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bloom The time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, youth or romanticism.

It has taken me years to even begin to understand the incoprehendable process in which women are constantly growing and changing during our transition from teenagerdom to womanhood. It occurred to me the other day, that I have changed more times than I can count on one hand, in just under two months. While becoming comfortable with boys, my period and acne and body hair, I’ve learned to embrace imperfection and believe in my own sincerity; I’ve also learned how to communicate my feelings and thoughts into demonstrating what my heart wishes. The idea of blossoming into something new makes me crave body discovery: This year, I’ve gone from trying to press my chest flatter, to searching foods that make breasts bigger and then to accepting my body as a whole that I love, rather than parts that I hate. I can’t help but feel accomplished and a little more grown up... So it seems fit that our first official Spring Print be representative of our not-so-grown up “coming-of-age” lives. There is a ton of blossoming content that the team and you (our readers) have been working on for the last few months, including our cover feature and one of my favourite bands, Pins & Needles. Their music and personalities perfectly embody the aesthetic of mimpmag and its readers, and their latest album, Mystic Woman, truly captures the feeling of this idea of thawing from the winter and growing into the summer. Keep reading and writing and blooming. With love, Andreya Klobucar


Photographed by: Candace Molatore (see more on page 12)

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Mimp: To behave; especially to speak or eat in an affected-over precise or fussy manner. pins & needles band

SPRING ISSUE 001 | BLOOM FEATURING PINS & NEEDLES BAND mimp magazine is an independently published online and biannual print magazine. We are dedicated to young women who don’t have a specific style but are very specific people. We are for girls who know what they want and do not stop until they get it! Our goal is to create an empowering environment for girls and young women everywhere by defying media standards. We’re a tight knit family of just over 10,000 readers and are always accepting submissions. to find out more about how to submit your work visit www.mimpmag.com SAY HELLO general: mimpmag@gmail.com press/advertising: pr.mimpmag@gmail.com join the club: theprissclub@gmail.com MIMPMAG TEAM founder / editor-in-chief andreya klobucar layout / graphic design andreya klobucar copy editor stephania redigonda publicist adriana parente front cover photo andreya klobucar front cover logo samantha hansel back cover+priss club logo sylwia holmes

CONNECT instagram+twitter @mimpmag blog mimpmag.com

design/illustration calita hin, grace mazzucchi, sylwia holmes, oriane safré-proust, isis petit, sean eidder contributing writers nahomy ortiz, romi geller, heather taylor-singh, elena m-ski, nicole palmer, adriana parente, candace fabello, annie lemonnier ysabel sarinas, harriet patrick, Rebecca Rossenrode, hannah hurdle, taylor behnke peters, rosianna halse rojas, jen richards, shelby august contributing photographers melissa gamache, Candace Molatore, abbie bradford, natalie chyi, Brody White, tessa lauren, michael jaques, isis gruber, kelly maker, isabel brooke, joseph tremblay, kale friesen many thanks to album studio rentals pins & needles band rose klobucar jessica mannara adele martini mary kangas harper collins canada

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12 Photographer: Candace Molatore | Model: Allie Clarkson | Stylist: Molli Waterman | Prop Stylists: Cecilia Ramirez, Misha LemmaCanda

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“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.” —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Many of us don’t find the chance to grow until we’re much older, if at all. This series explores the different forms in which we can bloom.

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Nahomy: How do you classify your clothes? Scarlett: I would classify my clothing as mostly vintage and thrift, with some modern staples mixed in. I really like to mix and match retro and current trends, so I have a lot of pieces of both. N: Where have you purchased majority of the items in your closet? Scarlett: Most of the items in my closet have come from Flea Markets, vintage stores, and thrift stores. If I do shop at regular stores, I go to places like American Apparel because I love the simplicity of their clothing and their ethical manufacturing process. N: What is your go to color palette? Scarlett: Honestly, I don’t really have one color palette that I stick to. I love to wear different colors and bright patterns. Some textures and patterns I really enjoy wearing are stripes, denim, and silk. N: Cheesy, but where do you get most of your fashion inspiration from? Scarlett: My two biggest fashion inspirations are my mom and older sister. My mom taught us to cherish vintage clothing from a young age and would take us to flea markets all of the time. Her style is very eclectic and she’s a modern hippie. My sister has more of a classic look, she mixes vintage and modern pieces with a more neutral color palette. She’s the ultimate cool girl. N: What is your most recent purchase? Scarlett: My most recent purchase was this beautiful vintage silk green jacket. It’s a reproduction of the classic 1940s Japanese tour jackets that were popular after the war. I love the embroidery and colors, plus the woman riding two tigers on the back is the epitome of strength. It makes me feel powerful when I wear it. 18

N: Can you give us some shopping advice? Scarlett: When it comes to shopping, vintage or regular, go with your gut. I’m a big advocate for going out of your comfort zone with clothing, so I like to buy pieces that are out there, even if I’m scared to wear them. In college, I get nervous about standing out when dressing for class, but when I get over the fear it’s always worth it to be yourself. N: Do you have any stories of amazing deals? Or ridiculously priced clothes that you just couldn’t resist? Scarlett: I once found an authentic Cambridge Satchel bag at a buy/sell thrift store for only $14! Those bags are usually about $100 so I was thrilled. Sadly, I don’t get much wear out of it since it’s lime green. It’s still a fun piece though. N: Any current trends you don’t like? Scarlett: I’m not huge on the ‘sports luxe’ trend. While I do appreciate how cool sneakers can change an outfit, I’m not really into the head-to-toe sports brand look. N: Fashion Obsession? Scarlett: Right now, I’m obsessed with fun jewelry. I love accessorizing outfits with cool earrings or a bolo tie. N: Describe your personal style? Scarlett: I would describe my personal style as a unique blend of vintage and modern. I love statement jackets or shoes mixed with something more on-trend, such as a crop top and mom jeans. My modern fashion inspiration is Alexa Chung, but I’m also very inspired by French women from the 1960s, like singer Francois Hardy.

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Heather: How would you describe your current style? Tolly: If I had to put a label on my current personal style it would be something like… seventies minimalism? I love the seventies and I think it really fits my mood and vibe at the moment, but then the pieces I wear are sort of watered down seventies pieces, hence the “minimalism” part. But really, it changes all of the time, but I think I’m finally getting somewhere. H: What outfit do you wear that feels the most ‘YOU’? T: As I mentioned before, my personal style changes a lot so my answer to this will always be different. So, with that in mind, I have indeed picked out a slogan sweatshirt and a pair of comfy trousers. This is probably a really good example of my “seventies minimalist” style as well. H: What is your favourite item in your closet, why? T: That’s such a tough one because it’s quite hard to pin down one item alone… I think I’ll stick with an item that I wear a lot and that’s my “Cool Kids Club” sweatshirt from ASOS. It’s so simple but there’s something about it that I love. H: What is your favourite pair of socks you own? T: Well, well, well, am I allowed to say… the whole collection of Tolly Dolly Posh socks? Because if I am… then, that’s my answer. It’s as simple as that! They’re still available to buy at shop.tollydollyposhfashion. com but the stock is limited!

they’re no longer in my closet because they no longer fit, but they are honestly my most prized possession. I picked them up for €30 at a jumble sale in France (back in 2013). They’re a black shimmer, 1460 style and as they were second-hand, they used to fit like a glove. H: What is an oldie but a goodie in your closet? T: Oooh, I feel like I’ve already said this with my “Cool Kids Club” sweatshirt… hmph. The only other one I can think of that is both an oldie and a goodie, is probably my Boden, striped Breton top. It’s super comfortable and I wear it most days when I’m at home. H: Does having a blog allow you to express your style? T: One hundred percent. It’s really nice actually because I’ve been able to document my style from when all the way back when I was 11, to now, when I’m nearly 16. It will be so interesting to look back and take a trip down memory lane, especially as the teen years are the ones which tend to be most experimental. H: To end off, describe your style in the 3 words. T: Versatile, alternative, bright. We thank Tolly for this great insight into her fascinating wardrobe! Follow her blog at tollydollyposhfashion.com/

H: What is one item in your closet that has the most sentimental value? T: I picked out my first ever pair of Dr Martens. Technically, mimp magazine —- 21

“I DON’T WANT TO FIT IN” Star of the new hit TV show, Lost and Found Music Studios, Keara Graves, talks optimism, standing out, and building her amazing vintage wardrobe. INTERVIEW AND PHOTO BY ANDREYA KLOBUCAR Andreya: Tell us about what your style means to you and what it says about you. Keara: I really like standing out and being unique, I don’t want to fit in with everyone else. I just feel that I love who I am and I want to embrace all that I am. Dressing in vintage clothing helps me form my identity and it makes me happy. A: How do people respond to your unique style? K: I know I’ve gotten a lot of strange looks from other people from where I live in Whitby. When I come to Toronto it’s really refreshing because there are a lot of people who are very unique and who have very different styles. If I come to school in a vintage dress people are like “What are you wearing?!”. I dont mind because I’m okay with being my own person. A: Who are your style and music inspirations? Ella Fitzgerald is my absolute queen! Every time I listen to her I cry; she just hits me in the feels! Style-wise I love Audrey Hepburn’s style and Dorris Day! She always wore those little flats and long dresses with the cinched waist! A: Any future aspirations? K: I’d love to sing in a jazz club, like you know those smokey rooms with dim lighting. I’d also love to act and I’d really like to explore film production. I kind of just want to do everything! I want to inspire girls to be their own person. I don’t like when girls feel like they have boundaries to expressing who they are. A: Well said. Boundaries can be suffocating. How can we break these boundaries? K: Every girl is beautiful in their own way and I really think people should be confident in that and embrace that because that’s what makes everyone unique. I find people’s flaws beautiful. A: was this mindset inspired by anything? K: When I was in elementary school I wasn’t happy with who I was and my self esteem was really low. I was trying to be someone who I wasn’t. But that didn’t make me feel good in the long run. I did a lot of writing and reflected upon my feelings and I realized I needed to do something to change that. I’ve matured a lot in the past year. A: That is really relatable! I know myself and a lot of others went through the same thing. On the topic of maturing past elementary school, I love bra stories, can you tell us your’s? K: Of course! I was still wearing training bras in grade nine. I’ve alway had small boobs and it just always seemed like the most comfortable option. In the past week I’ve discovered bralettes and I am obsessed, I bought so many!. And 22

since I don’t have very big boobs I don’t need a lot of support so I can wear them all the time! A: Whats your advice for people wanting to start their vintage collection? K: Start small! My first pieces of vintage clothes, I got from my mom for Christmas; a little lace top that I paired with jeans. Slowly I started being able to create entire outfits. I don’t wear everything vintage right now, but I try to. I also find that vintage clothing is less expensive. It’s also really great quality. You know that if it’s lasted all these years, it’s probably going to last even longer. A: What’s your take on modern verses vintage style? K: I’ve never really felt comfortable in modern style...there are always changing fads in fashion and you might buy clothes that work for now, but then in a year you’re just like “oh”. Vintage is always going to be vintage you know? A: Yeah tights and UGGs are never going to be vintage...dress it up! K: Yeah! Haha! Well, you know, dresses and skirts are pretty casual to me. pants are like, restrictive. A: Makeup or no makeup K: Thats hard! I love doing makeup because its so fun but at the same time, I like going without makeup because I feel more free. But I think I’d choose a little bit of makeup. A: Favourite shoes? K: Ahh I have so many shoes! I really like oxfords. I just got these black leather shoes that look like mens shoes. A: I think I might know your answer, but if you could go back in time, where would you go? K: I would love to go back and sing with Ella Fitzgerald...or Billie Holiday! I just got a new vinyl and I died after I listened to it. A: Three words to describe yourself. K: positive, quirky and responsible. Responsible is kind of boring but it’s true. Some of my friends are like “Keara, you’re like my mom”. A: Do you have any advice about life in general for our readers? K: When i give people advice they don’t take me seriously because I’m so optimistic, i guess, but like, no I think that putting positive thoughts out into the universe is really important because they will boomerang back to you. So even if you’re in a really tough situation you should still put out positive thoughts and you will be rewarded.

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STORY BY: NICOLE PALMER Lifelong besties Gracie Petovello and Emma Simpson had an undoubtedly successful 2015: they created their own charity fashion show featuring tons of established, local brands and raising thousands of dollars for sexual assault awareness & prevention. Did I mention it sold out? No? Well, they’re not planning on stopping there. With a new school dress code scandal in the news every other week, what teenage girls are wearing is constantly up for judgement and debate. I had a chat with the girls about the intersection of fashion, safety, & feminism: Nicole: How did you two meet 26

Emma Simpson & Gracie Petovello: We first met through kindergarten and ever since then we have been together through thick and thin growing and learning from one another. From the ages of five years old to seventeen we have had some incredibly outrageous dreams. When we were seven years old we would pretend to have real fashion shows using staircases as our runway and clothes from our closets. When we were eight we were so ambitious and so inspired to start our own band singing and dancing to Hilary Duff songs. As we got older we started to take fashion and modelling a bit more seriously. At the age of fourteen we took a modelling course. Somehow all of these stepping stones brought us to where we are today, the creators of TPOY.

N: Why is sexual assault awareness & prevention so important to you personally? Gracie: Spreading awareness about sexual assault is so important to me because I was sexually assaulted twice at the age of 16. It happened about two weeks after I got out of the hospital. I was put in the hospital because of my severe depression and anxiety. I thought I was in it all alone. The days after the assault were very frustrating. I went to my guidance counselor to talk about it. The counselor called my parents and I decided to file a police report. He confessed but the charges were never laid. This is extremely unfair; I didn’t feel safe anywhere. He had

more power over me than I did. I would get panic attacks constantly. But the worst part of it all was the flashbacks and the thoughts in my head telling me that I somehow caused of my assault. Thanks to going to therapy I finally started to feel better and more safe, I even got the courage to go on a date. It was wonderful, I finally started to feel wanted for something other than my body. Unfortunately this lead to my second assault. I didn’t go to the police because frankly, it seemed like a waste of time. Sexual assault is one of the only crimes that we ,as a society, blame on the victim, and this needs to stop. So I had to speak up about it somehow, that’s when TPOY came to life. I want to convince survivors, everyone on the gender spectrum, that nothing that they did or wore caused their assault. I want to make people talk about sexual assault. None of what happened to you was your fault. That’s what I want everyone that has been affected by sexual assault to know. All of the mixed emotions and numbness you are having is normal, everyone handles this trauma differently. Feelings of hate or suicide are normal, but please don’t act on them. You are beautiful and loved and are not damaged goods. There are so many resources out to help you for example the free Sexual Assault Worldwide Helpline is 887-9955247. N: Can you tell us a little bit about how you came up with the idea for the fashion show? Gracie: Sexual assault has affected me and those close to me. I’ve come to realize how prominent of an issue it is in society, but it’s currently invisible. I think it’s really important and needs to be talked about. We created “The Presence of Yes” to start a conversation about something that directly or indirectly affects a large portion of society. Sexual assault being a taboo topic only hurts the survivors of sexual assault and benefits the perpetrators, and this should not be the case. In bringing the issue to light, I want people to question social norms surrounding sexual assault, with the hope that society will begin addressing sexual assault seriously in a more survivor-friendly manner. In the show we discussed gender equality and consent. Consent is NOT the absence of no, but is using the word yes. It is an agreement, not a vote. Consent is not silence or when the person says maybe or

hesitates. The answer is no if you don’t ask for consent. Consent needs to be talked about more in the media. Rape culture is just about everywhere but nobody seems to think about it. N: What was that process like? (Contacting brands, finding a venue, meeting with sponsors, managing models) Emma: The process of finding a venue, contacting brands and meeting with sponsors was difficult because we are young girls and therefore high end businesses didn’t take us seriously because we are teenagers. They didn’t think they could take their chances and work with us on our campaign because they couldn’t find it within themselves to believe in us and know that all we wanted to do was make a difference and start a movement. Managing models and volunteers was another process that was at times frustrating and difficult because models and volunteers were hard to get in contact with when we were hosting mandatory meeting allowing all models a month notice to organize their schedules. In the end we were so fortunate and so proud of everyone for all of their hard word and dedication and we could not have asked for any other models, volunteers, sponsors to have been apart of our charity fashion show. The show would not have been complete without the family that we were so lucky to call TPOY. N: Was there ever a point where you thought “I can’t handle this, it’s growing too fast”? E & G: This was our first big event and there was more to planning a large fashion show than we could have ever imagined. When we were introduced to the bigger picture we did feel, at times, very overwhelmed and stressed that our show was growing so fast with so much left to still be accomplished. We were worried that there was going to be a negative backlash of hate and disapproval but everyone has been nothing but supportive. We are so grateful for everyone who continues to support us in the community and on social media @ThePresenceOfYes

their 40 hours of community service in a unique and meaningful way. The founder of Volunteer YA, Sonja Fernandes felt like our fairy god mother throughout the entire journey. We were lost in the direction of how to properly plan and host a fashion show and she showed us the ropes when it came to organizing and planning our event. We would set up regular meetings to go over what still needed to be done and she would always ask us how we were feeling and where we were at with our own planning. She was always there to guide us and made sure we were right on track. She has always supported us and let us take the reins to make our vision come true 100%. She has great connections and was able to introduce clothing brands to our show as sponsors.. After the show we were able to raise $2,238 in total! N: What is “The Presence of Yes”? E&G: It is a group of young ambitious youth trying to make a change in our society by helping to spread awareness on various issues such as sexism, slut shaming, victim blaming, gender equality, feminism, gender being fluid and discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Although the main issue we are trying to fight is against is sexual assault. We let survivors know that it is okay to talk about it, and it is not their fault no matter the situation. N: What does the future look like for TPOY? E&G: We plan to continue to spread awareness by getting out into the community and making TPOY a world wide campaign. As well as getting involved in our community and volunteering our time helping other organizations, as well as more shoots with big fashion brands for #fashionforacause which uses fashion to bring attention to social issues. You can find out more about TPOY’s mission on our facebook page (The Presence of Yes) and our instagram @ThePresenceofYes and twitter @TPOYes!

N: This started out as a small volunteer project for “Volunteer YA” right? But you ended up selling out your venue. Amazing! How much did you end up raising for London, Ontario’s Sexual Assault Centre? E: Yes, Volunteer YA is an organization that helps high school students achieve mimp magazine —- 27




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baes by the bay Beach So Chic is a retailer of henna inspired temporary jewellery tattoos. Their non toxic tattoos come in a range of collections, each inspired by the different beaches around the world that the team at beach so chic have partied on. To find out more visit beachsochic.com.au.


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WHEN PASSION MEETS DETERMINATION: THE LAUNCH OF PERK NATURALS BY CANDACE FABELLO Before Perk Naturals launched, founder and CEO, Emily Stencel, was set to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Fast forward to a year and a half later, and her all-natural skin care line is available in over forty locations internationally. So, what sparked the change and turned Stencel from event co-ordinator to founding her own company? A little perseverance and a lot of passion. “I’ve always had an interest in beauty, but when my family and friends started seeing positive results from my handmade products, I saw a business and wanted to help as many people as I could.” Stencel’s hobby quickly became her career when she decided to quit her full-time job to start Perk Naturals. The risk seemed crazy to many. She was a recent grad and managed to land a great job, why would she want to leave that? “When you find yourself doing something you love, the feeling takes over and you really can’t imagine doing anything else,” said Stencel. The young entrepreneur acknowledges that launching her business had its difficulties but thankfully, she had support along the way. Specifically, Stencel emphasizes that without the guidance of her close female friends and family, accomplishing her goals might not have happened. She now aims to use her business to share her story and encourage other females to follow their dreams, too. “I want girls to know they’re not alone,” said Stencel. “There’s always a group of other females that are there to support them on their path to becoming whoever it is they wish to be.” For Stencel, Perk Naturals is more than a line of beauty products; it’s an opportunity to help girls feel confident in their own skin. In a world that’s constantly trying to influence who our girls become, inspiring them to embrace their individuality remains at the core of her business.




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LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, WITH 50’S DOO WOP, INDIE-POP FUSION BAND PINS & NEEDLES Sabrina, Rebecca, Nastasia and Deanna are taking Toronto and Montreal by storm. These four incredibly talented musicians met as 14 year olds at Girls Rock Camp Toronto, a community in the business of creating safe spaces for young women to make music. After the five day camp, this group of powerhouse females instantly hit it off as Pins & Needles. This positive group of individuals see the value in female empowerment and are always up for a challenge! We sat down with them during hair and makeup to join in their banter and get to know a little more about them. Mimpmag: So who writes your songs? Can you describe the songwriting process? Rebecca: Everyone in this band writes music, but I think the process has

changed over time — it was originally more like: someone brings in one song and then we play that song and add parts to it. And it’s still somewhat like that, but now it’s a little more organic. We are less scared to bring in “lessformed” songs, parts that you’re proud of that you’re willing to change and alter and also willing to add to. Now that we are feeling more comfortable with our instruments, we are bringing in licks or fill that we really like; Instead of being like, “I brought this fully formed song! Wanna hear it?”. Nat: Yeah, it has come out of trust, I think. I remember our first couple practices there was a lot of like, “sooooo… what’s up”. And then it morphed into half practice, half talking about our feelings.

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Rebecca: I love Tuesday Bassen’s mixed emotions club, I feel like that is us. Nat: We just sort of balance each other out, where we need things… Mimpmag: What influences you to write your songs? Nat: Anger. Anger towards boys recently, mostly. The empowerment… Rebecca: The empowerment of what? That is not a fully formed sentence. Nat: Of us and ourselves… Deanna: — what inspires our songs is, like, anything that happens in our lives that we need to workout or if we just have something to say about it. And if we find a way to express that, it can become a song. A different song or a different experience will trigger something else in someone else. And sometimes we’re just having fun! Mimpmag: If you could describe Mystic Women, your entire album, in a few words what would they be? Rebecca: Everything we ever made…(Laughter) Vivacious! Fun! Nat: FUN! I associate it with all fun things. Mimpmag: How does each song come together? Rebecca: A good way to explain this album is: we had a band member who left, they were apart of the first EP but not apart of the album, and I think this album was our chance to kind of come together and reunify and refigure what we wanted — I think it is a stepping stone towards the next album that we are going to make. It’s kind of like a treasure box, a time capsule of just our time together, trying to figure things out. It’s less of a curated whole than it is pieces of ourselves. Deanna: It’s kind of a snapshot of our youth — us graduating from high school and all the shit that comes along with that and all the feelings as you’re realizing your womanhood. Nat: Dealing with all the crap that you deal with as a teenage girl and a teenager in general, like not being taken seriously… Mimpmag: And how do you deal with things like not being taken seriously? R: I think an important thing to always remember is that we have it really good. Obviously you get some shitty people or people who are unaware of the idea of creating safe spaces — or the idea of how their tone could actually affect you because of how many times you’ve been spoken to in that way — they don’t realize they’ve been rude. They don’t think they’ve being demeaning because we’re young, but they actually have ingrained things about that - but over all I think we’re very luck to be in this country - and the strong, female empowered community in Toronto is extremely 38

strong. I am very grateful to be working in Toronto. N: I think it’s really disheartening to keep hearing stuff like “You guys are really good for a high school girl band.” Why are you pigeonholing us...we’re sort of like this weird novelty band, but Rebecca’s right, we’ve done pretty well and I feel really happy about where we’re at. We have a lot of privilege. R: Any woman can be a musician, but if you’re young and you feel scared about joining to community, I highly suggest going through Girls Rock Camp. It doesn’t make you any less of a musician because you came from a formed, bandcamp way. It actually just makes it better because you meet other girls who support you and have the same goals as you. D: It really helped us, not just in music but in life. Rebecca: The best workshops at girls rock camp are the non-music related ones because they really teach about how being a woman affects being a musician. We had a huge Internet debate a while back — I mean, we have so many — about how we feel about people calling us a feminist band. And it is always a hard thing to figure out. But then I read this great article that was saying that inherently, by not being a white, old dude, your art has to be activism. Because just by doing something that you aren’t the major demographic in, you become political. I thought that was a really good point, because originally I didn’t want to have to be the voice of reason to people who want to listen to us — I just wanted to make music. But then by being women, by being young and by talking about our experiences as people, and by being feminists I guess our music ends up being feminist. Mimpmag: I understand that two of you live in montreal? How does that work out? Nat: Ah the train...the train is our best friend. I was on the train the other day and I realized that I spend more time on the train than I do like most other places (laughs). I’ve been out in Montreal, but I know the train better than I know the city at this point. Rebecca: When we come in for shows we don’t usually have much time to write new songs when we are together, so we are definitely going to do a lot more writing in the summer. We have to try and practice a lot on our own but that makes it all the more exciting when we have to come together for shows. Like obviously, it would be way better if we could practice once, twice a week. Mimpmag: What are some things you had to learn on your own as women in this industry? Deana: Guitar stuff for sure — more so, people always tell you not to apologize for yourself, but sometimes you’re in a situation where you are actually forced into that. If someone doesn’t like my music: “well oh, I’m sorry.” Like, FOR WHAT? What are you sorry for? Having confidence in your skill as a musician, even if it’s not, like, as technically proficient as someone else, is important. You can’t compare yourself to someone else, especially for me, as a guitarist who had to learn vocals while playing guitar. It’s been interesting for me to learn to accept myself as a guitarist as opposed to just a vocalist and

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I think that it’s important to learn to be okay with yourself and learning to be proud of your skills, like even when you’re not entirely confident in them. Nat: I grew up with lessons — I went to piano lessons every Wednesday. I was forced to. For me the process has been learning how to forget all the lessons...It’s good in a way because I have the technical background. Working in a band environment is completely different than learning jazz standards on the piano. Learning to work as an ensemble and learning to make compromises and learning to be okay with yourself in a group, has been part of the growth — just like trusting each other. I think that took us a while to be able to find a groove and sort of trust one another on stage and trust each other not onstage. Fear of “Am I going to suck?” And usually you don’t — you work it out, even if there are problems with the song or with interpersonal things. Mimpmag: Tell us about your best and worst gigs or band moments. N: The crappiest gigs we have are the ones where no one is really paying attention to the music. We played a gig the other day and it was weird because we were on the same plane as the audience and there wasn’t enough separation to feel safe. Guys were catcalling. There were people multiple times from all around and you have that moment when you ask yourself, is it safe? It’s hard for you to connect to each other when you’re all fearing. R: The best drumming times are when I’m not in my head. 40

When I break a stick or forget to put sticks next to me. It’s always really interesting when I suddenly become conscious of a fact like “my arms hurt. But this is going to go wrong if I fuck up, just power through it”. It’s a very exhilarating feeling to know that you can fix a problem yourself. And that’s a very burning, amazing feeling. N: I think that’s what I miss about not being able to practice with each other — it’s not even the technical — it’s not about actually knowing what you’re playing, it’s about being able to sync up with each other when we’re not together. When you don’t see your band mates that often, you being to loose the ability to instinctively tell things that you used to just sort of know. We went into the studio and our producer just laughed at us “you guys are all out of time, but you’re all out of time TOGETHER!”. Because we’re at a time in our lives where we’re changing really quickly, coming back and rediscovering who these people are and watching how everyone sort of shifted a little bit...It’s weird. Mimpmag: What’s your advice for girls wanting to start a band? All: Just do it! Deana: And don’t ever apologize for yourself because you can’t do something . Rebecca: You can do things so much better than so many boys.

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MORNINGTON A collection of images take at Mornington Peninsula on a road trip from Adelaide up to the Great Ocean Road by Tessa Lauren.


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17 Going on 18: Reflections of an Almost-Adult ELENA M-SKI

It’s hard to believe that I will *officially* become an adult this year. I have always felt like adults never knew what category to place me in. Was I to sit at “the kids table” or “the adults table?” Should I be talked to seriously about complex issues or should they be “dumbed down” for my mental capacity? It’s been frustrating being told to act mature but not being taken seriously. At the same time, I still want to be the child I was many years ago, playing with my Barbies without a care in the world. I wish I could to go back to those times, but I know I can only move forward. I’m almost an adult now... The future is my time. I’m excited to finally bridge the gap and bloom into adulthood, but I am admittedly a bit nervous. Scary/Exciting Things About Being an Adult: 1. Voting I’m that nerdy girl who is beyond excited to register to vote as soon as I turn 18. I live in the USA and with the elections coming up, I really want to be able to have a say in the way my country is going to be run. 2. Graduating The security of high school will soon leave me, but I sense that I am ready to move on with my life to pursue greater things. It’s still scary to leave behind a place I have been at for four years. I have invested so much time into it that I have trouble thinking about what my life would be like when I no longer have to wake up at 5:45 each morning to drive to school. 3. College Like a majority of high school teens, college has always been a dream for me. My applications are all sent out (fingers crossed!) and I can’t wait to start this next chapter of my life. College provides the opportunity for me to discover myself, which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. It also is like a 44

fresh start to make new friends and to try new things. 4. I’m No Longer a Child Just because I’m 17, it doesn’t mean I can’t understand “adult topics”. I can read “adult” books and I can watch “adult” TV shows. I don’t think my age should matter, but society thinks it does so I’ve been stuck with people that judge me. I’m glad that I won’t have that child label on me any more so that people will take me more seriously. 5. I’m No Longer a Child (Continued) At the same time, it’s frightening to know that I am no longer a kid! I’m afraid anything remotely “childlike” that I do will be looked at with disdain. I can no longer read my Young Adult novels with the excuse of being a young adult. It’s silly, but I don’t want people making judgments about what they perceive as immaturity. Sometimes I think everyone wants to embrace their inner 10-year-old, but it’s much harder to do that as you get older. 6. Skydiving and New Adventures I can legally sky-dive now! Woohoo! Okay, I’m not 100% serious with this one (mostly because I don’t want to pay for it). However, things like skydiving symbolize the adventures available once you become an adult. I can spontaneously travel or go bungee jumping! The opportunities available are nearly limitless. 7. Money and Responsibility I don’t even want to talk about this one….Getting older is scary stuff. There’s many more things I’m both excited and nervous about. I know that when I turn 18, everything will be okay, but it’s still nerve wracking knowing that a new chapter of my life is about to start. To everyone else turning 18 (or another “big” age this year) know that we are in this together! Focus on the exciting parts and manage the scary ones. Make the most of your year and it will certainly be great!


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You don’t know the difference between butterflies fluttering in your stomach and the aftermath of a bad burrito until you fall in love at 16. As you lay in the grass he points to the night sky and says, “that is the big dipper”. But you are just looking at him, waiting for him to shut up and finally kiss you. And in that moment you are stuck, because your first love changes you, and no matter how hard you try, the feeling never goes away. No one can teach you how to be in love, it just somehow falls into place. Real love is not like the movies. He might not throw rocks at your window at 2 a.m. with a dozen roses in his hand. You might also never get the chance to kiss him in the rain (and seriously, dripping mascara and frizzy hair will not be as cute as in the movie you watched last week). But create your own love story, something that has never been told before. The garnished views of what love should be like is filtered in teenage romance movies. As girls we are told what Prince Charming should do or look like in order for love to be acceptable. But the unique thing about real love is that you don’t get to choose who you fall in love with. And I think that is one of the most beautiful things about falling in love at 16.

Stop searching for the man in the movies, because real love is admiring his imperfections. The way he has little gaps in between his teeth when he laughs at you. The dark circles under his eyes because he stayed up all night texting you. How you notice the beauty marks all over his back every time he asks you to scratch an out of reach spot. You grow up together, entirely molding one another. You loved through the emo stage, the acne phase and stressful university applications. You know each other’s secrets and how to cheer him up. Every time you cry into his arms, he plays with your hair because he knows that will calm you down. He says, “Everything is going to be okay, I love you.” But you didn’t know at 19, it would be the last time you cry into his arms. Not everything lasts forever. You tend to compare everyone to him. You find yourself sitting in your bed full of tissues at 3 a.m. wearing his clothes, thinking about what if it ended happily ever after like the movies. And in that moment you are stuck again, hoping he will come throwing rocks at your window, because your first love makes you believe movies are real.

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Stranger In The Village BY NAHOMY ORTIZ Discrimination, marginalization, oppression or feeling left out, are not one-time stories, they are ongoing events in people’s lives for numerous different reasons, whether it’s against your sexuality, race, gender, social status, etc. I think life consists of many events that makes us feel this way. There have been many moments in my life when I’ve felt offended due to comments that many people make because I’m a woman and I’m Latina. When I first arrived to the U.S. I had already known English, but mostly because I watched a lot of TV, like Disney Channel and The Ellen Show. I had never had the real life experience of exchanging words in English with another American person. I had never truly experienced American culture, and my image of high school and teenage life was created by what I learned from television. One of the first things that I noticed when I got to high school was that not many girls wore high heels to school, popularity was not vital, and finding the right people to hang out with is not as easy as it looked like in High School Musical. On my first day of school, I had to ask people to repeat the same sentence at least two times and someone even asked me if I was hard of hearing. I was lucky to find friends freshman year that understood my situation, but even then, they would make offensive remarks that they didn’t see as hurtful. One of the few first days of school, one of the new friends asked me if I was Mexican and I said, “No. I’m Puerto Rican,” and he replied, “Same thing.” No, it is not “the same thing” we are all very different. As well when we would later in the year go into conversations about TV shows that we liked, sometimes my friends would say things like, “Aren’t you happy that you’re in America so you can watch all of this great shows!” Sometimes I feel like some people in the U.S. perceive Puerto Rico as a place that it’s not very advanced in technology or that it’s extremely poor, but it’s neither of those things. Puerto Rico haves a lot of the same TV programming, and most of the music on the radio is in English. 48

Another issue that makes me feel marginalized is sexism. Because I am a young woman, I am very affected by this. There has been sexist comments directed towards me, but there doesn’t really have to be an exact moment in my life when I feel like a stranger in the village due to sexism, because right now sexism it’s such a huge problem, I feel marginalized and discriminated everyday. From little things like when teachers come into classrooms asking for help to move books from one floor to the other and only pick young men to do it as if the young women in the classroom couldn’t do it, to extremely offensive circumstances, like women getting paid less than men. For my birthday last year I wanted to go watch a movie that starred with one of my favorite actresses, Sandra Bullock. The moment that we were leaving my house, a man in my family told me he couldn’t take the movie seriously because the lead was played by a woman. Considering oneself as a feminist has become a huge issue for women now as well, because feminism has become a synonym to man-hating, which is wrong. I think that women should have the same rights politically, economically and socially as men and due to many men thinking they are superior to women I feel marginalized everyday. Many issues in today’s society make me feel marginalized and left out. And because there are so many issues that happen everyday, because they do, even if it is in a large scale or a smaller one, these events that make me feel oppressed happen every day. Issues like abortion, gay marriage, sexism, linguicism, and racism are things that I have a very strong opinions on. And at times when a large group of people doesn’t have the same views as I do, I feel left out. I have had friends say things like, “If my son were gay I would disown them.” And things like this make me feel discriminated, because even though I am not a man and I’m not gay it’s people that have this beliefs that make it harder for our society to become more open and accepting of one another. These daily experiences shape who I am today. My opinions, my personality, my character and nature are important to my identity and help me find myself when I become lost.


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I AM NOT A GOOD FRIEND BY NICOLE PALMER ART BY: ORIANE SAFRÉ-PROUST I tend to cut people off; for small, arbitrary reasons or even for no reason at all. I thought I knew what it meant to be a friend. I was wrong. Believe it or not, there is more to it than what they teach you in kindergarten. Part of being a good friend is being there, and I haven’t been. For anyone. Not to mention, I’ve pushed away everyone who has tried to “be there” for me. Looking back at the friendships I’ve had in my young life, I’m realizing that most of the time I was the reason the relationship deteriorated. Slowly, or all at once. I’m a very independent person, who has always prided myself on not needing anyone’s company. Ever. I’ve pitied girls who seem to go from bad relationship to bad relationship, unable to be by themselves for any length of time. The same girls who drag all their friends to the bathroom and tweet about how sad they are when they see people eating alone. I wonder, now, if I’m not worse off in the long run though. My social skills have never been great but somehow they’ve definitely begun to get worse, and though I feel fulfilled with the way I spend my time, I sometimes find myself yearning to tell someone about that amazing book I found or gush about my celebrity crushes with. I crave social validation more than I ever have before, deleting posts that don’t get the right amount of likes and combing the internet for post ideas that will make me seem funny, if a little emotionally unbalanced. I spend ridiculous amounts of money on little objects that will “look great on Instagram”, but only work up the nerve to actually post a picture every 2 months or so. To summarize: I need a life, and people to spend it with. I’ve always been quick to burn bridges and move on from people and places that don’t seem to be good for me.

try to join any clubs or participate in extracurricular activities. I rarely respond to texts or Facebook messages that aren’t urgent, and when I do — let’s just say 3-5 business days is an optimistic response time. I’m not a good friend because I’ve always held unrealistic expectations for people, and never hold myself to that same standard. I’ve been holding out for that one lifelong best friend I can grow old with, who would never hurt me, or that “FRIENDS”-like gang that knows me as well as I know myself. I tell myself that I am unwilling to “waste my time” on anything less than platonic soulmates, but the truth is probably closer to my being a selfish and pretentious asshole. I’ve been left out and excluded too many times to “settle” for friends who treat me as an afterthought or an available option should the first or second choice not work out. However, I’ve also got way too much pride to extend an offer to hang out more than once. Twice, if I have a platonic crush on you (which is very possible). For the past couple months, I’ve been sending little messages to people I’ve lost touch with along the way, gently reminding them that even though I’ve never really been the easiest person to get a hold of; I think about them all the time and wish them nothing but extreme amounts of happiness and fulfillment going forward. That’s the first step I think, to heal relationships I’ve broken and begin to cultivate new and healthier friendships in the future. Part of self-care is being honest with yourself. This is an honest evaluation of myself and the way I interact with people in my life. I haven’t been a good friend! I probably would not be a great girlfriend at this point in my life! I was a somewhat crappy student in high school because I never applied myself! These little confessions make me feel infinitely better, believe it or not. Coming clean with myself about my failures has helped me to pick myself up and continue on taking life one day at a time. I’m lucky to have been granted more than my fair share of fresh starts in the last 5 or so years, and I get another one coming up relatively soon as I transition from recent college dropout to first year university student. I’ve only completed the first step (acknowledging you have a problem), but figuring out how to be the best friend I can be will probably take years, so I’d better get started.

The closest friends I’ve had in the past 5 years, both unexpectedly moved thousands of miles away. When I started college last fall I chose a program at a small campus and didn’t mimp magazine —- 51


IT’S NOT ME IT’S YOU: A BREAKUP LETTER TO MY INSECURITIES BY YSABEL SARINAS ART BY: ISIS PETIT Dear Insecurity, We need to talk. You’ve been with me for a while, pretty much as long as I can remember. We went everywhere together, even school. You have seen me at my best, and especially at my worst. I used to think that you protected me by saving me from any potential embarrassments. I depended on you like a superhero, thankful that you kept me in society’s good graces. But things are changing. Namely, I have changed. I am much stronger now. I have learned to be my own hero. I now realize that I don’t need to have the validation of others in order to feel good about myself. By surrounding myself with a positive support system and cutting toxicity out of my life, I am becoming a more self-accepting person. I am owning up to my flaws and celebrating my accomplishments. Insecurity, I’ve talked to my friends about you. They keep telling me that I need to spend less with you because they can see how damaging your twisted version of love can be. And I think - I know - that they are right. Sometimes it’s better to rip off the band-aid all at once. It might hurt for a second but it’s the only way to ensure healing. Metaphors aside, I’m leaving you. I’m leaving you for confidence. I’m leaving you for a satisfying senior year empty of regret and doubt. I’m leaving you for a happier and healthier mentality. I cannot be with you when you hold me back, manipulating my choices and making me feel unworthy of success and love. I will not miss how you interfere and spoil my experiences when I perform or do something that I love. I have started to learn that without you, I have a better chance of becoming who I am meant to be. Leaving you behind will bring forth a more complete version of me. Oscar Wilde once said “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. It is time I take to writing my own story. This is a love story that has been long overdue. No Longer Yours, -Ysabel

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BY REBECCA ROSSENRODE ART BY: ORIANE SAFRÉ-PROUST “You’re in your early twenties?” squeals a new colleague as we are introduced to each other over lunch. “I’m sorry, you are so timid and petite that I assumed you were younger,” she continues, in utter bewilderment of my age. I laugh and smile politely. Comments like these are common and I try to dismiss them by acknowledging the positives. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with looking younger, right? You see, I’ve always felt like a late bloomer. Always one head shorter and a little quieter than my peers. My tiny frame at times even makes me feel invisible, self-conscious and overshadowed or disregarded. However, being deemed a ‘late bloomer’ hasn’t stopped me from following my wildest dreams and accomplishing all my crazy goals. In fact, I have managed to successfully graduate from my first choice college, travelled to the other side of the world with my best friend and twin sister and completed three of my dream internships in publishing. Although I often feel that step behind or that second too late, I’ve learned that with a positive and approachable attitude, a splash of luck and a determination to work hard, anything is possible. Keep in mind that being underestimated can often work in your favor. Here are some confessions of mine outlining what it really means to be a ‘late’ bloomer and the lessons that I have learned along the way.

for ball dresses for my High School senior prom and feeling upset about not being able to fill out the dresses like some of my friends. However, in the end I found my then perfect prom dress and felt like a princess all night. It is important to recognize that everything happens for a reason. Don’t be discouraged about your lack of experiences; your unique perfect timing just hasn’t come yet. Opportunities will present themselves in due course as long as you are open to them. You may be a bit behind your friends but it doesn’t mean it will never happen for you. Like the saying goes, ‘good things come to those who wait’, so be patient, happy and enjoy the roller coaster ride of your life. Being a ‘late’ bloomer has never stopped me from following my wildest goals and passions.

Looking younger isn’t a bad thing.

As a twenty something year old, I’ve finally discovered that being called a ‘late bloomer’ doesn’t mean I am a ‘late’ bloomer at all. Feeling a little behind your peers is utterly common and perfectly okay. Having the confidence to live life at your own pace is a magical and amazing quality to have. You might be the only one in your social group to not have been kissed or are still wearing that first training bra, but you are young and are blossoming and blooming in other areas. Have you met an amazing guy and are simply taking it slow, joined the basketball team as captain, have straight A grades or created a book club along your street? I’ve learned that by not comparing myself to others I’ve more readily recognized my own unique achievements.

Although as a teenager I hated looking a grade below my peers and despised my minimal – or lack there of – curves, I’ve slowly learned to comprehend the benefits of looking young. While looking younger than my age can be frustrating when people don’t take you seriously, or unsatisfying when guys call you ‘cute’ instead of ‘hot’, it isn’t always a bad thing. In fact it can be great for getting discounts at the movies, restaurants and theatre. Plus, even though everyone wants to look older during his or her teens and twenties, one day when we’re 43, I’m sure looking younger will be gratefully appreciated and boasted.

So, even though it is natural to want to compare and liken yourself to your closest friends, cousins and family, it is important to keep being true to yourself and doing you. As an individual you have your own special timing. No one can truly be a ‘late’ bloomer because every single person has his or her own unique route or path. So remember ‘what is meant to be will be’. Heck, I’m sure you’re blooming and blossoming in ways you never even knew every day. So next time you feel inferior to or behind your peers take a few minutes to remember all the amazing people, things and accomplishments in your life. I’m sure you’d realize that you are hardly ‘late’ at all!

Everything happens for a reason. It’s totally normal to look at your closest friends with their developed bodies, boyfriends and awesome achievements and dwell on things you don’t have. I remember shopping mimp magazine —- 55



BY ANNIE LEMONNIER ART BY: ORIANE SAFRÉ-PROUST I can’t deny it: I’m a sucker for cute dates, especially as the weather gets warmer and actually being able to go outside for long periods of time becomes an option. With the temperature changing, so can the activities, hang outs, and kissing spots you and that lucky person decide on. Though me and my significant other can do just about anything and be happy campers, I, along with a group of my friends, reminisced on our favorite warm weather date stories and moments that made spring special to us. “I once had this massive crush on someone, so I was already over the moon we were going on a date. Since they lived in Brooklyn, they met me at Penn station and we got bubble tea down the street and walked aimlessly through parks and different neighborhoods forever until reaching one of the piers. There was this big grassy field and then the water and it was absolutely gorgeous. We ended up laying down next to each other in the field talking for hours and then walked along the pier and looked at how beautiful the water was before I walked them back to their subway. Though it didn’t go any further than that first date, I still remember it really happily just because of how overall nice that day was.” “OK so there’s this adorable place in SoHo that serves, like, your classic tea party outside, in this gorgeous garden, my current boyfriend took me


to as our third date, the day he asked me out, and it was just perfect.” “So you know how April showers brings May flowers? Well imagine it pouring while sitting in the park with your girlfriend, eating a picnic you’d spent all day packing. We spent the rest of the day drying off and cuddling at my house which made up for it though!” “The highline is one of my favorite spots ever and I’d mentioned that to my boyfriend months ago, so for our six month anniversary, he took me on a surprise trip there! Since it was just warming up, there weren’t many people out so we really had an amazing time exploring around and it felt like just the two of us.” “My boyfriend loves backpacking and so one day when the weather was especially nice, he took me to the reservation. Well basically, I thought it’d be a really good idea to insist on using the shortcut around this building which required jumping a fence; let’s just say our date ended with a trip to the emergency room for a cut leg. We did end up on that hike a few weeks later and it was wonderful - just never again will I jump a fence.” Spring is an amazing time for transition into your hikes, picnics, walks around the city, and just time outside, laying on the grass. I wish you all the best of luck on your own spring romance ventures!

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A collection of bra nostalgia stories, by MimpMag readers and contributors, from training bras to lace bralettes. Artwork by Andreya

Wow. My first bra. This takes me back a while. Because now, at 21, I’d like to consider myself a connoisseur to the girl’s guide of lingerie. I remember that I had wanted a bra before I actually needed one. As I’m sure most of us do and now can’t bare the sight of one. My mum bought my first ‘training’ bra — it was from either The Children’s Place or Gap. Though I don’t recall which shop it came from, I do remember that it was white and had a purple and blue butterfly smack in the center. The fabric was quite thin. Imagine a white camisole and cut 2/3 off the bottom. I thought my butterfly was extremely cute and that I was so mature. That butterfly took flight in gym class. My school uniform consisted of a forest green pinafore with a white blouse and shorts underneath. For gym class we just wore the blouse and shorts. A young woman knows well enough that a white bra is clearly visible under a white shirt. But at 11, I was unaware. So when that pinafore unzipped, my fabulous yet mature ‘training’ bra was made known to my entire class. I quickly decided that I’d rather not wear one. Flash-forward a few years and I physically started developing before my internal body caught up. My friends had all gotten their periods before me, but weren’t wearing cup bras. They all thought, wow — how could you have not gotten it yet? Being a girl is complicated, but we’re constantly growing. Physically and mentally. At 15, with breasts, but period free I felt the need to wear a bra all the time and that I was somewhat out of the club. But the girl with her menstrual cycle and no breasts, probably felt out of the loop too. At least from my perspective (at the time) it was embarrassing to be wearing a bra.

In the scheme of things, shortly after, they all developed wayyy past me and the embarrassment sort of evened out. We all begin to not feel so awkward talking about the things that make us girls and what our parents have helped to establish as milestones from girlhood to womanhood. We are all hit with the phase of wanting 20+ bras and then once you’ve tried all the styles realize by your later teens and early adulthood that there are probably 2-3 styles that suit you best. They fall under the lacey-cute and the simply plain category. Preferably with no under wire. So now my bra collection has dwindled down to a mere 4 from a likely 24. — Olivia

Open my drawers and find my most intimates, That hold my most intimates. Soft and tight, covering me. A smooth, blank canvas, for you to paint your own perceptions of my gender onto. Throw on a shirt, some jeans and my most clippy-cloppy shoes. ‘I feel like a teacher!’ Someone important. With every step I have impact and intent. You see, as soon as I was born I was wrapped up in pink cloth, holding the brand ‘female’. But I don’t even want to wear blue at all. I am green and yellow and lavender. I hold all the colours of the rainbow. I am me, myself and I, no more, no less. So when I go to bed and unravel all of my lies I take off my most intimates, soft and tight, that carry my most intimates. But am still me, myself and I, no more and no less. — LAUREN


I learned that I needed my first bra in 6th grade. I am the only girl in my family and was one of three girls in my entire grade at school so I really didn’t know much at all about “womanhood”. I was sitting at lunch one day and it was pretty chilly in my school and I was just hanging out, chatting with a few of my guy friends, when I noticed the a group of girls were whispering and looking at me. I was kinda embarrassed and a little upset that they were so openly talking about me,

but I let it go for a bit. The whispering and giggling continued so finally, I walked over and asked them if there was a problem. Then, to my horror, one of the girls said (really loudly), “Yeah, your nipps look a bit nippy. I think it’s time Mama got you a bra.” EVERYONE in the cafeteria turned to look..Much to my dismay, when I looked down, I could see two little icicles poking through the front of my white shirt...and so could everyone else. How long had this been going

on?! Why didn’t my mom ever tell me I needed a bra?! One of the teachers that was on lunch duty that day led me out of the lunchroom and asked if my mom could bring me a jacket or a thicker shirt or something else to wear but she was at work all day so I ran to the bathroom and hid there for the rest of the period until my aunt dropped off one of my cousin’s old bras for me to wear. — SHELBY

I definitely saw this lingerie obsession coming since the age of eleven and ever since my mom allowed me to buy my first ever bra, that looked like a real life bra (two cups and everything!) from Justice, I’ve gotten quite picky. I’ve got extremely uneven breasts (or at least I see them that way) so padding is incredibly important to me along with just having a perfect fit for both

of them. I remember going to Aerie for the first time where they give you a tray (yeah a nice little tray and everything!!) of bras in all different styles and shapes and being amazed by it. To this day, I still get excited by Aerie bra try ons, I mean I keep quite a long relationship with mainly all my bras and I don’t take finding the perfect one lightly. If I like a bra, I will buy about ev-

ery color, pattern, and oh god if it’s got lace or bows, I’ve got to go for it immediately. I’m comfortable with having been an early bloomer and someone who’s got larger, yet uneven, breasts and tend to try and own up my body with bras that make me feel confident and cute. — ANNIE

Unlike most tweens, I actually was not pining for the day I that was going to finally wear a bra. I “bloomed” later than most kids my age and I was stickthin so it didn’t really matter much to me. My mother however bought me some training bras to help me “get

used to it”. I HATED wearing bras because I didn’t see much of a point…. they didn’t do much for me. But, I remember being in the locker room in middle school, changing, surrounded by tons of girls in “big-girl” bras, me still in my training bra. That’s when I

realized that everyone (and I mean everyone) was wearing real bras and I wasn’t. I remember asking my mother to go out with me to buy one the next day! — ELENA

A reminder of my first encounter with what can only be described today as my biggest supporter, literally, still hangs in my closet today. I remember with much clarity the day my mom dragged me into Target, bribing that if I just try on the bra she had picked out, that in return I would I get the very fashionable monkey pj’s I had my heart set on. Blushing, I walked behind her into the dressing room keeping an eye

out for any familiar faces that might be quietly observing this traumatic event take place. At the time I was an innocent age of nine, and although my mind was still playing in the sandbox and coloring at school, recent changes to my body had cause quite a lot of talk at school, something that as I look back on it now, went away as fast as it came. Being that I was one of the first in my grade to venture on to the un-

known lands of bra’s and womanhood, I had developed quite a large uncertainty about my body from day one. Now, long after I had outgrown my very first bra, and wore out my monkey pj’s down to the thread, both still find peace in my closet seven years later. — ROMI

Growing up as an early bloomer, I always felt uber self conscious about bras. It was a vile enemy, always plotting and scheming; poking and prodding me, making me uncomfortable. Over time, I learned to be more ap-

preciative of bras, as they help support you and have got your back (literally!). In other words, you gotta werk with what you got! — YSABEL

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I remember getting my first bra. It was a baby blue sports bra from Walmart, that I was so uncomfortable wearing. During Social Studies, I was so uncomfortable, I snuck into the bathroom, took it off, and boy, I felt so free! #freethenipple at age 10. For most of elementary and middle school, I wore those sports bras from Walmart. They got the job done, and that was all that I cared about. When I entered highschool, I decided maybe it was time to take things up a notch and wear an actual padded bra. The problem was, every time I tried them on, I could never find one that fit properly, that didn’t show through my tops, or that didn’t make me want to rip my skin off. I gave up and switched back to my Walmart sports bras. But then, my boobs grew and I no longer fit my Walmart sports bras. I was forced to upgrade.

That’s when I watched a ‘Spring Haul‘ video from Scarlett Rose Turner’s Youtube channel. She featured “Breast Petals” a breast adhesive, stating that she doesn’t wear actual bras, but bralettes because she hates bras. A statement never resonated with me so much. From then on, my life was changed. I went to Urban Outfitters and bought my first halter bralette in Spring 2015. It was from Pins & Needles in a dusty rose shade, that I’m wearing as I type this. I love bralettes. They make me feel so feminine! The lace, the clasps, everything. Now, they’re all I own. Now I will admit, they aren’t the most supportive. But who am I trying to impress? Me. And that’s all that matters. I wear bralettes everyday, never looking back at the uncomfortable wire bras I left behind in Target — HEATHER

I remember that at a young age I bloomed a bit more rapidly than my friends, cousins even my older sister! At the time I thought it was one of the coolest things when my mom and my aunts would corner me in stores to show me bras of different shades of pink. I felt confident in my womanhood until one day at during a school recital rehearsal one of my friends noticed that I was wearing something, “weird and lacey,” underneath my shirt. When I had taken it off to

change, my friend stole my “weird and lacey,” thing and showed it to my entire class. I was so embarrassed, luckily my teacher grabbed it and put it in my bag. After dismissing the giggling boys from the rehearsal my teacher told the girls (who were still laughing, and feeling very proud of what they’d done) that ALL of them, some day would have to wear a bra. At this all of their faces lit up, and it was in that moment I realized I had mistaken their jealousy for disgust.

All they wanted was to be grown up and now that they knew they would they couldn’t stop talking about bras. I remember my teacher muttering, “trust me you’re not going to like it” with a sad and understanding smile but no one heard her or believed her, not even me! That is, of course, until now, 10 years later when I can honestly say, Miss Rodriguez I sincerely, unconditionally and wholeheartedly, believe you. — NAHOMY

I bought myself a lovely new sports bra at Joyce Leslie for Tae-Kwon-Do a weeks ago with the thought and hope that it would bring me better luck because of its sheer awesomeness. At Tae-Kwon-Do I have to spar, which means fighting basically. Anyways, on the day that I finally decide to wear the bra I’m feeling super confident because I know that I look good under my T-Shirt and when I get to Tae-Kwon-Do my first fight is against a girl who I fight often. The

instructor says start and I get kicked right in the face and blood gushes out of my nose. Ouch is correct. After the blood finally stops flowing and I continue fighting after 10 minutes I’m in thorough pain. For the rest of the week my nose hurts and I happened to have a cold so it hurt to even blow it! I even tweeted about it saying that the bra was definitely not good luck as I got a bloody nose. The next time I wear the bra is a few weeks later and I get kicked really

hard in the leg sporting a very ugly bruise that was huge and hurt like the dickens. This bruise hurt! A lot! It was gigantic too! From all of this I have gathered that this sports bra is unlucky. It’s cursed. From now on, I will be very wary of wearing it to Tae-Kwon-Do since it seems to entail injury. — ILONA


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PMS BY: ELENA M-SKI ILLUSTRATED BY CALITA HIN Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS as we like to call it, is that terrible time of the month when you undergo a flux of emotions while knowing that your actual time of the month is right around the corner. Sometimes I think it’s just as bad as having your period. Why, you might ask? It’s all a waiting game. The symptoms of PMS let you know that next week will be misery (probably). Here are the very accurate stages of PMS and some tips on how to deal with it!

1. Wanting to Bite Everyone’s Heads Off I think that most people have this stage during PMS (I certainly do). Every little thing that normally annoys you (but that you usually ignore) becomes THE WORST THING EVER!!! THE WORLD IS ENDING!!! Your normal tolerance for idiocy has disappeared and when someone does something that you deem “wrong” you turn into a flesh eating monster. Advice: stay away from other humans (just kidding!). Try to do calming activities like Yoga or Meditation to calm yourself down.


2. The waterworks Right before getting your period you usually have a strange inclination to want to watch romantic comedies or other cute movies. And when you do...those tears come down in gushes as you binge watch while stuffing your face with food. It’s not just movies though. When something goes wrong, you feel the need to cry. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t, but you just WANT to let it out. Advice: It’s okay to be a little emotional! There’s nothing wrong with that! Just surround yourself with people that will make you happy when you start crying for no reason.

3. Eating everything in sight You know you are about to get your period when you eat 100x what you normally do. Chocolate becomes a necessity and if anyone takes your food they better run. Advice: Warn the people you know, and buy as much ice cream as you can to survive the week.

4. Feeling like you’re dying Ah, the cramps that come right before your period. This is usually the most obvious sign because often you feel like someone is pressing a rock down on you while stabbing you in the stomach. Advice: Invest in a nice heating pad and curl up with a book by the fire while using it.

5. Just let me sleep already!

You’ve had a long day, but it’s not just that. This PMS is weighing down on you and causing your body to think it is midnight. Anything fluffy, soft, or remotely comfortable is torture because it reminds you that you are not home in bed sleeping. Advice: Take as many naps as needed and try to rest.

6. The wrath of your vagina has begun PMS is over. You have your period now. Good luck with the next 3-7 days of your life.

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Tired of the boring, conventional, and practical? Don’t want to blow your savings at Victoria’s Secret? Good news, you can get your dream underwear by creating exactly what you want for very little money! This DIY is super easy to personalize so it’s perfect for everyone, no matter what your style is. You can literally do whatever you want with it and get as creative as you possible. Here is what I came up with — follow along if you want to see how I got there!


These are the materials you will be needing for this project. One pair of underwear, a bottle of permanent fabric adhesive (I use Aleene’s “OK To Wash-It” from WalMart), gemstones, and any other decorative elements you want to add!

If you’re spelling out a word, use the glue to draw each letter. Once you make one letter, stick the gemstones down onto the glue before making the next letter so that it doesn’t dry and you won’t get glue all over your hands.

Once you finish the word, use some other decorations to make your pair even fancier! If you’re using any elements that are made out of fabric (such as a bow), make sure you use plenty of glue and hold it down with your finger for at least 30 seconds. When you’re happy with your design, I recommend leaving it somewhere safe and flat overnight before wearing. Make sure you don’t wash the underwear for at least 3 days to allow everything to dry and set completely. There are endless possibilities of things you can do with this DIY depending on your choice of materials and colours, so get creative, get glittery, and have fun with it!

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If you recreate this DIY, be sure to post your pictures and tag Clarissa on instagram : Instagram: @clarissamay | Photo by @jessicalisaspohr (instagram)


TO MAKE THIS DIY, YOU’LL NEED: 1 wire hoop fitted to head & wrapped in green washi tape, a variety of fake flowers, hot glue, green washi tape, green ribbon, scissors

STEP 1: Figure out how you want your flowers to be arranged, and lay them out accordingly so you can plan the design of your crown.

STEP 2: Secure the flowers by attaching them to the hoop with washi tape. You can reposition the tape, so try playing around with different arrangements until you find something you like!

STEP 3: Once you’ve found the design you like best, hot glue the flowers securely in place.

STEP 4: Wrap the hoop and flowers in ribbon, and hot glue the ribbon in place. This will ensure a very secure finished look.


How to survive your first semester of college. BY: HANNAH HURDLE ART BY: GRACE MAZZUCCHI Dear future college freshmen, You’re about to graduate from High School and are just about ready to take on the world. Many of you will be going off to college in the fall, and you can’t wait to start this new adventure, whether it be across the country or in your own backyard. No matter where you’re going to school, all of you will probably have this thought cross your mind at least once: “Will college kill me?” The answer to that question is no, no it will not, however it may not always be a smooth ride. Here are some helpful tips, tricks, and advice on how to survive college. 1. JUST GO TO CLASS The most important advice you’ll ever receive at college is Just go to class. I know waking up early in the morning and going to class when your bed is calling your name — and you’re trying really hard to ignore the urge to hit the snooze button — sucks. But think about it, at the end of the semester when you’re between two letter grades, all of those extra hours of sleep are going to be meaningless. Many teachers will pay attention to who comes to class, and they’re more likely to bump those students up a letter grade if they’re close to the next higher one. Not going to class can not only make you fall behind in the course material, but it can also mean that a class you got a B in you could have gotten an A in. 2. The infamous freshman 15 The freshman fifteen is alive and well, my friend. As you probably know, being healthy in college is hard. The only real way to do it is if you live at home and have your mom cook for you. Since that isn’t an option for most of us, I have a few suggestions on how to avoid it. Firstly, if you are able to pick which floor of your dorm you’ll be living on, select either the fourth, fifth, or six floors and use the stairs every day. The elevator might be tempting, but the stairs might just be the new best friend you can make. Don’t tread too deep into the relationship though make sure things remain platonic, going higher than the sixth


might cause you to collapse from the weight of your backpack. Another idea is to speed walk, and I mean everywhere. If you don’t have time to walk or run for exercise, speed walking to your classes can help burn off those calories you had at lunch and get you there on time *insert thumbs up*. Finally, I know you’re a poor, broke college student, but at least try to buy some food to have in your dorm room instead of constantly eating out. No you may not be able to go to every single movie that comes out, but you’ll thank yourself later when you’re not having to shed fifteen pounds in time for swimsuit season. 3. Roommate woes and how to avoid them Rooming with someone you don’t know can be scary. I mean, what if they end up being creepy? Honestly there is no need to worry if you prepare ahead of time. If you’re living with someone you don’t know, make sure you get to know them first. Many colleges allow you to get into contact with the person you’ll be rooming with. You both should come up with some kind of understanding about privacy, boundaries, and space issues before you begin rooming together. It helps eliminate awkwardness when future problems arise. Remember even if you don’t become besties with your freshman roommate, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll have many roommates in your college career. Also remember to give them a chance, it never hurts to put in a little extra time and patience. 4. Don’t stress / Be calm College can be stressful. Between classes, friends, trying to keep your parents from realizing your diet consists mainly of Ramen noodles boiled in own your tears, while trying to keep some sense of a social life, things can get pretty overwhelming. Even with all of this on your plate (no pun intended), try not to stress too much. Yes classes will be hard, but learning time management skills can seriously save your butt. Plan out what you need to do for all your assignments ahead of time and, Just go to class (see tip 1). Don’t stress if you don’t make tons of friends to begin with either. You have several more semesters to find your friend group. A great way to make friends is to get involved on your campus. Trying new things, especially by yourself, can be

scary, but FYI there will be other people at these events doing and feeling the same way you do. Trust me you’re not alone in this. 5. Teachers AKA: your new besties Making best friends with your teachers is probably one of the smartest things you can do. Remember to ask them lots and lots of questions. Teachers love when students take the initiative. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher about it. If you’re not comfortable asking them during class you can always ask them after or email them. Teachers always respect students more when they come and visit them in their offices, during office hours of course.

member that it’s the place that gives you the chance to find out who you are and who you want to be. Yes you’ll change in college, but that’s what’s supposed to happen. Jump in head first and don’t be afraid to try new things. Reach out to new people, even if that means talking to upperclassmen. I know they can seem intimidating at times, but most of them don’t mind helping you out. They’re willing to show you to your class or lend you a Scranton. Remember they’re not that different from you. They may seem like they have everything together, but the truth is you’re all wandering around wondering what it is you’re really doing with your lives.

College can be a scary place, but it doesn’t have to be. Just re-

How to not care what people think about you. BY ADRIANA PARENTE It is easier said than done, but don’t take what others think about you to heart. Stand up for what you believe in, do what you love, and be a girl boss. Here are five ways to not care what people think of you. 1. Do what you love and love what you do. When you do what you love, you go home a happy and positive person. What people think about what you do does not matter. Whether you groom dogs, write poetry in the park, or cure cancer, as long as you enjoy yourself that is all that matters. People will find something wrong with anything you do and there will always be someone trying to put you down. Just remember to not stop doing what you love because of someone else. Being a negative person is not productive, so you are one step ahead of them. 2. Overstep boundaries and stand out. Standing out isn’t a bad thing. Standing out means you are unique and that you are conquering things people are afraid of doing. That is amazing, keep going and don’t stop reaching. People are going to say things about you because they are jealous of the things you are achieving, and you should not care about the negative energy they are investing in you because you are better than that. Take other people’s opinions as a way to better you. 3. If someone has something (usually negative) to say about you, it means you are doing something right. People tend to be negative when they notice other people are doing better than they are. It is called jealously and bitterness. Use the opinions made about you as a way to better yourself and improve what you are doing. Do not respond, but show no reaction other than continuous hard work and success to those who mistreat you. The best revenge is being happy and strong minded. 4. Set goals for yourself and exceed what others are doing. Be someone who knows what they want, and goes to get it.

Set goals for yourself that will better you in the long term, and work hard to get what you want. Most teenagers think about partying and dating the hottest boy in school. Don’t miss out on the fun, but stay focused on what will matter after high school and in five to 10 years down the road. 5. Smile often, it is contagious. Smiling can kill all negative energy. Use a smile as a shield to back away from all of the bad breeds. Smile often, and to those who are negative towards your success. They will either leave you alone, try to become happy too, and know you don’t care what they think of you. At the end of the day, it is about whether or not you are happy with yourself. Love what you do, and offer your best efforts to the world. You reach your goals when you don’t care what others are thinking about you. And just remember, in the words of Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

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In June 2015, Jessica Mannara, founded D’AIR Dance Collective, an emerging Toronto based performance company, providing opportunities to youths & pre-professional artists in the dance community. The idea was born after a conversation she had with a friend about their future in the dance world. “We finally were just like: ‘Let’s do a show, let’s make it an evil carnival!’ And that’s where it all began.” D’AIR produces pieces with very dark themes and Jessica told us that it’s what she intended from the beginning. “I’m very dark, I like everything dark and black.” Drawing inspiration from her fears has always been a way to express herself creatively. “It’s the things that scare me, I like to work on them in the studio, especially after I have a nightmare.” Despite the content, the pieces are not meant to leave the audience in the dark. “I’m not very abstract,” Jessica said. “I like to convey a specific story through dance and don’t want it obscured.” Among slogans like “D’AIR to be passionate” Jessica and her dancers promote sayings that have a lot to do with embracing who you are, no matter how crazy you feel. “Just do weird things!” is one of their favourites, and they’ve adopted it as a pre-performance mantra. Being an independent woman in the dance industry has shaped Jessica into someone who can

take control of what she wants and what is best for her company and dancers. Being in charge of a company of dancers is an entirely different responsibility and Jessica had a lot to learn. “I learned that the transition from being a dancer to being a director is hard and you’re always going to miss stuff and not everything is going to turn out the way you planned or the way you wanted it to, but you have to be positive as a director,” Jessica said. “Because when they see you disappointed, they don’t perform at their best.” Jessica told us that she has never truly been confident in her work. “[My dancers] keep me confident in it,” she said. “I’ll look at it and be like ‘I hate it I want to change it all’ the day before the show.” However, working with friends has it’s ups and downs. “It is very difficult because you don’t know what your limit is towards them and they don’t know your limit towards you. I learned that once you talk about it the air in the studio becomes more positive and the creative process becomes more fun. Oh yeah, and working with boys sucks!” Jessica’s goal as a director is to captivate audiences using ideas sprouted from discovering her individuality and share dance with Toronto. Her advice for future company members? “Make the audience so uncomfortable that they love it!”

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Take the opportunity this gorgeous spring to grow as an individual, to bloom as a flower. In order to bloom, you must accept and appreciate your individuality; realize that your imperfections make you perfect as a whole. In 2015, I severely struggled with coming to terms with my appearance and like many girls my age, I lacked confidence. My goal for 2016 is to practice self love and self care and I am still very much on the road to being fully appreciative of who I am. I know for a fact that I am definitely not the only teenager who is lacking in confidence and so I have put together a simple guide of 5 things that are helping me to learn to love who I am and that may help you to love yourself too. When I am getting ready in the morning, I find it helpful to tell myself that I am beautiful. On some mornings, I struggle to get those words out but on other days it is surprisingly easy. Those three words set the way for the rest of the day and by hearing them from yourself, you are training yourself to actually believe them. It really is a case of fake it ‘til you make it. The best thing I have ever done for my confidence is training myself to have good posture. If you sit like a couch potato, you’re far more likely to feel like one. By walking with my head up high and a bounce in my step, not only am I fooling other people into thinking I am a confident person, but I am fooling myself. Bonus: You feel like a princess.

Practicing gratitude is another key to confidence but a rather peculiar one. Writing down 10 things you are grateful for each day (I try to do this every morning so that I have a good start to the day) makes you confident of your lifestyle which is often an area forgotten when it comes to gaining confidence. I love to meditate! Like gratitude, meditation is not directly linked to gaining confidence and it may not be to your liking, but it has truly helped me to gain a calm state of mind. There are many types of meditation, often belonging to certain religions or cultures but for me, I just like to close my eyes and focus on my breathing for 5 to 15 minutes each day. Really, the essence of this practice is to have some sort of ritual, something to fall back on when you haven’t had the best day. The final thing I am going to mention and possibly the most important is distancing yourself from social media. I am not talking about a social media ban (although you can do that, whatever floats your boat) but I am talking about not believing everything you see on your Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or whichever platforms you frequently find yourself browsing. Photoshop is the cause of confidence issues worldwide, no one has to say and no one is likely to say if that photo of them in a bikini with a flat stomach has been edited to look that way. Take from these photos that they are having good times with friends, not that they have a “good figure”.

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I’ve always known I was a “bad feminist”. But I still want to be the best feminist I can be... Does that sound bad? I think it does. I like songs by people I shouldn’t. The lyrics are derogatory to females, and yet I can’t get over the beat. And I laugh at minor sexist jokes, jokes that society has taught me to laugh at, jokes that I can’t help but laugh but I know I probably shouldn’t. I feel insecure about my knowledge of football, because maybe I know more than the stereotypical female and I don’t want to be caught saying something wrong; I don’t want to be looped into the group of people that know nothing, people like women who, according to men, know “nothing of sports”. It’s taken me almost 17 years of my life to realize what “white feminism” is and I’m ashamed of that. And when a women I know is acting particularly moody, sometimes, just sometimes, in my head my first thought is that it’s their time of the month. I’m terrible at times, I know. I want to fly the flag of feminism and let the world know of my frustrations with everyday sexism and oppression, for all women, and for all types of women, but beneath the surface I am a web of confusion and contradictions. Recently I read the essay collection “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay and I was swept away but how similar we feel. We may not have all of the same opinions but her inner struggle of trying to be the best feminist she could be really resonated with me. “Like most people, I’m full of contradictions, but I also don’t want to be treated like shit for being a woman.” (Gay) Like Gay, I want to be a feminist. It’s a movement about equality. Equality for sexes, races, sexualities and all groups of people. It’s about progression. It’s hard for me to believe that some women are not feminists. I’m tired of being called cruel names for rejecting a guy (because god forbid I say no to someone that has been rude to me, poor men) or being told to “let the men speak”. I’m tired of hearing about violence of the transgender community in the news. I’m tired about hearing of the oppression of women like, and unlike, me. I’m tired of the everyday sexism experienced by women. I wish it would all end. The thing is, I’m sometimes I afraid it never will.

they call it’s almost scary to adopt. I identify as a feminist, but sometimes I worry what others will think of this identification. I cringe when I hear female celebrities say they are not feminists because they are not “man haters”. That’s not what it is at all and yet that’s what everyone perceives it to be. Some use it as an insult. For whatever reason, the movement has somehow garnered a negative connotation. “When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide the problem is with feminism rather than with the flawed people who act in the name of the movement.” (Gay) Every time a women tries to speak her mind, there is always someone there to call her “radical”. A “feminazi”, the popular term that’s used. When one woman who identifies as a feminist becomes an example, that’s where we lose ourselves. Because that one woman becomes an example for how we should or should not be. I think that sometimes we judge ourselves based on what others like us do. Because I shave does that make me a bad feminist? Some feminists don’t shave? Are they good feminists? The problem is that there is not just one “type of feminism”. Therefore, one woman, or group of women, cannot be the example of an entire cause. “We don’t all have to believe in the same feminism. Feminism can be pluralistic so long as we respect the different feminisms we carry with us, so long as we give enough of a damn to try to minimize the fractures among us.” (Gay) It’s reassuring to know that my “bad feminism” is still a type of feminism. It’s the type of feminism that most people adopt honesty. None of us are perfect, and we cannot expect ourselves to be. I always want to be better, but there is not one “perfect feminist” for me to look up to. I simply must be the best I can be. If that means that I make innocent mistakes every day, but still try to promote equality, then I am okay with that. After all... “I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.” (Gay) I highly recommend reading Roxane Gay’s book to gain a greater understanding of the variability of feminism and the effects of everyday sexism.

The problem is in identifying as a feminist. “The F word”

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The film industry dangerously brandishes their sword of stereotypes. Growing up watching movies about high school and coming of age, I was always conditioned to think that popular girls were catty and evil and cheerleaders were not to be trusted. I was told that girls were petty and dramatic. But as I approach my senior year, these standards that cinema has set up for me are far from the truth. Many of the popular girls at my school are simply popular because they are kind and vivacious, far from the fearsome Regina George I observed on the silver screen. The cheerleaders I was prepared to cower in front of are talented and gracious. Drama is bound to happen to anyone, regardless of gender, and when it did happen, most of the people who were there for me and had my back were in fact women. I used to think that my only option was to become a tomboy, as showing any signs of femininity would morph me into some cliché, valley-girl type monster. But if you enjoy wearing hip dresses and curling your hair, why let the world’s expectations stop you? Movies that pitted typical girly-girl against average-girl prepared me for an enemy that wasn’t actually there. This brainwashed me into thinking that I had to become less feminine so I would be set apart from the other girls. It gets more than problematic when we have to put down our own gender in order to distinguish ourselves.

heels. I’ve seen tomboys act obnoxiously to fashionistas and vice versa. But if the problem you have with someone stems from a dislike of their embracing their female qualities, that is just as problematic as them judging you for your rejection of them.

However, many books and movies do readdress the stereotypes. Many Jane Austen novels capture women who remain determined and goal oriented to success, but not by using physical prowess, rather social strategy. Decorum is their weapon. A more contemporary example can be found in Legally Blond (both the movie and the Broadway musical hold a dear place in my heart) which demonstrates that a woman can be more than a pretty face. The tale of the California sorority girl transferring to Harvard Law and thriving through hard work inspires me to this day, not only to keep my work hard for what I want, but also not let where I am and who I am with define me. What remained inspiring about Elle Woods was her ability to defy expectations while still rocking pink and staying true to who she was - unapologetically. An unapologetic life is a life we all deserve regardless of whether we identify more with Elle Woods or Cady Heron, do we not?

Yes bullying does happen, and it is not okay. Putting down others is never something to be condoned. Yet because of these movies, we are led to believe that femininity is our enemy, rather than the human behind the hurt. In Reality, anyone has the ability to cause pain, regardless of their affinity for mimp magazine —- 79




A brief collection of journals and letters about finding feminism from very different perspectives...


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BY TAYLOR BEHNKE PETERS I was one semester into an advertising major in college, as my classmates critiqued ads, pointing out the ways they spoke to deep human desires—to be loved, to belong—I noticed that they all achieved their goal with the same message: you’re not enough as you are. Especially if you’re a woman. You need fixing, and we can sell it to you, and I got angry. I didn’t find the word “feminism”—or the communities behind it—until long after I’d switched majors, but as I learned 82

more about all the ways in which women are still fighting for equality, I knew that I wanted, to use my voice, to educate myself and others about the cause. As a queer woman of color, I need to make my feminism and the world I live in, inclusive and intersectional. I’m so grateful to belong to online communities that are always working to do the same.



BY ROSIANNA HALSE ROJAS There is no singular moment when I decided to identify myself as a feminist— as soon as I knew what the word meant, I knew it meant me. I was a headstrong young girl – despite being a fairly stringent rule follower, I was also a know-it-all, determined to speak up and prioritize my voice over any perception of being “annoying”. Always searching for women in fiction who were like me, I found Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter book series. I talk about feminism in the workplace a lot because that is a space in which I went back and forth between feeling like I didn’t have to make excuses for my presence or wait for permission to share an idea, but, conversely, where I also felt my achievements were undermined in terms of my gender. The language being used to describe female attainment took a turn for the cruel — ‘ambitious’ meant ‘bitch’, ‘bitch’ meant a girl you didn’t like, a girl no one liked. ‘Bossy’ and ‘know-it-all’ were things you didn’t want to be. Girls who were smart were also probably ugly, being ugly was bad because girls should be pretty or hot. It sounds almost comical or hyperbolical now, but then it felt as though someone was

fighting with me over a remote, trying to turn the volume on me down while I was trying to turn it up. On the side of all this, I’d had a YouTube channel since I was 14 and I was internalizing every single horrible, violent, aggressive comment towards me, and the strength of my voice turned in on itself, heightened by the toxic attitudes I’d learned to have towards my body and my sense of self. Eventually, through reading the experiences of other women speaking honestly about the ways they learnt to hate themselves and their experience struggling with body image issues, I managed to slowly turn my goals towards getting better and being healthy rather than just winning the game of “cool girl” something nebulous but sinister was forcing me to play. Over the years I have learnt that there is nothing more important than listening to and raising up the voices of other women who share their experiences, from people like Amandla Stenberg, YouTubers like, Taylor (itsradishtime), to favorite authors (Zadie Smith, Chimamandi Ngozi Adichie, Laura Esquivel). It is through taking back our voices and making them stronger that we can achieve equality for all.

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BY: JEN RICHARDS I had always considered myself a good progressive, respectful of woman, sincerely concerned about all forms of equality. But prior to transition I had never personally experienced what it was like to have the full complexity of being reduced to a singular factor, to no longer feel safe in public space, or to question my own innate worth. It was only when I was indistinguishable from any other women in the eyes of men, that I came to intimately understand how street harassment exists as an enduring reminder of my place.


When I was seen as a boy I felt free to go where I pleased, when I pleased, and never felt unsafe. Now I can’t walk three blocks without being catcalled, followed, or “complimented”. It was a terrible, rude awakening to a new reality, that men and women literally occupy two different worlds, with different rules, opportunities, and consequences. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t understand how bad it was until I experienced it. I want to be part of a growing feminist consciousness that makes such differences unacceptable.


I became a feminist because of men — but probably not in the way you might think. Man-hating and woman-hating are foreign to me. It has always been important to me that both genders be of equal matter in all aspects of life, but my views weren’t always as sturdy as they are now so it was hard for me to realize. At one low point in my teen life, I used my anger towards men to twist feminism into something that only benefited myself — I wanted men to feel the way I felt: worthless and messy and underestimated. I ranked men beneath women, reducing their worth to dirt under my shoe, not worthy of appreciation. I was trying to bring men down to this horrible place instead of lifting women up and empowering both genders. I should have been sharing femininity with the world but I wanted to keep it all to myself, still bitter from being mistreated, it was the only thing I had left to hold onto. While watching my favourite TV show, The Fosters, I realized my wrong through a conflict in the episode and began to understand how important it is for young men and women to view certain situations from an equal perspective. In the episode, a (clearly) drunk 17-year-old boy sleeps with a 30-year-old woman. His friends and family

members are angry with him when they find out, even though HE was the one being taken advantage of in the situation. The boy’s (Brandon) family looks at the situation as if it had happened to Brandon’s 16-year-old sister. Even if she wanted to sleep with a 30-year-old man it would’ve been considered rape, so why wasn’t it considered rape right away when the situation was reversed? Because he’s a boy. Because he was “supposed to know” because sex seems to be excused when initiated by men. This mindset led Brandon into believing what happened was his fault causing him to keep what had happened to himself at first. Women suffer so much injustice with gender roles in society, but so do some men in different ways. I am in no way saying that women’s issues are not extremely important but feminism is all about gender equality and that’s all I stand for, for both men and women. I believe that male rape victims are as important as female rape victims, that a female abuser should be punished at the same level as a male abuser, that if necessary women should be drafted into war same as men, I believe in equality even if something is not “beneficial” to me. I believe in consent and “no means no” for both genders and sexes. mimp magazine —- 85



BY HEATHER TAYLOR-SINGH Rhi blossoms. No, we didn’t get her last name wrong, Rhi Blossom just so happens to be blossoming at this point in time as one of the coolest young feminists. As an ambassador for the School of Doodle, an online platform and network for girls, today’s chat goes from School of Doodle all the way to Blossom’s favourite animal— which is the Dryocampa Rubicunda, by the way. Blossom is a nineteen year old feminist who hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. Known for her bleach blonde mop of curls, and quirky Instagram posts, Blossom just so happens to be an intersectional feminist. Why? “Because I believe in equity, followed by equality, for all.” Blossom says firmly. Through feminism, Blossom has learned a lot about herself, “I am discriminated against, yes,” she says, “but also privileged in many ways.” But most importantly, being a feminist has taught Blossom that she’s stronger than she thought she was. Just a few months back, Blossom posted an emotional, angsty poem

on the means of Instagram, using it to express her patriarch feelings, the photo had “Dear men, you don’t own me” written on her face in black eyeliner. Laying it all out on the line, Blossom indicates she was “too emotional and hysterical to fear.” In the poem, Blossom repeats the line “This is for women…” throughout the whole poem, stringing together a subject of idea centered around women, and the daily injustices they face. “I think we all need to communicate, listen and support one another much more,”she says. We agree. Lightning the subject, we discuss School of Doodle, which Blossom became “obsessed with pretty quickly,” she recalls. Blossom was introduced to Molly Logan, the brains behind the online platform for girls and “had a desperate yearning to contribute.” And contribute she did! While at a shoot, Rhi came up with “a little idea,” pitched it as a campaign idea, and BAM! “Here I am,” she says, “my life has changed immensely since joining this team of talented and clever women and girls.” Thus far, her favourite piece created for School of Doodle, is the face collage. “It’s literally a collage made on

one’s face,”she explains. Through this group of clever women, Blossom has learned that “anything that makes them feel dope” is what makes a woman beautiful. “This is totally cliché and annoying, but I find everything beautiful.” As it’s dictionary definition, feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights and therefore, equality of the genders, “It’s very simple, but also complex,” Blossom adds. Through girl-driven School of Doodle, she calls it “ pretty cool.” Being a part of Doodle allows her and many other young women to interact and “find solace and comfort,” she says. To end off, I asked Rhi her favourite Bowie song (this is important). “I’m Afraid of Americans, because that’s how I feel right now especially!” She laughs. Follow Rhi on Instagram @rhiblossom and check out School of Doodle at schoolofdoodle.com/

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I began to question my self worth a lot when I noticed people didn’t tend to need me as much. When in school, I would get my best friend’s attention to show her things I was excited about, but she hardly ever reached out to me. When a friend got tickets for a baseball game for everyone in our small group of friends, except me. When I was moving out of Puerto Rico to the U.S. and when saying goodbye to some of my friends was heart breaking, but my friends turned around and went back to their mundane routines. When admiring another’s beauty became draining to my self esteem. When I began to think that I deserved bad things to happen to me. When I let others define who I was. When just being me wasn’t good enough. I’ve spent a lot of my life taking little habits like language, mannerisms, tastes, (and among many other things) from a lot of people so I could fit in and be considered “cool”. Many of us waste half of our lives pretending to be other people to conform with what soci88

ety and many other teens define as normal. Some people (like me) know that the person they currently are, or the things they do, are not the beliefs they stand for, but society has made it so hard for us to truly express ourselves when we are constantly being judged. Along with spring comes the end of school and then summer! Spring is the perfect time to bloom, do some spring-cleaning, getting rid of clutter, changing people’s expectations, getting to know yourself and aiming for the best YOU! You now have two to three months, away from school, stress, and your main social circle; without all of this distractions and now all this time in your hands you can try out some of this steps on our spring-cleaning guide: Change your style. Sometimes good change can come from things that you don’t even think about changing. I think that fashion says a lot about a person, whether it’s sophistication, feminine, sporty or dark, but the main style we strive for is self-confidence. If you don’t know where to start looking for a new style you like, I would recommend looking up beauty gurus, clothing hauls, and lookbooks, they can really help you figure out your new style.

Recommendations: Tess Christine. Kenzie Elizabeth. Ingrid Nilsen, Keaton Milburn, Arden Rose, Courtney Lundquist. Halle Keeth. C0ok1emonster. Stop talking to people who have a negative effect on you. I know this may sound rather harsh, but if there are people that make you feel bad about who you are… those people are bad energy. No one ever has the right to put you down for who you are and you need to cut those people off, or at least let them know how you feel, if you think they would be understanding. Honestly throughout the years people drift away, the same friends you had freshman year of high school will probably not be the same friends you’ll have your senior year. So if you know you don’t want to be familiarized with those people anymore, do not be afraid to stop the friendship. You are not ever obligated to be friends with anyone. Get off the grid. NO PHONE, only for a day or a week at the most. From experience I can tell you this will work! This past summer I spent two months without my phone, at times it was frustrating, but it helped me in many ways. Not using your cellphone will show you, who are some of your real friends that really care and notice when you are absent. It will also help you find some hobbies that you could grow to love. Your interests for things and people will expand, and you’ll get to know yourself a lot more in many levels. Connect with art. Talking about hobbies and interests, art can be really inspiring. Art adds so much to one’s personality and character, there are also so many different types of art that I guarantee you will find one that you’ll enjoy. You can try writing, listening to music you’ve never tried before, watching independent films, reading books, blogs, magazines, photography, drawing, painting, etc.

and put them on your walls! Recommendations: (writing) NaNoWriMo (books) All the bright places by Jennifer Niven | Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. (music and podcasts) Troye Sivan | Sigur Ros | SoKo | Kodaline | The Lady Cast | This American Life (movies) Wild | The Myth of The American Sleepover | The Way, Way Back | The Spectacular Now (online magazines and blogs) Rookie Mag | Germ Magazine | Sophomore Magazine | Femsplain. Take a Moi Day. This is all about you. If these changes make you happy, stick to them. It might be hard when you go back to school, your workplace or just anywhere and have people ask about some of the changes you’ve made in your life, but don’t let it stop you. During a time when you are doubting the changes you have made for yourself have a “Me-day” a day all about you to remind you of why you made those changes.Wake up late. Turn off your phone. Take the bus. Be on your own. Spend hours at the mall on a bench. Spend hours at the library reading. Write. Go shopping. Make some DIY’s. Grab your favorite food. Talk to a stranger. It’s a process… I don’t exactly know what it is that you want to make better… if it’s your social circle, self esteem, getting to know yourself better, etc; but still I hope this tips work, but this process takes time. I recommend you stick to a couple of this tips for some time until you consider that something has actually changed! Sadly I can’t talk to you one on one so I can’t help you in a very deep way on everything, but this are some steps you can use. Changes and getting to know yourself it’s fun, so have fun with it!

After trying some of this different types of art, now really connect with them, write poetry, write a book, get published! Get attached to quotes, characters, stories, places. Take pictures, draw, paint

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emily greener Emily Greener is CEO and Co-Founder of I AM THAT GIRL (IATG). IATG is a worldwide, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing girls and women together to encourage one another and inspire the women of the world to step back and look at how we deal with ourselves, the people around us, and how we treat the world. Story by Shelby August | Photo courtesy of IAmThatGirl.com 90

How was the name “I AM THAT GIRL” chosen? “It was chosen by Alexis and a group of her friends when she was in college because they were talking about the organization and what it would be called and they kept saying ‘You know that girl who’s really pretty and she’s also really nice’ and ‘You know that girl who’s super smart and the first one in class’ and ‘...that girl who’s really good at school and she also does sports…’ and they were talking about how we constantly look outside of ourselves for the things that very likely exist within [us] but we don’t notice the good in ourselves. We’re constantly looking at what ‘that girl’ has and what ‘that girl’ does and the truth is if we recognize it in someone else, it typically exists in ourselves. They wanted it to be “I am that girl” and proclaim it so we stop looking outside of ourselves.” Why did you found IATG? “I was asked to join about 6 weeks before [I AM THAT GIRL] launched and I joined because I needed it. I think both of us, Alexis and I, were so drawn to it because it’s something that both of us were looking for and couldn’t find. In my case, I didn’t really fully know that I needed it, but I just felt something inside of me that was really pulling me towards [I AM THAT GIRL] and in retrospect, I think that is a big reason. I was looking for something like this. Vulnerability is something that I have always struggled with. So it was calling to a part of me, inside that I didn’t really even understand yet.” If you had to do it all over again, founding the organization and working with Alexis, is there anything you would have done differently or not have done at all? “Yeah, there’s a lot of things that I would do differently if I were to do it again because we didn’t know what we were doing! Which, in some way I think was to our benefit because we didn’t really have a lot of fear about a lot of things. We weren’t really worried about a lot of things; we were just going going going because we really didn’t know what we were doing. Because of that, it allowed us to really make a lot of big, bold statements and get a lot of people on board and really be able to paint a big vision. To get specific, all the things I would have done differently are really boring business things. I would have started strategic planning earlier or I would have gotten our board organized sooner. It’s all operational stuff that I would have done differently. But, to be honest, I think that the hustle and the grind and not knowing anything and learning as we go were some of the most exciting pieces of it all. I think they make where we are now feel like that much more of an accomplishment. It feels like we have really gotten somewhere.” If you had never created IATG, what do you think you would be doing instead? “Well, I was pursuing acting at the time, so I wonder if that would have turned into anything. So maybe I would be acting or producing or directing. Maybe this work would have found me in some other way but it’s really hard to imagine what I would be doing if I didn’t do I AM THAT GIRL. It’s not that I can’t imagine ever doing another job, it’s just to say that I am so much of who I am now because of this organization and because of what I have learned in the process.” If you could go back in time and witness one event, what would you choose? Why? “Being in the womb. I would definitely want to know what it’s like in there.”

When do you feel the most beautiful? “Honestly, I feel the most beautiful when I’m spiritually grounded, when I’m in nature, when I’m exercising. The reason I say exercising is not necessarily because of the physical results, but more because of the endorphins that get released when I exercise just make me feel more connected to myself. I feel really beautiful when I’m connected to myself and to nature and the bigger picture.” If you could change one thing about your life or your physical appearance, would you? and what would it be? “You know, it’s so easy for me to say that I wouldn’t change anything about my physical appearance because that’s what , I think, is the expectation for me to say. That, ‘I love myself the way that I am and I wouldn’t change a thing’ and that’s not true. If I could wave a magic wand and have a thinner, stronger, taller body, I would. I don’t want to pretend that I wouldn’t and I think that really speaks to the ‘We’re all in this together’-ness that we really believe in at I AM THAT GIRL. It’s not that we’ve figured it or I’ve figured it out and everyone else has to follow my lead. I think it’s really sad that I would and it makes me question why we live in a world where I feel like I have to want to change something about myself. And it’s not because I’m unhealthy, it’s because that’s just the way my body is and I think I would just have less doubtful thoughts if I looked or felt a little different. And one thing about my life? Honestly, my life is a beautiful, magical life and I am so so happy with where my life is. I think if I were to change anything about it, it would be an influx of money. Not just in my life but in I AM THAT GIRL so that we could hire more people and pay our people more and do what we do even better. What are three things that you love about yourself? “I love my sense of humor and personality. I love my...I don’t really know where I got this from, maybe Alexis’ dad? But I love my ‘picker’. The thing in us that chooses people. I love the people that I chose to surround myself with and the people that I pick and I think that speaks a lot about me and the things that I value. And I love my silliness, my childlike wonder. What advice would you give your teenage self? “It’s okay to cry.” If you could put one law into place, what would it be? Why? “I’ll speak very tangibly. There is a bill that someone on our board is looking to turn into a law. It’s called the “Truth in Advertising Ads” and it’s about advertisers disclaiming when a photo has been photoshopped. They’ve done in a lot of other countries and it has been really successful. So, I would pass that [bill], I would turn that one into a law because it is something that we have really been fighting for over the past couple of years and I really want to see it happen.” What is your favorite quote or statement? “You yourself, more than anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love an affection.” -Buddha It’s Friday night, what song(s) are you dancing to? “ Probably the Frank Sinatra Pandora station.”

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15-year-old entrepreneur, Margo Gianos, is the creator of HonestlyMargo.com, an all natural lip balm company that inspires young people to dream big and to believe in themselves.

what we could hope to expect from her line in the future. Gianos told us, “I have some things up my sleeve coming soon around the corner, but you’ll just have to wait and see!”

Margo began building interest in creating her own business since she was 8-years-old, “I would make all kinds of things and sell them on the street corner and to my friends,” Margo says, “I’ve always wanted to create my own company of some sort.”

As young people, we always want to know what we must do in order to be successful at a young age. Margo’s advice is to do things out of your comfort zone. She shared one of the biggest decisions she had made that contributed to the future of her company: “[It was] when I made the decision to stop selling my products at school and to take it to the next level.”

Margo started her lip balm company when she was only 11-years-old, “I just started to experiment in my kitchen. I came up with an amazing formula so I began to sell my products at school. After the lip balms sold well, I decided to take my company further. That’s how Honestly Margo was born.” With a lot of hard work and help from her mother, Margo began experimenting with natural ingredients to create the lip balms, the experimentation process wasn’t all easy as Margo describes it, it as being very “trial and error.” Margo’s friends were her first customers and big supporters. “they are the ones who bought my lip balms when I was selling them at school. They continue to support me throughout this journey.”

A freshman in high school, Margo loves to listen to music (mostly Justin Bieber and pop), hang out with her friends, watch crime TV shows and cheesy romantic films. Margo works hard in school and keeps busy with her sports both in and out of school. She loves what she has done with her company Honestly Margo thus far, and wishes to continue doing what she does best. When Margo grows up, she hopes to continue to be her own boss.

Margo Gianos only wishes to expand her company and prolong the experience as an entrepreneur, we asked Margo mimp magazine —- 93


Alex Laughlin is a 24-year- old journalist and chronic side hustler. Laughlin works in social media by day (as part of the audience team for The Washington Post) and hosts/ produces a podcast called ‘The Ladycast’ by night. This biweekly podcast features awesome women who are original, inventive leaders. With 12 podcasts out, the University of Georgia graduate has interviewed artists, performers, business women and writers. All of Laughlin’s podcasts surround pop culture, current events, personal life, ethnicity, background and the guest’s projects and identity, keeping every podcast interesting and fresh. With a degree in Women’s Studies we consider her an expert.How did you get started with The Ladycast? Alex: The idea came to me late last summer when I was walking home from work one day. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts and had felt annoyed that their guests were so frequently white men. Suddenly it clicked – I realized I could create my own space that highlights women from diverse backgrounds! I’ve been obsessed with public radio and podcasts since I was in high school, and all through college I really wanted to create my own, but I was too scared. No idea felt right at all until this one, and so far it’s gone well! Describe The LadyCast in 5 words Alex: Enabling girl crushes every day. How do you choose the women you are going to contact for the podcast? Alex: I pitch women I personally admire – I really want to make a podcast that I would want to listen too, so whenever I hear that a woman is doing something amazing or subversive or innovative, she automatically goes on my pitch list. I care a lot about the diversity of my guests, so I make sure to include women of different ages, races, and industries. Still, the show runs a bit media heavy because that’s where I have the most access at the moment. Do you ever get nervous that you’ll run out of things to talk about on the podcasts? Alex: I always make sure to have a full page of notes on the person I’m interviewing before we get on the phone, so that usually isn’t a problem! I’m more nervous that I’m going to be socially awkward or stumble over my words. The good thing is that you can edit a lot of that out. What are some of your favorite topics that you’ve talked about on your podcast? Alex: The next episode I have coming out is with journalist Jill Filipovic, and we talk about the effect 9/11 had on her worldview, her feminism, and her career. I’m really fascinated by intimate, personal stories within the scope of these global events that shape our historical narrative. I’ve noticed you talk a lot about ethnicity and the guest’s backgrounds on the podcasts is this for a specific reason or just interest? Alex: Having critical conversations about race and ethnicity is super important to me, both personally and professionally. My dad is in the Army, so I grew up all over the country, and I saw how much your surroundings inform your worldview. I think

that so much of inequality and hate in our world comes from the fact that we don’t listen to each other, so I try to facilitate some of those conversations whenever I can. Excluding your podcast, what are some other podcasts that you like to listen to? Alex: My favorites right now are Another Round, #girlboss radio, Filler, The Lively Show, The New Yorker Radio Hour, The Witching Hour, Oh Boy by Man Repeller, Call Your Girlfriend, and Slate’s Double X Gabfest. Classics are Longform, Savage Lovecast, Radiolab, This American Life/Serial, Startup, Reply All, Mystery Show — the list goes on and on and on! What are some things/hobbies that get you motivated to do all of this awesomeness for The LadyCast? Alex: Unfortunately… beyond work and the podcast, I don’t have a lot of brainspace for many hobbies! I have a few non-negotiables so I don’t lose my mind. I try to work out and cook whole foods a few times each week, and I also enjoy a glass of wine on weeknights when I get home. My weekends are sacred: I try to always clean my entire apartment and also take a bubble bath! I’m also in a Facebook group with a bunch of alumnae from the Red & Black, UGA’s student newspaper. Those women inspire me SO much every single day! What are some things from your degree on women’s studies that you apply to The LadyCast? Alex: My background in women’s studies has really prepared me to have critical, informed conversations with a lot of my guests, who also tend to identify as feminists. I do consider The Ladycast a feminist podcast because one of the goals is to elevate the voices and missions of women who might have otherwise been overlooked by the systems of power that govern our definitions of professional success. If you could have any woman on your podcast who would it be, and why? Alex: Ugh there are so many dream women out there, it’s hard to choose one! Right now, the first person who comes to mind is Carrie Brownstein because she does so many things so well! She became famous because of the work she did as a young person, and it’s super inspiring to see that she refuses to fade into obscurity even though that’s what our pop culture would be most comfortable seeing her do. How does it feel to know that young women everywhere are discovering even more incredible young women because of your podcast? Alex: It feels so great! This is exactly why I started the podcast, and I’m so glad that people are finding inspiration here! What are some important things that you always want listeners of The LadyCast to take away from the podcast? Alex: I want listeners to know that they are straight up MAGICAL. If there’s something that you really, really want to do, know that you have the power within you to make that happen. I truly think there’s nothing more powerful than a woman with a laptop.

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madelyn De La Rosa



also so sweet.” Madelynn raves of her pup in a recent video entitled Meet My Dog, Violet.

Moving to the sunshine state has its perks.

At the Ipsy headquarters, Madelynn is one of seven stylists, who “Teach subscribers of the Ipsy glam bag how to use the products from each month’s bag.” Which means anything and everything. Through interacting with the other six stylists, all fellow Youtubers. She’s learned a great deal, especially contouring and highlighting. “Who knew contouring could be such an elaborate process!” She jokes. Thus far, Madelynn has tried out a plethora of products, citing the Jelly Pong Pong curl mascara and liquid gossamer as current favourites. “They have the cutest packaging and everything is cruelty-free!” She says. Win-win!

Just a few months ago, Madelynn De La Rosa, creator of Youtube channel LaMadelynn (and the best curly bob), moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career with beauty company Ipsy. Today, she chats with us about the job, and what it was like to move across the country. Madelynn started up her Youtube channel as a hobby, and following suit of many Youtubers, it became her full time job. What made her different was she was attending college as a full-time student. Just a few months shy of her big move to California, Madelynn graduated with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. “I was getting ready to apply for grad school when I got the offer.” she says of Ipsy’s job opening at its Los Angeles headquarters extracting Madelynn from her hometown of Washington, DC. The decision was tough for Madelynn, meaning she had to leave behind her family and friends, which was “hard at the beginning”, she recalls. “I felt lonely”, she admits in a recent Everyday Makeup Routine slash Q&A video. On most nights you’ll catch Madelynn facetiming with her parents, and possibly a feature of her newest furry friend? Recently, in wake of her loneliness, De La Rose adopted a rescue pup named Violet. “She keeps me busy. She’s rambunctious, but

Through working with Ipsy, Madelynn gets to create super cool content such as her Hypodermic Sally from American Horror Story and Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks, both crowd favourites. “Being able to recreate looks from my favourite characters and actresses in a fun way.” And fun it was! What she recalls being more fun was an invitation to spend the weekend in Cabo, Mexico with cruelty-free and vegan option company, PÜR cosmetics. “It was incredibly fun!” And fun is what it has been had since Madelynn’s move to LA.

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megan Campagnolo



“In my mind Rosehound means someone who is equal parts mischievous and romantic, basically someone who would steal flowers from the neighbour’s garden,” says Megan Campagnolo. The small town girl has big dreams that she has made into reality. Campagnolo says her mother is extremely headstrong and taught her to always challenge herself. Mom always knows best! After graduating from Ryerson’s School of Fashion Design program in 2013, Campagnolo began working on Rosehound. The brand quickly launched in the spring the following year. She says, “It was important for me to start my brand right after school so that my fashion skills and work ethic didn’t have a chance to wane.” Her line was inspired by her graduation collection, a Twin Peaks themed clothing line that focused on classic blouses and embroidered sweatshirts. She says she was set on making this line happen, “so I got a studio space, registered my business, and tried to find sources of income.” The weeks leading up to her first opening forced her to take time off and eventually lose her most lucrative part-time job. She says, “It was the first time I didn’t have a source of income to rely on.” Campagnolo began taking on manufacturing jobs with her embroidery machine as well as relying on the modest, but growing sales that she was having. “Debt, rent, production times, stress, and lack of confidence will get you down. You have to remember that it won’t be forever, and this is all leading to your dreams and goals,” she says. Rosehound started to turn a profit the following fall and Christmas, and has led her to be totally self-employed. “It is super weird to have a full-time employee who makes a bigger

pay than I ever had at any of my random part-time jobs,” she says. Besides her background in fashion design and clothing, Campagnolo’s business is trending for the pins and patches. She says she used to make the patches on her embroidery machine, which were originally larger and simpler designs printed on canvas. “When my first few were as successful as they were, I felt encouraged to apply my ideas to cheeky little images rather than prints or embroidery,” she says. To keep up with the high demand for pins and patches, they are now made overseas. Rosehound has successfully made its way worldwide, and Campagnolo says it is all because of Instagram. “Instagram is how I met the shops who carry my line, other brands who have helped me promote my brand, and got in touch with events to participate in. I was never prepared for how fast people would become interested in my brand,” says Campagnolo. She says to is always make connections and not pass up an opportunity because you never know where it will take you. This is definitely true, and she has found great connections while building her business. Working with some heroic girl bosses, like Lena Dunham and Sophia Amoruso is crazy impressive. “I don’t think I am any more talented than anyone I’ve ever met, I just have taken a chance and worked at it,” says Campagnolo. And on advice for young ladies who want to become a girl boss one day too, this is what she has to say: “Think big and act small because every small improvement or step is important. If you work hard enough, anything is possible.”

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I detest the principle that love must be romance spilled over a candlelit dinner, dancing in a ballroom, repeating poems to each other under covers. Why is it that love is so easily shadowed by romance while kindness is consumed with lust? Why must one be infatuated with another in order for them to sweep them off their feet? By definition, love is the intense feeling of deep affection and with that knowledge I can verify that I have fallen in deep endearment with various books, ranging from those who have left me weeping under covers to those who have caused my stomach to roar with laughter and cheeks warm. I have had kind friends that have touched my heart and who have snatched the best parts of myself, only to later showcase it to the world proving to me my own beauty. Looking up at the universe above us has only brought me wonder and blissfulness that can only be described as love. Forests whose trees fill acres of this earth and reach out to me speaking of all the tenderness nature has to offer and this leaves me with a particular swelled heart and wide eyes. Yet we glorify romance, claiming it to be the superior of love. And though I can not deny the sweetness of romance, love will forever be the ode to my heart. -r.geller



Beauty Forever Blends by Shasha B. Wee Such broad entity do your eyes fathom A wide universe of truth reflecting your soul You are an astonishing butterfly of a conundrum Just a glimpse of your smile says it all I look into you in the mirror How beautiful masterpiece you are As I embrace your genuine colour I have come to love you this far You are an epitome of truth An epitome that no one can end And I will adore you even from the root ‘Cause your beauty forever blends


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