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An Identity Issue

Identity. Identity.It Itis iswho whoweweareareand andhow howthetheworld world perceives Ifour ournew newpolitical politicaland andsocial socialclimate climatehas has taught taught usus anything, anything, it is it is that that thethe world world has has a tendency a tendency toto define define usus in in their their own own terms. terms. However, However, I refuse I refuse toto thethe allow allow mymy identify identify toto become become a fallible a fallible object object that that is is distorted distorted and and reworked reworked in in order order toto fit fit into into thethe box box that that society society has has laid laid out out forfor me. me. I have I have and and plan plan toto continue continue toto use use mymy identity identity totocreate createopportunities opportunitiesand andspaces spacesforforthose thosewho whowill will come come after after meme and and toto honor honor those those who who have have come come before before me. me. This This is is why why I have I have chosen chosen toto name name SIR SIR Magazine’s Magazine’s fifth fifth year year anniversary anniversary issue issue The The Identity Identity Issue: Issue: AnAn Ode Ode toto thethe Identities Identities wewe embody. embody. AsAs thethe anan African-American African-American woman woman toto bebe thethe Editor Editor in in Chief Chief of of SIR SIR Magazine, Magazine, I have I have not not only only made made history history in in terms terms of of this this publications, publications, but but I have I have also also helped helped forge forge aa rarely rarely traveled traveled path path and and opened opened a new a new door door forfor people people of of different different color, color, sexual sexual orientations, orientations, religious religious background, background, asas well well asas opposing opposing styles, styles, unique unique interests interests and and personal personal narratives. narratives. Everyone Everyonedeserves deservestotobeberepresented representedin inthis this world worldand andasassomeone someonewho whoembodies embodiesananentirely entirely underrepresented underrepresentedidentity identitymyself, myself,I know I knowwhat whatit itfeels feels like liketotohave havemymyown ownperspective perspectivecontinuously continuouslyignored ignored byby others, others, until until it is it is ultimately ultimately dismissed. dismissed. For For this this reason, reason, exploring, exploring, celebrating celebrating and and appreciating appreciating our our unique unique identities identities and and perspectives perspectives is is thethe sole sole theme theme and and purpose purpose of of this this latest latest issue issue of of SIR SIR Magazine. Magazine.

AALetter Letterfrom fromthe theEditor Editor

WeWe have have told told stories stories that that span span from from fragile fragile masculinity masculinity toto personal personal stories stories about about thethe history history of of AfricanAfricanAmerican American women’s women’s natural natural hair. hair. In In trying trying toto understand understand each each other’s other’s cultures, cultures, wewe even even expanded expanded our our look look book book section section toto depict depict what what anan imaginary imaginary world world could could look look like like if an if an apocalyptic apocalyptic event event wiped wiped out out our our modern modern civilization civilization and and replaced replaced it with it with people people who who were were free free toto choose choose and and define define their their own own identities. identities. I would I would also also like like toto thank thank mymy amazing, amazing, talented talented and and eccentric eccentric friend, friend, TréTré Moore, Moore, forfor helping helping meme when when I I asked asked forfor advice advice and and being being there there when when I needed I needed guidance. guidance. For For taking taking allall mymy late late night night calls calls when when I needed I needed toto vent vent oror just just wanted wanted toto talk. talk. Even Even though though your your name name is is not not listed listed asas a director, a director, I couldn’t I couldn’t imagine imagine not not giving giving you you credit credit forfor thethe numerous numerous hours hours and and influential influential work work you’ve you’ve dedicated dedicated toto this this magazine. magazine. When When I became I became thethe Editor-In-Chief Editor-In-Chief forfor SIR SIR Magazine, Magazine, I was I was unsure unsure of of mymy ability ability toto properly properly coordinate coordinate such such a large a large group group of of creative creative individuals, individuals, but but asas I look I look through through this this magazine magazine and and reflect reflect onon thethe last last couple couple of of months, months, I have I have developed developed anan unwavering unwavering feeling feeling of of confidence confidence in in myself myself and and mymy amazing amazing team’s team’s potential potential toto create create such such a beautiful a beautiful work work of of art. art. This This is is SIR SIR Magazine. Magazine.


Jessica Jessica Enwesi, Enwesi, Editor-In-Chief Editor-In-Chief ofof SIR SIR Magazine Magazine

The Directors

Photography Team

Corbin Jerde Brad Boswell Jenna Robbins Brandon Spencer Wyatt Swartzendruber Krista Mayanja Maraya Lawson Kelsi Leathers Vicki Chen

Editorial Team

Kaleb Stevens Brandon Spencer Nickolas Rembert Maraya Lawson Miski Ahmed

Carolyn Hoover

Photography Director

Jessica Enwesi Editorial Director

Fashion Team

Creative Writing Team

J’Dah Mason Gabe Capote Lydia Loya

Apple Amos Linda Brown Joe Swilley

Awase Asor

Graphic Design Team

Fashion Director

Sequan Gatlin Casting Director

Cooper Martin Xiaoyu Wang

Dylan Heyer Mathew Chapleau Tré Moore

Samantha Kragel Design Director

Bianca Ebako

Creative Director

Advertising Team

Public Relations Team

Mathew Chapleau

Jazlyn Talley

Joshua Knight P.R. Director

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Creative Team

Eva Fabray

P.R. / Advertising Director


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5 // A History of Curls 13 // Real Men Wear Pink 10 // Women’s March: Intersectional Feminism

OBSIDIAN 16 // Poems by Apple Amos 18 // Look Book

LUDVIG 30 // Poems by Linda Brown 32 // Look Book

MAHARI 44 // Poems by Joe Swilley 46 // Look Book


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A History of Curls Editorial by Maraya Lawson // Illustrations by Carolyn Hoover


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f you ask me why representation is important I will tell you that right now, there are a million black girls just waiting to see someone that looks like them.” Ashlee Haze’s poem, For Colored Girls, reminds us how important it is to be comfortable in our own skin, especially when you find a lack of representation in the media. Curly hair is something that not only unites black people, but it shows our uniqueness. Our thick, coarse and wild curls make us who we are. Each curl pattern is different, yet reminds us that we are all the same. So if African hair is such a uniting factor, why do we not hear more about it? Simple, history. African hair was a symbol of status, age, and ethnic identity. From braided styles that could signal a call to war to shaved, complex designs that marked a person’s wealth and prosperity, African hair always told a unique story. However in the early 1600’s, Africans were taken as slaves and forced to give up their culture in order to adapt to American traditions. This included hair customs. In fact, slaves were often told that their unique head of curls were “wool-like” and unruly. *****

Tianna’s Story


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“I’ve been natural for about five years. Before that, I had a relaxer. I knew that I wanted to transition and at the time, I didn’t know anyone else who was transitioning,” said Tianna Griffin, senior in agronomy. She reminisces on what made her want to transition her chemically straightened hair back into its natural, voluminous state. “You will ask yourself why you want to go natural. You need to know why you want to transition and you’ve got to know how you want to do it too. The reason why I transitioned was because I wanted my hair to match the person on the inside. Straight hair was not for me. So I (made the) big chop.” In her “big chop,” Tianna had finally made the decision to cut off her relaxed and damaged hair. She had finally made a commit to own her naturally curly and kinky hair. “I had about three to three and a half inches of hair left. People couldn’t understand why I wanted to cut my hair. I dealt with slight insecurities, but I overall,

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I felt more comfortable with how I looked and who I was. Since the chop, I have been growing (my hair) out ever since.” Although her transition was difficult, Tianna often looks into the future with prideful eyes and feelings towards her hair and herself. “(Now my hair) is about mid-back length. Natural hair is not easy to deal with and the time you put into detangling, washing, and conditioning is tiring. You can grow your hair out, but you have to put in the time. One thing I must do is deep condition (my hair) every week. If I skip (a week), I can tell the difference in my hair. It’s noticeably drier. There is diversity in our hair. I like to do my hair and the added (variety) is just more fun. If I could, I would have my hair in a bunch of twists all the time. (I feel like I’ve) gained a better sense of myself through hair. I like big hair and it matches me!” Tianna believes she will always maintain her natural curls, but still offers advice to those wanting to make a change but are hesistant. “Do what you want to do. If you want to straighten it, wear it up, grow it long, cut it short or color it, do it! Not all of these are healthy, but you don’t have to follow a book. There are no rules!” ***** By 1865, slavery had been abolished. However, African hair styles were still not accepted in American society. Around this time, the term “good hair” began to surface. Good hair -- a term afforded to hair that is silky, smooth and straight -- intentionally fit the European hair texture. This led to black women feeling pressure to uphold the “good hair” status. Those who were able to maintain “good hair” through chemicals or heating tools, such as hot combs and flat irons, were seen as well-adjusted, or better suited for society. However, their hair paid the price. *****

Latayshia’s Story “When it comes to learning about your hair it is like learning about yourself. There are tons of different types of hair. There is no right or wrong way to establish natural hair,” said Latayshia Lacey, junior in animal science. Latayshia knew she wanted to grow out her natural hair, but did not always know where to start her

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journey. Black hair journies, or regimens, often vary because they are tailored to person’s own unique tresses and require individualized routines. “I have been doing hair since I was ten years old. It’s just practice. (While) certain methods work for my hair and certain methods do not. I (would watch videos) on YouTube and ask around to see if other people’s regimens could work for me. It definitly a lot of trial and error, but I’m a scientist, ya know, (so I knew I could figure it out)!” Although Latayshia went through her trial phase, she remembers how far her hair journey has come and the confidence she’s built from maintaining her own hair. “My mom put a perm in my hair when I was five and ever since then, I thought perms were what we were supposed to have. (Yes, straight hair was easy to comb and manage, but eventually, I noticed my hair wasn’t growing and since then I have been natural for 3 years. Natural hair is a beautiful thing and some people are afraid to embrace it. You want to look good and feel good, but so does your hair.” Latayshia knows that there’s no style that is worth her giving up on her own natural curls. “I realized that trying to ‘fit in’ with straight hair wasn’t for me or my hair. Throughiut the years, I’ve been embracing it. Going natural was a maturity step for me (and) it’s an eye opener as well as a confidence booster. It has helped me acknowledge that I am beautiful in my own special way.” ***** It was after another 100 years that natural hair gained popularity in America. In the 1970s, the Black Panthers, a political movement and organization, found and proclaimed pride in the black community and its culture. Angela Davis, a pioneer of the movement, sported a large and abundant afro in defiance of the social mistreatment of black people. Although Davis’ hair movement found support and admiration in the black community, it was short lived. By the 1980s, a new era of iconic hairstyles started in the black community and swept throughout the world. In the 1993 film, Poetic Justice, Janet Jackson brings about beauty and grace in long, plentiful box braids that inspired

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an entire generation. Even African-American men started to venture out from the pressure of assimilation. Allen Iverson can still be seen wearing his classic cornrow and headband duo, while the 1990s rapping group, Kid n Play, performed around the world with five inch high flat tops. It seems that the hairstyles of the African-American community are reminiscent of the traditional African hairstyles forged hundreds of thousands of years ago. *****

Adeline’s Story “Growing up, I always had my hair braided. My mom kept my hair natural until I was thirteen, but everybody had straight hair and I wanted straight hair too,” said Adeline Barron, junior in marketing. Adeline reflects on her own perceptions of “good hair” and when she realized she had to make a change for herself. “My mom tried using the hot comb, but it never worked. I begged her to relax my hair and she did. But on April 16th, 2013, I decided to start the transitioning process and on May 28th, 2013, I made the big chop.” Adeline knew she had made the right decision when her hair began to flourish, but she knew her choice would produce uncomfortable questions from her friends and family. “I have always had what is considered long hair for black girls and people always ask me how I get my hair so long. I don’t always like this because the length of your hair is not based on the color of your skin. I care more about the health of my hair and with health comes length. The foods I eat are the same food I put in my hair. As a deep conditioner, I’ll blend Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, avocado, eggs, olive oil, and raw honey. I mostly use all natural products, but sometimes (I use) man-made products, like bentonite clay. I really like braid outs and buns as protective styles too.” Adeline knows that her choice was her own, but the happiness she has felt ever since compels her to convince others to make the change. “I have convinced my mom and friends to go natural. I do not try to force anyone to go natural, although I think it is the better option. People tell me ‘natural is not for me’, but how can your

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natural hair not be for you? It’s a lot of work, but I feel like if we grew up working with our natural hair, (we would have been) used to it.” Although the process can be difficult, Adeline acknowledges that self love is the only thing that will prevent black women and girls from reaching for a bottle of chemical relaxer. “If you train your daughter that her hair is too hard to deal with, they will grow up believing relaxers are better, (but that’s not true). We should teach our daughter to love their hair from a young age. Nowadays, there are no excuses for not knowing how to do natural hair. It is all over the Internet. YouTube is a great resource. (When I went natural, everyone thought I was going to quit. But I realized my hair is a part of me and matches my personality. I don’t think natural hair is a fad. It’s not something that’s going to leave. But I know I’m never going back to relaxers. My hair has always been crazy, but I like my wild hair!”

Today, we are in the midst of a hair revolution. Black girls everywhere are committing to the big chop and choosing to go natural. In the media, we can see cherry red locs worn by the rapper Lil Yachty, braids popularized by the massive rap group A$AP Mob, and gorgeous twist outs dipped and drenched in lush, moisturizing coconut oil. In our society, where thousands of natural hair tutorials can be found on YouTube and an array of natural hair products can now be purchased in stores and online, black men and women are securing their roots by reclaiming their curls. These hairstyles are vastly unique and force our society to be more accepting. However, more importantly, black people are able to explore their history and establish their own identity through their hair. It seems our nappy past has led us to a detangled future.



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Women’s March: Intersectional Feminism Editorial by Miski Ahmed // Photography by Carolyn Hoover


he roar of the crowd intensified as more people gathered in front of the capitol on a cold January morning. As people filled the street, expressing frustration in the president-elect, some held signs reading “GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUNdamental rights,” while others feared for a future that would continue to include rich, white men controlling women’s reproductive rights. A control they believed would move the country backward. The protesters jeered and rejected the vision that Donald Trump sought for “all” Americans and they declined any notion or suggested law that threatened to take away rights from women in the name of feminism. Many scholars who have studied the ideology of feminism believe that we have entered the “Third Wave” of the feminist movement. However, in order to understand the Third Wave, it is important to understand how we arrived at the first. It was between the late 1830s to the early 1900s, that the First Wave commenced. In 1848, a group of strong, dedicated women held a deep conviction of their rights concerning issues such as marriage, landownership, employment, and other legal issues that spawned from a dominating patriarchal society. However, the primarily motivation behind the Women’s Suffrage Movement was securing the right to vote and women knew that if they could obtain this legal entitlement, it would open up more opportunities concerning political, social economic power and equality and they were ready for this fight. However, after the 19th Amendment was inscribed into the U.S. Constitution, the First Wave began to fade, but not before planting a seed in the minds of women across America that they too could contribute just as much or even more than a man in our society. By the 1960s, the Second Wave of feminism took hold of the nation and changed the way women perceived themselves. They achieved great milestone and legal battles like the Women’s Strike for Peace in 1961 and the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970. From the Equal Pay Act and Civil Right Act of 1964 to 10

Natalie Weathers court battles like Roe vs Wade and Eisenstadt vs. Baird, women finally had the chance to fully participate in U.S. politics. However, there was a constant and persistent problem that plagued the celebration of the Second Wave: women of color did not see feminism as an inclusive movement. Instead, they saw the Second Wave as a movement that did not seek to understand the often different experiences women of color had to bear witness to. For this reason, although the term “intersectionality” is not new, it has gained both notoriety and recognition through movements such as the Women’s March, as it allows us to better understand our individual experiences and their connection to our personal identities. The term intersectionality was first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a black law professor from Columbia University Law School. In her 1989 essay “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique

of Anti-discrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Anti-racist Politics”, Crenshaw stated that the concept of intersectionality is not a hard or abstract idea to understand, but that it’s a way one could experience both discrimination and oppression at once. Crenshaw believed that women of color, such as black women, cannot face definite categories such as racism and sexism, but can experience a combination of these oppressions simultaneously. The idea of intersectionality for woman of color encompasses and intersects two identities against each other and lead to the creation of a new concept within gender equality known as intersectional feminism. However, in today’s tense political and social climate, it is especially important for women of all backgrounds to understand and respect each other’s individual perspectives, experiences and personal challenges. Fortunatly, a new wave of feminists are taking strides to show that feminism is not just breaking glass ceilings for some women, but that it holds a broader meaning and should encompass the different experiences women face. Although the old idea of feminism had appeal, it only helped a few, mostly white women. However, today’s feminism has the ability to be more inclusive than ever before. At Iowa State, women from different races, socioeconomic groups, sexuall orientations religions, can choose to attended feminism inspired events like the Women’s March or not. They have the ability to reflect on what the event meant to them or how their intersectional identities changed the way they see the world and how the world sees them. Natalie D. Weathers, junior in communications studies, participated in the Women’s March at state capitol. Amazed at the large turnout that came to champion women’s equality, Natalie joined the protest to support women’s reproductive rights. She could not help acknowledge, with pride, the different groups of people who came to advocate on behalf of women. However, her feelings towards the event were still stagnant as she realized the crowd was

still predominantly white. She stood amongst the large, rambunctious crowd and wondered to herself, “Where are these people going to be when Black Lives Matter or Muslims are advocating for equal rights?” As a black woman at Iowa State, Weathers has often found her own identities intersecting at multiple social crossroads. She is stuck between the hard and struggling oppression that comes from being black and the unending, tiring subjugation that comes from being a woman. However, when these identities collide, the results can be detrimental. “Honestly, when thinking about it like hierarchy, black women are at the bottom. Along with the stereotype of being loud and aggressive, many black women have to face (the consequences) of these negative ideas that are presented in our (everyday lives),” reflects Weathers. Weathers is certain that we have a long way to go before our society can fully acknowledge and understand the gravity of intersectional identities and embrace the struggles that women of color will face in their lifetime. However, Weathers remains hopeful for change. Although Rosita Cansino was not able to participate in the march, she and her sorority sisters were equally engaged in its message and how it could affect their intersectional indentites. However, Cansino believes that we should seek to support all marginalized groups in order to achieve one, square goal of equality. “We are in this march together. We should be working together to get to where we want to be.” As a first-generation Latinx woman growing up in America, Cansino had not always acknowledged her roots. At her predominantly white high school, she often struggled to fit in with her classmates who poked and ridiculed her identity. However, Carsino would laugh along. “They would say racist jokes and I would laugh with them because, you know, you are trying to be with the crowd,” reflects Cansino. However, it wasn’t until she came to Iowa State that she finally realized those racists jokes and stereotypes that she had laughed 11

“They would say

racist jokes

and I would laugh with them because youknow, you are trying to be with the crowd.”

(Left) Miski Ahmed // (Right) Rosita Cansino

with her classmates about were wrong. She had betrayed her own identity and had even allowed others to tarnish her culture. However, it was too late. By the time she finished high school, she had already developed and harbored resentment and a disconnect towards her own culture. When Cansino entered her freshman year of college, she often felt alone and isolated from people due to her feelings towards herself. However, it was not until she joined Iowa State’s summer learning community for multicultural students, APEX, that Cansino was able to connect with others who looked more like her. For the first time, she felt accepted. “It was a struggle for me in the beginning of my freshman year, but the more it progressed, I learned to like love where I came from, my culture, my race, everything!” said Cansino. With the courage she has acquired, Cansino is willing to stand up against derogatory or racist comments. Even if it means she may lose friends in the emotional process. Kelly Winfrey, Assistant Professor and researcher in political campaign communication and gender, felt a sense of pride when she saw the thousands of people engaged and participating in the politicallydriven Women’s March event. “It’s certainly a historic moment,” said Winfrey reflecting on the manyvideos and newspapers she read about the special event. “(Especially) 12

since there hasn’t been such a large political march in a long time.” As a white woman working in academia, Winfrey understands how her race and gender can be perceived by other people, especially in relation to women of color and the concept of feminism. “A criticism for a long time as been that it’s focused more on white women’s experiences and I think today there is a lot more awareness about other female perspectives,” said Winfrey. Although, white women and women of color have to endure difference experiences, Winfrey believes that there is an existing commonality when it comes to supporting issues like women’s equality. She notes that the key to reaching true cooperation come from understanding one another and the experiences we all have. “In terms of how a society understands (each other), I think (that) needs to come from education and awareness of others’ experiences and I think a lot of that happens in the classrooms and talking about different experiences and histories.” The Women’s March helped revive a new wave of feminism in our country and around the world. Filled with a new appreciation and awareness of intersectional identities, we can all make the necessary strides to support other women who face different forms of discrimination. Although we’ve come a long way, the fight for gender equality is far from over. If this movement taught us anything, it is to always fight for our rights and maintain hope for the next generation.

Real Men Can Wear Pink Editorial // Photography by Brandon Spencer


hroughout the past couple years, the color pink has evolved into a favorable color choice in men’s clothing. It has been seen in everything from blush pink overcoats with smooth camouflage prints to special edition Timberland Boots that pay homage to survivors of breast cancer and other illnesses. The barriers of what has been considered to be masculine in fashion have been pushed to their limits. Although some men are beginning to embrace things that were once considered to be feminine, we can also see a continuous pull in the opposite direction. In a released article by Buzzfeed, society, and more specifically advertisers, have developed a habit of showcasing certain products as “masculine,” or meant distinctly for men. Some of these products included birthday cards listed under “men” to heavy-duty dish washing soap that is “strong enough for a man’s touch.” And of course, you cannot forget about male leggings with a special and quite creative and name in fashion: meggings. This incessant need for things to be considered masculine has begun to call into question if society should we allow men to continue down this path? Over the past couple of years, the topic of masculinity and its

fragile state have dominated conversations. The concept has been featured on many platforms. From long, eloquent stories in The Atlantic, that detailed the need to recognize the consequences of gender roles, to Twitter hashtags urging users to share their own stories concerning fragile masculinity. Snapchat even conducted a country-wide video story asking men “Why is their masculinity so fragile?” Although the men chimed in, most of the participants expressed their masculinity as a way of life, with one man saying,“it’s like a dog barking, they bark because they bark.”

Why so Fragile? In an attempt to understand how men perceive their masculinity, it is crucial to understand how it was started. “There has been a hierarchy of gender,” said Dr. Kelly ReddyBest, Assistant Professor in apparel, merchandising, and design.“The aesthetics that represent femininity challenges the belief system of what a man should be (in society).” Reddy-Best has spent years researching the social connection of our identity to the world we live in. However, she believes that the only way men can find solace in their identity is to avoid conforming to the one set out for them by society, and to instead chose their own. 13

“These so-called belief systems are nothing but stereotypes that further push men into categories of being weak or strong,” states Reddy-Best. In the past, men have had to obey strict societal gender norms that included pants and dark colors, but Reddy-Best believes that in today’s world, it’s easier for men to assume their own identities. “Given the fact that society is becoming more acceptingm the biggest factor would be having the knowledge to not conform.” However, having the knowledge to avoid conformity is a lot easier said than done. A person learns how to behave, makes decisions and ultimately styles themselves based on the environment in which they grew up in.

Apples Rarely Fall Far from the Tree

It was in 2015 that a video of a young child receiving a flu shot had gone viral. The young boy held onto his father as his nurse prepped his arm for what should be a routine vaccine injection. However, it was the child and his father’s exchange that raised questions concerning the limits of masculinity. Andrew Reiner, a writer for the New York Times, commented on the video of a young boy told by his father to hold back his emotions at doctor’s office. “The video ends with the whimpering toddler screwing up his face in anger and pounding his chest. ‘I’m a man!’ he declared through tears and gritted teeth,” said Reiner. In the viral video, when the child, who is no more than 6 years old, receives his flu shots, he reaffirms to his father and to the world that he is masculine and he is a man. Where most children his age would rightfully shed tears of pain, the boy, flexing his muscles in only a white tank top, shows the audience how he believes a man should behave. However, the problem is not that the father wants his child to be strong, but it’s that he doesn’t leave room for his child to acknowledge his personal feelings and emotions. This video allows the world to see how young boys can grow up with a ceaseless need to be portrayed as strong and this habitual routine can be reflected in how they dress, behave and ultimately present themselves to the world. 14

The Student Experience This brings us back to the color pink. In our society it is common to find people who follow the latest trends. But the representation of pink is just one small example of how we should embrace the new trend of being “different”,and allow men to escape the barriers of what is means to be masculine. We should not allow something as trivial as clothing to make us feel vulnerable nor fill us with the need to show our dominance as a man. Not only is this type of thinking a danger to one’s self-esteem, but it is also toxic to the relationships they build with others. This observation led me to interview three Iowa State students and ask for their opinions on the matter. Cordell Billups, freshman majoring in biology and genetics, Thuan Luong, junior in apparel merchandising and design and Luke LaSalvia, freshman majoring in product development, all classify their styles in different ways.

From right to left // Cordell Billups // Thuan Luong // Luke LaSalvia

Luong believes he dresses more androgynous and hyper-feminine, while Billups considers his style of dress to be more masculine. Although he holds a more traditional sense of style, he is not afraid to add “feminine” accents. LaSalvia considers his style of dress to be mostly hypermasculine. When asked what they thought about the idea of masculinity having a correlation with one’s clothing choice, Luong agreed, saying that “there is no set limit on what is masculine.” “I just think that the clothes are just an accessory of a person,” added Billup. However, Luke felt that “there’s a correlation between the clothing a person chooses to wear clothes and their confidence level.” But when asked if they saw a strong connection between insecure masculinity and clothing choice, they stated “yes”. If we want to change the problem of fragile masculinity, we have to construct a new way of thinking. We all have to challenge our current status quo and a neccessary conversation.

A New Learning Curve If we want to properly challenge the ideas surrounding masculinity, we must start with teaching our young boys that behaving and dressing in a certain manner does not make them less manly, or more feminine. We should allow them to express themselves without fear of punishment, embarrassment and judgment and most importantly, we must accept the identity they choose for themselves. Men should be allowed to show their emotional and physical sides to the world in a softer tone. Hugging, kissing and touching are human reactions to affection, and men should not have to feel restricted from these basic emotions. This cycle of self-hatred must stop, but the first step is teaching young boys to love themselves for who they are. It’s not that real men wear pink, it’s that real men aren’t afraid to be judged for wearing pink. 15

The People of Obsidian Iron. Titanium. Diamond. Plutonium. They are the children of the Old World. They collected and built, developed and established. They are of sleek design and cold metal. They are a hardened people, who rarely seek the bright rays of the sun. Their ancestors left them wealth in the form of precious metals and machinery to continue their legacy but most importantly, they embedded their children’s minds with straight, symmetric lines and strengthened their feet on gray, titanium floors. The people of Obsidian do not believe in intrinsic value, but in practical use. They use their precious diamonds and unbroken, white lines to identify themselves, but they have no need. Their ancestors locked them inside of a vault after the apocalypse for protection. Unable to interact with the outside world, the people of Obsidian are forced to watch the world take on new meaning and life without the control their ancestors once possessed.


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Pre-Apocalypse Space traveler caught in a hostile zone. Foreign to war over commodity Foreign to commodity There lay a universe between home and here. Black stasis in the Strato Sphere.

Poems by the Tribe of Obsidian

When the Cosmos refused to be bound by Man, Man refused the cosmic in you, Attempted to pollute the light of your stars Shine away shades of skin. And to control, Man need not know, What he mistook when you first appeared. Black stasis being watched through the Strato Sphere.

Written by Apple Amos

Her suffering turned into systems. Buildings’ block and roads become mazes, The tangle of her curl transformed into steel beams Prisons made from her body put her children under house arrest She, the catalyst of ancient fear Black stasis still alive in the Strato Sphere Black body struggling to escape from the Strato Sphere. -Excerpts from “The Old Other”, Honey Jackson, 1997


Night skies make for cloudy memories, How they consume black souls. I am too often cargo for rocket ships My destination, as before, remains unknown Escape never meant freedom

Sun engineered solar flares spark at the resistance Make black flesh into blacker ash Dampen the boom of my voice into silence Make my rhythms stand still Make this ancient pounding of calf skin into dust Then into nothing They have made many someones into Nothing Can’t you hear the silence, Can’t you smell shea burning into iron And I wonder when This wonder of a body will become black hole -Unknown, 2105-2113


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Post-Apocolypse “The Old Older”

She has arrived! That North Star Child is now expanding? She has arrived! Tracing through constellations to collect consciousness The eyes of Angel’s, Star Child’s martyrs, scintillate These skies shine are brighter than when she left them Don’t be late, can’t miss that ride Shiny rockets aren’t seen often on this side of town Gikuyu and Mumbi* come back down from the mount’ Star Child needs help, Why should she alone be burdened with creation? Grandbabies cry, and work themselves from her touch Star Child can only do so much to help with the raising She is only one aspect of the Elevation But she knows the limits of shame. Almost as if stars were eyes Suffering gives way to rejoicement, But who will dwell on the past Now that they’ve escaped it? -Crystal Jackson, 2120 *Adam and Eve in Kenyan culture


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The People of Ludvig The people of Ludvig have felt warmth. After the apocalypse shook the world, they found refuge and solace amongst the clear blue sky and hard, barren ground. Buried in the cold, desolate snow and beneath the bright sun, these new people have learned to forge for minerals within the surrounding rocks and adequate substance from the abundant streams. With smoke and soot creating unique amalgams in their blood, they are a people made of lead and coal. They wear their identity, etched in delicate frost, across

their face and step with boots across their once barren land to leave their footprints for the next generation to follow. They believe in early morning and long nights but find comfort in soft furs and strong hides that protect them from the brittle wind that live in their wasteland. But however the cold may be, the people of Ludvig have felt warmth. For it is their pride for their newly acquired land that burns hottest during the coldest of nights.


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Poems by the Tribe of Ludvig

Water runs deep Runs through vein like storm pipe On house that’s gone with wind Gone with hints of making the world whole again Water is not the enemy Is not thief in night or Cain to Abel Written by Linda Brown Is ally Is friend Is purity but can be polluted With streams in nature, Mother Earth needs to breathe again Needs to be again Water runs away from these lands From our hands, our bodies Is home, are refuge in drought, when water won’t Touch lips or touch land Water is trying to warn us Protect us against heat that sticks to skin That sticks to sin To tell us to evaporate from environments easily To cleanse parts we can’t see in the light Wonder why rain hits skin harder than it hits ground or motel doors These doors hold our secrets Holds us close to water Runs through deserted cities Like alleyways do street names, that turn towns into dry spells caster too soon Bricks crumble faster these days Bodies tumble faster these days and it’s why Ludvig sounds strong on tongue Why we’re strength in empty motel rooms Sometimes home is so forbidden you don’t learn to find your way back to it There are roads here less traveled And we become them and they become us


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Apocalypse Do you know how long it takes to drown the body, the boundaries life and lost becomes lines, Become blurry, become dust in the aftermath of nothing left, do you know how long it takes for Body to cave in To turn into ourselves to turn out the world you learn some parts of you are more fragile than Bones, you find as of late, you’re more bones than body More rib cage than heart and you can see your stomach too Can watch it prune itself to dust Mites living on our food we find solution in cup of water Solace in rain drops Small and always there, water is dependable Reliable and ready to sooth soul like sleep Strength in numbers Because these tsunamis carry Ludvig Carry what we can carry until it’s all we have left We’ve been right Been wrong turn where road is still road. Where life is still short, and living is still long Is still bending and turning and stopping short of next decision to make Water tries to run away into the arms of drought escaping our mouths Escaping our bodies, we evaporate into air. Into dust, Into significance our numbers as low as motel door numbers Windows welcome drafts of wind trying to say hello at night Grabbing at bodies nipping skin until it reminds us of bite This hunger bites. This water swallows us until we swim above

Post-Apocalypse We started in water Slept in its sorrow Smiled in its tears I think we took advantage of its love Love Comes easy in it

Look in the sky and see what I see when I close my eyes Black Finished stories and times too forgotten to forget To be remembered Cities crumbled like the cookies our children munched on Hunger in bellies, in eyes, in touch, in guns

People forget what humanity tastes like, forgets water downstream and throat Ludvig stay strong, with skin too revolutionary to look at in piece Our hearts in pieces of our cities, scrambled like eggs in pan Yellow like sunrise We’ve led morning into mourning Led nights into moon feared darkness over, bodies, over land lost too soon Our healing be in blood stream, be patience when water is ice


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The People of Mahari They found their kingdom between yellows and greens, between the light and the shade, between the sun and the plants. Although the apocalypse split the world their ancestors once knew in half, they found true tranquility between the tall grass and exuberant flowers. The people of Mahari, named after the divine maiden, the forgiver, based the law of their new land off their respect for Mother Earth and the gifts she bestowed upon them when they sought shelter. They believe and live one amongst the soft soil that packs the hearty ground and

the florescent butterflies that cultivate their expanding, immaculate garden. Gold collected from their woven streams mark their face and identifies their tribe, while jewels pulled from underground caverns embellish their clothing and glisten like the sun that stands over their heads. Although the people of Mahari are one with their beloved Earth, their indifference towards the cold, barren world outside their own, full of despair and darkness, locks them in a dome, undisturbed.


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Poems by the Tribe of Mahari Written by Joe Swilley

Pre-Apocalypse Our tribe’s name does not translate well With the English language so the people would call us The soot tribe. Our country was small; it didn’t take long for the Corruption to swell. For the sake of the English language, you can say we Were the foot tribe. The refugees left from the slaughter Surviving with bribes. Our education was replaced with propaganda. The only Knowledge our children gained Was a solider mind and heightened stamina. We came off The boat still covered in soot. My father walked so far he took the soul out his boots. We came here to live There was never an agenda and there never will be Our culture practices love and respect, In time they will see.


They refused to give us handouts so we suffer A plague Of bailouts. All of their industrial waste funnels to our pipes till the Children belly up. However, this plague has turned into an epidemic. The kingdom is falling, I heard in the north There’s ash falling elderly crawling. They said even the rich are getting sick Everyone ran out of medicine, Scratch that the disease is too fast for any cure to kick In, but, I have a secret. An ancestral lore we tell our children ‘till they snore. Our tribe brings more than complaints to the table The locals down the block used to call it a far-fetched Fable. I’ve done some research on my tribe, Read the studies, didn’t even know they made studies, You see the key to our success In the long-run is adaptability. This country’s diseases take longer but it’s easier to see, It’s all in the genetics, not a single tribesman ever needed A prosthetic.

This place is…strange The people are pale Mouths frothed like animals free range. The soil has grown stale

Our culture tells us to listen to the wind Tells us the stories of the people. So, we became the nomadic tribe If we don’t see people on the streets we look for animals In the peephole.

They’ve died in the thousands It seems strife can never be escaped. It strikes with no sound But it’s…almost as if they planned it. The poor sleep in moors The rich live in big houses, Four walls, plumbing, three stories tall. Our businesses are failing I know my family’ next up

Test the soil, dig a well to make sure water ain’t spoiled Whatever we can filter we give to a deer, Wait three days in case it withers, and everywhere we go We dig and test, and dig, and test. Grab a handful of dirt, we got seeds from the oasis to the desert. They got their plans and we got ours too, when dust settles the flower blooms.


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Post Apocalypse If my father were still alive, he’d be so proud. I’m the king of paradise, babies are healthy They cry so loud, we’re living like the wealthy. Our plan worked.

Every stitch I stretch I rip a new hole. I always have to remember where we came from, this land has a way of corrupting Your inner kingdom.

You see three years ago as we were digging our wells, we struck rocks shinier than the sun My eyes looked up to god tears swell. They were so eager to cut a check But I projected the idea to save our riches. Be proud of the holes in your britches,

Everyone wants to live like the soot tribe, If you’re not one of us You can’t even call us the soot tribe. Our reputation precedes us So our new name is the Mahari tribe. We rise from the soot, now we got shoes More vintage than expensive boots.

The foreigners are in a state of panic. If we reveal our treasure now They’ll probably just take it causing pandemic. When children of the next generation settle, We’ll plant all the seeds with the best antioxidants for them. And rebuild civilization change The diet of their cattle. Only once we’ve secured a system can our plan approach fruition. Let their money drain, till their reduced to alligators Sleeping in storm drains. They fall so low the rats won’t even look at them in vain. The disease doesn’t even affect us, we’re so established Can’t nobody touch us. I as the king am the only who still Wears my father’s clothes,

The elections are coming up, We are debating on if we should sign up. Should we claim rule over this world Or keep our eyes on the middle man? After all, it was the poor that taught us how to survive In them god awful moors. They knocked on doors with us They would never turn their backs on us. Our redemption shall mirror their succession. It’s only right to practice our culture of gratitude, They don’t have to live in servitude But we will keep a constant flow of support and Protection to the highest magnitude. Our science will only be shared with them. We will do everything we can to keep their cities a Gem, until their babies are clean from soot, we shall Purge this apocalypse from the root.


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The People of Obsidian Raghul Ethiraj wearing: Gold shirt/pants set // Depop: @awdylan

Clear chocker Black Adidas // Finish Line

Sherrell Williams wearing: Black skirt/halter set // Depop: @awdylan

Black jacket/crop top/skirt Black boots // Random Goods

Matthew Chapleau wearing: Black mesh zip up// Finish Line

White strip black pants //Depop: @awdylan Black chocker // Boco Collection

Mriga Kher wearing: Silver jacket and shirt // Depop: @awdylan

Silver belt/chocker Gold halter/pants set Silver tennis shoes // Finish Line Silver necklace // Miss Kay’s Fashion

James Aubrey wearing:

Olive cargo jacket// Depop: @awdylan Blue suede jacket // Awase Asor Z-supply grey sweater// Style Bar Beige sweater // Random Goods Light Denim Pants // So Dead Clothing

Sequan Gatlin wearing:

Brown leather jacket// Depop: @awdylan White windbreaker // Random Goods Red crop top // So Dead Clothing

The People of Mahari

Lavail Nolan wearing:

Black bejeweled dress // Random Goods Purple and gold hoop// Boco Collection Golden clasp bracelet

ByShawn Davis wearing:

Dylan Heyer wearing:

Kendra McGee wearing: Blue silk dress // Random Goods

Black reflective jacket //Depop: @awdylan Black turtle neck/pants Black Reebox // Finish Line

The People of Ludvig

Shane Fye wearing:

Bellamie grey sweater // Style Bar Black puffer jacket // Finish Line Tan fleece vest // So Dead Clothing Tan Pea coat/sweater// Depop: @awdylan

Mirinda James wearing:

Red and white jacket// Random Goods Red mesh shirt Black denim/boots // Depop: @awdylan Brown leather jacket Black ear muffs // Boco Collection Blue button-up shirt

Corbin Jerde wearing:

Red puffer vest// Random Goods Olive pants // Boco Collection Tan boots // So Dead Clothing Tan denim jacket Black chiffon scarf // Depop: @awdylan

Black bejeweled jacket//Random Goods Black suede pants // So Dead Clothing Purple earring set // Random Goods

Gold hoop earring // Boco Collection Golden clasp bracelet

Hongyu Xiang wearing:

Orange dress // Random Goods Antique handbag Cream print kimono // Boco Collection

Cheng Meng wearing:

Yellow dress // Depop: @awdylan Purple earrings // Random Goods Red beaded scarf

Sabah Ali wearing:

Red dress // Random Goods Gold bangles // Boco Collection White earrings // Miss Kay’s Fashion

Cover Photo Photographer:

Krista Mayanja

Make Up Artists:

Alexa Phisith // Jessica Enwesi // Bianca Ebako


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SIR Magazine would like to express our gratitude to Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication for their support and accommodation of our publication. The positive exposure and freedom Greenlee provides its students is an invaluable opportunity to express and stretch our creative minds. The entire staff would also like to thank our advisors, Sherry Berghefer and David Parker, for their inspirational guidance as SIR Magazine continue to embark on our new direction. We would also like to give a special thanks to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Design, ISU Student Government and the Memorial Union, as well as Dylan Heyer, So Dead Clothing, Boco Collection, Miss Kay’s Fashion, Style Bar, Finish Line, Random Goods. We hope to maintain a forward-thinking and all-encompassing publication, that can represent all students at Iowa State University. As a constantly growing publication on campus, we are indeed grateful for all the support we have received from our college, advisors, and talented and hardworking staff. And of course, SIR Magazine would like to thank YOU for reading our spring issue. SIR is always motivated by the feedback we receive from our readers. We are incredibly excited about our new direction and we hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed creating it. Until next time, SIR Magazine


Issue 11

Coming Fall 2017

SIR Magazine Issue 10 Spring 2017  

Issue 10 explored the different identities and perspectives present at Iowa State University for SIR Magazine's 5th year anniversary,

SIR Magazine Issue 10 Spring 2017  

Issue 10 explored the different identities and perspectives present at Iowa State University for SIR Magazine's 5th year anniversary,