Mirage Magazine Issue – ICY

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Juliet Thomas Rebecca Blatt Cheyenne Oakes Kaitlyn McClung Kaeli Ricottilli Emily Yoder Payton Hauck Kennady Armstrong Savanna Shriver Emma Magruder Caroline Murphy Jennifer Corona Lani Beaudette Kayse Ellis Catherine Wylie Christina Kamkutis Sydney Keener Emily Robinson

Models Robby Kurth Ivy Marie Josh Matheny Allee McCardle Kelly McCardle Gavin Acquaviva Marra Hoag Max Shavers Maddy Walls Brandon Russi Sarah Jo Miller Sara Brinsfield Ben Acklin Courtney Stewart

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Editor-in-Chief Olivia Gianettino

President & Co-editor Kasey Lettrich

Vice President & Associate Editor Madison Greer

Team Manager Adam Payne

Special thanks to Modern Romantics SunMoon Apparel The Pretty Pickle WVU Photography Club WVU Student Media Coalition Max Shavers, cover model

Creative Director Melinda Miesner

Managing Editor Annika Godwin

Head of Photography Joseph Lucey

Graduate Advisor Kristen Uppercue



Issue... In This


You don’t have to say goodbye to Hot Girl Summer: How Mirage is keeping the atttude all year round



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Does aromatherapy work?: Your guide to smelly stuff

Mirage Cooks: Host your own ICY dinner party with these two recipes


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Letter From


The Editor

ICY ICY is is the the fifth fifth edition edition to to join join the the Mirage Mirage family. family. ItIt is is about about thoughts thoughts and and aesthetics aesthetics that that make make us us feel feel powerful. This issue captures creative visuals and powerful. This issue captures creative visuals and personal personal stories stories brought brought to to life life by by people people who who exude exude the badass nature of the theme by doing so. the badass nature of the theme by doing so. This This issue issue is is heavily heavily influenced influenced by by gaudy gaudy pop pop culture culture icons and people from the past and present who icons and people from the past and present who unapologetically unapologetically hustle, hustle, break break social social norms norms and and show it all off. I am thrilled to bring this attitude show it all off. I am thrilled to bring this attitude to to life in my first issue of Mirage as editor-in-chief. life in my first issue of Mirage as editor-in-chief. This This semester, semester, the the Mirage Mirage team team has has worked worked harder than ever. We have taken great harder than ever. We have taken great leaps leaps to to regroup, rebrand and find our audience, and this regroup, rebrand and find our audience, and this issue of issue is is the the product product of of that. that. II am am extremely extremely proud thankful the in this magazine passionate for work the passionate people and whothe helped create this people that helped create it. magazine.

xoxo, xoxo, OliviaGianettino Gianettino Olivia





Queen Bitch- David Bowie ICY GRL- Saweetie

Crown On The Ground- Sleigh Bells A Little Wicked- Valerie Broussard I’m Not Your Mother , I’m Not Your Bitch- Courtney Barnett Donatella- Lady Gaga Disco- Death Valley Girls Primadonna- MARINA Mother’s Daughter- Miley Cyrus Bitch Better Have My Money- Rihanna MONOPOLY- Ariana Grande, Victoria Monet Check it out on Spotify.



Does it actually help? written by Madison Greer

With advancements in the health care field growing at

a steady rate, humans are the healthiest and have the longest life expectancy than ever before. Modern medicine and treatments have become a regular practice that many accept with open arms, and labels on those same methods are read and understood by the public. Today’s society has seen medical advancements that those in the past only dreamt about reaching. With those medical practices also comes at-home methods that science has debated whether they help people, or of the idea is simply mind over matter. Does aromatherapy actually work? Or is it just a placebo effect, where just the belief that it’s working makes you feel better? Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural scents and plant extracts to soothe the mind and body while strengthening the immune system and battling minor illnesses such as colds. The idea behind the trend isn’t exactly new — some cultures have been practicing aromatherapy for thousands of years — but it certainly has gained attention over the past few years with the concerns over ingredients in modern medicines and the sale of aromatherapy diffusers. While aromatherapy may provide you with some happy vibes and a better night’s rest, it should not be used to substitute vaccines or treatment for major health problems, according to Mayo Clinic.


What exactly is aromatherapy, and how does it work? Aromatherapy, as mentioned above, is the practice of using scents and extracts to treat minor medical and emotional problems. There are many popular methods of consuming the extracts, including a diffuser, oils, creams, steamers and masks. By absorption of these extracts through the skin or by smell, they are believed to help relieve menstrual cramps, reduce anxiety and stress, give the immune system a boost and may help you sleep better.

Depending on what you want to practice aromatherapy for, you might be looking into the different scents that can help soothe your soul. Each one is said to help with something different — lavender is believed to be an element of calmness, eucalyptus helps your respiratory system and lemongrass aids in digestion or stress, depending on the form you consume it.

Mandarin Peppermint Ginger Cypress Sage Lemon Rosemary Tea Tree Rose Fennel Lavender Eucalyptus Lemongrass

Stimulates skin cells to rejuvenate the skin Relieves back pain, fatigue and coughs Boosts digestion and clears the digestive tract Increases blood flow Clears the mind and eases bad moods Relieves cold and flu symptoms Eliminate headaches and strengthen the immune system Soothes inflammation and disinfects the body Relaxes muscles and reduces spasms Treats digestive issues and promotes weight loss Calms the body and mind Helps strengthen the respiratory system Aids in digestion and stress

It’s completely up to the consumer to decide on the scent of aromatherapy they use to unwind after a long day, but officials say that the science behind the benefits should be paired with medical attention if there’s something serious going on. Aromatherapy is a broad topic that can be interesting to many people of many different cultures, but the enjoyment behind a diffuser is available to all. With all of that said, I’ll be putting a few drops of lavender into my diffuser before bed!


EUPHORIC A look into the TV show breaking down beauty standards and societal norms written by Juliet Thomas, photographed by Kristen Uppercue



“Euphoria” is an HBO original TV show that was

released in June 2019. Since its release, season one has amassed a total of 5.6 million viewers across multiple platforms. The show portrays an accurate, yet TV-exaggerated depiction of Generation Z’s high school experience. The characters explore the dangers of the modern world with brutal honesty, including access to potent drugs such as fentanyl, e-cigarettes, digital porn and dating apps. “Euphoria” is diverse with its characters and the actors that portray them. Zendaya is the star of the show, portraying a drug-addicted teen, Rue, who spent her whole summer in rehab. Rue quickly befriends the new girl in town, Jules, played by trans actor Hunter Schafer. Rue and Jules immediately form a close connection and have the attitude of “us against the world.” Other main characters include Maddie (Alexa Demie), Nate (Jacob Elordi), Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Kat (Barbie Ferreira). While each character has their own internal and external conflicts, it all ties together perfectly to create a realistic but heightened drama for a generation that is coming of age. It’s arguable that the makeup looks in “Euphoria” have gotten the same amount of attention as the TV show itself. If you go to YouTube and search, “Euphoria makeup tutorial” you will come across pages of videos. The same goes for Instagram, where the hashtag “#euphoriamakeup” has a total of 37,600 posts and counting. Makeup geniuses Doniella Davy and Kirstin Sage Coleman are responsible for the iconic looks in season one. The makeup looks have a similar story of the characters on the show: they are unconventional, bold and beautiful. Each character has a specific look that they rock on each episode that tells the viewer a story about their personality whether it be Kat’s signature smoky eye and dark lip, Rue’s crying face glitter or Maddie’s rhinestone eyes. Every character brings a wildly unique perspective into the show along with their signature style. The Euphoria makeup trend has caught like wildfire for the teenagers of Generation Z. The bold and unique styles reflect the unapologetic attitude of this generation. These bold makeup looks aren’t brand new. “Euphoria makeup” is known as editorial makeup in the beauty industry. Makeup artists like Pat McGrath have been doing these looks for years. So why is the trend just now catching on? Teenagers from our generation are getting more comfortable with rocking these looks in the hallways because it’s on a TV show. Even the characters in Euphoria have the “I don’t care about anything” attitude, which can be absorbed by viewers. The mindset of the masses in small-town high schools hasn’t changed, but individuals are feeling more comfortable about participating in trends like this. Social media definitely plays a role as well. With social media, anything can become popular overnight. Teenagers are never truly “alone” if they have hundreds of friends on their Instagram or Snapchat accounts waiting to hype up their looks. Although editorial makeup has been around for years, the nature of today’s society is allowing the teenagers of our days to be confident and comfortable with rocking it.


“...they are unconventional, bold and


Like Mother, Like Daughter. written by Payton Hauck

I recreated a picture of my mother taken in 1991 when she was 21 years old, full of youth and

embracing her vibrant life. Showing the world that she’s confident in who she is. I am now 19 years old, also embracing my life as she did. But there are many differences between our two pictures. As you can see, our hair, style and body types are different. Society has drastically changed since the 1990s on style, values, music and several other trends. One aspect that has changed that sticks close to home, is the body image for women. Throughout my whole life, I have struggled with my body image, especially through my younger teen years when I realized I looked nothing like my friends. I always saw myself as the bigger girl. I’ve tried almost every possible diet, including going to the gym every day– sometimes twice, but at the end of the day, I was so exhausted and didn’t feel any better. I constantly compared myself to other girls at school and on social media. Even though everyone told me I was beautiful, I didn’t believe it and just thought they were trying to be nice. While I started having these insecurities grow on me, my mother was the one that always inspired me. She told me that I’m more than the number that comes on the scale, the size of the jeans I wear or the amount of weight I lose or gain. It’s not about the size of my body; it’s about the size of my heart and soul. My mother always told me that I’m going to be remembered for the kindness I spread and the good things I accomplish for the world. When I die, my obituary won’t label my weight or how my body looked. It will tell a story of my life and include my greatest qualities. This advice has stuck with me. Through every bad and good day, my mother was always there to remind me that I’m capable of doing great things for myself and the world regardless of my image. My mother has taught me how to love all my curves and stretch marks, to wear whatever I want and that a smile and confidence are all I need. I am more than enough and my exterior does not surpass the kindness and love I have in my soul. I aspire to spread love and kindness as my mother does and to never forget the words she told me that turned my worst days into my best days. I will never be able to thank her for the love and care she has given me, especially during this tough time struggling with myself. I want every girl that struggles with herself just as I did to realize that as hard as it may seem at times to never forget that your body weight will never amount to your contributions to the world. Just because your body isn’t your dream body it doesn’t make you any less of a person. Learn to love yourself and treat yourself with the kindness that you give others. Don’t let your body interfere with wearing that cute swimsuit or body tight sundress. Show the world your confidence. Learn to love your body and your body will love you right back.



Badass Women Who

Silently Changed History

written by Emma Magruder

There is a myriad of names that come to mind when one

thinks about fierce women. Maybe Kris Jenner, a ‘mom-ager’ who has turned her family into a multibillion-dollar empire. Or Katie Ledecky, the most decorated female swimmer who holds three world records. These names are modern women who are thriving in the late 20th and 21st centuries, but what about those who came before us? Kylie Jenner may be running one of the biggest cosmetic brands in the world, but she isn’t the trailblazer many have made her out to be. Madam C.J. Walker beat Jenner to the title of “self-made millionaire” over a century in advance. She found fame and fortune in a haircare brand she invented for African American women in the 1900s. Walker faced both racism and sexism growing up but continued to persevere in establishing her own legacy. She actually built her brand from nothing. Her business generated several million dollars and made her the first self-made woman millionaire in American history. She donated much of her profits to philanthropic and educational efforts such as the Harlem Renaissance, the NAACP and the YMCA. Female spies have found their way as roles in movies, from Jennifer Lawrence in “Red Sparrow” to Beyoncé in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” but long-overlooked are their nonfictional counterparts. Hollywood is obsessed with charismatic young women who use wiles to gather intel on their enemies, but what about the women this trope is based on? Nancy Wake was a journalist working in Paris in the 1930s when World War II broke out. In 1940, she and her husband joined the Resistance after Germany invaded France. Fearful of being captured by the Gestapo, she escaped France and went to Great Britain in 1943. Wake was trained as a spy by the French Section of the Special Operations Executive in Britain before returning to France in April 1944. This sounds awfully similar to Bridget von Hammersmark in “Inglourious Basterds.” Wake helped organize the Resistance and parachute drops of equipment in preparation for D-Day. After D-Day, she engaged in combat with German troops as they fought the maquis. How’s that for a femme fatale? Wake was decorated by Britain, France and the U.S. for her war efforts.


Tech bros in Silicon Valley are currently running the tech game, but none of their accomplishments would be possible without the efforts of one woman during WWII. Hedy Lamarr, born 1914 in Austria, had an inventive mind her entire life, spurred by the curiosity of her father. As she grew older, her creative mind was overlooked for her beauty, and she debuted as an actress in German films in 1930. Her husband was a munitions dealer with close business partners in the Nazi party, and in 1937, she fled to London with in-depth knowledge of Nazi weaponry. Lamarr made her way to Hollywood where she intrigued American audiences with her beauty and accent, but during her time on the screen, she was inventing a “frequency hopping” technology. Her invention prevented Axis forces from intercepting radio waves which were programmed into torpedoes. She received a patent for her technology, but it expired before she ever made a penny on it. Lamarr’s invention led to the development of WiFi, BlueTooth and GPS. Women have been overlooked by those recording history. Their accomplishments forgotten in favor of maintaining a status quo in which men are the leads and women are supporting roles. Things are finally starting to change where equality outweighs bigotry. Now that women are being recognized for their achievements, the spotlight needs to be placed upon the ignored and forgotten. Walker defied societal norms to build a business empire, but her precedence has been cast aside to focus on male business magnates. Wake defeated Nazis as part of an underground organization, but fictional characters inspired by her story are better remembered. Lamarr built the basis of modern America when she discovered the technology for WiFi, but her name is only known as an actor. Many industries have little space for women, but these three women serve as a reminder that there are contributions women can make. They are reminders that women are more than what society expects of them. They prove women can be whoever they want. It is time to flip the script to make way for our own accomplishments. What’s more badass than writing history?

BusiNess in The Front Reimagining the mullet in 2019 photographed by Michael Orwig




what is a...

Annika Godwin gives astrological insight.

When talking about astrology, most people tend to focus on their Sun

sign, which encompass a person’s basic nature and surface-level personality traits, but there are other celestial bodies in the zodiac that work together to impact a person’s essence. One important factor in understanding who you are in terms of astrology is your Moon sign — the placement of the moon when you were born. Moon signs represent the inner you, the inner workings of your emotions and subconscious. Annika Godwin breaks down what your moon sign says about you: Looking to learn more about yourself and your other signs in the zodiac? Check out these websites and apps that will help demystify your birth chart: Apps: Costar, Santuary, The Pattern Websites: cafeastrology.com, justastrologythings.com, starslikeyou.com.au



A true Fire sign at heart, those with an Aries moon are known for their hot-headedness and impulsive nature. An Aries moon knows what they want, even if it isn’t what is best for them. Emotionally, they desire a challenge, or something they can conquer. This need for excitement breeds a lot of spontaneity, but can often put an Aries moon in sticky situations. So to all you Aries moons out there, take a deep breath and don’t be so quick to react when a decision — especially an important one, is placed in front of you.


Taurus moons, in connection with their symbol, the bull, are reluctant to change and can often be perceived as stubborn. On the flipside, others know what to expect from a Taurus moon. Taurus moons crave comfort in all aspects of their lives — relationships, living spaces, food, material possessions — and this lends a hand in how emotionally secure this sign tends to be. Taurus moons are often the best of friends because of how loyal, devoted and generous they are. Though having your Moon in Taurus seems all fine and dandy, it is important to ensure that your desire to be comforted does not get confused with your tendency to be overindulgent; take everything in moderation, my Taurus moons!


As an Air sign, Gemini moons have the gift of gab, and they are not afraid to show it. Gemini moons have a desire to acquire a plethora of knowledge on various topics and then share their knowledge with those around them. Gemini moons are often social butterflies and will adapt to any situation. Though you Gemini moons love learning many things, not everything needs to be shared, so learning to be discreet is a vital skill to develop.


The Moon is Cancer’s ruling planet, meaning the lunar qualities such as empathy, emotion and intuition are amplified for Cancer moons. Cancer moons desire to be taken care of and have a need for a secure home and family. As Water signs, these signs are strongly driven by emotions and are empaths to their cores. Their moods tend to fluctuate according to their environment, but Cancer moons often take responsibility for their sensitivities. To the Cancer moons reading this, I know it’s hard to focus on your own emotions when you feel like those around you need more help, but I ask that you make sure to squeeze in some self-care time to decompress and evaluate your own needs!


Leo moons, with their fiery disposition, desire a life full of passion and self-expression. Emotionally, Leo moons tend to have an innate sense of confidence. They are notoriously loyal, which makes them the best of friends. Leo moons are somewhat dramatic and expect to be treated with a high sense of dignity. Despite this strong sense of inner self-worth, Leo moons often need lots of reassurance and affection from their friends and romantic partners. If you are a Leo moon, your emotional demands may seem a little overwhelming, but it is important to not confuse your fiery independence with isolation.


Virgo moons are known for their need for structure and organization in their lives. They also tend to have an innate need to help the people and circumstances around them, sometimes to a fault. Virgo moons thrive under routines, but these strict ideals they place on themselves and others can make them seem a little controlling. Because those with this sign are so analytical, they tend to overthink and be over-critical, causing them to worry excessively. To those with a Virgo moon, just remember to relax and find a balance within your desire for a strict routine.


Libra moons desire for harmony and balance in all aspects of their lives. Libra moons strive for beautiful aesthetics and have an eye for design and style. Libra moons often find themselves as the peacemakers of their friend group, but also tend to “people please,” which may cause them to put their own feelings on the backburner. Because they have a strong need to keep balance, Libra moons tend to rely on their relationships with other people and are not as confident in their own abilities. If you have a Libra moon, know that your abilities in a group setting are just as strong in an individual atmosphere!


As a Water sign, Scorpio moons have intense emotional needs and tend to swing between emotional extremes. Scorpio moons are also very introspective, and privacy is very important to them. Because of this need to keep their feelings close to their chest, Scorpio moons tend to keep their emotions hidden until they eventually bubble to the surface. These intense emotions cause Scorpio moons to desire intimacy through exchanges of emotional energy; this causes Scorpio moon’s friendships to be very strong and loyal. To all of you with Scorpio moons, make sure you don’t let your emotions sit inside for too long or you’re bound to be overwhelmed.


Sagittarius moons are definitely not negative Nancies; they are notoriously optimistic and idealistic. One important aspect for Sagittarius moons is their innate need to roam. They thrive on change and desire a sense of spontaneity in their relationships. Sagittarius moons love to learn, and consequently, love to tell everyone everything they’ve learned. Sagittarius moons, your energy can be bombastic and chaotic, so try to funnel that energy into your passions!


As an Earth sign, Capricorn moons are pragmatic and responsible. Capricorn moons have high expectations in all aspects of their lives and have a natural sense of duty to achieve those expectations. Capricorn moons can be emotionally reserved, especially at first, and it may take them a while to warm up to others. Because Capricorn moons are so inwardly-focused, they tend to be self-sufficient and content in their independence. To you Capricorn moons out there, your strong foundation within yourself may keep you from being vulnerable, but remember that opening up to others can have great impacts of your friendships and emotional state.


In terms of the zodiac, Aquarius moons tend to be the least emotional out of them all. They have a tendency toward objectivity and don’t focus on the emotional intricacies of others. Logic and analysis are important to Aquarius moons. Aquarius moons often have a sense of being a lone wolf or an outsider, but not in a negative way. Aquarius moons recognize their unique qualities and instinctively keep to themselves. If you have an Aquarius moon, try to use your originality and innovative outlook on life to be more open and create a close network around you.


Pisces moons are very intuitive and sensitive to the world around them. Pisces moons tend to have extraordinarily vivid imaginations which plays into the creative aspects of their lives. This is also emphasized by the Pisces moon’s desire to escape the boring, mundane parts of life. Pisces moons want to help others and are a very compassionate sign. If you have a Pisces moon, try not to overthink your intuition and trust your gut!



HOLLA-day Gift Guide

For Broke College Kids written by Savanna Shriver

Giving is always better than getting. Get in the spirit with these

easy DIYs or inexpensive gifts for the favorite people in your life. All of the items listed are customizable to your person, gender-neutral and planned with sustainability in mind.

Gifts to Buy

-The Pretty Pickle Jewelry: This artist’s jewelry is made ethically from plants, insects or pieces of crystals. A Pretty Pickle piece is like buying flowers that last forever. Located in Fairmont, West Virginia, The Pretty Pickle can be found online at theprettypickle.com, on Etsy or @theprettypickle on Instagram. -Poster/Pictures: This is another great small, inexpensive option for gifting to friends, family, coworkers, etc. Print your favorite images at Walmart or CVS Pharmacy’s printing centers. Frame the image or turn it into a fun collage to remind them about all the fun you’ve had together. Pro tip: The West Virginia University Downtown Library offers poster printing to WVU students (for less than $15!). Take this fun gift idea to the next level by printing out a poster-sized version and framing.


-Cactus/Succulent: A cactus or succulent is the perfect small, inexpensive gift for a friend. You can find the plants at Lowes or Walmart. To customize the gift, buy a terracotta planter from your local dollar store and paint it. -Thrifted Band/Cartoon T-shirt: Show the person you’re shopping for how much you know them by picking up a thrifted tee based on their interests. Check your local Goodwill, thrift stores or Sun Moon Apparel (@sunmoonapparel on Instagram) for options. Make the gift one-of-a-kind by dipping it in bleach for an extra cool touch!

Gifts to DIY

-Handmade mug/piece of pottery: The craft center located in the basement of Braxton Tower on the WVU Evansdale Campus allows students to make their own pottery, from jewelry holders to spoon rests, and mugs to plant holders. The staff working at the front desk are available to help you through the process. Keep in mind, the entire process (make, trim, glaze, fire) can take three or four weeks, but the price is weighed by the pound, so it is super affordable! Another alternative is the WOW! Factory in Star City. You can paint or glaze pre-made pottery, so if you don’t want the hassle of making your own pottery or are on a time crunch, this is a great option. -Handpainted tapestry: For this DIY gift idea, head to the discounted fabric section of Hobby Lobby and pick a canvas material. You can usually find a poster-sized amount (18x24 inches or 24x36 inches) for around $5. Grab some paint on your way out of the store and get creative! -Handmade pom-pom earrings/keychain: You will need pom-poms, a sewing needle, thread and earring findings or keychain rings. From there, sew the pom-poms in a line and attach them to the finding (earring or keychain). Make sure to go up and down the pom-poms to make sure they stay intact.

Bonus: Themed Gifts

These are classic gift ideas for someone you want to make feel really special. Check Gabe’s or TJ Maxx for good deals. -Cozy Basket: Like the spooky basket, but winter edition! Combine fuzzy socks, a candle, a mug (maybe one you made), their drink of choice (coffee, cider, cocoa or tea) and a good book or a fuzzy blanket. It’s a safe bet if you aren’t sure what to get someone. -Spa basket: Combine a sugar scrub or bath bomb, face masks, chapstick, lotion and cozy robe into a cute basket or tote. DIYing a sugar scrub is super easy. To do so, mix sugar, essential oil and coconut oil together, and put it in a cute little jar. Make sure you use more sugar than coconut oil and a few drops of essential oil. This is the perfect gift for someone who needs to relax. -Workout Basket: This is the perfect gift for someone that loves to workout. Combine a water bottle, resistance bands, workout clothes or Bluetooth headphones.


why do shoes have to MAtCH written by Christina Kamkutis


Naturally, human beings like to have everything in order:

their office, their phone, their credit cards in their wallets, even their outfits. However, since the immense expansion of the fashion industry dating back to the days of the industrial revolution, fashion has ventured down paths that would’ve once been thought of as crazy and taboo, including the order in which clothes are allowed to be worn. The amount of clothing in circulation today is immensely different compared to centuries past. Before big textile factories and sewing machines, people made clothing that was meant to last for a long time—and it took a long time to make—this way, they wouldn’t have to keep making or buying more. Nowadays, we have improved technology which allows this process to speed up unimaginably, leading to over 80 billion new pieces of clothing being produced every year. This is equal to 82 pounds of garment waste per person, per year. With this increased accessibility to clothing, styles have changed dramatically — and so has the order of wearing clothes. Bras can be worn over t-shirts — but not padded bras — only lace bras or bralettes of some sort. Shirts can have only one long sleeve, leaving the other arm out in the elements to fend for herself. Colors are being mixed and

matched; pinks and reds, browns and blacks, opposite ends of the color spectrum. We wear mix-match socks, earrings, eyeshadow colors — even pants and shirts are being cut down the middle and stitched back together to form one mix-matched, (kind of) cohesive piece. Through all of this disorder and mixing and matching in the world of fashion, one thing has always remained the same: shoes. If I can blend one eyelid bright blue and the other bright orange, wear one dangly earring in my right ear and a big diamond stud in the left, and rock one green sock and one purple, why can’t I do the same with shoes? Of course, I’m not talking about one sneaker and one stiletto… that’s not realistically functional. But, why is it only acceptable for me to wear one yellow sneaker and one green one at a tailgate where the colors of my shoes happen to match that of the home team? Personally, my favorite part of any outfit is a finishing statement shoe, and I have way too many pairs to debut them all even in just a week. If I could mix and match and not get laughed at or scolded by strangers on the street, it would cut that time in half, while also transforming my statement to be twice as loud.


Craig Nelson, a teaching professor of consumer product design at West Virginia University, has over 25 years of experience in corporate and freelance design. Nelson has worked with brands like Zoo York, Ecko Unltd., 310 Motoring, Hurley, Cabelas, Goodyear and Steve Madden, and was the creative brain behind the world-famous Sketchers Shape-up. “There is an economical reason why shoes look like they do—it’s the same reason why cars look like they do. If you have a factory that can make tires round then you have the whole set-up of every single machine that makes those tires round, so it’s the same thing for shoes,” Nelson said. “A lot of times they look the way they do because that’s how factories can make those shoes, but I do think it’s changing…we’ll see how fast that change gets to the consumer.” Nelson points out that modern upgrades in technology, such as the world of 3-D printing, will force the way we do things to change, as slowly or as quickly as it may come. When Nelson came up with the idea for the Sketchers Shape-up, he was quickly shot down by his higher-ups within the Sketchers company and sent back to the drawing board, being told that something of the sort would never sell. “In the Shape-up instance, it wasn’t known if it was going to sell, there wasn’t anything else like that; it was brand new, so I got scolded a little bit on that because it was a question mark.” Nelson goes on to talk about the fact that when he was a kid it was cool to mix and match your shoes as long as you had the same pair in two different colors. He recalls his favorite shoes, Vans, and having worn one red and one blue on each foot. He points out that “if you need to make a statement—which is very important to do— one blue converse and one white one would be fine because they’re the same shoe,” but when getting into mixing different types of shoes, the functionality factor of the shoe is lost and it would become extremely uncomfortable. Being yet another idea he brought to life, Nelson discusses the Bella Ballerina shoe, which features a spinning disk on the bottom side of the shoe so little girls could spin around, well, like a ballerina. This shoe is similar to the idea of Heelys, which he also has experience working with, “yeah they’re dangerous, but a lot of things are dangerous.”


“Being the first one to make anything brand new is dangerous— because you don’t know if it’s going to fail.”

“Being the first one to make anything brand new is dangerous—because you don’t know if it’s going to fail.” Nelson said. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re ready to make such a bold statement and wear two different shoes, you might find peace in the fact that you definitely aren’t the first to try it, and it’s even more definite that you won’t be the last. At the end of the day, most people aren’t going to remember what you wore—unless you’re willing to go that extra mile, because being icy is just a result of daring to be first.


Under One Million Subscribers

YouTube beauty gurus to pay attention to written by Annika Godwin

Millions of people turn to Youtube

for tutorials and reviews, especially within the beauty community, so when someone who creates videos specializing in makeup and skincare get popular, they can accumulate millions of followers, brand deals and even create their own beauty products. A few of these beauty influencers gain a cult following, who believes that their favorite beauty guru can do no wrong, even if they do something problematic. Take Jeffree Star, for example, who has received backlash for being anti-Black, threatening violence and referring to Black women in derogatory terms, such as calling famous Black beauty influencer Jackie Aina a “gorilla” and a “rat” as recently as 2017. Another influencer who has been caught up by the controversy is Laura Lee, whose past racist tweets put her under fire. While Jefree still has a very strong following, Laura’s career was impacted drastically. She lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers, as well as lost sponsorship and brand deals with Ulta, Morphe and DIFF Eyewear. And who could forget about the recent Tati Westbrook and James Charles drama? This past summer Tati accused James of sexual harassment among other things, which James claimed she exaggerated the incidents in order to gain attention for her vitamin line. Despite all of this problematic behavior, and the consequent Twitter-sphere proclaiming these makeup artists “canceled,” they maintained their massive cult followings and millions of followers. For many people, the amount of drama and controversies that have surfaced in the beauty community in recent years have turned them away from supporting the industry’s top influencers. However, there is a whole community of unproblematic beauty gurus that tend to be overshadowed by those with millions of followers that stir drama and start controversies. Subscribe to these four YouTube beauty influencers for good content that is drama-free.


Taylor Wynn


Taylor Wynn, who previously was under the name “Thataylaa,” is a makeup artist who began her YouTube channel in 2012. As someone with an especially pale complexion, Taylor loves to review complexion products, like foundation, concealers and powders, to analyze their shade selection. Taylor is also known for her series “15 Days of Foundation,” in which she reviews a new foundation every day for 15 days straight and then compiles a list of her favorites and least favorites. The series, which is in its fifth run, is also a fundraiser for Project Beauty Share, which is an organization that donates cosmetics and other beauty products to women’s shelters across the country.

RawBeautyKristi is a self-taught makeup artist who began her YouTube career in 2013. In the past, she has made special effects makeup and Halloween-specific looks but has recently begun focusing on product and brand reviews as well as “get ready with me” videos. Among the top six finalists in the 2016 NYX Face Awards, Kristi’s videos are rarely less than 20 minutes long, allowing the viewer to get to know her on a personal, friendly level.

775K Subscribers

Another part of Taylor’s channel that helped her gain her notoriety was her journey on Accutane, a medication that combats cystic acne. Despite going on this medication to address her own skin issues, Taylor has always preached to her followers that you should love your skin for what it is, and not feel pressured to use makeup to cover it up or be persuaded to go on medication.

773K Subscribers

Kristi has also been very open about her journey with infertility and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that can cause period irregularity, acne and weight gain in the abdominal area. Raising awareness on this topic, Kristi has explained to her viewers how this has caused major body confidence issues and in some videos, explained how she’s overcome those insecurities. Kristi’s openness about her struggles in life has built a community amongst her audience, in which subscribers have been inspired to be just as honest about their insecurities, too.



Bri Hall

Mariah Leonard

Bri Hall, who was previously known as Smartista Beauty, describes herself as a “visual artist, musician and beauty guru” and began posting videos in 2013. She is known for haul videos and makeup tutorials. Bri also does a plethora of natural hair tutorials for different occasions.

Mariah Leonard, who only began posting videos on her YouTube channel two years ago, is a self-taught makeup artist. Mariah graduated college hoping to secure a job in Manhattan with her degree in communications and special emphasis on magazine journalism. When that did not work out, Mariah turned to the internet to pursue her dreams of a career in the beauty and creative industry. She is known for her simplistic yet beautiful makeup tutorials. Mariah expertly uses her Instagram to portray her minimalistic aesthetic.

728K Subscribers

Bri has expanded her artistry outside of beauty and fashion. She is also a visual artist, posting “Draw with Me” videos to show her followers her creative process. Bri has also showcased her vocal skills, under the musical moniker La Hara. During this rebranding, she posts her self-described “dreamy, effervescent and a little bit edgy” music and music videos on her channel. Much of her music focuses on mental health issues and unrequited love, with special emphasis on marginalized and minority groups.

372K Subscribers

Mariah, though she does not explicitly post about her personal life on YouTube, is a mom who balances her home and beauty guru life. She has also battled fungal acne and has documented her experience combatting that.


Insta-Problems or Insta-Solutions? written by Kaitlyn McClung

Where would we be without the Internet? The Internet and social

media have become such a huge part of our lives – an unsaid competition as to who has the most likes, most comments, most followers or the best quality pictures. Why is there a competition of always trying to one-up each other, instead of building each other up? For some, Instagram is a way to make a living and how brands communicate advertising messages and information about clubs and organizations. Instagram is this generations’ Facebook. We are all addicted to swiping through photos of people we are friends with or celebrities we admire and aspire to be. The question is: why do we follow these celebrities, influencers and YouTubers? Are we just following them because we are a fan or are we trying to copy their style or body image? What can this do to your mental health?

There are many faces that make up the growing 500 million users on Instagram. Some people use Instagram as a way to look at memes or meme accounts. Instagram and any social media platforms have created an algorithm that makes it easy to get caught going down the endless rabbit hole. This rabbit hole allows all of us to spend minutes– and many times hours, on their platforms looking at memes or videos. We get so caught up in looking at the newest viral trend or watching old vine compilations that we lose track of time. “The reason I have an account is because I get bored,” WVU student Seth Fields said. He also thinks that social media is a waste of time, “even though I use it way too much.”

Instagram was launched on October 6, 2010, by founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. They had no idea at the time, but Instagram would become a multi billion-dollar platform with over 500 million users. Krieger was the first person to post a picture to this endless stream of photo sharing — a photo of a city from the view of a window. Facebook would eventually buy Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Social media is nothing new, but the effects of it are going to be just as long-lasting as the Internet itself. Each situation varies from person to person. There is still an unsaid stigma around mental health in general, whether it be PTSD, anxiety, depression or schizophrenia. Many influencers have spoken out against this stigma, like Heidi Williams. She advocates for mental health and taking care of yourself and your body. In one of her Instagram posts, Williams said, “There is nothing quite like a solid 18 months of suicidal depression, debilitating anxiety and explosive PTSD ending in a miraculous and abrupt peak experience that tends to catapult one in a somewhat maddening and definitely obsessive journey in understanding the human experience. That’s how my background with mental health began.” She talks about her passion for studying the autonomic nervous system. She backs up her passion by saying, “it acts like a sort of a map that explains all of the phenomena I most care about including trauma and peak experiences.” There are so many ways that Instagram can affect mental health. For young and impressionable girls it is crucial to combat this issue now. Many of us follow popular celebrities, comedians and fitness gurus. But what is this doing to our mental health? With the creations of Facetune and other photo editing apps have created unrealistic body and makeup expectations. Many people begin to compare themselves to an end goal that does not even exist. It is important to realize that not everyone’s body is the same. We are all different and we need to teach younger audiences to accept and embrace that. After all, this is what makes us all unique and different.


Posts @mirage




While others may use it as a way to show off what they did for ‘Hallo-weekend’ or their most recent vacation, likes and followers still have some type of weight to them. “Growing up with social media has made me more self-conscious about my physical appearance as a person,” WVU student Katherine Whittington said. “Until college, I wore makeup any time I was in a public place. This was because I was always scared of being photographed and put on social media by a friend while not looking my best.”

When asked about any type of approval process before posting, Whittington said, “Yes, I usually send a picture to multiple friends and have them choose what they think is the best one, so then I can post it.” What are we all so afraid of when it comes to posting a picture? Is it the wrong angle? Is my double chin showing? Am I sucking my stomach in enough? Is the lighting right? These are all common questions that have been heard throughout watching and experiencing taking pictures with people. The unsaid judgment that is brought forth by the idea of the “perfect Instagram picture” has affected how we interact with others. Have we created a “fake” persona of ourselves? This is not an uncommon thing, but if you lose yourself in that kind of mindset it can be detrimental. While many users use Instagram to promote their own content, some use the platform to make a living or spread a message about their organization. “Social

media is crucial,” said Sam Scott, associate area director for Young Life Kanawha Valley. “My organization works with adolescents, and one of our values is that we need to meet them where they are: spiritually and physically. Physically, adolescents are on social media. It’s where they live.” Without the internet or social media, it would be harder to reach as many people as you can today. “It would be incredibly hard to reach new people. I think that’s the greatest benefit,” Scott said. Is social media really so much of a bad thing? Are we too focused on the negatives when there are many positives to being connected to others like we never have been before? Social media can be a cause of something negative, but it also gives light to positivity and inspiration for those struggling or those who just need a pick me up.



written by Lani Beaudette & Cheyenne Oakes

I am capable and strong. I have

confidence and know I am successful. I am beautiful. In today’s fast-paced and pressure-driven world, we often forget to take a step back and believe in our abilities. Young people today report the highest levels of stress and anxiety. Compared to previous generations, young people also struggle more with self-confidence, experiencing a major confidence drop between ages 18-23 when they leave home for the first time, according to an article from “Psychology Today” titled “Adolescence and Self-Confidence” by Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D. Experiencing life outside of the home and lacking self-confidence can lead to a negative college experience and hinder confidence growth leading into the next stages of life. However, studies have shown that the use of positive affirmations through positive psychology can help to rewire the brain and ultimately create a more confident person overall. In 1998, Martin Selgiman presented the scientific breakthrough known as positive psychology. The ideology has foundations in the idea of living a “meaningful life,” in order to accelerate one’s potential to grow and develop as a human being. However, how do you get to this point in life? How can you live a “meaningful life?” One way to get there is through positive affirmations, which are meant to help the brain not think about the negative sides of situations but rather, the positive. When you think “I can’t

do this”, the idea is to change it to “I can do this.” On the surface, these may seem like simple changes in your mindset, but psychologists have discovered a positive association between positive affirmations and the brain’s reward and pleasure area. Through the research done by doctoral candidate Christopher Cascio and Associate Professor Emily Falk at the University of Pennsylvania, it is clear that there are specific parts of the brain that are not only triggered but improved when using positive affirmation. The parts of the brain related to how it processes information, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and posterior cingulate (PCC), both were seen through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to activate when one uses self-affirmations. In the study, Cascio proposes this function of the brain is thought of as “an emotional buffer to any painful, negative or threatening information that follows.” When one faces a situation in which they feel stressed, self-affirmations can be useful because they evoke positive and pleasure feeling emotions that can help one work through a tough situation. Not only did Cascio discover self-affirmations can help your mindset in the present, but that they can also be useful for gearing you towards the future. Through different tests on parts of the brain, there was a clear relation with having a focus on future affirmation and increased activity in the MPFC. This also, in turn, created a

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positive decrease in sedentary behavior. This study is the foundation to why positive affirmations are necessary in a college student’s everyday life. The use of positive affirmations can be a great way for college students to boost self-confidence in what is a new and stressful environment. In a place where everyone is competing to be better than the next person, on top of working to get the best scholarship, internship and job, students can be extremely hard on themselves and expect perfection 100 percent of the time. Shifting the mindset to believe that you are capable in your academic abilities and your abilities to live on your own can build the confidence needed to not only survive but thrive in all aspects of college life. Using self-affirmations that pertain to goals in the future can help to boost confidence now and feel more secure in what you are working towards. College life is challenging and stressful, but the use of self-affirmations can help to create a lifestyle that is positive and uplifting.

Helpful Apps: - ThinkUp - Shine

n “I believe in myself, and trust my ow wisdom” “I am a successful person” at “I am confident and capable at wh I do”

Hot Girl Summer

MENTALITY written by Kaeli Ricottilli

When rapper Megan Pete, a.k.a. Megan Thee Stallion,

released her “Fever” mixtape on May 17, 2019, she unknowingly started what became the biggest trend of summer 2019: hot girl summer. The 24-year-old and Texas-native inspired women everywhere to feel comfortable in their own skin and do whatever they wanted to do without worrying about what others thought. However, when summer came to a close, many were left wondering, “what’s next?” They had spent three months bubbling with confidence and positivity, but did that have to change with the season? The phrase “hot girl summer” took off when Twitter user @sweetliketeaaa captioned a set of photos with “I heard it’s a hot girl summer.” After that, most everyone started to use some form of the phrase in their captions when they were feeling particularly confident, but the phrase grew to mean much more. People began to use hot girl summer to describe a time when they were simply enjoying being themselves. Going out and partying with everyone you know meant you were having a hot girl summer, but so did sitting inside with a pint of ice cream while binging Netflix for the third time that week. It became an excuse– as if everyone felt they needed an excuse to live their best lives. As far as hot girl inspiration goes, look no further than the original hot girl, Megan Thee Stallion. Not only is she killing the rap game right now, becoming the first woman to sign to famed record label 300 Entertainment since its creation in 2012, she is also making her way through college at Texas Southern University while doing so. On top of that, Megan accomplished all of this while grieving the loss of her mother, who was also her manager, in early 2019. Megan is the ultimate example of getting knocked down and bouncing back 10 times stronger.

Megan was a child. Although her mother’s popularity did not expand much farther than the south, Megan noticed and admired her mother’s work ethic. With a mother in the rap industry, Megan grew up listening to rap music as early as six years old. Lyrically, her biggest inspiration is the late Houston rap icon Pimp C. She remembers listening to his music as a child. As she got older and started listening to more of his music, she loved how confident she felt when doing so, and aims to embody his energy on all her tracks. Megan idolizes the rapper so much, she named her 2018 mixtape “Tina Snow” after Pimp C’s alias, Tony Snow. When summer came to an end, social media was desperately searching for the next “hot girl summer-esque” trend. No one wanted to lose the self-love high that had lasted for so long. A few ideas were tossed around, but nothing stuck. The internet ultimately turned to the annual phenomenon of cuffing season, a time when people are either tied down to one person for the winter or wishing they were. In the end, it takes away that sense of individuality, making people feel as though they need another person to be truly happy. What many don’t realize is that hot girl summer does not have to end. It’s not a season, but a mindset. Self-confidence cannot be contained in one season on the calendar. According to Megan, Thee Stallion, “being a hot girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.” Therefore, as long as you remain true to yourself and live your life and your life only, you are a hot girl.

Megan, who has been likened to legends like Lil’ Kim and Trina, largely credits her upbringing with being the reason for her successful career. Her mother rapped for six years under the name Holly Wood and tried to start her own record label when



written by Emily Yoder photographed by Max Shavers 36

Black symbolizes empowerment, posh and

sophistication; although, the color black truly means the absence of color. How can something so chic and thunderous be diminished by its own definition? I’ve always thought an entirely black outfit was the classiest look any woman could wear. In the world of fashion, it has been a statement piece for all fashion moguls dating back to Coco Chanel, the Roaring 20’s flappers, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. These women have made an impact on the world in various ways, but their sense and love for fashion have captured the eyes of the people — by wearing all black. Chanel was a famous fashion designer known for her “little black dress” creation. She published a drawing of a little black dress in a Vogue issue of 1926, the presence of the little black dress was essential in portraying women in a classy, superior way. As stated by Chanel, herself, “When the little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place.” Hepburn’s most prominent look was the iconic Givenchy black dress the length of her ankles, accessorized with her black satin gloves, white pearls that draped around her neck and crystalized tiara. The famous designer designed the dress primarily for Hepburn’s performance in“Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” As the movie

premiered, it attracted a lot of attention from women because the outfit gave off an exclusive, high-class persona. There is a specific stereotype when it comes to a black outfit. Most people get the proposition that an all-black outfit can indicate an eerie, mysterious or even a gothic vibe. The gothic style comes from a revolt of the disco era, full of pastel colors and boogie shoes. This stereotype is prominent in cinema when depicting a goth character, dressing them in all black. A prime example of this in pop culture would be the movie “The Breakfast Club,” showcasing Allison Reynolds portraying the “goth girl” in a high school setting. The stereotype exists due to the intimidation of the color itself. The color black is visibly a powerful color, creating a façade or image of goth from others. Besides the negative connotation associated with the color black, each style of choice is embraced to express one’s character. It is important to remember, people’s opinions or judgments should never hinder your outfit choice. A person’s style reveals their true identity and personal tastes. There is never a right or wrong way when it comes to fashion. Style is what differentiates you from the crowd, fashion is what brings us together.



These tips can help you spice up your style while rocking an all-black outfit:

Show some shape.

It’s important to be able to differentiate the fitting of your outfit. Pairing a form-fitted article of clothing with a flowy piece will balance the attire itself.

Add a pop of color.

Whether it be in your shoes, jewelry or a hat; giving your outfit the pop it needs will allow it to indulge in the black essence of your style.

Incorporate some texture. Including different textures to your outfit will give variation to the certain look you are going for.

Lace-up the kicks.

The cherry on top of an all-black fit is what you wear on your feet. Adding flavor to the shoes can alter in color, texture, height or even shape.

Fashion is fashion. Without it, we would be people with no diverse attributes to our own identity. Everyone has their own sense of style and their own opinions on what an all-black outfit means to them. To Hepburn, an all-black outfit meant the big break to her new movie. To Chanel, it meant the creation of a new outlook in fashion. To Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, it meant a show-stopping runway outfit for the unity of the two showcased at the Met Gala in 2018. But to me, an all-black outfit demonstrates a timeless look that has an insane amount of power to the outside world.


UNZIPPING Society’s Fashion Standards written by Jennifer Corona

Some consider fashion to be the most important representation of individuality. Those with wilder personalities may go for more wild clothing options, while those who play it safe may stick to a few key, comfortable clothing options they have known to work well for them. If you want to feel more confident, you might try something bright and different – bright red lipstick, flashy shoes with a glittery jacket. We’re all familiar with the stereotype that blue means boy, pink means girl; it’s the color scheme of almost every baby shower. But what happens when society starts to see through the stereotypes of what boys “should” wear and what girls “should” wear?

Throughout history, the well-known clothing styles for boys and girls have changed, but they’ve almost always been very definitively separate. There is a reason for this, to tell babies’ genders, to appeal to the opposite sex, to highlight what kind of clothes each gender “likes” to wear, but if you had grown up with no type of clothing forced on you according to gender, what would you choose to wear? Since we’ve grown up in a time period when casual clothes are publicly acceptable, most women today would refuse to wear a Victorian ball gown in daily life, tight uncomfortable corset and all. In the Victorian time, however, this was the norm and women did not know of a life where they could wear anything else. Men had their own evolution from peacocky historical wear, to early 20th century dress clothes, all the way to men’s mostly casual fashion today, but again, it has all been very separate from women’s fashion. These days the concept of gender and society are being more scrutinized. We’re starting to dig into the psychology behind why gender roles are so prominent. As humans with mostly the same features, are men and women all that mentally different from birth? Or is it more of a product of their upbringing, in a world where pregnant women are asked all the time, right off the bat, “is it a boy or a girl?” Although many men and women feel empowered by their gender – which is great – there are others who feel they don’t quite fit into either of those two allotted boxes. This is commonly referred to as nonbinary, and with the likes of Sam Smith, Jonathan Van Ness, Ruby Rose, Brigette Lundy-Paine and Bill Dee Wiliams using that label – you may be familiar with at least a little bit of what it means. What you might not know is that nonbinary is more like an umbrella of different identities, and it’s not always just “in between” male and female. Agender, Third Gender and Two-Spirit are some of those identities that stretch entirely outside the common gender binary.


So, what defines fashion in the world of nonbinary people? For some it’s experimental. Some toy around with masculine and feminine pieces, while some stick to a specific style they feel comfortable in. However, for those who choose to wear clothing outside the box of their assigned gender, things like sizing and even negative attention can become a problem. Trying out new clothing styles to express one’s identity can be an exciting and freeing experience, but many societal misconceptions are still ingrained in ways we don’t even notice. From gender reveal parties, to separate barber shops, to color-coded razors, the gender binary has snuck its way into almost every aspect of our lives. Is it all necessary? It may be a marketing scheme to sell more products by separating the consumers, or it could just be because it is all we know. Professor of cognitive neuroimaging at Aston University Gina Rippon has studied the supposed difference in the brains of male versus female specimens, and has concluded that, “brains reflect the lives they have lived, not just the sex of their owners.” Francois Poullain de la Barre, a philosopher from the 20th century, was even so forward thinking as to declare based on anatomical studies and a deep examination of the sex’s “preferred” skills, that “L’esprit n’a point de sexe,” or “the mind has no sex.” A brain can look vastly different from itself before and after the owner learns a new skill. Newborn babies are basically social sponges, and they take in every bit of visual information they can in order to learn the ways of the world around them. Coincidentally, that is also the time in which we start pushing gender roles upon children. Even if a child grows up in an open environment where nothing is color coded, they will still eventually be subjected to social and mainstream media and future classmates who enforce the binary world we currently live in.

Transgender women are the most targeted in terms of hate crimes, but even boys who act femininely, come out as gay or experiment with feminine fashion can be subjected to bullying. A study by Scientific American even found that many men shy away from eco-friendly products because they see them as “feminine.” Could men be viewing any sort of femininity as something that is degrading? This could be rooted in the fact that men learn from a young age that women are considered less than them. These views come from a long history of women being unable to vote, unable to hold positions in government without “getting too emotional” and in general being seen as less smart than male counterparts.

“So, what defines fashion in the world of nonbinary people? For some it’s experimental.”

As we are seeing now, these stereotypes are being disproved all over the place, but the foundation of modern-day society was still built upon them. So, with all this information on why the gender binary is harmful, what can we do to derail it? Society as a whole is so attached to it that completely ousting it even within our lifetimes would be nearly impossible. For one, we can begin to scrutinize the world around us, and actually notice what is based in stereotypes and outdated gender roles. We can call out marketing ploys that capitalize on fragile masculinity. We can speak up for those who are ridiculed for stepping outside of the binary comfort zone. There has been a recent Twitter movement started by nonbinary and transgender people. The transgender community as a whole tends to identify what pronouns they prefer in their Twitter bios and elsewhere. These consist usually of but are not limited to she/her, they/them and he/him. The movement encourages even people who aren’t trans or nonbinary to put their preferred pronouns in their bio. This normalizes the act, and can signal a person is at least somewhat of an ally to the transgender community. As always, I will recommend researching more about the world of nonbinary/transgender people, fashion and the harm that gender roles can have upon these. Even if it’s just researching some trans and nonbinary celebrities and following their Instagram accounts, it’s still a step in familiarizing yourself with a section of the world that is seen by many as harmful and shameful. If there are clothes you’ve grown out of or no longer want, consider donating to a local LGBT pride organization. They can hand your clothes down to someone who enjoys the pieces of clothing. Finding smaller organizations to donate to is a step up from Goodwill or The Salvation Army, which are notoriously anti-LGBT. If a friend or family member came out in the future as some sort of gender non-conforming identity, it couldn’t hurt at all to be a little more in the loop and compassionate about these identities and to learn how to treat those who have come to terms with them.


I Lasered My Hair

& Regretted It written by Rebecca Blatt

When I was 16, I paid $300 to receive laser hair removal,

spending an entire paycheck from my part-time job. Even though that was a large expense at the time, I was too excited to care. My entire life, I hated my body for growing hair in places where other girls would normally be smooth. Why was I the only one with nasty, boyish fuzz on my upper lip, chest and stomach? I would look at other girls with smooth bellies, the area that negatively affected me the most, and believe there was something wrong with me. When my friends and I would spontaneously go swimming in the summer, I would be the only one wearing a t-shirt over my bikini to cover up. When I would get dressed for school, if my top revealed my midriff, even in the slightest way, I’d get out my razor and shave it before leaving the house. Every look in the mirror, every flawless Instagram model, every painful ingrown hair forced me to conclude that I was ugly. Why was I the only one with body hair? After five sessions of being maliciously tortured by a laser, my happy trail and I finally parted ways. It wasn’t until I was confident with my new, smooth stomach that I began to tell my friends about my experience. As I shared my story, their reactions shocked me. The common response was, “I wish I could get rid of mine, too.” Are you kidding me? This was the first time in my life that I realized how common happy trails are on girls. I wasn’t alone! I acquired the dangerous misconception, as many young girls do, because we are taught that it is unattractive on women. In response, we cover it up, shave it off and spend $300 as a 16-year-old to have it permanently removed.


Upon this self-discovery, I began to appreciate the women who do decide to grow out their body hair. I appreciate the girls who never shave their legs, allow their soft hair to lie peacefully on their skin, and accept it. I appreciate the girls who are proud of her underarm hair, for living by the motto of, “If guys don’t have to shave, why do we?” And I am thankful for the girls who show us that darker arm hair is beautiful, too.

“Every look in the mirror, every flawless Instagram model, every painful ingrown hair forced me to conclude that I was ugly.” Before my laser hair removal treatment, I desperately searched for someone to tell me that I was beautiful, despite the hideous flaw below my bellybutton. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. However, if I had read genuine words like these from another woman beforehand, I wouldn’t have endured the pain of the treatment and thrown my money away to something useless. We need to open up the conversation of female body hair. Not only is it a natural phenomenon, but it’s also a beautiful characteristic. Whether you let it grow out freely or acquire an inescapable stubble, you should never feel ashamed or less feminine. It’s beautiful. It’s natural. It’s you. And it’s okay.


t a k es ov er written by Catherine Wylie

“Do my tits bother you? They’re covered, in Swarovski crystals, girl!”

These are the words iconic celebrity Rihanna stated while wearing a sheer gown at the 2014 Council of Fashion Designers. Many found that Rihanna was objectifying herself and polluting the minds of her young fans. Rihanna didn’t let negative comments bother her and when a reporter questioned her look, she responded with those very words. It was a moment that will never be forgotten. This is just one example that proves that the Barbadian goddess does what she wants and does it well. In 2005, we were all gifted with the song “Pon de Replay.” It was Rihanna’s first hit, with it reaching No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart. It was the beginning of an absolute legend. We continued to get hits like “Umbrella,” “Disturbia,” “Only Girl (In The World),” “Stay” and so many more. She became a music sensation with 33 Grammy nomination and 9 Grammy wins. You can’t go anywhere without one of her songs playing in the background. However, music isn’t the only industry she has dominated. Rihanna has made her presence known in the fashion and beauty industries as well, with Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty and luxury fashion brand Fenty. Rihanna puts in work (work, work, work) and has made a difference in everything that she has pursued. Fenty Beauty rocked the entire beauty industry. Forty shades of foundation were released, the first brand to offer such an extensive shade range adhering to a wide variety of skin tones and undertones. Fenty Beauty was also one of the first brands to place diversity and inclusivity at the forefront of its brand. Just about everyone was able to find their shade with the correct undertone, from those with deep dark skin tones to those with pale skin tones. Even women with Albinism are able to find a shade for them. Although Fenty wasn’t the first to release 40 shades of foundation, it was the first brand that pushed and advertised all skin tones proudly. Fenty Beauty also pushed other big makeup brands into expanding their own shade ranges. Shortly after the Fenty Beauty release, brands like Dior, Tarte and CoverGirl upped their range to 40– it became the new standard. The days of 10 shades that all look the exact same were over. Rihanna even eventually decided that 40 shades weren’t enough. In 2019, she added 10 new foundation shades, bringing the total shade range to 50. Truly the queen of diversity. Rihanna’s use of diversity didn’t stop at her makeup line. Her lingerie line Savage X Fenty hit the market in 2018. The Savage X Fenty launch consisted of 90 lingerie pieces, sleepwear and accessories. Her inclusive brand included bra

sizes from 32A to 42H and underwear coming in sizes from XS to 3XL. She wanted to make a brand that made everyone feel included, and that’s exactly what she did. When talking to Vogue about Savage X Fenty, Rihanna said, “It has to be authentic, it has to be from me, my perspective. I’ve wanted to do a lingerie line for a long time, but it was important to me that it be done right. Everyone should feel good wearing lingerie. That’s it.”

“They’re covered, in Swarovski crystals, girl!” Ads for the brand included every type of shape and size you could imagine. But it didn’t stop there. The Savage X Fenty show at New York Fashion Week showed “real women in real bodies.” The groundbreaking runway show included women of all shapes, sizes, identities and ethnicities. In addition to that, the 2018 show included two pregnant models and the 2019 show included models with disabilities. It’s refreshing to see this type of inclusion after seeing that same old thing year after year at the Victoria Secret Fashion show, which recently announced it was coming to a close due to fewer and fewer viewers tuning in every year. Many speculate the show’s closing is because of the quality Rihanna’s show offers instead. It was time for some change, and who better to do it then RiRi herself. Rihanna’s look on lingerie is truly about loving all bodies and wanting all people to feel beautiful, a message much needed in today’s world. Rihanna also launched a luxury fashion brand named Fenty which had the same type of values– showing the world that anyone of any size can feel beautiful in what they wear. Even at the Fenty pop-up, there were mannequins that were not only curvy but had hip dips and a noticeable belly in tight dresses. Let’s be real, have you ever seen a mannequin with hip dips? Rihanna really knows how to keep things real. On top of that, the luxury Fenty brand made Rihanna the first Black woman to head an LVMH brand. We love to see it. Unlike what we see in most celebrities, Rihanna doesn’t just slap her name on a brand and call it a day. She puts in work and makes sure that her values are put into everything that she does. Along with that, for her, it doesn’t seem like the diversity is forced, that it’s some rubric she has to follow. It’s not something she has to do, it is something she wants to do.


MONOCHROME curated and photographed by Joseph Lucey

Within the past few years, the resale market has turned

into a cultural phenomenon among the millennial and Gen Z age groups. Due to the responsibility these generations hold to spread awareness for climate change and the impact fast fashion has on the environment, younger people have turned to thrifting as an alternative way to shop sustainably without breaking the bank. These generations have completely redefined the culture surrounding the idea of shopping at and wearing clothing from a thrift store by influencing the start of apps like Depop or Poshmark with the instant ability to create and network through technology today. One of the biggest trends (in my opinion) amongst thrifted fashion on social media would have to be monochromatic outfits. It’s an easy, versatile way to create a casual outfit with a splash of something more unique or to create an outfit reminiscent of vintage editorial fashion with a modern edge. I tasked these models to come up with their own interpretation of a (primarily) second-hand/upcycled, monochromatic outfit based on a color of my choice.






“Wearing my monochrome outfit made me feel like I was a beacon, like all eyes were on me.�


MIRAGE MIRAGE COOKS COOKS Two carefully-curated Two carefully-curated recipes recipes for the for the perfect perfect ICY dinner ICY dinner party party selectedselected and written andby written Kasey byLettrich Kasey Lettrich

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Safe Spaces Trigger Warning: This is an account of sexual assault and finding comfort in the spaces around us. written by Kennady Armstrong


Right after it happened, I walked upstairs to my dorm room, went

to my bed, got under the covers and lay there. It was a hot summer day in Boston and even though we didn’t have air conditioning, I just wanted to be covered. I was alone, but I still felt safe there, in my room that automatically locked; in my room that had all of my favorite belongings, in my room. I did not feel much at first, but I felt as if my innocence was stripped. I was only 15 years old and this was my first time away from home, my first time in a college dorm. The day it happened, I told my resident assistant — I was participating in a pre-college program for high schoolers at Boston College. That night, I spoke to four different adults, retelling what had happened hours earlier, and then went back to the dorm room, exhausted. I was unsure of what the next day had in store for me — all I knew was that my bedroom was a timeout from the constant questions and unfamiliar situations. The next day, my resident assistant brought me to the Women’s Center. The receptionist invited me to sit on bright couches while I waited for the Title IX specialist to finish a phone call. I sat there admiring the view from the window, eating the snacks that were displayed on the table and helping myself to the stickers with empowering messages written on them — anything to distract myself. I did not feel much that day, only numbness. I did not allow myself the time to think about what had happened. The Title IX specialist, whose name I sadly no longer recall, had me explain what happened. She kept giving me bags of Famous Amos cookies while I rambled on. After three bags of cookies, we headed to the hospital for a rape kit. It was a fairly short visit, but it felt as if I was there for hours. I walked in and got my vitals taken while the lady explained the situation to the nurses. I was then taken to a room and changed into a gown. They drew my blood to test for STDs, which left an enormous bruise that was awkward to find an excuse for when people noticed. The sexual assault nurse examiner came in, and I will never forget the uncomfortableness and vulnerableness of that 15-minute encounter. She made me recount every detail twice, and asked

what felt like 50 questions. Immediately after she left the room, a police officer came in and asked me the same 50 questions. I told the same story, the same way, time and time again. The repetition was draining. All I wanted was to crawl into my bed and have the interrogation end. But I stayed there, in the cold and bland hospital room, opening up to these strangers. The lady from the Women’s Center later dropped me off at my dorm, and left me with a bag full of Famous Amos cookies and other goodies from the center. I climbed in my bed, opened a bag of cookies and cried for the first time. I kept the lights dim and held onto my stuffed dog — gifted to me by my mom a few years back — as tight as I could. I can no longer eat Famous Amos cookies without the memories flooding back in. They called my father since I was a minor, and the first thing he said was “I love you,” and that he could be on the next flight to bring me home. His support and kindness meant the world to me, but I chose to continue on with the program and to not let the experience take anything else from me. My father’s support was something I didn’t know I needed that much. He believed me without needing evidence and DNA. He believed me without needing a witness. It took me a year to decide to press charges; to finally call back the district attorney and attempt to get back power. To feel empowered. To win. It took another six months for the interview process to begin, and another year for the district attorney to decide that my case was not worth it. I was never given the chance to sit in front of a judge. The district attorney chose not to pick up my case, after investigating and having me recount every single detail of that day. My father, the one who received the call, told me there was not enough evidence to support my case. We were sitting in one of our favorite restaurants when he broke the news to me. At that moment, all I wanted to do was wrap myself in blankets and lay in my bed.


As soon as we returned home from the restaurant, I went to my bed and cried for the rest of the day, and the following weeks. I still find myself in tears when I recall this day. And I still find myself craving my bed whenever I remember him. If I had to label a day as the “worst day of my life,” the day my father said the district attorney would not pick up my case would be it. Being sexually assaulted was traumatic, but learning that the government would let him live his life freely, without any consequences, hurt more. The thought that he could– or has already, hurt another girl stings more. I am afraid to go back to Boston, in fear that I will see him again. I have not returned since I was 15. I do not know if I ever will. I have changed significantly since I was 15. For the better? Not necessarily. I became very angry at the world after, and quiet. I did not know how to use my voice, because when I had tried to speak up, no one listened. After a year, I was ready to use my voice again. I really thought people would listen this time — that I would be believed. I was wrong. I do not blame my fellow survivors who do not speak up against their assaulters. If I had known that this would be the outcome, I think I would not have said anything at all. This is a problem. Survivors should feel encouraged to use their voices. Survivors should feel like the sixth amendment actually applies to them too. The #MeToo movement sparked a lot of conversation about sexual assault and harassment, and how under-reported these cases are. This movement is what finally pushed me to file charges against the man who took my voice away. These strong women and men who used their voices to speak up inspired me to speak up, too. I never spoke about it in therapy. My therapist never asked me and I never shared. All we spoke about was typical high school drama and family issues. However, I really needed to talk about it. I still do. I can only come up with so many distractions before I replay every minute in my mind.


I thought I had gotten better and that keeping myself busy would be enough. My junior year, my high school had a presentation about consent, and my peers were not as understanding and kind as I had thought they would be. Throughout the presentation, many students were talking through it and shouting inappropriate phrases. Later that day, a group of boys sitting behind me started mocking consent and talking about how it “is not sexy” and “not important.” This enraged me, and I turned around and explained that they should not treat consent as a joke and their words could upset anyone who overheard. They laughed at me in response and told me to “chill.” I felt like all the “work” I had done to forget the assault had vanished. After this, I stopped showing up to therapy and answering my therapist’s calls. When I decided to press charges, I thought about texting her, but I never did. I thought about going to see her again once I learned that the charges were dropped, but I was leaving for college in a number of weeks and did not think there was enough time. My bedroom has played and still plays a large role in my healing process. While it used to be a place to just sleep, it has become one of the most significant places in my life. By providing familiarity in a hectic time and comfort when I was hurting most, I have learned to really appreciate it. I still rely on my bedroom for comfort, but it has now become a place of empowerment. I started writing motivational quotes on my mirror, so when I check my outfit in the mornings I start my day off positively. I also hung sticky notes that remind me of my worth on my dresser, so I do not let his actions control my life. I hung up pictures of quotes and statements that resonate closely with me so when I am sitting in my bed and I look at the wall, I see them and remember why I picked those. I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I may need to be reminded sometimes, but I am. He may have stripped me of my innocence and taken my voice away, but I refuse to let him take me down again. I refuse to let any other person take my voice away. I have my voice back, the same one I had before I was 15.

Is The Pop Star

written by Adam Payne

When it comes to music, there is no denying that the leap from

Tchaikovsky to Taylor Swift is vastly distinct. The timeline of musical history has sweeping waves of stylistic changes bubbling up more and more noticeably with the rapid advancement of technology. Opera halls morphed into jazz clubs which shrunk into home radios which blossomed to MTV music videos and CD players which inevitably all would unfold to become the current digital age. The age of streaming and SoundCloud. Yet, unlike the trends before it, music trends in the digital age don’t take centuries or decades to change– they take a matter of weeks. Think of the late 90s and early 2000s. Britney Spears and Beyoncé were bringing back-to-back bops. Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, P!nk, Rihanna and Madonna ruled the airwaves. Then when the 2010s crept in, these ladies were joined (or replaced) by even more powerful superstardom. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, pop-turned Taylor Swift, Adele and later even Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande. What all of these women have in common, yet is so different from musical eras before them, is that for them, they had to fight to sell more than just music to find success. It was a full-on competition of who can outdo, outsell and out-shock the others. It was a battle of Burmese pythons versus meat dresses. Nip slips and twerking versus make outs and fake blood. Acceptance speech clapbacks versus open letters on twitter. It felt like these pop stars couldn’t breathe without us noticing. They ruled us. Their music underscored our youth but because of the pure domination of social media and headline-stealing, their songs had to become synonymous with their identity, their looks and their shock factor. Yet, midway through the 2010s pop was becoming less, well, popular. Rap, R&B, alternative and even EDM began to rapidly soar to the top. The only difference between these chart-toppers is that what these, often men, were releasing music that, unlike the pop women, became popular without the dramatics. Music was catapulting to the top with no impressive music videos, publicity stunts or high fashion on the red carpet. Just take a look at the 2015 Billboard charts, from “Uptown Funk!” to “Trap Queen,” nine out of 10 of the top hits were snatched by unremarkable men. (Side note: We stan Bruno. The rest are pretty unremarkable.) But in this new wave of genre changes, many of the pop giants tried to keep up with very different results. Some pop queens who had these new popular genres already ingrained in their soundscape hit new strides of critical success. Think Beyoncė with “Lemonade” and Rihanna with “ANTi.” But for artists unused to the change, they struggled to adapt. Katy Perry tried to keep up by collaborating with Migos in her 2017 release “Bon Appétit”... and it flopped. Along with the rest of her album. And, she wasn’t the only one that slipped while pandering to the trends. Taylor Swift’s 2017 album “reputation” with rap and electronic undertones was met with her most mixed reviews ever. They weren’t alone. Taking a peek at the 2017 Billboard charts tells just that, it takes 24 songs for a solo woman track to appear (and that was Cardi B’s rap song “Bodak Yellow”).

At this point, it was fair to say, pop music was stuck and the pop star of the past was no more. The big names were releasing tracks with only mild sporadic success and quickly every “pop” song rising to the charts was 1. by unrecognizable talent and 2. was unexceptional. (Truly every top pop song for at least 2 years exuded the same melodic mediocrity as the song “The Middle” by Zedd & Maren Morris. Sad.) Yet, simultaneously, something strange strikingly started: some of that unknown talent that started to surface was good. Like really good. And we might just have social media to thank. You could say it started when the Biebs was discovered on YouTube or when Lorde’s “Royals” boomeranged from SoundCloud to the radio, but I would argue that in 2019 alone, we are finally seeing some of the most exciting new artists since the pop queens’ reign! The nomination for Best New Artist at next year’s Grammys alone features 17-year-old Billie Ellish, poppy folky Maggie Rogers, rapper and twitter icon Lil Nas X and body-positive, versatile pop rapper Lizzo. Yet, these “new” artists are also leading the way in every major category, a reward for their genuinely unique and refreshing new music. Without social media giving a platform for these exhilarating artists to be buzzed about, they couldn’t rise to their chart-topping successes. And, we would be stuck with more carbon copy pop-rap-edm-hybrids sung by artists with nothing to say. In this same year we were also able to see some of the pop stars of the decade settle into the changing culture and reclaim their thrones. We saw a more mature and beloved Lady Gaga. Ariana Grande exploded with success. Miley Cyrus and Beyoncé performed music they actually believed in. And Taylor Swift found her sound again. So is the pop star not dead? Well if it isn’t dead then what is it? It no longer feels like the media is pitting women versus women to outdo the other. So yes, maybe the pop star isn’t dead, maybe it just no longer means white women are the only ones we talk about. Maybe it is dark-skinned women like SZA or Lizzo. Maybe it is gay men like Troye Sivan or Sam Smith. Maybe it is straight men like Shawn Mendes and Bruno Mars. Maybe it dances between genres like Post Malone or Lil Nas X. Maybe it’s the Jonas Brothers. Maybe it is Normani. Maybe it is drag queens. Maybe it is BLACKPINK. Or maybe, just maybe, the 2019 pop star can be all of those things and more. This year has ushered in a recklessly optimistic hope for a future that hasn’t killed the popstar but rather invited a lot more voices to the conversation: a diverse future both in appearance and sound that perfectly, delicately interweaves the pop queens we love with new, exhilarating faces. A future that cares a lot more about your work and a hell of a lot less what happens outside of the recording studio. And, maybe that is just what pop music needed to bring it back to life.


New Age ALTERNATIVE written by Lani Beaudette

Throw it back to the year 2000, sitting at your desk,

listening to the latest blink-182 song, “All The Small Things.” The staple of classic alternative rock during the early 2000s were anti-mainstream anthems about drugs, capitalism and rejecting social norms. Guitars were prominent and the ever-iconic “sneering” punk accent became popular amongst many artists during this time. This accent, which consisted of elongated vowels and rhotacism (converting a consonant to an r-sound), created a somewhat off-putting yet mesmerizing voice that attracted fans into the alternative music scene. With bands such as blink-182, Fallout Boy, Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World, the alternative music scene moved to the forefront of the 2000’s era music. The alternative music scene is changing. It’s not the same 2000s headbanging pop-punk that many of us grew up with. Today it is taking aspects of the widely known pop scene and changing to adjust to modern music styles. Slowly and steadily, alternative music is making a comeback and moving to the center of everyone’s attention. When the decade ended and society moved into the 2010s, alternative music lost favor and the hip hop and pop music moved into its spot to become the hit music of the decade. Yet, as we begin to transition into a new decade, the music scene once again is shifting. While hip hop and pop music are still at the top of the music charts, alternative music is slowly coming back with a whole new sound, winning the public’s favor. Take a look at 5 Seconds of Summer, a band hailing from Australia that came into the music scene in 2011 and started out following the classic sounds of the 2000s alternative scene. With the release of the latest album “Youngblood” in 2018 and their single “Teeth” in August 2019, you can see what a lot of the new era of alternative music is shifting to. The sound is starting to lose its classic, hard acoustics and is shifting to use more electronic and techno tones. This shift is most likely happening in response to the hip hop and pop scene, which also heavily uses computer-generated sounds to produce the main part of their background music.


Not only are new bands like 5 Seconds of Summer using these new techniques in their music, but traditional alternative bands like Fall Out Boy have transitioned their music in similar ways. In their latest album “Mania,” released in 2018, Fall Out Boy uses the electric synthesizers and drum machines that continue to give the music genre its classic edge but gives similarities to pop and hip hop. This new sound can be viewed as a younger sibling to Fall Out Boy’s older albums such as “From Under the Cork Tree” which features one of their most famous songs “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” one of the top 2000s alternative hits.

ame s e h t t o n “It ’s nging a b d a e h s 0 0 20 of y n a m t a h pop-punk t up with.” us grew Much like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco is taking on a similar electric sound. Releasing their debut album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” in 2005, the same year as Fall Out Boy’s “From Under the Cork Tree.” Panic! At The Disco was thriving at the time of the 2000s alternative. However, unlike Fall Out Boy, Panic! has been able to constantly produce albums every few years and has continuously adapted to the new pop culture scene. This is especially prevalent as lead singer Brandon Urie was featured on pop culture icon Taylor Swift’s latest single “ME!”. With this song, Urie keeps his classic Panic! sound, while still managing to pair it with the pop computer-generated beat and Swift’s catchy lyrics. With this shift to a pop style, new alternative bands entering the scene are skipping the sneering punk entirely. Arizona (stylized as A R I Z O N A), is an American band that debuted its first studio album in May 2017. Right off the bat, the band began their music career releasing songs that followed the new wave of alternative stylings.

Songs such as, “What She Wants”, included the synthesizers that Fall Out Boy uses in their new music style. Now, Arizona continues to use this same style not changing their sound too much with the release of their album, “ASYLUM”. The band sticks to its slowed down rhythms but keeps guitars prominent like typical alternative music. Another artist who is successful with the new alternative style is Yungblud. Only just releasing music in 2018, Yungblud is fairly new and brings a unique sound to the alternative scene. His music has roots in the raw, thoughtprovoking anthems that the 2000s’ alternative was originally founded on. Yet, he brings in a new twist through additions of hip hop’s breakbeats, which are abrupt stops in the music that transition the sound. Songs such as “original me” (feat. Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons), includes this music style as well as Yungblud’s guttural voice that makes his music distinguishable. As we come into 2020, the alternative music genre will continue to gain followers and continue to move to the center of everyone’s attention. This new alternative rock may not contain the angst that it originally had but it has managed to find a foothold in today’s music charts and will without a doubt continue to gain attention.

PLAYLIST Teeth 5 Seconds of Summer The Last of The Real Ones Fall Out Boy Dancing’s Not A Crime Panic! At The Disco Talk Too Much COIN original me YUNGBLUD, Dan Reynolds JEKYLL & HYDE Bishop Briggs What She Wants A R I Z O N A Loser Moby Rich Miracle Pill The Goo Goo Dolls


I’m Still


A brief history of men breaking gender norms through style and music written by Sydney Keener

In music, like everywhere else, there have always been boxes

people want to put artists in. Women can wear dresses and heels, and men can wear suits and dress shoes. Clearly, the exact criteria for an onstage outfit has changed throughout the years, but the same ideas remain – men and women are expected to present a certain way, and any deviation from that could mean risking your career. Despite this, there have always been bold trailblazers who stomped on the expectations forced upon them and instead chose to forge their own paths. And it didn’t ruin their careers; it catapulted them into stardom. Names like David Bowie, Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Prince come to mind. They’re all brilliant musicians, and they’re widely considered legends in the music world. But considering societal standards of masculinity and the strict ideal of conformity in the music industry, this should not have been the case. Conformity, which is defined by Merriam Webster as “action in accordance with some specified standard or authority,” has always been a driving force in music due to societal pressures and standards that musicians were expected to uphold. Musicians were expected to play music and look pretty, and that was it. There was a very specific, limiting concept of what they could look like in order to be successful in the mainstream.


However, these standards and ideas of what is acceptable change over time as society evolves. For example, think of all the outrage Elvis caused in his time. He was criticized endlessly for the way he presented himself and how “provocative” he was on stage. He was often only shown from the waist up on television because people thought his dancing was obscene. This illustrates just how much views can change in a relatively short period of time. By any standard today, Elvis would be considered tame. He was one of the first artists to break free from the conformity imposed on 20th-century musicians. Then came the 1970s. Fresh out of the civil rights era, American values had been revolutionized. It was a time of love, psychedelics and self-expression, especially in music. The ‘70s birthed a lot of the bold artists we recognize as trailblazers of gender and sexuality today. David Bowie, Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Prince are a few of the most famous men who defied what was expected of them. However, this legendary status did not come easy. They faced criticism, slurs and stereotypes along with the already demanding life as famous musician leads. They persevered; they kept being who they were and bravely defied the standards of what it meant to be a musician – of what it meant to be a man. They redefined how masculinity could be portrayed and exposed a lot of people to an entirely new world of freedom in self-expression.

Today, the world these men of the ‘70s created is only expanding. There are many men in music who are following in the footsteps and creating a world where anyone can wear anything they want. Take Yungblud, for example. He’s a singer-songwriter from Doncaster, England, who regularly wears skirts and makeup to his shows. He described the first time he wore a dress, saying that it “kind of unlocked a new avenue within myself.” He even tweeted earlier this year that he wanted to make schoolgirl skirts a part of his next merch line. This kind of overt confidence in his own masculinity translates well with people. It’s always nice to have someone to look up to, and a lot of boys who may like to wear skirts just don’t have that. That is why this kind of representation is important. It’s about acceptance and confidence in who you are, no matter who that is. Jaden Smith aims to promote a similar sentiment. He often wears skirts and dresses in an effort to normalize it for future generations. In an interview with Nylon, he said “So you know, in five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won’t get beat up and kids won’t get mad at him. It just doesn’t matter. I’m taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generations of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren’t expected before my time.” He is one of many fearless men in this generation of musicians who stand up for what they believe in, even if it isn’t common. There are countless more examples of male musicians who are doing the same thing in different ways. Harry Styles and The 1975’s Matty Healy are some commonly known examples, although both relatively new to wearing more feminine clothing. Healy has been regularly wearing long, flowy, floral dresses and skirts. He emits a very boho vibe, which directly contrasts his previous black t-shirt and skinny jeans. However, he has never been afraid to do what he wants just because he wants to. The casualness of his wardrobe is what’s so striking about him. In an interview, he said, “I don’t really think about it, and then I get really weird talking about it because I’m not being that performative, really, I’m not trying to make a point in everything that I do.” He isn’t trying to prove a point or spark a conversation, he’s simply wearing skirts because he can and that’s what he likes. He’s normalizing it in a way so that more people can feel more comfortable doing the same.

“They redefined how masculinity could be portrayed and exposed a lot of people to an entirely new world of freedom in selfexpression.”

Styles is another artist who embodies androgyny. He dances on the line between traditional feminine and masculine clothing, incorporating feminine aspects into his usual suits. He often wears glitter and painted nails and he loves a good heeled Chelsea boot. Though he typically wears suits, the types he wears is what gives him a feminine edge. He’s more along the lines of flamboyance in pattern and texture, which sets him apart from what most other men are wearing. With his new Gucci campaign, he has begun pushing the boundaries even more, donning flower crowns, ponchos and carrying purses. All these men are championing the fight against toxic masculinity and conformity in music, all by simply wearing what they want. It’s inspiring to see the mass amounts of people who are influenced by their decisions to wear skirts or dresses or nail polish despite the criticism they may face. They are using their platforms to spread love, positivity and acceptance to anyone who may feel different for not presenting a certain way.



MASTERPIECES THROUGH THE LENS OF MODERN FASHION photographed by Joseph Lucey curated and written by Adam Payne

We all know fashion is as much an art form as sculpting,

sketching, or screenprinting. But, what happens when that fashion quite literally becomes another art form? Through this editorial series, we swapped oil and canvas for bomber jackets and jewels. Walk through our digital museum to see what happen when century old art is adorned on college students in 2019. We start with the 1889 impressionist “Self Portrait” by Vincent van Gogh, then we move to Gustav Klimt’s 1907 masterpiece, “The Kiss” and we finish our tour with the undeniable classic “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer (1665). How did we do it? Well, we turned Vincent into a modern yet stylish younger version of himself, wearing classic blue of course. We swapped lovers for sisters in “The Kiss” and captured the metallic models with angular, colorful jewelry and structured dresses. And, along with her iconic pearls, The Girl got some whimsy added with colorful headwraps and a whisper of blue hair. Clearly it isn’t hard to add a taste of your own favorite works into your everyday looks. Scribble on your shoes like Pollock. Add a neon pop like Warhol. Hell, even a Mona Lisa smize enough -- what is important is that you feel confident enough to hang in the Louvre every time you walk out the front door.





r u o Y o T e id u G A ETAWAY

weekend G Annika Godwin written by Kayse Ellis,

and Melinda Miesner

Take the quiz to find out local destinations just for you.

1. Are you willing to venture further off your couch?

A. Yes B. No C. Depends on the day D. Obviously

2. Would you rather see the mountains and

smell the pine, or admire the mediums and textures of Van Gogh’s creations (if you don’t know Van Gogh, take a hike) A. Mountains, for sure B. I’d rather watch TV C. I’m a Fan G(irl)ogh D. Can I admire a concert, instead?

3. Early mornings or late nights? A. Never been up before noon B. Neither C. If there’s coffee, I’m there D. Both

4. What’s your Ideal night-out?

A. Bar hopping with your besties B. Late night movie C. A new art gallery opening D. Dancing at the club until your feet fall off

5. To have a good time: you gotta go big, or go home?

A. Not necessarily B. Stay home C. At least go out for an hour... D. Absolutely


6. What’s your drink of choice? A. Beer here! B. Whatever is in the fridge. C. Glass of wine D. Cosmopolitan

7. Go to morning pick-me-up? A. Herbal tea B. Anything, as long as it’s caffiene C. Hand me my french press D. Strictly Starbucks

8. Going out shoes?

A. Anything BUT heels B. House shoes? C. Scribbled-on sneakers D. Heels

9. Loose plans or strict itinerary?

A. What’s an itinerary? B. My life is a planner C. I work around one big plan D. Itinerary- but only if the entire gang is going out

10. You’re hungry. What’s the move? A. Always up for trying something new B. Take-out C. Anywhere with live music D. They’ve gotta have brunch!

Find the perfect local weekend spot based on your personality!

When you first get to your college town, the most exciting part is adventuring around campus to find your go-to bar,

coffee shop and weekly sushi pickup. You find those places that fit you: a quaint, eclectic coffee shop where everyone knows you on a first-name basis; that scrumptious green curry that you can’t stray away from your favorite Thai place; the bouncer who doesn’t ask for you and your gang’s IDs anymore because y’all go there every Thursday night. But, after about a year of schlepping around the same small town, life starts to feel like it did back home — boring! Been there, done that. Stretch those fingers and get to researching; Morgantown is in the best location for weekend getaways with your friend group that fits any personality. We have the Allegheny Mountains for those who need some fresh air after the stress of midterms, Pittsburgh for those looking for something on the extra side and many destinations within a three-hour drive. The point is: hit the road and enjoy your weekend outside of Morgantown.

The Explorer (mostly A’s)

If you’re an outdoorsy type, you’ve come to the right state to spend your college career. West Virginia is known for its endless, rolling mountains and thrilling rivers. You can go just about anywhere to have a good time, but the town best known for its trails and outdoor activities is Fayetteville. With the most scenic parts of the New and Gauley rivers located here, whitewater rafting and kayaking are the area’s specialty. There’s plenty of rental companies down there to help with gear, but renting from the school is a great, cheap option as well. If you’re not into possibly having to swim, hike the Endless Wall trail. This four-mile loop has Instagramworthy views that people from all over the world travel to see. After a long day of activity, stop into The Secret Sandwich Society for a locally grown, fresh sandwich that is out of this world! Wind down with a good craft brew from Bridge Brew Works or The Freefolk Brewery.

The curator (mostly C’s)

If you’ve been here a few years, chances are you’ve probably seen all the art Pittsburgh has to offer. But, in most recent years, West Virginia has attracted and inspired artists to create some really amazing pieces. So much so, that they’ve opened galleries around the only main road in Thomas. Thomas has sprouted local art from people all over the country, like the owner of The White Room and Creature Seth from Michigan. These studios showcase not only Seth’s infamous conceptual cartoon-creature art but other regional artists as well. There’s plenty of more purchasable art from places like BLOOM- a small art studio filled with local graphic design creations, but when you start to get hungry, head to Tip Top for a caffeine refuel and scrumptious pastries. Or, for a night out, head to The Purple Fiddle for live music and craft beer. Don’t forget to check out Davis, which is just a few miles down the road. There is more shopping, restaurants and a microbrewery that specializes in home-grown hops called Stumptown. Either way, these tiny towns are filled with local art and history that will have you pondering all weekend.

The Homebody (mostly B’s)

Trust me, there are so many weekends where I just couldn’t muscle up the effort to plan a weekend trip. It can be a pain in itself, from planning who is coming, where we will go and how to pay for everything. If you don’t want to move too far from the comforts of your own couch, Morgantown has some hidden gems that are sure to impress your friends. Hill & Hollow has the ambiance of a fancy California vineyard in the hills while appreciating Appalachian cuisine. Hidden below the Seneca Center, this is a great place for good wine and decadent charcuterie boards for you and your friends to feel fancy without having to commute to a major city. While it is one of the more expensive restaurants in Morgantown, it’s cheaper than paying for gas and lodging.

The urbanite (mostly D’s)

If you appreciate a good cocktail and social scene but can’t afford a plane ticket to New York City, do not lose your city-girl cool. Even though Pittsburgh is known as Steel City, they have a thriving downtown area with shopping, amazing food and diverse nightlife. If you book in advance and round up the troops, it should make as a relatively wallet-friendly trip. First things first — brunch! Start your day by hitting up Pittsburgh’s yummiest spots, like Pamela’s or Whitfield East Liberty (my personal fav), then pop over to the Market Square to scavenge for local, handmade gems. If you’re a creative urbanite, take a trip to Randyland (for free) or The Mattress Factory to see the quirky works of Pittsburgh locals. End your night at one of the many lively clubs and bars like Tequila Cowboy or Spirit.


Ethical In More Ways Than One

A story of appropriation and appreciation of Native people within the fashion industry Written by Melinda Miesner

Everything we do and every choice we make has an impact on

our environment, society or culture. Becoming conscious about where we buy our clothing and jewelry, and appreciating the people who make the items we wear are just a few steps we can take towards making positive impacts. In downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, Native Americans sell jewelry, pottery and other art at the central plaza as part of the Native American Artisans Program. Artists selling their work share their concerns that this is an art form that is fading. While younger generations are trying to continue the craft and tradition, it may be difficult to compete when the competition is large corporations with money and many people backing them. Brands like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters often sell clothing and jewelry that resemble classic Native American designs. This does not honor nor appreciate the work of Native people, but instead appropriates their culture. Profits are stolen from true Native designers when knock-offs dominate the market. The Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 made it illegal to sell anything labeled as Native American made, or even imply that it is authentic when it is not. In the past Urban Outfitters has been criticized for labeling clothing and jewelry as “Navajo.” After Sasha Houston Brown, a member of the Santee Sioux Nation, wrote an open letter in 2011 it seemed as if Urban Outfitters had removed or relabelled the clothing that held the term “Navajo” in their name or description. Eight years later, except for clothes from the brand “Native Youth,” no items on the Urban Outfitters site were labeled “Navajo,” “Native American,” “native” or “Indian.” However, the same search on Forever 21 found several items with each term. None of the clothing, accessories or beauty product’s names and descriptions included these terms, but the fact that they showed up with the search means an algorithm is still in place. “Native people deserve to be respected. And part of that respect is to not counterfeit aspects of their culture that are so important to them, said Bonnie Brown, Native American Studies Program Coordinator at West Virginia University. Brown speaks as an ally, not a member, of Native people. “You know, the way a person dresses and adorns himself or herself on a special occasion, the regalia that they have worked a long time to create, the ritual that they choose to be a part of whether that’s a ceremony, dance, music, any of these types of things. That type of gathering that somebody might want to participate in. These are not up for grabs.” As well as the harmful impacts fast fashion has on the environment, consumers should be aware of the effect it has on the art of making jewelry and the artists themselves. Often there is a history behind the jewelry and “looks” that become passing trends. While certain jewelry or clothing items may be a trend to some, they have cultural significance to others. For example, the craftsmanship Native people have learned and passed down through many generations.


Purchasing authentic items directly from Native Americans is an ethical choice in more ways than one. Not only does it honor Native culture and people, but more often than not this provides a more sustainable item than those reproduced in factories. Many artists provide their card with purchases so that in the case a problem occurs with the product it can be repaired and not thrown away. This connection to its maker establishes a long life for the item as it was likely made with centuries of tradition and a love for the labor in mind. In a video by the International Labor Organization highlighting rights Indigenous people deserve, it was noted that traditional occupations and knowledge of many Native tribes are “fundamental tools for the fight against climate change.” Brown identified tips for buyers to help Native people reclaim their area of the market that may otherwise become lost like so many of their traditions and culture. The first step is to go directly to Native Americans to buy goods and ask for a certificate of authenticity if you aren’t given one directly. Second, ask yourself the reason why you’re purchasing Native American clothing or jewelry. While supporting or admiring this work is one thing, people often don’t think they are appropriating a cultural identity. This might be because they are searching for their own identity, but also because they are uneducated about what this traditional craft means. Taking time to educate yourself and others on different cultures is always a way to respectful move. “They might not have any sensitivity to why what they’re doing is offensive. But I think at this point in our time, certainly, a person can choose to become informed, choose to be educated and choose to not do things that are hurtful and perpetuate negative stereotypes,” Brown said. Brown encourages you to support Native people who make an effort to exercise their sovereign treaty rights, to secure safety for their people under the Violence Against Women Act provisions and support by making elected officials accountable in honoring agreements established to protect native people’s lands from outside corporations. “Native people have made very intentional choices over the years about how to preserve their culture, how to defy the negative extinguishing forces of white settlement, of European colonization, of genocide. And they have succeeded to a very large extent. I think that they’re very remarkable,” Brown said.

Learn More Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe, a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, discusses the inaccurate stereotypes portrayed in media. She explains how current Native artists encourage other artists share their work and incorporate tradition with contemporary ideas. Her suggestions to companies who would like to “contribute to the tribal trend in an ethical way” include engaging with tribe representatives and collaborate with Native artists, research significance of the item, understand the history of Native groups that have experienced harmful exploitation and do not create knock-offs. Be creative! Check out her shop Beyond Buckskin, created in 2009 as a hub for Native artists and designers to share their works of art. Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) beads Louboutin boots— the epitome of Native tradition meeting contemporary fashion. Lakota artist Kevin Pourier talks contemporary pieces and the connection to tradition. While buffalo ranchers raise the animal for meat he follows the tradition of using the whole animal— including the horns for jewelry. The buffalo spirit lives on.


MIRAGE’s Picks

Olivia’s Pick IroIro Semi-permenant hair color This year, this Iroiro hair dye in the shade 40 Blue saved me from a hair disaster, and I have sworn by it since. This semi-permanent dye is 100 percent vegan and cruelty free, smells good and is made with coconut oil so your hair stays lookin’ silky (even after a sketchy at-home bleach job.)

Melinda’s Pick Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Mask I stumbled upon Cosrx’s Ultimate Nourishing Rice Mask a few months ago and it has blessed my skin every night since. While it can act as an occasional mask when your skin needs to be pampered, I use this as my lotion every night. It has a great consistency that feels light yet provides the perfect amount of moisture. Upon waking my combination skin looks glowy and clear. I highly recommend this mask. Also check out Cosrx’s Holy Moly Snail Mask!!

Annika’s Pick Colourpop Super Shock Cheek in “Stole the Show” As someone who’s extremely pale, it can be really hard to find a good highlight that works for my skin tone. After scouring through countless images of highlight swatches, I took a chance on the shade “Stole the Show” from Colourpop. Not only does it compliment my skin well with reflects of silver, pink and champagne, it was extremely affordable (only $8!). I have been a fan of Colourpop for years now, so it’s fun to find new hidden gems!


Kasey’s Pick ICY flame nails If you know anything about me, you know that my nails are always done. It’s something I’ve maintained for years and now it’s just a part of who I am. There’s something about having your nails done that dresses up any look. I could be having the laziest day, not even change out of my pajamas but at least my nails are done. They add a little something to every outfit without putting any effort in. These ICY flame nails are, by far, my favorite I’ve ever had, not to mention, they’re on brand with this semester’s magazine.

Kristen’s Pick Hair barettes My hair tangles extremely easily, and as someone who is constantly staring at a laptop screen, there is nothing more annoying than having tiny pieces of hair flying in my face. To fix that problem, I’ve recently fallen in love with hair barrettes, especially obnoxious, early 2000s-inspired ones. My favorite places to shop for hair barrettes are Target and H&M, but I also check out local artists for unique creations

Adam’s Pick Cameron’s coffee While scouring Kroger’s coffee aisle for my next round of fuel, I decided to be a cheap college student and pick one of the least costly options: Cameron’s. These K-Cups were only $4.99 and has proven itself to absolutely, definitively and undeniably be the BEST Keurig coffee I have ever had. The flavor is outstanding, (my personal favorite is the Vanilla Hazelnut. It tastes like Christmas giving you a hug.) the price is unclockable, and best of all, the pods are eco-friendly! They swapped plastic with plant-based cups that can be composted in industrial facilities! Get yourself a cup and taste the magic y’all.

Madison’s Pick Savannah Bee’s Beeswax Hand Cream I am the worst person ever when it comes to the changing seasons. Winter and its accompanying cold winds always leave my skin, particularly my hands, so dry. I found this little gem over the summer while on vacation, and for me, it was a two-for-one deal. Keeping my skin hydrated while saving the bees? Yes, please! Savannah Bee’s profits go towards keeping beehives and farms in the best condition they can be, and this hand cream is made from beeswax and royal jelly. It’s super thick and smells absolutely amazing!





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