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Jeanann Verlee Return of Riot Grrrl Donna’s dress shop

Kellee Maize

#1 female rapper on amazon.com

Piecing this issue together has definitely been a test of our problem solving skills, and as such, it has given us an opportunity to really step back from this project and ask ourselves what Missfits is really all about. Last minute changes and production complications mixed with the hectic yet incredibly fantastic schedule we have been keeping has made issue four quite an endeavor. We received some constructive criticism a few weeks ago from a young woman who was concerned with our lack of trans inclusive content. We have given quite a bit of thought to the complaint, and in response, all we can really say is that we are still growing. We started this publication simply as an alternative to mainstream fashion magazines—we sought to create an alternative for intelligent, creative, + politically conscious readers. We have made several choices along the way that definitely finalized our target demographic—we immediately identified as a feminist magazine, and our slogan has always been, “The future is female.” This was not an attempt to declare one gender superior over all others. This was simply an effort to create a positive, empowering message for young women. While creating a publication that focuses on one general group of people always comes with a danger of seeming exclusive and close-minded, that was never our intentions here. As the editors of a collaboration-based magazine, we simply read through the submissions + approve the content for publication. If our readers want more trans focused content + editorials and articles that focus on our male readers as well, then we will make changes to our slogan + image as we see progress in said direction. We are up to the challenge. We just need your help in making that happen. Many thanks,

Maddie Maschgeeyr King & Courtn

“We are the alternative; We are a feminist fashion magazine that focuses not only on haute couture, but empowerment. We are an open collaboration of creative people from around the world. We are the nonconformists. We are Missfits.”

Table of Contents Reader Outfits Jordan Moorhouse Untitled Maria Denomme Ask Rosie Advice Column Interview Donna Foulk Pondering Success Rachel Hewitt In the Mood for Love Ivana Patarcic

Featured Artist Claire Bellia Block Party Saibh Egan Riot Grrrls Rise Again Kelsey Cantwell The Little Alexandra Baban Interview Jeanann Verlee Serendipity Ivana Patarcic

Cover Girl Kellee Maize Self-Defeating Sisterhood Audrey Dimola

MUSINGS by Gemma Correll

Reader Outfits

Jordan moorhouse

My biggest style inspiration would have to be Stevie Nicks. I love her style and how she has an individual *aesthetic+ and doesn't follow trends but just does what she wants, which is what I try to do. It's hard to define my personal style just because I pick up so many elements from so many different styles. I really love feminine clothing with lace and unique details as well as many styles from different decades, especially the 60s and 70s. I like to fuse a lot of different styles into everything I wear because I like so many different things and can't choose just one style. This is probably the same reason I've had every hair color in the book at least once—I just can't choose one. I like to express myself through my outfits. I think that self expression is such an important thing that many girls of my generation are abandoning to dress according to trends that the fashion industry tells them are what they should wear. I think that trends are less important than being comfortable with yourself and expressing yourself through your personal style.

“I think that trends are less important than being comfortable with yourself and expressing yourself through your personal style.”

Feminism and fashion without a doubt go hand in hand. Fashion today is a huge example of how far feminism has come. Women today can wear practically whatever they want, hell, they can even dress like a man. In years past, even just fifty years ago women wearing pants was a big deal. Today women wear pants and don't think twice about it. So much can be said through fashion without even trying, it's nearly impossible not to look around and see the effects of so many women's hard work through how women dress today. I'm a freshman in college at Truman State University in Missouri, but I am originally from Lee's Summit. I'm an English and Communications major. Some of my favorite books are Catcher in the Rye, Perfume, and The Bell Jar. *As far as movies go+, my favorites are the John Hughes films as well as Never Let Me Go, Roman Holiday, Factory Girl and so many more. I get my clothes from everywhere—thrift stores, vintage stores, and the ever addictive Forever 21, as well as two of my favorites, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. My favorite item in my closet is my brown oxfords. I wear them with nearly every outfit and they are the most comfortable, worn old shoes in the world. Interested in being our next featured reader? Email submissions@missfitsmag.com with a sample of your best outfits!

Photography: Maria Denomme Model: Victoria Boland

ASK ROSIE Dear Rosie, So, lately it seems like a lot has been going on. School just started, I just got my license, and new friends are popping up everywhere. For the most part everything is going right, it’s just… Even with all the good in my life, I always seem to gravitate towards the bad. I hate being so negative all the time, but I don’t really know how to stop. I used to be really positive and outgoing no matter what, and it was completely genuine, something that spread to other people and made them happy to be around me. I can still act positive around people, and no one but me and my closest friends has noticed the shift, but the fact that I’m not as warm or happy now bothers me. I find myself holding grudges against people I don’t even know because of how they act or things they say. I can almost always find something to complain about, even if I’m just being sarcastic or attempting humor. It just doesn’t feel right. All I want is to be less cynical of a person, but I can’t seem to find any solutions that fit.

Everyone goes through episodes where they don't feel as happy or positive. It's perfectly normal to experience this shift of emotions so don't beat yourself up about it. More responsibility, stress, and emotional turmoil all are associated with the start of school and getting your own license. It's important to remember that your feelings are real and that you must honor them. However, it seems you're unhappy with your current state of mind. That's easily fixable. I have found that the best way to become more positive is to actually start focusing on the positive. It's always difficult to alter one's mentality because it's rather abstract. But with practice, it can happen. I suggest thinking about or doing things that make you happy. Whenever you feel like your cynicism is overpowering all of your thoughts, catch yourself and then center your mind. Meditation helps as well. I find that when you surround yourself with beautiful and meaningful people and things, you're a lot happier. And with happiness, there is always this desire to spread it and do good for others. Once you dwell on this mentality, then happy situations are naturally drawn to you. And that is the beauty of the Law of Attraction. Perhaps you can be a little more selfless and give compliments to strangers or do community service or buy someone a meaningful gift. There are so many ways to acquire more optimism and joy; it just really depends on the kind of person you are and what works for you. I wish you luck on your quest to a more positive mindset! I hope my suggestions inspire you. Much love, Rosie To ask Rosie a question of your own, email askrosie@missfitsmag.com. All questions are published anonymously.

Donna, darling. Missfits sits down with Donna Foulk, owner of Donna’s Dress Shop—one of Kansas City’s coolest vintage boutiques. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do? I opened Donna’s Dress Shop about four years ago. I’ve always loved vintage and have wanted to own a shop since I was five years old, so it seemed only natural to put the two together. I grew up going to antique shops, flea markets and yard sales with my dad, so I’ve been into vintage since I could walk. My parents always loved older things as well, and their house is full of Victorian era furniture. In fact, my parents pushed me in a Victorian baby buggy when I was a little thing. How did you get started owning your own dress shop? I started by selling vintage out of Revue Boutique. I rented out and had my own shop in the back of Revue. Eventually the shop grew, and I rented a larger space and added new clothing to the mix. What made you want to pursue your own shop? A lot of my relatives have had their own businesses – gas station, drug store, award shop, airplane parts repair business. My dad grew up in the back of a general store that his parents owned. I’ve always wanted to have my own store. I think it’s in my genes. Who do you consider some of your greatest style icons? Iris Apfel and her wonderful oversized jewelry, Liberace who said “too much of a good thing is wonderful,” Gloria Guinness in her gorgeous 70s caftan and backswept hair, Doris Day in her cute little poofy dresses and bouffant, Lilly Pulitzer in the 60s with her adorable bright shifts Describe your personal style. Vintage, although I don’t stick to just one decade. I love 30s dressing gowns with poofy sleeves, 40s cotton prints, 50s and 60s day dresses, and 70s oversize caftans. Big hair, enormous rings, and cat eye glasses are also personal favorites. What is it like owning your own shop? What is your favorite and least favorite part? It’s wonderful to see your dream grow and to share it with others who are equally excited about it! A lot of people think that when you have your own business, you set your own hours. But you don’t ever really have a day off where you aren’t working at least a little bit. You hold a lot of fun events, like cocktail parties and burlesque shows--do you think it is important to build a community with your customers? Yes! We laugh that my customers are my best friends, but it’s true! I’ve met some really good friends through the shop. It’s great to get everyone together for events, too, because we’re all like-minded souls and it’s fun to have everyone mingle and get to know one another! How do you merge modern trends with retro clothing? Fashion repeats itself constantly, so vintage styles and details are used and reused in modern clothing. I keep up on what is happening on the runways, and our store stock reflects that. We keep a balance of vintage that follows current trends as well as classic pieces that will last forever. All our new clothing is vintage inspired as well, whether it is the entire look, or just little vintage details. 1410 W. 39th St., Kansas City, MO 64111 816-931-0022, donna@donnasdressshop.com facebook.com/Donnas-Dress-Shop

Pondering Success Essay by Rachel Hewitt; Photography by Maddie Maschger

Somebody has asked you this question sometime in your life. You might have just been casually talking about it with friends, or you constantly get asked it by your stuffy great-Aunt Ethel who comes to visit at Christmas. "What are you going to do with your life?" This is an easy question if you have an answer. If you don't, you'll sympathize with me on that gut tingling sensation you get, with a dash of panic thrown in for good measure. That sensation has been with me ever since the beginning of high-school, when I realized that math and science just weren't my forte. Well, let's be honest, the world wants and needs people with math/science related set of skills. But that just isn't an option for me. I do not, I repeat do not grasp math. The way some people can simply sit down and understand and apply concepts in math leaves me breathless and usually close to tears of frustration. Same for physics and chemistry. I struggle with it. So, obviously careers in these areas are not an option for me. And, to state the obvious, the arts don't exactly translate well into careers. Well, French maybe but, unlike math/science based careers where there are clear cut paths people are just dying to have you take, the arts usually do not pay well unless you are exceptionally "good" by society's standards. So, I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life. And that scares the s**t out of me. And, just to add, I'm also not a very good student. I'm a shameless procrastinator and I don't apply myself. There, I said it. Combined with the fact that I don't really have any "payable" skill sets, I feel kind of' screwed. I'm scared of losing my passion for life in the rush to secure it with a job. A job has become a status marker, an indication of your salary and from that, the kind vacations you take, the brand of clothes you can afford to buy, how big a house you can get and so on. That is what success has become, it's reduced to material aspects. Happiness has taken the back burner. My idea of success does not match that of my siblings, my parents, my friends or my teachers. I'm not really sure about, well I'll be honest, how my future will play out. I'm afraid of disappointing people, of the yelling and screaming that will likely come when that ever pressing question is again brought up. "What are you going to do with your life?".

"...and maybe I'll have an answer then, maybe I won't... I know somewhere along the line, I'm going to fail somebody's expectations, but I will define what success is to me. Because, it's not their life. It's mine." What am I going to do? I'm going to be happy. I finally want to stop giving a s**t about what my parents, teachers and society want me to do and just do what I want to do with my own life. Why can't success simply be having a happy marriage, or hosting dinner parties, and having a passion for your life? In finding a joy in personal writing, in creating art, fixing motorcycles, knitting cat sweaters, or making music or whatever you want to do? This struggle to constantly justify what you want in your life is exhausting. So what, I doubt I'll ever have 3 story house with a 1969 Dodge Charger parked in driveway, but I can be happy, I can be successful, without those things.

Words cannot express how tired I am of feeling stupid because I don't understand the algebra given to me in math 1204, like it has become the be all and end all in terms of me ever making a career for myself. Just because there is math/science dominated work force I feel like I'm drowning. Drowning in the expectations, the stereotypical goal everyone is supposed to work for. Oh obviously, I'd like to be financially secure, but I'd rather be working at job that I have a true passion for and doesn't pay extremely well than rather force myself through frustrating excess university courses and into a grey desk job that is simply serving to get me a big fat salary. So, I'm going to experiment. I'm going to graduate and I will work wherever I can get a job, hopefully I will travel, I will get a degree and maybe I'll have an answer then, maybe I won't. So I will keep going until I have my answer. I have no straight answer and I'm fine with that now. I know somewhere along the line, I going to fail somebody's expectations for me, but I will just have to deal with that, because there is nothing more I can do. I will define what success is to me. Because, it's not their life. It's mine.

in the mood for love

Photography: Ivana Patarcic Styling and construction : Katie Grogan Make up artist : Robert Hoary Models : Catriona Grimes & Lauren Bejaoui

Claire Bellia Claire is an image and craft maker living in Leeds. Just graduating, she brings to you, a recent project commenting on beauty and her growing limited edition jewelry brand 'Lady Coppice', which see's her producing one of a kind, pretty wooden brooches with a vintage feel, as well as larger wood pieces. Paintbrushes and inks are the beginnings of all my creations, however this branches out through exploration in printmaking, wood-burning (pyrography), pattern, wallpaper and poster design. Final outcomes are always done through traditional mediums, feeling personal and unique. This and the playful humor within my images are what shops and clients enjoy about my work. My latest project has been tackling a topic of interest, surrounding this idea of how the ideal of femininity today is subject to the obsessive nature in which women observe themselves, whilst paradoxically questioning this idea of beauty. The focus of my image making has been, to poke fun at the stereotyping of genders in order to take pressure off for women, encouraging them to relax a little more about how they look. This idea that mainstream culture has become totally obsessed with the way we look is something which seems warped to me and I feel that the majority of women and now men, have these feelings, and the want to be accepted as a beautiful person in society. A ‘sense of worth’ is paramount within women’s culture today and their body image appears more important than their own minds and identity. I created images to bring these ideas of beauty to light, it is something which we see and feel everyday but is not talked about and is ignored. Within my second series of wooden brooches I have designed a limited edition brooch narrative, developed from my ideas of beauty and this is communicated through the idea of a girl growing up into a woman and the struggles we all face during this transition and mad times. I

hope to produce more and more brooch collections which tell stories. The current collection is named ‘Ages Of Womanhood’, and tells the story of a young girl who grows up to be obsessed with her appearance, then to fall in love for it just to fall apart. Feeling broken and upset, she finds herself feeling indignant and pretty hateful towards men. A more recent project I’ve worked on, is bringing the brooch narrative to life more and giving it a more conceptual design. In society today, the mirror is seen as a symbol of vanity and so I built some larger scale hand mirrors. These have been made in reflection to this obsessive nature in with we observe ourselves in society. The images within the hand mirrors are burnt into the wood by hand and are taken from a brooch narrative designed as part of a series for my wooden jewelry brand, ’Lady Coppice’. You can view them on my website! I aim to keep up with this topic, making women feel better about their everyday lives and looking on the bright side in a humorous way. My next project is to create a series of images called, ‘Girls With Guns’ for my up-coming screen print run. Come watch me work at clairebellia.tumblr.com!’

Riot Grrrls Rise Again Article by Kelsey Cantwell; Photo by Maddie Maschger

Prior to the early to mid-1990’s, women were expected to hide behind long skirts and men. If women chose to stand up for themselves and wear a mini skirt, they were called sluts—even if they were raped. The violent act was their fault; “You should not have worn a tight mini skirt,” society tells the women as they try to fight for their bodies. Nothing matters; women are expected to be helpless. That helplessness was expected until woman punk bands started to stand up for the jilted females everywhere. The mid-nineties riot grrrl ethos was inspired by bands from the 1970’s/1980’s, The Slits, Patti Smith, Lydia Lunch, and Kim Gordon, just to name a few. Women wanted magazines that appealed to them; women wanted to be heard. However, most of those did not work—at the time. Fast forward to a decade or so later and two bands in particular formed an underground phenomenon: Riot Grrrls. Bikini Kill started out as a fanzine based in Olympia with two women, Kathleen Hanna (who worked as a stripper to support herself and volunteered at women’s shelters) and Tobi Vail (a drummer/zinester). However, later on the fanzine, Bikini Kill, turned itself into a women empowering band when members Kathi Wilcox and Billy “Boredom” Karren were added. Bratmobile consisted of Alison Wolfe who met Molly Neuman at the University of Oregon. Since Oregon was a DIY city, they decided to create their own zine, Girl Germs, and later combined their efforts with Tobi Vail, Kathleen Hanna, and Jen Smith to create riot grrrl. Despite all of the effort, the movement started to fall into oblivion by the mid-nineties. The main women that formed the movement felt that the media misunderstood the manifesto they had worked so hard to create for women. Their music, zines, protests, etc. were outlets for many women and yet the main media circuit was almost twisting it into something it wasn’t—which is probably a major reason why the movement is making a comeback in a big way amongst young, modern feminists. Our generation seems to have been programmed with the initiative and pure wanting to do good for other people, and themselves. Generation X and beyond may believe that we are just young narcissists running around with beliefs too big for the world, specifically the women. However, with our culture putting the blame on females who are being raped rather than the rapists and having protests against female marches, women are starting to get angry again. Women want to be heard, and they are getting tired of being blamed for violent acts against them—and with good reason. As women, we need to stand up for the ones being condemned for making their own decisions. We need to celebrate our womanhood and not let society tell us “we can’t.” We need to fist pump for the rape victims who are standing up against their rapists and then use our fists to punch the judge who said, “we asked for it” in the groin. As women, we should stand up for ourselves just like our riot grrrl mothers stood up for us. We are riot grrrls; let’s rise again.

The Little

“The children are actually gypsies being forced by their poor parents to go out and beg for money. It's rather a lifestyle for them since they are educated to do this from an extremely young age and they just treat it as child's play…”

Editorial by Alexandra Baban

Jeanann Verlee is an author, activist, and performing poet whose work has been featured in a variety of notable journals, such as PANK, The New York Quarterly, Rattle, and kill author. Racing Hummingbirds, the full-length book collection of her poems, has been awarded the Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal in Poetry, and was also nominated for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Verlee is educated in theatre performance and creative writing and she has performed and directed workshops at schools, theatres, dive bars, bookstores, and poetry venues across North America. She's been kind enough to take some time and speak to Missfits. Interview by Rachel Hewitt. Q: What's a day in the life of Jeanann Verlee like? A: It’s pretty simple, I guess, though each day is a little different. I do a lot of work. I have a day job shuffling papers at desk in midtown Manhattan. I also spend several hours a day managing the logistics of the Urbana Poetry Slam reading series for the Bowery Poetry Club; another nook of hours editing the online literary journal, Union Station Magazine; I splice in time to edit poems for peers; plus maintain the continual rotation of editing my own writing, polishing performances, writing poems, trying to book shows, fielding community questions, balancing friendships, etc. I sometimes eat and do laundry. Q: How long have you been writing poetry? A: I’ve been writing poetry and short stories for as long as I can recall – pretty much since I learned how to use a pencil. Q: What inspired you to write poetry? A: I’m not sure if you are inquiring about what inspires me in general – continually, or if you want to know why I originally started writing poems at all. As I began writing poetry as a child, I’m not sure I have an answer to the latter – I’ve simply been drawn to the art form my entire life. Certainly throughout my adolescence, I began to lean on poetry as an emotional outlet – using it to help process life events. As to the more general, continual sources of inspiration – they vary widely. The key for me is emotion. I am compelled to write when I am experiencing heightened emotions in relation to a given situation or issue. I am unmotivated to explore through writing if I have no emotional connection to the issue. The more profoundly I feel, the more likely I will find that I have no choice but to write about it. Q: Was there an inciting moment that really kicked off your writing? A: Not one of which I am acutely aware. I was writing poems for friends and family when I was very small just for fun, (little Hallmark-type love poems to my parents or best friends). There was no specific incident or event that charged me to decide to become a writer – I’ve just always seen myself as such. I can say that adolescence brought forth many more reasons to write: the high-octane emotion of such tumultuous years kept me turning to my journal as an outlet. Q: What/who do you count as inspiration for your writing? A: The ‘what’ is broad. I tend to write heavily about my own life – the telling’s and examinations of my personal history and current lifestyle. I also find I am compelled to write when I am emotionally impacted by the stories or lives of others – be they political figures, strangers on the street, or even those with whom I am more intimate.

“ It is my greatest hope that my poems impact, speak to, or move readers. “ Q: Do you care whether or not your words mean something to anyone, or is your writing a self serving exercise? A: I care deeply about the reach of my work. It is my greatest hope that my poems impact, speak to, or move readers. Admittedly, if my words are lost on a given reader, I will continue to write – but the hope is always to strike an emotional connection. I strive to create impactful tellings, with careful attention to craft – in hopes that my stories might translate to a more universal set of experiences; reaching those who may have had similar experiences – and those who have not. Q: When you write poetry, is it a spontaneous, all in one go method, or do you have a different way of going about your writing? A: Each poem has a different birth, honestly. Some come furiously in one sitting; others are built in parcels over time – be it a period of several days, months, or even years. Many poems don’t survive at all – their attempted drafts sitting in a folder or a journal, abandoned. All surviving poems go through an extensive editing process. While I don’t have a rigid method or routine for the creation process (it comes as the emotions come), I do pay finite attention to the editing process; chipping and filing slowly at each unfit word or concept, each line break and punctuation mark. Every piece is important and deserves careful attention. Q: Do you write your poetry with the intent of having it performed? A: No. I write for the page first. The performance to me is very important, but secondary. I want all poems to succeed on the page, and I am delighted when I am able to make even a few of those succeed in performance. While I like to imagine that all poems can be performed, I have yet to master that skill. I think it is incredibly challenging to bring certain poems to ‘life’ in performance – some are puzzles, crafted for the reader’s eye to unravel. It is incredibly difficult to serve those poems properly in recitation. Q: Do you consider yourself a feminist? A: Absolutely. I don’t write with a specific feminist agenda, but because my work stems from personal spaces and stories, it tends to come through with a feminist bent. Certainly my own politics are charged with feminist thought, and that cannot help but rise to the surface in some of my art.


Styling + Photography: Ivana Patarcic Make-up + Hair Artist : Grace Scully Model : Kirsten Roe

MAD WORLD Alexandra Goff sits down for an interview with Kellee Maize, a Pittsburgh based singer and the number one female rapper on Amazon.com to discuss the change she seeks to create through her music. A: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and how you became interested in rap as a spiritual outlet? K: Well, I have been into rapping and writing for a long time and also been into learning about things like astrology, science and religion as well. It was kind of a natural progression, it wasn't like I decided to include spirituality in my music, I just started become more spiritually focused in general to get through life and so it started to become part of my conscious experience and then of course my writing/expression. A: Can you explain to us what archetypes are, and the meaning behind the five that you chose for yourself? Well, there are probably like 20 archetypes, but the 5 that I narrowed it down to are what I felt most represented me at the time of making my second album, it grew organically out of me wanting to spend more time with one of my best friends and photographer Laura Petrilla, as well as highlight some badass Pittsburgh designers. The archetypes are just an expression for me of how we each hold different energies within us and are really multi-dimensional beings that shift often as we go about our life experiences. The Inner Planetary Fairy would be my spiritually obsessed side or the side that fully explores consciousness, meditation, yoga, gemstones, ceremony and such. Spirituality is expressed at all times doing all sorts of things not in this list of course but, for me these are the general forms of expression that I love to immerse myself in. Mellee Kaize is, for lack of a better term, my nerd. I am very interested in learning, everyday, all the time and although I might not be the most studious person in the world, I definitely have an inner geek, particularly about conspiracy theories and history...that is why I gave her a British accent, to kind of be tongue in cheek given the mother country seems to be at the heart of many conspiracy theories. The Princess of Pittsburgh is kind of like the girl next store, loves to be around friends, family and support things in the community. I am very into sports, was a gymnast and soccer player so I suppose its also my athletic side as well as the bandwagon

Cover photo by Katie Krulock; Photos by Laura Petrilla

jumper on all Pittsburgh teams. Miss Apocalypse would be my very intense activist side. I am very interested in environmentalism and considering how we can help mother earth. I tend to think about every piece of trash I make and my carbon footprint a lot. I try to do what I can to ease my impact, but, at the end of the day, I really did always think it was up to "the people" to change the world so I think its high time we all become super heroes. She is my make-shift example of this. Last is Nakturnal Girl. I am an Entrepreneur and started my own marketing and events company with some extraordinary ladies and soul sisters several years ago. The company is still thriving and growing and very much a part of my everyday life and music. What kind of challenges have you had to overcome by breaking out of the box of musical norms? Well, I have gotten a lot of super religious folks or conspiracy theorists misunderstanding my message...but I suppose that wasn't terribly surprising. I tend to be a people please so I would say that has been the hardest thing to deal with, but fortunately I seem to have it figured out by giving it no attention. And, I do get some great constructive critique which I love and appreciate so much. Otherwise, I can't think of too many challenges other than having the time to do all that I want to. Working on bending time. If you could give one piece of advice to young girls, what would it be? Love yourself and everyone you meet, unconditionally, and even when you don't, recommit to doing so, consciously. I think the world, and every individual could use a little more real unabridged LOVE. Why did you decide to give away your music for free? Well, it was a joint decision by me and my team in hopes that my fan base would grow and everyone would appreciate. It looks like someday that may need to change but, for now I am happy from an artistic standpoint to know that anyone could have access, and from a business angle, if its free, there seems to be a better chance of getting new listeners to check you out. What does your tour schedule look like? Do you play live shows often? I am not really committing to any shows until my 3rd album is complete. My 2nd album feels old to me. I need to completely pull out all the new stories and songs from my brain before I hit the road. Its getting close!

Article by Audrey Dimola

What is it about us girls that pits us against one another so easily, makes us suspicious and territorial, envious and aggressive? What is this widespread inclination for competition that undermines our inherent potential for sisterhood? It's no doubt that each one of us is strong, passionate, and beautiful, but our dealings with our fellow women, specifically, can sometimes bring out the very worst in us. I am not attempting to delve into centuries of female consciousness to uncover the root of this phenomenon, but instead to - hopefully - encourage you to notice when and where it occurs in your own life, and to proactively experiment with ways to route this unsettling energy into a more positive direction. Personally, I have played this game for long enough to realize that it is just that - a game, one that actually rips you down even as you think it's reinforcing you. What am I actually referring to here? All the unfounded myths and negative past experiences we cling to in order to retain our throne as the unapologetic queen of all the other ladies in our kingdom. We've been hurt, we've been judged, we've been stabbed in the back by girls we thought we knew (and even girls we didn't..), and vow to never let it happen again. We struggle with comparisons to movie stars, models, and the gorgeous, talented, seemingly perfect girls in our everyday lives. We're convinced we're not good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough to be whatever those other girls can so easily be. If only we knew how many of us actually felt that way - but instead, we only feel separateness. We're quicker to criticize than to compliment, because it's easier to turn our back than to reach out, easier to spark a rivalry than to foster a friendship. We judge. We're threatened. We feel alone. And soon we find ourselves building walls around our heart cemented with paranoia, heartache, and fear. We cling to whatever we covet (be it a lover, job position, social standing, or project) for dear life, either purposely slipping into the background because we're too exhausted to compete, or doing whatever we can to assert ourselves as the baddest bitch around. Either way, the girls we don't want to get to know - and everyone else, for that matter - will keep their distance. Whether we feel anger or sadness, isolation or aggression, pity for ourselves or fierce competition with others, what's taking place inside us is the same - we're so consumed by ego-driven extremes that we can't possibly give ourselves the opportunity to pause and readjust our perspective. We end up so fragile that the most seemingly insignificant occurrence can completely shatter us. We girls can be so hard on each other - but often we're even harder on ourselves. Have you ever considered, perhaps, that we react this way towards others because there is something in them we admire - and that instead of feeling competitive or insecure, we could actually celebrate that trait or that energy, and work to find it in ourselves? The unfortunate fact is that when we are bound up in the ego and our separateness from each other, it nearly kills us to consider something like this, let alone actually, truthfully admit it. So what do we do, dear girls? I implore you - observe how you react to the people around you, but especially to your fellow woman. If we take a moment to reexamine our prejudices - even the most subtle ones, or the ones we cling to the most - the results could be genuinely transformative. Try this: dissuade (or straight-up wrestle with!) your ego the next time it wants to compete with another girl for no reason, or better yet - just remember your ego only has the power you give to it. It doesn't even have to exist at all. Reach out to someone instead of holding back - extend a compliment instead of a crooked glance. Remind yourself that regardless of what it seems like on the outside, you never truly know what that other girl has been through - what has shaped the person she is today. You might even discover that she harbors the very same hang-ups and insecurities that you do; we are so much more alike than we can imagine‌ Now let's be honest here - every girl and every situation is different, and making these changes won't always guarantee you and your former rivals swapping friendship bracelets and staying up all night sharing secrets. Maybe you wouldn't even want to do that in the first place! However, there's so much to say for just taking that step towards eliminating the unspoken and unnecessary tension that exists between fellow females every single day, and

illuminating the beautiful connection that unites us all. You’ll fight and struggle and feel like you’re losing your mind, but if you really work towards breaking this pattern, there will come a day when you’ll just know it - you’ll be able to open your heart, and simply let go. This is what I ask of you: give yourself the space to walk the high road, diffuse the ego-bomb, and move forward in a mind-altering direction. You are enough. You don't have to be afraid of letting your guard down, because there's a certain power in trusting - a power in being brave enough to stretch your wings and let the current of the universe hold you up, let you fly. Embrace this power - the power you've always had. Amazing things will come from it, I promise. And remember… You have sisters where you least expect it. Always. Audrey Dimola is a New York-born writer, editor, and poet. She loves words, leopard print, rock & roll, and finding inspiration in everything. Follow her on Tumblr (sprinklesauce) and check out sugarnthunder.com and audreydimola.com for more of her work.

* Time and time again, from girlhood to even womanhood, I've been faced with what I call "outcasting." Women like to outcast one another for the means of competition, but what are we competing for? We can’t expect to regain our standing in this masculine world until we can stop stabbing each other in the back. Only a woman understands the pain of another, so who else can stand behind that pain and raise their voice for equality? When we choose not to fight for each other's freedoms, we are stabbing our entire gender in the back. The time is long overdue to shed our materialistic ties and embrace what it is to be a woman. Barsha Khandker - 25, Writer/Artist/ Animal Activist * Women can be catty and cruel to each other and I've always felt the needless competition between women, whether it's about looks or achievements... or even better: men! I have a "friend" who feels the need to always outshine me, talk behind people's backs, or sum up somebody's negative aspects to make herself feel better. Sadly enough, I think a lot of women critique other ladies to feel better about themselves and to disguise their own insecurities. I am a very insecure person and am very aware of how I look and how I come across. Sure, sometimes I do feel jealous of my best friend who looks skinny, is happy and bubbly, and attracts men all the time. Is it wrong to feel like that? I think it's not... as long as you don't diss anyone because of it, and act like a lady. Femke Leemans 27, Photographer/Graphic Designer (lovemeandmyego.com) * Competition is sort of in a woman's nature. Growing up, in high school, college and even in your regular "sister" circle there is always someone who tries to compete with you. Either it's who has the best phone, nail polish, shoes or hairstyle. You walk into a bar/lounge or club and can always count on those looks from a woman or multiple ones that you barely even know - you can read it all on their facial expressions. I’ve always felt that when I see another beautiful, stylish woman, I would compliment them. I'll respect any woman that can actually do that and not hate or have any sort of jealousy towards me or others. There are a few, very rare women that actually do that. Last night as I was in the restroom at the movie theater one bursted out, "I love your outfit!" That can make any woman's day better than a man yelling, "you're sexy." We should all embrace each other and not feel the need to compete, because yes we are indeed sisters no matter what color, shapes or form. Sophie Cadet - 23, Aspiring Stylist/Writer (purplealamode.blogspot.com)

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Profile for Missfits Magazine

Missfits Magazine: Issue 4  

Fall 2011 issue featuring Kellee Maize, the #1 female rapper on Amazon.com. As well as interviews with renowned poet Jeanann Verlee and vint...

Missfits Magazine: Issue 4  

Fall 2011 issue featuring Kellee Maize, the #1 female rapper on Amazon.com. As well as interviews with renowned poet Jeanann Verlee and vint...