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SPRING 2023 / VOLUME 12.2
A MAGAZINE ON THE CULTURE AND ASPIRATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL YOUTH
Editor in Chief
Pablo Monfort Millan
Pablo Monfort Millan
Pablo Monfort Millan
Pablo Monfort Millan
This magazine is printed
Cover photograph by Sarah Glavan, Modeled by Caitlin Brown & Joy Amessoudji
by Tanghe Printing, Belgium in 2023
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Letter from the Editor
Portraits of Protest
Three protestors share their personal experiences with resistance
By Caitlin Daly, Photographs by Houssam Bakraoui
Home Is Where the Change Is
How dismantaling the nuclear family can promote gender equality
By Jordan Strain
Turned On But Tuned Out
How the next generation of women are embracing their right to pleasure
By Kylie Fast
From Bloomers to Bras
How feminism has influenced the evolution of fashion
By Sara Crawford
By Ainsley Swenson
Hooked on a Feeling
By Aerin Flaharty
By Pablo Monfort Millan
By Lauren Rosker
51-55 The Revolution is in the Fine
The small changes that make a big impact for the people left out of democracy
By Jacob Shropshire
Banned & Booked
censorship through the ages
hookup culture is changing our perception of love and relationships
Green and Unseen A visual piece on nature’s resilience
the New, In
resurgence of vintage tastes
By Madeline Eslinger
By Gloria Kabongo
By Paulina Kudevita
By Natasha Hersman
Why frat culture is losing its appeal for college students
Bottoms Up, Ethics Down
61-64 The Beauty Bias Why inclusivity in the modeling industry needs to start behind-the-scenes
65-71 Rebel With a Closet A look at what influences AUP students’personal style By Clayton
72-74 The Great Green Con Macron’s environmental hypocrisy
75-78 A Tribute to Vivienne Westwood How Westwood’s fashion became a movement
Punk the Patriarchy
How women have changed the music game
By Mia Baccei
How Western greed has crippled an African nation
By Gloria Kabongo
5 ways to kick your tech addiction for good
By Sam Coyle
How media misrepresentation promotes
By Ayah Shayeb
By Katherine Keathley
83-84 Coltan in the
85-86 It’s Time For a Digital Detox
The Pen Is Mightier A collection of poetic resistance
When we frst setled on resistance as the theme for this issue, the start of what would go on to become a natonwide movement of protests had just begun. France seemed to keep in pace with our magazine producton: we worked on frst drafs while Concorde burned. By second drafs, trash bags mountained high over most sidewalks. Third drafs were a misery to edit because of the noise; collectve screams of ‘retraite’ and ‘pour la revoluton’ alongside ‘90s pop songs, all slushing into one cacophony as protestors made their way along the Seine.
To the rest of the world, France had entered her second revoluton (not to outdo the original, of course). Friends from abroad couldn’t understand why classes were canceled every other week because of the metro strikes, family called to ask whether Paris was even safe to visit in the Spring. And for the most part, these protests have succeeded in permeatng every aspect of our lives, disruptng daily schedules and forcing everyone—even the most apolitcal—to turn their news
channels on and keep up. Come February, debates over Macron’s policies began cropping up all over campus. Mais, c’est la France; such debates always exist. And so does resistance perhaps, such a quintessental part of French culture.
What has captured the atenton of the larger internatonal community isn’t necessarily the cause which the French are fghting for, but more so their spirit and unity. The ease with which the naton slips into the gears of resistance, unitng against an infringement of their democratc rights, is the same ease which has allowed for these protests to become such a seamless ft into the daily rigmarole of the country and its citzens. From the outside, revolutonary movements seem all encompassing, occupying every tangible bit of a naton’s breadth while seemingly encroaching into citzens’ lives. But on the inside, students complain about midterms, families convene around tables for dinner, couples sip wine to the background din of ‘mort á l’état,’—life goes on. This isn’t meant to undermine the impor-
tance of what—at the tme of publicaton—the French are stll fghtng for. Rather it’s a testament to people’s ability to mobilize at a moment’s notce, always ready to defend their collectve rights; there’s always a revoluton on standby.
Resistance is at the core of what it means to be human, to coexist alongside others in a society underlined by the importance of individual and collectve rights. Revoluton isn’t all picket-signs, riot mobs and slogans; much of our expressions of defance exist in everyday acts of rebellion, of silently resistng the oppressive systems and ideals we fnd ourselves surrounded by. The litle acts of resistance that make up the fabric of everyday life can eventually lead to signifcant change; this is the revoluton which never ends. If there’s any one thing to be taken away from France’s ongoing movement, let it be this: small acts of personal rebellion, of one’s own percepton of what it means to resist, eventually add up to a powerful collectve voice calling for change in the face of injustce.
Every artcle in this issue explores what resistance can mean at the most fundamental, personal level. In an intuitve interview, Caitlin Daly talks to three protestors on the place resistance holds within their lives. Kylie Fast writes about female pleasure unabashedly, outlining the importance of prioritzing feminine sexuality. Sara Crawford explores the place of feminism within the evoluton of fashion, of how clothes become a powerful emblem of revolutonary ideas. Sam
Coyle puts a satrical spin on the noton of going tech-free. And in a poignantly-curated collecton of poems, Katherine Keathley tes resistance to a sensitve art form, getng right to the root of what rebellion in the quotdien means.
I am beyond grateful to have worked on this issue alongside a group of dedicated individuals. As this magazine goes out into the world, I hope it inspires our readers to contnue to resist and rebel against all that endangers their right to queston, express and ultmately, exist. Remember, resistance is less about fghtng against something and more about fghtng for something beter.
I want to thank Marc Feustal for his invaluable advice and guidance throughout the producton process. Thank you to Pablo Monfort Millan for stepping up when needed and for being a fantastc copy-editor. To Clayton Wilson, for her humor and photographic genius. I’m incredibly grateful to both Caroline Sjerven and Fiona Schlumberger for being pillars of support, alongside the rest of the Peacock Board. I’m always indebted to Jacob Shropshire for editng my work and providing intuitve feedback. And last but not least, to my work wife Mia Baccei, for her above average competence and trailblazing artstc vision.
Three protestors share their personal experiences with resistance
By Caitlin Daly Photography by Houssam Bakraoui
“Portraits of Protest” is a rebellion within a rebellion. It is, frst and foremost, meant to highlight the experiences of our diverse community in protests around the world. However, it is also a rebellion against mass assumptons. It is the development of an intmate and personal image—a portrait—of the protestors shown exclusively en masse in the media. How ofen do we take a moment to consider the individual lives of each person in a crowd of thousands? How are their identtes intertwined into their rebellion? Why are they protestng? Is it for their mothers, their sisters, their friends, themselves?
“Portraits of Protest” is also a rebellion against protestng in the traditonal sense. We ofen limit protests to large crowds and actve demonstratons, however, protests are much more than that. They are multfarious in nature, taking on forms that are overlooked; protests can be individual or collectve, divisive or unitary. Atending a protest can be the spark needed to initate a newfound perspectve on your role within society.
Ultmately, “Portraits of Protest” is an opportunity to discover why we are protestng. Tensions are rising across the world and they don’t
appear to be coming to a unanimous conclusion any tme soon. The only way forward is through.
Born in Washington, D.C. to Russian parents, Elizabeth grew up in both the U.S. and Russia. She is a fne arts major as well as a painter and photographer. In 2021, Elizabeth was involved in protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg following the imprisonment of Russian oppositon leader, Alexei Navalny. Navalny has openly critcized the Russian government, calling out politcal corrupton and organizing demonstratons. In 2020, he was poisoned and sent to Germany for treatment. He was then detained upon his return to Russia in January 2021.
What were the circumstances of the protests you atended?
A lot of people were captured by the police, there was a lot of violence going on. They got everyone they could; they didn’t care if you were a part of the protest or even if you were just a random person, they would pull you out. And we were seeing this, those people being dragged out
right in front of our eyes and we’re thinking, ‘what are we supposed to do?’ They were being dragged by two or three policemen; just one person being dragged by so many of those guys. And I remember we were just trying to think of what to do next.
How do you see yourself in relaton to the acts of rebellion and protest you witnessed? How has your outlook on the world changed since atending these protests?
I think when those protests happened, it was the frst tme I realized that something is wrong in this country and we are the ones who are supposed to fght for it. If you’re not going to take responsibility into your hands, then nothing will change. Nothing will change. You have to partcipate in order for something to actually happen. You have to speak up about your rights. You have to spread your message as much as possible.
is coming up with more and more obscure laws; people’s rights are being more and more limited. For now, I can’t say that those protests have made any major changes, but then again, I think the reason why is because too few people showed up. There had to have been way, way more. I think a minimum of 60% of just one city’s populaton should come out and speak for themselves.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do diferently about your involvement in the protests?
I think there’s a diference when I look at myself when I was 15 and who I am now. If something is happening that is afectng me or is going to affect me in the future, is afectng my family or the country that I’m a citzen of, I can’t just stand there and do nothing about it. I have to do something.
I think I would involve myself more than I was at that tme, because back then I was just standing and watching and running. I think I would interact more with the people, talk to them more. Also, I think I would want to show the problem to the people who weren’t protestng, people that were just walking on the streets. I’m not trying to harass them, but I would just say, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on and this kind of afects you. How about you join us?’
How do you plan to make protestng a part of your future and the way you carry yourself in the world?
Do you think the situaton in Russia has improved as a result of the protests?
No, the situaton hasn’t improved at all. Nevalny is stll in prison. There are no signs that he’s ever going to be released soon. The government
Right now I’m partaking in the French protests. However, I don’t think I would consider myself to be a politcal actvist. I would just consider myself to be a person that tries to spread the message to everyone who is not getng it. A person trying to spread the message to peo-
ple who are stuck in Russia. If they hear the informaton from someone who has lived there and also lived abroad and traveled to many different countries, it breaks their stereotypes.
I’ve already done that to many of my friends who have never been outside of Russia. When I would tell them things about the world, they would be in shock, saying, ‘But actually we’ve always been told that it’s the opposite. We’ve always been told that everything is negatve.’ For example, Europe is not sufering from electricity bills. Europe is not sufering at all. There’s none of that going on. Everyone is living their own lives. They’re living as they did before.
Aryan is a photojournalist from Afghanistan, and has partcipated in acts of protests there, as well as in Iran and in France.
That’s why most of the people do not partcipate in protests [in Afghanistan], compared to what’s happening in Iran, to what’s happening in France. Such diferent countries with different beliefs; people share diferent interests in diferent countries regarding who should partcipate in a protest and who should not.
What does protest mean to you, in both the traditonal and non-traditonal sense?
For me, protest is a goal and an aim for people. People want to fght for their rights. They want to make something right. They have lost something in the past and they want to get it back. From my experience and what I’m seeing today in my own country, this is what people actually believe in.
Why do we partcipate in protests, based on your own experience?
As someone who has experienced many protests in the past years, there’s a reason why I’ve been directly involved, especially in self-protest, which is happening in Afghanistan right now. The regime that is currently governing Afghanistan is violent and aggressive towards people who are joining the collectve protest against the government.
When I compare other countries to my own country, people are really protestng for their basic needs. They’re going out for something basic that they have to have in their life but they don’t. So that’s why they’re marching against these regimes and structures to get what they want for themselves.
How are you personally or emotonally connected to protest?
I have been most impressed by what’s happening in my own country. In Afghanistan, educaton has been completely banned for girls after sixth grade. It’s been going on for two years now, and there’s no news of reopening the schools and educatonal insttutons for women.
I think as long as I live in a country that I share a lot with in terms of cultural identty, I will be connected to protests. I think it feels like I’ve been robbed of something: for myself, my rights, the rights of my sister, my mother and my friends. I’ve always felt afected by these protests that I’ve been experiencing around myself.
When comparing the three countries you’ve witnessed protest in, how have you notced it afectng the identty of these places?
I think it really depends. When you look at the protests happening in France, and especially in Iran, they have brought people together. But in Afghanistan it’s a diferent story, because the government and the Taliban are more aggressive.
It’s going to take tme. It’s a process, but I think the more we believe in it the more efcient it’ll become. It also really depends on where one lives and what kind of government structure they’re living under. Democracies are a lot easier to get results from, but in countries like Iran and Afghanistan, which are monarchies and dictatorships, it’s more difcult. In France, they believe more in human and civil rights and they’ve been doing it for a long tme. They have protest in their history. I think they can get to what they want if they keep doing it.
You see in the protest that’s happening in Afghanistan, there’s a cluster of women who are protestng against the government and want something in return. But when you see it compared to Iran or France, everyone is partcipating in that kind of protest. In my country, it has brought a division between men and women.
But in my country, even if people keep protesting for quite some tme, I cannot say that they will get results very soon. When I see what’s happening inside the country and the way they’re controlled by the government, I think it will take them tme to achieve what they want. But I hope they do, because that’s really the cornerstone of every protest—to get what the people want.
In the protests in Paris, I saw that everyone came together with diferent signs, wantng something in return and pushing back against the government. I think it depends on where people feel they can be.
Ayah is a Palestnian-American who was born in Chicago and moved to Palestne at age ten where she fnished high school. She is a journalism student who loves traveling to experience the beauty of new cultures. She partcipated in protests in Palestne against the displacement and genocide of the Palestnian people.
Are protests efcient in accomplishing change?
What does protest mean to you in both traditonal and non-traditonal ways?
Traditonally speaking, protest has been going on for decades in Palestne, so it’s almost a part of culture. It’s involved in my life personally, since I’m really in touch with my culture.
How do you think the identty of your naton— Palestne—has been afected by the protests? Have they brought more division or unity?
In Palestne, if there’s a martyr, we make sure the mother doesn’t sufer alone. All of the companions of the specifc martyr, all the friends and associates tell the mother, ‘you’re not the only one who’s lost a son, you are not alone.’ You can really see the unity within the community, especially if you talk to Palestnians who are not based in Palestne. It’s an all for one, one for all type of thing, which I really respect and enjoy because you never really feel alone as a Palestnian.
In comparison you have people who have privilege and understand that they have it, but don’t really use it for good. They have never experienced the sort of heartache and anger that comes from being part of a community that is being taken advantage of.
Do you feel that the protests in your country benefted the cause?
The protests have created more awareness throughout the years—if you compare statstcs from forty years ago, more people know about what is going on in Palestne and the Israeli occupaton now than ever before.
Do you feel you have a diferent outlook on the world because of the protests you atended in comparison to someone who hasn’t?
As someone who’s been in a couple of protests, you can tell that people who haven’t been to protests or haven’t tried raising awareness have a sort of privilege. And at this age and tme, I feel like you should understand that you’re privileged. For example, I’m a Palestnian-American, which gives me so much more privilege than Palestnian citzens, and I have to acknowledge the fact that without this privilege, I would not be able to be able to talk about what I’m talking about today.
Social media has really helped the protests; it not only raised awareness about Palestne, but it has raised awareness about so many other Middle Eastern countries that have been occupied or have been treated in ways where human rights are being undermined over and over.
*Full names have not been used to protect the privacy and safety of the individuals featured in this piece.
In her 1949 book, “The Second Sex,” French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir says, “Man is defned as a human being and woman as a female—whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male… One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” Beauvoir described the philosophical diference between sexes but more importantly how gender is socially constructed. We can look all the way back to the 1950s and ‘60s Americanized image of the traditonal family structure. Media representaton of this tme period and traditonal practces have since ingrained into our minds a superposed structure of the nuclear family—a structure that is defned by rigid gender norms. In today’s world, however, a man coming home from his day job and a stay-at-home mom cooking dinner for the family is no longer the norm, nor is it the reality of the average heterosexual couple due to increasing fnancial pressures.
How dismantling the nuclear family can promote gender equality
By Jordan Strain
Zona Zaric, a politcal philosophy professor at The American University of Paris (AUP), talks about gender in the sense of its ever-looming presence and the role it played in the birth of the nuclear family, saying, “What is characteristc of the 1950s and ‘60s is the partcularity of a postwar period, when men returned from a war during which women took over the role of guardians of a familiar comfortng order, that was an unchosen necessity later turned into a norm.” Zaric expressed the belief that in order to bridge the gap between gender with empathy, men and women not only need to accept and heal their relatonship with feminine and masculine traits but also embrace them within their own identty. Zaric further says, “I personally fnd it incredibly sexy and irresistble when a man is in touch with his feminine side, just as I fnd the idea of virility and machismo repulsive. In the same vein, I love being able to explore, for example, dressing like a man;
afer all as RuPaul famously said, ‘we are all born naked, everything else is drag.’ One can hope that these exploratons will lead to more signifcant ones.” Zaric also spoke of gender studies in African cultures, saying, “[These cultures] teach us this presumably universal social construct we call gender is rather a Western impositon, as pre-colonial African societes such as the Yoruba did not even know the category of gender, nor base social identty on it but rather on far more fuid categories.”
Rejectng the idea of a traditonal nuclear family could redistribute the roles that shape gender and sexuality and consequently their inequites. In a conversaton with Morgan Smith, President of the Resisters club at AUP, she talks about how the stereotypical role of women constrains both genders especially when it comes to planning out
one’s life. In every patriarchal culture, it is almost like women have the sole purpose and responsibility to create life, yet no duty to live their own.
“My family was surprised when they asked me, oh, when you have kids are you going to live in Europe or move to the United States? [...] You can have a career, but your biological clock could tck,” says Smith. “I felt like I had to have children to fulfll the societal pressure and I’m sure that when the day comes where I choose to have children, there is going to be that queston of ‘do you go back to work?’ because society kind of tells you if you go back to work too soon that’s so ‘selfsh’; yet with dads there is not that pressure.”
Smith further elaborates on the double standard when it comes to what is expected of women and men, saying, “Why has there never been a push for men to be just as actvely involved as women seemingly have to be in children’s lives?” It is not considered “masculine” to be a stay-athome father, yet being a sole provider for your family is no longer sustainable for the average metropolitan city family, and the working women will ultmately be the one to blame for “neglected” children. As of the summer of 2022, the minimum wage in France is 1,678 euros per month, when the cost of living as a single person is estmated to be 1,014 euros without rent. Not only is living in a major metropolitan city not maintainable in a relatonship depending solely on the stereotypical male partner, but also not sustainable for raising children. Mean-
“I personally find it incredibly sexy and irresistable when a man is in touch with his feminine side, just as I find the idea of virility and machismo repulsive.”
while, France is ranked sixth-highest for minimum wage in European countries. The current established norm of a single-income, male-sustained household is no longer atainable in contemporary society, emotonally or economically.
Rejectng the nuclear family structure would be benefcial to men as well, as stereotypically masculine traits reject vulnerability and taking on the roles of the sole-provider are detrimental to men’s mental health. Statstcs for men’s suicide rates in the U.S. show that men were nearly fourtmes more likely to commit suicide than women.
“A woman who does not know her place is a threat to the image of the relatonship as a totality of two elements that complement each other, for example, or as any other kind of ‘cosmic order,’” says Zaric. Women have historically been challenging this hierarchical system because it does not beneft or bolster them; however, men need to recognize how it exploits them as well. While they might get paid more or might never have to think twice about gettng cat-called before stepping out the door, men’s feelings are rarely ever vocalized in their own community owing to the lack of reciprocity.
Representaton is recogniton. In the families we see in the 21st century, one might have two parents of the same gender, multple guardians or even parents who do not categorize themselves into a gender. Not only is a single-income partnership no longer stable for the average family, but it is also dehumanizing to what a family can
be and how complex families are. For instance, the proverb “it takes a village” may not have always referred to having a community or neighborhood of relatons for support, but maybe having multple intmate and emotonal relatonships. Polyamorous parentng is a communal style of raising children and as polyamory becomes more accepted, the negatve lashback against a communal parentng lifestyle also grows.
Deconstructng the idea of a traditonal or “nuclear” family is stll an ever-growing process owing to the largely-homogeneous representaton we have surrounded ourselves with. As recogniton of the LGBTQ+ community becomes more normalized globally, we see ad campaigns from big conglomerates using couples of difering races and/or of the same-sex as a way to prove they are “woke” instead of actually displaying support and acceptance of these communites through contributng to nonprofts, marches and research programs. As Carol Hanisch would say, the “private is politcal.”
The story for feminism isn’t fnished and this generaton has the chance to revisit the topic so we can destgmatze the discussion. Feminism is not and should not be absorbed into a movement that only benefts the upper middle-class, corporate white woman. If we open up an intersectonal conversaton, decisions being made for women could be made from a vantage point of compassion rather than from a feeling of exclusion. This movement can open up into lanes of reciprocity for men, women, nonbinary folks
and people of all sexualites and identtes. The evidence of the urgency for change is in the un precedented levels of climate change, regressive socio-economic gaps and violence against mi nority communites threatening any aspiraton for a safer future. This generaton has the unique opportunity to make the distncton between the private and politcal in order for the private to be come an insttutonal worth and a public priority.
TURNED ON but TUNED OUT
How the next generation of women are embracing their right to pleasure
Ah, 2005. Hollaback Girl, American Idol, Snoop Dog. Also, the year Urologist Helen O’Connell did her homegirls a big favor and for the frst tme in history, mapped out the full anatomy of the clitoris. Say what? 2005? That felt like just yesterday! If your jaw is on the foor, don’t worry; mine stll is too. Though when you consider the long history of systemic oppression women have had to endure, this research delay becomes less surprising. Quite frankly, it’s nothing we aren’t used to. Science has been sleeping on the needs of women since its birth. Shout out to our girlboss O’Connell for fnally getng us on the books—onto the next item on our endless list of sexual disparites. For millennia, female pleasure has been considered taboo; shamed as dirty, sinful, sluty—you name it, we’ve heard it. More importantly, we’ve felt it. Most women carry with them the stgma surrounding female sexuality deep in their bones. Whether they are aware of it or not, the suppressive ideals of the patriarchy have sculpted the way most women view not only themselves, but also their relatonships with their own bodies and sexuality. Misconceptons regarding women’s sexual-
By Kylie Fast
ity have persisted in nearly all cultures around the globe for so long that our perceptons of female pleasure contnue to be dictated by them to this day. That said, in recent years we have ushered in a wave of female empowerment moments, specifically targetng the reclamaton of women’s rights over their sexual narratve. From “Me Too” to the “Body Positvity” movement, we have found ourselves in the midst of a cultural shif wherein women are changing the conversaton about their bodies—whether the patriarchy likes it or not.
What are some of the ways women are changing the conversaton about sex? The list is endless. To start with, women are taking the lead in demystfying misconceptons about the female orgasm. Needing more stmulaton than vaginal penetraton? Us too honey! Doubtng the reliability of your own breadth of sexual knowledge? Have no fear. There are endless artcles online dedicated to debunking false preconceived notons regarding the female orgasm. This accessible informaton is not only empowering women to self-experiment to fnd what brings them fulflling sexual pleasure, but also to share
Graphics by Charlotte Calvignac
this informaton by opening up and starting conversatons with partners about their own needs, desires and preferences to create a more fulflling intmate experience.
Along with experimentaton, the practce of female masturbaton is fnally beginning to be openly discussed and embraced. When it comes to the mater of female self-pleasure, it has been universally cast aside as a dirty, shameful practce, even though male masturbaton is accepted as normal and even healthy. To understand one’s body and embrace it is to hold power over it; normalizing female masturbaton is equivalent to nor-
malizing female independence—something the patriarchy is not the biggest fan of…
Women are also embracing the use of porn and various toys to elevate their solo sexual experiences. From the pink tax to the rarity of content created for female audiences, the practce of enjoying erotc media has a long history of excluding women. However, new mediums are emerging and for the frst tme, accessible content is being created specifcally for female audiences. We love our trusty dirty literature erotca but if you’re looking to spice up your solo play, check out audio erotca, a new viral favorite of young women around the globe. As for sex toys, the types available for women to utlize are now endless and a huge market has emerged providing tools for women, largely created by women. The vast landscape of toys and countless artcles on female pleasure or experimentaton are just one Google search away. These are all holly jolly and long overdo shifs in the patriarchal paradigm that has dictated female pleasure. However, perhaps the most important way the next generaton of women are changing the conversaton about sex is through the emergence of female sex educators and scientsts looking to systematically reclaim power over the patriarchal narratve. From health classes neglectng female anatomy to a lack of funding allocated to research on female health, it’s a miracle we ever
To understand one’s body and embrace it is to hold power over it; normalizing female masturbation is equivalent to normalizing female independence— something the patriarchy is not the biggest fan of…
even got as far as the pill. We are seeing a huge rise in female sex educators. As many can atest, those who do get sex educaton in grade school are fed a white, cis, able-bodied male narratve. This exclusion is dangerous and ofen leaves adolescents who identfy as anything outside of that scope— i.e women, people of color, LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, disabled and countless more—feeling distraught in the implied message that there is something inherently wrong with their bodies and confused about how to navigate their sexual well-being and experiences.
Improper sex educaton is yet another instance of power being systematcally delegated. The growing emergence of female sex educators helps diversify the perspectves and informaton being provided to our younger generatons and with this, the conversaton about sex is being changed on a grassroots level. Emily Nagoski is a sex educator and creator of the podcast “Come as You Are,” a series dedicated to educatng listeners about female sexuality and demystfying female pleasure. Between providing the latest science and research regarding female sexual health to answering questons submited by listeners, Nagoski is one of the forefront leaders in redefning the way we talk about and approach female pleasure. We can’t control whether or not families provide their children with the im-
portant informaton needed to understand their bodies, but we can ensure that modern sex educaton is inclusive of all its audience. Us women are turned on, and we’re tred of being tuned out. Don’t play spectator as the next generaton of women set fre to old, oppressive ideals and embrace their right to pleasure. Join in and do your part in changing the conversaton about sex.
The growing emergence of female sex educators helps diversify the perspectives and information being provided to our younger generations and with this, the conversation about sex is being changed on a grassroots level.
Feminism’s infuence on the evolution of fashion
By Sara Crawford Photography by Clayton Wilson
Throughout modern history, women have been at the forefront of enacting social change, holding their own as prominent trailblazers. Women have played a massive role in changing society as we know it, ofen using fashion as a visual mode of protest. Traditonally deemed a “girly” industry, women have managed to weaponize and revolutonize what fashion can mean within a resistance movement. Nowadays clothing represents choice and self-expression, but that was not always the case; how one dressed in the past was heavily infuenced by expectatons of conforming to traditonal gender roles.
Thanks to the female revolutonaries that came before us, there are fewer barriers to what is socially acceptable to wear on a day-to-day basis. Today, it is normal to see women walking down the street in menswear, cropped tops or low-waisted baggy jeans, and just as common to see men in skirts with their nails painted. This shif in people’s mindsets towards denouncing patriarchal expectatons and using fashion as a means of expression has come a long way since the sufragetes, who shocked society by simply wearing a pair of pants.
Finding your own personal style and mode of expression can be an act of rebellion, and there are many diferent ways to go about it. Whether you want to break gender norms and throw on androgynous clothing, or ditch your bra and wear see-through shirts to free the nipple, each opton is as good as the next. Through fashion, it is possible to stand for a cause while going about your day as normal—a peaceful protest if you may.
In the 19th-century, women’s dresses were deliberately tailored to give of the illusion of an hourglass fgure, presumably to appease their husbands’ and suitors’ eyes. These outfts were made of long balloon skirts with steel cage underskirts and tghtly laced corsets. During the late-1800s to early-1900s, when American women were fghtng for their right to vote, the sufragetes decided they no longer needed to adhere to sexist and uncomfortable dress codes, using this change in fashion to mirror their hopes for votng equality. They adopted the use of bloomers—named afer Amelia Bloomer, an American newspaper editor and women’s rights actvist—under much shorter skirts. Many women called this outft the “freedom dress,” and it was seen as a threat to the patriarchy, as donning pants was strictly allowed only for men. By wearing bloomers, women were using fashion as a symbolic way of subvertng male authority and this was seen as a radical feminist move. Women who wore such atre were ridiculed to the point of being called “shemales.” The bloomer today serves as a symbol of the American sufragetes and their fght for equal votng rights; it was a major step in fashion history towards freeing women from the physical and metaphorical cages they were held in.
Afer World War I, the world emerged from devastaton and despair into a period of eccentricity, dance and famboyance—all words which may come to mind when thinking of the iconic 1920s fappers. Hollywood—as well as history textbooks—has ofen characterized fappers as early-20th century party girls; however they were so much more than that. Many credit fappers as some of the frst feminist actors, such as Colleen Moore and Clara Bow, who were among the most famous and infuental women of the tme. These women adopted short haircuts, exchanged corsets for lingerie and shortened skirt hemlines way above the knee. They wore heavy makeup and disregarded the conservatve expectaton of wearing a shapely corset. The fapper movement represents a shif away from modesty and an expression of femininity dictated by women on their own terms. These women used fashion to reclaim their bodily autonomy, dressing unconventonally to show that they were more than just a body to look at. Their physical expression of freedom and equality through dress and their partying lifestyle was majorly infuenced by the right to vote, which the sufragetes before them fought for. Flappers inspired the “litle black dress” which is stll considered a fashion staple, and the women of this tme are largely responsible for the fall of Victorian dress in the United States.
THE MINISKIRT REVOLUTION
When second-wave feminism arose afer World War II, young women in America were no longer going to school to become nurses or teachers. The end of the war allowed for industries to diversify, and women were able to go into diferent career felds and have greater disposable incomes. This leap in economic freedom brought about more income, which in turn meant more social mobility for women. This new-found independence was refected in their exercise of choice and defance of modest dressing expectatons. Young women became more interested in self-expression through fashion and, eventually, the miniskirt was born. Designers Mary Quant and André Courrèges are credited with being two of the frst creators of the miniskirt. In the 1960s, it was seen as a symbol of rebellion against the modesty which had traditonally been expected of women. The miniskirt became a symbol of the women’s liberaton movement which advocated for greater personal freedom and equal rights. Some people critcize the categorizaton of miniskirts as feminist because they tend to expose more of the female body for men to look at; however that is not the case at all. The miniskirt refects a woman’s right to expose as much or as litle of her body as she wants and to be free of the over-sexualizaton of the female body.
THE BLACK PANTHERS
The Black Panthers, like other civil rights actvist groups, can easily be spoted by their choice of fashion. From the mid 1960s to 1970s, the Black Panther Party stuck to a very specifc uniform; they dressed in all-black and wore natural hairstyles—specifcally afros—dark sunglasses and berets. This was a very strategic use of fashion as it signifed Black power and resistance. The typical dress for civil rights movements was “sunday best,” but for the Black Panthers that choice seemed more like adhering to the system rather than dismantling it. Their use of berets was inspired by the French Revoluton and seemed ftng as they were revolutonaries; berets became an iconic symbol of the Black Power movement. Two-thirds of the Black Panther Party were women—although they were stll treated far from equal, even within their own party, they were responsible for a lot of the success experienced by the party. These women can be credited with redefning the beauty standard for people of color and promotng intersectonal feminism. The slogan “Black is Beautful” was embodied by these women and their eforts to embrace their natural beauty instead of adhering to stereotypically white clothing and hairstyles.
BURN THE BRAS
The 1970s “Burn the Bras” movement created quite a controversy in the United States for a few diferent reasons. Some people viewed the burning of perfectly usable bras as a waste, especially as they could be donated to people who struggled to aford good undergarments. However, despite the name, women were not actually burning their bras. Many were actually donatng them, as the name “Burn the Bras” was just meant to be an atenton-grabbing ttle. The reason this movement started was perfectly summed up by Deborah J. Cohan, a professor at the University of South Carolina, in an artcle for Teen Vogue in which she writes, “Because women’s breasts—and especially nipples—are so sexualized, and because our culture is both hyper-sexualized and also quite repressed, women who want to challenge this and go topless are wantng to challenge the double standard, judgment, and harassment.” Women in the ‘70s were sick and tred of their bodies being viewed only through a sexual lens, as well as being forced to wear uncomfortable wire bras in order to maintain a desirable shape. This protest was characterized by women openly carrying around their bras instead of wearing them. Unfortunately, this protest occurred before the majority of the country became comfortable with the idea that it defended, which is why today women are stll fghtng prejudice and judgment about not wearing a bra.
FREE THE NIPPLE
The phrase “Free The Nipple” was introduced into popular media in 2012 and the movement gained a lot of tracton with celebrites and high school students alike. Many young famous women such as Kendall Jenner and Miley Cyrus became the faces of this movement by postng pictures on Instagram where they would show their nipples in an efort to normalize and desexualize the female body. This caught on quickly with many highschool girls, who followed in the celebrites’ footsteps and started ditching bras as a fashion statement. In this generaton, the “Free The Nipple” campaign may just be the best example of social media-led normaliza-
ton of bodily autonomy. From 2012 onwards, it has become common to see more and more people ditching their bras, and even optng for see-through tops. This movement piggybacked of the “Burn the Bras” movement with the exact same initatve, but was able to reach a much larger audience through social media, being much beter received by the public. It not only represented the liberaton of women’s bodies through a fashion statement, but also helped normalize public breast-feeding. Cohan perfectly summarizes the aims of the movement, saying, “They are pointng out that women doing this should be free and no more scrutnized than any man. They are also challenging how women’s breasts are seen as totally ttllatng and disgusting at the same tme...how they are at once seen as distractng sexual objects and also regarded as disgustng when breasteeding in public.”
BANNED & BOOKED
Literary censorship through the ages
Imagine being back in elementary school— you’re full of life, excitement and the desire to learn. Each day, you embark on a new adventure through the storybooks in your classroom. Now, imagine your shock, sadness and confusion when one day you arrive to fnd that all the bookshelves have been covered up; you’re no longer allowed to fnd a new fascinatng story to read. Losing access to knowledge in this manner is the harsh reality experienced by many as a result of book bans. Throughout history, oppressive regimes have atempted to control their citzens’ right to free thought and speech through censorship. Whether it be through burning or outlawing books, the restricton of access to literature has been a predominant tool of control for centuries. While the concept of banning books is not a new one, there has been a growth of this practce in recent years, especially in the United States where eforts to ban books almost doubled in 2022 compared to previous years. Through book bans, insttutons increasingly target certain minority groups—such as the LGBTQ+
By Ainsley Swenson
community or people of color (POC)—by removing or destroying literature that discuss these topics, in turn villainizing and alienatng these groups from being part of the literary narratve.
Historically—and unsurprisingly—the public has strongly opposed such restrictons on their access to knowledge and have found ways to express their discontent by rebelling against these book bans. From antebellum America to Nazi Germany, here are a few examples of some of the most signifcant book bans in history.
1637: Ban of Thomas Morton’s “New English Canaan”
The history of banned books in the United States is a long one, predatng the country’s incepton. In 1637, Thomas Morton’s “New English Canaan” was banned in the area now known as Massachusets. It became the frst book banned in the American Britsh colonies, setng the precedent for many more bans in the country’s future.
In 1624, Thomas Morton arrived in the Plymouth Colony of Massachusets and was immediately shocked by the strict laws and social re-
strictons imposed by the Puritan government. Morton quickly found himself at odds with his neighbors, and he eventually decided to develop his own town—Merrymount—to undermine the Puritan leadership. Merrymount did not follow the rules established by the Puritan government and Morton’s apparent incongruence with the status quo resulted in him being exiled from the colonies, forced to leave the town he had established to move back to England. He atempted to sue the government but when it became clear that his lawsuit would fail, he decided to take his grievances to the public and publish a book—“New English Canaan,” in which Morton critcized Puritan customs and power structures.
Many Puritan leaders were upset with the publishing of this book as it encouraged an opposing ideology that could have spread amongst the public and held the risk of posing a threat to Puritan authority. To prevent this from occurring, Morton’s “New English Canaan” was banned, and the English government seized the book immediately afer its publicaton. In response, Morton sued the Britsh government for the return of the 400 copies which had been seized, but he received no response and a trial was never conducted. Although Morton’s book received litle atenton and was not a huge success at the tme, it is now seen as a historical marker of the frst in a long line of oppressive book bans within the United States.
1740-1850: Ant-Literacy Laws for Slaves in the United States
Slavery was legal in the United States from its founding in 1776 untl 1865. During this tme, many laws were passed to deliberately discriminate against slaves and undermine their basic rights, including an ant-literacy law which was in place from 1740-1834. The law prohibited anyone from teaching slaves to read or write.
The catalyst for this legislaton was the Stono Rebellion, a famous slave uprising that began in September 1739 when 20 slaves atempted to escape to freedom. Their escape soon turned into a bloodbath as more enslaved people joined the original escapees and began to destroy the homes of enslavers. In the end, dozens were killed. Afer the uprising, plantaton owners, fearing the people they had enslaved would create counterfeit documents to obtain their freedom, blocked access to literacy for this marginalized group altogether. By doing so, the pursuit of knowledge was efectvely banned for millions of individuals. However, this group was not deterred, nor did they stop rebelling against the enslavers. Instead, they remained steadfast and found ways to obtain knowledge of how to read and write.
One of the most famous individuals who undermined the ant-literacy laws was author and former slave, Frederick Douglass. The ant-literacy rules made adolescent Douglass more fercely determined to gain access to knowledge. As
a child, Douglass utlized creatve ways to learn, including exchanging food for reading lessons from the white children in his neighborhood and learning to write by watching carpenters scribe names of ship parts on wood in a shipyard. Many years afer his escape to the free North, Douglass published his autobiography “Narratve of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” which has gone on to become one of the most signifcant books in American history and a cornerstone of African American struggles and resistance. Douglass is a prime example of how the ant-literacy laws were not as efectve as they were intended to be, and how people will always push back and reb-
el when their access to knowledge is restricted.
1933: Start of Nazi Book Bans and Book Burnings
In 1933, the Nazi Party came to power in Germany and swifly enacted many strict laws and regulatons to enforce racist and exclusionary ideas by censoring media which may have encouraged dissent against the ideals of the Nazi dictatorship. Their ultmate goal was to get rid of anything that was considered “un-German.” Amongst other approaches, book bans and book burnings were regularly and widely employed.
The frst large-scale burning of books that took place under Nazi rule happened on May 6, 1933. This event was organized by the Nazi German Students’ Associaton as an “act against un-German spirit.” They targeted the Insttute of Sexology, which was home to over 20,000 texts that discussed homosexuality and transgender people, because of the Nazi Party’s desire to ban anything they defned as “deviant” sexuality. Many other burnings and bans followed this inital event, with the vast majority targeting non-German—especially Jewish—authors such as Helen Keller and Ernest Hemingway.
There was an almost immediate response to these burnings, including in the United States where organized protests against Nazi censorship began to rise. One of the largest of these was a protest organized by American-Jewish leaders in New York that atracted over 100,000 people to
Douglass is a prime example of how the anti-literacy laws were not as efective as they were intended to be, and how people will always push back and rebel when their access to knowledge is restricted.
march in oppositon to the Nazi Party’s actons.
While these protests did not stop the book bans in Nazi Germany, they are stll remembered today as a brave act of resistance against an inhumane regime. Unlike other bans, which either restricted access to or ceased the publicaton of certain books, the Nazi bans resulted in the physical destructon of thousands of pieces of literature and have therefore been cemented in the minds of individuals all over the world. The book burnings were considered so horrifc that it is now difcult to think of book bans or the Nazi regime without also thinking of these burnings.
2000s: Increases in Book Bans in Iran
In 2005, Mohammad-Hossein Safar-Harandi took ofce as the Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister of Iran. Immediately following the start of his term, the list of banned books in Iran began to grow at an exponental rate.
Within Safar-Harandi’s frst two years in power, over 70% of previously published books were banned from being republished. The books which were banned ranged from classic Persian literature to university textbooks to some of the most popular books, such as Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” The main targets of the bans were contemporary writers in Iran like Ebrahim Golestan whose famous novel “The Cock” had its publicaton rights revoked. These bans were based on regulatng Iran’s politcal atmosphere as well as the Cultural Ministry’s ideals at the tme.
In response to this strict censorship, author Amir Hassan Cheheltan refused to accept an ofcial award that was meant to honor his literature. Other Iranian authors also voiced their discontent with the bans, but their complaints were ignored. Over the following decade, Iran’s leadership changed, but the strict censorship controlling the general populaton’s thoughts and freedom stll remained; the public now began voicing their grievances about these policies as well. A noteworthy protest surrounding this topic occurred in 2017, when former Iranian citzen Hadi Khojinian established a traveling fair of books banned in Iran. This fair traveled to many major western cites, highlightng the reality of censorship in Iran and atemptng to spotlight the literature which the Iranian regime considered a threat to its authority.
Acts of protest, such as the traveling book fair, have been crucial to spreading knowledge about book bans and censorship throughout the world. Individuals, such as Marjane Satrapi, the author of “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood,” have fed their home countries and writen novels about their experience or supported protests to draw atenton to the strict censorship enforced by their governments. These types of demonstratons get people talking and draw atenton to the restrictve conditons which millions grapple with on a daily basis.
2023: Book Bans in Florida (U.S.) Public Schools
Over the past few years, there has been a rapid increase of book bans in the U.S., specifcally targetng books which discuss race, gender identty and sexual orientaton. Unlike previous bans, the most recent ones have come with exceedingly harsh side efects.
In July 2022, the State of Florida passed a new law requiring public schools to only provide books which are “age appropriate” and formally approved by a state-trained social media specialist. Violating this law and allowing students to read banned books is considered a third-degree felony, punishable with a $5,000 fne and up to fve years in prison. This new policy has led to many teachers covering up their bookshelves in fear of prosecuton.
Numerous parents and general citzens have voiced their discontent with this law and have claimed that the State Government of Florida is overextending their power. Protests against this law have sprung up around the State of Florida, including one that used a mock book burning satri-
cally as a way to bring atenton to the strict new law.
Authors of books that have been banned within Florida have also found a way to protest; many have atended school board meetings within the countes which have removed their books from public school shelves and have also presented leters of protest.
Protests such as these grow increasingly more important in order to catch the atenton of the public as the number of book bans rise and the youth’s fundamental access to literature is threatened. Targetng children with these bans limits their acquisiton of knowledge about diferent cultures, people and places. These students are not as exposed to stories of people who have diferent living situatons and struggles than their own and they may then have a harder tme empathizing with others. It is imperatve that U.S. citzens learn about these bans and fnd ways to combat the government’s oppressive regulatons.
Violating this law and allowing students to read banned books is considered a third-degree femony, punishable with a $5,000 fne and up to fve years in prison.
How hookup culture is changing our perception of love and relationships
By Aerin Flaharty
Photographed by Clayton Wilson
Modeled by Sara Crawford
Hookup culture. It’s the look you get from across the club; next thing you know you’re waking up next to a stranger. It’s the “wyd?” text from your sneaky link at 1 a.m. (you know you shouldn’t go). It’s making out with a stranger at a bar afer one too many cocktails. Most people start “hooking up” in high school. If you’re just too advanced for that crowd, maybe it was in middle school. And don’t get me started on college students—it’s in our nature to go crazy once we hit campus our
and Alpha, are misinterpretng hookup culture as romantc, which can afect their ability to develop serious relatonships later in life. Not only is this outlook on relatonships the exact opposite of romantc, but it deters people from commitment as they hop from one hookup to the next. It’s like watching kids in an ice cream store taste all the favors at once—instead of savoring samples and setling for something they like, they move onto the next before they can make up their minds.
Hookup culture is not only dominatng relatonships, but it is also setng a negatve precedent. It creates the idea that true love is unobtainable and makes relatonships seem volatle and dispensable. People are less likely to understand the concepts of love and romance when they’ve only been engaging in no-strings atached situatonships. In hookup culture, one is more likely to give up their own personal values and boundaries for temporary pleasure. It is much easier to dive headfrst into a hookup than to take a step back and think about what it really is that you desire in your love life. And as more teenagers and young adults partcipate only in temporary romantc fings, they move away from fnding and enjoying long-lastng and meaningful relatonships. The outcome of hookup culture? Trust issues galore. Automatc guards go up once we’re approached by a new love interest. Afer complicated situatonships, one is more prone to expect the worst from someone, when in reality they’ve just never been given the bare minimum.
The mental side of it can be detrimental. Because hookup culture revolves around, well, absolutely nothing specifc, those partcipatng can become extremely lost in understanding where they stand with someone, or if they will ever pass the “sneaky link” status. This idea of being a “maybe one day, but not right now” or hearing the ever so common “I’m not ready for a relatonship, but I stll want to see you” is harmful to one’s perspectve on relatonships and how dispensable they are for them. Julie Arbit, the Global Senior Vice President of Insights at Vice Media discovered in her study including 500 partcipants from both the United Kingdom and United States that only one out of ten members of Gen Z are “committed to being commited” in their relatonships.
Gen Z takes this phenomenon and integrates it into their outlook on love, which is that it will never be romantc. How many stories have we heard about how
our parents or their friends met? More ofen than not, those stories tend to be more romantc than having to explain that someone “swiped up” on your friend’s snapchat story and called you atractve.
At the end of the day, communicaton is the most important part of hookup culture, but it is ofen swept under the rug or simply just forgoten about. Communicaton is not a strength of the younger generatons. It is so much easier to send a “come over” text than to try to approach someone in person, which is why when it starts that way, it typically doesn’t end well. If communicatng what each person wants isn’t clear from the beginning, the “situatonship” starts to form and that’s when people get hurt.
Let’s be real. Most of the tme before we go into a hookup, whether it’s someone we really like or just kind of like, we feel as if we could change the situaton. Maybe get the person to date us or form some kind of emotonal bond. Maybe if you guys cuddle a litle longer than usual, or open up about deep parts of your life, you’ll start to believe that
they will want something more. But unfortunately for some, no mater how long they stare into your eyes, no mater how tght they hold you at night, it won’t mater. To them, you’re just a notch in the bedpost, and to you, they’re a future box of tssues.
That’s not to say that hookups are entrely bad; they can be empowering and sometmes even develop into something real. Knowing you have “rizz” (skill in charming or seducing a potental romantc partner, especially through verbal communicaton) can build your confdence going into future relatonships and positvely afect how you act or even firt with others. If it is a clear, mutual decision for two people to see each other with only the intenton of sexual pleasure, there is likely no room for emotonal damage later on. In some cases, hookups can even lead to an unexpected relatonship, and they can actually turn out to be healthy and long-lastng. While unhealthy hookups tend to be more common, healthy hookups do exist. There are situatonships that hold basic respect and communicaton. For both men and women it can feel good to have a temporary type of pleasure. Sometmes people are just meant to be a one tme thing and they both know it, and that’s ok. It might even be beter to explore your sexuality in a healthy way without feeling the added emotonal pressures of a relatonship if that’s what you’re looking for. As young individuals, it is necessary to try many favors of ice
cream in order to decide what we like—we just need to acknowledge the favors we’re tastng.
Even though hookup culture isn’t going away anytme soon—not that it’s generally a bad thing—these habits of playing with one another’s emotons and miscommunicatng, or not communicatng at all is an idea that should be put to rest. Young people are fnding long-term partners. High school sweethearts stll exist. Getng asked out in person is also a thing. Unfortunately for our generaton, hookup culture is just dominating our relatonships and stripping our minds of the idea that true love exists and that we too can have it. Changing the stgma of hookup culture is important. Young people should be able to fgure out what it is that they want instead of using other people for temporary pleasure. At the end of the day, we all want to love and be loved— we can’t spend forever tastng all the favors.
Walking through the busy streets of Paris, you look around—but do you actually see? In a city where the urban layout is so metculously planned, it is uncommon to see irregularites that stem from the deeper roots of the natural world. Vegetaton in Paris is far from being restrained to artfcially designed parks and gardens, or symmetrical, tree-lined avenues. There has been a clear efort over the last few years to make the city greener and more pedestrian and bike-friendly. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has made it her goal to transform Paris into an environmental dream, with plans to cover 50% of the city with green spaces. Nature is
the beginning and the end of everything, the most powerful force on earth. It is naïve to believe that humanity will be able to tame it, for nature will always fnd ways to take back control; its resistance to the concrete jungles that we have built around us is nothing but a confrmaton. Nature moves slowly but surely, and in the context of modern-day life it makes for a valuable juxtapositon with our fast-paced human experiences. This striking duality between the tranquil natural world and our hectc human chaos—as well as nature’s extreme resilience—is explored in the following photo essay.
Out With the New, In With the Old
The resurgence of vintage tastes
By Lauren Rosker, Graphics by Reya Divekar
When talking about vintage, most people think about clothing and accessories. However, vintage is not just limited to fashion; vintage is a taste and even a sustainable lifestyle. It is fashion, music, furniture, literature and beauty. In recent years, vintage styles have regained popularity and are now a way for people to showcase their creatvity and unique personal style by incorporatng distnctve pieces from diferent eras. This resurgence can also be interpreted as a response to the homogenizaton of modern-day tastes and the pressure to conform to the latest trends.
It’s important to note that not everyone who embraces vintage culture does so as a form of rebellion. For many, the appreciaton for vintage is simply due to its quality and style, which has become a popular trend. So while adoptng vintage aesthetcs can be a form of rebellion for some, it’s not necessarily true for everyone who applies such tastes to their life. This begs the queston: is the vintage fad a cyclical trend, or is the rebellion against modernity here to stay?
Vintage aesthetcs are coming back across various areas of life, including music, beauty, fashion and home decor. Each ave-
nue expresses the revival in its own unique way, with distnct methods of resurgence.
In the music industry, vinyl records have been making a signifcant comeback; this trend suggests that consumers are drawn to them, obviously not for their practcality but for the unique listening experience and nostalgic vibes they ofer. In fact, vinyl record sales have been steadily increasing and have now surpassed CD sales. While most people have access to music through their phones and digital devices, buying vinyl records shows a preference for the tangible and sensory experience that they provide, which digital music cannot replicate. Physically handling a record, placing it on the turntable and carefully dropping the needle onto the spinning record provides a tactle experience that digital music lacks. Vinyl records also ofer a visual element, particularly for those passionate about music—the large album art and liner notes ofen accompanying
vinyl releases provide an extra layer of perceptble interest that is impossible with digital music.
Vintage aesthetcs return to the beauty industry in the form of classic and tmeless looks inspired by icons and trends from past eras. For hair, classic styles like layers, bangs and blowouts are being updated for modern tmes, offering a fresh take on tmeless beauty. Layered haircuts, popular in the 1970s and ‘80s, have returned in recent years. The contemporary take on them incorporates sofer and more subtle layers, adding volume and movement to the hair. Bangs are also making a comeback, with various styles available for diferent face shapes and hair types. Vintage bang styles include blunt, thick bangs and wispy, feathered bangs, both of which can add a touch of retro chic to any hairstyle. Blowouts are another classic vintage style that is making a comeback in modern tmes.
Additonally, several styles of makeup that were all the rage in the past are popular again today.
This includes winged eyeliner, a classic technique that uses liner to create a dramatc winged efect at the outer corner of the eye. Bold, bright lip colors have been a makeup staple for decades and they are now returning. Quintessental red lipstck is chic, but other bold shades like fuchsia, coral and berry are also on-trend.
Lastly, a big trend in makeup is a more natural look. Afer years of bold “full glam”— meaning an entre face of makeup—the natural glowy look has returned, which involves using makeup to enhance one’s features and the skin’s natural glow and texture.
Vintage furniture ofen has a unique and tmeless aesthetc that can amplify the character and charm of any space. Whether it’s mid-century modern furniture from the 1950s and ‘60s or Art Deco pieces from the ‘20s and ‘30s, it can bring a touch of history and personality to a home. It is also ofen more sustainable and environmentally friendly than buying new furniture. By purchasing vintage furniture, you recycle and reuse items that might otherwise end up in a landfll. This can be a great way to reduce your environmental impact while also adding value and character to your home.
Last but not least, vintage furniture can also be a good investment. Some vintage pieces have increased in value over tme and can be worth signifcant money. By investng in them, you can enjoy those pieces in your home and also potentally make a proft if you decide to sell them later on.
Finally, let’s talk about vintage fashion. Why is it
becoming popular again? As people become more aware of the negatve impact of fast fashion on the environment, there is a growing interest in sustainable and eco-friendly clothing optons. Second-hand shopping reduces the amount of clothing that ends up in landflls, reduces the demand for new clothing producton and helps conserve resources by extending the life of existng garments.
Second-hand clothing ofers a unique and individualistc style that stands out from the mass-produced, generic clothing in many stores today, allowing people to express their personality and create a distnct style that is not dictated by current fashion trends. Finding a fantastc second-hand piece is much more rewarding than seeing a cool artcle from a fast fashion store, as you know it is rare to encounter someone wearing the same thing. You never have to worry about
showing up to a party in the same dress as someone else. There is also a deeper sense of excitement and satsfacton in fnding a hidden gem or a great deal at a thrif store or consignment shop.
Second-hand shopping is ofen much cheaper than buying from clothing stores, which is especially appealing to budget-conscious consumers. If a consumer is not specifcally budget-conscious, there are even more amazing vintage luxury stores with unique pieces of incredible quality and taste.
The rise of online second-hand marketplaces, like Depop and Vinted, has made it easier for people to buy and sell used clothing from the comfort of their own homes. Many people prefer online shopping to in-person shopping, typically leading them to go on mainstream store websites. Apps like Depop can be hard to start out on because the algorithm needs tme to tailor suggested items to your preferences. Once you like a few things, your feed will become more and more personalized, allowing you to see the items you want without having to dig through sellers’ accounts.
Vintage shopping has been a trend for several decades and has experienced ups and downs in popularity. However, it is essental to note that vintage fashion is not just a passing trend but a longstanding style that has remained relevant. As fashion trends ofen cycle back, vintage shopping ofers a way to access unique and tmeless pieces that have proved durable. Additonally, it allows individuals to break away from the cookie-cuter styles mainstream fashion retail-
ers ofer and instead embrace their individuality.
As environmental concerns remain at the forefront of consumer consciousness, second-hand shopping ofers an eco-friendly alternatve to mass consumpton. This emphasis on sustainability will likely keep shopping vintage popular for the foreseeable future. It may be becoming popular again among younger generatons because they tend to care more about sustainability than older generatons. This can be attributed to many factors, such as growing up when climate change and environmental issues are at the forefront of public consciousness, increased exposure to educatonal resources about sustainability and a general shif in values towards a more environmentally aware lifestyle.
While vintage culture may be associated with nostalgia or an appreciaton for the past, it can also be viewed as a form of resistance against modern society’s consumerist and homogenizing forces. By rejectng the latest trends and embracing vintage styles, one can express their individuality and reject the pressure to conform to mainstream tastes. Additonally, vintage culture ofen values quality and crafsmanship over mass producton, which can be seen as a counterpoint to the waste created by modern consumer culture. Whether intentonally or not, vintage can always be seen as a form of rebellion against dominant industries and their constant push for new and trendy styles.
While the popularity ofvintage shopping may ebb and fow, it is a style that has stood the test of tme
and is likely to contnue to be popular in the future.
The Peacock Plume
The Revolution is in the Fine Print*
The small changes that make a big impact for the people left out of democracy
*By Jacob Shropshire, Graphics by Mia Baccei
In the U.S., when you’re putng together a plan to run for ofce, there are two groups of people you need to earn votes from if you want to win. The frst group is full of people commonly called “persuadables,” or swing voters, since the approach to earning their vote is to prove to them that your candidate is beter than any of the alternatves. Swing voters don’t typically align with one party or the other, and they often have weird policy positons that don’t necessarily ft together in a clean way. Regardless, if you want to win their vote, you have to persuade them that your candidate is worth it.
The second group is the turnout crowd. These
are people who lean heavily for one party or the other, and if they show up on electon day, they’re likely to vote for the same party tme and tme again. The only problem is they don’t always show up— whether it’s because they don’t know how to vote in the frst place, because they got too busy and forgot to get to the polls or even that they’re not engaged enough to have realized an electon was happening. You don’t earn their votes by winning them over ideologically; you earn them by calling their phone, knocking on their door or showing up on their TV and reminding them to vote.
In recent years, American politcs has become a lot more about the turnout crowd, and a lot less about swing voters. Studies have repeatedly shown that Americans are getng more and more polarized, and new research is startng to show that not only are they getng further apart on the ideological spectrum, but they’re less likely to make a shif against their ideological leanings for a specifc candidate. Basically, the U.S. is becoming calcifed in its politcs, with much fewer swing voters to determine the directon of each electon, and the only way to break the te in your favor is by getng the turnout crowd to actually show up. The end result of this trend? Electons that are more tghtly won and lost,
Vol. 12.2 May 4th, 2023 Issue No. 1
ber of votng-eligible people are not represented by the person they voted for.
“It becomes such an emotonal batleground, because you realize you’re not fghtng the opponent’s ideology, you’re fghtng the system,” said Kira Minvielle, a student at The American University of Paris and a former campaign stafer on Stacey Abrams’ 2018 campaign for governor in Georgia.
The systemic challenges in Georgia are some of the clearest anywhere in the U.S., in part because Abrams made sure of that. She lost the electon by less than 2% in a year where nearly four million Georgians went out to vote. In her fnal speech of the campaign, Abrams admited defeat to Kemp, but argued that it was systematc disenfranchisement of minority groups in the state that led to her defeat, not a legitmate contest of ideas.
“Georgia citzens tried to exercise their consttutonal rights and were stll denied the ability to elect their leaders,” said Abrams in her speech. “Under the watch of the now former Secretary of State, democracy failed Georgians of every politcal party, every race, every region. Again.”
In fact, the reason the race was so close in the
frst place was because of the efort the Abrams campaign put into turning voters out. In her tme in Georgia politcs, eforts led by Abrams have resulted in more than 800,000 people registering to vote, most of them Democrats.
“The money we put into votng registraton, the money we put into buses to the polls, to [get out the vote], to including and informing people in a way they had never been, was crazy,” said Minvielle.
But while the efort was inspiring in some ways, she was clear about its problems. “You’re not battling for which idea is beter, you’re batling for who can get more people out,” said Minvielle, “and it becomes a batle of mediocrity real freaking quick.”
That batle for mediocrity is also being fought in fewer and fewer places. Because of partsan calcifcaton, along with a slew of other systemic problems like gerrymandering, each party now safely controls more seats than ever before, which means there are less districts the partes can efectvely swing each electon.
So on the one hand you have electons that are tghtly won and lost with the emphasis being on turning people out, while on the oth er you have electons that are insurmount able to the minority party. This combinaton leads directly to the sense of apathy towards politcs that people in the U.S. have so ofen.
This apathy is com pletely based in reality—imag ine being a
crowd isn’t likely to get excited about someone running for sensible compromise, but for them, radical positons are the sexiest thing possible.
And if you’re one of the many voters stuck in the minority party where you have no chance of winning, your frustraton is even more understandable. People have a civic responsibility to vote, but what does it mater if your party doesn’t stand a chance in the frst place? And, perhaps even more than in the highly contested races, the people who turn out for their party tme and tme again are likely to choose candidates that are more and more radical in their views.
To be clear, this isn’t an artcle claiming that radical ideas are always dangerous —Martn Luther King Jr. was a radical in his tme. Radical ideas should be evaluated just as every other idea is evaluated.
The point, though, is that we have to think about the system of democracy we’ve chosen, and how we can adjust the rules of the game to make more favorable outcomes for the people the system is supposed to work for in the frst place. Right now, there are two diferent ideas out there that might make a positve diference in this respect.
The frst one is called a nonpartsan blanket primary, or in more fun terms, a jungle primary. The idea is prety simple—partes don’t choose their candidates in segregated primaries, and instead, all candidates run in the same primary where the top two or three or four candidates can move forward. In some places you might end up with all
The turnout crowd isn’t likely to get excited about someone running for sensible compromise, but for them, radical positions are the sexiest thing possible.
Republicans, and in others you might end up with all Democrats, but the point is that you’ve goten a beter sample of what everyone actually thinks. Instead of requiring only half of either party to agree on someone, candidates can appeal to coalitons just large enough to get them through the primary, and interests that are ofen lef out can be included. And at the end of the day, more people see their candidate go through to the next round.
This also means you give some space for ideological diferences in a party. You could see a race in a dominant Republican state, for example, that has one Democrat and two Republicans (one moderate and one radical) make it through the primary. The radical could poach Republican votes from the moderate, and you end up with the Democrat in the end because they’re the one that has the most ideological consistency with the
broadest group of the electorate in their district.
Actually, that’s not just a theoretcal example. That’s exactly what happened for Congresswoman Mary Peltola in Alaska. She was the lone Democrat in the race, and while her Republican opponents were duking it out for the base of their party, she focused on indigenous issues and fshing rights in the state, eventually winning the seat.
The second reform is called instant runof voting, or as it’s more commonly known, ranked choice votng. This is also a prety simple reform, and it goes like this—in any electon with three or more candidates, you simply rank your optons on your ballot instead of only votng for your favorite. If Joe Smith is your favorite candidate, you can put him in frst, but if he doesn’t win, you can put your second, third, fourth and so on. When it’s tme to tally the vote, you count everyone’s frst choice, and if no one meets the win threshold, you knock out the botom performing candidate. Everyone who voted for that candidate frst now goes to their second choice,
People have a civic responsibility to vote, but what does it matter if your party doesn’t stand a chance in the frst place?
and you tally it again. You keep going untl someone has won enough votes to win.
Ranked choice means that people have a say in who wins an electon, even if their top candidate didn’t end up winning. It means you get to more of a consensus-based soluton in the end. And because fringe candidates tend not to get very many votes, it encourages candidates to appeal to the broadest base possible, because even if you don’t get someone’s frst vote, maybe you can get their second or third or fourth vote, which might stll put you over the edge.
The goal of these reforms isn’t to weed out partsan ideas—partsanship, whether we like it or not, is not going away anytme soon in the U.S. The point is to incentvize candidates to make their ideas approachable to the broadest possible audience, instead of restng on a reliable group of turnout voters every single tme. It’s to increase competton within a party to move it towards more broadly popular positons, instead of leaving that party stuck with a primary votng base that looks drastcally diferent from the general electorate. And it’s to make ordinary citzens feel more empowered with their own voice and vote to make a diference in the process.
Right now, the most profound threat to democracy isn’t radicalizaton, but apathy. As long as we build our systems to keep people engaged in the
process and reassured that their vote and their voice maters, the radicalizaton will take care of itself. And while votng reform isn’t exactly the sexiest thing to propose when it comes to repairing democracy, it amounts to a ballistc missile in the fght between democracy and authoritarianism.
Right now, the most profound thread to democracy isn’t radicalization, but apathy. As long as we build our systems to keep people engaged in the process and reassured that their vote and their voice matters, the radicalization will take care on itself.
By Madeline Eslinger
Graphics by Mia Baccei
Why frat culture is losing its appeal for college students
For many American high school seniors who aim for a higher educaton, their last year of school is spent yearning for freedom. They want to move on to the bigger and beter; where mom and dad aren’t breathing down their necks, where they’re living on their own, where they will fnally have the ultmate college experience. Most of all, these kids expect their social lives will fourish as soon as they go of to university; they’ll be going to partes where they can play drinking games and go wild untl the late hours of the night. They know college life can be dangerous—they’ve heard the stories—but they never think tragedy will strike them. Untl it does.
When kids get the freedom they’ve been waitng ages for, it’s obvious the frst experiences they have with Greek life, house partes and drinking may not be positve ones. Gabrielle Rylance, a student at the University of Kansas (KU), recalls one of her frst encounters with dangerous drinking habits from a night when she had volunteered to be a designated driver for her friend, Amanda, who was atending a frat party. She received a drunken call from her friend only to have the call dropped. Shortly afer, Rylance watched as emergency services arrived on scene, carrying Amanda out to the ambulance. Rylance says, “I later found out the ambulance and police showed up because Amanda called 911 herself.
She thought she had been drugged because she couldn’t remember how much she had to drink. The call dropped because one of the frat members ended it—he didn’t want the police called to the house.” Rylance is not alone in having a scary experience in college; most kids are exposed to such appalling situatons at university. However, such incidents seem to be prevalent amongst Greek life associatons, where the drinking culture is intertwined with toxic peer pressure.
Greek life can provide a strong sense of community for college kids, which is really important when making the big transiton from childhood to adulthood. For many students, college is the tme to experiment with their social boundaries and
They know college life can be dangerous— they’ve heard the stories— but they never think tragedy will strike them. Until it does.
what they like doing for fun, but the extent to which many fraternites take social experimentng is a concerning issue.
Visitng students at The American University of Paris (AUP) are preparing to enter the Greek life social dynamic following the end of this academic year. Within the AUP social scene, students have had mature and relatvely safe experiences with partes, bars and clubs. Of course students have experienced over-indulging their consumpton limits, but the main diference between drinking in Paris vs. in America is the peer pressure surrounding the actvity. Students in the U.S. fnd themselves in an environment where the social hierarchy is determined by drinking capabilites and willingness to partcipate in reckless behavior. When asked about the diferent social scenes, freshman visitng student Mimi Czuker said, “I think the drinking culture at AUP is very diferent than [the one] on American college campuses because France is a country with a younger drinking age and it’s less socially acceptable for people to be publicly intoxicated. I don’t really know what to expect when we end up at GW (George Washington University).”
In America, fraternites capitalize of the fact that kids are desperate to be accepted. Before ofcially joining a Greek house, students undergo a pledging period where they have a trial run to see whether the house and the student are compatble. Greek houses are segregated by gender; boys pledge fraternites and girls pledge sororites. In most cases, joining a frat or sorority is determined through interviews and events, sure, but also hazing. Sororites don’t usually practce intense hazing, although many girls are expected to partake in their share of heavy drinking days or mental games. Intense hazing is more commonly found in frats, and is ofen a traditon or a power-play move used to “put the pledges in their place.” The University of People defnes hazing as, “physical injury, kidnapping, assault or physical actvity that is reckless or can cause harm, humiliaton, forced consumpton of a substance, forced to be in physical danger,” or any actvity involving “risk, injury, embarrassment, discomfort, degradaton, humiliaton, ridicule or the potental for death,” commited with or without the consent of the victm. Hazing has been historically present in Greek life, but historical precedent doesn’t detract from
the devastaton hazing has caused in the lives of college students. Natonal Broadcastng Company (NBC) has reported 50 hazing-related deaths in America since 2000, with two recently in 2021 at Virginia Commonwealth University and Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Victm Adam Oakes, 19, of Delta Chi died from severe alcohol consumpton afer a “big brother” meet and Stone Foltz, 20, of Pi Kappa Alpha sufered the same fate. In 2022 at the University of Missouri, student Danny Santulli was lef with permanent brain damage afer being forced to fnish a botle of Tito’s vodka during his pledging season at Phi Gamma Delta. His parents launched a lawsuit against 22 of the fraternity members, and reached a settlement, but named two students most directly linked to the event as defendants in another case.
In all the above cases, the universites extended their condolences and took internal disciplinary acton against the students involved but enacted no legitmate changes to prevent similar events from happening in the future. Some universites do have awareness of the toxic situatons that occur on their campuses, so they implement resources for students to stay safe. Aside from the KU campus police, Rylance shared that the university joined the Safe Ride program, a designated campus ride-share that combines elements of public buses and taxi services. She says, “It’s free, they don’t penalize you for being intoxicated and have a couple routes you can take; it’s like a DD (designated driver) if you don’t have one.”
While Safe Ride is a university-endorsed resource, the amount of lives this service impacts pales in comparison to those that could be saved from harm’s reach if universites created strict rules to regulate frat partes and their distributon of alcohol. Giving kids a safe ride home is just a bandaid on the stab wound that is injury, physical and sexual assault, addicton, overdosage and death that are found on college campuses. Because students can’t rely on university interference, some have started to actvely avoid frat life altogether. Jackson Rahn, a freshman student at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse says, “My school has kind of rejected Greek life, we don’t give a fuck about frats and fnd them laughable. There’s only two frats and a few sororites on campus, and when we go out, we really just go to house partes instead.” Rylance reported a similar situaton, saying, “While Greek life is heavily present at the university, I don’t go [to frats] because the ratos are just weird; any girl can get into a frat party but for the most part, the only guys who can get into a frat are frat guys. The ratos are super skewed. It’s just more fun to be at the bars.” She shared that some of the frat partes she has atended had what seemed to be a 40:1 girls to boys rato along with rape and drugging allegatons, because of which Rylance and her friends have decided the university bars are their best bet at having a safe and enjoyable night. Students are also learning how to practce low risk drinking and party habits. Over recent
years, students have been bringing what they call BORGs (Black Out Rage Gallon) to partes. BORGs are gallon jugs flled half with water, and half with an alcohol of choice, usually mixed with water favoring, LiquidIV, and electrolyte supplements. While a BORG stll gets students signifcantly intoxicated, it is considered to be a form of risk management because students are able to control how much alcohol they ingest, they aren’t drinking alcohol from unknown sources and their drink is in a closed container. Students have also reported a higher usage of mar-
ijuana at partes as a replacement for alcohol, as it’s easier to control the intake and side efects.
It’s important to acknowledge that partying on college campuses isn’t inherently a bad thing. The years people spend at university can be some of the best of their lives. On campus, one can meet lifelong friends and share experiences with a community, learning to navigate adulthood together. But the reckless behaviors encouraged in frats and on college campuses can’t be ignored; kids should be safe during their tme at university. At the end of the day, it comes down to the universites themselves implementng regulatons and policies to produce a college experience that is both impactul, memorable and safe. But because students can’t rely on their universites to regulate safe drinking on campus, they have to develop their own strategies for facing peer pressure and overconsumpton in social setngs. An unruly party scene shouldn’t scare or distract AUP transfer students from preparing to enter American universites next year; rather, they should be aware of the university’s resources—or lack thereof—and prepare to utlize the responsible drinking habits developed in Paris within their new lives in America.
On campus, one can meet lifelong friends and share experiences with a community, learning to navigate adulthood together. But the reckless behaviors encouraged in frats and on college campuses can’t be ignored
By Gloria Kabongo Photography by Clayton Wilson
Why inclusivity in the modeling industry needs to start behind-the-scenes
“Sometmes, I feel like I should start requesting to do my own makeup,” says Hloni Sepanya, a South African model who has been in the modeling industry for roughly six years. When asked about horror stories she has experienced at her job, Sepanya says, “I’ve personally heard stories where makeup artsts won’t even have the correct shade for a model and will resort to mixing eyeshadow and moisturizer to create a foundaton for said model.”
When looking at the modeling industry, one can see that there has been a gradual increase in diversity over the past couple of years. According to a survey report conducted by The Fashion
Spot in March 2022, the Fall 2022 runway season has been one of the most racially diverse, with 48.6% of the models being people of color (POC). However, this does not necessarily mean representaton stll isn’t an issue within the modeling industry. With Eurocentric features being the predominant beauty standard, it seems to be a given that there would be an issue of diversity in the modeling industry. This issue is also cyclic; the Eurocentric beauty standard infuences which models walk the runway. As the industry stll remains predominantly white, these features dictate the social beauty expectatons and, in turn, infuence the selecton of the next group of
models to walk the runway. But this diversity issue goes beyond just what we see in fashion shows or in magazines: behind-the-scenes, makeup artsts and hairstylists aren’t given proper training—or just don’t care enough—to learn how to properly cater to POC models and their hair and skin.
“I have seen other models crying in the bathroom because someone had messed up their hair, like someone was atemptng to put heat on their curly wet hair. They were trying to dry this model’s hair by putng a straightener on her wet hair,” says Sepanya when refectng back on the horrors she has experienced throughout her tme within the industry. Despite the relatve diversity we see on runways nowadays, Sepanya’s experiences as a Black model speak to an entrely diferent story behind-the-scenes.
When asked about the issue of representaton within the modeling industry, Sepanya says, “I think there is never enough. I think the whole art of representaton is to consider ‘who am I leaving out of this conversaton?’ I always love to see people that look like me and I felt like for so long, I didn’t. There is always more that could be done. There is also a lot of economic equity that needs to be discussed in the modeling industry.”
Angel Kabila, a model who recently entered the industry in 2020, also agrees that there is not enough diversity in the industry, saying, “I have come to realize that untl there are changes in terms of the people who are sitng in those boardrooms, there will never really be change. If
you look at any agency and you take a look at the majority of their models, most of them are white. Obviously they stll have their quotas of Black models but aside from that nothing has changed.”
In a July 2020 Vogue artcle, fashion journalist Janelle Okwodu writes, “The modeling industry has become a more inclusive place in recent years, but that doesn’t mean its diversity and representaton issues have been fully addressed. Ask any of the young people who fll the runaways, and they’ll tell you stories of being judged by their race, size, and background. In a business focused
on the surface racism, fatphobia and ableism can become part of the overarching culture. For models—who are ofen the least infuental people in the room they are in—this makes for a tense work environment.” In an industry where representaton has always been an issue, it is no surprise that the models in these spaces ofen fnd themselves complaining about the fact that their makeup or hair is not done properly. Whether the foundaton is way too light or dark or their hair is messed up, this is just the tp-of-the-iceberg of the issues POC models face in the industry.
Kabila talks about her lighter complexion and Afrocentric features, and how artsts are unsure of how to approach her, saying, “When make-up artists are working with my face, they kind of look at each other thinking ‘what do we do?’ Sometmes, the makeup comes out looking like over-exaggerated dance make-up.” The most common issue she fnds herself running into is the fact that stylists almost always struggle with doing her hair.
“I have just goten used to the fact that I am going to have to style my own hair on set. I have gotten to the point where I have even had to teach stylists how to do my hair. One thing I always go to work with is an afro pick because sometmes these stylists don’t know—I’ll literally guide them through styling my hair. I’ll tell them ‘you hold the hair and pull, pull and pull,’” says Kabila.
In additon to the unspoken industry horror stories, there have been countless TikTok videos and Instagram posts of POC models complaining
In an industry where representation has always been an issue, it is no surprise that the models in these spaces often ﬁnd themselves complaining about the fact that their makeup or hair is not done properly
about the industry they work in. A Britsh model, Leomie Anderson, made a viral TikTok video about “the realites of being a Black model during fashion week.” In the video, Anderson complains about her makeup as well as the mismanagement of her hair and even mentons that she ofen fnds herself carrying a full makeup kit when she goes to work because most stylists aren’t able to properly cater to her features. The more these complaints keep rolling out, the more normalized the lack of diversity becomes as social media becomes saturated with the same stories and we become desensitzed. The fact that almost every Black model has at least one story where their makeup or hair wasn’t competently managed highlights the normalizaton of the lack of diversity within the industry. More insidiously, this normalizaton proves the modeling industry’s genesis was centered around the white standard of beauty. It is unfortunate that POC models having to do their own hair or bringing their own makeup to sets has become an unspoken rule—a normalizaton of systemic structures of racism.
When asked what could be done to change these recurrent issues within the industry, Sepanya says, “If you are going to have Black models on set, have Black makeup artsts. That’s the frst change I would love to see in the indus try. Have a Black hairstylist. Have people that can actually cater to our hair and our makeup, if you want to see us. I have seen too many horror stories, so that’s just the smallest and most straight-
forward thing that could be changed.” Echoing a similar sentment, Kabila says, “We really need people of color in those boardrooms, in marketing. That’s where the change really happens.”
Whilst an outward lack of diversity is an issue on runways and in magazines, the lack of overall educaton on people of color and their skin tones and hair textures is a more systemic issue which contributes to the normalizaton of Eurocentricity as the beauty standard. Educaton about POC beauty and hair is seen as optonal and inaccessible. In order to reach organic inclusivity and diversity, the concept of white as the industry—and social—standard needs to be eradicated all together.
Until this industry is able to properly cater to its POC models, can it really be considered inclusive?
REBEL WITH A CLOSET
A look at what infuence’s AUP students’ personal style
By Clayton Wilson Photography by Clayton Wilson
The American University of Paris (AUP) is home to a diverse student body, hailing from all corners of the world. Each student brings their unique background, experience and perspectve to campus, but one thing they all have in common is a passion for self-expression through personal style. In this photo essay, we explore how AUP students are using fashion as a tool for so-
cial and cultural rebellion. Through their clothing choices, these students are challenging traditonal norms, embracing their cultural heritage and expressing their politcal beliefs. From vibrant colors and bold prints to boho and vintage vibes, their style choices are a refecton of their individuality and their desire to stand out in a world that ofen tries to mold them into conformity.
“I grew up in a very skatng and surfng-oriented area so the skate style was defnitely an infuence. I guess some skaters broke of from baggy pants and started to wear skinny jeans, DC, Etnies, Vans and less logos—I think one of the biggest skaters that contributed to that was Dylan Rieder. I love this quote from him where he says, “What am I? A fucking NASCAR driver? I don’t need to wear all these logos all over my clothes,’’ and I appreciate that.”
MARGARET LEIGH PETERSON
YASMEEN LOVE ROUNDTREE
“My personal style has always been rebellious. I like stealing my brother’s clothes and just making that an outft, or my dad’s clothes. It was always something to piss my mom of; I didn’t really care what I looked like, I just loved to piss her of. And at one point everyone found my mom really pretty so I was like okay, I’ll just start dressing like my mom. I’ve always just used fashion and how I dressed to make people take a second look.
I thought it was just something fun or humorous for a really long tme.”
“I am grateful to my mom who let me walk out the house with zebra print knee high converse and mismatched eyeshadow when I was eight years old. That ability to explore and change as I pleased, really helped me become the person I am today when it comes to my style. Like many people, as I get older, I start to give less of a fuck. I stll have a long way to go but at least I am happy in the clothes I dress myself in today.”
“I’m Mexican and I feel like especially in Mexico City or Mexican culture, they don’t really like to show too much skin. Sometmes, others may see it as you are trying to sexualize yourself, and especially in my family, showing too much skin is not seen as okay. So I like to show a lot of skin sometmes—wearing really short dresses or something like that. I feel like that’s how I portray my rebellion against my culture, by not dressing according to what they feel is appropriate.”
The Great Green Con
Macron’s environmental hypocrisy
France prides itself on its environmental laws. According to Chambers and Partners, many laws have been passed—for instance, the legal implementaton for the reducton of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2030—to create a beter environment for the future with plans to achieve carbon neutrality. However, with all the environmental initatves set so far, there are stll actvist groups protestng against the government, as they feel that Macron is greenwashing rather than taking acton. Environmental concerns among the French populaton have been steadily growing since 2014, as indicated by a 2020 survey from the PLOS Climate Journal. In 2020, the concern for climate change hit a record high since the ‘90s. Within France’s 2021 Environmental Performance Review, climate change and global warming was the area of most concern. In this artcle, we will explore some of the ways France is trying to fght for environmental conservaton and where they are going wrong, to get a beter understanding of the current situaton.
France Diplomacy states that in 2018, France provided fve billion euros towards fnancing climate issues in developing countries. The French
By Paulina Kudevita Graphics by Mia Baccei
government contnued to do so per annum, ceasing in 2020. In 2019, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would be doubling its contributon to the Green Climate Fund which states that “protectng those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change is everyone’s responsibility.” Within the same year, France passed a law on Energy and Climate to introduce the objectve of carbon neutrality by 2050 as part of its commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement. In December 2020, the EU passed a law to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, resultng in a new policy that entails decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 55%.
The Local states France also passed an ant-waste law, aimed at halving food waste by 2025. Macron’s primary aim with this law is to address the retail and catering sectors in France with frm hopes that the an t-waste law will promote positve con servaton ac
ton in other private and public sectors in France.
In additon to ant-waste initatves, decreasing meat consumpton in cafeterias in France has also been an objectve, while simultaneously increasing the consumpton of less environmentally harmful foods such as vegetables. The impact of industrial meat producton is detrimental to the environment. Greenpeace, a global network of independent organizatons advocating for global environmental change, says, “The climate impact of meat is enormous—roughly equivalent to all the driving and fying of every car, truck and plane in the world.” Greenpeace describes other consequences; notably, industrialized meat and factory farms increase the risk of future pandemics such as covid-19.
According to Politco, Macron is now promising an ambitous expansion program of 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050, in an efort to move away from traditonal natural gas and fossil fuels. However, afer analysis, Macron voiced that this was an “unatainable” goal.
BBC stated that Macron’s Environmental Minister, Nicolas Hulot quit due to Marcon’s lack of environmental initatves. Hulot was not the only one to feel frustraton with Macron for not doing more for the environment.
Le Monde describes Former Environment Minister Corinne Lepage as unconvinced that Macron’s environmental initatves will be carried out; Lepage therefore no longer supports him.
Despite the laws and what appear to be solid
environmental initatves, the point his two former environmental ministers are atemptng to convey is that there needs to be acton followed through. Having worked closely with Macron, these environmental ministers presumably see the potental of what can be done for the environment versus what Macron has done so far.
While seeing climate issues becoming more discussed by those in positons of power is a step in the right directon and feels comfortng, people are stll very upset. Despite French agricultural laws being stricter than other countries, there is stll a rising concern over air quality and pestcide polluton. According to Le Monde, around a third of the drinking water in the country has
“The climate impact of meat is enormous— roughly equivalent to all the driving and flying of every car, truck and place in the world.”
yet to comply with current regulatory standards, with experts fnding banned pestcides in some. Air quality, specifcally in Paris, is also a major concern for the public, despite showing slight improvements thanks to the reducton of auto trafc in the city. The air quality is stll far below the World Health Organizaton’s standards. As stated in Radio France Internatonale, if you look at an air quality map, you’ll easily see a massive red ring of polluton surrounding Paris.
Although Macron has set strong environmental initatves, he has also been heavily accused of greenwashing. Greenwashing entails perceived acton towards environmental change when there is in fact not much taking place. For instance, you may see certain products in your local supermarket with green labels or packing intended to imply acton when in reality it’s just easy marketng. Given Macron’s false promises and a less-than-reliable history of politcians in climate acton, who is to say that he will actually live up to his promises or fulfll these set goals?
The fnancing and laws passed to support the environment will hopefully have a positve efect.
Yet with false promises and a lack of developing more
initatves towards environmental plans, it’s clear why so many people are critcizing Macron for his actons (or lack thereof). Afer all, there’s only so much an individual can do in their everyday lives to prevent climate change, compared with the politcal power Macron and his government hold to make real change in the right directon.
Given Macron’s false promises and a less-thanreliable history of politicians in climate action, who is to say that he will actually live up to his promises or fulfill these set goals?
By: Natasha Hersman
More than a brand: how Westwood’s fashion became a movement
“The only reason I’m here is to destroy the word conformity,” said iconic English fashion designer and punk revolutonary, Vivienne Westwood. Westwood’s fashion has evolved dramatcally over the breadth of her career, revolutonizing punk fashion in a brand-new way. This can be seen from her frst runway collecton of pirate-wear to her last collecton, which covered everything from wedding couture to casualwear. Westwood can be remembered as the Queen of Punk for changing the fashion game by being the frst designer to include the concept of rebellion in her designs, using chains, plaid prints and bold colors in her wardrobe. Westwood’s oeuvre is considered revolutonary partcularly for the reactons it would spark, infuencing
the younger generaton to want to make a statement in the punk rebellion movement themselves.
In an era where fashion and rebellion clashed, Vivienne Westwood created a whole new genre in the fashion industry, using iconography, clashing paterns and materials to jolt a reacton from the public. Her inital designs in 1977 included printng the inverted Christ onto t-shirts, as a Satanic symbol which—for the tme—was incredibly shocking and almost perverse. The designer opened her frst boutque, Let It Rock, in 1971; before even entering the store, people knew what the clothes were going to look like. Her store’s collecton showcased leather bike jackets, provocatve slogans on t-shirts and zippers where they weren’t supposed to be. From the beginning of her career, Westwood wanted “to provoke young punks into politcal acton,” a sentment she entrely embodied—Westwood once protested ant-terrorist laws by donning t-shirts with graphics which read “I am NOT a terrorist.” The pirate collecton was one of her frst collectons—the runway displayed models wearing pufer-sleeve collared shirts under tght corsets, big skirts, pufer pants, pirate hats and gold chains. To see female models
wearing slacks and loose-ftng apparel was a welcome change for the fashion industry, and was Westwood’s way of promotng gender equality as such silhouetes had only been seen on men.
In 1992, Vivienne Westwood changed the game for bridal wear. Her dresses were not dainty or fairytale-like, and she did a great job at incorporatng her punk personality into something which was traditonally delicate and chaste. Westwood did this by adding beads and rhinestones to the dresses and also designing mini-wedding dresses, which had never been seen before.
Westwood then began experimentng with incorporatng her style into upper-class clothing, creatng a collecton for “Tatler girls.” Tatler girls were referred to as “being the most fun girl at the party” in Tatler Magazine. This is when she created her iconic autumn-winter 1987 Harris Tweed collecton; during the runway show for the collecton, Naomi Campbell was seen wearing a twopiece miniskirt tweed set, a look that would go on to become iconic. This collecton changed the game for upper class Britsh fashion. Westwood’s idea for her fashion line was inspired by seeing a 14-year old girl on the tube coming back from school. “The girl had a litle plaited bun, a Harris Tweed jacket and a bag with a pair of ballet shoes in it. She looked so cool and composed standing there,” said Westwood, demonstratng that she got her inspiraton from anywhere and everywhere.
Another iconic moment for Westwood was when she sent models—including Kate Moss—
onto her runway wearing nothing but tny miniskirts while eatng ice cream, leaving the models practcally naked, only adorned in accessories. This was a controversial show, but is remembered as one of her best. Westwood enjoyed bringing in and experimentng with props on the catwalk to really get the audience talking about the show as a whole, not just the clothes. People referred to her as the Queen of Punk, and would shop “Westwood” to make a statement. People stll try to emulate Vivienne Westwood’s fashion when they create TikToks or Instagram posts ttled, “how to dress like a Vivienne Westwood model.” The look is achieved by layering clothing afer clothing, from lace tights
to pufy skirts and sleeves, tght corsets, tailored tweed blazers to top hats. Tweed, layering and chains are key elements seen in many of these TikToks, and the overall looks captured are very pirate-like. The fooding of social media with tribute posts to Westwood following her passing all contain women dressed in unconventonal silhouetes, plaid paterns, heavy metal jewelry contrasted with pearls and chifon; a cacophony of feminine aesthetcs intertwined with the world of punk.
In seeing the tangible impact Westwood and her brand have lef on the fashion industry, it is hard to argue that the designer was anything but one of the most infuental artsts of the past de
cade, changing the landscape of what feminist punk fashion could look like for generatons to come.
In seeing the tangible impact Westwood and her brand have left on the fashion industry, it is hard to argue that the designer was anything but one of the most influential artists of the past decade, changing the landscape of what feminist punk fashion could look like for generations to come.
How women have changed the music game
Written & Illustrated by Mia Baccei
Picture this: you are at a concert in the 1970s and your favorite punk rock band is playing. Everyone around you is head-banging and you are high on life (amongst other things). The rockstar on stage is sportng a mohawk that’s sky-high and is wearing enough leather to make at least ffeen handbags. Now that you have a vivid image in your head: were you thinking of a woman or a man?
The music industry has been dominated by men since the beginning, just like practcally every other industry, but it has always been run by women; while the men have historically sat on top, it is generally women who have evoked massive change in music.
The 1970s were a unique period of tme where women started to move to the forefront of the music industry. People like Siouxsie Sioux, Debbie Juvenile and Pat Smith made a huge impact on mainstream music because they talked about what hadn’t been talked about in music before—politcal movements and feminism.
In 1975, in the United Kingdom, a law called the Sex Discriminaton Act was passed that ofcially allowed women to hold the same jobs as men. Shortly afer this, a group called Rock Against Sexism—RAS for short—was formed. The main goal of RAS was to promote women in the rock genre in order to balance the gender disparity amongst musicians.
A prominent punk-rock singer-songwriter from the 1970s, Viv Albertne, wrote in her autobiography Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music.
Boys, Boys, Boys, “When girls have an opinion, and the manager is a man, sexual politcs rears its ugly head. They don’t hear, ‘We don’t want to play those kinds of venues, we’re trying to create a whole new experience, so even the venues we play have to be thought about carefully.’ They hear, ‘I don’t want to fuck you.’ They try and treat us like malleable objects to mold or fuck or make money out of.”
Punk created an environment where women did not have to conform to the male gaze, instead allowing them to express an extreme rejecton of patriarchal society. Women began taking up space wherever they wanted instead of staying quiet and ‘delicate’ like they were expected to.
The involvement of women in the music industry, among others, only evolved from there. Although punk-rock is a predominantly Anglo-American genre, it stll transcended borders
“When girls have an opinion, and the manager is a man, sexual politics rears its ugly head”...“They try and treat us like malleable objects to mold or fuck or make money out of.”
and found its way into societes all around the globe. Not only was it used as an outlet for feminism, but punk’s bold lyrics and uniquely upbeat energy also was empowering to the oppressed.
In 1980s Germany, a huge punk scene emerged. The Cold War had made younger people feel powerless so they—just like women had before them— used punk rock music as an outlet for their angst.
Later, in the early 1990s, the Riot Grrrl movement was started in America. Some say it was the resurgence of punk rock, others say punk rock never went away, but during this movement feminism was more important than ever. The core belief of this movement was that women WERE the music; they didn’t just simply follow along. Out of this also came the concept of the ‘zine,’ which was a short feminist magazine that had a heavy involvement in music.
One of the most popular bands from this era was Bikini Kill, composed of four women who were desperately trying to reclaim punk from the white men who had taken over it. They became known as the core act in the Riot Grrrl movement, along with bands like Tribe 8 and Pansy Division.
Bikini Kill’s songs addressed everything from sexual violence to exclusion and it empowered women all over the United States when they were listening to their music but especially when they were seeing them
in concert. The lead singer, Kathleen Hanna, was not only captvatng on stage but, more ofen than not, she would be sportng half of a shirt or a bra with phrases like “slut” writen out on her torso.
The punk rock movement was all about destabilizing what society had come to accept as the norm.
Rejectng the patriarchal society, wearing whatever the hell you wanted and speaking up for yourself were the core values refected in this emerging genre. Women were revoltng, and they were making sure they would be heard by everyone.
Punk, whether you like it or not, has faded out of the eye of mainstream media. Although punk’s tme under the spotlight was enough to make a change, society itself is constantly changing which means the art being created is ever changing as well. However, just because punk died, doesn’t mean feminist music did.
Hip-hop as a movement has been around for decades, but in the early 2000s, women started utlizing the genre to promote feminist ideals. Women like Lauryn Hill, Lil Kim, Chika and even a young Nicki Minaj with her lyrics, “I
am not a word, I am not a line, I am not a girl that could ever be defned, I am not fy, I am levitaton, I represent an entre generaton,” have been changing the hip-hop game since the beginning, but have barely goten proper recogniton for it.
More ofen than not women are seen as objects in the hip-hop world when, in actuality, women have contributed far too much brilliance to the genre to be diminished to that. Queen Latifah in her song “U.N.I.T.Y.” talks about the fact that men consistently belitle women in hip-hop. The song begins with the line “Who you calling a
bitch?” to speak to the countless men that refer to women as “bitches” and “hoes” in their songs.
You can’t talk about feminism within hip-hop without talking about Missy Elliot. Not only is her music popular, but the encompassing message that women should not be ashamed about anything is incredibly empowering. She sings about things such as body image, sexuality and even sexual abuse, and promotes that everyone should be proud to be their true selves.
It took decades for women to be recognized as the pioneers of punk that they truly are, and it’s tme we recognize women in the hip-hop genre for the advancements that they are making. Enough of the patriarchal, sexist and outdated ideals—women can and will contnue to be just as good, if not beter, as men in the music industry.
OUT of CONTEXT
How media misrepresentation promotes Islamphobia
By Ayah Shayeb Graphics by Reya Divekar
The persistence of Iranian civilians against a corrupt government has frequently been portrayed negatvely by Western media outlets, with some even choosing to ignore it entrely. Many people might assume that this is because of misinformaton or perhaps even a lack of understanding of the situaton in Iran, but this has never been the case in Western media, where willful ignorance is deliberately employed so Western countries can promote their version of the narratve to consolidate their politcal goals. By mis- or underrepresentng Middle Eastern narratves, Western media ensures their upper hand in a publicly politcized hierarchy. Despite a violent crackdown by security forces, Iranian civilians have been risking their lives to protest the country’s dictatorial leadership for months, and they don’t appear to be backing down. The protest movement was sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 21-year old Kurdish-Iranian woman, who was beaten to death by Tehran’s “morality police” afer being detained for wearing an “improper hijab.” According to the Human Rights Actvists News Agency in Tehran, at least 434 protestors have passed away since September 16, 2022, many of them young wom-
en. What started out as a call for “woman, life, and liberty” has evolved into a larger movement against the Iranian Islamic Republic’s administraton and its head, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The context for these ongoing protests lies in a number of reforms which were promised to the people following the Iranian Revoluton in 1979 and the formaton of the Islamic Republic. These promises remain unfulflled, and instead, the Islamic Republic has employed severe restrictons on freedom and rights. The Islamic policies of the government, partcularly those pertaining to dress code, have stoked deep-seated resentment in Iran. There were protests even afer the hijab became mandatory in 1983, and this movement has persisted ever since. “It’s premature to assess whether these protests will meaningfully change Iran’s politcs, or whether they are simply another crack in the edifce of a rotng regime whose lone source of diversity is whether the beards and turbans of its ruling men are black or white.” says Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for Internatonal Peace.
While Iranian people risk their lives everyday to fght for equality and change, the Western media misrepresents Iranian citzens’ protest against
the corrupt government as a protest against Islam itself. They then use this misconstructon to justfy the spread of Islamophobic language and propaganda within the media narratve. Iranians are portrayed as helpless victms of a repressive regime; Iran as a naton is commonly characterized as a stronghold for extremism and terrorism. This juxtapositon dismisses the complexity and diversity of the naton’s religious and cultural environment. There is also a double standard in the ideals Western media holds the Middle East to; in the case of corrupt governments and protest movements in the West, religious ideologies are not factored in. As an example, the media tends to vilify the Islamic dress code in Iran, which applies to everyone in society, much like secular dress standards in the West. In fact, dress codes are applied to men and women everywhere, not just in Iran. In reality, the Islamic dress code centers around personal choice rather than a systemised government mandate forcing everyone to dress modestly. Western media’s focus on Iran’s Islamic dress code as a mode of oppression reinforces the idea that Iran is the only naton on earth to have such restrictons.
Western media also has a tendency of spreading false informaton and unfavorable preconceptons about Iran and its people. According to a report that appeared in The Guardian on December 8th, 2022—which was later proved to be false— Iranian soldiers shot at the faces and genitalia of female demonstrators. The report cites unnamed
‘doctors’ who claim that Basijs (extremists in Iran) target female genitalia because they sufer from patriarchal inferiority complexes. Another instance of Western media spreading inaccurate informaton, which was then endorsed by both celebrites and politcians, was a report on how a mass prisoner executon would be taking place over the Iran protests. An image that has circulated widely on social media falsely says 15,000 protesters have been sentenced to death. That claim is not true, but it has been amplifed by major public fgures, including actresses Viola Davis and Sophie Turner as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justn Trudeau. While it is true that the regime is corrupt, the media’s exaggerated and falsifed reports of brutality don’t carry the intent of raising awareness, but instead they atempt to connect the regime’s brutality to Islam. This in turn promotes a harmful stereotype of what in actuality is a peaceful religion, allowing Western media to dictate the narratve surrounding the Middle East.
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and actvist, further elaborates on how Western media’s misinterpretaton of why Iranians are protestng can serve to trivialize the cause, saying, “It’s disinformaton that [the] Islamic Republic of Iran has abolished its morality police. It’s a tactc to stop the uprising. Protesters are not facing guns and bullets to abolish morality police or forced hijab. They want to end Islamic regime.”
Western media overlooks the inherent corruptness of the regime—which would be present
regardless of religion—by focusing on the burning of hijabs and the cutng of hair, promotng a story that disappointngly promotes ant-Islamic sentments. Iranian women are not just critcizing the hijab; they are also opposing the state’s infringement on their right to choose— a right which is protected by Islam. The autocratc regime in Iran has encouraged a practce referred to as “spiritual gaslightng.” Spiritual gaslightng is a form of invalidatng individuals or societies experiences by taking scripture, usually out of context, and applying it to their hardships.
The vocabulary and narratve promoted by Western media has a huge impact, not just on regular citzens, but on dictatng government policies.. The role the media has and contnues to play in regard to politcal stances and public opinion cannot be ignored. France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Belgium, and Switzerland are among the European natons that either completely or partally forbid the hijab within their borders. The recent protests against the hijab in Iran have been utlized by far-right lawmaker Jurgen Braun in Germany to strengthen his party’s ant-Islamic message. Braun argued that recent events in Iran were “very much related to the misogynistc and inhuman Islam,” and accused the German government of not doing enough to combat the expansion of Muslim communites within Germany.
When it comes to corrupt governments in the Middle East, Western media always predi-
cates the oppression is because of the regime’s inherent tes to Islam, tending to portray Islam as the root of all that’s wrong in the Middle East. Not only is this factually incorrect and racist, it’s a stereotypically narrow lens through which one views diferent cultures. There’s something patronizing and orientalist in the way Western media groups all unrest in the Middle East under one monolithic reason—Islam.
“Internatonal cooperaton is hindered by Western hegemony and Islamophobia,”says Professor Shadi Mokhtari of the American University of Washington D.C.. “Sometmes people and government ofcials in the West can easily use the scenes of women burning hijabs to feed their Islamophobia and sense of civilizatonal superiority over the Middle East as well as to fnd justfcaton for devastatng Western policies in the region, past and present.”
It is essental that Western media outlets present a precise and intricate picture of Iran and its people, and more broadly, the Middle East as a whole. Throughout history, Western societes have contnuously painted the Middle East as the villain. It’s tme to remodel Western media, in a way that recognizes both the difcultes and complexites of the Middle East’s politcal situaton as well as the perseverance and resilience of everyday citzens who are working to create a beter future for both themselves and their countries.
It’s Time For A Digital Detox
5 ways to kick your technology addiction for good.
By Sam Coyle
There was a tme, not-so-long ago, when someone who watched a lot of movies and television would be considered a couch potato. Now, on the rare occasions when I’m able to sit down for two hours and watch an entre movie from start to fnish without glancing at my phone even once, I consider it an accomplishment. In our modern environment, we’re subject to a constant barrage of informaton from all sides; phones, computers and televisions compete for our atenton, beckoning us with the promise of a dopaminergic rush, not unlike the one gamblers or drug addicts seek out. It can be a challenge to focus our atenton on just one source of informaton at a tme, let alone go without external stmulaton altogether. The devices we’re tethered to are meant to be symbiotc, impactng our lives for the beter. But without proper restraint, these tools can easily become leeches which eat away at our tme and atenton, creatng an unhealthy dependency. If you fnd yourself growing restless without access to your phone or are prone to using multple devices at once, you may have an internet addicton. If you’re stll in denial, a quick check of your screen-tme is likely to lead to some appalling revelatons. The truth is, most of us are more dependent on our devices than we would like to imagine. But luckily, there are solutons to being chronically online. Consider these tps to keep your internet addicton at bay.
Unplug Your Wi-Fi
Unplugging your internet router will prevent you from wastng tme on useless technology altogether, forcing you to be more productve. Simply disconnect your Wi-Fi as soon as you get home and go about your business unburdened by the stmuli of the internet . Feel free to reconnect the router when you’re leaving since your internet can’t distract you when you’re away.
If you live with others, they will appreciate your help in combatng their technology addicton as well.
Use Alternatves to Technology
Next tme you want to text a friend, consider writng a leter instead. It may not be as quick, but it will let you stand out and show that you really care. While you’re at it, switch to paper altogether. Rather than using GPS technology to navigate, print out directons before each journey or use a physical map. This will improve your sense of directon and prevent you from being tracked, all the while decreasing your dependence on pesky devices like phones.
Planning your content consumpton beforehand can prevent you from falling into an endless vortex of consumpton. Rather than scrolling on the TikTok For You page and being at the mercy of the algorithm, use the search bar to fnd specifc content that interests you.
Go on a Tech Detox
Try putng your phone on airplane mode; this will eliminate the distractons caused by constant notfcatons, leaving only essental features like the calculator and clock. If you think you’re ready, you can put your devices aside and try to eliminate technology completely. Start out with a few days and see how you do. But if you’re going to go cold turkey, make sure to notfy loved ones beforehand so they know you haven’t died.
When you notce that you’ve made progress in fghtng your technology addicton, it’s okay to reward yourself occasionally. But get your fx in other ways. For example, instead of reaching for a gadget to unwind, turn to your favorite substance like alcohol or nicotne. You can also break out the debit card and go on a shopping spree for that dopamine hit.
COLTAN in the CONGO
Reports released by Apple regarding their fourth quarter results as of September 24, 2022, indicated their annual revenue was $394.3 billion, with the iPhone being the main revenue generator. Coltan is a metallic ore that is found in abundance in eastern areas of the Congo. When refned it becomes metallic tantalum, which is a heat-resistant powder that can hold a high electrical charge. The propertes of coltan make it vital in the creaton of capacitors, which are used in almost every cell phone, laptop and other electronic devices. Despite the wealth this important alloy could generate, The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the fve poorest natons in the world. The World Bank states, almost 62% of Congolese live on less than $2.15 a day and about one in six live in extreme poverty.
In 2018, as per the New York Times, CNN, ABC News and The Washington Post, Former President Donald J. Trump referred to most African countries as “shitholes.” What Western natons tend to forget is that ofentmes, the wealth that they have acquired is a result of colonial atrocites and exploitaton in Africa. Western countries seemingly beneft from the fact that Africa is characterized as a poor contnent because this
How Western greed has crippled an African nation
By Gloria Kabongo Graphics by Mia Baccei
percepton obscures the colonial atrocites commited by European countries, allowing them to contnue proftng from these old set-ups. Whilst countries like the Democratc Republic of Congo fnd themselves stricken by socio-economic issues, big tech companies beneft from the chaos. Although the Congo fnds itself blessed with vast amounts of proftable natural minerals and metals, they seem to be unable to reap the rewards. This has nothing to do with the inadequacy of the industry or labor, but is a direct result of an imperial system that was set up more than 60 years ago. Rich Western natons have monopolized African resources, redirecting the wealth into their own economies while efectvely exploitng African labor and their natve right to reap the benefts of their land. Belgian exploitaton of Congolese labor and rubber resources during the Scramble for Africa allowed for Belgium to massively proft. Today, Belgium is ofen considered one of the richest countries in Europe. Even long afer its independence from Belgium on June 30th, 1960, Congo stll fnds itself being exploited by the West for its riches, and as a result, fnds itself living in civil unrest. The Congolese people do not beneft
from the riches of their land and stll remain one of the poorest natons on earth—could these vast amounts of minerals found at the heart of Africa be considered a blessing or a curse?
Today, while Belgium is no longer exploitng congolese rubber, tech industries in Western natons have pillaged Congo’s most valuable mineral—coltan. It is used in many electorics— the most common of which are your everyday cellphones and laptops—as a result of its electrical propertes. Coltan is considered a confict mineral in the Democratc Republic of Congo because coltan mining areas are ofen controlled by armed factons and organized criminal groups. When speaking about the mining of this mineral, issues that are associated with it are the violaton of human rights, child labour and the systematc exploitaton of the populaton by foreign governments or militant groups.
In the case of the Democratc Republic of Congo, when looking at the extracton of coltan, most of the labor is done by over 40,000 child and teenage miners, which is a clear violaton of internatonal rights that have been put in place to protect children across the world. These children fnd themselves dropping out of school—or not even having the opportunity to atend school to begin with—and serving as a form of cheaper labor within a dangerous industry. Congolese children fnd themselves working in hazardous conditons, ofen having to smuggle coltan to neighboring countries that proft from this illegal trade by selling the mineral to Western natons.
Countries like the United States as well as China, Japan and South Korea happen to be amongst the top consumers of coltan, which is used mainly by companies such as Apple, Samsung and Sony. A report by the United Natons referred to coltan as the “engine of the confict in the DRC.” This confict material ofen reaches internatonal markets undetected. The deliber ate absence of transparency in the supply chain circumvents any certfcaton procedure that could potentally enable the tracing of the fnal product to its source mine. Allegedly, although internatonal law mandates certfcaton pro cesses for confict minerals such as diamonds, coltan is not subject to such requirements. Consequently, transnatonal corporatons can efortlessly disavow any agreements with rebel groups or feign ignorance about the mineral’s origin.
The cycle of Western countries taking advantage of Africa contnues to be repeated yet again, with internatonal tech companies as well. Western countries are ofen placed on a high pedestal in comparison to the rest, and are seen as more progressive and developed. But what is not ofen talked about is how they reached those positons of wealth and power in the frst place. While one country is proftng of the wealth another has to ofer, the naton being exploited is ofen lef in complete disarray as a result. Can we even claim that the Congo has gained its independence when it is stll contnuing to sufer at the hands of the West?
A collection of poetic resistance
Introduction & Curation by Katherine Keathley
Poetry is ofen assumed to be for meditatve readers in a corner, contemplatng rhyme schemes and hidden meanings. While poetry does conform to a certain stereotype, it can be so much more than just emotonal lines that serve no practcal functon. When one thinks of what could accompany poetry, rebellion is not usually what they have in mind. Poetry and rebellion appear contradictory, but this is not the case. Rebellious poetry is one of many forms of literary art that has been used throughout history as a tool for change, as well as an instrument for people to queston expectatons and norms or to inspire readers to take acton in pursuit of a beter life. In the late-1800s it was Emily Dickinson, re-
belling against the sufocatng expectatons of the role women played in society, home and marriage. In the mid-1900s it was Maya Angelou, resistng segregaton, fghtng for equality and promptng others to consider what Black women could achieve. About twenty years after Angelou’s birth, Bob Dylan joined Joan Baez to perform “protest songs” which made use of musical poetry to resist the Vietnam War and to support the Civil Rights Movement.
Expression and frustraton are both used in rebellious poetry as an instrument to instgate change. “Bella Ciao,” a lyrical poem that was sung by Italian paty farm workers, was used to protest against the harsh labor conditons and the extreme
low pay for back-breaking work in the late-19th century. The song was then used by Italian partsans during Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship as a song of resistance against the oppressive regime. “Bella Ciao” contnued to be referenced throughout history and is stll sung all over the world today as the soundtrack to moments of rebellion. Now, in the culture of fghtng climate change and gender revolutons, poets like Danez Smith—who centers their poetc focus on queer normatves and Black perspectves—pursue poetry with a passion for shining a light on unrecognized voices. In an increasingly queer world, more poets have come forward to let their voices be heard. This has not only revolutonized the way poetry allocates queer perspectves, but also how it uses perspectves from gender, race and rebellious notons to instgate change.
Rebellious poetry not only en-
thuses readers but also inspires revolutons that demand to be seen. With so many revolutonary poets before— identfying problems and professing truths—it is easy to fnd that many young poets center their writngs around the very thing that those inital poets paved the way for.
Students at The American University of Paris (AUP) are no excepton to this poetc movement. When a student begins university, there is an increasing awareness of what their future holds. The decision to take control of one’s own future is rebellious in itself. Students at AUP are invested in the world they fnd themselves partcipatng in, seeking change through thought and intellectual expression. Once the drive is present in the mind, poems begin to fow. This is where poems fnd their genesis as calls for rebellion—see for yourself:
By Jana Lahitova
By Seven Liu
By Emma Kelly
By Holiday Dickens
By Katherine Keathley