Editor in Chief JORDAN MOORHEAD Creative Director KAITLYN LAUER Photo Director NICK SULLIVAN Social Media Director CRYSTAL THOMPSON Editorial Director SARAH MERRIFIELD Fashion Writers RACHAEL THOMAS LORRYNDA WALTHALL Photographers EMILY HOLYCROSS BRANDON YORK ALEXIS KELLY Event Planning MACEY RONQUILLO INDIA AMBROSE
Jordan Moorhead Kaitlyn Lauer Alexis Kelly
TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the Editor
FASHION Local Looks
BEAUTY Forbidden Fruit Black is Beautiful
LIFESTYLE Freedom Through Faith
The Fashion Revolution
FEATURES International Student Style Flashing Lights
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR W
hen a movie’s sequel comes out, people always seem to say it’s never better than the first. Nothing could be better than the original. We challenged this idea for the new issue, focusing our efforts on the pure fact of making it better than our first. That’s how we settled on the theme Raw Revived. We wanted to keep our aesthetic, but enhance the brand and bring new life to it. When we first started production, I was nervous that we had been forgotten. Then I thought, what better way to get peoples attention then to make something bigger and better than we had before. After all, this is only our second issue in history. We started in March of 2016, and put out the very first issue after only 5 short weeks. I was incredibly proud of what were able to accomplish last spring, and that feeling is only more intense now. I’ve always dreamed of working for a fashion magazine, and I’m so proud that not only have I made that dream a reality for myself, I have also made it a reality for everyone on the staff. We have an incredible group of people who See more photos of me in our beauty story, helped make this issue come to life and we’re honored to Forbidden Fruit, on page 16! bring it to you all here at CMU. Our goal is to show students fashion in a new light. We want to bring representation to our campus through our articles and photos. Our magazine is for everyone, no matter what you look like or what you wear. There’s a lot of different content in this issue. If you’re looking for cute clothes in stores nearby, check out local looks on the next page. Seasonally chic on page 12 may help you get inspiration on how to dress for all the many seasons we encounter here in Mount Pleasant (sometimes even in the same day). Maybe you’re a student who struggles with getting the right hair or makeup products in town, if so then check out the underground stylists on page 36. Clothes are also more than just what we put on our bodies, but help show our identities to the world. We explore this on pages 28 and 39. We want this issue to be relatable, helpful and inspiring, and we will continue to pursue our dream as being your favorite fashion magazine. Thank you for reading and supporting us. This is only the beginning. Editor in Chief Jordan Moorhead
LOCAL LOOKS Story by : Jordan Moorhead Photos by : Brandon York Styled by : Jordan Moorhead, Kaitlyn Lauer, Nick Sullivan Models : Shardae Jefferson and Daniel Montgomery
For people who love to shop and buy new clothes, Mount Pleasant can be a big dissapointment. There’s no mall, and not many options when it comes to picking out a new dress or pair of shoes. But trendy pieces can be found here at places like JC Penny, TJ Maxx, and Rue 21 despite what many assume. That’s where
we found these great outfits anyone could wear this spring. Both denim and athleisure garments have been around for a while, but were still going strong on designer runways this season. Whether you’re running to class, the SAC, or a casual event, we’ve got you covered.
AS SEEN AT
WHAT THEYâ€™RE WEARING Shardae is wearing a distressed denim jacket, Rue 21 $29.99, white t-shirt, JC Penny $11.99, and denim shorts, JC Penny $14.99 Daniel is wearing a long denim jacket, TJ Maxx $15.99, and Ice Cube t-shirt, Rue 21 $12.99
Rag & Bone
AS SEEN AT
WHAT THEYâ€™RE WEARING Shardae is wearing a Chicago Bulls v-cut tee, Rue 21 $16.99, floral bomber, JC Penny $39.99, and striped track pants, JC Penny $7.48 Daniel is wearing a Bulls coach jacket, Rue 21 $31.99, white t-shirt, JC Penny $11.99, Nike striped shorts, JC Penny $29.99, and Nike leggings, JC Penny $24.99
A Look into the Style of the Zetas and Sigmas Story by : Rachael Thomas
Photos by : Brandon York
Being a member of a sorority or fraternity is an exciting experience. Members of these organizations create a support system; they lift each other up and show the world what they can accomplish together. Each sorority or fraternity embodies a rich history that only gets stronger with each year and each new sister or brother that joins. And of course, thereâ€™s nothing like showing off those Greek letters with pride. Beyond the step shows and parties, being a part of a sorority or fraternity is a business. Through meetings and programs held locally and nationally, members are learning how to personally brand themselves, while still representing their organization. With that in mind, itâ€™s important to understand that style plays a role in all aspects of sororities and fraternities, both individually and collectively. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dom Williams, president of Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity Inc. here at CMU, and Andrea Buckley, member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., the sister organization to the Sigmas. Through my conversations with them, I learned about the meaning they hold in their group membership and how this has shaped how they express their own style. Most importantly, I learned how theyâ€™ve stayed true to themselves while still representing their organization with their brothers or sisters.
Page 7 DOM WILLIAMS President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. “I feel like style goes more beyond than just clothing. It goes how you are as a person.”
When did you become a Sigma? DW: I became a Sigma March of 2016. March 19th to be exact. Out of all the fraternities on campus, why did you choose Sigma Phi Beta? DW: I was looking at the aspect of how they’re perceived in the public. When I joined Sigma, I noticed a different sum of people in this one organization. We’re all different, but at the same time we feed off each other, we learn things from each other, and it makes us better individuals. How would you define style? How would you describe your own style? DW: I would define style as how you perceive yourself, especially in the public. I feel like style goes more beyond than just clothing. It goes how you are as a person. My style is laid-back. I’m more of a “behindthe-scenes” type person, I’m real chill with everybody. Has being a Sigma encouraged you to embrace and express your style? DW: Definitely. I know before, I didn’t really voice my opinions, I didn’t really get out as much and get involved on campus. Once I joined Phi Beta Sigma, it kind of gave me a voice and pushed me into expressing my style to the public. Especially since now I’m the president of our chapter.
Has your style evolved since becoming a Sigma? DW: I’m more professional since I became a Sigma. I didn’t have much dress clothes, but ever since I became a Sigma I know that when we have our meetings like our chapter meetings, we have to dress up for that. Every time we throw an event on campus, like programs, we have to dress up for that. You and all your fraternity brothers have one thing in common: being a Sigma. How do you personally remain an individual and unique while still being part of a collective whole? DW: Balancing my life out from Sigma and to my personal life, for sure. I am a Sigma, and usually people perceive me as “Dom the Sigma,” but at the same time I have a personal life before the Greek letters I still live by. Just learn how to balance your life out, honestly. What advice would you give to others on embracing themselves and expressing their style at CMU? DW: Don’t be afraid, honestly. Especially nowadays where a lot more people are stepping up and expressing their skills and their style. Also get your word out and talk to other people so you can help publicize your style.
Page 8 ANDREA BUCKLEY Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. “Don’t let anyone impose a standard on you, as far as how you want to express yourself visually, or through your style.”
When did you become a Zeta? AB: I became a Zeta on April 11, 2015. What does Zeta Phi Beta mean to you? AB: So it’s a sisterhood of women that support me, who provide advice and wisdom to me, who mentor me, and who I can also mentor. It’s also a business; it’s teaching me how to be a businesswoman, teaching me how to run a meeting, how to present my ideas, how to do presentations at different conferences and things of that nature. So definitely a personal and professional development experience. How would you define “style”? How would describe your own personal style? AB: I think style in terms of clothing is just a way that person expresses themselves. Most times people dress what is comfortable to them, so it makes them who they are. I would say I have a pretty laidback style. My style is based off the event I’m going to. I have to be comfortable with what I’m wearing because that is how I’m visually representing myself to others, and I want to make sure I’m sending the right messages. Has being a Zeta encouraged you to embrace and express your style? AB: I would say, yes. One thing that people say about Greek life is you should know who you are before you join another organization, so you don’t root your identity in that organization, because that’s not good. Through my intake process and
through developing as a member in Zeta, I gained more confidence in my ability just because the people that are in the sorority will push me to excel. I guess it just helped me feel more confident in myself and knowing that I can be myself. Has your style evolved since becoming a Zeta? AB: I think it’s probably stayed the same. The women in my sorority all express themselves differently in their clothing and I feel like that’s based on who they are and their own definition of ‘style.’ And so mine didn’t change from joining an organization. You and all your sorority sisters have one thing in common: being a Zeta. How do you personally remain an individual or unique while still being part of a collective whole? AB: One thing that attracts people to Zetas is our principle. We’re all compassionate about service, sisterhood, “finer womanhood.” But we’re all still very unique. I didn’t feel like I had to change so I feel like that’s why I was able to remain unique. What advice would you give to others on embracing themselves and expressing their style at CMU? AB: Just be yourself. However you want to express yourself, like that’s fine. Don’t let anyone impose a standard on you, as far as how you want to express yourself visually, or through your style. Because if you do, you’ll probably end up regretting it, because it’s not you.
Photos by : Alexis Kelly Models : Olivia Gentille Jessica Belsito
S E A S O N A L LY CHIC Photos by : Nick Sullivan Story by : Jordan Moorhead Model: Pam Valero
Not only do we experience the 4 seasons throughout the year here in Michigan, we often are hit many of them in the span of one day. But no matter the time of year, or what the weather is like, we all want to look good. The goal of this photo story is to give some inspiration for the next time the weather takes an unexpected turn and you dont know what you should wear! Just take a look and your perfect seasonally chic outfit will come together.
F O R B I D D E N
F R U I T Photos by : Emily Holycross Makeup by : Emily Holycross and Kaitlyn Lauer
Model : Madeline Klomp
Model : Jordan Moorhead
Model : Shamiya Estell
BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. NATURAL IS BEAUTIFUL.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Photos by : Alexis Kelly and Emily Holycross
Page 22 M A Y A
I M A N I
B R A I T H W A I T E
B R O W N
H O P E
A P R I L
W O O D S
R I C E
“My advice to black girls who haven’t fully felt confident with their black hair is to know that it might take time to get it to the natural state that you want but it is worth it because you are beautiful and you should be confident in who you are.” -April Rice, freshman
“I love being natural because I can do so many different things with my hair and I feel like I’m really embracing who I am as a black women.”
“If you want to go natural honestly all it takes is courage and determination. Don’t think you have to do the big chop, I grew out my relaxer and my hair is just as healthy.” - Maya Braithwaite, freshman
“I believe it is important for black women to embrace their natural hair because it is a beautiful expression of who we are as black women. Natural hair is so versatile and a symbol of individuality because no two people have the same hair type or pattern. Also, I think it’s important we don’t conform to societal beauty standards, and we start to create our own standard.” - Imani Brown, freshman
“Don’t compare hair journey to anyone else or care about other’s opinions (learn to be content, and love yourself girls!). I advise you have fun. Do things with your hair that you never thought of: experiment with color, protective styles, shave your sides or get an undercut. Find what works for you and embrace it!” - Imani Brown, freshman
M Y FA I T H I S MY FREEDOM Speaking with the women of MSA Story by : Lorrynda Walthall Photos by : Brandon York
n Tuesday, March 28th, I had the privilege to sit down with six women from CMUâ€™s Muslim Student Association and have an open discussion about their religion, as well as the joys and the hardships that come with being a Muslim woman in America. Halima Abbi, Simbi Oyedele, Nasteha
Fetl, Alaa Assaf, Mariam Saad and Maham Kham were extremely open and honest about their lives as Muslim women, and their experiences were both intriguing and informative. According to E-Board Member Nasteha Fetl, The Muslim Student Association, or MSA, is a safe zone where Muslim
students can get together and connect over the daily routines of Islam, as well as dispel the common misconceptions of the religion. All six of the women were born into Islam, and spent every year of their lives dedicated to its practices.
Page 29 Halima Abbi
We sat down to address some common misconceptions of the faith, first of all the idea that a hijab presents a barrier to social interactions with Muslim women. Nasteha expressed her desire for people to just come up and ask her questions about her faith, rather than just staring and passing judgment. Fear is often rooted in ignorance, and just reaching out and learning from those that are different from us stops the harm that ignorance causes. “This is not scary, this is a scarf. I promise it will not eat you, it will not poke you in any way. People are just so scared, and there is no reason they should be,” Halima, speaking on her hijab, said.
The women were very open about their religious traditions, including the holy month of Ramadan, which includes fasting, prayer, and introspection. During the fast, followers of Islam do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset, after which they are allowed to eat what they please. Miriam explained the meaning of the practice, “The concept of fasting is for you to feel for the poor, and to get connected to God, and know that the pleasures of life do not have value when it comes to your faith,” she said. Nasteha spoke on the familial aspect of this time. “Your mom makes sure you eat good at sunrise, then at sunset the whole family gets together, and you
call people over and have a feast every night of Ramadan,” she said. All of the women spoke of the deep devotion and reflection this time brings, especially when luxuries like music and favorite foods are removed. “Ramadan is to be thankful for all the things that you have and think you could not live without. It is hard to do, but you can break so many bad habits,” Halima said. There are many common misconceptions around the hijab, primarily that it is forced upon women and thus a symbol of oppression. To this, the women were all firm in their response: wearing hijab is a choice. Miriam spoke of it as more of a principal that connects
Page 30 her to her faith. Simbi chooses only to wear hijab when going to the mosque or praying. Though their personal meaning of the hijab differs, the women all expressed the value and honor of the headscarf in their life. “When I was younger, I was so excited to wear the hijab, that I would wear it to bed and my mom would say, “Halima! You are young, let your hair free! As a kid, your parents give you freedom to
think it was being forced on me.” Many Westerners also view the hijab as a limitation, but the women were insistent that this could not be farther from the truth. While they do still follow standards of modesty in alignment with their emphasis on who they are rather than how they look, they find no limits to their personal style. “There are so many colors you can wear, and so many styles. If you
hijab tight against the head with a headband, and some choose to wear it more loosely. Even infinity scarves can be wrapped and worn as hijab. “(Wearing the hijab) I got a different sense of fashion and modesty, and how I can tie the two together. It has really helped me to be creative with how I present myself,” Maham said proudly. The women overall emphasized the fact that the hijab is not an op-
wear it whenever, mostly when you go to the mosque. As I entered college, I decided I wanted to take my religion more serious, and part of that is committing to the hijab,” Halima said. Alaa related in her eagerness to adopt the hijab, saying, “I was very committed to wearing my hijab at a young age, but my parents did not want me to wear it yet because people would
went in my closet, the styles are so varying, there is no way you could run out of options. For us, it’s exciting to see a new scarf, like I have to post it or something!” Halima said. As far as styles of scarves, as Miriam said, the options are “endless.” Once you know the shape of your head, it’s like the part in your hair, and you know what fits you best. Some of the women wear the
pressive custom, but one they take great pride in. It ties them back to their faith, their community, and reminds them daily to live with religion first. Maham talked about the confidence she gained once she started wearing hers, adding “I credit a lot of it to becoming a hijabi in a place with such little diversity, because it made people come up to me and ask questions. I made
“This is not scary, this is a scarf. I promise it will not eat you, it will not poke you in any way. People are just so scared, and there is no reason they should be.” sure I was prepared to inform people.” Miriam summed it up beautifully: “Hijab is a thought, it is a belief, and for me it is an identity. It shows what I am capable of, regardless of what I look like. I see hijab as a source of confidence and power, and my connection to God.” Although some judgements are laughable, there are more serious stigmas that come with being a follower of Islam, especially given the current political climate. On December 7th, 2016, President Donald Trump called for a total cease of all Muslims entering the United States. Trump claimed that Muslim people have a “Great hate towards this country” and “have no respect for human life.” Many disagreed with President Trump’s accusations, and his proposal did not make it past
the Supreme Court, however, there were still multiple acts of discrimination towards Muslim travelers. Donald Trump ignited a fire of hate towards a religion by generalizing, and falsely accusing the entire religion for the actions of a few extremists. When I asked the women how this incident made them feel, there was a chorus of deep sighs in the room, and they immediately dug in, speaking passionately on the subject. “I just had to ask myself, “why?”. When I think about the U.S., I think about a welcoming place, full of freedom, because that is what it is supposed to be. A lot of these people are coming here because they have nowhere else to go, and we’re slamming doors. We are telling them that we don’t care. That is not what humanity is. This is not what the U.S. represents,” Halima said sadly. Miriam spoke of the reality shock she experienced after the ban. “I am not an American citizen. After the ban happened, I was so worried that if I went home I would not be able to get back in. I came here because this was a country of freedom, and acceptance, and tolerance. I came to get a better education, so that I could go back to my country to spread awareness and improve my country. Then I realized that people in my country do not judge based on religion or on the
color of one’s skin. Then I was thinking, maybe my country is better, and coming here was a mistake. Maybe my country is already developed if its principles and treatment of others is not based on how they look,” she said. Speaking of the effect at CMU, she stated, “Before the ban, CMU had 250 international students. After the ban, we had 40.” Nasteha confessed, “I just feel like the ban brought the country back so many years. We were progressing, developing women’s rights, and giving rights to the LGBT+ community. We were going forward then all of a sudden we took a huge step back.”
“Hijab is a thought, it is a belief, and for me it is an identity. It shows what I am capable of, regardless of what I look like. I see hijab as a source of confidence and power, and my connection to God.”
Page 32 Although the girls expressed some discomfort with the route that the U.S. was going on the stance of the Muslim ban, they seemed to be happy with the show of support on CMU’s campus. After hearing the news of the Muslim Ban, the students of MSA decided that they were not going to be silent. They organized a rally to raise their voices against the executive order issued by the president, expecting a crowd of 30 to join them in protest. Members of MSA were astounded when a crowd of about 500 students, faculty, and citizens of Mount Pleasant joined them at the Bovee University Center to support their rights. The event was the biggest organized protest to happen on CMU’s campus. Miriam noted the displays of sol-
idarity in the campus community, “I have had so many people randomly come up to me to hug me and tell me that I am welcomed here,” she said. Maham, who spoke at the rally, affirmed: “The rally brought back a lot of hope for us, especially being here on this campus, because we got this huge outpour of support. It reminded us that people here do care. . . There are a lot of negative forms of attention, then there are positive forms like the rally, and like this. Where we have the opportunity to express our feelings, because otherwise, we are silenced.” The Muslim women at CMU have a voice and a story, and we must listen. The more we open our ears to varied experiences, the more we open our minds to
promoting an environment of acceptance and understanding. Indeed, we are more similar than we are different, and we can benefit greatly from coming to a greater understanding of each other and acceptance of us all as one thing: human. We must continue to educate ourselves on the pervasive oppressions that disadvantage members of certain groups, and actively resist these, whether we are a part of the oppressed group or not. Just like the students of MSA demonstrated with their overwhelming success of a protest, this is a group effort. Eliminating ignorance is imperative to our goals. We must continue to unite in the fight for social justice and continue taking steps towards a more equitable future for all.
T H E FA S H I O N REVOLUTION Why It Can Not Wait Story by : Sarah Merrifield
Photos by : Nick Sullivan
On April 24th, 2013, the fashion industry received a brutal wake up call. A factory building in the Rana Plaza complex in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring over 2,500. Building inspectors repeatedly neglected improving the building’s conditions and caused a tragedy to unfold. The incident sent garment workers a clear message: fashion is about profit, not people. Shortly after, Fashion Revolution was born. As their website states, the organization “believe in an industry that values people, the environment, creativity, and profit in equal measure.” The group exists in over 80 countries and creates change by urging consumers to ask, “Who made my clothes?” and encouraging brands to be transparent with the public by acknowledging the human labor that produces our clothes. Since 2014, many changes have been made within the industry such as brands accepting accountability for their business practices, but the industry has a Models (left to right): Grant Williams, long way to go. While most fashion afiTorey Ware, Emily Crombez, Evan Jordan cionados know a great deal about Fashion Week, not so many know about Fashion Revolution Week. This year the week begins April 24th to the 30th, and promotes a more conscious attitude towards consumption of fashion through buying less, buying better, and making garments last. The key factor in progressing towards a more ethical fashion industry is transparency; the more brands share information about their production process, the more they are held accountable to uphold ethical standards. Fashion Revolution does valuable background work for consumers, and published a report in April 2016 called the “Fashion Transparency Index” that ranked 40 of the biggest fashion companies according to their level of transparency. Their next report is due April 2017.
Page 32 While there is a rising movement to improve the fashion industry, we must all acknowledge our role in the issue and the power we have as consumers. “Who made my clothes?” is not a common thing to think about when we shop, but it should be. Besides the fiber content and the care instructions on our clothing labels, we should be looking at the country of origin and beyond. 97% of our mass-produced clothing is made overseas; the top three garment producers of China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. The True Cost, a documentary about the fast fashion industry, reports that there are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today, and over 85% of them are women. In order to keep up with Western demand for new fashions, these garment workers are forced to work long hours with pay that is far below a living wage. In Bangladesh women work 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week, in unsafe, cramped and hazardous conditions for the U.S. equivalent of about $30 a month. Unionizing is prohibited, and any worker organization is met with intimidation and violence. Sexual harassment and discrimination go unreported, because no consequences would come to the factory owners. Female garment workers are, in a sense, silenced. They are paid less than men and are not guaranteed maternity leave. Due to a lack of other jobs, garment workers are essentially stuck in their position, struggling to survive. Activist Lucy Siegle has said “Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere is paying.” In many cases, we all are. Fast fashion is not only a human rights nightmare, but an environmental one. The True Cost reports that the average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. Most unwanted American clothing ends up in landfills, where the toxic chemicals used for dyes and finishes seep into our soil and water sources. The issue of fast fashion does not begin when a garment is purchased, nor does it cease when a garment is discarded. Everything we create comes from somewhere, and everything we discard ultimately affects the earth. As consumers, we can break this cycle of destruction. We can use our voices, our online presence, and our wallets as a means to demand better from our favorite brands. We should think of garment workers before we bring another article of clothing
into our lives and what we plan to do with it when we no longer want it. Often times, old clothing can be transformed into something new, and damaged clothing can be mended. When we do desire new clothes, we should shop from thrift stores first and ethical retailers second. There is an urgent need for a greater consciousness in the fashion industry. We must ask greater questions besides what the newest trends are. Once we do our background research, we discover the people whose literal blood, sweat, and tears bore the objects of our materialist desire. Fashion Revolution recently published the “Garment Worker Diaries,” which provides an insightful look at the human stories behind our clothes and the lives of various garment workers. We must delve deeper into the destruction behind our clothes, and we must make it fashionable to execute greater compassion with our choices. While we may be able to wait to join the Fashion Revolution at a more convenient time, there are millions of others whose survival is at stake.
For more information, reference: Eco-age War on Want The True Cost Fashion Revolution Each model to the right wears a t-shirt and jeans, basics of the Western wardrobe but also cheap commodities that exemplify the inequity of the industry. As shown above, typical $14 tee shirt can be broken down cost-wise like so: $3.69 for materials and finishing, $1.03 for freight/insurance/duties, $.58 for factory margin, $.18 for agent, $.07 for factory overhead, and a mere $.12 paid to the laborer. The total cost comes to $5.67, allowing retailers a 60% markup to the price of $14. Fashion Revolution reports that it takes 2,720 liters of water to make one t- shirt (that’s how much a human consumes in three years!) and a typical pair of jeans consumes 919 gallons of water during its life cycle. When told the reality behind what each of the models was wearing, this is what they had to say
“When buying new, definitely choose quality over quantity. There are more people being affected than just the consumer, and we must consider that.” - Evan Jordan, freshman
“We never really think about it. We should look beyond fashion into where our clothes come from.” - Grant Williams, junior
“All consumers should have this same mindset when shopping.” - Emily Crombez, sophomore
UNDERGROUND STYLISTS Bringing Black Representation to Mount P Story by : Rachael Thomas, Crystal Thompson, and Lorrynda Walthall Photos by : Emily Holycross, Macey Ronquillo, and Brandon York
oming to Mount Pleasant as a black freshman it doesn’t take long to realize that you don’t have much to work with in terms of hair and makeup products that are offered. It’s safe to say that you may have to go home to buy your hair and makeup products, or buy them online. Lucky for us, there are a few students on CMU’s campus that are changing this. We like to call them “the underground stylists.” The underground stylists are a community filled with black students offering hair and makeup services to Central’s black student population. They do not let their location hinder them from what they have to offer. Three CMU students have had their fair share of experiences working with different hair and makeup in the university’s black community. Rondall “RJ” Murray Jr., senior (left), Daija “Redd” Landers, junior (center), and Mariah Grodi, freshman (right), have all found a niche that needed to be filled in the campus’s black community.
Page 35 Rondall “RJ” Murray Jr.
Murray started cutting hair for free in his dorm room during his freshman year at Central. Through his experiences, Murray says he’s been able to meet and interact with people he feels he wouldn’t have if he weren’t cutting hair. Murray has even created a name for himself through his business, Quality S.H.O.P., giving quality cuts at affordable prices. The accounting major brands himself using his custom business Snapchat filter, and has offered his services for the Kappa Alpha Psi’s event, “Barbershop Talk,” as well as the Organization for Black Unity’s Fashion Show. Landers began her craft by doing hair for her friends. When she came to CMU’s campus, she continued to do her friends’ hair when they needed it. Once Landers began experimenting with sew-ins, her business began to grow. People really admired her work, and her friends helped to spread the word. From there, Landers created an Instagram to promote her craft, and she even sells hair online. Grodi is new to CMU this school year, but is definitely on the come-up. She began doing makeup for her friends on campus, knowing that there was nowhere else for them to get their makeup done. Her favorite part about doing makeup is seeing the final product because it is like a complete transformation. So far, Grodi has done makeup for her friends, as well as models in the OBU Fashion Show. At the moment, Grodi has been working out of her room, but do not sleep on her. She’s looking to do big things. Despite the strides these three students have made thus far on campus, they still face challenges as they continue to perfect their craft. It’s nothing new that the hair and makeup sections in huge department stores “designated” for black people are severely struggling. Mount Pleasant is no exception. So it only makes sense that our featured stylists experience the same struggles as they look for resources they need to serve CMU students. Mariah Grodi
Page 36 A major disappointment is the makeup section. Walking down the aisles, it’s frustrating to not find the perfect shades and hues as easily as people of other skin tones may be able to. “I hate it. I can work with anything, I feel like if you are talented, you can work with any makeup,” Grodi said. “But I hate that there are no makeup shops here, and I have to resort to Walmart and Target.” Many black women enjoy protective hairstyles, such as box braids and sew-ins that preserve their own hair. Unfortunately, Mount Pleasant lacks in that department too, as they do not provide a variety of hair needed for these styles. “Yes, there are a lot of hair products that I need that they don’t have here, and then even hair - like braiding hair - they don’t even have textured braiding hair here,” Landers said. Although Grodi and Landers explained their dissatisfaction with the lack of products the city has to offer, Murray doesn’t have as much trouble. Murray finds what he needs at the local Sally’s, such as combs, clippers, and cleaning supplies. Murray plans to become a licensed barber after he graduates and open up a shop right here in Mount Pleasant. Although all three students didn’t experience the same struggles in their fields, they still have similar hopes for Mount Pleasant’s future. Landers believes getting the word out to local stores is a good start. “I think that something could change if we went to stores more and talked to the managers, because they have stock lists that they can order from and they could order these products for us. We just need to make a big deal about it,” she said. Grodi envisions opening a store as well, “I wish we had a makeup shop, when I drive past the empty stores around here, I think about opening one.” At the end of the day, the black community is not going anywhere, so work needs to be done to provide for them. This change has to start with the actions of the black community. “When people think of Mount Pleasant, they automatically think of like, a rural area or something that’s like, ‘not so black,’ if that makes sense,” Murray said, “So I guess as the black population increases, the city [and] the university really wouldn’t have a chance to not adapt to our culture.” That being said, the city of Mount Pleasant and the stores that inhabit it will need to expand their products to cater to the black community’s needs. There are plenty of us that come up here each year for school, and we would like to feel provided for, on - and off - campus. I believe that with these three students, however, we can get a good start in more black representation.
Daiji ‘Redd” Landers
To contact our featured stylists, check out their social media below: Rondall Instagram & Twitter: @___rmj Daija Business Instagram: @stylesby.redd Mariah Business Instagram & Twitter: @mjmexperiencee
I N T E R NAT I O NA L STUDENT STYLE
Photos by : Nick Sullivan Models : Wenshuo Zhang (left) and Binge Yan (right)
Angus is wearing : Top - GXG Jacket - GXG Pants - Trediano Shoes - Kurt Geiger
Binge is wearing : Jacket - BLK DNM Top - Midnight Studio Jeans - FRAME Shoes - Doc Martens
Page 44 Binge is wearing : (Previous page) T-shirt : NOAH Button down - Fear of God (Current Page) Sweatshirt - SILENCION Jeans - Represent Clo Shoes - Yeezy
Angus is wearing : Top - Trendiano Pants - Trendiano Shoes - GXG
LIGHTS Photos by : Nick Sullivan Models : Brandon York (left) and Hannah Mulligan (right)
@ T H E R AW M A G _ C M U
The second full issue of RAW Magazine, Central Michigan University's first fashion magazine.