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THE AVENUE Fall 2018 Vol. 8 Issue 1

THE AVENUE Flux  |  Fall 2018 Vol. 8 Issue 1

President Michelle Rodriguez Editor-In-Chief Phillip Zminda Senior Creative Director Halley Husted Creative Director Sade Adewunmi Communications Director Victoire Cointy Communications Associates Allie Kuo and Fernanda Lopez Community Manager Tova Lenchner Deputy Editor Madelaine Millar Beauty Editor Isabelle Hahn Lifestyle Editor Kaela Anderson Fashion Editor Anne Koessler Head Men’s Stylist Alexa Portigal Head Women’s Stylist Moana Yamaguchi Treasurer Tomer Zilberman Secretary Maddie Casey

Marketing Designer Mikaela Amundson Senior Graphic Designer Sarah Porter Graphic Designers Karina Masri, Phoebe Lasater, Hannah Wolfensen, Anna Rychlik, Juwon Lee and Franny Kuth Head Photographers J Brimeyer, Simran Gvalani and Ellie MacLean Photographers Rashod Blades, Michelle Dalessandro, Kathryn Margiotta, Grace Taylor, Calem Robertson, Aditi Lohe, Ho Yan Ho, Jill Kligler, Dalia Sadaka, Catherine Barna, Hunter Coury, Kaela Anderson and Anastashia Angkasa Writers Leah Novelli, Medha Shah, Kelly Fleming, Julianne Lombardi, Naiem Yusuf, Anna Sedova, Romina Velarde, Olivia Mastrosimone, Aidan Baglivo, Hunter Coury, Nia Beckett, Natalie Ruben and Melissa Wells Stylists Jackson Wang, Jonathan Pereira, Akhil Bollu, Julie Chan, Maggie Van Nortwick and Camille Ruykhaver Models Elisa Kodama, Greer Wilson, Soja Moore, Emily Porter, Gabrielle Peterson, Olive Torren, Anna Sedova, Autumn Espinosa, Sawyer Hammond, Gabe Morris, Kathy Villa and Emerson Campbell Painter Vidisha Agarwalla Makeup Artists Taylor Colton, Rebecca Lustig, Lucia Tarro and Aneri Shah

letter from the editor Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Phil Zminda, and I’m the new Editor-in-Chief of The Avenue. I’m a fifth-year Marketing student and graduate in December. While deciding on a magazine theme is more often a labor of love than a walk in the park, The Avenue team quickly latched onto the word FLUX as soon as it appeared on our suggestions board. The word, which denotes “continuous change,” feels like an apt descriptor of not only our world at this moment, but also the realm of college, our magazine, and even ourselves. Since the 2016 election, what feels like world-ending news breaks at all times of day; the Northeastern shuffle keeps us from settling into friendships or apartments; most of the team behind the publication, myself included, are fairly new to the school or its E-Board. Such rapid changes create a slew of worries, yet, I like to think, a litany of opportunities. We can pay attention for once. We can learn to get comfortable with ourselves. We can learn to build something new, or at least try. With both feet in college yet my eyes set on what comes next, FLUX feels like a fitting title for my first issue; it feels even more appropriate knowing this is The Avenue’s fifth issue as a standalone club, the first of its second year. The articles in this issue not only explore what is changing, but also what has stayed the same—and whether these pillars are best left intact or turned to rubble, too. We hope these words and visuals not only make you consider how the world around you is shifting but also ponder how you may be too.

Phillip Zminda Editor-In-Chief


table of contents



Students: America’s Hallmark for Change


Why Don’t the 2010s Have Their Own Aesthetic?


How Old Is Fashion’s Newest New?


From Panama to Boston: Adjusting to a New Life


The Colorism Ingrained in Me


Growing Up in a Makeup-less Culture




The Conservatism of Men’s Fashion


Skirts and Toxic Masculinity




The Collective You: How Others Shape Our Identities




Seemingly Perfect: The Pressures of Facetune


The True Story of the Goth Girlfriend


Consistently Mine: Lessons from a Long Distance Relationship



Making Sense of Microseasons


Eighteen Candles: College as a Coming of Age



students: America’s Hallmark for Change

written by Melissa Wells Illustrated by Anna Rychlik

Impulsive. Naive. Clueless. Outspoken, not in a good way. Despite these negative connotations surrounding the youth of today, teenagers and young adults of every era have been on the frontlines of the protests that brought about social change. The platforms have changed and so have the issues, yet when it comes to shifting the national conversation on both social and political problems, student activists have served as both provocative and crucial advocates for change. Former President Barack Obama had different words to describe young people: “This generation coming up—selfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic—I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, just, inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, something not to fear but to embrace.” The uncertainty of college life and American life coalesce in this astounding moment in history. But it was Mark Twain who remarked that history doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes: This present is merely another rhyme of a time in which tribalism and fear generated from a rise in populism have shaken political systems to their core. The uncertainty of college life and American life coalesce in this astounding moment in history. But it was Mark Twain who remarked that history doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes: This present is merely another rhyme of a time in which tribalism and fear generated from a rise in populism have shaken political systems to their core.


Nevertheless, history shows that moments like this are followed by continuous change, always instigated by students. Hashtags may have replaced buttons and placards, but this generation is simply the newest link in a chain comprising a decades-long history of youth activists that have defined the forefront of social change here and abroad. In 1960, it was four teenagers who sat at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina and refused to leave—a fearless act of agitation against white supremacy designed to provoke and move progress forward against racial segregation. The momentum created by studentled sit-ins contributed to the eventual passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Moreover, the power demonstrated by a small group of students able to stand alone when necessary would resonate for decades to come. In 2018, it is teenage students turned survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who sit faceto-face with Florida’s two senators and the National Rifle Association seven days after a gunman massacred 17 people at their school—an act of determination and anger fostered out of grief. The desperation this small group of survivors felt would cultivate a movement that would bridge communities of students across the country to stand together against gun violence.

In 1968, it was East Los Angeles high school students walking out in protest of dropout rates and beatings for speaking Spanish. The act of taking a stand “for their own humanity” would prompt a surge in Mexican-American youth activism credited for helping form the Chicano Movement. In 2018, it is high school students all over the country who would walk out in defense of “their own humanity” at stake due to gun violence—an act against pro-gun politicians that is encouraging a wave of youth voter registration to “vote them out.” In the 1970s and 1980s, it was student protests against apartheid that forced administrators to withdraw billions of dollars in investments from companies tied to South Africa—the resulting economic stress a powerful force in dismantling apartheid. In 2018, it is student protests against gun violence that have pressured companies to take a stand for stricter gun control by cutting ties with the National Rifle Association. From Best Western and United Airlines to Wal-Mart and Bank of America, students have devalued the importance of being an NRA member by forcing corporate America to reconsider its relationship with firearms. In 2014, it was filling the streets of Ferguson, Missouri after the police killing of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, bringing Black Lives Matter into the national conversation. The international activist movement against racial bias and the use of excessive force by the police mirrors the nonviolent tactics of the Civil Rights Movement to stand for justice.

After all, it is their future they are fighting for.

In 2018, it is Black, Latino and Asian students from Parkland mobilizing through social media to tell #StoriesUntold about gun violence and holding rallies with communities of color to foster conversation on the intertwined issue of race and guns in America. By making inclusivity within #NeverAgain movement prominent amid national awareness, the skyrocketing rates of crime related to gun violence that has destroyed minority communities are not only part of the conversation, but also part of the justice students for. In 2018, the passionate young people of this generation are impressive catalysts for change. The echoes of demonstrations of the past are heard in the voices of outraged students today. What the future looks like from this endless change is in in the hands of the young to help shape—across this country and all over the world, they must embrace their power to make things right. It is something that, throughout history, hasn’t changed. After all, it is their future they are fighting for. Here are a few words that better describe this generation: Passionate. As Representative John Lewis called the youth of the Civil Rights Movement: “good trouble.” Fearless. “Vibrant,” as Los Angeles Mexican-American youth activists called Parkland teens. Outspoken, but in the best way.



why don’t the

have their own aesthetic? written by Kelly Fleming photographed by Grace Taylor

Many young people today ask themselves and others this question as we near the end of the 2010s: why don’t we seem to have a specific sense of style while past decades have such distinctive aesthetics? It can be extremely difficult to take a step back from the present we are currently living to analyze recurring themes, trends, and specific fashion pieces. When we think of other decades’ fashion aesthetics, we tend to generalize an entire tenyear period to a few overarching fashion trends that probably weren’t as common as we believe them to be. When I look back at my mom’s college pictures from the 80s, I can be sure to find a few photos of her with shoulder pads and high-waisted jeans. However, I can also find just as many photos of outfits that wouldn’t look out of place today or in other decades. These time periods had distinct fashion trends, but they are much easier to spot when we’re looking back at the decade from today’s perspective than they probably were in the moment. We can’t know for sure which trends will be singled out in the future from this decade, but we can be sure they will be remembered as unique from other time periods. If you spend enough time flipping through a magazine like Vogue or scrolling through Instagram, you’ll start to notice a few themes that stand out. One of the most defining and extremely popular trends of this time period is sportswear in fashion, or “athleisure.” Athleisure is clothing that is functional and fashionable at the same time and is exhibited everywhere from catwalks to city sidewalks. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid often sport this look. Most people think they’re not affected by the trends seen on runways and worn by celebrities, but these styles influence more of the everyday styles you see than you would expect. Athleisure is often incorporated into our style in many ways, whether it’s your favorite pair of leggings or track pants or your go-to pair of sneakers. Chances are, you’re currently wearing these sneakers, maybe even a pair of Adidas or Nikes. Not only has it become more acceptable to wear sneakers designed


for sports during other activities outside the court, but many sneakers today are designed more for aesthetics than athletics, such as Gucci leather sneakers or Yeezys. These sneakers are often both comfortable and fashionable, which is the goal of athleisure. An offshoot of athleisure is skate style, which has grown especially popular starting in the early 2010s, thanks to celebrity influencers such as Tyler the Creator and Lil Wayne. Skate style is usually characterized by oversized brightly colored tee shirts with prominent skate logos, cuffed trousers, and flat-soled shoes such as Vans. Supreme, Vans, Thrasher, Champion, and other skate brands have remained incredibly successful throughout the decade. Skate style has reached a surprising level of popularity for a sport that is considered a subculture, and is another example of the widespread popularity of athleisure. There are also a few other recognizable 2010s fashion trends like skater style that involve several of their own specific stylistic elements. In the early 2010s, there was a brief but memorable “scene kid” phase, that involved distinctively dyed hair, black or dark clothing, graphic tees, and heavy makeup. This style was worn by few, but heavily reproduced on the internet through blogging platforms. The early-to-mid 2010s were defined by “hipster” fashion, which involved oversized, square glasses frames, layered shirts and cardigan sweaters, vintage tees, and thrift store looks. Hipsters were often ridiculed for an obsession with irony and a denial of their own hipster status. The “preppy” look has also been popularized, which includes a classic, tailored style and a tendency towards certain brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, Vineyard Vines, and L. L. Bean, that are often suited for colder weather and comfort. The 2010s seem to have placed more emphasis on comfort than any decade before—something I think we’re lucky to have experienced.

model: Elisa Kodama

There are many other smaller trends that have risen in the 2010s, often in reaction to already-existing trends. We’ve seen the big sunglasses and skinny, low-rise jeans of the 2000s fade away, replaced by perhaps too-tiny sunglasses and a return to jeans reminiscent of the 1980s and 1990s, such as “mom jeans,” or high-waisted jeans with a relaxed fit. Athletic wear has risen, but previous athletics-themed items, such as Juicy Couture tracksuits, have faded away. Peplum tops, off-the-shoulder tops, platform sneakers, and velvet fabric have all had their moments in the 2010s. These reactionary trends are part of an effort to differentiate ourselves from previous generations, as we try to move away from what we already know and continue to experiment with style.

It’s important for us to stop and reflect on the fashion trends of the 2010s, because as young adults in our college years, we are the main proponents of this decade’s style. What we wear today will leave a legacy that will be imitated and studied in years to come by future generations, just as we look back at our parents’ styles today. Think of your favorite clothing pieces from an outside perspective and how it might be viewed from the future: will they withstand the test of time or fade away into the 2010s? Will our children surprise us by wearing vintage Thrasher shirts or Patagonias? Looking at the present as if it were already the past gives us an opportunity to reflect and appreciate the moment we’re in, because you can’t wear your Stan Smith sneakers or Lululemon leggings forever.



old old

is fashion’s

newest n e w e s t

written by Julie Lombardi photographed by Calem Robertson

Seasonal fashions are like karma—what goes around comes around. It’s safe to say that you should stop throwing your “out-of-style” clothes away because you never know when an outdated item may reappear at New York Fashion Week. Fashion, an ever-evolving industry, can only remain so innovative before designers look to previous decades and collections for inspiration. The word “new” in fashion refers to the revival of an item or trend rather than an original unveiling. Iconic 80s and 90s trends are resurrected using more sleek and modern silhouettes, fabrics, and textures. These trends are cycled through each season faster and faster as we absorb newer trends more and more rapidly. Thanks to innovative technology and social media, fashion occurs and recurs, and we do our best to keep up.



models: Bridget McDonald, Julia Buckner, Kaela Anderson and Isabella Spigel

This past NYFW saw reappearances of trends that were established decades ago, from bright neon colors, fringe, and classic silhouettes from the 1980s and 1990s. Anna Wintour commented that brands incorporated a sense of optimism and bright neon colors as a way to detract from the barrage of dark news that surrounds our current period (Anna Wintour, Vogue). Bright neons found their origins, however, in the 1980s pop scene. Think: Madonna, Like a Virgin. Bright colors, especially marigold yellow, were shown by brands such as Prabal Gurung, Brandon Maxwell and many more this season.

Brands such as Versace and Ralph Lauren reached milestone events, such as the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace’s death and the 50th anniversary of Ralph Lauren’s designing career. These milestones are inspiring the respective designers to look to their brands’ immeasurable pasts and incorporate their trademark designs into their newest collections. In the case of Versace, that means bringing back legendary baroque prints and classic early 90s silhouettes such as shoulder pads, miniskirts, and high-waisted trousers. or With Ralph Lauren, that means reviving earth-toned plaids, oversized jackets, and chunky sweaters that originate from the late 80s and early 90s, a time period so many other designers seem to borrow inspiration from. Contemporary streetwear


also seems to be influenced by past decades, as runway trends make their way into real life. The reintroduction of peasant blouses by niche brands such as Orseund Iris, I.AM.GIA and The Reformation is reminiscent of the 70s yet made more modern with updated and more flattering silhouettes. One of the most popular streetwear trends being revived is the “dad sneaker” by brands such as Balenciaga, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. These oversized and eye-catching sneakers are broken in by celebrities and fashion bloggers alike and are the source of some fashion controversy; are they ultimately worth the hype and expensive price tag? Whatever the case, the fashion community as a whole seems to have re-embraced this trend. Also borrowing from the 90s “dad” aesthetic is the reemergence of fanny packs that are reproduced by iconic brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and so many more. The fanny pack trend is essentially the result of combining fashion with practicality. Making a more subtle comeback has been the 80s and 90s power suit, sported by influential names such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Rihanna. Powersuits have been updated from the 80s by reimagining the silhouettes and giving them a more deconstructed vibe by pairing with more casual pieces like t-shirts and sneakers.



We can expect the industry to carry on this way, always inventing new twists on old pieces, because old is the new new.

Style revivals are incorporated into fashion by designers during fashion month and by magazine writers and editors. From there, celebrities and fashion bloggers incorporate revival trends into their own wardrobe, adding a personal touch to a bigger trend. Because of modern technology and social media, throwback trends are circulated into the mass market very quickly and made available for the everyday consumer. The very nature of the fashion industry—borrowing from the past and making it current—is cyclical. In each decade you can trace inspirations to an earlier decade, whether it be 90s trends that came from the 70s or 70s trends that came from the 20s. Think back on the iconic thin brows and dramatic eye makeup sported in the 1920s that were made popular again in the 70s. We can expect the industry to carry on this way, always inventing new twists on old pieces, because old is the new new.


From Panama to Boston:

Adjusting to a New Life written by Natalie Ruben photographed by Anastashia Angkasa

Everyone told me that moving to the United States was one of the easiest decisions they had to make. While the decision may be easy, the transition is not. Panama is a very small country with a population of only 4 million people, and around 900,000 live in Panama’s most developed city: Panama City. Back home, everyone knows everyone. It’s a very tight knit community that feels like one big family. From highways to a functioning economy and the renovation of the Panama Canal, Panama has changed completely, but it still has a lot of progress to be made. One of Panama’s most recent advancement is Uber Eats, so you can understand my amusement when I learned that in the U.S., not only can you have food from anywhere you want delivered to your door, but you can also have groceries, supplies and laundry taken care of as well. And don’t get me started on Apple Pay—it felt like I was in a whole new world. In Panama, people tend to stay in the country to study, but because I am the daughter of two parents that studied


in the United States, it was always encouraged for me to study in the states. Of course during my college visits I started to grasp how life would be away from home, but I don’t think I was fully prepared for how drastically different my life would be. As move-in day approached, I started preparing myself mentally. I was worried about my knowledge on the United States—I wanted to learn everything about the country that I was moving to. I started taking online quizzes about the location of all the states and memorized where each was located. So if I met someone from somewhere far, like Alabama, I would know that that person was probably out of their comfort zone coming to school in Massachusetts. My brother, who is a third-year student at Babson College, gave me a lot of advice on how to adapt. He suggested that I come to school with a very open mind, ready to meet a lot of people from different places and cultures. He told me that orientation is really important but also really overwhelming—“You are going to meet so many people in one day! It’s okay to forget their names!”

model: Natalie Ruben

At first, I was really worried because my first language wasn’t English, but when I arrived to campus I met so many international students who were in the same boat. I was so excited to find other students that had similar backgrounds to me. Connecting with Latin American students really comforted and assured me that I was not alone in this process. One thing that really struck me was when I told people that I was from Panama and some asked me where that was, or what language I spoke, or if Panama was an island. It made me realize that we think we are so special and unique, but having people confused as to where you are from truly makes you modest. The week of starting classes, I was really looking forward to taking courses of my liking. I knew classes were going to be difficult, but they were much harder than I expected them to be. Because Panama’s education system is not the best, I don’t think I was as prepared as I should have been. With that being said, professors and classmates were all really understanding of the fact that I did not have an American education. In my public speaking class, I was

really nervous to give speeches in public since my first language is not English, but the professor and the entire class were extremely considerate and welcoming. Of course I miss my home and my country—everyone does from time to time. The comfort of living with my parents and siblings, sleeping in my own room, living somewhere that I know of and am used to are all things that I hold dear to my heart. Even so, I have made an incredible group of friends from all over the world. Northeastern is such an amazing school with an incredibly empathetic and open-minded community that forces you to make life-long connections with people from all over the world. Boston has become my second home, and I am so thankful Northeastern has, too.


the colorism ingrained in me written by Naiem Yusuf photographed by Aditi Lohe

models: Stefanie Im, Elisa Kodama, Mahema Singh and Seema Korumilli

Growing up in Southeast Asia, I never truly knew what beauty was. All my life, I have been bombarded by ads of brown-skinned women whitening their faces to conform to European beauty standards. And I feel like no one has paid it any mind. Skin bleaching, or skin lightening, happens all over the world—it is an epidemic deeply rooted in colorism. The sole purpose of skin lightening is to appear fairer in order to fit the socially constructed standard of beauty.


It is a practice that is prevalent in South and Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Africa, although there isn’t much media coverage or global scrutiny about it. We all understand the concept of skin lightening, the act of using any kind of substance or treatment to physically lighten one’s skin tone. Yet, we don’t understand what drives its practice in Asia and how it differs from skin lightening in the West, although their origins are intertwined and connected.

Historically, light skin has brought up the same connotations. During the Victorian era, the age of powders and paint, European women followed in the footsteps of the Romans by painting their faces with lead. Lead paint provided temporary benefits of looking white, but prolonged use caused skin discoloration, hair loss and rotted teeth. In the 19th century, American women were willing to consume arsenic complexion wafers, a practice Queen Elizabeth was known to partake in. These wafers were literally toxic, but they got rid of freckles, pimples, and other facial impurities in the process. These women would essentially poison themselves out of a commitment to communicating purity and superiority in a time where the concept of race was being solidified. In East Asia, white skin was seen as something that could only be attained by wealth. In the past, wealthier women could afford to stay indoors, avoiding more manual work and any way of getting a tan. In Southeast Asia, this gets a little more complicated. Our complex was built on the standards of the East, but really only solidified after we were colonized. We were made to feel inferior to the white skin that invaded us and forced to embody their beauty standards and ideas. Southeast Asians didn’t aspire to be white for superficial or cosmetic reasons, we aspired to attain the privilege that comes with being white. Today, whiteness has become a symbol of beauty. Its practice and reach has grown to be even more insidious where products are marketed to lighten skin in ways that only seem benign and innocent. Commercialization plays to our need to be flawless by promoting whitening products’ effectiveness against acne, scarring and large pores. In many advertisements, the “after” picture presents a model not only with lighter skin, but with healthier, flawless looking skin. This not only further associates lighter skin with beauty, but it also equates dark skin with blemished, unhealthy and unwanted complexions.

We’ve evolved from poison to FDA-approved chemicals such as niacinamide, kojic acid and melanin inhibitors. While these do lighten skin, they have adverse effects like mild burning, itchiness and redness as it causes skin to thin and grow more sensitive to UV rays. I grew up believing that it was wrong for me to be dark, and that I had to have lighter skin to be of value to society. I spent most of my teenage years using various whitening soaps and lotions in hopes of getting lighter. I grew accustomed to cleansing my face twice daily with Kojie San’s Kojic Acid soap and Eskinol’s Papaya Smooth White toner, prepping my skin with Cosrx’s Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence Review and moisturizing with the 3CE White Milk Cream. To my disappointment, none of this worked the way it was marketed to, the way I’d hoped it would, and I was left with the unhealthiest skin I’ve ever had. Instead of getting lighter, I’d just aggravated my acne and confused my already sensitive complexion. I was flaky and ashy and I looked sick. It’s safe to say I was devastated, but more importantly, I wondered: was I not meant for beauty? For a long while, I didn’t understand the complexities that came with being a person of color without a genuine connection to my own culture. I lacked the opportunities to interact with a group of people with diverse values and perspectives and was stuck with romanticized ideologies perpetuated by local media that sought to belittle me. I don’t hate myself for being brown anymore. I’ve accepted it as part of my being, something I’ve learned to love and something I’ve fought the uphill battle of trying to escape from. Unlearning beauty ideas that have been part of your country’s history is extremely difficult, but I no longer feel defeated when I look at myself in the mirror.


Growing up in a



written by Romina Velarde photographed by Ho Yan Ho

I will never forget the first time I walked into Sephora. I was 15, and looking up at the store from the outside, taking in the big black and white signs, was enough to give my stomach a butterfly sensation. I had seen this place in countless YouTube videos and influencer Instagram posts and only dreamed of visiting one in person. It may seem exaggerated to some, but to me it was a makeup paradise. Peruvian culture does not promote the daily wear of makeup. Even for special events and occasions, the beauty standard is to be more reserved. You don’t see people with a full face and hair done on a regular basis. It is not custom to spend much time on one’s appearance for fear of seeming vain. Most people keep their daily products to the essentials: face cream, concealer, maybe mascara or powder. For a night out, you might decide to break out an eyeshadow, bronzer and blush, but even then, natural colors such as brown and taupes are encouraged. The economic status of most Peruvians makes buying makeup a luxury. And since most products are exported, it results in higher prices—making beauty even less accessible for some. Peru doesn’t have stores like Sephora and Ulta. So seeing one in person for the first time was unbelievable. There are a couple of small makeup stores near my hometown, but they don’t have the breadth and variety of products American stores carry.


Growing up, I was exposed to a mixture of practices and cultures. I lived in Denver, Colorado from the ages of 11 to 13. At the time, I wasn’t interested in makeup, but I was completely surrounded by it. From what I understood, wearing makeup was the norm and I was an outsider for not wearing it. I started watching beauty and lifestyle YouTube stars to understand this part of American culture. This had a great impact on my outlook of makeup, since I discovered that it can be a source of confidence. I learned that I could enhance the features that I already possessed. When I started wearing makeup on a daily basis, my friends and family hated it. Even though I still kept it on the natural spectrum, some brow gel, neutral-toned eyeshadow and limited facial makeup, they criticized me and were worried that wearing more makeup implied that I had self esteem issues.

They did not understand how, for me, it wasn’t about covering my skin, but expressing myself.

I eventually convinced my Peruvian friends to start following makeup gurus. I started teaching them the techniques I knew and shared my love of beauty products with them. It was enough to spark their curiosity, and they began exploring on their own. Most of them still do not wear makeup on a daily basis, but now understand why I do. They see the fun in more colorful makeup looks, and have a better sense of what suits them and their style.

I love makeup not only because it is something I enjoy doing, but also because it keeps my creativity alive. Exploring with colors and techniques has become part of my routine because it makes me feel good, and I see it as an extension of myself. I still hold my Peruvian roots, because I feel like I can go anywhere without wearing makeup. But I’ve embraced America’s beauty culture and learned to appreciate the power it has.

models: Alyssa Tinoco and Martina Yorde


photographed by J Brimeyer


Conservatism of Menswear written by Phil Zminda photographed by Rashod Blades

In interwar London, psychologist John Carl Flügel was desperate for a liberated men’s wardrobe. “Man,” Flügel claimed, had “abandoned his claim to be considered beautiful. He henceforth aimed at only being useful.” Flügel asserted that, prior to the 18th century, men wore vivacious colors, lavish fabrics, and even high heels as status symbols—until the Enlightenment movement posited all men as equal, and more importantly, practical. In the philosophy’s spirit of egalitarianism, men were encouraged to only wear shirts, suits, pants, and ties. Encouraged is an understatement, though; others read the choice to wear any other sort of clothing as an assertion that they were better than other men. Just as today, alliance with other men was the only reliable route to power or social status, so flamboyant dressing was left for women, and paying for their wives’ fashions was left to men, making their women true accessories and symbols of wealth in one fell swoop. Flügel named this late 18thcentury shift in men’s fashion the Great Male Renunciation. His perspective on fashion history was undoubtedly informed by his membership in the Men’s Dress Reform Party. The London-based “clothing reform” movement


endorsed kilts over trousers, blouses over shirts, sandals to shoes, and shorts over trousers as everyday wear for men. Although many of these reformers based their arguments on sun-worshipping pseudoscience (exposure to sunlight could cure tuberculosis!) and a simple desire for fabrics more breathable than wool, they had a point—the conservatism of men’s fashion was, and remains to this day, suffocating. In the centuries since the Renunciation, women’s fashion has exploded in variety, with the avant-garde and the tame being able to coexist on the same runway, in the same store, and even on the same woman. Although this variability in feminine aesthetics may come from sexist roots of “woman as an accessory,” it gives modern women the opportunity to experiment with different looks and trends without fearing it reflects on their character or person. To follow and play with different trends as a woman, if anything, is celebrated; she’s seen as adaptable, fashionable, and well-read.

Menswear and the men who follow it are not so lucky. The post-Renunciation “maniform” of suits and trousers has left an indelible mark on the variety of men’s fashion that lines the clothing racks of malls everywhere. The possible outfits menswear consumers can buy almost never deviate from the shirt and trousers silhouette template, and the more outrageous menswear runway looks never truly find their way onto the racks. This conundrum leaves menswear either absurd or boring, while womenswear can be absurd, boring, elegant, refined, and a dictionary of other descriptors. This isn’t to say that men aren’t permitted to have style— there are plenty of menswear savants who make lemonade out of these polyester lemons—but it feels like they can’t have fashion. It’s unfair to entirely blame menswear for being boring, as the majority of men only want boring, but the men who want something else are left to either spend a pretty penny, get used to it, or scour the women’s rack. What further complicates the menswear industry is the way in which men use it. Men’s apparel operates on an assumption that men use fashion not to express facets of who they are, as womenswear may, but to avoid looking foolish. The ubiquity of the “maniform” causes men to fear that any deviation from its most unassuming forms—a t-shirt and jeans, a button-down and a shirt—is fodder for mockery because it either doesn’t look good or because it’s “feminine” to care about how you dress. This toxic culture of men and the menswear industry in tandem create a vicious cycle in which men dress conservatively by default, and are only able to either purchase more of the same or dress in excessively liberal “rebellion” clothes, leaving them nothing in the middle ground to explore. Today’s men, just as post-Renunciation men, thus stick to the same tried and tired clothes.

It’s not like men don’t care about fashion, though. r/malefashionadvice, a Reddit community sporting over 1.3 million subscribers, provides visual guides to basic wardrobes, fit and color to men who don’t know where to begin their relationship with fashion. Its members post inquiries about what pants to wear with red shoes, which pair of white low-tops is best, whether messenger bags are in or not, and even how to embrace the “goth ninja” aesthetic. Perhaps this community typifies that excessive concern with how they look, but it could also indicate men have a more vested interest in fashion if they understand it better, if it’s clear that there are as many ways to dress “like a man” as there are to dress “like a woman.” It’s a popular maxim that clothing doesn’t have gender, but as long as men’s fashion serves a population with such rigid gender norms to follow, it’s difficult for the average man to fully divorce it from his clothing. One of the two major cultural forces that shape men’s aesthetics—designers and masculinity—must give in order to pave the way for newer, less constricting possibilities. The culture of men will not change without challenge, so designers and consumer fashion businesses must inch it forward. They can put jumpsuits or rompers in men’s sections without marketing them as “for him.” They can create men’s clothing that replicates the variety of shapes, silhouettes, and colors in women’s clothing. They can even put famous men in these clothes to normalize its existence. This isn’t to say every brand must do this, as everything isn’t for everybody. But endlessly reinforcing a monolithic aesthetic onto an entire gender not only encourages homogeny, but also limits what they’re allowed to look like.

models: Jack Mazzeo, Jace Ritchey and Ty Nicholson




Skirts Toxic Toxic Masculinity Masculinity written by Leah Novelli photographed by Michelle Dalessandro

As a woman, my perception of toxic masculinity and its effect on society has always been from a distance. Women can be affected by toxic masculinity in different ways, but upon observing the attitudes pushed onto my brother and male friends as I grew up, I realized what differences in their lifestyle they had to make in order to be accepted by society, perhaps even before they realized it themselves. I also realized how these lifestyle differences affected their choices in dress from a very early age. “Toxic masculinity” is often defined as “the stereotypically masculine gender roles that restrict the kinds of emotions allowable for boys and men to express, including social expectations that men seek to be dominant.” I find myself occasionally referring to toxic masculinity in my mind as “anti-femininity.” Most of the ideas pushed by toxic masculinity are the concept of making things antifeminine. Preventing young boys from crying, telling them to “man up” and discouraging traditionally feminine clothing are all examples of toxic masculinity and rejecting femininity. As a result, young men are often deterred from wearing bright or lightly colored garments, especially the color pink, due to the fact that our society has deemed these characteristics as “feminine.” Something else you’ll absolutely never find in the young boy’s section of a clothing store? A skirt. In 21st century America it is not uncommon to see women wearing pants. In fact, living life as a college student on a campus, I find myself seeing women wearing shorts and pants more often than I see them wearing skirts and dresses. It took years for women in America to gain the right (yes, right) to wear pants, and once it became mainstream it was a huge victory for women. Was it really, though? Women were able to wear pants, so pants started to become gender-neutral instead of being completely labeled as masculine. However, it has almost always been more acceptable for women to take on masculine attributes than it has been for men to do the opposite. Skirts, the de facto “feminine” clothing garment, are still almost exclusively associated with women and femininity nearly 100 years after pants became acceptable for both


men and women in America. The reason for this? Writer Marlen Komar opined that it’s because “masculinity is valued—it’s associated with seriousness, power, credibility, and authority, so a woman `reaching into a man’s wardrobe is seen as aspirational, and it gives her leeway to play with the pieces.” According to an advice columnist in a 1938 newspaper, “the greatest insult you can offer a man is to call him effeminate, but women esteem it a compliment to be told they have a boyish figure and that they have a masculine intellect.” This attitude is harmful to people of all genders, and is unfortunately common and established in American society even today. So how do we remedy this? Overturning a centuries-old patriarchal society isn’t the easiest thing to do, but taking small steps will eventually create change. Some examples of this can be calling out friends and family members who make judgments on a boy’s choice to dress or act feminine, and encouraging young boys to express their emotions and dress as they please. Establishing these boundaries at a young age will encourage all children to grow up comfortable with their gender identity and the clothing they choose to wear. Having gender be so binary that certain clothing items are associated with certain genders was not always the case; and in some places, it currently isn’t. Skirts are still commonly worn by men in many different cultures across the world. In the West, the kilt is the most commonly known name for a “male skirt,” but there’s also the lungi in India, the lavalava in Samoa, and the futah in Yemen. There also should be a push for androgynous looks to become acceptable for people of all gender identities. American masculinity shouldn’t be threatened by a traditionally feminine garment. If you find the appearance of skirts pleasing, by all means, try them out. You could be at the foreground of a big upheaval in the fashion world, or perhaps even smash the patriarchy.

models: Cormac McCarthy and Nick Kaffine



written by Aidan Baglivo photographed by Catherine Barna

Early each morning I, like most, choose what clothes to wear for the day. I stand in front of the mirror, weigh my options and check if the colors match. For me, though, my decision extends beyond the usual criteria for an acceptable outfit. I came out the summer before my first year at Northeastern, and although I’m almost a year out from then, I still find myself tethered to questions like, “How ‘gay’ am I going to dress today? Am I expressing myself honestly through the clothes I’m wearing?”


18 years of my life were spent as a chameleon. I tailored myself to accommodate the restrictive expectations of others. After high school, I was exhausted and lacked a tangible sense of self. But as I entered college, I felt a stronger responsibility toward my own happiness—so I took the first steps in what would be a lengthy, confusing process. Stepping into the LGBTQ+ community was both refreshing and intimidating. Having just come out, I perceived older queer folks as veterans. Everyone seemed innately true

to themselves and well-versed in queer culture. However, after meeting other gay students, I came to realize my identity didn’t rest upon my sexuality. All my life I had presented myself differently depending on my audience, so it was an adjustment to step out of the traditional, straight role I had assumed for years. By prioritizing my own opinion, I felt more comfortable experimenting with my perceived identity. The clothes I wore began to hold more meaning without the weight of archaic judgments. Fashion had actually become part of my queer identity. There truly is no singular mode of dress for gay men. Through conversations with friends who have also recently come out, I’ve found that finding your style is complicated. The eyes of the LGBTQ+ community, along with the restrictive expectations of a conservative society, provide mixed signals when standing in front of the mirror in the morning. Valid concerns for personal safety and the ability to receive equal treatment linger when taking the “risk” of wearing something perceived to be more flamboyant or effeminate. At the same time, newly identified members of the community feel pushed by both their peers and themselves to venture outside of their comfort zone. The constant tug of war between queer and traditional mindsets manifests itself in the simple process of getting dressed. From testing various combinations and outfits each morning, I feel a sense of ownership of my style. Be it through adding a funky pair of socks, tucking in my shirt or vibrantly tie-dying a white Northeastern Huskies T-shirt, I take pride in how I present myself because I have full control over the clothes I wear. Taking the time to build a distinct outfit provides the foundation for a positive outlook that day. My opinion alone predicates my sense of self.

model: Aidan Baglivo

While I’ve made enormous strides in expressing myself, feeling confident in my sexuality and establishing my own identity since I came out, I’m definitely still finding my way. The coming out process never truly ends for members of the LGBTQ+ community. I often catch myself reverting to the traditional, “straight” role I assumed for so many years to appease the needs of others. But ultimately, when I look at the mirror in the morning, I see myself, not the chameleon who craved to blend in.


The Collective You:

How Others Shape Our Identities written and photographed by Hunter Coury

Who am I? Historically, I’ve tried my best not to answer that question, because identity is a massively complex concept. I believe identity comprises nationality, values, interests, gender, sexuality, spirituality, and our tendencies towards certain emotions, attitudes, and temperaments, all of which are hard to boil down into one, concise personal statement. The other reason I try not answer that question is, well, I don’t believe I became me without the influence of other people. We tend to assume that our individual identity is distinct from others around us. Every day you have the experience of sharing your identity with someone else, and those people are able to share theirs with you.

If those identities are shared among us all, why would you assume your personality or character are solely yours? Why does it make sense to think your identity is stable? Whether an untouched identity exists or not, one thing that we know for sure is: who you are is incredibly dependent on who and what you surround yourself with. I wonder— what is it like to shift your identity? It can feel anywhere from euphoric to terrifying to share yourself with others and vice versa. However, if that’s how we become ourselves, maybe it’s not all that bad. Below are anonymous accounts from people whose personalities or identities have shifted as a result of someone else’s place in their life. You Are Your Friends: With friends, you share wisdom and laughter. Communication and shared experiences mold your sense of who you are and who you want to be. “You know the phrase, ‘opposites attract?’ We’ve learned from each other and while we may have two different personalities, over time we’ve noticed we get better at the aspects we’re not so great at. She keeps me in check, I keep her in check. We keep each other in check. And I couldn’t have asked for it any other way.” “Part of my identity is being a twin. I have a built-in best friend, and someone to go through life with that will never leave my side. At home, we were always associated with each other. If someone invites one of us somewhere, it was a given that the invitation was open to both of us.”

models: Tory Govan, Lujane Barakat, Julia Choi, Olivia Overington and Ryo Tsuda


You Are Your Culture: Living in an individualistic society, we tend not to think that we are our culture influences us. Our personality is laden with the hasty, ever-changing changing ambiance of the early 2000s and everything before it. “I have developed a much broader perspective on things. They have all taught me that it doesn’t matter what your background is, where you come from, or any other label society uses to separate us as people. We are all more alike than different. We’re just some young adults trying to make it in this world.” “I feed off of other people’s energy, so when I’m around people who have such a strong passion for what they do, it inspires me to do just the same.”

You Are Your Lovers: Intimacy and romance is a whole other game. In the case of dating or just plain hookups, vulnerability is a catalyst for changes in your personality. Love, lust, and infatuation are emotions that are most capable of causing alterations in one’s identity. “I grew insensitive and unsympathetic towards his feelings and didn’t understand why he couldn’t just separate feelings from sex and allow himself to get so hung up on wanting a romantic relationship with me. After this experience, I learned that communication is vital to understanding one another, and to be sure people are on the same page.” “In the four years of dating, I have grown so much as a person for myself and my partner. I am a better communicator: I put more thought into my words before expressing them. I am a better listener: I put myself in the other person’s shoes to hear their perspective on things we don’t see eye to eye on. I am a fighter: I’ve learned to take on opportunities that come my way. He’s pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways I didn’t think were possible. I am not as naive as I once was. I still care about those around me, but I realized I must love and take of myself first before others. I’ve come out a much happier and more confident me.” “Being in my relationship has shown me how much control I’ve always kept in my life, which is funny because I had always considered myself to be a vulnerable person. But vulnerability is when you release control; you let someone else dictate the outcome. I’ve never been good at doing that. I’m starting to learn how, which is scary because it means there’s potential for pain. But there’s so much more potential for stronger connection and love and trust. And I have something that’s worth the risk.”


 rogynous photographed by Simran Gvalani



The Pressures of Facetune written by Anna Sedova illustrated by Franny Kuth

The art of Photoshop is to make everything look slightly more perfect. Your eye shouldn’t immediately pick out a model’s too-skinny arm, blurred pores or unwrinkled shirt. Those faultless subtleties should just exist, as if every detail is that flawless in real life. Enter Facetune. Released in March 2013 by an Israel-based startup company, the Facetune app is Photoshop For Dummies. It is easy to use—you just swipe your finger and your pimples virtually disappear, your eyelashes defined and teeth whitened. For only $3.99, you can make your selfie a better version of you. 50 million people have already downloaded Facetune, which means your classmate, best friend and the person making your almond latte all use this app to enhance their photos. It is currently one of the top-rated apps in the photo and video category. It’s easy to reach for this downloadable ticket to perceived perfection, which many of us are inclined to do. The upkeep of our online personas has established an importance on our generation that many of us don’t think twice about it. We live in a Photoshop society, an endless marathon where no one will ever win. We are brainwashed by altered photos of models in advertisements. We all have an internalized version of perfection. It feels like everyone is constantly trying to reach that mythical perfection which simply does not exist. Instagram is a platform rampant with comparison. As users, scrolling through photos of influencers might not seem complex, but it leaves a mark. And the effects offered by Facetune are almost unperceivable, we just soak it up. We compare ourselves our favorite influencers, sometimes even our friends, and want to be better than a result that does not exist.


I asked my friends who have Facetune what they thought about the app, and how much they actually use it. “It’s like a vicious circle,” Anna Sannikova told me. “A girl retouches her photo because she wants to be as flawless as everyone else on Instagram, and then her friend sees it and does exactly the same.” Sannikova believes that apps like Facetune are a doubleedged sword, “It’s not the root of all evil. These apps are just consequences of much deeper problems.” Another friend, Daria Ivanova, told me that she would love to look like a Facetuned version of herself. The idea of losing 10 pounds with the swipe of a finger sounds like a pretty good deal. “It is not as easy in real life,” she said. “Sometimes I retouch my photos and dream of being that flawless.” It’s important to remember that our perceptions of online personas aren’t accurate. Real life consists of flaws and imperfections—not just a highlight reel. My friends’ answers made me think about the essence of our society. Why do two absolutely stunning young women feel that they are virtually pressured to retouch their faces and bodies to reach perfection? Do they really feel the necessity to do this? Yes, they do. And other people feel this way too. People trying and struggling to become “accepted” by the community, assured that they are not beautiful enough, not smart enough—just not enough. Sometimes I think that the problem of wanting unattainable perfection is so rooted in our minds that it seems impossible to make any changes. Sometimes I think we are stuck in a cycle of perceived perfection and it is too late to shift societal beauty standards. Nevertheless, it is important to start the conversation, to make people think about how we follow standards imposed upon us by our own contaminated minds.

It’s easy to tell someone that their flaws make them beautiful. It’s not so easy to believe those things to your core, especially when we’re being bombarded by others trying to escape their own forms by blurring and retouching. There are societal problems that have deeper roots than an app you can purchase by sacrificing a cup of coffee, and most of them have to do with our own perception of beauty and where that stems from. I’m tired of the concept of seeking for perfection. It has a tendency to make living robots out of society. My appearance is just my appearance and I consider that beautiful. There is no such thing as a physical flaw. We are not just a perfect picture on Instagram, we are people with thoughts, feelings and emotions treasuring an enormously big world inside. I’ve embraced my face and my body because it’s what makes me real. This is exactly what makes us human. And it’s wonderful to look at.

the true story of the

Goth Goth Girlfriend Girlfriend written by Olivia Mastrosimone photographed by Jill Kligler If you’ve been on the Internet during the last year, you’ve probably noticed people starting to look more and more like that one goth girl that was the laughing stock of every early 2000s teen movie. Kylie Jenner’s newest makeup line was described as “goth mom chic,” and if either Hadid sister wears something black, there’s a Daily Mail story on Snapchat the next day about how the models are turning to the dark side. Maybe the most prevalent example right now is the duly named, and somewhat unsettling, “goth gf” meme that arrived when Tesla CEO Elon Musk brought pop artist Grimes to the Met Gala. As we enter the last few months of 2018, the term seems unavoidable. So, what does goth really mean, and why is it still important? The word “goth” didn’t always just mean Instagram models wearing black lipstick and e-boys on Twitter begging to date them. Goth subculture originated in the seedy runoff of post-punk Great Britain. As punk gradually “sold out” and faded into the mainstream, goth began growing as a musical style and a culture. The end of the 70s brought the birth of goth fashion and beauty, which is where we start seeing the dark eyeshadow, thick eyeliner and red lips that we still associate with gothic beauty today.


models: Olivia Mastrosimone and Avery Kelly

London during the 1980s was a breeding ground for all things subversive. Siouxsie Sioux, of Siouxsie and the Banshees, was a gothic pioneer in many respects. No stranger to the underground, Sioux, along with future Banshees member Steven Severin, was a member of the Bromley Contingent, an infamous group of Sex Pistols fans that followed the iconic punk group all over the UK. While she began her career as a groupie, she evolved into a postpunk powerhouse and a style icon, garnering a large musical and stylistic following and eventually mainstream success. Her angular makeup, wild hair and inflammatory fashion provided the template for goth’s safety-pin Victorian style,

and the band ’s unconventional sound and dark discord inspired new wave and goth bands for generations. Maybe the most influential goth makeup look that came out of the early scene is Siouxsie’s iconic eye. Her jetblack, geometric brows and graphic eyeshadow are a staple of gothic makeup, and definitely not for the faint of heart (or eyeliner). It represents everything goth makeup is: exaggerated and confrontational. In the mid-1980s, when the Banshees and fellow darkly inclined acts like Joy Division and Bauhaus were sporting their teased fringes and ghoulish makeup, mainstream society was neon-clad


and freshly permed. The early men and women of the goth scene not only turned heads but also challenged the very idea of beauty with their appearance. This attitude is at the core of goth’s culture and style:

we don’t want to fit in, and we’re not even going to try. As the subculture’s formative bands and figures exploded into the mainstream or fizzled into obscurity, goth’s reaches expanded and its identity became increasingly fragmented. The 1990s and 2000s saw the rise of countless groups that, if not identifying as goth explicitly, were decidedly goth in their attitude and attire. Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry would set the scene for the angstridden and goth-inspired acts of the 90s. In our modern context, these bands’ early styles of all-black outfits and moody eye makeup isn’t all that provocative—but just remember that in 1992, when Ministry was dying their hair and releasing their controversial but decisive single “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” the Zubaz-wearing masses were listening to “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, number six on Billboard’s Top 100 chart that year. As the 90s progressed, goth grew in popularity and continued to subvert culture with its musical style, fashion and beauty. Goth’s time in the mainstream peaked with the poppunk and emo music of the early 2000s and the subsequent birth of “mall goth” culture—A.K.A., the golden age of thin, drawn on eyebrows, kohl eyeliner, and black lipstick. Popular artists like Avril Lavigne and Evanescence cultivated a following of teenage fans, known in the community as “baby bats” who gathered at their local mall’s Hot Topic in their best pre-gothdom attire. This is not to say that these young “mall goths” weren’t as authentic or cool as the goths of the 80s and 90s. If anything, their fashion was just as iconic and makeup just as eccentric as that of the earlier figures. Whether it was 15-year-old punks in middle-America with swooping side bangs wearing black, chain-laden


cargo pants and a Slipknot t-shirt, or the 20-somethings of London with their teased mullets and fishnet sleeves, it’s bizarre, it’s confusing, and it’s definitely goth. Mainstream goth beauty today seems to has lost some this endearing aggressiveness. Like the best subcultures, it eventually crept its way into popular culture over the years and, while a vibrant underground goth culture remains today, the public’s idea of goth has become skewed. After the pop-punk and emo explosion of the early 2000s, goth’s unique aesthetic and attitude were swallowed up by designers and makeup artists and spat out as $50 Kat Von D eyeshadow palettes and bad memes. Yes, DailyMail is reporting that Kendall Jenner wearing blue eyeshadow and baby buns is goth, and there are people all over the internet saying they want to date Sam Manson from Danny Phantom, but that doesn’t mean the culture is a lost cause. The flawed “goth gf” trend can learn something from its predecessors of the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Reintroducing some of the delightful strangeness of goth’s past styles into a modern beauty context will help break down some of the walls put up around the goth identity. Making statements with your makeup and appearance is empowering and unimpeachably goth. If we’ve learned anything from Siouxsie Sioux or Avril Lavigne, a goth girlfriend isn’t someone that fits into a mold, but someone who breaks it.



consistently mine: Lessons from a Long Distance Relationship written by Nia Beckett photographed by Kaela Anderson

Imagine that for months, you spend every waking moment with someone you truly care about, and the next day you’re on a plane to call a place 1,200 miles away from them home. No more cuddling up next to them, no more late night trips to the beach. Amidst the change of scenery, the struggle to make new friends and the ungodly amounts of homework, you miss them and you wonder where to go from here. Let me be the first to say that before I dated my current boyfriend, I never even considered being in a long distance relationship. I had no doubt in my mind that I would leave for college 100 percent single. I was going to party and take advantage of everything that the college social life had to offer. As cheesy as it sounds, when you meet someone special, all bets are off. I remember him saying in the weeks before each of us left for school that he hated long distance relationships because of the lack of intimacy. He didn’t necessarily mean this in a physical way—it’s just that when you’re not physically near someone, it makes it more difficult to connect with them on other levels. His words lingered in my mind as the summer drew to a close, presumably bringing with it the end of our relationship. July turned to August and while he did his best to comfort me, my mid-date breakdowns became more frequent. Then a funny thing happened: we didn’t stop talking.

Obviously when a healthy relationship is uprooted overnight, you don’t immediately start acting differently. It hasn’t hit you that you aren’t just on vacation or at summer camp. Your mind isn’t even equipped to process how long you’ll be gone. Still, days turned into weeks and the same guy who didn’t believe in long distance relationships couldn’t let me go. It was time to re-evaluate. Entering this new, uncharted territory, there wasn’t really much to go off of. There isn’t an official textbook you can refer to. No “turn to page nine to find out how many times it is acceptable to text him before breakfast.” All of the information you gather is about friends of friends who tried long distance relationships once and you always end up asking the million dollar question, “Did it work out?” Long distance relationships are the kind of thing that you need to be certain about. You don’t need to know that it will work, but you need to be positive that you want to try. I have found that it’s easier not to get caught up in my own head about it. The logistics don’t really matter: it’s about me and the guy I love. Trying to define the relationship through a screen or a phone line hundreds of miles apart is like running your hand across the wall to find the light switch hanging right above your head. FaceTime is so much harder than face-to-face time. Communication becomes so much more important when you aren’t physically there to see how the other person feels. Distance creates such an interesting obstacle. For some, it’s easy to keep texting each other and go on as if nothing has changed. For others, going into this kind of situation with a sense of uncertainty presents uneasy conversations about where you’re going. What you often find is that one person has committed to at least trying while the other is unsure. It’s almost as if they’re stuck in limbo—part of them finding the loneliness overbearing, but whenever they are with you, they can’t see it any other way.

models: Roman Distefano and Dania Danielle Gritzmacher

Friends mean well when they tell you to “just find another guy.” I guess there’s some merit to that consideration. The consideration that a relationship, especially one that’s long distance, is an extra time commitment. However, a relationship isn’t like a club or a class that you just unenroll from with no emotional repercussions. When two people find true companionship in each other, it can’t be written off as “just another thing on their plate.” There’s nothing wrong with ending a relationship because of lack of time to spend together, or because long distance just isn’t for you. In fact no one should be judged for ending their relationship on those grounds, if they see it fit. However, it’s a personal choice, and I don’t think that it has to be seen as a taboo, unconquerable burden. I can’t say that down the road we’ll still be together, (although I’d like that very much). What I can offer, however, is that I still get happiness out of our relationship every day, and I’m not ready to cast it off just because of the distance. At a point where my whole life has been a whirlwind of changes, he has been consistently mine.


making sense of


written by Medha Shah photographed by Kathryn Margiotta


models: Jess Varner and Medha Shah

When it comes to the world of fashion, there are two main seasons that come to mind: Spring/Summer and Fall/ Winter. For years, designers have dictated these times of year as their unveiling periods by holding fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and other cities the world over. These presentations allow designers to garner feedback from celebrities and influencers so they can decide what to produce for their in-store collections. For these brands, the styles of upcoming seasons are planned months in advance. But within these major seasons lie microseasons that fast fashion retailers live and die by. With a lifespan of four to six weeks, microseasons either land in the realm of seasonal fashion trends or completely unrelated fads. Designers have adopted smaller seasons such as Resort and Pre-Fall to keep up, but this fast-fashion strategy allows designers to keep up with trends regardless of how quickly they come and go. Their ability to keep up with the most minor trends have destabilized the industry; all it takes is one picture to become an instant trend, and these large brands have the power to mass produce these pieces overnight. As Miuccia Prada said, “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” This has never been truer; fashion is how someone decides to express themselves and the beauty of microseasons is that there are always new pieces to change up your style.With the colder months upon us, our current microseason is filled with jewel-toned

sweaters, corduroy, and dramatic sleeves. The best part about these pieces is they can easily be incorporated into your wardrobe. Match a raspberry colored fuzzy sweater with your favorite jeans and some gold accents; pair a dark corduroy skirt with a chic patterned blouse; or tuck a ballooned sleeve top into some skinny jeans. My favorite thing about microseason trends is they bring a lot of statement pieces to your closet. I’m always looking at websites like Revolve, Aritzia, and Zara who have an endless inventory of new pieces coming out. But, I get the most inspiration from popular influencers’ Instagram feeds who enjoy pushing the boundaries of fashion. Trends like structured office wear mixed with athleisure are a welcome reprieve from heels, but what really gets me excited are the dazzling dresses and skirts laced with tons of sequins and glitter. One of my favorite overlapping microseasons is “Disco Isn’t Dead.” It’s loud and unapologetic whether you’re wearing a glittery burgundy gown or cheetah sequined pants you’re sure to never be missed. While it can seem daunting to style such pieces I promise the shiny details will make you feel powerful and feminine. Fashion trends can transcend seasons allowing you to switch up your wardrobe and feel like you just walked out of a magazine. They are easily accessible and allow you to pull inspiration from anywhere. Spring/ Summer and Fall/Winter seasons will never disappear completely, but microseasons can truly let you express yourself through fashion.



Candles: College as a Coming of Age written by Tova Lenchner photographed by Dalia Sadaka

None of this is how it was in the movies. We were supposed to spend our college days making lifelong friends, seamlessly falling into an inspiring collegiate environment where we greet each new challenge with inspiration and great anticipation. If not that, at least, we were supposed to embrace our youth, rowdily drinking away and partying relentlessly. Or so I thought that’s how my college experience would transpire. When I was 8 years old, I accompanied my father to a college reunion. The campus was stunning, the air was buzzing with excitement and spirit- you could nearly smell the books and opportunities. The current students looked like they were on a mission carrying their books while the alumni laughed and reminisced about the glory days of college. I could not wait to go to college. I was certain that by the time college came about, surely I would be so strong and independent, knowing exactly who I am. My 8-year-old predictions were a bit off. People always told me that change was hard, but this did not really feel like change, rather a new adventure—until I came back from I had spent four months putting all my savings to good use in exploring Europe, all while getting class credit—it didn’t seem real. Looking back, It felt more like a vacation, more like the last summer of sleepaway camp before the reality of school really hits. Even before I came to campus, I started to doubt my expectations, my dreams about how I thought college was going to be. All my high school friends told stories I simply couldn’t relate to about parties and football games.


I went back to school, this time to Boston—and still, I couldn’t relate. It was supposed to be fun and exciting all the time, wasn’t it? What was I doing wrong? Suddenly I was living completely on my own, walking through crowds where I couldn’t find a single familiar face. I was sitting in classes where it seemed everyone was more intelligent and qualified. I felt shut down, whereas my peers seemed so inspired, motivated and driven. The kids in my classes and even the friends I followed on social media were so sure of themselves—they had their futures planned and passions discovered, their cliques sorted and personalities fully developed. Meanwhile, I was having a midlife crisis at the ripe young age of 18. But, I couldn’t admit it or they would all know I was a failure who could not rise to their level. I had spent my high school years being embarrassed and angsty towards my parents like some Holden Caulfield wannabe, but suddenly they were the only people who I could talk to about this without feeling the urge to compare myself. Yet here I was, comparing my college experience to that of my mother’s. For the first time someone actually said what I was thinking out loud—this sucks. When she left home she had driven alone into an

Meanwhile, I was having a midlife crisis at the ripe young age of 18.

inevitable unknown with just a few suitcases. At times she felt so inherently alone, even when surrounded by new friends. She went from being the smartest kid in her class, to a completely average student. She had no idea what she was doing. So, if even my mom had no idea what she was doing and still turned out to be this amazing woman I look up to so much maybe it was okay if I didn’t either. But, what do I do in the meantime? Her answer was simple—nothing. It was okay to not be okay, to be uneasy with the situation because it all would just take a painful adjustment period to be worthwhile. It took a full year for me to open up about it to my friends, for us all to open up about it. Some of us spent that first year changing our majors four times, others couldn’t find an extracurricular or group to inspire them, some were struggling to say a single word in class. Yet, all the while we were posting instagrams in frat basements and at tailgates. We were supposed to be using social media to connect, but rather it pushed us apart because no one wanted to admit that not everything was as happy-go-lucky as their posts. But, slowly we opened up. We started raising our hands in class and giving our peers a chance, joining niche activities just for our happiness, and activities that focused on our academic passions. Coming into our own was not something that happened overnight and was not nearly as cute and sweet as some 80s Molly Ringwald film, but little did we know that we were not alone.

model: Kendall Trelegan


painted body art and production design by Vidisha Agarwalla photographed by Ellie MacLean

Profile for The Avenue Magazine




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Recommendations could not be loaded

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