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YOUR MAG

VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 1 | OCTOBER 2019


CONTENTS ROMANCE 4 GOODBYE SEXUAL SHAME

6 10 12 EDITORIAL 14 STYLE 22 24 EDITORIAL 26 LIVING 36 38 40 42 EDITORIAL 44 ARTS & ENTERTAIMENT 52 54 56 58 YOUR THINGS 60 YM MP3 62 64

URBANIZED LOVE: BLACK ON BLACK RELATIONSHIPS PORN IS NOT REAL SEX MAKE IT AND THEY WILL COME SECRETS ONLY THE STALLS COULD TELL HOW EUPHORIA ENCOURAGES SELF EXPRESSION THE DANGERS OF CONTERFEIT WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN YOU CAN CALL ME WHATEVER THE DOUBLE STANDARDS OF BILITERACY THIRD CULTURE KID RETREAT YOURSELF WAITING MUSIC NOSTALGIA PAST AND PRESENT WATCH THE QUEENS CONQUER #METOO A SIMPLE HASHTAG A WORLD OF IMPACT VÉ RITÉ YOUR THINGS WITH GINA YORK YMP3 ARTIST STATEMENT AUSTIN QUINTANA

YMEMERSON.COM | INSTAGRAM: YOUR.MAG | TWITTER: @YOURMAGEMERSON

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YOUR Mag

EDITOR’S letter

VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 1 | OCTOBER 2019

DAYSIA TOLENTINO

LILY WALSH

Editor In Chief

Co-Creative Director

MONIKA DAVIS

MADISON DOUGLAS

Managing Editor

Co-Creative Director

DITI KOHLI

KARINA SANCHEZ

Romance Editor

Head of Design

LILLIAN COHEN

TATIANA GUEL

Asst. Romance Editor

Assistant Designer

ANDY CAIRA

EMILY KING

Style Editor &Street Style Director

Photo Director

ISABELLE BRAUN

PALLAS HAYES

I

am sitting in a study room inside 172 Tremont St., one of Emerson’s shiny new buildings, reading the October letters from the editors that have preceded me and figuring out what I want to say. You’d think that after a semester I’d know how

to write these things. I start to wonder where they wrote, and I’m beginning to think a windowless study room isn’t the best place to get inspired. I go outside to sit in the Common and reflect a bit on my current surroundings and this month’s issue. All I

A&E Editor

Asst. Photo Director

can really think about is change, namely the new additions to Emerson’s campus and

EMILIE KRONE

YELIZAVETA ROGULINA

writing this.

Living Editor

Art Director

LEE ANN JASTILLANA ELOISA DEFARIAS Web Director

Editorial Director

ABIGAIL NOYES

GINA YORK

Copy Chief

Style Director

SHAWNA KONIECZNY LAUREN DILLOW Head Proofreader

Asst. Stylist

to Your Mag’s staff. So it only makes sense that I do something a little different in Each of the letters that I have written for Your Magazine thus far has been relatively straight forward, primarily serving as a preview of the issue at (or should I say in?) hand. Perhaps this fact is indicative of my journalistic training; I’m skilled in the art of being matter-of-fact. Perhaps I have been too afraid of coming off cliché. Perhaps it is because I’ve often put off writing these to the eleventh hour, leaving only enough time to write a quick note about that month’s content. Now I’m running out of time to do all of this, so let me try to utilize what I have left. This semester, my final one as YM’s editor-in-chief, I want to get a little sentimental. I want to sit with you–with this magazine and the words I’m writing–a bit longer. October is a special month for me. It’s many of my loved ones’ and my birth

KATHERINE POWERS RANA SAIFI

month. The first half is Libra season, opening us up to social connection, balance,

Asst. Proofreader

Talent Manager

and beautiful things. The air is filled with the scents of fall, of pumpkin spice and wet

ADRIANNA ALAVI

HANNA EL-MOHANDESS

leaves. And of course, Halloweekend provides a much-needed release in the middle

Marketing Coordinator

Asst. Talent Director

TIANNA LOVERDE YMTV Director

of a busy semester (if you need some costume inspo, go check out YMTV director Tianna Loverde’s editorial “Stall Secrets”). With all the goings-on, the month can get a bit chaotic, but it always feels like there is something to celebrate. A couple of things worth celebrating: the hard work and fresh ideas of the new Your Mag executive team. We have exciting things to share with you as the semester unfolds, but I won’t spoil the surprises.

COPY EDITORS: KAITLYN HACKETT, CATE HAYES, LIU ESTHER, NATALIE

While October marks the start of a new season, it also marks the beginning of

MICHAUD, MEHER GUPTA, TIVARA TANUDJAJA, ALLISON CARAVELLA,

the end in more ways than one. Summer is over, and the hours of sunlight dwindle by

MADELYN MULREANEY, KATHERINE POWERS, THOMAS GARBACK, JESS FERGUSON, NADIA HIBRI, ALLISON HUGHES, KATE HEALY, REBECCA LETTS, AMAYA SEGUNDO, CHARLOTTE DRUMMOND, ERIN RENZI, WEIMEI WANG DESIGN: OLIVIA HEINZE, MARIANNA REYES, MADISON GOLDBERG, GABRIELA PORTUGAL, HONGXI YAO PROOFREADERS: MOLLY GOODRICH, JIACHEN LIU, CHARLOTTE DRUMMOND, KIANA NGUYEN, ALLISON HUGHES, JESS FERGUSON,

the day. We are quite literally nearing the end of the year. Some of us, myself included, are reaching the end of our college experience. It’s a time of serious reflection, on the year as a whole and the ones that came before it. The end of the year has a way of imparting a particular sense of doom that is, much like Halloween, kind of thrilling. I don’t know what is waiting for me in the coming year, much like I don’t know what is behind the door of a haunted house. I can only hope that the anxiety has some sort of payoff. For now, let us put our worries aside and read through the reflections of others. This issue, we have a lot to celebrate, from overcoming sexual shame to witnessing the rise of a new generation of female rappers. This is an exciting time of year, and things are changing. I hope you’re ready for it, and for what comes next.

MARIANNA POLETTI REYES, KATHERINE HEALY, BECCA LETTS, AMAYA SEGUNDO, TJ GRANT, MADELYN MULREANEY, CAITLYN ONG

Daysia Tolentino

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Goodbye Sexual shame WRITTEN BY KATHERINE POWERS ART BY LILLIAN COHEN

I

went to Catholic school for thirteen years before coming to Emerson. As a 12-year-old, I sat in front of my theology teacher as she explained why the sin of masturbation

would send us all straight to hell. At 14, I had classes to teach me how a nuclear family should behave, why abstinence is great, and that, if necessary, a priest could pray over me if I thought I was gay. Despite this, I am sex-positive toward everyone who isn’t me. But I am sex-neutral––borderline sex-negative––to myself. Now I am on a journey to become more comfortable with my own sexual experiences and the enjoyment I derive from them––a concept, I know. I just have to unlearn a few more things first. In my growing years, there were two different occasions in which I had to publicly pledge my chastity: once before receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, a ritual meant for Catholics to grow closer to the Church, and again at the culmination of my “Right Start” course in eighth grade. As a sophomore in high school, I sat in a school assembly as someone showed me slides of infected genitalia to teach my classmates and me about the dangers of STIs and sex outside of marriage. When I ruminate on my education, it is clear to me why I felt shame when I started masturbating in high school, came to terms with my bisexuality, and started having sex. Since I’ve arrived here, I’ve been trying to unpack how my abstinence-only sex education has altered how I view my body and sexuality. For as long as I can remember, I have been taught that sex was only meant for marriage. The implication was always that to have premarital sex was to undermine an act God created for procreation. This

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sentiment is not unique to Catholicism. The stigma around non-procreative sex is a reoccurring theme in conversations I had with Emerson students from various faith backgrounds. Karthik Ramaswami, who grew up in moderately religious Hindu household, says he does not feel shameful about sex anymore. But he explains, there is still an “unspoken rule” in his family and religion that he “should not be involved in any sort of premarital, nonprocreative sex.” Similarly, MaryCatherine Neal spoke of the same expectation to not have sex as a Christian Disciple of Christ. When she first started having sex, Neal felt some shame and embarrassment, but now she identifies as a sex-positive individual. She pointed out the hypocrisy of adults who claim sex is only for procreation. “I know that these old people didn’t just have sex to procreate,” says Neal. “So I don’t know why they preach that.” To be honest, I don’t understand why our parents and religious leaders teach us these ideas either. I know I have joked about being sex-negative, but the truth is I was affected by the messaging I received throughout my childhood. I sometimes still am. A few weeks ago, my mom and I landed in Boston for my move-in day. I dropped my luggage at her Airbnb and was about to leave to see my boyfriend for the first time in months. She stopped me to say, “Katie, I just want to say it. I don’t think you should be doing anything [sex] at this age.” I assured her I would not do anything, and then I left to sleep with my boyfriend. (Sorry, mom!) But after conversations like that, I cannot help but feel anxious about how terrible I must be for having sex for pleasure’s sake and enjoying it. I sometimes switch back to the messaging that was ingrained in me in middle and high school. And I cannot help but think how different my life would be if I had not grown up in a religious environment with a stigma around sex. I asked Kate Cunningham about her experience of growing up in a non-religious, sex-positive family. She spoke highly of her mom’s approach to talking about sex, saying, “It was always something that wasn’t...shameful. It was more of just like, talk about it and be safe.” In a message of sexpositivity, Cunningham says she thinks “sex, in general, is something that doesn’t need to be so stigmatized.” As someone who has had to deal with overcoming the stigma of sex, I could not agree more. Coming to a sex-positive college environment laid the groundwork for me to finally be comfortable exploring and learning about my sexuality on my own and eventually, with my boyfriend. And for that, I am so grateful. YM ROMANCE | 5


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Urbanized Love Black on Black Relationships WRITTEN BY MELANIE CURRY PHOTOGRAPHY BY SOMARI DAVIS

I

always thought, “there’s something beautiful about two black people being together.” Their skin is rich like cocoa butter, smooth as silk, and glistening like the sun can’t wait to shine on their melanin beauty. Or, at least, that’s what I thought it looked like in We the Urban’s Instagram photoshoot with actors Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers. “That’s what black love is,” I said to myself when I saw the photo on my feed. This rich, tantalizing love you can’t see anywhere else. It’s so urban. When I define a relationship as urban, I don’t mean urban like the word’s typical definition—a city or a metropolitan area. Historically, black families and individuals were forced to migrate to the city to find better economic opportunities during the Great Migration. In this 54-year-period, African Americans faced various social, economic, and political challenges as they tried to build a home for themselves, thus creating black urban culture in the process. This culture included food, clothing, music, vernacular, and most importantly, love. Urbanized love is Beyonce and Jay-Z, Will and Jada, Ayesha and Steph, Michelle and Barack. Urbanized love is your everyday black couples, the mother and father of a black college student, even me and my ex-boyfriend Sam. When I saw Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers’ photoshoot, this idea of urbanized love became more

clear to me; it is only possible with a black man. Black women and black men share the same struggles. We relate. We click. It’s almost as if there’s something intangible or magical about being with a black man that I feel there isn’t with a white man or another person of color. Naomi Davy, Harvard University ‘22, agrees with me. Growing up in a majority white community, she was mostly attracted to white men until she came to college and interacted with a diverse student body. “I feel like I can relate to [black men] more,” Davy says. “There’s things we can talk about that I can’t talk about with white men. I love white men too, but I think I make stronger connections with black men [in] friendships and romantically.” Emerson student Jada Osgood ‘22 has a different experience. While she’s never been in a relationship before, she has had a few sexual relationships and situationships, predominantly with white men. “I definitely don’t have a preference but being somewhere where there isn’t a lot of people of color affects how many people I am with that are white versus other people of color,” Osgood says. I don’t think white men are unattractive. However, growing up in a predominantly black community, I rarely saw white people and never formed an opinion on the attractiveness of white men until I got to Emerson. At a college with a limited black student population

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“Urbanized love is Beyonce and Jay Z, Will and Jada, Ayesha and Steph, Michelle and Barack.” and even more limited black male population, I had to venture outside my dating pool in my first year. I no longer disagreed when my friends said a white Emerson student walking down Boylston was cute. White men were the majority on campus and as an eager, young freshman, I was ready to try something new. So I entered the “talking stage” with a white guy named Micheal. We talked about the usual things: food, family, hobbies, studies, interests—common topics when people are getting to know each other. It was nice for a while. But I began to miss that intimate connection of being with a black man. There was nothing physically wrong with Micheal. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall with muscles and a charming personality. But Micheal, or the white men that followed, weren’t what I preferred. After Micheal, I met Ben, a black Boston University medical student. Whereas my relationship with Micheal consisted of surface-level topics, I was able to talk to Ben about the struggles of being black at a predominantly white university, living in a majority white city, and how I felt I didn’t culturally belong in Boston or at Emerson. While our relationship ventured on and off romantically and sexually, being with Ben reminded me of home—of why I prefer a black partner in my life. It’s like Davy says, “Black people are fun to be around.” Finding urbanized love is great. But once you find it, it can be pressuring for some black people. There’s this presumed idealistic view of what a black relationship is supposed to look like. People are always looking at you and critiquing your relationship to determine if you’re beautiful enough to be together. Take Beyonce and Jay-Z, for example.

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“He’s too ugly to be with a woman like her,” my friend Ashley* would always say. “I mean, she’s Beyonce, and he’s this rapper with dark skin and big lips.” As if Jay-Z has to look a certain way or be of a certain caliber to be with a woman like Beyonce. “There’s pressure there when you think about black relationships, especially being [at Emerson] where we reflect on the black people that are dating,” Osgood says. “‘Are they with a black person?’ and ‘Do they look cute together?’ Those are some of the questions.” Aside from the pressures of looking like an “it” black couple like Destiny and Powers, there’s this newfound difficulty of finding urbanized love when black men seek out white women and other women of color. Everyone’s preferences are their own. It’s absurd to think black men will only be attracted to black women and vice versa. As interracial relationships become normalized in today’s society, individuals become more comfortable in seeking out other races. Emerson student Taylor* thinks preferences lie in personality and the community an individual was raised in. Taylor, who grew up locally in Boston, has dated one person—a black man—but has had sexual relationships with mostly white men. “In this day and age, I feel specifically black men, don’t look for black women,” Taylor said. “I don’t think there’s a problem with [interracial relationships]. It all comes down to personality rather than looks for me.” Regardless, I still crave urbanized love. Experiencing it is like the first taste of strawberry glazed cheesecake—sweet, savory, and delicious. And nothing is stopping me from going back and getting some more. YM


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POrn is not real sex WRITTEN BY DAMICA RODRIGUEZ ART BY NATASHA ARNOWITZ

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“Have you ever had sex?”

M

that? Am I supposed to shave? How do I bend like that? Is this what sex looks like? Political communications major Serge Ganthier ‘23 thinks porn should be watched with a conscious mind that knows the actors in the scenes are playing a character and that the scenes do not represent real intimacy. “If you find yourself watching porn at a young age, you

y mouth went dry. I stood in a circle of high

would have all these high expectations for things that don’t

school freshmen girls nervously biting their lips

actually happen,” he says. However, Ganthier also pointed out

and upperclassmen boys smirking with utter

watching porn could be a learning experience for those not

anticipation. A succession of yeses and noes along with giggles

familiar with sex.

fill the air until it was my turn to answer. I say “yes,” trying to

I had already taken up Ganthier’s advice on watching

match the energy of my peers, but my voice wavered. I was

porn

lying, but I didn’t want others to know how little I knew about

representation of intimacy in porn was still a source of

sex on an intimate level.

confusion and insecurity for me.

Fast forward six years and finally, the moment came: my first time. I was a mess of feelings: ready, nervous, eager, stressed,

for

educational

purposes.

But

the

inaccurate

Visual and media arts major Ashley Miller ‘22 isn’t impressed with how porn depicts sex and intimacy, especially when it involves queer women.

but most of all, worried. Worried because I had no clue what

“For lesbian porn, I feel like it’s mainly designed for

to expect, what my body would be like before, during, or after,

men because like all of my guy friends say, ‘Oh, my favorite

and what to do with my body. So I turned to the one thing I

category of porn is lesbian porn,’ but that shouldn’t be how it

thought would lay all my thoughts to rest while switching to

is,” Miller says. “It’s not accurate. They just take all of the love,

my incognito tab: porn.

sensuality, and care out of it.”

Open any pornographic website and chances are you

Miller recalled her experiences exploring with other

will see a plethora of highly exaggerated and sensationalized

partners, who more often than not disregarded their own

forms of sex that in nature seem a bit unrealistic. Not because

pleasure. “I’ve noticed with some queer women they feel

all of the sexual positions are impossible, but because actual

like they have to put on a show when they’re having sex with

sex is much more than going through the motions.

another queer woman because they feel like there’s a looming

An entire professional production of actors, directors,

male gaze in it all.”

producers, and camera crews are behind the scenes of

There was not a bone in my body I wanted to expose

any porn set. As a viewer, we only see the surface of that

after my first couple of searches. Yet, I think that was the point.

production value—the lighting, the actors wrapped around

There is a particular audience when it comes to most

each other, and the camera angles capturing every single,

porn sites that obviously doesn’t include me. Rather, it includes

microscopic detail. Our attention is solely placed on the

porn’s biggest consumers: men.

actors in the height of their work, rather than on what occurs

Porn can still be used as an educational tool in some

before or after. We see no other form of engagement or

aspects, but it’s important to keep in mind that the sex

communication behind the scenes.

portrayed in porn is exaggerated and theatrical. My body with

But of course, I didn’t realize this at the time. While

all of its flaws and complex emotions wasn’t going to magically

scrolling through the videos, I couldn’t help but feel like my

appear on the screen. My sex life wasn’t a movie with perfect

body didn’t match theirs. Why didn’t my vagina look like

lighting, sure. But it is very much real. YM

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Make it and they will come WRITTEN BY LILLIAN COHEN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY WALSH

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A

bed is more than just a bed. You can sleep there. You can read there. You can nibble on snacks and complete homework. You can binge watch the newest series on Netflix. But at our age, when dorm rooms and a hallway make up our entire living space, beds are also one of the first things someone sees when you take them home. In what is possibly the best advice from the classic, Sex and the City, Miranda changed her bedding to bring positive vibes into her living space. “I figure if I can make my bed a place I want to be, others will feel the same,” she told Carrie, slipping on ruffled peach pillow cases. A good or bad “bed omen” can send ripples through multiple areas of your life, including self-care and interpersonal relationships. An unmade bed with white sheets and one sad hanging poster is not ideal for anyone. In fact, it can actually show signs of a bigger problem. Bedrooms are examples of who we are. That’s why we go out to pick out the perfect sheets and accessories to line our walls before the freshman orientation even begins. If your bed is chaotic and undesirable (like many of ours are), how are you going to get anyone else to crawl on in? Organizational expert and Netflix phenomena Marie Kondo encouraged in her book, The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up, that “from the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life.” Each small step in altering your living space will hopefully symmetrically encourage change in your intimate relationships. To change your life, you need to make a change. Take the first action with these tips. Tip #1: Buy a new pair of sheets. All white bedding is not going to cut it. Aside from being easy to get dirty and look unkempt, they often look cheap and hotel-like. You want to feel at home and comfortable in your new space. If you haven’t

bought new bedding in a year, try to find a pair that embodies the best parts of yourself. Invest in yourself by making sure it’s comfortable. Tip #2: Get some pillows—but not too many. You want to decorate your space so that it seems inviting, but sometimes less is more. Too many pillows on your bed can make it feel crowded or cluttered. It might seem fluffy to you, but can appear as dysfunctional to others. Plus, who wants to dump a mound of pillows on the ground each time you go to bed? Findings presented at the 2015 SLEEP conference in Seattle showed those with less clutter got got a better night’s sleep. Those with clutter also saw a similar trend between sleep disorders, depression, and stress. Tip #3: Please don’t eat in it. I know. It’s hard. There’s really no other place in your dorm sometimes to eat. But no one wants to roll around in chips and crumbs when at a potential partner’s place. Keep that new bedding nice and disassociate your bed with tedious tasks like eating, homework, and stress. This will keep your bed away from toxic subconscious associations, reinstate it as a corner for comfort and self-love, and create a better overall “bed omen.” Tip #4: Try to keep everything looking aesthetically pleasing. Budgets might be tight. It’s college. Everyone has different economic situations. But Susan Shehata, a wellness educator and creative and social entrepreneur, says she finds that those with unfinished bedroom spaces usually have problems with commitment. They feel that decisions made within their space have finite repercussions and therefore just don’t make decisions. So putting a priority on your bedtime routine and how your sleep space looks is definitely important. When the bedroom becomes merely about function, you’re not giving enough attention to intimacy. Just like there are supposed bases in physical intimacy, one’s “bed omen” can often become a Field of Dreams. “Make it and [they] will come.” YM ROMANCE | 13


DIRECTED BY TIANNA LOVERDE PHOTOGRAPHED BY MONIKA DAVIS TIANNA LOVERDE STYLED BY TIANNA LOVERDE LAUREN DILLOW LILLIAN COHEN JULIE GIFFIN GINA YORK MAKEUP BY LILLIAN COHEN LAUREN DILLOW DAYSIA TOLENTINO MODELED BY JESSICA APATOW JORDAN BREVELERI MELANIE CURRY CHANTAL ENCALADA 14 | YOURMAG


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HOW Euphoria Encourages artistic expression

WRITTEN BY DAMICA RODRIGUEZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY MADISON GOLDBERG ELAINE TANTA DELLIN ZHANG

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y makeup journey began when I was five at the foot of my mom’s vanity. I peered over her assortment of lipsticks and blush powders with wide eyes and my mouth open in awe. Without a thought, I smeared my mom’s makeup on my face with absolute glee. I looked like a mess in the end, but there was no place in the world I felt freer. But then my makeup journey shifted nine years later and all I wanted to be was the “Tumblr girl”: big eyelashes, icy highlighters in the inner corner, and the darkest noir shade of eyeliner smudged on. Copying this trend made me view myself as a “golden goose”, a prize who needed to be beautified and win anyone over with her looks. I saw makeup as a way to attract, not express. But now it’s the opposite. Everyone can agree that makeup now is much more freeform than past makeup trends. Euphoria, a show about a teen struggling with drug addiction, showcases some of the boldest makeup looks on TV. Euphoria captures a unique, yet universal aspect of our generation--free expression. According to Euphoria’s Head Makeup Artist, Doniella Davy, the bold makeup looks are meant to be interpersonal depictions of the characters and their development. Davy said in an Allure interview that, “There’s subliminal emotional messages always in all the makeup.” For example, Davy made sure that Hunter Schafer who plays “Jules” wears more androgynous looks to signify her gender identity. Nadia Ryan, a freshman Visual Media Arts major, experimented with bold makeup looks before Euphoria came out, but since then the show has encouraged her to experiment more. “I think fashion is a huge part of self-expression because it’s so immediate,” she said. “It’s a valuable form of self-expression to really part your own art on your face.” What makes Euphoria-inspired looks special from others is how normalized the bold looks are in our daily lives. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion or reason, other than it’s a Wednesday and I just felt like it. Anna Capello, a junior Writing, Literature, and Publishing major, attests to this. Capello says that the popular response to Euphoria’s makeup looks is inspiring to step out of your comfort zone and not adhere to specific gender identity. “My best friend, who is male-identifying, watched the show and asked me to do his makeup to go to the grocery store and I was like, ‘Yes, I will!’” she said.

Expressing ourselves has always been a form of art but how to feel comfortable enough to get to that point. Luckily though, there is no specific formula in achieving Euphoria-esque looks. Whether you’re into a natural look or a full beat, here are some tips and tricks! EYELINER As seen on Euphoria, the eyeliner looks are anything but understated. They can either add a pop of color or look like an abstract painting by Piet Mondrian but on your eyelids. Nevertheless, the goal here is to work with your eye-shape. While it may seem impossible to recreate Hunter Schafer’s eyeliner, experiment with different geometric shapes along the points of your eyes you’d like to accentuate the most. Liquid eyeliners are the easiest formulas to work with when trying to achieve these looks, while also limiting your chances of poking your eye out. EYESHADOW Monochromatic eyeshadow looks are a simple way of doing the least while looking like you did the most. Since most of the eyeshadow looks on Euphoria are pretty exaggerated, it’s best to stick to a color that makes you feel comfortable in expressing! To start off, use a transition shade that brings out your warm, cool, or neutral skin tone. Single-color eye looks can look a bit washed out without a transition color. Make sure your brush is clean and free of any residue before blending the shade into your crease. Then, voila, go wild whatever color you want to put on your lid. You don’t exactly have to use a brush for this part, a finger will suffice. GEMSTONES According to Davy, Madi’s gemstone-makeup looks acted as her “armor” that held her up through the chaos and traumatizing ordeals. These embellishments are my personal favorite to see on screen, primarily because they’re definitely the easiest to achieve. Like I said, there’s no set way to achieve these looks other knowing what features you want to emphasize the most. Apply a bit of eyelash glue to the gem and coordinate with different sizes and placements. As always though, make sure to do a patch test! YM

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H

ave you ever been on a website like Amazon or Wish and spotted that eyeshadow palette you’ve been dying to get? For an avid makeup lover like myself, this is very common. Many popular brands such as Charlotte Tilbury and Natasha Denona with prices over $100 are often out of consumers’ budgets. After scrolling through the makeup and beauty section on Wish, an e-commerce website, I found high-end brands such as Huda Beauty and Tarte. But something seemed off when looking at the packaging and the products themselves. One of the products on Wish seemed to be a direct knock off of Huda’s Beauty Obsession eyeshadow palettes that were already in my makeup collection. The palettes are based on gemstones such as rubies and sapphires, with nine eyeshadows in each. On Wish, it had similar packaging with a small mirror and an image of a gemstone on the front. The colors, however, looked hard-pressed and dull compared to the original. Each palette on Wish is $6 compared to Huda Beauty’s palettes which are sold for $27. Wish isn’t the only website that sells counterfeit makeup. Rebecca Ensom, a Community College of Rhode Island student, bought a fake Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit from Amazon. After Ensom used the product once, it broke. Soon after, Ensom noticed the product didn’t look or feel the same as an authentic Kylie Lip Kit she used before. The visible contrast could be attributed to the different ingredients in the products. In an experiment conducted by the U.S Government Accountability Office, 47 products were purchased from websites such as Amazon and eBay. The study focused on four common counterfeited consumer products, one of which was makeup. Of the 13 makeup products purchased, all of them came back counterfeited. There are a lot of unknowns when discussing counterfeit beauty says makeup artist Yalett Alejandro from Fall River, Mass. Although Alejandro has bought counterfeit items for review in the past she says, “It can be extremely dangerous considering you don’t know the extent they went into creating that product. Are they safe? Are they from a safe factory? There are just too many risk factors even in the ingredients.”

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According to the FBI, some of the ingredients in counterfeit beauty products from third-party sellers could be damaging to your health. The FBI found known carcinogens such as arsenic and high levels of bacteria in these beauty products. The ingredients found in counterfeit makeup products have reportedly caused drowsiness, acne, and headaches. If large amounts of arsenic are absorbed, the person can suffer severe arsenic poisoning. If not treated this could lead to cancer, liver disease, coma, and death, the CDC warns. These products are made in extremely unsanitary factories, according to Gregg Marrazzo, the senior vice president and deputy general counsel of Estee Lauder Companies. “If you took the most disgusting frat house bathroom, it looks like a surgical suite compared to these conditions,” Marrazzo says in an interview with Refinery29. “It’s filthy, there’s bacteria everywhere... it’s disgusting.” Counterfeit beauty has increased in popularity over the last few years. A simple Google search shows your favorite makeup brand for cheap prices. It is getting harder to tell the real products from the fake ones when it comes to buying makeup online. So, how can you tell the difference between the two? “Always have a picture on your phone of the original product and you can compare. You can watch Youtube videos that compare differences,” says Ashly Ibarra ‘22. “Usually on the product or on the box it will tell you the ingredients, so if it doesn’t give you details of what’s in it, you probably shouldn’t buy it because you don’t know what it is made out of.” Ibarra says younger generations should share the information with older generations who might not know companies make counterfeit makeup products. These counterfeit beauty products are knockoff versions of popularized items, produced in unsafe factories. Not only are these companies stealing a brand’s original idea and claiming it as their own, but their knockoff products may contain literal rat poison. Although some may see counterfeit makeup as, in Alejandro’s words, “a simple, endless sale on higher end makeup products,” consumers must be aware of the countless health risks and stop purchasing these products in order to see a real change. YM


The Dangers of Counterfeit WRITTEN BY SYDNEY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY XINYI GAO

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When the Sun Goes DOwn

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you can call me whatever WRITTEN BY RIDDHIMA DAVE ART BY HONGXI YAO

D

id I say that right? Tell me how to say it. I’ll do it right.” I have heard this innumerous times, and I always respond with, “No, but it’s fine.” I don’t say that passive-aggressively. It really is fine. I came to the United States expecting people to mispronounce my name. Riddhima is a Sanskrit word meaning “full of love and prosperity.” I do not speak Sanskrit, but Hindi uses the same letters, and many Indian languages utilise similar alphabets, so for an Indian, saying my name would not be a struggle. But I am not in India anymore. There are letters in my name that are exclusive to some Indian languages, especially the “ddhi” part. To get it perfectly, one would have to learn how the sound is produced and what parts of the mouth are involved in it. These are difficult tasks. All around the world people speak from different parts of their mouths, which gives them accents. If you have ever read Pygmalion or watched My Fair Lady, you would remember that Professor Higgins, a phonetics expert, could tell exactly where a person was from based on how they spoke. This is why even within the same language, people talk differently and with different accents. If you have ever taken French, you would know how difficult it is to produce the ‘r’ sound and how much time and patience it requires to get that single letter even close to proper. Knowing all this, I logically cannot expect people foreign to my language to say my name perfectly. And for people who do not know me that well, I cannot expect the commitment it requires to learn the word. So I understand if someone messes up a little bit. But does that make mispronouncing my name alright? While it’s okay for others to mispronounce it, I do put emphasis on the fact that they are not

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saying it correctly. I do care about people acknowledging the fact that what they are saying is not really how you say it. It is okay for you to say my name as Redeemer, as long as you know that it is not correct. While we may say things differently, we can hear the same sounds. This ideology can take different forms. One of my closest friends, Xinyan Fu, wrote an Op-ed in the Berkeley Beacon about abandoning her Chinese name for the sake of cultural conformity. While the article describes her experience of having to take up an English name and why this concept is unnecessary, it highlights the acceptance of mispronunciations. It is popular in East Asia to adopt an English name as an acknowledgement that people foreign to the Chinese language would not be able to say their real name. Chinese is a tonal language that uses the Pinyan character system. The characters employed are meant to spell sound, which cannot be properly translated to English. This linguistic concept makes it difficult for others to pronounce Chinese words, and as a result, names. Xinyi Tu, a sophomore journalism student at Emerson and an international student from China, said that at Emerson she always asks people to use her English name; she is more used to being called Cynthia in the US. “I feel like I should use it for their convenience, but also for mine, because if they pronounced it incorrectly I might not respond to it,” Tu said. Certain people choose to use nicknames to make pronunciation easier. My brother, who also lives in the United States, goes by Sid. His full name is Siddharth, but saying it is difficult, and he chose to opt out of explaining his name while here. This is common for people in India. Shruti Rajkumar, a sophomore journalism student at Emerson and an American of Indian descent, said that she personally Americanised her name. “When they try to say my name, no matter how much they tried, it would always sound off. So I use my Americanised name there and then my real name at home.” Rajkumar mentioned that her friend Abhinaya often goes by Abby since it is easier for her. It is okay to say my name the best way you can. It would not reflect poorly on you and certainly does not make me or my name feel insignificant in any way. But simple things like taking an effort to learn or apologizing for butchering it will make me appreciative. It would show me that you do care about identifying me properly, even if you cannot. YM

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THE DOUBLE STANDARDS OF BILITERACY WRITTEN BY MADISON GOLDBERG ART BY YELIZAVETA ROGULINA

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¿De dondé eres?” “Mi madre es puertorriqueña y mi padre es judío.”

“¿Hablas español?” “Un

poquíto.”

you’re an immigrant or not.” Perhaps it really is, unfortunately, all about appearances. In a society where immigration—

I did not become fluent in Spanish until I was

especially from Latin American countries—is a heated

seventeen. The conversation in Spanish above was

topic, the massive difference in the way we treat

essentially all I knew for years. I grew up in suburban

biliteracy is often forgotten.

New Jersey in an upper middle class town, 45 minutes

Sophomore journalism major Sabine Waldeck,

from Manhattan by train. I worked hard to learn

who was born in Australia, to an Australian mother

conversational Spanish by my senior year of high

and a Dutch father, explained how lucky she felt in the

school, but I often think about the reasons I never

immigration process. “I am technically a first generation

learned the language as a child.

immigrant. I was born in Australia. That’s an English

Looking back, I realize that perhaps I didn’t

speaking country, so I never had to go through the

necessarily “need” to—it was a valuable skill that could

process of learning a new language. I moved here when

be “good for a resume” as one relative from my father’s

I was young, so I lost my accent very quickly. No one

side put it, but growing up speaking it would have

questions whether or not I’m American, even though I

made things more difficult for me. Perhaps my parents

only became a citizen two years ago.”

decided it would protect me, allowing me to fit in better

Even though she had the benefit of English on her

with my peers, and adjust better to the American public

side, Waldeck regrets not learning Dutch growing up.

school system. Maybe it would have been too confusing

“My dad always felt this stigma. He never taught us

for the other side of my family to understand us in a

Dutch. He thought there was no point in us learning it—

completely different language than their own. People

he did not even deem his own first language as impressive.”

tend to fear the unfamiliar.

The

idea

of

assimilation

being

attributed

I have heard stories of ESL students not receiving

to whiteness and English-speaking is inherently

proper support and falling behind in school. Why is it

problematic. Speaking two languages can only expand

that when someone learns English as a second language

one’s horizons and levels of communication, and

it is viewed as compulsory because their first language is

English as a second language should not be considered

“lesser than,” while English speakers who learn multiple

unworthy of praise.

languages are viewed as impressive?

Cindy Rodriguez, a Journalist in Residence

I sat down with sophomore Emerson journalism

at Emerson College, once wrote a column on the

student Tomás Gonzalez, who was born in Venezuela

languages spoken in the U.S. for The Denver Post.

but grew up in Costa Rica. Gonzalez learned English

“Language shouldn’t be a barrier in the way of people

around the same time as he learned Spanish, yet he

understanding each other. Speaking more languages

still experiences microaggressions from time to time. “I

would help us eliminate these cultural biases. We are

wouldn’t say I’ve felt discriminated [against], but more

vastly monolinguistic. Fifteen years ago, when I wrote

discouraged. It’s gotten to a point that people expect

a column on this back in Denver, I used stats from the

me to know the language perfectly, and although I am

census bureau to show how monolinguistic we are.

fortunate to know English very well, there are still parts

People have a hard time understanding how hard it is

that I struggle with.”

to learn another language.”

“There’s a common view of immigration here

We live in an incredibly divisive time. It is

in the United States,” Gonzalez continued. “ Being

imperative that we educate ourselves on the beauty

bilingual is taken in a different context. When you

of other cultures, and that we are able to have open

see someone of the higher class who speaks seven

communication in other languages. Biliteracy is a

languages, it’s treated like an incredible achievement.

bridge to people and places we may not have otherwise

If it’s an immigrant, it might be frowned upon. But

encountered, and it should be treated as the fantastic

nobody owns a language. In reality, it’s impressive if

skill that it is, regardless of whether or not English was

you speak multiple languages either way, whether

learned first. YM LIVING | 39


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THirdculturekid WRITTEN BY TIVARA TANUDJADJA

W

here

are

you

from?

What

is

ART BY YELIZAVETA ROGULINA

your

traditions,” she says. Nevertheless, because of her facial

nationality?” The questions loomed before

features, she continues to face challenges when she visits the

me as my mind failed to recognize the

rest of her family in Japan. “They expect less of me, almost…

difference. The last thing I thought I would

they’re surprised that I can use chopsticks, or that I can speak

struggle with when taking a pre-SAT test would be my own

Japanese.” Iversen says this confining nature of her culture is

personal information.

summed up by an old Japanese saying: If the nail sticks out,

Like my parents and grandparents, I was born and raised

hammer it down.

in Indonesia, but my country has never made me forget that

Tiana Pérez, a sophomore Journalism major at Emerson

I will never truly be “Indonesian.” My great grandparents

College, is from Puerto Rico, but has lived in the United States

moved from China to make a living in Indonesia, so does

since her freshman year of high school. Despite having spent a

that make me Chinese or Indonesian? I finally wrote down

majority of her life in the Caribbean island and maintaining a

“Indonesia” for the first question and “Chinese” for the

Puerto Rican household in Connecticut, her short five years in

second. Still confused, I went home that night and asked my

the U.S. have set her apart from her friends both in the states

parents, “What am I?”

and on the island. “I did not fit in with my American friends,

Do my squinting eyes and yellow skin define who I am?

but I [also] didn’t fit in with my Latinx friends that had been

Or does the tropical island where I grew up define my culture?

born and raised in the U.S.… And when I was finally able to

My Indonesian passport and ability to speak Bahasa Indonesia

return back to the island, as much as I wanted to feel like I was

were not enough for people to stop discriminating against me

like everyone else, I wasn’t,” she explains.

for my looks. To add to my mess of cultural identities, I grew

To grow up with different cultures is amazing and

up in a school where I was taught to think in English, setting

extremely eye-opening, but it can be difficult when society puts

me even farther apart from the people in my country.

a standard on who fits in and who doesn’t. People who identify

Still determined to find my spot in society, I began to

with multiple cultures are expected to act a certain way, speak

explore my Chinese ethnicity: I started taking my Chinese

a certain language, and know certain things all because of the

lessons more seriously, watched more Chinese movies, and

way they look or the country they live in.

even went to Taiwan for summer school. But as I tried to

My “very American” views at home fell short as I went to

embrace my Chinese background, I saw that I could never be

college. I thought my ten years of learning at an international

fully myself if I identified only with my Chinese side. Yes, I

school would allow me easier transition to America, but I was

celebrate Chinese New Year, eat Chinese food at home, and

wrong. Even though I am expected to, because my English is

practice Chinese mannerisms, but I have never lived in China,

“so good” and I “don’t have an accent,” I rarely understand the

nor can I speak the language as fluently as I should to be

underpinnings of American culture, even simple jokes and sarcasm.

considered fully “Chinese.” I have been, and always will be, an outsider. Chisato Iversen, a sophomore Journalism major at

Everywhere I go, I am supposed to pick just one cultural identity. But why choose one when I can have both? Or three, or four?

Emerson College who is half Japanese, a quarter Spanish, and

I am who I am because of both my ethnic background

a quarter German, explains experiencing a similar challenge.

and the place that I grew up: both Chinese and Indonesian—

Despite her diverse ethnic background, she feels most in

Chindo, with a hint of Western thinking. And although I can’t

touch with her Japanese origins. “I don’t feel like I’m really

fit perfectly into the mold society holds for me, I am proud of

European because in my household, we’ve stuck with Japanese

who I am—even if it’s a messy mixture of cultures. YM

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ReTREAT WRITTEN BY LEAH HEATH

B

eing an on-campus student doesn’t mean you should spend every day of every month on campus. While living in the heart of Boston, it’s easy to feel like you’ve already seen all the city has to offer. Walking across

the Common or going to AMC may feel like a field trip. I remember when the Esplanade felt so hidden and foreign, almost like a secret. It’s far enough from campus to feel like a new place and has become a safe haven for many students. That’s why it’s so important to get off campus: taking a break from all the things that constantly bombard us while learning and changing with new surroundings. Living on campus comes as a huge privilege. The biggest worry about commuting to class is the elevator traffic. With the Max and Dining Center on the same block, you don’t have to cook on campus; it’s all too easy. You have everything you need on campus...except a place to call your own. Moving to a new place can be hard. You may feel like you have to stay in one place for a bit to adjust. Just like at home, though, it can start to make you feel a little cooped up if you stay in your dorm for days on end. Even doing normal things to leave your space can make a huge difference in your mood. Living in the city, it may be hard to realize you can still find that normality. I didn’t truly realize it until I went to grocery stores in other parts of the city, or to places like Target and Marshalls--places that feel the same no matter which store you go to. When I asked Emerson students, “What’s your favorite place in the city?” or “Where is your favorite place to go off campus?” the majority of the answers were the Esplanade, the Common or Garden, and Explorateur. However, I’ve found these places to be flooded with Emerson College students. It’s almost like you never really left campus at all. Emerson shouldn’t confine you to what’s close. It’s important to actually

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YOUrSELF PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAI YEO engage with the city to find the hot spots. There’s a whole different world and culture outside of Emerson’s campus. Go explore the Financial District. It isn’t all just office buildings and skyscrapers. There’s this beautiful little greenway called Post Office Square. Similar to the greenway by the waterfront, this one features beautiful arches that light up in the evening and a cute little coffee shop that looks like a greenhouse. There’s Newbury Street, Chinatown, Faneuil Hall, and the Prudential to explore as well, all within walking distance. There’s the rolled ice cream shop in Chinatown, and Newbury Comics on both Newbury Street and in Faneuil Hall. Go across the water and see downtown from the other side. “It’s always nice to visit the Cambridge/Harvard area. It has a lot of interesting food places and cafés to experience and explore,” says India Varma ‘22. On-campus students are really the only people that stay on campus 24/7. Though this is our home, we should be able to feel independent from it. Once I started actually going places, I felt more well-traveled. It helped me gain confidence in my navigation skills just to look at the MBTA map and see how far I’ve traversed throughout the city. Each place holds a memory. The T becomes a portal-- an underground, interconnected system where you can walk through a doorway and exit into a completely new corner of the city. Going from the skyscrapers of downtown to houses, cafés, and beaches is grounding. Moving is about rebuilding. You came here bringing all your past life experiences with you. Just like the places that are important to you back home, you can build new ones here. Integrate yourself with the city; try to spread yourself farther. Maybe even leave the city for a little bit. Quincy, Chelsea, and Cambridge aren’t far, after all. Treat yourself by going out. The sparkling lights of Paramount will still be here when you get back. YM

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Music Nostalgia Past and Present 52 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

WRITTEN BY MOLLY GOODRICH PHOTOGRAPHY BY KENNETH COX


“All the songs we thought we had forgotten, along with the memories we made back then, are coming back to us.”

Y

ou can never truly escape music nostalgia. Most of us were likely raised on our parent’s music, ranging from The Beatles to Paul Simon to Nirvana. I never listened to much current music until I started seeking it out on my own. My preteen years were defined by Pandora radio stations, the original Spotify, and getting little glimpses of the top 40’s in the car until my dad changed the station to classic rock. I wrote down music I liked in a notebook so that I could look up the lyric video on YouTube, and slowly but surely, I started a collection of songs that were mine. Now, thinking back on my first glimpse of what my music taste would eventually be like, I feel a certain sense of fondness towards that time period in my life. The music wasn’t particularly revolutionary, but it reminds me of being 12 years old, experiencing my first favorite songs. This was a time in our lives where we thought we could relate to the themes of love and heartbreak, even if we really couldn’t. For Victoria D’Angelo, a senior at Emerson, the nostalgia towards the past was what inspired her to create her own radio show. Her show Middle School Dance Party allows the audience to submit their cringeworthy or hilarious middle school memories, matched with songs that Emerson students could have listened to when they were younger. “All of the songs we thought we had forgotten, along with the memories we made back then, are all coming back to us after ten years of growing and changing and becoming the person we imagined ourselves being back when we were 12-yearsold.” D’Angelo created Middle School Dance Party as an ode to her friends and the memories they all formed around music.

That’s the magic of nostalgia; it brings you back to a place you might not even remember until that first beat of “What Makes You Beautiful” hits, and suddenly you’re a preteen all over again. D’Angelo notes listening to music from your childhood can be a form of escapism from worrying about the future and growing up. Nostalgia isn’t all about the good times, though. It’s also about longing. Fredricka King, a senior resident music professor at Emerson, noted that often times, music is what stands out the most for a person when they look back on those not so good memories. You might listen to that song that you played over and over again at 15 when your heart was broken for the first time--not to go back to that memory, but to remind yourself how much you’ve changed since then. King suggests people’s love of music from a distant past may also chalk up to wanting to relive their childhood and young adult lives. That’s why bands like New Kids On The Block still have such a large fanbase. It can be fun to listen to the music you used to dance around to as a teenager, and as D’Angelo mentioned, escape from your current life and responsibilities. Then why are 18 to 22-year-olds already longing for the past? Professor King predicts it could be due to the fact there’s simply more to cope with than ever before. Even though middle school was likely not the happiest time in anybody’s life, we were blissfully unaware of dooming presidential elections and a persistently depressing political and environmental climate. We don’t have to be nostalgic only for music that came out in 2012, though. D’Angelo shared fond memories of listening to her mom’s music with her a few weeks ago, watching her mom transform into a younger self. D’Angelo was able to feel nostalgic with her in those moments–and despite the fact she had never been around for those original moments of Joni Mitchell vinyls, she was able to experience those feelings with her now. As I grow older, I too feel a fondness towards music my dad loves. Even if it annoyed me back then to listen to Meatloaf on repeat, I appreciate sharing that connection with him more than ever, especially since moving away for school. And even though I used to work on wanting a unique music taste that was all my own, I’ll slip a Pearl Jam song on my playlists every now and then just for him. YM

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WRITTEN BY TAINA MILLSAP

T

werking, sick beats, and female empowerment. Women are currently making their way to the top in the rap industry–starting to let go of previous stereotypes that pit them against each other. In the early days of hip-hop, women were more of a subgenre due to the small amount of female MCs. In recent years there’s been a shift, where social advancements create more space for women to be involved in rap. Recently, women have become more recognizable in the genre. Nicki Minaj was the face of female rap for nearly a decade, dominating the field and award shows. Once Cardi B stepped onto the scene with her song “Bodak Yellow” in 2017, the two fought publicly for the spotlight. The feud allowed audiences to feed into the stereotypes that women can’t work together. The idea that there can only be one female rapper on top has long been ingrained in the public’s mind. Now, artists are standing up to the stereotypes that limit success for women in music. Myia Thornton ‘20, a rapper at Berklee College of Music, observes the shift in the industry as she herself rises as a professional. “I can see why [women] felt like there couldn’t be multiple women at the top in the beginning,” says Thornton. “But I believe that everyone attains their own success, there can be multiple women at the top and women in the industry are starting to realize that now. If you look at where it’s going right now I’m very optimistic.” Even the two women involved in the famous female rapper beef have contributed to this new wave of collaborations. Megan Thee Stallion’s song “Hot Girl Summer” ft. Nicki Minaj reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Twerk” by City Girls ft. Cardi B peaked at No. 29. Megan Thee Stallion, Tierra Whack, and Rico Nasty made history; all three women made the XXL

54 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

ART BY ELIZABETH APPLE

freshman class of 2019, a list of promising newcomers in the rap industry. These professionals are now transforming a male-dominated industry that has long allowed only one female superstar at a time to dominate. Emerson Professor Cara Moyer Duncan, who specializes in the areas of Africana and cultural studies, says, “the revolution that’s happened in the recording industry in the last ten years or so has created more space for women to decide who they’re going to collaborate with and on what terms...to not see each other so much as a threat but to really see each other as allies.” Now women are taking control of their careers and changing the norms, lifting each other up and creating chart-topping collaborations. Thorton says, “I feel like everyone just wants to get along and they’re tired of fighting. I feel like every artist that’s out right now is in their own lane, doing something different. Rico Nasty be screaming on the beat, Tierra Whack is really weird, Meghan Thee Stallion is twerking and stuff. They all have their own thing so I feel like there’s no reason to try to compete.” Daniele Jean-Baptiste ‘21, president of Emerson College’s hip-hop society, hopes that in the future women in the industry get along and receive more recognition for their talent. “I hope there’s more [collaboration], because I think it’s really easy to fall into the capitalist trickery of pitting people against each other. The idea that there can only be one good female rapper or even the term female rapper, should kinda dissolve. Just say they’re an MC, say they can spit because it’s about the bars and not about anything else,” says Jean-Baptiste. In a world where women have to work twice as hard to succeed, it’s easy to get lost in the stereotypes and look to competition as the solution. Professional women in every industry who collaborate with and uplift other women help dispel these stereotypes. YM


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#MeToo: A Simple Hashtag, A World of Impact WRITTEN BY HANNAH LEMKE

ART BY OLIVIA KELLIHER

ince the beginning of time, music has pushed the bounds of acceptable behavior. While “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” rings true as the anthem for various generations, it has averted a potential epidemic that creeps elsewhere around the entertainment industry. #MeToo: a simple hashtag, a world of impact. First spoken by sexual assault survivor Tarana Burke, “Me Too” started in 2006 as an attempt to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct in society. The movement did not fully gain traction, however, until 2017, when the developing hashtag accompanied the growing accusations of rape and sexual assault against director Harvey Weinstein during his 30-year career. As one survivor spoke, so did another and a domino effect began to take place, until at least 50 women felt brave enough to share their stories against the film titan (amongst others in the industry). Because more voices added to the void, the voices grew in volume until they could no longer be ignored. Since then, over 263 celebrities, CEOs, and politicians have been accused of unwanted advances in their respective industries. Out of all those offenses, however, only 14 of the listed names on the #MeToo website have been musicians (R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, and Ryan Adams to name a few), and only two of them have actually faced legal action. But that doesn’t mean there are only 14 perpetrators. The New York Times reported that “the music world, in which a culture of late nights and boundary-pushing behavior has been normalized, hasn’t been as roiled by the #MeToo Movement as other sectors of media and entertainment. But many in the

business say that harassment and inequitable treatment of women is pervasive and that the ‘sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll’ ethos has shielded men [and women] from being held to account.” Julia Blatz, a Berklee student musician, speaks up: “On the day Brett Kavanaugh was appointed, I was at a music festival. I felt like absolute garbage. I was hopeless, but all day musicians were speaking out against the injustice we had seen that day. It was uplifting; it gave me hope.” There is still a chance for change, but it will take work. Blatz says, “As a musician, I have a lot of creative freedom, I can write a song about whatever I want, and I think that gives me a great platform to speak out on the issue. We all need to listen, and listen with open hearts. We need to take the people who come forward seriously and we need to take action against abusers. Take the abusers out of their power, and make sure they can never do it again. Stop streaming artists you know are abusers. I don't care how much art has to be condemned in order to make young artists feel safe again. And most importantly, we need to make sure we don't raise another generation of abusers.” Still, the movement is making its way to the music industry. After beloved artists like R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, and Ryan Adams have had their names soiled by such accusations through documentaries and testimonies, their fan-bases have dwindled and thus record labels, artist managers, and band members have taken action: cutting ties from problematic artists. But is it enough? Will it ever be? We can only hope that more action will be taken as the #MeToo Movement grows in the one category where it’s needed the most. YM

S

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I

Vérité

n anticipation of her new album, New Skin, Vérité handed out a phone number to fans so that they could text her and call the line to receive snippets of an unreleased single. But just how do they get the number? By pre-saving a new song. If anything is clear about Vérité, it is that she is always doing something different. From the moment she hit the scene in 2014 with her debut EP Echo, she’s done things her own way. The EP comprised four songs– “Strange Enough,” “Weekend,” “Echo,” and “Heartbeat”– that all share an experimental production that blur the lines between alternative and pop and serve as a pounding, fervent baseline for the true star of Vérité’s music: her deep-cut lyrics and howling vocals. Following this, Vérité would go on to release two more EPs, a handful of cover songs and features, and ultimately her debut album— Somewhere In Between—all while scraping up hundreds of millions of streams and earning radio play. And the kicker of it all? She is an independent artist. I got the chance to talk with her about her career path, the ins and outs of being an independent artist, and her upcoming album. A Brooklyn native, Vérité—born Kelsey Byrne—hustled from the moment she entered the game. Splitting her time between waitressing at Applebee’s in Times Square and holing up in her apartment to make music, she ultimately arrived here. When asked about the choice to be an independent artist, she said, “Staying independent was initially by necessity and eventually turned into an intentional decision. Once the project started having steady income, I recognized the value and freedom ownership brings. I decided to bet on myself and keep full creative control for better or for worse.” Creative control is, at the foundation of her music, what makes it so different. Every time you think you know what she’s going to do, she does something completely different. When asked if being independent helps with these creative decisions, she explained, “I’ve always had the freedom to make exactly what I want to make. I’ve never worked with an A&R, and I’ve built the vision for the music without the pressure of conforming to what someone else thinks may ‘hit.’ I get to succeed or fail on my own vision.” It may have been a tossup whether she would succeed or fail for awhile, but her vision has not served her rung thus far. She has garnered some radio play, worked on collaborations with artists such as Allie X and R3HAB, and more, and she isn’t stopping there. The challenges of navigating that as an independent artist without a record label’s connections and resources, however, are great. I pointed this out, and she said, “Being independent, it’s impractical to measure yourself with the same tools major label artists do. It’s counterproductive. I am in my own lane, building my own world. I don’t tick the same

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WRITTEN BY ANDREW TAETS ART BY YELIZAVETA ROGULINA

metrics that major label artists do, so I don’t measure my success by those same standards. “A lot of this is staying resilient, keeping my head down and realizing I have structured my business in my favor and we are pushing forward one inch at a time waiting for one pin to fall into place and unlock all the doors.” That willingness to keep pushing and embrace any and every change that comes her way is one of her advantages as an artist. Despite the rumblings about streaming ruining the music industry, Vérité argues, “Being against streaming is impractical. It is here, it is the future and artists would be better off embracing the benefits of the democratization of music and utilizing the data provided to them by these services to amplify their voices verses pushing against them.” “Streaming pays well when you own your master,” she adds, as one of the many arguments against the medium is that it doesn’t pay artists well. It must be said, however, that her close relationship with her fans and sharp business acumen has also helped her get to where she is. About that, Vérité says “If anything, being independent has forced me to think about social media and my relationship with my fans completely differently. We’re building everything from the ground up and connecting with fans is the number one most important thing. Most of the ideas we’ve come up with have been us trying to solve a problem or me, coming home from tour and being aimless and looking for ways to stay productive.” Was that similar to how she writes her music? With every song that she releases, she at least co-writes on it, and the lyrics are often hard hitting and unexpected. When describing this process, she said, “All of these factors are completely random. It depends on my mood and where my head is at and what the writing situation is. When I write alone I sit at the piano and play chords and melodies in tandem. Usually I’ll lock in on an idea and then write out the lyrics and tie production and concept in at the end.” I asked about her upcoming record, New Skin, to which she explained,“This record took me the longest to write, was the hardest to create, and is for sure the most vulnerable I’ve been. I made a conscious decision to go against the grain and not go pure pop, but tried to create a record with substance and staying power that was a world. I was much more involved with production and was on the ground level in every aspect of the record. I wanted to push away from this stereotypical ‘female alt indie pop’ sound and make something that felt unique to me.” If the singles are anything to show, this record is going to be some of her most complex and idiosyncratic work yet. New Skin is slated for release on October 25, 2019. YM

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YOUR THINGS ART BY ENNE GOLDSTEIN

WITH STYLE DIRECTOR GINA YORK MUSEUM TOTES

RED CONVERSE

The cheapest souvenirs to get are museum tote bags and postcards,

I got my first pair of red converse at the start of 6th grade, and

and I get both in almost every place I visit. Both of my parents work

that’s when our love story began. I’ve been through at least four

in the airline industry and have always emphasized the importance

pairs since, replacing them after they inevitably fall apart from

of traveling. I love thinking back on the places and faces of trips

overuse. I’m a firm believer that they match everything and are

past and always carrying them with me. My Rijksmuseum tote

perfect for almost all occasions. Before I developed any eye for

is probably my favorite since I used it to carry my camera across

fashion or tried to develop any distinct sense of style, my red

Europe during my semester at the castle (famously my favorite

converse always made me feel like I was making a statement

semester at Emerson).

while also being myself.

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

RINGS

This is my favorite book in the world which also kickstarted my

I am so bad at remembering to wear jewelry but my rings are the

love for storytelling. I read it before the movie came out in the

one thing I remember to wear (almost) every day. I love it when

summer of 2009, and once I did, there was no turning back. I

people ask about them so I can talk about the person who got

always joke about the lengths to which I would go for Harry Potter.

one for me or the trip that I got another one on. My favorites are

I’ve been to the Wizarding World in Florida, done the studio tour

probably my black and white crystal one, the first real piece of

in England, met Daniel Radcliffe twice, and waited for six hours

jewelry I got for myself, and the one that me and my friends from

outside the last movie premiere in New York to see everyone on

home all got from our moms as a graduation present.

the red carpet. I love all the books, but I still prefer the sixth one that I started with.

MOVIE STUBS I’ve been collecting my movie stubs since I was twelve, long before

BLUE COAT

I knew I wanted to go to film school. I’ll probably scrapbook them

Despite being a new addition to my wardrobe, this coat has been

all together at some point, but for now, I just like holding onto a

in my family for a while. My grandma bought herself this coat and

memento from movies I’ve seen on the big screen. I see movies all

gave my mother the same one in black as a gift. I always remember

the time, either with friends or on my own. I love being able to take

my mom wearing this jacket and was surprised to learn than my

a break from the daily hustle and bustle and worrying about someone

grandma had one just like it in such a fun color. I love wearing

else’s story for a minute, instead of being too wrapped up in my own.

this jacket and channeling my grandma’s strength, style, and flair.

I’m a firm believer that going to the movies is always a good idea.

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Ymp3 LISTEN TO THE YOUR MAG STAFF’S FAVORITE spooky tunes “Monster Mash” By Bobby Pickett “Bloody Mary” by Lady Gaga “Season of the Witch” by Donovan “Vampire” by Antsy Pants “She Wolf” by Shakira “Monster” by Lady Gaga “Disturbia” by Rihanna “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads “Heads Will Roll” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Zombies” by Childish Gambino “X-Files” by Jive Bunny “This is Halloween” By The Citizens of Halloween “I Put a Spell on You” by Freak on a Leash “Ghostbusters” “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish “Glory and Gore” by Lorde “Drunk on Halloween” by Wallows

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ART BY BOBBY J. NICHOLAS III

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ARTIST STATEMEN T How did you get into photography/ when did you start? I started making videos with my friends when I was nine or ten, but I never owned the camera we used. When I turned fourteen I got my first camera and from then on I used it everyday. I knew of some people older than me that were doing a 365 project, so I decided to start my own. I made a new photograph everyday for a year. At the time it was the perfect motivator to get better because I was still learning and doing it everyday was the best practice.

What inspires you? Preserving the people, places, and feelings around me is what inspires me. Making photographs is the activity in my life that makes me feel the most present, even though that may seem like a contradiction. Photographs once made are about the past, but I try not to make them with a retroactive mindset. I enjoy the awareness of my surroundings, the people and places, that got me to where I am at that moment. Looking at photographs will warp the memory of the event, so not

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thinking about anything else but what is around me during these moments and feelings are my way of fighting that inevitability.

Can you describe your style? I have two sides to my photographic style. One of them is documentary based and more about the preservation of important things to me. The other half is making photographs that feel otherworldly or uneasy. My favorite photographs are the ones that seamlessly combine the two. I only shoot with film, mostly 35mm, because it slows me way down and I love experimenting with old cameras. What’s your dream job? My dream lifestyle is to be an active member in a community of artists, wherever the right one may be for me. Hopefully my source of income is something I enjoy doing and positive for the people around me. What project are you currently working on? I am currently working on a series of photographs about astral bodies

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Profile for Your Magazine

YOUR MAG VOLUME 12 ISSUE 1  

YOUR MAG VOLUME 12 ISSUE 1