most of us are there with you. because we know how to relate to a variety of people. We adapt to office conditions, job assignments, etc. and can work well with both extroverts and introverts. According to the article, “Move Over Extroverts and Introverts, Ambiverts Might Have You Beat When It Comes to Success,” The Muse reports that ambiverts can flourish in “environments that require close team collaboration, but they can also produce great results on their own.” Leadership consultant Liz Bywater told

Distinct || MAY 2017 35


How To Tell & What To Do If Someone You Love Is Struggling With Their Mental Health Written By: Raelyn Giansanti | Graphic by Sara Belcher

I

’m a person who suffers from Panic Attack Disorder. Like real deal panic attacks — at my worst, four times a week. Working to maintain my mental health is very important to me and takes up the majority of my time. Through my years of experience battling chronic attacks, depression, and anxiety, I’ve learned how to manage my disorder with the help of professionals and, most importantly, my own moral and social judgements. The morose (but true) introduction above only serves to verify even the slightest credibility I have for judging how such disorders affect others battling with their own mental health. It’s different for everyone, but everyone does deserve help. And no matter how personalized the conditions can be, we all have one thing in common: We’re struggling. During the times I felt most alone and misunderstood, one question would trump all the other thoughts going through my mind:

Can’t anybody see that I’m dying?

It’s almost always undetectable. There are forms of mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, that are so high-functioning that a person can actually be unaware their mental health is wearing thin. They’ll keep themselves busy to the point where they won’t notice they’re in danger of a breakdown. I think it’s safe to say that most people have been around a close friend or loved one and noticed that 36

something was off. It can be as minute as a nervous twitch at lunch, or it can be something more serious; perhaps it’s the fifth time in a row they’ve cancelled plans. If someone close to you is showing any of the signs mentioned below, they could be suffering from deteriorating mental health. And if this article helps even one person identify someone in their life who needs help, then I’ll be grateful.

They’ll tell you

If someone is suffering immensely and they trust you as a friend, more often than not they will let you know. It could be direct — simply, “I’ve been sad lately,” or, “I haven’t felt like myself lately.” Or it could be indirect. More self-deprecating humor than usual — morbid jokes, strange stories, etc. This subtle, microaggressive language could very well insinuate deeper, internal suffering.

Noticeable physical changes

If this person displays longstanding changes in their If this person displays longstanding changes in their sleep routine, such as spending more time asleep than awake or experiencing insomnia, it could be a sign that they are abnormally stressed out. If you room with this person or you spend a lot of time together, appetite changes might also be apparent. A person’s relationship with food can be very telling of mental health changes — normal enthusiasm for fullness and nutrition has a tendency to drastically decrease. There can also be development of body nega-


HEALTH & FITNESS tivity; “I’m fat,” is a concerning statement in itself and any spike in negative statements toward oneself should be monitored. According to 7cups.com, a website dedicated to emotional health, a person suffering with mental health issues can unintentionally distance themselves from those who care most about them — they literally isolate themselves from others. A lot of the time this has to do with a person feeling undervalued or underappreciated. If you notice someone you care about hasn’t been around lately or is always cancelling plans, some positive reassurance might be needed to get that person motivated socially. Bruising, finger biting or picking, scratching, and hair pulling are all physical signs of self-abuse, states Mayo Clinic.

Emotional changes

According to livestrong.com, disassociation is also According to livestrong.com, disassociation is also common amongst those struggling with their mental health. If a friend hasn’t really seemed there lately or loses focus easily, it could be a sign that something is wrong. An influx of rage from someone who is typically calm can be a warning sign as well, states The Huffington Post. Be on the lookout for unreasonable, angry moods, concerning mood swings, or frequent tantrums. Hitting pillows, slamming doors, and even punching things (or themselves) are all signs of unnecessary aggressive behavior that should be a red flag. It’s common for those who are suffering emotionally to cry. A lot. Their language may also suggest slight melodrama; those struggling with mental illness feel as though they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Your roommate may be starting more drama because they’re overwhelmed and don’t know how to handle it on their own. Communication is always key to finding the

root of the problem, especially if you’re being directly affected by this person’s behavior.

Something you can do

Attend a mental health first-aid workshop. These workshops have become increasingly popular within our mindful, mental-health-aware society. They provide helpful information for those who find themselves tending to another person’s anxiety, depression, etc. They teach you how to deal with someone who is having panic attacks or delusions, or even with someone who is suicidal. There’s a small fee, but the knowledge you’ll obtain couldn’t be more necessary. These workshops are offered in more places than you’d think — they’re even advertised in the newspaper of my small, suburban hometown. Visit the Mental Health First Aid website to find a course near you or check the listings in your local paper. You never know when you might find yourself in a crisis or dealing with someone else’s. It’s better to be informed than in the dark — trust me.

Distinct || MAY 2017 37


Let’s Talk About

SEX,

Baby!

38

We’ve all jammed to the iconic lyrics of “ Salt-N-Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex,” but

we don’t usually stop to think about the importance of the hit single. Sex really is something you should strike up a conversation about, and Salt-N-Pepa wanted to make that very clear to their audience. They wanted us to, well, talk about it. Written By: Madison Barlow Photography By: Alessia DiNunno

Sex is everywhere. In the media it’s often glorified — such as in the Cosmopolitan headliner, “10 Signs He Thinks You Have Great Sexual Chemistry” and the provocative Victoria’s Secret ads. Yet sometimes it’s strangely taboo. We see it in movies or on billboards and even hear about it on the radio. But when the time comes for us to actually talk about sex with our partners — the good, the bad, and the rough in-betweens — some of us tend to get a little … uncomfortable.


But we shouldn’t! Sex is natural; it’s fun and an important topic to bring up with any partner you have.

HEALTH & FITNESS

We’ll start with following a bit of advice from Salt-NPepa themselves: “Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things … ” because sex has, as we all know, both elements. And while everything to do with sex is fair game to discuss, there may be some factors that are more important (and more fun!) than others. Protection is absolutely one of the first things you should be talking about with your sexual partners. No matter who you are — no matter the gender of your partner — always be prepared with your own forms of protection whether it be condoms, the pill, or anything in between. It’s never safe to jump to the conclusion that someone will have a form of protection that works for you. For instance, never just assume a female is on the pill. Moral of the story: You can never be too careful. Often, women struggle with finding a birth control method that works for them. While the pill is a popular form of birth control, it doesn’t work for everyone. It can cause nausea, weight gain, and even drastic changes in menstrual cycles — just ask your girlfriends. But there are still so many other options! Discuss with your partner what type of contraception works for the type of relationship you have and what you need out of that form of protection. It may not be the sexiest talk to have in bed, but it’ll be one you definitely won’t regret. In the midst of all the overly glamorized media coverage of sex, it’s important to remember the single most important thing about it: consent! Sex is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience shared with a partner you feel comfortable with. This doesn’t happen unless both sides are confident (more or less) in the process. While consent is the most essential factor that goes into making that happen, there are still

several others that contribute to ensuring a great time in bed. One of the best parts about sex is that it lets you explore new boundaries in a safe environment. Like most other activities, sex gives you the chance to take risks and step outside your comfort zone! That being said, throughout the years, everyone eventually develops their own style of sex. While this sense of adventure is exciting, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable. There’s really nothing worse than going into sex expecting soft and slow and the next thing you know, you’re handcuffed to the bed (not speaking from experience). Don’t be afraid to express your concerns in this area to make sure both parties are enjoying themselves. A great way to do this is to use safe words. They allow you to experiment with new positions and styles of sex without having a lengthy conversation that might ruin the mood. Safe words can range from anything as simple as “stop” (my favorite) to something more creative like “cantaloupe.” Sophomore Shannon Gerety said her safe word is “jazz hands,” a perfect example of keeping such signals light and not too serious! On the other hand, sophomore Rachael Shurberg said, “Mine is just ‘stop.’” Perfectly simple and self-explanatory. Now that we’ve talked about sex (baby!), it’s time to get down to business. It’s your turn to tackle this conversation with your partner, if you haven’t already. Wherever you are on the relationship spectrum — dating for years or your weekend fling — this crucial dialogue will make your sex life easier, more intimate, and stress-free. In the words of Salt-N-Pepa, “And why not? Everybody has sex.”

Distinct || MAY 2017 39


My First Time at

BODYPUMP Written by: Annika Kushner | Graphic by: Sara Belcher

On March 24, I went to BODYPUMP for the first time. But first, here’s a bit of background: I almost never exercise. My physical activity this year has been limited to a couple of Zumba classes and walking up what feels like thousands of steps to my dorm room. But let’s be honest — that doesn’t really count. According to Mayoclinic.org, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. It also recommends that people do strength training at least twice a week. So, I clearly have not been adhering to those guidelines. But I decided to try and change that, and a group exercise class seemed like the best way to start. Introducing: BODYPUMP. I admit that I got dressed with some trepidation the Friday morning of the big day. I pulled on some grey leggings and a long, dark blue Ithaca College T-shirt over my only sports bra (yes, only). I threw my seldom-used tennis shoes into my backpack and headed out the door. I tried to ignore all the athletic-looking people in their perfectly put-together workout attire as I entered the gym. After signing up for the class and making a pit stop by the lockers, I joined the crowd standing outside the exercise room. There were people of varying body types and genders — something that brought me some comfort. We were finally let into the class, and everyone immediately started picking up these small green benches (they’re called step benches) piled up by one of the mirrors. I followed along and got one for myself, then set up near the back of the class. But it turned out there was much more equipment I needed — people were getting bars, bar weights, yoga mats, and barbells. I, of course, followed suit, trying to look like I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t sure how much weight I should put on my bar, so I grabbed two of the smaller ones — two 2.5-pound weights — and returned to my little corner in the back. Soon the room was entirely filled with people setting up their green benches. Maria, the instructor, came out wearing her headset and began playing some music over the speakers. She greeted the class and asked if there were any new people in the crowd. To my surprise (and relief), I was not the only new one — there were at least three of us! And then class began. After our warm-up, Maria took us through various kinds of exercises, working out the whole body: arms, legs, back, and abs. She recommended increases and decreases in the amount of weight we should use for each exercise. But I, of course, had only grabbed two 2.5-pound weights, so I just stuck with those for the entirety of the class — this actually turned out just fine (2.5 pounds is plenty heavy). I personally found the leg exercises to be the easiest and the arm exercises to be the hardest. When we were lying on our backs and pushing the bar upwards in the bench press position, I thought my arms were literally going to collapse on me. But Maria’s comments were really encouraging — just what I needed to keep up my motivation. She’d say things like, “Stay strong!” and “Just one more set! Come on, guys!” In fact, I thought Maria was a wonderful instructor. I’d come into the class a bit afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up — that everyone would already know how to do everything. But Maria’s instructions were easy to follow, so I didn’t feel like I was behind at all. She also made the class accessible to people of varying levels of fitness — many of the very athletic-looking people were as sweaty and tired as I was by the end of the class. 40


HEALTH & FITNESS

All of Maria’s exercises allowed us to participate at whatever level we felt we could. For example, when we got to the lunge portion of the class, she said that if anyone had an injury or just really hated lunges, they could get on the exercise bikes in the back. As someone who’s had several knee surgeries, I really dislike lunges. And I always feel a bit weird about opting out of them — but when she said that, I felt fine opting for the bikes. And two other people joined me in the back of the room. Another thing that I really appreciated about Maria’s instruction is that she chose motivating music that fit very well with the exercises we were doing. The music, along with her supportive commentary, was a big part of why I stayed driven throughout the class. One thing that surprised me is how little people seemed to care about what everyone else was doing. For some strange reason, I was expecting to be confronted with judgment from others in the class, but there was none. Everyone concentrated hard on their own workouts; they weren’t paying any attention to whoever was near them. I really liked that because it helped me to just focus on myself, instead of comparing myself to other people. It was an excellent workout! By the end, I was very thirsty, very sweaty, and very ready to eat a large Chipotle dinner. I grabbed my backpack, changed my shoes, got some water, and headed back up to my dorm feeling a really good kind of tired. I wasn’t sore until the next day, but once I was...wow. The sore was very real. It was mostly concentrated in my biceps and triceps, which felt like they were going to disintegrate into nothing. It took three days after the class for my arms to start feeling normal again. The soreness in my legs wasn’t nearly as bad, but I think that’s just because I use my legs more than I do my arms — and I’ve legitimately never worked out my arms before. (There’s a first time for everything!) Overall, I had a really positive experience. I felt rejuvenated by the exercise, and just really good about having exercised in general. I felt — I don’t know — stronger, somehow? The experience didn’t trigger any of the overwhelming feelings of inadequacy that I thought it would. It only boosted my self-confidence, and that’s the goal, right? I will absolutely go to another BODYPUMP class, and who knows! I might even make it a regular thing.

Distinct || MAY 2017 41


The Real

(Professional) (Social) Me

Written by: Deanna Wetmore | Illustration by: Tori Sciara

When social media platforms first started, they were used to share thoughts and post pictures with friends and family. Since then, social media apps and sites have gained popularity: Facebook was created in 2004 and was quickly followed in 2006 by Twitter. Then 2010 brought Instagram with its unique platform of simply sharing pictures. According to Statista, by 2012 just over one billion users had joined Facebook as a way to connect and share information. The Pew Research Center found that in 2015, Facebook was the top social media site used by people daily. But people’s use of social media sites has changed: Instead of just using it to share, people are using it to gather information and to promote themselves. Social media has made these two things easier than ever before, which may be the reason they are attracting the younger demographic. In fact, the powerful medium of social media is a platform dominated by young adults. This has special implications. Because social media platforms have such a young demographic, sites and apps have been designed to be as interactive as possible. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all are interactive because they allow people to share and connect with one another. The result is that social media is used frequently by young adults to create an image of themselves that is exclusive to the online world. This can be positive for young adults branding themselves professionally, but it can also lead to negative effects. A survey by Careerbuilder found that in 2014, 51 percent of employers did not hire candidates based on what they saw on the candidate's social media profiles. The most popular reasons for employers to turn down candidates were inappropriate photos, posts about drinking or using drugs, and insults aimed at companies the candidates previously worked for; all were found via posts on social media. On the flip side, the same survey showed that 33 percent of employers surveyed hired candidates based on what they saw on social media. These employers liked candidates who used social media to show their personalities, who displayed background information that supported qualifications, and who featured professional images. This survey reveals that posts on social media, even if they only reflect a person’s social life, can potentially affect careers. The more social media platforms go beyond sharing posts to being a place to display young adults’ professional selves, the more young adults struggle to find a balance between showing their true selves and showing their professional sides. This is something that Anthony Adornato, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism, focuses on in his courses at Ithaca College. As a journalism professor, Adornato encourages students to utilize social media to better their image, particularly for potential employers. Adornato is familiar with social media personally, and he has made himself an expert in social media platforms, even writing his own textbook on the subject. Adornado said many young adults struggle with managing their social media accounts. “It depends on what industry you are going into, but typically it is about a balancing act between keeping it professional but still being able to interact with others,” Adornato said. Adornato also said he doesn’t think it is really necessary to have two accounts on the same social media platform, because employers are “able to find all accounts with a simple google search.” This puts a lot of pressure on college students to filter what they put on social media to make their social media profiles only show the highlights of their life. Some young adults find that obtaining the balance of being personal versus professional is frustrating because 42


CULTURE it feels like they are censoring themselves. Adornato teaches his students is to remember the 80 to 20 rule: Eighty percent of what young adults post should be professional, but the other 20 percent of their accounts should show their personal side. “That is one of the goals of social media, the interactivity of it,” Adornato said. “Show who you are … because that humanizes you as a person.” Once the balance between personal and professional is achieved, social media can be a great way to brand yourself, boosting your career and your personal enjoyment. “Nowadays people can build their own brand, which can heavily work in college students’ favor,” Adornato said. “[Young adults] don’t necessarily need to be out in the workforce right away because social media allows anyone to share what they are passionate about in college.” Now more than ever, college students can use social media to learn about topics of interest and share information they think is important. As long as college students stay aware of what they are posting, social media platforms should be a place where anyone can express themselves. Social media sites and apps are, all factors considered, relatively new platforms for people to connect, share information, and express their individuality. This is why it is important for people to think carefully about what they put on social media and how they portray themselves overall. It’s a tricky situation, but once the right balance is established, both the professional and personal benefits of the dynamic networks will join to show the best, truest you possible.

Distinct || MAY 2017 43


Windows Book Recommendations Written by: Mirelle Tinker | Graphic by: Annika Kushner

When we pick up a novel, we long to experience a feeling, a conflict, or an achievement, that has been barred from us in our current lives. Yet each story carries a unique perspective, and sometimes it can be difficult to choose which life you’ll want to inspect. That’s why Windows Book Recommendations exists. The purpose of these recommendations is to give you a quick glance at three different works, each offering a “window” into a distinct story or engaging point of view. Listed below are the following: “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, “Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami, and “The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes” by Langston Hughes. Perhaps the most famous of the mystery author’s novels, “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie details the original isolated island setup with ten strangers stranded on its shores. One of them is a killer, and one by one each person is targeted according to an old nursery rhyme written on one of the mansion’s walls. Although the novel was written in the 1930s, and therefore captures the historical and social sentiments of the era, it remains just as riveting today as it was when it first was published. Laura Thompson of the The Telegraph writes: “‘And Then There Were None’ is also a meditation on guilt, and a very brilliant one. … On the face of it, no book could be more impersonal than ‘And Then There Were None,’ yet it is driven by a kind of grand urgency, engaging intensely with the character who kills for love, sketching in terse quick scenes the desperate struggle between guilt and retribution.”

44


CULTURE

Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s surreal novel has drawn in readers for its ability to resonate with the human experiences of loss, confusion, anger, and hope — all within introspective characters and off-kilter plotlines. “Kafka on the Shore” follows this rubric, focusing on a 15-year-old runaway escaping a twisted family curse and an amnesiac old man who finds himself thrown into a dark rabbit hole after he attempts to save a lost cat. Their stories intertwine and explode in a completely unique way, and Murakami succeeds in expressing this complex intersection in simple observations and dialogue. Laura Miller of The New York Times states: “The weird, stately urgency of Murakami's novels comes from their preoccupation with such internal problems; you can imagine each as a drama acted out within a single psyche. In each, a self lies in pieces and must be put back together; a life that is stalled must be kick-started and relaunched into the bruising but necessary process of change ... Dreams do it, too. But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.” Famed poet Langston Hughes provides a fresh and accessible compilation of poems, covering the entirety of his career. Covering race, politics, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, Hughes’ work is a necessity for anyone interested in poetry dealing with social issues in beautifully straightforward language. Publishers Weekly says: “Although Hughes is best known for his poems celebrating African American life, he was also a passionately political poet who paid dearly for his communist affiliations and radical views. The chronological arrangement of the poems allows the reader to follow the course of Hughes' career-long political engagement, though probably Hughes will mainly be read for the clarity of his language, his wise humor and his insight into the human condition.”

*All images are stock images and not IC Distinct Magazine original content

Distinct || MAY 2017 45


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May 2017 Vol. 2 No. 2

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