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the Editor Dear Reader, Well, we did it. Never in a million years did I imagine this would be how we did it, but we did. %PPXLMRKWGSRWMHIVIH-XLMRO]SY[MPP½RHXLEXXLMW issue is unique in many ways and is possibly one of our best issues yet. At the beginning of this semester, we had trouble deciding on a theme. Every topic was simply too broad or XSSWTIGM½G.YWXEWMXWIIQIHPMOI[ILEHI\LEYWXIHEPPSJ our options, our Head of Hairstyling, Mikaela Woods, suggested a ‘dream’ theme during one of our meetings. That idea became our foundation. In a matter of minutes our members KVI[GSR½HIRXERHFIKERWYKKIWXMRKMHIEWJSVWLSSXWEVXMcles and looks. That was my favorite meeting of the year, and I cannot wait for you to see how we brought all of those ideas to life. 3RT]SY´PP½RH6EGLIP1EVO´WVIWIEVGLSRHVIEQ relationships and how the media portrays unhealthy behavMSVWMRPSZI.SVNE&YXX[VSXIEFSYXHVIEQMRXIVTVIXEXMSRERH how placing value on the little movies that play in our head as we sleep can affect a person. Her article can be found on T8LIRSRT1EVKEY\%YKMIVHMWGYWWIWXLILMWXSV]SJXLI ‘American Dream,’ how it has changed and what it means to our society. Our Head of Styling, Sophia Munoz, branched out by writing our fashion piece, which can be found on p. This semester, our writers challenged themselves in new [E]WEWXLI][IVIJSVGIHXS½RMWLXLIMVEVXMGPIWZMVXYEPP] when in-person collaboration was no longer an option due to COVID-19. I don’t believe they could’ve done a better
NSFERH-´QTVSYHSJXLIQJSVWXMGOMRKXSMX Our creative team stepped up to the plate, as well. I have never seen shoots run so smoothly, and was impressed by LS[IEWMP]XLI][IVIEFPIXSFVMRKSYVZMWMSRXSPMJI&PEM^I,EVX SYV4LSXS)HMXSVWLSXJSVTVMRXJSVXLI½VWXXMQIXLMWWIQIWXIV His work can be found on p. Our styling team created comTPIXIP]WYWXEMREFPISYX½XWXSFITEMVIH[MXL1YRS^´WIHMXSVMEP piece, but we unfortunately were unable to showcase them due to COVID-19. Sean Yuan put together impressive videography work that can be found on our Instagram (@vrntmagazine), and Lindsay Katz, with the help of her growing design team, showed up with spreads that left us speechless. (put in designer name and page number??) The perseverance, leadership and communication skills that I witnessed as our Variant family worked relentlessly, despite the pandemic, to complete our beloved Dream Issue is something I will never forget. Some of our members were forced XSPIEZIGEQTYWWSQIPSWXNSFWERHSXLIVWPSWXTVSJIWWMSREP development opportunities. At the same time, we were forced to navigate a virtual/remote learning system that has proven to FIUYMXIHMJ½GYPX&YX[IOITXXLIHVIEQEPMZI7IIMRKXLMWSVKERM^EXMSR´WHVMZIXS½RMWL[LEX[IWXEVXIHLEWFIIRMRGVIHMFP] inspirational. I couldn’t thank this team and our supporters enough for their hard work. I am incredibly optimistic about the magazine’s future and am eager to see what our members create in the years to come. &IWX
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MORGAN COOVERT EXECUTIVE EDITOR AARON HART ASSOCIATE EDITOR MADISON SALYER À CREATIVE DIRECTOR KHÁNH-VY TRÂN
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MORGAN COOVERT editor-in-chief
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LILY ROBY feature editor
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The Fast Fashion Fiasco and a Utopian Solution
Head in the clouds
The Space Between American Dream or American Dreamt?
Deciphering the Minds Code
The one where the honeymoonphase ends
AWord on covid-19
Fast Fashion Fiasco And a Utopian Solution The
Written by Sophia Daugherty Muñoz Illustrated and designed by Olivia Dutkewych
Fashion is philosophical. It starts conversations and arguments; it can bridge two ideas or be the wedge that divides opinions. 8LIEVXSJHVIWWMRKWTIEOWXSGYPXYVEPERHWSGMEPMHIEWXLEXVI¾IGXERHWXMQYPEXIXLI human consciousness. It is a key to understanding who one is. *EWLMSRMWEPY\YV]8LIIRXMX]MWRSXIWWIRXMEPXSLYQER survival, but why would we want to live without it? The idea is ERI\XIRWMSRSJI\TVIWWMSRXLEXMWFSXLYRMUYIERHFIEYXMJYPP] LYQER*EWLMSRMWEJSVQSJEVXQEOMRKMXIRXMVIP]WYFNIGXMZI &IEYX]ERHWX]PIPMIWFIRIEXLXLILYQERWTMVMX *EWXJEWLMSRMWERI\TPSHMRKQEVOIXSJQEWWTVSHYGIHGPSXLMRKXLEXVITPMGEXIWXVIRHWERHHIWMKRWGVIEXIHF]PY\YV]HIWMKRIV brands like Chanel, Versace and the rest of the big names one [SYPH½RH¾MTTMRKXLVSYKL:SKYI8LIWIJEQSYWJEWLMSRLSYWIW introduce new trends on the runway each season. Once they hit the runway, designs are reproduced quickly and cheaply by retailers such as ZARA, H&M and Topshop. This cyclical process is known as the trickle down theory of fashion. In a way, it democratizes fashion by making it readily accessible to more people. However, the consumerist construct that created and sustains the fast fashion structure perpetuates waste by encouraging people to buy more for less. This idea is deceiving to consumers alike. Consumers of fast fashion believe they are saving money by purchasing cheaper items when, in reality, they are investing in EWLSVXXIVQI\TIVMIRGI'LIETP]GSRWXVYGXIHGPSXLMRKHSIWR´X last.
This works in favor of companies who depend on consumers to dispose of outdated trends in order to buy new products. The growth of fast fashion has FIRI½XIHXLIIGSRSQ]FYXGVIEXIHERI\TIRWMZI problem that the current and future generations need to address before it is too late. Not only are these fast fashion chains ripping off the consumer, they are ripping off the artists and designers who have spent time meticulously crafting GPSXLMRKERHMHIEW9VFER3YX½XXIVWLEWFIIRWYIH by artists on multiple occasions for copyright infringement. However, many companies get away with stealing designs because there is very little copyright protection for fashion design. Clothing is considered a “useful item” under copyright law. With that said, if the clothing doesn’t replicate logos, brand names or original prints, then it isn’t considered unlawful. Ever wonder who is making most of the cheaply produced clothing found in stores like Forever 21 ERH3PH2EZ]#-XGERFILEVHXS½RHXLEXSYXERH looking at the tags attached to the garment only gives you the location of origin. Most of the time, the tag will say “Made in China, India or Indonesia.” These EVINYWXELERHJYPSJGSYRXVMIWXLEXXLI[IWXIVR[SVPH I\TPSMXWJSVGLIETKSSHW;SVOMRKGSRHMXMSRWMRQSWX SJXLIWIJEGXSVMIWEVII\XVIQIP]HERKIVSYWERHLEZI proven to be deadly on multiple occasions. The worst case happened in April of 2013 when ERIMKLXWXSV]JEGXSV]MR&ERKPEHIWLGSPPETWIHSR MXWIPJOMPPMRK[SVOIVWERHMRNYVMRKQSVIXLER 2,500 others. The hazardous working conditions are SRP]EJVEGXMSRSJXLII\TPSMXEXMSRXLEXSGGYVW8I\XMPI workers are often forced to work 12-14 hours a day,
7 days a week, for wages that are anywhere from half XSE½JXLSJ[LEXXLIPMZMRK[EKIMW8LIPMZMRK[EKI represents the bare minimum a person can survive on. Although it is banned by law in most countries, The International Labour Organization estimates that 170 million children engage in child labour. Child labour is very TSTYPEVMRXLIXI\XMPIMRHYWXV]FIGEYWIMXMWEPS[WOMPPNSF that doesn’t require a lot of training. This happens in very TSSVGSYRXVMIW[LIVI½RERGMEPMRWIGYVMX]JSVGIWQER] children to work for their families survival. In these areas, unions and the idea of unionizing is often condemned with violence and death. Considering these conditions, it’s RSXLEVHXSWIIXLEXXI\XMPIJEGXSVMIWSTIVEXIF]QIERW of institutionalized enslavement that is evil and repulsive. -HIEPP]XLIJEWLMSRERHXI\XMPIMRHYWXV][SYPHRSX I\TPSMXQMPPMSRWSJPEFSVIVWMRSXLIVGSYRXVMIW4VIJIVEFP] there would be a fair trade agreement that all companies [SYPHLEZIXSEFMHIF]9RHIVXLMWEKVIIQIRXXI\XMPI laborers would be unionized and represented, ensuring safe working conditions, fair wages and the respect of basic human rights. There are companies now who are paving way for change. Ethical fashion isn’t in the foreJVSRX]IXFYXMXHI½RMXIP]WLSYPHFI&VERHWPMOI)ZIVPERI prioritize ethical production practices that don’t harm the environment or it’s workers. They brand themselves by being “radically transparent” while designing clothes that are made to last. The rise of social media and technology has only made the pressure to purchase more material goods, clothes in particular, penetrating and hard to ignore. When shopping online, be weary that companies have 2
databases that track browsing and purchase history. They use this data to advertise directly to the individual’s patterns of consumption. There EVIWMQTPI[E]WXSHMWEFPIXLMWWSVXSJHEXEXVEGOMRKXLEXEVIWTIGM½GXS each mobile device. It has never been cheaper or easier to purchase clothing online. The switch to online shopping has affected the performance and relevancy of shopping malls across the country. A report by Credit Suisse estimates that 22-25% of shopping malls would close between 2017 and 2022. Maybe this isn’t the worst thing, considering shopping malls VITVIWIRXXLI%QIVMGERPMJIWX]PISJI\GIWWERHGSRWYQTXMSR,S[IZIV XLIGPSWYVISJXLIWIPEVKIWLSTTMRKGSQTPI\IWPIEZIWEPSXSJTISTPI unemployed and a lot of space unused and abandoned. Malls are essentially where the old American dream has died and where something new and beautiful can be born. The health of our Earth is the most pressing issue that touches everyone who inhabits the world. Humans have created an overwhelmingly large and lasting impact on the world, which hasn’t been incredibly positive. The United State’s consumeristic construct that is perpetuated by the fashion industry is killing our environment. The United State’s capitalist economy promotes mass production, QEWWGSRWYQTXMSRERHERI\GIWWMZIEQSYRXSJ[EWXI7IGSRHXSSMP XLIGPSXLMRKERHXI\XMPIMRHYWXV]MWXLIPEVKIWXTSPPYXIVMRXLI[SVPH 8LVSYKLXLIMRXIRWMZIYWISJ[EXIVERHI\GIWWMZITVSHYGXMSRSJTPEWXMG combined with 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the fast JEWLMSR½EWGSMW½PPMRKSYVGPSWIXWERHOMPPMRKSYV[SVPH In an ideal world, large manufacturing companies who control the fast fashion industry such as H&M , ZARA and Fashion Nova would invest in making up-cycling “trendy.” Upcycling is the art of repurposing used clothing and recycled materials to create new clothing. It is a creative and sustainable practice that could be easily introduced to XLIQEWWIW6IG]GPIHJEFVMGWERHEPXIVREXMZI½FIVWWYGLEWLIQTERH FEQFSSEVIEPWSKVIEXEPXIVREXMZIWXSIRZMVSRQIRXEPP]I\TPSMXEXMZI processed fabrics like polyester and cotton. 8LIPIEHIVWSJXLIJEWXJEWLMSR½EWGSLEZIIRSYKLVIWSYVGIWXS revolutionize the fashion industry while simultaneously changing the [SVPHJSVXLIFIXXIV&YXXLI]LEZIR´XERHXLI][SR´XYRXMPXLIGSRsumer demands it. In the United States, money talks. There needs to be a collective concern for this issue and it needs to be spoken; not with words, but with action. The minor things you do on a daily basis can create big change collectively. Think about what kind of change you can make in your life to help bring awareness to this issue. Start with evaluating your purchasing. Consider eliminating fast fashion purchases or simply cutting down on how much money you invest in that industry. UP-CYCLE UP-CYLE UP-CYCLE! Find functional uses for old clothes SVXYVRERSPHTEMVSJNIERWMRXSESRISJEOMRHWGEVJ7IPPSVHSREXI your old clothes instead of throwing them in the dumpster. Fast fashion is out of style. Our generation has the creative ability to turn the problem of having too many clothes into a fashionable future. Together, we can bring sustainability in-style. 3
“Through the intensive use of water
and excessive production of plastic combined with 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the fast IDVKLRQ¼DVFRLV¼OOLQJRXUFORVHWVDQG killing our world.”
head in the clouds
Photographed by Alex Piekarski Designed by Camelia Post
the Space Between
Written by Zoie Lambert Designed by Naila Latham
over 14 million listeners on Spotify, Grammy Award [MRRIV.'SPIMWPMZMRKXLIHVIEQ Known for singing about various topics ranging from relationships to childhood, Cole is one of the numerous ar tists that uses music to discuss the concept of lucid dreaming. In his song “Fire Squad,” Cole highlights how lucid dreaming is a lifestyle rather than a nighttime practice. While lucid dreaming, an individual can recognize that not only are they dreaming but are able to control the dream. Awareness and control are the two biggest aspects of lucid dreaming. For those who haven’t had XLI TPIEWYVI SJ I\TIVMIRGMRK PYGMH dreams, it may be a hard concept to grasp. According to howstuffworks.com, PYGMHHVIEQMRK[EW½VWXTVEGXMGIHF] 8MFIXER&YHHLMWXW[LSMRMXMEPP]GEPPIH this concept dream yoga. Tibetan &YHHLMWXWWXERHSRXLITVMRGMTPIXLEX a lucid dreamer should recognize the dream world for what it is — simply a dream. The most recent pioneer in the study of lucid dreaming is psychophysiologist Stephen Laberge . Laberge is an impor tant figure at the Lucidity Institute, where he teaches classes on how to lucid dream. Although his classes are effective, there is one thing that can teach lucid dreaming better than the LMKLP]UYEPM½IH7XITLIR0EFIVKI° music. In the spring of 1990, the power metal band Queensr yche recorded a popular song about lucid
vdreaming called “Silent Lucidity.” The song is a metaphor for how people either live their lives fearlessly or in fear. “Fear is your worst enemy in dreams,” 0EFIVKII\TPEMRIHMR±0YGMH(VIEQMRK 8LI4S[IVSJ&IMRK%[EOI %[EVIMR Your Dreams.” “If you allow it to persist, it will grow stronger and your selfGSR½HIRGIEW[IPPEW]SYVPYGMHMX][MPP grow correspondingly weaker.” Likewise, in “Silent Lucidity”, Queensryche sings about how the human brain can easily trick people and control their moods through negative dreams. Many may use lucidity as a stepping stone to escape these bad dreams. A nightmare about falling off of a tall building to death can quickly be rerouted to being a dream about having superpowers or doing the impossible. Though the song is the antithesis to what lucid dreaming entails, “Wake Up” by Travis Scott ft.The Weeknd is a great song for learning how to lucid dream. Like Scott, many people dream about things we want to happen in life. This actualization is not far from reality when lucid dreaming. Unfor tunately, lucid dreaming is not for ever yone. Several tr y to master it but fall shor t due to factors out of XLIMVGSRXVSP.YMGI;VPHVETTIVSJXLI well-known song
“Lucid Dreams,” is unable to master lucid dreaming due to his sleep paralysis, a condition in which people get caught halfway between unconsciousness and consciousness, unable to move SVXEPO-RXLI½VWXZIVWISJLMW WSRK .YMGI;VPH XEPOW EFSYX having dreams without any control. “It’s scar y, you can be laying VMKLXRI\XXSWSQIFSH]².YMGI;VPH said in an interview with Genius about his sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. “If they’re not paying attention, they won’t even know you’re having it.” According to livescience.com, many TISTPII\TIVMIRGILEPPYGMREXMSRWHYI XSWPIITTEVEP]WMW7MQMPEVP].YMGI;VPH sings, “I still see your shadows in my room” to illustrate how sleep paralysis makes him see shadows and have hallucinations. Imagining the trauma .YMGI;VPH YRHIV[IRX HYI XS WPIIT paralysis should push more people to lucid dream so that they are in more control while sleeping. It is ironic how lucid dreaming happens when the brain is asleep but still relies on par t of the brain’s consciousness. Lucid dreaming lives in the in-between of sleep and consciousness. With unconscious thoughts—malevolent or benevolent — being brought to light, dreamers are offered a chance to get to know themselves better. As the word dream has become less of a fantasy happening at night but a real-life aspiration one can have, lucid dreaming is a playbook on how to conquer one’s fears and hopes in reality.
Written by Margaux Augier Photographed by M arin Cook Designed by Kenzie Kress
AMerican dream or american Dreamt? ,MWXSVMER.EQIW8VYWPS[%HEQW originally coined the term “American dream” in his book, The Epic of America, in 1931. He used the term to refer to “that dream of a land in which life should be better and rich and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” %HEQW´HI½RMXMSRSJXLI%QIVMGERHVIEQ HMHR´XRIGIWWEVMP]I\GPYHIGIVXEMRWSGMEPSV economic classes, races or ethnicities, but as the image behind this term evolved, so did its meaning for generations of Americans. Originally, the American dream was made possible by the geographic, economic and political factors of the United States. Simply, the U.S. is a large landmass with abundant natural resources all under control by a single government and supported by a free market economy. The American dream focused largely on the breadwinners of nuclear families in which a mother and father have children in one suburban household that, according XSKVEHYEXISJ(,&;7XYXXKEVX(ERMIP 7GLmJIV±¾SGOXSKIXLIVPMOIEXSQWEVSYRHE RYGPIYW²8LIXIVQHIWGVMFIHERI\TIGXEXMSR SJSRIX]TISJHIZIPSTQIRXHI½RMRKWXVMGXP] stereotypical suburbia as “American.” Yet, as the U.S. progresses away from the commonplace ideals of the nuclear family, the country continues to shift toward values of intersectionality and diversity in race and WI\YEPMX]8LYWQER]%QIVMGERWQE]UYIWXMSR XLII\MWXIRGISJXLMWSVMKMREPHVIEQERH[LEX truly makes it American. What was once an ideal to many has now evolved into a concept unique to each
individual. The American dream was once only made possible for white landowners in the U.S., but the concept of inalienable rights was so compelling that these rights were eventually granted to non-property owners, slaves and women. Through the continuous ½KLXJSVIUYEPMX]XLIWIVMKLXWHI½RIHXLI American dream, subsequently altering the future of America itself. In essence, without inalienable rights, there is no dream. President Abraham Lincoln granted the dream’s equal opportunity to slaves. President Woodrow Wilson supported the voting rights of women in 1918, which led to the addition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Years later in the Roaring Twenties, the American dream morphed into a customary goal of acquiring material goods. Following the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, the phrase arose in advertisements for intellectuality - books, plays, sermons, articles and more. A decade later, post-World War II, former chaplain of the U.S. Senate Peter Marshall said, “Religious liberty to worship God according to the dictates of one’s own conscience and equal opportunity for all men are the twin pillars of the American dream.” Marshall’s vision of the American dream focused largely on equal independence and opportunity. Similarly in 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech, in which he encouraged a future that was “deeply rooted in the American dream.” At this moment, the dream stood as a symbol of equality for all. 10
President Lyndon &.SLRWSRJEGMPMXEXIH this symbol of equality in 1964. He bolstered the American dream through his promotion of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibited employers from discriminating against employees based on race, color, REXMSREPSVMKMRVIPMKMSRWI\ERH even pregnancy. Two years later, .SLRWSRI\XIRHIHXLIWIVMKLXWXSGMXM^IRWSZIV the age of 40 through the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Additionally, President &EVEGO3FEQEKVERXIHGMXM^IRWXLIPIKEPFIRIÂ˝XW SJQEVVMEKIVIKEVHPIWWSJWI\YEPSVMIRXEXMSRMR .YRISJ'PIEVP]XLIWIPIKMWPEXMSRIJJSVXWLEZI furthered Americansâ€™ capability to achieve the American dream, but thatâ€™s not to say the U.S. isnâ€™t still battling equality. The concept of the American dream was so largely sought after because of its enticing appeal to a better life. Candidly, the American dreamâ€™s VEXMSREPITSWIHEWJEY\QSXMZEXMSRJSVTISTPIXS live out their best lives. Without any tangibility, the American dream became a catalyst for success, regardless of social class, race, gender, disability, or the like. As a whole, Americaâ€™s politics have made the American dream more attainable for minorities, but do people still care about achieving the American dream as they did a century ago? We asked the general public about this topic by utilizing a platform that has altered the idea of the American dream itself: technology. On Feb. 29, VARIANT posted a poll on its Instagram story asking viewers, â€œDoes the American HVIEQWXMPPI\MWX#;L]SV[L]RSX#Â˛3YXSJXLI 61 responses we received, the results were distributed quite equally. 49.2% of respondents ERW[IVIH]IWXLIHVIEQHSIWWXMPPI\MWXERH 50.8% of respondents answered no, the dream HSIWRSXWXMPPI\MWX%GGSVHMRKXSEVIGIRXWYVZI] F]XLI4I[6IWIEVGL'IRXIVMRXLIQENSVMX]
of Americans believe they are on their way to achieving the American dream or have already achieved it. In contrast with the general public, the Athens community, namely Ohio University students, appeared evenly split between pessimism and optimism of the dreamâ€™s current I\MWXIRGI Of the individuals that answered yes, we gathered further responses stressing the importance of labor: â€œYou can conquer anything with hard work and determination, your only set back is yourself,â€? and â€œThe American Dream is about becoming successful through hard work.â€? On the contrary, we also received â€œyesâ€? answers that seemed more realistic and understanding of the American dreamâ€™s transformation over time: â€œThe desire to rise above your current situation and â€˜succeedâ€™ is still prevalent but it means something much different than it used to.â€? Other answers implied the idea that the American dream will continue to change in unforeseen ways: â€œThe American dream slightly changes over time FYXWXMPPI\MWXWMREZEVMIH[E]Â˛ Of the respondents that answered â€œno,â€? we VIGIMZIHSTMRMSRWXLEXVIÂžIGXIHXLIRIKEXMZMX] toward the economic factor of the American dream and disregarded the principles promoted by MLK and Marshall. One response read, â€œ[People] donâ€™t strive for equal opportunity. Their new vision of success centers around wealth.â€? Another said, â€œIt never did. [It was] always â€Ś a rouse to trap people in the capitalistic ideals of what life should be.â€? Other responses were critical of the societal hurdles to accomplishing the dream: â€œThe institutional systems that â€Ś I\MWXQEOIMXMQTSWWMFPIJSV?TISTPIAXSQSZI up.â€? Some responses denoted the inability to ascend economic classes: â€œSystematic barriers oppose [people] of low socioeconomic status to advancing in society.â€?
Although these convoluted developments of the American dream have shifted its meaning in the modern world, this change doesn’t necessarily mean the American dream itself is dying. Rather, it’s IZSPZMRKMRXSEQSVIGSQTPI\ERHVIEPMWXMGZMI[SJ one’s potential pathway in life. In other words, the revolutionized American dream is overtly malleable; it’s open to interpretation, and it’s more inclusive to the possibility of variety. It may be harder to become economically prosperous, but the current American dream stresses a passion for your work. It’s welcoming to ingenuity and not solely hard labor. Accomplishing the American dream is a different
process for everyone, but there’s no doubt that the SRKSMRKQSHM½GEXMSRWXSXLI%QIVMGERHVIEQLEW aided in the accomplishment of it for Americans today. The modern American dream makes EGLMIZMRKXLII\XVESVHMREV]WMQTP]SVHMREV] .YWXEW.EQIW8VYWPS[%HEQW[VSXIMR the American dream isn’t merely high wages and I\TIRWMZIFIPSRKMRKWFYXE±EHVIEQSJWSGMEP order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”
DECIPHERING the mind’s code Written by Jorja Butt Photographed by Blaize Hart Designed by Lindsay Katz
When a person’s head meets their pillow, QSWXI\TIVMIRGIEJEWXTEGIHFPYVSJIZIRXWXLEX WIIQXSFISZIVNYWXEWUYMGOP]EWXLI]FIKER The short stories that play out while we are asleep are believed by many to have underlying meanings related to real events. Scientists have GSRGPYHIHXLEX[LEXETIVWSRI\TIVMIRGIWMR VIEPPMJIMWSJXIRVI¾IGXIHMRW]QFSPWXLEXEVITEVX of our dreams or nightmares. )\TIVMQIRXWGSRHYGXIHXSHIXIVQMRI where dreaming takes place in the brain has led to astounding discoveries as to why we dream. 8LI+YEVHMERE&VMXMWLRI[WTETIVKEXLIVIH evidence from Francesca Siclari, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Siclari found that dreaming is caused by the rapid eye movement (REM) that occurs while we sleep. This rapid eye movement initiates a reaction in the part of the brain that deals with facial recognition, which is why we tend to dream of familiar people in our lives. Siclari said that, XLVSYKLLIVWXYHMIWWLI[EWEFPIXSWIII\EGXP] when a participant was dreaming and when their mind was still. “It only seems to need a very circumscribed, a very restricted activation of the FVEMRXSKIRIVEXIGSRWGMSYWI\TIVMIRGIW²7MGPEVM
told The Guardian in an interview. The images we see while asleep only appear once the parts of the brain that generate the images are stimulated. These conscious I\TIVMIRGIWGERWIIQVIEPMRXLIQSQIRXFYX once woken up, individuals soon realize it was a part of their imagination. Oftentimes, these I\TIVMIRGIWGERFIVIGYVVMRKQEOMRKXLIQWIIQ more real and more memorable. For Collin Aldrich, a sophomore at Ohio State University, recurring dreams are very familiar to him. As a child, Aldrich dreamt the same thing for multiple RMKLXWMREVS[FYXLEHRSI\TPEREXMSRJSVMX “When I was around nine, I would constantly have this dream of a big black dog that my neighbor would walk in the neighborhood,” Aldrich said. “In my dream, my friend and I were on my front porch and the dog would run from down the street. We tried to run inside, but before I could get inside the dog would grab my leg. After it grabbed my leg, it would throw me up in the air twice and then the third time, I would wake up,” he said. Aldrich thought it was odd to have the same vivid dream for many nights because he had never had a fear of dogs, nor did he develop one. While he thought it was strange, he didn’t 16
contemplate what it meant after the dog never reappeared in his dreams. For some, HVIEQWEVINYWXEGSPPIGXMSRSJITMWSHIWXLEX have little impact later on in life. For others, fantasy can quickly become certainty. Reality set in for Grace Lowe, a sophomore at Ohio University, when she realized that her subconscious gave her the ability to almost see the future. Lowe said that she often had stress induced dreams that never had clear meanings. However, when contemplating her career, one dream ½REPP]FVSYKLXLIVGPEVMX];LMPIMRLMKL school, she debated her career options I\XIRWMZIP]ERHWXVIWWIHSZIV[LEXWLI [SYPHIRNS]HSMRKXLIQSWX7LIORI[WLI longed to be an educator, so she decided to shadow a previous teacher of hers to see if this was her true passion. The day before she stepped into the classroom, Lowe became overwhelmed with fear. “For the longest time I had always known that I wanted to be a teacher, but I think I was scared that I would go in and I [SYPHLEXIMX²0S[IWEMH±-NYWXVIQIQFIVIH going into the classroom and feeling at home, in my dream. I woke up and walked in that day feeling good from my dream the RMKLXFIJSVI[LMGLVIEPP]WSPMHM½IHXLIJEGX that I wanted to be an educator.” Lowe didn’t need a psychologist to interpret her dream because she knew I\EGXP][LEXMXLEHQIERXXSLIV%WER IHYGEXMSRQENSVEX3LMS9RMZIVWMX]WLI thinks back to her subconscious and knows that it led her to where she is meant to be today. Whether it be a dream that had little to no impact or one that gave someone a push in the right direction, dreams remain a mystery to scientists as they continue to WXYH]XLIQXSHE](V&VIXX4IXIVWIEVRIHLMW Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Rochester and is fascinated with the Q]WXIV]FILMRHHVIEQW4IXIVWI\TPEMRIH that, while people dream, activity in the area 17
of the brain where organization and planning takes place is low whereas activity in the parts of the brain where visual association takes place is very high. To this day it is hard for him to answer whether or not dreams have any true meaning. However, he gave insightful input on why he believes we continue to have dreams. “I would think of dreams like hallucinations,” Peters said. “They don’t have any real meaning and WLSYPHR´XFIMRXIVTVIXIHEWWYGL-RWXIEH-[SYPHNYWX
ZMI[XLIQEWGLERRIPWYV½RKSR8:=SYHSR´XVIEPP] know what you are going to get. You can hop around different channels whenever you want and they don’t have any meaningful interpretation.” While dreams remain a mystery to the people that have them and the scientists that study them, they continue to surprise us in ways we couldn’t have dreamed of. The uncertainty of dreams leaves it up to each person’s imagination to give them meaning. What will your imagination come up with?
The One Where the Honeymoon Phase Ends Written by Rachel Mark Designed by Emma Dengler
ne of TV’s most recognized relationships is “Friends” couple Ross and Rachel. Throughout their relationship, the pair overcame obstacles such as cheating, miscommunication and manipulation. The challenges they faced are framed as passionate and romantic, but in reality, the couple uses unhealthy and calculated tactics on one another. Many fans remember Ross’s iconic line, “We were on a break!” His quote is a TVMQI I\EQTPI SJ 6SWW ERH 6EGLIP´W turbulent relationship. In the episode, “The One Where 6SWW ERH 6EGLIP8EOI E &VIEO² 6SWW suspected that Rachel was having an affair with her co-worker. Tired of the arguments, a frustrated Rachel asked for a break to think about their relationship. A series of unfor tunate events lead Ross to drunkenly bringing home a girl from a bar. In the morning, Rachel went to Ross’ to admit she wanted XSGSRXMRYIXLIVIPEXMSRWLMTSRP]XS½RH another girl in his bed. Throughout the series, the couple continues to argue about whether or not Ross cheated while on the “break,” and the couple never fully came to a conclusion. Fans are moved by Ross and Rachel’s passionate overcomings. It is a perfect I\EQTPISJEVIPEXMSRWLMTXLEXGERPSSO foolproof on the outside, but when PSSOIHEXGPSWIP]XLIVIH¾EKWETTIEV 8LI QIHME HSIW E KVIEX NSF SJ
displaying an “all or nothing” type of love. The “all or nothing” mindset is shown through mainstream characters like ,EVPI]5YMRRERHXLI.SOIVEGSYTPI that goes through absolute hell and FEGOXSFI[MXLSRIERSXLIV8LI.SOIVMW known to have emotionally and physically abused Harley Quinn, but she believed her tolerance for his abuse was love. She forgave his negative traits and accepted the problems that their love faced. She overcame his downfalls, therefore VIMRJSVGMRKXLIVSQERXMGM^EXMSRSJXS\MG love interests. Audiences can’t get enough SJXLIWILEVQJYP½GXMSREPVIPEXMSRWLMTWERH believe if imagined characters (such as XLI.SOIVERH,EVPI]5YMRR GERVIQEMR together through the worst, they can too. Movie and TV show producers SJXIRHVEQEXM^IERHJYVXLIV½GXMSREPM^I characters to capture an audience. People are mesmerized by romantic stories they see on TV, but often, the relationships aren’t translatable into reality. “The idea that true love is painful, dramatic, or dangerous, is both unhealthy and wrong. True love is calming, comforting,” 1EHIPIMRI%KKIPIVJVSQ&YWXPI1EKE^MRI said in an interview.Trying to reproduce a ½GXMSREPVIPEXMSRWLMTPIEZIWEVIPEXMSRWLMT [MXLLMKLYRVIEPMWXMGI\TIGXEXMSRWXLEX[MPP RIZIVFIJYP½PPIH 9RLIEPXL]VIPEXMSRWLMTWVEMWIVIH¾EKW According to Women’s Health Magazine, VIH¾EKWMRGPYHIETEVXRIVFIMRKSZIVP] critical, lacking a sense of responsibility
and having an unwillingness to be open. In an unhealthy relationship, one par tner may tear the other down I\GIWWMZIP][MXLGVMXMGEPGSQQIRXWPMOI “you should probably lose weight…” or, “Please don’t embarrass me like usual.” This gives the antagonizer a sense of control over their partner’s life. If a par tner struggles with taking responsibility for any of their actions, it’s probably an unhealthy relationship. A good partner should handle feedback positively and constructively, such as changing their actions after having calm and understanding conversations. %R YRLIEPXL] TEV XRIV ½RHW E [E] XS VIZIVWI XLI FPEQI [MXL I\GYWIW PMOI “Why would you bring that up again, you know it hurts my feelings. Thanks a lot” or, “Well if you did _____ then I wouldn’t have to do _____.” A poor relationship can make a partner feel like they are walking on eggshells EVSYRHXLIMVWMKRM½GERXSXLIV8LI]QE] feel uncomfortable talking about certain topics or asking to go places.This level of discomfort is harmful and manipulative. There is a thin line between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. Characteristics like protectiveness and helpfulness can transition into control and manipulation. Couples can cross that line without even realizing it. It’s important to communicate and pay attention to your partner’s body language to create a stable and loving IRZMVSRQIRX&IMRKEFPIXSGSQQYRMGEXI
a sincere apology and add emotional support to the relationship are great ways to build a strong connection with a partner. Many times a partner will utter an, “I’m sorry,” when a mistake is made without knowing why. Knowing why their actions/words were a mistake is crucial to maintaining a strong relationship. Changing actions, showing vulnerability, or gesturing affection are great ways to make a sincere apology to a par tner. Open communication is impor tant, so a partner should never be afraid to ask questions like, “Is there anything bothering you?” or “Do you feel this problem is fully resolved?” It is important to actively listen to a TEV XRIV´W HSYFXW SV GSRGIVRW &IMRK present in communication goes a long way. Conversations rarely go well when one person becomes hostile or defensive. It’s important to notice signs of agitation like tension and anger. Controlling these emotions and reactions can LIPTGSRZIVWEXMSRW¾S[WQSSXLP]ERH IJ½GMIRXP] VIWSPZI XLI TVSFPIQ 2I\X time arguments start to surface, think about statements like,“Why is my partner feeling like that? Is there a deeper problem we need to discuss?” or “Why do you feel like this is a problem?” Relationships have bank accounts. Compliments, gifts, kind gestures, and emotional support add positive deposits. Whereas arguments, hurt feelings and
criticisms can lead to negative withdrawals. A couple that maintains a healthy account of more deposits than withdrawals will make the relationship work. Doing small tasks for a partner or supporting them in HMJ½GYPXXMQIW[MPPMRGVIEWITSWMXMZMX]ERH trust within the relationship. If par tners continue using healthy practices such as positivity, suppor t, and communication, the relationship has a stronger chance of lasting. It’s critical to avoid getting swept up in the media’s portrayal of love. Instead, maintaining realistic goals for one’s relationship based on both par tners’ needs and wants is key to building a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
Photographed by Maddy Salyer Edited by Sophia Daughtery Munoz Designed by Kenzie Kress
Sweet Dreams W
hat is one thing that many college students lack in their daily lives? Consistency. The idea of an orderly routine is simple, and yet, HMJ½GYPXXSEGLMIZI;LIRWXYHIRXWEVIR´X consistent in their lifestyle – mostly when and how they sleep – it can lead to poor planning and feelings of unhappiness. All of these factors make for a stressful pattern SJHMWQE]&]WIXXMRKEVSYXMRI[LIXLIV it’s a nighttime routine or sleep schedule, stability can establish a bit of familiarity in anyone’s life.
Photos by Annie Kurtz Written by Olivia Addis Designed by Madeline Lane
A routine doesn’t have to be concrete, either. It can be as easy as indulging in favorite activities, like going for a walk or practicing yoga. The pressure stuHIRXWIRHYVIIZIV]HE]GVIEXIWEWMKRM½GERXEQSYRX of stress. It is crucial for students to give themselves time to decompress after a long day. Setting aside XMQIXSVIPE\ERHVIJVIWLFIJSVIFIHGERPIEHXS a successful day and a healthy mindset. The human body craves consistency, especially in terms of sleep. It is one of the most important factors in increasing QSXMZEXMSRERHMWLS[XLIFSH]VINYZIREXIWMXWIPJ JSVXLIRI\XHE];LIR[IEVIE[EOISYVFVEMRWEVI constantly working and trying to solve every problem XLEXGSQIWSYV[E][LMGLMWI\LEYWXMRK0IEZMRKRS XMQIXSHIGSQTVIWWERHVIPE\VIWYPXWMREHIGVIEWI of academic potential. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “The consequences of sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness are especially problematic to college students and can result in lower grade point averages, increased risk of academic failure, compromised learning, impaired mood and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.” Although it sounds like getting eight hours of sleep is the only way to maintain consistency, there are other ways to achieve similar results. One reason people may not have a nighttime routine is that they don’t know how to begin one. There is no one guideline to maintain a healthy nighttime routine; a healthy lifestyle looks different for everyone. Setting a routine does not mean having to follow the same agenda every night. It can be as simple as listening to music before bed or doing something that makes you happy as you slow down. Fortunately, there are universal commonalities among EGLMIZEFPIXLMRKWXSJIIPVIPE\IH One habit to incorporate into every night MRSVHIVXSVIPE\MWXSTPERSYXXLIRI\XHE]-RXLI [IPPFIMRKWIGXMSRSJ8LI+YEVHMERE&VMXMWLHEMP] RI[WTETIV(V(EZMH'SLIRI\TIVXSRWSGMEPER\MIX] IQTLEWM^IHXLEXPMWXW±HEQTIRER\MIX]EFSYXXLIGLEos of life; they give us a structure, a plan that we can stick to; and they are proof of what we have achieved XLEXHE][IIOSVQSRXL²&]RSQIERWHSIWEPMWX LEZIXSFII\XVESVHMREV]IMXLIV-XGERWMQTP]FIE JI[XLMRKWXLEX]SY[SYPHPMOIXSEGLMIZIXLIRI\X day. One thing that people struggle with is waking up agitated, either from lack of sleep or being unaware of what needs to be done. When a list is made the RMKLXFIJSVIMXGERPMQMXXLEX¾YWXIVIHWXEXISJQMRH
#4 %RSXLIV[E]XSVIPE\MWXSXYVRSJJSVHMQ bedroom lights and phone screens… maybe putting the phone down altogether. With social media at its peak with apps like Tik Tok and Twitter, people spend hours on their phone at night. Restricting the MRXIRWMX]ERHEQSYRXSJPMKLXXLEXMR½PXVEXIWXLII]IW minimizes the harsh contrast between light and dark, which weakens them. Setting the phone down faster may be the best remedy. Limiting the amount of time spent on social media platforms can result in a better sleeping pattern and more consistency in everyday life. Simple acts of self care, such as taking a bubble bath or doing a facemask, can lead to feeling refreshed and clean. Many people overlook the significance of skincare; implementing nightly face washing helps skin renew itself and can lead to a calmer state of mind. Face masks can be rather pricey, and for those with sensitive skin, drugstore brand face masks might not work. There are a multitude of natural ingredients out there that can be used in a facemask, most of which are already stocked in the kitchen. Some of these may include avocados for dry skin or bananas for acne-prone skin. No matter the ingredient, there are simple ways to achieve a facemask that [MPPPIEZIEPPWOMRX]TIWJIIPMRKVIPE\IHERHVIJVIWLIH
Another option is to do a light yoga routine before bed. People often shy away from yoga beGEYWIMXQE]WIIQHMJ½GYPXXSPIEVREX½VWX,S[IZIV simple moves can be helpful to decompress. Here are some beginner poses that anyone can try to VIPE\FIJSVIFIH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Upward facing dog pose Cow pose Cobra pose Plank pose Tree pose Wide-legged forward bend Standing half forward bend Warrior Two Squat pose Corpse pose
Whether it be a bubble bath, yoga practice SVPMQMXIHGIPPTLSRII\TSWYVIEXRMKLXRSXLMRKMW [SVWIXLER[EOMRKYTI\LEYWXIHSV¾YWXIVIH½VWX thing in the morning. The solution is easy: set a routine, settle down before getting into bed and most importantly, be consistent. Sweet dreams and happy VIPE\MRK
A WORD ON COVID-19 Written by Ellie Roberto Photographed by Madison Salyer When the Variant team began working on the Spring 2020 issue, the overwhelming success of our previous issue motivated us to make this release an even bigger accomplishment. On March 13, we were sad to learn that Ohio University would not be returning to in-person learning instruction and our Student Appropriations Commission funds were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community, like many others, was challenged with the disruption of our everyday lives. We were forced to rethink how we would produce a stunning magazine without being able to do in-person creative planning, run photoshoots, and hold weekly writing workshops. -RXLIFIKMRRMRKMX[EWHMJ½GYPXXS see the severity of what we were facing, and the current situation has generated EPSXSJYRGIVXEMRX]ERHER\MIX]XLEXMW worsened by the circulation of misinformation and lack of direction from authorities in all institutions. We have been forced to abandon our routines and in WSQIGEWIWSYVNSFWMREWSGMIX][LIVI our professional lives are highly valued. 31
Regardless of the setbacks,it has FIGSQIGPIEVXLEXSYVWEGVM½GIWEVIRIGessary to save lives. In the United States, the death toll has reached 50,000 people and continues to rise. This is unprecedented territory, but there are lessons XSFIPIEVRIHJVSQXLMWI\TIVMIRGI;I have a responsibility to care for people all over the world. As life has slowed down, we are gifted the opportunity to spend more time by ourselves and appreciate the simple things life has to offer. Variant strives to create diversity in the fashion world, and there is no time better to celebrate our differences than MRXLIWIGLESXMGXMQIW*SVXLI½VWXXMQI in a long time, we all have one thing in common. This virus must be used as a tool to bring people together. This is an emotional time for many of us. Our team did not realize how much our magazine and our members contributed to our everyday lives until we were living without them. It is so important to us that we continue the production of our magazine virtually so that we hope it spreads some positivity during this chaotic time.
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