Impulse Magazine | Spring 2020 | Vol. 16

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IMPULSE Vol. 16 SS20


contributors

Jessica Badofsky

Editor in Chief & Creative Director

Emma Campanella Managing Editor

Estefania Loret de Mola Director of Photography

Tiarah Golladay-Murry

Public Relations & Social Media Director

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Iulia Ciubotariu

Jack Everett

N. C. Palma

Writer

Writer

Writer

Kellie Crumpton

Francesca Fox

Michelle Raoufi

Writer

Model

Writer

Donna Dimitrova

Claire Molenda

Emma Schafman

Artist, Model

Artist

Writer

ClĂŠmence Douailly-Backman

Emily Murman

Alexandria Walker

Model

Writer

Writer


IMPULSE Spring 2020

Vol. 16


contents

MUSIC To The Beat of Your Drum

Tiarah Golladay-Murry, Alexandria Walker p. 8

Life Lessons in Recording Art N. C. Palma p. 12

ART bird. p. 16 Claire Molenda p. 22

FASHION Find Your Thrill in Thrifting Kellie Crumpton p. 28

The 2010s: Fashion of the Internet Era Jack Everett p. 30

Fast Fashion Isn’t So Fashionable Emma Schafman p. 32

Fishnets and Feminism Emily Murman p. 34

The Land of Make Believe

Estefania Loret de Mola, Jessica Badofsky p. 38

CULTURE The Importance of Holding Your Own Hands Emma Campanella p. 48

Will Your Trash Outlive You? Iulia Ciubotariu p. 52

A Month Spent With a Flip Phone Michelle Raoufi p. 54

BEAUTY Editors’ Picks, p. 56

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The Land of Make Believe p. 38

Estefania Loret de Mola & Jessica Badofsky

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letter from the editor

Dear Impulse Readers, When I was tasked with assuming the role of Editor-in-Chief of Impulse, I immediately reflected on how my time with this magazine through the years has gotten me to where I am today. From being a model in Volume 11, to becoming the PR & Social Media Director during Volumes 14 and 15, to here: writing my Letter from the Editor for Volume 16—a place I never imagined I’d be. I have to thank my amazing team, Emma Campanella, Estefania Loret de Mola, and Tiarah Golladay-Murry, for assisting me in making my vision for this issue come to fruition. I feel eternally grateful to work with such a unique group of creatives. This semester, I took the leap of assembling the smallest team Impulse has ever seen. Condensing the team down to a group of four from the usual six, and assuming two roles myself, I approached this issue with all the ambition one could muster, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Curating this publication as well as leading this team has taught me a lifetime’s worth of lessons in leadership, creativity, and communication. I hope you all enjoy absorbing this issue as much as I did constructing it. All my love,

Jessica Badofsky Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director

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music

To The Beat o A letter to the reader...

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of Your Drum . Written and photographed by Tiarah Golladay-Murry Poem by Alexandria Walker

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music The sound of the drums, the beat coming from the floor, the sweat dripping off the skin of thousands; moving as one. Music. Music has the capability to transcend an individual from their world into the next. Taking possession of their body to feel the rhythm within themselves. If you listen closely, we all have rhythm within ourselves. Screaming, pulsing and trying any means necessary to claw its way out. Hoping to express its sound to the rest of the world. There is not just one way to bring out musicality. The world around us is thumping to its own drum. Hear the way the birds whistle in the sky, the wind passing by one’s ear and feel the ground as if its breathing under your feet. Music is not just about keeping a tempo, or being able to dance like Misty Copeland, or sing like Whitney Houston. No, music comes from the passion that is inside each and every one of us. It has its own heartbeat and can be a signal to others like a lighthouse is to a boat. This music ranges from every individual and everything on this planet. This passion can come from holding a camera, being a part of a sport you love, or even sticking up for the injustices of this world. The music within you never leaves, yet may get turned down. Don’t let it. Find a way to amplify your sound and make it be known it is coming from you. For me, finding my sound had been a constant uphill battle. Trying to figure out what is and what is not for me. However, it wasn’t until I was climbing the never-ending mountains of Taiwan that I figured out my calling, my beat, my music. This sound was telling me that I was meant to change the way people are represented to impact this world. Coming to this conclusion was quite difficult. Being stereotyped and feeling ostracized all my life because of the way I look only fueled this sound even more. This sound that comes from me is welcoming to all. After climbing mountain after mountain in Taiwan, I was certain that not only was I supposed to change the stigmas of people in media, but that my sound is one that draws people closer. My sound gives people a chance to be heard and feel a con-

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nection to one another. I am a magnet for people to find one another. I am a speaker for people to hear one another. And I am a platform for people to see one another. That is my passion, my sound. I am a connector and I want to use this to change the world. For me, it took a couple thousand meters above sea level to figure it out. Everyone has a beat, and everyone has a sound. The only trouble is finding out which one is yours and distinguishing how to increase the music within. The music inside you can feel like safety, it can feel like home. Alexandria Walker reinforces the feeling of music and how it feels like; The sweat on your hands when your body is being touched for the first time The tightness of your thighs surrounding your lover’s torso The desperation in your lips, yearning for a kiss This is how music feels Like when you’re driving down the highway while the wind is kissing your face The first sip of a new bottle of wine with your favorite people The pain in your stomach after you’ve laughed so hard and curved your lips so far upward, they almost touched God This is how music feels Like I’m free, and I’m flowing, and I have no limits Like I’m endless, and I’m soaring, and I am the most powerful Without you I am fearful, I am beneath, I am nothing Without you I have no passion, no drive and no happiness This is how music makes me feel Ever since I can remember, I have been attracted to you I have felt you and your energy all over me and pull me into a whirlwind of whatever the topic Ever since I can remember, you’ve been levitating above me as I endure all life has to offer I’ve looked in you for answers and the most genuine comfort


And in those moments, I am looking in you I always come out wiser Because music is like The cold of your hands when your body is being touched for the last time The relief of your thighs as they free your lover’s torso And the fulfillment of your desire, for lips on yours Music can mean so many things to so many people. It can have impact and leave us feeling warm and comforted, or even a sense of empowerment. Think of music as color. Everyone sees and interprets color differently. That is what music should be to you. One may think that music only comes from instruments, the radio or concerts, but that’s only limiting the true nature of music. Music produces harmony, beauty and emotion. All things that we as people can emote. Transcending that we are not only beautiful and harmonious, but can be used as instruments. I am an instrument that gives people the chance to speak up, be heard and be seen. Being used as a sort of instrumentation not only can help others but can be used to express our individuality and what we have to offer this world. Music to every individual is personal, intimate and vastly different. Finding your song, your beat or your rhythm can be challenging. It took me climbing mountains thousands of miles away from home to truly solidify my sound, but for others that might not be the case. Finding one’s sound is a journey for every individual. Each person may discover who they are and what they have to offer at different points of their lives. These sounds may change and warp over time, but remember: that sound is uniquely yours. Tapping into it may take time, but listen closely and soon a simple thump may turn into a steady heartbeat, increasing and amplifying over time. There are things in this world that attempt to soften your sound, don’t let them. Be as loud as you want. Go outside your comfort zone, try new things, interact with different people or even climb some mountains to not only discover who you are, but your sound. ▪

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music

Life Lessons in Recording Art Written and photographed by N. C. Palma

When I first walked into a professional studio, I knew almost nothing about making music, and much less about anything else. My start as a recording artist coincided with the opening of a local studio—Studio KAI. I had the opportunity to develop my songwriting skills in tandem with the development of the studio’s engineers’ audio production capabilities. Three all-platform releases later—that is, 10 commercially released songs later—I can say that the level of competence that my friends at Studio KAI and I have reached is that of industry standard. Of course, this didn’t come without some challenges. My engineers and I have spent countless hours in recording sessions, mixing, and mastering. It has taught us all a great deal about creating music, but also a bit about life. With respect to each part of the process, here are a few things I learned while putting songs together with some of my now lifelong friends. 1. Write your goals in stone, and your plans in pencil Ambition is abundant among young artists, but follow-through is in short supply. Having a grandiose vision of the future is easy, but the road to completion of any goal is paved with problems. Ambition gives you direction, but creating actionable steps is the key to achievement. Even so, I don’t think I’ve ever had a single plan— music related or otherwise—go as smoothly as I imagined. In May of 2018, I started work on what would be my first all-platform release, an EP titled “7001.” Despite genuinely believing that I would put out the project within a few weeks, that didn’t happen until February 2019. In those nine months, the project went through numerous changes in production. This included several changes in name, track list, and cover art, each time causing me to push back the release date just a little while longer. Every alteration to the project involved shifting my plans accordingly, and in doing so, taught me the importance of leaving enough time for things to go wrong.

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No matter what your goals might be, unforeseen circumstances will almost always ruin the timeline you’d, perhaps only subconsciously, set for yourself. Flexibility and improvisation can help you navigate around deteriorating plans, but sometimes chance will stop you dead in your tracks. About a month before the release of 7001, while submitting the EP to my distributor, the initial cover art I had was rejected from stores.


By then a veteran of Murphy’s law, I rolled with the punches, enlisted the help of a friend for new art, and was able to submit the project successfully, albeit almost a full year after I’d begun. 2. If you don’t care, neither will anyone else Some months before my first project made it onto Spotify, Apple Music, and every other streaming service, I’d put out a handful of songs on SoundCloud. The first of these was done

with the same naive hopefulness you might see in every “SoundCloud rapper” expecting to put out a single track and blow up the next day. Having already dropped a few home-recorded tracks in high school, I silently released a track called “daylilies” with the mindset that the people who cared would hear it and that’d be all that mattered. Needless to say, the song performed poorly and the only people who noticed the release were the people involved in making it. This is to say that there is no trait more detrimental to a person’s success than a lack of self-efficacy.

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Excitement is something that has to be inspired, and perceived apathy will always breed more of itself. A lack of self-efficacy can also come in the form of indecisiveness. Every step in the music-making process involves encountering a fork in the road. As is with all things in life, making final decisions when you’re uncertain can be extremely difficult. What I’ve found to be of greater consequence than the correctness of a decision however, is that the choice originates from you. Wrong decisions are inevitable, but you can’t learn from mistakes that you had no part in making; being able to attribute blame to yourself always precedes personal growth. 3. Sometimes you have to lose to win For every song I’ve put out, there’s a dozen that never made it to mixing. For every song that did make it to mixing, a dozen didn’t even see the booth. In scrapping so many songs, I’ve learned that productivity necessitates failure. Rather, I’ve learned that recognizing endeavors that are not worth pursuing is equally as important as recognizing ones that are. Being able to determine the best use of your resources—time, money, or otherwise—will always be the most conducive effort in pursuing any longterm goal. Applying the ideas of contentedness with—and versatility in—changing plans, each setback can be treated as an opportunity to learn. Knowing when an activity is fruitless is often predicated on having found that out yourself. Similarly, the efficacy to make a decision implies the possibility of failure. In this way, inevitable losses along the way can be the most informative parts of your journey. ▪

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art

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bird. my name is Donna I combine multimedia art techniques with experimental design to transform physical, virtual, and mental scapes. My work aims to provoke critical thinking, which has translated into my studio practice under the name bird. bird. visualizes the desire for physical and emotional belonging in ever failing social structures. Our generation’s disconnect with the natural world has surfaced universal feelings of malaise. I draw upon memories of my childhood in the time capsule of a Bulgarian village, or amongst the ruins of communism, to portray my own fear of uncertainty. Immigrating to the US promised comfort, but revealed more political turmoil, social iniquity, and environmental degradation. Savoring memory has become a way for me to confront anxieties while understanding the past. ▪

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art

Claire Molenda

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fashion

Find Your Thrill in

Thrifting Written and photographed by Kellie Crumpton

Growing up, the idea of shopping at thrift stores was one I would shut down immediately. I didn’t understand why someone would want to buy pre-owned items. Why would I go to Goodwill when I could go to Abercrombie where all my friends were shopping? Now, when my friends ask me where I got my clothes, my response is usually “Goodwill”. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate quality over quantity; I’ve become more conscious of my environmental footprint, and I’ve learned (and continue to learn) how I want to express myself through fashion. For college students like myself, thrift shopping is the perfect hobby. It’s a rewarding, relaxing activity that fits into anyone’s budget. It starts to feel like a treasure hunt, and having days where you don’t find anything makes it that much more exciting when you score a good item. There’s a constant influx of clothes and accessories, and you can even become an expert by finding out when shipments come into your local store. Most thrift shops will have some sort of deal that you can ask about as well. Over the last few years, people have begun to recognize the positives of thrift shopping, and it has quickly become one of the biggest trends in fashion. Although it takes time to find cute pieces and sizes that fit, the benefits of thrift shopping make it well worth your while. For one, buying pre-owned items has a huge environmental impact: it means you’re single handedly reducing waste. It also means you aren’t contributing to 28 Spring 2020

pollution that occurs from the production and transportation of clothing. Who doesn’t love that? But best of all, shopping second-hand means you can express yourself through fashion. You can create your own personal style and slowly build your closet with unique items. Mixing and matching styles is easy with thrift stores. Plus, once you’re ready to get rid of an item, you can donate it and the cycle continues for another shopper. As consumers, we’re used to our options being laid out for us, presented through attractive displays of what’s “in” or “on trend.” Thrift stores are an entirely different experience. Walking into a building with endless racks of clothes, shoes, and accessories can be intimidating. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to touch everything in the store. Part of the fun in thrifting is developing an eye for good pieces. I even run my hand through the clothes on the rack until I find a texture I like. It’s all about becoming more in tune to yourself and your style, which will help you have a successful thrift store trip in a time crunch. So, what are some things to look for at thrift stores? Current fashion trends can often be replicated with second-hand items. It seems like every year a trend from past


decades comes back around: we’ve seen it with highrise jeans, hair scrunchies, oversized t-shirts, “dad” shoes, etc. These vintage items can be found at thrift stores for less, and are often of better quality than ones mass-produced by brands to stay current. It’s surprising how many vintage pieces are still in great condition. It also helps to create a Pinterest board of outfits that you want your style to resemble. Look for fun accessories that fit your aesthetic. Explore different patterns, textures, and colors. The options are endless for creating your own idea of fashion. Springtime is all about rebirth and renewal. What’s old can always be made new again. One of my favorite things to do is customize thrifted items, giving them a

second life. You don’t have to know how to sew to transform clothes. Small details like pins and patches are an easy way to freshen up plain pieces. You can do this with accessories you already have, or check out the jewelry section at your thrift store. With a homemade stencil, some bleach, and a paintbrush, you can add any design you want to dark clothing like jeans or black tees. Or, if you have the talent, a quick hem or elastic band can transform clothes to your liking. Don’t be afraid to explore your options when it comes to shopping. Yes, shopping malls are quick and easy, but give your local thrift shop some love. The finds are much more rewarding, and the experience is priceless. ▪

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fashion

The 2010s: Fash of the Internet E From the year 2010 to now, the population of the internet has increased from less than 2 billion users to over 4.5 billion. As the world wide web has grown to stretch across the globe so has its social and cultural impacts. This newfound global connectedness has had a multitude of impacts on the way we live—especially on fashion. Over the past decade irony and nostalgia have heavily influenced certain fashion subcultures. The 2010s saw a rise in popularity of “dad sneakers�, a reemergence of overused brands, and nostalgia of previous pop culture references. Balenciaga and Yeezy are notable brands that borrowed and expanded upon the chunky look of sneakers that were considered typical for out of style American fathers and considered ugly by previous fashion movements. Graphic Tees with TV characters and household name brands went from played out to trendy. Among other things, these movements show how powerfully nostalgia overtook the common streetwear zeitgeist of the 2010s. With the popularity of the internet and social media, fashion has become more unified worldwide. Trends can occur instantly and die equally as fast. Operating in such a connected social climate with an emphasis on imagery has led to an oversaturation of certain companies, brands, and media of all types. This increased unity has led to the resurgence of popular ideas from previous eras in pos-

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hion Era

Written and photographed by Jack Everett

itive and negative connotations. The infamous “mom” and “dad” jeans are back in the mainstream for young people, and so are sunglasses last appreciated in the 90s. Familiarity breeds contempt, but what does contempt breed? When enough people recognize an idea, whether its hated or loved, it brings back associations and shows connectedness through mutual acknowledgement. For example, seeing a reference to a favorite movie or book from your childhood on a t-shirt may bring back positive memories from that time. Alternatively, a rebellion through the sporting of an accessory you and your peers previously disliked may be comically in tune with the current zeitgeist. Regardless the shared experience felt through those observations influences your fashion choices and leads to connectedness. This display of mutual understanding causes different reactions in different people, but it seems as if modern fashion’s main objective may be to cause a reaction. Because of these social dynamics, movements in irony and nostalgia have formed. The nostalgic fashion movement strives to reminisce in cherished icons of a previous time. Ironic fashion seems to have opposite motives. Ironic clothing often seeks a reaction through utilizing a familiar but disliked or unsuspected item or idea. It seems as if some takes on ironic fashion prefer clothes that were previously frowned upon or considered unfashionable. This is directly in contrast to the more wholesome remembrance of the nostalgia move-

ment. This “uglier the better” mentality is not only oppositional to the overuse of nostalgia, it can be used to make a statement. One high fashion example of irony is VETEMENTS, a French clothing and footwear brand founded by Demna Gvasalia. Gvasalia subverts expectations by using clothing that is commonplace, tweaking the structure slightly, and putting it into a different context to make a piece people are willing to spend money on. VETEMENTS literally translates to “clothing” in English, which may help to explain the candid nature of their approach to fashion. The company finds a way to turn things that seem abundant in pop-culture into something cutting edge that makes a statement. One use of well-known iconography by VETEMENTS was in its Spring/Summer 2020 men’s collection, where they utilized a McDonalds restaurant as a runway. The popular fast food chain combined with heavy logo usage is ironic when contextualized with the French high fashion scene. This subversion of expectations accentuates a political statement about the gaudiness of capitalism. In case the context didn’t convey the message that the runway show was a critique on capitalism, a model wore a name that read “CAPITALISM”. This on the nose communication of the designer’s intent is exemplary of the type of contextual irony displayed in some high fashion brands today. As high fashion transitions from the nostalgic fashion movement toward a more ironic motivation, it’s hard to say how well this will be accepted by the public. Ironic and self-aware fashion is frequently political and divisive intentionally, which isn’t the simplest path for general acceptance and growth. However, if fashion continues its connection to social media there will be much evolution to come. Personally, irony and nostalgia play a big role in my style, I see it as a fun way to express myself through humor and reference my past. I’m curious to see how big of a role it will continue to play in the fashion world of the 2020s and what ideas will motivate the movements to come. ▪

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fashion

Fast Fashion Isn’t So Fashionable Written and photographed by Emma Schafman

Fashion trends are changing quicker than the seasons. One day you’re rocking a mini backpack you saw modeled on Instagram, the next it’s in the back of your closet with the rest of the pieces you’ve worn twice to keep up with fluctuating trends. We’re only human; we want instant gratification, the sensation you get when you purchase an item making you feel new again. There’s enjoyment that comes from carrying around five different bags filled with pieces you can’t wait to try on when you get home. A new outfit, a redefined mood, a look to strut around a bar for a couple of hours. There’s something to say about the convenience of “fast fashion”; it isn’t so fashionable. Fast fashion takes away the art of self-expression. Self-expression through fashion is one of the few outlets we have as individuals to create an outside image of who we are inside. What we feel comfortable wearing can transform an individual into their sense of character that lies within them. We often find ourselves yearning for the next time we can get to the store to find a shirt seen on Instagram or Pinterest. Behold, the chances of being in a

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room with twenty other people that look the same increase. All oblivious to the sense of self-expression they are taking away from themselves. Ask yourself, do you really like that outfit? Or are you just trying to conform to the trendy images that social media shoves down your throat? Perhaps it’s a fashion FOMO if you will. Your clothing should reflect your emotions, make you feel comfortable, and highlight the confidence you have. What you put together on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s simple or extravagant, the pieces should give someone an idea of what your personality is like without even speaking to you. A persona that makes a statement before you even say hello. Fashion can be intimidating sometimes but experimenting with pieces that take you out of your comfort zone can transform not only your sense of style, but your attitude towards your own personal fashion interests. Many brands that are listed under the category of fast fashion like ZARA and Forever21 are cheap in cost, convenient, and replicate high-fashion trends that everyone wants to get their hands on. Fast fashion is “fast” for a reason. With a mix of quick manufacturing processes and cheap textiles, companies can push runway style into strip malls in no time. Although the clothing is “cheap” in cost, they are also made with cheap materials.


Synthetic fibers that make up these pieces allow the clothing to become more susceptible to damage quicker than standard cotton or authentic jean fibers would hold up. Thus, you end up replacing your garment more frequently and spend more than you initially would have wanted. Not to mention the enormous amounts of textile waste fast fashion produces. We like fast fashion because there’s so much to choose from all in one store. There are multiples of the same piece you’re eyeing, which should make the shopper feel as though they won’t miss out on snagging that oversized distressed hoodie. It’s sort of like a psychological trick we subconsciously play with ourselves. There’s an excess of options in the store, but yet if we don’t purchase right away, somehow, that piece will disappear out of thin air. As if! How to get away from fast fashion? Yes, it seems that everywhere you go, there’s an H&M, but searching a little harder will benefit your style in the long run. Try

finding local boutiques that carry unique pieces switching them out every few months or according to seasonal changes. Invest in better quality items that are versatile to loosen up your closet space and diversify your look. You won’t have to replace your clothing as often as you usually would. Getting creative with your pieces and learning how to style them outside the box will strengthen your eye for your style. Thrift shopping is also a great way to re-use clothing and donate some of your old stuff. Fast fashion brands will always be around as long as people are buying from them. It’s not a crime to occasionally purchase items from these stores. It’s convenient, and sometimes you need to put together a last-minute outfit. But, understanding the cultural impacts of fast fashion can not only strengthen your sense of consumerism, it can transform your style into something that no one else can replicate, and that’s something to be proud of. ▪

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When asked about her love of lingerie, burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese said, “It’s not about seducing men, it’s about embracing womanhood.” There’s endless ways this can be expressed, and for some, it’s through fetish fashion. Though often misinterpreted as a form of degradation, these garments can be empowering. Think about the fun in being the only one who knows what you’re wearing under work clothes, or the confidence embodied by the powerful, lingerie-clad participants in activist Khystyana Kazakova’s The Real Catwalk, a runway show celebrating inclusivity and body positivity. Valerie Steele defines fetishism as “a type of variant sexuality, in which arousal is associated with a (nongenital) part of the body, such as hair, or an inanimate object, such as a shoe” (Steele 1). Freud suggested that the complicated meanings behind objects—in this case, clothing—enable arousal and gratification (O’Donnell 184). Fetish fashion intends to be provocative, including corsets, fishnets, masks, heels, chokers, and skin-tight clothes. Its history generates the complicated meanings Freudian theory suggests these items have. Fishnets can be traced back to 19th century Paris, worn by courtesans and dancers at cabarets like the Moulin Rouge. They were ideal because they flattered dancers’ legs under stage lights, and in the 1980s, punks used them to express sexuality. “Lipstick feminists” wore red to fight expectations of modest dress. In the 1940s, makeup companies gave their products names like “Victory Red” to attract working women when other luxuries became unaffordable or inaccessible. Years later, red endures as the color of choice for women with a statement. I’m almost always in it. As a twenty-year-

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old high school teacher, I use the look to help me feel more professional—so much so that my students take me more seriously when I’m in it. Red lipstick, as my college orientation mentor said, is a rite of passage for young adult women. After all, it’s clear that in the right context, it can have quite sexual undertones. Corsets have also been claimed as symbols of sexual prowess. Amplifying form, they’re timeless; from Madonna’s pink Jean-Paul Gautlier corset cone bra to Vivienne Westwood’s Autumn/Winter 19-20 collection, corsets reappear constantly. A less extreme hallmark of fetish fashion is the choker. It likely originated at bals des victimes in post-revolutionary France, at which women tied


Fishnets and Feminism Written and photographed by Emily Murman

red ribbons around their necks to honor those slain by guillotine. It appeared in Anne Boleyn’s official portrait, Édouard Manet’s Olympia and served as a marker of prostitutes by the late 19th century. Chokers peaked in the 1990s, worn as a sign of defiance. All fetish fashions are physically restrictive, so we may ask how wearing them empowers. Research on the topic has shown that the gratification women receive from the garments is physiological; Kathleen O’Donnell writes, “The simple act of putting on an item such as a corset, a latex or vinyl garment, or stiletto shoes was said to cause immediate physical changes in a woman’s posture and her gait, which results in a heightened awareness of her own body…” (O’Donnell 186). This phenome-

non applies to even the simplest forms of restrictive clothing, such as the aforementioned choker or stockings. While hyper-awareness of the body is a physical gratification created by fetish fashion, there are other reasons a woman may style herself this way, like using clothing to make a feminist statement. For centuries, female sexuality has been portrayed as dangerous—a tool to gain power and dominate men. Think Eve, Helen of Troy, and Mia Wallace. Often, female villains are depicted as having a “dark beauty,” noticeably more provocative than that of their “good” counterparts. Some of us reclaimed the evil instead; the legions of women who grew up idolizing Maleficent, Vampira, and Catwoman saw safety and freedom in villainess roles, an ability to

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fashion defeat anyone who questioned their strength. Patriarchy imposes a set of guidelines reinforcing chastity and villainizing sexuality, after all. This dichotomy manifests in the Madonna/whore complex. Coined by Freud, the term was originally used to describe a man who sees women as either saintly Madonnas or dirty prostitutes, and they either love her for her virginal qualities or lust after her for her sexuality. This has grown to represent the massive split between modest and promiscuous women. It can be found across popular culture; Taylor Swift’s 2009 music video for “You Belong with Me” features a prom scene in which the angelic Madonna and the trashy whore face off—the brunette in a revealing red dress loses her boyfriend to the light-haired girl-next-door in white. Divides like this inspire rebellion through fashion.

Through fetish fashion, women have successfully turned sexual repression on its head. Dita Von Teese said, “You don’t get to decide for someone else what is degrading,” and by reacting against the norm, women control their image, bodies, and sexuality—what could be more empowering than that? ▪

Kinderwhore, for example, used strategic performances of girlhood in to resist patriarchy. The reclamation of babydoll dresses, Mary Janes, plastic jewelry, and Peter Pan collars wasn’t intended to sexualize girlhood; it used apparel associated with submissive femininity as symbols of power, undermining the dangerous fetishization of girls. The movement allowed Riot Grrls to become characters exemplifying rebellion, much like the dominatrix, a woman physically or psychologically dominating her partner in a sadomasochistic encounter. Typical attire includes heels, a mask, opera-length gloves, a corset, latex bodysuit, and a whip or other violent tool, and it’s customary for this apparel to be all black. Steele examines the importance of these clothes: “In pornographic literature, masks are associated with torturers, executioners, and burglars...Black is overwhelmingly the most popular color for fetish clothing, evoking what fetishists call ‘the dark side.’ Black is also the color that has been historically associated with sexual ascetics, such as nuns and widows” (Steele 77). The dominatrix becomes a force; her menacing look invokes a “don’t touch” form of dominance defining boundaries amongst men inclined to seek control.

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Bibliography Steele, Valerie. “Fashion, Fetish, Fantasy.” Tseëlon, Efrat. IIIIIMasquerade and Identities: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, IIIIIand Marginality. Published 29 August 2003. Accessed 13 IIIIIOctober 2019. Print. Steele, Victoria. “Fetish Fashion.” Love to Know: Beauty and IIIIIFashion. lovetoknow.com. [http://fashion-history.lovetoknow. IIIIIcom/alphabetical-index-fashion-clothing-history/fetish-fashion]. IIIIILast modified 2016. Accessed 13 October 2019. Web. O’Donnell, Kathleen. “Good Girls Gone Bad: The Consumption IIIIIof Fetish Fashion and the Sexual Empowerment of Women.” IIIIIAdvances in Consumer Research Volume 26 (1999): 184-189. IIIIIAccessed 13 October 2019. Print.


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The Land of Make Believe Photographed by Estefania Loret de Mola Codirected by Jessica Badofsky

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culture

The Importance of Holding Your Own Hands Written by Emma Campanella Photographed by Estefania Loret de Mola

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culture “I think about this all the time. Something must be wrong with me. I must be doing something wrong for this to happen again”. My counselor stared at me from across her tiny room illuminated by the sunlight peeking through open shutters. I looked forward to our tri-weekly sessions because she was the only person I could guiltlessly word-vomit to. After a moment of silence, her voice cut through the roar of the white-noise machine and made my eyes snap up from counting each leafy vein pulsating life through her plants. “But what if you’ve been doing everything right?” I’ve been single for the last four years. I know some people whose mouths would drop at the sound of that, and some who would barely shrug a shoulder if I told them. It’s not like I’m closed off to the idea of sharing my life with another person. I just haven’t found the right person. Or it hasn’t been the right time. Whatever the reason, it’s been said by someone else before. Usually, coaxing myself goes like this: you’re too good for them, you’ll find the right person when you’re supposed to, you’re not ready yet, keep growing. Growth never stops. There won’t ever be a specific time that we are “ready” enough for a relationship. People can get quick whiffs of our lives and can either aid or hinder our personal progress. But ultimately, I am the only person I can rely on for anything, and you for you. Especially when it comes to enjoying the sweet fruit that life grows. “Tell me, if you had been dating someone for the last four years of your life, what would you be like today?” I stared blankly at my counselor, almost in minor shock. Never had I thought of that before. I sputtered out an “I don’t know”, because truly, I wouldn’t have wanted that. The last four years have been abundant with pain, sadness and pure joy. And I moved through it all by myself. Sure, there were people who came in and waved a false light in front of my eyes. Sometimes, I took a few steps towards it. And when they dropped it and everything became dark, so did I. I was wasting time and energy by believing that other people were the ones

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who would make me happy, and it’s no surprise that it always ended the same. Even in these times of confusion and pain, I knew deep down that I was good enough. It was just hard to not let other people affect the scale of my emotions so much. Yet with each minor “break-up” or fall out, I recovered quicker each time. With time and experience comes confidence in yourself. Relationships are tricky because in my opinion, the most important thing you can do is start with yourself. I’m not claiming to be a relationship counselor here, but how can you love someone else completely if you don’t love yourself completely, first? A question I often receive from the friends whose jaws still remain of the floor is “Aren’t you lonely?”. The short answer—no. Sure, sometimes I’m sad when I realize the other side of my bed is still empty. Sometimes I throw a pity party because I’ve never been gifted flowers in a ~romantic~ way. But in retrospect, I still have my wholesome-ass self. I think it’s normal to have these moments of sadness, but it’s good to ground ourselves because there is still so much good surrounding us. Having or not having a significant other does not define you, nor does it make you lonely or not lonely. I know people in relationships that feel lonelier than I do. At the end of the day, it’s the good you’re surrounded by and what you do to learn about and love yourself. I don’t know who I would be if I spent the last 4 years dedicated to another person. That’s impossible to say. But knowing where I am now in terms of personal growth, I wouldn’t be as content with myself as I am now. In between the times I’ve spent romantically with other people, I’ve learned so much that I couldn’t have with them. Take the importance of perspective and patience, for example. Or how it’s okay to fully feel every emotion, sad or happy, but then to ground yourself again after it’s washed over me. Or how we are the only people who can truly make ourselves happy, and how much power our thoughts have over our bodies. We don’t need anyone else to tell us that we are worthy or beautiful – that’s internal.


Don’t get me wrong, I love the cuddles and affection that comes with a romantic relationship. It’s a wonderful thing when you can share your life with someone else and they can understand you on a level that few others can. But for the time being until I find a lovely person, building myself up will be an ongoing priority. I find the little pleasures in writing poetry or reading a new book. I enjoy taking silent strolls alone, just listening to wind combing through leafy branches and my echoing footsteps peeling off of building walls. The silence that hung heavy in my counselor’s little office wasn’t awkward. It made me think longer. After my lousy, unsure reply, my thoughts had time to pan themselves out. I looked up at her again and said, “I don’t regret a thing.” ▪

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culture

Will Your Trash Outlive You? Written and photographed by Iulia Ciubotariu

I am sitting at my favorite cafe on campus, Cafe Paradiso. Sitting in front of me is my sketchbook, laptop, my coffee in a mug, and a wax biodegradable lunch bag that I received as a present from a dear and thoughtful person. Inside it I have a glass container with a delicious autumnal raspberry oatmeal I made earlier in case I get hungry. Alongside it is a used bamboo spork utensil which I have placed in a makeshift garbage bag that I repurposed from an old quinoa zip bag. It has been more than a year since I’ve decided to become more responsible for the waste I create. Becoming more eco-friendly has not been easy. I’ve had to increase my consciousness and awareness of my habits quite a lot, but I think I’ve changed my life overall for the better. I am making my own attempt at a zero waste lifestyle, a way of living which attempts to stop waste from ending up in landfills, and decomposing for hundreds of years. Here is a day in the life of a crazy environmentalist… It’s a lazy Sunday. I wake up and get ready by choosing my clothes for the day. I am a fashion-oriented person, so a lot of thought goes into this. Most

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of the clothes I’ve bought in the last year and a half have been second-hand. Why? Shopping second-hand lets me define my style in a sustainable way and on a low budget. I also found much higher quality in items that were 30 years old from thrift stores than in items that were brand new. Better quality means that clothes last longer, and they give more use to the owner before ending up in a landfill. This is important because textiles are one of the top waste products sitting in landfills. Shopping at thrift stores is important because these stores are overflowing with items, and if they are not selling, they end up being thrown out. Next, I head to the grocery store. At the grocery store, I pick up mostly vegetables and place them in bags that I sewed or repurposed from other food items. Then I go to the bulk section, which is my favorite part; freshly ground peanut butter, delicious maple syrup, and granola freshly made in house by the grocery store. I take one of my jars out and start filling it with my weekly necessities. In the other aisles, I try to stick to foods that come in glass jars. If it is absolutely unavoidable to get something in plastic, I opt for plastic packaging that is recyclable.


There is a lot to be said on plastics. Plastics are— as I jokingly call them—the sinners in the world of materials. Some plastics are recyclable and some are not. The recyclable ones do have a short lifespan, as they can be recycled only a few times before they are not usable anymore. They also take a lot of resources to recycle. Compare this to aluminum, which is highly and endlessly recyclable. Most of our food cans are made out of recycled aluminum. Plastics are very useful short term, but once we are done with them, they are discarded. Single-use plastics, like food wrapping, single-use utensils, and plastic bottles are the worst ones. Many are not recyclable, so they end up in landfills where they take hundreds of years to break down. This all adds up, and won’t go away any time soon. Now, let’s skip to my nighttime routine. In the shower, I have my sea sponge to exfoliate my skin. For my hair, I use a bar of shampoo. I prefer a bar of shampoo to a bottle of shampoo because I can eliminate throwing out the plastic container it comes in. Once I get out of the shower, I take my makeup off by rubbing argan oil on my skin with a wet cotton pad. I invested in reusable cotton pads, and hand-wash them with soap after using them. I prefer these to disposable cotton pads, because I am not creating waste every time I take off my makeup. They will also save me a lot of money down the line, as they are supposed to last a decade. Afterwards, I use a face wash and other face products that come in aluminum tubes, glass jars or bottles.

When I integrated environmental awareness in my decision process, I started creating a different lifestyle for myself. It felt better and cleaner. There are always goals to achieve, i.e., going a month without buying bread in plastic packaging, or never getting a drink in a disposable container. I want to do my part in creating as little negative impact on the environment. It is true that big companies are creating a lot of the damage, but each one of us individually contributes a great deal as well. Becoming more environmentally aware and sustainable is not just about saving the earth. It starts with saving our planet and extends in many directions. It is about contributing to local businesses by shopping at second hand stores in our area or buying from a local artist. It is about questioning how we spend our money, the usefulness of objects for us, and seeing more value in what we own. It is about using our money in more thoughtful ways and voting with our dollar. It is about creating a better and healthier lifestyle for ourselves and others. It is constantly about doing better and becoming better while appreciating the stage we are at. We should never stop trying to grow because becoming static is not what we are meant to do. So, will our trash outlive us, or can we do better? ▪

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culture

A Month S With a Fli Written by Michelle Raoufi Photographed by Estefania Loret de Mola

Whether it be coming back from a music festival or camping trip, I was always left thinking “I could really live without this noise.” Spending hours or days away from my smartphone felt alleviating. I grew more aware of my thoughts, and contentment came from fully taking in the experience at hand. Human connection blossoms in the spaces where people are living in the present moment (even if it’s due to not having a signal). Soon, another restless night would occur. I spent hours zoned into my screen, switching between social media accounts, posting and messaging friends until the sun rose. What else can I do at this hour? Read a book? Take a bath? Would I have fallen asleep by now if I hadn’t been staring into a bluelight? Soon I would begin fantasizing about getting a flip phone, but quickly shut it down over and over again. There is no way I’m going to miss a show because my phone didn’t alert me. I need Snapchat. How many people am I currently talking to via Instagram DM’s that I’ll lose contact with? Whose main form of messaging is still text? Mine isn’t. I’m pretty sure the only text I got today was from my mom. Social media inhabits the lifestyles of the majority. This holds true to the people I surround myself with. There are events I am only invited to through

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Spent ip Phone Facebook. It would be toiling on my social life to switch to a flip phone. Then, the other side of my consciousness would kick back. Why did I just spend another hour scrolling through Instagram? I can barely focus without a phone in front of my face. This is self deprecating. Is this my fault or can I blame Mark Zuckerberg? Precious time is being wasted. After running back and forth in my mind for months, I decided to make the switch. This semester, I bought an Alcatel Flip 2, and left my cracked Android under my pillow in my old room. My new phone came with two apps: YouTube and a GPS. I was set. The first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t rage text. Excited or angry, I had to click the same button three times to get to the letter “L”. I warned my friends that if I sounded like a robot all the time, I was fine. It’s the flip phone, not me. Meaningful conversations started to move from text to phone calls. And I preferred it that way. Text invites misinterpretation. Arguments through text can be misconstrued. I’ve witnessed this countless times in my own relationships and those of my friends, when all it really took to keep navigating through a relationship was a phone call where both parties were ready to listen to one another.

Socially, I found having a flip phone to be somewhat isolating. Missing out on events is almost inevitable. For last minute things, I have to rely on my friends to reach out. If they forget, I don’t take it to heart. I understand how much easier it is to send out a mass Snapchat versus texting each friend individually. I used to do the same. I have lost contact with a few people who I talked to on a day-to-day basis. I’ve learned to accept that—if someone cared to pursue a relationship, texting instead of DMing would not get in their way. Having a flip phone has created an abundance of time to sit back and reflect. Other than phone calls and robot texts, there’s no reason to pick up my phone (except maybe for the occasional pixelated photo, or listening to music). I noticed that I began to feel more grounded in the activities I genuinely enjoy. I didn’t realize how often I didn’t partake in my interests because I would use my spare time to use social media instead. I play more guitar now. I always answer when my grandma calls. I find myself doing yoga at random times of the day. I clean out of boredom. I spend a lot of time exploring buildings. When I talk to someone on the phone, they actually have my full attention—I’m not having two other conversations through Snapchat. I take my camera around with me more often instead of replacing it with my phone. As of now, I don’t know how long I’m going to keep this up for. I’ve completed a month, which was my original goal. What stood out to me the most about this experience, was the overall feeling of peace from not receiving notification after notification throughout the day. I am more focused on the tasks right in front of me. I feel more present in real-life conversation. I still go out often, but not as much. Someone swiping up on my story to ask me to hang out doesn’t happen anymore. Maybe that’s for the best right now, but the urge to go back is tough to beat. ▪

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beauty

Estefania Loret de Mola Milk Makeup Eye Pigment ($24, Available at Sephora)

“This is by far the most pigmented, long-wearing eye shadow I have ever tried. My personal favorite color is “Mermaid Parade”. It looks incredible as a liner, all-over color, or as a bold accent anywhere on the eye.”

Jessica Badofsky

Clinique Acne Solutions™ Fix It Kit ($28, Available at Ulta)

“I’m your average gal who can safely say she’s tried everything under the sun to keep her skin looking as though she just exited the womb. Nothing has worked quite like this 3-step treatment, sent directly from the heavens. Seeing as skincare is the biggest trend since chunky Filas, I must throw it out there that I am no skincare connoisseur. However, seeing as this stuff worked far better than what my (now-ex) dermatologist prescribed to me, I think it’s safe to say you can trust me on this one.”

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editors’ picks

Tiarah Golladay-Murry Eco Lips Lip Scrub

($3.97, Available at Walmart

“I was not the one to discover this magical and tasty lip scrub, it was my mom. After she introduced me to this product, I could not get enough of it. Not only does it smell fantastic, but tastes yummy as well (it comes in four flavors: Vanilla Bean, Mint, Brown Sugar and Mint Truffle). Once it goes on your lips, you can rub them together, eat the excess, and it’ll leave your lips feeling plump, soft and moisturized. A must-have for your night and morning face routine.”

Emma Campanella

Aura Cacia Organic Rosehip Skin Care Oil ($14.51, Available at Target)

“My favorite beauty product is rose hip oil, specifically Aura Cacia’s. I usually apply this at night at the end of my skincare routine by patting on two drops. A little goes a long way! It has transformed my face completely by moisturizing it extremely well, getting rid of my dark spots and overall evening out the texture and tone of my skin. Never will I go without using this!”

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Copyright Š 2019 by Impulse Magazine All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director except for the use of brief quotations in a review. Champaign, IL www.impulse-magazine.com



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