The Buzz Fall 2023

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5. Letter from the Editor

55. The Quintessential First-Generation American Traveling Experience 58. A Trip to Little Italy 59. Significance of Solo Traveling

CITY 11. In Boston, Public Art and Graffiti are Two Sides of the Same Coin 14. Romanticizing the Boston Rain 15. Community Chamber Concerts

CAMPUS 17. 82k for this? 20. Stay Focused… If You Want 21. Go Greek?

FOOD 23. La Cocina Mundial: Colombian Food in Boston 26. Mike & Pattys: Specializing in the Sandwich 27. Silver Screen Feasts

WELLNESS 29. Eyes Meet, Hearts Beat 32. Does the Skin Care Industry Really Care? 33. How Being Present Is the Fastest Way to Happiness

FASHION 35. Fashion Photoshoot 49. Fashion and Music: Art Forms That Go Hand In Hand 52. Femininity Glows Through Ribbons and Bows 53. The Evolution of Night-Out Attire

CULTURE 61. The Rise of Global Culture and Its Impact on Local Traditions 64. Portrayal of Mental Health in Today’s Television Shows 65. Lunden & Olivia: The Rise and Fall of Tik Tok’s Queer, Ultra-white Couple

OPINION 67. Can You Separate the Art From the Artist? 70. ‘I was diagnosed with PCOS and was told that the pill was the only answer’ 71. Girls Masturbate Too

MUSIC 73. “Share the Same Space for a Minute or Two” 76. An Audible Storm 77. Soundtrack of the Past

OUR TEAM Executive Editors


Editor-in-Chief: Cady Ghandour Print Managing Editor: Lila Redler Head Print and Online Editor: Sophia Spiegel Creative Director: Tamar Ponte Art Director: Madeline Michalowski Photo Director: William Chapman Online Photo Manager: Amanda Hess Videography Director: Nefeli Koutsouki

Publisher: Julia Kapusta Marketing Director: Taneesha Mirwani Social Media Director: Rachel Dirksen Web Director: Anvitha Nekkanti PR and Events Director: Anna McClean

Creative Team Anvitha Nekkanti, Lauren Mann, Chelsea Kuo, Annie Levy, Daisy Eldredge, Valerie Dreyfuss, Ebony Nkrumah, Sarah Tocci, Emma Hill, Tamar Ponte, Madeline Michalowski

Section Editors Campus Editor Wellness Editor Food Editor City Editor Music Editor Fashion Editor Travel Editor Culture Editor Opinions Editor

Ruby Lynch Alexandra Greico Molly Khabie Avani Mitra Sarah Bores Analise Bruno Amanda Healy Chloe Jad Nia McLean

Photography Team Will Chapman, Amanda Hess, Sophia Kysela, Andrew Burke-Stevenson, Ria Huang, Mia Anderson, Sean Young, Jiashan (Eva) Zheng, Mirabel Chin, James Roberts, Emma Almaraz, Oscar Fang, Romina Fernandez

Graphics Team GT Nguyen, Mia Overbo, Alicia Chiang, Anvitha Nekkanti Madeline Michalowski, Tamar Ponte, Emma Hill

THANK YOU TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS. The success of our Fall 2023 edition was made achievable through the contributions of numerous external students and partners who generously shared their skills, perspectives, and time. We express gratitude to all new and existing collaborators, anticipating ongoing partnerships in the future.

Supporters: • • •

Boston University College of Communications John Battaglino, Assistant Dean and Director, SAO

Margaret Babson, Associate Director, Student Activities Office •

Abena Kwakyi, Assistant Director, Student Activities Office •

Student Activities Office, Boston University •

Allocations Board, Boston University •

Dennis, Century Type





Written by Cady Ghandour Designed by Tamar Ponte Photographed by William Chapman






“Thank you for being here,” the first thing I said to a room packed with BU students staring back at me. These were not just any BU students, these were our new Buzz members. Hundreds, probably around 500, students had expressed their desire to be a part of our team early this semester. In this room was an amalgamation of skills, ages, interests, faces. I thought of all the people I had to thank for getting me this far, but first, let me tell you about why I think I made it here. A combination of two magical things: confidence + taking risks. Being confident alone is not enough. Your confidence in your skills may get you an interview, but without the mindset of betting on yourself, you wouldn’t apply in the first place. My parents have always encouraged me and my siblings to take chances on ourselves. I can’t tell you the amount of times I went to my parents, telling them about a role or position I wanted but how there was no chance I could get it, absolutely no way someone would look at me and think, “yes, she’s the one.” They always pushed me, convinced me that I would lose nothing by trying; that I deserve to take a chance on myself. As much as my stubborn self insisted they would be wrong, they were right. Editorin-Chief was not much different. Thank you to my mom, for filling her bathroom and our coffee tables with Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle. Thank you for encouraging me to practice my own walk when you saw my eyes glued to the TV watching fashion runways. Thank you for letting my sister, Haya, and me, ransack your wonderland of a closet and drape every item on our tiny bodies. Thank you for being my greatest fan, inspiration, and best friend. But most of all, thank you for teaching me the beauty of boundless art. That, with a little creativity and some positivity, you can soar. Few things leave me speechless, to the dismay of my roommate (and sister), I am a woman of many words. But without fail, the vibrant, one-of-a-kind Buzz team does it everytime. Being EIC means that I get a birds eye view on the activities of our lovely club, but also get a close-up look into the countless conversations, messages, group chats, meetings, which make our goals blossom into reality. The level of dedication, genuine care, and skill that many of you have put into this magazine is truly admirable and will surely pay off. Many people have asked me, and I used to wonder myself: “what’s it like being Editor-in-Chief?”

Imagine being in a room full of people, listening to you for guidance—except all around the room are mirrors. Every so often you make a round and speak to people, ask them how they’re feeling, how their work is going. Between every conversation, however, you encounter a mirror, you’re forced to reckon with your own reflection, evaluate what you did wrong and right, how you made people feel. This room is on one end of a bridge and the walls are glass. You are constantly aware of the looming view showing where you could be- where you should be. On the other end of the bridge lay achievements - “The Better Buzz.” This analogy would not be complete without mentioning the little presents which show up on my desk everyday. You see, to be in this role means great fortune, as every so often, you get to open something, bursting with color, sparkly, and extra special. In these moments, happiness is guaranteed. The presents come signed, “From:” our big vibrant team. It takes a village – it really does – and there’s no happier feeling than basking in the final result of all of your successes and beautiful projects. All in all, I must thank you for allowing me to be a part of your process in some way. For giving me the pleasure of ensuring a safe space for your creative expression, and allowing me mine. The greatest challenge in my life, this role, has come with the greatest reward, creating with all of you.


When I was a little girl I stared up at Anna Wintour Dreaming of the day someone would too call me Editor-in-Chief Now that I can see clearly I know that it is not the title which I wanted But Rather The Honor Of being trusted with your art. With lots of love, Your Editor-in-Chief, Cady Ghandour


In Boston, Public Art & Written and Photographed by Sean Young Designed by Lauren Mann


are Two Sides of the Same Coin

Boston’s multicultural street art symbolizes its rich and conflicted immigrant and racial history, but it also shows the progress the city has taken in weaving the lines between its communities together in the form of public art. You may have seen it: a box sitting at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Buick Street painted blue and white with a depiction of the Boston skyline. I walked by it on a typical New England fall day last October, just as the weather was cooling down. When I saw someone cross-legged on the sidewalk with a bucket of paint and the half-painted skyline on this random box, I knew I had witnessed a very special moment, without fully realizing it. I can’t describe the feeling, but it made me appreciate the city even more. Turns out it was artist Alexander Golob, President and Lead Artist for his business Golob Art, where he works with nonprofits, municipalities, and private clients on community-led public art projects, often centered around equity, culture, and empowerment. A BU Alum, Golob began his community work on campus by painting murals on the side of the CFA building, creating abstract pieces for the stairwell of the CGS building, and much more. “Art is a tool. It is an emotive expression that is unique, but can be used for multiple purposes simultaneously,” said Golob. “Fundamentally, people want to feel safe, they want to feel valued, they want to feel like they belong, they want to feel like they are celebrated. Anything we can do to better integrate those virtues as values into every part of government, and every part of our public life will do. And they just want to have agency… The power of art is unique in its capacity to accomplish those goals more so than a lot of other tools that humans or that our society has.” Since 2015, the City of Boston has worked with artists and community members to create several new public art pieces, most notably murals and painted electrical boxes. While local artists have received residences and commissions, some art pieces have been completed by the Mayor’s Mural Crew as part of the parks and recreation program, which began in 1991 as “a summer initiative to cover graffiti with murals painted and designed by high school students.”

The city’s website claims that the project “is rooted in a larger initiative to provide more access to the City of Boston’s public art collection.” In fact, you can even go on a mural hunt with an interactive mural map. “Murals are symbols for communities who have come together despite hardship and have enacted concrete change to benefit their neighborhood.” Public art, in the sense of murals and other two-dimensional art forms, has proven time and time again to benefit its surrounding community. However, one has to consider that there are two sides to public art: it can be seen as beautiful and creative, or it can symbolize art that is known to bring danger and harm to the community around it. Graffiti, or as some like to criticize it, pure vandalism, has been a part of human culture for ages. Traditionally looked down upon, graffiti is not normally seen as a form of art that enhances a community. However, seen in a different light, graffiti can have the same communal purpose as a work of public art. A business that allows graffiti to be legally painted on its walls 24/7 is Brick + Mortar in Central Square. As a result, it has garnered national attention for its storefront and helped the square gain much more traffic and exposure. There is a limit, though. Historically, having high levels of graffiti in an area signifies higher levels of crime, which drives property values down and prevents people from moving into the neighborhood. “Graffiti is a spectrum in many ways,” varying from direct vandalism to a style of art, said David O’Brien, a videographer from Malden, whose side hobby is graffiti. He took up the hobby in 2016 after discovering a passion for typography. Having done graphic design in high school, he admired the

artistic form of the act despite its illegality. When he discovered that Boston had two legal graffiti walls, he immediately bought a bucket of paint and began creating his own style. Boston has two legal graffiti walls, one in Cambridge and one in Beverly. Modica Way, also known as Graffiti Alley in Central Square, Cambridge, has been a well-known space for local artists since 2007. Graffiti Alley is by far one of the most well-known legal graffiti walls in the country, listed on several websites as a top attraction in Cambridge. Described by one as “an open-air, 24-hour art gallery.” There’s a community where a legal graffiti wall can create a foundation, and it’s become a special tradition for O’Brien. “Random people can come together and enjoy the same thing with their own styles,” he said. The community aspect is not lost upon Boston University either, as it promotes painting at the alley as a must-do attraction in the city. From Graffiti Alley to the spray paint rock on BU Beach, street art is becoming more accepted as a tool for community and a form of self-expression.

tunnels, and under bridges can “turn a daily commute into like a museum gallery tour, except it’s criminals doing the artwork.” A popular saying that has stuck with him is, “Where there’s graffiti, there’s a way.” If you’re wondering whether you can scale a tall building or reach a closed-off area of an old bridge, just see if you can find graffiti, and if there is, you’ll be able to do it because someone did it before you. Art can give a voice to a community that hasn’t historically had that power, lift them up, and include them in a city’s wider economic development. However, there can be drawbacks: art can be used for protest and gentrification. It can draw people in and it can draw people away. If not used properly, art can be a tool for harm. In the public art world, there’s a constant tension between the needs of the community and the artist and the wants of a city. As seen in Dorchester, “[The city] is coming up with a lot of great

If every major city had at least one legal graffiti wall, O’Brien said, it might bring down the addictive criminal act of it and bring about a more positive light to the art form. The balance is tricky, however, because eliminating the risky and illegal aspect of traditional graffiti would mean changing the entire meaning of it. The illegal aspect of graffiti is what makes it fascinating and original. For O’Brien, spotting graffiti on train tracks, in


murals, but there are still lots of gang tags that can be spotted in its alleys,” says Oscar Cristales, a freelance artist who specializes in painting and graffiti style pop-art. Growing up in El Salvador, Oscar witnessed other styles of public art, such as the display of old pianos that were open to the public to paint freely. Golob highlights that despite the increase in opportunities, there’s still a need to preserve artist spaces and provide adequate compensation to local artists. Though it is evident that artists can bring value to a space, especially retail, through their art, they are not recognized both monetarily or by lack of resources. This is one reason local government funds are lacking in the public art sector. However, Boston seems to be at the forefront of public art initiatives. Everyone is pushing public art, Golob said. In the last fifteen years, the visual arts world has expanded broadly in Boston, ranging from artist fellowship programs to collaborative community projects with the support of diverse sectors of local government, such as the Department of Transit and the Department of Public Works. “People always mentioned as a joke that Boston was in the shadow of New York. Over the years, that phrase started vanishing. I haven’t heard it in years… at least when it comes to visual arts in Boston.”


Quoting Robert Putnam, author of Making Democracy Work, Golob repeated, “an active cultural scene is the greatest predictor of economic activity and transparent government.” In each culture and community, and throughout history, humans have used public spaces as a canvas to express themselves or the world around them. Public art is essential, to not only learning the political atmosphere and societal customs of the time, but also the economic development of the community around the artwork. Art is meant for the community, whether it is illegal graffiti painted on the side of an abandoned building or commissioned public artwork in the form of an electrical box on campus. As the public art world grows rapidly in America’s oldest city, Boston will need to grapple with how long public art pieces are meant to last, who they are for, and how they can.

“In a city like Boston, finding low-cost entertainment, much less for free, is a challenge.”

COMMUNITY CHAMBER CONCERTS Written by Karyna Cheung Designed by Anvitha Nekkanti | Photographed by Eva Zheng How many affordable activities are there in a city where the median household income is over $80,000 a year? Anyone with any level of interest in classical music should give the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s (BSO) Community Chamber Concert Series a try. The first reason to go? The concerts are completely free. Each performance features some of the most accomplished musicians in the BSO playing small ensemble pieces, along with a few guest players, according to a press release. BSO also explained that the concert series serves to “offer audiences the opportunity to experience the unique intimacy of chamber music.” While the Community Chamber Concerts are geared towards the greater Boston community as a whole, it is a rare opportunity for anyone in-state - from visitors to long-time residents - to experience a taste of the storied BSO. Concerts have been held all over the state, some within the city and others as far out as Lenox in western Massachusetts. “Personally, I loved seeing a very different group of folks than we usually see in Symphony Hall,” long-time BSO violinist and Community Chamber Concert ensemble member Bonnie Bewick Brown said in an emailed response. She performed in Mattapan, a neighborhood of Boston, for the first 2023-24 concert of the season. “I loved that their experience as new classical listeners was every bit as observant and heartfelt as our long time audience members.” Overall, the Community Chamber Concerts aim to bring live classical music to all communities, even those that might be limited by distance or affordability, and have done so for twenty-five years, according to publicist Rena Cohen. If an audience is not able to get into Boston and buy Symphony tickets potentially worth hundreds of dollars, the concerts will come to them instead. BSO’s Community Chamber Concert Series is a rare and unique exposure to classical music that is open to all and should be fully enjoyed and experienced by the many people that these concerts are accessible to.


Romanticizing the Rain:

A necessary mindset for a city so often gloomy

Written by Simone Kramer | Designed by Madeline Michalowski Photographed by William Chapman Throughout my childhood, I adored rainy days. I loved spending hours inside reading books, playing board games, or watching movies. With no reason to go outside, I could enjoy the droplets pouring outside the window, never having to get uncomfortably wet. This has changed in college. I have no choice but to brave the downpours that occur on my way to class. Motivation to leave my room is lacking when I know stepping foot outside includes an unwanted shower. This, in addition to the fact that it rains much more here than where I am from, creates a less ideal environment for my mental well-being. That being said, there are some ways I have been able to change my mindset surrounding the frequent gloom. Take a day for yourself inside. Some of my favorite days are

those spent curled up under a blanket, watching movies, or reading a book. Rainy weather is the perfect excuse to allow oneself to participate in an “unproductive” day. I, however, do not consider this type of day unproductive. I will even declare it as the opposite. It acts as a reset, a way to destress from the pressures of every day spent rushing from class to class or from a job to a meeting. Finding ways to get out of and appreciate this gloom is the only way to make them seem brighter. I like to stay on campus in between classes. It’s a laborious trek to go back and forth to West, where I live, while getting soaked. Therefore, I find it helpful to find a nice study spot to camp out in the same building as a class or a nearby one. This semester, many of my classes are located in CAS. I have come to appreciate the Think Tank. Although it does not have the views or modernity of CDS or Yawkey, it is centrally located and easily accessible. Shopping is one of my favorite activities, no matter how unproductive it may be for my bank account. The Prudential Center and Copley Place malls are great ways to shop at coveted stores without having to venture outside. Before February of last year, I had no idea that if I walked to the end of the Prudential Center’s

shopping area, I would reach an elevated, covered walkway leading to Copley Place. Most are familiar with the stores of the Prudential Mall: Aritzia, Canada Goose, Madewell, etc. I was not aware of the fact that Copley Place offers a selection of stores, including Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, and Golden Goose. As with most cities, Boston has a wide variety of aesthetic and delicious cafes. I am a coffee lover myself, not a connoisseur by any means, but more of an amateur critic. Discovering new (and cheap) cafes is such an exciting way to excite your workspace and taste buds. You can bring your work, get a treat, and camp out for hours. While I tend to buy coffee/ food on campus for frivolous reasons, here are a few of my favorite cafes for days I am feeling adventurous: Pavement Coffeehouse (a classic), The Capital One Cafe, Caffè Nero, and Temptations Cafe. Additionally, I would really like to try Flour Cafe and Bakery in the South End, which serves French specialties. Watching thousands of minuscule raindrops run down my window makes me feel so insignificant. I remember how, as humans, we are so similar to those droplets. There are so many of us out there, yet we each have such individual stories and experiences.

My mood is severely impacted by the weather. I find myself basking in the glory of the sun, even in the dead of winter. Sunny days grant me serotonin. Gloomy days have an almost opposite effect. Yet, I have found that while there is a certain glory about a bright day, similar beauty can be found on a rainy day. None of this is to say that I would rather experience a rainy day than a sunny one. If I had my way, there would be no more than five gloomy days per month (ignoring the environmental implications). However, these days are inevitable in Boston, and changing my mindset around them has had a great impact on me. Now that I have strategies to deal with them, I no longer hate the gloom.

The cultural divide between BU students’ economic backgrounds. As Madi Koesler spent a year at a community college in Florida, she dreamed of coming to Boston University to pursue journalism. After a year’s worth of hard work and saving up, she finally received her acceptance letter. Koesler packed up her notepad and camera and moved hundreds of miles north to the streets of Commonwealth Avenue, where she would spend her next three years. What Koesler didn’t realize was that committing to BU meant committing to a vast dichotomy between the diverse student population, stretching from the lowest to highest in upbringing, tax bracket, and opportunity. BU’s full-year tuition comes to about $82,000 a year, with housing and meal plan included. However, BU is known for one of the greatest scholarship programs in the country, boasting both the Trustee and Presidential Scholarship, awarded to several high-achieving students each year. Additionally, BU meets 100% of demonstrated financial need according to any student’s FAFSA application. Koesler would go on to meet students who flew here on their private jet, but also students who helped their parents pay the latest bills.

This added burden is something only a fraction of the BU population can understand. Brady Willis, a junior in COM, agrees that the wealth disparity can put pressure on social relationships at BU. Willis, who is graduating in three years to financially support his younger sister’s college aspirations, is currently looking for a job to supplement his rigorous academic and extracurricular schedule. “You’ll see friends who are like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to eat dining hall food today. Can we go out to eat?’ And while that’s not necessarily not inclusive, there may be a friend in that group who doesn’t have the means to go out,” he said. His summer job at Target down south, he said, paid vastly less than the minimum wage he could have received in Boston. Willis, and many other students that come from states with lower pay rates, become affected by a gap in student earnings when returning to campus. “As a student who is here solely because of the scholarship and financial aid they received to attend the school, [the wealth disparity] has been something that’s very revelatory coming to school here,” he said. “There’s bound to be students who come here fully paying tuition, and that can sometimes be demonstrated within people’s abilities to finance their way here.” However, for Shreya Sharma, an international student who does not qualify for FAFSA, it’s still not an easy ride.

“I would say I have noticed a cultural divide,” she said. “I’m really lucky to receive aid and be able to go here, but I still have to work while taking classes full time.” Being almost completely independent from her parents’ finances, Koesler works three jobs to pay her expenses on top of tuition. The first two jobs, she said, support her off-campus rent, grocery shopping, and other basic necessities. The reason she’s taken on a third job is to afford the pricey social life that Boston offers. “A lot of times, I have to say no to things that I would love to do, and I’ve noticed that can cause some social strain,” she said. “It’s a difficult balance to find.” The balance, Koesler says, forms between your work, school, and social life. Although she takes on extra shifts to accommodate her weekly takeout nights with her friends, she struggles to make time for those same friends who don’t have similar stressors in



“[My parents] are about tough love on me,” she said, aware of the stereotypes surrounding international students. “So I do have to pay for everything [else].”

Sharma, who wakes up before 6am for her on-campus job at Fenway FitRec, puts her entire paycheck towards groceries. Coming to Boston, she realized how much more expensive a trip to a grocery store is here than her home in London. “You can get a lot for 20 pounds versus 20 dollars,” she said. “Here, that’s barely a Greens and Grains bowl from the GSU.” In most BU students’ minds, Sharma never has to worry about a single expense because she comes from outside of the U.S. Still, she says, it’s hard to maintain a social life in Boston because of its price tag. “Some students are working two to three jobs, and some are not working at all, and it’s kind of obvious. You can see the burnout,” she said. “You’re like, ‘Wait, where did my whole paycheck go?’”


Written by Daisy Levine | Graphics and Design by Anvitha Nekkanti


For Koesler, a low income and first generation college student, moving off campus has been the most cost-effective decision. However, her apartment in Brookline is much further than her friends living on and around Comm. Ave. “I’m finding time to see my friends on campus,” she said. “It’s definitely more of a struggle, but it’s what I’ve had to do to afford to go to BU and afford to live in Boston.” Her sometimes stunted social presence, she says, is still worth the education she receives from BU. Boston specifically, she said, has granted her a lot of opportunities in journalism. She does, however, wish she didn’t have to turn some of those down because of money. Upon receiving internship offers, Koesler also had to decline certain jobs that were unpaid. She knows she had classmates who were able to put covetous titles on their resumes that she wasn’t able to partake in.

“I’ve heard a lot of friends who don’t have as much money refer to themselves as, ‘Oh, I’m boring. I haven’t done very much,’” he said. “They’ll always depict my friends who do have more money as being so interesting and so worldly.” This creates a strong sense of insecurity, Willis said, and he believes these students will often find themselves less interesting. They have no stories to share that match clubbing in Berlin or skiing with Christian Bale.

“They could afford different internships and different work than I could,” she said. “And that’s just a fact of life when it comes to income.”

Still, Willis said, one’s differences in how they grew up only make them more interesting to be around. BU, for him and thousands of other students, has developed a strong sense of belonging and opportunity.

In a competitive field like journalism, Koesler and many others cannot afford major metropolitan internships due to immovable parts like wages and housing costs, forging a stir of insecurity socially, academically, and professionally.

For BU and hundreds of other colleges in the nation, a diverse student body is what makes the school go round. Urban universities crave the various experiences of its students who come from different walks of life.

Koesler, however, credits BU for all of the help the university offers her in terms of her financial boundaries.

“Even if I’m going to be paying loans until I’m 100 years old,” Koesler said. “The relationships and the opportunities have really made it worth it.”

Willis, who attended public high school just outside of Atlanta, GA, understands how students feel behind others who grew up with tutors, expensive field trips, and other forms of educational enrichment.


Written by Ella Donovan | Designed by Chelsea Kuo Graphics by GT Nguyen

Stay Focused... If You Want. How Gen Z students are battling their shrinking attention spans. Depending on your age, your attention might wane after just a few lines of this article. Maybe you’ll think about the Wordle, an impending paper deadline, or something in your Amazon cart. You are not at fault for this. An online article by Keystone Education Group, titled “The first 8 seconds – capturing the attention of Gen Z students,” can attest to our vulnerability to distraction. Per a 2015 Microsoft study, Gen Z has an eight-second attention span— four seconds less than a millennial’s. “The study attributes this decrease to the generation’s constant exposure to digital content and multiple screens… Gen Z is used to immediate answers,” states Keystone. The rise of video-sharing social media apps has made short-form content a staple for engaging users, capturing viewers’ attention in under a minute. Gen Z dominates platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, and these apps have drastically shrunk their attention spans.

“Workforces may be excited to invite younger people, who are wellversed in internet culture,” explains Alex McArver (CAS ‘26). “But dayto-day, older generations will likely be frustrated with their longer-term commitment levels.”

“Social media has affected everyone’s ability to have long attention spans, like myself,” claims Zoe Rahaim (COM ‘26). “It’s even changing how businesses are advertising themselves.”

In a lecture hall of students studying rigorous, high-commitment fields, the arrays of computer tabs completely unrelated to the material raises concern. Still, we cannot panic.

Countless Gen Z students like Zoe acknowledge the issue at hand. Nearly an entire generation with short attention spans is entering professional environments, likely clashing with members of older generations.

We know we’re conditioned to fast-paced trends. It is important to limit unnecessary screen time and stay motivated by focusing on what brings us joy. This way, we can be effective role models for future generations.


Written by Christina Younan | Designed by Lauren Mann | Photographed by Amanda Hess

What does being affiliated with Greek life at BU mean? *TW: This article includes themes of sexual assault* The phenomenon of Greek Life is ever-present in the media. From rush TikTok to national news, college students are bound to be heavily invested. With about 10% of the BU student body affiliated with Greek Life, how do Panhellenic students versus non-affiliated students perceive the polarizing institution of Greek Life? I interviewed eight current BU students, some of which are in, have since dropped out, or have never joined Greek Life. All interviewed students are made anonymous due to regulations mandated by on-campus organizations, as well as for personal privacy. Given that BU has ten sororities and eight fraternities with many students rushing every year, it is clear that there is a salient incentive for underclassmen to want to join Greek Life—the connections seem to be a big draw. A current member notes that “the pros are definitely the people, the friends you can make… especially as a freshman.” Moreover, many noted the social benefits of joining, namely participating in nightlife and mixers with other chapters, as well as connections with alumni. There are downsides to the institution as well though. Sexual assault and harassment is a prevalent problem on college campuses, but especially in Greek Life organizations. A 2013 Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice study noted that women in sororities are 74% more likely to be raped than other college women. One student commented that “the way that people bind themselves together…has really affected my perception of Greek Life,” regarding the violence prevalent in the Greek Life institution. Inclusion in Greek Life is crucial when discussing it, as it promotes belonging at its core. One active sorority member notes that, “I think BU is overall a pretty inclusive school of Greek Life.” Multiple identities were echoed throughout topics of diversity, mainly being race, socioeconomics, and physical presentation. A sorority member notes that while BU Greek Life has progressed in including more racially diverse members, it can be a “con too because some [organizations] will sometimes use token POC.”


A student who dropped after pledging a fraternity explains that, “If you’re fat, you don’t get in. If you’re white, you have like an 80% boost. And if you’re rich, that’s like a 100% auto-bid.” The financial aspect of Greek Life is a consideration for many students. An unaffiliated student claims, “I don’t think that anyone who’s not upper-class could ever afford Greek life at BU, thereby not making it inclusive… and can lead to a really narrow perspective.” There have been efforts to promote inclusion within Greek Life, with multiple chapters assembling Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committees, some hosting weekly meetings, and posting educational content on social media. One active sorority member notes that this committee “all works together to create content and provide resources for POC, LGBTQ+, AAPI girls in [their] chapter and in BU.” When referencing these efforts, an unaffiliated student remarks that “it is hard to mask an organization that has the fundamentals of being exclusionary…the system was not made to achieve safety and inclusion.” Today’s Greek Life is deeply linked to its history, as it was founded on racism, sexism, and homophobia. One unaffiliated student explains that “frats were formed…for the purpose of exclusion. They did not let anyone, Black, Jewish, gay, anyone that was not a white man, join their secret club.” There is a sector of Greek Life for affinity purposes. One student notes, “There’s organizations that are devoted specifically to marginalized groups, like Jewish fraternities. There’s also the Divine Nine organizations, which are historically Black fraternities because black people were excluded from those kinds of spaces.”

“if you're educated… about systemic racism, about the fat-phobia in Greek Life… about how to be an upstander rather than a bystander… I wouldn't discourage you from joining Greek Life.”

When asked if they would encourage people to join Greek Life, there was a general consensus that it is specific to the individual’s goals and means. One member notes that “the financial stuff can be really hard, but if you can, I would encourage people to join. I know a lot of chapters are very inclusive and you can definitely make a good group of friends.” One unaffiliated student states, “if you’re educated…about systemic racism, about the fatphobia in Greek Life…about how to be an upstander rather than a bystander… I wouldn’t discourage you from joining Greek Life.” Although chapters should be lauded for implementing DEI efforts, it is crucial for prospective members and all students to learn its history, as well as ongoing injustice and danger within the Greek Life community. One interviewee shared a message that is important to echo: “Learn about how to be safe at frats in terms of alcohol consumption…how to watch out for creepy people, and how to know when it’s time to go. I also think that to be in Greek Life safely, you… have to look out for those people who have been marginalized from Greek Life and from this country since its inception.”


La Cocina Mundial:

Colombian Food in Boston

Written by Sophia Keohane Designed by Tamar Ponte Photographed by Mirabel Chen As a little girl, I always looked forward to trips to Señora Angela’s hair salon. The second we opened the door to the salon, we were met with enthusiastic hairdressers and magazines filled with varieties of haircuts. Thus would begin a 6 hour period of sitting and waiting. Although this may seem strange, it didn’t matter that my mom spent hours chatting in the chair or that the hairspray made me cough. It didn’t matter because I knew I would be handed a greasy brown bag at the end of the day. In that bag was my holy grail—an empanada from a Colombian bakery.

up where I went to get a haircut, the Carlos Vives we listened to on the way over, or the fact that all of my favorite foods were Colombian. When asked what my favorite food was, I would quickly respond, “Pizza.” Everyone would nod along. I wonder how they would have reacted if I said that I really loved empanadas with hot potatoes and pulled chicken, or what would have happened if I tried to pronounce some of the spanish words that were tied to the foods I loved. They might have laughed. I wasn’t brave enough, or old enough, to want to find out.

I would look out the window on the car ride home, sipping on my Postobon, happy as can be. We would pull into the driveway, full and happy. Beyond our hair salon trips, my mom would try to surprise me and my sister with Colombian food any chance she got. Trips from Florida came with the gift of deditos—a fried dough and cheese delicacy. Any time she was in East Boston, she would come home with empanadas to spare. She actively tried to remind us of our culture’s food— which was hard to do in Newton, Massachusetts.

As a young adult, I’ve attempted to reconnect with my Colombian identity. It’s proven to be a major challenge, especially given that I’ve been living in places that aren’t super Colombian. When I thought about ways to reconnect with this aspect of my identity, I remembered reaching out for that greasy bag. Sitting in the car and munching on a hot empanada made me feel so connected to who I was. Eating Colombian food has always been integral to appreciating my culture, and always made me egregiously happy. To better understand myself today and to understand what it means to be Latino in Boston, I’ve decided to go out into Boston and connect with Colombian restaurants.

Even though I loved the food I was eating, I would hide my cultural identity when I went to school. I would never bring


The best local latino businesses, the best way to celebrate your culture.

La Sultana Bakery I asked my mom where our usual spot was, and this was the name she brought up. I’m not sure how I never knew it before because this restaurant was, and still is, integral to my life. This bakery is the producer of the brown paper bag, after all. Inside, there are rows of pastries behind glass countertops. If you’re interested in replicating my childhood joy, I highly recommend the buñuelos and any empanada (they’re handmade)! The crust of the empanada is crisp and has a lovely crunch to it. It’s greasy but not heavy. My usual is the chicken empanada. The flavors are vibrant– the potato is soft and works so well with the texture of the chicken. This savory delight was a staple of my youth, and eating it now has brought back so many memories. The saddest part of the empanada experience is getting to the other end of the crust– because you know it’s over. The buñuelo is also another classic for me. It’s cheesy and sweet, and every bite comes with a lovely dual crunch and softness. They’re in a round ball shape. As I munched

on my buñuelo, I couldn’t help but remember my tias making them in Florida. They labored over hot fryers under the boiling sun and served them hot. I remember running up to the table, trying to collect as many as I could in my tiny hands. Creating a buñuelo is a painstaking task but evidently worth it. The buñuelos from La Sultana are just as good as the ones my tias make, if not better (don’t tell them I said that). It’s a bit out of the way from campus, but the food and the experience are very worth it. The restaurant plays the music that I listen to at home. We order in Spanish and celebrate our culture. I like to remember the feeling of cracking open boxes of my favorite foods on my Abuela’s countertop and scrambling for the pastries I wanted. Although I’m not at my Abuela’s countertop in Barranquilla, all of my favorite pastries from Colombia are ready to order at La Sultana. For a classic Colombian hand-held delight, I highly recommend La Sultana.


El Penol 3 My next venture was to El Peñol 3, which is in Brookline. We were seated immediately, and the service remained quick throughout. Although the seating area is pretty basic, the food is anything but that. When presented with menus, we were given a sprawling list of options. Our first stop was the beverage section. I was able to try the mango lemonade, the passion fruit lemonade, and the strawberry lemonade. All were refreshing and addictive. My personal favorite was the strawberry lemonade– it wasn’t overly sweet and had a natural taste to it. We kept passing our cups around, remarking how good the drinks were and how, next time, we would get what the other had gotten. Our food came out quickly, and it did not disappoint. I tried the arroz con pollo and the tabla peñol. I didn’t order the arroz con pollo, but I wish I had. It was delectable, and I had to stop myself from stealing my sister’s entire plate. I

These restaurants remind me of the flavors of Colombia. They remind me of my identity. Eating at Colombianowned restaurants is something I want to do more of beyond these two places, and I encourage people who aren’t Colombian to do so. These restaurants encapsulate my culture like no other place in Boston. Food has helped me reconnect to who I am, and I know that it can happen to others. Support your local Latino businesses– you’ll learn more about the world around you and support a group of people who aren’t represented enough in the area.


ordered an appetizer platter, which included these melt-in-your-mouth mini empanadas. I will definitely be going back– the prices are reasonable, and the plates are massive. In addition to enjoying the food, I spent a lot of the meal looking around. There were families at every table, speaking in Spanish. Across from us was a couple doing a crossword puzzle, picking at the same appetizer plate I ordered. When I breathed in, I remembered the streets of Colombia and the food I’d had there. I remember the bustle of the restaurants, the live music, the connection. Something I hadn’t realized until I sat down at El Peñol was how integral the connection was to my Latina identity. The more I spoke to other Colombians, the more understood I felt. Going to these restaurants exposed me to the idea of connecting with members of my culture, and I look forward to doing so over food.

Specializing in the Sandwich. Written by Elizabeth Luongo | Designed by Emma Hill | Photographed by Ria Huang The famous sandwich shop, Mike & Patty’s, in Bay Village has an extensive historical background. With the original location having only 175 square feet and four stools, this classic location has minimal room for customers. However, if a visitor mentions “breakfast sandwich” in Boston, they will likely be pointed in the direction of Mike & Patty’s. The restaurant was opened in 2008 by two friends who originally worked at South End Formaggio. They grew the restaurant to the highest-rated breakfast sandwich shop in Boston, with over 1,200 reviews. Mike & Patty’s is in such high demand that workers can make up to 350-400 sandwiches in one day. Although they specialize in breakfast sandwiches, you can find a variety of other types of sandwiches on the menu. The “Fancy” is their morning cure-all with two fried eggs, bacon, cheddar, avocado, red onion, and house-made mayo on Iggy’s multigrain bread. Or their “Breakfast Torta” consisting of two fried eggs, cheddar, pickled

jalapeños, potatoes, black beans, salsa, and avocado with bulky torta bread, pushes this gloriously messy sandwich over the top. The two original owners’ experience in the Formaggio kitchen explains the generous amount of cheese that comes on each sandwich. However, if cheese isn’t your thing, they included a sandwich labeled “The Vegan One” with all plant-based ingredients. On a flower house English muffin, you will find just egg, vegan smoked gouda, and blue oyster mushroom hash with maple sriracha syrup. Although this sandwich shop has made a name for itself, it started with humble beginnings and simply a love for sandwiches. So, whether you’re a South End resident seeking a quick breakfast on your way to work or a visitor searching for a memorable meal, this sandwich shop offers an unforgettable experience.


Silver Screen Feasts Unwrapping the Culinary Magic of Holiday Movies

Written By John Salloum | Designed by Ebony Nkrumah | Photographed by Mirabel Chin

As the crisp breath of winter slowly starts to wave through the air, I find myself reminiscing of simpler times in my childhood spent with my family. The time we spent together during the holiday season, the scent of warm cookies that we had just baked filling the air, the laughter and joy we shared as we watched our favorite movies on the TV: these moments are amongst the happiest in my life. Now in my adulthood, I am kindly reminded of these cherished memories through the food displayed from those old movies, almost as if they are small time capsules hidden away in these films, and today I will be talking about a small selection of those festive I will be talking about a small selection of those festive treats. One movie that I always found would appear on tv was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and rightfully so, as I consider it one of the more iconic films for the holiday season. The story follows the misfortunes of our protagonist Clark Griswold and his attempt, and obsession, to host the perfect family christmas. Poor Clark sees a lot of his efforts go to waste, most notably the roast turkey he spent quite a bit of time on. After he says his toast before the holiday dinner, Clark cuts into the turkey expecting for it to be a juicy, tender delight, only for it to be a dry mess that deflates like a balloon the second he cuts into it. Thankfully there is another food item that appeared earlier on in the film, although again it was most likely not to Clarks liking. Clark’s cousin, Eddie, is one of the main bringers of chaos of the film. The second he enters his dog running past him to the tree Clark had set up and proceeding to drink the water from it. All while Clark is worried, Eddie tells him to relax and hands him a glass of his eggnog to drink with him. While it is never stated, one can only assume by his mannerism that Eddie may have added a bit of alcohol to the drink, perhaps a bit of rum.

Eddie is not alone when it comes to festive mayhem, and for our next topic, we must move to my mothers personal favorite Christmas movie, Elf. Will Ferrell stars as our main character, Buddy, providing one of his most lively, upbeat, and downright wacky performances from his entire catalog. One of the most well known scenes of this movie is the notorious “Breakfast Spaghetti.” As Buddy is still adjusting to things in the big city, he decides to treat his mom to spaghetti for breakfast, but he does so by adding maple syrup to it before serving her; that alone showcased the sharp contrast between Buddy and everyone else. However just a few minutes later, the directors decided to take it a step further when it was Buddy’s turn to eat. He also had spaghetti, but decided to dress it with chocolate, candies, marshmallows, maple syrup, and chocolate syrup. Buddy then takes an inhumanely large bite of the dish, before realizing something is not quite to his liking. He then adds a box of pop tarts on top, uses both of his hands to mix the spaghetti, and stuffs his face with handfuls of his dish. The director had stated that Will Farrel had to do several reshoots of the scene, and at the end suffered from a horrible headache and insomnia from all the sugar. The last movie I’ll discuss, and my personal favorite, will always hold a special place in my heart: The Polar Express. The hot chocolate scene is what inspired me to write this article in the first place. The scene itself is short and sweet, a musical piece that follows the conductor and his assistants as they serve hot chocolate to the kids on the polar express. The train turns into a fine dining experience for a moment, as streams of liquid chocolate you can almost smell through the tv begin to fly across the train, sheltering into the kid’s cups. This scene brings me back to when I would spend the day making homemade hot chocolate with my family, we would always pause right before this scene to get everything ready before continuing it with our own hot chocolate. Whenever I re-watch the film, I can almost smell the sweet aroma it would bring to the house. As time continues to move forward, these movies and their delectable offerings serve as timeless threads that connect me with those precious moments spent with my family. The comforting warm flavors and scents of the holiday season become not just a display of the festivities, but a constant reminder that these memories will be eternally cherished.

“As I walked into the library, I never


eyes interlocked, that’s all it took

The concept of love at first sight has been a topic of fascination for many centuries, and especially in today’s generation: it has been deeply immortalized in songs, literature, and movies. To see this, just take a look at the countless movies based on this topic, such as “Wedding Planner,” “500 days of Summer,” and the classic “Sleeping Beauty,” where she sings the song “Once Upon a Dream.” There is even a new Netflix movie literally titled “Love at First Sight.” There is a whole genre of music involving love songs such as “Are You Falling in Love,” “What love feels like,” and more. Now, even peoples’ personal experiences with this saying is that when they first met their partner, they knew at that exact moment in time they were the ‘one.’ This concept has been so ingrained in our heads, that we grew up believing that maybe one day we will find our love through sight. Yet, at the end of the day, it all has the same connotation—that with just a glance, you are transported to another reality: a reality of intense attraction, a sense of familiarity, and connection. One glance is all it takes to fall in love.

for me to fall in love with you.”

The question is: is it a charming myth or a tangible reality?

expected for my gaze to fall upon yours. I was too focused on my work to even bother, but when I look up from my book and I catch your glance I never expected for the concept of love at first sight to be truly real. Yet at that moment I knew it was because when our







T, H E


Written by Pamela Alverado Designed by Daisy Eldredge Photographed by Mia Anderson

Scientifically speaking, attraction is a complex interplay of biology and psychology. So, the concept that love is through the heart is incorrect, because the idea has to do more with your mind. Everything in regard to love is actually our brains’ doing. Physical and chemical changes occur in your body when you are falling in love as a result of large releases of neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and dopamine. Dopamine helps fire up the brain’s reward centers, resulting in a euphoric state, while oxytocin helps you trust someone new in a new way and create a deeper bond 1. The significance of this is that you may not have a 100% genuine connection with the individual, considering that you only have seen them once in your entire life, but the background chemical reaction is signaling otherwise. So, all of the warm fuzziness you may feel – the sweaty palms and racing heart – is thanks to your brain. Furthermore, there was a 2017 study conducted by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands that concluded “love at first sight” may be actually really a “positive illusion”— meaning that after so many years of being with your partner, you look back into your memories and think that you fell in love immediately because of the love felt for each other months later. At the end of the day, attraction really is just one aspect of love. There are many factors that may be needed to know someone is unconditionally and irrevocably in love with them. Love involves

deeper elements, such as emotional intimacy, commitment, and compatibility, rather than the idea of “Oh, you look pretty, let’s be together.” These elements progress over time as you learn the person better. This leads to the idea that first sight love is really more of an intense infatuation with the other person rather than love. Another fact that may contribute to this phenomenon is the concept of “idealization.” When we meet someone for the first time, we don’t know much about them. Heck, we’ve never even talked to them. So, our minds tend to fill the gaps with our own ideals and expectations, the what-ifs of the situation. “What if ” they are this way, “what if ” they are that way, “what if ” they like that, “what if ” they don’t etc. We truly don’t know until we talk to them. When we don’t, we tend to project our own desires, our own wants and needs onto the other person, our own things that we want in them. Thus, we create an idealized image that may not match reality. We have built this entire fantasy of “what if ” with just one look. This idealization can make us feel like we’re in love because the other person seems perfect for us. However, this feeling can be fleeting once we get to know them better and their real traits start to surface.


Now knowing this, we arrive at the conclusion: is love at first sight a charming myth or tangible reality? The answer may be surprising… It really depends on how we define love. If we define love as a deep emotional bond that develops over time, then love at first sight might be more of a myth than reality. If you define it as an intense feeling of attraction and instant connection, then love at first sight could be a real experience for you. Ultimately, whether or not love at first sight exists may not be as important as what we do after: after we interlock eyes, after the butterflies flutter away, and our hearts return to our normal pace. True love is about building a strong relationship based

on mutual respect with one another, understanding, communication, and shared values which takes much more than just a single glance. While the concept of love at first sight is truly romantic and appealing, films and music have instilled that in us, making us fantasize and daydream over it, yearning for it. It’s essential to remember that lasting love involves more than just instant attraction but time and effort. So, whether you believe in love at first sight or not, remember that true love is worth waiting for. I mean, hey, I’m still waiting for mine. “Once in a lifetime you meet someone who changes everything. I knew at that moment when we crossed paths down by the lake you were the one for me. I knew from your look that you would fill the gap that I was missing.”


Does the

Skin Care

Industry Really Care? Written by Natalie Hickey | Photographed by Emma Almaraz Designed by Madeline Michalowski Every time I open my phone, there’s a skincare advertisement calling my name. Hailey Bieber’s Rhode Skin’s Peptide Glazing Fluid and Lip Tint, Summer Fridays’ infamous Jet Lag M a s k , Su p e r g o o p ! ’s U n s e e n Su n s c r e e n , and so many more.

from “which most imperfections,” moisturizer gives complexion.” I’ve desire the “perfect rather the “perfect

Makeup tutorials have switched focus foundation covers the to “which tinted you the most natural found that I no longer makeup look,” but skin.”

According to business reports, for the first time in a long time, the skincare industry is growing faster than the makeup industry. The skincare industry has started to market itself as a makeup industry—what are the effects of this? While the intent is good, this fad is likely to have negative effects. The promotion of “letting your true skin show” sounds affirmative; however, skincare is more sensitive than many may realize. Even internet icon Alix Earle credits her TikTok fame to her relatable skincare posts, attempting to normalize “not so perfect skin.” Acne, dark spots, bumps, and under-eye bags are all very real and common—even I have sunk hundreds of dollars into products claiming to eradicate these issues. After all, these impressive marketing tactics mixed with social media influencers raving over products makes it hard to resist. What sounds better than the “glass skin” that allows for a quick and easy nomakeup look? However, as I’ve continued to purchase item after item, I’ve started to realize that not all of these products are as beneficial as they claim to be. This industry is persuading us to buy a far more extensive – and possibly overwhelming – skin care routine than necessary. Instead, we should be applying the saying, “Less is more.” Individuals have different needs based on their skin type – dry, oily, or combination – and it’s important to research what ingredients will help or make it worse, and which products actually have the active ingredients they claim to have. It’s important to remember that imperfect skin is normal. Our “imperfections’’ are often our best features, so remember this when fighting the lure of a “glass skin”-endorsing product.


How being present is the fastest way to

n i p p e s a s h

Carpe Diem – you have probably heard this quote from the famous Roman poet, Horace, at least a couple of times. “Seize the day” and “live in the moment” are the two most common translations you may find when looking up the term’s meaning. We often use this quote to point out how important it is to enjoy life while you can, since we don’t know what the future holds. I heard this quote for the first time back in middle school, and I remember vividly understanding the meaning of the literal words; however, I did not know what standing and living by these words meant, or how to do it. Was enjoying having fun? Is living in the moment not worrying about the future? Over the short period of my existence, I have found that these words represent a simpler concept than I first thought they did. Being present is as easy as it could be, and the impact it has on both your mood and health is more significant than I imagined. Being present is the fastest, yet most practical, way to happiness.

Be where your feet are. We often find ourselves tied somewhere our bodies are not. The future hasn’t come yet, and the past is no longer in front of us—it’s in the past. Uncertainty is the only certainty we have about the future, yet our heads are able to create stories based on information we have yet to acquire. The same goes for the past: we tend to overthink every little aspect of what could’ve been different. Drawing ourselves away from the current moment only prevents us from enjoying every little moment the present has to offer. Being present starts with coming back to your senses. Open your eyes, observe where you are, and hear what’s going on around. Be conscious about your breathing. Inhale and exhale intentionally. You’ll see how good you feel in just a few seconds; try to make this a lifestyle. Allow yourself to take control of your body, and therefore, of your mind.

Written by Beatriz Iglesias | Designed by Sarah Tocci | Graphics by Alicia Chiang


Flow through your day. Flowing is that state of mind you find yourself in when becoming fully immersed in an activity. When thoughts and words just come easily and you are moving slowly, yet effectively. “The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost,” positive psychologist Csíkszentmihályi said in an interview with Wired magazine. Sadly, the number one prevention from flowing is the device we most use: our phones. We need several minutes to achieve this state of flow, and checking our phone interrupts this process. You can prove this yourself very easily, check how much time it takes you to finish an assignment by looking at your phone several times and then try it without looking for a couple hours. Do the same thing while having a conversation with someone. You’ll see that paying full attention allows you to perform better and maximize your potential, while enjoying the process more and investing less energy. Allow yourself to flow and spend a little less time on your phone. One Christmas as I was walking down the street, I read, “This year the biggest present is to be present.” This quote has stuck with me, and the more immersed and engaged I am with what I’m doing and those around me, the happier and calmer I am. Everyday I try to live by what Carpe Diem stands for, rather than just understanding what it means. I encourage you to be where your feet are and allow yourself to flow through your days. You deserve it!














Written by Analise Bruno Designed by Tamar Ponte Photographed by William Chapman

Make way for the 60s! A period marked by sweeping social change holds significance not only in U.S. history but also in fashion history. With the dissolution of many old traditional hierarchies, the way for modernism was slowly paved. How people dressed was a direct reflection of shifting attitudes surrounding personal identity. As with any social trend, The fashion industry was quick to respond by inventing designs that were more fun, young, fresh, and specially catered towards younger people. Heightened economic power fueled a newfound sense of industry, and the concept of designing for only the elite members of society became a thing of the past. Teenagers ruled the fashion scene; from more radical styles to brighter pops of color, the way of traditional dressing would be changed forever. Trends were characterized by high-impact color, dimension, and innovative linework. Designers fell in love with man-made materials to create eye-catching and color-popping garments including PVC, polyester, acrylic, nylon, and spandex, among others (definitely not the most environmentally friendly, but staples for the time). This incredible transformation of style was something unlike anything seen before. Women were adorned in unbelievably short mini skirts and brighter garments, while men ventured into the realm of wearing tunics, capes, and bold patterns. Ideas like these would’ve been mere fantasy in the 1950s. But it’s not just the clothes that stand out—hair and makeup trends also got a big reset. Makeup was bigger, bolder, and brighter, and the hair got hotter, higher, and (bee) hived. Women tended to sport a middle path with bumped ends, Disney large beehives, or dimensional bobs. Meanwhile, men frequently sported a more slick-back, “ducktail” style (one piece sticking up in the back). So why go back to the 60s for the photoshoot? The BU Buzz is committed to cultivating a fresh, dynamic, and unique spread; we want our style to be as bold as our team. Gathering inspiration from Pinterst, our team settled on a style that would not only photograph really well but was also really fun to piece together. We spent hours searching through closets, scouring thrift shops, and shopping online to find pieces that aptly represented what the 1960s was all about—a break from tradition and conventionality.


Kay’s dress, sunglasses, and Go-Go boots are Amazon. She accessorizes with a belt from JASGOOD Store and earrings from H&M.


Mateen’s turtleneck is from COOFANDY. He pairs it with a Target vest and pants from Gant. His shoes are from Amazon.



In a period dubbed “The Swingin’ 60s,” gogo boots became a style staple. With their plastic texture, shiny feel, knee-high cover, and square toe, these shoes ruled the scene. Often paired with a mini skirt or mini dress, these star-studded boots first gained popularity through singer Nancy Sinatra. Sinatra’s hit single “These Boots are Made for Walkin’’ earned the boots a lot of traction. With any fashion staple, the true test of popularity can be found in how long the boots have remained in circulation. While in 2023, many aren’t wearing traditional go-go boots, the main tenets of their style – the chunky heel and block front –have integrated their way into many modern-style winter and fall boots. These small details that have withstood the test of time prove the fashion of the 1960s was truly revolutionary.



S 40

Kay’s dress and sunglasses are Amazon. She accessorizes with a belt from JASGOOD Store. She wears earrings from H&M.


Hanna’s dress is Zara. She accesorizes with a JASGOOD belt and Cider head scarf. She wears sunglasses from Amazon and earrings from Fashion Nova.


Hanna’s dress is Zara. She accessorizes with a JASGOOD belt and Cider head scarf. She wears sunglasses and Go-Go boots from Amazon and earrings from Fashion Nova.



Mateen’s cherry sweater is thrifted. His neck scarf is Amazon and his pants are Gant. He pairs this look with dress shoes from Amazon.

Hanna’s blue turtlneck is French Connection. She pairs this top with an old Forever 21 plaid skirt. She accesorizes with thrifted earrings and pearls from Francesca’s. Her shoes are Aldo.

Kay’s sparkly dress is from Target. She accesorizes with slides from Sincerely Jules and earrings from Target.




F as h i o n and

M u s i cc Art

For ms That Go

Hand In Hand A look into how music artists extend their brand through fashion. Written by Ali Cook | Designed by Sarah Tocci | Graphics by GT Nguyen and Madeline Michalowski


video clips took songs to another level. Their showcased fashion and stage presence embodied and accentuated their music, giving their media image some personality.

Olivia Rodrigo. SZA. Sabrina Carpenter. Taylor Swift. Renee Rapp. These are just some of the big names of female artists in music today. However, what comes to mind is not just their names or music, but also an image of a face, an album cover, or an outfit—and of course, the image of a real person. Nowadays, artists’ brands stretch way beyond their music. They are musicians, but in the age of social media, they are also public figures. Artists craft their appearances and posts around the vibe of their music, primarily through fashion. Artists’ outfits are extensions of themselves, and most of the time are used as tools to build their brand. A lot of female pop artists today write autobiographically—fans get attached to their favorite musicians as people as we learn about their friendships, relationships, and heartbreaks. On social media, we get a look into their lives in real time, just as we do with our friends. We get tour photos, behind-the-scenes content—but what are we really looking for in all of those pictures?

Aesthetics, appearances, and outfits. Today, fashion and music are so naturally intertwined, with social media, performance outfits, red carpet style, and music videos. While it feels normal to get daily content from our favorite artists today, years ago, receiving even a brief clip of these celebrities out and about was extremely rare. In the early 20th century, musicians and Hollywood actors dressed up for major, premiere, and elite events, but the real combination of fashion and music came with the start of MTV in 1981. “Video Killed The Radio Star,” by The Buggles took the world by storm as the first music video played on MTV. An allusion to the title, the song was about how the music world was transitioning to video - a new, innovative medium that allowed artists to show more personality than ever before - particularly through their fashion and movement. While music videos were broadcasted on TV previously, MTV took that idea and ran with it so it’s viewership could skyrocket by the end of the 1980s. The station played music videos around the clock, and later expanded to other music media. Seemingly out of nowhere, artists took on a role larger than the singers of songs: they became performers. Carefully crafted dance moves and

One artist who took a music video and made it completely hers was the queen of pop herself, Madonna. Her first number 1 hit was, “Like a Virgin” from 1984. In the video, Madonna sports classic 80s hair voluminous and perfectly out of control - as well as a timeless red lip, and dark eyeshadow combo. She adorns a black cut out dress layered on top of blue leggings as she dances on a boat through Venice, Italy. Other outfits featured in the hit video include a short, lacey wedding-esque dress that are shown off as she dances while laying on top of a bed. Mixed in, there are clips of a lion casually walking around, and by the end of the video, Madonna is held by a man in a lion mask. This video caused a lot of controversy—Madonna used the lion, religion, and the wedding dress as symbols to create a deeper, sexually-empowering message. In its time, the video rebelled against society’s restricting sexual attitude towards women. Set in a traditionally religious location, viewers found the video impure and problematic, however, this is, arguably, what Madonna wanted. Madonna’s costumes in the video developed her image, personality, controversy, and fame. Through only a short four-minute creative video, Madonna aptly set the stage and extravagance standard for female pop artists today. She successfully embraced feminine power in her music subjects, the video opening up the music world to engage in “scandalous,” progressive, and real behavior through fashion, dance, and musical meanings. In essence, she defined what it means to be a “pop star” today. In modern fashion and music, we find artists who write about their romantic and intimate experiences in outfits that match that feminine power. Sabrina Carpenter is a great example of one of these modern-day Madonnas. Sabrina’s music and brand encapsulates being a young woman trying to run your own life, while also trying to manage young love and feelings. She wears a lot of pastel colors, sparkles, and dresses with interesting silhouettes—some skin tight and some over-emphasizing a feminine hourglass shape. She often sports classic platform gogo boots and heels, carefully balancing out her big, long blonde hair on top. Her mix of a sexy and innocent matches her music topics. Like Madonna, Sabrina writes about sexual experience and giddy crush feelings in her song, “Nonsense,” where she uses innuendos and onomatopoeias with a fun pop beat to match her thoughts and feelings.

Sabrina’s image and branding is interesting to follow when looking at her history. Growing up as a Disney Channel actress, she matured with her fan base. Carpenter had the awkward Disney Channel layers and full coverage, family-friendly outfits for a while—all until it abruptly changed as she became involved in a love triangle with Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett. While the world painted Sabrina as a homewrecker, villainizing her for hurting Olivia, Sabrina defended her character. The publicity matured her image, and in her next album she transformed this new personna by using sexual, romantic, and intimate themes in her album, “emails i can’t send.” Speaking of Olivia Rodrigo, she is another young woman ruling the music industry with a distinct style and aesthetic. Olivia’s music similarly reflects on heartbreak, dealing with teenage/young adult emotions, and living in society’s harsh eyes. In her newest album, “Guts,” Olivia mixes an early 2000 angsty sound in with her piano power ballads. In the “Guts” related posts and appearances, Olivia wears edgier outfits, including bright red lipstick, fishnets, mini skirts, bodycon dresses, and leather gloves. She bases her aesthetic on purple and, more recently, red. Appealing to teenagers dealing with similar life issues, Olivia Rodrigo emulates that angsty-teen vibe. Renee Rapp is a similar up and coming pop star whose fashion coincides with her individuality. She often wears a mix of traditionally feminine and masculine pieces. She sports a lot of baggy pants and blazers styled with tighter, more revealing tops. Her street, alternative style and more unique looks align with her breaking the status quo. She is an openly bisexual woman, speaking often about her queer identity. Music and fashion are both forms of expression where she can rebel against society’s conventions. Likewise, SZA is another female artist who truly embraces the alternative style. She has the best of both worlds, sometimes wearing tight, mini pieces, other times oversized t-shirts and pants sets. She sings about relationships, sex, and beauty standards as a woman while playing with syllables and beats in her alternative R&B style music. While all of these artists embrace fashion and express themselves through their style, public appearances also cause and amplify insecurity surrounding beauty. Being in the public eye, their appearances are constantly scrutinized and commented on. Music


artists are on social media, in paparazzi photos, and on magazine covers constantly—this increased publicity, though it has its roots in success, can be incredibly damaging to self esteem. In, “Pretty Isn’t Pretty Enough,” Rodrigo sings about how she could change everything about herself and still be insecure and critical of her body, “cause pretty isn’t pretty enough anyway.” SZA also comments on how society’s standards of beauty are constantly changing. In “Special,” she sings, “I wanted to be thick, now I wanna be thin.” Taylor Swift also recently opened up about how much she has struggled with body image issues. In her documentary, “Miss Americana,” she talks about how impossible it is for women to keep up with society’s everchanging standards, and how she has struggled with eating disorders. The media that brings us music videos and fashion also brings us unrealistic beauty expectations and constant points of comparison. These lyrics and ideas, sadly, unify a lot of the artists fan bases— specifically, the pressure put on appearances. Teens flock to Rodrigo’s relatable lyrics, with all teenage girls deal with the realization that “pretty isn’t pretty enough.” Although physical appearance can cause insecurity, it can also be a tool for pride and individuality. Your fashion puts yourself and your personality on display—It is a personal choice that can allow you to celebrate and express yourself. You can dress like an emo-teen and listen to “All American Bitch,” one day, and dress like a sexy, single starlet listening to “Feather” the next: there are no rules. Fashion lets artists embody their music and feelings; and we as fans can listen to music and embody fashion that aligns with our feelings. Go find your vibe of the day, put your playlist on, and dress how you want.

femininity glows through

RIBBONS AND BOWS There is significant symbolism behind ribbons and bows that help convey femininity and womanhood. Written by Lily Smokler | Designed by Emma Hill | Photographed by Sophia Kysela

Ribbons and bows have been a trending piece in fashion this year. Whether it be ribbon itself or bow designs featured on clothing and jewelry, it’s everywhere! While this style is fashionable and a great way to elevate an outfit, there is also a greater meaning behind it. These items are often used to accessorize and elevate an outfit in a simple and low-key way. However, they can also double as a necessity: a strand of ribbon can be used as a ponytail to help keep hair up or be tied around pants when they are too big. Whether the intention is as an accessory or necessity, these ribbons express creativity and further symbolize feminism and womanhood. Ribbons and bows represent different aspects of womanhood, from creativity and selfexpression to necessities and how we

choose to confront adversity; even fashion adversities, such as oversized baggy jeans that need a ribbon to keep them up. The origin of ribbons dates all the way back to 6000 B.C.E., when civilizations began crafting fabrics. Over the course of history, their use has fluctuated. From being worn by French nobility and upper classes to eventually being a female-dominated piece and therefore a piece for women, ribbon has seen it all. While ribbon became a dominant female piece, its symbolism has changed over time. For example, ribbon was worn by women in the mid-20th century to symbolize signs of sexual availability and activity. However, as times changed and societal beliefs advanced, the ribbon began to represent love, specialty, and gentleness, all of which helped define womanhood. The various symbolisms speak to society during that time as well as the gender stereotypes and adversities that were taking place. The ribbon reflects both personal and societal worldviews and perceptions of

the time, and how they remained consistent through female adversity. Ribbons and bows are so special to womanhood for what they represent in the present, but also the journey and changes in symbolism over time. Regardless of how the meaning has changed, their use has been consistent, bringing together all generations of women and representations of femininity. Whether its self-expression or greater female connection, femininity truly glows through ribbons and bows.

The Evolution of Night-Out Attire

Written by Madison Lamacchia Designed by Ebony Nkrumah Photographed by James Roberts

From Evening Gowns to Mini Skirts

In today’s evening fashion scene, it is hard to miss the casual chic of denim jeans or the bold statement of leather pants. Equally popular is a short skirt, paired effortlessly with a cutoff shirt— an easy choice for young women before stepping out for the night. Yet, the captivating transition from the luxurious 1870s evening gowns to sleek cropped tops purchased via Alix Earle’s Amazon storefront tells an engaging story of the ever-changing fashion world.

Womens Evening Wear in The Early 20th Century The opulent spirit of the late 1800s’ Edwardian Era was exceptionally turbulent, as corsets and flowing skirts of lavish fabrics and trims continued to reign supreme. Delicate tea dresses with daring necklines graced the scene at glamorous soirées and gatherings, hinting at a simmering undercurrent of women’s rising independence. Women’s evening fashion underwent significant changes that mirrored the societal shifts and cultural transformations of the time. The fashion trends that marked the period were not only symbols of elegance and refinement, but also served as a reflection of women’s roles and changing societal norms.

The Roaring Twenties The 1920s marked a transformative period in women’s party fashion, standing as an iconic era for fashion history, characterized by the vibrant spirit of the Jazz Age. Ladies wore elegant afternoon or tea dresses, composed of sheer, layered fabrics in white or pastel colors. And, of course, there is the iconic flapper dress – sleeveless, knee-length, and often beaded, embroidered, or sequined – a more flamboyant choice for a night on the town. This bold and unapologetic aesthetic became a symbol of the changing status and aspirations of women, as new daring styles mirrored the increasing social and cultural freedoms experienced by women.

World War II and Post War During the World War II era, fabric rationing extinguished the more extravagant night-life fashion designs—in its place, offering more practical options. Kneelength dresses with slender silhouettes quickly gained popularity, reflecting the need for resourcefulness and functionality. Post-war, Christian Dior’s revolutionary, “New Look,” made a significant impact, by reintroducing a more feminine aesthetic. The style became characterized by full skirts and cinched waists—a drastic shift marking a return to elegance and glamor. These fresh designs came to signify a renewed sense of optimism and a departure from the austerity of the wartime era.


The Cultural Revolution of The 1960s

The cultural revolution of the 1960s left an inerasable mark on women’s evening fashion, redefining societal norms and challenging traditional dress codes. The era witnessed a large shift in attitudes, with fashion becoming a powerful tool for self-expression and liberation. The rise of the miniskirt – adorned with bold and psychedelic patterns – became a symbol of the era’s youthful rebellion and progressive spirit. Shift dresses and A-line silhouettes emerged as iconic styles that defined the era’s style, offering women a sense of freedom and versatility in their clothing choices. The 1960s cultural revolution not only transformed women’s partywear, but also laid the groundwork for a more liberated and boundarybreaking approach to fashion and self-expression.

liberated and boundarybreaking approach to fashion and self-expression.

The Glamor of the 1980s The 1980s is known in history for its extravagant fashions and conspicuous displays of wealth and power. The decade was marked by an explosion of color—often paired with loud but high-quality fabrics that exuded a sense of glamor. Formal dresses in this decade were most popular, often detailed with lace, velvet, bows, and puffy sleeves. These pieces were usually made of satin, and in colors such as black, blue, red, and green. The fusion of bold colors, exaggerated silhouettes, and shimmering textiles epitomized the exuberant spirit of the 80s—leaving an enduring legacy of unapologetic extravagance and unabashed confidence in women’s fashion.

The New Millenium

In the early 2000s, fashion trends encompassed a fusion of minimalism and luxury. The influence of red carpet events was evident in party wear, as designers emphasized sleek and sophisticated styles. However, following the sobering events of 2001, a conservative shift emerged, seen in the adoption of jeans for various occasions. Low-rise and skinny jeans were popular for going out, often paired with cropped or form-fitting shirts. Overall, the 2000s saw a mix of comfortable and statement-making going-out ensembles, highlighting the era’s blend of casual chic, glamor, and a hint of nostalgia for earlier fashion trends.

Modern Day While the disparity between the styles of the 1900s and contemporary fashion might initially appear striking—a closer examination reveals a reflection of a rich tapestry of historical influence. The market for women’s evening-wear today has undoubtedly been inspired by its respective elder pieces. Sudden revivals of corset tops, mini-skirts, and dresses echo trends that are nearly a decade old. While we often take the credit for most of these fashionforward fits, we must not forget the intricate interplay of past historical styles on today’s style. With each passing year, we continue to weave together a rich tapestry of style that transcends the boundaries of time.

The Quintessential First-Generation American

Traveling Experience:

Traveling to Your Family’s Home Country Written by Ashley Duong Graphics and Design by Madeline Michalowski As a first-generation American, it’s no secret that my experience has been a conglomerate of cultures and mismatched identities. Within my daily life, it serves as a back-burner struggle, one that only ignites when people ask me to speak Vietnamese or when my hands cannot innately and effortlessly cook my favorite Vietnamese dish. Nevertheless, I’d be deluding myself if I didn’t admit that most days, this dormant battle between my conflicting identities takes an emotional toll on me. In an equally paradoxical way, I’m lucky my family doesn’t spur on this dormant battle, as they’ve always encouraged me to lean into my American identity to assimilate into the world around me. This overwhelming feeling of conflict seemed to follow me everywhere, to the point where it infiltrated my seemingly good luck. At quite a young age, I had the privilege of traveling to Vietnam to visit my relatives and experience the country my parents called “home.” Traveling to your family’s home country, especially when it involves a seven-year-old’s idea of an international adventure, is easily written off as an opportunity for a lucky kid. Yet, when it came to me, a kid who had a faulty

understanding of her identity and the concept of home, the luck once again felt empty. Regardless, this understanding came after years of reflection and life lived, as I was far too young to fully conceptualize any of these feelings. As of today, I’ve traveled to Vietnam three times. The first trip was to celebrate my first birthday party (turning one is quite riveting, so much that I can’t remember it at all). The second took place sometime during elementary school, of which all I can remember is my brother needing to pee so badly that he went on the side of the road—a 12-hour flight was not for the weak. However, my third trip, in July 2016, was one of the most significant and symbolic moments of my life. In all transparency, I wish I could recall every moment and memory from the trip. But what I can convey, from some place deep in my bones, are the feelings from traveling to my family’s home country—and the conflicts, nuances, and beauties of it all.

In July 2016, I was a mere few days away from being thirteen, unbelievably content and excited to travel across the world. With my dad fulfilling every “airport dad” stereotype, I knew he had the planning under control. Because of that, in combination with my childlike wonder, I couldn’t help but ask my parents a never-ending stream of questions: how hot is it there? What’s the food situation like? Is there really a salon in the house? My parents, sick “I’d be deluding myself if I of my consistent badgering and more didn’t admit that most days, preoccupied with calming down my this dormant battle between brother’s traveling anxieties, kept my conflicting identities takes their answers to a minimum, careful an emotional toll on me.”


not to over-elaborate in case I asked pesky followup questions.

house in Vietnam. The moment I walked in, I saw my grandmother’s salon, where I could envision my mother running At some point around in her formative during the 16-hour “In all transparency, I wish years and helping when flight, my lingering she could. As I walked questions became I could recall every moment past the living room more personal. and the altar, I saw my When was the last and memory from the trip. But mother, her two sisters, time you saw your and grandmother parents? What was laughing and cooking what I can convey, from some in the kitchen like your favorite part they about Vietnam? Is have their whole place deep in my bones, are lives, with my Vietnam still home to you? I don’t spiral the feelings from traveling to favorite think I ever asked staircase my parents these ucked my family’s home country— tinto questions, but I the recall letting them corner of and the conflicts, nuances, the room. float around in my head, swirling I mentally and beauties of it all.” with questions for prepared myself. Was I ready myself to test my limited to adjust knowledge of Vietnamese? Will strangers on the to the time zone difference and street be able to tell that I’m American? Am I ready the imminent day-to-day change. for this? To my surprise, after a day or two, I felt completely settled into what my life could My first cognizant observations left a long-lasting have been. And I loved the mundane of it impression as we touched down in Vietnam and all. I loved starting my morning by visiting the walked through the airport. For once, I was in a street vendors with my grandmother attempting society surrounded by people who looked like me. to remember my entire family’s breakfast orders. It felt surreal that my darker skin tone, unique I loved hearing my family’s thunderous laughter facial features, and linguistic mannerisms were and rejoicing as the soccer game played in the reflected in everyone around me. I didn’t exactly background. Above all, I loved the feeling of being feel at home - yet - but I did feel secure that, in in Vietnam. Similar to how my dichotomous a sense, I belonged with these strangers simply identity left a dormant conflict in my head, by because I shared an identity with them. simply being in my mother’s childhood bedroom, that feeling was replaced with a warm sense of When my mother reunited with her family, I felt fulfillment, where everything felt right, where I like all the questions and anxieties I had earlier felt like I was at home. immediately washed away. It felt as if nothing was more important than this exact moment. The Vacations are typically meant to be breaks from second my grandmother saw us in the entryway of reality, to relax on the beach with a book or her salon, she dropped everything to run over to dance the night away with your best friends. This my mother, giving her a hug that has been passed vacation to Vietnam elicited a similar, relaxing down through generations, a hug I experience feeling, but not in the same way. It reset the scale every time I hug my mother. balancing my American and Vietnamese identity, the scale that never failed to tip one way or the My grandparents have since moved to the U.S., other and finally alleviated the invisible pressure but I wish I could spend one more day in their weighing on my shoulders. By traveling to my


parent’s home, I realized that deep in my soul, it was my home too, a realization that spurred the relaxation I’ve been searching for since I noticed the existence of my internal cultural conflict. Traveling with my family, mainly to visit relatives and places my parents used to call home, redefined what traveling meant to me. Compared to all the trips I’ve been on, from visiting family in France to exploring the streets of Venice, I’ve never received more fulfillment than I did when I visited Vietnam. My journey to Vietnam placed less emphasis on tourist attractions and more focus on cultural immersion and personal growth. My experience of smelling the Vietnam air, feeling a warm fire in my chest that beats home over and over again while handling conflicting feelings in my brain, is the quintessential first-generation American traveling experience. Even so, it’s one that, looking back, is overwhelmingly positive. It felt like I was finally home, somewhere I’d been looking for my entire life without ever knowing it. That feeling, feeling like you’re at home, is second nature. I firmly believe, albeit cliche, that home can


be several places. I think it’s why I’ve now found such a love and passion for traveling; the beauty of traveling is realizing that home takes place in places you could’ve never imagined, places you’ve never been before, but perhaps in people too. I found it in the street vendors who share the same crinkle around their eyes when they smile or when I’m with my grandma, who knows exactly what haircut I want even if we don’t speak the same language. Most of all, I found it within my parents, and I’m convinced that no matter where I am with them, I will always be at home. I hope to return to Vietnam to allow the 20-year-old version of myself to experience what my thirteenyear-old self was so lucky to experience, but more importantly, to visit home again and to find the inner balance that seems to come only from the experience of traveling.

A Trip to Little Italy

This trip on the T will get you off campus and place you in the realm of Italian culture — through food.

As college students, we constantly try to satisfy our food cravings (outside the dining hall). Instead of eating ramen for the second night in a row, I urge you to take a 10-minute stroll from the Green Line’s Government Center to enter an oasis of Italian cuisine. Little Italy, or the North End as locals say, will have you roaming the streets deciding what to try first. Along Hanover Street, you’ll find various modern and traditional Italian foods. For lunch or dinner, Carmelina’s is a popular restaurant known for their fresh pasta, ranging from their Crazy Alfredo dish to their personal take on seafood pasta—Frutti Di Mare. Their large-portioned comfort food will have you coming back for more. If Carmelina’s has too long of a wait, take a stroll down the block, and I’m confident you’ll find a meal to your liking. Though some restaurants have hefty portions, save room for a sweet treat. Waiting in line for a dessert at Mike’s Pastry is a must. Mike’s Pastry has been around since the 1940s, and it is known for its endless flavors of cannolis. There’s been a friendly rivalry between Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry that’s been going on for years. I recommend trying both to weigh in on the ongoing debate. These classic pastry shops are tourist and local favorites that will satisfy your sweet tooth and top off your trip to Little Italy. Authentic pasta and pastries are a North End staple that will make you think differently about your microwavable ramen. A trip to Little Italy is a glimpse into Boston’s Italian culture through its delicious cuisine. Written by Angelica Vivas | Designed by Anvitha Nekkanti | Photographed by Andrew Burke Stevenson


Significance of Solo Traveling A Journey of Self- Discovery and How to do it Safely Written by Zainab Zaman Designed by Valerie Dreyfuss Photographed by William Chapman


As the world reopens post-pandemic, people all over are eager to do one thing—travel. Traveling has always been a way to broaden horizons or escape to a new reality: whether near or far, the possibilities are endless. We’ve all scrolled through social media only to be met with an impeccably dressed entourage happily posing in front of the Eiffel Tower or on a snowy mountain. While traveling with friends is a great way to explore and have fun abroad, there is much to say about traveling solo. This experience can help shape your unique worldview and grow your independence; however, it is vital that throughout this discovery phase, solo travelers, especially women, are wary of potential dangers. The trend of solo traveling has grown in recent years. Data from shows that 14% of travelers were independent, but by mid-2021, this number almost doubled to 23%. Traveling solo allows you to explore both yourself and new destinations, which can be really introspective. This type of adventure forces you to make your own decisions, revealing what activities you genuinely enjoy. The time spent in solitude, however brief, allows for things that the fast pace of life usually does not, such as selfreflection, picking up a new hobby or learning to cook a new dish. Being in charge of every decision allows you to be as selfish as you want, with no worry of upsetting anyone else because, well, there is no one else. If you don’t want to go to a museum everyone raves about, you don’t have to. If you want to go to the same coffee shop every morning, no one can stop you. You can get up and go wherever you want instead of planning a weekend that works with five different schedules. The world is too wide to wait for an adventure. This mentality can also help you travel somewhere new, outside your comfort zone. Many solo travelers adopt a “you only live once” mentality. The freedom of having few responsibilities or ties makes it easier to be courageous. Traveling alone is already daring, so going one step further seems doable to many of these travelers. Solo traveling can also be cost-effective, as there is only one person to budget for, and the accommodations can be less pricey. Not only do solo travelers save money, but also relationships. We have all heard the horror stories of a friend group not surviving a trip due

to petty arguments and spending all their time together. Traveling alone allows you to explore a new location while maintaining those ageold friendships. Despite going solo, this form of travel is a great way to expand your network. With many other solo travelers chasing wanderlust, making friends from every corner of the globe is easy. This can create a new community of people, ideas, and adventures that would’ve never been possible before. These relationships can evolve into lifelong friendships, and who knows, maybe your next trip could be visiting one of these friends across the globe. While solo traveling has several benefits, safety concerns are also important to address to ensure a positive experience. Whether traveling alone or in a group, it’s important to research your destination before visiting. This can help you know where to avoid to be more comfortable and confident. Always be alert—this includes being mindful of your surroundings and appearance. There might be better times to wear a Rolex or Dior saddle bag; these optics can make you an easy target. Additionally, exploring a city’s nightlife is a great way to bond with trusted travelers you’ve befriended by going out and keeping an eye on each other. It’s fun to “disappear off the grid,” but for personal safety, you should always share your itinerary with a trusted individual and avoid notoriously dangerous locations. Traveling solo is known to be more dangerous for women. However, this does not deter them from doing research and traveling safely alone. 64% of all travelers are women, 72% of American women would like to travel solo, and 59% of women who have traveled solo report that they would go again in the next year. Wherever your wanderlust might take you, consider traveling safely solo and experience feelings of freedom and independence you might not have imagined.


The Rise of

GLOBAL CULTUREand Its Impact on


Written by Sophia Blair Designed by Chelsea Kuo Graphic by Madeline Michalowski

IImagine stepping into a time machine and traveling back just a few decades. The world you’d encounter would be almost unrecognizable in terms of how we document our lives and connect with one another. Technology has grown at an exponential rate. In the early 1900s, owning a camera was a luxury, and the concept of capturing everyday moments seemed revolutionary. By the late 1900s, camcorders became prevalent, recording snippets of daily life just for the owner to cherish. 2012, just 11 years ago, was the first year the majority of Americans owned a smartphone, changing the technological landscape completely. Now, in 2023, we are watching artificial intelligence emerge right before our eyes. As we continue to embrace the digital age and nurture our growing relationships with technology, we must understand that we stand on the precipice of a massive global-cultural shift. Before the internet, sharing thoughts and experiences was limited to face-to-face interactions; now, with the dominance of social media platforms, anyone can publish and subject their life to public perception. Algorithms grant anyone the ability to be seen and heard. Although these platforms are a relatively new addition to humanity’s daily reality, they have become our thought partners and, essentially, an extension of our consciousness. The digital age has woven us into a global tapestry of connection, making communication instantaneous and accessible to anyone with a Wi-Fi password. Social media acts as a multifaceted entity that allows us to connect with each other, explore our identities, and express ourselves. Each social media account functions as a digital representation of its user. Through their posts, individuals share glimpses of their lived experiences and unique perspectives. Gone are the days of relying solely on media conglomerates for news; today, people turn to independent sources on social media platforms, enabling them to witness real-time accounts of others’ experiences without the filter of a corporation’s agenda.


Today, people prefer information and entertainment from individuals over institutions. This shift allows people to peer into the perspectives of individuals everywhere from the comfort of their own homes, fostering a significant expansion of global consciousness. People’s online experiences are generationally fragmented due to the relative youth of social media, but the independent media and user-generated content that digital natives have grown up with is becoming more intergenerational. Traditional media’s influence is waning as power shifts. Fame is no longer reserved for those with money and connections; the public now holds the reins in determining who thrives in media and entertainment. In the past, music artists often rose to prominence by winning televised singing competitions. Today, the landscape has evolved significantly. TikTok has become the catalyst for many artists’ careers, propelling them to exuberant fame at an unprecedented velocity, unlike anything humanity has witnessed before.

What to think and who to be is no longer defined or confined by physical location or surrounding community. We are watching the internet give rise to the irst-ever “Global Culture,” and as individuals who are actively engaged in our online experience, we are the first digital citizens of this cosmic new global-societal shift. Silicon Valley, in the relatively young USA, has driven recent digital developments— this renowned epicenter of technology innovation has played a pivotal role in shaping the digital landscape that underlies the budding global cultural landscape. Its rapid transformation from fruit orchards to the birthplace of tech giants, such as Apple, Google, Meta, and Adobe, serves as a testament to the digital revolution. The products and platforms emerging from this region have transcended geographical boundaries, facilitating the swift exchange of ideas, information, and cultural influences. Growing up in Silicon Valley afforded me a front-row seat to the digital revolution. Surrounded by a community where technology and digital literacy were the norm, I was inherently influenced by this environment—as a result, I held an ignorant perception of the global-digital scape. I knew life was different in other places, but I didn’t understand how technology impacted those differences. Technology was my culture, whereas abroad, it was just starting to integrate into their longstanding ones. It wasn’t until a conversation with a friend from Turkey that I truly began to grasp the varying roles digitalization plays across different cultures around the globe. He told me that in his hometown, some of his peers chose to wear what was popular in local Turkish culture and listen to Turkish music. Contrastingly, some of his peers gravitated toward a style modeled by social media Influencers and listened to popular music circulating online. Increasingly, the teens would integrate the two cultures into a unique synthesis. Technology seamlessly assimilated into my life, but for others, it clashed, confronted, and coalesced with their pre-existing reality. I awakened to how the integration of technology and social media wasn’t as universally natural and normal to everyone as it was in my tech-centric hometown. All over the world, people are navigating this monumental digital-cultural shift in diverse ways, influenced by their unique cultural backgrounds and contexts. Children in places with deeply rooted traditional cultures [presocial media] were accustomed to their local culture. Their identity and lifestyle were fundamentally shaped by their immediate physical surroundings. With the rise of the digital world, a new culture has emerged: the Global Internet Culture. The digital world brought forth a digital culture that knows no geographical bounds—all digital citizens can contribute to it. Trends, clothing, music, entertainment, controversies, colloquialisms, and countless other aspects of culture now exist on a global scale shared through screens.


In our increasingly interconnected world, individuals from culturally rich countries now have the option to choose the extent to which they embrace their local culture compared to the Global Internet Culture. This is the pioneering generation of this cultural merger, as the shift has just manifested over the last 15 years as a result of the rapid dissemination of information and ideas facilitated by social media. These individuals can now command a unique balance between their local heritage and the influences of the Global Internet Culture. They can decide whether to follow trends from their local region or those popularized by online influencers. They can choose to listen to local music or explore songs and artists circulating on the internet. They can shape their identities beyond what they see in their physical world. People everywhere are subscribing to the Global Internet Culture. Despite a difference in background or location, people are using the same “internet slang,” making the same TikTok dance videos, and cooking the same viral recipes. Global Internet Culture doesn’t induce the erasure of longstanding ones—nor do the cultures need to compete with one another. They can have a symbiotic relationship that preserves and proudly shares history and heritage while enriching people’s worldviews. Cultures are never static; they are always evolving, but this step in cultural evolution is the first time it has become truly global. Navigating the convergence of cultures can easily be met with resistance, but if the Global Internet Culture is intentionally utilized to enhance traditional ones, it will lead to a society with less division and a diversified worldview. Cultures have always influenced one another, leading to the emergence of hybrid cultures and fresh forms of expression. Fusion cuisines are a classic example of this; take sushi burritos, Hawaiian pizza, or Tex-Mex. Culture is interrelated, complex, dynamic, and constantly evolving. The internet has accelerated the rate at which cultures interact, allowing for the diversity and richness of human societies to converge in real-time, for the first time.

Our whole world is changing altogether, all at once, but it’s hard to comprehend the full implications of the impact as it happens—the digital realm moves significantly faster than our physical reality. The advancement of artificial intelligence further exacerbates the need to navigate our technological relationships consciously and intentionally. There are no rules or guidelines on how to have a fulfilling online experience, and there are undeniable downfalls to mindless devotion to these platforms. While social globalization connects people to niche online communities, it can lead to disconnection, disengagement, and derealization from the physical world and hinder authentic human-to-human relationships. The Surgeon General’s recent warning in May 2023 highlighted the profound risk to adolescent mental health posed by social media; humans are social creatures and are psychologically unequipped for a digital reality as physical beings. Relying on technology to fulfill social needs can lead to investing more in unfulfilling online relationships, a trend amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic which limited in-person interactions. When interaction becomes ingenuine and inhuman, we reap the offline consequences of our online actions. The ongoing integration of our digital world into the fabric of our physical existence on a global scale not only expands human connections, but also calls for a fundamental transformation in how we perceive and navigate our societal landscape. This evolution of a Global Culture demands a Global Society, compelling us to confront the intricate interplay between our online and offline lives, while also fostering a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as we collectively shape this brave new world.


Portrayal of Mental Health in Today’s Television Shows How TV Shows like “Ted Lasso” and “Never Have I Ever” Break Down Societal Stigmas

Written By Amanda Healy Designed by Ebony Nkrumah Graphics by Anvitha Nekkanti

Have you ever felt seen by a fictional character? Maybe it was something they said, something they were going through, or similar traits that you have in common. Television shows have the power to affect people's lives more profoundly than simply being a source of entertainment; society often places stigmas around topics regarding mental health, and TV shows can foster awareness, helping to break these stereotypes down. Ted Lasso, an Apple TV+ original, appears to be a light-hearted show on the surface, but while not initially apparent, Lasso’s personal struggles expose the layers of his character. Viewers witness Ted Lasso, the main character and soccer coach of AFC Richmond, struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. He is going through a divorce, has moved to another country, and is grappling with the separation from his son. This representation is helpful for viewers who deal with similar situations but try to brush them off as unimportant, something Lasso tends to do. It is comforting to see someone go through what y o u are going through, along with their personal process of getting help and advocating for themselves. “Never Have I Ever,” a Netflix series, follows Devi Vishwakumar, a high school student who lost her father and must navigate the growing pains of high school all while attempting to get into an Ivy League school. Devi regularly sees her therapist and, although some storylines are steeped in a comedic tone, seeing a main character regularly attend therapy sessions helps normalize the benefits of going to therapy. While Devi may not make the smartest decisions –as it is a TV show driven by drama –the audience empathizes with the trials and errors of growing up. These shows are only two examples of how depicting real-life difficulties through characters and showing how they work through their personal battles aids in breaking down societal stigmas. If done well, TV shows can provide a comforting outlet where the audience is able to relate to the personalities on their screen and see themselves in the struggles of their favorite characters.

Lunden &Olivia

The rise and fall of TikTok’s favorite couple Written and Designed by Annie Levy Graphics by Mia Overbo

Lunden and Olivia Stallings were, up until the day of their wedding, perfect. The femme lesbian power couple with nearly 700K followers on TikTok and well over 20 million views had it all: a beautiful new home in the heart of Atlanta, two golden retrievers, sponsorships from brands like David Yurman, and more—not to mention, perfectly tiny physiques and the shiniest, thickest hair on Earth. Watching their TikTok page full of shopping hauls, wedding prep Q&As, and date night OOTDs was like watching the first 30 minutes of the Barbie movie over and over again: an alternative universe where femininity is embraced without pause and pink is considered a neutral. It was safe to assume that, just like their entire persona, their wedding day, September 30, 2023, would be the absolute culmination of their perfection. And it almost was. On the evening of their wedding


day, content and buzz began to pour in online. Alongside digital debates over their wedding dresses and zoom-ins of Olivia’s ever-present Juul in nearly every photo, a very different Lunden and Olivia Reddit thread appeared adjacent: screenshots of what appeared to be tweets from Lunden’s Twitter account using the n-word—profusely. Immediately, the tweets overtook the wedding chatter and dominated all coverage. The tweets were exactly what they appeared to be: dozens upon dozens of screenshots of tweets using the n-word and other racist language, all from 2012 to 2014. It was clear that this was not a random, unfortunate occurrence or mistake—this was a word Lunden used regularly, and this was only what was available to the public. The way she actually spoke and acted at the time can only be assumed.

We should first question why Lunden and Olivia achieved such quick, distinct fame in the first place (and it’s more than just because they wore cute clothes). The essence of their brand was the fact that they are gay, but not just any kind of gay—they are perfectly gay. They are both feminine. They are tan, skinny, and beautiful. They are, aside from the fact that they happen to be queer, completely apolitical. Lunden and Olivia are, to pull from the language of the late Audre Lorde, as close to the mythical norm that a lesbian couple could be, and this is what made them digestible to audiences. Those slight deviations from the mythical norm - their gayness, their Southernness, and their ultrafeminity within that gayness are what made them appealing

to audiences. A femme-onfemme lesbian couple is not something often portrayed in the media, especially not in the South, so it’s logical that audiences found them both captivating and, in many ways, representative for queer people. However, it is their set of circumstances and only those that brought them notoriety; if they were any different, the public’s response would be undeniably different and likely negative. There was nothing inherently “wrong” with their fame at first, but it is important to recognize that there is a specific reason that this queer couple blew up online, while others did not. The

maximization of their whiteness, and the much, much larger political context it exists within, is the reason they’re famous. When those tweets resurfaced, the larger political context their whiteness flourishes within - the hierarchical system of capitalism we exist under that propels white people forward at the expense of others - was unearthed, and maybe the abruptness of that was shocking, but its principle should not be. The “perfectness” of the Lunden and Olivia reign was

They are both feminine. They are tan, skinny, and beautiful. They are, aside from the fact that they happen to be queer, completely apolitical.

The pristine bubble that surrounded Lunden and Olivia suddenly burst, leaving them to attempt to clean up the damage on their honeymoon, of all places. More crucially, the underbelly of their whiteness - that, just like these tweets, was hidden in plain sight all along - was revealed in the most egregious way possible. We can only be left to ask ourselves: why is anyone surprised?

powerful and oddly hopeful. Through their accounts, we each saw a dystopian world where women thrive, smile big, and love each other without the ills of men—a world for us that might even be possible. Their elevated status, class, and whiteness glamorized this illusion even more, and in the smoothness of their act came

the assumption that it really was all that good, and that they really were without flaws. Unfortunately, like any other person that thrives under whiteness and capitalism, Lunden and Olivia are imperfect.

The future of their account remains unknown, and in the larger context of their social function, it doesn’t really matter. The story, though, of this fall from fame is one we know all too well. Perhaps, we could all think twice before propping up such figures whose privilege is bound to catch up to them.


CAN YOU SEPARATE THE ART FROM THE ARTIST? When a distressing story breaks about a long-time appreciated public figure, do you comply with Cancel Culture or continue to engage with their work? Written by Anna McClean | Designed by Valerie Dreyfuss | Graphics by Tamar Ponte


“Cancel culture is stupid” is a common and understandable statement when it comes to this topic because yes, it is unrealistic to expect a complete and collective boycott of a celebrity based on a few distasteful words. But it is not always that simple and whether or not you think it’s stupid does not justify the dismissal of horrendous behaviors for the sake of a good playlist. Ignorantly, I thought I was safe from having to face this moral dilemma because I’m not super into rap. It just seemed to me that it was always rappers’ names being called out in the headlines for hate speech and domestic abuse, and I would think“how could anybody still support

someone who would do something like that?” At the same time, I still catch myself singing along to Kanye and DaBaby songs at parties and in friends’ cars and I wonder if that makes me a bad person. Does it? No seriously, I’m asking. I think at some point, we probably make a conscious or unconscious decision that whatever the person did is not as severe as our love for their artistic contributions. Later this week, my family and I are going to see Dave Chappelle and I am very excited because he is one of my favorite comedians. I realize, though, that some of his standup has really offended the transgender community. His too-far jokes at the expense of non-cis individuals have caused me to wonder if my still loving him disqualifies me as an ally. After rewatching his netflix specials, pondering my own identity within the LGBTQ+ community, and many discussions with my Chappelle-named-cat “Mac Mittens,” I decided that the comedian has been consistently vocal enough about the importance of human rights and acceptance to earn my forgiveness. On the other hand, I grew up enjoying re-runs and youtube clips of funny Bill Cosby bits and let me be extremely clear when I say that came to a screeching halt in 2014. I think there is a difference between words and actions, and a particularly stark one between an insensitive joke and assault. Although neither is particularly applaudable, it does not make sense in my mind for there to be uniform repercussions for the two very distinct situations. There are of course instances whe the words that are said carry more

weight than a joke at a comedy show. Last October, Kanye West was seen sporting a “White Lives Matter” sweatshirt, embracing the white supremacist phrase which was developed in opposition of the Black Lives Matter Movement. In response to the backlash he received for his fashionable Neo-Nazi support, the rapper tweeted that he would be “going death con 3 on Jewish people.” What sets West’s statements apart from Chappelle’s is intent; West stood in public solidarity with a hate group and his anti-semetic social media messages (including subsequent praisings of Hitler) were deliberately upsetting and hurtful. Twitter removed Kanye West’s posts and temporarily banned his account because his words, his hate speech, harmed others, whereas Netflix declined to remove Dave Chappelle’s special from their platform because the content does not cross a line into hate or violence. No matter who is getting “canceled” for what they did to drive such a repercussion, it is ultimately up to you as the individual consumer to decide whether you wish to continue to support or engage with the work of said musician/comedian/painter/actor/writer. However, I think you owe it to the people who were hurt by the situation to conduct deeper introspection than just claiming to “separate the art from the artist.” I do not believe it is possible to truly separate the art from the artist because art is a unique manifestation of one’s ideas, feelings, and beliefs – a look into the creator’s mind and soul – and that is too intertwined of a relationship to simply overlook. The conclusion does not have to be one of two extremes – you either entirely reject the celebrity in question or you’re a bad person – but you should at least have reasons why it makes sense to keep a piece of this public figure in your life. It’s important to have self check-ins with your morals and that you feel like you are able to justify your decisions.

Our actions matter too. Sure, important that this notion not get whether or not you continue to lost with the pettiness of the tenstream music by a discriminatory sion-inducing term “canceled.” rapper is not likely to have an impact on their financial situation, Although this is an opinion article but that does not mean it isn’t a and I was really hoping I would be decision we should be conscious of. able to come to a clearer consensus Kanye West still has a 400 million on this topic than “to each their dollar net worth after losing major own,” it truly is subjective. Every contracts with Adidas, Balenciaga, instance is different from the one and Gap, but what is important is before and everyone is entitled to decide for that those themselves br a nd s what feels stood by “I think at some point, we appropriate their values probably make a and acted conscious or unconscious in terms of based on how to prowhat they decision that whatever the ceed with considered person did is not as engagement to be just. I severe as our love for their as an audibelieve this ence memartistic contributions.” is the right ber. The motivation, guidand an example to follow. ance I can be explicit about is to listen to your gut, your Celebrities are successful because heart, and the people closest of their fans. The people who sup- to you. After all, our valport a public figure are what makes ues and doing them famous and influential, so it our best to act is our responsibility to be conscious based on what of who we support and what kind we think is of message it sends about our tol- right is as inseperance for hate. We must take arable from our time to stop and think critically humanity as and meaningfully about our own art is from the choices so that we don’t become artist. numb to these occurrences because they really do hurt people, even if you are not one of them. At the end of the day, this is an issue of accountability on all levels. It’s about holding ourselves accountable for holding others accountable, even when it becomes difficult to do so because of the strong connections we may have built with the artist’s work. It is


I was diagnosed with


and was told that

the pill

was the only answer.

Written by Rachael Dionisio Designed by Chelsea Kuo Photographed by William Chapman Most women dread their monthly visit from Aunt Flo. For me, it’s a celebration. Instead of enduring 12 periods a year, I’d have just three. The cramps, mood swings, and cravings validate women’s complaints. Not being able to complain may seem like a luxury, but it was all I wished for. After a decade of ignoring my body’s irregular cycles, I finally saw a gynecologist this summer. I hoped for insights into my hormones and tailored steps. However, after a consultation, ultrasound, and a Polycystic Ovary Syndrome diagnosis, I was prescribed the birth control pill: a band-aid solution for the underlying problem. Despite my concerns due to a past depressive episode, I was told it’s the only option. I decided to tackle PCOS naturally and rebalance my hormones. My journey began with deep dives into online sources and fellow Cyster’s stories. I discovered different PCOS types, identifying mine as rooted in the adrenal glands. I then compiled a list of supplements—inositol, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil. Weightlifting became part of my hormonebalancing plan as another holistic approach. After months of lifestyle changes, my inflammation decreased and my periods normalized. Birth control wasn’t the only answer; I could heal my gut and address the root cause. Women often face unsupportive gynecologists regarding PCOS. They become their own doctors, longing for professional guidance and fearing unexamined symptoms—I’ve been there. I’ve had low libido for years, hoping for a PCOS connection. After bringing this concern up to the gynecologist, I was patronized. Yet, online PCOS communities confirmed my concerns. While medical advice matters, self-research empowers you. Not all doctors truly care. Take charge—you know your body best. Birth control isn’t the sole solution, and doctors aren’t always right. Trust yourself and advocate for your health.




Written by Lauren Jordanich | Designed by Daisy Eldredge | Graphics by Alicia Chiang

Let’s Stop Being Afraid to Talk Female Sex and Self-Fulfillment Embarrassed. Uncomfortable. Ashamed. These are the words my girlfriends often use to describe how they feel about masturbation. Their own masturbation, that is. When we’re talking about a guy jerking off – or see it in a movie or hear about it in a song – it’s no big thing. But if it’s a girl doing it, it’s weird and gross. Female masturbation is not only treated as abnormal, but also something to feel guilty about. I’m amazed by how many women – women I grew up, went to high school, and currently attend college with – won’t even talk about the idea of pleasuring themselves. I bet you even cringed at the words, “pleasuring themselves,” didn’t you? People who think that we have, for the most part, stopped being taboo about sex in America today are sorely mistaken. There’s still a long road ahead when it comes to normalizing female masturbation. So, what’s the big deal anyways? Why is female masturbation something that we should be more open about? In middle and high school, when I was learning the “dirty details” of all things relative to sex, I was never once told that I should learn how to please myself. Similarly to all my female friends, I was lectured on waiting until I was in love to have sex. I witnessed people march, and eventually vote, against my bodily autonomy when it comes to reproductive



choices. I listened to my peers whisper in the hallways about which girls were “sluts” and which ones “wouldn’t give it up”; I was sometimes even the one making the comments myself. But rarely, if at all, did I consume media that told me that one of the important parts of sex was my own pleasure—and I don’t think I’m alone in this experience. I was lucky enough to have an older friend in high school who wasn’t afraid to talk about masturbation. She taught me what a vibrator was and that porn wasn’t just for men, as there’s plenty of tasteful, femaledirected porn out there. She told me that penetration was not the only way for a woman to orgasm, and that most women actually don’t orgasm from penetration alone. She was, and continues to be, an inspiration to me in her advocacy for women’s sexuality. She helped me to challenge the beliefs that the patriarchy has seared into my brain. Essentially, as teenage girls in the mid-to-late 2010’s, we were taught that everything we needed to really learn about sex would eventually be taught to us by the men we had it with. These men, who grew up in a society that encouraged them to explore their sexuality, were the ones who were then supposed to

Unfortunately, these men grew up in the same world we did. They watched the same movies, listened to the same songs, and talked about the same stuff as us, but their takeaway was totally different. They learned that sex was about them: when they finished, their fantasies. They were taught that women didn’t even really want sex.

teach us how our own bodies work when it comes to pleasure.

friends have told me), exploring your own body is so important. Just like we say we have to love ourselves before we can be in love with someone else, we need to know how to make ourselves feel good before we can expect someone else to.

Trust me, women want sex

Trust me, women want sex—they just might not seek it out as actively as men because they often don’t have as pleasing of results. Women orgasm far less than men during intercourse, and it’s not because we aren’t capable. It’s because oftentimes the people we’re sleeping with don’t know or don’t care how our bodies work, and we don’t know how or are too scared to show them what we need in the bedroom.

Masturbation is different from sex in many ways. There’s no insecurity because it’s only you: you can experiment without any fear of judgment. There’s just something about being completely alone and not having to worry about satisfying anyone but yourself that makes it so rewarding, as does knowing that you don’t need anyone else in order to make yourself feel good.

Girls masturbate too. It’s time to accept this fact, as well as promote it.

It doesn’t matter if you have a partner that you have sex with or if you think you’re not even capable of an orgasm (yes, this is something that many of my female







Written by Ruby Voge | Graphics and Design by Emma Hill Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour film debuted the weekend of October 13, making a whopping $96 million domestically and another $30 million internationally. Its first three days in theaters alone set the record for the most lucrative concert film in history. Given the massive financial and cultural success of the first leg of Swift’s Eras Tour and her “Taylor’s Version” re-recordings, these numbers are anything but surprising. The Eras Tour film was popular because Taylor Swift is popular, overwhelmingly so. However, will this success signal a resurgence in the popularity of concert films? Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé, set to be released on December 1 in North America, is sure to be a money-maker as well. The film will contain behind-the-scenes footage of the development of Beyoncé’s Renaissance album, as well as live footage from the 2023 Renaissance World Tour itself. Throughout her career, Beyoncé has been known to experiment with the medium of film in conjunction with her music. Her groundbreaking 2016 concept album, Lemonade, was released with a corresponding hour-long movie for which she received directing and executive producing credits. Concert films began to dwindle in popularity as a medium in the 1980s, as MTV introduced music videos to the masses. Today, with streaming and social media, it’s short-form media that sells, not 90-minute movies. However, concert films may be inching back into the zeitgeist; and, not just because of the efforts of major pop stars like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. The studio A24, known for movies like Midsommar and Lady Bird, recently got its hands on the rights for Stop Making Sense, commonly believed to be one of the best concert films of all time. With a new 4K restoration and a complete audio remastering on the soundtrack, the film was


re-released in theaters this September, quickly receiving praise from critics like Richard Brody of The New Yorker. Directed by Jonathan Demme and first released in 1984, Stop Making Sense is a compilation of three performances by the Talking Heads from December 1983 at Los Angeles’ Pantages Theatre. The Talking Heads are the type of band that defies genre and definition. Thoroughly experimental, their music ranges from punk and new wave to soul and funk, all while incorporating social commentary, humor, and irony. Stop Making Sense is masterful in the way it builds energy throughout its runtime. The film begins with lead singer David Byrne alone on stage, accompanied by only his guitar and a tape player, singing one of the band’s most well-known tracks, “Psycho Killer.” Then, Byrne is joined by bassist Tina Weymouth for “Heaven,” the second song in the set, while the unseen voice of Lynn Mabry – backup singer and dancer – provides harmony from off-stage as Byrne strums. Slowly but surely, the remaining members of the Talking Heads continue to appear on stage with each song, until the band is complete and the stage is full. I was lucky enough to watch Stop Making Sense at the local independent Brattle Theater in Cambridge. In a short introduction, an employee of the theater described it as the best example of how film can allow us to time travel without leaving our seats. At some Los Angeles screenings of Stop Making Sense, viewers stood up from their seats and gathered at the front of the theater to dance alongside the musicians on screen. While I wasn’t brave enough to stand up and dance, a group of women behind me leaped up to dance on multiple occasions. Before the film started, I overheard them saying that it was their fifth time seeing Stop Making Sense in the past two weeks. Instead, I spent most of the runtime grooving in my seat, enthralled by the pure kinetic energy that made it impossible to tear my eyes away from the screen. Stop Making Sense is uniquely able to transmit information about the band itself with very little talking and no interview footage or behindthe-scenes content. Instead, it’s the little details: the glances, the smiles, the moments of joy, and pure physical expression. These are moments that only a camera can capture, that even the most attentive concert-goer would be unable to notice. My recent personal journey with concert films started in September when I attended a screening of The Last Waltz at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, a quick 20-minute walk from West Campus. The Last Waltz, directed by Martin Scorsese and

released in 1978, depicts the final concert of rock legends, The Band, held in 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Along with the members of The Band, including lead guitarist Robbie Roberston, bassist Rick Danko, and drummer Levon Helm, it features possibly the most impressive cast of musical guest artists ever put to screen. Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, the list goes on and on, and was initially what drew me to see the film. As I expected, the theater was mostly filled with enthusiastic older patrons, who began to clap as soon as the first drumbeats of “Up On Cripple Creek” began. Initially, my reaction was purely cynical. Why would I clap at a movie filmed over 40 years ago? Obviously, the musicians can’t hear us applauding them. It felt suspiciously adjacent to clapping when a plane landed or at the end of a sub-par class presentation. However, I soon became so immersed in the experience of The Last Waltz that I felt almost compelled to clap, in a way that was separate from my own body and mind. The music moved me in a way that transported me out of the Coolidge Corner Theatre and into the Winterland Ballroom. When Neil Young is brought on stage to perform his song, “Helpless,” he earnestly declares, “It’s one of the pleasures of my life to be on the stage with these people tonight.” The angelic voice of Joni Mitchell singing a soaring descant is heard for a few seconds before the camera shows her profile in silhouette backstage, bringing to mind Lynn

Mabry’s harmonies on “Heaven.” After “Helpless,” I clapped after every song. Rather than an exultant celebration like Stop Making Sense, The Last Waltz is more like a funeral. Or, as Robertson states near the start of the film, “the beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning.” To aid in this consecration, it includes interview footage with members of The Band that is interspersed between the songs. The film is clearly an act of self-mythologizing by The Band, as the interview portions allow them to control their own narrative and portrayal as world-weary messiahs of rock and roll. Even the title itself brings to mind romantic images and, what was at the time, premature nostalgia. For the concert’s finale, all of the guests who have previously performed, along with Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, gather on stage to sing “I Shall Be Released,” one of The Band’s most wellknown songs that was originally penned by Bob Dylan. “I see my light come shining/From the west down to the east/ Any day now, any day now/ I shall be released.” In this final goodbye to 16 years of touring, the members of The Band release themselves from a life that seems to be all they’ve ever known.

Surrounded by a generation of iconic talent, Robertson and crew also say goodbye to an era of music that they once dominated, one which will soon be overtaken by bands that sound a lot less like them and a lot more, like the Talking Heads. Although I enjoyed both The Band and Talking Heads before I saw their respective concert films, I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of either band just a few months ago. Now, I’ve had the soundtracks of both films on repeat. As I listen to the live recordings, I can time travel a little bit every day, back to the Pantages Theatre in 1983 or the Winterland Ballroom in 1976. I can almost feel David Byrne running ecstatic laps around the stage during “Life During Wartime” and see Van Morrison kicking across the stage in a purple jumpsuit as he shouts out a rendition of “Caravan.” In “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody),” Byrne, accompanied by Mabry and Holt, sings: “I’m just an animal looking for a home/ Share the same space for a minute or two.” To me, that lyric is a culmination of what a concert film is. Sharing the same space for a minute or two, with the music, with the artists, the time and the place, and our fellow viewers.


75 photograph by Jordan Cronenweth | source: A24/The New Yorker

Written by Caroline Kravets Graphics and Design by Tamar Ponte

AN AUDIBLE STORM SoundCloud’s rise and place in our listening landscape Few music-streaming platforms have democratized access quite like SoundCloud. It is almost as if Apple Music and Instagram came together to advance the culture of recorded music from the bottom, up. The platform’s distinct air-of-theunderground breaks down barriers to entry for its millions of users, while also holding space for verified creators to release music discreetly, albeit unofficially. Though it was initially created for artists to share and collaborate on original beats, SoundCloud is one of the few streaming platforms that invites alteration, recreation, and most importantly, continuous adaptation of sound and genre. You will find over 40 million original, independent artists from 193 different countries on this platform. Major recording artists can create an account and post alongside your aspirational, Garageband roommate. Access to audio distribution has never been so equitable among interested parties. Users appreciate that it is unique from Apple Music or Spotify in its detachment from big music labels. SoundCloud

doesn’t usually accommodate licensed music from big record labels, rather it allows for its users to post, reshare, and “like” original content. They’ve adopted a Fan-Powered Royalties payout model, benefiting all users individually—from its verified users, like Lil Uzi Vert and octobersveryown (more widely known as Drake), to its newest users, not signed to a label, putting out their very first tracks. There’s a sense of intentionality in each upload: an invitation to appreciate and remaster at will. Genres of music tend to grow out of localized pockets of the country: Drill rap came from Chicago, Gangster rap from Los Angeles, and Long Beach counties. A distinct generation of rappers, like XXXTentacion, Juice Wrld, and Kodak Black, come from an era of SoundCloud rap—which ultimately belongs to the internet. It’s for a generation that derives connection digitally. We lay claim to these subgenres amplified in the mainstream listening landscape. SoundCloud, quite steadily, has proven itself to be a genesis for the evolving form and function of the music we consume.


There’s a scientific explanation for why some songs trigger nostalgia.


OF THE PAST Written by Juliette Shea | Designed by Emma Hill | Graphics by Mia Overbo No matter the time of year, the opening bell tones of Mariah Carey’s, All I Want for Christmas Is You, will transport you back to the nostalgic feeling of childhood innocence and excitement for the holiday season. Or perhaps you frequently find yourself clicking the shuffle button on #ThrowbackThursday playlists, trying to recapture the essence of your high school self again, when getting your crush’s attention or securing a ride to Friday football games was your biggest concerns. Whether it’s a bittersweet sensation or a pit in the stomach, music has the power to strike a nostalgic chord. But why is this a phenomenon? Does it explain why we grow attached to specific songs? Nostalgia itself is a complex emotion to describe—a dichotomy between feelings of sadness and sentimental affection for the past. It’s generally known that nostalgia is evoked by sensory stimuli, such as familiar smells or looking at old photographs, but music is often overlooked. Unbeknownst to many, music is a top trigger for nostalgia—there is a powerful connection between music and memory, and songs have the potential to transport you back


to a specific date and time. Neuroimaging has shown that musical nostalgia is scientifically proven. Music catalyzes a neuronic command in which certain melodies activate the brain while simultaneously releasing a wave of dopamine and other intoxicatingly addictive neurochemicals. Our brains are powerful tools. Research has shown that when individuals listen to music, it elicits an emotional reaction and ignites the brain’s visual cortex. This, in turn, stimulates the automatic connection with memories. Simply put, we are able to recognize familiar music while also reconnecting it back to a distinct memory. The connection between music and nostalgia can even illustrate why tunes of the past stay popular despite being decades old. Songs played over and over again during formative periods and pivotal moments tend to linger. It is like a trip down memory lane of adolescence and allows you to reminisce about songs that remind you of your first prom, first kiss, childhood adventures, or favorite memory. This occurs because a majority of our brain

development takes place between the ages of 12 and 22. Thus, when a song-based neurological connection is made during these principal years, it remains with us for the rest of our lives. I’m sure you have heard your parents play songs from their youth on repeat during road trips or while dancing in the kitchen; it’s an ongoing pattern among generations that helps us to understand why iconic bands like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones remain popular throughout the years. Surprisingly, music-evoked nostalgia produces psychological benefits. Not only does it elevate optimism and motivation, but it bolsters self-esteem and fosters social connectedness. Studies have also shown that musical nostalgia reduces depression and isolation, and is beneficial to those in senior care. Musical nostalgia has been proven to increase well-being as it allows older people to reconnect with songs from their roots. I have seen this occur in my late Grandfather as he progressed into his 90s and dementia began to take over—he was not able to remember my own name, yet he could remember every lyric to Frank Sinatra’s, “My Way.” Music has always been highly nostalgic to me. The song that first comes to mind is “Sofia” by Clairo. My obsession with this song originated while I lived in Geneva, Switzerland as a Sophomore in high school; the pandemic had just begun and I would go on daily runs through the countryside fields and along Lac Léman just to find some form of freedom during the global lockdown. “Sofia” was always at the top of my playlist queue and set the tone for my runs—I suppose I was drawn to its happy C-major sound during a period of such sadness. Now as a Sophomore in college, I still get shivers every time I listen to it and I’m transported back to 16.



MANAGING & COPY EDITORS Editor-in-Chief: Cady Ghandour Print Managing Editor: Lila Redler Head Print and Online Editor: Sophia Spiegel


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