Spring 2014 LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
Ride Runway the
Getting to Know
MEET LORI: Inspiration from your Dean of Students
RACE AND REPRESENTATION IN FASHION AND ON CAMPUS
Editor-in-Chief Deputy Editor
CHLOE KARASKIEWICZ CAROLINE KREUL
Fashion Editor Lifestyle Editor Social Editor
PAIGE SCHULTZ JENNIFER ANDERSON CAROLINE KREUL
Fashion Director Art Director Marketing and Public Relations Director Financial Director
MEKEA LARSON PAKOU VANG JESSE TOVAR ALISON ZIMMERMAN
VICTORIA FOK EMMA LEUMAN ALYSSA SAGE
Social Writers Contributing Writers
WUD President Publications Director Publications Advisor
BROOKE GOLDBERG MAYA CAMPBELL ALEXANDRA JEKA MARY FRANKE HALEY FRIELER BARBARA GONZALEZ LUKAS LEUTGÖB MEREDITH KERVIN BRONTË MANSFIELD ZACH MUELLER PHEBE MYERS EMILY WEISS MCKENNA WEST MATTHEW ENGELHART ROBERTO LEON SARA SCHEMEL JORDAN SCHULTZ
NEIL DAMRON ALEXANDRA JAGODZINSKI JIM ROGERS
table of contents
10 Things to Love About You
Local Artist Brings Talent and Beauty to Madison Community
Bring It On
Tuesdays with Lori
Be Like B
Lazy Girlâ€™s Guide to Fitness
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: An Exploration of Sexual Taboos
The Many Faces of You
Fifty Shades of Beige
On the Cusp
photographed by Roberto Leon
8 10 11 12 14 16 18 19 22 24
table of contents
The Real Cost of Fast Fashion
No Introduction Necessary
On The Matter of Men’s Fashion... #IndustryReboot
Slacktivism in Style: Promoting Causes for Profit in the Fashion Industry
25 26 28 30 31
Istanbul, Not Constantiople: Orientalism in 21st Century Fashion
Rated “R” Why are We Censoring Conversation About Race?
letter from the editor Maybe it’s because I just watched a rousing episode of “The West Wing,” or maybe it’s because this winter seems particularly determined not to end, but this semester has made me restless for change. So as the staff at Moda settled in for the spring print edition, I got to thinking: what will make this issue new? What will make this issue important? About four years ago, I visited New York City for the first time. While there, I had the incredible fortune to see a performance of a David Mamet play, starring, among others, Kerry Washington. The play was called “Race” and it told the story of a law firm dealing with complicated internal interpersonal affairs. But what struck me most about the play—other than being that close to Kerry Washington— was that a playwright in this time, in our time, dared to confront race. Bluntly. Directly. Unapologetically. I remembered this experience after listening to the acceptance speech Lupita Nyong’o gave at the 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon earlier this year. Here was a talented, newly-renowned, stunning woman, openly and heart wrenchingly telling the world that the absence of black female icons in her youth made her feel “unbeautiful” and bred a desire to lighten her dark skin. This is an experience that I have never come in contact with. I would argue that most fair-skinned people haven’t either. We simply do not talk about race. And so this issue became about all the issues that we, as a society, are failing to confront, to discuss, to change. From sexual preferences to cultural misrepresentations, the true meaning of womanhood to the way we perceive those women’s actions, this edition of Moda has a single goal and a single message: Say Something. We hope this issue inspires and empowers you as much as it inspired and taught us during its creation.
Chloe 6 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
the editor’s cut by Paige Schultz, Fashion Editor photographed by Roberto Leon
Behind the Issue: concepts and execution of Moda’s Spring 2014 main spread At first glance, the stark white interior of the Art Lofts is nearly blinding. But as you begin to take in the atrium scene, your eyes slowly adjust; allowing the white walls, beams and ceiling to lose their prominence and fade into oblivion. White privilege and its power over the fashion industry have a similar effect on society. For those untrained to notice the proliferation of white representation in the context of fashion editorials and runway shows, the presence of the white ideal appears underwhelming. Often depicted as an outlet for artistic and individualistic expression, we tend to forget that fashion succumbs to conformity via trend dictation and the projection of certain ideals concerning beauty, style and the comparative way in which we view others.
These ideals have been present for decades and they are the reason that confronting racial representation in fashion has proven to be a challenge. Portrayals of non-white races in the past have desperately tried to prove that we live in a post-racial, nonracial world only to have the truth splayed across the pages of fashion editorials. In developing the editorial spread for the Spring 2014 issue of Moda, we sought to do what fashion is inherently supposed to do: celebrate the individual and every facet of their being. Deriving inspiration from the most prominent spring and summer trends on the runways, we opted to feature clothing of a minimalist aesthetic; gravitating toward vibrant, youthful hues and structured silhouettes that exude an element of sophistication and professionalism.
In determining location, the Art Lofts was indeed an intentional choice. The clean, contoured space provided the perfect backdrop for our models; allowing them, and not the external environment, to be the central focus of the spread. The beauty looks we chose supplemented this objective, highlighting the unique features of each individual’s visage and complementing their various skin tones through pops of bold, on-trend lip colors. Through combining these elements into a cohesive editorial, we are striving to do what fashion does best: make a statement. Yet rather than allowing whiteness to blind our readers’ perceptions of what we are trying to say, we have chosen to use fashion as our mode of expression to not only defy societal limitations, but to celebrate personal style, beauty, race, and above all individuality.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 7
10 Things to Love About You by Alexandra Jeka
Happiness lies in embracing individuality and celebrating our one-of-a-kind selves. You are uniquely you, and that is something that deserves to be cherished and valued. Why waste time criticizing yourself and envying others when you could appreciate yourself instead? Here are (just) 10 things to love about you:
1. Your smile
3. Your talents
There is nothing better than the part of your body that communicates joy to others—not to mention many of us have suffered years of having a brace face (n: torture) to perfect our pearly whites. A smile is something special because not only did you sacrifice at least two years of hotness in middle school for your grin, but also you can share it with even a stranger to make us all seem a bit more connected in this world. That power right there is something to celebrate in itself.
Whether they come naturally or require rigorous hard work, your talents make you unique. There are some people who have had 15 years of ballet lessons or a lifetime of playing the trombone. Some can pick up a pencil and draw a masterpiece. But not all talents have to be performance worthy. Maybe you can whip up the most superb buttercream, or you can shellac your nails like you just dropped a 50 at the salon. Seriously, if you can do a craft, you’ve got it going on. Whatever it may be, flaunt it and embrace it. Be excited about what you have to offer, regardless of whether it’s worthy of receiving a standing ovation. Find what your talent is and be delighted about it, no matter what.
2. You can always be your own best friend There will be times when we all have to be alone. Sometimes it’s just 10 minutes when walking to class, and sometimes it’s a handful of weeks when you’re working on making friends in a new place. However, you can skirt around the loneliness of these times by enjoying your own company. Nobody else in the entire world is always going to agree with you or want to do exactly what you want to do. Go to that grungy little café that your friends hate. Indulge in your favorite coffee and your own glorious company. Shamelessly devour Netflix in your ugliest pajamas. Learn to love hanging out with yourself.
8 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
5. You can self-improve 4. Your body Okay, I know loving your body is one of the hardest things to do for a lot of people. But your body is constantly working to keep you alive. Our bodies are always taking care of us, so the least we can do is give them a little TLC in return. I notice gorgeous features on other people every day, and it’s about time we all start noticing them on ourselves as well. Looking in the mirror and telling yourself you are beautiful isn’t stuck up; it’s giving your body the appreciation it deserves.
7. Your voice Your voice is extremely important, and I don’t just mean what your voice necessarily sounds like. If you’ve got the vocal cords of an angel, do remember me when you win American Idol (see number 3), but I’m talking about the ability to express yourself, communicate what you believe in, and share your opinions. Your voice—whether it’s written, spoken, or signed—gives you the power to make positive changes in the world around you, so why not use it?
10. Your individuality Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead of wanting what you don’t have, seriously appreciate what you do have: the things that make you uniquely you. Just because that girl across room has silky straight hair does not make your wild curls worth any less. Do not be ashamed about liking what you like either. Your Benedict Cumberbatch obsession, your comic book collection, your excessive desire for perfection— whatever it may be, it makes you, you.
Loving yourself comes naturally when you’re proud of who you are. Of course, there are moments in our lives when we slip up. We might realize at times that we could have behaved a bit better. It is okay to admit that you weren’t really being your best possible self because the good news is that there is always room for improvement. It is important to recognize that improving is great when you want it for yourself, but it is not something you have to do just because someone else suggests it. If you decide you want to turn something around, give yourself a second chance. Do what you need to do to make yourself extra proud of being you.
8. Your attitude Your attitude influences not only your own emotions, but can also greatly impact those around you. The best part: it is completely up to you to choose what kind of attitude you’re going to have every day. You can choose to thank your barista for your latte and wish her a nice day, or you can grab your chai and run. Only one of those things is going to make someone smile. Choose to be optimistic for yourself and the good vibes will spread throughout your day. If you can get someone else to smile or laugh, then that is most definitely something to love about yourself.
6. Your accomplishments One of the best feelings is setting your own goals and then reaching them. As far as I’m concerned, you can and should get excited about the things you accomplish. For the big moments, like graduation or getting a new job, the celebration will most likely be thrown for you. You are the one who put in all of the hard work to get to where you are—you earned the celebration. Did you ace an exam, eat healthier or get an article published in a magazine (wink, wink)? Reward yourself by taking a day off or going for ice cream. Call your family to share your success with them and then spend the rest of the day basking in the glow that comes with reaching little pieces of your dreams.
9. The people you share your love with Your loved ones are a huge part of who you are. Cherish them. Celebrate them. Share all of the wonderful things about yourself with them, and prosper from the great things they share with you in return. Surrounding yourself with family and friends who make you happy is an ultimate sign of self-respect that results in the development of the best possible you. These are people who have shaped your life. Loving them, and showing it, is just as crucial as loving yourself.
You are the only person in the world with the exact combination of features, talents, likes, and accomplishments that you have. Without them, you would be someone else. Celebrate you.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 9
Local Artist Brings Talent and Beauty to Madison Community by Meredith Kervin
Always wanted to get a tattoo but have commitmentphobia? A cheaper, less permanent option is henna tattooing, which has beautiful designs and lasts up to three weeks. Arty Anika, a local artist, paints henna art in all forms—including body art—and demonstrates just how versatile and unique henna art can be. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you began working with henna art? My name is Anika and I am from India, a country rich in culture and art. I’m a stay at home mom to a three-year-old boy who is always curious about my artwork. I come from a home where my mom is an artist who paints pottery, fabric, vegetable stamping, water colors and canvas painting. All of this was passed on to me by my mom. That is how I got attracted to art, especially henna. Henna art is an integral part of Indian culture, and I was always attracted to the intricate designs done with henna. Why did you decide to start creating art? Art has always fascinated me in its own way. I love patterns and colors, and art has always had a place in my home. My interest grew and I loved art classes in school. Originally I started working with my mom on small projects during the weekends in India, and then when I moved to the US six years ago I continued to make art. What kind of artwork do you create? I do beaded jewelry, hair accessories, henna tattoo art, and henna designs on candles, wooden frames, coasters and canvas. Can you describe the process of preparing the henna? Henna is a plant that grows in Northern Africa that grows from three to five feet tall and has many leaves. The leaves are dried and ground to make a henna powder. This powder is then mixed with tea, lemon and essential oils. Then the
10 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
mixture is transferred to a plastic cone with a tip that is used to make the henna designs. It is a completely natural product and safe to use. Aside from body art, how else can henna be used? I paint henna designs onto candles, wood and canvas. The henna dye is very versatile and is easily absorbed into many different materials, including hair! Some ancient cultures used henna to dye their hair, and some people still do. The dye turns the hair a reddish-brown color, similar to what it looks like on skin. What inspired you to pursue painting henna on objects? For me, henna is just another medium of art. I love to practice it in its original body art form, but also on other objects. It’s just extending my creativity by doing henna on objects to beautify them. Henna art is a very versatile art form. Are the patterns you draw with henna symbolic or significant in some way? Yes, there is deep significance to some henna patterns and others that are simply abstract, fun and fashionable. Recently I designed Lord Ganesha on a woman’s arm. Lord Ganesha is revered in Indian culture, and he is honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies. I also often paint the Shanti design, which symbolizes inner peace. Other popular designs are a peacock (the national bird of India) and the lotus (the Indian national flower). Do you offer henna tattooing for the public? Most often I do henna for brides, teens and women. In addition to weddings, henna gets incorporated into various celebrations like birthday parties, graduation parties, baby showers, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, and so on. I offer designs starting as low as $5, and the price increases with the intricacy of the designs. Where can people learn more about your art or henna tattooing? I teach art classes through public libraries and private art studios around Madison, and I’m currently planning a minicourse through the Wisconsin Union. People can also learn more about my art and buy artwork from my Facebook page by searching for Arty Anika.
Bring It On Competition is part of life, particularly in the scholastic world. But where is the line between healthy and irritating?
I anxiously sat in the middle of the classroom as my professor walked around and handed back our exams. I didn’t do too well on the first test and hoped my score on the second test would be higher. I grabbed my paper and was pleased with the result. I then became very annoyed when Miss Competitive Sally turned to me and asked me what I got on my test. I have never really been a competitive person. I hate when I get an exam or a paper graded and immediately my neighbor or friend asks me how I did on the assignment. I understand that some people have that competitive fire burning inside of them and that they have an urge to feel superior to their peers. I felt very proud of my AB on the exam. However, Sally needed to hear me say that grade so that she could feel better about her A. Well, I suspect that’s the grade she got—I never actually asked. My view on the matter has always been very simple. I don’t care what other people get on their test. Someone getting a BC doesn’t make my B any higher. I have always worked hard to better my learning and myself. Everyone else is irrelevant. According to Robert Schwoch, advisor and professor at the UWMadison School of Journalism and Mass Communication, people in the Journalism School engage in a positive competitiveness.
“I think in the J-School, it takes the form of you wanting to be better and not hoping bad on everybody else,” Schwoch said. I couldn’t agree with this statement more. The J-school is more of a friendly competitive environment while other fields at the university may be more intense. “The national business school stereotype is very cut throat competitiveness where you’re hoping for other people to fail,” Schwoch said. “I don’t see that in the J-School.” According to business student Emily Schnoll, the official business school policy is that the average class grade for a core class cannot be higher than a 3.0. “This promotes a culture of competition at the expense of others because if you don’t perform better than your peers, even if you perform well, you won’t receive a high grade,” Schnoll said. I know I would not survive an environment like this. I barely survived my junior year, mainly because of a physics class I took. Let’s just say math is not my strong suit. I had a tutor who I met with once a week, worked very hard in that class and, after doing the math several times at the end of the semester, my numbers came out to an AB. However, I got a B in the class because a certain percentage of students performed higher than I did,
by Brooke Goldberg
meaning that I didn’t receive the grade I actually deserved. This system breeds competition, making some, like Schnoll, forces to be reckoned with. “My competition drives my motivation because even if I am taking a class I don’t enjoy, I’m still motivated to perform well to beat out others,” Schnoll says. “I’m someone who thinks giving kids ‘participation trophies’ in sports is ridiculous. Only the winners should get trophies. Winners should be rewarded for their hard work and those who don’t perform as well can learn from their mistakes to improve.” It is a competitive program like this that makes me so happy and appreciative that I am in a friendly, instead of cutthroat, competitive environment. “You want competition to be a catalyst to the main thing, which is intellectual curiosity and career passion,” Schwoch said. “Those are the two things that should be driving students, with competition stoking that fire a little bit.” Different environments are conducive to different people, but for my part, I agree with Schwoch. I work hard to better myself and not at the expense of others.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 11
Tuesdays with Lori
by Caroline Kreul photographed by Jenna LeRoy
An advocate for diversity, empowerment and enthusiasm, Dean of Students, Lori Berquam, shares her take on life, inspiring our own Deputy Editor, Caroline Kreul, in the process. After arriving at Bascom Hall on a chilly April morning and settling into a cushioned seat in the hallway, I began looking over my notes one last time. Hometown? Check. Scholastic degrees? Check. Official title? Check. Then, rather abruptly, my interviewee rushed into her office and unabashedly emerged with a toothbrush in hand,
12 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
apologetically saying, “I’ll be right back!” and hurried down the hall. Confident, outspoken and, evidently, hygienic, this woman, ladies and gentleman, is your Dean of Students, Lori Berquam. The oldest of seven children, Berquam grew up outside of the Twin Cities in Inver Grove Heights, MN. As a kid,
Dean Berquam with two students on an Alternative Break trip in July 2013 clearing the “Iron Goat Trail” in Skykomish, Washington.
she loved outdoor activities, particularly those that required helmets and machinery. “My father said that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I took the appropriate safety courses,” she said. “I took gun safety so that I could go hunting. I took snow mobile safety so that I could drive the snow mobile. I took motorcycle safety so that I could have a motorcycle license.” A self-proclaimed tomboy, Berquam also involved herself in every sport she could at Simley High School, running track and playing volleyball, basketball and softball. Then, in the summer before her senior year, her father’s work forced the family to move to the small town of Hamilton, IL. The transition was difficult for Berquam, who transferred from a school with a graduating class of 375 to one of 76. “I will say though the one thing I took from that change, that move, that transition, is that I really believed I could do anything,” said Berquam. Fast forward and this self-confidence is precisely what Berquam embodies and inspires. Among many other causes, she feels particularly passionate about inspiring women. Born in 1961 and having lived through the 70s, Berquam grew up in the midst of the equal rights movement. She says the experience played a crucial role in her current attention to the stereotypes, sexual objectification and disrespect that can be placed on women. “The idea of really empowering women to have courage, confidence and character, I think is some of my life’s work,” said Berquam. “I’m not out here holding a banner, but I am acutely aware, still, of how women can be treated.” And this awareness extends beyond feminism alone. With tears in her eyes and palpable authenticity, Berquam described an encounter with a young woman named Katherine. After Berquam gave a talk to students about the various “isms” that plague society—sexism, racism, classism, etc.—Katherine approached her saying that, while she appreciated what was said about race and socioeconomic status, what hurts her most is being made fun of for her weight. She described how, despite her best efforts to get in shape, she feels that her weight holds her back from having very many friends and makes her constantly self-conscious about walking in front of others or being the first to walk up a flight of stairs. “I gotta tell you, that pierced my heart that day,” said
Berquam. “I think nobody should have to live like that. Nobody should have to question whether or not they’re loved. Nobody should have to walk through life and think, ‘I am ugly, I am fat, I am not loved, I am not cared for.’ Nobody.” Berquam hopes that this mindset is one that every student at UW-Madison can embrace. A believer in positive energy, Berquam contends that simple changes in one’s attitude and demeanor can have powerful effects. “You can feel when you are around somebody with a lot of good energy, you almost vibrate,” said Berquam. “You almost feel that energy and that excitement along with them. It’s kind of contagious. Just as negativity is contagious, as is positivity.” And Berquam’s positivity is definitely contagious. She described a time when she walked past two people on Bascom Hill and, in her usual practice, she smiled at them and said hello. A moment later, one of the strangers chased her down, and informed her that the friend she was walking with had just put her dog down and that she was now crying at the compassion she felt in that small exchange. “Didn’t cost me a doggone dime. And the impact on this other young woman who just lost her dog was huge,” said Berquam. “You never know what somebody’s carrying… Who knows whose day you’ll make?” This constant concern for the mental health and well being of others along with her unmistakable positivity are what make Berquam a true inspiration and asset to the Madison community. As a closing remark, Berquam said, “People will forget what you say, people will forget what you do, but I hope people never forget the way I made them feel. Because the way you make others feel is a true testament about the person that you are.” Lori Berquam made me feel like I could do anything. Her excitement and sincerity inspired me to see the world and those around me through a different lens. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to get to know her one-on-one and know that she will undoubtedly inspire that same confidence and enthusiasm in many other students.
Photo op with the men of Gamma Theta Phi following MCOR in September 2013.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 13
Be Like B On a college campus where it’s often too easy for a woman’s many identities to create an inner sense of confusion and an image of contradiction and misinterpretation, Beyoncé is the perfect example of how to simply own who you are. This past winter, I was given the absolute privilege to see Queen B herself in concert on a snowy Friday night in downtown Chicago. For two straight hours, I stood completely hypnotized and star stuck by the talented, passionate, HOT woman on stage, and was moved by how raw and powerful her performance was. Beyoncé embodies the juxtaposition of what it means to be a woman in modern society. She sings about sex and being a diva, yet she has also serenaded the First Couple at an Inauguration Ball. She is a self-managed millionaire who has won countless Grammys, while being a sister, daughter, wife and mother. She is a self-proclaimed feminist; however, a large part of her image revolves around her status as a sex icon. This mixture of identities that Beyoncé so flawlessly juggles greatly reflects the inner struggle of many young, ambitious women today. How do we grapple with all the different images and identities we relate and respond to that don’t seem to quite
14 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
by McKenna West photographed by Chloe Karaskiewicz
match up? How can we be feminine, dominant, sexual, independent, sensitive and a respectable professional at the same time without judgment and hesitation from not only those around us, but also ourselves? Can we be both sex goddesses at the bar and bosses at the office, or do we have to pick? A huge part of how we express ourselves is through our personal style, and it’s time we take a page from Mrs. Carter’s rulebook. During her concert, B had nine costume changes. Her styles did not stick to a pattern and were all equally unique from each other. She wore everything from a pink chiffon gown, to a body-bearing black and gold leather peplum leotard, a skintight blue sequined jumpsuit to a black and white, checkered romper with thigh-high, lace-up boots. The diversity of her costumes and her perfect fusion of sexy, tasteful, and personal styles are a great example for young women to note. This is easier said than done if you’re not
a fashion icon and music superstar. One reason it seems women often find themselves at odds with what they want to wear and what they end up wearing is because, although we’re just dying to wear our sexy new black mini dress with matching pumps that show off how great our legs look, we don’t want to send the wrong message or be seen as something we are not. With today’s dialogue that is greatly focused on women being objectified and reduced to nothing but body parts for men to ogle, there is extreme pressure for women to make extremely conscious choices on what they wear and how they present themselves to society. But there is also a reason we spend hours doing our hair, makeup, and picking out the perfect outfit for a night out with our friends: we don’t want to be wallflowers. In the age of Facebook and Instagram selfies, and our utter obsession with documenting ourselves online for the world to see, it is clear that most of us want to stand out and be seen. This tightrope that young women walk between the desire to display our physical qualities to those around us and being appreciated for our personality and ambitions is made all the more difficult because of the critical nature of ourselves and everyone around us. It’s true that we are our own worst critics, but on a college campus, there is a fair share of cattiness and judgment between people. I’m sure almost every woman has been on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to judging and being judged. There is always that one girl at the party who decided to wear a mini skirt in January or is clearly
trying out her new pushup bra, and many of us have silently judged from afar. But, there is a strong possibility that some of us have been that girl at the party as well. Whether we’re side-eyeing, whispering, or blatantly laughing, girls can be downright mean to each other. Yet the most obvious fallacy of this vicious circle is that whatever a woman is wearing at a bar or a party, her clothes do not denote the person she is as a whole. So, if we all know that dressing sexy has little relation to whether or not someone is a respectable, intelligent or well-rounded person, why are we so negative to each other? Why do we enforce this double standard on our fellow females? Whether it is hypocrisy, intimidation, or a self-righteous attitude, we need to get over ourselves and realize the every person has the right to dress exactly how they want if it makes them feel good about themselves. We should be each other’s cheerleaders, not competitors. Beyoncé performed her last concert of the Mrs. Carter Tour in Lisbon, Portugal on March 27, 2014. To close the show, she stood in front of her fans on stage she began to cry and express that “I want a spotlight, I want them to see me.” This statement conveys a mentality I feel many on this campus can relate to. We all have something to say, something to prove. One of the best things about Beyoncé is that she does not limit herself. Singer, mother, manager, wife, professional, sex icon, feminist—different women merged into a single being to make one of the most famous and powerful female icons of all time. Now it’s time for us to take note and follow suit.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 15
Lazy Girl’s Guide to Fitness by Mary Franke photographed by Jordan Schultz Whether you loathe the thought of entering a gym, despise the idea of getting sweaty on purpose, or you just don’t have enough hours in your day to fit in an exercise routine, laziness strikes us all at one point or another. While there are hundreds of other things we could be doing, should be doing, or would rather be doing, our health and fitness is not something that we should put on the back burner. Luckily, there are some simple solutions that make the whole exercise process a little bit easier for us lazy girls of the world. These moves are so laidback, you might not even notice that you are getting in shape!
1. Stair Climber Try to start taking the stairs and take them one at a time. One step at a time burns more calories—so why not? Taking one flight might not seem like it is making a big difference, but if you accumulate enough steps, you could easily achieve up to 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Rumor has it that taking two flights of stairs a day could lead up to 6 lbs. of weight loss over one year (disclaimer: this isn’t just a rumor).
2. Wall Sits In addition to your stair climbing, why not add some wall sits to your lazy routine and sculpt those beautiful legs of yours? Aim for four minutes of these a day, split up into twominute intervals while you are brushing your teeth. Start with 30 seconds and work your way up to the full two minutes. Make sure your back is flat against a wall and your knees are behind your toes; you will feel this one.
16 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
3. Floor YTI Raises (a.k.a. Super Woman) Perfect if you are feeling extra lazy because you can do this exercise lying down. This exercise involves three combo moves: Laying on your stomach… Floor Y - Put your arms straight at a 30 degree angle, forming a “Y” with your body, with your thumbs facing up. Floor T - Arms perpendicular to your side, body forming a “T” shape. Floor I - Arms straight ahead of you, body forming an “I” shape. Lift your arms and legs simultaneously in these three positions. Do reps while you’re reading a book, watching TV, talking with your roommate or just lying on the floor. Make a target goal of 8 reps of each move—a total of three times a day.
4. Pillow Tummy Toners Do you push the snooze button a minimum of 5 times every morning? This move is perfect for you and those who love spending time in bed. Grab your pillow so that it no longer supports your back and lean your torso back at a 45-degree angle with your legs bent and feet flat on the bed in front of you. Pull your stomach in to engage your abs, take your pillow in your hands and turn your torso from the left to the right. This way you can work your side and front abs without even getting out of bed.
5. Commercial (Workout) Break Even a lazy girl has time for cardio. Get it in while watching your favorite TV show. During commercial breaks, alternate between jumping jacks, high knees and butt kicks every time a different ad comes on.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 17
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow:
An Exploration of “Sexual Taboos” by Jennifer Anderson photographed by Jennifer Anderson
Despite its prevalence in American culture, sexual preferences remain largely taboo subjects. Lifestyle Editor Jen Anderson discusses why we must discuss these individual inclinations without embarrassment or disgust.
As young teens, sex itself was the most taboo topic of all. In fact, during those first few years of adolescence, sex was the one topic that could put us all in a fit of giggles. Years later, and not much has changed. As young adults experiencing life on our own, sex is still taboo and, at times, one of the funniest things that bonds us in conversation. But I propose that sex should not be taboo at all. Sex is natural, incredible, instinctual, and above all, it is unavoidable—for the sheer existence of the human race. Young adults should feel comfortable in expressing their sexuality in the ways that please them the most. Maybe, you find joy in the aesthetic touch of leather. That on its own sets you apart as a unique human being, and yet, it also unites you with so many others who find, in it, the same pleasures as you do. Expressing sexuality pinpoints the uniqueness in each person’s personality, wherein we can let go of any insecurities we have about self-identity. Sex is just sex. It can, at times, be humorous for the sake of light-hearted conversation. As humans, we cannot deny that we think about sex, want to discuss sex, and have desires about sexual pleasure. Sexual taboos, therefore, are not in fact taboos. These “taboos” are an innate part of our lives; even though they may be considered stereotypically weird, these taboos make our sex lives something to smile about, not coo away from in disgust. Across the world, there are sexual taboos that have come about merely from religious or traditional practice. In American culture, we have labeled certain taboos as unacceptable forms of discussion due to our own discomfort with them. Pornography, adult toys, role-playing, and anal sex are a few of these stereotyped taboos that are shooed away from everyday cultural acceptance when, let’s face it, we are all at least a little bit curious. There are many reasons as to why pornography is such a controversial topic. In many ways, the porn industry is messed up; some take this pleasure to its most extreme as it consumes their everyday lives. When in moderation, however, pornography should not be a sexual desire to be nervous about. The act of sharing such a special viewing with a loved one, or the fascination in viewing such content
18 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
in one’s own time should be as uncomfortable as buying tampons during that time of the month: everyone gets slightly red in cheeks, but we all do it so it’s nothing new or shocking to the store clerk. In the end, my reasoning is plain and simple: if you find sexual joy from watching pornography, there should be no shame in privately and legally watching what so many others enjoy as well. When we were children, we played with the toys appropriate for our age group. We all owned the typical train sets, Barbie© dolls, and teddy bears that became acceptable as we grew up and matured. Now, as we enter a new age group, there are new toys for us to explore and benefit from. Last time I checked, there was nothing inappropriate about fuzzy handcuffs, if, and only if, there is a mutual consent from all parties involved. Toys are the best way to open yourself up to having fun as an adult, and not to mention, they help in achieving that perfect O. The best part about exploring your sexuality is finding out who you want to be. Personal identity and, sometimes, character identity are essential in developing your true sexual personality. Even though playing “doctor” or “French maid” might seem like giggle-worthy acts of foreplay, roleplay is a quintessential part of growing up and not being embarrassed to let go. What some might consider to be kinky can be the most liberating and self-enlightening sexual experiences. And let’s talk about sex. Anal sex. While anal sex is just sex for couples of many identities, there is no question that our society stigmatizes this sex act, making it a taboo. I am in no way trying to persuade people away from their decision not to have it, but having a dialogue with your partner can open your mind to the choices of others and possibilities for your own exploration. If done consensually, safely and correctly, anal sex can be incredibly pleasurable for both females and males—serving as one of the best ways for men to achieve orgasm. If you discover someone who delights in anal sex as much as you do, celebrate this connection and enjoy. There is nothing taboo about loving what you do and doing what you love.
The Many Faces of You
by Emma Leuman photographed by Matthew Engelhart
Bored with your daily makeup routine? Trust us, we are too. Take yours to the next level and get inspired by these high fashion makeup looks. Makeup has always been used to enhance certain features, but it is also one of the simplest ways to express yourself. Every morning when you look in the mirror you have the power to decide who you would like to be and how you would like to represent that. Using the Spring 2014 runways as our muse, we’ve taken boldness to the extreme with makeup looks that we hope will inspire you to be more creative with your everyday face. Gone are the plain days of simple mascara and flat, boring hair. This season, dare to break out of your comfort zone and make a statement with your makeup. Be bold and be brave, but most importantly, be you.
I’m: Fierce Women like nothing more than to feel powerful. Whether it’s Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” or David Guetta’s “Titanium,” a song that makes us feel as though we can take on anything will always be on repeat. Command the attention of your colleagues or friends with ultra-defining eye makeup and sleek, pulled-back tresses. A tight ponytail brings out your bone structure while metallic eye shadow adds a glint of danger to your eyes. Pair it with an “I mean business” attitude, and your peers won’t know what hit them.
I’m: Experimental Unleashing your creativity with cosmetics can be a challenge, but when showcasing your individuality, standing out is essential. Using makeup to experiment with color or texture, you can achieve a playful look that says you’re not afraid to color outside the lines. While saturated hues may have a bad rap for seeming excessive, applying them in graphic shapes across and around the eye can add an element of intrigue to an otherwise average makeup look. Taking this experimental vibe a step further, don’t be afraid to have fun with your hair. A messy, textured side braid will keep your hair out of your face and add dimension to your look.
I’m: Flawless When everyone in class looks like they just rolled out of bed, you don’t want to be the girl sporting excessive lipstick and perfectly coiffed hair. The easiest way to combat the greasy, disheveled look without appearing try-hard is to make it seem as though you woke up fresh-faced and flawless. An effortless ballerina bun is the classic go-to for this look. Not only is it simple to construct, but it also distracts from the side effects of second or third-day hair. When paired with glowing skin, luminous eyes and a rosy lip, you’ll enhance your natural beauty without seeming as though you spent all morning trying to look so good.
Hair Sarah Kretzschmar Make Up Vanexa Yang Model Brittany Lange Styled by Mekea Larson
Fifty Shades of Beige
by Maya Campbell photographed by Chloe Karaskiewicz
Finding the perfect foundation shade is no small feat. But for women of color, itâ€™s sadly more difficult. Take a peek into which makeup brands are stepping up to the plate and which are stuck in the ivory age.
22 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
I wholeheartedly believe in Chanel. I believe that Chanel No. 5 is not just a perfume, but a lifestyle. I believe in double “C” studs, that quilted leather might be the only luxury a girl needs and lately, I’ve even found myself daydreaming of leather chain-linked baskets and tweed condiment packaging. I can possibly (and this might be pushing it) regard the highly sought-after brand as a valid religion. My latest experience at the Chanel counter, however, completely put me off. After hours of relinquishing my life to the YouTube Beauty Guru abyss, I couldn’t help but lust after the innovative, tinted moisturizer hybrid, Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. It is supposed to be the perfect skin refining foundation that still looks like skin instead of the cake-y mess that some poorly formulated foundations are known for. Enlightened and in a mood to splurge, I found myself at the Chanel counter in the local mall, ready to throw down my $50 bill and run away with the 1 ounce bottle before I changed my mind. After the cosmetologist and I exchanged a cordial “Hello,” and “How are you,” I finally got down to asking for the foundation. She then directed me to the older, cult favorite, Perfection Lumiere foundation, saying, “I think you’ll like this one better.” I stood there with a confused look on my face, wondering if it was a non-covert sales tactic to have me pay an extra $10 for a foundation I didn’t want. “Nope,” I countered, “I think I’ll go with the Vitalumiere Aqua instead.” I appreciated her quick assessment of what she thought I wanted, but I had already done extensive research in the form of maybe six 30-minute YouTube hauls and product reviews, and I wasn’t going to pay $50 for just anything. “Well to be completely honest with you,” she began almost remorsefully, “the Vitalumiere aqua doesn’t come in your shade, so the other one will fit you better.” Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I should have taken note from the Dior counter the week before when the “Dark” shade of the new Nude BB Cream failed to even approximate my light-medium African-American skin tone. Or, I could have simply inferred my shade wouldn’t be there from a long history of buying and trashing tube after tube of foundations too light, too ashy, and too grey for my skin tone. If you have ever embarked on the long, strenuous, and often frustrating journey to find the perfect foundation for your skin, then you know that when you find that right formulation, you want to hold onto it forever and never ever let it go. Now, imagine if it was five to 10 times harder. When finding the right foundation, there are so many factors to consider: coverage, formulation and skin type, just to name a few. You should never be asked to settle for a foundation that fits your skin tone but has a formulation that makes you break out or dyes your skin. What does it tell you, then, when a brand doesn’t make a product in your size or for your body shape or for your color? Let’s not get into the implications of the fact that foundations are made for beauty, which, if you’re going
by superficial standards, is only achievable if you can find the perfect shade or color. What Chanel says to me is that even though I buy that $110 bottle of perfume every three months, continuously invest in their makeup brushes and overpriced nail polish, and put every spare penny in my savings for that dreamy lambskin gold hardware Executive Cerf Tote, I am still not a customer, or at least not a valued one. Chanel is not the only brand guilty of this: I’ve noticed that while Tarte, Givenchy, Neutrogena, Yves Saint Laurent, Maybelline, and Shiseido make makeup for darker skin tones, the range of shades are severely limited in contrast to those for lighter skin tones. Let’s think about a few statistics, shall we? 14 percent of the female population in the United States identifies as black, not including women of mixed race. Additionally, the rise in mixed race marriages and children in the U.S. can mean many things, but in the context of this conversation, it means more shades of dark skin tones for beauty companies to cater to. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “minorities” will be the majority at 54 percent of the population by 2050. Yet, the ignorant onesize-fits-all approach of the beauty industry still ignores large populations of African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, and Native Americans (to name a few). As the multicultural society we claim to be, how then can we leave women any shade above “sandy beach” out of the picture? I don’t intend to vilify all makeup companies. There are so many brands whose shades are tailored to a range of women with darker skin; supermodel Iman has even dedicated an entire makeup line (named after herself) to women of color. Bobbi Brown has dedicated her career to making makeup for people of all hues. Ever come across a commercial for True Match by L’Oreal Paris featuring Beyoncé or Jenifer Lopez? After years of research, this foundation now has 33 phenomenal shades. If you are looking for higher-end brands, some of the best options are Kat Von D’s cult favorite Tattoo Foundation, a wide range of MAC foundations, and Lancôme. Even though it is still a problem, it is nice to know that there is a higher chance that I can walk into a drugstore, or even Sephora, and not have to worry about leaving with a base that will make my face look like a Scream mask. Taking a step back and realizing that white is not and should have never been considered “normal skin” is a mammoth task given the history of our culture. For that, I’m appreciative of the Imans and Bobbi Browns of the beauty industry. Because of them, I can finally take part in stereotypical girl talk about the newest products flying off beauty shelves—but we still have a long way to go. I’m not asking for much, Chanel. In fact, lets make a trade: you can make all your foundations in a wide range of colors, and your counter girls can keep their apologies. All I am asking is that we expand our idea of beauty and what beauty can be for all women.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 23
On the Cusp by Emily Weiss photographed by Chloe Karaskiewicz
Retailers face the evolving fashion industry head on by embracing the younger generation of consumers. Spearheading this change, iconic luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has created Cusp, an extension of their brand with a modern, youthful and sophisticated aesthetic. The current retail landscape in the fashion industry is experiencing a bit of a dilemma. The irrefutable fact that the realm of retail is changing has forced retailers to desperately try to retain their existing customer base. The fear of becoming the next JC Penney has prompted top-tier retailers to reevaluate their marketing strategies, and in this process, they have discovered that reaching younger customers presents a way to adapt to this new climate. Representing one of the retailers who have successfully adopted this strategy, Neiman Marcus developed Cusp six years ago to serve as an extension of their iconic brand with a trendier, more modern aesthetic to appeal to a younger generation of consumers. There is a large market here that retailers typically dismiss because well, let’s admit it, frugal college students are always searching for the better deal. Yet, as the survival of the fittest or, in this case, trendiest, continues, reaching this market
The relaxed nature of the store correlates with the brand’s desire to walk the line between trendy and affordable, showcasing pieces emulative of laidback luxury. This strategy of appealing to the millennial demographic is not new to the industry, but Cusp demonstrates the importance of this customer in the dynamic and fast-paced realm of fashion. As Burt Tansky, former CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group, has said, “You don’t spend that much time developing a brand and let it drop or change because of a crisis, it just can’t be.” The brand image of luxury and exclusivity that Neiman Marcus has spent years creating will not change according to Tansky. “We have no intention in making any changes of our brand. There is absolutely no groundswell, no discussion, about changing who we are.” Cusp is not intended to change what Neiman Marcus stands for, but rather to take the luxury of satin and the handstitching of a chiffon dress and grunge it up a bit.
has proven to be essential. There is money to be spent and Cusp is an alternative for young adults who cannot afford to drop $500 on a pair of Mui Mui boots to stay on top of each season’s latest styles. Cusp is an ode to the millennial age group as it is centered on the uniqueness of its clothing, store layout, and on the generation that it embodies. Karen Katz, CEO and President of Neiman Marcus Inc., recognizes this. Katz explains that, “Cusp is a free-standing store with a different target market, a unique merchandise mix, and distinctive architectural and visual elements.” There are no signature marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and framed artwork in this part of their store. Rather, Cusp’s layout features elements that create a boutique-like atmosphere, possessing a freeing feel complemented with splashes of vibrant lime and tangerine.
Cusp’s signature brand has a distinctive look and attitude accompanied by Neiman’s signature service and luxury, but it is not the only lower-price brand the retailer has to offer. Brands such as Blank, Betsey Johnson, Clover Canyon, Parker, and Free People also work to appeal to the millennial demographic, offering trendier, affordable styles that are appropriate for younger customers. According to Tansky, “Cusp is focused on a customer with a contemporary point of view who likes to mix and match her wardrobe from various designers,” allowing individual style to come to life. Individuality is an important part of what Cusp represents, as it is crucial in appealing to the millennial age group. The line seamlessly fuses luxury into shopping for these lower-end designs in a single store, allowing consumers to explore this individuality while giving them a high-end experience. The launch of this brand is a reflection of the fashion industry to come, and many retailers are sure to take advantage.
24 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
The Real Cost of Fast Fashion How often do you think about the work that goes into making the clothes you wear? Certainly it is easy to get caught up in the thrill of a cheap find, but fashion goes deeper than just the pattern of a dress. With a global rise of environmental concerns, fashion has begun to pay attention. The growing trend of sustainability means that people are considering the lasting implications of style. Sustainable fashion is the vision that clothing should be thoughtful as well as beautiful, and rather than buying a whole new wardrobe each season, socially conscious fashion is meant to endure. People who earn a living wage make these pieces, which are created by companies who are mindful of lasting environmental impacts. Though the notion of sustainability has been around for years, it surfaced onto the radar of the fashion-obsessed last spring when a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh and left 1,100 workers dead . The tragic collapse triggered a new wave of interest about how clothing is made. When we score an adorable floral dress at Forever 21 for $15, the last thing to cross our minds is the consequences of that low price tag. We don’t think about the people that sew our dresses, but we need to start. It can be hard to swallow the idea of paying more for a garment, but when it leads to a higher, fairer wage for its creators, the price tag becomes more than worth it. Most design houses show at least four times a year, which means that four times per year, shoppers are told to buy more and buy new. For those of us who cannot afford to buy the newest Céline items every season, we turn to stores like Zara. The rise of companies like Zara, H&M and Forever 21 has been a direct response to our desire for the latest fashion trends at an affordable, everyday price. Forever 21 adds new items daily and, every month or so, Zara completely changes inventory to replicate the trends seen on the runway. This is wonderful for us because now we can purchase the season’s must-haves at a fraction of the cost, but we must assess the broader implications. The devastating collapse in Bangladesh brought to light some of the injustices and issues that can come from fast fashion, cheap quality, and low wages. In the months following, H&M stated that they would begin paying workers more. This is of course a great result of a horrific accident, but is it enough? Should we instead be looking inside the corporation and seeing how much these CEOs make?
by Phebe Myers
Family members await news about their relatives in a hospital waiting room after the Bangladesh factory collapse
The idea of sustainability in fashion is not a new one. The fashion house Suno was formed in 2008 as a way to utilize Kenyan artisans in global fashion. Suno creates an incredible mixture of patterns all while giving women around the world a living wage by producing these high-end goods in safe and secure factories. Fair trade as a highly marketable good in fashion has been a recent development. Suno promotes those ideals, as well as trying to think of ways to create growth in underdeveloped countries. However, on a college student’s budget, their prices are still high. For a lower cost alternative, ASOS Africa offers clothing made with similar values as it is produced in the same factory as Suno, using Kenyan fabrics and artisans, but at a lower price. We know it’s impossible to completely eliminate fast fashion from the college wardrobe; our desire to look cute and afford basic necessities on a small budget certainly entertains this idea. Yet on the other hand, it’s important to be conscious about the items you put on your back and think about the human toll of buying a $10 dress. Instead, look at lines like ASOS Africa or even consider alternative shopping strategies such as thrifting and purchasing recycled fashion at places like Rethreads. Fashion doesn’t have to be expensive to be stylish and it certainly doesn’t have to make others pay the price either. Next time you’re shopping, think about more than the cheap price tag. Fashion should not only be an investment in you, it should be an investment in our society.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 25
No Introduction Necessary by Victoria Fok
Eye-catching and bold, statement jewelry is a must-have this season. An effortless form of style expression, these baubles speak volumes and allow you to make a lasting impression. Explore the hottest jewelry trends below and let the way you accessorize say something about you窶馬o introduction necessary.
Heavy Metal Deviating from the typically feminine aesthetic of spring and summer trends, chains and heavy metal pieces dominated the trend landscape this season. Exuding a fierce, tough-luxe vibe, these accessories are no longer reserved for the rappers and rockers of our time. Be daring, be bold and be confident. This is the kind of style that lives on the edge.
26 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
Runway: Silver Collar, Anndra Neen SS14 Gold Chain Necklace, Balmain SS14 Real Way: Gold Ring, Bauble Bar, $38 Silver Chain Bracelet, Top Shop, $28
The New Pearls Notorious for their dainty, good-girl demeanor, pearls have long been reserved for the prim-and-proper of society. Yet now, pearls have experienced a much-deserved makeover, evolving from grandmother’s demure strings to larger, thickstranded designs. Whoever coined the phrase, “less is more,” has taken a back seat because these bold, eye-catching pieces will spice up any simple ensemble, providing a new twist on a classic—perfect for anyone looking to walk the line between timeless and modern.
Runway: Stacked Pearl Necklace, Fallon SS14 Pearl Bracelet, Chanel SS14 Real Way: Clustered Pearl Necklace, The Limited, $32.95
Bright Colors Dig your hands into a bag of Skittles; it’s time to taste the rainbow. Pulling hues from every part of the color spectrum, jewelry fashioned in bright, bold colors will give your wardrobe a well-needed boost. Floral and tribal-inspired designs are especially on-trend, evoking an effortless, freespirited vibe that so many yearn for in the summer months. Wear these pieces to a summer festival or a day perusing the farmer’s market. You’ll be sure to make a fearless statement with all eyes on you. Runway: Blue Lace Necklace, Akong SS14 Red Tassle Earrings, Akong SS14 Real Way: Yellow Earrings, Bauble Bar, $34
Pastels From pale pinks to lighter, mint hues, pastels are in full bloom this season. Featuring fresh and polished designs, these intricate baubles incorporate a skillful mixture of colors for a statement-worthy appeal. Seeking to add an air of sweetness and elegance to your ensemble? Throw on a pastel accessory for a pretty, feminine touch.
Runway: Blue Collar Necklace, Tom Binns SS14 Real Way: Pink Earrings, Bauble Bar , $32 Daisy Bracelet, The Limited, $29.95
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 27
On the Matter of Men’s Fashion… Despite being commonly thought of as something that should only matter to women, fashion can be equally expressive and useful for men. Columnist Andrew Connor and Contributor Lukas Leutgöb outline how dressing well can be as beneficial as it is easy to do.
by Andrew Connor and Lukas Leutgöb
Date Casual jeans, Uniqlo, $40 shirt, Lacoste, $105 jacket, River Island, $140 watch, Fossil, $115 tie, J. Crew, $65
28 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
Imagine you are going to be interviewing for a job. You have spent countless hours building your resume, applying to different places, and someone finally called you in for an interview. The assistant calls you into the room where you walk in, shake the interviewer’s hand, and begin. The second you walk into the room, before you shake the interviewer’s hand, before you even open your mouth to speak, you are being judged. “How does his jacket fit? How did he tie his tie? Is he wearing a pocket square and if so how has it been folded?” These are all questions that the interviewer might be asking him or herself, and, while it may seem silly, it is just a part of the process. The truth of the matter is that what you wear is usually the first thing people notice about you, and it says a lot more than you may think. A pocket square may say that you pay attention to detail; a well-fitting jacket may show that you’re a perfectionist. Qualities like these are what employers, clients and even romantic partners may be cueing in on. Obviously, it is not just dressing well that will help you ace an interview or win over a blind date—you also need to know what you are talking about—but by dressing well, you are giving yourself an advantage. The first impression is often the most influential; being well dressed is just another way of making a good impression stick.
Confidence is Key Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in “Catch Me If You Can” always gets his way, James Bond always saves the day and gets the girl, Jay-Z may just be the most powerful man in the world, and Steve McQueen is unapologetically radical in just about every part he’s played. It is no coincidence that all these men have two things in common: they all exude confidence, and they’re all incredibly fashionable. What you wear has an influence on how you feel. Steve McQueen probably wouldn’t be considered “The King of Cool” if he went around wearing sweatpants and a dirty Columbia pullover; you would be more likely to see him wearing that while sitting at home crying and eating Ben & Jerry’s than chasing down perps in “Bullitt.” The point is that when we wear something that we feel makes us look good, we begin to feel good, too. Take it from clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, author of “You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You,” who states, “When you dress in a certain way, it helps shift your internal self.” It isn’t speculation. A recent study by professors at Northwestern University revealed that when subjects were given a lab coat to wear, they performed better on cognitive tasks than those given a painter’s smock. Clothing really does have an effect on our psychological processing, and this can affect us during a night out at the bars as much as during a long day at work.
Ultimately, the easiest way to look good is to care about what you are actually wearing. Yes, sweatpants and a t-shirt will do in a pinch if you wake up five minutes before class, but if you actually have the time in the morning, put some thought into what you are wearing. Throwing on a t-shirt and jeans shows that you don’t care; adding an up-to-date casual jacket and chukka boots, however, shows that you’ve put an extra minute of thought into it—and that extra minute can make a world of difference.
Make It Your Own Do not think that there is only one way to go about men’s fashion. There are numerous styles out there and you should go with one that fits you best. Better yet, instead of following specific trends, use them as inspiration and inject your own unique personality into what you wear. Do you find yourself out in the workshop a lot? Consider finding a way to incorporate your work boots into your outfits tastefully. Are you big into music? Look to some of your favorite musicians for inspiration. There are a lot of men out there, so show everyone that you are more than that. Show them you, are you.
How Hard Could It Be? The most common excuse from men who do not want to get dressed up is that it is too expensive or too time consuming. The misconception here is that to be fashionable, you have to dress up in an Armani suit every time you leave the house. The good news is that you really do not need to invest all your time and effort into looking good in what you wear. It’s just a matter of caring a bit more when you buy a new piece of clothing. One of the most important and overlooked aspects of clothing is fit. Wearing a pair of pants or a buttoned down shirt that is too lose will look sloppy, or just plain silly. Clothing should be comfortable but still show off your figure a bit more. Look for “fitted” or “slim” items. They fit closer to your body, but are still meant to fit comfortably. Another important thing is to buy clothing items that are less likely to age. Notice how those square-toe dress shoes or plaid shorts are starting to look a bit outdated? Try to avoid fads like the plague if you do not want to invest too much money in your wardrobe. Generally, items like a well fit blazer and slim, dark denim will probably not go out of style anytime soon, so don’t feel bad about dropping a little extra coin on them. Simple and purposeful will never go out of fashion.
Work Casual shoes, Converse, $75 shirt, J. Crew, $88 pants, J. Crew, $70 sweater, piperlime.com, $65 watch, Fossil, $135
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 29
#IndustryReboot by Haley Frieler
An NYC native quite literally rolls right past the fashion world’s normative barriers.
Jillian’s personal instagram.
In the fashion world, beautiful, thin, fair-skinned models are the mascots of the industry. The norm. The stars. Big name designers tend to only design for this “ideal” woman and it is nearly impossible for anyone going against the status quo to be part of this world, right? Wrong. Blogger, creative director and now model Jillian Mercado, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a power wheel chair, is making waves in both the fashion industry and for disability rights awareness after being featured in Diesel’s Spring 2014 ad campaign. “I just have the ‘Jillian-thing’,” Mercado jokes, “I have no idea what I have, and I don’t know if even knowing it will even matter.” Muscular dystrophy is a hereditary condition marked by progressive weakening and deteriorating of the muscles. According to the Center for Disease Control, muscular dystrophy affects 1 in 5,600 people. Mercado graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2009 with a degree in fashion merchandising management. From there, she gained a variety of experiences in the fashion world, including interning with Allure magazine and photographer Patrick McMullen’s magazine, PMc. Mercado now serves as the creative director at WeTheUrban, an online publication that deals with culture and fashion. But Mercado’s major contribution to the fashion world
30 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
came back in January when she starred in Diesel’s campaign, “We Are Connected,” directed by Nicola Formichetti. “In my mind, there was a zero percent possibility of me getting picked” Mercado says. “But at the end I said, ‘I want to change the world. Let’s do it together.’ For me, I thought it was funny. I didn’t take it seriously.” Two weeks later Mercado got a call that Diesel wanted to cast her. “It was scary,” Mercado says about the photo shoot. “I’ve never done anything for an international brand. I admired the photographers so much, so it was all this pressure to impress them. And I’m sure everyone else there felt the same way.” Mercado says that there are three sides to her life: social, work and being a spokesperson for Diesel, which in turn has her acting as an advocate for disability rights in the fashion world. When asked how she felt about being such a strong advocate, she said, “It shouldn’t even be an issue, but it is, so I just try to live my life as me as possible.” According to Mercado, the industry is forced to change the way they have operated in the past with stick thin models and unrealistic appearances. “People are ready to change,” she says. And we think we are, too.
For more information on Jillian, visit her site at manufactured1987.com
A photo posted on Cara Delevingne’s personal Instagram.
Slacktivism in Style
by Alyssa Sage
Designer Alexander Wang, among others, recently made a statement in the fashion industry when he chose to channel his designing abilities into a politically-focused fashion line. Seemingly valiant efforts like Wang’s beg us to consider the presence of ulterior motives in deciding to use fashion as a political outlet. For critics in the fashion industry, the power of design often stems from a designer’s ability to innovate wearable trends. But this is not where true power lies. Rather, strength is found in a designer’s transcendence of boundaries with work that prompts revolutionary change in society. Over the years, fashion has continued to surge through society’s barriers by affording consumers a vehicle for self-expression. However, while it’s obvious that this vehicle is present, what remains in question is whether designers use their platform of influence to its full potential. One of the earliest designers to make a statement through their designs was the 20th century French couturier, Paul Poiret. Poiret denounced the corset, claiming that its constrictive design prevented women from conveying their individuality; introducing American women to draped, loosely fitting silhouettes. These revolutionary designs earned him distinguished recognition as an activist for women’s liberation in the early 20th century. Fashion as a springboard for political activism has certainly transformed since its emergence with Poiret’s designs. Yet currently, the profit-driven nature that encompasses our modernday fashion industry forces us to question what a designer’s true motives are when taking a political stance in their designs. Consider Alexander Wang’s recent support of the Principle 6 campaign. Wang designed a beanie with P6 embroidery to support civil rights in the anti-gay environment of the Sochi Winter Olympics. As predicted, the beanies became immensely popular after many celebrities, athletes and Olympic spectators showcased theirs on Instagram and other social media outlets. Since the Olympics, Wang’s P6 beanies have become a symbol both for gay rights in the scope of the Olympic Games and in the broader terms of society. With this, we have to wonder about the possibility of ulterior motives in Wang’s decision to advocate for gay rights through his designs. Of course, the beanies gained reputable support for gay rights and attracted attention to an important issue, but did Wang anticipate the hefty profit and praise that ensued? The gay rights movement has exerted strong influence over our society in recent years, characterized by the heightened awareness and perhaps even increasingly positive reception of gay rights issues. For a designer who advocates for such a cause, one can almost assume publicity. Gay rights specifically have gained so much support in recent years, particularly in the fashion industry, that Wang’s beanies are viewed as hardly controversial, representing a less-than-risky business venture. What if, instead, Wang’s beanies advocated for communism?
Surely supporting a cause accepted by a meager minority would not have so well-received. The increasing acceptance of gay rights is overtly visible on social media where there is a proliferation of political content. This combined with the captivation that our generation has with social media, allowed social media to be largely responsible for cultivating the success of Wang’s headwear. Assuming Wang is aware of the current upper hand that gay rights has in fashion politics, this certainly could have contributed to the marketing component of his esteemed beanie. Another potential motive behind the creation of these beanies is the resulting admiration from the fashion industry, the media and the public for projecting a perceivably bold message and taking a stand. It is possible that Wang noticed an opportunity for profit and praise in society’s current political climate and seized it. This is not to say that his decision was made with lack of personal interest. In terms of revolutionary activism, designers like Poiret arguably took bolder stylistic strides with their work. Yet when the fashion industry became a hub for monetary success, motivation to advocate for a radical cause as opposed to one that appealed to the masses became less desirable. While designers using fashion as a vehicle for activism are undoubtedly revolutionary from the perspective of cultural benefit, a deeper analysis suggests that there may be an incentive to use this approach as a marketing technique rather than solely to garner support for a worthy cause. Whether Wang’s intentions were strategic or humanitarian, the implications of his P6 beanie line shed light on the true power of fashion design. The line suggests that fashion possesses the ability to reflect on contemporary dynamics of society and the popular consumer. Wang achieved this by combining our generation’s fascination with material goods and political activism via social media. However, if this fashion venture mirrors our society, what does this convey about the political capabilities of our generation? The freedom of fashion design is powerful in that it offers consumers a way to voice their political opinions in a passive manner. But that freedom also blurs the line between subtle activism and slacktivism, forcing us to question how dedicated we really are to serving causes that matter in society.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 31
Istanbul, Not Constantinople: Orientalism in 21st Century Fashion by Brontë Mansfield
A recent Vogue spread featuring Kate Moss inspires questions about contemporary perceptions of race and gender, and suggests that the fashion industry has made very little progress in its representations of women and races. Somewhere in a pile of mail or buried under a heap of sweaters in the corner of your apartment lies discarded the December 2013 issue of Vogue. You devoured it, as we all did, with rapidity when it arrived in stores. The final issue of 2013 was a good one: Jessica Chastain graced the cover and the perennial Kate Moss appeared in a luxurious spread set in Turkey. It was this latter spread, photographed by Mario Testino and titled “The Silk Road: Kate Moss and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Urban Resort Looks,” that caught my attention, but for all the wrong reasons. As gorgeous as the images were, I felt unsettled by their Orientalist and objectifying tendencies, with the perfectly pale Moss featured as a commodity and the people and places of modern Istanbul depicted as foreign, alluring, and little else. While the tangible copies of the magazine are often bound for the recycling bin, our era of web articles, online archives, fashion blogs, and social media allow its contents to have eternal permanence. With this in mind, it’s important to consume the veritable fashion bible that is Vogue with critical distance. What Vogue makes immortal in each issue is indicative of our greater cultural mentality in the 21st century. I hoped we had overcome our inheritance of imperialist ideals, but the history of fashion and Orientalism coupled by the comparison of Vogue’s spread to paintings of the 19th century prove that only models and mediums have changed – not our ideals. When this issue of Vogue hit newsstands, I did not expect to flip through the pages and be confronted with an instance of cultural plundering—but I should have. Fashion has always delighted in allusions. By the time concepts of “fashion” began to resemble those of our own in the 18th century (think Sophia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” and its shopping-binge montage set to the sounds of “I Want Candy”), cultural appropriation by artists, designers, and whole societies was common, only to be amplified by globalization and colonialism in the 19th century. This was the period in which Orientalism—defined as Western depictions of “the Orient” or the East—rose to prominence and acquired some of its negative connotations.
32 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
“Moorish Bath” Jean-Léon Gérôme
From the mid to late 19th century, world’s fairs, especially in Britain, were used to showcase both cultures and products from around the world while affirming Britain’s dominance and progress. Sometimes this showcasing was too literal, with native peoples put on display for Europeans to gawk at. The Crimean War (1853-1856) saw an alliance between the declining Ottoman Empire—now Turkey—Britain, and France, which resulted in a cultivation of Turkish style and taste in the latter two countries. This appreciation for anything Turkish is what Orientalist fashion scholar Adam Geczy called “a contradictory mixture of empirical anthropology and ornate folly.” In essence, the West’s understanding of the East relied heavily upon their observations of another culture which they would
deem “barbaric” to justify their colonial expansion and exploitation, and that the goods acquired from foreign lands were not treated as objects of culture to be studied and understood, but used merely as ornament. The piecemeal deconstruction and willfully ignorant repurposing of the Orient is perhaps the most evident in contemporary art, especially the works of French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). In Gérôme’s works, the objectification of white women is justified by their displacement to a distant, “barbarous” Orient, allowing Western male fantasies of power over not only women, but also “lesser” peoples to be played out. Unfortunately, it seems that little has changed in the last century and a half; Gérôme’s paintings are uncannily similar to the photos of “The Silk Road” spread in Vogue. The spread is not about the people or culture of modern Istanbul; it is about “urban resort looks,” about the East as escapism. Istanbul and its people are merely an exotic backdrop for a Western fantasy. Had Vogue wanted to explore the cultural heritage of Istanbul, they could have easily shot Turkish models wearing Turkish designs, posed meaningfully in important Turkish locations. However, shots like “Palace Intrigue” only superficially explore Istanbul, not unlike Gérôme’s paintings “The Snake Charmer” or “Moorish Bath,” which do not anthropologically catalogue a foreign culture, but immortalize a Western wet dream of the Orient. Also, like “Moorish Bath” and another famous Gérôme painting
entitled “The Slave Market,” one of the Vogue photos depicts Kate Moss as a sparkling beacon of whiteness, just as the light-skinned female figures of Gérôme’s works are put on display for consumption, either in a literal market or for the male gaze. This fetishizing of light skin not only subjugates women, but also inherently places the value of whiteskinned people above others. Moss is being led by a man through a market full of foreign women. If Moss’s status as an object is not explicit enough, the title of the photograph is—drumroll, please—“Off the Market.” Gérard de Nerval once recounted of his travel to Istanbul: “We arrived at the opulent bazaars that form the centre of Istanbul, a solidly constructed stone labyrinth in the Byzantine style which served as a vast shelter from the daytime heat... Most remarkable were the clothes and the female slippers, fabrics embroidered or in lamé, cashmeres, carpets, gold, silver or opal-encrusted furniture.” Penned in 1851, these words could easily be printed alongside Vogue’s 2013 fashion spread. Just as during the height of imperialism in the 19th century, some Western perspectives on the East, such as those of the fashion industry, still revolve around the commodification of a novel foreign culture, worth little beyond its glittering baubles and its safety as an Otherland for the continued objectification of women. So dig up the Vogue from under your dirty laundry; without critical thought from an informed readership, it will be another century and a half before we see any change.
“Off the Market”
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 33
Why are We Censoring Conversation About Race? by Barbara Gonzalez
Photographed by Matthew Engelhart
Hair Sarah Kretzschmar
Make Up Vanexa Yang
Styled by Mekea Larson
True or False: We live in a color blind society. Many people believe that we live in a post racial era where prejudice, discrimination and racism are things of the past. This comes from the belief that we live in a society that has advanced from where we were 50 years ago. Because we have moved past and overcome the issues that we faced in the Civil Rights Movement, it is believed that we are automatically thriving in a culture of racial equality. Much of our generation would agree with this statement. After all, we live in a day and age where interracial marriage is widely accepted, Kenyan actress Lupita Nyongâ€™o just received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, we have a black President, and most of society idolizes BeyoncĂŠ, an African American celebrity, as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Why would something as trivial as
34 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
someoneâ€™s skin color still be an issue? But if we truly live in a color blind society, how do we explain the persistent relevance of race in our culture? Today we know that race is a social construct, but it continues to play a significant role in how we interact with each other. It has become taboo to the point that any threat to the silence built around it is seen as racist. This extreme form of censorship exists not only in our media, but also in the conversations that we have every day. And no one ever seems to question why. Everyone appears too nervous to admit the truth: the society that we live in is built on a hierarchy of privilege, and those on top find it easier to turn a blind eye than do something about it.
Race in Fashion The fashion world is notorious for making bold statements about everything in the name of art and creative license. Whenever race is included (or excluded) from the scene, people take notice but rarely demand an explanation. However, there are certain people in the industry who are starting to speak up. When African American model Chanel Iman first spoke out about the racism that she experienced in the modeling industry, it set the media abuzz with its unsettling nature and shock value. In February 2013, she told London’s Sunday Times Magazine that she had been dismissed by several designers who told her, “we already found one black girl, we don’t need you anymore.” Anais Mali, a black model from France, discussed her similar experience with racism a year later in February 2014. Designers have blatantly told her that “black models don’t work in Paris.” While diversifying the runway may not be difficult, changing typical standards of beauty is. Many fashion advertisers still won’t allow black models in their campaigns, fearing for the overall success of their marketing strategy. This stems from a stereotypical idea of beauty which has an exclusively white qualifier. People don’t think about why they find a white woman more attractive or appealing due to the idea of whiteness. White is considered the norm, automatically putting those of other races into the “other” category. When we are presented with anything other than the norm, especially from an aesthetic point of view, it is immediately unsettling. This can be harmful when a product is sold or even presented in an artistic manner. This results in the use of models of color as shock value, or an attempt to make some sort of bold statement. In this way, brands are communicating their shocking messages through their choices of models, but they are doing so in a way
that we intrinsically understand due to our perceptions of beauty.When it comes to thinking about this from a marketing standpoint, advertisers also send the message that because these identities are not represented, they are not welcome customers. It can give off
a pretentious message that deliberately says, “You are not my target audience. You do not matter to me.” However, if anyone was to create a conversation about their selection process from an outside standpoint, they would be called racist for bringing it up.
On Natalia blue bag, Rebecca Minkoff, bop white tank, Zara leather skirt, Express beige heels, Zigisoho
On Ellie yellow bag, Rebecca Minkoff Yellow, bop black leotard, Model’s own white skirt, Asos black heels, Aldo
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 35
The Diversity Coalition aims to change exactly this so that it becomes more natural to see models of color, which could change our current stereotype of what beauty looks like. Formed by Bethany Hardison, Naomi Campbell and Iman last year, the coalition brought this conversation out of the corner and onto the runway. In September’s Spring 2014 Fashion Week, they published and distributed a formal letter directly addressing the designers who failed to include models of color in their shows that season. When discussing the consistent lack of diversity in fashion, the Diversity Coalition strongly states on its website, “No matter what the intention, the result is racism.” After this season’s Fall/Winter 2014 runways, the Coalition made a comeback, recognizing all those who were actively enhancing diversity, such as Calvin Klein, The Row, and Narciso Rodriguez. But they did not fail to call out designers who only increased representation by one or two models of color, or those who made no move to improve at all, writing “Diversifying is not difficult. The resistance to do so is intriguing.”
Race on Campus As a Predominantly White Institution, or a PWI, the University of Wisconsin-Madison constantly struggles to create an inclusive environment where race is a topic that can be freely discussed. This can be attributed to many things, but most of all to a lack of education of students and faculty alike. To earn a degree at UW-Madison, one must complete an ethnic studies requirement. According to the university website, the ethnic studies requirement intends to “increase understanding of the culture and contributions of persistently marginalized racial or ethnic groups in the United States, and to equip students to respond constructively to issues
connected with our pluralistic society and global community.” Created by the Ethnic Studies Subcommittee in 2010, the Essential Learning in Ethnic Studies declares that the common objectives of these courses are the following: Awareness of History’s Impact on the Present, Ability to Recognize and Question Assumptions, A Consciousness of Self and Other, and Effective Participation in a Multicultural Society. While the university demonstrates good intentions with this requirement, many students see these courses as just another requirement, similar to the tedious communication and quantitative reasoning classes that most dread. Professor Michael Thornton, who teaches Afro-American Studies 151: Contemporary Afro-American Society, says that in the past ten years, most of his students believe that we live in a color blind era, displaying a disincentive to engage in conversations about race. “There’s a lack of compassion because people are angry and scared,” Professor Thornton says. “One of the concepts that I constantly harp on them with is conscious and unconscious prejudice. Almost all of them come in with unconscious prejudice. They’re unaware of it, they’ll come in saying ‘I don’t see race, I don’t see color.’” AAS 151 is a service learning course, which requires students to work in a community site which serves minority populations. They reflect on their experiences in these sites by writing journal assignments. “They often use code words, saying ‘I’ve never worked with poor kids before’ or ‘those kinds of kids’ when they mean kids of color,” Professor Thornton says, recalling certain journal entries. “They’ll do anything to avoid using race.” In turn, some professors and TAs who hold degrees pertaining to these topics may be very knowledgeable in areas of ethnic studies, but do not possess the distinct ability to facilitate conversations in an effective
36 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
manner. If a discussion isn’t facilitated properly, students who say things that are highly offensive might not be checked or properly corrected. This not only perpetuates prejudice through inaction and miseducation, but also marginalizes racial minorities, some of whom may even be represented in the class. The silence that surrounds the way we engage in these conversations enables misconceptions and sometimes even blatant ignorance. It disrupts the safe space environment that a classroom must have in order to have conversations about such sensitive topics. Furthermore, other students may be completely alienated from the topic because they are so far removed from issues that affect racial minorities. These are not topics that can be tiptoed around or taken lightly. By not engaging students in these discussions, everyone who is part of this censorship is exercising their privilege. They are not talking about it because they don’t have to; it does not directly affect them, so they do not care. If the professor and TA do not encourage their class to further their knowledge in the topic, it defeats the purpose of taking the course. In an effort to begin the process of correcting our conversation and climate of diversity on campus, the UW-Madison Diversity Plan focuses on how to make the University a more inclusive environment. By making matriculation more accessible to students of color starting in high school and increasing retention rates to ensure graduation, the Diversity Plans seeks to move the University forward. However, ASM Diversity Committee Chair Jessica Behling says that she struggles with creating awareness about the plan to UW-Madison students. “It’s really difficult for white students to see that other students might have a different experience [on campus] because of their race,” she said about her experience in engaging UW-Madison students in conversations concerning diversity. “Many people don’t even
know what the Diversity Plan is or why we have one...it’s hard trying to reach people who don’t regularly think about this kind of thing.” In order to increase awareness and express the necessity of reformatting the Diversity Plan, students of color recently created a whiteboard campaign similar to Harvard and Oxford’s entitled “I, too, am UW” to showcase the microaggressions and openly expressed stereotypes that exist on campus. The underlying reason we don’t talk about race is because it makes people uncomfortable—and privilege plays a large part in this. Even if someone is not actively racist, they may still engage in prejudice because they come from a place of privilege that gives them power over other groups of people. Because we don’t want to make each other uncomfortable, it is sometimes assumed that it is best not to talk about it, even though it remains the question hanging in the room. The longer that these topics go without being discussed, however, the more relevant they become. In order to have productive conversations, all parties involved must be able to actively let go of their pride, guilt, anger, and other intense feelings that may arise. There are too many days where I, as a woman of color, feel alienated and unwelcome on this campus. Everyone wants to question why I deserve to be here, saying I am only here to meet a diversity quota. But no one ever questions what a legacy did to deserve their acceptance. No one wants to talk about how white women are the ones who benefit the most from affirmative action. So many of us feel invisible, constantly being reduced to a number, a percent, an idea. The fact that people can feel so far removed from each other goes beyond normal human comprehension. Without explicit conversations about privilege, we continue to silence the issue at hand, which simultaneously ensures that it persists in our society.
On Diamond top, ALC, iona pants, ALC, iona necklace, Stylist’s own On Carl shirt, H&M pants, H&M bow tie, Ferrell Reed, Jazzman
Conversations are not the problem. Racism is.
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 37
On Carl shirt, H&M shorts, Scotch and Soda, Jazzman shoes, Modelâ€™s own On Natalia dress, Lily Aldridge for Velvet, iona beige heels, Zigisoho
38 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
On Ellie top, BB Dakota, bop jeans, J Brand, bop black heels, Aldo On Diamond top, BB Dakota, bop skirt, AlC, iona black heels, Pitaya
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 39
WHOA man. by Mekea Larson As comedian Sarah Silverman says, “As soon as a woman gets to an age where she has opinions and she’s vital and she’s strong, she’s systematically shamed into hiding under a rock.” ‘Girls’ are presented as treasures, as their father’s princesses, as sweet and pure, while women are shunted away more often than not. Why, then, would any girl want to be called a “woman?” This is the problem that faces college-age females. We don’t know whether we are girls or women, and the responsibilities, and stereotypes, attached with the latter are off-putting at best. However, much of the confusion comes from the fact that there is no definitive response for what makes a girl different from a woman. The term ‘woman’ seems to be an indicator of maturity and responsibility, someone with patience and foresight. But for me, a ‘woman’ is all of these things and more. It is not just maturity, but the next level of maturity, that next step to bettering oneself. Our current culture is obsessed with social media and instant gratification. We focus on the “moment” and the “next big thing,” giving more attention to controversial images and selling things through sex. The more immature an act or photo is, the more it is discussed and shared. There are millions of selfies from girls pouting in low-cut shirts on Instagram with #LB for ‘like back,’ implying that they need ‘likes’ and superficial popularity for that small rush of dopamine you get when you log into a social media account and are notified of attention. Half of the women in Hollywood seem to have a sex scandal, a “boundary pushing” nude photo shoot, or a “steamy sex scene,” according to YouTube. Kim Kardashian, although not universally respected, is universally known. Much of her fame came from a notorious sex tape with Ray-J. Miley Cyrus has recreated her image based on anything and everything that is or could be offensive, succeeding in notoriety because her antics are so widely discussed. Even when we praise immaturity, we are just as drawn in by very different ideas of “success.” Yes, Kim Kardashian may have half the country following her on Twitter, but it was Anna Wintour who got the final call on whether she was allowed on the cover of Vogue. Our culture praises those like Wintour with fast-paced, highly planned, and viciously competitive careers that require maturity, responsibility, confidence and intelligence. Success in a career signifies success in life. These are things that are associated with being a “grown-up,” or, more gender-specifically, a “woman.” The natural counterbalance of such an extreme expectation is an extreme rejection. Females are choosing to reject growing up and becoming a ‘woman’ by doing everything characteristic of youth and immaturity. In choosing the label ‘girl,’ females are choosing to avoid the responsibilities of adulthood. Past a certain age, ‘woman’ and ‘girl’ are more indicative of the level of emotional and intellectual maturity rather than physical. Responsibility is tied with respect and maturity, which must be earned and defined. Being a ‘girl’ is associated with immaturity, yes, but also with the mentality that the world is new and wondrous. This is not a bad mentality in itself, but the naiveté that comes with it certainly is. This brings up the obsession with the carefree side of life. As
40 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
The challenge of being a woman in a world full of girls. more and more responsibilities pile on, the nostalgia for these supposed days full of happiness and free time grows. Women want to emulate these rose-hued times before ‘worry lines’ were a part of everyday life. The older women get, the closer they cling to their youth; think of the amount of plastic that goes in and out of women the older they get. There is an implicit fear of being old and jaded that comes with looking older, which is often referred to as ‘careworn.’ It certainly doesn’t help that men place a high premium on youth either. Men have historically desired women who are quiet and demure, two things that are much more characteristic of ‘girls.’ The reaction to strong women and the feminist movement has made girls, who are supposedly more easily influenced by the ideas of a strong (male) individual, more attractive to those same individuals. Not only this, but the rejection of responsibility is attractive to males as well. The stereotype that women are child bearers, rearers, creators of home and family on top of everything else, ties a great deal of responsibility to a man who is with a ‘woman.’ Why spend time with a woman, when a ‘girl’ comes with fewer strings attached? Trophy wives and extramarital affairs are perfect examples of this; both of these ideas are romanticized and based off the idea of younger women to revitalize their male partner. If females use the term ‘girls’ to define themselves as lacking responsibility, it is safe to say that men seek to avoid responsibility through this rejection. Beyond this, men want a woman who puts them on a pedestal. The natural naïveté associated with ‘girls’ allows men to recreate the machismo of their glory days. The less confident the man, the more likely they are to seek a ‘girl’ rather than a woman; look no further than Kanye’s choice versus Jay-Z’s. A ‘woman’ in a relationship is an equal. She holds responsibility, intelligence, and maturity. The sexism women have suffered becomes less of a threat in a healthy relationship. A woman with these traits is unlikely to settle for someone who does not value her. She is unlikely to allow anyone to suggest she is less than an equal and most importantly, she is unlikely to stroke someone else’s ego by belittling herself. Being a ‘woman’ revolves around actions: acting maturely and not seeking dramatic situations or pandering for attention. Yet, this doesn’t mean becoming ‘old’ or truly giving up ‘youth.’ Rather, it means accepting responsibility and acting accordingly. A woman can act carefree as a result of taking care of what must be taken care of. She can see the joys of the world because it rewards her for contributing to it. She can be strong without being a “femi-nazi” and soft without being a doormat. Finding that middle ground revolves around self-knowledge, and selfknowledge is associated with being a woman. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” E.E Cummings famously said. Finding the middle ground and gaining self-knowledge are not easy tasks. Although Cummings never had to grow up and decide how these fit with the idea of womanhood, his insight is nonetheless true. It takes a great deal of courage to step into the next stage of life, to accept responsibility, and to explore every facet of your possible being. It is beautiful and terrifying and desperately new, but it ultimately brings about an entirely new and valuable perspective of the world.
Badger Essentials by Zach Mueller photographed by Sara Schemel As a child, a new school year was always the best for getting new gear. New shoes, new clothes, and best of all, new school supplies. Unfortunately, there are no supplies lists in college. We all have our own personalized sets of supplies that help get us collegians through our daily lives.
Some items are necessary like pens and textbooks, but some items, like a favorite novel, just help us stay sane. Take a look as five Badgers dump out their bags and show off their essentials.
Megan Tuohy, Sophomore Major: Art • Cannot leave house without: Moleskin notebook and granola bars • Favorite writing utensil: Staedtler Mars Micro drafting pencil • Loves the faces of people when pulling a hammer out of her backpack
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 41
Abby Vogel, Freshman Major: Business • Favorite items: glittered water bottle and phone case • Swears new iPhone headphones are better than the old • S’mores is the best Chewy bar flavor
Claire Stamborski, Junior Major: Industrial and Systems Engineering • Favorite item: school ID from studying abroad in China • Ear plugs are for studying • Has been trying to finish the book for over 9 months
Max Voss, Freshman Major: Textile and Apparel Design • White handkerchief is always in his back left pocket • Only drinks Anodyne coffee out of Milwaukee • First read “Siddhartha” in high school
42 | Spring 2014 | www.modamadison.com
Mitchell Oelke, Junior Major: Math and Political Science • Favorite item: Oakely Crowbar goggles • Uses toothbrush on-the-go almost everyday • Fortune cookie inscription: “You are talented in many ways”
Emily Buechner, Freshman Major: Undecided • Cannot leave the house without: snacks • Her Charmander is currently at level 11 • Snapple Fact: “August has the highest percentage of births.”
Ashya Kaderabek-Vela, Junior Major: Environmental Studies • Started carrying passport around when she lost her license • Uses a different color pen for each class • Snapple Fact: “A crocodile can’t stick out its tongue.”
www.modamadison.com | Spring 2014 | 43