Page 1

NOVEMBER 2016

Vol. 1 No. 2

How to go Natural Without Spending a Fortune

Warm Sweaters for Women And where to find them

Summer Lewis On storytelling and mental

Some of

THE BEST

Motivational Books

Workouts You Can do in Your Dorm


Letter from the Editor EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sara Belcher

FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR Sara Belcher

LIFESTYLE EDITOR Courtney Yule

CULTURE EDITOR Annika Kushner Courtney Yule

HEALTH & FITNESS EDITOR Courtney Yule

LAYOUT EDITOR

Welcome to the second ever edition of Ithaca College’s very own Distinct Magazine! In this issue, we talk about giving thanks for amazing beauty hacks, the reality of cuffing season, books to motivate you every day, and so much more! This issue, we at Distinct tried to delve deeper into the issues and topics surrounding the fashion and lifestyle world, providing insight on animal testing in the makeup industry, and some hands-on tests from some of our writers. The editors at Distinct Magazine would like to thank you for the amazing reaction we had to our very first issue last month. It warmed our hearts to see all of our hard work and dedication pay off. And just like I said last month, this magazine wouldn’t be possible without the help of my staff; so a huge thank you goes out to Emma Noblesala, Annika Kushner, Courtney Yule, Stephanie Cordova Rodriguez, and our faculty advisor Katie Marks. Their continuous support and advice has helped shape this magazine in so many ways.

CREATIVE DIRECTORS

I also need to thank our amazing staff of writers for sticking with us throughout yet another issue. You’ll find their work laid out over the next pages — and all of it is simply amazing. I am extremely grateful for them.

SENIOR EDITORS

Now, I don’t want to keep you too much longer, so I’ll cut to the chase: thank you so much for all of your support for our organization, because we couldn’t do this without you.

Emma Noblesala

Emma Noblesala Stephanie Cordova Rodriguez Sara Belcher Annika Kushner

COPY EDITORS

Kelly Csernica Danielle Gazda Alayna Vander Veer

Go on, flip to the next page, and see all that the November issue of Ithaca College’s Distinct Magazine has to offer.

Instagram Bloggers 6 Feel Good About Your Body 8

BEAUTY Beauty Tricks We Are ThankfulFor 10 Cruelty-Free Makeup 12 Guide to Moisturizing 14 Learning About Boob Masks 15 Affordable Natural Hair Tips 16

Cuffing Season 21 Motivational Books to Ready 22

Katie Marks

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Winter Sweater Shopping 4

LIFESTYLE

FACULTY ADVISOR

dis • tinct /dә'stiNG(k)t/

FASHION

SUMMER LEWIS 18

Sincerely, Sara Belcher Editor-in-Chief

DISTINCT

CONTENTS

HEALTH & FITNESS

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

Dorm Room Workout 24 Buying Organic Products 25

CULTURE Talking About Mental Health 26 Elizabeth Acevedo 28

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 3


FASHION

Update The Shops For Your Winter Sweaters Written by Yuhan Qiu Photography by Emma Noblesala

Most girls, like me, probably assume that fashin icons maintain their stylish look easily without spending much efforts in it. But, it is not necessary true. Not every effortless look is actually effortless. Behind the scenes, the fashion icons are likely to spend tons of time looking for the seemingly “plain and simple” clothing piece with the just right amounts of details,

length and materials. This also applies when picking out the right winter sweaters ----- one of the most commonly worn winter pieces that keeps you both warm and on trend. Since one’s tastes varies, it is important to know the right sweater shop that best matches your styles. Here are couple brands that offers high-quality sweaters with affortable price.

Quality: **** Price: $$$ Madewell is the lower line of J.Crew featuring more energetic and casual apparel for young women aging between 16-28. With a more affordable retail price than J. Crew, it is the best fit for college students hunting for a nice and long-lasting sweater. If you like the design’s details of hand distressing and monograms, Madewell is probably the right place to shop for you since they constantly take inspiration from the brand’s workwear beginnings. My sweater from Madewell is a turtleneck in a marled flax color, extremely soft and comfortable. Quality: *** Price: $$ If you are a Normcore fashionista calling for simplicity for your outfit, Zara is always a good choice. Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessories retail store,carrying the same designs found in luxury brands. I recommend Zara for those people who don’t want to spend too much money to catch the trend. Additionally, Zara’s Trafaluc (TRF) collection targets on young adults with a more juvenile look, which is also a great choice for college students . I own a boat neckline thin sweater with serenity (baby blue) color from Zara for the fall. Quality: *** Price: $$ Looking for a wide variety of brands and styles for your sweaters? Go to ASOS. ASOS is a British online fashion store, selling over 850 brands and its own branded products. It has the easiest system where you can select specific color, size, price range and brand for the sweater you are looking for. Through this system, I found my ideal oversize beige sweater that I still love after wearing for two years. Be aware that since ASOS collects hundreds of different brands, the qualities and price varies, but in general, the better the quality the more it costs. Quality: ***** Price: $$ --- $$$$ Similar to ASOS, Topshop is also a fashion retailer with a collection of high-fashion brands. Unique collection in Topshop is expensive but the most fashionable collection, having been featured on catwalks. However, their basic collection is affordable and still stylish. Since velvet is back on trend in 2016, I bought a maroon velvet turtleneck sweater from Topshop with only fifty dollars that, with both the design and cheap price, can barely be found at other stores.

Although plenty of retail stores are out there in the market offering tons of options for sweater-hunters, like us. We can always start with these four brands mentioned above to narrow down our preferable styles. Additionally, with the affordable price, no more hesitations are needed! 4

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 5


FASHION

Bloggers To Follow on Instagram Written by Tara Stacy Now that we’re halfway through the semester, it can be easy to start falling into an outfit rut (wearing the same jeans/sweater/boots combo for a week straight, we all do it). With the changing seasons it can also be hard to figure out what to wear in the inconsistent weather -- not to mention what’s in this season in terms of layering. Luckily, there are fashion bloggers that we can gain outfit inspiration from on platforms like Instagram and Tumblr.

Danielle Bernstein -- WeWoreWhat.com Danielle became famous through her blog WeWoreWhat, which blossomed when she was in college at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She fell in loved with her classmates’ street style and would photograph their outfits for her blog (hence WEWoreWhat). She was then asked to photograph models and street style at fashion week, and was coincidentally photographed by street style photographers. She decided to change her blog into a way for readers to follow her adventures around the city and to hopefully gain inspiration from her style. Her Instagram is a great way to check out her outfits if you don’t want to head over to her blog. She posts what she is wearing every day but she wants the content of her blog to be about the clothes and not the “model” in them (she is very clear that she does not think of herself as a model, but knows that in the industry, many focus on the model instead of the clothes they’re wearing). So she hardly ever shows her face in photos, or at least makes an effort to cover it in a pair of sunglasses.

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Perhaps one of the most influential and successful bloggers of today, Chiara has been relevant since 2009. She has created her own self-named shoe and accessory line, landed magazine covers (she’s one of the only bloggers to be featured on an international Vogue cover) and is now the face of Pantene. She’s won several awards for her blogging and was named the most successful blogger business in a Harvard study. She has put Courtesy of @chiaraferragni together a team to help her run the blog and is now the Creative Director. Her Instagram, as well as that of the Blonde Salad, are updated daily with inspiration from outfits to food to makeup trends.

Leandra Medine -- ManRepeller.com

Courtesy of @whoworewhat

Aimee Song -- SongOfStyle.com

Courtesy of @songofstyle

Chiara Ferragni -TheBlondeSalad.com

Aimee Song started her blog when she was in school for interior design. She originally intended her blog to be centered around that, but after she got good feedback on an outfit post, she decided to start writing about fashion as well as interior design. She has juggled both interior design careers and blogging as a business for years, and although the blog has focused both on interior design and fashion, it has been relying more heavily on the latter in the past year. She recently released a book that focuses completely on Instagram and how you can use it to not only document your life, but also to grow and market your business, as she did. Her Instagram is updated with her outfits and other inspiring content at least once a day.

Leandra Medine is better known in the fashion world as Man Repeller. She started the blog Man Repeller in 2010 with the idea of expressing her personal style as well as that of others. When asked about the name of the blog, she told Daily Mail, “Good fashion is about pleasing women, not men, so as it happens, the trends that we love, men hate. And that is fantastic.” She is always very careful to point out that the idea is not to look around and think of ways to repel men, but to express your own personal style and if that repels men—oh well. She has now written a memoir , and successfully turned her blog into a business. Her personal Instagram, as well as that of the blog are updated daily, and their Tumblr is also updated with content designed to inspire readers while also driving traffic to articles. Courtesy of @manrepeller

These bloggers are some of the cream of the crop in the fashion industry -- for most of them, their full time job is now blogging. They also shout out lesser known bloggers on their Instagrams by tagging them in photos of blogger events they have attended if you’re looking for even more inspiration this fall. Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 7


FASHION

FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR BODY Brands promoting body positivity Written by Alyssa Curtis Starting at a young age, girls (and boys boys too, but more often girls) are told that they have to look a certain way to be considered beautiful. From barbies to 00-sized models in magazines, it is often perceived that “skinnier is better.” This mindset has led many to default go to extreme measures to get their body to look like fit society’s standards, wanting in order to feel accepted and beautiful. However, in more recent years, many are starting to embrace and love their body for what it is, instead of what others think it should be. In light of the realization that the majority of the girls in the world aren’t size 0–4, and don’t have a 24-inch waist, but instead the average woman is a size 16, many companies have jumped on the #bodypositive train and embraced women for who they truly are — celebrating their beautiful curves and shapes. A common misconception of the body positive movement is that skinny is no longer socially acceptable. On the contrary, body positivity is all about embracing what your body looks like naturally, whether that’s small breasts and a tiny waist, or double D’s and big hips. It’s all about loving yourself for who you are and realizing that you are more than the reflection in the mirror. To celebrate the #bodypositive movement, here are five brands that will encourage you to love yourself.

As one of the first brands to support body positivity, the lingerie branch of American Eagle has made huge strides to promote the movement. In 2014, they stopped photoshopping their models as part of their #Aeriereal campaign, brand representative Jenny Altman explained on Good Morning America. Their models are consist of girls of all shapes and sizes. They support empowerment, and believe that “it’s not all about flaws or curves, it’s what’s beneath the skin,” as stated on their website.

The new denim brand was created when Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede that the realized there was something missing from the denim world — jeans that fit and complimented curvier women, they explained at their brand launch on Oct. 18. The two then teamed together to create a denim line “that’s sexy and flattering, and made to fit you.” They believe that fashion should be made to fit women instead of women making themselves fit fashion. Although the line’s been out for less than a month, it’s becoming very popular, and not just because it’s made by a Kardashian. but because they’re These clothes are made to fit all body types. 8

A vintage-inspired style and decor online retailer that carries sizes XS–4X. In 2014, they became the first retailer to sign the “Heroes Pledge for Advertisers,” which promises not to change the size, proportion, color, or any other physical feature of models in post-production. Their models often consist of all body types. Modcloth believes that “fashion is for every body,” and this is evident in their products and campaigns.

Promoting body positivity and women’s empowerment since the day the company started, SmartGlamour is a small New York City-based business that customizes every piece of clothing ordered by its customers. They have sizes XXS–6X and more. The company’s three goals are to empower its customers, to make good quality clothing at affordable prices, and to cut away from hatred that’s created from insecurities. They embrace differences and encourage women to own their bodies.

A lingerie brand that promotes body positivity, Neon Moon celebrates the “flaws” and natural beauty of women. The company strives to spread acceptance and empowerment. Neon Moon sells lingerie without sexualizing the women wearing it, and makes their customers feel comfortable shopping for and wearing undergarments. Their sizing ranges from “lovely” (US sizes 2–4) to “beautiful” (US sizes 10–12) to “stunning” (US sizes 18–20) and many more inbetween, reiterating their belief that all shapes and sizes are beautiful, and that women are not defined by a number. They refrain from retouching their models and have women of all shapes, sizes, and colors to model their products. *All images are stock images

While today’s society still has a lot of growing and bettering to do in regards to it’s regarding its view of women’s beauty, it’s taking a step in the right direction, which is evident in these brands. Whether you’re a size 0, 6 or 18, everyone deserves to feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. The number on the tag of your jeans is just that — a number. It doesn’t reflect who you are as a person. The sooner we realize that, the sooner the world will be a more accepting and happier place.

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 9


BEAUTY

Beauty Tricks We Are Thankful For

Print No More! After working really hard on an eye look, the last thing you want is mascara all over your eyelids, but how do you stop this from happening? Do your lower lashes first. This way, when you look up to get the mascara into the root of your lower lashes, there is no product on the upper lashes to smudge on the lid. After your lower lashes are defined to your liking, then go for the upper lashes, leaving your eyeshadow mascara-free.

Written by Missy Birnbaum Photography by Raquel Borges

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so it’s time to give thanks to these life-changing beauty tips and tricks. If you want to get a flawless look on the first try, these tricks are here to save the day!

Get the Perfect Brow Everytime! Imagine this: You already perfected your complexion and you go to fill in your brows. Before you know it, you’ve overdrawn them and they look like a sloppy mess! Wiping off the excess with makeup remover will ruin all the hard work you already did on your face, so what do you do? When you’re applying your makeup, start with eyebrows. Simply fill in your brows with powder, pomade, pencil, or whatever you like to use, and then clean up the mistakes with a concealer that matches your skin tone. I like to do this by outlining my brows with the concealer. After blending, apply your foundation as normal for messfree perfect brows.

Forget Fallout! There’s nothing worse than having specks of black eyeshadow all over your face after creating the smoky eye of your dreams. Luckily, there’s a quick fix to this problem. When creating a dramatic look, apply your eyeshadow before your foundation. This way, you can simply wipe off any fallout with a makeup wipe (or clean up the edges and create sharp lines) without messing up any work you’ve already done. Then apply your foundation as normal, and get ready to slay.

Bust Breakage! Are you tired of your hair splitting and breaking when you brush it? Try brushing your hair from tip to root. Start by brushing the bottom portion of your hair to remove the tangles there first. Then brush from the middle section to the tips to remove the tangles there. Continue this until you reach your roots. You’ll be tangle- and damage-free in no time.

Spot-free Smile! Nothing ruins a cute picture faster than a glob of lipstick right on your teeth. Prevent this from happening by taking a clean finger and closing your lips around it. Remove your finger with your lips puckered and you should have a ring of lipstick on your hand. That’s all lip product that would have been on your teeth. Simply wash your hands and you’re good to go.

Your face will thank you for using these tips. Don’t forget them when you’re getting ready for Thanksgiving! 10

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 11


BEAUTY

Be The Face of Cruelty-free Makeup Written by Maddie Strauch Makeup lovers don’t have to sacrifice a single lipstick for great brands. It is super easy to find products that are as good to you as they are good to the animals. An easy way to discover cruelty-free beauty is the site crueltyfreekitty.com. This is a great site that includes a list of brands that are cruelty-free and vegan, as well as a detailed explanation of the standards used to determine which brands fit those labels. It is important to be aware of who is certifying certain brands. For instance, there are brands that are certified by Leaping Bunny, and some that are certified by PETA. According to this site, PETA does not require as many qualifications as Leaping Bunny does, which is why PETA’s list is longer than Leaping Bunny’s. Don’t be fooled by some cruelty-free claims. Some brands say their products are not tested on animals —but their ingredients are. Some also say their finished products are cruelty-free, but their unfinished products have been tested on animals. Examples of this practice are big industry companies such as L’Oreal. There are over 5,000 cosmetic ingredients that are labeled safe. But so many companies still torture and even kill animals to test unsafe ingredients that may be sitting in our foundations this very moment. Something else to keep in mind when shopping for cruelty-free makeup is that not all brands are certified. Cruelty-free certification is on a volunteer basis, so some companies, while choosing not to test on animals, may not say that upfront.

Examples BareMinerals (owned by Shiseido) Buxom (owned by Shiseido) Kate Somerville (owned by Unilever) Lancôme, Maybelline, NYX, YSL, Essie, Garnier, Carol’s Daughter, Urban Decay, The Body Shop, Kiehl’s, plus many more are all owned by L’Oreal, however only Carol’s Daughter, The Body Shop, NYX, and Urban Decay are cruelty free Murad (owned by Unilever) NARS (owned by Shiseido) Tarte (owned by Kose)

Affordable Beauty

There are cruelty-free brands to fit any size budget! High-end Brands Anastasia Beverly Hills Cover FX (100 percent vegan) Charlotte Tilbury Deborah Lippmann First Aid Beauty Girlactik Hourglass Josie Maran Kat Von D Kylie Cosmetics Lush TheBalm Too Faced 12

Another thing to remember is that although some companies are certified cruelty-free, they are owned by bigger parent companies that do participate in animal testing. Also be aware that some companies are required by law to test on animals. Usually this occurs when their products or ingredients are sold in mainland China, because unfortunately, testing on animals is a legal obligation in China.

BH Cosmetics Coloured Raine Colourpop EcoTools (100 percent vegan) ELF Essence Hard Candy Jordana Milani Physician’s Formula Real Techniques (100 percent vegan) Wet’n’Wild

The list is endless when it comes to all the great products that are cruelty-free and/or vegan, and the quality of these products are outstanding! Anastasia Beverly Hills, for example, has amazing quality eyeshadows and eyeshadow palettes, and a fabulous range of liquid lipsticks. Too Faced also has great eyeshadow palettes and lip products. Lush has very unique and natural cosmetics and body products that truly are an experience to use! Milani has a terrific lipsticks from their Color Statement Line. The quality is incredible and they are priced at only around $6! Colourpop has comparable quality lip products to high end brands with prices around $4–$6! ELF is another brand that has great products usually ranging from $1 to about $6! Their brushes are great for the price! And you can’t beat Wet’n’Wild’s color payoff from their lipsticks or face products like their blushes or bronzers. Give some of these brands a try and see for yourself how great they are — not only for us, but for the animals too! Distinct || NOVEMBERV 2016 13


BEAUTY

A Guide to Moisturizing Written by Kendall Palmatier | Photography by Lauren Ruth

Fall is a great time for fashion and beauty, but it’s also the time when your face starts to dry up. You’ve likely tried so many different moisturizers, and every time they fail to keep your face hydrated throughout the day. This is a constant struggle, but thankfully there are new products and studies that can help end this battle.

The first step in my method is to wash my face at night. I use Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, which includes an antibacterial acne treatment called benzoyl peroxide. This helps remove any oil that has collected during the day from makeup or touching your face. After using the face wash, pat your face dry. And then instead of a lotion, use coconut oil.

*All images are stock images

WHAT?!

Mask One: Maskingdom Pearl and Rose Sexy Charming Lace Breast Mask This product’s packaging had some English on it, explaining that the product was meant to firm the breasts, but all of the instructions were in Korean. I decided that this mask couldn’t be much different than any other sheet mask, so I decided to apply them for thirty minutes. My first impression was that they were wet and slimy, but in retrospect I don’t know what else I expected. Since I needed to lay down in order to keep the product in place, I chose to lay on my floor. A half an hour later I removed the masks and rubbed in the remaining liquid. There wasn’t any noticeable difference, but I guess my skin might have been a little sotfter. I probably wouldn’t purchase this again, due to the fact that it is ten dollars for one use and I don’t think it did anything.

Mask Two: Pure Smile Oh My Busty! Pack

The coconut oil is great because it also helps get rid of toxins. I use Carrington Farms 100 Percent Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Some people suffer from the dreaded oily “T-zone.” I do, as well, but if you put this coconut oil on before you go to bed, it will seep into your skin overnight and your face will feel hydrated — but not oily — in the morning. A lot of people will just wash their face and then go to bed. The problem is if you don’t moisturize your face before you go to sleep, it gets really dry. This can lead to your oil glands overproducing oil, which can result in unexpected pimples in the morning (not cute).

In the morning after the coconut oil has been on all night, you should wash your face. The key here is to use a face moisturizer. The face is very sensitive, because as we get older, our face starts to retain less moisture. If you use a body lotion, it can irritate your face or cause acne. I use CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin. It’s a lightweight lotion that offers the perfect amount of hydration for my face. There are also heavier lotions out there for people who have really dry skin. My tip to you is to make sure you read labels and do some research before buying any face lotion. You could be doing more harm than good. 14

A Mask For Your

It’s no secret that some beauty trends are a bit strange, but breast masking seems to really take the cake. Yes, you read that correctly, companies are now producing sheet masks for your boobies. Writing and Photography by Missy Birnbaum These masks are supposed to firm your breasts to prevent “saggyness” and improve overall breast texture and appearance. Well, I’ve said I’d try anything once, but for you all, I decided to try this trend not once, but three times.

I’m just going to start off by saying how adorable this packaging was. When you open the initial packet, there are two more packets of liquid, and two heart shaped masks. This is a three step treatment. Step one is labeled “gommage,” which is essentially a gentle exfoliator; just apply it and massage, and the product should ball up and come off. Step two are the hydrogel masks. They’re designed like pasties, so you just peel the backing off and stick them on. I left mine on for thirty minutes. Finally, step three is labeled “cream,” and it is a moisturizer. I actually really liked this one. My breasts felt noticeably smoother and softer, and the process wasn’t even difficult. Because of the pasty style mask, I could sit up and do homework while wearing them. I don’t know if this is something I would do all the time, but I’m 100% not against doing it again. You can find this mask on Amazon for about six dollars, which is pretty reasonable!

Mask Three: DIY! For my third mask, I chose to DIY one. I took to the internet and stumbled upon a simple recipe from positivemed.com. The ingredients are fenugreek powder and water, and I ordered the powder from Amazon. The mixture smelled like grass and maple syrup, and was very thick and almost clay-like. Putting the mask on was a bit difficult, but removing it was probably the worst experience of my life. There was a part of me that truly believed that it would never come off. Plus, I live in a dorm building. It was a challenge to get from my room to the bathroom without pieces of the mask dropping onto the ground from under my robe. I would not recommend this mask if you don’t live somewhere that will allow you to apply and remove the mask in one location, such as a private bathroom. I also wouldn’t recommend this for anyone who lacks patience or is in a crunch for time. Personally, I don’t think I will be trying this again. So what did I learn from all of this? Well, I learned that breast masking is a real thing, and although I don’t think this is a trend I’m going to get super into, I would maybe use the “Oh My Busty!” pack again. Should you try this trend? I’d say go for it! Who knows, maybe you’ll love it! Maybe you won’t. Either way, it never hurts to try! Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 15


How to Go Natural Without Spending a Fortune

BEAUTY

Suggested Products Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Natural Skin Care Oil $5-$6

Written by Morriah Lisowski Photography by Emma Noblesala

Moisture is key...

In the past, whenever washing my hair I noticed it always felt dry after— which was strange because I was using products that claimed to be giving it “extra volume and moisture.” It didn’t occur to me that Carol’s Daughter Products, Suave, Shea Moisture and anything that said volume and “frizz be gone” on the label could have Isopropyl Alcohol or Petrolatum that dries out and damages your hair. And once your hair is damaged, there’s no going back! Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Shampoo and Conditioner is the best way to go for hair products. What’s great is each bottle is only $2.99, doesn’t contain any damaging ingredients, and is cruelty free. It’s important to condition your hair at least three times a week, but please only shampoo once. Combing your hair while you’re in the shower also helps to better detangle your hair and keep your curls. On the day you shampoo try to do to a deep conditioning. I usually mix banana, oatmeal grain, almond milk, and almond oil in a bowl and spread it through my hair from the ends to the roots. Afterward, you can put on a plastic cap and let your hair sit for 15-20 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse the spread out of your hair in the shower.

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Once again, a lot of these expensive products are not worth the money. Instead apply coconut oil, argan oil, and almond oil before and after you wash your hair to avoid damage and add moisture. Tea tree oil can also be great if you have dandruff problems and can be used by massaging on the scalp before you shampoo your hair. It’s also great to mix with your lotion if you have razor bump problems, but the scent can be very strong so I recommend adding lavender oil if you’re sensitive to it.

Straightening... Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Argan Oil $20-$25

Desert Essence Eco-Harvest Tea Tree Oil $6-$7

Haircuts...

I know this one is always hard if you’re trying to grow out your hair but it’s important to know it’s better to grow healthy hair rather than damaged hair. I recommend getting a trim every 2 months, but it can vary depending on how fast your hair grows. Make sure your stylist has cut natural hair before and knows to cut in layers. On the bright side, if you trim your hair more frequently you only have to cut a quarter of an inch every visit rather than the dreaded 4 inches.

Say no to Expensive Hair Sprays and say yes to Oils...

Trader Joe's Organic Triple Filtered Coconut Oil $6

Please know that no matter what you put in your hair before or after, when you straighten your hair you are burning it and will eventually have to cut off the extra damage you’ve added to your hair. This isn’t to say you should never straighten your hair, I just recommend doing it once in a while. Make sure the heat never goes past 250 degrees which may sound strange since it could take longer to straighten your hair but natural hair is very fragile and unlike straight hair, it can damage very easily so please treat your hair kindly. Also, you save so much money by not getting your hair straightened at the beauty parlor and investing in a straightener and hair straightening products.

By no means do I have all the answers to maintaining natural hair and that’s why I highly recommend going on Youtube and finding hairstyling guru’s you relate to best. JeweJewe Bee and Melissa Denise are just two people who I first started following once I decided to stop straightening my hair over the summer. Although natural hair can be difficult to take care of, there’s something refreshing about being able to walk outside when it’s raining and not having to worry about your hair getting wet. And after a while you get used to the routine and your hair can grow faster and healthier than it did in the past.

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 17


Summer Lewis Summer Lewis is a senior applied psychology major, with minors in both politics and Native American studies here at Ithaca College. She’s the Events Committee Co-Chair of Active Minds, and a huge advocate for mental health. Through Active Minds, she promotes not only the mental health resources on campus, but ways to promote positive mental health in everyday life. Acts as simple as asking a friend how they’re really doing can have an immense impact of the mental health of the people around you. Like Lewis said, we may not all have mental illness, but we all have mental health. Sara Belcher, an editor for Distinct Magazine, sat down with Lewis to talk about her work with Active Minds, the Mental Health on Campus conference she attended, and how storytelling can help many struggling with mental illness.

So tell me about Active Minds. Active Minds is an advocacy group on IC’s campus. It’s just one chapter. I think there’s over 400 chapters across the United States, and they work towards destigmatizing mental illness on campus and also promoting resources on campuses for mental health. What events do you guys hold here on campus? In the fall semester we usually hold destress fest, which is when we basically have all of these self care kind of things and people can come and play with dogs and eat cookies or draw and watch princess movies and stuff like that. We also have a spring concert every year, and we invite people to do poetry, to dance, sing, and play instruments. Whatever talent they have they’re allowed to display it. It’s about talking about how mental health is important, and overcoming mental illness, and the importance of talking about it. Why do you think it’s important to talk about mental health? I think it’s important to talk about it because it’s so important to us as human beings. Just our well-being in general and the fact that it’s not talked about more is really interesting to me. It’s not even so much that we need to really get into the conversations about mental illness, even though we need to. It’s that we don’t acknowledge mental health in general. So it’s as simple as asking your friend how they’re doing — how they’re really doing. And it’s checking in with yourself and asking yourself how you’re doing. And I feel that not enough people do that, and it’s just a really bad atmosphere to be in. I feel like it really is kind of promoted on college campuses because we stress out over everything so much, and I think that if we were able to cope with the amount of work that we have better than we currently do, we would all be better off. How do you propose that we normalize the discussion about mental health? I think it has to start with just talking to your friends about it. Usually what I have done is I have talked about my experiences with my mental health problems, but I’ve also just checked in with

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my friends and seen how their mental health is doing. People like you asking how they’re doing. It’s almost a pay it forward kind of system, like, “Oh, somebody asked me how I’m doing. Maybe I should ask my other friends how they’re doing.” Also education. Some events that our chapter of Active Minds host each semester are discussions. Two of our e-board members will have a presentation about certain stigmas. We just recently had one called “Scare Away the Stigma,” and it was about horror movie tropes, and how those can be damaging to people who have mental illnesses. It’s kind of like educating yourself on the issue and applying the education that you’ve perceived. Is there anything besides just asking your friends if they’re fine that you do in your day to day life to help? I guess what I do is more than anything I ask friends to participate in self care with me. I’ll be like, “Hey, we’ve been at the library for a really long time. Do you want to take a break and go get some ice cream, or just talk about our day?” I feel like it’s important to get people involved in doing healthy, productive things that they don’t normally do, and I think self care is one of those things — just because self care is the first step in preventing mental health problems from arising. If we can prevent these issues from becoming issues in the first place, it’s already great. Is there anything in particular that makes you really passionate about this? I’ve had my own experiences with mental health problems and when they initially arose, I was in high school and I just didn’t understand what was going on. They ended up being resolved, but not necessarily in maybe the best way. They arose again when I got to college, because it’s a completely new atmosphere — like a new environment — and everything is stressful, and so that time it was more like, “Okay, I understand that things are going on with my mind, but like I don’t understand where to go. I don’t know who to reach out to.” Which is part of the reason why I love Active Minds so much, because they led me to where I needed to go in order to get help for my mental health problems. Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 19


LIFESTYLE Can you tell me about the conference you went to for Active Minds? It was the 13th Annual Mental Health on Campuses conference. Basically, people from all across the country fly or drive in. It’s a three-day event and we had workshops, we had speakers, we had lunches and dinners together. There’s always a theme with every year, and this year it was about how everybody has mental health — which is one of the core values of Active Minds — but also promoting how storytelling is probably the most proactive way to talk about mental health. Which is kind of something the Ithaca College chapter does. For the conference, I attended a workshop called “Our Stories, Our Strength,” and it was a five-hour long workshop. Maggie, who’s in charge of it, helped us write our own stories about our mental health experiences. So my game plan is to take the things that she taught us and to apply them to Ithaca College’s SYM panels. Because I think we have a thing or two we could learn from that, definitely. We also had a programming expo, where different chapters could show different programs that they’ve hosted and how other chapters can host them. I presented a programming that we did last semester in the spring called “We’re Here Too,” and it was an intersectionality panel. Basically we had like six people, including myself, tell their stories and talk about how their identities had a direct effect on their mental health. I also was on a panel at the conference called “Intersectionality 101,” and I talked a bit about the program I had. But I mainly talked about my identity, and how that affects my mental health, and how Ithaca College is trying to change the conversation to be more inclusive when we talk about mental health. Because it’s something that’s a part of everybody’s life. It doesn’t discriminate, [it] doesn’t have any boundaries, and just reiterating that to the campus as a whole is something we’re really working on now. Can you explain the SYM panels more to me? We have SYM panels, or Speak Your Mind panels, and professors invite students from the SYM panels to come in and talk about their stories. Then there’s a facilitated discussion between the students who have shared their mental health stories and 20

Cuffing Up

the students in the classroom. I think we usually do it in freshman seminars, but it’s just kind of planting the seed for future conversations. We always train our own moderators and train our own panelists, and we just have these conversations. How do you think storytelling helps mental health? I feel like storytelling puts a face to the problem. It normalizes it, it humanizes it. Your story might not resonate completely with everybody that you’re talking to, but there’s parts of your story that everyone can relate to. Like I was feeling the severe pressures from all of my classes, and we’ve all felt that before. Just being able to be relatable to people who live with mental illness and saying, “Oh I can see parts of myself in that person. Maybe I should take steps to better take care of myself.” What do you hope to do after graduation? The game plan is to move to D.C. I want to take a year or two off and get some work experience under my belt, and then I want to get my masters in public policy and work on writing mental health policy. Are there any internships you feel have been really beneficial and helping you get to where you want to get? Probably the biggest internship I had was with the Democratic National Committee in Washington D.C. last fall. I was an Operation Assistant and I helped with internal things that went on with the building like maintenance, but I also helped with some of the planning for the Democratic debates. I was also basically in charge of all of the other interns, because my boss was the internship coordinator. So a lot of leadership skills developed then. I networked with a lot of people, met a lot of really cool people. It also secured the idea that I wanted to go into politics or policy after college, because I’d been really unsure. But since then, I’ve been pretty set on policy.

Written by Kirsten Pressler

Cuffing season is here. It’s in the people you see at parties, classmates, and even in friend groups. For those who don’t understand, cuffing season is a time of year when a single individual seeks out a relationship; people begin to long for a significant other to cuddle on those cold-windy nights,. Cuffing season begins at at the holidays and ends by Valentine’s Day, where these short term couples break apart and continue their life as single individuals. It’s a modern phenomenon that many find comfort in during the long winter season, but for students like Victoria Jackson, she doesn’t see the point in cuffing season, “it’s a need that happens, it’s natural to want someone, but to set a season on it is problematic.” She’s not wrong, it’s completely normal to desire being in a relationship, so what’s with society labeling this “cuffing season?” and why do we feel the need to lock up with someone during the winter? Maybe it’s the stigma that relationships make you happy? Emmaline DiPace shares that being in a relationship during cuffing season could allow for a more room within the relationship, and the noncommitment could be attractive to some students. “I understand why people would want an open relationship,” she said, However beneficial this may be, Julia Zubrovich suggests that cuffing season should not just be about finding someone for the season. , “If the person actually finds someone who they care about during the season, I think that would be okay. If they get into a relationship just because it’s cuffing season, then I don’t think that’s okay,” Zubrovich said. She has a point. There has to be more to a relationship than the intent to be together for just the winter. During the colder months, finding happiness can be hard without someone who you can call a significant other. Although this isn’t always the case, there are other ways to make yourself happy during the winter season, especially for all the singles out there who don’t feel the need to be in a relationship right away. This season could open up a lot of eyes for single folks, so that they can learn more about what they likeand are looking for in a relationship. They can discover happiness, and learn to be more comfortable with their needs. Cuffing may be enchanting, but learning to love yourself is more beautiful, and the benefits are exclusive. So, if you decide to cuff or not this season, just remember that any decision you make is uniquely you and that happiness is the best truth.

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 21


LIFESTYLE

Which Motivational Book Should You Read?: College Edition

Written by Madison Barlow

Finding any kind of motivation can be a grueling task in itself; whether it’s gearing up to find that inspiration to write a 10 page essay or simply just building up the gusto to get out of bed in the morning for your 8 a.m. What makes finding that motivation even harder? Trying to get motivated in college. When you have homework, group projects, lack of sleep and everything in between weighing you down, it can be difficult to stay positive. The first step in getting motivated is discovering what kind of motivation you need. Some people crave an emotionally relatable and motivational voice to ignite a spark of creativity. On the other hand, sometimes people need a passionate voice encouraging you to put an end to your 12 hour Netflix binge. No matter what your motivation style is, there are tons of reads to get you into the productive spirit.

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” by Mindy Kaling If you respond best to humor, then Kaling’s motivational best seller could be the book to get you moving. In her 2011 best seller, the comedienne and actress discloses the story behind her success through her most popular talent: comedy. She discusses the obstacles she’s overcome and how they have bettered her both personally and professionally. It’s the perfect combination of laughs and “Aha” moments to get you into the motivational spirit; Kaling has also published

“I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai I’m sure by now you have some familiarity with the incredible story of Yousafzai. She has become a role model to young girls everywhere and spreads her wisdom and motivation worldwide. Her book provides the reader with themes of strength, courage and heart and is the perfect read if you’re in need of some emotional motivation.

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed Are you a run-of-the-mill travel and adventure junkie? Cheryl Strayed’s novel will give you plenty of uplifting motivation to go seeking your next big adventure. In her memoir, which is now also a motion picture, Strayed tells the story of the unexpected negative turns her life took and how she decided to overcome these difficulties with some good ‘ol fashion hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail, from California to Washington

The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield From the co-creator of the classic Chicken Soup for the Soul series, The Success Principles is an important read for any college student looking to further enhance their success in small yet significant ways. Canfield provides his reader with extensive exercises that can be used daily in order to improve your self-image and overall success.

“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin Unfortunately, a stressful part of college can be that of maintaining your mental health and happiness. Rubin’s 2011 book expresses her personal search for happiness, and how she learned to maintain that happiness as well. She discusses the challenges she faced when her life went downhill and how she rose above those obstacles.

“Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg In the COO of Facebook’s book, she discusses her struggle with breaking down gender barriers in the business industry and how she learned to overcome stereotypical expectations of women in her field of work. A perfect read for any woman looking to rise into the professional industry.

*All images are stock images 22

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 23


HEALTH & FITNESS

Workout Routines You Can do in Your Dorm! Written by Angenlia Domena

20 Minute Dorm Room Workout

Written by Kelly Csernica | Photography by Emma Noblesala It’s a cool, crisp Sunday afternoon, and you’re perusing the aisles of your local grocery store shopping for this week’s food. You’re shopping quickly and efficiently, trying to make it home in time for the kickoff of this week’s football game. Your grocery list is full of products to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible. You cleverly maneuver the aisles, selecting fresh produce, meat, and cereal. You proceed to the dairy case, ready to pick up a pack of shredded cheese, when your attention is caught by two different brands selling almost identical products. An internal debate forms on which product to buy. The only difference between the two packages in question is one was made organically, and the other was not. The organic cheese undeniably grabs your immediate attention. The modern packaging is laden with images of brightly colored pastures, fresh produce, and robust livestock, seamlessly finished with a prominent “USDA Organic” stamp. Just judging by the attractive label, this product seems healthier and better for the environment. As a receptive consumer, you are almost certain that the organic cheese is the healthier choice. Are you in fact choosing the more nutritious product, or are you falling into a marketing trap?

15 squats 5 push ups 25 high knees 7 burpees 10 lunges 7 squats 5 push ups 10 lunges 5 push ups 7 squats 15 squat jumps 1 minute wall sit 5 push ups 25 high knees Repeat 3x

Dirty Dozen

6 Minute Ab Workout

(each exercise is performed for exactly one minute each with no rest in between each one)

Sit ups Cherry pickers(toe touches) V-Ups Accordians Plank Back/Flutter Kicks

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To Buy or Not To Buy: Organic Products

1.) Strawberries 2.) Apples 3.) Nectarines 4.) Peaches 5.) Celery 6.) Grapes 7.) Cherries 8.) Spinach 9.) Tomatoes 10.) Bell Peppers 11.) Cherry Tomatoes 12.) Cucumber

Why Buy Organic? Defined by the National Organic Program as agriculture that is produced “using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic material,” organic products have been making a recent buzz in consumer markets. Sales for these products, portrayed as universally healthier, have increased around 12 percent annually in the last three years. Many times, organic products even occupy their own aisle at the grocery store. As established by the definition, the lack of synthetic chemicals used in the farming process is one of the strongest appeals for purchasing organic products. Non-organic, conventionally farmed crops can be exposed to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in order to increase their size and speed of growth. Multiple studies have shown these chemicals to be linked to reproductive complications and defects in children, including slow development, cognitive deficits, and asthma. One widely used chemical, chlorpyrifos, is an insecticide that has been banned from home use by the Environmental Protection Agency since 2000 for showing correlations to such defects. It is, however, still allowed and widely used on conventional farms. The risks associated with artificial chemicals such as chlorpyrifos can be erased by purchasing organic products. Unbeknownst to many, organic products are still given substances to help the growth process. An absence of chemicals is not identical to an absence of pesticides. Many organic Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 25


HEALTH & FITNESS farms use natural, non-synthetic pesticides such as rotenone and pyrethrin to help crops thrive. While these pesticides may be natural and non-artificial, there is still a risk of toxic qualities. Many of the pesticides used today have not yet been extensively studied, and may still produce undiscovered harm to both the environment and human body. The allure of organic products is even more powerful because of this other potential benefit: an increase in nutrients. Organic fruits and vegetables often supply more nutrients than ones that are conventionally grown. One of the most prominent differences in nutrients can be seen when comparing between organic and conventionally produced meat, milk, and eggs. In the organic version, all three of these products have an increase in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fat is a nutrient that helps protect against heart disease, the current leading cause of death. The protection against this disease adds to the positive reputation of organic products. Packaged products, however, may show different results. Many times, the supply of nutrients in the organic version actually falls below the levels of its conventionally produced twin. While macronutrient levels between the two goods presumably provide negligible differences, organic products can fall short in their supply of vitamins and minerals. The higher levels of nutrients in the conventional product are a result of food fortification — the process of adding the nutrients that have been stripped away during the manufacturing process back into the good. These nutrient enhancements can fall under the category of “artificial preservatives,” prohibiting their use in the production of organic goods.

Clean Fifteen

1.) Avocados 2.) Corn 3.) Pineapples 4.) Cabbage 5.) Sweet Peas 6.) Onions 7.) Asparagus 8.) Mangoes 9.) Papayas 10.) Kiwi 11.) Eggplant 12.) Honeydew 13.) Grapefruit 14.) Cantaloupe 15.) Cauliflower

ically provided in the produce aisle. Even if they were, you would be hard-pressed to find a nutritious difference between organic and non-organic fruit. Unlike prepackaged products, fresh crops aren’t processed and manufactured, meaning additional vitamins and minerals can’t be added in a fortification process. A decision between versions then has to be made by considering the price difference and the varying substances used for growth. The Environmental Working Group provides two lists used to prioritize which organic produce to buy. The first list, deemed the “Dirty Dozen,” gives the 12 items that tested “positive for a number of different pesticide residues and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce.” In general, these are the products you should always buy organic. In contrast, the second list gives 15 items that are “least likely to hold pesticide residues.” This list is known as the “Clean Fifteen.” These are the products where the conventional version is perfectly acceptable — any benefits from the organic version aren’t sizable enough to outweigh the price difference. Thanks to these lists, choosing which organic fruits and vegetables are worth the investment becomes simple. You’re now back in the dairy aisle, pondering the initial two packages of cheese — one organic, and one not. With the ultimate goal of selecting the healthiest, most nutritious product, you assess the side panels of nutrition facts. You compare the values, and are aware of potential risks resulting from pesticides and chemicals in either version. After considering the $2 price increase for the organic product, you make your decision and proceed to the checkout with confidence.

So Which is It? Organic or Not Organic? To the typical consumer, the perceived omission of unsafe toxins and the potential increase in nutrients is enough to be convinced of the purchase of the organic product, even if it means paying a higher price. In a study comparing 100 commonly bought items, the organic version cost an average of 47 percent more than the conventionally produced version. By buying solely organic, a weekly grocery bill could rise from $80 to $120. Are you paying for a more nutrient-dense product with fewer toxins, or for stylish packaging and a vitamin deficiency? How do you determine which products are worth the higher price? The short answer is that it depends on the product. For packaged products, it’s best to evaluate the panel of nutrition facts on the side. Looking at this, you not only see macronutrients, but vitamins and minerals as well. By comparing an organic product with its non-organic counterpart, you can determine which product is actually more nutritious. And while it is true that you could still buy the organic version and correct for the lack of vitamins by taking a supplement, this is not the most effective option. Supplements don’t duplicate the extra beneficial nutrients — such as flavanoids, cartenoids, and antioxidants — that food provides, and generate a significant additional cost. Making the choice with fresh produce can, however, be a bit more difficult. Nutrition labels are not typ26

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 27


CULTURE

Time to Talk: Mental Health

Written by: Annika Kushner

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Mental health. How did that make you feel? Uncomfortable? Scary? Weird? You’re not alone. Talking about mental health is still really hard for a lot of people. There has been progress in normalizing talk about mental health, especially with the institution of counseling centers at colleges and incrementally better health care, but there is still a lot to be done. First, there should be changes in the way we educate people about mental health. It’ is something that many people don’t have the opportunity to really talk about until they get to college. The topic is often just left out of people’s education — left out of the awkward middle school health classes, left out of the yearly doctor’s visits, and left out by even the most communicative of parents. But it is vital that we improve education about this. If you are educated about mental health and you start experiencing problems, or even just a lack of mental health, you’ll then know what to do. It is a little bit scary, but with the right education, you’ll know that you can reach out to a friend, or talk to a doctor or a counselor, instead of being left on your own. You calmly figure out how to help yourself get better. If you are uneducated about mental health, experiencing problems can be terrifying. You can tell that there is something wrong, but you don’t know what it is, and you don’t know how to handle it. You ask yourself questions like, “Why am I sad all the time? Why am I not working harder? Why is everything so hard? Why don’t I want to get up in the morning?” The words “mental illness,” “depression,” and “anxiety” seemare scary and foreign and you don’t want to identify with any of them. Because this is something that you can work through on your own, right? You’re just in a bit of a slump, and then it’ll get better. No. Your mental health is suffering and it demands your attention. Give it what it needs, and get help if you need it. Mental and emotional health is just as important and just as normal as your physical health — and it should be treated that way. If you break your leg, you go to the doctor. If you’re having trouble with a math problem, you go to your teacher for extra help. The doctor gets you a cast and some painkillers to help you feel better, and the math teacher explains how to

solve the problem. If you’re having a rough time with your mental health, you go to a counselor. And the counselor helps you work your way through itto figure it out. It is not something you should be ashamed of. Getting help does not mean that you are weak, and it does not mean that there is something wrong and unfixable in you. It just means that you’re human, and you need a little help. So talk to your friends about your mental health, and talk to them about theirs. Maybe you don’t want to actually use the words “mental health,” and that’s alright. As Distint’s cover girl Summer Lewis said (page whatever), just ask them how they’re doing — how they’re really doing — and let them know that you are there for them if they ever need support or someone to talk to. They will appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. If they really are having a rough time, you words could mean a world of difference. Don’t forget toAnd talk about your own experiences. If you’re feeling down, talk about it. Talk about how you’ve noticed that your anxiety has been worse lately, and talk about how you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’ve been to CAPS or some other therapy and you had a good experience, talk about it. Just talk. The bottom line is that political groups can hold rallies about mental health, colleges can offer mental health services, and teachers can begin educating people about mental health — all wonderful things that need to be done — but the difference is going to be you. The only way we can normalize talk about mental health, and by extension one’s mental health itself, is by starting these conversations ourselves. So dDo that. Make mental health a conversation topic. Be the friend who reaches out. Be someone who is aware of their own mental health. Go to a doctor when your mind is feeling a little out-of-whack. Mental health is not scary. It is good and it is important. You are good and you are important. Now go get ‘em.

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 29


CULTURE

Spoken Word: Elizabeth Acevedo Written by Alexa Luciano

From her wild curls to her spicy latinx-infused poetry, writer Elizabeth Acevedo is making her voice heard in all the right ways. Elizabeth, or “Liz,” is a Dominican-American born and raised in New York City, and her poems speak out on the struggles of not only Latinx people, but also the stigma behind Afro-Latinx people around the world. Liz, who holds a BA in Performing Arts from George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, didn’t find the road to success to be an easy one. During an evening of spoken word at IC Square here at Ithaca College, Liz spoke to a diverse group of Ithaca College students about the pressure to write about what her professor described as beautiful things. She recalled a specific writing exercise in which her professor instructed the class to write about a beautiful animal. He suggested several animals

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that embodied the traditional idea of beauty. But Liz took on a different approach: she decided to write about a rat. Not any ordinary rat, but a New York City rat. The heart-striking poem makes it easy to empathize with the many stereotypes not only faced by Latinx people, but African-American people, and people of other minorities — people who do not fit the ideal mold of beauty. She writes, “You live uncuddled, uncoddled, can’t be bought at Petco and fed to fat snakes because you are not the maze rat of labs: pale, pretty eyed, trained. You raise yourself, sharp fang, clawed, scarred, patched, dark. Because of this, they should love you.” Liz now performs the fully developed piece — titled “Rat Ode” — during her many tours. Throughout her studies, Liz strived to incorporate her Dominican roots as well as the pressures she faced growing up in NYC. Many of her pieces speak on very serious topics related to the adjustments she had to make as child of immigrants. One of her most striking poems is titled “Hair”. In this piece of spoken word, Liz speaks of the pressure many Dominican women have regarding straightening their hair, or to use her word, “whitening.” She speaks passionately about Dominicans’ desire to stray from their African roots: It is something that they often wish to hide and sometimes even feel ashamed of. But Liz chooses to embrace it — she sees no wrong in her history or her curls. She says there is no wrong in loving another with darker skin, disregarding her mother’s fear that Liz’s child would have hair that was somehow too “black.” She writes, “They say Dominicans can do

the best hair. I mean wash, set, flatten the spring in any loc — but what they mean is we’re the best at swallowing amnesia, in a cup of ‘morir sonando’ — dreaming, because we rather do that than live in this reality, caught between orange juice and milk, between reflections of the sun and whiteness. What they mean is, ‘Why would you date a black man?’ What they mean is, ‘A preto cocolo.’ What they mean is, “Why would two oppressed people come together? It’s two times the trouble?’ What they mean is, ‘Have you thought of your daughter’s hair?’” She understands the opinions that her mother once had and that many other Dominicans still have, and she is choosing to push past them in order to show that there is nothing wrong in simply loving. There is no need to look at skin, or hair, or history; we are all simply people that should embrace our roots. Liz is an inspiration to many other latinx women, men and other minorities. She is choosing to embrace and not to ignore. She is shining a light where we have been sitting in darkness for far too long. It is time for us to learn about each other and embrace our past. And here at Ithaca College, it also very important to show our latinx students that we matter. That we can be a part of something great. Elizabeth Acevedo continues to grace many stages with her words — both nationally and internationally. Currently, she is the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington D.C. Here’s to Liz, and many other minorities that continue to open our eyes, hearts and minds.

Distinct || NOVEMBER 2016 31


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November 2016 | IC Distinct Magazine  

November 2016 Vol. 1 No. 2

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