authentic vintage threads @BELAMIVINTAGE belamivintage.com
TABLE OF CONTENTS 12
Drew’s Brews Demoted Desensitized Mastering My Man Funnel
Yeehaw Couture What Decade Is It? Representation on the Runway
ENTERTAINMENT A to Z The Power of Musicals RuPaul and Queer Eye
Art of the Heist The Conservator as the Storyteller Can Art Make You Live Longer? Make Art, Not War
The Art of Getting Bi Humanizing Our Parents Dear Straight Girls When You Know It’s Too Much Making the Grade
E X X
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR When celebrating milestones, we are prompted to reflect back on our history, both individual and shared. For MUSE, this is our 20th issue – one that represents how far we’ve come in the ten years since our inception, and will be a springboard for future years to reach new heights. For me, this milestone coincides with one of my own, as graduation is within reach. While I believe I have seen personal growth over the entirety of my university career, I have seen an exponential amount occur over the course of my final year, much of which I can attribute from my experience leading MUSE. Issue XX has developed a theme of self-reflection. The subsequent pages feature one writer’s spiritual journey listening to her entire music library, another’s story about mastering her “Man Funnel,” an analysis of how constraining our society’s beauty standards are, and a heartfelt account of coming to terms with one’s alcoholism. Our contributors grapple with perspectives, change, and contradicting norms. Whether conscious or not, this edition is representative of the journey MUSE has taken, and the community formed along the way. Sometimes it is easy to feel minimized on campus. Whether it’s the homogeneity within students, the density of our lives here in Kingston, or the distance we may feel with the institution we attend, the nature of university can diminish our spirits. However, MUSE has validated to us that our voices matter. Our experiences matter. Our time spent here matters. As you read through the following pages, I hope you are able to see the meaning behind our creativity. We offer a space for individuals to express themselves, to reflect on experiences, and to prompt conversations. We want you to feel represented, and to find solace in the sea of 25,000+ students. And if that is not the case today, we hope to inspire you to make your voice heard tomorrow. We’re listening. Yours Creatively,
Jane Bradshaw Editor in Chief
Photographer: Noelle Ochosinski Creative Direction: Evie Verschueren Creative Assistance: Donavan Williams Models: Carly White, Campbell Thom, and Rimka Puri Makeup Artist: Adam Oaknine
12 photography by anastasia mikhailitchenko
written by andrew norris
I never imagined I would consider myself a brew master when I started brewing beer a couple of years ago. I’m still not sure I can call myself that, but it’s my Instagram handle so it must be official. It all started one procrastination fueled December night. I was perusing the homebrewing subreddit a little too intensely, one thing led to another, and next thing I knew I had spent all my grocery money on a beer kit. When the kit arrived, I was left even more confused about the process. All it contained were a couple of buckets, a large pot, a tube, and some grains. The instructions cleared things up, and I realized just how simple brewing is. Brewing beer amounts to two days of effort. The first is spent steeping the largest pot of tea I’ve ever made. Only instead of tea bags, you use grains, malted barley, and hops. After this process, called boiling the wort, you transfer the wort to a bucket, add some yeast, and leave it under your sink for a couple weeks. The next day of effort consists of transferring what is now beer to your bottles, which you will then leave under the sink for another two weeks. The process itself is so simple, with most of the complexity coming from the sanitization and cleaning, that it left me desiring more. In fact, the most enjoyable part for me was the shopping for ingredients. That’s the time when you get to decide what type of beer you’re going to make, how bitter it will be, and what tasting notes you will later inform your friends to expect. I may go to Queen’s, but I have no interest in making shopping my primary hobby, even if it is for beer supplies. Luckily when you make 5 gallons of beer, you inherently challenge yourself with getting rid of 5 gallons of beer. So, like any college student would, I threw a party to rid myself of the excess beer. I invited all my friends with the promise of free beer, and while it may have tasted like bananas, the party itself was a success. I decided that my small-time brewing operation would now also host events. Due
to the financial constraints of brewing, and 5 gallons not being an infinite amount, I could not throw huge bangers. Instead I decided to craft my ideal parties. They would be smaller, intimate enough that you would feel comfortable talking to anyone else there. I would cater a playlist to fit whatever vibe I was hoping the party would embody. And if I was going to theme them, it was going to be something that everyone could follow with minimal effort like nice sweaters or all black. I had turned my hobby into an experience that I could enjoy with all my friends. With all this effort being put into the parties, I had to start upping my game when it came to the beer. I had started experimenting with different styles, but they all came in these generic brown bottles that made it easy to forget what the last brew had been. So, with some artwork from a friend, I created my first branded beer. It was a stout named Hibernation, and it had a cute bear sketch on the label. It made the beer more than just a way for people to get drunk at a party, instead solidifying its place as a product – not that I could legally sell it. For the subsequent labels, I knew I wanted to design them myself. I had limited design experience and, despite my mom’s claims, even more limited artistic talent. So, I chose a medium that I thought might be relevant for a career in software development – a design software called Figma, which let me focus on embodying the essences of the beer through its label. That along with the medium being a piece of paper attached to a beer you’re giving away for free took a lot of the pressure off the art. I could focus on what I thought looked good, knowing that no one was going to criticize me too harshly. Brewing had started as a simple exercise in procrastination but has since turned into a personal brand and creative outlet. What do we get out of our hobbies? For me it used to be an escape from the rest of my life. Now I see them as ways to express ourselves and create an identity that is intertwined with the things we enjoy. 13
MUSE MUSE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE
By Maddie Ward
Through good and bad, I always had my sister. We were inseparable and, at times, it felt like we were living in the same world; she took care of me, and I looked up to her. When I was 11, my sister left home to attend University. The day she left, my pre-teen life came crashing down, I was inconsolable. I cried for hours in the emptiness of her once full room. Even though she went to a school less than fifteen minutes away, I wasn’t used to change. Thankfully, she eventually came back home when I was in grade nine. For a moment, I felt like I wasn’t alone. My teenage angst began to dissipate. Regardless of a tense relationship with my mother and my grandmother passing away, my sister was my rock, and I felt like I was hers. I was always the first person she told when she got a new boyfriend, and I was the first person she told that she was pregnant. So, it makes sense that when she got engaged, she asked me to be her maid of honor. To say I was honoured would be an understatement. I was thrilled to be able to spend my sister’s big day right by her side, like everything else we have done in life. Wedding stress, however, is like none other. Quickly, things went from being great to being horrible in seemingly no time at all. When my sister first asked me to be her maid of honour, I asked her if she was certain; I’m still a student and I had a lot on my plate. But she assured me that everything would be fine. Nothing was fine. One day out of the blue, I facetimed my sister. When she picked up, she told me she “said yes to the dress” without me, and I was shattered. Without 14
hesitation, I started crying. I wasn’t angry. I was hurt. Hurt that I wasn’t there to see it and share this milestone of a moment with her. However, I was primarily hurt because she had booked a wedding dress appointment month’s away, and then decided to go dress shopping on a whim with my mother and her friend. But like everything else, I forgave her— she was getting married after all. I continued to support her decisions in every way that I could. I would keep my calm when she turned into a bridezilla and would do what she asked of me. Then it came to plan the bachelorette party. My sister wanted a destination bachelorette party. However, being a student with poor spending habits and not a lot of money coming in, my savings account was bone dry. So, I told her I wouldn’t be able to go, but I would still help plan the trip. Compromises were never her strong suit. It’s her way or the highway, and in this scenario, I was road kill. She was enraged. I understood, but nothing could prepare me for what she did next. Since I couldn’t go away, I was told I wasn’t fit to be a maid of honour anymore. But I was still graced with the ability to stay in the bridal party. Once again, I was shattered. I chose to forgive her, there is no way I was going to miss her big day. Even if my role won’t be the same – I am her constant. Things have changed, though. No longer are we inseparable and there are times I go weeks without a response from her. It makes me question how deep I hurt her and how deep she hurt me.
ISSUE XXXX ISSUE
By Lauchland Lee We sit at a fascinating point in history. On any given day, my very scattered rolodex of a brain can round-off the Cole’s notes of a number of recent events and breaking news headlines, in addition to a relatively impressive peppering of celebrity gossip and discount codes ripe for the taking. The planet is dying, the world is politically corrupt and it seems we’re just along for the ride. Our momentary stint with World War Three speculations, which should have logically evoked sentiments of fear, instead triggered a rat race. Meme accounts seeing the topic of the day and cashing in on the prime real estate to yield the most virally biting content. Our response? A repost to the Instagram story and a double tap just to stay in tune and on task. Our feeds are constantly saturated with content that’s been refurbished into its most diluted form. Headlines, photos, text-size and formatting all play into spoon feeding consumers whatever is most easily digestible and non-threatening, prime for the clicking. The world’s most pressing issues are being fed into a circuit that fine tunes and compresses uncomfortable truths into bite size form. For a generation that’s been deemed privileged beyond our means and apathetic to the world around us, we manage to keep up relatively well. The world has arguably never been more chaotic, so can we be blamed for checking out and virtually indulging in making light of the insanity that ensues
daily? Thirty-two mass shootings in the US since the new year, forty-four dead, one hundred and twenty-two – oh wait, a Tasty video? Next, next, scroll, click. Sorry, where was I? Oh right, our decreasing attention span and hankering for quicker, witty content to be curated and streamlined into the palm of our hands. The lines between pop culture and real-world news have come to be so intensely blurred for the sake of pure convenience, and as an attempt at maintaining functional levels of sanity. We engage in what I’ve deemed “flashlight news”. A quick burst of attention where a repost, like or share acts as an attempt at showing our solidarity and concern. That is, until the next hour clicks and we’re collectively faced with something of arguably greater importance and magnitude. We should not see this as an excuse to internalize and scroll further, knowing the cycle of current events will never end. I instead implore every reader to allow themselves to slow down and alleviate themselves from the key board warrior position of having to stand behind every cause that pops onto their feed. Tangible change can come when we release ourselves from the anxieties of needing to stand behind all that is happening around us and rather, fully invest in what draws you in most intensely. Ridding yourself of the guilt that, though there is indeed a hell of a lot going on, decelerating in this wildly connected world could just be the best thing we can do for each other.
By Taylor Ball
I am smart, funny, beautiful, and interesting. Saying this makes me seem narcissistic, but I’m trying to make a point: On the dating market, I’m a catch! Despite these qualities, flirting and dating have never come naturally to me. When talking to guys, I tend to come on either too strong or as completely disinterested. I occasionally get asked out on a first date but rarely a second. After each minor heartbreak, I am consoled by friends. The most common solace is “He’s just intimidated by you”. The message is clear: It wasn’t me, it was him. And him. And, well, that guy too. The once comforting advice soon made my stomach turn. I would see friends in relationships and think “why not me?” After a questionable one-night stand and a completely unexpected declaration of love, I realized it was time to take action. Mock me all you want, but I began to study the art of dating. I read several dating books, my favourites being “The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible” by Ali Binazir and “Get the Guy” by Matthew Hussey. Both books focus on changing your mindset, not your personality. I learned one of the biggest things that can hold us back in dating is a scarcity mindset. We wrongly believe all good partners are taken and we must settle for whoever appears remotely interested. Instead, we should see ourselves as a prize to be won. The next time someone attractive hits on you, approach it with curiosity. Give them the opportunity to prove their personality matches their 16
initial attractiveness. There are so many arbitrary dating rules. Wait an hour before texting back. Never initiate twice in a row. Wait until the third date before having sex. It’s all nonsense. Playing these “hard to get” games never work. Instead, you should be hard to get. This means having an interesting and exciting life and knowing your worth. You’ll no longer need to strategize about how long to wait before replying to a text. We should ask: “Would I want to date myself?” If the answer’s no, pick up some hobbies, spend more time with friends and perhaps buy a few self-help books. As you invest in yourself, I guarantee you will find love. Instead of thinking of love as something absent from your life, think of it as a paycheck you’ve already worked for, that’s in the mail. You know it’s coming but you’re not sure exactly when it will arrive. Now, you’ve changed your perspective but you’re wondering: where are all these interested people? Getting out of the house and out of your comfort zone significantly increases your odds of meeting someone special. Think about what qualities you’re looking for and where those types of people would hang out. While Stages is a great place for a steamy hook-up, you’re not going to be able to have a conversation. Though seemingly unlikely, the ARC gym meets the right criteria. There’s a sense of community so it’s not weird to start up a conversation and there’s continuity in who you’ll meet because people usually stick to a regular workout schedule.
ISSUE XX ISSUE XX
People who are good at dating are usually great at starting conversations. They chat with people while waiting in line, ask for help and smile. If you make it your goal to talk to one person every day, you’re bound to find someone who interests you. One of the most controversial yet wildly recommended pieces of dating advice is to see multiple people at the same time. After reading, I took my research a step further and enrolled in a course called “Master Your Man Funnel.” It was a very surreal experience to join this Facebook group with hundreds of women in their late 40s who had never found love - but boy, did I learn a lot. With the typical linear dating, we spend time looking for a partner, testing the waters and then committing.
When we break up, there’s a grieving period and it starts all over again. The average relationship lasts for three months. You could reasonably spend six to 12 months chasing, dating and crying over one person. With non-linear dating, we extend the initial dating phase but shorten the amount of time we spend looking for romantic relationships because we can quickly filter out people who aren’t suitable. If you date two to three people at once, you avoid many common pitfalls of early relationships. You’re less likely to be clingy because your attention is spread across many people. You’re also going to be pickier about your potential match because you still have other options. This course recommended that you date two to three people for six months. As you eliminate potential partners, you should bring in new people to fill their spots. It’s a counterintuitive but effective way to find someone compatible. However, let it be known that the course recommends abstinence during this trial period to avoid drama. Do what you want with this information. This information is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want a happy and healthy relationship, you should make a move and make it happen. You’re a catch. All you need to do is let the world know. Oh, and yes, this advice works!
GRAPHIC BY SARAH MANDEL 17 17
Photograper: Noelle Ochocinski MUSE MAGAZINE Creative Direction: Maya Ginzburg Creative Assistants: Donavan Williams and Evie Verschueren Model: Olivia Tom Makeup Artist: Lauren Thompson
TURE U O C
By Raechel Quarcoo From the hoof-like Tabi boot to Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road, the resurgence of the modern cowboy aesthetic is continuing to thrive in the roaring 20s. As you bop to the rhythm of booming trap beats, have you ever stopped to consider why cowboy boots are cool again? The cowboy aesthetic is mainly known for Western-inspired leather, fringe, and earthy tones that pay heed to an All-American style reminiscent of early Hollywood’s “Wild West” and traditionally rustic masculinity. While this
style is commonly called “Cowboy Chic,” a hybrid version arose as the “Yeehaw Agenda” at the end of the 2010s. The term, coined by pop culture archivist Bri Malandro as a “play on the gay agenda,” is a fun and innovative way to describe the melding of 90s Urban Glam (think Janet Jackson and Lil Kim) with Texan style. It also celebrates iconic cowgirl looks worn by black women from the mid-90s to the early 2000s. However, from its humble inception on Tumblr and in indie magazines, styles we have come to know and love, such as the cowboy boot, directly draw inspiration from a broader Rodeo culture.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUCY WELSH, GRAPHIC BY JOSH GRANOVSKY
From the reinterpretation of chaps and boots to hats reincarnated in lush and experimental fabrics, textures, and colours, we’ve seen it on everyone — our favorite ‘Eco-Hottie’ Meghan Thee Stallion, country queen Kacey Musgraves, and Houston-native Solange. Beyond the witty sheriff memes and the use of the infamous cowboy hat emoji, the current cowboy aesthetic speaks to a more profound cultural subversion that’s at play. The aesthetic has historically prioritized white men and performative masculinity, often associated with Manifest Destiny. Instead, the urban cowboy aesthetic centres othered bodies, primarily black men and women, as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community in recognition of their power, strength, and beauty. For black women specifically, it allows them not only to reclaim their sexuality, but also actively confronts the culture of misogyny and sexism within the aesthetic. Futhermore, it boldly reasserts the importance of showing diverse black femininities, especially within the current American social-political climate. As Associate Editor of Man Repeller Emma Bracy writes in her column Politics of Style, “the image of a Black woman in a cowboy hat at this moment—historically, politically, culturally — it’s the antithesis of an old white dude in a MAGA hat.” No mere damsels, women of all bodies, experiences, and sexualities are showing up and showing out in fringe, glitter, and everything in between and, in doing so, are reclaiming their space and influence within pop culture landscape. While black and queer faces may appear new to the “Yee-Haw Agenda,” there exists a long and diverse legacy of black cowboys and cowgirls as the result of a large population of black freedmen working as labourers in the cattle ranching industries in the American South after the American Civil War. According to Rolling Stone, “25% of workers in the ranch cattle industry during the late nineteenth century were, in fact, black. Even the word “cowboy” itself had roots as a slur towards these black laborers.”
Their workwear was birthed from a need for functionality, comfort, and longevity. Beyond the scope of black cowboy aesthetics, ranching culture in the Americas draws on various influences, from traditional herding practices of Indigenous peoples to Spanish vaqueros, now more commonly seen in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Although we often don’t realize it, what we wear, how we present, and how we perceive what’s stylish is primarily influenced by politics and cultural events. Clothing can be a marker of identity, bring back nostalgia, or be used as a political statement. As such, understanding the current political and social climate of the United States over the last decade and the impact it’s had on style is crucial to understanding the political nature of the black ‘cowboy ’aesthetic — the politics of style is nothing new. Arguably, with the resurgence of nationalist and xenophobic sentiment, especially in the American South, reinterpreting a historically white aesthetic is a form of resistance through visibility. At its core, the cowboy aesthetic speaks to a larger question surrounding identity politics. In all its multifaceted representations, the style inherently questions the histories of race and acceptability. Who gets to be a cowboy? Who has access to these histories? Whose voices have historically been silenced? In reality, much of the culture of ranching, rodeo, and cowboys prevalent within the pop culture space have erased the various custodians of the aesthetic, many of whom are not white or financially privileged. By centring black and brown bodies, the “Yee-Haw Agenda” cleverly allows individuals to reclaim cultural authorship through preconceived notions surrounding class, gender, and sexuality. This reclamation is necessary because Black and urban aesthetics are often denied in pop culture until nonminority audiences adopt them. As the Yee-Haw Agenda becomes public domain, it is important to remember and honour its roots—recognizing those who created the aesthetics that allow us to be our best selves, paying creatives their dues, and writing their names back into history. 23 24
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de a DEc
In recent years, we’ve learned just how unpredictable the world can be. From politics, to the environment, to even the Royal Family, our society is in constant flux, and our fashions have reflected that. Over the course of history, what we wear has been a reflection of society. Corsets and petticoats bound women into a life of leisure, their clothes preventing any laborious activity. The role of clothes was as ornamental as the role of the woman. The Roaring 20s then revolutionized silhouettes, dropping waistlines and adding ornate beaded designs and feathered accessories, adorning the riches made in the economic boom. This newfound look can also be attributed to the suffragette movement, as women gained voting rights and began to go to college. Their freedom from the tight constraints of earlier fashion into a more relaxed outfit coincides with their percolation into wageearning jobs and independence. Trends continued into the 50s, when North American women felt pressure to focus aspirations back on domestic duties. The phrase “MRS degree” was coined, as it was common for women to go to college with the intention of meeting a husband. There was a focus on women returning to the home, and with that came circle skirts and cinched waists, highlighting the hourglass silhouette. The function of the women retracted to be a mere figure of beauty, and 24
? t I IS By Jane Bradshaw
trends in clothing pushed this narrative, encouraging women to stay at home and cater to their husbands. The 60s and 70s saw an age of innovation: capri pants, comfortable slacks, and raised hemlines populated the streets. Tiedye, peasant blouses, and bell-bottoms were worn by men and women, reflecting the growing equality between sexes, environmental and antiwar movements, and a more casual way of life. The 1980s were bold and bright, showing the optimism of the wave of baby boomers becoming young urban professionals concerned with making money and buying consumer goods. The 90s saw the genesis of grunge, emerging from a rock music subculture, and grew into an anticonsumerist movement. Fashion trends were more reserved than the decade prior, exuding an attitude to be a little bit smarter and simplistic, perhaps as a grounding response to the massive societal changes and extreme advances in technology. Finally, the trends progressed into the decades we may remember the most: the 2000s and 2010s. As females have begun to assert themselves in the workplace, pants have become more common staples of everyone’s wardrobes. Bare midriffs were simultaneous with female’s embracing their sexuality, and activewear marked the casual turn our society is taking as workplaces are more likely to seem like playgrounds with flexible work hours than rows of cubicles occupied from 9:00-5:00. Retrospectively, it seems logical that trends emerge as a response to societal flux. However, in
recent years, we’ve seen a wave of nostalgia that leaves us more confused than ever. Prada brought back padded headbands, seen throughout historyin portraits of Anne Boleyn, Renaissance paintings, and even Alice in Wonderland illustrations. Perhaps this can be explained by our Game of Thrones fanatics; however other accessories, like pearl hair clips, suggest indulgence into femininity after years of success being equated with masculine-inspired trends. TikTok has brought back bandanas, long sleeve layering, and baggy t-shirts, reminiscent of our early 2000s childhood styles. Fashion magazines have long been reporting the return of 70s/80s/90s styles, as designers look back on archives for inspiration. Fast fashion has been attempting to keep up with the quickly changing nature of the fashion cycle, but it seems every few months there are new guidelines we are following. The muddled trend reports of the last five years have me wondering: what decade are we even in? As we are at the dawn of the 2020s and are living through some of the most important parts of our world’s history, I wonder how our fashion is reflected in what is happening around us. Perhaps the resurgence of old trends is a subconscious way of representing our longing for the past — when the world wasn’t literally on fire, and politics seemed more stable. Perhaps it is the response of reusing clothes and buying vintage, as more young people become environmentally
conscious in the aftermath of the news that we’re entering a stage of irreversible damage to our ecosystem due to our consumption habits. If we can’t create new clothes, why not buy those that already exist? It may be that the trends we see now mean something greater about the world we live in, and it may be in our best interest to reflect on the wardrobes of those around us to better understand the state of our society, for today and for the decades to come.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLETTE SCHWARZMANN
Representation on the Runway
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAWSON COX
By Yasmine Kanso When the topic of “physical disability” comes up in conversation, some people picture a disabled person in a wheelchair, such as the figure on handicapped parking and bathroom signs. But, this image leaves out many people who are born with countless different types of physical disabilities. The lack of representation of disabled individuals in popular culture is not benefiting anyone, particularly in the fashion industry. The sports industry is ahead because they have a more ethical way of thinking and implementing equality. For example, the Paralympic games have gained an enormous amount of popularity in recent years — inclusion is not new to the athletic scene. However, the fashion world seems to be a little late on the memo. The runway should start to include more models with physical disabilities because they are extraordinary and fashionable atypical bodies. Obsessing over the imperfections and body sizes of models is getting a little old, so it’s time to challenge normativity. The fashion industry’s runway models used to be lacking in equal racial representation and in varying body sizes. Now, they’re missing models with non-size zero body types or physical differences. British performer Viktoria Modesta considers her prosthetic leg covered in Swarovski crystals and rhinestones a part of high fashion. Aimee Mullins, American athlete, and actress, modeled in Alexander McQueen’s show wearing hand-carved wooden legs made exclusively for her by McQueen. Last year, Barbie released a whole new line of dolls with the goal of including more of the physical diversities found in society. So, a little girl with vitiligo or a prosthetic limb has a Barbie doll that looks like her, a more realistic representation compared to the standard doll. Fashion brands are supposed to be representing us, the consumer. Let us redefine what “us” should mean here with an open mind. Who is us? What does the average norm present? To have an open mind is to realize, for people born with natural variations, this is their normal and pop
culture needs to reflect that. Visibly different or not, people’s bodies are meant to be different. No one’s body looks the same way as another. So why the stigma? Beauty standards make it impossible for us to feel complete, regardless of how we look. At some point, it affects us all, no exceptions. Personally, I have never considered myself as born disabled. Maybe because I was born this way, I can’t imagine myself in need of something I never had. We all have scars, stretch marks, and disfigurements, but they don’t make us imperfect or incomplete in any way. We are perfect because we are the way we are. People don’t always have the privilege of being exposed to others with physical disabilities because some of the disabilities are hidden. They blend in with others, or they’re not visibly apparent on a daily basis. In my case, no one gets to know about my little left foot unless they see me barefoot. There’s a stigma behind bodies with disabilities because it’s often associated with weakness or deficiency, but this stigma is slowly changing with the help of famous influencers on social media, like Paola Antonini. People with disabilities have been sidelined for years. However, the fashion industry has the power to put anyone on the map at the fastest pace. Exposure in the fashion world matters because it normalizes something that has many public misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding it. The runway lacks creativity in its choice of models—and that’s something everyone wants to see change. There’s nothing more precious than the human body being embraced in all its forms. Fashion and creativity should be used as tools to include more diversity and more bodies as they have the power to start new conversations and to present unique material to the world. Fashion model Winnie Harlow has undoubtedly made a name for herself, but that’s still not enough. We live in a time when breaking the stigma is embraced and encouraged, and it’s time for us to break down this one. 27
MAYA Photographer: Dawson Cox Cretive Direction: Gabriella Banhara Creative Assistants: Donavan Williams Model: Maya Chaudhuri Makeup Artist: Adam Oaknine Hairstylist: Carly White
Az MUSE MAGAZINE
I listened to my entire music library and it was a spiritual journey I didnâ€™t ask for.
By Sam Tur n
The As brought the Almosts. The Alones, the Alives and the Afters. The Fs were on Fire and the Hs were sweet like Honey. The Rs were the Runaways, with their winding Roads and Rivers. But I wasn’t prepared for the Ys, and how “Your Name,” “Your Shirt” and “Your Sister’s House” quickly turned into symbols and numbers. My life is full of music – 71.4GB to be exact. With over 10,000 of them in my repertoire, it seems that I’ve spent a lifetime finding a song for any and every moment. You wouldn’t think I would ever have time to listen to it all, or that I would even want to. It started with a mistake, really; simply forgetting to press shuffle on a long car ride. After an hour of listening to songs beginning with the letter A, I figured: Hey, what if I just kept going? I couldn’t have guessed what would happen in the following few weeks. I looked forward to each letter I woke up to and yearned for what it would bring. I discovered an incredible new way to listen to music I had owned for years. It was like reading your favourite book backwards and unlocking an entirely new plot. Imagine the near poetic contrast between Kendrick Lamar’s “Hood Politics” and Blue Suede’s “Hooked on a Feeling.” And nothing compares to the two hours’ worth of every artists’ rendition of a “Love Song.” It’s enough to rekindle your relationship with Love itself. The combination of eleven songs named “Intro,” that were meant solely to introduce the rest of their respective albums brought the same feeling as walking down an empty street, just before sunrise. It was like waiting for your parents to wake up on Christmas morning, the anticipation eating at you, but you like it. It took me a month to get through it all. It became part of my routine, and when it was over, I missed it. I never thought I would want another
hundred songs, but when I finally reached Z, I wasn’t ready for it to end. It says a lot, I think. Rekindling a relationship with thousands of forgotten tunes, each bringing back a memory of exactly where and who I was when I added it to my ever-expanding library. Songs I haven’t listened to in months found their way back to the surface, and even if I didn’t like them as much as I used to, I couldn’t bear to get rid of them. Like the photos and trinkets we put away and forget about, music is a way to revisit the past without getting too caught up in it. My path through my entire lot let me see things I already knew, but in a new way. I was able to appreciate the songs for what they were then, and now. I could smell the first candle I bought with my own money. I could feel the rain on my skin while I walked through the streets of Edinburgh, yelling for my mom to come under my umbrella. I could tell you all the times and places it took me to, and all the new emotions a seemingly random combination of music brought. But to truly understand this wild, spiritual journey that I most definitely didn’t expect – all I can say is, listen. GRAPHIC BY JOSH GRANOVSKY 33
MUSE MAGAZINE MUSE MAGAZINE
THE POWER OF MUSICALS By Isobel Gibson Musicals are a unique art form because of their complex synthesis of mediums, such as singing, composing, acting, set design, and costuming, among others. They are arguably the most complete artistic experience, combining the best craftsmanship of visual, musical, and performing arts. The visual elements of musical theatre — like costume, set design, lighting, choreography, and, to an extent, the stage presence of actors — cultivate an aesthetic that complements and extends the less tangible musical and performance elements of a story. For example, Legally Blonde would be incomplete without the masterful work required to bring Elle Woods’ glittering, pink world to life. Of course, the namesake feature of musical theatre is sound. The use of music, both instrumental and lyrical, allows audience members to connect quickly with the story and its characters. Meaning is still gathered through dialogue and lyrics; however, the music carries a tremendous amount of sentiment and emotion. Most, if not all, musical scores repeat certain melodies, making a specific sound into a motif; the repetition often bookends plots and signals character growth. Sound can transcend lyrics, expressing emotions that are challenging to put into words.
The hours of dedication and expertise that go into creating a musical is remarkable, and somehow even more electrifying when performed live in a theatre. Unlike in film or music recordings, by not having the power to edit a moment, the performance is more intimate and compelling to watch. The emotion and intensity of the actors’ performance adds suspense and tension to the atmosphere. As technology has developed, the way musical theatre has been formatted has changed, starting with the development of television all the way to the accessibility of hundreds of theatrical soundtracks through streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Theatres shows such as They’re Playing My Song have not had a production run longer than a month since its debut in the 1980’s. Nevertheless, one can still enjoy the soundtrack of the original production. While musicals have become more accessible through technology, nothing can rival the experience of seeing a live show, and nor should we try to pervert or mimic it. The process of going to see a show, including getting dressed up as an audience member, looking over to your neighbour to see if they share the same reactions as you, or giving a raucous standing ovation, are all parts that enhance the cultural and artistic experience of musical theatre.
GRAPHIC BY SARAH MANDEL
Q uee & l u a r P E u ye
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANASTASIA MIKHAILITCHENKO
How Rupaul’s Drag Race and Queer Eye Teach Self Love
By Isobel Gibson
Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race are both mainstream queer reality TV shows that reflect the changing attitudes and viewing desires of audiences. Queer Eye, a reboot of a 2003 show, follows five gay men as they makeover people, mainly straight men, and educate and reform the hero of the week on fashion, culture, food, grooming, and home sense. The “Fab 5”, as they have been officially dubbed, are a highly energetic, playful, wise, and kind group of people, coaching the hero with a thoughtful and humourous approach. RuPaul’s Drag Race, premiered in 2009 and now on its 11th season. Drag Race is a competition among drag queens to be America’s Next Drag Superstar with a grand prize of $100,000 among other perks. Each week includes a new challenge often involving sewing, acting, lipsyncing, and of course sashaying down the
runway in a fabulous look. RuPaul, the matriarch of Drag Race, is a stunningly beautiful, witty, and powerful individual who carefully balances the role of sassy judge and sweet mentor. As a dedicated Queer Eye fan, and now a seasoned Drag Race enthusiast, I at first conceptualized the two shows as polar opposites within similar genres. Upon further reflection both are similar at their core for being innovative, educational, and fun shows that ultimately espouse self-love. At first glance Drag Race appears like many other reality competition TV shows that rely on catty fights among contestants. To be clear, the animosity among queens is part of the show, to an extent. Prime examples of the infighting that is promoted within the format of the show include ‘reading’ mini challenges, where contestants take turns roasting each other for the opportunity to win and have the upper hand in the main challenge for that week. RuPaul has been known to ask the finalists which queen deserves to go home and why, creating a painfully awkward yet fascinating and socially complex scene, often leading to quarrels backstage and a general sense of betrayal among queens. To be fair, being sharp tongued and quick on one’s feet are extremely important qualities for a drag queen, and so it does serve a functional role in the development of a queen to be able to be ‘read’ as well as do the same to other queens. Yet, it is also apparent to viewers the innate solidarity and respect the queens have for one another. Phi Phi O’Hara and Sharon Needles, two finalists for Season 4, had several personal arguments, but seemed to legitimately harbour some level of love for the other, even referring to each other as sisters. RuPaul also cultivates a sense of family among the queens, as demonstrated by his title as ‘Mama Ru’. There are also various exercises for finalists such as having the queens give advice to their childhood selves (such as in Season 9), and sitting down at lunch to discuss childhood traumas. The message of love is more engrained into
Queer Eye due to the format of the show being a makeover instead of a competition. It is incredibly difficult to find an episode of Queer Eye that does not involve someone tearing up. Throughout an Queer Eye episode, the hero of the week will learn from each of the Fab 5, with the main lesson being that taking care of yourself is a necessary, important, and worthy part of life. Often, this is skillfully led by Karamo, the “cultural expert”, who is also a trained counselor. Karamo led a particularly memorable self-love exercise in Season 3, having the hero, Robert, listen to a playback of his own negative self-talk. After hearing his own hurtful words, Karamo encouraged him to write down things he loved about himself while looking in the mirror. This is one example of the ways that the show is a more positive version than its counterparts, with other makeover shows, such as What Not To Wear often focusing less on personal growth and more on the embarrassing and pitiful lives the people lead before the intervention. Both Queer Eye and Drag Race derive strength from shared struggles — often part and parcel with being queer people. In a recent interview for The Guardian, RuPaul stated that he wanted Drag Race to not be mean-spirited, and for the show’s humanity to come from “the emotional tug-of-war, because society says ‘You’re not supposed to do that’.” In other words, there is a solidarity among the queens as a result of the persecution that comes with disrupting the status quo of gender norms. Similarly, Queer Eye often acknowledges the difficulties of being a gay man, such as Bobby, the design expert, leaving his home at the age of 15 after being tormented within his highly religious community and family. At the end of the day, both shows are changing and elevating how most people see men in society, with Drag Race subverting our highly masculine culture, choosing to instead play between the lines, and Queer Eye teaching people that men need to love and care for themselves, and that being a man requires responsibility, effort, and affection. 37
Success ``````` & ````````````````` Sara
Photographer: Noelle Ochocinski Creative Direction: Donavan Williams Creative Assistants: Brianna Horton and Evie Verschueren Makeup Artist: Savie Edirisinghe Models: Success Fianu and Sara Abdella
ART OF THE heist By Julia Ranney
Who doesn’t love a good art heist? They are a beloved Hollywood genre these days, filled with twists and turns. Television shows like Hustle and Sherlock, and films like Ocean’s 8 (2018), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), and The Monuments Men (2014) continually destroy the box office. The criminal genius decides what they want to steal, when they’ll steal it, and exactly how they’re going to do it. They breeze past iron-clad security systems, crack unbreakable safes, and cleverly sneak away with priceless artworks. And we’re completely, and utterly fascinated with it. Yet, for many art lovers, an art heist film is a way to see their favorite artworks on the big screen for the first - or only - time. It’s no question, these debonair dealers wearing expensive suits, peering over their glasses at a Van Gogh to proclaim its beauty, appeal to us. The witty and clever nature of this genre appeals to our lush and opulent fantasies. One of my favourite — albeit perplexing — art heist tales was an episode of Hustle. The team snatched a painting in plain sight, in the middle of the day. They simply erected a curtain in front of the actual gallery wall from which the painting hung. So seamlessly did they overcome the extreme measures put in place by the gallery that prided itself on its “maximum security.” To be fair, these people are a sophisticated and trained band of con artists who could do these kinds of tricks in their sleep. Yet, it’s important to remember this is simply a television show. Writers can make their characters as suave as they want and can clearly forgo any sense of reality. But, instead of watching this genre with popcorn and a soda, these films and television shows can have the power to do so much more. Despite seeming like a devastating blow to the field by glamorizing the idea of cultural heritage loss, they can actually educate the fine art world and benefit the global art market. Hear me out. These movies allow for the consideration of how to secure and display art for the future. They force us to confront why we appreciate art, and how we value it. We appreciate the forger and the manipulator, as much as the master painter.
When it comes to discussing art, both the figurative and literal meaning and value can vary greatly from person to person. Yet, once a piece of art is stolen, it’s gone for everyone, no matter your opinion on it. As such, museums and art galleries have a duty to maintain whatever culture they hold for generations of visitors to come. Sure, some museums appeal to us because it’s a way to get out of the house, or even skip a class. But on a more serious note, they force us to consider authenticity. Pieces of art stolen from galleries are often replaced with a forged replica. It begs us to question, what if what we’re seeing in galleries is in fact inauthentic? What if I told you that 20% of art in major galleries in the United Kingdom are fake? Does that change your perspective on the art gallery? Does it change your relationship to art? This isn’t just a trend in the film or museum world. Educational programs are being developed to study this field, such as the University of Glasgow’s online postgraduate certificate in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime. ARCA, or the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, boasts a postgraduate course in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection in Italy every summer. With both programs, students have the opportunity to study important theoretical and practical elements related to art and heritage crime, learning new skills to prevent such crimes from occurring in the future. On the legal side, in 2004 the Federal Bureau of Investigation established a widely popular Art Crime Team. The unit is composed of 20 special agents, who are each responsible for addressing art and cultural property cases in an assigned geographic location. Since its inception, the team has recovered more than 15,000 items valued at over $800 million. Ultimately, we can use art heist movies as a means to start a significant movement. We can use them to advocate for the return of stolen works of art, the security of art, and the prevention of future art crime — or else there may be no art left to enjoy. 43
THE CONSERVATOR AS THE STORYTELLER By Emily Joyce From sculptures and drawings, to paintings and prints, museums around the world collect, maintain, and display cultural heritage and artwork for the world to view. For some, visiting the typical art gallery or museum is purely for the appreciation of artistic expression, while for others it is a way to experience and value a piece of history. For the duration of their “museum experience,” few viewers realize that more often than not, the hand of the conservator has played a role in what is being presented in front of them. Art conservators — a profession directed at protecting, treating, and safeguarding cultural heritage – play a significant role in the story that is told by artwork. What a conservator does to a work of art during its lifetime determines what the everyday gallerygoer takes away from the piece when it is displayed in a museum. Having started my first year of the Art Conservation program, I’ve been exposed to many thoughts and theories in approaches to the conservation of art. “The conservator as a narrator,” a notion raised by conservator David Bomford, is one of the many thought-provoking ideas that have been discussed frequently in the field. Let’s say the famous Mona Lisa is a victim of a catastrophic flood. Do conservators completely restore the portrait to its original condition, as Leonardo intended? Or do they leave remnants of the losses that the painting endured through its own history? What story is the most important to tell the audience? A more common problem faced by painting conservators concerns yellowing varnish. Artists usually apply a varnish layer on top of their paintings as both a protective layer and a way to saturate their colours. After many years, this layer can heavily yellow and disturb the aesthetics of the artwork. Does a conservator 44
remove the varnish to reveal the vivid original colours underneath, or leave some of the varnish as a mark of its historical age? Is it of value for the painting to look “old”? More interesting questions arise with the conservation of conceptual art. The recently controversial work by Maurizio Cattelan titled Comedian, more infamously known as the banana duct taped to a wall, is a great example of the complex artworks that conservators are preserving today. What happens when the banana starts to rot, or the tape starts to lose its adhesion to the wall? Can either the banana or duct tape be replaced by the conservator, or does that replacement take away from the meaning of the artist’s work? A conservator not only responds to these questions according to the artwork’s personal needs, the artist’s intent, and their code of ethics; in many cases, society’s values can also have an impact on the conservation decisions made. You — the viewer — and your experience with the artwork is always taken into consideration. Next time you enter a museum and walk through its galleries, question the narratives that are being displayed, because they are ultimately being conserved for you. PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLETTE SCHWARZMANN
How Art Can Make You Live L o n g e r By Julia Ranney As we start the new decade, one of the largest health and wellness trends is self-care. It’s a buzzword. Yet, the more we hear about it, the more dismissive we become. Our eyes gloss over it. Our ears tune it out. Perhaps it even gets on our nerves. But the truth is, self-care should be repeatedly written and spoken about because it’s important. With the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression at an all-time high, there has never been a time that self-care is more relevant. As we think about these important issues, new research is leading to one area in particular: the arts. It seems like a fair assumption that most people feel pretty good after an afternoon at a museum or art gallery. Many cities have “pop up” art installations in public spaces that are free to enjoy. But did you know that being exposed to art could help you live a longer, more fulfilled life? Yes, really. And the more often you go, the better. Research led by Dr. Daisy Fancourt at University College London revealed people who frequently engaged with art had a 31% lower risk of dying early than those who didn’t engage with the arts at all. They were less stressed and not as lonely. Art-goers felt less chronic pain and a stronger sense of empathy, emotional intelligence, and purpose through the facilitation of face-to-face interactions with the art itself and other museum-goers around them.
When we actually make art ourselves — from simple doodles to complex collages — we flex our imaginations, activating the creative center of our brain that accounts for focus and allows us to process our emotions. When we make art, we make choices about what we like and what we don’t. What colors or materials speak to us? Which lines or shapes are we attracted to? What textures or styles do we enjoy? It’s easy to think you don’t have an opinion on these questions, but when you begin to doodle or peruse an art gallery, you realize you do. According to Fancourt, it’s this creativity, imagination and self-awareness that allows us to live longer. As a participant in art therapy, I’ve learned that making art corresponds to making choices. This means we try to understand ourselves when we determine which artistic elements please or do not please us. The topic of art therapy is relevant to Queen’s University, which hosts weekly “Art Hives” on Thursday afternoons at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Students can drop-in for free art and wellness projects. The goal is to provide a space for creativity, learning, inclusion and respect through relaxation and expansion of the creative mind. It’s time to engage with the world — and with art — to spark joy and begin to understand our complex minds. Maybe you’ll add a few years to your life while you’re at it.
“When we make art, we make choices about what we like and what we don’t. “
By Maddi Andrews
Our world is filled with unrest and political turmoil, a risk from which our cultural heritage is not exempt. Yet, this is not a new concern. The historical precedence for looting and the destruction of cultural property during times of war is astounding. From the ancient world to the modern day, artwork and monuments become casualties of conflict, much like the people who create them. Paintings, menorahs, and metalwork were looted from the Temple of Jerusalem following the sack by the Romans. Sculptures and paintings were stolen by the French for display in Napoleon’s grand museum, later known as the Louvre. Cultural objects were collected and appropriated from Indigenous communities across Canada. Many of these same objects landed in museums and galleries, where they are still housed today. Cathedrals and historic sites were bombed throughout Europe during World War Two. Ancient ruins in Syria were obliterated by members of the Islamic State. During the recent civil wars in Afghanistan, nearly seventy percent of the objects housed in the national museum were looted. The fires of Notre Dame this past year, an accidental catastrophe, has shown us how our heritage is precariously balanced. These are just a few examples of how cultural heritage becomes entangled, targeted, and ultimately damaged or lost during times of conflict. 46
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAWSON COX
When President Trump threatened the destruction of Irani cultural sites several weeks ago, something struck a chord within us. Not only were his threats – if realized – potential war crimes, they brought forth memories of the intentional annihilation of cultural property during WWII. During this period, the Nazi Party systematically confiscated artwork and cultural objects of not only the Jewish people, but anyone who did not conform to Adolf Hitler’s dreams of a new empire. The result was staggering: over three million cultural objects and artworks were displaced across Europe. Now, over seventy years later, new threats of destruction and loss mimic this cultural genocide. Despite this anarchy, there is still hope. Artists act as some of the biggest advocates of peace, using their artistic practices as political tools to create change and start conversations. Let’s consider Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937) – arguably the most evocative anti-war artistic statement ever created. Central within the haunting image are abstracted animals and people, unified through their suffering and pain at the hands of war. For Picasso, this painting was a protest of violence and destruction on a monumental scale. Measuring over three metres by seven metres, Guernica overwhelms viewers with atrocities of combat. Since the horrors of WWII, world leaders have
recognized the importance of safeguarding universal heritage, especially during times of unrest. The adoption of treaties, such as the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, exemplify international efforts to ensure the loss of artwork and monuments is not a guaranteed by-product of war. World organizations, including the United Nations operated UNESCO, have developed to ensure significant historical and cultural sites are legally protected and maintained for future generations. Iconem is yet another organization that operates internationally, scanning and digitally reconstructing threatened monuments and heritage sites, with the aim of preserving them virtually in case they are damaged. Although this conversation may seem simple – it’s easy to argue that we should ensure our cultural heritage is preserved for generations to come – the solution is far from straightforward. In fact, at times the debate has shifted from how we can prevent the destruction and looting of cultural heritage to if we should be allocating funds towards this concern at all. For the people on the latter side of the argument, it’s a simple ethical dilemma. Is it ethical to allocate funds
towards the preservation of a monument, when the people in that nation are starving or do not have access to medical care? Should ensuring cultural heritage is preserved be placed above humanitarian needs? International versus national efforts further complicate this debate. Does cultural heritage belong to any single nation? Or rather should cultural heritage be shared throughout the world for universal appreciation? It begs us to question whether the preservation of artwork and heritage sites falls to the nation in which they reside, or if these should become shared international concerns. By extension, we must ask ourselves whether outside nations have the right to dictate how another nation chooses to address the preservation of their own heritage. Sculptures, paintings, heritage sites, and cultural objects are all items that encapsulate our histories, cultures, and religions. The intangible qualities that make us human are captured within these tangible objects. When conflict threatens to wipe out not only generations of people, but their artworks and monuments as well, it is almost like all evidence that a group of people existed is being utterly erased. 47
Photography: Lucy Welsh Creative Direction: Ben Evans-Duran Creative Assistant: Donavan Williams Makeup Artist: Adam Oaknine Hairstylist: Carly White Models: Laryssa Labricciosa and Kresna Soeyanto
THE ART OF GETTING BI By Megan Fanjoy
It’s time we I’ve always known that I was start the attracted to people – regardless of their gender. I’ve also known that sexuality isn’t something that conversation. you consciously change. There is no day-to-day basis. It just is what it is.But it wasn’t until university that I started to stray from the hetero-normative ideals that were ingrained in my brain throughout my childhood. Here, I began to explore this aspect of myself that I’d ignored for the majority of my 19 years. I was one of the lucky ones. For the most part, my friends were extremely supportive and didn’t let this newfound information about me impact our relationship. However, like many other queer folk on campus, I continuously experience micro-aggressions that are propagated by normalized misconceptions that people have about bisexuality. “Oh, you’re bisexual? So…wanna have a threesome?” It’s a question I’ve been asked way too many times by white heterosexual men. Which takes us to an important lesson: promiscuity and sexual preference do not correlate. This means that being attracted to more than one gender doesn’t impede one’s ability to be loyal in a monogamous relationship. Regardless of where you are on the gender spectrum, bisexual people are constantly fetishized. At Queen’s, this manifests through expectations that heterosexual men have of me to play out their childhood fantasies, as if I exist 52
solely for the pleasure of others. Beyond our hallowed borders, fetishizing bisexuality is extremely prevalent in many other aspects of society – just take a look the music industry and you’ll see what I mean. In late December of 2019, ex-1D star Liam Payne released the song “Both Ways”. Lyrics like “Lovin’ the way that she’s turning you on / Switching the lanes like a Bugatti Sport / Nothing but luck that she got me involved, yeah,” play right into the narrative of bisexuality being hyper-sexualized. It’s hard to not let this rhetoric influence the way you understand yourself and your sexuality. Am I wrong to be feeling this way? Is my identity as a bisexual woman valid? Do I just exist in relation to others, rather than in relation to myself? I’ll be the first to admit, these are big questions. All of which play into this concept of bi-erasure: the idea that bisexuality should be ignored and, in some cases, that it doesn’t even exist. In the past six months alone, I’ve been turned down by a woman for “not being gay enough”, and turned down by a guy for “being too confused”. It’s odd living on this periphery of the straight social scene, while not being quite welcome in the queer one either. Bisexual women are often labeled as bi-curious, implying that someone needs to have “enough” experience before they can label themselves as bisexual, or that it’s just an experimental phase a girl who is really just straight has in college. But who are we to judge what constitutes “enough”?
Would you ever ask your “bro” how many sexual encounters he’s had with women to confirm his sexuality? I didn’t think so. There’s no right way to respond in these situations. By speaking out against these biphobic micro-aggressions, you’re exposing yourself to possible acts of verbal or physical violence. But passively ignoring these comments is a different act of violence against yourself. Bi-erasure and fetishizing bisexuality work in tandem to objectify queer men and women — leading to the lack of bisexual representation on campus. Through many years of confusion, I finally reached a point where I’m comfortable
with this aspect of myself. But I know many people, and society as a whole, have yet to reach a point where they’re okay with people living in this in-between, gray area. We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable, because there isn’t always just black and white. Your experience is valid and your sexuality is legitimate. You’re not confused or unsure – bisexuality is real and you deserve to take up space without having your sexuality rendered invisible. So at the turn of the decade, let’s start being conscious about the way we speak with others. And, for the last time, do not ask me for a threesome.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUCY WELSH, EDITED BY JOSH GRANOVSKY 53
ou g n i z i human
written by d
as fan y by nichol
Growing up is an incremental scaffolding of moments of insight. As we get older, we start to see the world in different ways. We realize that nap time is actually incredible, and that boy bands are not invincible – thanks, Zayn. We learn that it’s probably a good idea to wear a jacket to the party, that honesty is the best policy, and when pursuing a love interest, it’s better to be the tequila than the lime, because you should be chased, not the chaser. As a 13-year-old with a growing understanding of power structures and a burgeoning sense of self, I began to resent the authority that my parents tried to establish. I rejected the notion that it was my parents’ word over mine – that I had to follow their rules and trust their advice without any skepticism. I’ve come to understand that all the do’s and don’ts that I learned about the world were just my parents’ opinions, and that my opinions were just as important and as valid as theirs. I began to conceptualize my parents as these oppressors who could never understand me. I saw myself as the black sheep of this familial bunch.
Looking back, I know now that I was no angel in the matter. I was not an easy kid to raise. I made my parents’ job pretty difficult. I epitomized the prototype of the hot-headed, unyielding, opinionated teenaged girl. I demanded righteousness, constantly waving my moodring-clad fist in the air in defiance. My 13-year-old perception of my parents as tyrannous know-it-alls wasn’t necessarily accurate or fair. As a 21-yearold, I still believe that my opinion is just as important as my parents’, but I don’t blame or judge them for their opinions anymore. This change of heart came from gaining the insight that my parents – and all parents, for that matter – are fundamentally human. Parents do the best they can with the resources they have to understand us, raise us with the right values, and — in my case — reign in our insubordination. Being a parent doesn’t automatically make you a perfect person. Our moms and dads have the same capacity to make mistakes — to be stubborn, to feel insecure — as we do. They have their own set of
psychological tendencies that were ingrained in them way before we came into the picture. It was only when I came to this realization that I began to foster a real forgiveness for the “injustices” that I faced. This incremental undoing of blame has allowed me to forge a connection with my parents that’s authentic, loving, patient, and forgiving. In recent years, in addition to realizing that parenthood does not make superheroes of us, I’ve learned that: cowboy boots are good for any occasion; one should never grocery shop when hungry; and the best relationships are the ones which don’t involve chasing of any kind. I never want to stop learning, and I never will. If/when I become a parent, I will raise my kids to the best of my ability, and I’ll know to be forgiving about the mistakes that I will most definitely make. I’ll explain to my kids that this is my first rodeo, too, and that even though I’m a mom, I’m still fundamentally human. Most importantly, though, I’ll tell them that whatever comes our way, we’ll figure it out together…eventually.
MUSE MUSEMAGAZINE MAGAZINE
Dear Straight Girls By Justin Charbine As a new season is approaching, you must be wondering what trends are upon us. What can you do to elevate your look this spring? Well, the iconic Coco Chanel once said: “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”. So this year, straight girls should stop treating gay men as accessories. It’s time to take us out of your wardrobe. The trope is real. Gay men only serve one purpose. We exist to elevate your entourage and tell you that you look fierce – even on the days where you look like Ashley Tisdale on a 2000s red carpet. Due to the popularization of the ‘GBF’ (Gay Best Friend) in shows like Sex and the City and Queer Eye, it seems like every little girl is on the hunt for one of their own. Gay people are no different than anyone else. It’s time to stop treating us like we’re your pets. I won’t lie; some of us have an amazing sense of fashion, and are of course hilarious – you could call us the collective life of the party. But my openness is not an invite for your blatant homophobic behaviour. For your benefit, here are some scenarios none of us are asking for. If you’ve known me for seven minutes, you don’t actually know me. I don’t know how else to say this, but I am not your best friend, we really just met. Or when you see a gay person at a club, a bar, or a party, don’t go up to them and scream “YAS” and snap your fingers. I know my outfit is PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLETTE SCHWARZMANN
on point but how would you feel if I came up to you and just yelled? It’s alarming. Also, I cannot begin to tell you how uncomfortable you make me when you ask me if I think your boyfriend is hot. Just because I like men doesn’t mean that I am interested in every single one. And the worst thing you can do is ask my friends where they “got” me. To the straight girls that have gay friends, don’t introduce them as your “gay best friend”. Reducing people to their sexuality is infuriating, and just plain rude. Having a gay friend does not elevate your social status. So don’t walk around acting like you’re the world’s greatest ally just because of it. It’s tacky. Gay men also get sexualised to another extreme. Like the only thing we want to talk about is sex. I’m actually not that promiscuous, and no, I can’t give you tips on your sex life. To add on to that, don’t ask someone about their sexual preferences. Am I a top or a bottom? Leave me alone.It’s important to look at someone as a person, not a pet. If you can admit you’ve done something like this in the past, you’re on the right track to fixing the behaviour. As disappointing as it is, I don’t have a choreographed dance for every Beyoncé song. I’m not here to hype you up. And as cute as I am, I’m not your accessory.
When You Know It’s Too Much MUSE MAGAZINE
“It’s not alcoholism until you graduate!” This is a line that we’ve all heard many times. Most of us are aware that pushing our limits two or three times a week probably isn’t great, and relying on being drunk to have a good time isn’t the best way to go through life either – but hey, it’s undergrad. I’m no different. If anything, I go a little further than most. But the question that’s remained during my time at Queen’s, the question that would always run through my mind, is how much is too much? When is this no longer the fun, crazy, Queen’s life? I saw the signs: increased tolerance, frequent blackouts and spotty nights, and brutal hangovers. I would almost never turn down an invitation to an event where I could get a little tipsy. I found myself having my first drink on a night out at 6:00 or 7:00 pm, and was usually already three or four deep by the time the rest of my friends cracked open their first. Then, during a brief three-week period, I realized I had hit that breaking point. I used to be able to tell myself that it was the “undergrad lifestyle” when I couldn’t get out of bed on a Sunday morning, but when I didn’t know I had said something so awful to a friend that she refused to talk to me, minimized another friend’s struggles with their family, and had 58 best friend saying she couldn’t keep watching
me do this to myself, something had to change. The struggle that exists occurs because we are surrounded by a culture that seriously encourages drinking. To clarify, I’m still participating in that culture and don’t see the value in critiquing it if it’s not going to change. Regardless, I knew I needed to adjust because suddenly cutting alcohol out was not an option for me. I had to balance what was best for my mental and physical health, while still being able to freely enjoy my time at Queen’s. Instead of making a huge change, I started to make incremental ones. I told myself nobody would baby me through this situation, I had to take ownership of my actions and ensure that I was being vigilant about how many drinks I was consuming and the pace with which I did so. I don’t want to say that I’m perfect now. I still find myself feeling the need to have a drink when I get nervous or want to make sure I have a good time. What’s different is that I’ve admitted that there’s something going on; that I might be different than the friends I have who don’t blackout every time they go out. Taking steps to ensure I’m holding myself accountable and keeping myself in check is how I’ve been able to start moving forward while still having fun. I have control over the life I’m living and the way that I’m treating the people around me.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLAS FAN, EDITED BY JOSH GRANOVSKY
Making The Grade The next time you flunk a test or get a lower grade than you wanted, remember that William Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, Galileo, and Plato never received grades. So really, you’ve already scored higher than them. Grades, as we know them today, are a relatively new phenomenon. The first official record of a grading system is believed to have been at Yale University in 1785. Yale Seniors were placed into four categories: Optimi, second Optimi, Inferiores, and Perjores. This system is considered to be the basis of the 4.0 grading scale—a concept we all know and love. Still, grading systems were not widely used until the 1940s, and the development of such a system wasn’t done for the benefits of student-learning but rather, to allow easy communication between post-secondary institutions. As more schools were founded, the institutions wanted a metric of comparison. By 1971, only 67% of primary and secondary schools in the U.S. used letter grades. We intuitively know grades harm our happiness and our ability to learn–we’ve all crammed for a test only to forget everything the minute it’s over. A 2002 study even found that over 80% of college freshmen based their self-worth on their academic competence. These students cared more about their grades than their family, friends, or appearance. Grades can be divided into two categories: evaluative and descriptive feedback. Put simply, evaluative feedback (a letter grade, praise, criticism) judges a student’s work, while descriptive feedback teaches a student how they can improve. Students who receive descriptive
By Taylor Ball
feedback perform significantly better than those receiving grades or no feedback. However, when we are given both forms of feedback, we routinely ignore how to improve and become fixated on the grade. In one study, less than half of undergrad students even bothered to pick up their essay feedback. In the academic setting, grades play on our fears of failure. Grading curves pit us against one another and low grades are doled out as punishments— even though no study has shown this strategy to be an effective motivator. Studies have shown that grades dampen intrinsic motivation, enhance our fear of failure, and decrease our love for learning, while increasing anxiety. They encourage us to avoid challenging tasks. Anyone who’s been in the standard school systems already knows about these effects. But, what happens when we start grading almost every aspect of our life? My smartwatch tracks the daily steps I take, the calories I burn during my workout, and the number of times I stand up each hour. At the end of every workout and every day, I’m given praise and a score. I have apps that track my sleep (SleepCycle) and my diet (MyFitnessPal). Soundcloud gives me stats about my music habits, while Goodreads tracks my reading. Even Google sends me monthly reports about where I go with their Timeline feature. We know that grades hinder our learning experience, so why are we introducing so many other metrics to evaluate our lives? We live in a world that loves data, but, sometimes, we need to disconnect. Although, even when we try to do that, our iPhones will send us updates about how much we’ve reduced our screen time. 59
Photography: Adam Gordon Creative Direction: Brianna Horton Creative Assistants: Gabriella Banhara, Donavan Williams Makeup Artist: Olivia Bowes Model: Victoria Leigh-Bennett
MUSE MAGAZINE AT QUEEN’S Editor in Chief Jane Bradshaw
D I R E C TO R S
Creative Director Donavan Williams Business Director Lauchland Lee Online Director Trish Rooney Head of Photography Noelle Ochocinski Head Editor Jonathan Karr Head of Layout Josh Granovsky Head of Finance, Partnerships & Ad Sales Ben Dinsdale
E D I TO R I A L
Lifestyle Editor Katherine Stanley-Paul Fashion Editor Georgia Pappas Entertainment Editor Sarah Binda Arts Editor Maddi Andrews MUSE’ings Editor Sam Turnbull Editorial Intern Isobel Gibson
C R E AT I V E
Creative Assistants Brianna Horton Benjamin Evans-Duran Gabriella Banhara Creative Interns Maya Ginzburg Evie Verschueren Makeup Artists Savie Edirisinghe Abby Ochocinski Lauren Thompson Smriti Shyam Olivia Bowes Adam Oaknine
PA R T N E R S H I P S
Zoe Harrison Emma Langlois Amanda Craig
P H OTO G R A P H Y
Photography Team Adam Gordon Nicolette Shwarzman Dawson Cox Anastasia Mikhailitchenko Nicolas Fan Kresna Soeyanto Lucy Welsh Videographers Erica Giustiniani Alyssa Giovannangeli Roscoe Dillman Zoe McCormack
Head of Marketing Rachael Quarcoo Marketing Team Molly Marland Erin Macintosh Ally Dritmanis Judy Walters
Head of Events Anna McAlpine Events Coordinators Madeline Crowley Maddy Standen Kathleen Lecuyer Sierra Holas
L AYO U T
Frannie Shen Sophia Yang Victoria Pitoscia Hareer Al-Qaragolie Liat Fainman-Adelman Sarah Mandel
Chief Tech Officer Andrew Norris Online Editors Claudia Rupnik Alexandra Jones Taylor Ball Online Intern Claudia Beattie Music Editors Ella Stewart Contributors Megan Fanjoy Katherine Lidtke Devon Cole Elana Yamanouchi Maddie Ward Charlotte Mingay Kaia Depelteau Hareer Al-Qaragolie Tiasha Bhuiyan Tessa Warburton Amira Ghobrial Carly White
R O V
Creative Direction: Donavan Williams Photographer: Noelle Ochocinski Makeup Artist: Lauren Thompson Models: Seymour Irons and Trevor Gooden 64
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