Melodrama 2020

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melodrama arts and culture magazine✰s ✰ february 2020

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ladue horton watkins high school, 1201 south warson road, ladue, MO 63124

letter from the editors

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As we release the first edition of Melodrama, we are focused on one thing: the interest of our youth. We began this edition with more serious topics, pushing to discuss controversy surrounding issues such as “canceling” individuals. On our cover, our issue’s featured artist, Bleach, takes center stage. Bleach is a youth band that has grown up in the St Louis area, representing how music develops within our community.

editorial policy


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editors-in-chief cassie beisheim anna liner

photo editor sunny lu

photographer luke sewell

writers sydney crump jamie kornblat sophia liu marissa mathieson rhea patney ethan willick

submissions brynne bursack eyob tewelde


Farther into the issue, we try our hand at makeup inspired by the hit show Euphoria. The makeup world is constantly changing, and teen influence is more prevalent than ever. We attended concerts, played with makeup, and researched alongside our writers to understand controversial topics that spark meaningful discussions. At the end of the day, though, our student body is what brought this paper to life.

Melodrama is an Arts & Culture Magazine that strives to inform and entertain students, staff and community members and to uphold professional standards of accuracy and fairness. The publication hopes to engage the student body by discussing youth culture. It aims to reflect the diversity of the population it serves and to observe the journalistic principle of doing no harm. Melodrama welcomes letters to the editors. Please bring signed letters to room 1311. Melodrama reserves the right to

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february

revise submissions as long as original intent remains unaltered. Submissions will be published online at Melodrama is produced 2 times per school year by the staff from Ladue Horton Watkins High School at 1201 S. Warson Rd., St. Louis, MO 63124. Melodrama also welcomes student submissions emailed to laduepublications@ladueschools. net. The publication lab is located in room 1311, (314)993-6447 ext. 5844. All page design and policy by Cassie Beisheim and Anna Liner.


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cancel culture 4-5 how our society’s attempt to end careers is inefficient

european beauty standards 6-7 the dramatic societal pressures that are placed on teens

featured artist of the issue

odd bubble tea 10-11 two writers take on unconventional flavors of bubble tea

the e-generation 12 what we fail to recognize about e-boys and e-girls

how editorial makeup is dominating the beauty world

student fashion 16-21 an expression of various students’ personal style

american girl 22-23 an analysis of racial oppression of women in America

student-made pieces of art and literature

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february


CANCEL CULTURE. sydney crump staff writer


o cancel. In our society, it means to stop supporting a person or business as a result of an action considered inappropriate by the masses. Within the past year, we have seen many celebrities get “canceled,” typically after making an offensive comment. The idea behind cancel culture is that after someone is called out on social media for an unacceptable remark, his or her career will plummet. Cancel culture began in 2016 and became more rampant as the #MeToo movement gained


notice on social media. Canceling celebrities serves to be a moral assessment on what is and is not allowed in society. When Harvery Weinstein was “canceled” for sexually assaulting women in the past and as recent as 2013, it was a case in which cancel culture was effective. Without social media the repercussions — Weinstein being forced out of his own company and facing possible jail time — may not have been as severe. However, cancel culture does not always work in its intended way. Oftentimes,

people considered canceled by the masses end up maintaining their career. Kevin Hart, for example, was canceled in late2018 after homophobic tweets resurfaced from his account. Since being canceled, Hart has starred in multiple movies that were considered successful at the box office. Hart’s continued success brings up the question of whether or not cancel culture is effective. For most, it is simply a stain on their reputation and ultimately does not cause any long-lasting career damage. Although no one should

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be allowed to casually make offensive comments without consequences and recognition of wrongdoing, cancel culture can be toxic to society. People in the spotlight of social media should have the opportunity to redeem themselves and learn from their mistakes, especially in a country where internalized beliefs of racism and misogyny persists. The massive number of responses that follow the cancellation of a celebrity typically amount to nothing. As a result, the person canceled gets no lesson on why what they said or did was wrong. This is not to say that people shouldn’t get called out when something offensive is said — there should absolutely be consequences to problematic actions. The overall issue with cancel culture lies in the manner in which people are called out. Harassing people via social media makes no fundamental change to society. After someone is canceled, he or she is often unable to move past the issue for many months, despite varying degrees in the comments’ severity. In August 2019, the owner of SoulCycle hosted an event for President Donald Trump, upsetting many customers. Soon after it was discovered, Twitter erupted with customers vowing to boycott SoulCycle. However, if customers had looked further into the story before making their decision to boycott SoulCycle, they would have seen that company profits are never used to fund politicians. Additionally,

majority owner Stephen Ross is a passive investor, meaning he is not involved in management, as stated by a press release from SoulCycle and Equinox, the company that operates Soul Cycle. Therefore, any attempt to boycott SoulCycle was nothing more than an inconvenience. Following the canceling of SoulCycle, their attendance did decline, according to, but was it worth it? Think of how many products you consume daily whose owner’s views do not align with yours. The convenience of Amazon’s oneday delivery and vast catalog of items results in poor working conditions for many workers, yet in 2019 the company had its most profitable quarter. It is almost impossible to only support companies whose views you agree with. Famous people are human beings and we should not expect perfection. Despite it seeming like one offensive comment makes someone a bad person, the reality is that there are not only good and bad people. The difference between us and celebrities is we do not have one million people on Twitter to call us out when we make derogatory remarks. Instead, our sometimes problematic views are often supported by friends too afraid to call us out, which, in my view, is scarier. Social media holds a lot of power, enough to tarnish a person or company’s reputation. With this power comes the responsibility to read the full

story before tweeting rather than looking at a headline and making assumptions. Keep in mind that headlines, especially ones created for online content, are often created with the intention of attracting clicks. As a result, many of the headlines seen everyday include exaggerations and drama to pull you in or evoke strong emotions. Cancel culture should serve as a moral check on what values society has evolved to find acceptable. It must take into consideration that comments made many years ago may not be valid because people are always evolving and changing. Although not everyone has changed, it would be a disservice to those who have to not consider that possibility. Currently, cancel culture is unintentionally seeking morally perfect people who do not exist in reality. If everyone is canceled because they, at some point in their career, made an ignorant mistake, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose of trying to distinguish between the morally acceptable and unacceptable people in the media? Cancel culture is toxic and needs to be restructured in a way that allows for a safe space of realizing and correcting long-internalized beliefs. The severity of the situation and the track record of the person being canceled should always be considered. Think before you cancel. ✰s ✰

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february


more than one type of beauty anna liner


marissa mathieson staff writer

as society progresses, it is crucial that we recognize the standards we place on individuals as well as their roots rom a young age, girls have often been taught to admire the white, skinny, perfect-looking models practically prancing across every fashion magazine. One must begin to wonder why these people are the ones that make the spotlight. With the beauty industry’s attempts to make changes by introducing plus-sized women, coiled hair and colored skin into the mix, progress in breaking traditional beauty standards is evident. Yet, as society continues to grow in diversity and acceptance, Eurocentric features continue to dominate fashion and social media. These detrimental trends are extremely prevalent on various popular social media platforms, including Instagram and TikTok. With the help of Photoshop and FaceTune, unrealistically small


waists, upturned noses and even retouched thigh gaps can be seen across every Instagram feed. The sight of thousands of unrealistic models on almost every social media platform ultimately leaves people, especially young teens, feeling as if they aren’t “perfect” enough and don’t belong. The degradation of young girls and boys’ self-esteem doesn’t end there. Recently, a popular TikTok trend involved the endorsement and glorification of plastic surgery. More often than not, one finds TikToks of young girls getting nose jobs to attain a less “ethnic’’ and smaller nose, rather than keeping the nose they were born with. Whether it is via photo alteration or plastic surgery, it is evident that these standards only push young kids to change

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themselves in order to fit into a western beauty stereotype. The society that drives people to alter themselves in order to fit into a certain stereotype can be especially harmful to youth because of the physical and mental damages associated with such ramifications. When children are still growing and simply trying to find out who they are, the focus on European beauty standards only perpetuates lower self-esteem, promotes eating disorders and encourages teens to want unnecessary plastic surgery. Because of the continued pressure to fit into society, more and more people feel a need to modify themselves in order to feel confident and accepted by others, which typically causes more harm than good. Although, these trends are becoming more widespread, beauty still manages to break all

preconceived boundaries. From models with voluptuous curves, to those with disabilities and birthmarks walking the runway, its apparent that beauty can be found everywhere. Thus, in order to become a more accepting society and welcoming community, it is time we recognize the beauty in all of us. We must cease to believe that someone can be too skinny, too fat, too feminine or even too white or black. Ethnicity, race, body and gender shaming only causes self-esteem and body image to worsen. As a result, it makes people feel badly about themselves and others — keeping a fear of uncommon and distinct features in existence. Thus, to put an end to the of the cause, it’s time we uplift each other and create our own acceptance. ✰s ✰

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february


BLEACH featured artist:

For some teenagers, passion is developed through what they learn in school. However, for members of St. Louis youth band Bleach, passion came from an entirely different outlet. As mere underclassmen in high school, the three came together to form a group that has performed in numerous local venues. Drawing inspiration from Highly Suspect, the group performs a mixture of original songs and covers. Stream Bleach’s new single “Prove Them Wrong” on all platforms.

lance johnson, lead vocalist

jackson christopher stevens, guitarist


melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february

TOP: Guitarist Jackson Christo-

pher Stevens stands over crowd at a concert at the Duck Room Jan. 10. MIDDLE: Caleb Mylembush screams as he plays the drums for the group’s closing song. BOTTOM: Jackson Christopher Stevens and Lance Johnson come together during an instrumental moment of the show.

caleb mylembush, drummer

photos by sunny lu

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february



jamie kornblat


This drink was the prettiest drink I had ever seen. The foam blended into the blue flower tea, making it look ombre. The first sip was great, but as I kept drinking it, I realized it wasn’t my favorite. For me, the drink had too much boba, and the blue flower tea tasted like sugary milk. I did like the foam, though. It added a layer of saltiness that balanced out the sweetness of the tea. I wasn’t able to finish the whole drink because of how full it made me feel. If I was in the area, I would come back to try another flavor, but I would not get this one again. For me, it’s better to look at than to drink.

Trying the passion fruit jasmine green tea that came with crystal boba was a great experience. The drink only came in a large but seemed like a normal size at a comparable restaurant. As I took my first sip I realized how much I loved this drink. The crystal boba was different than regular as the color was clear and the texture was harder to chew than normal, but it paired perfectly with the tea based drink. The sugar level balanced out the sourness of the passion fruit making it not too sweet, not too sour. Overall, I was very pleased with this drink. I will definitely be going back here.

staff writer

ethan willick staff writer


This tea was a lightly sweet milk tea with mung beans on the bottom. The first sip was very surprising. I didn’t expect there to be whole beans at the bottom of the tea. Mung beans are a lightly sweet, lightly savory bean with the mushy texture of kidney beans. They taste almost like a kidney bean was taken out of a pot of chili, washed off, then soaked in sugar water. I didn’t love them. The first few sips were very confusing in my mouth but by the end of the experience I was used to it and they were more pleasant. They added a sweetness to the tea and texture, making it a pleasant taste experi-

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art by danielle zhang

This one contained boba, ice, the tea itself and a cheese topping. The boba was smaller than normal, harder than normal and stuck to itself. This caused the problem of a clogged straw four or five times. The tea was oolong, and it tasted like a green tea with hints of peach, but it wasn’t very sweet. The cheese made up for this. The cheese was not what I expected. It had the taste of a cream cheese frosting but it had more of the texture of whipped cream. The cheese layer is the perfect edition to an unsweetened tea. This is the perfect tea for anyone who isn’t afraid to try new things.


At Corner 17, I got the Taro milk tea. For the most part, it was a pretty solid drink. The boba was all equal in size, and the taro flavor was prevalent. The drink was too sweet for me. It was hard to taste the flavor of the milk tea because it was being overpowered by the sugar. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, I would ask to customize how much sugar they put in so it doesn’t distract from the drink. Although it was sweet, I still enjoyed it and drank the whole thing. Overall, this place is a classic spot. If I’m ever in the Loop, and I am craving bubble tea, I would definitely go here again.

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Melodrama sets out to discover the least common bubble tea in St. Louis


This drink smelled chocolate-y and had 4 main elements: boba, tea, milk foam and garnish. The boba was sweet and slightly softer than other boba. It had a nice bite and had me wanting more. The first problem with the drink was the milk foam which tasted like it was supposed to be a salted caramel flavor, but they added so much salt that it was ruined. The last half of the drinking experience made me queasy after just two sips. The garnish of chocolate chips sank very quickly and added odd crunches into the drinking experience. The overall drink wasn’t what I hoped for with this flavor.


on the rise

Internet influencers should be called out for insensitive actions rhea patney staff writer

he letter E is the most commonly used letter in the English language. The vowel is used in 186,136 official words and is only worth one point in the game of Scrabble. In addition to being the most common letter, the letter E is used as a descriptor to create an identity, one that can be misused and spread. The E-Boy and E-Girl are online stereotypes defined by the aesthetic of the user. Both styles have elements of skate culture, hip-hop, cosplay and goth, and both styles transcend gender norms. The E, the most notable part of the label, stands for electronic, because the E-Boy and E-Girl stereotype is prevalent online. E-Boys and E-Girls have been around for over a decade, but the trend took off with the creation of TikTok in the fall of 2018. However, while some say that E-Boys and E-Girls are used as an online persona to express oneself, the stereotype can cause more harm than good. It glorifies drug use, and audiences often ignore racist and homophobic actions sometimes committed due to their online appeal. It must be noted that the appearance of E-Boys and E-Girls


is not what spreads the wrong message. What spreads negative ideas is the actions that E-Girls and E-Boys sometimes do themselves. Since they have a wide following on the internet, their negative actions often influence their online followers. E-Boys and E-Girls often glorify drug use. Videos are often seen of them vaping and juuling on their online platforms, and that sends a message to their followers, making it seem like it is admirable or cool to do drugs. In reality, vaping can be life threatening. Additionally, E-Boys and E-Girls often say racist and homophobic things, which are sometimes ignored due to their popularity. For example, in December 2019, Chase Hudson, commonly known as Lil Huddy on TikTok, used the n-word in one of his live streams. Hudson, being a white Male was criticized for using the word because it is socially not acceptable. However, despite being racially insensitive, Hudson still has 9 million followers and is acquiring fashion and entertainment sponsorship deals. Another example is seen in the TikTok star Kyler. In

July 2019, Kyler used a TikTok live stream to share his views on the controversial issue of abortion. He believes that abortion should be illegal and used his Christain faith to defend that argument. During his statement, he made misogynistic comments, saying that men are brainwashing and controlling women into having abortions. To respond to the messages that were against his viewpoint, Kyler wrote an Instagram post, in which he made homophobic comments towards the LGBTQ community. Kyler is a prime example of an E-Boy that uses his online platform to spread hate. His opinion on abortion aside, his sexist and homophobic comments make it seem like intolerance is okay. Ultimately, the overall problem with E-Girls and E-Boys is that they can negatively influences their followers through their actions. Because of their online popularity and aesthetic appeal, followers tend to overlook and even support their hateful behavior. They spread the wrong ideas through drug use and racial insensitivity that should never be overlooked, no matter the attention E-Girls ✰s ✰ and E-Boys get.

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february

makeup trends

all photos by sunny lu & luke sewell

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february



sophia liu staff writer

Whether it be shiny eyeliner or bold eyeshadow, unexpected pops of color are the perfect way to accessorize a monochromatic makeup look. Numerous celebrities have put this style to the test with colors like neon yellow, kelly green, and cobalt blue. In fact, makeup brands are releasing more and more unique colors to accommodate this colorfest.

Using subtle glitter accents made headlines when the hit show Euphoria released. Nowadays, many makeup artists are drawing inspiration from Euphoria makeup looks by using glitter. Similar to bold pops of color, using glitter can provide an ever so subtle bling in any makeup look. Although removing glitter can be rather troublesome, glitter can bring handfuls of creativity to the table.

glitter 14

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Recently, brands like Glossier have made a statement in the makeup industry. Glossier’s products are known for their natural ingredients and producing a natural skin glow. A glowing look is also sometimes called dewy for its shimmering quality. Aside from Glossier products, many other brands are using glossiness to enhance one’s natural appearance.


With the recent popularity of award winning HBO show Euphoria, outof-the-box makeup has taken the beauty world by storm. Makeup artist for the series, Doniella Davy, has become renowned for creating bright and notable looks for each character. Inspired by the classic styles, Melodrama has set out to recreate these makeup trends.

jewels Stick-on jewels come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Jewels are unique because unlike most makeup products, they’re three-dimensional. This not only makes them adhere well, but they also come off easily without making a powdery mess. Jewels draw light so they can provide an extra glow while also providing pops of color. Whether it’s on eyelids or on the cheekbones, jewels are a great way to draw attention.

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“I challenge myself to dress differently each day. I find it interesting to style pieces that I initially considered to be ugly into outfits that I like.”

student all photos by sunny lu, luke sewell & anna liner

“I wouldn’t label my style as boho or chic because it’s all of the above. It really just depends on how I’m feeling and the look that I’m going for on that particular day.”


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“I chose the word simple because a lot of the clothes I gravitate towards are functional and comfortable.”

style✰s ✰ “I would say my style is [sometimes] modern street fitment... and [sometimes] english casual.”

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melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february

bradford melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february


haniyyah 20

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photo and statement by

sunny lu


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irlhood is a trap as much as it is a maska cage of repressed emotion, desire, and expression, but also the gateway to culture and beauty. The Black girls whose words and clothes and hair society appropriates, all while continuing to kill and incarcerate Black bodies that this country stole and keeps stealing from. The Asian girls whose faces and voices have been robbed from them, distilled into products that girls

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who want to look and sound like caricatures of us can buy, while America’s imperial wars continue to wage on our bodies and homelands. The girls with thick hair and thick noses and thick bodies who are surveilled and criminalized in their diaspora. We create pop culture, but pop culture ensnares us– our beauty and creation exists at the expense of our lives. We are held back, in chains, masking our true selves for the sake of our own survival.



poem by

eyob tewelde 24

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february

photo by sunny lu

An African princess she was, In the humble villages of Ethiopia. Whose life was thriving, Until they took her father. She broke her back for a poor man’s fortune. Whose dark skin was covered with a burdens dust. And all this without a fuss. She traveled to the free land, home of the brave, Just so I could grow up, no flashbacks of her day. She cooked and cleaned, as if I was a king, As if she was fine, As if she wasn’t in pain, As if most her life wasn’t at work. A secret so easily decoded. Her only dream was for me to fulfill my own. She yelled when I did wrong, Only so others wouldn’t. But she called me her everything, A statement never told so literal. Her heart didn’t know of herself, Only me, Only mine. Now my African Queen.

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february


Dear Emilie poem submitted anonymously art submission by Brynne Bursack

Dear Emilie, I know it’s been a while since you Spoke to me, But I’m hoping beyond hope that you Remember me, I’m the girl from two doors down, apartment One-o-three. The one that left love letters on your doorstep. Although I suppose I never signed them, so really, How would you know? Skin as pale as porcelain, But speckled like the dawn, Your heartbeat sings the rhythm, To an old indie love song, You’re summertime and soda pop, And lemonade and sunshine, Things I never felt I deserved.


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Dear Emilie, I know you never really grew too Close to me, I know I’m just the neighbor girl, but Hopefully, You share a little piece of what’s Inside of me,

Dear Emilie,

That skittish sort of, ticklish sort of love,

There’s a concert for that band you like, on

For the stranger down the hall, just maybe,

Maple street,

A tiny bit of warmth,

I was wondering if maybe you would

Laughter like the nightingales,

Go with me,

And lips like wild rose,

I could pick you up on saturday, say

Smiles just as numerous,

Two or three?

As the freckles on your nose,

And we could go and you could teach me

You’re daisy chains and morning time,

to dance,

And chamomile and sage,

Because I’m really quite a klutz, but if you’ll

Things I want so badly to enjoy.

let me, I’d like to hold you close, The scent of wild strawberries, And honey-apple tea, Warm as summer mornings, And as graceful as the sea, You’re apple trees and fresh baked bread, And cinnamon and starlight, You’re perfect, And you’re everything to me, Dear Emilie.

melodrama magazine✰s ✰ february


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odrama l e . m

st. lo uis youth culture

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