BARE Magazine Volume II

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Artists speak on their struggles with self-doubt



A look through the lens of immigrants living in the South

“Lion’s Run”


A view into how the one percent live

F E AT U R E D A R T I S T Jon Taylor Sweet | Photographer | @jontaylorsweet “I love life, coffee and celebrating moments with the finest. I started taking photo’s on my iPhone in 2012 using Instagram as the vessel to share my work. After a couple of years of shooting, a friend gifted me a camera so I could jump into photography as a career. I was truly blessed to have people in my life that believed in me. With Instagram being a perfect platform to connect with people all over the world I began to realize how great the photo world is. Photography has brought life long friendships with everlasting memories that I will be eternally grateful for. Capturing moments is something that I cherish and am so thankful for every opportunity. God is good! All the time.”

Volume Two Fall 2019

Leo A. Pena

CEO, Founder

McMillan Creative Creative Production




Kaitlin McMillan

Karen Locke

James Zachodni

Creative Director Andrea Arkans

Creative Producer


Kinsey Davis

Graphic Designer

Managing Editor Luna Reyna

Editor / Writer Ralph Reed Editor

Meghan Hole

Jacob Uitti

Lewis Marsden

Grace Gallagher

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer Trevor Boone

Photographer Jay Schober

Photographer DaRemen J

Photographer Anthony Ponce de Leon Photographer



Contributing Writers Christina Passarella, Jennifer

Stavros, Laura LeMoon, Theresa Smith, Awanthi Vardaraj, Shwa Laytart, Alex Frane, Love

Akinkunle, Maren Schwarz, Vianessa Castanos

Head of Business Development Eric Erlandsen

Sales & Business Consultant Varun Dubey

Website Developer

A Letter From the Creative Director Over the last few months, our team of writers, photographers, editors, and consultants have been working passionately to see the second

issue of BARE come to life. With the success of the magazine’s launch behind us, we now had a journalistic responsibility to continue with the BARE message.

Enter our second issue; our “Becoming” issue. In this volume, our team pushed to further establish our identity and find our footing in the

world of technology, fashion, new-age, mindfulness, politics, and sex.

It was important that we chose stories and, most importantly, a cover

model who represented the BARE generation—the people challenging the status quo.

This issue’s cover feature is Doug Ta’a. You may not

know him but his story mirrors those of us who have struggled with

depression, self-doubt, and self-love because our identity is trivialized, judged, and discriminated against. His story is one of triumph and empowerment, the kind of story that will uplift

and encourage all who hear it. He is a true representation of BARE’s mission to change the world.

In this issue, you’ll also find a broader scope of global topics. You

can find Moroccan Fashion icon Maison ARTC on page 28, we pay homage to ANSI art (you’re not alone if that was before your time)

on page 38, and artists reveal their thoughts about self-doubt in our feature story “But is it Art?”

Stripped of any concerns of “what people will think,” BARE is here to showcase raw and

uncensored ideas. Let’s strip away any fears or judgment and live our lives BARE.

Kaitlin McMillan

BARE Magazine Creative Director

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“Lion’s Run” A View Into How the One Percent Live Page 57

The Upcycled Style of African Fashion


Page 25

But is it Art? Page 41

Page 47

Becoming Doug Ta’a

One man’s journey in finding himself through advocacy and the art of dressing well and how he hopes to help others along the way


CONTENTS 07 Living Forevor

67 Back in Black: Cannabis Pushed

11 Mètier Brewing: Bringing People Together Over a Pint

15 Golden Goose: The Year of the Dirty Sneaker

71 Recipe: Indian Bread

19 Is the “American Dream” Alive in the South

74 The Death Positivity Movement

35 ANSI Art Returns

78 The White Commodification of

39 But is it Art

62 The Power of the Pole

81 Advice Column

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Into the Dark, Again

Blackness in the Fashion Industry

Living Forever. How New Tech is Allowing Deceased Actors a Future in Film Story Luna Reyna



n 1993, when Brandon Lee was

questions about how the digital future will

accidentally killed on the set of “The

impact our moral rules.

Crow,” a digital reconstruction of his face was grafted so that they could finish the

For perspective, the GDC is to the gaming

film. When Paul Walker died in a car crash

development industry what South by

in 2013, the film “Furious 7” was finished with

Southwest (SXSW) is to the music industry.

body doubles and visual effects, and Samuel

The conference includes lectures, panels, and

L. Jackson was even de-aged in this year’s

roundtable discussions, as well as an expo

Captain Marvel release. Surprisingly, all of

that exhibits emerging game developments

these examples of how deceased actors are

from leading technology companies. One of

“living on” in the film industry are not isolated.

these companies is 3Lateral, who recently

It’s a practice used far more than known to the

joined the Unreal Engine team, ran by

average movie viewer.

Epic Games, a video game and software development company. During GDC Vladimir

Beyond the examples in film of Lee, Walker,

Mastilovic, the CEO of 3Lateral, gave a

or Jackson this kind of digital rendering is

riveting keynote speech about the future of

becoming more common with companies

digital human technology.

like Digital Domain. Now an actor’s likeness can be saved and used, even posthumously.

This technology allows filmmakers, content

Franchises like Star Wars are acting proactively

creators, and game developers to create

and scanning all of their leads so that filming

real-time photorealistic digital characters

can continue if the actor were unable to film

almost indistinguishable from real humans

for any reason.

that can be used in everything from artificial intelligence and mixed reality applications to the entertainment industry. Chances are

“We will always digitally scan all the lead actors in the film,” visual-effects supervisor Ben Morris told Inverse. “We don’t know if we’re going to need them.”

you have already witnessed some degree of digital human technology in film, but it is the resurrection of actors who have passed on, or even age reversal, that has some rethinking their approach to their careers. These digital clones don’t come easy, or cheap though. Capturing every angle, every wrinkle, every pore and expression takes up to two

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This digital future that will blur the lines

days and a full-service scan can cost a million

between reality, virtual spaces, and even life

dollars, but the long term profits for an actor’s

after death can best be experienced at the

family, even after death, could far outweigh

Game Developers Conference (GDC). In 2019,

the costs. “An actor that is alive today can use

there was a record-breaking attendance at

a scanner to get a digital 3D model of their

San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center.

appearance, and then sell a studio the right to

Each year’s growing attendance highlights the

use their image for, say, five movies after their

ever-growing industry and the interest in the

death,” Mike McGee, co-founder of special

evolution of technologies that bring up new

effects studio ​Framestore tells Vice.


“Actors who are very young and think they’re going to have a successful career can start scanning their bodies periodically, so they can act in different age ranges, either when they are alive or dead.” This is something late actor Robin Williams was most likely aware of. He restricted any use of his name, images of himself, his voice, or his likeness for 25 years after his death so that he could not be digitally inserted into any films, ads, or endorsements. In 2039 the rights to his likeness go to Windfall Foundation, a foundation that he started to raise money for a long list of charities. This is a whole new revolutionary way of looking at publicity rights.


California law — home of the American film industry — says that for the first 70 years after an actor passes, they have control over their public image. Contracts generally have clauses stating what an actor’s likeness can and cannot be used in and publicity rights in most states don’t allow an actor’s image to be used without consent, but now actors are actively engaging in the conversation about their computer-generated images in movies, television or commercials. “Celebrities are increasingly involved in making plans to protect their intellectual property rights,” Mark Roesler, an attorney, and chairman of CMG Worldwide, an agency representing celebrity estates, tells Reuters. “They understand that their legacy will continue beyond their lifetime.” And at GDC, Epic Games promised that this tech will only become more indistinguishable from real humans.


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bringing people together over a pint

Mètier Brewing Company Cultivates a Brewery That Embraces Everyone Story Jacob Uitti

Photography Trevor Boone

Most of the world’s beer industry is comprised of white people. This has been true for hundreds of years, and it’s true today. But that may be slowly beginning to change thanks in part to a new wave of black-owned breweries and other brewers of color. One such pioneer is Rodney Hines, CEO and co-founder of Woodinville, Washington’s Métier Brewing. Rodney is a black man who has often found himself amidst clashes in culture in the U.S.

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14 Hines remembers not long ago being in his local pub in Seattle’s Central District — a historically black neighborhood — but he didn’t see anyone who looked like him — not the staff, and not the patrons. He knew it wasn’t so facile and

“The indus has look m like

Community has always been most important to Hines.

Whether going to church with his family or brewing beer

with buddies, the people he keeps in contact with influenced

simplistic that black people don’t drink beer. Rather, he

his moral compass. So, it was only natural that his love of

thought, there aren’t places that seem inviting to communities

community, his passion for social change, and his affinity

of color. So, he thought, he had to create that place. But, of

for brewing, which began after college, lead to him owning

course, diversity and inclusion can’t be the only aims. The beer

his own spot. “I started brewing beer in my early twenties,”

has to be top-notch.

he says. “Brewing is about hanging out, drinking beer, and making beer. I get excited about what can happen when

Hines, who grew up in Philadelphia, graduated from Bates College in Maine and dove into nonprofit grassroots in inner

people come together over a pint.”

cities. “We’re constantly dealing with the history and results

Having worked at Starbucks and Microsoft, Hines knows well

of inequality and social justice,” Hines explains. “I think

what it’s like to make significant changes as an employee

that’s something we all own. We’re dealing with cycles of

inside a big company, Now, with his brewery, Métier, which he

communities being impacted and not given fair access. I feel a

co-founded in 2018, Hines is the top dog in a small business.

responsibility to act on addressing these issues.”

But the change that Métier can accomplish is no less important

beer stry s to more us.”

than what his old employers can accomplish. With Métier,

15 dialogue, conversation and action. Now, I’ve got one.”

Hines can help the brewing business learn to better reflect the

community it ultimately aims to serve. “We are truly guided by a mission,” says Hines. “I want people to understand and

At Métier, Hines says customers of color hang out over a

feel this. We want to produce damn good beer and build a

pint, spend time with their family and enjoy the atmosphere.

stronger community to inspire bigger dreams for all.”

They seek his place out, he says, even though it’s not located in Seattle proper. Hines has eyes on opening more Métier

Métier brews thirteen beers year-round, including the award-

taprooms in Washington to promote the vision he’s had since

winning American Wheat and Coconut Porter, with a few

day-one as a professional: to help underrepresented people.

other brews made throughout the years in collaboration with local breweries. Métier also recently collaborated with two-

“Our vision is bigger than we are today,” he explains. “My

time James Beard Award-Winning chef, Edouardo Jordan, a

desire is that Métier Brewing Company’s legacy will be its

celebrated black chef making waves in the culinary world. It’s

influence on this industry that does not look like us. We will

these relationships Hines finds supremely valuable in an era

help wake up this industry to understand and appreciate that

when social change seems increasingly possible. “I’ve always

for this business to grow it’s got to reflect and embrace the

wanted to create a space where everyone feels welcomed and

broader society. The beer industry has to look more like us.”

where they see themselves,” says Hines. “A place that sparks

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16 Model Rian Iheln

Photography Anthony Ponce de Leon


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Golden Goose ‘Mid Star Sneakers in Glitter and Suede’ retail for $550.00.

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Before “Make America Great Again” was emblazoned on to red bargain-bin hats, there was the American Dream; the unofficial slogan that declared to people the world over that this was the land of opportunity. This was the place where anyone from anywhere could settle in pursuit of happiness. Given the current political climate it can be hard to remember that the United States was once a symbol of endless possibility. Now, in the era of President Donald Trump, it would seem that choosing to come to the U.S. for a fresh start offers more risk than reward. More than ever antiimmigrant sentiment has seeped through the very fabric of American life. But if you look closer you can still find remnants of that American dream in the most unexpected of places — Charlotte, North Carolina has rebranded itself The New South, a moniker intended to highlight its transition into one of America’s fastest-growing and most progressive cities. But just how welcoming has Charlotte been? We spoke with a few immigrant business owners about their lives in the New South.

Manolo Betancur, Owner, Manolo’s Bakery

Tucked into the corner of a small, nondescript shopping plaza

study political science. He later moved to Charlotte in 2005 to work

in east Charlotte lies Manolo’s Bakery, a favorite breakfast

with his ex-wife’s family business. “Charlotte was not as crazy as a

spot among the Latinx and African communities in the city.

big city, but not as boring as a small I moved here and

The street-facing exterior wall of the building is embellished

just fell in love,” Manolo says, smiling broadly. Since buying out the

with a mural depicting immigrant children flying kites, a

business from his former in-laws and ex-wife, Manolo has seen the

landmark painting by local artist and activist Rosalia Torres-

bakery grow from six to 22 employees. They now distribute their


goods to 100 stores in two states, 75 of which are in the Charlotte area. However, the most challenging aspect of being a business

Manolo Betancur, the owner of the bakery, first came to the U.S. to

owner has been Immigration and Customs Enforcement


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(ICE). “There are a lot of immigrant kids losing their mothers

Manolo sprung into action, paying nearly $50,000 of his

and fathers. ICE has been very aggressive here on Central

own money for legal services to update Ramon’s status and

Avenue. They have even picked up people from my parking

secure his release.

lot, and whenever the community hears ‘Hey, [ICE is] at Manolo’s,’ people stop coming,” he adds. One of the people

Now Manolo is working with a number of local and immigrants

taken into custody during these raids was Manolo’s own

rights organizations in support of his community. Ramon remains

employee Ramon* who was picked up after a shift at work.

one of his best employees.

Lucia Zapata Griffith, Owner, Poplar

Before leaving Lima, Peru and relocating to Charlotte, Lucia

rather than sell the historic landmark, she partnered with Chef

had already built a career as a successful architect. In 1985

Bruno Machiavello and business-woman Yolanda Johnson to

after visiting a friend in Charlotte, she landed a job with a firm

turn it into the restaurant that it is today. “The house has its

that sponsored her visa, and she’s remained in Charlotte ever

own story to tell, this restaurant is just adding another layer to

since. Once she opened up her private practice her specialty

that story.”

became designing and building restaurants the evidence


“The house has its own story to tell, this restaurant is just adding another layer to that story.”

of which is easy to spot while strolling through Charlotte’s

The white, Victorian-era house on 10th street, with its broad

airport. Concessions like Wendy’s, Einstein Bagels, and the

umbrellas that dot the front lawn offer just the right amount

large bar in Terminal A are just some of the projects that Lucia

of shade for sipping cucumber-infused cocktails. Inside,

has left her mark on.

the beautifully restored stained-glass windows and dark mahogany accents breathe life into what was once a private

“I did some developments on my own. I’d buy a place, fix it,

home turned bookstore. This Poplar Tapas Restaurant & Bar is

and sell it. And I found this house. But once I fixed it, I just

the upscale casual dining concept Lucia Zapata couldn’t bare

couldn’t sell it because I loved it so much” she beams. So

to sell. Her office occupies the second floor.


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Carmen Vazques, Executive Chef & Partner, Yafo Kitchen

At 17-years-old Carmen Vazques and her brother traveled

Now with three locations across Charlotte, Yafo Kitchen has

from Mexico to Charlotte to visit family. Now, 23 years later,

taken Carmen one step closer to her goal of becoming a

she has earned the title of partner and Executive Chef at local

published cookbook author and developing her own healthy


and authentic Mexican food concept. “Being a woman chef is

Yafo Kitchen.

difficult; they think that because you are a woman you can’t do it, but I’ve proven myself,” she tells me. “Frank has nine

Carmen knew soon after arriving in Charlotte that her dream

restaurants and I’m the first woman Executive Chef, so I feel

was to work in a professional kitchen, so she got an entry-

like I’ve made it. It’s the American dream.”

level job working with Frank Scibelli, a local restaurateur

You would be surprised to learn that while Charlotte is a

who owned nine restaurants in the city. She would quietly

conservative city in one of the most conservative states in

watch and learn from others while developing her own skills,

the country, it is one of the most racially diverse metropolitan

until eventually, after many years being the only woman in a

areas in the South; that diversity coupled with an attractive

male-dominated field and working her way up the ranks, she

cost of living and an abundance of community building

was offered the opportunity to become a partner and run a

initiatives might make it one of the few remaining bastions of

kitchen of her own.

a not forgotten promise.

25 “Frank has nine restaurants and I’m the first woman Executive Chef, so I feel like I’ve made it. It’s the American Dream.”

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Story Love Akinkunle Photography Courtesy of Maison ARTC

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12 28






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African authenticity is often questioned. But there is no


standard for authentic African fashion.

It feels like African fashion has been tossed into a

The truth is, there is more to the African fashion than

box; a box of predictable, repetitive styles and limited

what exists in pop culture. Africa is a vast continent

expectations. When people hear the designer is African,

with centuries of heritage and culture with influences

they probably expect “ethnic,” “tribal,” or “colorful.”

from Europe and the Middle East, and even modern-

When those expectations aren’t met, the designer’s

day western trends. Although certain narratives












presently dominate the media, it’s important to explore the fashion and its origins beneath the surface. Many designers are doing just that. One such designer is Artsi Ifrach, art director and designer of Maison ARTC, a fashion house based in Morocco. Inspired by human creations, he sources his fabrics from flea markets and vintage shops all over the world. Everything he creates is upcycled, preserving the soul of every textile and garment he works with. For Ifrach, it’s not just about making clothes, it’s about telling a unique story and discovering the soul behind the fashion. He paraphrases Napoleon, “there is a fine line between the ridiculous and the

styles, ornate headpieces, and even masks, he filled the runway with royal purple, bold reds, enchanting

sublime.” Ifrach uses this line as inspiration every

greens, and brilliant golds. It seemed to chronicle

time he creates a piece. For him, the sublime is being

different facets of human existence, from art to

true to yourself, and never questioning who you are.

spirituality. Through his line, Ifrach emphasized the

True to his strong beliefs in individuality, he creates

richness of North African culture, and it’s ties with the

one-of-a-kind pieces. None of his creations are made

Middle East.

to order, rather he creates based on his state of mind. When asked about the future of fashion, Ifrach says, I first discovered Maison ARTC at Arise Fashion

“the future is the past, instead of going forward, we

Week in Lagos. With a range of different fabrics,

need to go back.’’ Perhaps this is true, perhaps the

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only way to truly experience and appreciate fashion is to slow down and go back to the time where it wasn’t just about the trends, but the history and the heritage behind the garment. It’s easy to lose the essence and story behind a textile when it’s mass-produced and replicated. Whether this future happens in the next few months, or in a few years, African fashion will soon be appreciated beyond the trends — and instead celebrated for the stories, crafts, and diversity behind the textiles.














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time they have all just weeded themselves out and now it’s just my group of women that totally support me, and

A MOTHER’S JOURNEY Motherhood is a journey. Once it has begun, it never stops and is always evolving, as we do. It is the rawness of motherhood that Amanda shares with her growing Instagram following and it’s her recent advocacy for cannabis that has made her an influencer. “Mamas, it’s not every day that unicorns shoot rainbows out their ass. You had a bad day. That’s ok. Go grab some herb and relax. Tomorrow is brand new.” Sharing so much of yourself and your family online, combined with being an open advocate of cannabis, is an area of contention for many, but Amanda seems unbothered. “I think over

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I’m so grateful for that,” she explained. Her focus is on educating herself on medicinal cannabis so that she can be a reliable, informed source for her followers and family, not the internet trolls. On the most basic level, most of us simply hope for a happy and healthy family, and Amanda has found that through the medicinal value of CBD her hope is that through her online advocacy she will impact the lives of those open to plant medicine and holistic living, destigmatizing something that she feels is over-regulated and underappreciated. Photography Courtesy of @supermodemomma


NOSTALGIA FO Story Jennifer Stavros


Nostalgia is the name of the game these days, but in the art world, it’s more than that.

During the early ‘80s, bullet board system (BBS) message boards were

hot. Nerdy as it may sound, these message boards were a place for online

chatting, gaming and in many ways the beginning of social networking as we know it. Folks running these communities had to get creative to bring

attention to their groups, however, this was difficult to do back in those

days due to early computer’s limited amount of colors. ANSI art is created using ANSI blocks, enhanced text character blocks that produce color to

create artwork.

ANSI art is a time-intensive hand and number oriented form of creating digital artworks. Artists can create via changing individual blocks on a

numeric keypad or can draw via mouse or tablet and stylus. Pieces can take

anywhere from a half-hour to months to make depending on the intricacy

of the piece.

While many folks not in the know might confuse ANSI art for its popular nostalgic pixel art counterpart, the two forms are tremendously different.

Pixel art is created without the block by block techniques that are used with

ANSI. Pixel art is made by using computer-generated tools and techniques that only simulate early computer’s blockiness. Folks within the ANSI

community can recognize when folks use these pixel cheats.

Who are these digital time travelers and why do they continue to thrive?


OR LOW-RES FUTURE Meet Fuel: The artists that are keeping the BBS’s ANSI art culture alive.

Part futurists, part ordinary Joes and Janes, the international group of

artists is an eclectic group that’s giving a nostalgic form of art a current artistic reality.

While there are far fewer BBS boards than in their heyday, the group still creates screens for BBS games and fan art. The spirit of this art, although rooted in nostalgia, is nuanced by the connection of the past with the newfound digital playground of the future.

Some artists are relatively new to doing ANSI art, but others within the team have been creating for decades. The group took a nearly 20-year

hiatus in 1998 only to return in 2016. Pinguino, a professional digital-artist, is one of the newcomers to the scene. According to Pinguino, “millennials

are drawn to it because they grew up around video games.” Many of the

other artists are not professionally trained but are members of the hacker

and computer community and have been doing ANSI art since high school.

While some subcultures have mixtapes, Fuel works to create artpacks.

These artpacks are compiled by numerous ANSI artists and create a

playlist of Fuel’s collected artwork. Artpacks can contain 20 to 30 pieces of various complexity and size. For Fuel, it’s more about quality rather than

quantity.“It’s like an (music) album but with ANSI art,” Pinguino explains as she showed me some of the team’s work.

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Art created within them can be found on their site. Art packs in this

digital art gallery come out every three months. Folks interested in ANSI can also get their art at demoparties, hacker-oriented events, or even

conventional art shows.Pinguino collaborated with her international

Fuel counterparts Necro, The Knight, and Burps on a work entitled

“Repaired-Rebooted- Reborn,” which was featured at the Los Angeles art gallery, The Hive, last year.


Subject matter in the ANSI art world has shifted as the artists producing

the works have aged. Television shows like “The Ren & Stimpy Show” and

“Beavis and Butt-Head” are still depicted from time to time, but it’s not

without the addition of cultural references like a portrait of Frank Reynolds

of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” or the character Bubbles from

“Trailer Park Boys.” Nowadays, Fuel and other ANSI art groups are fueling more than just nostalgia with their art. They are creating a digitally hand-

drawn bridge between now and a vibrant past that continues to resonate block by block.

HOW EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT ARE YOU? Story Christina Passarella Are you the friend everyone turns to for advice, or are you more

personal success. Put more simply, people with higher EQ

of a gossip? Are you always calm and collected, or do you hold

maintain healthier relationships, make great leaders, and

it all in until you explode like an emotional Mount Vesuvius?

manage stress better. While some people are naturals,

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, measures our ability to

most of us have plenty of room for improvement. So, how

understand and manage our own and others’ emotional

emotionally intelligent are you?

responses, and it’s been linked to social, professional, and



A) Respond immediately, noting that these are changes they previously declined and definitely aren’t necessary.



A) Hear them both out and choose a side based on what you learn.

B) Ignore the email for now and head to happy hour. It’s Friday, after all.

B) Avoid both of them as much as possible and start hanging out with new friends. Who needs that drama?

C) Send a quick message letting them know that you’ll review their ideas and follow up Monday.

C) Invite them both to brunch and offer to mediate so they can clear the air.



A) Decide which illness you’ll come down with to excuse yourself from the party.



A) Use their ideas after their internship is over so you don’t have to credit them.

B) Go to the party but sneak out early to go to the concert.

B) Thank them for their ideas, but keep things the same. New processes are just more work.

C) Turn down the tickets; you don’t want to disappoint your cousin.

C) Acknowledge their contributions to your team and try to implement their ideas.



A) Stick to your story. Backing down now will only mean admitting defeat. B) Casually work in a change of subject then offer to order take out. No cooking means no dishes in the first place. Problem solved. C) Suck it up, admit your mistake, and offer to do the dishes for the rest of the week as a peace offering.

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RESULTS: Award 1 point for each A response, 2 points for each B response, and 3 points for each C response. 12-15: You’re a master of self-awareness. You accept criticism gracefully, keep your commitments, and handle confrontation in a respectful and honest way. You’re a good friend and will make a great leader if you aren’t one already. 7-11: You’re on the right path but there’s room for improvement. Conflicts can’t be avoided forever, so be honest and open to feedback. Accepting criticism is a necessary part of improving your EQ. LESS THAN 7: Self-reflection may not come naturally to you, but all is not lost. Practicing self-assessments, reflecting on negative emotions before reacting, and honoring your commitments will help improve your personal and professional relationships.


BUT IS Artists Speak On Self-Doubt

40 Story Jacob Uitti I often recall the scene in the 1975 Orson

certain piece will be good enough or whether

which the celebrated director recites the famous

present in my work.

Wells film on art forgery, “F For Fake,” during

English poet, Rudyard Kipling, saying, “When

I, myself, am good enough, doubt is regularly

first the flush of a newborn sun fell on the green

More recently, however, I’ve begun to talk

and scratched with a stick in the mold. The first

told them that I play a game to see how long

and gold, our father Adam sat under the tree

crude sketch that the world had seen was joy

to his mighty heart. ‘Til the Devil whispered behind the leaves, ‘It’s pretty, but is it art?’”

This verse, of course, is about self-doubt. It’s a feeling that plays a significant role in the

internal world of any creative person. For many artists, the job requires producing work —

often made in their most vulnerable moments

about the phenomenon with fellow artists. I’ve it takes after my writing is published for me to feel down or become sullen on any number of

topics I am battling with in my head that day:

money in the bank, some idea of social status, or if I’ll get a chance at great work again. In turn,

they have told me about their own struggles of

career comparison, of not getting recognition, or perhaps not being able to make art again at all.

— and offering it to the public, therefore, to

Here are nine accomplished artists from Seattle,

life as a writer living in Seattle, I understand

doubt in their own way.

public criticism, or evisceration. In my own

this dynamic well. Whether it’s wondering if a

all of whom describe their experience of self-





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“Doubt is part of the process.” Danny Denial is a front man for several

of being exposed as a fraud is real most of the

publications like Afropunk.

with healthy habits like meditation, staying off

videographer, whose work has premiered in

“I struggle with self-doubt often, which I think mostly stems from impostor syndrome as an

artist, and it famously rears its head at the stage when I’m completing a project and bracing the

notion of ‘presenting’ to the public with a release.


in the photo to hide that I’m a fake. The fear

music projects in Seattle. He is also a renowned

time. But sometimes I can ward off the feeling

social media, exercise, and working on my craft

for self-fulfillment instead of trying to ‘be a real


Martin Douglas is a music writer for KEXP-

FM, a public radio station in Seattle, Washington.

You build it up so much in your head, especially

He loves professional wrestling and chronicling

that comes with showing your work in a public

for the station.

the longer you live with a project, but the dread

forum is very real and can be debilitating. It’s

a necessary wart to confront, and that feeling becomes more numbed over time.”

Kate Voss is the lead singer in the acclaimed

jazz duo, Sundae + Mr. Goessl. She has a buttery

smooth voice and tours the country often singing for gleeful audiences.

“I have 20/20 vision,but I wear glasses to hide myself. I remember buying them as, like, a

the most impactful music from northwest bands

“I experience self-doubt fairly often. When I experience it, I try to keep things in

perspective and remember what I’ve achieved,

and the intellectually and spiritually satisfying work that I’ve done. Reading something I’m

particularly proud of always helps. A friend

who is also a writer once told me about writing,

‘Doubt is part of the process.’ I keep that in mind when cycling through self-defeating moods.”

costume thing several years back. When I was

Nozomi Mumsie Momo is the badass drummer

two years ago, I went to the ceremony not

Smith. She’s one of the city’s most captivating

up for vocalist of the year at Earshot Magazine knowing if I was going to win and terrified

either way. I instinctively put the glasses on. I was SHAKING! I was so nervous to even go

to this thing that I put glasses on to hide. I

couldn’t believe I was even up for an award like

for the Seattle goth-prom punk band, Dark


“Even just saying this makes me feel shitty

because I feel like I’m perpetuating the whole

fetishization of female musicians, alas, being

this. I’m not that great of a singer and everyone

a female musician is like being the prettiest

entire community knew and loved. I did not

you’re complimented on how great you are but

else on the list was a seasoned pro that the

belong. But I won. I’m wearing fake glasses

anomaly at the freak show. Eyes are on you and you’re never sure if it’s that you’re great as a

female drummer or if they actually know what

of me wonders about the mental repercussions.

they’re talking about and mean that regardless

When I’m pulling my hair out just before a shoot,

drummer! And I mean that, not just as a female

more smoothly than anticipated and that I’m

of gender. I’ve had guys tell me, ‘You’re a great

I have to remind myself that things tend to go

drummer but in general!’”

doing something I love in support of people that

I don’t want to be ungrateful for the fact that

truly lucky.”

being a girl does open doors for me but it also

sucks that people will sometimes assume that

you get credit purely for your gender. It makes

inspire the hell out of me — for that I know I am

Kathy Moore is one of Seattle’s most accomplished

guitarists. To whit: she’s currently giving Pearl

“It worked out through 43 tears and the skin of my teeth.” me spiteful when I see beautiful girls that aren’t

Jam’s Mike McCready theory lessons.

I know is shitty, so then I feel both not good

“I usually try not to operate with doubt because

as experienced in playing get recognition, which

doubt makes it so that I cannot play at all.

However, last year I had to learn the album,

Operation: Mindcrime, to play at the Paramount

Theatre in two weeks. Not only did I doubt that

enough and like a terrible person. I think what

I could learn the music in such a short period

with musicians I respect and I feel like I can keep

ask them to replace me. In the end, I buckled

helps me get out of that hole is when I get to play up.”

down and learned that fucking music and had

Jake Hanson is a photographer for KEXP-FM.

through tears and the skin of my teeth.”

He has shot some of the world’s most acclaimed

musicians while also running his own boutique

web design company.

“I’ve wrestled with self-doubt since I was young and have always been self-conscious about my

creative pursuits. The critical voice in my head

inherently compares the results of my work to

photographs of artists that I admire. Part of me

welcomes that criticism, knowing that it’s there in

part to help me hone my craft, but another part

Volume 02

of time, but I called three other guitarists to

a wonderful and thrilling gig. It worked out

Erin Rae Murray is a bandleader whose music has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk contest

series and her group, Erin Rae & the Heartbeets, recently played Seattle’s prestigious Capitol Hill

Block Party.

“Self-doubt is present daily for me. I often wake up with a pit in my stomach. But I know I’ve

got a small bunch of friends I can call and say,

‘Remind me of how much of a badass I am, please.

“I will unconsciously begin to devalue and downplay what I’m about to do as a way to protect myself.” 44

I seem to have forgotten. Other times I consult

a friend that’s been doing what I’m doing longer than me to ask for help,or I try to give myself

and led to more positive experiences for me as an artist.”

permission to not create,or maybe I’ll force

Young-Chhaylee is singer-songwriter traveling

result in tears but who doesn’t feel better after

both raspy and golden, both bright and powerful.

myself to create — one line, one word. This can a cry?”

Joel William DeJong is the founder of the

popular Crowdsource Choir, a non- religious

and non-commitment-oriented monthly choir in

Seattle. He founded it after getting a train car of strangers to sing together after a U2 concert.

“Before a performance, I will unconsciously begin to devalue and downplay what I’m

about to do as a way to protect myself from

the possibility that it might not go well. I’ll be

embarrassed, or worse, I’ll feel like a fraud. Over time, I’ve learned to recognize this feeling and

acknowledge it, which has grown my confidence

the country with his acoustic guitar. His voice is

“I wake up at least every other day and doubt my decision to tour, create music, perform, and use music as my sole means of income.”

We all live with self-doubt and it can feel

disabling, but we also try to work to move

through doubt and make more of our best work,

as best we can. So, dear reader, if you too find

yourself feeling down or discouraged, read these

passages, because we’re all in this crazy creative

existence together.

Launched in 2005 by Romanian friends Eugen Erhan and Tudor Muscalu, Fredo and Pid’jin are two pigeons on a mission to destroy to world.


Volume 02

NORMALIZING Photographer Trevor Boone




NUDITY Volume 02




Burberry Logo Print Car Coat $2590


Volume 02

One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art. — Oscar Wilde Story Luna Reyna

Photography Trevor Boone



ashion is the living expression

When his father fell ill, Ta’a stepped up

Executives of Color (YEC) program.

of art. It is through careful

to help his mother support their family.

There he mentored high school students

curation that fashion is artistically

“My driving force through college was

as a pipeline to UW. Later, Ta’a worked

communicated by people like Douglas

to get this degree, to get a good job,

as the African-American recruiter at UW.

Ta’a. “Creativity and self-expression

to take care of my family,” Ta’a explains.

“Being able to go to these inner-city

through art has always been something

Not only was he putting himself through

high schools, talk to them about higher

that has been super close to home,”

college, but he was helping his mother

education and really be someone to

Ta’a explains. “As I grew older, that

with household bills, medical bills, and

advocate for them, help them with the

expression that came through the form

even helping his younger brother get

application process, and push them and

of painting and drawing, then came

through school. This didn’t leave a lot of

make them believe in themselves, was

through fashion. I just started to be

time for the self-exploration that most

something that was super rewarding

more cognitive of what I was wearing,

college students get— or the artistic

for me,” Ta’a explained. Now, he is

how that made me feel, what that

expression that Ta’a desperately desired.

taking his affinity for art and passion for

would make other people feel.” Fashion

advocacy and is applying both towards

was Ta’a’s path to overcoming adversity

As a Samoan and African American

his job at Nordstrom as the current Sr.

and self-discovery. Although it was not a

man, Ta’a understood from an early

Marketing Strategy Planner. There he

gentle journey, it is an inspirational one.

age what the barriers to entry are for

is able to advocate for diversity and

people of color in higher education.

inclusion both in the company and in

Originally from Seattle, Washington

He also understood how important

how marketing is created.

Ta’a is the eldest of two boys. He grew

advocacy could be in their success, so

up in a lower to middle-income family

he worked as a mentor at the University

where his father was the breadwinner.

of Washington (UW) for the Young


Volume 02


What I wanted in life was never really at the top of the list because I knew I had so much on my plate in terms of taking care of the people who took care of me.

Ta’a spent all of his college career caring

If you follow Ta’a’s blog or any of his

for and advocating for others. By 2016

social media profiles, you know he has

he launched a fashion blog called, The

been open and honest about coping

Need for Expression (TNFE). “What I

with severe depression over the years.

wanted in life was never really at the

“I wanted to take my life many times

top of the list because I knew I had so

because I just felt like I didn’t matter.”

himself and coming out to his friends

much on my plate in terms of taking

Ta’a explains somberly, “...mentally I

and family too. He actually inspired

care of the people who took care of

was drained, I was really sad because I

me to really take the time to listen to

me.” By this time he was working as

felt like I wasn’t doing anything fulfilling

myself, to be true and authentic to

the Marketing Operations PM in Styling,

for myself, and I fell into a really dark

myself, and [he] really coached me and

“TNFE was just a way for me to just

place. I didn’t know who Doug was. I

encouraged me to share that part of me

dump all my thoughts, my experiences,

really felt like I was going through life,

with all my friends and family.”

my creativity all in a place,” Ta’a

just going through the motions.” After

continues. “I’m a huge advocate of

launching TNFE Ta’s creative world

Ta’a came out to his family in

being able to share my testimony and

opened up, even creating modeling and

November of last year, “It was one of

creativity in any way that I can… but at

collaborative community opportunities,

the best decisions that I’ve made,”

the same time, it couldn’t be too raw of

but it was through connecting with

Ta’a explains cheerfully. The constant

a journal. I guess I was a little scared at

someone special that made all the

fear and internal questioning about

first, putting it all out there.”

difference — this is when Ta’a met

being judged, what people would say,

Seth. “When I first met him there was

and if he would lose those close, is

an instant connection. I was able to

something that every person who has

Volume 02

connect, and he really took the time to understand me, which is why I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our paths crossed. He was going through a very similar circle of just trying to understand



Gucci Metal Mix Sport Shirt $780 | Allsaints Luckett Straight Leg Cotton & Linen Pants $165 | Christian Louboutin Louis Junior Strass Flat $2,495


Volume 02

For the longest time I felt like I was ashamed to go to God. I felt like I was disappointing him, and I was so confused. I was like,

‘If this is so bad then why do I have these feelings?’

56 “come out” can relate to. Luckily, Ta’a

to me. For the longest time, I felt like

mental illness, to walk through life as

had Seth in his corner who explained

I was ashamed to go to God. I felt like

a queer man of color, and to swallow

lovingly, “Doug, people are always

I was disappointing Him, and I was so

the adversities that are sent your way

going to have something to say about

confused. I was like, ‘If this is so bad

and turn them into opportunities.

you, whether good or bad.” This gave

then why do I have these feelings?’ I

Through TNFE Ta’a was able to create a

Ta’a the confidence he needed to step

would pray about it.”

platform for himself that not only led to

into his truth and shed some of that

leadership roles in the fashion industry,

self-loathing that had been fueling his

Through support from family, friends,

modeling gigs, and community support

depression. “Whether [people approve]

and continued effort to seek support

in his artistic endeavors, but it affirmed

or not, people are always going to have

for his depression, Ta’a was able to

the person he always knew he could

something to say. So I shouldn’t allow

move past a lot of that fear. Now he has

be. “It’s still a journey,” Ta’a tells us

that to hold me back from really living

accepted the love of his God

honestly. “Mental health is not just one

life to the fullest,” Ta’a says.

and his partner Seth, without

and done thing. It’s a journey and you

the guilt, confusion and self-loathing

definitely have to maintain it. You have

that he had struggled with for so long.

to protect your peace, and you have to

But being accepted by family and friends was only the beginning. As a

protect your happiness and your joy.

Christian Ta’a had always struggled

Living authentically is a freeing

That’s why I share my story, and that’s

with coming to terms with his sexuality,

experience, one that not everyone

why I talk about mental health

“That’s been the hardest part because

has the courage to attempt. It takes a

so openly and outwardly.”

I do 100 percent believe in God,” Ta’a

powerful person to admit to needing

explained. “My faith is super important

help in a world that still stigmatizes

*TNFE is no longer up but Ta’a plans on resuming it soon. Stay tuned. In the meantime follow him on Instagram @dougtaa.


Volume 02Givenchy Icarus Graphic T-Shirt $520 (Adjacent Page)

“Lion’s Run” View Into How The One Percent Live Supercars Golden Chalices and Decadent Meals


Story Maren Schwarz

Portopiccolo, Italy. The sun is about to set and creates

of golden chalices, the most expensive watches on their

view of the sea. Some people are drinking Spumante

slippers on their feet and a high-end satisfying concierge

Run members are having dinner on a terrace with a

while a young woman accompanied by a piano sings

Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.” The setting is

nothing but happy faces, fancy dresses, and elegant

wrists from Pratek Philippe to Rolex, the latest Prada

service wherever they go.

Escorted by the police, we left Rome and headed to the

suits. This otherwise quiet fishing village located on the

Vallelunga race track to let the cars do what they do

beyond what the affluent couples on the terrace could

to their limits under the heat of the Italian sun. Then

Adriatic Sea was about to experience true extravagance begin to muster.

By the afternoon, 40 extraordinary cars entered the

small town. The sound of several motors filled the air —

best: race! Lap after lap the drivers pushed their cars

we went to Porto Ercole to Argentario Golf Resort,

which has been endlessly applauded for its design and landscape architecture. We enjoyed ourselves at the

pool: cocktails with top-shelf liquor in the water and

roaring — showing off their power. A visual and audible

girls in bikinis included. And of course a top-notch

Where are all these privileged people staying? At Falisia,

in golf caddies so we didn’t have to walk because you

cue that the “Lions Run” family had officially arrived.

a luxury resort and spa — with a private parking garage to make sure the cars were in that same lap of luxury as their drivers.

“Lions Run” is a supercar experience based in Munich, Germany. It has grown for the last six years, bringing

service from the hotel. The employees drove us around know, Prada slippers. Later we relished a very scenic

dinner night on the terrace. Some of the members

went to bed early, enjoying their amazingly luxury suits

and some private time. Others stayed on the terrace for some more Spumante, sweet liquor shots and

shenanigans. The literal finale of the night? Stunning

the rich and famous to the most beautiful places all over

fireworks, just for us.

is now a huge event with participants from all over the

I began to realize it was about more than the cars. It was

fee — around $10,500 U.S. dollars — can register.

with your peers in an idyllic vineyard in the middle of

Europe. What started as a trip for friends and family

world. Anyone with a supercar and the €9,450 entrance

about living the lifestyle. It was about spending time

This year’s run was a route through Italy, Austria, and

Tuscany, driving through romantic landscapes on our

Portpiccolo via Velden to Budapest.

displaying the cars and being treated superstar-like

Hungary: From Rome to Porto Ercole, Florence and

We started in Rome with an extravagant dinner,

followed by a banging afterparty at the Toy Room

Club full of neon-signs with phrases like “Bow Down

Bitches.” From that day on, the members of the tour

experienced seven days living large and as glamorous as

Volume 02

they are. Think: Champagne at every turn, drunk out

a warm, rose-gold hue above the sea. The elite Lion’s

way to Florence, parties in the middle of public places, by the onlooking car admirers and curious. We drove

through beautiful Slovenia, took baths in hidden

mountain tarns, had a family-style dinner on the lakeside of Wörthersee and then.


Finally, we drove all the way to Hungary about 310

miles at 95 degrees. I expected it to be very exhausting, but the routes were almost empty, we could race:

Overtakings, fighting for the pole position to lead the

drive their Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Bugattis to endlessly pricey experiences.

group and collectively breaks with lots of laughter and

Even with the endless indulgences and seemingly no

whether or not the nearby towns had anything to say

that they had connected on another level — one much

entertaining the whole petrol station. Kings of the road,

worries amongst the “Lions Run” family, it became clear

about it.

deeper than yacht amenities or where one of their new

The Club drove a couple hundred miles for a

experiences, but even the most far fetched adventure has

phenomenal last dinner at Four Seasons and a wild

party night at the LOCK Club — a night designated

toys would take them. Money can buy a lot of lavish

much less value in life when experienced alone.

champagne a day is fantastic.

“I met incredibly good people at these runs. We all became friends. I really love all of them. That doesn’t mean that new members are not welcome. Quite the contrary! We include new people from day one – and at some point, they are just part of the “Lions Run” madness just like us, like we ‘ve known each other for years,” Dino Sadino, a 36- year- old designer from Germany and proud “Lions Run” member says.

It’s far too easy to get comfortable in this world and

Lions Run is more than just a rally for the wealthy as it

especially for Lion’s Run. The number of Dom Perignon bottles popped could only represent a fraction of the

overindulgence and celebration of wealth that arose at


sometimes mysterious, and mostly newly rich meet to

the end of the trip. The goal: feel like superstars. Goal:

accomplished. We didn’t even need the woman on the

piano to perform Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long,” for us, if you know what I mean.

Let’s be honest, driving through Europe in expensive

cars, sleeping in amazingly comfortable beds in five-star hotels all over the continent, lounging about on fancy boats and beach clubs, along with at least one glass of

lifestyle. The lifestyle becomes a drug. You become

may seem. It’s an experience. It is a way of life. People

of wealth. There are so many highs, so many days filled

show their latest Hermès bag or Gucci slippers, but to

quickly forget about the lows in life.

low low price of two to 19 million dollars for a supercar

addicted to this trip — to the excess and celebration with laughter and joy, and exclusive events that you

Most of what I experienced fit the preconceived ideas about supercar events, where all the glamourous,

join this event every year, sometimes twice a year, not to

spend quality time with those they can connect.. At the and the $10,500 entry fee, you too could be a part of the

“Lions Run” family.

Photograph Pavel Anoshin


Volume 02







S tr i p p i n g D o wn T o T h e D i vi n e Feminine With Lux Atl Story Alex Frane Photography Courtesy of Lux ATL

Gregarious and outspoken with a thick Virginian accent, Dr. Lindsay

Byron known as LUX ATL online, began her foray in stripping right after high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. She and her then

boyfriend had a vacation planned in Europe he totaled his truck and

needed the trip funds to fix it. Lux found the solution at an amateur

stripping contest with a prize of $300, which was a decent enough haul

in 1999. But to her, it meant more than that.


Since then, Lux has transformed her long experience as a stripper into a series of programs, retreats, and empowering talks to inspire women

of all ages to explore their own identities, sexuality, and expression. In her day to day, and has a Ph.D. in English with a focus on Fin de

Siècle American literature, and a background in academia. She’s a writer,

educator, mother, wife, and entertainer attempting to strip down to the divine feminine.

“On a very surface level I was trying to win that money and go on our

trip,” she says, “but really I was trying to fix old wounds. I was accused

of being a slut my whole life and was punished for it, and now I was in an arena where I could weaponize it. It made me a local rockstar and a lot of money,” Lux explains.

Lux won the competition and was hooked, so when she moved to

Richmond for college she stripped throughout. Later, her master’s

program took her to Lafayette, Louisiana where there wasn’t much

opportunity for stripping. She had completely quit by the time she

arrived in Atlanta for her Ph.D., where she met her husband and had a son. At the age of 30, she was laden with student debt, and getting ready to graduate with a Ph.D. “I had a shit-ton of student debt, and

the academic industry is fucking horrifying. The reality was coming to

me that I needed to make money.”

So she went back to the clubs, and again, it was deeper than money. “I

had just turned 30, had just become a mom, and I

spent the first year of motherhood sitting on my ass

breastfeeding, and watching documentaries. I wanted

that baby and that family and I don’t regret a bit of it, but I felt like life had ended. This person that I used

to be was a story I told myself about the past. It was


She was stripping in Atlanta, all the while teaching just up the street at Georgia Tech. “Clearly I was trying to

destroy my academic career,” she says both jokingly and

in retrospect. During her time teaching at Georgia Tech the stigmatization of her pole dancing career wielded

its ugly head. Someone had drawn a ten-foot-high

ejaculating phallus on the whiteboard. This class was

almost entirely male. Understanding that this would only be the beginning, she never applied for another term.

Done with academia and not wanting to spend the

rest of her life stripping, she wondered how she could

“combine the stripper with the Ph.D,” as she puts it.

While earning money dancing she was developing the online presence for Lux ATL, including a Facebook

page where she posted pole-dancing videos, meditations


on the industry, politics, and sexuality. All of which gave people a glimpse into her charismatic personality. At

the time, pole dancing was a burgeoning hobby, and a

number of her videos went viral in the community. She knew that pole dance teachers could make a business

of it, and that these women were hungry for something

more, something affirming and liberating. Lux knew she

could provide that and developed a program to do so: Stripcraft.

One part discussion, one part dance and performance class — Stripcraft quickly took off. Lux would tour around the

country, driving up to 100,000 miles a summer to bring her

Stripcraft to pole dance studios and other areas for classes of around a dozen women. The

“Lux wanted to create a space for women to escape to so that they could explore their own identities and sexuality free from the oppressive judgment of a patriarchal society.”

first half would be a discussion or lecture on shame,

feminism, sex, passion, and society. In the second half,

the women would dance for one another. “It’s stripper-

style dance, what I learned in the strip clubs,” she

explains. “These women are dying to do this shit, they’re dying to get sexy, they’re dying to get their tits out.” Stripcraft was the start, but Lux wanted to create

a space for women to escape to so that they could

explore their own identities and sexuality free from the

oppressive judgment of a patriarchal society. She wanted to take everything she loved about the strip club — the

sexiness, the movement, and passion — and take

Volume 02

Out of this Stripcabin was born in 2016 with a dozen or so

women paying $300 each for a stay in a cabin where they could safely explore these things. Stripcraft remained the foundation of it all, but Stripcabin allowed for a more in depth learning space. It included dance classes, discussions, socializing, and workshops.

Lux knew Stripcabin needed to grow. She hired a business

manager, raised the price to $3,000, and rented a lodge with three buildings, pool, movie theater, catering, and other

teachers to lead workshops. That too has expanded with trips to an actual Scottish castle for Stripcastle, Costa Rica for

Stripcabana, and New Orleans for Stripcoven. She would often host six retreats a year.

Her guests are fairly diverse, with ages ranging from the midto-late twenties into the fifties, though her largest age group

of clientele is women in their early-to-mid thirties. Many are

repeat customers, sometimes six or seven times. Stripping, both metaphorically and literally is an aspect of the retreats. “The

literal [act of stripping] is a good way to have people in their

bodies, feeling good, and being vulnerable,” says Lux, while the


“the metaphor ical [act of strippin g] is about strippin g down the walls that women build up”

out the things she didn’t, namely the male consumptive gaze.

metaphorical [act of stripping] is about stripping down the walls

that women build up around themselves. “They’ve got all this real shit going on inside, and they close the door on it, and for good

reason because there are very real consequences in this world. The point is a connection with self, connection with each other, and

being present in the moment; there’s an element of sensuality, and an embodiment of divine femininity.”

Resorts in Scotland and Costa Rica aren’t cheap, and Lux admits that one aspect of her clients’ demographics is that they have

enough to afford it, so her next plan is Stripcamp in tents and cabins at more accessible prices. And while she is in no way

planning on abandoning her retreats, today her focus is on her

memoir, which reflects on the integration of the two parts of her

life that once were at odds: her passion for stripping, and her place in academics.

Lux explains, “At the heart of my memoir is that I spent so much time thinking that I had to be one or the other and that I was

fucked up and wrong. I thought I had to kill one side of me for

the other to exist. I’ve gone full ho and full nerd to try to be to the

‘right’ kind of person, but the person who brought me the most joy

and success is the two of them together.”


Volume 02




They say there’s never been a better time

and regulations, the government bodies

into or taking over an existing cannabis

to get into the cannabis industry. With

leading the effort still have very little

company then strip that company from

more and more states legalizing cannabis

knowledge of what they are dealing

any personality it had and cookie-cut it

use and with a new proposed bill that

with. The effect of the drug war has

into another white-labeled brand that

will federally decriminalize cannabis, it

left scar tissue in multiple areas. One of

focuses on what’s trending… If I hear

appears a new gold rush is upon us. If

those areas is education and the lack of

one more investor say a company should

so, why are so many cannabis businesses

proper enlightenment. Much like talking

focus on gummies I’m going to drown

being pushed out and returning to the

about sex, the use of cannabis is still an

myself in a ebb-and-flow!

black market?

uncomfortable conversation filled with misinformation and outright lies. This has


created a major issue for those states



that have allowed counties and cities


For many states, the legislative path

to decide if and where cannabis can be


to legalization, whether medical or

sold, manufactured and grown. Elected

Definitely not the patients, nor the

recreational, has been an upward battle.

officials attempt to design a legal

employees. If MedMen is any indication,

For those states that have achieved

program yet have little to no experience

those that profit are ones at the

changing the state law, the battle is still

in cannabis. The lack of quality, up-to-

top. With just a quick scroll through

real. Constantly changing regulations,

date information is still slow to reach

cannabis jobs on Indeed, it won’t take

erratic enforcement, and overly

those designing the details of these laws.

long to realize that the open jobs for

barrier to entry for many. The high-cost


a fast-food franchise. Cannabis positions

along with the slow-road and stagnant

One of the most unfortunate aspects of

being offered barely cover a living wage,

process has made it almost impossible

the evolution of the cannabis industry is

many of them hovering the minimum

for the mom & pop shops and boutique

the flood of investors that have trampled

wage, in the cities where jobs are

cannabis companies to survive.

and crushed an industry built on a

located. Cannabis CEO salaries, however,

movement of compassion for patients

are 45% more than the national average.


over profits. For investors looking to

You do the math.

In the states that have accepted

cash-in, cannabis seems like an easy

cannabis and are working out their laws

gig. They can find their way in by buying

bureaucratic processes build a large

employment pay less than a manager at


Volume 02


generational growers who have been

have a whole other story that dates


struggling to get licensed, jumping

back to the lates sixties in the Bay Area.

As a small business, getting your product

through regulatory hoops that can take

I began collecting pot seeds in ‘96 when

to market is always a huge concern. The

years to process, now having to deal

I was twelve years old.” But it wasn’t

concern becomes a panic if you live in

with new and approved government

until high school that he was successful

a region with few dispensaries because

threats and raids. Today, satellite

at started some seeds, and over the

of heavy regulation. To add to this

images can easily let law enforcement

last decade that he really started

panic, most dispensaries that do sell

know where and who is growing. With

getting serious about producing quality

legal products lack variety, carrying the

cannabis in the collective conversation

sun-grown cannabis flower using only

major brands that focus on low price

more than ever, communities are finding

organic inputs.

points over quality. For some reason,

ways to make sure the indoor grow or

dispensaries also like to fill their shops

backyard garden is reported due to the

Langhoff also got serious about his

with open space instead of products,

smell or just plain fear. Even though

role in the medical cannabis industry

leaving little shelf space for small

statistics show that legal cannabis has

of California. “I was a cannabis grower

cannabis companies just starting out.

been safer than the illegal market, the

who supplied medical cannabis to

But wait, it gets worse! Many of those

fear of cannabis is still real for most

dispensaries, concentrates makers and

dispensaries are now charging brands

communities with legal cannabis use. It

edible companies.” Which I personally

to be on the shelves. Pay-to-Play has

seems everyone wants a piece of the

can attest to. During the life of my

become the norm in states like California,

financial cannabis pie, but “not in my

medical cannabis edibles company,

once again increasing the barrier to entry

backyard” continues to be the loudest

Langhoff produced the flower we used.

for smaller companies.

voice in most communities.



Once a scarce commodity, cannabis is


now being mass-produced and industrial

The drug war is far from over. Even as

cultivation has only just begun. When

the treaties are being drawn in states

Sonoma County [California] would not

this happens, an overabundance allows

with legal cannabis, landmines are still

grant vested permits to people who

those few dispensary buyers the ablility

exploding and the cannabis warriors

started businesses. Meaning that if the

to demand a bottom of the barrel

just trying to save lives are still catching

regulatory system changed and banned

price, which is seldom passed on to

shrapnel. Shockwaves of this new legal

production then my business would not

the consumer. This also pushes out

industry continue to produce painful

be protected and grandfathered in. This

the smaller companies who don’t have

collateral damage. The new cannabis

caused me to want to watch from the

the margins that the larger corporate

industry still has massive hurdles to

sidelines and observe before plunging

cannabis companies have. So what is the

overcome with the lack of diversity and

into this unknown new business model.

small cannabis company to do with their

inclusivity, so the struggle continues.

The hardest part of ending my large-

goods when there are no outlets to sell

Maintaining or becoming a boutique

scale production is that I enjoy being a

and no one to subsidize a commodity

cannabis company gets more difficult

student and there is still so much for me

So what kept Langhoff from entering


the recreational cannabis market? “There is a myriad of factors. The number one reason is undoubtedly that

that quickly begins to lose value? With

each day. Even smaller companies who

to learn and ways for me to grow as a

the inability to sell direct to consumers

finally got licensed and have survived

cannabis cultivator.”

under the current regulations, that leaves

the difficult, painful, confusing, and

them in a bind.

at times, impossible process, are still experiencing vertigo.


Langhoff points out, “The black market is booming in California and healthier than ever. The irony of prop 64 is it has

In Northern California, the historical hub

Jake Langhoff was born in Northern

actually reinvigorated the unregulated

of quality cannabis, CAMP raids are now

California are grew up around the

market like I haven’t seen in my adult

referred to as the Campaign Against Mom & Pops. Those

redwoods and cannabis grows. “My

life. This is mainly happening because

Dad and Uncle Artie were both guerilla

many of the high-quality large-scale

gardens in the pygmy forests. [They]

flower producers’ product is tied up in

the regulatory maze of the legal market,

Digital. “Filmmaking is something I have

and the Reaganesque drug war era style

been involved in for almost as long as

raids are targeting the unpermitted

cannabis and it rivals my passion for

farms all over the emerald triangle. As

growing.” Langhoff even co-created a

a result, wholesale cannabis prices are

feature narrative film about the weed

shooting back up to where they were

industry called “Green is Gold” (2016),

years ago.”

which chronicles some of the intricacies of the medical cannabis world in

Where does Langhoff see the cannabis

Northern California.”

culture heading in the near future? “The biggest threat to the health of the


cannabis community isn’t government

Don’t believe the hype. The dust has

regulation but the folks in the community

yet to settle and the cannabis industry

not working together to define what we

continues to take in casualties every

want the cannabis industry to become

day. It’s no wonder the black market is

in this country. I’ve seen shops selling

on the uprise again. As they say, when

10 packs of seeds for over $300, I’m all

the system fails you, you create a new

for making money from your work, but

system. The legal cannabis market is

this is just plain greedy and unethical.

being designed for those that can afford

The sense of entitlement over cannabis

to play the exclusive capitalist game.

strains is disheartening, and cannabis

Leaving behind people that fought for

genetics and the ability to grow and

legalization, and many of those that

consume herb should be more accessible.

have sacrificed everything to build the

The idea that a bunch of white guys in

cannabis industry, in the dark.

northern California is the reason there is quality cannabis genetics is historically wrong and just another example of our country’s amnesiac insistence on white exceptionalism. If we’re going to really be honest about where these genetics originated then give credit to the great cannabis cultures that have survived centuries of political change, war, and upheaval. This also makes me think that today many of the people in this country that are receiving the harshest sentencing for cannabis-related infractions are people of color. The racism in the cannabis industry is easy to see and as a community, we can’t lose sight of how hostile many areas in this country are towards cannabis users, especially those of color.” No longer in the legal cannabis industry, Langhoff and his wife Califa run a full-service video production and digital media company called Witsch

Volume 02

Find Jake Langhoff and Witsch Digital on Instagram @witschdigital or



SPICE UP YOUR MORNING TOAST Story Awanthi Vardaraj Photography Jay Schober The smell of bread bhajis seeped through the walls of


my bedroom located above the kitchen of our home in Southern India. The scent of bhaji and vadais

• 2 eggs

frying would rise up to my room and make me stop

• 4 tablespoons milk

dawdling and hurry downstairs for breakfast. On

• Salt

Sundays, eggs were served sunny side up — but on

• 3/4 teaspoon chilli powder

school days — we’d eat a variety of carefully spiced

• 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

dishes such as bread bhaji, Bombay toast, bread

• 4 tablespoons finely chopped onions

vadai, and bread upma, in which bread played a

• 4 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves

starring role. These dishes are glorious, and also fairly

• Butter for frying

simple to prepare, which is why they landed on the

• 4 slices of bread cut into triangles

breakfast menu on busy school mornings. It wasn’t until I traveled more as an adult that I really began to appreciate bread for breakfast, and in turn found ways to get my fix wherever I woke up that day. Indeed, bread bhajis are my favorite bread-based dish; gram flour (also known as besan) is combined

1. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them with the milk, salt, spices, onions, and coriander leaves. 2. Soak the bread in the egg mixture and then cook on a skillet or in a frying pan with a knob of butter. 3. Serve hot.

with spices such as chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric, and made into a batter with soda water. Slices of bread are cut into halves and each half is dipped into this batter until the mixture thickly coats the bread on both sides. The bread is then fried until it turns a golden hue. It is served plain and piping hot, but as a child I enjoyed dipping it in tomato ketchup. I once madly hunted for gram flour in Amsterdam because I was craving a taste of home. I struck gold when I found an Asian supermarket that had an aisle dedicated to Indian ingredients. I pounced on the package marked “besan Indian flour” and carried it back to the hostel along with assorted spices and red chili flakes (they didn’t have the chili powder I wanted). That night I treated myself — and several

Volume 02

new friends — to bread bhajis that almost tasted as good as the ones my grandmother made. It was a moment of utter bliss and sharp sadness for me. There is nothing quite like food to render you homesick and help you appreciate the simplest reminders of home. During my travels, I found myself consistently reaching into fond childhood memories for those comforting breakfast recipes. Another craving that needed satisfying on my travels was Bombay toast. I’ve never seen it on a menu, but almost every Indian home has their own recipe for Bombay toast. You’re familiar with French toast, of course, but what about Bombay toast? Bombay toast is the Indian equivalent of French toast, but instead


of dipping slices of bread in a sweet eggy mixture, it’s dipped in a savory eggy mixture instead. Eggs are beaten with chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt, then coriander leaves are chopped fine and added to the mix. Slices of bread are soaked in the mixture before being cooked in a skillet with a little butter. I cannot begin to tell you how delicious this is. When I was traveling in Italy I so badly wanted bread vadai like the ones I’d eaten growing up, but I had never made it before, and I didn’t have the recipe. I bought a phone card (this was in pre-mobile days) and called home, desperately wanting the recipe. I still remember standing at the payphone and writing instructions down in my travel journal, as my mother told me how to grind the bread until it resembles coarse crumbs, and how to add yogurt, chopped onions, chopped mint, and chopped coriander to the mixture, before shaping them into flat discs that would then have to be deep-

BREAD VADAL • 6 slices white or whole wheat bread • 2 medium onions finely chopped • 2 green chillies finely chopped • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder • Handful of mint finely chopped • Handful of coriander finely chopped • Salt to taste • 1 teaspoon grated ginger • 1/2 teaspoon cumin • 4 tablespoons corn flour • 2 tablespoons yogurt • 2 tablespoons water

fried. I recreated the recipe as she instructed, but


had to leave out the coriander because I couldn’t

1. Break the bread up into pieces and then blend

find any. But I was so pleased with how the vadai

them in the blender until they resemble coarse

turned out; I made myself some hot tea to sip and

crumbs. Set aside.

settled down to watch the rain outside while I ate

2. Fry the onions until limp and transparent.

my vadais. It was a comforting evening, and one that

3. Add the chillies and the ginger to the onion

made me feel closer to the home I’d left behind.

mixture and sauté well. 4. Combine all the ingredients together in a large

But there was a glorious weekend in London where

bowl. It should bind well together, but in case it

everything I needed for bread upma — including

doesn’t, sprinkle a little water and gather into a

freshly chopped coriander leaves — came together


beautifully. An upma is usually a thick porridge-like dish made out of dry-roasted semolina or coarse rice

5. Tear off small pieces of dough and flatten them into discs. Do this until the dough is all used up.

flour, but my grandmother’s bread upma combined

6. Heat oil in a fryer or in a wok and fry the vadais

the best of both worlds and was cooked “dry,” but

(the discs) until they are golden brown on both

coated with a mixture of yogurt, tomatoes, and fried onions. It was one of my favorite comfort foods growing up, and it was a pleasure to make it for friends in London, who had never eaten bread in quite that way before. It was a lovely revelation to them, and I was pleased that I was a part of it. Want to try your hand at eating bread the Indian way no matter what side of the globe you wake up on? Check out the recipes for Bombay toast and bread vadai, and have fun recreating it in your own kitchens.

sides. 7. Work in batches and don’t overcrowd the wok or the fryer with the vadais. 8. Serve hot.



positivity 75

movement Volume 02








around death and dying 76

Story Jennifer Stavros People love to talk about the journey

religion, or politics. Death, after all,

death cafes in 65 countries. Each of

of life. The tougher, often more taboo

is associated with pain and loss and

these are completely nonprofit and

topic, is the discussion of the end of

the unknown.

run by volunteers. Some are one-offs,

that journey. Death. It’s happening though at death cafes across the U.S.

others are ongoing and have been Death Cafes are making that journey a

operating for many years.

bit easier. “Our objective is to increase Death Cafes are places that give folks

awareness of death with a view to

The death positivity movement is an

of all ages the opportunity and forum

helping people make the most of their

inclusive and eclectic menagerie of

to discuss end-of-life wishes and

(finite) accessible, respectful,

characters and backgrounds. They are

anything related to death and dying.

and confidential space with no intention

all looking to peel back the taboos and

While Death Cafes are not meant to

of leading people to any conclusion,

conversation about death that Bernad

be a replacement for therapy, they

product, or course of action,” the Death

Crettaz called the “tyrannical secrecy.”

are a safe space to discuss death

Cafe website touts.


Attending a Death Cafe is a warm Jon Underwood started his first Death

experience. It is part of a movement

Most young people have no plans in

Cafe in 2011 in East London. He

towards bringing positivity to the

place because, seemingly, they have

was inspired by Cafe Mortel, run by

inevitable. The path to death is a

their whole lives ahead of them. As

sociologist Bernard Crettaz for several

journey that the death positivity

time catches up, it becomes harder

years in Switzerland and Paris. By the

movement firmly believes should be

and harder to have that inevitable

time Crettaz stopped organizing Cafe

met with understanding and calm.

conversation. Talking candidly about

Mortel in 2014, Jon Underwood had

Death Cafes are not exclusively held

death with loved ones is often more

helped create a worldwide movement.

in actual cafes. They can be hosted

uncomfortable to discuss than sex,

These days, there are more than 8,227

anywhere. Death Cafes can be small

and intimate or vast and spread out in

in Pasadena, California explained the

Despite the different formats, locations,

one big venue with massive numbers

surprisingly open-ended nature of

and participants, each Death Cafe

of people. There’s no set format. They

discussions. “As a Death Cafe facilitator,

provides an array of heartfelt stories

differ depending on who’s hosting

it’s always a wonder to see how each

shared from folks exploring and coming

them, how they’re programmed, and

Cafe will manifest: Who will attend,

to terms with their own mortality. They

where they’re held.

who will share, who will leave feeling

are not necessarily religious or spiritual,

better for being at that table. One Cafe

instead, they are about finding ways

Because death is perceived differently

that remains with me is one where 3

to survive, and when the time comes,

depending on your place of origin, each

millennial women who did not know one

perhaps plan their last moments as best

Death Cafe can be radically different

another were there for the same reason:

as they can.

as well. A death cafe in London where

They are all terrified and obsessed with

The founder of the Death Cafe

they originated, for example, might look

death. My Job: What can we do to shift

movement, Jon Underwood, died

very different than one in Los Angeles.

that? Let’s talk more!”

unexpectedly in 2017. The events

In London, you might see a Death Cafe

continue on as a result of his desire

hosted in the woods near a famous

While many death cafes are hosted

to open up discussion about death in

cemetery or in a historic church. In

by death industry professionals such

a healthy, positive way. These Death

Los Angeles, however, you might see

as death doulas, psychiatrists, or

Cafes and Underwood’s surprising

a Death Cafe hosted in an office of a

caretakers who work in the space, there

death have affected people of all ages,

drama therapist.

is no requirement as to who can host or

and are a way to remember, embrace,

attend them. This often brings forth a

and cherish the fragility of life.

Margaret Yenoki, a death industry

dynamic group of guests.

professional who hosts monthly cafes

“There’s a power in this energy. I don’t have that fear of death anymore. I can’t control everything. I’m going to go with the changes. I don’t want to fear whatever is going to happen.” ‑Anonymous

Volume 02


“each death cafe provides an array of heartfelt stories shared from folks 78

exploring and coming to terms with their own mortality. They are not necessarily religious or spiritually linked but they can be...�





A N D W H AT Y O U C A N D O D I F F E R E N T LY Volume 02





Story Laura LeMoon FROM KIM KARDASHIAN TO FASHION NOVA, take a look at mainstream clothing producers current clothing lines and you’ll notice many high-fashion pieces that appropriate black fashion. Black fashion often seen as baggy and athletic in a clothing style referred to as “streetwear” (a moniker for fashion derived from Black culture and the culture of various communities of color in urban cities) have historically been worn by people of color living, and are now being sold for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by white people to white people. It’s a style previously scorned by white Americans. White people — who if not profiting from producing the style — are wearing it out in public without the same consequences as a person of color may potentially face.


The Kardashian women, especially Kim and Kylie (the latter who is now the largest earning person in the family) have built careers off of producing streetwear for an absorbent amount of money, that people living in poverty very likely don’t have access to obtain. Even mega fashion online shopping conglomerates like Fashion Nova have been sued for ripping off fashion designs of up and coming women of color designers and then simultaneously selling that fashion back to WOC for an increased profit. One could call it




fashion colonization. Rich white people are pillaging people of color, specifically black women and their abilities to form businesses and thrive economically. One way to combat this “fashion colonization” is to support fashion designers of color. Get to know these five fashion designers, many who incorporate street wear without appropriation.

Left to right: Romeo Hunte FW16 Women’s Collection, Pyer Moss ‘Prequel to Resurrection’ Collection, and Telfar’s most popular women’s bag.






Telfar by Telfar Clemens is truly an innovative brand for creating gender-neutral styles. As reported by

Teen Vogue, Telfar was creating gender-neutral fashion at time when no one else was, not even the wealthiest of fashion brands. Telfar takes a minimalist and simplistic approach that looks both effortless and


highly couture. PYER MOSS Pyer Moss “aims to use its voice and platform to challenge social narratives and evoke dialogue,” according to its website. Known for telling important and unheard narratives of what it means to be a Black person in America and a child of the Caribbean diaspora, founder Kerby Jean-Raymond is creating

ROMEO HUNTE Romeo Hunte is streetwear for the twenty-first century. Romeo brings us a world where androgyny rules and gender binaries drool. This is what fashion will look like across the board in another fifty years, but until then Romeo Hunte will stay way ahead of its time with futuristic Neoprene pieces and wraparound jackets.




fashion with something to say.

This brand is F-U-N — from T-shirts with the funky and colorful Lyfestyle logo — to hoodies for your


pup, you can support a brand fully producing and


headquartered in Brooklyn, NYC. Lyfestyle is street-

Venture into the world that Bonner creates through

wear by the people, for the people. T-shirts and shorts

their designs and it is clear that this designer

start at around $50, making it affordable to support

is creating space for Black spirituality, racial zen and

black New Yorkers making fashion for folks of color.

general new age awakenings without all of

the cliched patchouli, crystal deodorants and white appropriation of dreadlocks. Wales Bonner is a fresh,

It may be inconvenient to change your shopping

elevated approach what we think of as spiritually

habits, which to avoid buying into appropriation

“woke” fashion.

means to have to do prior research on the designer and producers. It might also mean you have to forgo the status symbol of buying the standard Coach, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. We buy into, eat and touch racism and economic oppression everyday. The least we can do as consumers is be aware of it in the fashion industry.


Volume 02



Dear BARE,


here was a time that I thought having

a confident man would be amazing. I wanted a guy who would order my food at restaurants and someone

who would make me feel protected. I had that

“Intention” is a word that isn’t used much in relationships, unfortunately. If you really think about it, how many times have people been offended by the WAY that words are used? Quite

with my man for a long time. For the most

often, if we’re being honest. If you find that you

he’s perfect. But lately, he has started pointing

each other, there’s no shame in reaching out to a

part, he’s a great guy, and everyone thinks

out everything I do wrong. I now feel like I’m

have a hard time articulating your thoughts to relationship counselor.

walking on eggshells all the time. From my

account, he’s never really taken responsibility

excessive interest in their own image and self.

the crazy one. If I tell him something he said or

as egocentrism. A narcissist is far more extreme.

relationship. I am tired of being made out to be

did that hurt my feelings, he places the blame on me for interpreting his behavior this way. I am starting to question my own sanity. Am I

crazy? I don’t know what else to do. It’s hard to


But, what is a narcissist? Narcissists display

for the problems that we have had in our

make things right with a person who thinks the

world revolves around them, and they do no wrong. Is my relationship over?

Now, this is different from a similar concept known In layman’s terms, a narcissist is someone who loves themselves first and foremost to the point of only doing what will please themselves, and their image. Therein lies why you might question your sanity. Are you really overly offended and interpreting things in a negative way, or is your partner thinking only of his own image? Based on the way things are headed, you may never get to the bottom of it but the relationship may be well worth the extra effort if overall he

Dear Frustrated,

does make you feel protected and secure. And, if he truly turns out to have narcissistic tendencies,

You certainly have a lot on your relationship plate!

a professional could have some much needed

First, let me assure you that you are not crazy. In

insight for both of you.

fact, it’s quite normal to second-guess yourself when the one person whose opinion matters the most makes you feel as though your feelings and needs are inferior. It seems like you both have some pent-up emotions that have led to some bitter feelings. First things first: talk. Don’t wait until you’ve had an argument. Having an argument often leads to acts of defense, which usually exacerbate an already emotional situation. When our reactions are to defend our position in an argument, the messages we are trying to convey often don’t come across as intended. Stay away from blanket statements. Talk about how you feel about certain situations. If he says you took things the wrong way, ask what he intended by what he said. That gives him the opportunity to explain what his intention was.








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