STaff MANAGING EDITORS Editor in Chief Hannah M. Dorey Copy Editor Aurola Wedman Alfaro Director of Outreach Allex Looper Assistant Director of Outreach Bri Mays Managerial Editor Shelby Johnson
STAFF Leigh Ann Barnett Eden Crane Jules Graebner Hannah Kueck Michelle Morris Tina Pham Alex Phifer Alexanderia Rinehart Hannah Roberston
CONTRIBUTORS Anna Tripolitis Henry Gentle Kira McKee
ADMINISTRATION Staff Advisors Mikkel Christensen & Lisa Lenoir Special Thanks School of Design Dean Monica McMurry Stephens College President Dianne Lynch
Stephens Life is the student magazine of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Opinions expressed are not necessarily the views of the college, students, administration, faculty or staff. Stephens Life strives for accuracy. To report a correction or clarification, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HANNAH M. DOREY
AUROLA WEDMAN ALFARO
leigh ann barnett
FALL 2018 STAFF
THE LINE UP
Letter from the Editor
Hey there Stephens. It’s me, ya girl. Go ahead and grab yourself a coffee, because this go around we’ve got a long one for you. As always, Stephens Life strives to be an advocate for the masses — a platform to express, create and showcase who we are. Because now more than ever our voices matter. You, me, all of us — we matter. So with that, I welcome you to the Kindred Issue, where we explore culture, unity, intimacy and more. We create content that fights to connect us in a time that threatens to push us further apart. In the past, our origins and beliefs have divided us, confining us to a minority, a group or an ideology. But here at Stephens Life, we aim to remind one another of our kindred nature — our community, our similarities, the ties that bind us together. 2018 has been rough, there’s no doubt about it. Amongst the pain, the suffering and the country quite literally burning, we try our hardest to reach for the good in the world around us. It’s a time of unrest and questioning the norm, so we look to one another for compassion and strength. We hope that amongst these pages we provide you with a breaking point for barriers, to spark conversation, spread awareness and work towards creating a difference. Change does not happen purely by word of mouth. While we may ‘retweet’ or ‘like’ a call to action online, or send ‘thoughts and prayers’ to those that are suffering — it’s simply not enough. There is strength in what we do to fight back. We have a platform and intend to use it. Hannah Kueck inspires us to see others not for what they’ve been through, but for their strength and perseverance to continue the good fight. Shelby Johnson’s Iron Maiden focuses on a pioneer woman in our community who empowers us to stay strong and work hard for what we want. Bri Mays tackles the must-have conversation about colorism and the discrimination people face based on their skin tone, and Aurola Wedman Alfaro spreads the good of others with stories from three heroes in our local community. When you reach the final pages of this issue it is my hope that you feel a connection. Whether it be spiritual, cultural, emotional or physical — seek what unites you and hold on to that dearly. Never let go of your kindred spirits. So please — consume, converse & stay curious.
All my love, Hannah M. Dorey EDITOR IN CHIEF
table of contents
colorism 6 chalk it up 16 with the curve 18 whatâ€™s your sign? 24 forever young 28 double take 32 iron maiden 39 rose-colored memories 53 unfiltered 60 getting intimate 64 everyday heroes 68
Colorism is discrimination based on skin color, tone and shade. It has been disguised and ignored for centuries, both in myth and in truth, on both sides of the color spectrum. We had to discuss it here and now in the 21st century, bringing together kindred spirits to share the stories, and the consequences, of living in a color-conscious society.
Note: this story utilizes informal terminology commonly used in the African American culture. Story by Bri Mays Photography by Hannah M. Dorey
rowing up, Akot Riak, a Sudanese woman born in Kansas City, Mo. was always confident about her complexion. She took pride in the darkness of her skin and surprisingly even more so after her mother suggested she use creme for the first time at the age of 14. “Creme is basically cream that [Africans] use to brighten their skin tone, like bleach. It was my mother, who created me, saying that I should bleach my skin, so people think I’m more attractive,” Riak said. “It hurts hearing that from your mom. It’s like mom, how can you help me appreciate the skin that I’m in, if you are constantly telling me that this is the way it’s supposed to be?” The idea that women with lighter skin are more desirable than women with darker skin is an idea that has been prevalent within communities of color for decades. This way of thinking is called colorism; a discrimination based on the color of one’s skin. Forgotten Influences How is it that a system built over 400 years ago to create color hierarchy is still dominating the way people of color think today? From the brown paper bag test, which is a comparison between a person’s skin tone to the color of the paper bag for acceptance into an organization, to skin whitening cream, it seems little progress has been made to disassemble the color stigmas instilled in people of color. We have been conditioned to see anything close to white as better and undoubtedly beautiful. In the United States, colorism stems from European colonialism and the enslavement of Africans. Often, slave owners would force enslaved women into having sexual intercourse which resulted in mixed-raced offsprings with lighter skin tones. Even though slave owners would not acknowledge their mixed-raced offspring, they would still show preferential treatment because they were family. Lighter-toned slaves would tend to the house, while the darker slaves tended to the more strenuous work out in the field. The division between the darker-toned slaves and lighter-toned slaves became a result of this partial treatment. Though white plantation owners introduced colorism in the United States, upper class African- American societies continued the practice, according to Dr. Antoinette Landor. Dr. Landor works for the University of Missouri, where she researches colorism and skin tone. “Even after slavery, many of the elite African-American organizations still continued to have the preference for lighter skin. So, they created societies like the Blue Vein Society. In order to be a part of that organization, they would look at the veins on your wrist, and if you could see the blue veins, you were accepted into the organization, and if not, you were denied,” she said. Battle of the Shades Fast forwarding to the present day, people of color are still doing the job of their oppressors by showing preferential treatment to lighter-toned people. Many think the only people negatively affected by this treatment are those with the darkest skin, but women with lighter complexions grow up aware of their lightness and not always for the better. Family, friends, and media often go out of their way to address the difference or beauty their color signifies. Arianna
Varner, a black woman who is commonly mistaken for being biracial because of her high-yellow complexion and fine hair texture, experiences discrimination regularly. “While yes, dark-skinned people are more hated on, light-skinned women have been hated on by dark-skinned black women, because of the fact that they are hated on by society,” Varner said. “So, it’s kind of like internalized racism; how you take it, make it yours, and then you put it on someone else, like your kids, your family, or whomever.” Growing up with a lighter complexion has subjected Varner to questions regarding her race, the most offensive one being “what are you?” implying that she is too light to be black, making her feel compelled to prove her blackness. “Light-skinned people are definitely questioned about their blackness,” she said. “It is this idea that black people can’t be light. We can’t have light skin. We can’t have a finer texture of hair, which is crazy because our history is filled with diverse looking people.” This is not at all to say darker-skinned black women are not more negatively affected by colorism than their lighter counterparts. Many dark-skinned black women have heard the backhanded compliment, “You’re pretty for the dark-skinned girl,” which translates as: The average dark-skinned girl is not pretty enough for my, nor society’s standards, but somehow, you are. Through the years, we as a community have groomed men to see dark-skinned women as lesser. From the backhanded compliments to blatant discrimination—that is so often dismissed as a preference, black men are turning a blind eye to this ignominious treatment. “Because lighter skin tones have always been prized, people think that if you have darker skin you are more loyal or more humble about the way you look, but I have power in my color,” Riak said. “I know my worth.” Preference vs. Discrimination People of color have confused the meaning of preference and discrimination. As a community, we allow men to actively express colorism, then call it a man’s choice. We say everyone is entitled to having a type. And rightfully so; however, there is an issue when colorism is being mistaken for preference. “You may have a preference—preferences are fine—but when ultimately you distribute that as a discriminatory tool, that’s when it becomes a problem,” Landor said. Choosing to avoid a woman solely based on her skin tone is an act of discrimination and pure ignorance. I think black men are unaware they have been conditioned to see lighter toned women as prettier and just simply as better. Brian Douglass, a light-skinned black man opened up about why he usually dates women with a lighter complexion. “It’s like unconsciously we’ve been taught that [light skin] is the pretty thing.” Douglass suggested there is a “secret praise” black men get when seen dating a female with a lighter complexion. #Couplegoals swarm pictures of men dating light-skinned women, and undiscussed hand-daps go out to men
entering a room with a pretty, and often referred to as “bad,” light-skinned woman on his arm. Apparently, the same appreciation doesn’t go out to couples who look like Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade. “If you’re with a bad, dark-skinned girl, people probably wouldn’t take the time to see how beautiful she is because she has dark skin,” Douglass said. Too often men just accept this way of thinking without considering why they feel that one color is better than the other or who instilled this ideology. Aquonis Moody, a black male with a dark complexion, struggled to acknowledge why it is that men see color the way they do. “[Men] don’t know why,” he said. “It’s just what we see and what we want.” As people of color, we have to start addressing the foundation of the issue and be less inclined to accept what was fed to us. Because ultimately, we are poisoning our own community. Not Just a Black Girl’s Narrative Colorism is not only an issue within the African-American community. From Mexico to most of Asia, colorism is dictating who and what people see as beautiful across the globe.
“. . . I have power in my color. I know my worth.” - Riak
Hannah Robertson, a biracial Filipina woman, discussed common conversations held about color in her family. “When I go over [to the Philippines], it is hearing a lot of ‘we wish we were your color,’ and ‘we love your color’ because they all think I am really pretty and a lot of it is to do with my skin tone because I am half white, so I am a lot lighter than most of them,” she said. The conversation about colorism often excludes communities of color other than African Americans. In other countries, colorism is expressed much more bluntly. Billboards and public transportation are plastered with campaigns for skin lightening cream. Celebrities, like those in America, are noticeably of lighter complexion. And trends of skin bleaching sweep through countries, such as Jamaica, of people striving to achieve what is supposedly true beauty. For example, Filipinos idolize lighter skin tones due to colonial invasions. To this day, Filipinos see skin color as a social status of rich or poor, mastery or powerlessness. “The Spanish colonized the Philippines for years, and obviously Spanish people were lighter complexed and they had more power in society. It kind of aligns with most Asian cultures, where if you are tanned then that means you had to go work out in the fields, which means you’re poor. So, that’s another thing that aligns with power and wealth. Lighter people are seen to have more power, and luxury, and wealth. The influence of Western
Writer Bri Mays explores the issue of colorism not just in the African American community, but in our society as a whole.
DR. ANTOINETTE LANDOR “Colorism is not just within the African American community. It’s actually something we see globally. So, when we talk about eradicating colorism, it’s not just an American issue. It is something, just like racism, that has to take all hands on deck, all over the world, to tell people, not only that you’re beautiful in the skin that you’re in, but to have people also believe it.”
culture and wanting to be like the US is another factor that leads Filipinos to want to be lighter complexed,” Robertson said. Deyanira Mercado, a Mexican-American wom¬an with a darker complexion, shared stories from her father about experiences with color¬ism in Mexico. “My dad has told me when he used to go to high school [in Mexico] people who were light-skinned were treated with more respect and had more privilege or were found more attractive.” Mercado grew up in Illinois, where she often found herself as the only woman of color in the room. Struggling to navigate as a woman of color in predominantly white environments, she also had to deal with the darkness of her skin being compared to other Mexican women with lighter complexions. “I didn’t feel beautiful because people didn’t look at me just because I was darker than them. Then there is my friend who is also Mexican. She is really light. I think people talk to her more and show more interest in her when we hang out just because of that. I used to feel like I wasn’t attractive because of my darker skin,” Mercado recalls. Family: The Foundation for Change As a community, families of color must have this conversation about colorism and stop treating it like a punchline to a joke. Landor summarized a way to start reconstructing the way we see color. “Communities of color should be honest with themselves, and really have a serious conversation in ways of which we should eradicate colorism — beyond hashtags.” Landor suggested we think of ways to have serious conversations about the topic at hand. Ways that incorporate our families and highlight things that they may be doing that influences the idea of colorism. “We need to have more broad conversations about colorism; what is it and what is the result of it,” Landor said. “People at times joke about it, but it’s really the consequences of it that people don’t think about.” Landor’s motion to dive deeper into the role¬ families play in the teachings of color made me rethink a plan of action. Change starts with families eliminating the teachings of colorism through their acknowledgment of color. House Negro jokes, dark as midnight jokes, foreigner jokes—they all have to stop. So often we raise our children to be aware of color. Informing
a dark-skinned child that she will be subjected to harsh treatment because of her color only causes harm. Though the intent is well, we just taught colorism as a norm for people of color. This vicious cycle continues generation after generation. Then, soon enough people of color will be reading another story 400 years from now about dismantling the teachings of colorism.
“I think it’s like unconsciously, we’ve been taught that [light skin] is the pretty thing.” - Douglass A Call for Change How is it that we, as people of color, still see beauty through the eyes of our oppressors? I used to blame it on the brainwashing of our ancestors. But, that was decades ago and we as a community, are still sleeping. We cannot claim wokeness if we are still making comments such as “I hope my baby is light.” We cannot claim wokeness if dark-skinned women cannot be pretty just because they are pretty. We cannot claim wokeness if light-skinned women are continually being fetishized. We cannot claim wokeness if the only people we have to look up to in Hollywood are women who look like Yara Shahidi, Zendaya Coleman, Amandla Stenberg, Zoe Saldana, Logan Browning, and let’s face it, I can go on for pages. Light, dark, or somewhere in between, we are all people of color. We are all subjected to discrimination because of our ethnicities. Colorism is just another system built to keep us divided. Let’s have the conversation and restructure the way we see color and define beauty.
p u t i chalk By Hannah M. Dorey, Hannah Kueck + Kira McKee
“Why do you do look so mean — smile!” “Let me take you home with me.” “Hey, baby girl.”
These represent some of the statements women hear, shouted at them as they walk down the street. Sophie Sandberg, a 21-year old gender and sexuality student at New York University, began the @catcallsofnyc movement in 2016 to fight back against the harassment countless women hear everyday. With an influx of sexual harassment experiences sent to her online, Sandberg takes to streets, armed only with chalk, frustration and sheer determination. This is where she documents the encounters and quotes at the exact location they happened, and then shares them on Instagram for the world to see. Her mission? The resounding campaign to Stop Street Harassment (SSH). Ever since her first photo was posted, the topic has gotten worldwide attention, with @CatCallsof … accounts popping up all around the world, from New York to Milan, Brazil to Paris, Chicago to Sydney, the list goes on. And now the movement has come to our hometown. By sharing stories of local encounters with the Instagram account @catcallsofcomo, we can come together to put an end to street harassment, and be a part of the ongoing movement.
Curve WITH THE
a look into life with scoliosis
Story by Hannah Kueck Photography by Aurola Wedman Alfaro
One out of 25 adolescents are affected by scoliosis, a condition characterized by a curved spine. Hannah Kueck, writer, explores her and otherâ€™s experience with scoliosis
iddle school is hard — kids can be mean, puberty hits, and classes become more challenging. Adding Scoliosis to the mix didn’t make it any easier. The first time I remember scoliosis having an effect on my self-esteem was on a Tuesday in a sixth-grade science class. The class had just finished the riveting bouncy ball experiment. I was wearing my favorite top, a light blue, form-fitting Aeropostale shirt, when two students in my class noticed the strange way my right shoulder blade stuck out farther than my left. The boy rudely asked what it was while the girl touched my shoulder and said, “Ew, look, she’s a monster.” I felt terrible. I was being mocked for a condition that was out of my control. Tears began to form, but with two classes left that day, I wouldn’t let them fall. But the moment I got onto the bus, there was no stopping them. According to the Scoliosis Research Society, scoliosis affects four out of 100 adolescents. It is more likely to be found in young girls ages 10 to 14. The people affected by this condition have curved spines resembling an “S” shape or a “C” shape. If the curve exceeds 40 degrees, a spinal fusion surgery - a procedure in which metal rods and screws are attached to the spine to help correct and prevent curves–is required. Cameron Pille, a theater student at Stephens College, was undergoing a mandatory wellness check in her sixth-grade gym class when she learned she had scoliosis. After hearing about her friends’ perfect results from the exam, she went into the examination believing she would come out with similar results. But once she bent over to touch her toes, the nurses soon informed Pille that she had scoliosis. Pille returned home from school that day with a note for her father. Pille found out that her scoliosis was hereditary — scoliosis runs on her father’s side of the family. Pille and her father set up an appointment with a doctor to further examine her scoliosis. At the appointment, her doctor asked her if she had noticed any pain or anything aesthetically that was bothering her. Anything that made her uncomfortable in her own skin—uneven breasts, uneven hips or uneven shoulders—her doctor explained, would be a reason to have spinal surgery to help correct her scoliosis. But Pille was young and her 12-degree curve wasn’t drastic. She didn’t notice any pain, nor did she notice anything cosmetically wrong with her. She decided to abstain from any spinal correcting practices.
“My only worry was if I WAS going to go off in metal detectors at airports.” Cameron Pille
In her eighth-grade year, her school performed another scoliosis screening. This time, when she bent over to touch her toes for the nurses to examine her, they told her that her scoliosis was getting worse - her 12-degree curve had transformed into a 56-degree curve. While trying on t-shirts in a Target changing room, Pille peered into the mirror and saw what her back looked like. “When I bent over, I looked like Quasimodo,” she said. Pille left her dressing room in tears and confusion about her condition. She decided to take action and care more for her spine. “I couldn’t even sit criss-cross unless leaning against something without my back hurting,” Pille says. Pille visited the doctor again. This time the doctor told her that her scoliosis was bad enough that she would need a full spinal fusion surgery, and Pille was more than ready. “I remember I saw an old woman with a walker walking in the shape of an upside down ‘L’” Pille says, “I realized that would be me in the future.” With the fear that her scoliosis would affect her ability to succeed in the theater industry, Pille moved forward with the procedure. And the summer before her sophomore year of high school, she was taken into the operating room without fear. “My only worry was if I was going to go off in metal detectors at airports and getting taller” Pille says. Fortunately, she doesn’t set the metal detectors off at the airports, but she did grow two inches due to her straighter spine. After eight hours of surgery, her procedure was complete, but her recovery was only beginning. With a week-long stay in the hospital, Pille relearned how to do simple tasks often taken for granted, like walking and getting out of a bed – no small feat for those recovering from spinal surgery.
Scoliosis doesn’t define us, our s t r e n g t h does. Shortly after her surgery, Pille had tickets for the music festival, The Warped Tour. Pille still couldn’t stand for long periods of time, but she refused to miss out on seeing her favorite bands like Never Shout Never and Black Veil Brides, so her father rented her a wheelchair. At the music festival, the manager of the event ran into Pille and gave her backstage passes to all of her favorite bands. For Pille, it was magical. She ran into some of her friends at the concert who were questioning why she was in a wheelchair to which she explained the intense procedure she had just recently gone through. Her friends didn’t believe that she needed the wheelchair, but she had the surgical scar to prove it. Today, she can’t even tell that she has titanium rods screwed into her spine and some of the only things she struggles with are crunches and pirouette turns while dancing. Her scar has never affected her career as a performer at Stephens College, but in the real world, she thinks it might. Many people think that scoliosis patients are delicate – like anything can break us. But Cameron Pille proves that we are more than our condition. We’re strong. Going through our surgery has proved that. Going through recovery has proved that. Going through our day to day lives post-recovery has proved that. Scoliosis doesn’t define us, the same way any illness or disability shouldn’t define anyone. Our strength and perseverance through pain and difficulty? Now that can. We are more than our condition.
Whatâ€™s your sign? Story by Anna Tripolitis Research + Photography by Alexanderia Rinehart
Story + Photography by Alexandra Martin
When you first meet someone, you no longer ask, “What’s your favorite color?” or “What’s your favorite food?” as a way to get to know them. Instead, many Stephens students have begun asking “What’s your sign?” in order to make a snap judgement. Star signs and astronomy are being used to loosely determine a stranger’s personality and disposition without getting to know them, and Stephens College has become a hub of astrological fascination. “I think more and more people are embracing their sign’s characteristics more than ever.” says Maddy Manyx, a junior psychology student and astrology enthusiast. “I definitely think astrology has gotten more prominent in pop culture, too. I mean makeup companies have come out with astrology themed products! It’s wild! And there’s hundreds of astrology meme accounts on Instagram too!” With the increasing popularity of star signs and horoscopes, prior in-depth knowledge of astrology seems unnecessary. General knowledge and immediate curiosity outweigh the need to research, but the history behind this trend is more than fascinating. The idea of finding information in the stars has been around for thousands of years. Evidence of the zodiac and knowledge of the stars can be traced back to the Babylonians, almost 2000 years ago. The 12 different star signs are based on the 12 lunar cycles that it takes for the earth to rotate around the sun, an occurrence that we now call one year. After discovering that it took 12 lunar cycles to complete a rotation, it was noted that the sun was in various positions throughout. From this, 12 different constellations were identified and given names based on certain animals or people. Since then, astrology has morphed into a way to discover personality traits based on when a person is born. And as time went on, we were able to separate these signs by dates rather than a vague point in the earth’s rotation. With increasing popularity, more people are discovering what their sign means to them and are applying this knowledge to their everyday lives. This begs the question, does everyone identify with their sign? We set out to test this by asking Stephens students about their birthdate, star sign, and their thoughts on astrology. Breeanna Albin, a senior costume design major, identifies with the compassionate, kind and friendly aspects of her Pisces sign. “I often tend to be pretty selfless; I will do anything for the people closest to me and often spread myself thin in order to help others. I think helpful goes along with it. I will always sign up to do the job no one else wants and I see my work through, she says”. Ayanna Smith, a digital filmmaking student, aligns with the Gemini traits of expression, intellect and adaptability.
“Astrology is astronomy brought down to earth and applied toward the affairs of man.” Ralph Waldo Emerson “I just recently got into astrology, and I’d like to think I’m intellectual. I love learning more about people. I would also say I’m pretty adaptable and can read the vibe of the room well,” Smith says. Alex Davis, another filmmaking student, also aligns with the determined characteristic of being a Capricorn. “I am headstrong with my work and life, and when I set my sights on a specific goal, I follow through with it no matter what obstacles I might face.” While it seems that most people can identify with their zodiac traits, some find that they have a hard time aligning with some of the specifics. “Patience, however” Davis continued, “is something I don’t have. I’m easily impatient or just want things to get done as soon as possible, and sometimes my patience with people can be pretty thin.” “I know Leo’s are seen as rather self-centered, I like to think that’s not true, but I do enjoy a good selfie [haha].” says Kaite Ritchie, a psychology student here at Stephens. “I’m definitely people-oriented I want to help others but on the other end, my life revolves around other people and consequently I care about how others think of me and how/if I’m valuable to their lives,” says Ritchie. It seems that the novelty of astrology won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, and while not everyone is intrigued or aligned with the star signs, it’s fun to see if you can figure out someone’s personality without knowing them. However, that doesn’t replace getting to know their true self, according to Maddy Manyx. “I think there’s a lot of truth behind [star signs] but it’s something you need to take with a grain of salt. Many other factors can influence the prominence of your traits such as your mental health and your age. Just because I’m a Gemini and someone else is a Gemini too, doesn’t mean we are carbon-copies of one another. There’s so much variation,” Manyx says. So next time you meet someone new, go ahead and ask them about their sign, but make it a point to get to know their favorite color and food, too.
Forever Young Story + Photography by Eden Crane
â€œMy wishes are flowers staining my days. I was wounded early, and early I learned that wounds made me. I still follow the child who still walks inside me. Now he stands at a staircase made of light searching for a corner to rest in and to read the face of night again.â€? Celebrating Childhood by Adonis
efore the pressures of society are imposed upon children, they are free. They are at the youngest, purest time of life, not yet having learned to hate, pass judgment or spite. When we remind ourselves of the pure love within children, we can see it in ourselves and in one another as we grow older. Maybe part of the purpose of life is to return to the world that we created before we were told how to live. When we remember our inner child, we can relearn how to follow our hearts. Children grow up in unique environments across the globe, where they learn about their world, and become accustomed to their culture. Three Stephens students share their stories of what it was like for them growing up, and reflect on how that child still lives deep within them. In Australia, Hannah Dorey, now a senior at Stephens College, grew up by the sea. To this day, she remembers the salt of the water, the scorching sun, and her tiny feet digging into the warm, smooth sand. The beachside was where little Hannah learned about magic, which she vividly remembers. One afternoon, she was swimming with her dad when the current was stronger than usual. Diving under a particularly rough wave, she opened her eyes to explore below. As the rush of water passed overhead, Dorey spotted a sparkling angelfish, swimming gracefully nearby. “I’ve always felt connected to the ocean, and loved to pretend that I was a mermaid whenever I was there. That moment just made it feel all the more special.” On hot summer nights after getting back from the beach,
The waves of the Australian ocean swims in the mind of Hannah Dorey, Stephens Life editor-in-chief. She finds creative inspiration from these aquatic visions in her work as a digital filmmaker and graphic designer.
Dorey and her brother played hide and seek, searching for each other in the dark with flashlights. Once they got tired or too hot, their parents read Harry Potter to them in the one air-conditioned room in the house. Dorey says she was a quirky kid, always running off with her brother to climb trees, explore the seaside or dive under waves as she swam in the ocean.
Christine Pham savors the lessons learned about community and culture from family members in the Philippines. She’ll always savor the flavorful tastes of traditional dishes around Christmas and the Asian New Year.
On the other side of the world, Christine Pham was born a tad early in a car at a gas station in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in St. Louis as the middle child of five, and admits that she hasn’t changed all that much from the talkative, creative and sassy little girl she was when she was young. Pham loved reading books and drawing the world around her, and with a father from Vietnam and a mother from the Philippines, cultural traditions were not missing in her upbringing. Food was a huge part of her family culture, with some of Pham’s favorite memories taking place around the dining table. She loved when her dad would make Pho (a flavorful Vietnamese soup), and when the whole family would come together to make traditional dishes during Christmas and the Asian New Year in February. One Filipino tradition that Pham remembers fondly, is the roasting of an entire pig during special occasions. Her brother’s birthday, celebrated in the Philippines, was a time of great joy. People from all over the area were welcomed to celebrate with them, unknowingly bringing with them lessons for Pham about community and culture that she remembers to this day. “I remember it being sweltering hot in the Philippines, but still being so happy to be a part of such a close-knit family,” Pham said.
Aurola Wedman Alfaro channels her artistic, written and fashion flair from childhood, infused with perspectives from her Costa Rican heritage, into her blog and work as the Stephens Life copy editor.
Thousands of miles away in colorful Costa Rica, Aurola Wedman Alfaro lived with her family in the house hand-built by her father. The large open windows let the sunlight seep into all the corners of her home, warming her soul almost as much as her favorite tradition. Every day the soothing aroma of Costa Rican coffee overtook her senses as Wedman and her family enjoyed their afternoon cup. Wedman was an artist from the day she was born, creating drawings, writing stories, and crafting newspapers and fashion sketches. She dressed up as Disney princesses and always had her nose in a book, especially those of the Barco de Vapor series from Spain. Her parents encouraged her to practice all types of art, so Wedman danced ballet and jazz and played the violin. Dorey, Pham and Wedman Alfaro have learned, felt, traveled and grown so much since the days when their worries were few. The qualities they exhibited as little ones still guide them in the direction of their dreams and their greatest ambitions. Dorey brings her visions to life as a digital filmmaking major with a minor in graphic design, while also being the editor and chief of Stephens Life magazine. The ocean continues to be a source of inspiration for her work. In some of her films and her final collegiate film called “Tidal,” she features the sea, underwater footage and sounds of the shore to tell a story. “I still find that when I am stuck or unsure, I think of the ocean for inspiration, or to calm me down when I’m feeling anxious,” Dorey said. Pham practices her passion for community, shown in her
“The creative adult is the child who survived.” involvement as a student advocate for the Student Government Association, as a member of Tri Sigma, a sorority here at Stephens. She still creates drawings and has used them in many of her design classes as a fashion communications major. Christine admits, “I was bold as a kid, and sometimes I have to remind myself that I still am. It’s easy to lose yourself along the way but every time I’ve been true to who I am, things just seem to work out.” Wedman still enjoys writing stories in her fashion journalism classes, for the Stephens Life magazine as the copy editor, and on her blog called “Colors of Costa Rica”. She also wrote a children’s book when she was 17 about a Roma girl and her family. Wedman still creates illustrations and instead of the violin, she now plays the acoustic guitar in her free time and has written a few songs. She makes clothes for herself and even designed and sewed her own wedding dress As Dr. Julian Fleron once wrote, “The creative adult is the child who survived,” and these three women embody this truth. Not every child is granted the opportunity to exercise their gifts, so allowing oneself to let go of learned behaviors in order to connect with our inner child is a difficult but rewarding journey. Maybe by looking back to the beginning, then noticing what may have changed us along the way, we can start the process of loving ourselves again. Wherever we are from, be it Australia, the United States, or Costa Rica, each of us has a child inside reminding us to feel, create and explore with an open heart.
Double Take Uncovering the myths of twins and their unique connection. Story + Photography by Alex Phifer
eing together since birth allows twins to communicate with each other in a way that can be hard for others to comprehend. The misunderstanding of such a unique experience has shrouded twins in mysticism across the globe for hundreds of years. Multiple sets of twins, fraternal and identical, were interviewed in order to better understand this complex connection and why it’s been hyperbolized in media and pop culture for so long. What we can discover from studying this connection has implications on a personal and societal level. Basically, we could all learn a thing or two from “Thing 1 and Thing 2.” The phenomenon of twins is nothing new, in fact throughout time there have been twin deities appearing across various world religions, often used to explain concepts of duality. Ancient Greek’s worshipped twins Apollo and Artemis, the rulers of the Sun and Moon; Egyptians worshiped twins Nut and Geb, rulers of the sky and earth. Stories of twins are especially prevalent in Greek and Roman mythology, some exemplify the love twins share, others the competition. In the Greek myth of Castor and Pollux, Pollux shares his immortality with his mortal brother so they can stay together forever in the stars and become Gemini, the zodiac constellation.
However, in the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus, Romulus kills his brother after disagreeing on land and goes on to found and rule Rome, that’s why it’s not called Reme. Luckily, deadly property disputes between twins aren’t as common nowadays. Outside of mythology, twins of all ages appear throughout pop culture and are highly sensationalized and made out to be either extremely identical or complete opposites. Twins in movies are often portrayed talking at the same time, constantly wearing matching outfits, reading each other’s minds, or finishing each other’s sentences. Twins have been fascinating audiences for centuries, and continue to this day. Modern twins in popular culture like Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and the twins portrayed by Lindsay Lohan in “The Parent Trap” had many wishing for a twin. However, not every pair of twins agrees the portrayal is accurate. Savannah and Sierra Thibault, soccer players at Stephens said that “the twin connection is hyperbolized in the media” and shows twins as being psychic or mystical when in reality; they are just very close and in-tune with each other. They felt the only accurate aspect conveyed in media was the general closeness they feel to each other.
â€œThe more time I spend with her, the harder it is to be apart. The other day she went to work for three hours and I missed her.â€? Sierra thibault
The most annoying question that Jessica and Joyce Gayo, identical twins and apparel studies majors at Stephens College, get asked pertaining to being twins is “Are y’all two for one?”; a question that implies sharing a sexual encounter with both girls. This is an example of why depictions of twins in media can be harmful, and subjugate them to false stereotypes. Twins are often fetishized in music, television and subsequently in real life. “Identical twins” is a popular tag on multiple porn sites and Ranker.com has a “Sexiest Sets of Identical Twins” list.
When one egg splits, the result is two physically similar, and genetically identical, same-sex siblings. This is what we call identical twins. Some identical twins are very similar and can be hard to tell apart. Sierra and Savannah’s mother Meredith Breuer, nicknamed “Mama T” by the soccer team, said the twins used to both be called “Twinnie” at their daycare, although they are now easier to tell apart. Mama T also said she used to put the girls to sleep on opposite sides of the crib, yet she would always come back to them huddled together in the center.
Being a twin is not always as glamorous as it may seem. Sometimes, twins are not treated as individuals and are assumed to be a package deal. They bicker and are subject to constant comparison. “Everyone wants to see a picture,” says Alexandria Richmond, a biology major at Stephens College, regarding her twin, Alexis, who she describes as her polar opposite (aside from their mutual love for show tunes and horror films.) Their family constantly comparing them and expecting them to be alike, led to conflict between the two. Comparison can foster unhealthy competition and jealousy. Sierra and Savannah Thibault’s soccer coach refused to put them on opposite teams during practice to avoid injury. Their mother even had to make a rotating seating chart for the car because they would fight over the front seat.
Are y’all two for one? Joyce gayo
Jessica and Joyce Gayo’s mother dealt with this comparison by teaching them to support each other, “When she’s winning, I’m winning” says Joyce Gayo. There is a special closeness that only twins experience by developing alongside each other, beginning in their mother’s womb, something that even close siblings can’t share. While twins are considerably more common, other multiples like triplets and quadruplets can occur. Fraternal multiples are much more common than identical multiples. Fraternal twins can be different genders because they come from two separate fertilized eggs, but regardless of being different eggs and having different DNA, fraternal twins can still be very similar to one another because they grow up together. Fraternal twin Ashley Nickolaison and her sister Grayson have the same taste in food and music. They can pick up on what the other one is thinking or feeling in certain situations, and sometimes get jealous of each other, just like identical twins do.
Oddly enough, Joyce mentioned that her mother used to hear her and Jessica argue in their sleep as babies. All three sets of identical twins identify one twin as being more laid back than the other, more outgoing one. They all agreed there were definitive differences between them and their twins yet they were still there for each other through everything. When asked if she ever knew what her sister was thinking or feeling, Alexandria Richmond said: “As weird as it seems, I can definitely read my sister, like a book. Even being a 24-hour drive away from her I always get that feeling when something is wrong and know to call her. It’s basically a sixth sense, with how often we know exactly what the other is going to say and say it before they get the chance to themselves.”
This connection doesn’t come from some special telepathy, it comes from being close, watching one another grow, paying attention and considering the other. Savannah Thibault looks for the positive qualities she sees in her and Sierra’s relationship and applies them to her friendships and relationships. She explained that she would not waste her time on someone who she did not have a genuine connection with or who didn’t put in real effort. Sierra taught her what it’s like to love and be loved unconditionally. There is no real way to understand the twin connection from the outside. Alexandria Richmond refers to the bond as something that she is “unable to put into words.” Humans with their curious nature attempt to understand regardless, with the intention of gaining insight into what connects one individual to another, twins or not.
Unconditional love is possible if humans relate to one another by accepting that as similar as we sometimes appear, we are all completely unique individuals. By looking past those differences to find common ground, like a shared experience or emotion, we as humans, regardless of having a twin or not, have the ability to connect and that’s what makes us kindred. Any conclusion can be made, but what twins seem to understand is that through close communication and by setting aside comparisons and competition, we may experience a genuine connection. “Having someone that you know will always be there for you, no matter what you do, is really nice. It’s the most unconditional love you could ever experience,” says Sierra Thibault.
Story by Shelby Johnson Photography by Hannah M. Dorey
racing all the way back 12,000 BC, the art of drawing skin pictures has become an integral part of our history. Originally adapted from Tahi-tians, the word “tattoo” literally means, “to mark something” — and as we’ve come to know it, tattoo means to physically, permanently mark your skin. This practice carried over into various other ethnic cultures until eventually, it found its way to the United States of America. Although the tattoo industry has a whole community of followers, participants and supporters, it hasn’t always been the most diverse scene to be a part of, particularly for women. Born and bred as a career field for the strong, hardcore and tough, females and femininity didn’t fit the image. Despite the weight of social constructs and gender roles, some women are finding their own way to break the mold – and Jessie “Felix” Garcia is leading the pack. Today, Garcia works full time as a lead artist at Tattoo You in Columbia; but making her mark was anything but easy. Originally from Las Vegas, Garcia grew up shy and secluded from others. Because of this, she found her voice through self-expression: her clothes, her hair, and most importantly, her taste in music. Each of these would guide Garcia to who she has become, one punk show at a time. She sat down to share some of her experiences with us.
ON GROWING UP WITH PUNK “I was really, really shy, but I discovered the punk rock scene pretty early on. I didn’t speak much at all, so the way that I dressed and pre-sented myself did the talking for me. I had piercings and even a mohawk at one point because that was how I expressed myself and my interests. My mom was always supportive of me and how I chose to present myself because she’s a big-time extrovert, and I was the absolute opposite. She always wanted me to express myself, and once I finally got into high school and started doing that, she was all for it. That’s actually how I got my first tattoo at fourteen. As long as she knew the meaning and it wasn’t anything weird, she was all for it. In fact, it’s actually a straight edge tattoo. That was what’s crazy too. Back in the day – as long as you had parents’ permission, they
(tattooists and piercers) didn’t really care if you were 13 or how old you were. Now, the standard is 18 with par-ents’ signature but 10 or 15 years ago, it was a totally different world. They didn’t care about that. But now we have to.” I sort of grew up an only child because my sister and I are so far apart in age, but she was actually the one to take me to my first punk show. That was what broke me into the scene and opened all of these doors for me in the sense of music. I would go to shows by myself all the time, too. I was 13, way younger than most of the other people there, and my mom was dropping me off around the block from shows. When you’re quiet and you’re showing up to shows young, alone, and in the front row, you draw attention. People would come up to me just trying to get to know me and it really helped me to build relationships and connections with other people and ultimately break out of the quiet shell I was so comfortable in. The younger you are, the more they take care of you, and I think that’s a massive part of what helped guide me to who I am today. I was always into music, but coming into the punk rock scene was what really lead me into tattooing eventually. I was surrounded by tattooed twenty somethings shredding in bands, and I knew that was the culture I wanted to be a part of. Even then, females were big in the punk rock scene. It was a small group of girls and those were my friends; and even that impacted me.”
ON BECOMING A TATTOO ARTIST IN COLUMBIA “There was a part of me that knew this was where I was meant to be, but I wasn’t able to really go after
it until I moved to Columbia. I didn’t feel like I fit into a shop scene until I moved here but after I did, it just clicked. I moved here for change in lifestyle and just overall existence. Las Vegas is just as exhausting as it sounds, even for locals. My friends would call me every night of the week with something huge happening down the street from my house; and although that sounds like a lot of fun, it’s a lot to keep up with after a few years. I was growing up faster than I’d ever imagined and that wasn’t the sort of scene I wanted to be around forever, so I followed my cousin on a visit out here and I’ve loved it ever since. You look forward to nights out because there isn’t “something” every single night. You have nights off because the town itself takes nights off just like the working class does. Eventually, I realized I wanted to actually pursue tattooing as a career. I knew this was what I was meant to do all along, but I was an adult at this point. I talked about it for so long and had so much ink at this point, people sort of expected it of me. That being said, I had worked other jobs and been in entirely different career fields for years prior to this, so I think just admitting that I wanted to try it was a huge step; especially because I knew, as a woman, tattooing wouldn’t be an easy field to break into.”
ON NOT TAKING SHORTCUTS “I was talking to my now husband, Gabe Garcia (who owns a tattoo shop in Columbia), telling him that I wanted to learn how to tattoo and he says to me, ‘well you better figure it out then because I’m not teaching you.’ And it wasn’t mean or anything, he just wanted me to learn it and earn it just like any other civilian would have. He wanted me to work for it and earn it for myself, and looking back now, I’m so grateful for that. At this point, I decided to move back to Las Vegas for a yearlong apprenticeship under my cousin’s shop. Although it was a very long, hard year, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I had the opportunity to tattoo all of my long-time friends and work alongside my family which very few people have the chance to do.”
ON BEING A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD “My only real struggle on a regular basis, and I don’t really consider it a struggle, is getting hit on while tattooing, and that’s really only because it puts me in an awkward situation. Someone will ask if I’m
“Tattooing was just one more thing that wouldn’t be handed to me”
single or available and then it’s weird because I have to answer or distract them with other conversation, but I’m still stuck drawing on them for an hour. I honestly try and ignore it and act like I didn’t even hear it, but I’ll usually try and gauge it based off of how the client is acting. If they’re awkward and weird about it, I’ll try and mirror that and slip in the fact that I’m happily married. I did have a boy try and rub my arm one time when I was tattooing him, but I politely just moved it off of me. I do get the whole ‘you only get clients because you’re a girl’ thing pretty regularly. It’s not very common, it’s usually from other artists, and it’s specifically from artists that aren’t as good as me. If people want to come get tattooed by me because I’m a girl; let them. If a dude wants to come to me because he thinks I’m cute – let him. Don’t make me feel awkward by hitting on me the whole time, but by all means, come to me. Women are made to feel guilty for using their attributes to climb the ladder, but why should we? Girls will go to a guy because they think he’s cute, it’s no different. Definitely come get tattooed but please don’t rub my arm the whole time. Part of the reason I love tattooing so much is because I get to know so many people. It’s almost like I’m interviewing them while I’m tattooing them, and hearing them talk about who they are, where they’re from, what they do, etc. is my favorite. It also helps you down the road if they end up getting more tattoos. At that point, you know them pretty well and you know what sort of style they like so that makes things more fun. I generally remember the people I work on because I value that engagement with my customers so much. I’ve had people tell me ‘you’re so nice for a tattoo artist,’ but I think to myself... what does that mean? Are people not nice? But I remember being a kid going around to random shops getting tattooed and it was just an in and out kind of deal. They’d draw something permanent on you then send you out the door. But it was different for them; they were older dudes doing it because they liked tattooing and making a living doing what they enjoy. I’ve always been drawn to everything boys did. I was a big tomboy growing up because I wanted to do everything boys were doing because that was cool; you didn’t see other girls doing it. I can remember being 11 years old and asking for a skateboard for my birthday because that’s what all the boys around me were doing. I loved it; I picked it up pretty fast and skated nonstop for two weeks, until I fell and got hurt and I didn’t like that at all. That was the end of skating for me.”
Tattoo artist Jessie ‘Felix’ Garcia driving her 1962 Buick Special to Columbia’s ‘Tattoo You’.
ON STANDING OUT “I’ve been playing music since I was a kid, too. I’ve been playing guitar since I was thirteen and that was just another thing (maybe even subconsciously) I was drawn to that you didn’t really see a lot of females doing. I remember being in music classes as a child and just like the punk shows, there were maybe four or five of us in a room full of boys. I’ve always put myself in male-dominated spaces. Life just had a way of guiding me back to it. I thrive on people telling me or believing that I can’t do something. I always have. People get dis-couraged easily, but when someone tells me I can’t do something, especially as a woman, I’m gonna do it. I think we have an obligation to be this way as women, and beyond that, as feminists. I love when women are in a male dominated industry because to me, that is the definition of feminism. I don’t necessarily think it’s acceptable for us to complain about something if we haven’t actively tried to change it, and moving through predominantly male industries (like mine) are no exception. There is so much more power in actually doing what you want to do rather than saying you’re going to do it and never going after it.”
“There is no justice in wanting spaces to be made for you rather than making them yourself. no one changed the world — excuse me — no WOMEN changed the world waiting around for spaces to be made for them. the bottom line is, they never were. The tattoo industry is the one I chose to make my home in: I found where I belonged and refused to let being a woman keep me from that.”
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ROSE COLORED MEMORIES The impactfulness of childhood memories & traditions.
Story by Leigh Ann Barnett Photography by Hannah M. Dorey
rowing up there are some memories that stick with us; some of those are traditions we’ve created over the years, and others, a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. But what makes these memories and traditions so impactful? Why did these stick with us with age, while others faded away? While growing up, Claire Dinwiddie, a Stephens College sophomore, began her Christmas mornings the same way every year: by waking up to the smell of cinnamon rolls. Her mother would be waiting in the kitchen with freshly baked rolls while her father, in turn, would be waiting with his Sony camera ready to film his kids on Christmas Day. But the kids aren’t thinking about eating. Their sights are set on the Dr. Seuss inspired stockings with pom-poms and pol¬ka-dots hanging on the mantel. The Christmas tree that’s strewn with ornaments of every color. Amongst the glittering lights is an acorn ornament, an homage to Claire’s first word. After the gifts have been opened and shown off to the camera, her father turns off the device until Christmas dinner that night. “I don’t know how it started,” Dinwiddie says. “I would say that maybe it started when I was born, because I was the first born and I know that they took videos of me as a baby on VHS tapes. It has felt like ever since I was born the camera’s always been out.” Because Dinwiddie was introduced to the camera at such a young age, it has made a big impact on her and her hobbies. Both her friends and family know that if they want a picture taken, Claire is their go-to photog¬rapher. “Every opportunity I have, every event that I’m at or every time I’m out with friends, I just have it in me to want to take a photo,” Dinwiddie says. “I’ve grown to want to document everything so I never for¬get.” The most important part of photography for Dinwiddie is the act of looking back on the images she’s captured and comparing them to how the subjects are in the present. The idea of change and growth over time and capturing that timeline that makes up her life through photos, helps her reflect on who she was and who she is now. “When I look at a picture, I think about what I was doing and how I was feeling in that moment,” Dinwiddie says. “Then I think about how I’m doing now and all the things that have transpired between
that photo and where I am right now. That’s why I love taking pictures because I love reflecting on them in that way. Seeing how things have changed.” For Stephens College sophomore Nikki Bidwell the tradition started with her grandfather, who for 50 years now has attended every Ohio State vs. Michigan football game. Her grandfather passed his love for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the tradition of attending games down to his children, who in turn passed it to their children. Though football may be the focus, family and together¬ness is at the core. “It’s become a way to bring all of us together, besides Thanksgiving,” Bidwell says. “It’s a game we always look forward to because we know everybody is going to be there.” There are traditions laced into how the family attends the games, whether they’re home in Ohio or they drive up to Michigan; buying the tickets as last minute as possible is one of them. “At the 2017-2018 Michigan game we got these last-minute tickets,” Bidwell says. “That’s the fun part to me. How last-minute can we get them? How cheap can we get them? My family was sitting in the stadium together and we were the only Ohio fans in the stadium.” Obviously, the game is an important time to come to¬gether for the Bidwell and extended family, so it made the tradition even more important when her mom was diagnosed with cancer during the 2014-2015 season. “I know some of my favorite memories have come from going to the games, especially with my mom,” Bidwell says. “The year she was diagnosed was the year we won the national championship. And the following year when she started her double mastectomy and started going through treatments, we definitely used it as a way to bring us together and forget about what she was going through.” The family would willingly set aside what was going on in their lives to watch the game as an escape for them.
â€œ..we definitely used it as a way to bring us together and forget about what she was going through.â€?
“We don’t want to remember the negative moments,” Bidwell explains. But struggles can come in different forms; for Dinwiddie, her struggle is with her desire to document everything and anything. “I never know if I want to live in the moment or document it,” Dinwiddie says. “I just wish I could put my phone away. My mind’s like ‘hey put your phone away’ and the other half argues ‘No, you need to document this.” But most often it’s the half of her brain that wants her to capture the moment forever that wins. With all these photos, Dinwiddie also realizes that sometimes her photos aren’t completely accurate with the mood that her subjects are feeling. “With every situation I tend to reflect on it and only think of the good and happy times,” Dinwiddie says. “So, maybe it was a terrible time, but in my mind and in my photos, I look happy and my friends look happy, so it must have been a great time. I tend to think about how it was a good time when in reality it wasn’t.” According to Eric Marx, Stephens College psychology professor, we focus on the good moments because we need to understand the meaning behind them. “We want to feel that we’ve had a meaningful life,” Marx says. “And that the various things that happen to us both good and bad, particularly the bad have to be framed so that they make sense to us. We are naturally inclined to reframe things. Not necessarily denying that they were awful but finding a way to get some good out of that event.” It may even be because of the traumatic events going on in our lives that some events take on even more meaning than others in our lives. We don’t want to focus on the negative, so our memory of the good parts may be over exaggerated. It’s also in these dark times that we pull on our family’s traditions and the good memories associated with them to get us through. “When we are feeling anxious or afraid or just misunderstood, those who have these warm memories of childhood or can understand and speak about the family traditions, it’s a source of grounding. A source to help us find yourself again,” Marx says. “Traditions are ways of creating family and are ways of creating our own identity.”
It isn’t that we purposefully pick out our bad memories to make ourselves feel better about them, but to help us understand what we’ve gotten out of them - how they’ve helped us grow. And because of this end goal of finding and actively trying to remember ourselves, the most life-changing moments tend to become our most important memories. Marx remembers his graduation for his doctorate vividly. “The graduation was up in Georgetown and my grandmother, who had never had a chance for education, was there. Even though it was a onetime event, it almost felt like a tradition. It was so meaningful,” Marx says. “Especially to my grandmother. Those life-altering moments, either for yourself or for those around you do tend to be the ones we focus on.” It isn’t that we purposefully pick out our bad memories to make ourselves feel better about them, but to help us understand what we’ve gotten out of them —how they’ve helped us grow. So, Dinwiddie might not be present for a second while she captures a photo of her friends. And sure, maybe the smiling faces of her friends in every picture she takes that night aren’t entirely genuine. Perhaps it rained, and their concert got delayed by an hour or two, but what matters is that she’ll have that moment forever— a photo that depicts the faces of her favorite people and a moment they experienced together.
Story by Allex Looper + Hannah Robertson Photography by Tina Pham
t’s happened to the best of us. You’re scrolling through Instagram and suddenly see your best friend from high school laying on a beach, glowing, happy and carefree. One look around your small, cramped dorm room and at the pile of homework gathering on your desk, and it’s clear that one of you is doing better than the other. Or at least, it appears that way, because of the power of social media. The purpose of social media differs from user to user. Some people use it for business and promotional purposes, others use it for fun, and some use it simply because everybody else does. This variety of purposes and objectives lead to different opinions on the value of social media, and whether or not it has a positive impact on our lives. One of the biggest problems with social media is the negative effect it can have on the user’s confidence and self-worth. Raylee Hays, a student at University of Missouri, stopped using popular social media platforms when it all became too much. “I quit using Instagram because of the pressure of posting, having good pictures, and having a consistent theme.” She also touched on how Instagram is causing FOMO (fear of missing out) to become a big deal. “It ties into comparing yourself to others,” Hays says. “I always felt like I had to measure up.” For Hays, the pressures of social media became the reason to stay away. Apps that were originally meant to connect, share and spread love to one another, became a source of stress, competitiveness and self-doubt. By deleting her Instagram, she allowed that weight and negativity to fall off her shoulders. That said, many people still use social media despite knowing the potential effects, but they do so with caution.
“One of the biggest problems with social media is the negative effect it can have on the user’s confidence and self-worth.” Savannah Maul, a sophomore at Stephens College, states that she didn’t join Instagram until recently, because she didn’t want to deal with the FOMO that comes with seeing certain posts.
unrealistic. Similarly, there’s an unseen pressure to take and post the ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ picture, which turns into camera rolls filled with hundreds of nearidentical photos.
“I also didn’t want to be constantly checking on it,” she adds, which brings up another interesting point - there is a competitive nature to social media, where the purpose blurs from displaying life highlights, to getting as much interaction and engagement as possible. Once a post is made, people feel a need to constantly check and refresh their phone to see how many likes or comments the post has received, and how it has affected their follower count. If a post doesn’t get as much interaction as hoped for, it can lead to over-analyzation, panic and internalization. In some minds, the interaction, or lack thereof, becomes a reflection of how others perceive them and their worth.
“It was kind of crazy how stressed out I was about it. It wasn’t about taking pictures for fun anymore - it was about how many likes I was getting,” says Hays when reminiscing on her Instagram days. This doesn’t mean that social media is all bad, though, and Maul herself can attest to the positives. She initially created her Instagram account to be able to reach out to and connect with others, and until the pressures took over, this was a success. “It definitely helped me come out of my shell and helped me be more outgoing. It also inspired me to be more creative.”
Social media has completely changed the way we interact with one another, both in person and Darian Julun, also a student at Stephens College, online. And while there are a multitude of positives says that she definitely used to care more about how that social media can be used for, it’s important to many followers and likes she got than she does now. know when to draw the line between media and reality. The way we portray ourselves and the things “I gravitate towards being less filtered and more we share are only a portion of who we really are. transparent with my aesthetic now,” says Julun. It We love to show the exotic vacations and glamorous seems rare these days to see a photo without heavy headshots, but never the lows like failing a test edits and filters, and even though you can usually or losing a job. Life is not made up of these highs tell it’s not unedited, it can still cause people to feel alone, and while it’s easier said than done, we like they have to measure up or make their photos should try not to compare ourselves to someone look ‘better’. The line between reality and online else’s perfectly-crafted online presence. Remember presence has become increasingly blurred. There’s that the number of likes you get and your selfa standard of perfection on apps such as Instagram, worth, do not go hand in hand. Your value is and this viewpoint has become unhealthy and determined instead by the person behind the filter.
e t a m Inti Getting
"He said he wouldn't leave and then he did." Story + Photography by Michelle Morris
For most of us, it is one of the most basic needs. It can be hugging our loved ones, confiding about our most pressing and personal struggles or simply letting someone get to know the real us, the authentic one with flaws and insecurities. Being intimate with others, whether is it emotionally or physically, is essential for positive relationships. But for some, the intimacy can be frightening and connecting with other people can seem daunting and almost impossible. It should have been the classic tale of high school romance that lasted, but it didn’t work out that way. When Catherine Hake, now a senior at Stephens College, moved to Columbia, she was determined to stay together with her high school boyfriend. But in her freshman year, just a week after their one-year anniversary; without warning, she was dumped over the phone without any explanation. When she attempted to contact him to figure out the reason, he blocked her on everything. After speaking with a few hometown friends, she was told that he had cheated on her, but why would she believe them: “He’s never lied to me before,” Hake says. She felt lost and alone because the one person she had connected with, abandoned her. In March of the following year, the ex-boyfriend then contacted Hake wanting to get back together and she decided to give it a chance and start seeing him again. It was more casual this time, but for some reason, her suspicion was mounting that something wasn’t right. And a year after they had originally broken up, she realized. On her social media feed, she stumbled upon a National Boyfriend Day post from a girl she went to high-
school with and sure enough, it was about her boyfriend. Her heart was broken. Again. Being intimate is something many people take for granted in relationships because being able to share your thoughts and emotions with someone else is a vital component to a healthy wellbeing, but for Hake it was now something she could not achieve. Intimacy can be either physical or emotional, says Debi Hake, who is a Licensed Professional Counselor at the Stephens College Counseling Center and not related to Catherine Hake. “Physical intimacy is a shared connection; it can be sex, but not limited to sex,” Debi Hake says. “It can be a longing, a desire to physically be present with someone.” Whereas, emotional intimacy is also a shared connection that includes “vulnerability, trust, comfort and a closeness with someone developed by a deeper transparency of who we are at our core,” according to Debi Hake. Needless to say, Catherine Hake was hurt by the betrayal and turned to her friends for support. Unfortunately, support was the last thing she received. Instead, her friends isolated her and left her to deal with it on her own. One friend in particular, that Catherine Hake had confided in throughout the entire debacle, went to a party and told the personal story to a bunch of strangers. For Catherine Hake, that was a breach of trust: “It was something that you should never talk about unless I give you permission and I didn’t give her permission.” Intimacy is important in relationships, whether they are
SL 68 romantic or platonic, but now Catherine Hake felt betrayed: “To open up to my friend and have her react that way was shitty.” By having her friend betray her during a time when she was already vulnerable, Catherine Hake was left helpless and alone once again, and she lost faith in others. “To be honest, most people don’t give a shit about anyone else, they just care about themselves, so I gradually stopped talking to people about my emotions,” she says. To deal with her intimacy struggles, Catherine Hake turned to humor. “Which can seem weird, but it’s my way of dealing with a traumatic experience. Most people think I’m a bitch because I come off as cold and sarcastic, but I’m actually really nice it’s just hard when you’ve had so many bad things happen to you.” Catherine Hake’s situation isn’t unique. Fearing intimacy can happen to anyone, according to Debi Hake. “It doesn’t matter what race, ethnicity, or gender someone may be, there are always factors that can make developing intimacy with another person difficult,” she says. Generally, most people think of men when they hear ‘fear of intimacy’ but Debi Hake thinks we should look beyond that context. “We miss the bigger picture if our default is always ‘men struggle with intimacy’,” Hake says. Some psychologists connect a person’s fear of intimacy to a parenting practice they encountered during their childhood. The attachment theory is the idea that “all children have a natural need to remain close enough to their parents so that they can attain protection and comfort when distressed.” “Some struggle with intimacy simply because they grew up in a family of origin that was lacking emotional intimacy,” Debi Hake says. “Either their parents showed little connection with them or they failed to develop a healthy attachment to their primary caregiver,” she explains. Although there is not one school of thought as to how someone can overcome their intimacy issues, there are a few that Debi Hake recommends. Communication is a big one. “Learn to label and communicate what you are feeling.” Debi Hake recommends finding a therapist to help overcome trauma or hurt by other people. And, also, to acknowledge the hurt and the struggle with intimacy and be willing to have a conversation about it with others. Allowing yourself to acknowledge that a struggle is present, brings you closer to overcoming whatever barriers you may have with intimacy, she explains. For Catherine Hake, working through her struggles is an important part of achieving happiness. “It’s just going to take time, but I want to move past it so I can have those deep connections with people.”
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EVERYDAY HEROES Everyday heroes believe in making the world a better place. They stand up for others and for their community, not only with words, but with actions.
Story and Illustrations by Aurola Wedman Alfaro
CHRYSTAL GRAVES W
alk into Ernie’s Cafe any given morning and you might see Chrystal Graves. She will be drinking Denver hot chocolate from a steaming mug. The server will confirm she is having the usual and will bring her breakfast over to the table. The hash browns will be blonde, just like she likes them. If you ask around, you will find that Graves runs her own business, Chrystal L. Hair & Makeup, located in Columbia, Mo. Dig deeper and you will discover that she is the co-founder and vice president of a non-profit organization, Black + Brown Opportunity, Leadership & Development (The BOLD Academy). Get to know Graves a little bit more and you will realize— she is an everyday hero. Legendary characters who save the day by using their extraordinary strength, enviable intelligence and hightech gadgets, are the heroes that live in movies and comic books. Everyday heroes, however, live among us, and begin the day like you and me, with breakfast. But what happens once the fork is set down on the table and the last sip of chocolate is drunk? Everyday heroes wear no capes, no skin-tight costumes, no masks; they work, go to school, pay taxes, have a family and friends. They seem ordinary, but they are much more than that. Everyday heroes believe in making the world a better place. They stand up for others and for their community, not only with words, but with actions. BOLD president and educator, Dr. Melita Walker, and Graves co-founded The BOLD Academy to fulfill the need for a central organization that encourages leadership opportunities for Black and Brown girls in the Columbia, Mo. community. Girls accepted into the program commit to a five-to-eight-day summer academy and a one-year program. The summer academy is hosted by a college campus and covers a variety of subjects, including English, financial planning, art and dance. The one-year program requires girls to attend a three-hour meeting one Saturday per month. During that time, girls engage in learning activities such as a field trip to a medical school and a simulated city council meeting to learn how city government works. BOLD provides school supplies at the beginning of the academic year and opens a 529 college fund, a taxadvantaged savings plan, for each BOLD participant. For every academy-related activity and monthly meeting that the girls attend, the equivalent in minimum hourly wage
“My hopes for the future of Black and Brown girls and women, are that they have the opportunity to see women in their community, women who like like them, doing phenomenal things...” is deposited into their college fund ($7.85 in Missouri). Meghan Foster, a native Missourian, raised her daughter, Diymon Gillespie, pretty much by herself, but The BOLD Academy team is now a source of support for both of them. Gillespie grew up being a happy and creative girl; but by the time she was 11, she was struggling with knowing her purpose in life. She often felt anxious and had trouble speaking to people in public. This summer, Gillespie was accepted into The BOLD Academy and within two days of the start of the program, she was doing ballet, learning about social injustice and reading books, which had been a struggle for her in the past. “After one week, she blossomed. Her confidence went through the roof,” Foster says. Being a sixth grade girl is hard and Gillespie still has though days, but she feels uplifted by the BOLD Academy team and is excited about her future: she aspires to write. Foster, grateful for the support that Graves and everyone at The BOLD Academy gave to her daughter, wrote them a letter expressing her appreciation: “The thought of not having The BOLD Academy at the time they came into our lives brings tears to my eyes. Where would my daughter be? Would she still not want to wake up in the morning? Would she still not think her hair is perfect? Or that she wasn’t good enough? Because of BOLD, I never have to worry about my daughter feeling these things ever again,” she wrote. Graves recognizes the importance of mentorship. When she was growing up in St. Louis, she didn’t have to fantasize about legendary heroes; she had real-life Dr. Judy Shaw, counselor and educator, to look up to. Dr. Shaw kept her curly, natural hair short and always wore lipstick and beautiful earrings. She was a counselor at McCluer North High School, a neighbor who helped her community grow, and a wife and mother.
“there is a misconception that you only do the hair of the people that look like you. I don’t believe that. The beauty industry should look at what diversity really is.”
“Her ability to navigate all those different facets of life for her kids, but also for her community at large, is phenomenal – a magic trick in itself,” says Graves.
Dr. Shaw organized college preparation and Kwanzaa (a sevenday African-American celebration that honors African heritage) meetings at her home, which Graves and other children from the neighborhood attended. “She still, to this day, is providing access and opportunities for the children of the Ferguson-Florissant school district and community,” says Graves. A supportive community and a role model who looked like her, led Graves to believe that if she worked hard and searched for opportunities, she could achieve anything. She is hopeful that more women will have access to mentorship in their communities. “My hopes for the future of Black and Brown girls and women, are that they have the opportunity to see women in their community, women who like like them, doing phenomenal things; that they have the opportunity to be exposed to cultural and diverse events, and have the same access as their counterparts to enrichment and college prep programs,” says Graves. Like her childhood hero, Graves does much more than the ordinary person. Beyond BOLD, she is also a mother of three and a business owner. At her salon, Chrystal L. Hair & Makeup, Graves greets clients, provides services to an average of five to nine clients per day, responds to emails, and posts on social media. Graves emphasizes that her salon is diverse; she knows how to do hair, any kind of hair: “I think that in my industry there is a misconception that you only do the hair of the people that look like you. I don’t believe that. The beauty industry should look at what diversity really is. Are we creating and growing diverse stylists or are we creating people who only do hair of the people that look like them?” Graves focuses on healthy, growing hair and educates her clients so they know how to take care of their hair when they are not at the salon or if they move away. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is that I can change how someone is feeling. I often have people who sit on my chair and might not feel the greatest about themselves or are having a bad day. I have the ability to turn that around, to do their hair, talk to them and make them feel better,” Graves says. She still remembers when her sign went up for the salon; it was the happiest day in her entrepreneurial life –a moment of awe and accomplishment. As an everyday hero, Graves will likely not wake up one day and fly around Columbia, stopping crime and preventing car accidents from happening. She will however, be part of a “goodness” cycle. Dr. Judy Shaw had a positive effect on her life. Now, she tries to positively impact the lives of girls like Gillespie, who will likely do the same for another person. While “fixing” everything that is wrong with the world seems daunting if not impossible, we can change the lives of those around us and hope that a ripple effect takes care of the rest.
magine you have to start all over again. Your entire life is packed into a suitcase. Circumstances beyond your control have forced you to leave your country and with it, a part of you. The people and places that influenced who you are, will soon be far away. You feel tired, anxious and already miss your loved ones. But deep down, you know your relocation is for the best. Your new home is the land of opportunity, your shot at a brighter future – a brand new world. With a sliver of hope, you smile to the woman sitting next to you. She smiles back and starts a conversation. Well, she tries to. You listen, but you don’t understand a single word that comes out of her mouth. It’s a shocking reminder; this new world is as foreign to you as you are to them. Aware of this frightening experience, Audrey Hagan does everything she can to make the transition easier for non-English speakers that move to the U.S. Hagan joined the Sacred Heart Language program in 2014 as a volunteer English tutor and is now the program coordinator. The language program is a free educational resource offered by the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia, Mo. Through the program, immigrants and refugees acquire language and cultural awareness skills to better adapt to life in the U.S. Additionally, the program creates friendships and builds unity among the diverse population that attends the church. The first attendees were Sacred Heart parishioners: refugees from Westcentral Africa and Hispanic residents. However, the program is open to anyone. Some students feel ashamed about their English level, but Hagan is supportive and tells them, “You speak one to five other languages. Just because you don’t know this one, don’t feel bad about it. Let me help you.” Although Hagan works full-time as a supervisor at Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, she offers her time and positive attitude to the program’s students every week. Oftentimes she rushes from work to the language program, sacrificing time for dinner or just to take a breath after a busy day. “Audrey tutors, she gives rides to students, she does anything. Sometimes she goes without dinner. She will be there happily smiling and giving her time, even after hours. To me that is great dedication,” says Martha Lawrence, an experienced tutor who recently began offering Swahili classes. Lawrence
confides that Rusia, one of Hagan’s former students, referred to Hagan as her lifesaver, “because she would help her even when it was nothing related to classes; when she needed a ride or help getting something,” Lawrence says.
“You make time for the things you want to do in life and this is one of the things that I want to do.” Hagan does not see her contributions to the program and students as a sacrifice. She talks about tutoring as something that she enjoys. “You make time for the things you want to do in life and this is one of the things that I want to do,” she says. In the large community room next to the church, classes begin. Tutors and students are paired up. A young tutor and an older gentleman seem to be playing charades. The tutor stands up and pretends to run. Later, he sits down and points towards his neck. He is “acting out” words to explain the meaning to his student. A schoolaged child writes numbers on a green chalkboard as his tutor sits next to him speaking English; they are doing math homework. On the other side of the room, Daphrose is practicing her address. Daphrose, a Congolese woman who spent more than 20 years in a refugee camp, is one of the students that Audrey tutors. Daphrose arrived to the U.S. in March 2018 without any English knowledge. “I… I from Congo. I am from Congo,” Daphrose says, as she practices. She smiles widely as she recites her address in English and asks “What is your name?” Hagan cheers, “She is doing so good!” For the rest of the conversation, Lawrence serves as an interpreter and relays Daphrose’s message: “When she first arrived and she heard people talking to her in English she thought, ‘I will never learn this language.’ She just heard a flow of words; she could not tell the beginning or the end. After a few weeks in this class, she built up her confidence and now she feels happy. She feels like she can start life again, like she lived in Africa.” Hagan lays several tote bags on a table and asks Daphrose to pick one so that she can bring her things to
class. Daphrose goes for the one with a zipper. Tote bags are not the only thing that Hagan gives to students. “One night, she [Hagan] came in here and filled both of these tables with clothes. She just said, ‘take whatever you want,’ that is just the kind of person she is. She is willing to do whatever it takes,” says Pat Gerke, director of the language program. “The sad part of tutoring is when people leave,” Hagan says. Columbia is not a permanent home for every student. Some people stay in contact and text from time to time, like Rusia who moved to Colorado, but others slip through the cracks. Among sad goodbyes, there are also fun memories. Hagan lights up as she recalls taking the Abekas children out for ice cream. The children, sons and daughters of one of Hagan’s students, had been in the U.S. for six months, after living in a refugee camp in Congo. “We went to Baskin-Robbins and the people there were so nice. They were trying to explain to the kids that there were all of these different flavors and were reading them [the flavors] off for them. They gave the kids a tester of every single flavor. In the end, all of them ordered vanilla,” Hagan says. Although Hagan and the Abekas family have created new memories together in the two years that followed, the kids randomly ask her if she remembers the time they went out for ice cream. It was one of the first experiences they had with people outside of their family and school in the U.S. However, not all refugees and immigrants are received with a welcoming smile. Infrastructures that cannot
support new large groups, clashing cultural practices and diverse political views have contributed to the perception of incoming foreigners. “Immigration and refugees have such a negative connotation right now, specially in the U.S. When you are taking them [her students] somewhere, you never know how someone else is going to react to them and you just hope that it is good. I want everyone to have a good experience,” says Hagan.
“You speak one to five other languages. Just because you don’t know this one, don’t feel bad about it. Let me help you.” Hagan cherishes the connections she makes through the language program and assures that she is also gaining knowledge, “You learn a different outlook on life; by helping other people, you open your world. And you will pick-up words that you did not even know about,” she says. The opportunities Hagan has to meet people from diverse backgrounds, to communicate, laugh and eat ice cream with them, has allowed her to make the program’s motto a reality: Those who enter as learners, leave as friends.
ADAM HUCKFELDT A
dam Huckfeldt glanced out the window of the descending plane. Houses without a roof, trees knocked over, billboards on top of houses, buildings with beams sticking out. Destruction everywhere. Huckfeldt had a mission: to aid people in need, many of who had lost their belongings to Hurricane Maria. He was decided to provide medical care and help in every possible way, all while keeping a smile on his face. He disembarked the plane and walked into the terminal, where he was hit by a wave of hot, humid air. There was no power or AC; the emergency lights illuminated the steamy floor. The lower level was like a scene from an apocalyptic movie: dark, silent, garbage cans overflowing with trash and random items scattered on the floor. The terminal had been flooded and a thick stench of decay filled the air. The upper level was packed; hundreds of people were waiting, hoping to get a seat on a plane – a ticket out of a devastated Puerto Rico. Some drove to the airport and left the keys inside their car; they were not planning to come back. There was nothing left for them. Everyone wanted off the island, while Huckfeldt, he was just arriving. Just 24 hours earlier, Huckfeldt was having a normal morning at work when he received a particular email. He was given deployment orders to travel to Puerto Rico and provide aid to the victims of the Hurricane Maria. As a member of DEMPS, the Veterans Health Administration’s Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System, he knew this was a possibility. After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Huckfeldt was on standby to be sent to Houston but that never happened. So, the morning he got the email about Puerto Rico, a turmoil of emotions arose. This was his first DEMPS assignment, so he was eager to help. “My father was a trauma surgeon, and being like him, we don’t want anyone to get hurt; but if they are going to be hurt, we want to be the ones that are sent out to help,” Huckfeldt says. At the same time, the apprehension of the unknown and the decision to be away from his wife of only four months weighed heavy on his mind. Nevertheless, his bravery and compassion won out and Huckfeldt accepted the deployment. For two weeks, Huckfeldt worked the night shift at a field
medical station in Manatí, located on the Northside of Puerto Rico. The Juan Aubín Cruz Abreu “Bincito” coliseum, a sports venue, was transformed into a temporary medical center where patients received care for anything from minor wounds to mental health and terminal illness. El Vocero, a Puerto Rican newspaper, reports that 10,000 patients were treated at this field medical station.
“My father was a trauma surgeon, and being like him, we don’t want anyone to get hurt, but if they are going to be hurt, we want to be the ones that are sent out to help.” As Huckfeldt walked in, he saw black cots lined up on the basketball court. Patients were laying next to each other — their family members sitting on metallic folding chairs, next to the cots. The two rooms for staff to sleep in were packed, so Huckfeldt slept on a cot in the stadium’s seating area, in between the rows of vibrant blue and yellow seats. “At first there was no food. What little food we had, we gave to the patients. We had spotty power running off the generators and no running water,” Huckfeldt recalls. “We had patients on ventilators; a power supply is necessary to them staying alive. You got conditioned that during power outages you run and turn on the emergency supply of oxygen to the ventilators. And if necessary, you stand there and ventilate them with a bag in pitch darkness, until somebody can get the power back on. Literally these people’s lives are in your hands,” Huckfeldt says. Beyond the abysmal living conditions, communication was also difficult. Some patients spoke English, but with others, Huckfeldt’s broken Spanish, the patient’s broken English, and hand gestures made do. “English is not my strength, so we communicated as best as we could,” says Lourdes Vázquez in Spanish, during a phone call conversation from Puerto Rico. Lourdes’ father, Pedro Vázquez was one of Huckfeldt’s patients. “One night I was sitting next to my father’s cot; I was very cold and my body was shaking. Adam approached me and asked what was going on. I tried to explain that I
was cold. He left and came back with a warm blanket and placed it over my back. I will never forget that moment, his empathy and kindness,” Vázquez adds. Lourdes lives 30 minutes away from the field hospital and had to travel back and forth to see her father. She would frequently let Huckfeldt know when she was leaving and asked him to keep an eye on her father. “He never gave me a no for an answer,” she says, “My father could not speak, but he said it all with his eyes. Adam talked to him as he took care of him; he was always so gentle and respectful.” Huckfeldt considers his experience in Puerto Rico to be the most challenging and rewarding time of his life “During the entire first two weeks there was hardly a day that I would go ‘home’ without tears in my eyes or concern for a patient because of what was going on,” he says. Huckfeldt had no days off; he worked 12 to 16-hour-shifts and tried to do the best with the available supplies. “At one point when I was there, I had around 40 patients to myself,” he says.
“there was hardly a day that I would go ‘home’ without tears in my eyes or concern for a patient because of what was going on.”
After two weeks, Huckfeldt returned home, back to his wife and his job. Back to the comforts of taking a bath and eating something more than a bread sandwich (bread with a slice of ham and cheese). But Huckfeldt was not ready to return to his normal life: “It just didn’t feel right. I felt a sense of abandonment, like I had left my patients. So I asked to go back,” he says. The first time, Huckfeldt had a limited notion of what he was getting into. This time, he knew every single detail and still made the decision to help, to aid those in need, to put them before himself. He returned to Puerto Rico with a bag full of candy and a heart eager to help. As he walked into the basketball arena, he was greeted with tears of joy by one of his patients, “I thought I would never see you again.” Almost a year after his two trips to Puerto Rico, Huckfeldt treasures the photo of a thank you note from a patient and a video of Santos Candelaria, a retired musician who is singing and playing the guitar. His wife was sick and was dependent on care. She could not hear him, but he still played the guitar for her and for the medical staff. “This is a good night song for his wife”, Huckfeldt says. As the video starts to play, a strong voice singing in Spanish and the melody of acoustic guitar strings fill the air: “Mañana me voy, amor mío/Que triste estaré, te digo/ Mañana me voy, amor mío/Pero esta noche, pero esta noche, la paso contigo.” It translates to: “Tomorrow I will leave my love/I will be so sad, I tell you/Tomorrow I will leave my love/But tonight, tonight, I will spend it with you.”
Colorism Story: Bri Mays Photography: Hannah M. Dorey Assistant: Aurola Wedman Alfaro Layout: Bri Mays Models: Issa Buck, Andi Keltz, Deyanira Mercado, Hannah Robertson + Arianna Varner Chalk it Up Story: Hannah M. Dorey + Hannah Kueck Photography: Kira McKee Layout: Hannah M. Dorey With the Curve Story: Hannah Kueck Photography: Aurola Wedman Alfaro Layout: Hannah Kueck Model: Hannah Kueck Whatâ€™s Your Sign? Research: Alexanderia Rinehart Story: Anna Tripolitis Photography: Alexanderia Rinehart Layout: Hannah M. Dorey Hair, Makeup + Stylist: Alex Phifer Models: Breeanna Albin, Sara Barfknecht, Alex Davis, Saffron Lancaster, Morgan Lange, Ellie LaPosha, Sarah Malmros, Kaite Ritchie, Sally Russell, Ella Shirk, Ayanna Smith, Sophie Taube + Shelby Wessing. Forever Young Research and Story: Eden Crane Photography + Layout: Eden Crane Models: Hannah M. Dorey, Christine Pham + Aurola Wedman Alfaro
Double Take Story: Alex Phifer Photography: Alex Phifer Layout: Alex Phifer + Aurola Wedman Alfaro Models: Sierra + Savannah Thibault Iron Maiden Story: Shelby Johnson Photography: Hannah M. Dorey Assistants: Jules Graebner, Allex Looper + Michelle Morris Layout: Hannah M. Dorey + Shelby Johnson Model: Jessie Felix Garcia Rose Colored Memories Story: Leigh Ann Barnett Photography: Hannah M. Dorey Layout: Leigh Ann Barnett Models: Nikki Bidwell + Claire Dinwiddie Unfiltered Story: Allex Looper + Hannah Robertson Photography: Christine Pham Layout: Allex Looper Stylist: Michelle Morris Model: Darian Julun, Savannah Maul + Raylee Mays Getting Intimate Story: Michelle Morris Photography: Michelle Morris Layout: Michelle Morris + Hannah M. Dorey Model: Catherine Hake Everyday Heroes Story: Aurola Wedman Alfaro Illustrations + Layout: Aurola Wedman Alfaro
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