The Chic Mag -- The February Issue

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the Editor.....................................4 The Writers..............................................................5,6,7 LOVE AT FIRST YARN...............................................8 9 Valence Heartlock.............................................10 11 12,13,14,15 Walls Down.............................................................16, 17 the ongoing journey of self love ............18, 19 finding a new partner feels like...............20 Love Languages and Self Love.....................21 Celebrating Galentine’s Day........................22, 23 Protecting Your Energy................................24, 25 Love Shouldn’t Be For Sale ...........................26, 27, 28 History of Valentine’s Day...........................29 Keeping the Tradition.....................................30 Zodiac Pairings...................................................30 Valentine’s Playlist........................................31 normalizing normal bodies...................32 33

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Hello and welcome back to The Chic Mag. This issue we are focusing on the month of February which is such a fun month because of its theme of love. This issue we decided to play with that theme but in a way that emphasizes bareness, vulnerability, and self-love. We know how easy it can be to get wrapped up in showing and giving love to everyone else that we often forget to give some to ourselves. So this issue, we are presenting you with some thoughtful pieces that dive into dealing with the struggles that come along with being vulnerable, bare and real with ourselves and others. In addition to that, we have pieces on how to better love ourselves and the people around us. Love is all around, just don’t forget to to save some for yourself. With much anticipation and excitement, we introduce to you, the February issue of The Chic Mag. Enjoy. MEGAN BARBERA


joined the Chic Daily as an awkward freshman. Despite being a journalism major, I had little clue of what I wanted to do or if I really wanted to be a journalist. I was drawn to the fashion journalism club because fashion has always been a constant passion in my life and the organization was so different than anything else at Cronkite. As I joined and became more invested in the club, I started to fall in love with the fashion world and connect with those in it. I loved the community and collaboration aspect of the club, and watching FJC grow and develop has been one of the highlights of my college experience. This club helped me discover what I’m truly passionate about and introduced me to some of my favorite people ever!




’ve always had a love for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. I think it stemmed from the fact that when I was little my mom had a subscription to People’s magazine and I found the beauty and fashion section to be extremely fascinating. With that being said, I joined TheChicDaily my freshman year, excited to be a part of that community and boy was I. As a junior and Vice President I’ve been to five Phoenix Fashion Weeks, been apart of four charity fashion shows ran by the chic, and have been able to interview really awesome designers and models. While the fashion club may provide amazing opportunities, as cheesy as it sounds, it really is more than just a club but a family and I’m forever grateful I joined my freshman year.



year ago I got my heartbroken, I moved to a big city and had Dear John on replay in my small studio apartment. I truly believed my world was ending, little did I know it was actually just starting. On a Wednesday night I walked into a lifestyle/fashion club and they had their own blog called TheChicDaily. I pitched an idea for a relationship column, totally Carrie Bradshaw style! My column took off, I was publishing an article weekly and I even started my own relationship podcast with another member. I am now editor-in-chief of the club and am loving every minute of it! TheChicDaily has changed my life and opened so many doors for me, I am grateful for my journey that led me here.



ello I’m the Magazine Content Director for The Chic Daily’s monthly magazine! I decided to take on this position because I love the creative process behind projects, and doing that with a magazine like The Chic’s has been an unforgettable experience. I look forward to finding new and creative ideas and thoughts for each magazine to come.




ey there! My name is Maja Peirce and I am a journalist and creative director. I am currently majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications with a minor in Fashion at ASU. When I found The Chic Daily during my freshman year of college it was a breath of fresh air. The freedom of being able to express myself and practice journalism was something I felt I had been searching for. I have always loved fashion, particularly up-cycled and sustainable fashion. I look forward to creating this magazine with the club this year and exploring my graphic design and creative director abilities.



ello! My name is Ella Ho Ching! I am a junior majoring in journalism & mass communication with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in political science. My passion for photography and creative expression. I strive to become a photojournalist or a public relations specialist in the fashion sector. I daydream of traveling often, but until those dreams become a reality, I enjoy thrifting, writing and hiking in my free time. My style icons are Harry Styles, Jackie Burkhart (That 70’s Show), Y2K fashion, angsty anime characters, and anyone that can make secondhand fashion their own. My favorite quote is “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” -Angela Davis



onjour! My name is Cameron Rubner and I’m the multimedia director at The Chic Daily! I’m currently a junior at ASU majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. My obsession with all things pop culture and counterculture lead me to wanting to write and make videos about it. My personal style is heavily influenced by the New York skateboarding culture and the late 1980s early 1990s. I wanted to bring an outsiders point of view to The Chic Daily through my work. My goal is to expand our publications online presence as much as possible. My end goal in all of this is to live comfortably doing what I love with the people I love.


JESSICa herrera


ello! My name is Jessica Herrera! This is my second semester at ASU Cronkite but I’m a transfer student from a Phoenix community college where I graduated. My major is Journalism and Mass Communication. I work at a radio station in the Programming and Promotions Dept. I love being in the studio recording commercials or producing other on -air shows I would love to have my own radio show and then transition onto TV, preferably an entertainment show. My hobbies are listening to music, dancing, photography, and styling my clothes in different new ways! I love hanging out with my puppy girl Bailey! My style inspiration comes from Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, Kim Kardashian. You can find me on social media @jessica_jinger!

deja brumfield


ello! My name is Deja Brumfield and I’m a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communication with a focus on public relations and I am currently pursuing a certificate in marketing. In my free time I enjoy listening to music, reading, writing, excessive online shopping and Netflix binge-watching. I hope to one day work as a publicist for a major company or as a lifestyle writer for a magazine.

alexis huerter


ey guys! My name is Alexis Huerter and I am a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communications with a minor in fashion at ASU. This is my first semester with The Chic Daily and hoping for many more to come! I was beyond excited to join this team of such creative and inspiring individuals who love to share their voice. I have been in love with fashion ever since I was a little girl and knew I wanted to get more involved with it in my future. My dream is to work for a high-end fashion magazine, possibly focusing on the public relations and social media region. Other than writing, I can’t wait to explore my interests in fashion journalism and express myself through this club!




ove sounds like a Bon Iver song and looks like a sunset over the Santorini coast. It can exist between two people or between one person and their passion. Love is dynamic and beautiful and when it leaves it can hurt a person so deeply they die. I fall in love with practically everyone and everything around me every day. I hide this behind sarcastic humor and nervous laughter. I’m optimistic so even though I’ve never seen a love that lasts I know it has to be out there. With that being said, I do have one love that’s never let me down and always returns its own love indefinitely; my love for fashion. Fashion has helped me find out who I really am. It has helped me find a passion


in a world that can seem so harsh. It’s a silken piece of armor over my always yearning heart. To encapsulate this feeling I am going to share with you how I’d imagine the love story between two young New Yorkers is finalized by the trading of two pairs of Fendi socks one fateful Christmas. They meet before they even know how to introduce themselves. They are two yarns in a basket at a farmer’s market. They lie side by side in different packages. A professional-looking man picks them out and purchases them from the old woman behind the counter. He puts them in a bag filled with other fabrics and threads. They stay in that bag for a week. Then they are strung onto different looms where they are woven into fabric with other yarns.

They don’t see each other again for many years. Individually they are then sewed into socks by workers dressed in lab coats. One pair is blue and white with small hearts and the other a green and purple plaid. They are then placed into packages with another sock that looks just like them. They are put into boxes with many other socks and are shipped to a Macy’s in New York. There, they are placed on shelves for bustling shoppers to admire. They stay there for a year until Christmas. Workers place discounted stickers on them to move them along to make way for the new season of socks. One sock with its pair is bought by a young man with round glasses and curly hair. He wears Chanel slacks and MCM sneakers. The other sock and it’s pair is bought by a pretty woman in a slim

YARN cut Balenciaga red A-line dress. She clacks out of the store in her Alexander McQueen heels with her sock pair secured in a small Macy’s bag. The man did the same thing a day before her. They are a couple and have been dating for three years. Unbeknownst to her, he was going to purpose that Christmas. They both wrapped the two sock pairs. The man stowed a Princess cut ring in a velvet Tiffany’s box in the toe of the pair meant for her. They left their wrapped socks in their respective desks until Christmas Eve. They met for dinner at Manhattan in New York City. They laughed their way through dinner and shared a kiss before dessert. Once their meal was done they exchanged their gifts. He opened his socks and laughed. She asked him what was so funny and he told her to open her present.

She did and joined in with his laughter. Her socks, though, were lumpy. She reached in pulling out the tissue paper and there was a beautiful diamond ring. The man got down on his knee and said some meaningful words with tears in his sea-green eyes. She wiped away her own tears and slid the ring onto her silken finger. As the couple embraced and the waiter rushed to give them a round of free champagne, the two sock pairs lay on the table. They laid side by side as they did in that basket a lifetime ago. As years pass the sock pairs stay constant in the couple’s relationship. They wear them to their wedding and the honeymoon and then to the hospital to give birth to their first child and then to that child’s birthday. As the years progress into a continuous timeline the man and the

woman each lose a sock from their pairs, lost in the wash as socks usually are. The two mismatched socks are finally brought together as they were back in that market basket. They stay that way as they are passed down to the couple’s children and hopefully will continue to stay together for eternity. While this story is a goofy jumbling of descriptive words and the unreasonable need to give socks emotions, it represents the perfect love story everyone deserves. Fall in love with someone or something this February or at least put on a nice pair of matching socks while you cry into your wine-filled coffee mug.

by Katherine Prochnow



alence Heartlock is as mystical as the beings portrayed in his films. The 22-year-old Phoenician experimental filmmaker, photographer, and designer always seem to have something on his plate. This can be a photoshoot, shooting a visual experience, designing a collection for his brand Atrociity or orchestrating a runway show. Heartlock knew he wanted to be a photographer and businessman since the age of 14. This is when he started his first side hustle, doing photoshoots with friends and editing the pictures for $20. Now Valence is still doing the same thing except with almost a decade of experience under his belt and some of the most creative and interesting artists and musicians in the valley as his subjects. Heartlock’s work seems like someone must’ve opened up Pandora’s box in 1977 and out he came with a camera and a vision. His signature style is letting his audience get familiar with his work so they are able to decipher who made it when they stumble upon it again. From his intimate portraits to his mind-melting movies to his clothes, Heartlock has made a name for himself and lets his work do the talking. This past November, Atrociity teamed up with The Greater Good for a runway show in Phoenix. I zoomed Valence to talk about how the creative got his start, his love for the ’70s, Atrocity, and what he learned from 2020. Cameron Rubner (CR): Where are you from Valence Heartlock (VH): I’m from Phoenix. Born and raised. CR: Valence Heartlock, is that your real name? VH: Yeah, well the Heartlock no. The heartlock came as a joke. Me and my friends were watching a movie once and they were like, “Valence Heartlock,” we were just joking around with it and I was switching my [Instagram] name up and it wasn’t taken so I just went with it. And I liked how it looked with my work. CR: What got you into filmmaking and Photography? VH: Filmmaking, I started when I was young. I remember always watching movies and being amazed at what a movie could do. I remember seeing some of Mel Gibson’s most iconic movies and seeing how it can truly cause an emotional feeling. And I remember being amazed and thinking, “wow someone can actually do that?” that’s not real. Those are people acting, and that would just blow my mind. I used to ask my mom “how are they doing that, why aren’t the cops doing anything about it?” because I thought it was real. So six year old me was fascinated that people could do this and people could fake it. I started photography at a young age too. I remember growing up watching certain shows with my sisters and that was a big part of it. CR: How’d you start? Was it a digital or a disposable camera?



a teenag a collect subjects like my me it lo kind of over-ed I kept tr some pe in 2020, for my b of like a pictures lot of at message to take t there it to music worked hadn’t w that rea work.

CR: Wh your dre photogr VH: When I first started I was 14. This was back in 2012, I had a school project and it was about what we want to do and I did it on photography, so I gathered my coolest edits because I had been editing with Photo Bucket since 2010. Just because I wanted to make my pictures look very Myspace-y and Tumblr. So when I actually started taking pictures I was just like you know what I’ll take these to my school presentation, I used to take pictures of sisters and friends. When I did the presentation my whole class loved it everyone was like “wow you’re a really good photographer,” and I remember thinking “wow, they really like these pictures, this is what I want to do.” So I looked for a camera in my house. I lived with my sister and brother in law, at the time and he said “I have a camera,” and it was a small little digital one, like the ones you put batteries in. I started off with one of those and I would take pictures of my friends and tell them “hey, you guys need pictures, I’ll edit them for you, for $20.” I kind of needed the money because I didn’t live with my parents so 14 year old me was like “How can I make money?” So I started charging my friends, so they’d


give me $20 and we’d do a photoshoot with a little red camera. Every mom that went on vacation at the time had that camera, it was one of those. CR: It seems like you have an affinity for the ’70s. Would I be right in saying that? VH: Yes! You actually have that very correct. I love everything about the 70’s the movies, the fashion, the colors, the commercials, everything about the 70’s I’m a huge fan of it so I do try to replicate a lot of the ’70s in my work and my own personal style. Even in my films, I try to do 70’s experimental films. CR: You shoot a lot of portraits on your Instagram, photography-wise. You shoot a lot of portraits with musicians and artists across all mediums. Is that something you intentionally do or do you have to have an existing relationship with the subject? VH: No so, basically it kind of just started happening. I went from doing photography for money at weddings and Quinceaneras when I was

VH: Th would p shoot w model I Jones. I’ to her w so I’d lik iconic p she’s old

CR: A lo narrativ that or d

VH: It i add a na clues for make su more at more m get the s With ev visualiz recent fi and vide

ger to doing my own stuff. I had tion of photos with interesting s but people wouldn’t normally photography. People would tell ooks too edited. And I used to get mad but I remembered I love an dited picture, that’s my style, so rue with it and I kept going and eople really liked my work. Then , I quit my job and I got a studio brand Atrociity and it was kind a photo studio too so I posted s that I liked online and it got a ttention on Twitter and a band ed me and said they’d love for me their band picture and then from went from musician cian and it just so well because I worked with anyone ally liked that type of

in their head.

ho would be eam subject to raph?

VH: Four years ago I started it with my partner, Angel [Natera]. We started it when we were 18, straight out of high school. I wanted a reason to take pictures and make videos. I was tired of VH: I did it in two ways. I did it for just taking pictures and posting them on the simple viewer and for the higher Instagram and there being no reaction. aware viewer. Me as a person I’m such So I thought of making hats, initially, a theorist, I love thinking that there is we were supposed to be a hat company. something more out of this. I even tell my When I told Angel the idea, she liked it so friends “what if everyone around us is not we took it seriously and we came up with real, they’re just like automated people.” the name that day. To give off the vibe we I’ve always had crazy beliefs and so when wanted we wanted the name to be catchy, I wanted to make a film I wanted to reach we wanted it to be easy on the tongue but existential nihilism. It was something I also sound cool. We ended up doing it was exposed to at a young age, I read it with two I’s because it was already taken in a book and I told my teacher about it. [on Instagram] with one, we ended up I remember being stuck and thinking, liking it better so we kept it. I wanted to “What if this is like a video game, what sell them on Etsy but she said no if we’re if no one is real?” This is at nine years going to do a website. And then we did

That’s a hard one. I probably like to with the most iconic I love which is Grace ’ve always looked up work. She’s still alive ke to shoot her most photoshoot while der.

ot of your films tend to be nonve. Is there a specific reason for do you just not like writing?

is purposeful. I always try to not arrative. I like to put in visual or people while they’re watching to ure they’re watching because the ttention you pay to the video the meaning you find. I always try to story to tell itself with its visuals. veryone I want the audience to ze their own story. With my most film, I gave them a set of images eos so they can create their story

CR: In the Youtube description for your most recent film, “The Whereabouts of Heavens Machine”, you put “DIVINITY, SPACE, AND TECHNOLOGY. BOLD COLORS AND EERIE SOUNDS ENHANCE THE FEELING OF NIHILISM. CAN MAKE YOU FEEL AN OUT OF BODY LONELINESS. A VISUAL EXPERIENCE THAT IS MEANT FOR THOSE WITH HIGHER UNDERSTANDING.” What exactly were you trying to get the audience to feel out of this?

old. My teacher told me the theory of nihilism that we might just potentially be a mistake and there’s nothing else and that would just give me a weird feeling and made me feel like we’re alone in this galaxy and I wanted to figure out how to make the viewer feel that way. CR: For the people that don’t have a higher understanding how would you describe the film? VH: Basically, it’s supposed to be a mystical being, a sci-fi thriller. When I wanted to tell this story I also wanted to entertain with bold colors and keep your mind going without getting bored. CR: I want to talk about Atrociity. When did you start this brand?


a test run, we made a “fake” trailer for the brand just to see if people would say anything or be interested in the brand, and they did! A little bit of friends loved it at the time and family members, we got a good reaction from it, so we thought “should we start selling online? Is it easy?” We had no idea how to do anything, so we said fuck it let’s do it! We started it and Angel’s dad let us borrow some money to start the website, nothing too crazy just enough to get started, and we got our first batch of shirts and then we started making them. It was hard at first to get an audience, you can’t just get an audience with a brand right away you have to let it build up. We didn’t get anything crazy, it was not what we expected. Having no marketing experience we were just wondering what can we do to make this better, so we decided to do a giveaway, and that giveaway was the best thing we could have done. We posted our shirt, I made a really cool edit. I made a shirt giveaway poster on Instagram and we posted it and said “We’re giving away a free shirt you just have to share it on your story and tag a friend. We did it and it exploded. It kind of got us going in Avondale at the time. So in Avondale people started finding us on our Instagram and liking our pictures.


CR: It seems like you guys took a little bit of a break from 2018 to 2020 and you came back with a new look. Why the break? VH: We made the mistake of focusing on regular jobs. It became too much, we were getting orders-- we got to a point where we were selling a lot of shirts, it got to a point where it was almost a legit job. Since we made the shirts by hand it was always a lot of work to meet up with Angel. So it turned into a little too much and we weren’t making enough money, we

end of 2019, I sat down and talked with Angel and I was getting tired of my job at the time I was so bored, I hadn’t been doing anything creative. I hadn’t taken any pictures, we were just upset we didn’t do anything in 2019 except work for a corporation. We decided to revamp and I did a little pitch,” What if we start off with this much money, buy this many shirts, we can start off with a whole new look and bring it back better than we’ve ever done it.” And I got her really excited. We wanted to be so busy we didn’t care if we were working every

were selling them too cheap but we didn’t know how to charge. There were no wins. We were just kids, no one guided us. Then we just saw it was time for us to get a real job, I started working at a bank and Angel got a job at a hair salon. We were working full time and we had no free time, but we didn’t want to give it up because we had a few successes with it. At the

day. She said let’s do it and we started it then we decided to go with airbrushing. We both have artistic backgrounds so it came naturally. We made our first portrait with an airbrush and we were both astonished with what we did. We found it simple so we just made big portraits and kind of made a collection. We were in the garage every day for a month just making prototypes, design

ideas, and everything un got the first six designs t really liked. Then we dro our collection and it was people had been waiting and it got us going and w kept it going.

CR: You guys did a fashi show in collaboration w The Greater Good, the barbershop in Phoenix h did that whole thing com into existence?

VH: I knew Jesse [Ponce through a friend. He ord shirts from us twice and Angel went to drop them we kind of had a famili with him but we didn’t him. He was going to h a hair event, and Ange a licensed hairstylist so wanted to go to that ev We went to the event a ended up going inside be like “hey how are yo He ended up wanting u come over for a meetin talk to us about Atroci We had the meeting th morning and we were asking each other ques about Atrociity and he invited us to his hair sh but he wanted us to sty the hair. He told us he w to do liberty spikes and wanted to see if we were down to just make t-shir the runway. We were alw looking for an opportun do a fashion show so we let’s do it, but we told the we’re not just doing t-sh want to do whole outfits head to toe Atrociity and really liked that we want do something big with it had actually just quit ou

ntil we that we opped s like g for it we’ve

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e] dered d m so iarity t know have el is o she vent. and just to ou?” us to ng to iity. he next just stions e how yle wanted he e rts for ways nity to e said em hirts we s from d he ted to t. We ur jobs

the day before he asked us so we were so down. We only had one month to get everything down so we started planning it and we had multiple meetings on what we wanted the aesthetic to be and that’s kinda how it came upon. CR: What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2020? VH: You don’t need money to do something big. Everything that I’ve done from Atrociity and from my films and photography-- I’m a struggling artist. I don’t have money, I wasn’t raised in money. My parents currently live in Mexico so everything I have I had to work for. I used to be stopped by that and I thought that I needed money but I just said “You know what? I’m just going to do it!” I started going to goodwill, I started making things and painting things. I was able to get my coolest project done with almost no money. It’s just the will of wanting to do it. You just have to want to do it and then you can, you don’t need money. It could help but you don’t

need it, you just got to want to do it and have a good group of friends that are willing to help you out with it. CR: Is there anything in the works right now from you right now that our readers should know about? VH: Yes, I’m already writing my second film which is going to be bigger than “The Whereabouts of Heaven’s Machine.” I got a taste of what I can do and this is going to be insane. Expect a more colorful and more brilliant type of film.


ou can check out Valence’s Instagram @ valenceheartlock to see more of his photos. To see some of his films you can go to his youtube which is simply Valence Heartlock. If you want to get some Atrociity garments for yourself go to their website . by Cameron Rubner



rowing up, I had a hard time expressing my thoughts and feelings. Most of this stemmed from the fact that my parents weren’t open about theirs so, naturally, neither was I. At first, this didn’t prove to be much of an issue but after a while, I started to notice the drastic impact it had on my relationships. It started off small. I wasn’t willing to communicate with friends when they did something to upset me, I was unable to talk about what was making me sad. But then it spiraled into something bigger. My emotions became stronger, I began to feel anxious and depressed. Rather than taking the time to talk about these things, I stuck with what I knew; I kept my emotions bottled inside. I had this mindset that if I were to talk about how I was truly feeling, people would view me as weak. And if there’s one thing about me, it’s that I hate to be seen as weak. So, much to my own demise, I attempted to work through these issues on my own which, as you can imagine only ended up causing more problems. Because I was struggling and keeping it all inside I began to subconsciously push away the people who mattered most to me. My friends would check up on me constantly yet I continued to keep my guard up. I would act surprised when our relationship would start crumbling. Despite my awareness of the fact that I was pushing people away, I still didn’t change. I had gone so many years feeling like I couldn’t be vulnerable so the idea of opening up now was daunting.


Where did I even start? I couldn’t help but wonder if people would think I’m “crazy” once I was truly open and honest with them. I let this fear control me daily. Because I was dealing with so much internally, I became an angry person. I was constantly lashing out at people, making them feel as though they were worthless to me. This was never my intention, but I was too blinded by my own insecurities and my own emotions to even care. One day during my freshman year of college, I was sitting alone in my dorm room. I was feeling sad, angry, worthless, and every emotion in between. I realized I couldn’t do it on my own but who could I even call at this point? I had pushed so many people away that I had no one in my corner. This was my wake up call. It was at that moment when I realized that by putting these walls up, I was only causing further harm to myself and to the people who cared the most about me. I had to do something. I had to change or I would run the risk of losing everyone I cared about. I knew this change wouldn’t come overnight but I knew it had to happen. I’ll be honest being vulnerable isn’t easy, I still struggle with it. Every day I have to remind myself that the people in my life care about me and want to help

me to ign ho loo

vu str wi I’m fee op

Ih ba

e through my struggles. I have make a conscious effort to nore the lies I tell myself about ow being vulnerable makes me ok weak.

The truth is, being ulnerable is what makes me rong. Being open and honest ith those around me about what m going through and how I’m eling isn’t weak, it’s the exact pposite.

Being vulnerable is a battle have to fight every day. But a attle that pays off in the most

rewarding ways. And while I still find myself slipping back into that old mindset, it is so much harder to stay there now that I know how much of a relief it is to be vulnerable. by Deja Brumfield


The Ongoin to Self-Love

(Trigger Warning: Discussion of sexual tr


ealing with trauma is one of the most difficult things a human can experience. This trauma can cause a rift between you and yourself, and a rift in your relationship with others. While there are ways to cope through therapy or counseling, sometimes they are not always accessible depending on each situation. Whether medical help is in reach or not, trauma is a daunting obstacle that isn’t easy to overcome.

It took almost two years for me to realize what had happened to me and it immediately caused me to understand why I adapted hypersexual tendencies. I often questioned why I was so self-destructive, and why I set myself back so much in terms of personal growth, academic development, and cultivating meaningful relationships. I couldn’t come up with a clear and substantial answer until I finally came to the fact that I was sexually assaulted my freshman year.

happened after dealing with my trauma in the most unhealthy way possible.

Keep in mind, that not every experience is like my own and everyone has their own pace when dealing with trauma of any variety. Growth does not happen overnight. This is reflected in the voyage I’ve had in learning to love who I am again and being vulnerable with myself and others.

At first, I was unsure why I crippled myself so significantly in terms of dealing with my trauma, but I had to realize that everyone deals with trauma in their own way, including myself. I don’t know what destroyed me more: the way I dealt with my experience which resulted in major setbacks, or the very fact that I realized what had

After that realization, I made a promise to myself that I would set firm boundaries and refuse to go beyond them in any situation, even if that meant losing people in my life. And since then I’ve made sure to keep that promise, which has caused me to grow in ways I once saw as unattainable.


I felt lost and hopeless. I beat myself up constantly for being destructive and selfish without knowing why. Grasping the depth of my situation hurt me more than anything, but the realization gave me so much clarity. It cleared up the fog that was blocking my path toward growth and freedom. However, this achievement of self-liberation came with a cost.

ng Journey ve

rauma) Setting uncompromisable boundaries for yourself is the foundation of self-love which will then translate into any relationship you develop with others. The cliche phrase “love yourself first” has so much more truth than society gives it credit for, and my experience has shown me that.

My outlook on life has taken a full 360 and I am super grateful that I was able to grow from what I went through. However, the effects of my trauma haven’t fully gone away. I am growing every day from my experience and will continue to for the rest of my life.

My relationship with my boyfriend drastically improved once I saw myself and my trauma fully. It allowed me to explore areas of vulnerability with him that were once blocked. Like everything else, it took time. But knowing those doors were able to be opened provided so much comfort for both of us.

I must reiterate that I am in no way trying to glamorize or romanticize my circumstances, and I’m not saying that having trauma is necessary to one’s personal development. Rather, if you have unprocessed trauma, the only way in becoming your best self is to deal with it at your own pace in a healthy way.

My friendships have developed deeper connections since embracing vulnerability and have allowed me to better prioritize what’s important to me when forming new attachments.

This is only a short version of my story in dealing with my trauma, and reaching self-realization is still an ongoing journey. However, the steps I’ve made toward bettering myself

have been significant and something I should be proud of. If you know anyone who has experienced any trauma, please give them time and patience. We are complex human beings who process situations in ways unique to us that can be hard to understand from an outside perspective. Be there for them if they ask, or give them the space they request. Help them heal. If you have experienced anything similar, all I ask is to please be kinder to yourself. I know this is easier said than done and loving yourself takes time, but the first step to doing so is to forgive yourself. Any step toward progress is still a step forward, no matter how small, and you should be proud of yourself for taking it. We are not defined by our trauma.

by Ella Ho Ching


Finding a partner you connect with feels like magic...


ou’re in what is commonly known as the “honeymoon phase” and you never want to leave his or her side. You think about them constantly, wondering how you ever got so lucky. You go out on dates, watch movies together, laugh with one another. In these moments something clicks; you want to be able to support your partner however you can and whenever you can. You would do anything to keep your significant other happy. But what about you? Moving out of the “honeymoon phase” is when reality kicks in. You get in more fights, there’s less trust, constant worry, and you become physically and mentally drained with the relationship. But you keep going. You keep going so you won’t have the constant worry that they will leave. You don’t want to think about all the what if ’s. “If I do this, will they be unhappy with me? Or if I do this, would this make me be enough for them?” The same situation has happened to me and I have had these thoughts many times before. Reflecting back I realized I never want to be put in a situation where I think like that again.

My friends were a big part of helping me create a balance when I didn’t feel like myself. Friendships are just as relevant as relationships and should never be taken for granted, they often can see things you don’t. They helped remind me of the things I loved and who I was before I met him. I became less distant and was able to balance my time with them and my partner. Not only did I have him to rely on, but I also had my friends which is something I am extremely thankful for.

“but not when it consumes you and makes you unable to focus on yourself...”

I had this drive to be the person my partner could rely on, and I made it my number one priority. I was distant from my friends, activities, school work and other aspects of my life. I put him above all else. I didn’t take care of myself and my well-being. I was constantly worried or stressed that it clouded my judgment. I wasn’t acting like myself and I got in the mindset of, “I can’t be me without him, he is all I know.” Being able to support your significant other is an important part of a relationship, but not when it consumes you and makes you unable to focus on yourself because *spoiler* you matter too. Don’t let your relationship interfere with the other parts of your life, like hanging out with your friends, continuing a hobby, and focusing on your education or career. Even if you just need some alone time for self-care.


Getting back into a routine without it revolving around your partner all the time is a good step. Your calendar should not be crowded with things that involve just them. Schedule times for you. Go get lunch or dinner with your friends, take a yoga class, make time for you to do homework; do anything that you are interested in and that you love. This will help create a balance between your relationship and yourself.

This goes for family too. I was barely home and my parents rarely saw me. The relationship with your family is an important factor in your life. I started to stay home more and have dinner with my family. In doing so, I had more quality time with them which helped me build an even stronger relationship.

You have relationships with other people that matter just as much as your relationship with your partner. All of these connections create a pathway for a happier you. Do not put your all into your one partner, or these other relationships can slowly slip away from you. You must be able to take care of yourself. There is only one you, don’t let yourself be in a state where you only think or worry about your partner 24/7. Your mental and physical health is crucial to be in a space where you can be content with your life. Do what you love, try new things, go on adventures. There is room for you when it comes to your relationship and your happiness.

You matter too. by Alexis Huerter

Love Languages: A Guide To Loving Yourself Better.


hen we think of love languages, we think of how they can be useful in gaining insight into our relationships. But in this simple guide, I’m going to introduce some fun ways you can practice using your love languages to prioritize yourself and your needs. by Gabriella Herran

Quality Time Try:

1. Spending time doing things you enjoy or being with people you love. 2. Yoga 3. Reading 4. Making a jar of fun date ideas you can do with your significant other 5. Crafting with friends!

Acts of Service Try:

1. Doing things for yourself that make you feel good or make life a little easier. 2. Cleaning! 3. Organizing your space 4. Scheduling your calendar 5. Putting your planner together with fun stickers and color coding!

Physical Touch Try:

1. Things that make your body feel good and focus on your physical well being. 2. Spa days! 3. Trying out a new skin care routine 4. Taking relaxing baths or long showers 5. Massages!

Receiving Gifts

Words of Affirmation

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. Uplifting pep talks and encouraging words 2. Positive self-talk 3. Daily Affirmations 4. Journaling 5. Meditation


Investing in yourself. RETAIL THERAPY. New year, new hair? Treat yo self! Have a self care day



alentine’s day is an unofficial holiday according to the internet and social media that is celebrated on February 13, one day before Valentine’s Day.

This day is all about highlighting self-love and the special female friendships that are in your life. Galentine’s Day, or “ladies celebrating ladies’ day,” is a great opportunity to thank the support your close gals have given you throughout the year by doing activities that you all enjoy. The strong female connections you have in your life can be found in your immediate families like your mother or sister. It can be your best friend from school or even a close supportive co-worker. The female friendships that we all rely on should be celebrated each year as they comfort us daily and help us grow into the strong females we aspire to be. The special Galentine’s Day tradition was first originated in 2010 by the popular TV show “Parks and Recreation.” The episode showcased female friendships and how it’s essential to acknowledge the impact women have on other women and how they make up our support systems. The word “Galentine’s” was quickly shared through memes on social media. Since then, many have taken to several social platforms, especially


Instagram and Twitter, to share pictures or videos of their closest gals celebrating together. The unofficial holiday has also become profitable for some companies who offer special deals on spa days, manicures and pedicures, or even discounts on your favorite restaurants to hang out with your girls which is very similar to Valentine’s Day couple specials. One of the best ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day is to reach out to your friends and check in on them. After the tough year everyone had in 2020, this day can be a great opportunity to see how their lives are going and if they need someone

to lean on. February could also be a sensitive subject for our girls who may be single for the first time on Valentine’s day, so it is a good time to show your gals that you appreciate them and that you can still celebrate with each other. Having an open communication channel with the ones you care about is important. A call can be a small and simple way to express just how much they mean to you. Celebrate and make sure to learn about each other in the process. We hope your Galentine’s Day is very enjoyable and if you need some ideas on what to do then check out the options to celebrate to the right!

1. A FaceTime/ Call to your best Gals can help you check up on them and tell them how special they are to you. 2. Send your best friends a thoughtful gift. You know your girls more than anyone. Brainstorm things they like and put a care package together with their favorite snacks, selfcare products, or makeup. 3. Flowers are always a great way to express your appreciation. You can buy a bouquet of flowers or make one yourself. A fun activity could be making small and simple arrangements for each other’s

home. 4. A homemade card is always a simple and yet fun way to send your close girl’s positive wishes. Writing positive affirmations or even a cute little poem can be meaningful to your best friend. 5. Movie night! Pick your favorite movies and watch them with some delicious popcorn. You can safely pick a theater that is open near you or watch any episodes/ movies on your favorite online streaming platforms. 6. Pick some of your favorite pictures and showcase them on social media to highlight

that special female who has been there for you. Show off your girlfriends.! 7. Self-care is a great way to bond with your girls. Try out new products together in the comfort of your own homes while taking time to recharge and relax.! 8. You can grab some coffee at your favorite spot or make some hot chocolate at home and get comfy. Catch up with one another and chat with your best gals about life.

is way more fun with your girlies. 10. Indulge in some delicious food like pizza or even have your bestie come over and cook a meal together. This can be a great way for the gals to work together and enjoy each other’s company for a good amount of time. 11. Go on a bike ride around the neighborhood, visit a park, or go hiking with your pals. This can be a great way to get outdoors and be one with nature.

9. Go shopping! Whether you are able to go in a small group and shop in person or if you’d rather get the girls and shop online. Shopping


B history extends.

y making people consistently feel as though they are not enough, businesses have been able to profit off of people’s insecurities for as long as humanity’s

As a young woman, I am surrounded by social media, magazines, and advertisements telling me and my peers how we should be looking,

eating, and dressing. Society is constantly bombarded with social media advertisements for jaw exercises, slim tea, fake tans and teeth, and skin-brightening masks. Youtube challenges tell us we can get a slim waist and big booty in under two weeks and how to style ourselves “based on our body types.” Filters show us what we would look like if our “flaws” were “fixed.” I am not someone who has had to face the brunt of the negativity and pain due to the color of my skin, gender, age, or weight. I am not the person to be at the forefront of the body positivity movement because there is no way for me to know the breadth of it. However, if what I and others have experienced helps another feel slightly less alone, then the sharing of our stories can only help the movement. These winds of exposure to society’s pressures easily swept me into a storm of self-hatred several times in my life. I frantically googled one diet after another and saved images of bodies I aspired to look like. I downloaded apps to count


my calories and time my fasts. Starving myself for hours a day while I drank black coffee to stay awake during classes. However, while my eating habits consumed me, guilt rocked me to my core. Having claimed me as a feminist,

someone who frequently told people around me to love themselves, somewhere along the line, I had decided myself unworthy of the love I was so willing to give others and their bodies. Not soon after I returned to these habits did I become furious with them. Resent filled me as my own mind attacked my body for not changing, while simultaneously shaking my fist at society’s obscenities. With my mind see-sawing between my ideas of perfection, I would eat huge meals out of anger and then cry out of remorse for my “perfection.” I would talk to those I cared for about what I wished my body looked like and then minutes later fumed for them encouraging me to achieve it. It affected my relationships. At times, feeling like I could not exercise out of fear of slipping back into self-deprecation. While I accepted every compliment someone gave me in order to appear confident and self-loving, I never allowed myself to believe it. Growing up as a dancer, I compared myself to others in the mirror. I had a hawk-eye for what my boyfriends paid attention to and my appetite for validation only grew as I searched for it from men instead of from myself. At 20 years old I stared at my weight journey saved in my fitness pal app


to w I was 13 y old. Tears stream down my face as my eyes scrolled past years of m logged weight increasing. For sev years, growing through adolescenc into adulthood, I had told myself I not beautiful enough, skinny enou would never be loved enough, clot wouldn’t fit me well enough until I my 13-year-old body back.

I broke down to someone close to m confessed all of my hidden guilt I f preaching one thing and doing the opposite. While sharing this was d as is writing this article, the reality helped me come to terms with is th these thoughts and feelings may ne recede.

Peace comes with the acceptance th mind travels to my insecurities at t but not allowing myself to ruminat there too long. My self-love grows striving for balance and being kind myself. When I, or others, cast dou on my worth, it is important for m to show up for myself by stating th am beautiful and those negative se talk statements don’t serve me. No else’s validation is needed for you t enough, only your own.

Unlike the advertisements that you see stating that you can be closer to perfection in “just two weeks” selfis a lifelong journey. While it’s a ba to protect your energy, there is no worth fighting for more than yours

by Maja Peirc

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hile love’s definition is pure and subjective, the way our society tends to show love for one another has been morphed into something adulterated and materialistic. There is nothing wrong with gift-giving and why we think it’s necessary on Valentine’s Day isn’t our fault; however, all of us should be aware of our intent when expressing why we love someone on Valentine’s Day and every day. Valentine’s Day origins can be traced back to the time of the Romans. Back then, Roman society held a festival in midFebruary celebrating Spring and fertility with the night ending in a lottery of men being paired with random women. While Valentine’s Day roots are not as glamorous as the day society has come to know and love, the commodification of women and romance still remain in February 14th’s DNA. Showing love for one another, whether it be romantic or platonic, has been presented with objects since our childhood with handing out candy grams to our classmates. Then as we approached middle and high school, we were met with the pressures of dating and the fear of exclusion that were amplified every February. That pressure has slightly eased as we have entered college and adulthood, however, we are at the age where we can reflect and ponder the question: Why does Western society have us believe that material possessions pave the path toward what has


been deemed the pinnacle of our existence, romantic

To answer that question, we would need to an numerous Western sociological aspects, one of them portrayals and consumption.

Every romance movie reinforces the idea that requires extravagance, whether it be materialistic or t action. Even in romantic subplots in TV shows and m is shown in a way that can be deemed unrealistic and

For example, in the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asia plot surrounds the protagonists facing obstacles in th story through the trope of the rich man’s family disap the middle-class girl’s background. Ultimately the cou up together, but both characters had to go through insane hoops to reach their end goal of marriage along with the movie bolstering a lifestyle of luxury that’s

c love?

nalyze being media

t love through movies, love d out of reach.

ans, the heir love pproving of uple ended

used as a tool to win Rachel Chu over, the female protagonist. The main lesson of the movie exhibits the classic tale that love can overcome anything and that money is not necessary, yet that is constantly raindicated throughout the film when the directors glamorize the


materialistic lifestyle the male protagonist’s family displays. While this is just one media example out of many showing that consumerism is necessary to attain ideal love, the very idea that romance is portrayed in such a commercialized fashion contributes to why that mentality translates to reality. Modern society has been conditioned since childhood through media and societal constructs to see love as yet another commodity in the consumerist world we live in. At the end of the day, love is not about what present we got for our significant other, it’s about being there for them and helping one another grow. But, businesses and corporations continue to push the narrative that unnecessary objects are the way to one’s affection in order to attain a profit. Again: the gesture of giving flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, and other romantic gifts on Valentine’s Day does not cause any harm. But we


must differentiate that intimacy should not be based on accumulating unneeded material possessions for one another. Rather, Valentine’s Day and every day should be full of genuine expressions of gratitude and appreciation. As a society, we must shed light on the idea that love can be put at a value and shift our scope to viewing love as invaluable. To reach that point, we have to individually change how we show our love. One way we can do that is by finding out your partner’s main love language. Love doesn’t always have to be communicated in big, romantic gestures. It can be shown in the smallest, most sincere ways. Don’t put a price tag on love and don’t make it your end goal in life to attain it. Love is fleeting much like objects, so take the time to love yourself above anything else.

by Ella Ho Ching


ebruary 14 marks a time to celebrate romance, love, and everything in between. Whether it’s spent with your significant other, family, friends, or yourself, Valentine’s Day should be filled with nothing but happiness and mushy feelings.

Rome. When Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine defied Claudius and performed marriage rituals for secret lovers. He was discovered by the emperor and sentenced to death.

But the origins of this cupid-infested holiday are dark, bloody, and rather twisted.

Some people insist that the name comes from Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was also beheaded by Claudius. According to another legend, an imprisoned Valentine sent the first “valentine”

While it’s unknown where the holiday began, what is known is the place... big surprise, it’s in Rome. It all began with men hitting on women….literally. It was said that from Feb. 13 to 15 the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia where the men sacrificed a goat and a dog. Then they would whip women with the hides of the animals they killed. Young naked women would line up for the men to hit them. Why might you ask? Because they believed that it would help make them fertile.

“It all began with men hitting on women... literally.”

The brutal fiesta included a matchmaking lottery where men would randomly draw women’s names out of a jar and then for the remainder of the evening, or longer if the match went well, they would “couple” up. The Romans are also said to be responsible for the name of our love-infested holiday. One legend suggests that the name came from Valentine who was a priest in

greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl, some say his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” a phrase still used today. While the truth behind the Valentine legends remains unknown, the stories still emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and of course romantic figure.

In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I combined St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to get rid of pagan rituals. But the celebration was not as gory or nude as it once was. It was more of a drunken celebration, however, it still remained about fertility and love. As years continued, the holiday grew more sentimental. Chaucer and Shakespeare began romanticizing it in their work helping the lovey-dovey holiday gain popularity in Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the new “it” factor in the Middle Ages. Eventually, St. Valentine’s Day made its way to the New World in the 19th century where the industrial revolution began to create factory-made cards. In 1913 Hallmark Cards began mass producing valentines. Since then, Valentine’s Day has never been the same. Today, not only do 85% of women buy valentines but according to the Greeting Card Association 145 million Valentine’s cards are sent each year, making it the second most card-sending holiday of the year. And so, the celebration of Valentine’s Day continues where instead of women being whipped by men they instead receive flowers, chocolates, cards, etc. It has become a holiday where love and romance have a deeper meaning.

by Lauren Lippert




alentine’s day has always held a special place in my heart, not because of the flowers and chocolates or the love letters but because of one special dad. Since I can remember my dad made Valentines the best day of the year, he would call it “McKenna’s Day” and he did everything under the sun to make me feel loved. I would wake up to a dozen pink roses on my nightstand and a teddy bear next to them. I would walk into the kitchen to see coffee and breakfast laid out on the table and my dad with a big smile on his face yelling “HAPPY MCKENNA DAY!” The morning was just the beginning, then came lunchtime. I was at school and would always get a call on the intercom “MCKENNA LEAVENS COME TO THE OFFICE.” As I walk into the office there he is again with his big smile yelling, “HAPPY MCKENNA DAY” holding balloons and a sandwich from my favorite sandwich shop, and the best part…. chocolate covered strawberries. As I would get home from school he would tell me to get ready while he made dinner reservations. I got so excited to get dressed up and have a fancy dinner! My dad always said, “Whatever my baby girl wants.” There wasn’t a time my dad didn’t have a girlfriend and he would tell his girlfriends from


the beginning that he can’t spend Valentine’s Day with them because that day was designated to me. 2016 was the last year that I would get to see that big fat smile on my dad’s face, the last time I would ever hear him yell “McKenna’s Day” and it was the last time my dad would call me his baby girl. My dad passed away that year, and even though he left, his love never did. Every year on Valentine’s Day I spoil myself just as much as my dad spoiled me. The first holiday without him was one of the hardest days of my life, and I just wanted to lay in bed and do nothing, but I knew my dad would be mad at me if I didn’t make myself feel loved. Now, I go out and buy myself the same flowers he got me, and I get a card and I write him a note on it. Then, I get balloons and tie the card to them and let them go. I watch them float away in the sky hoping that he knows how truly loved he is. A lot of people have a negative association with Valentine’s Day and I truly believe the day is to celebrate how loved you are. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance and finding a date, it’s about celebrating the ongoing cycle of love that flows in this world. Love can truly cure you.

by Mckenna Leavens












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