Editor in Chief Meredith Nash Sara Belcher
Dear Reader, Welcome to the “home” issue of Distinct Magazine, where we squeeze every last meaning out of this word. This is our first official fall issue now that we have decided to produce seasonal publications. Whether your interpretation of home includes your family, your friends, your own body, or something that stirs hard emotions — we’ve touched upon almost all of it. With the fall semester in full swing, many of you are probably thinking about home. Thanksgiving is approaching and the holidays get us thinking about how much we miss our parents and pets. For many first-year students, this may be your first time back. Embrace it. For those who are going home to an unhealthy situation, stay strong. Not all houses have to be homes. As this is my first issue as co-editor in chief, I’d like to declare my biggest thank you. Sara Belcher, you have guided me, trained me, and trusted me with easily one of your biggest accomplishments. You have given me confidence as an editor, public speaker, and leader. No one has ever taken a chance on me like you have, and I am honored to be your partner in making this magazine come to fruition, even when the majority of it happens over FaceTime while you’re in NYC. Thanks for not letting me fall (no pun intended). As a team, we’d also like to thank Ithaca College’s Student Governance Council for funding and Upstate Printing Inc. for keeping our magazine in print. I’m thrilled that you’ve picked up this issue of Distinct. We appreciate you, the reader, most of all. Sincerely,
Fashion Editor Kiersten McAdoo Beauty Editor Meg Tippett Lifestyle Editor Rhiannon Coleman Health & Fitness Editor Carly Swanson Culture Editor Arleigh Rodgers Photography Editor/Visual Director Devin Kasparian Art Director Elise Littlefield Lookbook Coordinator Isabella Colello Design Sydney Matzko Sara Belcher Fundraising Coordinator Alayna Vander Veer Social Media Director & Team Raquel Borges Emma McLiverty Emily Sussette Faculty Advisor Katie Marks
Head of Copy Danielle Gazda Annika Kushner
IC Distinct Magazine Co-Editor in Chief Editor’s Note: The original Fall 2018 issue was published with a variety of errors and miscredits. We wanted to formally apologize to everyone who contributed to that original issue for not doing your work justice. This issue has been edited to correct those mistakes and ensure all writers, photographers, and designers were attributed correctly this time. Again, we apologize for the massive oversight on our part. — Sara Belcher, IC Distinct Magazine co-founder and co-editor in chief
Copy Editors Matt Attanasio Nicole Brokaw Sydney Joyce Alexandria Logedo Emma Printz Deanna Wetmore Cover Photo Devin Kasparian
CONTENTS Lookbook & Fashion Lookbook Ugly Fashion Rolling with the Home-ies Art and Home: Q&A with Olivia Carpenter Cover Story: Luke Bonadonna
Luke Bonadonna Culture
Living Room Dance Party Home is Where the Business Is The Cats Behind the Windows America: The Land of the Caged and Home of the Traumatized
Making a Living Space a Home An Ode to Hometowns Homebodies Home-osexuality: A Queer Eye Revolution Home Away From Home
Heath & Fitness
Alternative Living Destroying our Home Cooking at College Owning your Body: Embracing your Sexuality A Limiting Home
Comfort with a Side of Change Home in Our Own Bodies The House Merlot A Straight Man Paid a Stylist $50
Visuals by: Isabella Collelo Styled by: Isabella Collelo
UGLY FASHIO Photography by: Danielle Cipriano and Brielle Cruz
“Fashion goes beyond the typical; It’s more than the clothes you put on your body. This spread showcases patterns, textures, and colors that when combined push the viewer to reconsider what ugly means. Embrace the power that comes with rejecting the standard” -Danielle Cipriano & Brielle Cruz
ROLLING WITH THE Written by: Kiersten McAdoo Graphics by: Kiersten McAdoo Before social media, influencers, and a fear of low-rise jeans, there was “Clueless.” A living lookbook propelled by the plot of “Emma” by Jane Austen, “Clueless” followed Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz and an ensemble of some of the best-dressed high schoolers to ever hit the big screen (plus Paul Rudd). Over 107 minutes and 28 costume changes, Cher solidifies her status as a fashion icon of the decade, with her friends not far behind. It’s now 2018, and this movie is pushing a quarter century old. So why can’t we let these styles go? First off, these clothes are just plain gorgeous, and a lot of trends from the movie are alive and well today. Berets came back in a big way, as did matching sets (or co-ords, if you’re feeling trendy). If you follow influencers on Instagram like Jazzmyne Jay or Jess C Hamilton, you’ve definitely seen these two. While you’re checking Instagram, look out for kneehigh socks with mini skirts, and lots and lots of plaid. And even if the sheer shirt was the second choice for Cher’s most capable outfit, it’s the first choice for many fast fashion retailers. In nearly every “Cher” outfit, there’s a piece or style you could find in stores today. Also, today’s honorable mention goes to Murray and his bucket hats. You don’t have to like a trend to acknowledge its power. In addition to all that, there is a style for everyone to obsess over in “Clueless.” In Cher’s wardrobe alone, there’s preppy, trendy, feminine, vintage, and even a hint of athleisure. Expand the scope to include the whole cast and there’s grunge from early Tai and Travis, street style from Murray, some light film boy aesthetic from Elton, and more avante garde fashion and hair from Amber. And don’t worry, I have not forgotten Christian. Media typically doesn’t showcase fashion-forward men the way they do women. But “Clueless” is so fashion-conscious that it had to veto that standard. Christian is easily the best-dressed male in the ensemble, and he gives the women a run for their money. From his first moments on screen, he’s celebrated for dressing well (and also being a total Baldwin). He’s a true style icon for ’90s boys and beyond. If you look at the bigger picture surrounding “Clueless,” millennials suffer from nostalgia like no other generation. Thanks to a rapidly evolving technological realm and a rapidly changing political presence, most millenials can barely recognize the world in which they grew up in. So they cling to childhood memories, forcing them to stay relevant so something looks familiar to them, even if that’s little things like cartoons, fashion, or games. It’s why we refuse to let the High School Musical franchise die and continue listening to ’90s boy bands with varying degrees of irony. Will “Clueless” fashion ever die? Ugh, as if! (I’m sorry, but I had to).
ART AND HOM Q&A with Olivia Carpenter Written by: Carly Swanson Photography by: Brianna Mottey
Moving to a new place for college is a difficult transition no matter the circumstances. Getting used to being comfortable in a new home is especially hard for artists who must say goodbye to their old workspaces and places that inspire them. Ithaca College freshman Olivia Carpenter has been navigating her new life at Ithaca while juggling creative endeavors of making her own clothing. I sat down with her to talk about the challenges of adapting to a college environment and how to find inspiration in new places while making a tiny dorm room feel like home. Carly Swanson: When did you start getting into creating your own clothing? Olivia Carpenter: As a little kid I would always be sewing stuff with my grandma. I would sew things like little outfits for my stuffed animals and then I started making pieces for myself. I’ve always been pretty good at art, painting, and drawing, and stuff like that. I started to experiment and paint random stuff on my clothing.
CS: What was the fashion scene like at home? OC: When I was at home, my style was so boring. Maybe it was the environment I was in. Maybe being in a household where nobody was ever home. Columbus, Ohio, seemed so bleak to me. If you go into downtown Columbus, people were super expressive. But the spot where I lived, people were not open to anything. All I would really do for a while was cut the sleeves off of a shirt, crop it, or write something on it in sharpie. It was never really artistic or expressed who I was to an extreme. It was like I took on a whole new medium — paint. Now I just go for it. CS: Where did you find inspiration in such a restrictive town? OC: Starting this past summer, I would go to local shops to get ideas. There was this one shop in Columbus called Royal Factory Atelier. They would cut sleeves off of things and cut holes that looked like bullet holes in shirts. That was the first time I had seen anything like that. Before that I had made really basic things; it was boring. But then I saw the Royal Factory stuff — that’s when my style really started to change. CS: How has your artistic process changed since coming to Ithaca College? OC: When I came to Ithaca, I had so many new ideas, a new spectrum to me. I feel a little less constrained now that I’m not in a household with parents. I make around two or three items a week. I’ll lay a towel out in my dorm and put my clothes on my floor and just paint. I went to Trader K’s in the [Ithaca] Commons and found a bunch of plain clothing and have been experimenting with those. CS: How has the adjustment to living in a dorm been working out? OC: For making art, you need room to think. In a dorm that is so small, there isn’t always space to think, so I’ll do my thinking outside of my dorm walking around or in the library. For some reason, I’m always coming up with good ideas in my philosophy class, too. Probably shouldn’t be, but it happens. I also arranged my tiny room in a way to give me the most space possible. I have a beach towel I do all of my painting on. CS: Has making and wearing your own clothing helped out with the transition of living in a new space with so many new people around?
OC: I like to say home is where the heart is. With taking my art from home, it feels pretty much the same to me. I like to travel, so wherever I go I like to consider that home. Especially on my trip where I was gone for a month and went to Florida, Georgia, Virginia Beach, Philly, New York City, and, my last stop, Ithaca for orientation. I got a lot of inspiration from those places for the new clothing that I am designing.
outside of your dorm. When you get back to your room, collect all of your thoughts and moments through the day and focus them in on the one piece. You donâ€™t have to stay in your room to make art; you can take it anywhere. You can make art anywhere.
CS: Any advice to students living in dorms who want to pursue artistic endeavors but feel constricted by their small space? OC: If you are constricted, like I was at home, going outside of that and looking at your surroundings can really help. Iâ€™ll go on runs to Cornell, which gives me a lot of time to think. I went to a mediation class, too. There are so many options
LIVING ROOM There is nothing more that I love than being in my pajamas, unapologetically singing my heart out with my roommate in the living room. Here is a playlist of carefree bops you can let loose to!
Written By: Elise Littlefield
“Sweetener” by Ariana Grande “Avant-Garde” by Douania “Vroom Vroom” by Charli XCX “Tyrant” by Kali Uchis “I Do feat. SZA” by Cardi B “SICKO MODE ft. Drake”by Travis Scott “Barbie Dreams” by Nicki Minaj “Boredom” by Tyler, the Creator “Self Control” Frank Ocean “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe
“All About Me” by Syd “C U Girl” by Steve Lacy “Get With U” by Clairo “my boy” by Billie Eilish “CR-V” by CUCO “Sticky” by Ravyn Lenae “Take Me As I Am” by Rina Sawayama “Something For Your M.I.N.D.” by Superorganism “Sunflower” by Rex Orange County “Cooking Up Something Good” by Marc DeMarco
IN ITHACA HO WHERE THE BUSINESS IS
Written by: Deanna Wetmore Photography by: Madison DeCory
Visitors of Ithaca flock to the Commons, the center of the city with shops and restaurants all clustered together. But if you walk down the streets surrounding the Commons, you will notice there aren’t rows and rows of shops. Instead, you will find a quaint neighborhood featuring colorful houses, stone churches, and parks for dog walkers to stroll through. It’s in this surrounding neighborhood that people can find houses that are converted into businesses. The Mary Durham Boutique is a clothing store in a house on West Court Street. The home used to belong to a woman named Mary Durham, an activist who counseled young people and taught English as a second language. After Durham passed in 2002, she left her home to her children, who then donated the house to the Women’s Opportunity Center. The Women’s Opportunity Center offers employment and training services for anyone who has limited work experience and needs to gain skills. Training services include essential computer skills and career development, emphasizing employee retention. Today, WOC has 13 centers across New York and has helped over 15,000 families have a secure income. As a part of the WOC, the Mary Durham Boutique takes donated clothes and resells them as a source of funding for workshops and training services. The boutique itself serves as a hands-on retail training program for volunteers or clients of the WOC. Both the boutique’s assistant manager, Lynda Hoover, and sales associate, Ronnise Way, were part of the WOC training workshops before being hired at the boutique. Hoover joined the WOC because she wanted to learn more about computer technology workshops. She wanted to get back into the professional world after many years of being out of a job. “I was at home helping take care of my husband, who was disabled,” Hoover said. 40
Way first went to an employment counselor at the WOC because she was homeless and needed support to get a job. “I heard about the Opportunity Center and went in by myself,” said Way. “I told the employment counselor about what I wanted, what my goal was, and they helped me with my resume.” Now the two women work side-by-side with volunteers and help other clients from the WOC who need hands-on training. The boutique hasn’t changed much since being Mary Durham’s home. There are still individual rooms on the main floor and the second level, where there is also a kitchen area for employees. The upstairs rooms still have floral wallpaper and doors with old hinges. The obvious difference is that the rooms are emptied of furniture to make space for the clothing racks. Because of the unique set-up and size of the boutique, customers feel at ease while shopping.
“IT’S MORE LIKE A THERAPEUTIC EXPERIENCE” WAY SAID. “WHEN YOU WALK IN, YOU FORGET IF YOU WERE HAVING A BAD DAY.” “It’s more like a therapeutic experience,” Way said. “When you walk in, you forget if you were having a bad day.” Hoover says talking with customers is more about casual conversations than persuading people to buy something.
OME IS S Hoover suggests that because the boutique still looks like a home, people feel more relaxed and comfortable. “I have enjoyed being in this house,” Hoover said, “I love that the atmosphere of working here feels homey.” Businesses can still have this homey feeling even when not based in a physical house. Mastercraft is a perfect example of an establishment that has the connection to a home. This custom framing store is on West State Street, and it was founded and is still owned by Ithaca native Michael W. Thuesen. Thuesen’s first career was as a full-time musician and songwriter, which he continued as a hobby. After 17 years of performing, Thuesen decided he wanted to pursue framing and was trained by a framer in Ithaca. Thuesen opened up Mastercraft in 1987, which is now the oldest single-owner frame shop in Tompkins County. “I had a friend who was a realtor and knew I was looking for an old-world looking shop, and after looking at it, we decided to take this one,” Thuesen said. “This was back before all the urban renewal was done down here, so it was still the wild and wooly west back then, but it was a little bit wilder and a little more wooly and needed a lot of repairs. But we made it work, and here we are 31 years later.” Thuesen not only does custom frames for people’s artwork but also specializes in framing museum-quality artwork. He has framed artwork for the Presidents of Guatemala, Brazil, and Taiwan, and, of course, paintings for Ithaca College and Cornell University. Most of Thuesen’s
customers are repeat customers, who require a custom frame for just about anything — paintings, photographs, children’s artwork, T-shirts, or pages from books. “We’ve framed swords, handguns, broken tiles,” Thuesen said. “In fact, we framed a chunk of terrazzo floor that someone stole out of an ancient Greek building. I mean, allegedly stole. We framed it, but we think they allegedly took it from someplace they shouldn’t have.” Often customers will bring in a piece of wallpaper or a paint swatch from the room they want to put the framed piece in. Thuesen keeps these samples on file for every returning customer he has made a frame for. Because of his history with and connection to Tompkins County, Thuesen knows people that have lived here for years. It is the personal relationship Thuesen builds that creates an atmosphere of home. “Half the time you come in here, there is a band back here or five or six people having coffee. … We are a community meeting point and part of the neighborhood,” Thuesen said. “To anyone that wants to start a business in Ithaca — the way to have longevity is to be a part of your neighborhood.” Whether businesses are in an actual house or create a home within the community, businesses that are connected to their customers and neighbors have much more impact than traditional retail businesses. The connection between owner and customer is a lot more than just transactions. It is about a sense of belonging.
THE CATS BEHIND THE WINDOWS Written by: Nicole Brokaw Photography by: Sam Rickett, Melanie Spiel
The Alley Cat Cafe, situated a few minutes from the Ithaca Commons, is a small and vibrant spot with yellow painted walls and mismatched furniture scattered around the space. The menu board is crammed with beverages, pastries, and a few more substantial food options available to order, all written in pretty chalk lettering. On nice days, the glass door is propped open, like a standing invitation into someone’s home. The space inside is just as open and welcoming. Chairs and tables cluster around the counter laden with coffee machines and cookies. The room radiates a soft yellow warmth. The back wall is made up of windows into one of the cat rooms, where guests can see kittens and visitors playing together while they eat and drink. When I walked in for the first time, I was nervous. I hadn’t seen a cat in person since I had to put my own cat to sleep. The loss was fresh in my mind. I’d had almost a whole month to grieve, but I would still wake up to dreams of my cat, Muffy, peeing on the carpets at home or brushing up against my knuckles. I brought my girlfriend, my roommate, and a cat-loving friend to the cafe, and we walked into the cat house for the first time together. “Are we doing cats or food first?” my cat-loving friend, Aine, asked. “Food,” I said, wanting a few more minutes. I was excited, dying to see the adorable kittens and cats, but I 42
wasn’t sure how to operate as a girl who no longer has a cat. When people share their funny pet stories, I cannot say, “Oh yeah, my cat does that too!” My cat is dead now. And the feeling of having lost her is as unfamiliar as the new cafe. The two employees running the counter were bright and funny, and their light banter flowed as easily as the coffee. We paid for our food and got our first stamps on our new NineLives drink cards. The four of us sat at a round hardwood table at the front of the cafe, next to two soft green chairs in the window. The open door carried in fresh air and the sounds of birds, perfect for the beginning of a weekend. We chatted about Dungeons & Dragons until our pumpkin cookies and hot chocolates were gone. “How do we cat?” my girlfriend, Vivian, asked. “Easy,” one of the employees said with a wry smile, swiping a cup from the counter, “Start by knocking stuff over. That’s one of the basics.” We laughed and paid the $5 admission for a half hour with the cats. The employees asked us to read the house rules posted at the door before playing with the cats, and wished us well on our cat-scapades. We signed in, sanitized our hands, and entered the first of the two small cat rooms. The first had six cats: four small kittens and two larger cats. The largest cat, Marigold, is the cafe’s house cat. According on the manager, who introduced us to each cat, Marigold won’t be leaving because she has a heart murmur that will eventually require surgery.
Suddenly surrounded by four furry jelly beans and two snoozing loafs, I was immediately overwhelmed with the desire to earn the trust of every cat. I swished a cat toy around, remembering exactly how Muffy liked to be baited. Two different kittens charged from opposite directions. The four of us cooed and awed over the tiny beasties, which didn’t seem to care much about us at all (other than what we could offer to them as toycontrollers). Watching the kittens reminded me of when I got Muffy nearly 10 years ago and the bright exuberance that she had. She would barrel around the first floor of our home, sounding like a fleet of elephants, despite her small size. When I used a laser-pointer, she would flip and spin and run into walls because of her narrowed focus. Eventually, we moved to the second cat room, sanitizing our hands again. This room had three cats: two smaller cream-colored brothers and a big gray cat, Riesling, who was being adopted soon. I coaxed the gray cat down from his window perch, and he immediately settled onto my lap. My jaw dropped, and I felt blessed to have been chosen by this nice young tomcat. I was so excited to be around cats again, to pet the fluffy creatures, and to hear them purr. As Aine flipped a string toy, I watched the brothers flip and run with uncontained energy. I remained as still as possible until Riesling decided to move along. We fantasized about being able to take the cats home with us, to cuddle and play with them in our dorms or back home. One of the cream-colored brothers, Periwinkle, scratched at the door, meowing at the glass. As much as we wanted to take him with us and hide him at Aine’s house, we couldn’t realistically adopt him. Being in the cat cafe was such a soul-rejuvenating experience that we all decided to make it a regular occurance. It’s right downtown, anyway. It wasn’t until the next day I truly felt emotional about going to the cafe. I was overwhelmed with school and work and clubs and socializing and not sleeping and my dead cat. I broke down crying the next afternoon, my head swimming with stress and just wanting to pet a damn cat. Once I started crying, my mind flooded with everything I could stress over and worry about and grieve for, and I was reduced to a puddle. I kept thinking about the cats without homes. And my home without a cat. The cats in the Alley Cat Cafe can be adopted any time; that’s at the core of the business, after all. Part of it seemed romantic and lonely. The kittens would fit perfectly into a rom-com, where the lovers unite over adopting a cat — a small, skinny one, who is just waiting to be brought into their home. But these cats are stuck in a weird place.They are loved and cuddled and fed, and they can sleep whenever they want, just like any house cat. Strangers come to play with
them, but all the faces are different from day to day. They are waiting for their real forever homes. Only for Marigold is the cafe a permanent home. Everyone else is trapped, clawing from behind the door, wanting to explore the other side. I’m stuck in the same kind of in-between place. I’m going through college, socializing, learning, and growing older. I’m waiting to be taken into the “adult world.” I go back and forth between New York and Maryland. I’m not sure where home really is. My cat used to be my marker of home and now she’s gone. When I found out my cat was dying, I desperately tried to think of a way to keep her with me at college. I knew the college’s policy wouldn’t allow me to have a cat just because she was dying — pets are only allowed when medically necessary — but I needed her, and she needed me. In the end, we put her down a week before I started school again. She stopped suffering, and I got seven days to collect myself before life got all the more hectic. But I lost my best friend, and seven days was never enough to grieve. I know I’m not ready to have a new cat, not quite yet. My loss is too fresh and painful. I’m in the middle of the school year now and not ready for another new beginning. I need to mend the broken parts in myself, the metaphorical scratched furniture and tattered curtains my cat left behind, before I can invite another in. For now, I will go to the Alley Cat Cafe every Friday after classes with my friends.
AMERICA: The Land of the Caged and Home of the Traumatized Written by: Jacey Hammond
With all that is happening in the United States under the Trump Administration — sexual assault charges against the president, claims of Russian hacking during the 2016 election, and the nomination of an alleged rapist for the Supreme Court — one could argue that we are not the country we used to be. However, the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration has been one of the most controversial pursuits. The policy calls for the prosecution of all people who enter the United States illegally. As most illegal immigration happens on the border of the United States and Mexico, the policy is clearly targeted toward Mexicans. Children are ripped from their mothers’ arms and whisked away to unknown locations with no specified timeline for reunification. While parents or guardians are being prosecuted, the children are sent to a shelter by the U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services, if not to a relative or foster home. According to The Washington Post, “Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from parents during six weeks in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.” The policy came into effect in April 2018 and has since been suspended under an executive order due to backlash. Many U.S. citizens were furious with the mistreatment of innocent children. The public took to social media in outrage and to the streets to protest. They held signs that read, “Cruelty = Kids in cages,” and “Deport Racism.” Those who were angry with the president and his new policy knew that separating families could have effects that lasted longer than the summer. It’s hard to grasp the true meaning of home when one country isn’t satisfying your needs and the other is pushing you away. How can Mexican immigrants find home and
comfort if where they desire to live treats them so poorly? How can they find a home if this country goes as far as separating them from their own flesh and blood? In 2015, during his presidential candidacy announcement, President Donald Trump said this of Mexicans: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” This stereotype is uncalled for, considering that 57 percent of perpetrators of sexual assault are white. Another horrible stereotype he spoke to at another point in his campaign was that Mexicans come to this country to steal jobs from deserving Americans. Almost two-thirds of Mexican immigrants have not finished high school. They do not have the same resources American citizens do and, therefore, are willing to take lower-paying jobs. When they immigrate, they do not immediately immerse themselves into the higher ranks of our workforce because they do not have the education to do so. Mexican immigrants truly do not negatively affect us as American citizens; yet, we are still unwelcoming. Undocumented Mexican immigrants face lasting emotional consequences other than racism and hatred from our president. When the children were returned to their parents, if they were even returned at all, some of them forgot who their parents were. In a video from the American Civil Liberties Union, a family is seen reunited at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. As the father holds onto their infant child, the mother tries to be affectionate toward their three-year-old son. The boy, Sammy, squirms and crawls away from her and even tries to hide from her. The mother, in Spanish, exclaims that her son will be traumatized forever. A New York Times article also highlights many specific examples in which parents testified that their children didn’t recognize them, were acting out of character, and were confused about who their real siblings were. Not many are paying attention to this issue anymore. The story rarely circulates in the news and most of the country has moved on. However, the children will never forget their experience in cages in various U.S. cities. The Trump administration did a lot more than prohibit immigrants from coming to our country. It prevented them from having the balance and comfort of family. If Mexico is not home and America cannot provide a home, then where can these people find rest and comfort? The term “home” is often associated with the term “family.” When these children’s ideas of family become skewed due to trauma, their hope for a home becomes scarce, as well.
MAKING A LIVING SPACE A HOME
Written by: Justine Brady Photography by: Madison DeCory
An empty living space is similar to a blank canvas. It’s an opportunity to create a space that reflects who you are, a space to relax and clear your mind. However, renovating and decorating can be very intimidating. Many people have trouble figuring out where to start when it comes to turning an empty space into a home. In order to make it easier, here are a few steps that break down the process. Before your room transformation can begin, you need to figure out your style. A helpful tool for formulating the style of your room is a mood board. Search through photographs of other people’s homes to find inspiration for your own: In this case, Pinterest will become your best friend. From there, you can figure out what color palette to incorporate into your space. For instance, if your style is bohemian, you can use rustic reds and oranges, as well as pops of turquoise. However, if you want to use your space to unwind and relax, maybe go with a neutral white wall and use your color palette as accents throughout the space. Next, it is important to decide which pieces will serve a function in your room. For example, a bedroom will need a bed, storage, and possibly a desk. Once you have photographs of the main furniture and focal points picked out, you can
begin adding some photographs of smaller pieces that will tie the space together. After completing your mood board, use it as a blueprint for renovating your space and shopping for furniture and decorations. Painting your space and placing the main functioning pieces in your desired areas creates the foundation for what will soon become your home. However, ending the process at this point will leave your space feeling empty and cold. To make your space feel more personal, you’ll need to add some warmth, texture, and momentos. Depending on the style of your room, the decorations you use to cozy up your home will vary. However, generally speaking, you can use common, simple pieces to make a space your own. It’s helpful to start off with the basics: wallpaper, a rug, seating, curtains, and storage, in order to add structure and create balance throughout your space. Adding different textures and tones by incorporating wood, wicker, and various fabrics can liven up a space. You can use wood tables, dressers, armoires, shelving, or trays to add warmth while simultaneously creating surfaces for other decorations. Wicker baskets are great for contrasting the soft textures of throw blankets and pillows. Also, soft,
colorful seating, such as sofas, chairs, and ottomans, create a place to relax while simultaneously displaying color accents. Adding metal accents such as mirrors and lighting can open up a space and add texture, as well. After filling your space with functioning, larger pieces and focal points, you can begin to add final touches that will express your personality and make your home reflect who you are as an individual. Sometimes the smallest decorations in a room can hold the most meaning and catch the most attention. Adding small decorations such as candles, string lights, plants, books, and clocks will add warmth and life to your space. Different textures in antique pieces and recycled objects could add even more character. In addition, adding pictures and art will enhance the feeling of home in your space. Home does not always mean a space you live in. Home can be the people or activities you love most that ground you and help define who you are. Adding photographs of your loved ones will add life and love to your home. Use posters, photographs of your loved ones, tapestries, or flags to create wall art by arranging them in a pattern that is aesthetically pleasing to you. Group photographs that share similar tones will create unity and balance, while simultaneously expressing who you are. This is a way to display your culture, identity, and personality in your own safe space. Also, adding personal creations such as art or photography to your space can make your home reflect who you are. Looking at your art and photographs can remind you of special memories and times in your life, filling you with a sense of joy and tranquility. These small pieces truly help create a peaceful ambiance that will make your space a place for relaxing, spending time with the people you are closest with, or just clearing your mind. These simple additions can turn an empty space into your dream home.
AN ODE TO H HOMETOWNS Written by: Madeline Strauch Photography by: Joseph DeCarlo
Port Chester, New York. Have you heard of it? Located just an hour train ride northeast of Manhattan, New York City, the village of Port Chester is called “home” by more than 29,000 people. At only two and a half miles long, what Port Chester lacks in size it makes up for in character. Here is an ode to my hometown. Port Chester is not your cookie-cutter suburb. It has the best of both worlds with quiet residential streets and a lively, city-like downtown. There are five major parks to explore (each unique in their own way), historical architecture, and a marina at the heart of downtown that overlooks the Byram River. If you’re thinking of visiting, be sure to come hungry for tons of delicious food. Port Chester’s restaurant diversity has helped earn us the title of “Restaurant Capital of Westchester County.” A typical stroll down Main Street will include smells of authentic Mexican tacos, New York Style pizza, and classic Indian cuisine. And for all the fellow history nerds, countless historical sites are scattered throughout Port Chester, including New Deal-era murals in the Post Office, the Capitol Theatre, Port Chester High School, and the former Life Saver Candy Factory, which filled the village’s air with the flavor of the day during its active years. I have lived in Port Chester my entire life, and over the years it has taught me countless lessons that I will take with me forever. Growing up here has helped shape my morals, taught me to celebrate diversity, and made me a proud community member. The thing I love most about my hometown is that it is bursting at the seams with pride. It is this spirit that encourages me to always feel proud of where I come from and take pride in everything I do. “Ramily” is not only a term that encompasses Port Chester’s contagious school spirit, but one that describes a particular feeling. Translated,
it means “Ram family”; the ram is our school mascot. You can always count on residents to show their support for sports games with “Ramily” T-shirts and lawn signs. It was during my years at Port Chester High School that I felt most proud to be from Port Chester. I felt it every time I marched with the marching band, also known as the “Pride of Port Chester,” every time I swam for the swim team, and especially the day I graduated from Port Chester High School. As I said goodbye to the people who I knew I may never see again, I hoped that they would take our hometown with them, too. And now, an ode to all hometowns. Life after high school is a whirlwind of emotions for many of us. It was not until after I left for Ithaca that I seriously considered the hometowns of others: if people felt comfortable when they were at home, if they felt proud, if they carried their hometowns with them as I carry Port Chester with me. For those who have grown up with the same friends and peers in the same town, it can be sad knowing that the people who have shaped who you are and surrounded you your whole life are now traveling in different directions on different paths. For all of us, high school graduation is the last time we will ever be with that same group of people at the same time. To some, it may feel like the last stretch of childhood. However, transitioning to life after high school will be one of the greatest things that we’ll ever do. Lots of you will feel as though your college town is your new home, while others will go back to their hometowns on holiday breaks and feel as if they never left. Hometowns are often safe havens to return to. Those who moved around growing up may or may not not have one place they call home. But at the end of the day, and as cliché as it sounds, I believe home really is where the heart is. Whether it’s your hometown, your college town, your favorite city, or with people you love, my wish for everyone is to have a place where they feel comfortable, happy, and at home.
HOMEBODIES S Written by: Matilde Bechet
When you think of the term “homebodies,” you probably associate it with people who are introverted or antisocial. However, we should not rush to judge people who choose to stay at home rather than go out to parties. As a homebody myself, I find it relaxing to be in the comfort of my own room, especially when alone. Back home, I would turn up the music and dance around my bedroom, not worrying about my dad telling me to “tone it down.” I admit that I am not a good singer (in fact, I am an awful singer), but being a homebody allows me to express myself without worrying about who is around. Moments like these, when people can unapologetically be themselves, are essential to overall happiness regardless of social life. These days, there is a lot of pressure placed on people, especially teenagers, to just go out and have fun. With social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, people of the post-millennial generation could be viewed as “thrillseekers,” teenagers who want to display their social life on Snap stories. There is more pressure for this generation to document their lives on the internet, often causing them to forget to step back and enjoy life without focusing on an “audience.” I am a social person, one who enjoys having conversations with friends and making people laugh. I do not choose to stay at home because I am afraid to be around people. I choose to stay at home because it personally excites me. Rather than going out to a party with friends or to the library to study, I can stay in the place I feel the most content. Whether one has a roommate or not, it is important for a person to have their own space where they can truly be comfortable on their own. Since starting life at college, I have already turned my speaker on and sang with my roommate in our dorm. I have also stayed in my room on Saturday nights, despite the expectation that I should be going out every weekend. You don’t have to stay home every weekend in order to feel
closer to yourself, but if you don’t have the motivation to get ready and go hang out with friends, it is okay to be a homebody for a night or day. I recently spoke to freshman Treasure Blackman about the term “homebodies.” When asked if she considered herself a homebody, Treasure said that she does enjoy going out, but if someone asks her what she likes to do for fun, she will say staying inside. “I feel safe at home,” she said. “I have control of everything around me. I can shape my home to satisfy my needs. There is a difference between blasting music at a party and blasting music on your headphones. I am listening to music and dancing around the dorm.” Treasure also said she enjoys not being pressured to dress a certain way. “I don’t have to worry about doing my hair, washing my face, or putting on makeup.” With regards to negative connotations revolving around “homebodies,” Treasure said that she loves being around people and has friends. Still, at the end of the day, she would prefer to stay home and watch a movie with friends. “It’s so much more fun. You can be yourself,” she said. “Antisocial” should not be a word used to describe people who are homebodies. It is normal for people to enjoy the comfort of their own home. Anyone who considers themself a homebody or introverted should not be faulted for it. It is about maintaining a balance and learning that it is normal to not want to leave one’s safe space every weekend.
HOME-OSEX The Queer Eye Revolution
Written by: Rhiannon Coleman Photography by: Olivia Acuña
“Queer Eye,” the hit Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” is all about promoting confidence by taking care of all aspects of one’s life: home, appearance, health, and motivation to achieve goals. Viewers have fallen in love with the show’s emotional transformations that could not have been accomplished without the help of the “Fab Five”: Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Tan France, and Bobby Berk. In each episode of the show, these five queer men visit a home in the south and help turn someone’s life around. Perhaps one of the most dramatic and necessary changes needed to achieve a tear-jerking conclusion to the show is Bobby Berk’s total transformation of the client’s home. In an interview with Metropolis, Berk is asked if he believes that home design has the power to change people internally. He says, “When people are happy in their space, it really spills out to the rest of their lives.” This is especially true in episode five of season two, where the Fab Five help a transgender man named Skyler revamp his life following his top surgery recovery. In the episode, Skyler and his roommates describe how their home is meant to be a safe space for the queer community and especially those members who have been displaced because of their sexuality or gender identity. Their apartment is proudly queer, with pride flags and posters that advocate for equality on the walls of almost every room. “Skyler’s house screams queer, queer, queer, queer, queer,” Karamo says upon first seeing Skyler’s apartment. It would be quite an understatement to say that this proliferation of queer décor is a revolutionary development in terms of the history of LGBTQ+ repression. Although improvement can be seen, people are still being arrested for their sexual orientation to this day. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website, during World War II in Nazi Germany, 100,000 gay men were arrested and between 5,000 and 15,000 were sent to concentration camps. In 1936, an office was created by the Third Reich leader Heinrich Himmler called the “Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion: Special Office (II S)” in order to dispatch police to raid homosexual meeting places and confiscate address books to identify oth50
er homosexuals. Even today, transgender people and other members of the queer community are forced out of their homes by their own families and discriminatory landlords. The idea that there are those in the LGBTQ+ community like Skyler who are able to create a safe haven for those individuals is representative of a significant point in queer history. Although it is not necessary for all queer people to decorate their homes with rainbows, it can be empowering for many. Being able to define at least one part of your identity in a world full of persecution is a feat unto itself and something that should be celebrated. So support LGBTQ+ artists, make art of non-binary people, hang pride flags on the walls, and put academic books about the history of gender and sexual minorities on your coffee table for your guests to peruse. A home that reflects who one is, is essential to validating one’s own sense of identity; especially the youth who finally have a space to call their own. The idea of calling attention to one’s queerness in a world with a long history of oppression is revolutionary, and for many others, the fight to express who they are without persecution is still not over. So celebrate queerness for them. Create a space of empowerment for those who are unprivileged and undermined. Although sometimes necessary, resistance to the larger cruel world does not have to occupy the streets with waving signs. Sometimes, a home of one’s own where the suffocating structures of the outside world are left at the doorstep is the most liberating resistance of all.
DISCLAIMER: The term “queer” is used multiple times throughout this article. The term is not used in a derogatory way as it was connotated throughout history. Nevertheless, please do not read if this term is offensive to you. Also, there are Queer Eye spoilers ahead!
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Written by: Matilde Bechet
Leaving one’s hometown to attend college is undoubtedly a significant transition in life. But what about those who leave their home country and culture in order to obtain the education that they have dreamed of? At 19 years old, Tiro Serobe flew from South Africa to the U.S. to pursue her dreams. She is now a freshman cinema and photography major at Ithaca College, and she is learning how to build a new home for herself. I had the opportunity to sit down with Tiro to discuss if and how the concept of home has changed for her, and to get a glimpse into the life of an international student. Tiro is proud of her country for both its past and its future. Even though there is still work to be done economically, Tiro feels pride for how South Africa has made strides to improve race relations. “The people in South Africa feel responsible for what’s happening to their country,” Tiro said. “Citizens don’t just put it all on the government. [They] act on their own terms, as well. For me, South Africa definitely felt like home.” Tiro feels more gratified by the family bond she has back home. Raised with her brother by a single mom who works full-time, Tiro is no stranger to hard work and family devotion. “My identity flourished in South Africa. I became a proud black woman,” she said. Tiro owes her sense of self and pride to South Africa, but like many international students, attributes her understanding of home to her family. “As a family, we were close. They are my home,” she said. However, leaving one’s country and culture for another — especially America, in which xenophobia and poor race relations are so historically prominent — is a frightening prospect. But when asked if she feels it is harder to remain a “proud black woman” and hold on to her culture, Tiro said, “Especially here at IC, I still find that I’m able to be who I am and be proud of who I am. I have engaged in so many different conversations about where I’m from and cultural differences. Since I’m a fairly grounded person, I don’t get ‘non-belonging’ feelings.” Although Tiro feels affection for her home country, she is someone who hopes to have a career in the film industry, and she had to think about where her dream would be able to best thrive. Unfortunately, South Africa does not have the best prospects, as Tiro describes their film industry as “small and unpredictable.” The confusing and conflicting opinions about whether or not South Africa’s film industry was thriving or dying left Tiro searching for a place where she could receive hands-on experience, which she was grateful to find at IC. But, of course, it was not easy to leave home to pursue her passion. “The idea of leaving my home was frightening,” Tiro said. “It was crazy to think that I was not living with my brother and mom.” However, Tiro said, she is lucky to have found the meaning of home here at IC. “I was able to cope with the move through the diverse friends I have met at IC,” she said. “I feel like I’m a part of something at this college.” One challenge that international students face head-on when leaving home for an education abroad is the culture shock. Despite how welcoming IC tries to be to its international students, the differences between here and home can be overwhelming — as Tiro has observed when dining. “I miss sitting around the table and just having a conversation,” she said. “Everyone is working on their phones, which is a bit of a culture shock to me. At home, we enjoyed being on our phones, but during a meal, people put them down and engaged in a conversation. Here, students are talking to you while scrolling through Snapchat or Instagram.” Along with cultural differences, international students know all too well the feeling of homesickness, which Tiro has revealed hits her in the form of missing her mother’s curry. Tiro has found that the best way to feel at home at IC is to surround herself with other international students. She and her friends met at international orientation, during which they discussed their respective homes and cultures over dinner and trips to the grocery store. “We [became] a little international family,” Tiro said. “Small things I did with [my] mom and my brother, I was now doing with friends at IC. ” Outside of her friend group, Tiro has also found a home at Newswatch, where she is an assistant producer and has a great bond with the rest of the team. Along with her involvement in Newswatch, she is also a member of the International Club and hopes to become a more active participant. For a long time, our lives seem to revolve around whatever town we grew up in and whoever we saw every day. But perhaps international students know better than most that one’s perception of home is an ever-changing, lifelong search. And yes, this is an absolutely terrifying endeavor, but as Tiro said, quoting her mother’s encouraging words to her before leaving South Africa, “This is your home now, so make it your home.” 52
E Y M ALTERNATIVE E LIVING Written by: Olivia King Photography by: Lindsey Canavan
More and more, Americans are choosing to shift from the nuclear home and single living in traditional houses and apartments to alternative living styles. Alternative living styles are becoming increasingly popular, and in turn are more popular in not only the media, but also among celebrities and companies. Just the other day, my mom texted me and asked if I knew about Kevin Hart’s tiny house in Manhattan because she had just seen an article about it. BuzzFeed also has its own series on YouTube about alternative living, where two employees try out different forms of alternative living to see how it impacts their relationship. These “alternative” housing options include communal living, tiny houses, boat houses, earthships, and even tree houses. Each form of alternative living has its perks and problems, and there are a ton of different reasons why people are making this shift, including economic situations, social settings, personal preference, and environmental concerns. The tiny house seems to be the most recognized form of alternative living because of media coverage. All over Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest, tiny houses are pictured and fawned over. Even ABC, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker are featuring tiny houses. “I want a tiny house so badly I cannot stand it,” said Twitter user @AprilAlmon. Twitter is full of tweets like this one, applauding tiny housing. An account called @TINYHOUSES is boasting 94.4 thousand followers and is dedicated to, you guessed it, tiny houses from all over the country. Another popular account featuring tiny homes is @Curbed, which also features other alternative homes like barn houses, campers, and townhouses. Furthermore, Tiny House Hunters is a program on HGTV, which started airing Dec. 15, 2014, and has since aired four seasons. Though tiny houses are perhaps the most visible, there are many other types of alternative living arrangements. An earthship, for example, is a home built out of a mix of natural and recycled materials. They rely on solar energy and use rainwater and snow for water and heating, making them sustainable and affordable. Due to the concerning condition of our planet now, people have turned to earthships as a more environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional home. Earthship Biotecture is a company that offers more information and opportunities for people to build their own versions of earthships! A less permanent form of alternative living is pallet
houses. Pallet houses are affordable, temporary homes used mainly for the houseless and for displaced refugees. Although they are short-term alternatives, pallet homes can be upgraded with heating and cooling systems, as well as sturdier insulation. Instructions for how to build a DIY pallet house can be found online. Another form of alternative living is communal living in apartments with shared living spaces. People can live in a nice, even high-end, apartment and attend social gatherings with people in their communal home. Many people choose this form of living if they are not satisfied with their social lives or feel isolated and lonely in typical living situations. A good example of a home like this can be found at Coliving in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and other cities across the country. Other options also exist, with companies like Commonspace, which is located in Syracuse. According to a study by market research firm Cigna and Ipsos, 46 percent of Americans feel alone “either sometimes or always.” Communal living could be a great way to combat this by providing meaningful interactions. Non-traditional living works because “home” doesn’t have to be a house. Home, in its purest form, is simply a place that provides comfort and love. The alternative forms of living listed here and beyond are all places capable of taking on that role, especially with forms of group living, like communal homes or the earthship. Not only are these homes often beneficial economically and environmentally, but they can also provide a sense of community, friendship, and belonging to the people who choose to live in them. These homes may not be found in the typical neighborhood, but they are homes nonetheless.
HEALTH & FITNESS
DESTROYING OUR HOME
Written by: Rhiannon Coleman Graphic by: Olivia Carpenter
The prevalence of the straw ban in the news has lead to a series of articles about what humanity “really” needs to be focusing on in terms of being environmentally friendly. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what the “real” problem is with why our planet seems to be deteriorating rapidly every day. What are we doing so wrong? When I typed “straw ban” into Google, I was bombarded by articles saying that the real problem is not plastic production but our diets, or that legislation should be made to force people to be more environmentally-conscious, or that it is impossible to control plastic production entirely. However, the so-called “real problem” is the fact that so many people seem to want to create a hierarchy of which environmental needs we should be paying the most attention to. Of course, this is a dire time in which there are obviously going to be some issues that should garner more attention than others. For example, deforestation, according to World Wildlife Fund, has resulted in the loss of 17 percent of the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, over 50 years due to human activity that is also negatively affecting our climate, animals, and our own health. However, to belittle any environmentally-conscious action at all is quite honestly absurd and counterproductive. According to USA Today, the reason why we should not be focusing on banning straws is because “plastic straws make up only 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of the ocean’s plastic waste.” Although the article makes the impact of plastic straws seem small, banning straws is still chipping away at our own immense production of plastic. Disregarding it as nothing only brings us steps away from where we want to be: a healthy world. Yes, the issue of some disabled people needing straws is very important, but giving those individuals straws doesn’t mean completely overlooking this movement’s attempt to improve the planet, no matter how small that attempt is. According to TreeHugger, the self-proclaimed “leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream,” the idea that we could replace disposable plastics with something more sustainable is completely unrealistic. The real problem, according to them, is America’s eating culture and busy lives, which cause us to consume fast food that uses plastic packaging. But let me ask you this: What’s more likely to be changed and produce more effective results: forcing big corporations to use more recyclable and sustainable materials in their packaging, which many companies already do, or completely changing the way Americans live? I asked Casey Miller, a passionate environmentalist sophomore at Ithaca College, what she thought about this sustainability debate. Miller said that every little move makes a difference and that focusing on finding sustainable substitutes for plastic is going to make a bigger impact in the long run than attempting to change the way people live. If we really want to create a hierarchy of what needs the most attention, then burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, overpopulation, and food waste would take the cake. A 2011 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that one-third of all food made for human consumption is wasted during the production and distribution processes, using unnecessary energy and natural resources. But when we ask ourselves if we have done anything to fight against these threats to our home other than complain about the straw ban, we certainly come up short. Any attempt, on either a personal or public level, to improve our planet’s condition is something that should not be overlooked or downplayed. Rather than calling out others’ attempts to be environmentally conscious, we should look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, “What are you doing to protect our home?”
COOKING ON CAMPUS
Written by: Alayna Vander Veer
While eating at the dining halls on campus, students are easily discouraged by the lack of options and the quality of the food. Students who try to eat healthier find it difficult when they rely on campus dining. We all know there are kitchens in our residence halls, so why don’t we use them more often? To cook, or not to cook — that is the question. For many students, cooking on campus is a silly notion. Ithaca College has three dining halls. Sure, many of us would like to be able to cook for ourselves because we want to eat healthier, we want better tasting food, or we have food allergies; however, it can be difficult to cook for yourself on campus. Choosing the best option for you is important. Before giving up hope, listen to what other students have to say about using residence halls’ kitchens. Maggie Mowrer, a junior living in Garden Apartments, utilizes her kitchen and the 7+ Meal Plan. She noted that a sevenday meal plan was helpful because she is on campus most of the day. “I don’t really have time to go home and make anything, but I definitely make it a priority,” Mowrer said. “I eat breakfast every morning and I eat dinner at home.” Mowrer either eats leftovers or cooks a meal big enough to give her leftovers for a few days. Mowrer is a vegetarian and eats a lot of rice and pasta dishes. She adds that she generally likes what the school offered. She also said that spending the time to cook is definitely worth it. “When I cook food for dinner and stuff, it tastes good. It’s not expensive. I get to make what I like and what I want,” Mowrer said. “I like cooking. So it’s fun to try out new things. And I like to experiment with what tastes good.” And one positive of cooking your own meals is that it’s cheaper. “Oh my gosh, it is so much cheaper to cook for myself,” Mowrer explained. “When I bought a full load of groceries, we didn’t even cook that many meals a week. … We had a meal plan for like, Monday through Friday. And we cook one of those meals. And then we ate every day.” Another good point she brings up is the importance of meal planning! It helps to cook or prepare all your meals for the week on the weekend. That way, you don’t have to squeeze cooking into your already busy daily schedule. “Meal prepping is super useful,” Mowrer said. “If you know you’re going to be making a meal and it’s going to take a little bit more time, do it the day before. So all you have to do the next day is assembling. It’s super useful. ... Yesterday I had such a busy day; I didn’t have time to go and make dinner. So the day before, I cooked the rice and I soaked the black beans. And so the next day all I had to do was fry the egg and mix the black beans and rice together. And it took so much less time.” Junior Sacha Presburger, who lives in one of the Terrace dorms, expressed his dissatisfaction with the dining halls and the mandatory meal plans. He said that he is lucky to afford to cook his own meals in his dorm five times a week while paying the 10+ Blue Plan, which is still $3,290. Unfortunately, Ithaca College requires all residents to have a meal plan and only students living off-campus or in Circle or Garden apartments can get a 7+ Meal Plan. He said that the primary reason he tries to cook his own meals is because he wants to eat food he likes and wants to make sure he is eating healthier. “I think I try to find recipes and stuff or make things that aren’t going to be super time consuming,” Presburger said. “I can be done in 30 minutes. And that’s why some people use dining halls. Because it’s right there. And you don’t have to cook. There’s definitely that element to it. It is the same amount of time that it would take to walk back and forth from the dining hall and swiping in your ID and getting your food.” I also asked him if he had any advice for other students, especially freshmen, who might want to cook on campus. “That’s tough,” he said. “I think the underlying issue is an issue with the college and not necessarily with the students.” Broken appliances and general disrepair of communal kitchen areas is also an issue. All the dorm kitchens are in need of updating. However, there are ways around these issues and some kitchens are not as bad as others. If you are serious about cooking for yourself, don’t get discouraged. “I haven’t had many problems, to be honest,” Presburger said. “But if more students start cooking, which I hope they do, then we are going to have some problems because we have limited resources.” There are many alternatives to dining halls. Whether you want to save money, eat healthier, or just enjoy a home-cooked meal, consider what works for you. Don’t forget that there are plenty of other students who cook on campus that make it work!
In a black and white view of the world, all living creatures who walk the earth should be monogamous, faithful, and live in harmony. But real life isn’t like that, and who the hell wouldn’t want to live in color? Humans have naturally had multiple sexual partners since the beginning of time, for one reason: reproduction. From an evolutionary perspective, humans’ one job was to create more humans. That’s why women’s hips are wider — to carry and give birth to babies. Unfortunately, a lot of women are still considered baby-making machines these days (despite how problematic that is). When human beings were first reproducing, it would have been seen as unnatural and dangerous to not mate with more than one person. So to ask the question everyone’s already thinking: When did we decide that monogamy was the way to go? If I were to take a stab at that, I would say that as socialized relationships began to gain value in the creation of nuclear families, people began to automatically associate being faithful with being monogamous. And now, anything other than committing your life to one partner is often considered “cheating,” and is seen as grotesque and unfaithful. Not to mention that the Hollywood industry has completely taken over the “cheating wife or husband” trope. It’s hard not to think that having multiple partners is cheating when all media is telling you it is. Despite that whole mess, one could easily say a typical relationship in the eyes of modern day America is a man and a woman who are in a committed marriage. Although there’s nothing wrong with that type of relationship, there are other types of relationships that need more recognition. People are still learning to accept LGBTQ+ relationships, and polyamorous relationships are often still viewed as completely invalid. Even people just having multiple sexual partners is still very looked down upon. Views on people being sexually intimate and having multiple sexual partners, whether inside or outside of a relationship, are also still deeply gendered. If a man has multiple sexual partners, he is congratulated by his friends and is seen as someone to look up to. If a woman has multiple sexual partners, many people see her as a slut, a whore, or someone who must contract a lot of STDs.
Written by: Me by: Brielle Cruz and
Meredith Nash and Danielle Cipriano
This leads to another point: Communicating well and using proper protection are of paramount importance. You need to make sure that all parties fully consent: They need to be actively agreeing to be sexual. And everyone involved needs to be aware that consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific. It is also good to make sure that everyone is on the same page about the “meaning” of the sexual encounter. For instance, it is better for two people to have a one-night stand if they both know that this is a one-time event, and that it is not going to lead to a romantic relationship. If the sexual encounter is something that could lead to a romantic relationship, then both parties need to be aware of that, as well. For the safety of everyone involved, practicing safe sex is also essential. Having sex with multiple people has the potential to increase your risk of getting an STD, but often people who are sexually active are even more aware of what goes into practicing safe sex, so they are even safer. Make sure you use a barrier (like a condom, female condom, or dental dam) and ask if your partner has been tested. But as long as you are being safe and consensual, any and all sexual relationships are acceptable and ethical. It doesn’t matter if your sexual relationships are met with judgment from others. You can choose what to do with your own body, and it is nobody else’s business. Having these sorts of relationships also brings the definition of cheating into question. My answer is this: It’s not cheating unless one partner deems it to be. If all parties communicate about what is appropriate and what is not, there shouldn’t be room for misconceptions. And those who aren’t comfortable sleeping with multiple people — that’s okay, too! If you are to remember anything from this piece, remember this: All safe, consensual relationships are valid. All of our bodies are our own and only you can decide what to do with yours. As long as you’re being safe, communicative, and honest with your partners, nothing should be seen as unethical. The stigma around having multiple sexual partners needs to end and our bodies need to be seen as they are: our own.
A LIMITING HOME Written by: Carly Weckel
To limit a home is to limit a mind. What exactly is “home”? Some picture a roaring fireplace on Christmas or a table surrounded with loved ones on Thanksgiving. For many, home is not a place, but a state of mind. Simply put, home is where people can be themselves, free of judgment. To be home is to be in a state of bliss. A limiting home is when you feel like your home isn’t enough, you feel the need to escape, or your home isn’t the right fit for you. It is not truly a home. A limiting home limits who you are, your aspirations, your desires. The feeling of being trapped between a couple of walls becomes depressing. When one feels these limitations, they often start to lose themselves. Depression and anxiety can settle in, creating complex emotions. A Pennsylvania State University senior shared her own experience with a limited home. She wanted to stay anonymous, so I will refer to her as “Sabrina.” I began by asking her the first time she felt constricted in her home. She recalls that six months after she moved out of her parents’ house, she began to feel hindered. “I was nineteen and happy about my new apartment,” Sabrina said. “But going back to my parents was weird. I felt that my parents treated me as a guest.” These circumstances took a toll on Sabrina’s mental health. “I began to feel lonely,” Sabrina said. “The home I grew up in hardly felt like a home.” Some years later, Sabrina’s childhood home was sold. Although she had officially moved out, she said she hated to see the house gone forever. “I felt completely disconnected,” she said. “I became depressed. My siblings and I lost the house we grew up in.” Between not feeling welcomed in her childhood home after moving out and the house being sold, Sabrina felt limited. A piece of her was missing. A familiar home became unfamiliar, leading her to feel disconnected and depressed. Sabrina combated these feelings by personalizing her new home. “I put my own mark on my new home,” she said. “I painted. I picked out all my favorite decor. I allowed myself to let the past go.” Sabrina rediscovered herself, allowing her to be at peace with her new home. It was crucial for her to understand that in order for her to be at peace with herself, she needed to make amends with losing her childhood home. Olive, a senior at Wilkes University, has similar issues with feeling limited in her home. I had the opportunity to interview her, and I asked her the same questions. Olive explained how her home prohibited her. “My dad would get angry,” she said. “I had to steer clear of him. My mom was always absent, mentally and physically. I could never ask for help. I had to figure out life by myself.” I asked about how this situation impacted her mental health. “I began overeating,” she said. “I would try to hide myself by wearing black clothing. I would lean towards movies and TV shows for a support system and for a moral compass.” Olive commented that it was difficult to confront her feelings. “I took long baths to relax,” she said. “I would organize my room. I did anything to keep myself busy.” Sabrina’s and Olive’s stories are completely different. But both women found a solution by focusing on themselves. This emphasizes the phrase, “home is a state of mind.” Both letting go of a home and having to live in an unhappy home are equally poisonous. Finding a “home mindset” is what many people have to do to flourish. Not only does this mindset make it easier to cope, but it teaches us that sometimes you have to let go.
COMFORT W SIDE OF CH Written by: Alissan Speidel Graphic by: Olivia Carpenter
With college comes new transitions and sometimes a lack of comfort. The whirlwind of change that students experience can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming. It is important to find ways to take care of ourselves during this tumultuous time to ensure that we feel happy and comfortable. Self-care takes time and patience, but helps to develop a strong sense of confidence and stable mental health. It is important to develop techniques of self-care that allow you to relax and take a moment for yourself. Some people practice self-care techniques by spending time with friends on campus and staying in contact with friends and family from home. Ithaca College freshman Meg Handley said that she likes to “FaceTime [her] best friends from home, and write and watch Netflix with [her] friends in the lounge!” Some students even bring clothing items or jewelery to school that a loved one used to wear. Finding ways to keep our family and friends close to us while we are far away reminds us that we have people in our lives who love and support us. Freshman Sophie Callister said, “I like to wear my dad’s big Cornell sweater.” Students can practice self-care by setting aside some time to pamper themselves before and after classes. Sometimes waking up early to pick out an outfit and do your makeup is a great way to spend some time focusing on yourself. An easy makeup look with natural eyeshadow colors, light highlight, and a nude lipstick is a great way to give yourself a little confidence boost. Doing your makeup can enhance your natural features and help you to love and embrace yourself. Some forms of self-care are more drastic. If you have experienced a long period with a low mood, you can opt for a self-care tactic that is a little more daring. Cutting your hair is a great way to spice up your life! Short bobs and feathery cuts are very popular this fall and look great on many different face shapes. If you don’t want to cut your locks, but are still interested in changing up your ‘do, you can purchase colored, semi-permanent hair dye from Wegmans downtown. After a long day of classes, it is important to give yourself some time to de-stress as part of your self-care routine. Throwing a bath bomb into your bath can be a wonderful way to wind down. Bath bombs can create a sense of relaxation and give you time to focus on yourself. Instead of purchasing a bath bomb from Lush, you can try using essential oils or an aromatherapy diffuser, which are perfect for showers. Scents such as lavender and bergamot are extremely calming. Face masks also provide some moments of relaxation and meditation. Simple recipes for both bath bombs and face masks can be found online. Painting your nails can be a very relaxing activity, as well. Using pastel colors is a wonderful way to remind yourself during the day to take some time to breathe and relax. Another way to express self-care is to spend some time meditating. During meditation, a sense of comfort comes from within us. Our confidence and inner thoughts can make us feel comfortable. Thinking of a time or place that brings peace can allow us to remain calm and comfortable in the hardest of times. Embracing yourself and your strengths will allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin and your new environment. Comfort allows us to feel understood, safe, and loved in an environment. New experiences and life stages can make this basic need more difficult to find or create than it should be. Our job as independent students is to find ways to make Ithaca feel like home for ourselves. Spending some time focusing on yourself is a great way to retain balance in college and work on the transition from your traditional home to your home at school.
WITH A HANGE
HOME IN OU OWN BODIES Written by: Casey Miller Photography by: Brielle Cruz and Danielle Cipriano
Today, current trends are resonant of the increasing popularity in body modifications. The dictionary definition of body modification, or body alteration, is the “deliberate altering of the human anatomy or human physical appearance.” Many body modifications are too extreme for the typical individual; however, some forms of body modification have become increasingly popular — ranging from piercings and tattoos to colorfully dyed hair. Some people choose to modify their appearance for the purpose of comfort, while others like to make a bold statement. Dyed hair, for example, can take many forms of self-expression. A brunette might make a slight alteration to try out blonde hair, or make a dramatic change to a daring blue. Those who feel that they were born with a hair color that doesn’t match their personality will change it to better represent themselves. This is one of the easiest and most socially acceptable parts of the body to change. Dyeing hair is the easiest way to change up a look with minimal effort. It can be cheap, so if you end up not liking the way blonde hair looks with your skin tone, you’ve only made a $10 or less mistake. Boxed hair dye also makes the process simple, as it only requires a place to rinse out the dye afterward. So while the dorm shower may not be as familiar as the one at home, you can still go to class the next morning with a fresh new hair color. People who see someone with a bright color or a new shade may ask that person about why they made a change, opening themselves up to a story or life memory. Body modifications allow others to share personal parts of their lives with others. Tattoos, too, can have many different meanings. For some, they can show how a person has overcome an obstacle. Anyone who asks the meaning behind a tattoo can be privy to the personal story it symbolizes. More often than not, many individuals with tattoos are eager to share the stories behind their body art. Ithaca College sophomore Kat McSherry said that she loves both hearing the stories that come with others’ tattoos, as well as sharing her own. Not only is a tattoo a great conversation starter, but it is also an artistic extension of how one chooses to show off their individuality. The art of body piercing is another stylistic body modification, and a common tradition among various cultures. This fun form of body modification is moderately more socially acceptable than other permanent changes. For decades, different cultures around the world have given their personal style the uniqueness desired by the individual through adornments of the skin. Tattoos and piercings have been a staple in human ornamenting for a very long time. There’s been a long history and tradition for us to self-adorn. This appropriation of objects, such as jewelry, for self-expression can help us to distinguish ourselves and to align ourselves with people we connect with. For many of us, college is the time when we experience independence for the first time. We are all experimenting with freedom away from the familiarity of home. There will always be stigmas regarding social appearance, but the ways in which we rebel and show off our unique qualities add to our personal self confidence and inspire others. So, if you’re open to it, dip your toes in. If there’s a piercing you’ve wanted for a while but were too afraid to get, go get it! You may feel trapped in your tiny college dorm, but there’s still a lot of room for creativity in a small space. Don’t be afraid to show who you really are. There is so much out there with which to adorn yourself.
THE HOUSE OF MERLOT Written by: Alex O’Brian Photography by: Joshua Jensen
The House of Merlot, Ithaca’s premiere drag performance troupe, has made a name for itself as Ithaca’s premiere drag community. The group’s home base is located at The Range in downtown Ithaca, where Queens and Kings perform every other Thursday at Queer Night. Typically “houses,” a term within in the drag community, aren’t physical places, but actually refer to groups of drag artists who usually perform together. House culture began around the late ’60s and describes a safe space or refuge for LGBT youths to retreat to if their families do not accept them. The House of Merlot strays from traditional drag. The art of drag has evolved, and it is not restricted to just men dressing as women anymore, though the majority of drag still takes this form. Men, women, and nonbinary performers are free to dress in female or male drag, and each performer may decide to craft their art around their own individual vision or passion. Makeup is a huge part of drag culture. I asked a few members of the House of Merlot, as well as some amateur performers, for some tips, tricks, and makeup suggestions. Here’s what they had to say: 66
“For foundation, I usually use whatever is the cheapest. Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation is great, except they don’t have my exact skin color. I also love the NYX Setting Spray. It’s super cheap and works really well!” – Tobey McQuinn (Adriana D’Arcy) “I use a lot of products by e.l.f.! My primer, my color correctors, my eyeliner, my makeup setting spray, and a majority of my brushes are from e.l.f. Not only are the products super cheap and accessible (drag doesn’t pay the bills, honey), it’s all cruelty-free!” – Kale Green (River Rushing) “Dermacol Make-up Cover. This stuff is literally designed for TV and tattoo covering and is probably closer in texture to Neosporin than a typical foundation. The pigmentation is CRAZY and it blocks out everything. I mean everything. This stuff could cover up childhood traumas. It locks in place and provides a flawless canvas for me to work with.” – Susan Katherine Barbara Leslie (Tim Kennedy)
“I typically use my Kylie Jenner Palette if I’m going for a darker look. It’s really pigmented and the colors are nice.” – Tobey McQuinn (Adriana D’Arcy) “I really like my Rimmel Mascara. It’s called ScandalEyes and it’s pretty cheap. I’d like to experiment with and know more about makeup myself, but other than that, I mostly just use drugstore makeup.” – Ray Decorazón (Marí Larcheveque) “Eyes are my favorite part! My two favorite palettes right now are from Morphe, because the mattes are so buttery and pigmented like crazy, and the metallics/ shimmers are almost wet-feeling in how smooth they are. The two that I am currently falling for are the Jaclyn Hill original palette, which is so versatile, fun, and high quality. The other is the 39A, which has bold, dark mattes and bright, vibrant metallics, along with a huge row of neutrals for either an everyday look for most people or transition shades to help blend out things. Such great quality, these shadows honestly took my makeup to the next level.” – Susan Katherine Barbara Leslie (Tim Kennedy)
“This is going to be a weird mix of products considering how I, and most drag queens, do our brows. Most of us have to cover our real brows in order to draw on a higher, more feminine brow. Many queens use, if you can believe, those disappearing purple Elmer’s glue sticks! My brows, for whatever reason, don’t stay flat when I use a glue stick, so I actually use Pros-Aide, which is a medical-grade prosthetic adhesive — sounds terrifying, I know. This stuff holds down my brow hairs so well, though, and once it’s covered with the Dermacol foundation they’re virtually invisible. For drawing on the actual brow, one of my biggest problems was finding products that didn’t tear up the glue and were dark enough that they wouldn’t just look pale and sad. Currently, I use that Morphe 39A palette (Dare to Create Artistry palette), as the dark browns give me a variety of undertone options based on what wig I’m wearing and the pigment, once again, is bulletproof.” – Susan Katherine Barbara Leslie (Tim Kennedy)
“Since I have to overdraw my lips to get a more full, feminine shape, I’m still stuck on liquid to matte lips. The Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick Les Chocolat collection from L’Oréal is life-changing. I love the shade ‘70% Yum,’ a deep brown, because it gives a dramatic, bold lip that really stands out on stage. The texture is creamy, it provides an opaque look in one swipe, and it smells like straight up cocoa powder. I also love the wet n wild Liquid Catsuit lipsticks, shockingly, because they are so comfortable. Most need two coats for full opacity, but they stay looking great for hours and touchups are a breeze.” – Susan Katherine Barbara Leslie (Tim Kennedy)
Extras and Drag Tips “For my beard and mustache, I just use mascara. Whatever’s cheap works.” — Tobey McQuinn (Adriana D’Arcy) “Want to know the secret to my beard? I’ll tell you: mascara gently brushed onto my face’s peach fuzz. I don’t draw it on or anything like that. It’s just mascara (I use Maybelline Great Lash since it has a short-bristled brush) on my facial hair! Also, don’t limit yourself! If you are an upcoming queen and you want to incorporate traits into your look that are considered ‘masculine,’ then go for it — there is no right or wrong way to do drag. Do what is accessible for you and do what makes you happy! Drag is about expression, so express however you see fit!” – Kale Green (River Rushing) “Lip gloss in general can stay the hell away from me because the shine gives away my real lip shape/size under any sort of lighting. In general, any sheer, frosty eyeshadow is really impossible for me to do anything with, so most of e.l.f shadows (and the rest of their products for that matter) are so natural looking that I couldn’t use them even if they were my only options. I did, of course, start off using many of these products, because that’s what we see advertised and talked about in beauty gurus’ videos, but what they want is so different from what we as drag performers need. Oh, and there’s no reason for Anastasia Beverly Hills’ liquid lips to be so expensive! The L’Oréal Pro Mattes are just as good.” – Susan Katherine Barbara Leslie (Tim Kennedy) “Drag is a way to become more comfortable and play with gender. It can also really boost your confidence. Sometimes I feel really good before I go on stage, but I also get nervous about it sometimes. But I’ve sort of created a different personality with Ray, so it’s cool to perform as a different person.” – Ray Decorazón (Marí Larcheveque)
After about two weeks into being an Ithaca College student, it was time for a haircut. My hair was on its way to becoming an afro, which is just how my hair grows; something my mom always hated. I liked to let my hair grow out and tone it down at the sides — aka a fade up. My first trim away from home was an opportunity for me to get creative with what I really wanted. My attempt to find a barber failed horribly. The first place, J.C. Knight Barber Shop, was far from optimal. There were a few other Ithaca College students waiting. I was told it would be about hour wait, so I asked if I could make an appointment and come back. The barber was nasty in his response. “Nah, I can’t do that,” he said, carelessly. “We only take walk-in customers, kid.” I neither had the patience to wait for an hour, nor did I want to take a risk after reading the shop’s largely negative reviews that were written online. I decided to take my money elsewhere. After trekking about 20 minutes to another barber shop and discovering the line was out the door, I settled for a stylist. The appointment was at 2 p.m. and it was 1:50 p.m. I had to run, and by doing so, I cut the travel time in half. This was when I arrived at Gia’s Elite Style Salon in the Ithaca Commons. Upon walking in, I saw that it was largely empty. Towards the back was an array of women’s designer clothes and bags. Flowers and women’s products decorated the salon in a seemingly perfect manner. For the slightest moment I questioned my masculinity, but instantly fell to the will of my optimism. A woman sat in a chair waiting for her next customer. She greeted me, sat me down, and asked what I wanted. I was warned that it would be more expensive than a typical barber, but at this point I was willing to
pay almost any price. I asked for a high fade and told her how short I wanted to go on the sides. Instead of compliance, I got advice, which I appreciated in the end. “It won’t look right!” she exclaimed. “You have nice hair.” The stylist, Nalyn, worked her magic. First, she washed my hair out. I have no clue what she used, but it reminded me of the Vicks VapoRub my Puerto Rican mother used on me when I was sick ― homey, but immensely refreshing. Then, she frayed the hundreds of spontaneous curls atop my head. I felt like I was getting a massage. The sides of my head were buzzed down. Instead of the high fade I originally wanted, I was blessed with a low fade. She then trimmed the top and perfected the rest. Nalyn worked with surgeon-like precision by snipping every untamed hair with distinction. By the end of the process, and $50 later, I was greatly satisfied. Although stylists appear to be directed towards women, the haircut I received made me feel more masculine than I had ever felt before. I identify as a heterosexual male. As such, it seems as though there’s stigma around going to stylists rather than to barbers. Barbers are cheaper and quicker; in other words, they get the job done right and fast (for the most part). However, after trying out a salon for the first time, my opinions have changed. This experience may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely something to try at least once. If you are someone interested in a relaxing cut and style, I recommend giving your local stylist a chance. You just never know.
I, A STRAIGHT MAN, PAID A STYLIST $50 DOLLARS TO CUT MY HAIR Written by: James Baratta Photography by: Sam Rickett and Melanie Spiel
FOLLOW US @icdistinctmag
The Fall 2018 edition of Ithaca College's Distinct Magazine. Theme: Home