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O N THE COVER Modeled by Teryn Barker Photographed by Kendall Erickson & Katie Wickman Styled by Coquise Frost, Hannah Warner & Sophie Spinnell

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10 – 15

16 – 19



Written by Adrienne Bechtel

Photographed by Morgan Minnock

W E A R YO U R H E A RT O N YO U R S L E E V E Written by Maddie Clegg

20 – 21

22 – 25

26 – 27




Photographed by Doug Chan

Written by Abigail Padgett

30 – 31

32 – 37




Written by Sophie Thompson

Written by Erin Adelman

Photographed by Katie Wickman

38 – 41

42 – 43

44 – 47




Written by Vivian Drury

Written by Emma Nolan

Written by Madelyn Hopkins

48 – 51

52 – 53

54 – 59

R E WO R K YO U R 9– 5



Written by Evie Howard

28 – 29

Written by Madysen George

Photographed by Junho Moon

Written by Bella Douglas

60 – 63

64 – 65





Written by Julia Plant


From Haley, Kev & Kendall

Written by Nina Franco

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Editor-in-Chief Haley Jena

Publisher Kev O’Hara

Creative Director Kendall Erickson

W R I TE RS Erin Adelman Adrienne Bechtel Maddie Clegg Nina Franco Madelyn Hopkins Evie Howard Madysen George Mary Kate Groh Emma Nolan Regan O’Brien

Fashion Director Coquise Frost

Claire Podges Rebecca Sowell

Tory Noble Lauren Smith

V I DEO G R A P H E RS Chris Arihilam

Corinne Brown Alissa Cook

Asha Caraballo Erin Connolly Annie David Ashley Hetherington William Hetherington Alex Jimenez Erin Poplin

Sophie Thompson

Julia Wilson Adriana Wilcoxon

Junho Moon



Bridget Bonanni

Copy Editors

Lizzie Carter Carolyne Croy

Shelby Anton Bridgett Bonanni

Photography Director

Bella Douglas Vivian Drury

Senior Blog Editor/ Digital Media Strategist Tori Levy

Blog Editor Kaylee Spahr

Social Media Creative Director

Daphne DuMaurier Allie Eames Julia Igel Janet Elizabeth Herman Madelyn Hopkins Abby Malone Emma Naille Sydney Nelson Abigail Padgett Sydney Richardson Cache’ Roberts Jamie Santarella Meg Scott Paige Scott

Brooke Figler

Megan Smith Hannah Straub Maddie Toole

Videography Director


Astrid Cabello

Producer Katie Wickman

Marketing Director Casey Doran

Event Directors Alex Jimenez Morgan Minnock

Web Developer Kati Buchheit

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Abigail Padgett Julia Plant

Sarah Oldford Erin Poplin Ivy Richter Tatum Suter Emma Wiersma


Brandon Bouchaya Astrid Cabello Douglas Chan Annie David Allison Jenkins Victoria MacGregor Bel Meals Morgan Minnock Tesia Neujahr Amanda Parmo Avery Saloman Maggie Smerdel Sophie Thompson Christina Vitellas Lauren Waldrop Katie Wickman BLOG & STREET

Sarah Green Olivia Hajjar

Kendall Chabut Emily Comos Naomi Fritz Coley Frommeyer Cora Harter Amy Holbrook Lauren Marchese Rachel Price Gia Tummillo STYLISTS Olivia Bianco Anna Bixby Allie Bruegge Cami Cicero Yuwei Dou Brooke Evans Natalie Gruenwald Erin Haymaker Aaron Jacobs Ben Krautheim Kate Kronstein Hailey Lowe Caitlyn Maskalunas Katie Mcllroy Adzaan Muqtadir Emily Roesch Jaclyn Schutjer Dani Spensiero Sophia Spinell Hannah Warner Matt Zeldin Maddie Zimpfer Alexa Zweig M A K EU P A RT I S T S Madison Beal Katie Friedland Chauntel Gerald Erin Haymaker Janet Herman

Dani Spensiero L AYO U T DES I G N Grace Barrett

Racquel Graffeo Susy Jaramillo Alissa Martin Nelli Ponomareva Sarah Semon Ryan Sierens Lizzy Tatlow Lauren Waldrop Maggie Walkoff Anneliese Zak M A R K ET I NG Sami Adler Lauren Balster Erica Brower Cami Cicero Maddie Clement Emily Coyne Sarah Dayan Stephanie Hamilton Morgan Henry Annie Lougheed Taylor McManus Maggie Miller S O C I A L M EDI A STYLISTS

Olivia Bianco Anna Bixby Emily Coyne Kaitlyn Gomez Riley King Ben Krautheim Abby Malone Megan Strah Chloe White Amanda Zager Maddie Zimpfer PHOTOGRAPHERS

Alyssa Brooks Kate deJesus Naomi Fritz Julia Igel Caroline Plonski Avery Salomon A N A LY S T S

Sofia Bazianos Christina Vitellas DESIGNER

Julia Asphar

Empowerment can be found in countless shapes and forms, and this year gifted us with an abundance of examples. We were inspired by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas who stood up for their beliefs after the tragic shooting at their school. We were influenced by progressive mindsets in watching iconic couture houses like Gucci ban the use of fur to help end harmful practices in fashion. We were encouraged of our individuality after brands like Madewell and J.Crew expanded sizing options for all body types. We live in a time of constant evolution, of moving forward and lifting others up with us. But most importantly, we live in a time in which you should feel more empowered to own every single, wonderful thing that makes you, you. That’s why we adopted Empower as this year’s fall issue theme. The entire staff of UP and I wanted to create an issue that not only displayed instances of confidence, diversity and strength on our campus and in our world—we also wanted to applaud it. Which is why, for the first time ever, an issue of UP has four different covers. While each magazine carries the exact same contents, we desired to represent different stories, different styles and different perspectives on the facey-est part of our publication. By having several different covers for readers to choose from, we felt we could expand our creativity and diversity that we constantly seek to implement at UP. Additionally, we hope that our content more simply represents our community as a whole, which is why you might notice a more minimalistic layout design in our pages, all of which were carefully crafted by Kendall Erickson, UP’s brilliant Creative Director, and her team. Welcome to the new era of UP, and to the new era of our world. Be sure not to miss Julia Plant’s outstanding interview on page 60 with Miami University sophomore Helen Zhang. Helen is originally from Guangzhao, China, and her powerful insight into her experiences as an international student moved us in more ways than one—we hope you feel as inspired as we felt when you read it. Flip to page 28 to read Sophie Thompson’s article about Miami’s Clothesline Project, which seeks to empower survivors of assault and interpersonal violence. It’s amazing to witness such strength on our very own Central Quad. Marvel at the gorgeous photo editorial shoot entitled “Freedom” by Morgan Minnock on page 10. With intricate hues, fresh angles and sophisticated styling, this shoot takes an alternative route to remind us that beauty often transpires from simply being free and confident in who you are. On behalf of every member of UP’s incredible staff, I hope you feel awed and encouraged flipping through the pages of our first issue of the year. I hope you feel empowered by the stories, the prominent design and the compelling photography—after all, UP always seeks to inspire. Much UP love,

Haley Jena Editor-in-Chief

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POWER (verb)

to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

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Photographed by Annie David Styled by Abby Malone Modeled by Lauren Tillman

What Empowers You? Written by Adrienne Bechtel The beautiful thing about the word “empower” is that it means something different to everyone. For some, it may trigger thoughts of knowledge or confidence, while for others it elicits a fear of failure. UP Magazine turned to Miami University students and asked: “What empowers you?” When prompted, most people interpreted the question as “What motivates you?” associating empowerment with action and having reasons for doing something. Though the words have different meanings, motivation and empowerment are still connected. Motivation pushes us to do things and to take charge—similar to the feeling of empowerment that makes us strong and confident. What empowers us has no boundaries: physical objects, opportunities, concepts, actions, feelings. Some people are motivated by success and positivity, while some are motivated by failure. People can feel empowered by dancing and expressing themselves, and others find empowerment in the people around them. It’s all about the individual—what empowers, motivates or makes someone confident is unique to that person and that person only. We all deserve the chance to feel that confidence and motivation, and at Miami, students recognize the power in that right. Check out some of the reasons Miami students feel empowered and motivated in their daily lives.

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o me, being empowered means feeling rewarded by doing things for others—whether it’s giving them a gift or doing them a favor.” Cassie Freeman


Marie DeLessio

ear of failure and, more importantly, fear of not reaching my full potential. I feel empowered knowing that I can always work to be a better me.” Jack Bellinger


ance. It gives me a way to express myself and I feel good while doing it.”

ducation. Learning makes me a more aware and open-minded person and empowers people everywhere.” Abby Heublein

eople around me. Knowing there are people in this world who love me and whom I love empowers me to work hard, go further and do things I don’t want to do to make them proud. They push me to be the best version of myself that I can be.” Meg Rimer

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Modeled by Elyse Schutjer, Faith Baxter & Tanner Brarens

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Photographed by Morgan Minnock Styled by Jaclyn Schutjer


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Photographed by Brandon Bouchaya Styled by Mac Thomas & Aaron Jacobs Modeled by Mac Thomas, Jordan Thompson & Kinzer Fields

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Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve Written by Maddie Clegg From first glance, Cold State of Mind operates as an impressive clothing company with unique designs and graphics, but its central goal goes far beyond selling clothes. Cold State of Mind hopes to be one of the first companies to start a conversation with millenials about mental health, self-love and confidence. Founder Mac Thomas, a senior at Miami University, is a native of Oxford, Ohio. He originally came to Miami with hopes to pursue a football career, but after taking some time away from athletics, he realized he had a bigger vision: to expand his creative mind. Thomas started building and developing his own unique brand and style, which eventually led to the official formation of Cold State of Mind in January 2018. UP sat down with Thomas to learn more about the brand and its mission in the fashion industry.

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Interview with CSM founder, Mac Thomas UP Magazine: “Cold State of Mind”—is it called CSM for short? Mac Thomas: So, when I first started the brand it was originally just called “Cold.” And this past January is when I actually changed the name to Cold State of Mind, and then from there, abbreviated the name to CSM for short. UM: Are you the sole founder, or were there other people involved in the creation of the brand? MT: There are other people involved in the creation, but I am the sole founder. I founded the company just this past year. But since 2016, I have been working with Miami students, trying to find graphic designers, photographers, things of

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that sort. I worked on that up until the official becoming of a company this past January. And then I switched it up and started recruiting students this summer, which has really helped with putting on events. UM: What inspired you to start this clothing brand? MT: When I first started, I already had a creative side to me that I knew I wanted to expand. It was really between a record label or a clothing line. The reason I chose a clothing line is because I really didn’t know anything about the music industry. I also wasn’t quite sure about the capital potential when it comes to financial backing, funding and startup money. In addition to that, the connections. I know it’s crucial

to have those connections when you’re looking to start a record label. So I decided, let’s go with the clothing line, but incorporate music into that. And so some of the events that we’ve had have had live music. I love live music and I love hip-hop. Part of the reason I started this brand was because of hip-hop lyrics. I heard lyrics talking about entrepreneurship and ambition and creativity—that is really what spurred me. UM: CSM stylistically is referred to as streetwear clothing. What popular streetwear brands on the market today would you compare CSM to? MT: I really don’t want to compare us to anyone right now, but I have drawn great inspiration from brands like The Hundreds, Stussy and Diamond Supply Co. The Hundreds and Diamond Supply Co.’s stories of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps have really inspired me. UM: It sounds like for the CSM brand specifically, you are more geared toward having a bigger “social good” component than some of these larger brands. Can you talk about why the social responsibility component is so important to you? MT: It’s important to me because when I first started the brand, I didn’t know anything about apparel. I started drawing my own designs. I started through my own right, and that was a big step for me. I had to go through the process of self-love and say to myself, “What do I want to do? I know football has come to a close, how do I push that into something great?” So when it comes to self-love, I really just wanted to own it. And that’s how I got started. I want other people to do that, too. I wanted to create a platform not just for myself, but for others to see, grab ahold of and say, “Hey, entrepreneurship, ambition, self-love, those are all great things. This guy built the brand off that—I want to be a part of that.” UM: UP’s theme this issue is “Empower,” which means “to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life.” I

want to relate this to one of the pillars of CSM: self-confidence. In your eyes, what makes selfconfidence and empowerment so important to your brand? How does CSM empower people to have confidence? MT: With the brand, a lot of the events that we put on encourage people to promote self-confidence, entrepreneurship and self-love. We try to embody that feeling of self-love not only in our events, but also in our social media. The artwork that we’ve done, which are in some of the clothing pieces, represent this mantra as well. UM: Where do you see the future of the CSM brand? What are your goals going forward? MT: Immediately, our goal right now is to create a litany of graphic tees that represent CSM and the brand itself. And then from there, we want to recruit students from Miami’s fashion design program, and students from the DAAP program at University of Cincinnati. I’ve seen great things from both programs. I also really want to get to a point where I have a good, solid following base, where I can reach out and take CSM to become a lifestyle brand. I also want to be the first clothing line to acknowledge mental health stigmas and education on mental health. I see advancements in mental health and mental health education specifically relating to our age group. I recognize that, and I want CSM to speak for that generation—our generation. I want CSM to be one of the first social platforms where people say, “CSM is a great streetwear brand, they have dope designs, they do a lot of cool stuff, but they have a dope message. I want to see what they’re up to, I want to support them, because supporting them is supporting the movement about self-love and the importance of mental health education.” I really want to hit that home. To be the first clothing line of this generation that represents the idea of being a brand with a platform that encourages people to reach out and talk about mental health stigmas, self-love and ambition—that’s the most important thing.

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shape UP your

BODY & MIND Written by Evie Howard

With all of the chaos in our lives, being able to mold our bodies into machines of strength and endurance is motivation for individuals across Miami University’s campus and the globe. While the amount of things we cannot control can feel nerve-wracking, one thing that we do have power over is the activity we give our bodies to strengthen us. UP reached out to a few individuals to whom fitness plays an essential role in their life in order find out how exercise empowers them both in and out of the gym. Hallie Terrell, a junior at Western Kentucky University and frequent gym-attendee, made working out a part of her routine to help her battle personal insecurities. “At the beginning of this summer, I went through a pretty mutual breakup and it left me with a lot of self-esteem issues and a lot of insecurities to deal with,” she said. “I figured the best place to start was with my physical health and strength.” After working out consistently for about six months, Terrell has lost upwards of 20 pounds and plans on working harder and growing stronger every day. She has also discovered the positive emotional impact working out can have on an individual. “I’ve continued working out because I find I’m a better person when I do,” she said. “I’m kinder to myself, and [to] those around me. I feel better emotionally, I look better physically, I feel more alert during the day and I’m happier overall.”

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Photographed by Allison Jenkins Styled by Brooke Evans Modeled by Anna Bergsland, Courtney Soukup, Ellie Birgbauer & Abby Kocurek

Terrell was able to overcome self-esteem issues and recenter herself after an impactful event in her life. Her fitness journey is just one example of the many reasons people begin to exercise. While the physical results of working out may be rewarding, Chloe Bridge, a senior at Miami, had a different experience with working out from Hallie. Bridge is a senior at Miami and works as group fitness instructor at Miami’s Rec Center. She began working out when she was a sophomore after a rough start to her relationship with fitness and health. “I had a very ugly relationship with health in relation to my weight my freshman year and ultimately was severely underweight,” she said. “I would eat sparingly and work out almost exclusively with cardio to see how skinny I could get.” After struggling with health issues, Bridge decided that she needed to seriously change her relationship with exercise and eating, and turned to strength training. She was able to transform her body into a powerful machine and wanted to help other people on their fitness journies as well, which prompted her to become a group fitness instructor. After beginning her work with the gym, Bridge became aware of how many other people suffer with self-confidence issues based on their weight or figure. She aims to help transform their relationships with exercise the way she was able to. “In a society that criticizes women so harshly for every part of their bodies and oppresses them, I feel exercising is the healthiest option for me to find out who I really want to be,” she said. “It has continually given me the physical results I aim for, while simultaneously providing me with the confidence and control to reject societal standards and create a positive and empowering mind-space for myself. I can only hope that when students come into my class they are welcomed into a space where everyone is accepted no matter their weight, fitness level or any other factor that could play into their perception of self.” By changing her fitness goals, Bridge was able to develop her relationship with activeness from a toxic cycle into a positive passion, and help others with their fitness journies, too. Emerson Mudd, a junior at the University of Kentucky, has always been a fitness and health enthusiast, explaining that “[he] was used to playing sports year round during high school, so when college came around, [he] didn’t want to just sit around and do nothing with each passing week.”

Mudd turned to working out in a gym a few years ago and has loved every second of it—for the most part. “I work out now because it is enjoyable and it gives me something to do other than homework and sitting around doing nothing,” he said. “I’d say my favorite workout is back day because it’s a challenge but different from all of my other workouts. I hate working out my legs and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon, but I still feel better after I do it.” Coming from an athletic background made it easier for Mudd to transition into working out in a gym, but it’s not always a seamless transition. While all of us might not be as big of workout enthusiasts as Bridge, or have as positive of an initial experience at the gym as Terrell, all fitnesslovers can guarantee that you will almost never be upset with yourself for being active and treating your body right. You might be sore and tired, but you will leave stronger, more energized and more encouraged than you entered. All it takes is a good song, a fun class or a motivated friend to kickstart a healthy, energizing and empowering habit you can develop for the rest of your life.

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Modeled by Mia Lee, Selena PIckett, Jermaine Thomas, Miata Murphy, Akinda Johnson, Karan Gupta & Meg Us

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Styled by Erin Haymaker, Adzaan Muqtadir & Emily Roesch



Photographed by Doug Chan

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LET’S TALKA CAPELLA Photographed by Victoria MacGregor Styled by Allie Bruegge & Dani Spensiero Modeled by Ariana Khalaj

Written by Abigail Padgett

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With five a cappella organizations at Miami Univesity, it’s hard not to notice their presence on campus. The Miami TrebleMakers and the Miami Misfitz are two all-female a cappella organizations on campus (pro-tip: look up their albums on Spotify and prepare to be amazed). It takes a serious amount of coordination and harmonization to successfully sing multiple background beats with a solo and have it memorized to performance perfection. But it’s what these groups do off the stage that is equally, if not more, impressive.

are empowering for women,” Harris said.

There is a feeling of strength that each organization exudes, especially among the all-female organizations.

“We’re a group of all girls,” she said. “Of course we’re going to sing empowering female songs.”

“I have 15 girls who constantly have my back,” said Emma Harris, the president of the Miami TrebleMakers. Harris explains that being a part of the TrebleMakers is “all about building each other’s confidence.” She and many of the women in the organization find a new sense of self-love throughout their time at Miami thanks to the support they receive from one another.

Likewise, Bode says that for the Misfitz, “empowering comes naturally.” Hascher continues to talk about how being empowered can take its form in subtle actions. She remembers that once, while picking songs to record, she and Bode had strong opinions against a song, and argued for its removal from the set because it didn’t align with the group’s values.

Misfitz member Camille Bode shared Harris’ feelings of camaraderie, describing an “unspoken bond” with her fellow Misfitz members. Megan Hascher, another Misfitz member, agreed, smiling at the prospect of beginning her first album with the group.

“Sometimes it’s a challenge to speak up and make sure that your voice is heard, but it’s definitely worth it,” Hascher remarked.

Not only do the members support and respect each other, they know where their strengths and weaknesses lie. “We really appreciate each other’s talent,” Harris said, and her passion and energy for a cappella is evident: she loves that she’s able to connect with others through her voice. From the TrebleMakers’ and the Misfitz’s seven-hour practice weeks to various competitions and recordings for their respective albums, that confidence is palpable when each group takes the stage–at each concert, the audience goes quiet and listens intently.

Last year, the TrebleMakers created what Harris dubs a “girls medley,” covering artists like Destiny’s Child and Rihanna in the hopes of passing some of their confidence on to other women. To some, the decision to sing allfemale artists may come across as “old news,” but Harris points out the driving force behind these decisions. For Harris and the TrebleMakers, picking female artists to empower other women was a no-brainer.

Miami’s a cappella presence is a tight-knit community that enjoys surrounding themselves with other students who enjoy singing as much as they do. Not only do these a cappella groups co-host various social events, they also sing in four competitions a year, provide entertainment for various Miami gigs and compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (think “Pitch Perfect”). Though the a cappella community is competitive, groups like the Misfitz and the TrebleMakers manage to balance that competitive spirit with an obvious respect for one another, as well as a dedication to empowering others, both in the music community and out.

“As the TrebleMakers, we make an effort to pick songs that

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T-Shirts Touch Lives: The Impact of the Clothesline Project Written by Sophie Thompson


olored T-shirts sway in the cool fall breeze, swinging gently in the morning light. They hang on a clothesline, centered around the Seal—the exact center of Miami University. The location of these shirts is crucial, for they deliver a powerful message that deserves to be seen. The Clothesline Project is an annual visual display of T-shirts, each one marked with a short story or a few phrases that detail the experiences of sexual assault victims. This fall, it was held on Oct. 3-5, with volunteers hanging up the shirts early each morning and carefully taking them down each night. “Because it’s such a powerful, visual display, it really does remind people that this is a continuing and pervasive and serious problem,” said Jane Goettsch, the director of the Women*s Center at Miami who helps oversee the Clothesline Project. The shirts come in a variety of different colors that indicate individual experiences. Red, pink and orange shirts, for example, symbolize survivors of rape and sexual assault. Blue and green shirts stand for survivors of incest and sexual abuse. The Clothesline Project isn’t just for sexual assault victims, though. It advocates for people who have been attacked for who they are as individuals, too. Purple shirts indicate those who have been attacked based on their sexual orientation, and black shirts symbolize anyone who was assaulted for political reasons.

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The Clothesline Project takes place every year in October, the month dedicated to victims of domestic violence and abuse. It began in 1990 in Massachusetts. As people traveled to see the display and word spread of the project, it eventually caught the attention of the Ohio Coalition on Sexual Assault, which introduced the project to Miami in 1998. This fall marks the 20th year of the Clothesline Project at Miami. It has expanded in past years to be displayed at both the Oxford and Hamilton campuses. Those who participate in the Clothesline Project create shirts in Miami’s Women*s Center. The small lounge near Goettsch’s office features a craft table with small bottles of paint in multiple colors. T-shirt makers are anonymous— no one records your name, what color shirt you requested or what you put on your shirt. All that matters is your story and how you bravely choose to share it with the world. Bone-chilling stories are written on each shirt. Some have detailed accounts of what happened. On others, only a few words are needed. A few images appear as well, accompanying the narratives painted on the fabric of the T-shirts. “You gotta keep up the fight,” Goettsch said. “Our awareness of sexual-interpersonal violence has increased, and colleges are safer places by and large to report sexualinterpersonal violence, but has the incidence of it gone down? Probably not.” According to Goettsch, around 25–30 people, mostly women, actively participate each year by making shirts for the Clothesline Project. But the main way the Miami community participates is when people stop to view the shirts by the seal on Miami’s central academic quad. Each day during the Clothesline Project, thousands of students witness the display and take in the potent stories written there. Dion Mensah, a junior at Miami and an intern at the Women*s Center, helps with the Clothesline Project by organizing the closing ceremony and recruiting volunteers to help set up the T-shirt display. The closing ceremony is

particularly special for her, where she has strong memories of taking down the shirts with other interns and volunteers, watching the individual reactions of people when they read each shirt. “It’s always powerful to see how people engage with it and take the time to hear out all those people who took time to make those shirts,” Mensah said. She and Goettsch urge the Miami community to spend time reading the shirts and letting their stories sink in. Goettsch, who is in her 20th year at Miami, has advocated for sexual assault victims since she was in college. She knows that it’s essential for victims’ voices to be heard. “It keeps the fact of sexual and interpersonal violence in the forefront of people’s consciousness,” Goettsch said. “It’s too easy to forget things or not pay attention to things if they don’t impact you personally.” Mensah agrees. “I think that we have to continue to bring recognition to the problem,” she said. “We can’t turn a blind eye, because real lives are being affected.” Goettsch continues to educate students about how to prevent sexual assault. “We as professional staff need to help you as students build your confidence, build your skills, build your sense of agency, so that you feel empowered,” Goettsch said. “That’s really what empowerment is. You gotta be aware of the problem you have to have skills to confront the problem, and you have to have a sense of agency or sense that confidence that if I do this, people are gonna listen.” She hopes that the Clothesline Project will inspire people to make a difference. “We have to help build empowerment so that you, with our support, can feel like you can challenge the way things are,” she said. The T-shirts might only hang by the seal for three days, but the message of the Clothesline Project lives on, as the stories of sexual assault survivors bravely spread awareness and prompt others to seek change.

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Photographed by Amanda Parmo Styled by Amanda Parmo Modeled by Ryanne Elsass

and EMPOWERED Written by Erin Adelman

Beneath a glowing spotlight, models of various sizes, races and heights walk the runway. The purpose of the models’ garments go beyond fashion: the clothing is designed to tell a story of violation and redemption.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, at The Ohio State University, Felicia Kalan and Stephanie Catani began the non-profit organization and have performed 40 fashion shows, reaching nearly 20,000 people across the country.

This is not an ordinary fashion show. This is Unchained.

“[Those] who have attended an Unchained fashion show have learned about human trafficking and what they can do to put an end to the crime,” said Baylee Scott, an OSU junior and the organization’s Membership Coordinator.

In its mission statement, Unchained seeks to “empower high schools, universities, community organizations and businesses to produce a fashion show that tells the story of a human trafficking survivor through garments designed to tell the story. [Unchained seeks] to create cultural shifts, leading to fundamental attitude shifts about sexual exploitation that will create life changing perspectives for men and women.”

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OSU’s Unchained branch launched two years ago, and it is the only college campus with an Unchained branch. With the third annual show in the spring, Scott said fall semester “is dedicated to education and awareness, and the spring semester

is for casting models and preparing every other detail.” According to Unchained’s website, the estimated annual profit of the human trafficking industry is $150 billion. An estimated 20.9 million people are enslaved within the worldwide industry, with 11–14 being the average age range of victims. OSU Unchained’s first two shows exhibited a clothing line designed by season five “Project Runway” contestant Korto Momolu. Scott said this collection was the property of Unchained Fashion and was loaned to OSU’s Unchained chapter. “It was designed specifically to tell the story of a survivor,” Scott said. “We choose which piece we think fits each part of the narration best to decide which garment goes when. The great thing about this line is that women of all sizes, shapes and heights are able to wear the pieces.” The inclusive sizing of Momolu’s designs allow for any model to walk in the show, which is an aspect Scott said OSU Unchained fully utilizes. “We do our best to promote diversity and the body type of a real woman,” she said. “We have no restrictions with casting.” Using the garments, the show leads its audience through the three stages of trafficking: innocence, violation and restoration. The pieces are interpretations of those stages, Scott said. In addition to the designs, she said a narrator “tells this story in a poetic and emotional way.” The money generated by the shows provides a scholarship fund for a human trafficking survivor, allowing the chance for him or her to pursue an education and create a new future. “A career path is extremely empowering because it means freedom and independence,” Scott said. One of the most moving aspects of the show is Survivor Night, which is when a sex trafficking survivor shares her story with the Unchained team. The same survivor, who

is unnamed for confidentiality, has spoken at both OSU Survivor Nights. “This portion of the night [is] very impactful because it is after the story has been told through the fashion show and the audience is ready to take action,” said Scott. The survivor also explains how to spot trafficking signs and whom to contact to promote prevention. Scott said the survivor’s story is sometimes the first time new members have heard of human trafficking occurring in Ohio. “Her story goes against what the average person thinks of human trafficking,” Scott said. “She is no different than any other woman … After [she] applied for and received her Unchained scholarship, she earned a degree in social work at Capital University. She has made it her life mission to help other women that went through what she did. The gratitude in her voice when she speaks is touching. It makes all of our hard work way beyond worth it in the end.” Scott said she believes Unchained’s greatest impacts are the survivor scholarship and the public education it provides. “It’s so important that people realize that human trafficking is happening in our very own cities,” she said. “These shows help to break the stigma for sex workers and show people that they are just like everyone else, but with unfortunate circumstances.” Unchained’s efforts to raise awareness about sex trafficking and provide scholarships for survivors is making a difference across the nation. There is power in sharing a story of survival, providing education and uniting communities to combat the issue. “Making fashion go beyond clothing is the most important utilization,” Scott said. “You don’t have to be a woman to care about human trafficking. We need everyone to work together to end this. No one can do it alone.”

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Modeled by Jada Jones, Ellie Lyon & Ryan Sierens


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TOGETHER Photographed by Katie Wickman Styled by Coquise Frost

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WOMEN IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT Revolutionizing Dating Culture Written by Vivian Drury Photographed by Maggie Smerdel Styled by Adzaan Muqtadir Modeled by Erin Grace Burnham & Peter Masi

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She stands in the corner with a cold drink in her hands, grasping the plastic cup, tracing circles in the condensation with her thumbs. The music reverberates through the air and mixes with the sounds of laughter, chatter and ice being poured into glasses behind the bar. Sweat dances down her skin as people bump past her, shouting a quick “sorry!” as they pass by. Her eyes wander, noticing the kid from her marketing group project and a few people she’s seen out every so often. And suddenly, she sees a smile. Not just a pearly white, perfectly straight smile, but one that glistens. The stranger laughs and looks at ease, practically radiating confidence. She realizes she’s staring and quickly darts her eyes away, that feeling of the dripping cup seeping into her palms bringing her to her senses. Her skin becomes toasty as she slightly leans her neck back to get a better look. I’m going to do it, she says to herself. I’m going to talk to them. I can do this. She lightly tousles her hair, straightens her posture and heads over.

According to a survey administered by UP, whether it’s a “intentional touching of the shoulder or arm,” “compliments,” “awkwardly laughing” or “straight up grinding on someone,” Miami University students all define flirting differently. Yet everyone surveyed agrees that today, it’s much more acceptable for anyone, of any gender, to make the first move. Regardless of where things go once the banter begins, ladies are definitely getting into the driver’s seat when it comes to flirting. The stigmas of “he should ask her out first” and “he should be the first to approach her” have been thrown out the window as girls are speeding into the flirting scene. “If you’re at Brick Street and you’re two 20-something year-olds in a partying environment, there are expectations of social interaction,” Richelle Frabotta said,

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a Miami instructor for family science and social work. She also serves as the coordinator for the Denis L. Carlson Sexuality Education Studies Center. “Whether it’s asking for someone’s number or even saying, ‘Hey, I saw you on Tinder and I didn’t swipe but now that I see you, wow,’ flirting is focused around actions after one realizes that they could possibly have a connection with that person, whether that connection is a relationship or just a one night encounter. And today it is acceptable for anyone to start this process.” Frabotta teaches FSW 365 at Miami, a human sexuality class that covers everything from human anatomy to sex toys to the process of building up to sex in a relationship. Once, after getting shot down by a so-out-of-my league guy and somehow surviving afterwards, my internal fear of approaching someone new completely went away for me. This bad-turned-good interaction gave me the confidence to later approach my now-boyfriend, who I’ve been lucky enough to fall in love with. After this interaction, and after taking Frabotta’s class, I began to wonder: How has flirting evolved, and what kind of emotions and reactions does it release? “Shifts in cultural influences have really allowed flirting to change,” Frabotta said. “Streetlights allowed people to be walked home and spend alone time with someone they were interested in, and the back seat of a car for obvious reasons have changed dating. Not only has this influenced flirting, this has influenced how and when women later on said yes to intercourse.” Not only have tangible objects influenced the evolution of flirting, but so have intangible objects, such as dating apps. According to the Pew Research center, in 2013, only about 10 percent of U.S. adults used online dating sites or apps. Today, 27 percent report that they actively use or have used dating sites or apps in the past. Dating sites and apps have made it easier for anyone to make the first move, especially for women with apps like Bumble. Bumble encourages women to put themselves out there, as only they are able to initiate a conversation with a match. As mentioned previously, in order to learn more about

millennial flirting habits, UP conducted a survey with Miami students. When asked how flirting or striking up a conversation with a person of interest makes them feel, students reported they feel “confident as hell,” “giddy,” “butterflies,” “nervous in the best way” and “empowered.” “Flirting today is the ability to make oneself vulnerable to the response which could be rejection,” Frabotta said. “People have this yearning to be seen, heard, felt, a multisensory connection. When people are asked to think about the best date they have been on, it almost always revolves around the idea of going and doing something and getting away from daily life even if it is just for a little with that person. Flirting is about escaping with someone, allowing that connection to happen.” Flirting opens up the door for humans to create experiences among one another, yet it is all based off their level of interest and intention. Although it seems as simple as do you like me, yes or no, its complexities are far greater. “Flirting can also be used to manipulate,” Frabotta said. “I need another notch on my bedpost, or another drink, or my rent paid—flirting is a social convention.” But what other thoughts and factors are fired into one’s head before they ask, “Hey, can I buy you a drink?” “The measure of rejection would add to someone’s feeling of confidence while flirting,” Frabotta said. “If they feel less likely to be rejected, they will be more bold. What’s feeding that measure of rejection is so many different things that are based around societal norms.” There is no concrete definition for flirting. There may be a mold that certain people follow based off their environment, but forget about the stigmas and the stereotypes. The complexities all boil down to one thing: if you’re feeling yourself and you’re feeling them, go say something. Don’t let fear slow you down—speed up in the flirting fast lane and cruise in with confidence. You never know where the drive might lead you.

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Photographed by Bel Meals Styled by Erin Haymaker & Alexa Zweig Modeled by Audra Vanroboys

tap into your inner


boss Written by Emma Nolan

Social media runs everything. That’s something we find ourselves hearing too much. Whether social media “affects mental health,” “destroys body image” or “brainwashes us,” many see media platforms as an all-encompassing destructive device. Anyone can see how prominent platforms like Instagram and Twitter influence society today. As a community of students who will soon enter the “real world,” we need to acknowledge the empowering impacts that social media can have on the world—especially on young women. In recent years, several companies have greatly increased their social media presence. Social media has become an entirely new platform for business merchandising and market research, as it allows for brands to track their content and see how it’s affecting viewers. Influential women in power have also seen the sheer impact that social media has on young girls and have taken steps to use social media for good. Within the past four years, companies like Aerie and Dove have used their popularity to ignite social change, especially regarding body positivity. This has triggered everyday women to insert their own opinions and responses through podcasts, Instagram posts, websites and blogs to encourage others to reclaim their confidence.

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It’s crucial to embrace the beneficial impacts of social media. It’s important to follow accounts of power and influential women. Starting each morning with a podcast or Instagram post from your favorite female role model can help shape each day with a positive attitude, creating a strong sense of confidence and self-worth. Below, check out the various kickass women that inspire UP daily. Girlboss // Sophia Amoruso Sophia Amoruso is many things: an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a designer and an influencer. But above all, Amoruso is a Girlboss—a self-proclaimed one, in fact. Many know Amoruso from her creation of Nasty Gal, but she recently founded and became CEO of Girlboss Media—a social media account every determined woman needs to follow. Girlboss is an organization existing to redefine success for women by providing tools and networking knowledge needed for women to get ahead. According to their mission, the movement strives to “inform, entertain and inspire action through content and experiences.” The mantra of the Girlboss team is for women to be confident in their beliefs and values of supporting girls and women who are working towards their dreams. Girlboss’ purpose is to inspire women to be of service to others. The brand focuses on helping ambitious women thrive in working environments and supporting each other. Through Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and a weekly podcast, Amoruso and her team distribute powerful and inspiring content to women of all types. With articles, vlogs and podcasts dedicated to business tips, self-care tips and money help, starting each morning with a little bit of Girlboss ensures that the day ahead will be a good one. Well Fed Women Podcast // Noelle Tarr and Stefani Ruper The Well Fed Women Podcast (WFW) has garnered a huge fan base over the past few years, and it deserves all the followings it receives. Due to its persistent lectures on eating and living well, women of all ages tune into WFW every week. WFW features Noelle Tarr, a nutritional therapy practitioner and certified personal trainer, and Stefani Ruper, author of “Sexy by Nature,” to chat about health and eating habits.

A new podcast is released every Tuesday and contains conversations about fitness, health and nutrition, mindset and body image. Both women address stigmas about dieting and body image in our society today and work to educate and encourage healthy decisions for all its listeners. Popular podcast episodes cover a variety of topics within the food, mental health and wellness realm. Popular topics include establishing safe and confident sex, discussing meal plans that work for different women and encouraging different workouts to strengthen the mind and the body. WFW adds an hour of positivity and confidence to every woman’s week while discussing two things that are loved by many: food and eating food. Rebecca Minkoff Rebecca Minkoff is a popular name in every fashion lover’s life. Using her power and popularity for good, Minkoff has both started and supported many campaigns and philanthropic ventures for female empowerment. Earlier this month, Minkoff developed her new “I Am Many” brand dedicated to empowering the women of today. Using her popular social media pages, Minkoff released a series of 10-minute videos encompassing expressions of female multidimensionality. These videos featured powerful women ranging from CEOs to student activists. The spokeswomen represent the brand’s core values and work to empower Minkoff ’s consumers by supporting this brand. In addition to her “I Am Many” campaign, Minkoff ’s social media feeds include inspiring quotes, features on her designs and tons of badass females. For the fashion lover and feminist at heart, Rebecca Minkoff is a necessary addition to your daily Instagram scroll. While there are countless profiles of female-empowered content splashed across social media, these three channels add a sense of strength and confidence to everyday life. While these celebrities possess seemingly boundless amounts of followers, they share similar posts and ideologies targeted toward bodies and modeling. By branching out and following other accounts, audiences are encouraged to broaden their personal point of views and ideas.

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Photographed by Astrid Cabello Styled by Natalie Gruenwald, Sophia Spinell Modeled by Sydney Wolk, Michael Barrett-O'Quin, Chase Jackson, Nitya Sunil & Elli McHaffie

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Style for you Written by Madelyn Hopkins


hat makes you, you? How are you unique? How do you stand out in a sea of your peers?

Now, why do these sound like common interview questions? Everybody is trying to be their own person. After all, being unique is an attractive quality. Employers, friends and lovers all want extraordinary. They want something they can’t get anywhere else or from anyone else. But what is even more enticing? Feeling comfortable in your own skin and with your own individuality—embracing what makes you special. People who embrace their quirks and personality with ease are far and few between. Our world is a pendulum, constantly swinging from one fad to another. One day it’s trendy to wear a deep V-neck, and the next day you’ll find Meghan Markleinspired boat neck tops in stores everywhere. Keeping up with fresh trends can lead to minor whiplash and major debt. Living in a fad-obsessed world and trying to remain true to yourself is a one-way ticket to an identity crisis. It’s hard to feel confident when you look in the mirror and aren’t sure of who you see. So why try to keep up? Alexa Baldari, who stays true to her style around

campus, describes her look as “eclectic yet timeless.” “I don’t dress to follow the biggest trends around campus or really care what others think of my outfits,” she said. “I dress to make myself feel good—and yeah, sometimes that results in my friends laughing about my going out looks, but hey, I like who I see in the mirror and I’m not changing that.” While Baldari might seem like the emblem of confidence, this wasn’t always the case. “[Finding confidence] wasn’t early in life,” she said. “I really struggled for a long time with embracing who I am. My personality isn’t cookie cutter, and I’ve always been known for that. Coming to college was a fresh start for my style: I woke up one day upset with who I was pretending to be and decided that I wanted to be true to myself for once. It’s just stuck ever since and has been really liberating.” Baldari’s style visibly accentuated her personality. She doesn’t buy clothes to be the trendiest girl in the room; rather, she is selective with her shopping and buys things for herself, not to impress others. While talking with Baldari, her confidence seemed to radiate off her. However, this girl is a typical college student like every one of us. It’s how she holds herself that sets her apart from others.

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Staying true to your style is essential to selfempowerment. Fads come and go, so trying to fit the mold is like learning how to shapeshift. Fashion is about finding your own style and using it to show who you are, so naturally it’s going to evolve over time. Audrey Wheeler, a recent Miami alumna, talked about the progression of her style as “completely different from five years ago.” She continued to explain how she’s always dressed to make herself feel good, but how her style has grown with her. “Some of the things I wore in college I’d never be seen in now, but that’s just because of where I am in my life and as a young professional,” Wheeler said. “I love looking back on photos from a few years ago and seeing how I’ve changed through the way I dress. As I’ve matured, so has my style. It helps me see how much I’ve grown without even realizing it.” From her photos in college, you can see the similarities in how she dresses, but also how she has evolved into a more mature and professional individual. Like Baldari, Wheeler is bubbly and personable. She exemplifies how your style grows with you. Your personal identity is reflected in the way you dress and carry yourself. If wearing revealing clothes doesn’t make you feel your most confident, then why put yourself through that? Style is supposed to accentuate who you are, highlight your best features and leave you feeling comfortable in your own skin. Whether you’re the type of person who could wear a T-shirt and ripped jeans to every occasion or whether you’re someone who buys a new outfit for each day of the week, embracing who you are is what truly matters. Fashion isn’t just about trend-following, it’s also about finding the best looks for yourself. Today is the time to be stared at as you walk down the street. Dare to be talked about. It doesn’t matter if people say, “Wow, that’s amazing” or “Wow, what are they wearing?” They’re talking, and you’re not even saying a word.

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Photographed by Avery Salomon Styled by Adzaan Muqtadir & Olivia Bianco Modeled by Nan Kanjanakullawat & Corinne Crawford

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Written by Madysen George


hether you’re a freshman at Miami University or your time in Oxford is coming to a close, the reality of your future looms ahead, a daunting yet inescapable presence. Once the dust has settled from Career Fair in the fall, the Internship and Career Expo in the spring and every opportunity in between, you are still (God willing) left interviewing for dozens of internships and jobs, all with different deadlines and resume requirements. Competition in the job market isn’t new; facing down a potential career and being unable to feel your toes as a college student isn’t new, either. Certainly antiquated is the idea of dressing for success—but what does that mean? Your one guarantee may be “business,” but after that, it’s a spectrum: “business professional,” “business casual” and the always-dreaded, “casual casual,” reserved for company picnics and making you second guess everything you ever thought you knew about being, well, casual.

“The trick, then, becomes finding the balance between professionalism and expression, between the conservatism of the business world and the individuality you cherish in all other spheres.”

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“Walk into that boardroom with a kitten heel, walk out with an approved proposal.”

You know you need a suit and you should probably brush your teeth but … then what? And after you tackle the specifics of a business wardrobe, what cracks are left for your personality to shine through? Have you really spent so many years in school just to have your voice and mind lost in the dull hues of endless, neutral blazers and black shoes with black belts? Or, in this new age of professionalism, can you have your cake and eat it, too?

professionalism and expression, between the conservatism of the business world and the individuality you cherish in all other spheres. For working women, this balance may seem a narrow line to tread. It is important to remember that “femininity” is not synonymous with weak or unprofessional; it is its own unique strength. A well-placed ruffle or flattering silhouette should never translate to a lack of ability.

Before we get to the loopholes, let’s first tackle the fine print: You cannot build your stylish empire without a rock-solid foundation. “Business professional” is the typical stressor for most students, as we haven’t yet been subjected to the nuances of a conference versus a client meeting, and what each may entail. Even the most realistic group project leaves us room to wonder.

Miami juniors Kristen Hards and Ellie Grescovich, both pursuing a double major in strategic communications and entrepreneurship, seek to find professional apparel that’s fueled by creativity. Each woman had the opportunity to experience the workplace up-and-close this summer, with Hards interning at Equity Commercial Real Estate and Grescovich at ESPN.

The idea behind this dress code is that you put your best foot forward, that your first impression is a lasting impression, and so on and so forth. Both men and women are familiar with the need for The Good Suit. It’s what you interview in, what you’ll meet potential clients in and it’s a classic way to show that you take yourself and your career seriously. But for ladies, “business professional” includes a lot more than The Good Suit. It means neutral yet painted nails, skirts that are tailored but not too tight, natural-looking yet present makeup, hair well-kempt and out of your face … the list could go on forever.

Grescovich was one of three women in her 10-person program, while Hards was the only female intern in her office.

There is something to be said for respecting your field and yourself. However, regardless of your opinions on fashion, most people agree that how they dress affects how they feel about themselves. If every day you put on clothes that feel shapeless and make you feel faceless, you aren’t going to have the fabulous career experience you’ve craved for so long. The trick, then, becomes finding the balance between

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“My style wasn’t stifled,” Hards said. “I mean, I wouldn’t show up in neon, but I wore jumpsuits, platforms … I had fun with [my style].” Both women cited their work environments as more casual than they anticipated based on what they have experienced at Miami. “It was weirdly casual. I definitely found myself loosening up as my internship went on,” Grescovich said. The two described feeling respected in their positions and that their work ethic spoke far louder than the outfits they wore. However, the added anxiety of hair, makeup and the worry of being “inappropriate” weighed on them when they accepted their positions. “I asked the older women in the office over and over if what

I was wearing was all right,” Hards said. The pressure for women to masculinize themselves in the workforce in order to be taken seriously is ever-present, with the imminent threat of being labeled a “tease” or being unheard constantly playing in the back of their minds. While the nature of some fields like finance, for instance, lends itself to a more strict adherence to the rules, a liberation through style is attainable. Hards and Grescovich and countless other women exemplify that across fields and disciplines. So, how best to look like the boss woman you were born to be? First of all, as with most things in life, read the room! Make sure you’re in a good position to take certain liberties, because part of being a boss means respecting others as you respect yourself. But once you feel confident in your career space, have fun with simple swaps. Hards prefers platforms over pumps, and jean jackets instead of blazers, as she feels they’re charming and on-trend ways to spice up a rotation that would be otherwise monotonous. “It is so easy to dress those pieces up,” she said. “There is no reason you can’t still look like you know what you’re doing in platforms.” Let us not forget the trail blazed for us by Elle Woods— you can absolutely tackle any job while still feeling like yourself. Walk into that boardroom with a kitten heel, walk out with an approved proposal. Crush that lunch in pleats and a kicky-cut blouse that screams, “Yes, I read the projections you emailed me this morning, but I have also seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s more than once.” You can be classic, chic, feminine and professional, all at once. It isn’t either/or, it isn’t “pick one, throw two,” it’s all yours for the taking. What, like it’s hard?

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Inclusivity Done Well

Photographed by Lauren Waldrop Styled by Cami Cicero Modeled by Nina Grotto


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Inclusivity is “in,” and don’t expect it to be going anywhere anytime soon. Madewell, J.Crew’s younger (and hipper) sub-brand, has been the retail-giant’s primary source of revenue in recent years. “Madewell is for denim-lovers—or basically anyone who appreciates timeless designs that put you at ease,” said Joyce Lee, Madewell’s head designer, in a statement on their website. Lee can say that confidently, as the brand has unveiled extended sizing and a men’s line in the last three months alone. After J.Crew Group announced a new inclusive sizing initiative in July, Madewell has gone above and beyond to change the way the average shopper views sizing. They rolled out their new fall collection with denim ranging from sizes 23 to 37 and knits, tops and jackets up to size 3x. Plunkett Research estimates that “68 percent of American women wear a size 14 or above,” which in the US clothing industry is typically considered ‘plus size.’” Madewell has made size irrelevant by ensuring that all physiques are represented in their new collection, rejecting the “plus size” label—a term that to some, is an extremely outdated way to describe the majority of American women. To demonstrate this, Mic Network asked its Tumblr followers what they thought about the term “plus size.” Although some users felt that it was simply a way to categorize clothing, others viewed it as a harmful euphemism. “I think plus-sized is used by clothing stores to segregate the ‘pretty’ girls and clothes from the large, ‘ugly’ ones. I think the media uses it in a similar way,” said username dont-know-what-im-doing-anymore. But Madewell is different by taking styles already known and loved by customers and simply extending the sizing. This marks an important shift in the inclusivity of retail: Why should customers, no matter their build, settle for anything less than what they want and in a size that fits? Madewell continued its efforts to bring its clothes to even more customers with the launch of the Madewell

Men’s Collection in September. After two years of research and development, the 38-piece collection consists of staple denim styles like jeans and jackets, as well as T-shirts and sweatshirts. Madewell Men’s aims to evoke the same effortlessness, timelessness and quality that the existing women’s line has become known for. “Our goal was to make a wearable collection, rooted in denim,” said Madewell president Libby Wadle in an interview with Business Insider. “These are classicmeets-modern pieces that fit exactly the way our Madewell guy would want them to, in washes that only get better with age.” These moves are a part of J.Crew Group’s larger strategy of unveiling a version of the brand that’s more wideranging than ever before, with the explicit purpose of appealing to as many people as possible. As one spokesperson for the group commented to Refinery29, these recent efforts exemplify “J.Crew Group’s larger dedication to inclusivity and effort to reinvent their standard of fit to reflect the real, diverse spectrum of the customer.” J.Crew’s Merchandising Officer, Lisa Greenwald, added, “We recognize our platform as a mainstream American brand and feel proud to have the responsibility and the privilege to do more for our customers.” Madewell is not just accommodating these customers— they are embracing them. This could provide J.Crew Group with an advantage over other brands they often go head-to-head with. Madewell faces stiff competition from URBN’s Anthropologie and Free People, neither of which have extended sizing beyond petites. “We must reflect the America of today, which is significantly more diverse than the America of 20 years ago,” the new J.Crew Group CEO Jim Brett told the Wall Street Journal in August. “You can’t be one price. You can’t be one aesthetic. You can’t be one fit.” Inclusivity isn’t just a fad. J.Crew Group is paving the way for a more diverse, open and welcoming fashion marketplace.

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Modeled by Meekael Hailu & Anna Bixby

Photographed by Junho Moon Styled by Ben Krautheim, Hailey Lowe & Matt Zeldin

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Hello, Helen. One Woman’s Experience as an International Student Written by Julia Plant

Photographed by Olivia Hajjar Modeled by Helen Zhang Styled by Caitlyn Maskalunas

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Helen Zhang notices when people look at her differently in America—it happens pretty frequently. More than once in her life, strangers here in Oxford, Ohio, have approached her and asked if she speaks English. They usually ask the question slowly, in a condescending tone. Sometimes they speak louder than is necessary, as if she can’t hear them. Zhang reenacts one of these instances during our time together. “Like, why’d they have to say it like that?” she asked, laughing. “I’m not stupid!” Zhang does, in fact, speak English, and has been learning the language since middle school. Coming from Guangzhao, China, she experiences racism like this on a daily basis as a student at Miami University. But she’s known she wanted to study abroad since she was 12,

and to her, the sacrifices are worth it. Students in China are trained throughout childhood for the gaokao, or the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, which they take at the end of high school. They get one chance to take the test, and the score they receive automatically determines where they will go to college. “I thought it was completely unfair,” Zhang said. “I can offer so much more than one test score.” As soon as she realized the school system in China wasn’t for her, she planned ahead to study abroad. She traveled all over Europe and Australia during middle school and high school to experience new cultures and see how other people lived. Even though she had never been to the United States, when it came time for high school, she chose to attend an all-girls

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boarding school with an international student program in Baltimore, Maryland. “I wanted to see what I could do on my own and I wanted to see how far I could make it,” she said. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve really ever done … There are sacrifices that come with big decisions like this.” One of the biggest sacrifices for Zhang has been giving up important time with her family and friends. None of her friends from China study in the United States. A flight from Oxford to Guangzhao takes more than 20 hours and costs over $1,000. She sees her parents once a year. “Every day I’m here, they’re missing a day in my life,” she said, looking down at the floor. “I want to be at home to support them, but I also wanted to move out here and show them that I can make something of myself.” It’s a balancing act. She tries to be the perfect daughter and FaceTime them whenever she has a free moment, but free moments don’t come often. Zhang has made a point to make the most of her time abroad by doing everything in her power to set herself up for success. She is double majoring in information systems and analytics and fashion business. As a student, she has to overcome stereotypes from both peers and faculty every day in the classroom. She knows that domestic students probably underestimate her often and worry that she can’t keep up during group projects. “It really hurts,” she said. “But I am confident to say that I give better business presentations than a lot of other American-born students,” she said with a laugh, noting that this statement will probably “piss a lot of people off.”

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As is typical of most college students, Zhang yearns to fit in, but that’s not easy for international students on Miami’s campus. Zhang attributes the language barrier to keeping international and domestic students mostly socially segregated at the university. “[International students] want to try to become friends with Americans, but there’s embarrassment and fear of rejection,” she said. “So, they tend to stay with their friends who speak Chinese—the people they’re comfortable with.” But Zhang is bold. Coming to America, Zhang made a conscious effort to befriend Americans. Instead of cautiously trying to speak perfect English, she asks her friends to be open with her and correct her language. On her first day of college, she knocked on every dorm room in Hepburn Hall in an effort to make friends. And she has. But deciding to leave the familiarity of home to live in a completely foreign country for eight years takes courage. Zhang and the entire international student body face challenges and barriers every day that most Miami students can’t even begin to imagine. They’re often not given the same respect as domestic students from both peers and faculty. They have trouble communicating their thoughts and ideas in a classroom where they’ll be judged for struggling with English. Usually, they live separate lives after class. But Zhang is an exception. She loves America and hopes to find a job here after college. After that, she wants to experience new cultures and try new things. She strives to give back to her community in China, her high school in Maryland and her parents. She wants to hold enough power to change the education system in China.

And she’s been preparing for it her entire life.

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Written by Nina Franco

for the

Americans love an underdog. Look at the success of movies like “Rocky,” “Rudy” and “The Mighty Ducks.” Not to mention the overwhelming support for Loyola Chicago in this year’s March Madness games. “It’s human nature to root for underdogs,” said Brian Balogh, historian and host of “Backstory,” an American history podcast. “But I would argue there is something in American history probably pretty connected to not having an aristocracy or a ruling class ... that makes us feel that we all come from an even playing field, and the best man or woman should win the race.” Americans love political underdogs, too. Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan were two presidential candidates that we now regard as some of the best politicians in history, and both men were never projected to win. Neither was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She was the former campaign organizer for the previous presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who beat out incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district by just over 4,000 votes. Ocasio-Cortez also used to be a bartender. On Nov. 14, 2017, Ocasio-Cortez was shaking up margaritas behind the bar at Flats Fix, a taco restaurant in New York City, working to support her family. A year later, on June 26, 2018, she became NY-14’s democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives.

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A Bronx native, Cortez capitalized on the fact that her district had changed since Crowley had stepped onto the Hill almost 20 years ago. According to Ballotpedia, the 14th district now has an overwhelming Hispanic population of 46.9 percent. In the months leading up to the election, rumors that Crowley could overtake Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s position as the Democratic leader of the House circled the Hill. After all, he was serving his 10th term on the Hill and he hadn’t faced a competitor since 2004. Now, the House’s fourth-ranking Democrat is preparing to pack his bags. “They’ll tell you you’re too loud,” Cortez said. “That you need to wait your turn and ask the right people for permission. Do it anyway.” Just like Lincoln, Reagan and Cortez, Miami University’s student body president, senior Meaghan Murtagh, wasn’t sure she had a chance, either. Despite her three years of experience on Miami’s Associate Student Government, Murtagh didn’t think that would be enough to secure a win. She didn’t believe that she met the social standards of the perfect candidate because she wasn’t in what Miami students might consider a “top-tier” sorority. But, as the election results showed, the social standards of popularity didn’t seem to count. It was being someone that all students could relate to that mattered. “[My] freshman year, I hated Miami,” Murtagh said. “I just really didn’t feel like I belonged and I was homesick. And then, I joined student government and that really kind of changed my perspective. Now as student body

president, I really want to make sure people know that they are welcome here and all students have a place here at Miami.” Many students can relate to this feeling of inadequacy in their first year when met with the challenges of fitting into a new environment. And the people who told her to prepare for a loss because she didn’t fit a certain mold only made her work harder. Murtagh and her vice president, Vincent Smith, visited approximately 60 student organizations and emailed over 250 to secure as many votes as possible. Female insurgent candidates across the nation have proved that it isn’t about fitting in—it’s about standing out. This month, The Washington Post reported that 184 female candidates, excluding incumbents, will be on ballots in November. Some have already done the tough part, like Katie Arrington (R-SC), who took out the “unbeatable” Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina’s first congressional district, or Stacey Abrams (D-GA), who made history as the first black woman to be a party nominee for governor of Georgia. These women have a long way to go, but by sharing their own journies, they have empowered so many other women, just like Murtaugh. “I think in our country, in general, it is a time where we have a leader of our country who kind of oppresses women,” said Murtaugh. “So really, just showing other women on campus that their voice matters and saying, ‘You are strong and you do play an important role on campus’ can make a difference.”

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Creative Director


What “Empower” means to me is probably something completely different from any other person—and that’s one of the things I love most about this issue’s theme. Whatever shape of empowerment you as a reader feel most connected with, run with it. During the construction of this issue, the entire UP staff knew we wanted to keep this issue open to individuality so that anyone could connect with its content. At UP, we always aim to inspire confidence, authenticity and an embracement of individuality with our readers, but we especially aimed to hit that mission home with this issue. We hope you enjoy!

We approached this issue diferently than we ever have before—a shoot exclusively dedicated to four different covers, a minimalistic rebranding of the magazine, and an emphasis on authenticity. “Empower” exists as the first issue of a new era of “UP”—one that is especially rooted in diversity, individuality and creativity. As you flip through the pages of this magazine, I hope that you are not only inspired by the beautiful imagery and stories, but by the creative vision that fueled them. As UP’s brand continues to grow, let this issue be a reminder that empowerment and confidence can, too, help you grow.

UP has always empowered me to use my ideas for the better. For you, readers, I hope it does the same. Whether you are new to us, or you are one of our senior supporters, please know that your everpresent love and support not only means the world to our staff, but also encourages us to create more inclusive and innovative content than ever before. You’ve helped to give me—and UP—a voice. I hope we can continue to return the favor. So, no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, and no matter where you may be going, thank you, and welcome (or welcome back!) to the UP family.





UP Magazine

UP Magazine

UP Magazine

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Profile for UP Magazine

Fall Issue 2018: EMPOWER  

UP seeks to inspire the student body to both dress and think creatively. At UP Magazine, we believe fashion is an expression of oneself. Fas...

Fall Issue 2018: EMPOWER  

UP seeks to inspire the student body to both dress and think creatively. At UP Magazine, we believe fashion is an expression of oneself. Fas...


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