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founder & editor-in-chief twitter / instagram: @cathrinekhom
ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA FILAS
JUST A PHASE
afe to say, that we’re blazing through summer. It’s one of my favorite seasons because hello, my birthday month falls towards the end of summer but also, during my college years was when I explored Los Angeles a lot. Self-discovery and meeting new people was what I loved about summer with a carefree agenda. As I jot my notes down, my desk job takes majority of my day with a few breaks in-between for catch ups through text and I’ve been doing paleo for almost over three weeks now, which I’m surviving but I must admitt, I miss Din Tai Fung’s food so much. Anyways, this self-love issue has been in the works since last summer and I’m beyond excited with how this issue turned out. Every page is curated by our LW team, contributors and our wonderful talents. Our cover star, Hayley Kiyoko represents the ultimate badass gal in the music industry right now. Her originalilty and strong LGBTQ+ community are super supportive and that’s the kind of love that we want to highlight in our magazine. Love yourself. Take care of yourself.
founder & editor-in-chief, local wolves
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the orange peel
malala fund charity event
protect your magic
accepting the skin iâ€™m in
ISSUE 55 / HAYLEY KIYOKO local wolves is an independent, online and print publication delving into creative minds of all sorts. the publication is driven by the passion for the best coverage and photography to create an adaptive aesthetic. SAY HELLO / LETâ€™S CHAT general email@example.com press firstname.lastname@example.org advertising email@example.com get involved firstname.lastname@example.org
WOLFIE TEAM founder / editor-in-chief cathrine khom copy editor sophia khom community coordinator erin mcdowell marketing coordinator elizabeth eidanizadeh music curator sena cheung web design jesus acosta logo lisa lok / fiona yeung cover photo trevor flores
MANY THANKS luis arriaga dallas, tx @sublime_fan_page_ greendaylover alexa boldy london, uk @alexayo jaylen barron los angeles, ca @jaylenbarron
design / illustration kelsey cordutsky, laura filas, lisa lok, leah lu, megan kate potter, bethany roesler
willa bennett new york, ny @willahbennett
contributing writers kendall bolam, olivia clark, morgan eckel, madisen kuhn, natasa kvesic, michelle ledesma, leah lu, tâ€™keya marquez, jasmine rodriguez, celeste scott, lauren speight
lenara choudhury london, uk @lenarachoudhury
contributing photographers pamela ayala, elliott desai, emily dubin, penelope martinez, dillon matthew, naohmi monroe, myrah sarwar, starr smith, sarah ratner
emma chin-hong san francisco, ca @breathingfog sara feigin london, uk @sara_feigin minami gessel los angeles, ca @minamigessel the heirs los angeles, ca @theheirsmusic
hayley kiyoko los angeles, ca @hayleykiyoko lithium magazine new york, ny @lithiumagazine jenny markham long beach, ca @jennymarkhamphoto rachel shoppy atlanta, ga @at.las_ katelyn tarver los angeles, ca @katelyntarver trevor flores los angeles, ca @trevorfloresphoto CONNECT website / localwolves.com twitter + instagram / @localwolves fb / facebook.com/localwolves read online issuu.com/localwolves print shop magcloud.com/user/localwolvesmag print design (left page) by lisa lok
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playlist + SUMMER 2018 +
PLAYLIST BY SENA CHEUNG ILLUSTRATIONS BY LEAH LU
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pinpoint + I T A LY + COVERAGE BY BEN CABRAL
AMALFI / CAPRI & POSITANO The Amalfi Coast is what you make of it. Perfect for a honeymoon, the pristine beaches and colorful seaside villages are tucked into the mountainsides of the Lattari range. It is straight out of a romance film. Although eating fine cuisine with a view of the magnificent Adriatic sunset would fulfill most Amalfi dreams, adrenaline seekers can find something to satisfy their desires as well. Capri is home to the Blue Grotto, an underwater sea cave with sunlight that passes through an underwater cavity. It creates a blue reflection in the water, illuminating the cavern like a real life magic trick. To get into the cave, I had to duck into a tiny paddle boat that passes through a hole just barely big enough to fit. It opens up to another world. For the best overall view of the island of Capri, it is necessary to get a taxi or bus over to Anacapri. I hopped onto a chairlift that brought me over vineyards and up to one of the most insane sights I have ever witnessed. Once I was at the top, I could look out over the Adriatic and see mega yachts engulfing the crystal waters along the coast, lined with wildflowers and stunning beaches. Mount Vesuvius rested in the background. In Positano, I crossed one of the bucket list. My five friends and I split the cost and hired a boat driver to take us to secret swimming spots along the coast. We ended our daydream with some cliff jumping, incessantly saying how life was not real at that moment. We all felt so grateful for what we were experiencing.
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FLORENCE / NEARBY TOWNS OF SIENA AND SAN GIMIGNANO I spent the month of May studying in Florence, a big city for someone who grew up in small beach towns in the Bahamas and Florida. It was always on my bucket list to experience city life as a local. Fortunately, it was all I imagined it would be. I thrived off of the hustle and bustle, the diversity of the people, and how every corner led to something new. I had to expect the unexpected and be open to accepting all cultures and ways of life, because they were constantly surrounding me. The smaller cities in the Tuscan countryside hosted a different pace of life from Florence. The quaint Siena and San Gimignano boasted stunning views of vineyards and centuries old churches. Wildflower fields surrounded the town walls. It felt as though I was in a vintage Italian film, and I never wanted it to end.
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CINQUE TERRE Cinque Terre was the honeymoon I never knew I was going on. I have been with my boyfriend Harrison for seven months now. On our first date in the States, I asked him what his summer plans were. Strangely enough, we had both signed up to study abroad in Italy in the same city at the same time. After I knew we would be staying together long term, I could not wait any longer for the incredible two months we would have in Italy together. I had the feeling that Iâ€™d be living a Call Me By Your Name summer romance. We planned to visit Cinque Terre on Harrisonâ€™s birthday weekend, booking two nights of accommodation for the three day hike that would ensue. Hiking and training are the easiest ways to explore all of the five lands. The hike from Monterosso to Vernazza took my breath away. Harrison and I walked through vineyards and across bridges with waterfalls below. The trails offered special views from above of each colorful seaside village. We embraced the strong afternoon sun by making it an excuse for us to take a swim in the cool waters. After long days of walking up a seemingly endless number of stairs, we found refuge in mouthwatering seafood dishes that I would consider life changing. My time in Cinque Terre was priceless, full of moments that I will cherish forever with the love of my life.
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LAKE GARDA & VERONA Verona, known as Italy’s city of love, was similar to Florence in its architecture and size. However, it lacked Florence’s immense number of tourists, thus providing a more Italian experience. It was the weekend getaway of my dreams. Bakeries and boutique shops lined the streets, flowers and vines clinging to their exteriors. As a theater kid, my inner nerd was ecstatic as I appreciated the city that set the story of Romeo and Juliet. After wandering the streets of the Montagues and Capulets, it was just a ten minute train ride to Lake Garda, a place where all medieval fantasies come true. I feasted my eyes on enormous castles and colorful lakeside villages. Gorgeous wooden sailboats dominated the turquoise waters as people paragliding soared overhead. It is a land of contrasts. One moment I was on the beach enjoying a picnic and suddenly I would find myself high in the Alps. I swear there is nothing else like it.
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+ BY MADISEN KUHN + BANNER BY LAURA SUPNIK ILLUSTRATIONS BY LEAH LU
goodbyes are generally messy, and ugly, and you usually end up on emotional tangents rather than saying what you’d rehearsed in your head a thousand times to prepare for this moment. with that said, it’s time for a goodbye. firstly, thank you for reading. it means so much to me that you care what i have to say. that this isn’t just a shout into the void. that it has been met with kindness, and understanding, and encouragement. thank you, laura, for decorating the pages with lovely illustrations. thank you, cathrine, for giving my voice a new outlet. take care will always be something i hold close to my heart. as it comes to a close, i feel grateful for the opportunity, rather than misty-eyed about its end (okay, maybe a little misty-eyed.) it challenged me to write in a new medium, gave me some lifelong friends, and served as a unique, disciplined form of self-love. self-love doesn’t always look like relaxing and indulging. often, it looks like putting in place habits and routines that contribute to maintaining your mental health—like regularly writing about self-love and self-care with bi-monthly deadlines (hello, this feature!) it’s important to take the time to reflect on your life, your trials, your mistakes, your successes, and evaluate them the way you used to have to summarize a book in middle school. what was the main idea? the setting? the climax? the theme? what can we learn from our heartache, from our highs, from the interludes, and how can they positively contribute to how we encounter future situations?
i love writing because it makes it easier to reflect on your adventures. instead of having to rely on spotty, skewed memory, your experiences are recorded in messy script or the notes on your phone to look back on with fresh eyes. it will lead you to revelations that sometimes don’t come when the thoughts are zipping through your mind. when you take the time to write it all out, it compels you to carefully focus on what you’re feeling. it doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be poetry, but it will teach you the beauty of slowing down.
in 2015, i self-published my first book, eighteen years. in 2017, i was given my very own spread in a magazine i’d looked up to for years (hello, local wolves!) this year, simon & schuster published my second book, please don’t go before i get better (which leah lu, a fellow local wolves gal, illustrated.) leah and i did an event at the strand in may and celeste (author of local wolves’ feature, ‘the orange peel’) sat with us in the green room while we jittered with anxiety and excitement.
i used to see the stages of my life only as steps towards improvement. i thought i had to justify everything with my desire to be better; seeing present sorrow as a fleeting phase. like somehow, the lulls of depression and anxiety, the slower days, the dull minutes were not me. but they are. every moment is valid. every moment counts. and we must learn to love who we are right now, apart from who we could be in the future. we are more than just the highlight reel. we are the moments in between. the messy hair and the drunken irrationalities. we should find peace in the lazy afternoons, instead of criticizing the inactivity. learn what drains you and what makes you whole. focus on the here and the now and the good. you are here, you are now, and you are good. i used to fear abandonment because i thought that my imperfections made me inferior. that to earn the affection of someone i cared for, i had to beg them, please don’t go before i get better. i believed that someday i would reach this ideal version of myself and suddenly everything would fall into place and i’d ride off into an endless sunset of well-being and stability. and then i discovered that my imperfections do not make me lesser, they just make me human. and these flaws are not detached or impersonal, they are essential notes in the composition of my depth. and unrealistic sunsets should not be the motivation, but rather, the beauty of all that imperfection. the gift of feeling. the luck of existing.
i feel very proud of these accomplishments, but i know they are not the only details that define me. looking back on the highlight reel is good for your confidence—to remind you that you are doing things, you are working hard, you are making strides—but don’t forget the in-betweens. they are just as important. it is easy to love yourself when you’re at the peaks. it takes courage to love yourself through the valleys. but please know that you have it in you. i believe that you will one day (if you don’t already) accept each moment, both “good” and “bad,” as a meaningful part of your path. it’s all you. and it’s all beautiful.
and the chance to write poetry about it all.”
except from the afterword of please don’t go before i get better “we are so lucky to love, to know the light and dark parts of each other’s souls, to get to feel anything at all. none of it is in vain. we turn the hurt into art, into poetry, into stories to share that create unity in understanding. the bliss turns into polaroids we tape above our desks, montages we play back in our minds set to blaring eighties european rock.
farewell i’ll still be writing—through books, instagram captions, and blog posts. i hope you’ll keep reading. i’ll still be reading local wolves every month and cheering on my lw family. this is only a partial goodbye. don’t stop trying. don’t stop being honest with yourself. don’t stop learning. don’t stop accepting. don’t stop believing in your power. and most of all, i hope you always remember to take care of yourself.
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+ BY CELESTE SCOTT + BANNER + ILLUSTRATIONS BY LEAH LU
In the dream I’m standing in an open field and a zippered bag falls from the sky. As I approach the bag, now on the ground, I can hear a bird flapping around inside, begging to get out. I go to unzip the bag and the bird claws at my hand. But I don’t mind. I just want to set the bird free. I unzip the bag completely and the bird flies out. An owl. I’m so happy to see the owl that I don’t even notice the huge gashes on my hand, left from the its claws. Maybe you’re not into reading into dreams. But I am. In fact, I read into everything—horoscopes made by Twitter accounts, multiple green lights in a row, fortunes from Panda Express fortune cookies. There’s something deeply poignant about the things that say with words and symbols what I already feel in my heart to be true. So, when I had this dream about the owl that clawed so viciously at my loving hands, of course I analyzed the shit out of it. For me the dream very obviously represented the way I selflessly love people who have hurt me. Often I am so bent on setting people free from their own shadows that I don’t realize the ways in which they—intentionally or otherwise—cause me harm in the process. I was amazed to find after a simple Google search that to see an owl in a dream is often interpreted as revealing something within the subconscious. Though the owl in my dream, was the thing doing me harm, it revealed to me just how much I tend to let people walk all over me. I inevitably find myself playing Savior for people who have time and again proven that they don’t deserve my saving. Many a time have my hands been clawed at while digging a person I love out of the mud. Of course, I am always happy to do it. Most
of the time simply because no one else will do the dirty work of loving these people as well as I have. So often, I don’t even recognize, in the muck of it, just how much damage is being done to myself. I don’t notice the gashes their claws leave in my skin—though they may be dripping with blood. Even if I do notice, I pretend not to. Or I tell myself, This is why God made you strong. In reality, I don’t think that’s true. I’ve experienced pain in my life that has made me wise beyond my years. I keep my head held high and my chest puffed up, because I am too ashamed to let that pain weigh my shoulders down. But that doesn’t mean the pain doesn’t exist still. It’s simply wedged between the crevices of my existence—between the creases in my cheeks made by forced smiles and the nook between my neck and my shoulder where many a friend have cried. The matured my pain has birthed does not negate the pain itself. It only makes space for me to hold more heartbreak inside of me. Which is why I end up lugging more than my share. Yet, I am learning what it truly means to love oneself, and its not at all what I’d previously thought. In fact, I wrote a piece around the same time last year on the topic of “Self-Love” and it is quite interesting to see just how my thoughts have evolved. I think I used to view Self-Love as a waiting game. Something to keep me busy, while I waited for someone else to come and take the burden from me. In the piece I wrote about buying myself flowers as a form and symbol of self-love, in the hopes that one day someone would follow my example. That someone would love me as much as I’d loved myself. And while I think I was on the right track, a year more of heartbreak and loss has brought me a bit closer to the actual mark.
the orange peel
Perhaps self-love is less about loving yourself as much as you want to be loved. But loving yourself as much as you love others. Perhaps it is about extending grace to yourself with the same fervor and passion and depth as you do to others—for those who have very well proven that they don’t even deserve it. That means give myself second, third and fourth chances. It means making peace with past versions of myself that I don’t like very much. Versions that were selfish and oblivious and pathetic and incompetent. Self-love is about being able to recognize the ugliest parts of myself and declaring that even those deserve a relentless kind of tenderness. Self-love is about being both the owl and the hands. It’s setting yourself free, even as you are so violently fighting against yourself. Perhaps the most difficult thing I am learning about self-love is that it often looks like cutting off those who have proven themselves unworthy of your grace. As an empath, I find it extremely difficult to cut myself off from nurturing even those who have hurt me over and over. I am wired to think of the wellbeing of others before even considering my own. So often, I have put my own energy and heart on the line as a means of mending those who have broken me. Yet I think this kind of severance is crucial if not necessary for complete healing. Of course, cutting such ties is definitely easier said than done. Sometimes these people won’t understand why you’ve suddenly cut off the seemingly endless supply of love they’ve
been benefiting from. Why you stop checking in, or responding to texts. Most of the time they are oblivious to the pain they’ve caused you. And often they don’t realize just how much they depended on you to keep them afloat until you’re gone. They will feel the weight of your absence. Because your light is just that strong. But their acknowledgement of your light isn’t good enough reason to come back. At least not while your wounds are still healing.
To love yourself, and even to love those who have hurt you, you must mend your own wounds. This is the essence of self-love. It’s finally taking yourself to therapy or opening up to a friend you trust. Instead of expecting the love you’ve dished out to be reciprocated, its dishing a little bit out to yourself. None of this is easy. I am still in the midst of figuring out how to love myself on days when I don’t even feel like liking myself. Still, I see the value in my light. I am hopeful that if I learn to extend that light to myself the way I have to others that I will be just fine.
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self-love + WOLFIE SUBMISSIONS +
Self-love is not a single act. Rather, self love is an around-theclock commitment to body positivity, a healthy mindset, and caring for yourself both internally and externally. Whether it be a morning session of yoga or writing down angry thoughts via poetry, self love is the daily promise to live your best, happiest life. CURATED BY ERIN MCDOWELL / ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA FILAS The world below may see me as a creature of the night but you, my guardian among the clouds, know me as a child of the sky. You wrap me in celestial arms of flame until tears turn to rain water and once more I’m in bloom. As you scatter kisses across my shoulders, caramel simmers to black cocoa bean; the hue of the earth my ancestors plowed to create magic kingdoms out of ember and stone. Those long lost children of dead, petty thieves cannot understand why I long for your touch. They fear that mighty wrath you hold between your fiery fingertips. But I, a lover of fever from tender shooting stars, dream of lying safe in your embrace till I too can bathe the universe in the brilliance of my light— ode to a sunrise flavored kiss. - MARY RETTA / VIENNA, VA Self-Love. Something that many of us long for. Something that many of us lack. We’re talking about feeling confident in ourselves after a long time of self shaming. About feeling content with our feelings and not needing others to repeat our worth because we now know we are worth everything we thought we weren’t. I’m so proud of you. You’ve overcome so many obstacles whether it be personal problems, school, family matters or heartbreak. You’ve spent many nights in tears with your messy hair followed by tissues all over the bed that caressed your puffy, red eyes. That’s okay, we all need a good cry now and then. You are more than the person you loathe every time you look in the mirror. Don’t just look at your reflection, look past it. Look past all your flaws you’ve grown to hate. They make you who you are and that’s beautiful. Don’t
give up now just because you got tired. Don’t hide behind the mask you put on everyday just to tell people you’re okay when you really aren’t. You’ve worn so many smiles that they’ve found a home within your skin. Show it. You’ve gotten a heart of gold beneath those cracks in your chest that you’ve tried very hard to heal. You have so much love to give although it may feel like you’re loveless. We could love each other with trust but not until we fall in love with ourselves. You are worth all the love and happiness in the world. Please, please, don’t let people tell you otherwise. I love you along with the many others whom you share a bond with. You’re never alone for you have me. You’re never alone for you have yourself. - CLARISSA GONZALEZ / PALACIOS, TX At fifteen, self-love means remembering to eat breakfast. It means remembering to drink enough water. It means turning off your phone early so you can sleep at night. It means turning off your phone every Saturday so you can breathe. It means remembering to breathe. Self-love is lighting a candle so your room turns into the sweetest vanilla. It’s rewatching Gilmore Girls and rolling your eyes whenever your mum says, “Hey look - it’s you!” because she’s named you after Rory in the hopes that you can be as smart and beautiful as her. It’s knowing that you’re just as hard-working as her and you’re actually kind of beautiful, too. You still don’t have enough confidence to agree with the latter but every day you take a tiny step closer to doing so. Self love is knowing that that’s more than enough. It’s knowing when to take a break instead of burning yourself out and it’s knowing that taking a break doesn’t mean quitting. It’s drawing and singing and dancing even if you know you kind of suck at all three of them but it’s fun so to heck with it. It’s doing yoga despite your insane inability to be flexible and it’s listening to your playlist from when you were twelve - even if it only consists of One Direction. Self-love is taking steps and taking care. Of your body, your mind, your spirit. Your heart. LAURELEI BAUTISTA / WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
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GABRIELLE BONIFACIO / VANCOUVER, CANADA
ELLIE ANDREWS / LONG BEACH, CA
NAMRATA NIRMAL / MUMBAI, INDIA
thought i would cradle into a ball and tear my flesh, tear my soul, piece by piece. you thought i would get rid of me just like you did. but i picked up the broken pieces of us and used them to mold myself. now i shine brighter than the sun ever did on us. i have chosen to rise above the pain and misplaced blame. my external being radiates everything good in the world. my internal self craves to discover new things about itself. my soul is rejuvenated and my world is flowing with grace and love. you really thought you had me. you thought wrong. ALANA SEGI-WIGHT / OCEANSIDE, CA
local wolves classics
Self-love is something that I have struggled with for my entire life. As a plus-size woman I’ve been taught to make myself small. I’ve been told that in order to even appreciate myself, as I am, I have to be “BRAVE”. I should have to be brave to love who I am. I’m starting to learn that. In this set of photos I used myself as a model- something I rarely do, due to my identity issues and self-confidence issuesand I wanted to really celebrate the skin I have. It’s chubby and squishy but it’s mine and it’s beautiful. By using sharp edged confetti that reflects and bounces light across my skin, it felt like the perfect balance when paired with the soft curves of my skin. This set has helped me celebrate my body, love my skin and finally step out of my comfort zone. SALEM COLLINS / INDIANAPOLIS, IN
In the midst of chaos and sadness, it’s easy to drown out gratitude. It’s easy to get lost in the downward spiral and neglect the journey you’ve taken to be exactly where you are. It’s effortless, honestly. Because overcoming obstacles and facing your demons requires work. Courage. Self-love. discipline. It asks for self-reflection and permission to be broken and messy. Silence your ego for a moment. Stop comparing yourself to those around you. Recognize that your journey is yours and yours alone. List off the reasons you’re grateful to be where you are. What have you accomplished? Examine the pits and downfalls. How have you grown? What have you learned? How far have you come? #loveletterstoself - CASHA DOEMLAND / LOS ANGELES, CA let’s talk about self-love. let’s talk about how stretch marks are beautiful but only if they belong to an ass that has a lot of instagram followers. let’s talk about how every body is beautiful but not everybody is beautiful and how we all love gapped teeth but only if you’re a model and about how black is beautiful but only if you’re not too black but if you’re really black that’s cool too because you can be the token dark girl but be elegant and not ghetto, please. let’s talk about how skinny is out and thick is in and if you don’t have curves you’re not sexy but too many curves is even worse. let’s talk about this box that the media wants us to believe is getting bigger, but i still can’t make my body fit inside of it no matter how flexible i get. let’s talk about self-love. how healing expands outside of face masks and bath bombs. how sometimes healing isn’t the hospital room, but the car crash instead. healing is crying and self-love is allowing the tears to flow. it’s simple. it’s taking your makeup off before you go to bed. it’s taking a break from people and things that drain you. it’s not poetry. it’s survival. i am a combination of too-long limbs and a heart that beats like thunder in my ears, constantly reminding me that i am living amongst trillions of organisms and that the world won’t stop even if i need to for a moment. i am knotted hair and margin
JACOB ROMERO / CHICAGO, IL
notes and scarred skin. i am glass jars filled haphazardly with confidence and ego and guilt and brave. i am clumsy and some days i knock them over and spill them at my feet. i am teaching myself that messes are okay. i am learning how to clean up and keep moving. - ASHA BAILEY / SAN DIEGO, CA I spend a lot of time trying to better myself. I flick through the same articles on different sites; how my routine could be more efficient, perfecting my job applications, the best way to present myself, how to better my relationships. With all this work going into my day to day I wonder why I love to travel. There’s something about it. You’re away from your normal surrounds, your routine, and your everyday people, and a small part of you feels free. I feel like a purer version of myself. It’s in this state after a road trip that I realized how exhausting this practice is. All these articles aren’t bad per say, but it leaves the door open for unwelcome thoughts. Thoughts of doubt, thoughts of unworthiness, thoughts that I’ll never get there, leading to the idea that I’ve fucked up beyond repair before I’ve even got out the door. I haven’t considered self-love in so long because I was waiting for the improvement – the person I want to be will be loved, but not the person I am now. But if I can put work in to all those other things I could pour that into self-love. I hoped self-love would be consistent, but what I built back then wasn’t prepared for life now. It needed tending to, and I ignored it in favor of fake flowers. They were pretty at the store, but they’re not the same. They can hold self-love’s place, but they don’t provide me the oxygen for the present or the future. Travel feels like an expensive silk flower, but it’s not a substitute either. It’s a moment to look back and see where I am. Self-love is obtainable, but it’s not found at an airport, train station, or craft store. - JASMINE HARRIS / HARTFORD, CT
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A Recipe for Self Love Serves: 1 Time: Indefinite Ingredients: (3 or more hours) of uninterrupted ‘you time’. (1 heaping tablespoon) of respect (No more than 50 decibels) of quiet (3.5 cups) of thoughts (1) thing that you love to do (but say you don’t have time for) (1 cup, preferably large) of your favorite hot beverage Preparation: * Take the uninterrupted ‘you time’ and gently whisk in the respect and the quiet. * To this, add the thoughts, a half a cup at a time, stirring in between until the thoughts are no longer self depreciating. * Then, let the mixture sit for a few hours while you prepare the thing that you love to do. Ignore the voice in the back of your mind saying that it’s useless and has no practical purpose.
ALLISON BARR / PORTLAND, OR
* If necessary, waft the scent of your steeping mixture to remind yourself just how important it is to take care of yourself. * After you’ve finished with your thing that you love to do, a pinch of it to the mixture. * Stir once more to ensure that the thing that you love to do is incorporated throughout the entire mixture. * Bake for 45 minutes, and when cooled, drizzle over your favorite hot beverage (coffee, tea, and cocoa are all good options). * Eat a slice whenever you feel exhausted or burned out. Remember to replenish your stores at least once a month for optimal self love. - CLAIRE MCNERNEY / PLEASANTON, CA
On Saturdays at the farmer’s market, I look at the bridge, the boats, the colorful stands, and everyone is happy to be there. I’m connected to the land and connected to the people. I see the world through that bubbly lens that only a Saturday morning in spring can provide, and I see how I fit into it. I fuel myself with fruit and hummus and good conversation. By falling in love with the world again, I fall in love with myself. - KYLEIGH MCPHILLIPS / SAN FRANCISCO, CA
NAIMAH SMITH / NEW YORK, NY Practicing self-love is an ongoing pursuit for most people, but those trying to recover from an eating disorder in particular know just how painful it can be. My disorder emerged during a time when fear swelled within me and panic sat in my chest like a heavy rock, and it disguised itself as my saving grace. Comfort and control were slipping through my fingers (or so I thought), and the disordered behaviours promised me that I could keep things in check. Each shrunken meal felt like a pat on the back and I endorsed my habits in the name of “health and fitness”. Every glass surface turned into a distorted lens through which I saw myself, as if I was looking at my reflection through the warped surface of a funhouse mirror. It was like my brain existed separately from my body, which had simply become a string of body parts under my endless scrutiny. It
wasn’t until I returned home that I saw the way my skin had dulled and my eyes sunk low. I caught the quiet glances between family members when they saw my clothes hanging loose, and I would retreat to my bedroom as an effort to escape from the ED voice that always made sure it was the loudest. For someone who so desperately needed control, I had completely spiraled out of it and lost touch with everything I knew and loved. My friends and family noted that the spark in me was gone, and I realized that they didn’t deserve to live with this shell of the person I’d become. I was ill, and I wanted to give them a version of me that was alight again. Beginning the first steps of recovery has helped me understand that self-love is identifying and nurturing the parts of you that are hurting. Selflove, at the very least, is knowing that you deserve much more than to suffer in a world of self-sabotage. As I embark on the uncomfortable path of eating disorder recovery, I dream of a day where there is no disconnect between my mind and my body, and that I can find peace existing as is. Simply finding peace within myself, in whatever form I take; isn’t that selflove? - LAUREN SPEIGHT / OTTAWA, ONTARIO Self-love and I have a complicated relationship, we always have. Throughout the years, we’ve had our good moments, full of laughter and security. But, we’ve also had our bad days, full of resentment and anger. As it is with any relationship, even one with yourself, these things happen. You will have your ups and downs, your highs and lows, and fleeting moments of consistency. The question is: how do we overcome these challenges and get back to Contentment? You have to remember that you are your best lover, and you should treat yourself as such. I talk to myself about how I’m feeling, discuss what I can do to be kinder to myself. I make time for me, to remind myself that I am beautiful and valued. I take myself out for that movie that I’ve been dying to see, or out shopping because I’ve been working hard at my job and deserve to treat myself. I buy myself a new book once a week from my favorite bookstore and take myself out for coffee because I know that these little things will make me happy. But, most importantly, I write. When I can’t find my voice, my words speak for me, and they say more than my mouth ever could. Once, I wrote a poem called “Dear Body”, and it exuded more self love than lips or tongue could ever whisper. I am my best lover, and I treat myself as such. Self-love and I have been in a relationship for eighteen years. We may not be perfect, as nobody is, but we are growing happier with each passing day. And in each day, I am finding a new reason to fall in love with myself even more. - AMARYS DEAN / GEORGETOWN, MD
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a huge part of the journey to self-love that isn’t given much attention is the importance of forgiving yourself and giving yourself room to grow. most times we see strength as synonymous with invincibility, and it causes us to pressure ourselves to have all the answers and to rush ourselves to be the person we want to be. don’t beat yourself up for still having anxieties - having them doesn’t invalidate your progress into loving yourself; it simply means you’re trying, and at the end of the day, that’s more than enough. - ANDREA PANALIGAN / CAVITE, PHILIPPINES
Don’t Make Me Quiet It was from your tired mouth that I learned to raise my voice above mountains and seat it in the clouds silence is not golden, you told me, it is choking. But now it is your hands closing in on my throat pouring kerosene on my tongue training it to tie itself in knots locks of flesh that cannot should not be picked
don’t spill out
don’t spit fire.
- AMY BEECHAM / OXFORD + WARWICK ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA MEDLICOTT
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INTERVIEW BY CATHRINE KHOM ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEGAN KATE POTTER Introducing FIELD ADVICE— I’ve always been so fascinated by people’s stories and understanding how they found their dream job. I’m a firm believer of ‘do what you love’ and learning from other’s past experiences makes you feel like you’re not alone. Whether you’re still in high school or college, everyone has their own path, challenges and advice that they received along their journey thus far. Field Advice is a conversation with creatives in the field who shares their advice. Simple and sweet. In this issue, I interviewed Nick Fager, CEO of Lighthouse, a NYC based startup that provides LGBTQ community with LGBTQ affirming doctors and therapists. In hindsight, I graduated in the field of Health Care Administration. I’ve become more aware of the ongoing challenges within the healthcare field and what better way to kickoff my first ever column by honing in on the healthcare component of my life.
NICK, TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST ABOUT THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY? NICK FAGER: There were a lot of factors that sparked my interest in this industry, but most importantly, I grew up queer in a place where being queer wasn’t really an option, and once I made it through that and came out, I realized that some of the most influential people in my journey were my healthcare providers. Through overt and subtle messages, some had prolonged my time in the closet and added to my shame, while others in my adult life actually empowered me to come out. I found myself holding back from certain doctors and therapists at times and that affected not only my coming out journey, but my personal health. I started to realize that the healthcare system is pivotal for our community and that for the most part, queer people don’t have great experiences in healthcare settings. HOW DID LIGHTHOUSE COME ABOUT? NF: When I went to grad school to become a psychotherapist, I started an Instagram account called @gaytherapy because I wanted to be able to speak to my community using the knowledge I was gaining. The account took off a bit and people starting reaching out to me looking for therapists and doctors of all kinds, not knowing where to turn. I wasn’t even licensed at the time so I started building up a network of referrals, which eventually became the original network for Lighthouse. AS A HEALTHCARE STARTUP, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU HAD TO FACE AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? NF: There are a ton of challenges in this space. For one, there is a ton of nuance in the LGBTQ community, so building a site where for example, a gender nonconforming queer person, a gay male, and a trans female can all find care that is affirming of and specialized to them, is a real challenge. We’re constantly getting feedback from our users to improve this aspect and we’ll never be fully satisfied I’m sure. Another challenge is making sure that someone is having an affirming experience from the
moment they walk in the door. Often healthcare organizations are large and people have to go through several steps before they reach that Lighthouse provider. So we’ve been doing trainings with staff and developing additional materials for our providers to disseminate. WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE MESSAGE AND GOAL FOR LIGHTHOUSE? NF: Our ultimate message with Lighthouse is that healthcare is not a one size fits all industry, and for too long we’ve been settling for a system that was built for cisgender, heterosexual people. There are a lot of specific health considerations for our community, both in therapy and medical settings, and it’s not enough for a doctor or a therapist to say they are okay seeing gay people or that they treat everyone the same. There has to be an additional level of commitment to educating oneself on the issues and exploring one’s own biases. On the topic of bias, there’s a study we cite on our website from 2015 which found that 79% of first year medical students showed implicit bias against LGBTQ folks and 50% showed explicit bias. That’s a serious problem that isn’t being addressed to the extent that it should be. I GRADUATED WITH A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION SO IT’S VERY INSPIRING TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR STORY OF CREATING A STARTUP IN THE HEALTHCARE FIELD. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR STUDENTS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THIS FIELD ESPECIALLY THE HEALTHCARE STARTUPS LIKE LIGHTHOUSE? NF: My best advice for someone wanting to get into this field is make sure your motivation is right otherwise you will run out of steam. Healthcare is an exhausting field and if you want to sustain and build something effective, you need that underlying passion. Make sure you are aiming for a change you believe in, or that you are helping a community you truly care about. CONNECT WITH LIGHTHOUSE: LIGHTHOUSE.LGBT / @LIGHHOUSELGBT
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malala fund charity event STORY BY LISA LOK PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY DUBIN
Lithium Magazine put together an evening of zine creating, bracelet making, and of course cake, where proceeds went to support the MALALA FUND. The night kicked off with four self-driven women who discussed how they’re making moves in their fields. These ladies are making things happen at Light Leaks, the Wing, and Novella, an endeavor recently started by Abby. The walls echoed with topics of reinforcing positivity online and knowing your self worth. “Don't try to align your success with someone else’s,” Kim Hoyos reminds us. In our fast-paced world of social media where everyone seems to be living their dreams, that’s a good piece of advice indeed. Bianca Valle, who’s amassed a decent following herself, points out “It’s not real, it’s all a fantasy.” Attendees walked away feeling ready to take on the world, shining in their own light.
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minami gessel STORY BY T’KEYA MARQUEZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY CELESTE SCOTT
As we all know, Los Angeles is now home to Glossier’s first retail store. ‘Millennial Pink’ on Melrose is truly a sight for sore eyes. Picture this, a city of angels wearing Haloscope and dressed from head to toe with a jumpsuit in that famous shade of pink. I think I speak for everyone, when I say I wish they were for sale. Offline Editor at Glossier L.A, MINAMI GESSEL seconds that statement saying “I literally never want to take it off, it’s so comfortable. I wish we could sell them, it would be really cute to see a bunch of pink jumpsuits around L.A!” For Minami, appeal goes beyond aesthetics. She says, “It’s so much fun to interact with everyone who is also equally passionate about the brand! You get to meet a lot of people and make great connections.” Being a part of a team that’s concept doesn’t completely take the focus off of makeup, but merely let’s its canvas shine is refreshing. Finding balance of the two is important. The key to confidence and living your truth various for each individual, but for her it starts with accepting the body you live in.
She emphasizes, “To just not care what anyone else thinks. I used to be very self-conscious about my weight and how I looked all the time when I was in middle school and beginning of high school. It was to a point where I would look at other girls in the street or in the mall and ask my mom, “Should I look like her?” “I need a thigh gap to pull off these shorts.” It was until my mom told me,” You are never going to look like her or her. You are your own person, so stop comparing yourself because it is going to eat you up inside. Be you.” It was like a slap in the face. It changed my whole perspective on my self-image.” Her continuous stream of inspiration starts with her mother. She gushes, “Of course my mom, she’s a total badass. She’s a single mom and rose from being one of three women in her field to be one of the most valued people in her career. I never want to let her down, she’s the most important person to me and does everything for me. She’s my rock.” Minami herself will inspire you.
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"you are your own person, so stop comparing yourself because it is going to eat you up inside."
The moment I stumbled upon her Instagram, My first thought was “we need a makeup tutorial from this girl!” She has mastered the freckled rosy glow. She loves Glossier for lightweight glowy makeup. Perfecting Skin Tint, Boy Brow, and Priming Moisturizer Rich are her go-to’s. She personalizes her look, sharing, “I love to mix the skin tint with Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood flawless filter! It’s a match made in heaven.” Speaking of perfect combinations, her So-Cal style compliments the hot summers and Californian winters. Whether she’s going to the movies, a Dodgers game or the beach she always keeps cool. She says, “The beach is obvious because I love to swim.” If there was an award for the cutest bathing suit, she may hold the title. As for her everyday style she says, “It depends on my mood but right now I’m loving mixing feminine dresses with sneakers. I think I’m late to the party but it’s practical and super cute. Paloma Elsesser is a huge influence on me. She’s so confident and smart.” She too is confident and smart, Minami is currently a Political Science student. When asked what sparked interest in the this topic of study, she says
“I’m probably like most of the people who have been interested in Poli Sci right now, but definitely, the 2016 election sparked my interest in politics. I feel that women and women of color need to be represented in politics. That our voices and concerns have to be heard. A lot of the policies that the Obama administration instilled are being threatened by Trump’s administration and it is up to our generation to be involved to protect the policies that have protected marginalized groups and the environment. There is something to be said about using your voice to empower not only yourself, but those around you. A poem by Alison Malee comes to mind when speaking of this urgency, “If you are waiting for someone else to end injustice. and I am waiting. and she is waiting. and he is waiting. it will never end. use your voice.” With knowledge as her platform and her voice as the key, this girl is destined to be a powerful force to be reckoned with. She speaks with an open mind about life after school on wanting to pursue various things. She says, “I love school, so I’ll probably go back for my Masters, but maybe work for a non-profit or pursue modeling?? It’s up to the stars!”
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STORY BY MORGAN ECKEL PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY DUBIN
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Meet WILLA. She’s a content creator determined to empower young individuals on a global scale. She’s written numerous articles and produced videos about adolescent identity, inspired by her original research. “In 2017, I published original research on Generation Z, looking at the ways in which this demographic interacts with emerging media platforms and branding initiatives, and focusing on the relationship between media and adolescent identity. For a month of this project, I actually attended an all-girls middle school and observed what it might be like to be a teenager given this era’s zeitgeist. This interdisciplinary project changed the way I thought about my career, and cemented my love for, and commitment to this demographic.” When I asked Willa about where her passion for writing came to life, she gave me a simple and refreshing response. It all started with her own diary during her adolescence. “I told my diary everything, without filter. I would spend most afternoons in middle school just writing in my journal. I then eventually went to Sarah Lawrence College and pursued Journalism [and Dance], which only enriched my relationship to and passion for storytelling. That being said, I’ve recently pivoted to various social media platforms and video formats because I’ve found the social and video spheres of the digital media landscape to have the largest reach amongst young audiences. I am more dedicated to empowering young people, than I am to one certain medium or social platform.”
Although social media is quickly evolving and becoming more inclusive, there is definitely still room for improvement. Willa’s thought provoking pieces continue to give voices to those who need it. “Although much of mainstream media has noticeably improved since I was a teenager, I find there still to be such a huge lack of diverse voices present. I try to make every piece of content the most meaningful and empowering it can be, which often means giving the platform to others entirely.” Willa’s recently published piece for Bustle, about a fourteen-year-old that was told in school that she was “too young [as a teenager] to really understand her sexuality”, has become one of the more important pieces in her impressive portfolio, starting an unprecedented conversation about adolescent sexuality on Twitter and Facebook. “When I pitched the idea for the article, I saw nothing at all “controversial” about it; Everyone, regardless of age, deserves the space to probe at their evolving identities without judgment. Sexuality isn’t static, nor dependent on a particular timeframe. This essay has been up since the beginning of Pride month, and I’ve received really strong reactions, from people (even close to me) about their firm and stubborn belief that a teenager is simply too young to know how they identify. It just further proves how needed this type of content is in the world.”
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"i try to make every piece of content the most meaningful and empowering it can be..."
Especially right now, there is a substantial amount of content encouraging young people to “come out” which is of course amazing, however, when many of these teenagers put their phones down and have conversations about their identities, many are faced with parents, politicians, and school systems that do not know how to respond to these conversations and best support this educated and empowered generation. I really believe that media can be doing more to support young people.
Q: WHERE CAN LW READERS FIND YOUR WORK? A: “I post most of what I create to my personal Instagram and Twitter, and make it a point to respond to every direct message sent to me. I have bylines for Bustle, Elite Daily, Romper, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and have hosted various reoccurring shows on Snapchat Discover, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also always direct message me if you see something missing from the digital media landscape and I’ll do my best to help amplify that.”
From Joan Didion to Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou, to Meredith Talusan, Willa draws inspiration from writers who have shared their own journeys. In addition, she draws inspiration from the real people she meets and interacts with. “I have a strong network of teens around the world that I speak to frequently, and constantly check in with to see how they feel certain publications, specific articles, and events in the news. In addition to these conversations, I analyze data to see which topics on which platforms are resonating with Generation Z at any certain point in time and make informed decisions based on my findings. Both this data and these personal conversations drive my personal work. A teen DMed me last night telling me that a video I was in actually gave them the confidence to come out to their parents, and it just reminded me that one Instagram live, Tweet, or article really can make a difference.”
AS FOR WILLA’S FUTURE PLANS? “I just want teenagers around the world to know it’s okay to be themselves. The process of discovering one’s self is far more complicated, personal, and intimate than it seems to appear online, and I’m trying to make the internet a safer and more inclusive place. I spent a great amount of my adolescence struggling to feel seen and heard by the world around me. I am determined to change the way that young people are perceived, by amplifying their voices and stories. I hope to publish a book about my recent research, and launch some new, and more personal, video series.
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alexa boldy STORY BY MICHELLE LEDESMA PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA FEIGIN
Art is all around us—whether it be recurrent flashes of neon light that ignite a certain sense of self or a photograph that helps you revisit a nostalgic moment in your life—it's the natural essence that brings out the passion deeply rooted within. It's a magical thing, Art. ALEXA BOLDY, a design creative formerly from rural Northumberland, England who's current base is in London, has pleasured all senses by showcasing her creativity by way of art design all across London and beyond. Alexa, always quite keen on art as a child from the start of her upbringing in Northumberland, is often taken aback by the beauty and inspiration her hometown surroundings precipitate. The captivating scenery of her childhood has a significant impact on the work she creates. When asked about any direct influences on her creative work, Alexa states growing up in the rural countryside changed the way she approaches life. Having no form of entertainment growing up, she had to find and rely on her sources of amusement; painting faces or building dens from the ground up to creating props for photo shoots where she'd eventually invite her friends to join in. She had to make it a mission to be comfortable in her own company, to learn new things, and to push herself out of the comfort zone. Alexa is currently working for the agency ODD better known as the London-based Integrated Creative Agency which focuses on advertising, marketing campaigns, and more. As a creative junior art director at ODD, she has noted that the reason she is intensely satisfied with her
job is that of the team she works with and the positivity that surrounds her in the workplace. Alexa says "It's made me appreciate and understand the importance of having a good team around you and working with people that trust in your abilities and always want to push you forward to succeed." She has previously collaborated with brands like ASOS and AllSaints providing them with an innovative design approach to fit their needs while also leaving her artistic touch in the mix. You can take a look at her previous and current (mesmerizing) work on her website, alexaboldy.com. Inspired by people and their efforts toward their passion, a few of her favored fellow creatives vary from Jaz O'Hara and Quentin Jones to powerful and soulful musical entities like Maggie Rogers and Ben Howard. She says making a difference changes the outcome stating "People who make you feel like life is yours for the taking but also give back to those less fortunate than you is why I hope, in my life, I can have as positive an impact on the world." The truth is, a particular emotion is better understood when it's parallel alongside the action. Told by the optimistic design creative herself, in times of distress or sheer moments of gratitude, there is only one way to ascend to fulfill your greatness; and that is with happiness. “Happiness is the most important thing. If you’re not happy with yourself, then you’re the poorest man on Earth. Trust the process.”
E M OST I
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LIVING LA VIDA LOCA
art by alexa boldy
FEELING IT ALL
UNDER THE SEA
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STORY BY NATAŠA KVESIĆ PHOTOGRAPHY BY TREVOR FLORES STYLING BY KATIE QIAN
HAYLEY KIYOKO didn’t meet another openly gay woman until she was 20 years old. Stating she grew up in an extremely closeted environment, Kiyoko’s career has been nothing but the opposite of her upbringing. Finding solace and company in music and writing from an early age—she took the fears, desires and stories she’s harbored for over two years and laid them out in her debut album “Expectations.” The album acts as a culmination project of Kiyoko’s evolution from her previous EP’s and stamps this moment in her life where a full length album was required. Each song is laced with the words of a woman who knows her space and is comfortable with wanting more, because she understands that the opinions of others aren’t the driving force of her life. But it wasn’t always that way. “I always knew who I was from the beginning, I knew that I liked girls. But I had lots of trouble accepting it because there was such a stereotype of what that looked like and I didn’t fit that mold,” said Kiyoko. “And so I didn’t want to associate myself with it and then on top of that I battled a lot of issues of just like masculinity and femininity and the balance of that. And people judging you because of that.” She then went on to explain that in the midst of that battle between her masculinity and femininity, Kiyoko
chopped her hair short and fought with the idea of acceptance: is it something earned through the people who surround you or something that was learned through self love? In Kiyoko’s case that was particularly difficult because she didn’t have anybody to confide in when the weight of this was too overwhelming. That’s when she began to turn to writing and music. “Music was the only place I felt like I could be myself and I’d get my heart broken from a girl and go into my garage and write a song about it and it validated my feelings. Cause I wasn’t getting my feelings validated anywhere else,” Kiyoko said. “So, it was really the safest place for me and I think that’s why I loved writing so much is because I could be open, it was the only person—even though it’s not a person—it was the only thing that I could be open with.” During the interview it was hard not to reflect on the fact that Kiyoko is now the role model to so many young people, the same kind of role model she so desperately needed and craved whilst growing up. Through the writing sessions that helped her at her loneliest, Kiyoko has been able to not only help others heal and find themselves through her own words, but has been able to see how universal her story is. “I feel really lucky and fortunate to be able to be
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there for them and validate those feelings. Cause I think that’s what we’re all looking for. It’s an honor to be able to be that support for somebody,” Kiyoko explained. Through the endless support of her fanbase and the avid listeners, Kiyoko’s message of acceptance and inclusivity has been amplified worldwide. But even in a time when positive images and representation of women—especially queer women of color—is needed, Kiyoko has been met with a double standard within the music industry. “I definitely experienced judgment as far as what I do just because I only like girls and that doesn’t change.. and so you know I’ve gotten ridiculed from people like ‘oh, it’s the same thing, its the same thing’ and I’m like ‘no, it’s not the same thing!’ All these other artists are singing about guys and it’s not the same thing,” Kiyoko explained. By sharing her intimate love stories with women and relationships with women, it puts her at more of a disadvantage than a female singer that sings strictly about her experiences and relationships with men. It’s usually the more heteronormative narratives that are universally accepted and the songs that are “daring” are from heterosexual artists that discuss experimenting, approaching sexuality as a “concept” that can be played with. Kiyoko echoes these sentiments: “You know that really rubs me the wrong way and that’s probably the biggest fight that I have with people, just people understanding that it’s not a ‘concept’ its my life... and that’s hard for people to grasp. But all I can do is continue to lead with my heart and have it be good, undeniably good, so people go ‘oh, this is good!’” Kiyoko’s approach to her craft is one of the key parts of what makes her one of the most favored artists in the industry today, not only for the honesty in her lyr-
ics but also for her stylistic approach. “We always do the music first and then add the melody and put in the chords, and then the lyrics come last. Normally, we’ll be doing the music and then letting the music kind of tell—I let the music kind of tell—me what it’s gonna be about, if that makes sense,” Kiyoko explained. This method of creating her songs is highly prevalent on her debut album “Expectations.” The lyrics weave through the melody like a stream piecing together a story along the way, creating a full-on sensory experience. This style allows the listener to attach these melodies to the emotions that are stirred up whilst concentrating on the lyrics. The album opens with “Expectations (Overture),” which is a layered instrumental, and makes it feel as though you’re entering Kiyoko’s garden of sounds, a fitting introduction to the theme of the album. “I wrote a part of it in Ojai, California and that was very inspirational for me. I’m very inspired by nature, water and colors, and so I was just kind of pulling from those things to kind of inspire me,” Kiyoko said. One of the standout songs on the album is the twofor-one “Mercy/Gatekeeper,” which was formulated differently than the rest of the album because of how it’s lyrics were created, “...that was a poem that I wrote in my journal and then we built the song out from the lyrics. So that’s the only song I’ve done the opposite...it was a fun process.” The song is split up into two narratives: the first part Kiyoko is discussing her depression which stemmed from her struggles with post-concussion syndrome and the second part being the light that counteracts the confusion and sadness that plagued her when she wasn’t aware of her power as the “gatekeeper” of her mind, words and body.
TOP: GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY, BOTTOMS: HELIOT EMIL, EARRINGS: TOPSHOP
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TOP: ALEXANDER WANG X ADIDAS, EARRINGS: MELODY EHSANI
TOP AND PANT: JOYRICH, CHAIN: OHHEYGIRL
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This led to the discussion of whether or not there is a fear of oversharing when putting these songs out into the world. “I feel like as humans we go through so much so I’ve shared a lot with the world and yet I still have so much more to say because we’re constantly evolving and changing and learning. So... I don’t feel like that,” she explained. To Kiyoko, music and writing has always been there as way where she can control her own narrative, where she can uncover all the things she was unable to share with others. Since these personal experiences are being shared to millions of listeners, the responsibility she holds does not go unrecognized by her. In addition to putting her personal touch on all of her music, she directs all of her music videos which are truly a dreamland-like extension of the dialogue that begins in her songs.” For me music is a very visual thing, so for me to be able to listen to the song and watch the video and have that connect, it gives me another level of communication to my listeners,” Kiyoko explained. So not only is there a positive and inclusive representation of queer women within Kiyoko’s music, but the trend also continues within the images she conjures and it gives validation to people who view her videos that they aren’t alone in these situations that seem so alienating and different. “I mean, again, it feels really good that people are connecting emotionally, even if they haven’t been in that specific situation they’re like ‘oh man, I remember this one time so and so did this.’ It’s inspiring for me to be able to have my music transcend any community and that’s exciting for me,”
Kiyoko said. “I’m wanting to have, you know, people just hopefully normalize what I do as much as possible. But sometimes you have to really go for it and be bold with your statements and your messages and that’s kind of what I’m doing. So, I can eventually normalize what I’m doing if that makes sense.” Since the release of her album in March, Kiyoko has coined this year as “20GAYTEEN” which is in its own sense is an additional way that she is normalizing the experiences of numerous queer people and celebrating the fact that we should love ourselves for who we are. Kiyoko is currently on tour and her shows can only be described as one big party: “Oh it’s so fun, you have to come! It’s amazing! Everyone’s singing the songs...it’s really cool, a great part of my job is just being able to see people’s reactions to the same lyrics and how that affects people. They make signs and flags and glitter...it’s a celebration. It’s fun!” Having already sold out multiple shows on her headlining tour, flexed her acting skills in her new role on the Kerry Washington produced Facebook Watch series “Five Points” and directing skills in her new video for her song with Kehlani entitled “What I Need”... Kiyoko has already taken control of the summer and without a doubt the rest of the year. When asked what people can do to make this “20GAYTEEN” one for the history books, Kiyoko said this: “You know...being yourself and not being afraid to speak your mind and standing up for people. I think that’s really important. I think being there for one another and spreading that energy of looking out for one another is really powerful. And I think that that will help us, you know, grow.”
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HAIR BY RACHEL BURNEY / MAKEUP BY MARLA VAZQUEZ
IF YOU COULD TELL YOUNG HAYLEY KIYOKO ANYTHING ABOUT SELFLOVE AND SELF-ACCEPTANCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? DO YOU THINK THIS ADVICE COULD HELP ANYBODY (WHO COULD BE IN THE SAME SITUATION AS YOU WERE AT THAT AGE) TO PRACTICE SELF-LOVE? “To not compare myself to other people. I would tell myself that. I think that the biggest trap is focusing on other people because it takes away energy from ourselves, that would be my advice. Yeah, I mean everyone is different and unique and that’s the BEST, you know? So, I think wanting to be like other people you’re going to just disappoint yourself because you aren’t like anyone else. You are YOU. And I think that’s kind of a trap we get caught into. Yeah! There’s no ‘one size fits all.’ “There is one size fits all but it doesn’t fit well so…” Exactly! It’s the one they try to assign but you can’t...you just can’t… “It doesn’t quite fit.” It’s just a little too restricting... it’s a little too small haha “Yeeess, yeah.”
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local wolves perspectives
PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING RACHEL SHOPPY
MODEL BRITANEY KEMP
STORY BY MERIEL KAYE
protect your magic
when I think of magic i often think of light or glitter, something that reflects the sun. in order to have magic, there must be light. in such a way, I think we are a collection of sparks, replicas of the sun and placed with a purpose to cultivate life. we are connected, laced together by our brokenness and dreams. the stars alight to make known the dark, so that we might see how numerous they are. without the dark, there would be no need for the light and no place for the stars and the sun to shine. we are woven together for such a purpose: to use our spark and our magic to light up the darkness. we are the light that shines in this world. we are protectors of life. we must learn to take in every broken pane of glass and splintered piece of wood, every bruise and every scabbed knee, every fractured heart and every aching bone. you may be broken and battered, misused and mistreated, but you are magic. your brokenness does not diminish your light or your purpose.
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w e a re a collection o f s p a rk s
protect your magic
magic light glitter purpose
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WARDROBE OVERALLS: THE CORDS & CO // YELLOW SHOES: VANS (SHOP LCD) LIGHT DENIM JEANS / GLITTER TURTLENECK / TEXAS SHIRT: CLOTHING WAREHOUSE WHITE T-SHIRT: BAD GIRL GOOD HUMAN // BLACK LEVI'S: BUFFALO EXCHANGE WHITE SHOES: CONVERSE // YELLOW SHIRT: FOREVER 21 MAJORITY OF OTHER ITEMS: THRIFTED
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WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY ASHLEY SERYN, @ASHLEYSERYN OVERLAYS SAVANNAH, @SAV_HUDSON LIGHTING RANDY TINDAGE, @R.TINDOGGY ASSISTANCE MAROL CUBILLO, @MAROLJOAN 70
THE HEIRS are an LA-based band producing “laptop dream pop,” according to their Instagram bio. With music reminiscent of glittering nostalgia and imagery right out of an ultra-vibey mood board, the five are your squad goals.
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SPECIAL NOTE FROM THE HEIRS:
it never occurs to me that there are things we cannot do. it’s almost spring now. months have flown by like the emails containing different versions of our new work. fresh trees throughout los angeles this season along with fresh concepts sprouting through our heads and into our soil. we dream in color it’s never the same but i’ve seen this gold before. it’s always a conscious dream, i can remember it now, i was just eighteen but can’t remember that. these sounds have been natural and have lived with us like siblings, inspired by those around us, experience and memory. we are so grateful. everyday we’d pray that someone would understand us. fall into sand with us and allow the waters to pull us in together. this community creates culture. do it on your own, try and be alone for a bit. make up your minds and speak your own truths. no one can represent you better than you. love always, the heirs
THE BAND BREAKDOWN: SAVANNAH: DIPPED IN GOLD
the heirs EIAN: IGGY POP SASS MASTER
BRANDON: THIRST QUENCHING INVENTOR
BRENNAN: TENDER MAN OF THE WOODS
ALEX: FATHER FIGURE
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jaylen barron STORY BY JASMINE RODRIGUEZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY NAOHMI MONROE
Free Rein star, JAYLEN BARRON, is at the forefront of tackling a diverse range of roles that are representative of strong characters of color. In Shameless, she played the outspoken self-assured Dominique Winslow, who sneakily lies to the lovesick, Carl Gallagher. As Zoe Phillips in Free Rein, she transforms from Dominique’s despicable tendencies into a caring character that forms a bond with a horse named Raven. Recently, Netflix put out a small video titled “A Great Day in Hollywood” that simultaneously advocated for diversity and exemplified that film/tv should be spaces of inclusion. Similarly, Barron also believes that representation is vital for the film/tv industries, because it helps audiences resonate with people that look like them on the TV screen. “Well, it’s everything to me I didn’t have a lot of people to watch that looked like me or my aunties growing up, not in those power roles. I want to be able to bring that sort of pride into the younger audience,” she says about the desire to have more POC playing lead roles within the television and movie screen. Barron gravitates to three-dimensional roles that breathe a sense of reality, complexity, and layered visions. “It really resonates with me because it’s a minority-lead on a children’s show. I feel the show really teaches vital life lessons to younger audiences. It’s definitely an honor to be able to represent the Black and Latinx community in an equestrian-themed story,” she says. “We don’t have anybody that I can think of and please correct me if I’m wrong in this specific arena so it’s very special. My dad always taught us we can be anywhere and everywhere, we belong where we are and this show breaks certain stereotypes in the equine world. I am grateful and proud of Netflix and Lime production for this amazing opportunity as unconventional as it may seem to some people.”
Barron was raised in El Puente, a small community found within the twist and turns of Los Angeles. Her origin was etched by all the cultures she encountered in her town and within her own biracial identity. “Growing up in El Puente showed me diversity and belonging, it’s sometimes a challenge to be a mixed-race person but my parents taught me to love everything unique about myself. It has also showed me that in Los Angeles there was a wealth of people and cultures to love and appreciate along with your own,” she says. Disguised behind her profile photo of Michael Scott from The Office, Barron’s Instagram is a masterpiece, showcasing photos of her polished head-to-toe outfits. “I love fashion and well, this summer I will be filming season 3!! So, I will be in Zoe gear but I do feel any cute bag or pair of shoes can completely make an outfit,” recounts Barron on her must-have summer pieces. Her ability to shape-shift into various roles would likely flourish throughout the next couple of years. Yet, the rest of 2018 will be spent wrapping up Season 3 of Free Rein, Barron gives Local Wolves a bit of details for the upcoming season, “There are going to be special things coming up for the fans. I wish they didn’t have to wait a whole year to watch, but stay tuned for updates!” Barron is a beacon of emerging talent that channels her identity within the roles she picks to the fashion pieces she wears. She personifies the simultaneous technicality and effortlessness that comes with being an actor. As she continues her acting progression, Barron hopes to embody a role metamorphosis much like the icons, Halle Berry, Lupita Nyong’o, and Viola Davis.
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katelyn tarver STORY BY KENDALL BOLAM PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNY MARHAM
Singer and actress KATELYN TARVER has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry by creating music that is real and authentic. Her newest single “Labels” inspires boldness and individuality, encouraging listeners to stay true to their own identity. Tarver’s passion for music and performing began early in life. “I think my love for music began by watching my mom sing as a little girl,” says Tarver. “As far back as I can remember, she was singing!” When asked what inspired her to pursue music professionally, Tarver reminisced on her time on American Juniors, a reality television competition for young performers. “It was like American Idol for kids! If you watched it you’re probably thinking ‘oh yeah, I remember that!’ and if you didn’t you’re probably thinking, ‘they did an American Idol for kids?’ I made it to the top 10 and got to perform every week on TV, go to the recording studio, meet other kids who liked to sing, and live in a nice hotel in LA! It was such a whirlwind for me as a 13-year-old who had hardly been out of her small Georgia town, but it made me fall in love with performing and singing. After that, all I could ever think about was pursuing a career in music.”
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"WE NEED YOUR ART AND YOUR UNIQUE WAY OF TELLING YOUR STORY." 84
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After her experience on American Juniors, Tarver returned to the silver screen starring in Nickelodeon’s hit show Big Time Rush. “I’ve been so lucky to get the opportunities I’ve gotten in acting,” says Tarver. “Big Time Rush was my first real acting gig, and it was the best! The guys became like brothers to me, and the set was such a fun environment. You’re making a show for younger people, so you’d show up to work and get pied in the face, chased by a llama, wear wigs, jump in the pool, get slimed… I have such good memories of filming!” Aside from Big Time Rush, Katelyn has also appeared in shows like No Ordinary Family and Famous in Love, and is set to appear in the HBO series Ballers this August. On June 15th, Tarver released her single “Labels,” an electric pop anthem that addresses the importance of staying true to yourself and not allowing people’s opinions to dictate who you are. When discussing the inspiration behind “Labels,” Tarver described her frustration with feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy. “I feel like I just hit my breaking point with trying to please people and figure out what people wanted from me. As an artist, but also as a person. I was wrestling with self doubt, frustration, low confidence… So I went into my session that day and was just SO DONE with feeling that way!” With “Labels,” Tarver has succeeded in creating a work of art that encourages others to truly be themselves. “As humans, we tend to put people in a box, and as a result we put limitations on others and ourselves. If someone tells you you’re ‘this’ or ‘that,’ it can stick with you in a way that’s hurtful and holds you back. I hope “Labels” empowers people to go after what they want and know they are capable of much more than they think. We all are.” As a seasoned singer and performer, Tarver relayed to us her best advice for succeeding in the music industry. “Practice. Get better. It will be worth it. If you want to sing, find places to sing. If you want to write, write and try to meet other writers. Go where it’s happening! Try and meet as many people as you can. Then, like I said above, focus on your voice. What moves you? What makes you mad? What makes you happy? What makes you feel? Channel that as truthfully as you can, and your art will be better for it. And so will the world. We need your art and your unique way of telling your story.” As Tarver progresses as an artist, she hopes her music will reflect her growth and continue to inspire and encourage her listeners. With more music on the way, Katelyn Tarver is a force to be reckoned with! Whatever she has planned for us next, we can be sure that she will continue to forge her own path and smash labels in the process!
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STYLING + MODEL
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accepting the skin i’m in PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMMA CHIN-HONG
Self-love is something I have struggled with my entire life, not too long ago, my hatred towards myself started to escalate. It got so bad that I started canceling almost every plan I made, and even ignoring people I used to talk to. I felt like everyone else hated me as much as I hated myself. I knew that it was all in my head, but I’m a perfectionist and can’t help but judge and criticize every single part of myself, especially my appearance. It took a long time, but now I finally feel okay in my skin.
accepting the skin i’m in
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In 6th grade, I would wake up with bloody scabs around my eyes and bumps that I couldn’t explain. My doctor and parents thought they were warts at first, and I had to go through painful attempts at freezing them off with liquid nitrogen and using various medicines, but nothing seemed to work. Somehow, the bumps eventually disappeared. But it wasn’t long before they appeared again, two years later, on my scalp, arms, chest, back, armpits, legs– everywhere. They didn’t come back right away. It started off as a couple of bumps, multiplying and multiplying until they were everywhere. That summer, the summer of 2016, I was diagnosed with plaque psoriasis: a chronic autoimmune disease that creates bumpy rashes of dry, scaly skin. My condition was easy to ignore at first. It was pretty mild and was something I could just keep in the back of my mind, away from more important things I had to worry about. I spent my summer on the East Coast in the sun, and the UV rays helped keep it calm. When I started high school was when things started to go downhill. I attend a private, academically rigorous high school. I had attended public school before then, and for the first time I was worrying about things such as my socioeconomic status, and whether I was smart enough or not. There was a lot of competition, something I wasn’t used to. I became very stressed and anxious, triggering my psoriasis to appear everywhere. I started to feel a kind of self-consciousness I never felt before, a whole new level of self-hatred. People started to notice. This time, the psoriasis started appearing on places like my forehead and under my chin, places I couldn’t cover with clothing. They asked if I was having an allergic reaction, and why I had such huge hives everywhere. I didn’t know how to respond. I was too embarrassed to tell them what was really going on, so I would just shrug and smile. I didn’t want to tell anyone because at the time I thought of psoriasis as disgusting disease that only old people and weird people got. That’s the way I’d seen it portrayed in the media. In the show Glee, the football coach, Ken, had psoriasis. Nobody liked him and his psoriasis was used as a reason for people to justify why they thought he was gross. I didn’t want people to think of me in that way. I had nobody that I could relate to in real life. I didn’t know anyone else with psoriasis and I felt so alone. I didn’t want to out myself by telling people that I had it. I saw a dermatologist and she prescribed me to a topical steroid cream for my body, an ointment for my face, and a liquid for my scalp. She also recommended a shampoo that was supposed to help with the flaking. I began to treat myself
every night, my mom helped me apply the cream on my back, which I couldn’t really reach or see. For a while it seemed to work, but never completely. Every week my skin would be good until one morning when the psoriasis would decide to come back. However, it was manageable for the most part, and a part of me still believed that it would go away like the bumps on my eyes did in 6th grade. This past year, sophomore year of high school, was a horrible year for my skin. I was under even more stress that the year before, more than I thought possible. My skin became the worst it’s ever been. My psoriasis became harder and harder to treat, making me want to crawl into a hole and disappear forever. I felt so ugly, so disgusting. I hated myself for having psoriasis, I thought I had done something wrong to deserve it. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin anymore. Almost every night I would cry myself to sleep about it. It didn’t feel fair that I had to deal with it when no one else I knew did. People at school and even family members started asking about my skin even more, but I still felt uncomfortable telling anyone. I was talking to one of my best friends about an acne medicine that was working miracles on her skin. “You should try it,” she said. I was always complaining about how much I hated my skin I told her that acne wasn’t really my concern– that I had something else wrong with my skin that needed stronger stuff. I realized at that moment that I couldn’t admit what was “wrong” with me to anyone because I couldn’t fully admit it to myself. I didn’t want to believe that I had psoriasis, because in my head psoriasis=ugly gross people, and I didn’t want to be that. But I also didn’t like feeling like I was keeping a secret from everyone. I knew that once I got it off my chest I would feel a lot better. But before I could tell anyone else, I had to accept it myself. It took me lots of research, and even secretly joining a support group online to finally feel comfortable with my condition. I learned that there were so many other people in the world with psoriasis, just like me. Beautiful, amazing, smart, talented people. I realized that there was nothing for me to be ashamed of, that it’s not my fault I have it. There is no cure, and I will most likely have it for the rest of my life. I now treat it as part of me, no longer an evil monster that makes me want to die. Each time new plaques appear on my skin, I think of them as flowers blooming. I love going to the field to see the daisies. You never know when or where they are going to appear on the field, just like the psoriasis on my skin. I have flowers scattered across my body, new ones blooming all of the time. I think flowers are the most beautiful things in the world, and thinking of my psoriasis like that makes me feel beautiful too.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUIS ARRIAGA
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local wolves classics
BEHIND THE WORK GRAPHIC DESIGNER / BROOKLYN, NY TWEETS / INSTAGRAM @LISALOKX / LISALOK.COM ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEGAN KATE POTTER
Eve at Po
HOROSCOPE SIGN Yes, I am a Gemini. 100% ON REPEAT “Labels” by Katelyn Tarver! It’s such an anthem song for this day and age. It’s about finding yourself and being confident with who you are.
FOLLOW RADAR Lately I’ve been inspired by ceramics, from the process of creating a unique item, to the colors and patterns. @willowvane and @feltandfat are two of my favorites!
LOCAL GEM Donna is right under the Williamsburg Bridge. After you finish tropical drinks and tacos, you can walk the bridge right into the city.
DREAM DESTINATION Still trying to get to England one day!
CELEB CRUSH er since discovering McFLY such a young age, Dougie oynter has been near and dear to my heart.
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sometimes you have to really go for it and be bold with your
statements and your messages and thatâ€™s kind of what iâ€™m doing