Your Magazine Volume 19 Issue 1: March 2023

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Your mag

volume 19 | issue 1 | march 2023

Recognized in Spring 2012, YOURMAG’s goal is to promote knowledge of the magazine industry by giving students the opporitunity to be responsible for all aspects of a monthly lifestyle publication. With an audience of urban college students in mind, members create content across a broad range of topics and mediums, including style, romance, music, pop culture, personal identity, and experiences. YourMag’s overarching aim is to foster a positive, inclusive community of writers, editors, and artists.


ISA LUZARRAGA Managing Editor

LILY BROWN Creative Director

EMMA CAHILL Editorial Director

Jennifer novo Asst. Editorial Director

BIANCA LUND Co-Head Stylist



EYIWUNMI AJAO Photo Director

ALEKs CARNEY Art Director

CAMRYN CIANCIA Editor-in-Chief

HAILEY KROLL Co-Head Designer

Willow Torres Co-Head Designer

KATHERINE ASSELIN Co-Asst. Head Designer

TÉA PEREZ Co-Asst. Head Designer


SOPHIE BOYCE Asst. Copy Chief

SARA FERGANG Head Proofreader





ABIGAIL ROSS Romance Editor


LAUREN SMITH Living Editor



gandharvika GOPAL Marketing Director


ELLIE BELCASTRO Social Media Director


GRAPHIC designERS: Cherie Laroche, Chiara Marini, Vivienne Lam, Sky Hutcheon, Natalia De Zubiaurre, isa luzarraga, camryn ciancia


volume 19 | issue 1 |
MARCH 2023



















ARTIST STATEMENT Y.MP3 YM ADVISES ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT STYLE LIVING 6 8 10 12 20 22 24 28 32 38 40 42 44 46 54 56 58 60 62 64 4 | YOURMAG

Letter from the Editor



Wish I Dating In a Were


Rom-Com 6 | romance

It’s the classic tale of girl meets boy, girl dates boy, and girl falls in love with boy. It’s the “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” It’s the “if you love someone, you say it, you say it right then, out loud. Otherwise, the moment just . . . passes you by.” It’s the “but mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all,” that has young girls swooning over ‘90s rom-coms and daydreaming about when they will meet their prince charming.

One of the first ‘90s rom-coms that I recall ever watching was When Harry Met Sally. I found myself engaged in the story. After all, it followed the “enemies to friends to lovers” trope. That movie influenced me to watch every Meg Ryan movie I could get my hands on, while discovering actresses Julia Roberts, Sanaa Lathan, and Nia Long. I was one of the hopeless romantics obsessing over these movies. Because of Love Jones, Brown Sugar, and The Best Man, I believe in the “meet-cutes” tropes, and cheesy pickup lines that have me giggling, smiling, and kicking my feet up in the air whenever I watch them, wishing that the couple I was rooting for lived happily ever after.

However, in the 21st-century, dating has been plagued by downloading apps and swiping left or right based on a person’s photo or a couple of sentences that summarize who they are. The meet-cutes, the butterflies, and the spark when you first meet someone is slowly starting to die out. Not only do I have high expectations from these ‘90s rom-coms, but it didn’t help that my parents’ love story seems like it was also a ‘90s rom-com. The West Indian woman immigrated to America for a better life only to meet an American who wrote his number on the back of her train ticket while selling it to her. The rest was history. How could my expectations not be high?

Before college, I met boys the oldfashioned way: We would flirt back and forth, and butterflies would fly rapidly around my stomach until we eventually admitted that we liked each other and started talking. When I got to college, I realized that meeting people was a lot harder, and I would have to put effort into talking to a boy I found attractive and wanted to get to know better. I eventually decided to give dating apps a try; not only because everyone in college did it, or because it is part of the college experience, but because my sister met her significant other on a dating app. They’re soulmates and have been dating for almost six years. This gave me hope for meeting my future boyfriend on a dating app, but still felt very unlikely. With these thoughts, I was honestly curious to see what all the hype was about. However, after my first-year college experiences with dating apps, I can assure you that they aren’t for me.

It felt wrong to swipe left or right on someone when I didn’t even know who they were. I missed meeting a boy the old-fashioned way: Having a crush that made me sick to my stomach, but excited for the endless possibilities that could come out of it. I know my experience with dating apps isn’t the same as others, and that many couples meet, date, and fall in love on dating apps. However, being raised on ‘90s romcoms and seeing my parents, sister, family, and friends fall in love spontaneously, like something out of a movie, influenced my high expectations. Ididn’twanttobereducedtoameaningless conversation when I knew that the boy I was starting to fall for was probably texting ten other girls. I want the love that I grew up watching on television screens. I want a meet-cute, an enemies-to-lovers tale, the childhood friendsto-lovers story, or the childhood friends-toenemies-to-lovers narrative.

I want to have that serendipitous moment. I want a boy to do anything to find me, even if it meant buying every copy of the same book if it meant so he could see my signature one last time, or doing anything for me to get a stamp in my passport and liking me just the way I am. YM

romance | 7

Polyamory: Real Relationships Turned Fiction


Hilary Duff asks a young Penn Badgley during her guest appearance on Gossip Girl. The year is 2009, made clear by Jessica Szohr’s tacky blue-feather earrings and Duff’s character downing a drink before gaudily making out with her to the pleasant surprise of Dan Humphrey.

Threesomes: a staple of sexual experimentation. The word assumed to precede a story about college coming of age or questioning of “how do you know unless you’ve tried it?” from a partner. What was once regarded as a salacious tradition is finally becoming a culturally-accepted lifestyle as more are exposed to the concept of polyamory. Polyamory is defined as consensual and ethical non-monogamy, though the practice itself can take on various forms. The media’s role in its portrayal is crucial as the majority, if not all, of the exposure a person has to polyamory is often from the entertainment they consume. Dubbed the new frontier of dating, an estimated four percent of the United States population admits to practicing polyamory with fewer publicly out and willing to share their experience.

Ten years ago, the representation of polyamory in media was limited to schoolgirl Denise Richards kissing Neve Campbell in front of their perverted male teacher in Wild Things or Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in which star Scarlett Johansson claimed she was “...kind of being groomed to be this bombshell-type actor.” However, these examples of representation did less for the polyamorous community by furthering the objectification of women.

While the sexual relationship between women in non-monogamous situations is considered a given, two men even acknowledging each other is forbidden. The duality of bisexuality in the context of gender raises another point of debate. The queerness of women in these situations is completely erased as their actions are considered temporary to please the man. In contrast, any form of non-heterosexuality between men is deemed overtly homosexual. Sitcom How I Met Your Mother references “the devil’s threeway” when quoting the “Bro Code” in which Barney Stinson rules that “bros cannot make eye contact,” while Sex and The City labels male bisexuality as a “layover on the way to Gaytown.” The assumption is that the receiver of pleasure is always the man. Women wielding desire was just as implausible as men vulnerable with their sexuality. Polyamory was not represented as a healthy practice, nor long-term relationship possibility, but rather a performance of masculinity enhanced by the sexualization of queer women.

Early polyamorous representations lacked any form of relationship beyond sexual. They were superficial examples without emotional weight manipulated as a spectacle of the taboo. Any divulging from the norm was few and far between. Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También featured two questioning men, though exploring this ended their friendship and their threesome acted as more of an allegory for transformation than a serious endeavor. The Dreamers offset their representation with the uncomfortable

inclusion of incest, while reality television shows like Sister Wives profited off creating a pageant of the absurd rather than respect.

Famous for its queer depiction and infamous for its sex scenes, the Spanish Netflix series Élite made the first major stride in serious polyamory representation in 2018 with the frenzy over the relationship between their three main characters Carla, Polo, and Christian. Carla and Polo bring in a new boy Christian in an attempt to salvage their dying relationship. Given the core of the show, sexual themes were still heavy, but unlike their predecessors, not only did Élite incorporate two queer men with the woman in control, but made them an enduring integral plot component. “We’re together, the three of us,” Polo affirmed, “It’s not just about getting laid. There’s more to it than that. I guess it’s not exactly normal, but who cares about normal if you can be happy?”

Élite not only acted as a catalyst for the rapid increase in polyamorous inclusion but additionally introduced a consumable blueprint for teen television. Since its release, Beatrix, Riven, and Dane in Fate: The Winx Saga found themselves in a “throuple” with blood on their hands while Joe and Love in You attempt “swinging” to mend their relationship with the same outcome.

When asked what examples of polyamory featured in teen dramas have in common, it is not ethical practices of non-monogamy but sex and murder. Although representation increased, their construction is strict and parallel to what constitutes a sellable show. This false perception packages a highly digestible yet tired plot in a bow: an attractive couple has a failing relationship and introduces others to try to fix it which ends in disaster. Polyamory became a cheat code for the taboo–a new enough concept that the act is still raunchy but not too explicit that it cannot be displayed on teen television with tension built in the dynamic. The drama is dependent on the assumption that polyamorous relationships are preordained for strain, constructed on unstable ground.

Even though polyamorous relationships possess more moving factors than heteronormative monogamous relationships, they do not always end in a messy breakup or heat-of-the-moment murder, and the media is beginning to recognize this. HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot follows protagonist Max Wolfe as he falls for his two best friends Aki and Audrey. The existence of their dynamic is not under the guise of “sex sells,” nor is their driving force the stereotypical conflict of jealousy, but rather an emotional connection to multiple people and grappling with that, which culminates into a healthy relationship.

“All for all or none for none, right?” Max Wolfe asks while holding out his hands to both Aki and Audrey, accepting their proposal of an official relationship. Though the slow beats of the background track lay out a formulaic transition to sex, the night does not end in a threesome, but rather all three sitting together watching cartoons. Ym

8 | romance
romance | 9
10 | romance

Lost and Found

Something I hate is when you lose something and somebody says “well, where did you see it last?” If I knew where it was last, I wouldn’t have asked in the first place. Using that logic, though, I would say that the last place I felt like myself was when I was coming back from winter break. I think we shed our past selves like snakeskins, and mine is somewhere on the side of the road between Connecticut and Boston decomposing, melting, and slowly becoming one with the earth. I hope it grows into flowers or mushrooms or somebody badass.

With all of that said, I think it is normal and healthy to experience change. I am honestly so grateful for the ability to grow and shift;—however, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes we can’t just leave things behind.

An expression I’ve been hearing a lot lately is “healing isn’t linear,” and I completely agree. I also think that self-love and self-acceptance are not linear experiences. The girl who I was yesterday is always still a piece of who I am, but now I have to figure out how to incorporate her into the person I want to become.

Sometimes it is not as simple as shedding and moving forward. It’s normal to feel anxious or lonely in between the endings and beginnings. That’s where my issue lies—it’s never easy to own up to personal faults and

find peace in past mistakes.

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to find ways to view my struggles and “bad” parts of myself in a more healthy way. I have started to think of myself as a collage of millions of moments, both positive and negative. Every eyelash, every nail, every freckle on me is a piece of my past self they remind me of where I have been and will always be a piece of who I am becoming. I am a beautiful mess—the good, bad, and ugly. It all weaves together to create a complex tapestry of colors and feelings. We all are, and I think that is what makes self-love so difficult.

My advice to someone who feels lost like I do is the following: embrace it. I just spent my time on a train creating a playlist inspired by the fucked-up puzzle that I am. It is a mix of songs representing my strengths and weaknesses, and it is a good first step in moving forward and starting to own who I am. I recommend it a lot actually; it’s been really healing. The next time somebody asks me when I last lost myself, I am going to show them the blues of my eyes or the freckles on my nose. They’ll be confused but I’ll feel good knowing that I am starting to understand the complicated process of change and growth. YM

“Every eyelash, every nail, every freckle on me is a piece of my past self they remind me of where I have been and will always be a piece of who I am becoming.”
romance | 11


Directed by Isa Luzarraga, Photographed by Isa Luzarraga, Illustrated by Willow Torres, Styled by Anna Bacal-Peterson, Makeup byAnna Bacal-Peterson, Modeled by Sara Kelley and Sarah Munson

You know how whenever art professors talk aboutAndyWarhol,theynearlyalwayspull out abright,neon printofaCampbell’s soupcan? This is my take on the art pop style made popular by artists like Warhol. Combining digital illustration with black and whitephotography,‘ColorMe’bringsthevibrance of street style to life.


Inside our plain, wooden closets, there is a mutating world of colors and fabrics, morphing over our college years. College is for experimenting, whether it’s how we work, how we love, how we live, or how we present, our parameters for what we want our lives to look like warble and fluctuate in unexpected patterns. Exciting thrift finds and regrettable blunders define fashion adolescence. Those moments aren’t just fun—they can be formative and beautiful. However, there’s a case to be made for finding a signature: that item of clothing, piece of jewelry, bottle of fragrance, or shade of makeup that holistically represents you, that people think of synonymously with your name.

My decision to move to Emerson was also a decision to move across the country. Doing so meant that I had to be incredibly selective with what I brought from my old life. What would light up my days, tie me to home, and become my heirlooms? I decided on bringing only one pair of earrings: my Clotho hoops. They were a pair of golden right-hands, poised like they were in a seance, and strung on small hoops. I knew that coming to college, it would be a flurry of names and faces for everyone involved. However, if I had something that could catch eyes and identify myself, people would remember who I was. It’s the cartoon character effect: the design choices an artist makes reflect and embody the “character.” When you catch even a glimpse of that design, you recognize who’s wearing it.

The hands of my Clotho hoops hold so much memory and significance. Clotho is the youngest of the three Greek fates, spinning the thread of life. Carrying her with me helped usher me into my new life in Boston. I get compliments all the time about my earrings, and you’d be surprised at the amount of people who say, “You always wear the best earrings,” unaware that I’ve been wearing the same ones for the whole school year.

Beyond my earrings, since senior year of high school, I’ve attempted to link one thing to my presentation: pomegranates. I use pomegranate body wash, pomegranate shampoo, and pomegranate leave-in conditioner. My favorite fruit is a pomegranate, and my sheets in California are a rich, pomegranate red, but the crown jewel of it all is my pomegranate-scented perfume. It has notes of mahogany and lotus, and its deep

smokiness makes me feel like a personal guest in Aphrodite’s hookah lounge. No matter what side of the country I’m on, smelling my perfume creates consistency and reassures me that I’m home.

There’s something profoundly ritualistic about signatures. My Clotho hoops are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing to come off. When the molecules of my perfume make contact with my skin, I am reminded of who I am. Putting on signatures is the act of adorning yourself with more of yourself. Taking them off makes you feel like you’re ready to detach from the world and rest.

Signatures don’t have to be neutral, and they don’t have to be boring. Finding a signature means discovering something that complements you in every situation you’re in. If you wear a lot of jeans, you might stumble upon the perfect matching blue coat. If you already have your signature ruby-red platforms, you might hunt down the perfect matching lipstick.

A signature can be found anywhere: rings passed down through generations; a red, heart-stamped cowboy hat that took months to track down; or a thrifted jacket that’s been cherished for decades. What matters is that it feels like you.

Signatures aren’t just self-fulfilling, they can also serve to slow down fast fashion. Having one of the “slots” in your wardrobe permanently filled effectively eliminates the need to buy any new article of that type of clothing. Wearing the same thing every day means that you’ll need to invest in something with higher, more intentional quality. The concept of “cost-per-wear” gets thrown around a lot in spaces that talk about cost-effective sustainability. Having your signature accompany you on the daily will make you feel like you’ve justified your purchase.

For better or for worse, your personal items will live beyond you. The clothing we wear gets passed down to thrift stores, garbage patches, or if we’re lucky, our next of kin. I’ve always said I’ve never wanted children, but I often find myself daydreaming about being a grandmother, enshrouded with wrinkles, gifting my Clotho hoops to my grandchild. They are my heirlooms in the making, and I think of their legacy every day. YM

20 | STYLE
STYLE | 21

The Trend of Hating Trends

22 | STYLE

It’s trendy to be a hater now, and being different is all the rage!

In today’s society hating something is much easier than being a fan. All over social media, passionate fanatics get “hated on” for owning their interests that are seen as mainstream and boring. It spans every entertainment and creative enterprise; your love for basic fashion, music, film, or even literature can land you in a niche section of social media exile.

The cliché “no bond is stronger than one between two people who hate the same thing” is a cliche for a reason. Hating is one of the easiest ways to make yourself belong somewhere; by alienating others, you are making yourself desirable. Commenting “side eye” on someone’s innocent TikTok video is an easy way to insert yourself into an inside joke with thousands of people, giving many internet users the attention they crave.

If you think this is an activity that was born with social media, you’re wrong. One of the most prolific haters in our nation’s history is none other than Theodore Roosevelt’s firstborn daughter, Alice Roosevelt. Her life was full of scandal, yet she managed to keep the citizens of Washington D.C. in love with her. Wondering how? Mrs. Roosevelt was famously known for her self-embroidered pillow that read, “If you can’t say something good about someone, sit right here by me.” She very well may be our first famous shit-talker, and this characteristic of hers kept people coming back for more.

There is a plethora of scientific evidence explaining peoples’ attraction to hatred. Jennifer Bosson, a scientist who researches the hater’s mind, found that having a common hatredbringspeoplecloserthananythingelse.Bossonexplains that the reason these bonds are so strong is that everyone says nice things, as that’s what’s expected, but really tearing into something together is not necessarily acceptable. This creates a secret two people now share together.

But what happens when hating isn’t so secret anymore? Or when most forms of entertainment are based on the theme of bashing someone or something else? Social media creates an environment where hating is exceedingly easy.

One thing that’s become increasingly hated is anything labeled as “basic.” On social media, specifically Twitter and TikTok, there are large populations of people who curate an image for themselves seen as “different” and “not like other girls.” These groups bond over their strong desire to own things and act in certain ways that they self-title as indie and special.

People sucked into this culture are blinded to the fact that in the process of trying to be different, they’ve made an entire personality type that is similar to a huge percentage of internet users. Watching videos of people styling their Adidas Sambas under a sound making fun of those who wear Nike

Air Forces is a prime example of this mindset. The Samba wearer thinks of themself as a higher being for having these popular shoes that they see as unique. They seem painfully unaware of the fact that they are just taking part in the new trend in the same way that those who own the Nike shoe do.

Many young people who cling to trends are those trying to figure out who they are. It’s the same for haters. Both groups will do anything they can to hide their insecurity in their sense of self, or they fully believe they have found themselves and are unique. What separates haters though, is they try to find themselves by making fun of those more willing to admit to their lack of individuality.

This fear of being conceived as boring or normal causes more problems than hate comments. Overconsumption in the fashion industry is an issue more and more people are becoming aware of. However, many think that only fastfashion buyers are guilty contributors. The fear of lacking individuality leads to the following of trends more than someone who follows them on purpose, many who hate on trend followers are constantly buying new, unique pieces of clothing just to say they own them.

A new example of these kinds of purchases includes the new MSCHF red boots. You know ‘em, you love ‘em, but can you really wear ‘em? TikTok is flooded with videos of fashion creators trying to successfully, and safely, style these unconventional shoes. One creator, Wisdom Kaye, even had to cut holes in the backs just to rip them off his feet. These boots are booming right now, but the likelihood of them remaining in the limelight for very long is slim. They are a tear-jerkingly expensive micro-trend.

Thrifting is one of our generation’s favorite pastimes that makes people feel unique and separated from trends. Although buying second-hand clothing is much better for the environment, going weekly and buying things because they’re vintage and cheap, rather than having a genuine attraction to them is a bad habit many can admit to having. Thrift stores provide tons of different pieces, but the rows of potential “jackpot finds” can suck shoppers into a mindset of buying everything that will be perceived as slightly quirky and cool. Thrifting itself is now a trend, making the impossibility of avoiding trends blatantly obvious.

The mission of avoiding trends is one destined for failure, and the harder you try, the deeper you ascend into the wormhole of fashion trends. Fearing what’s been done before is holding you back from doing and wearing things you actually enjoy. Finding a style that makes you feel comfortable solely because you enjoy every item in your closet is more unique than finding a borderline ugly sweater at the thrift store you’ll wear once because it’s so itchy. Purposely avoiding trends may make you “not like other girls,” but now it also makes you just like all the other girls. YM

STYLE | 23


24 | STYLE

Another trend has taken over TikTok–and the girlies don’t know if they’re here for it. Say hello to red lipstick kisses, soft pastels, Mary Jane flats, frills, pearls, corsets, and lots of pink, lace, and ribbons. Coquette core is a new hyper-feminine trend that’s all about women reclaiming femininity. The Oxford English Dictionary defines coquette as a “flirty woman;” however, this trend is characterized by its dainty and heavenly styles that are often associated with romance. It takes inspiration from aesthetics like balletcore and Chicana aesthetics, while also embracing vintage styles from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

While this aesthetic has been around for years, it has been redefined as coquette core. Subcultures of coquette culture, like Americana Coquette, which can be identified by flower crowns and red lipstick, has been ruled by Lana Del Rey since 2012 during her BornToDie era. There’s also the Gloomy Dollette that focuses on cooler tones (like grays and whites) and is associated with Lily Rose Depp, Marina and the Diamonds, Blair Waldorf, and Kirsten Dunst in MarieAntionette

darker colors and basics, along with the 2010s corporate-girlboss look, which strayed from typical “girlishness.” Some TikTok influencers state that this trend is about reclaiming all of the things that girls have been told were stupid and ditzy. It’s about rebelling against the internalized misogyny they’ve fallen victim to by not embracing their femininity for fear of being made fun of.

However, while the aesthetic has empowered some, it has a darker side to it. Coquette core has received criticism for its exclusivity of body types, overall lack of BIPOC representation, and romanticization of Nabokov’s Lolita . With roots in nymphette and Lolita aesthetics, which were popular on early Tumblr, there’s a sly encouragement of characteristics that infantilize women due to its valued traits of innocence and petiteness that make this trend controversial.

Look up “coquette core” on Pinterest and you’ll mainly see one type of person: a skinny white girl. The hyper-feminine style is so widely associated with Eurocentric features in turn making the aesthetic lack diversity. Even though there’s more BIPOC representation in this aesthetic since the “soft girl” trend went viral on TikTok, it’s still dominated by skinny white girls. However, some TikTok creators are fighting for inclusivity by embracing their inner “coquette.”

Moreover, we know the aesthetic is about hyper-femininity, but it poses the question of why people all over TikTok are embracing the stereotypical meaning of what it means to be a girl.

The recent rise in the coquette aesthetic has brought with it the imposed stereotype of “girlishness,” and since the main groups participating in this trend are femmes, or femme presenting, the aesthetic is innately exclusive in this way due to the lack of representation of other gender identities. Some also believe that the fashion excessively caters to the male gaze because of its encouragement of a natural makeup look and girlish styles.

And while I’m glad that this aesthetic allows space for some to reclaim their femininity, it’s important to regard that “girlishness” does not equate to thinness, whiteness, petiteness, or the infantilization of grown women.YM

STYLE | 25


Lucy Spangler, She/her

How would you describe your personal style in three words? Punk rock grandma. Where do you typically get outfit inspiration from?

I try to incorporate some online influences that I like with my own personal style and the pieces I have in my closet. If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Garment District! I’ve been shopping there with my mom since I was in kindergarten. Celebrity style icon?

Helena Bonham Carter/my mom in the 80’s and 90’s.

What are three pieces of your wardrobe you can’t live without?

My vintage leather jacket, a black velvet maxi dress my mom passed down to me, and my collection of patterned tights.

26 | street STYLE

Sae Phillips, she/her

How would you describe your personal style in three words?

Fly, comfy, cool.

Where do you typically get outfit inspiration from?

My older cousin has always had a good sense of style and definitely taught me how to curate my own authentic style.

If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Uptown Cheapskate, it’s a secondhand vintage store in Torrance, CA. They have the best finds.

Celebrity style icon?

Zoë Kravitz for sure.

What are three pieces of your wardrobe you can’t live without?

My vintage Coach bag, dark wash overalls, and boyshort underwear.


Ivy wolk, she/her

How would you describe your personal style in three words?

Big, boyish, secure. Where do you typically get outfit inspiration from?

I love the way juggalos and fat guys dress. Big shirts, long shorts, huge jackets. I love feeling like a big guy.

If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Ebay or Goodwill.

Celebrity style icon?

Courtney Love, Jared Fogle, Turtle from Entourage.

What are three pieces of your wardrobe you can’t live without?

My massive FUBU denim jacket, my Morrissey concert shirt, and my oversized calf-length pin striped men’s shorts.

street STYLE | 27


Lucía Correa, she/her

How would you describe your personal style in three words?

Laid back, free-spirited, chic. Where do you typically get outfit inspiration from?

Fashionable moms from my hometown and Instagram. If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Barrio Latino.

Celebrity style icon?

Mariona Autran.

What are three pieces of your wardrobe you can’t live without?

White vintage bodysuit, red laced combat boots, green maxi skirt.

Liv Harvey, she/her

How would you describe your personal style in three words?

Kitschy, maximalist, pink. Where do you typically get outfit inspiration from?

Alice in Wonderland, dead Victorian children, most clowns.

If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Vivienne Westwood (if I was super rich all the time).

Celebrity style icon?

Kat Bjelland from Babes in Toyland

What are three pieces of your wardrobe you can’t live without?

My leopard print coat, a 60s Mod dress, my Docs.

LIV 28 | street STYLE

Luke Huston, HE/Him

How would you describe your personal style in three words?

Grounded, cohesive, and comfortable.

Where do you typically get outfit inspiration from?

I feel like I pull an upsetting amount of my fashion choices from young dads. I think I just want a child. I also pull from cartoon characters.

If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

My brother’s closet from 2008. Celebrity style icon? Evan Mock.

What are three pieces of your wardrobe you can’t live without?

Red beanie, my lil blue Polo jacket, and my mum’s sunglasses.



GHow would you describe your personal style in three words? Colorful, playful, and layered. Where do you typically get outfit inspiration from? This time of year I get a lot of inspiration from the layering that Boston winters require, I typically pull inspiration from my own closet, Pinterest/Depop, but also from movies, tv, theatre, different historical and current fashion movements, and, of course, celebrities.

If you could only shop at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

I don’t know if this is a cop-out but I love eBay; I’m always trying to find new and old clothing makers that excite me.

street STYLE | 29


Directed by Kevelle Branch, Photographed by Kevelle Branch, Styled by Bianca Lund, Makeup by Liv Harvey and Saela Phillips, Modeled by Nicole Townsend, Layla Williams, and Colette Lauture

For this editorial, I wanted to create a romantic yet supernatural tone for women of color. As a kid, I have always wanted to see black women in supernatural roles, similar to Akasha from The Queen of the Damned. The overall vibe of this shoot is ethereal and soft yet alluring and intimate, just like the many vampires we see in film.

alone alone

Igrew up in a very busy household. My brothers and I had sports yearround, and when I did have free time, it was reserved for schoolwork, ensuring that I used my time to remain occupied. When I was not using my time productively, I would spend it with friends or family—and although that is gratifying and time well spent, I always felt drained afterwards.

Back then I wasn’t aware of the idea of a “social battery,” which is the amount of energy a person has for socializing, and it varies from person to person. I would often feel guilty for desiring alone time and not wanting to spend all my time with friends or family; however, I was really unaware that my social battery was worn out. I had no idea that I needed to recharge, or even how to do so.

I was excited to go to college and have my own space to work, socialize, and, most of all: relax. However, I became disappointed in myself when I wasn’t satisfied with having a roommate. Sharing a room with someone was a lot harder for me than I imagined it would be. It made me feel like I always had to be productive. Whenever they were doing work and I was watching Netflix, I felt pressured to pause my show and start working on something. I would wake up in a room with another person, go to school, work, and come back to people—never having a break from socializing.

Once I did have time when I was truly alone, I would do whatever I felt like, not what I felt pressured to do. I would read for fun, work on some schoolwork, exercise, put on a face mask, play a record, anything


time time

that brought me a sense of joy. It mattered that I was using my time to do something I wanted to do, and that is when I realized I needed alone time.

Now, I am a third-year student and live alone. At first this thought scared me.

What would it be like to have all this alone time?

Would I get bored very easily? Would I be unproductive?

So far, my endless amount of alone time has been extremely beneficial. It’s a privilege that I am very thankful for. Alone time has taught me how to set boundaries with myself and others. I schedule time to be productive in my room and also block out time to do things that bring me peace.

Having alone time has given me a space to create a routine for my-

self. I try to prioritize a good night’s sleep over staying up and cramming work every week night, or going out every weekend to party. I also try to balance relaxation time with work time, letting myself recharge and focus for my next task.

There is so much pressure to use time wisely and constantly be creating or producing. But alone time should be about you. It should be spent doing what you desire, not what you feel pressured to do. An emphasis on being productive during free time it almost always leads to burnout. Use your alone time to recharge your social battery and do things that bring you peace. YM

living | 37


You’re Alive,

Icannot identify the first moment in when I realized I was Turkish, and what that subsequently meant.

Maybe it was when I arrived at my Christian preschool around the holidays, barely knowing a lick of English, and to my mother’s horror, came back home singing “Happy Birthday Jesus.” My parents had only spoken Turkish to me when I was very young, and I was turned away from preschools because one of the only intelligible phrases I could muster out was “Hello Kitty.” A Christian preschool took a chance on me, and was very helpful in reassuring me that my not-so-Christian background was going to work wonders for me in the afterlife.

Maybe it was when I passed out Lokum (or “Turkish Delight,” as it’s known in the West) to my entire fifth-grade class for a cultural appreciation presentation, only to have a majority of them spit it out with egregious, incontestable force. I believe one kid may have actually thrown up. To be fair, I advertised the traditional dessert we eat on Bayram (Eid) as “gummy bear adjacent.” As I watched the aftermath of what I can only describe as my gustatory disaster, it was clear that no part of my attempt at sharing my culture was a delight.

Or maybe it was when our next-door neighbors sprayed me with yard chemicals, called the police on my “terrorist” family, and repeatedly told us to “go back to where we came from” (each of these being isolated, separate incidents when I was no older than five). When you’re a kid, you don’t know that you’re different—people have to tell you. And I was told over, and over, and over.

“Go back to where you came from!”

I know how they—the proverbial, American “they”—say that line like the back of my hand. They say it with either an overwrought expression, their reddened face filled with so much xenophobia that one needle to the cheek would cause it all to spill out with a GUSH, or with a tantalizingly facetious demeanor. I am not sure which is worse, and my initial response is unwavering. Regardless, I am where I come from. I was born in America, so that’s what I must be: an American. A first-generation American. My family’s first, first-generation American. I must be lost, I must be out of place. I am a Turk…right?

Such is the consequence of growing up in a Middle Eastern family in a post-9/11 America. I often struggled with the seemingly opposing facets of my identity: in America, I am Turkish, but in Turkey, I am an American. But in reality, I am neither and both, all at once.

I know this because receiving a text at five in the morning when you’re in a pair of Simpsons pajama shorts, a bra you bought in eighth grade (yes, they still fit me), and a crumb-filled bed would, to the average person, be an annoyance, a nuisance at most. But for someone like me, it means frantically googling some variation of “Turkey news,” “Syria

news,” “Middle East news,” calling as many relatives as you can, and hoping that the people you love are alive.

This was my reality when I found out about the Turkey-Syria earthquake that has now killed over 40,000 people. It was my reality during Turkey’s particularly rampant femicides. It was my reality during every protest, every bombing, every revolt, every humanitarian crisis, every wave of Islamophobia.

And it has been my reality every single day of my life.

It is very difficult to explain to people the guilt I feel for living in America. The best I can offer is to consider the way a flower looks when it is picked from the ground. Outwardly, it maintains its beauty, but in actuality it has already begun to wither away. I love living here, and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices my parents had to make in order to provide this life for me. However, sometimes I cannot help but feel like that flower. And it feels really, really lonely.

This is only expounded by the internal dissonance I feel in relation to this guilt. Turkey is more privileged in some ways than other countries in the Middle East, and I have always considered that something important to acknowledge. Yet, my reaction to the earthquake is one of hundreds of situations in which I have found myself in a WhatsApp conversation consisting of “Hey, it’s me, Selin. Are you alive?” No one prepares you for a perpetual desensitization to death, and it never feels better. There will always be another.

While I have felt this way for as long as I can remember, this is the first time I have been so vocal about it. Perhaps it is the lack of resources my small liberal arts college has for Middle Eastern students, or because I have finally reached my limit on the number of films I can watch in class where the Middle East is haphazardly distorted with yellow filters. Or perhaps it is the fact that I can count the Middle Eastern students I know on one hand, and I somehow feel completely alone in a city that once felt like the entire world to me.

I cannot change how I feel about my identity overnight, and I definitely cannot change how people perceive it either. What I can do is offer a perspective that is often misconstrued, underrepresented, or entirely absent from our societal discourse.

Whenever I go back to Turkey, I cannot help but mourn my time spent away. That restaurant I liked is out of business. There are more wrinkles around my uncle’s eyes than I remember. My grandmother’s apartment is now rubble—I refuse to look at it whenever we drive by. The only constant is that my family is safe, alive, and well.

Mashallah. YM

To donate to Turkey-Syria earthquake relief efforts, visit LIVING | 39

Our Little Secret: The Gatekeeper in Us All

We all have that one secret obsession. That favorite cult 80s movie, that musical artist we discovered before their rise to fame, or that one underground song we feel speaks directly to us. These media obsessions can feel very intimate and are often deeply cherished by consumers, as they provide much-needed solace and comfort to their audience.

With the rise of niche obsessions also comes a growing sense of entitlement to maintain personal ownership over that specific and special “thing” they love. That pesky habit of greed that parents strive to eliminate from their children’s behavior has started to manifest in adult behavior as well; it is known as “gatekeeping.”

Gatekeeping is a phenomenon that only recently garnered itself a title. The rise of social media, specifically with the rise of TikTok, has created a steady increase of this behavior, where an individual finds something they enjoy or grow attached to–whether it be a television show, a musician, or even a book–and feel that they should have personal authority over that specific work. This individual often feels frustration and anger when they see that their treasured piece of media has gone viral or garnered popularity and attention outside of their own.

There is a strange sense of pride we feel when we discover something “first,” or before the rest of the world. When we find a work that we resonate with, it can be incredibly exciting and intimate to feel that we know a secret the rest of the world isn’t in on quite yet. When or if this resonating work does go viral on the internet, many feel the urge to show “proof” that: I was here first!

Band t-shirts, CDs, and vinyls all become critical evidence that many use to prove their status as “true” fans, not the “fake” fans who emerged from the woodwork after their favorite artist or movie went viral. There is an unspoken expectation that a certain amount of proof must be shown to solidify an individual’s place as an authentic fan of something. This rising theme can be seen all over the internet, especially in a recent trend where individuals will approach unsuspecting people who are wearing a specific band t-shirt and ask them to “name three songs” by the band that they are wearing; if they fall short, they are often put on blast and labeled as a “fake fan.”

But why is this behavior so common? Why do we do this? I know I have been on both sides of the gatekeeping spectrum, even before social media was on the rise. During the 2012

dystopian book-to-movie adaptation craze when films such as The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner were adapted for the screen, I recall many children were only considered true fans if they had also read the book prior to the global success of the film adaptations. Gatekeeping has been a practice that has existed since pop culture became…well, popular culture. And many of us have been participants, whether we are conscious of it or not.

More recently, I remember when HBO announced that they would be doing a television adaptation of the video game The Last of Us. I was immediately so worried about what would come when one of my favorite stories would suddenly become a mega-hit. I wondered if newer fans would understand the intricacies of the story. Would they appreciate it? I felt a sense of fear at the notion of the viewership of something I had loved for so long suddenly quadrupling in size and popularity overnight.

There is nothing better than when an external source of personal entertainment or pleasure feels like an intimate relationship, where there is no social media or internet uproar to remind you that you are just one of millions who enjoy this specific thing. When something becomespopular,wefeelinsignificant,asif ourdevotiontothisspecific media is fruitless. There is a fervent urge to preserve this intimacy and possession over our favorite things, which is why we gatekeep.

But there is indeed beauty in letting the world in on our little secret obsessions. We should learn to be open to the success of the things we enjoy and welcome anyone and everyone to enjoy whatever they like. Though it may be easy to gatekeep, it is even easier to let others celebrate something you love. YM


The year was 2014 and I was about to start my first day of middle school with a hundred kids I had never met before. I knew that I should have been scared, petrified even, but the nerves didn’t get to me much. I made friends everywhere I went, so much so, that my mom said I was a natural at it. I didn’t want just anyfriends though. I wanted popularity. Now that my fresh start had finally arrived, I couldn’t have been more prepared.

I put on my best flower crown, grabbed my Bambi backpack, and hit the road. But when I got there, I was surprised to see that most kids had already formed their cliques in the neighboring elementary school. Being the odd one out was not the way I wanted to start off my middle school career. Desperate to become one of the pack, I sought out the school’s “it-girl” and made it my mission to befriend her.

Or become her.

Blonde haired and blue eyed, Chloe was the celebrity of the sixth grade. All of the prepubescent boys groveled at her feet and the girls that hated her secretly prayed for a single hello in the hallway. Somehow as the year progressed, my unwavering stubbornness worked out in my favor, and soon Chloe decided I was worthy enough for her attention.

This led to weekly mall trips, sleepovers at her house, and trading secrets like they were classified government information. I was sitting comfortably at the “cool” girl table, only feeling slightly uncomfortable when my so-called-friends made fun of another girl for shopping at Goodwill; I hadn’t lost all my morals yet. But, inevitably, my time in sixth-grade stardom would come to an end.

The thing about Chloe and her minions was that they could drop you just as quickly as they welcomed you. Just abandoning me wasn’t enough for them, they needed a good piece of drama to sink their claws into. The whole group started to bond over how I was annoying, touchy, and how they all thought I was a lesbian. When that wasn’t enough for them, they started recording my conversations and screaming at me in the courtyard, introducing me to my first

panic attack. When I started to skip school, my mom was prompted to talk to the school director, who then talked to the girls. Everything had become normal again after this, the feud had been put to rest.

There should have been a lesson learned here. There should have been a fresh start and a new perspective, buttherewasn’t.I went back to being friends with Chloe, and I became even higher up in her social hierarchy. I told myself that if I was going to survive the tumultuous world of middle school, then I was going to have to play the part. This is around the time when I lost the rest of my morals.

When seventh grade came along, I was a complete and utter menace. I was no longer out of place in my friend group, instead Chloe and the rest of the gang were all my very best friends. Our love was built on the hate we had for other people.

When one of my friends was annoyed at a girl in our class for helping her with an art project and accidentally coloring outside the lines, I took it upon myself to defend my friend by picking up the sharpie she used and throwing it across the room at her head. When two of my friends were in a fight, I went behind each of their backs and encouraged their shit talking, swearing to both of them that I was on their side. I knew this wasn’t me, but now I had everything I had always wanted, so why ruin what I fought so hard for? In my mind, everything I did was in an attempt to survive another year and a half. If middle school was only temporary, then why did it all feel so final?

When you’re fresh into adolescence, nothing else seems to matter except for other peoples’ opinions of you. The funny look your friend gave you last week, the cute boy in class seeing you trip, the popular kid holding a door open for you. Wanting to fit in is not only about wanting to be a “cool girl,” it’s about self preservation.

When I entered thatfriend group, life seemed to become easier. People were nicer, invitations were more frequent, and the boys suddenly knew my name. But along the way, the pressure to remain in my place in the middle school social hierarchy led to the downfall of the nice girl I once was. YM



Keyframe is a moment that seemed innocuous and small at the time but marked a diversion into a strange new era of your life. It is a moment we look back on as a new beginning. This editorial is inspired by the beauty and the secret power of everyday moments and their power to catapult us into new phases of our lives.

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SNL Raised Me

How female comics bring me peace and amplify my voice

The year is 2008. Barack Obama and John McCain are in the running to be the next president of the United States. What were their policies?

I don’t remember, I was eight. I couldn’t tell you a single fact about that election. The only memory that sticks with me is a six-minute-long comedy sketch. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took the stage as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton on September 13, 2008. Amy encapsulated Hillary’s withering patience. Tina looked at the camera dead on, wearing the perfect Palin-core attire and said, “I can see Russia from my house!” They were astonishing. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. And I didn’t even understand politics! They were just so hilarious that it didn’t matter. According to a 2012 political study, young Republicans and Independents who watched Tina’s portrayal of Sarah Palin were statistically less likely to support the 2008 Republican ticket. The authors dubbed it “The Fey Effect.”

The female comedians on Saturday Night Live are geniuses. Whether they are writing sketches or impersonating celebrities (Maya Rudolph impersonated 47 celebrities on SNL alone), they are captivating. They broke records, obtaining hundreds of Emmy nominations. Tina Fey was the first female head writer in 1997. SNL creator Lorne Michaels said of Fey’s work, “There’s something for you to enjoy after you’ve finished laughing.” Because that’s the thing about female comedy: it has intelligence and heart. It makes you laugh, think, and realize that you are capable of creating anything you want.

What followed in the 2010s was an SNL female renaissance. In 2009, Kristen Wiig appeared in more sketches than any other cast member. She marketed her oddity, portraying characters that became household names. Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Aidy Bryant performed the iconic “Do It in My Twin Bed,” which was featured on Entertainment Weekly’s “2014 Best TV Scenes of the Year”. Each SNL female comedian listed above (and many more) went on to have successful careers in television, film, theater, etc. SNL fame was their catalyst to stardom.

Following their inspirational time on Saturday Night Live, the come-

dians listed above had illustrious careers of their own. Tina Fey went on to star in the hit NBC show 30 Rock. Oh, and she wrote a little movie called Mean Girls. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Amy Poehler starred as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation, earning six Emmy nominations. Both Poehler and Fey credit their work ethic and the ever-changing lens of comedy to their success. Both of them work on inclusive projects that amplify female voices. In her May 2021 Variety interview Fey said, “Women in writer’s rooms are often seen like cappuccino machines, if we have one why do we need another one? In any project I work on, I try proactively to make the room as diverse as possible.”

Inspiration is crucial, especially for creative little girls looking for their own voice. We learn about female nurses and teachers in school— that’s expected of us. But what about those of us who want to be writers? Performers? Stand-up comics? A majority of our textbooks are written by men. So, even if we are reading about Jane Austen in ninth grade, it is through the male perspective. I remember looking outside of school for inspiration. I found SNL clips on YouTube. I was immediately inspired to start writing. Not because I thought I would wake up as Amy Poehler, but because I knew how to try. Once we find role models that think and create like us, amplifying that creativity in a public space doesn’t seem so scary. Regarding SNL inspiration, Caroline Reese ‘20 says, “Tina Fey and I share a birthday; her authenticity and originality has always inspired me. Sometimes I like to think we’re the same person. I hope to someday tell stories like she does.”

Finding your creative voice takes courage. My comedic idols inspired my writing and simply made me laugh. Of course their writing was genius, but what meant the most to me was their ambition. Recognizing your strengths and creating something is only half the battle. Not only are you capable of producing great work, you should also showcase it publicly. What sets the women of Saturday Night Live apart is their tenacity in their creativity. Once you have something to say, it is imperative to let the world hear it. YM


Calling all music-lovers! The “dad music” renaissance is upon us! “Let’s Groove,” the 1981 song by Earth Wind and Fire, is a TikTok sensation. Legendary rock bands like Metallica, Talking Heads, and Journey were all featured on the soundtrack for season four of Stranger Things. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are touring again for the first time in seven years. Amidst this dad-music-mania, I started to question my own understanding of the genre.

The essence of dad music is nostalgia. With narrative-based lyrics about the human condition, the genre is relatable. These emotional lyrics are typically potent. Some dad songs are so lyrically charged, they can feel like a hug or a slap across the face. Ultimately, this lyricism is why the genre is timeless; unassuming songs like Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” can evoke memories of birthdays, graduations, weddings, and family reunions. It is more than a genre—it is the shared soundtrack of our lives.

Music has always been an integral part of my family life. “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash is my first memory. When I was a young kid, my dad drove me to school. He played a variety of songs during these car rides, but “Ring of Fire” was always my favorite. I became obsessed with music. Even at a young age, it was obvious that my dad had an immense appreciation for all music genres. This was my introduction to dad music.

It is typically assumed that dad music only encompasses a particular musical style or era, but this oversimplification of the genre is limiting. While many of my childhood friends, and Emerson classmates, associate dad music with certain rock bands like Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, and Cake, the genre is undeniably subjective. Its sound cannotbedefinedbecausedad music is inherently varied. For example, my personal interpretation of the genre includes ‘80s alternative music, early 2000s R&B, and Florence + the Machine’s “Greatest Hits.”

To know my dad is to know his music taste. The same can be said about myself and my grandpa (my dad’s father). Music is our love language. When I became interested in singing as a young child, my dad promptly registered me for a musical theatre class. Last year, I gave my dad a cassette tape of curated songs for his birthday. Similarly, my dad brought my grandpa to see one of his favorite bands, The Doobie Brothers, over the summer. In an effort to understand my personal connection to dad music, I spoke with both my dad and grandpa about the way music has impacted their lives.

When my grandpa was seven-years-old, he was gifted his first record player.Growingup,hisfamilylistenedto,whathecalls,“thestandards,” like Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman, and Kate Smith. From that point on, my grandpa was captivated by music. Then, when he was a senior in high school, he received an album that would change his life: What’d I Say by Ray Charles. Blues, Soul, and Jazz music became his

religion. His devotion to these genres continued into adulthood. Later, my grandpa would pass on his love of music to his children.

Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, and Stevie Wonder songs were the soundtrack of my dad’s childhood. My grandpa filled their home with a variety of records and record players. Eventually, these record players were replaced by home stereos and a state-of-the-art sound room. This room had strategically placed speakers to create an unparalleled listening experience. According to my dad, if a person found the “sweet spot” in the sound room, they could actually visualize each musician within the space.

As he grew older, my dad spent many hours listening to music with my grandpa. “You listen to a beautifully performed and produced song with great equipment in this way,” he exclaimed with awe, “depending on the type of music, it gives you goosebumps, can make you tear up, or want to run up a wall with sheer excitement.” This time spent in the sound room made a substantial impact on my dad. Music was something my dad and grandpa could enjoy together; it was a common interest that ultimately strengthened their relationship. Just as my grandpa and dad shared the sound room, my dad and I have bonded over live music. As a life-long music lover, my dad has some crazy concert stories, my favorite being “The Infamous Green Day Show.” In 2000, my dad was not a Green Day fan, but he wound up watching their set at a music festival. After the final song, the band members proceeded to smash their guitars, damage some amps, destroy the stage, and set their drum kit on fire. When I first heard this story, I was shocked. It sounded like something that only happened in movies.

BythetimeIwasoldenoughtoattendconcerts,mydadwasadamantthat I experience the magic of live music. We became “concert buddies,” and have seen a number of concerts together, including 5 Seconds of Summer, Florence + the Machine, and Anderson .Paak. During a period when I struggled with intense self-doubt, my dad showed me the therapeutic nature of live music. The concerts we shared together were transformative. To me, dad music is about togetherness—the same sense of togetherness you feel in a packed concert venue, when the musician strums the first guitar chord. I am fascinated by the revival of dad music, because my dad’s passion for music changed my life. I wouldn’t be a music writer if it weren’t for his influence. The celebration of dad music emphasizes how music acts as a bonding tool for many families. However, I think the definition of dad music can extend to those outside of our immediate family. My grandpa, cousins, and friends have all influenced my music taste. Humans thrive when we are in community, and music is a powerful force that can help bring us together. YM


“I Get It From My Dad”: The Revival of Dad Music

AD-LIBS: Hip-Hop’s Cherry On Top

Unforgettable rhymes that make your face go sour, samples that are perfectly chopped and screwed, and producer tags stamped to the intro of songs that more people recognize than the songs themselves—these are just some characteristics that make hiphop an art form unlike any other. But sometimes, it’s the little things that count. Ad-libs, also known as words delivered spontaneously in speech, are the cherry on top. Born out of feeling intense rhythm, they beat and fill the flow of the music we’re bumping today.

There’s no way to discuss ad-libs without discussing Migos. Hearing “Bad and Boujee” for the first time in 2016, you could tell there was a shift in mainstream hip-hop and rap. Trap had existed before Migos, and was popular in the South, but it was different from the hip-hop I grew up listening to. A triplet flow over a Metro Boomin beat accompanied by what sounds like a hype man in the back of Offset’s first verse makes you want to bounce. There wasn’t a single person in my high school who didn’t know the first verse at least, and that included the ad-libs: “drip,” “drop-top,” “cookie,” “thot,” “pot,” “hey”—impossible to read without filling the gaps.

Amongst the “Ad-Lib Hall of Famers” is no one other than Travis Scott. Even if you don’t fancy the autotune mogul, you’ll know when he comes on based solely on his ad-libs—”Straight up!” “It’s lit!” “Alright!”, and my personal favorite: “pop it.” Scott’s music is usually high energy and encompasses his “rager” brand.

Niklas Walker ‘23 cites “HOUSTONFORNICATION” as one

of his favorite songs that exemplifies exactly why Scott’s ad-libs elevate his music. “When this song comes on it’s one of the only songs where I feel the need to sing the ad-libs. It almost feels like punctuation, it keeps the energy up. Songs without them can sound empty. It fills the sonics and audio space, it keeps the momentum,” he says. In comparison, the Pharrell-engineered, more mellow “Down In Atlanta,” Scott’s most recent single, is described by Walker as lacking that same kick.

For Hadera McKay ‘24, Portland rapper Aminé has some of the most ear-catching and unique ad-libs. “REDMERCEDES,” “BLACKJACK,” and “Mad Funny Freestyle” are the songs that come to mind when she thinks about examples of Aminé’s finest ad-lib work. “True” and “hey!” seem to be his go-to additives when rapping. “He just has a really playful, high pitched voice,” she says. “Being influenced by André 3000 comes out the most in how experimental his beats and ad-libs are.” Songs like “ATLiens” by Outkast show where that influence lies for Aminé because of the pronunciation of words like “air,” “care,” and “oh yeah.”

Aminé, made famous by his hit “Caroline” in 2016, has squeaky background additions to the song that McKay mentions makes it fun to sing along to, and when it’s played, everybody in the room sings along to it because of those animated inflections. So next time you’re listening to these embellishments, ask yourself, would the song still be the same without it? YM


Songs for your Y

Coming of Age Movie

M P 3
N T S:
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“Taking Pictures Of You” — The Kooks

“Come a Little Closer” — Cage The Elephant

“Freaks” — Surf Curse

“I’m In Love With You” — The 1975

“What You Know” — Two Door Cinema Club

“Cigarette Daydreams” — Cage the Elephant

“Cooks” — Still Woozy

“Ribs” — Lorde

“Place We Were Made” — Maisie Peters

“Coming of Age” — Blondes

“Perfect Places” — Lorde

“Where’d All the Time Go?” — Dr. Dog

“White Teeth Teens” — Lorde

“Dreams” — The Cranberries

“On + Off” — Maggie Rogers

“THE Body is a Blade” — Japanese Breakfast

“Sparks Fly” – Waxahatchee

“American Teenager” – Ethel Cain

“Masterpiece” — Big Thief

“True Blue” — Boygenius, julien

baker, phoebe bridgers, lucy dacus

“Growing/Dying” — The Backseat Lovers

“VBS” — Lucy Dacus

“We Are Young” — Fun., JANELLE MONéT

“Small worlds” — Mac Miller

“Campus” — Vampire Weekend

“Rollercoaster” — Bleachers

“Kids” — Current Joys

“1980s Horror Film II” — Wallows

“You Know It” — Colony House

“Sunflower Seeds” — Bryce Vine

“Super Rich Kids” — Frank Ocean, EARL SWEATSHIRT

“Only the Wild Ones” — DISPATCH

“Something More” — Bluphoria

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YM Advises: First Date Advice

Personally, I think dinner for the first date is super overrated. Awkward silences are way more noticeable and you’re stuck in one spot for the whole night. Something like grabbing coffee, or a quick snack and walking around the city is super fun and takes a lot of pressure off of everything.

Listen to music that hypes you up while you’re getting ready. It genuinely works. It also helps to get ready with a friend if you’re feeling nervous. If you find yourself stuck on things to talk about during the date, give the other person a compliment! It’s one of the easiest ways to begin a conversation. —Fiona McMahon, YMTV Co-Director

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When going on a first date, it’s important to have an open mind. While having personal expectations and boundaries is important, if you are so focused on all the things that can go right or wrong you, are bound to be more closed-off and subject to disappointment. Don’t diminish your personality for fear of what the other person will think, they can (and should) choose to like you for who you really are. —Nirvana

Give yourself time to get ready before a first date because the worst feeling is when you are rushing on top of being nervous. Put on music, pick out a cute outfit, and just have fun with it.

Remember that you’re there to get to know them and gauge how you like them too, not just the other way around; thinking about that can take some of the pressure off yourself. And try not to worry about pauses in conversation; it doesn’t have to be awkward and can really be natural.

Saying goodbye after a successful date is one of the most awkward and uncomfortable things. Do you hug? Do you kiss? (I will go on the record as high-fiving after a first date… and we are going on two years now, so I guess it worked?). But don’t overthink it and do what feels right! As corny and cliche as it sounds, follow your heart. And, if the date includes eating, eat. —

There doesn’t need to be any pressure for a first date. Think of it as simply getting to know a new person, and you might find it’ll make the date feel a lot more fun and relaxed. —

First dates shouldn’t be stressful, they should be exciting! If you are too stressed, try finding a way to control your experience and put yourself at ease. That could be choosing a place or activity that feels familiar and comfortable to you, or it could be wearing an outfit that you feel good and— more importantly—comfortable in. (Now isn’t the time to wear those new shoes that you haven’t broken in yet—ouch). If you’re uncomfortable, odds are you won’t be letting yourself relax and have fun. —

Wear something that makes you feel hot. It doesn’t matter what your date thinks as long as you know that you look good. —Katherine Asselin, Assistant Head Designer

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Describe Stupid Jupiter Jewelry in one sentence. A fun little business that invites conversation and new friendships.

How and when did you get into accessories?

I’ve been making jewelry ever since I can remember because I love creating things with my hands. Often, I have ideas that I can’t find anywhere else so I make them myself and these necklaces were no different. My freshman year I got some beads and string, and I designed a couple necklaces. I gave them to my friends, who told me I should start selling them, and I decided to take a chance! Before I knew it, I was shipping orders across the country.

What inspires you?

I think people that are really bold and brave with their art inspire me because I usually have a lot of anxiety around my work and I’m afraid to show it off. Then again, it’s people like that who create these new and exciting designs and pieces that are the reason for the constant growth and change of any artistic industry.

Why jewelry?

Honestly, jewelry is a fun little hobby that I can take with me anywhere. Not to mention, my necklaces are waterproof as well as cute so they can be worn at any and all times as a fun pop of color that goes with any outfit and won’t ever fade. Additionally, I think accessories are the perfect finishing touches for any outfit that make everything come together.

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Who are some of your favorite creators/artists?

I think personally, it’s hard to name my favorite creators because I have a variety of interests and many things catch my eye. I enjoy looking through Etsy to find things I might enjoy or even finding new artists through my explore page on Instagram. I am always looking for something new and I feel like that’s something that translates to art as well because I appreciate a wide range of artistic creations and artists. Along with that, I like getting recommendations from other people as a taste of new perspectives aside from my own and as a way to find interesting art that I might not have found on my own.

What is your favorite accessory you’ve made? What makes it special to you?

Given that my business is just necklaces for now, my favorite accessory that I’ve made is the first necklace that sort of kicked the whole thing off. My prototype necklace was just something I made to mess around with the colors of the flowers and the rainbow mix of beads and it features four of the iconic flower pendants that I still use on my necklaces. Since then, I’ve decreased the pendants to one per necklace, but it’s fun to look at it and see where it started.

What advice would you give other/new creators?

My advice to new creators is to just go for it because you never know who might appreciate it as much as you do. It’s also important to know that it takes time to have your work recognized because it doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you’re persistent and you keep on creating, more people will take notice and appreciate it.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I’m not really sure to be honest. I know I’ll be creating for the rest of my life because it’s something that I enjoy so I’ll probably be doing something in that vein. Most likely I will be searching for a new hobby to try or possibly returning to jewelry making. I have no predictions, but I know myself and what I like to do.

Where can readers see more of your work?

I have an Instagram account @StupidJupiterJewelry and you can buy necklaces through a link in my bio. YM

64 | artist statement
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