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YOUR MAG

VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 2 | NOVEMBER 2016


YOUR MAG VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 2 | NOVEMBER 2016

PERI LAPIDUS

PIMPLOY PHONGSIRIVECH

CHRISTIAN LOPEZ

Creative Director

Editor-in-Chief

Managing Editor

SOPHIE PETERS-WILSON

YAS M I N A H I L A L

C L A I R E TO R R E S

Co-Creative Director Photo Editor

Photo Editor

Head Designer

EMILY DRAKE

MIA ZARRELLA

M E G A N C AT H E Y

Editorial Assistant

Assistant Editor-in-Chief Head Stylist

Style Editor

LINDSEY PARADIS

ESTHER BLANCO

ARIELA RUDY ZALTZMAN

A&E Editor

Living Editor

Head Copyeditor

ALLYSON FLORIDIA

JOANNE PAQUIN

TA Y L O R R O B E R T S

Romance Editor

Web Director

Art Director

ERIK LY

S H AW N M C N U L T Y - KOWA L

LISSA DEONARAIN

Junior Designer

Talent Manager

Beauty Director

ANNIE HUANG

K AT J A V U J I Ć

KALA SLADE

Assistant Talent Manager

Web Editor

Marketing Director

SAVA N N A H S T R A N G E

GINA BRAZO

KARIN YEHOUDIAN

YMTV Director

YMTV Director

Marketing Director

MARKETING: KARIN YEHOUDIAN, EVAN MCCRORY, ALYSSA LYLES, MARNI ZIPPER, CHRISTINE HACHEM, TAYLOR CARLINGTON, ANNIE HUANG, EMILY PARK, ANNIE MASHBERG, SAMANTHA GOODMAN COPY EDITORS: JULIA ROBERTO, NATALIE GALE, HANNAH MCKENNETT, LINDSAY HOWARD, IRIS PEÑA, ALICIA TOPOLNYCKY, DYLAN PEARL, EMILY CROWE DESIGN TEAM: DAYSIA TOLENTINO, LVWENYU ZHANG, BOBBY NICHOLAS III, AMANDA GUTIERREZ, NATALIE GALE, BECCA CHAIRIN

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


editor’s letter

T

wo weeks ago, my country lost the one

hysteria brought on by the possibility of deporta-

man who made our nation a place worth

tion, the flimsy future job prospects, and the loom-

calling home. I won’t attempt to capture

ing abyss of adulthood, they don’t pretend all is all

the grief. It is an inconceivable loss, and putting

right. They drink liters of unsavory red wine with

into words the effect would make it fathomable:

you in your pajamas on the floor of your room, get

I am not yet ready to try and comprehend some-

you coffee-braised chicken sandwiches, and with-

thing I should have seen coming but never could

hold judgment as you cry into a Styrofoam box of

have been ready for. Being away from family, from

Chinese food in the middle of City Place. They offer

home, watching as it crumbled from afar triggered

words of empathy, but not too many. They say they

a kind of desperate hopelessness I hadn’t known—

believe in you, but not too often.

so pungent and incessant that everything around

Some of these people came into my life

me unraveled and became a congealed blur of

through this publication. Others, though they

pointless obligations.

may not know it, kept me propped up with their

We know that the world doesn’t stop for any-

patience. When I showed up to meetings devoid

one. It cannot wait for you. It doesn’t cease to tug

of humor, with little tolerance and an (even more)

and turn and spin and sometimes you sway, some-

vicious Resting Bitch Face, they understood. They

times you fall. There are, however, people who try

kept doing what they did best, which is both their

to keep you upright.

best and the best.

They are the ones who tell you, “I cry with

Their commitment is astounding. They were

you” in German because they know “I’m sorry”

adamant that the magazine stood tall and so with

falls short. They offer you eye drops and baby wipes,

it I stayed standing. I can only hope that the re-

they send flowers to your house, they don’t mind

lentless dedication, the love for each other and for

when you turn down a hug. They record meetings

the publication that emanates from our team are

that you can’t bring yourself to attend without you

tangible through the pages. Because there’s a lot of

asking. They try their best to make you smile but

that which went into this. And if it isn’t clear, you

understand if you can’t. They offer condolences, but

best take my word for it. It’s there.

not too many. And when homesickness becomes

Happy November,

P. Phongsirivech


CON-


Digital Debut WRITTEN BY EMILY KIDD I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y J U L I A N N A S Y

4 | YOURMAG


I

was a socially awkward late bloomer, not to mention the classic

have a screen to hide behind, and if you are not ready to expose your

“good girl,” so naturally when the news slipped out to my very

relationship to the eyes of others and possible negative commentary,

small high school that everyone’s favorite prude was dating a text-

it’s not worth the stress.

book “bad boy,” life got a lot more complicated.

Every relationship is different, and there are numerous combina-

I’d been keeping it quiet that I’d started going on dates with the

tions of personalities and sexualities that lend to conflicting opinions

boy who got arrested for stealing jeans from Abercrombie. I knew

about social media. There also tends to be an overwhelming pressure

my wholesome friends would think I was trying to be something I

to share every aspect of your life on social media, and this sometimes

wasn’t and that the popular people I drifted amongst would think of

leads couples to post sooner than they want to. Overcoming this kind

the situation as a joke, despite the fact that the two of us were serious.

of pressure is incredibly difficult, but I realized that my relationship

It was great: we could freely be ourselves. There were no soci-

is just that, my own. When my boyfriend asked me to post a photo of

etal pressures and I didn’t have to worry about PDA. But it all came

us, we made the decision because we wanted to. This may not be the

crumbling down when he posted a #wcw (woman crush wednesday)

same for other couples.

picture of me without asking my permission, two weeks into our relationship.

One solution is to tell each other what you do or don’t like within the first few weeks of dating. If you are a private couple, wait however

Although he meant no harm, I was still offended by the fact

long you need before posting, or don’t post at all! On the other hand, if

THAT he didn’t ask for my opinion on announcing our relationship

you are a social couple and enjoy putting yourself out there, go ahead

only two weeks in. I had been keeping quiet for a reason and now this

and post immediately! There is no time limit or need to post. What

post brought both positive and negative attention to us. A friend even

matters most is that you both agree with the decision.

sent a snide text after the post asking me if I was still a virgin.

Know that you are not defined by the pictures you post.

While some don’t mind attention and others even love it, there

Relationships are about spending time with someone that makes you

are people who shy away. Perhaps someone’s significant other is of

happy. If you capture a moment that displays that happiness and you

a different political or religious background and they’re not ready

want to share it with the world, do it without fear of backlash. Or, if

to tell their friends and family yet. Maybe someone hasn’t come out

you both want to keep your relationship private, for whatever reasons,

yet, is still questioning, and isn’t ready to announce their sexuality.

you should. Remember that the only people in the relationship are the

Maybe someone is insecure about the way they look in comparison

two of you. YM

to their partner, or perhaps they’re just not into the mushy gushy stuff. Whatever the case, if your significant other doesn’t want your relationship out in the open so soon, it’s important to respect that. You’ll eventually have to tell the important people in your life— family, friends—because, unfortunately, you can’t hide your partner away forever. However, it’s okay to be private in your newfound love while you’re still figuring out your relationship and whether you’re are happy with its current state or not. It was a month and a half in that my current boyfriend posted a picture of me on Instagram as a birthday post. He asked me the night before if it was okay and I said yes. This was our social media debut, but I felt as if enough time had gone by and was happy he checked with me first. Until that point, I had been terrified of posting anything in fear of him thinking I was too clingy too soon. A few people knew we were dating but until then, although we were official in everyday life, we weren’t a thing yet in the digital world. It was his post that I used as the green light to go ahead and openly comment about our dating, both online and in person. Just because one couple posts a million things online about their relationship, does not mean you have to. The internet allows people to openly comment on someone or something due to the fact that they ROMANCE | 5


You, Me, and Anxiety WRITTEN BY JESSICA FILIPPONE

R

elationships act as a mirror—reflecting our insecurities,

partner and your relationship. If your relationship is struggling,

mistakes, and unpleasant habits. There is nothing more

depression may be the hidden culprit,” she says.

anxiety provoking than looking into a mirror and seeing

But, there is some good news. A study conducted in the early

yourself—not the you that is primped and pressed, but the naked

2000s by three university professors concluded that building a

you.” — Amy Przeworski, Ph.D., PsychologyToday.

strong and loving relationship can fortify you and your partner

There are always common issues that occur within relation-

against the powerful effects of depression. But the major key to

ships: believing you know someone enough that you can accu-

know what you’re fighting against is being able to identify when

rately read your partner’s mind, refusing to address problems

and how depression is interfering in your relationship.

directly, what-if thinking, small communication problems that

“My partner’s depression isn’t always present,” says Jonathan

eventually add up to something bigger. What happens when one

Kellen, a senior at Boston University. “But when it is I can feel it

of those involved have either anxiety or depression?

over a mile away. You really need to look at the tell-tale signs.

Anxiety and depression are highly comorbid, meaning the two disorders are often seen together. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, generalized anxiety affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S.

Sometimes it’s so obvious but it really just takes knowing your partner to the extreme.” Kellen recalls his girlfriend starting to distance herself from him and their group of friends when her depression starts to hit.

population aged 18 and older in a given year, which is about 3.3

Kathleen Mongreat, Kellen’s girlfriend of over a year, says,

million American adults. Many people with an anxiety disorder

“Sometimes I don’t even realize how badly my depression is act-

also have a co-occurring disorder or physical illness, which can

ing up, I get so lost in my own head. He drags me out of it and

make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult.

makes me talk to him about it […] and I’m so thankful for that.”

The World Health Organization also claims that depression

Chris Iliades, MD, notes that women tend to experience

is one of the more common mental disorders. Globally, an esti-

more sadness, guilt, and a lack of self-worth, while men may

mated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. In

react to depression with anger, frustration, or even abuse. The

relationships that are touched by anxiety and depression, conflict

problems that come with mixed anxiety and depression can be

is more likely to occur and it diminishes your ability to connect

attributed to sleep trouble, concentration difficulties, high irri-

with your partner, creating doubts about your entire relationship.

tability and worry, expecting the worst, and being constantly on

This has more potential to fuel major issues between partners.

guard.

Shannon Kolakowski, Psy.D., refers to depression as a

“I don’t even want to say this, but sometimes my partner

“master manipulator” in her book When Depression Hurts Your

can trigger my depression by expressing melancholy or negative

Relationship.

thoughts,” says Mongreat. “I know he doesn’t mean to. It’s like if

“The primary feature of depression is distortion, mean-

we fight and if he says something that makes me feel bad about

ing your perception of life—including your relationship—is

myself, it may trigger a depressive episode. But that doesn’t mean

easily warped and represented in a more negative way,” writes

I don’t want him telling me how he feels. His mental health is just

Kolakowski. “You might have more negative thoughts about your

as important as mine.”

6 | YOURMAG


According to Kolakowski, “Someone with lower self-esteem

other mental health issues, it can be even harder. With anxiety,

and depression may have a bad time with their partner and think,

a person may already struggle to keep his or her emotions and

‘She doesn’t really care about me. I knew it wouldn’t last’, whereas

fears in check. Allowing yourself to be emotionally open and

someone with a healthier sense of self-worth may think, ‘Right

vulnerable to another person can be challenging, confusing,

now, we’re going through a tough time, but I know our relation-

and overwhelming.

ship can withstand this. We’ll work it out.’”

Both depression and anxiety can make romantic relation-

Anxiety sufferers have reported that the condition impacts

ships, as well as less intimate relationships, a little more difficult

all of their relationships, but their romantic relationships suffer

than usual; it’s a lot more than just an amount of money affecting

the most. Anxiety is a condition of “near-total self-absorption,”

our country. But when a couple is able to overcome this, it can

made only worse by the fact that the sufferer typically realizes

bring an incredible bond that can last forever. For help finding

that he or she is being self-absorbed and grieves over his or her

treatment, information, and support, visit the website of Mental

sad inability to see past themselves. An anxiety sufferer can feel

Health America. Below are some tips from Everyday Health

as if he too is imprisoned in his own mind, but with the demonic

about communicating and helping a loved one dealing with anx-

twist that his mind can think of nothing but itself.

iety or depression.

“We’re a weird combination of people because she has depression and I have anxiety,” says Kellen. “We can possibly trigger

Things you can do to help someone with depression or anxiety:

each other, which isn’t the best. But we also have a complete un-

• Let the person know if you've noticed a change in their

derstanding of what’s going on in each other’s minds. In a weird way, it’s comforting.” Kolakowski notes that you may have an internal script that dictates the right things your partner should say and how they should support you. “When the other person inevitably deviates from your script, the depressed part of you may react with dissatisfaction, disenchantment, or feelings of failure.” These reactions can further impact one’s depression or anxiety, as can the

behavior • Spend time talking with the person about their experiences and let them know that you're there to listen without being judgmental • Help the person to find information about depression and anxiety from a website or library • Encourage the person to face their fears with support from their doctor/psychologist

breakdown of responsibilities at home and work, which add pressure to one’s anxiety or depression. And on the flip side, features or specifics of a relationship can also affect levels of anxiety or depression. According to CNN, anxiety disorders cost the United

It would be unhelpful to: • Put pressure on the person by telling them to 'snap out of it' or 'get their act together' • Stay away or avoid them

States more than $42 billion a year, nearly one-third of the total

• Tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more

"economic burden" of mental illness in this country. Anxiety

• Pressure them to party more or wipe out how they're feeling

and relationships are a tricky combination, and if you throw in

with drugs and alcohol YM

ROMANCE | 7


WRITTEN BY JULIA WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMME HARRIS

L

et’s talk about intimacy. It’s that gross word your mother uses

conduct. These extensive rules ensures the safety of the Cuddlist and

to ask you if you’re having sex, but remove sex completely

client. It outlines the boundaries of the cuddling sessions and the im-

from the picture for a second. Dictionary.com defines inti-

portance of verbal consent throughout each session. It even outlines

macy as, “a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal

where the Cuddlist may or may not touch a person and addresses

relationship with another person or group.” Well, intimacy and con-

what both parties must be wearing.

sensual touch can now be bought and paid for. Cuddling in order to heal psychological wounds or anxieties is the latest trend sweeping the nation. “I have an equal passion for business and the concept of yoga and finding out who you are and sort of anything related to that. That

“At that point the request is sent to the particular Cuddlist’s email and they will respond to the potential client. And depending on what the Cuddlist needs to do, they screen the client to make sure that he or she is appropriate for them, and vice versa—be that a phone call, an email, or a meeting in person,” says Lippin.

intersection of spirituality, business, and health and wellness is the

The next step is to meet with the Cuddlist for the session. This

Cuddlist,” says Adam Lippin, the founder of the Cuddlist—an online

happens at the client’s or Cuddlist’s home, depending on where both

business that allows users to, after extensive screening, pay to snuggle

parties feel comfortable.

with a professional cuddlist.

“I guess the thing that I try to impress upon people is that, es-

Cuddlists are trained professionals stationed around the world,

pecially when you are in your 20s and 30s, you’re really conditioned

often former massage therapists or psychotherapists who have be-

for sex. But once you’re in your 50s and 60s and sometimes older and

come Cuddlists because they knew many of their clients really needed

you have had some loss, there comes a point when sex doesn’t serve

physical affection; however, within the boundaries of their own pro-

them anymore,” says Lippin. “People are looking for a connection. It’s

fessions, this is illegal.

not a sexual thing.”

The Cuddlists go through an 8-10 hour online training course

Cuddling is following in the footsteps of other healing mod-

combined with a mandatory cuddle session with a certified and em-

els that were previously not recognized or completely discredited

ployed Cuddlist. The pre-existing Cuddlist evaluates the candidate at

by mainstream society. For example, acupuncture and alternative

the end of the session. Through this training they are taught how to be

medicine are only recently more widely recognized as legitimate well-

psychologically present with other people as well as how to facilitate

ness practices. Lippin’s ultimate goal is to have cuddling medically

conversation about consent. This means teaching people how to be

accepted and covered by insurance. Before this can happen, he must

verbal about what do or don’t like regarding physical touch.

change people’s ideas about the “cuddling market.” Currently, paying

“If you are a potential client, then you would go to our website and read our code of conduct, then search by location for a particular

someone to cuddle seems a bit taboo and isn’t often thought of as reputable. Lippin aims to shed new light on the business.

Cuddlist,” says Lippin. Small biographies about the Cuddlist coupled

“Holding someone and healing someone and having them feel

with photographs of them are available online so the client can find

your breath… There’s a sort of magic to it. It’s energy, pure energy,”

his/her perfect match. The complexity lies in the need for cuddling,

says Lippin.

which is ultimately something quite beautiful.

In the near future, the Cuddlist will participate in a study con-

“My underlying philosophy was that human connection is the

ducted by the University of San Diego. The school will examine the

most important thing we have,” Lippin explains. “So how do I help

ethics of cuddling and the effects it has on people. Prior to cuddling,

foster that?”

the participants will fill out an evaluation answering questions rang-

People do not venture to the Cuddlist to find sex. “I think it is

ing from their likes and dislikes to a sliding scale of their mood. For

more than possible to separate intimacy from sex. I have experienced

example, participants will rank their compassion for others and the

it and I have seen multiple people experience it,” says Lippin. Many

amount of positive and negative emotions they are feeling at the mo-

people who inquire about a session are suffering from depression,

ment of the evaluation. They’ll fill out the same evaluation after their

anxiety or other forms of mental illness, or are survivors of sexual

session.

assault. Once the process of finding a Cuddlist is complete, the client requests a session with the Cuddlist and signs off on the code of 8 | YOURMAG

The study’s goal is to provide the business with areas of improvement as well as concrete evidence that cuddling can be, in fact, a healing modality for many.

YM


ROMANCE | 9


WRITTEN BY HANNAH MCKENNETT PHOTOGRAPHY BY LVWENYU ZHANG

10 | YOURMAG


“So does the story truly deserve the weight our culture gives it? In the end, it doesn’t matter whether the meeting was stickysweet, cringe-worthy, or plain boring—relationships only work with the right person.”

S

o…how did you guys meet?”

Katherine, a person just like you and me, the illustrious “how did

It’s the infamous line that every couple faces, allowing (or

you guys meet” question, she responded, “Both my husband and I

forcing) them to relive that first moment that brought them

had joined Tinder to get back into the dating scene after having just

together. It’s the basis of every romantic comedy, and there are even

gotten out of long-term relationships. Neither of us had any intention

entire blogs built around it—the Instagram account, thewaywemet,

of getting into a serious relationship through Tinder, but alas, fate

has 385 thousand followers and counting (and yes, I am one of them).

had other plans.” Similarly, my roommate met her current boyfriend

In a way, a couple’s first encounter, the one that changes everything,

at another sleazy Saturday-night house party, when she approached

has achieved enough power in our modern romantic culture to stand

him saying, “Aren’t you the kid that super-liked me on Tinder?”

as a definition of a relationship. But should a partnership really be

They’re going eight months strong as of October, somehow finding

defined by its conception?

a loving relationship from the double negative of a dating site and a

With the norm of arranged marriages far in our past, our soci-

party.

ety has acquired a modern fascination with the circumstances under

So is a meet-cute really all that it’s cracked up to be? I used to

which two lovers meet. Our media shows that we want them to be

fawn over the idea of meeting the love of my life while transcending

mythical, whether they involve two teenagers from rival families, or

social barriers in Saturday detention, or by being overheard singing

a wealthy business man and his weekend prostitute. It seems that we

by a hot rockstar at summer camp, thinking that a “what are the

don’t judge, as long as the story is worth telling (and, of course, ends

chances” meeting would make the love so much more meant to be.

with a passionate makeout session). We’ve even fastened a term for

But it can’t be proven that these stories have any correlation with

this legendary meeting: a “meet-cute,” or a scene in which a future

what happens between two people after the inciting incident. Meet-

romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered

cutes don’t actually always have happy endings: during a walk in the

adorable, charming, or amusing. Just think of Troy and Gabriella,

gardens last spring, I witnessed a jogger run up to another jogger and

two strangers picked to sing a romantic duet together on New Year’s

ask for her number. “We met while jogging in the Boston Commons,

Eve—how could it not end in love?

surrounded by flowers” sounds cute in theory, but, as the woman re-

As society favors the meet-cute, it frowns upon our more realistic and increasingly common ways of meeting partners: dating sites

vealed when she turned him down with a furrowed brow, sometimes we just don’t want to be bothered.

and parties. This is because of intention; most young adults down-

Love is unexpected, but that doesn’t always mean that it’s sparked

load Tinder or step into a party looking for a hookup, and there’s

by a tantalizing stranger at Bloomingdale’s reaching for the same black

nothing adorable or charming about that. However, the hookup cul-

cashmere gloves as you. Sometimes, somehow, it comes in the heart

ture of today is nothing surprising to us, and with a growing freedom

of a hookup world. And, even less mythic, often the way we met is as

of sexuality and all of its expressions, it’s not shameful, either. And,

simple as “through mutual friends.” So does the story truly deserve

regardless of intention, it actually has a steady output of successful

the weight our culture gives it? In the end, it doesn’t matter whether

relationships.

the meeting was sticky-sweet, cringe-worthy, or plain boring—re-

According to a 2012 study led by Stanford sociologist Dr.

lationships only work with the right person. That’s not going to be

Michael Rosenfeld, “close to one-fourth of Americans now make

affected by whether the first eye contact takes place while standing

initial contact with their spouses online.” And it’s not always because

in pouring rain versus on top of beer-flooded floors.

they’re looking for a life partner, either. When Cosmopolitan asked

It doesn’t matter how we met, only that we did. YM

ROMANCE | 11


Pretty Thoughts

12 | YOURMAG


PHOTOGRAPHY BY STELL A CHOI I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y TAY L O R R O B E R T S

YOURMAG | 13


14 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 15


W R I T T E N B Y M E G A N C AT H E Y P H O TO G R A P H Y B Y C A I T L I N S TA S S A

16 | YOURMAG


An Unconventional Outfit Guide A rticles on what to wear to events like weddings, first dates,

and job interviews are a dime a dozen. But what about everyday events? Where are the guides for those? Well, fortu-

WHAT TO WEAR TO PICK UP A COUCH FROM SOMEONE

ON CRAIGSLIST, WHOM THROUGH STALKING ON FACEBOOK YOU FOUND IS REALLY ATTRACTIVE

nately, Your Mag is here to fill that void.

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN YOU HAVE A FOUR HOUR

NIGHT CLASS AND KNOW YOU’LL END UP AT THE TAM AFTERWARD

Emerson Free & For Sale failed you, so you’ve found yourself on Craigslist scouring for an affordable couch for your apartment. And good news! You’ve looked up a potential seller on Facebook (to see if they look like a serial killer, of course) and they’re a total babe. Now there’s no way that you’ll wear your ratty gym clothes to

Four hours have the tendency to lead to whiskey sours, so it’s best

go over to their place. But you also don’t want to wear your Sunday

to plan ahead. Yet, it’s hard to pinpoint an outfit that says “I’m here

best (you are going to be moving furniture, after all). Compromise:

to learn, yet I lack a moral compass.” Your best bet is a pair of jeans

athleisure. Break out those sleek sweatpants that make your booty

comfortable enough to sit in for a long period of time, and that you

sing. Top it off with that stylish, overpriced sweatshirt you bought

don’t mind getting some questionable spills on. Same goes for your

from Urban Outfitters. On your feet—Nike Airs, naturally. Now

top—unless you want one of your dry-clean only shirts reeking of

you’re ready to score that couch, and maybe something a lit-

beer and cigarette smoke. And fancy shoes are a no-no, unless you

tle extra. As they say: another person’s trash, an opportunity to

like trashing nice things. Then go ahead!

smash, right?

You also have to keep temperature in mind. The Tam and Emerson classrooms are similar in a couple of ways: one, both are filled with Emerson students, and two, the temperature in each is un-

WHAT TO WEAR TO YOUR GRANDMA’S BIRTHDAY BRUNCH THE MORNING AFTER A ONE NIGHT STAND

predictable. That being said, bring a cardigan or sweatshirt that you can easily put on or take off. This is not clothing related, but the most

You go out the Saturday night before your grandma’s 85th birthday

important thing is to make sure to bring a snack—going from a long

brunch. You tell yourself that you’ll only have one or two drinks and

class to the Tam requires proper fuel.

head home early. And yet, you lock eyes with someone from across

WHAT TO WEAR TO CVS TO PICK UP UTI MEDICATION KNOWING THAT YOU’LL SEE AT LEAST THREE PEERS

the room. And oops! You end up hooking up. As much as you love Grandma Edie, you don’t want her knowing about your deviant ways. What you wear depends on where you hooked up. Did it happen at their place or yours? If you’re at your place then call your new friend

UTIs happen to the best of us, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of.

an Uber and hop in your shower to wash the sin off. Wear something

That being said, sometimes you just don’t want people knowing the

nice, obviously, but nothing too prim and proper. Anything too pre-

sitch with your snatch. Your crotch is throbbing and you need to go

cious will seem like a flat out lie—Grandma Edie may suspect you’re

to CVS to pick up some medication pronto. But more likely than not

hiding something.

you’re bound to see at least three people you know. Realistically no one

But if you slept over at theirs, there are some logistical hurdles

is even going to see the box of Azo Urinary Pain Relief in your hand, yet

you need to jump. Is their place close to yours, meaning you can go

you and your throbbing groin want to be as inconspicuous as possible.

home quickly and change? What time did you wake up (or what time

And you also don’t want anything tight rubbing up on you. Try a black

did you stop having morning sex?), and how long will it take to get

flowy dress with your most comfortable pair of underwear (your crotch

to the restaurant? If there’s no way for you to change/shower in time,

needs to breathe!). Hell, go full on Coven and pair your dress with a

then as a last resort call and tell Granny that you’re sick and can’t make

floppy black hat and black boots. You’ll look so spooky that no one will

it. Better that than rolling up to brunch in your dirty party clothes

want to approach you! Is that a witch floating through the aisles of CVS?

smelling like sex and Svedka. Send her an Edible Arrangement as an

No, it’s just you, picking up your magical UTI potion.

apology—everyone loves those.

YM

STYLE | 17


WRITTEN BY DELIA CURTIS I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y H AY L E Y J O S E P H

18 | YOURMAG


A

s I walk down Boylston Street, I notice people’s

declare “I’m a Vegetarian!”. These accessories give people a

accessories. I notice what they’re wearing and how

glimpse into who you are before they’ve even talked to you.

they’re wearing it, but what I find most interesting

Bitsy Skerry ‘18 is a huge pin lover. She collects all kinds

is their flair. Flair is anything from enamel pins and iron-on

of pins, mainly ones that she’s thrifted or has been gifted

patches to buttons and brooches. People have amped up their

from friends and relatives. She displays her pins on her sig-

shirts, backpacks, bags, and, especially, their denim jackets.

nature denim jacket that she found in the boys’ section of

Your outfit is your canvas, and you are the artist that’s able to

Savers. She says she seeks out pieces that represent her and

decorate and accessorize however you see fit.

that are conversation starters. She believes that pins and art

This trend of accessorizing jackets with flair has existed

are ways for her to connect with others. In terms of deco-

since the 1980s, but it has recently resurged with the rise of

rating her jacket, Skerry says, “I like to play around with the

independent enamel pin and patch designers. The flair itself

positioning of pins to allow the eye to visually move across

says just as much about the person that buys it as it does

the denim jacket to tell a story. Pins are like a paragraph that

about the designer. Flair is a way to make a basic piece of

allow you to read a person.”

clothing original and unique. It allows the wearer to person-

Sometimes people think that they can’t rock a denim

alize their wardrobe and turn their clothes into wearable art.

jacket full of flair, but there are so many different ways to

Absolutely anyone can wear jacket flair—it’s for people

wear it. You can try wearing flair on another clothing item

who want to make a statement no matter how big or how

like a leather jacket, or a tote, messenger bag, or backpack.

subtle. Decorating different elements of your outfit is a mode

Some people will use their flair as room décor. Personally,

of self expression that allows you to display your passions,

I like to use my patches as wall art. I think they create an

interests, and views. This mode of wearing art lets you proj-

interesting textural dynamic among Polaroids and art prints.

ect your individual visual tastes into your style and ward-

To decorate with buttons and pins, stick them in a little cork

robe, forging the gap between fashion and art. Oftentimes

board or on some fabric in an embroidery hoop.

these two entities intermingle, but with pins and patches you

To find flair locally, check out thrift shops like Savers

physically get to wear a piece of your favorite designers’ art

or Goodwill, or hop on Instagram and browse designers

work right on your outfit.

like Georgia Perry, Valley Cruise Press, Tuesday Bassen, and

The best part about flair is that the possibilities are

Culture Flock. Some designers, like Georgia Perry, tend to

endless. There are so many different ways of finding pins

focus on portraits of celebrities and cultural icons in their

and patches, whether in a store, in a thrift shop, online, or

art, while others, like Valley Cruise Press, make pins and

through Instagram. Much of the craze over flair stems from

patches with beachy themes. Tuesday Bassen’s designs are

the idea that you get to collect art in an accessible way. There

all about female empowerment, and Culture Flock’s flair is

are thousands of designers, mainly illustrators, that have

quirky and whimsical. Most designers have their own web-

started their own businesses making pins, patches, and other

sites and/or Etsy accounts where they sell their work, and

wearable forms of their artwork, such as Tuesday Bassen,

their Instagrams usually have links to either of these. There

Georgia Perry, and Erik Buikema.

are thousands of flair illustrators and designers, allowing you

Some flair makes statements, displaying political views

to find flair that fits your personal style.

or passions. There are enamel pins of everyone from Bernie

Clothing and accessories are a physical representation

Sanders to Kim Kardashian. There are feminist patches, but-

of one’s values and interests. Flair is one fun, easy way to tell

tons proclaiming that a person is a Democrat, and pins that

people who you are and what you’re about. YM

STYLE | 19


B A R E FA C E D

Coming face-to-face with my insecurities at the mental hospital

W R I T T E N B Y M E G A N C AT H E Y I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y B E C C A C H A I R I N

20 | YOURMAG


A

s I rode in the ambulance from the Mass General emer-

off. In high school, I would wake up at 5:15 (forty-five minutes ear-

gency room to McLean, watching out the back window

lier than I needed to) to apply a full face of makeup. Struggling

Cambridge, Somerville, and eventually Belmont pass by,

to keep my eyes open, I’d apply foundation, concealer, blush, eye-

I thought about how I needed to wash my face. It was about six in

shadow, eyeliner, mascara, brow powder, and lipstick. I certainly

the morning according to the EMT, meaning I had been wearing

didn’t enjoy losing an extra forty-five minutes of sleep, but god for-

the same makeup for about twenty-one hours. My mascara had

bid my classmates saw me barefaced.

clumped to such a degree that my eyelashes were now only three

During the past three years in college my self esteem had

large lashes above each bloodshot eye. I felt two zits welling under-

somewhat improved, but feelings of worthlessness followed me

neath my grimy, dry skin.

from my native Arizona to Boston. Emerson is a more accepting,

I spent the majority of my thirty-minute ambulance ride

less vain environment than my private high school was. Yet I still

not thinking about where I was headed or what had led me here,

struggled with low self-esteem, especially when I wasn’t wearing

but rather thinking about how long I had been wearing my con-

makeup or I hadn’t done my hair.

tacts and makeup. Maybe I was distracting myself from big, scary

When I looked someone in the eye while not wearing makeup,

thoughts—something I usually did well, until I didn’t, hence the

I was hyper aware of my face. Did they notice the hormonal break-

trip to the emergency room the previous night.

outs on my chin, the dark purple semi-circles permanently under

When you’re admitted into a mental hospital, you leave all il-

my eyes no matter how well rested I was? Then I would feel guilty

lusions and fronts at the door. You forfeit secrecy along with your

for focusing on myself and not paying attention to what the other

“sharps,” i.e. items with which you could potentially harm yourself.

person was saying, which in effect made me feel worse.

There’s no room for façades. When a mental health specialist or a

The first few days at McLean, I had to get used to my naked

nurse asks, “How are you?” You’re not obligated to say, “Good, how

face. Obviously, I didn't use to wear makeup all the time, like when

are you?” You can say, “Well, pretty shitty, actually.” Lying about

I worked out or when I went to bed, but not wearing makeup

how you’re doing will prevent you from receiving the help you

around other people was new territory. I had to get used to what

need. Dishonesty will get you nowhere.

I saw in the mirror. I looked so young, so plain. I suppose I could

Makeup, among many other things, had been one of my

have had my mom bring me some of my makeup, but that seemed

fronts. It was harder to tell from the outside that I was suffering

superfluous. No one there cared about my undereye circles or un-

when I looked put together. If I looked fine on the outside, then

even complexion, they had their own shit to deal with.

I couldn’t possibly hold a shitstorm of emotions on the inside.

I was the base model version of myself—no smoke and mir-

Depressed people look like messes, right? Sweatpants, unbrushed

rors. I wasn’t Megan the student, Megan the partier, Megan the

hair—definitely no makeup. Depression often does affect people’s

server, I was just Megan—depressed, anxious, scared Megan.

effort in their appearance, but if anything, I put more effort into mine.

Over the course of ten days, I adjusted to not wearing makeup. I could eventually look people in the eyes and not even think about

I’ve loved makeup since I was a little girl. As a child I’d sneak

what my face looked like. Plus, since I didn’t do my makeup or

into my parents’ bathroom and pillage my mom’s makeup door,

hair, getting ready took me less than ten minutes. The breakouts

using my tiny fingers to rub mauve Clinique blush onto my cheeks.

from my overnight stay in the emergency room faded, and my skin

When I was thirteen my mom let me pick out my first eyeshadow

looked better than it had in ages.

from MAC. Being thirteen, I chose “Aquadisiac,” a shimmery, im-

This isn’t to say that ten days without wearing makeup re-

practical turquoise. Through high school I watched thousands of

solved my insecurities. Ten days won’t do that. I wore makeup my

YouTube tutorials, cultivating my passion and skill for makeup. But

first day back to classes, and have worn makeup most days since

when does makeup stop being a creative outlet and become simply

being home. But I’m more conscious about why I do it. Do I actu-

a crutch?

ally want to wear makeup today, or do I just feel like I have to? I still

As a teenager, insecurity racked me like a shawl I couldn’t take

struggle with coming up with an answer. But I’m working on it. YM

STYLE | 21


Seduce Yourself WRITTEN BY BROOKE SOLOMON PHOTOGRAPHY BY VIVIEN LIU

22 | YOURMAG


I

t’s the summer before college, and I’m standing in the lin-

day-to-day life. I own four or five matching lingerie sets, and I’ll

gerie section of Target. Not very glamorous, but there’s a lot

factor them in while planning outfits. I enjoy walking into class

more lace and bows than I would have expected. My 14-year-

and knowing that not just my shoes and purse coordinate, but so

old sister has her hands clamped firmly over her eyes, and my

do my bra and underwear.

mother is distastefully eyeing the bra and panties set I’m holding:

It took me a while to appreciate underwear for myself.

a red satin number. “You don’t need them,” she scolds. “What’s

Eventually, it was the feeling of power and self-assurance that

the point of buying lingerie if no one’s going to see it?” Covering

came with looking in the mirror and thinking I’m sexy. Nobody is

my tracks, I toss the undergarments in our shopping cart and put

going to see my body but me, but I’m still sexy. In college, I learned

on my best mature adult face. “I don’t need someone to see them.

to fully embrace dressing for myself. My outfits reflect my mood

I can wear them just to feel confident.” But of course, I’m lying

and daily aesthetic, and it seemed only natural to me that this

through my teeth: I’m hoping that in the magical college whirl-

sentiment should continue through my underwear. Yes, I’ll slip

wind of hookups, parties, and communal bathrooms, someone

on something extra lacy for a special occasion, but that special

will see them.

occasion can be a big test or an audition. Lingerie is a personal

Society does a lot to market sexy underwear to the masses. Specialized stores, advertisements, catalogues, and an entire tele-

confidence boost. Nobody else knows the intimates I’m wearing, but that doesn’t diminish my confidence.

vised Victoria’s Secret fashion show tell women that they need

My younger sister (who still won't go into Target’s lingerie

alluring garments to go under their clothing every morning,

section after her so-called traumatic experience) loves boy shorts

where they probably won’t be seen again. Everything seems to be

and sports bras. Last month, I offered her some lacy bras that

centered around lingerie for ultimate sex appeal. Victoria’s Secret

didn't fit me anymore. She shook her head, claiming she didn't

is particularly known for this. Their bralettes, thongs, and slips

want them. Allegedly, she didn't mind how they felt and looked,

are given names such as “Bombshell,” “Very Sexy,” “Peep Show,”

but was adverse to the concept of lingerie itself. She felt it was too

and “Tease.”

mature and adult, a bit too sexual. I convinced her to try the bras

However, Victoria’s Secret has a competitor on the market:

for a few days and see what she thought. She reported back that

Aerie. The company names all their products after girls. Instead

she felt different in lace instead of cotton, and in an underwire

of a “Dream Angel Bustier,” customers can shop for a “Katie” or a

bra instead of an athletic one. Not worse, not better—just dif-

“Bridget.” Aerie markets underwear for women, to women. Aerie

ferent. Fashion reflects personality—undergarments are a part of

knows that feeling comfortable and confident in lingerie is much

yourself just as much as outward fashion. After all, they’re quite

more important than what society dictates as sexy. We can, and

literally near and dear to your heart.

should, determine ourselves what sexy is.

A trip to the intimates section should be a grand romantic

For example, I have a friend who purchases only thongs. She

gesture: from you, to you. Take yourself on a date to brush through

loves the cut, the barely-there feel, and the way she looks in them.

endless racks of silky bows and tiny hearts. Whisper sweet noth-

There’s no ulterior motive, no desire to show herself off in lingerie

ings to yourself as you caress that cute pink slip. Seduce yourself

to a significant other. She’s never mentioned buying underwear

in the dressing room mirror. You’re in a relationship with yourself

to appeal to anyone other than herself. Another friend wears vin-

as much as you are with anyone. Self-love is important, and that

tage slips under all her dresses; she appreciates the silk against

should extend to embracing your sexuality. Look hot, feel hot, be

her skin, she likes feeling pampered and sensual for herself in

hot—for you.

YM

STYLE | 23


HARD PHOTOGRAPHY BY SOLEIL HYLAND STYLING BY MIA ZARRELLA MODELING BY

WEAR 24 | YOURMAG

AZURA LI


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YOURMAG | 29


O H, C Y $*! WRITTEN BY LAURA CAFASSO PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANA ANTRIM AND ALYSSA GEISLER

I

had been moody, distant, and confrontational. If you believe in

I was seventeen years old and faced with a seemingly adult bur-

teen angst, then I was the poster child for it. Unfortunately, I

den. I had no idea what I wanted to officially be when I grew up (ten-

didn’t sneak out and ride off into the suburban sunset on the back

tatively the next Jennifer Lawrence) or if I wanted children. Yet, my

of a motorcycle. I felt isolated and particularly emotional during my

future was riding on this decision: remove the cyst or not.

time of the month. My PMS was like a nuclear reactor: volatile and

The route was laparoscopy, or when a surgeon makes a small

unaware. My anxiety, which was probably charming when I was small,

incision (abdominal and through your belly button) in order to see

got worse and affected my socializing.

your ovaries and remove the cyst. Hell no. I had never broken a bone,

Obviously concerned, my mom thought it would be best to

gotten stitches, or had invasive surgeries. I had gotten stung by a bee,

start me on birth control. I was a sophomore in high school and still

skinned my knees, and gotten sporadic bloody noses. I did not want

kind of hesitant about that. I said, “I’m not even having sex, why do I

to go under anesthesia and have my body ripped apart. What if I

need to take the pill?” But, as it was relayed to me, the pill helps ease

didn’t wake up?

pesky PMS symptoms and makes your period lighter and shorter. I

The surgery was scheduled for the following July. Devastated, I

got many blood tests and an initial ultrasound; an elevated amount

went through the motions of college tours and AP classes, feeling in

of some hormone was found, suggesting Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

the back of my mind that I was a goner. They say ignorance is bliss,

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome causes irregular or prolonged periods,

which I wholeheartedly agree with now. I would have been unaware

acne, hair growth, weight gain, depression, and anxiety. Cysts crop up

but content if I had no knowledge of the cyst. Looking back, I don’t

alongside enlarged ovaries, and although it isn’t curable, it is treatable

consider this an overreaction or pure dramatics. I was not terminally

and common. To top it all off, it heightens the chance of developing

ill; I was lucky.

infertility and Type 2 Diabetes. Terrified, I assumed the worst. But that’s not what was in store for me.

But I was immature. I focused on myself and my own problems during a time when tragedies and misfortune, like the Boston

The ultrasound showed a mass that didn’t belong. It was a sin-

Marathon Bombings, still sadly clogged the atmosphere. The local

gular ovarian cyst, dangling off my right fallopian tube. For a visual:

cable news was reporting on the controversial Rolling Stone spread on

ovaries are about the size of almonds, and my unwelcomed guest was

the Tsarnaev family as I awaited going under for my surgery. I thought

the size of an orange or tennis ball. I don’t think I ever had symptoms

about fear and its hold on me while unsuspecting marathon runners,

of this intruder, which can range from pelvic pain and nausea to pres-

families, and bystanders were struck with the worst fate possible. A

sure on your bladder. And since it was my first ever ultrasound, this

little boy lost his life. Fear is always a choice, and those people had

cyst could have been with me my whole life.

courage amidst a senseless and cowardly act of violence. I could suck

Avoiding conflict and difficulty, I thought I could just ignore it

it up for a routine surgery.

and let it rent space. But my doctor told me that I was at risk for “ovar-

Apparently, the last thing I talked about before giving into the

ian torsion,” which could occur from the largeness of the cyst twisting

anesthesia was cheeseburgers. All the nurses thought that was a riot.

my right fallopian tube and right ovary until it dies. I could lose my

My cyst turned out to be benign, but the entire summer was spent

right ovary, severely limiting my chances of pregnancy in the future.

with two miniature holes in my pubic area. It took a month for them

30 | YOURMAG


to disappear, but I still feel the slices of new skin even after three years.

(Rosamund Pike) candid rant in Gone Girl. We should be in control

I still feel like there’s something out of place and empty at the same

of our bodies and God forbid if someone hurts us, it’s our fault for how

time. I’ve moved on, but I replay those moments from time to time,

we were looking or acting and what we were wearing. Realizing I had

sometimes when I’m daydreaming in class instead of taking notes on

this cyst, which led to my anxiety disorder acknowledgment, showed

Rousseau and his “sexual perversion” for being spanked by dominant

me I can be vulnerable and out of control. Despite the inferiorities

women. That’s a whole other story you should really research, it’s quite

of being a human, I am invincible for what I’ve gone through, and

fascinating.

continue to go through. I can shout, “I am stronger than my cyst, I am

Anyway, whether there is such a thing as luck or fate, life is scar-

stronger than my anxiety, I am a superhero.” Women must practice

ily unpredictable. Yet we can predict that there will be three million

self care. Whether it’s emotional and mental, like declaring a “me day”

cases of ovarian cysts in any given year. After my surgery, my anxi-

and binge-watching Gilmore Girls, or physical, by seeking a doctor to

ety never went away. It grew debilitating and overwhelming, to the

get a check up.

point where my parents had to sit down and have a “serious” talk with

My cyst (may it rest in peace) and anxiety made me proud to

me. Yes, going on birth control did alleviate the Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde

be a woman. This is my thank you to my cyst. Yes, I have annual ul-

scenario, but I was still a nervous hamster, running on my wheel,

trasounds to check if anything grows back, like a cyst neighborhood

overwhelmed. A couple years later, I was diagnosed with Generalized

(and drink copious amounts of water in preparation which nauseates

Anxiety Disorder.

like you wouldn’t believe), but if it wasn’t for that cyst, I wouldn’t have

Being a woman is hard, and not just because a man like Donald

gotten the help I needed and the overdue diagnosis I deserved. Thank

Trump could be our next president. We have to be happy, collected,

you, you stupid gross cyst, for making me strong and a better, more

and easygoing. The “cool girl” is ideal, just listen to Amy Dunne’s

self-aware woman. YM

LIVING | 31


He r Hirsutism WRITTEN BY RODJYNA BEAUVILE PHOTOGRAPHY BY DELIA CURTIS

T

here were ten minutes left in the class. We’d completed the lesson for the day so my English teacher decided we could use the time to talk. My friends and I were seated in the back as usual in a circle that didn’t always

stay a circle because of bouts of laughter and bathroom trips. We were talking about kissing. One of the guys pointed to my friend and me and said our faces were perfect because of its round shape. He then proceeded to demonstrate. He reached out and gently cupped her face the way he would if he were to kiss her. He then made the motion toward me. I froze immediately. If he touched my face, he would feel the stubble of my beard from not shaving for four days. It was a stretch but I just hadn’t restocked on razors. I smacked his hand and told him he’d have to buy me dinner first. I was able to avoid another incident like the one that happened earlier that week when a friend told me my face felt like his dad’s. I came across this memory after reading a Refinery29 article about Harnaam Kaur, a body image activist who landed herself in the book of Guinness World Records for 2017 for her luscious beard. I wish I could say I was inspired to grow out my own beard and embrace my insecurities for what they were, but I wasn't. I thought back to my days in middle school, of staring at my stubble in the mirror after someone called me sir, or the countless days in high school of holding my face because two days was too soon to shave. I remembered thinking to myself how I would never be pretty enough for any boy and that no matter my parts that made me inherently female, I would never be considered a [real] woman. It isn’t easy being a bearded lady. Although I have hair everywhere from my knuckles to my lower back, my facial hair will always be the most humiliating. Not many people can think past the idea of a woman with a beard and consider the forces that she has to deal with which are outside of her control. When I tried to explain that I have Hirsutism, a condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth due to an excess of testosterone, no one wanted to hear my excuse about hormone irregularities. They also didn’t care that this it is also a symptom of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which will make me and the other five to ten percent of women of childbearing age affected by PCOS unable to have children. I did not, however, let this cripple my way of living. After years of razors bumps and shadows, I’ve learned to live with my imperfections. I decided my insecurities were nothing more than irrational fears that are the result of unrealistic societal standards. I no longer see myself as less than a woman for something as natural as fur on an animal. As a unique and truly beautiful human being, I am what I am. In the words of Harnaam Kaur, “My body, my rules.” YM

32 | YOURMAG


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34 | YOURMAG


Angry Asian Girls W R I T T E N B Y K AT E B A R T E L PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALLISON NGUYEN

LIVING | 35


A

NGRY ASIAN GIRLS began as a Teespring fundraiser.

trained to look for signs of breast cancer in Asian American and

Seven of us were sitting in a conference room at the

Pacific Islander (AAPI) women. Like many Sundays before this

Northeastern Asian American Institute on a Sunday

one, we found ourselves sitting at a table stewing in equal parts

morning trying to brainstorm ways to raise some fast funds, given

passion and outrage. We felt unheard—silenced, even. We were

we had put off fundraising for our internship program until the

angry. By the end of the conversation, we had pasted ANGRY

last month. So far, we had “fundrager", “bake sale”, and “ask people

ASIAN GIRLS in repeating text onto what is now our trademark

for money” spelled out on the whiteboard, and the level of enthu-

mustard yellow square in bold, italicized Helvetica letters (cc:

siasm in the room was at a flat nonexistence. We had spent the

Drake), and submitted the digital design to Teespring. Although

semester working at the Massachusetts State House, putting up

none of us knew it in that moment, we had just coined a collective

with a whole lot of White nonsense, learning how to vent about

identity that would change everything to come.

that nonsense in safe circles on Sunday mornings, and coming

We’re nearing the end of 2016 and I think we can all col-

to understand the multitude of ways in which Asian American

lectively agree this year has been one long nightmare. But the

women are marginalized in every sphere of life.

metaphorical silver lining is that the tragedies of this year have

We started talking about the mental health issues Asian

enabled entire movements of people to utilize online spaces

American women face, illnesses many of us feel the direct impact

as tools to create visibility in otherwise marginalized commu-

of in our daily lives. We recalled a presentation outlining the star-

nities. The Black Lives Matter movement is perhaps the most

tling fact that most medical technicians and doctors aren’t even

notable example of hashtag activism, and its founders have faced

36 | YOURMAG


a shocking amount of criticism on their methods of organizing

As 2016 has proved to us time and time again that it’s only

(read: White oppressors telling Black people how they would like

going to keep getting worse (although we hope November 8th

them to voice their oppression). Few things elicit a visceral reac-

might put an end to this nightmare), our mission and projects

tion of equal parts groan and eyeroll from me quite as well as the

have gained momentum in ways we hadn’t previously thought

phrase “just an internet activist.”

possible. This is the part where I shamelessly attribute all of

We’re currently in an age of quick clicks: online petitions you’ll forget you signed a week from now and easy-to-curate pro-

our successes to the aforementioned magical cloud that is The Internet.

files that can make just about anyone look like a well-informed

I think our generation, having grown up in this inter-

individual. Certainly, slacktivism is a very real term, and right-

net era, has a tendency to discount everything we see online

fully so. We all know by now that setting an opaque overlay of the

as trivial in relation to the larger context of social movements

French flag as your temporary profile picture did just as much for

and issues going on in our “real world.” This translates into the

the grieving Parisian people as downloading the free bonus filters

language we use online versus, say, in a letter to a potential em-

on VSCO did for your Instagram aesthetic.

ployer. I find myself sharing links to my work with the caption,

But there is a stark distinction between slacktivism and using

“Check out this thing I did!” about something I put a lot of time

the magical powers of the World Wide Web to advance political

and effort into, which is funny in that endearing, self-depre-

groundwork and create actual, tangible change—like, IRL. I’d like

cating sort of way, but it’s also a way to lowball my skill set and

to think of our collective as the latter.

appease my internet friends. And when it comes down to it,

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the social movements that have taken our country by storm in

I look back on that misty Sunday in April of this year and

this past year are in large part due to hashtag activism. The

it seems like a figment of my imagination. Our outreach has

things happening in our real world are a direct result of “this

since quadrupled. Our team has grown and redefined itself just

thing I did,” so maybe it’s important to give ourselves a little

as we are growing and redefining what it means to be Asian

more credit, y’all.

American, to be woman and femme and non-binary, to be

Hashtag activism is something ANGRY ASIAN GIRLS has

activist and ally. We consider ourselves a solidarity campaign

adopted as our primary mode of communication. We’ve found

in line with the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement,

that it can be not only useful in physical organizing tactics, but

and in loving support of and solidarity with all queer people

it can also be empowering and reaffirming. My cofounder Dahn

of color.

Bi Lee-Hong and I have used it to align our mission and goals

From Emerson’s SheCult to rising movements like the Art

with local organizations, such as Asian American Millennials

Hoe Collective, we know we’re in good company. We strive to

Unite, and We, Ceremony. We just teamed up with both of these

reclaim the word “girls” and push back against the model mi-

nonprofits to put on an enormously successful panel and poetry

nority myth. We are expanding the definition of femininity and

slam on the importance of voting in the upcoming elections.

tearing down fetishization of AAPI women and femmes. We are

Hashtagging on Instagram and Twitter have expanded our out-

shifting the narrative of what it looks like to be Asian American,

reach from Boston and New York to across the globe, all in a

Pacific Islander, and Desi. We are here. We are taking up space.

matter of months.

We are angry. We are ready. YM

LIVING | 41


WRITTEN BY ESTHER BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANTONIO FIGUEROA

I

had never been to Martha’s Vineyard before. I imagined there would be preppy guys dressed in Polo Ralph Lauren shirts, girls in tennis skirts, and

wealthy people just hopping off of their yachts and ready to enjoy their million-dollar Martha’s Vineyard beach-front houses. My experience, however, was very different. My boyfriend’s family and I decided to go down to the Vineyard in early October, since the peak season was ending and all that would be left would be locals and a few other late vacationers. We drove down to Woods Hole, stopped at Pie in the Sky Bakery & Café where I had a delicious oat apple streusel muffin and soy chai latte (ok, that definitely sounded stuck up, but in my defense, soy chais are delicious). We then waited in the car in line to board the ferry. I was a bit nervous about getting on a boat while also being in the car, I felt like a sitting duck. So, once aboard, we all climbed the rusty, tiny ladder up to the front of the ship. I stood near the railing, watching as we left the Cape Cod shores and sailed the short distance between the Massachusetts coast and the Vineyard.

42 | YOURMAG


During this forty-minute ride, I constantly fought with my hair, which had decided to attack my face for the duration of the

the summer, when the nights are long and the beer doesn’t leave you frozen.

journey. Whenever my hair allowed, I watched a family next to me.

Fast forward to Sunday morning, also known as Apocalypse

I watched as a four-year-old girl dug her tiny hands into a Cape Cod

Sunday or Noah’s Second Calling. I woke up to what seemed to

potato chip bag and I couldn’t help but smirk. Her younger brother

be Hurricane Matthew—the wind was blowing hard and the rain

would come by every couple of minutes and aggressively shove

was falling like I had only seen in tropical storms or hurricanes

his hand in the bag, managing to grab a few chips, most of which

as a child. Nothing like the gentle drizzle of Somerville, that I

would immediately fall out of his mandarin-sized hands. Adorable,

have become so accustomed to. So, at the mercy of the rain and

and yet infuriating (also, who lets chips go to waste?!).

the wind, we ended up at Espresso Love in Edgartown, where I

As we got closer to the Vineyard, I started to see pintoresque

munched on a blueberry scone and drank a latte in a sunroom,

lighthouses and million-dollar mansions poking out of lush woods.

void of sun. Instead, I was surrounded by a surprisingly peaceful

I immediately started pointing to the ones I would one day buy and

thunderstorm and the sweetest (and smartest) Pit bull I’ve met;

only come once a year to. We passed Vineyard Haven and finally

Nico, who gave me a double high-five and enjoyed a bite of my

docked into Oaks Bluff—the typical Martha’s Vineyard town—full

scone!

of quaint souvenir shops, and Vineyard Vines and Black Dog stores.

After breakfast, we drove to Chappaquiddick Island and in a

Once on the island, we took a wrong turn and instead of driving

foolish attempt to see the infamous bridge where Ted Kennedy had

ten minutes southeast to Edgartown (where we were staying), and

his incident, our car got stuck in the sand. Naturally, I had a panic

drove toward Aquinnah, where we stopped to take iconic light-

attack. I got out of the car and treaded the sand, looking for a spot

house pictures and look at the waves hitting the cliffs. If you tried

to calm down. The rain was falling hard and my shoes were full of

hard enough, you could almost believe you were in Scotland, in

sand, but anywhere was better than inside that car. Luckily, after a

the Highlands, overlooking one of their impressive cliffs. Later, we

few minutes, the men in the group managed to set the car free and

drove through the remaining towns, though they were just mostly

we were on our way back to the mainland. Shortly afterward, we

long twining roads engulfed in a sea of trees. Again, I felt that if I

decided that the weather wasn’t going to let us enjoy the rest of the

was dramatic enough, I could be the protagonist of one of those

day so we headed back.

movies where the camera zooms in on your pensive face as you

We were on standby for an hour, waiting for the seemingly

look out the window, the image of the trees reflecting off the glass.

-never-arriving ferry back to Woods Hole. Again, I was nervous

When we finally arrived at Edgartown, the town was desolate.

about the trip back, fearing that the weather might impact the

It was kind of creepy, but at the same time exciting that we got

otherwise smooth ride. Once we got on the ferry, it was rough; the

to enjoy it without having hundreds of people crammed into the

sea seemed angry that we were leaving the Vineyard, but reality

same narrow sidewalk. We had a late lunch at Newes From America

was calling and we had to get back to Boston. After a few minutes

Pub, a place I considered to be a tourist trap, but I kept my mouth

in the car, I abandoned it and went up to the deck, where, despite

shut because I was with six other hungry people. After a medio-

the strong winds and torrential rains, other passengers stood and

cre lunch, we walked through the streets (somewhat surprised and

chatted. I got soaked, but I didn’t care. I had always enjoyed being

somewhat expecting to see a Lululemon Athletica store) and made

out in the rain and soon as I saw that we were near the port, I went

our way back to the hotel. While the older members of the party

back in the car to change my drenched shoes and damp socks.

dozed off for their afternoon naps, my boyfriend, his brothers, and

My trip was short and limited, but in my time there I got

I went over to Bad Martha’s Farmer Brewery where they drank and

a glimpse of what life in the Vineyard is like; peaceful and laid-

I played cornhole (for the first time ever!). There were a few friendly

back, a lot like it is back home in Puerto Rico. So, although

locals enjoying their happy hour under a canopy of lights in the

I’m not a white girl enjoying Martha’s Vineyard, I’m definitely

chilly October weather. We were one of the last groups to leave; I

an island girl enjoying one of New England’s most beautiful

remember thinking how great this place would be in the middle of

islands.

YM

LIVING | 43


Your Things I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y P I M P L O Y P H O N G S I R I V E C H

YOUR MAG TV DIRECTOR SAVANNAH STRANGE'S FAVORITE THINGS What are six objects that you can't live without and why?

Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug’s autobiography. During the Rio

A necklace with an image of what the moon looked like on

Olympic gymnastics. But then, I got really, really into Olympic

the day I was born. My mom originally bought one of these necklaces for herself and my sister and I would steal it and

wear it even though it wasn’t what the moon looked like on

either of our birthdays. So, a couple of Christmases ago, my mom got us each our own. It’s a nice representation of the women in my family.

A ring that belonged to my Nana. She was my great-grand-

Olympics this summer, along with everyone else, I got into

gymnastics. To the point where I was up until 4:00 a.m. every

night watching vintage elite gymnastics competitions. Kerri

Strug is my favorite gymnast (if you don’t know her story, Google it) because she was kind of the underdog and found a lot of success in an unconventional way. Plus, if 14-year-

old girls in 1993 could do 8 hours of gymnastics in Houston, Texas with no air conditioning...I can do just about anything.

mother but I knew her very well and she was a pretty

The Naked3 palette. Like every basic bitch, I got this the

also surprised that I haven’t lost it yet as I’m very prone to

use it often and imagine it as being the due he owes me for

badass lady. I feel lucky to have inherited this from her. I’m losing things. I like to think that means something.

A tongue depressor. I got this during my anatomy and phys-

iology class in my sophomore year and have kept it in my

Christmas it came out. It was a gift from my ex-boyfriend. I causing me an entire summer plus half of a Fall semester or

so of heartbreak. If you’re reading this Davey, you deserve it. Thanks for the eyeshadow.

pencil case ever since. I’m a Comm Disorders major, and the

What's the most memorable thing you've given someone?

tures; a.k.a. basically every CSD kid’s heaven. When I reach

This past Christmas I gave my sister an Atlas clock necklace.

all be put to good use and I’ll be seeing real patients one day

in Greece, and once she moves to Boston I’ll be graduated

depressor is used to examine the mouth and facial struc-

for my pencil case it’s a nice reminder that (hopefully) this will instead of color coordinating my planner in gel pen.

A cat change purse. I love cats. I got this as a gift for my 20th birthday. It fits change but is also conveniently the

exact size of a Durex condom. I really hope my parents aren’t reading this. 44 | YOURMAG

She’s spending her first semester of college at Northeastern and heading to do volunteer work in Africa. It was tough on

us when I first moved 6 hours away for school, so we knew this upcoming year would also be difficult. I told her to wear it as a reminder that I love her and think of her no matter what

time zone each of us may be in. That sounds horribly cheesy, but she really is the most important person in my life. YM


LIVING | 45


STYLING BY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY AND

MODELING BY

MIA ZARRELLA, ZOE

C R E AT I V E D I R E C T I O N B Y

ALLURA DUFFY, KEVIN MA,

ALEXIADIS, PENNY JOHNSON,

YASMINA HIL AL

GRACE MADIGAN, MAX

GABY CHIONGBIAN

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NASTY GALAXY WRITTEN BY PENNY JOHNSON

54 | YOURMAG


T

here’s a revolution happening, a revolution of Girlbosses.

makes the magic happen. She demonstrates that clear goals, a

If you haven’t heard of a Girlboss before, you’ve probably

unique approach, and an unapologetic attitude make dreams come

seen one. A Girlboss is in control. She creates her own op-

true. Through career advice, inspiring quotes, and groundbreaking

portunities. She’s a badass who knows the rules, and then breaks

life-hacks—e.g. “How to go Commando”—Amoruso leads young

them. She listens to her instincts, then follows them at full speed. A

women to discover just how they can achieve their goals and em-

Girlboss knows how to get what she wants and has a good reason

body their inner Girlboss.

for going after it. And of course, a Girlboss knows never to take herself too seriously.

In her personal essay sections, Amoruso gets particularly candid. In one essay, titled “On Confidence and Humility,” she points

The term was made popular by Sophia Amoruso, New York

out that she hasn’t always been the confident Girlboss she is today.

Times Best-Selling Author and founder of Nasty Gal fashion re-

Amoruso even admits to “feeling like a loser a lot of the time.” She

tailer. Amoruso built a multimillion-dollar fashion company with

continues to explain that this is all part of being someone with

no college degree and without ever borrowing a dollar. She started

“hopes, dreams, and aspirations,” that people who don’t experience

out with the simple goal of paying her bills and making customers

these feelings are usually narcissistic or lazy. It’s a bold statement,

happy. She opened an eBay store and named it after a Betty Davis

backed up by a bizarre metaphor about cheese, but Amoruso circles

album, selling clothes haggled from thrift shops in the back of her

back to the point that “shrinking doesn’t get you very far,” and that

run-down apartment. Through the years, Amoruso’s personal on-

being “confident while remaining humble” is a choice all Girlbosses

line store turned into a $250-million-plus company with hundreds

have to make.

of employees. By working hard, playing her strengths, and letting her freak flag fly, she showed us just what it means to be a Girlboss. And through her books, Sophia Amoruso inspires other girls to be one, too. In her most recent book, Nasty Galaxy, the self-proclaimed Girlboss presents an inspo-journey filled with essays, photos, illustrations, and more. Nasty Galaxy is a mix between a style guide, motivational handbook, and modern day bible. The form and content is wonderfully unconventional, just like Amoruso’s rise to success in the retail industry. Amoruso opts out of the traditional

By getting personal, Amoruso also shows us that whether

memoir and reaches for a less-predictable coffee table format. The

you’re dumpster diving or strutting down Melrose, there’s something

oversized, pink hardcover book, nevertheless, is meant to go beyond

to be said about the fabulousness of it all. As she has said before,

serving as a trendy household display. With sections titled, “Tips for

“Your life can begin as a dirty skateboard and morph into a hot rod

Thrifting,” “How to Shuck an Oyster,” and “Portraits of a GirlBoss,”

somewhere along the way.” The grueling steps it takes to channel

Nasty Galaxy represents a system in which anything can happen.

the inner Girlboss are all parts of the process, and not everything

The book redefines what an author can do. It paves the way

can be glamorous.

for future writers and artists, creating new rules and disregarding

After all, taking over the world takes time, and if you want to

the old. Nasty Galaxy aspires to be a non-conforming guidebook

do it right, you better have some fun. It’s comforting to know that

for the modern, hardworking badass. Amoruso leads girls by ex-

there’s an unconventional route to success that sounds as inviting

ample to never compromise their ideas. She shows that just because

as it is adventurous. For the girl who has been told that there is

something’s different doesn’t mean it can’t be great—it might actu-

only one way to reach the top, a book like Nasty Galaxy shows her

ally be brilliant. Compiling “everything that goes on in her head,”

that there are infinite possibilities. With hard work and patience,

Amoruso’s pink cloth-adorned coffee table book is a portal to the

a Girlboss gets what she wants and finds the universe on her side.

Nasty Galaxy of fabulousness and girl power. And it’s sort of genius.

So whether you want to be the next big CEO or are just trying

To those girls who are still navigating their way through their

to go commando (can’t a girl do both?), Nasty Galaxy has a little

passions and artistic endeavors, Amoruso reassures us all that in-

something for every young female planning to kick butt in the great

spiration is everywhere, and that staying true to one’s self is what

big world and look fabulous while doing it. YM

ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT | 55


56 | YOURMAG


A Bauhaus Home W R I T T E N B Y A N D I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y PIMPLOY PHONGSIRIVECH

I

f houses were people, Gropius House would be the type of person

As with any house-turned-monument preserved to be a

who’s curt, prompt, straightforward, Type A, intimidating but

portal connecting a past era to the present, it’s impossible to walk

not condescending, relatable, quite likeable, refined, sartorially

through Gropius’s home without sensing that the person who’d

clean, and exuding minimalist elegance. Their minimalism, how-

built and lived within its walls was an influential force. And he

ever, would extend beyond a heavily curated Instagram aesthetic:

most certainly was. Walter Gropius combined the Academy

They would live conscientiously and perhaps even ascribe to “slow

of Fine Arts with the School of Crafts in Weimar, Germany

living,” but they would actualize the philosophy unknowingly and

renaming it Bauhaus: Bauen (to build) and hausen (house)

naturally—and not because they discovered it in Kinfolk’s mission

literally translates Bauhaus to “House of Building”—such economy

statement. They would maintain the lifestyle towards which many of

of language is testament to his philosophies. In 1933, the Third

Kinfolk’s devotees (think: wooden-chopping-board-and-overpriced-

Reich closed down the Bauhaus and four years later, Gropius

lattes loving marble-countertop-white-space-pretty-tiles enthusi-

became an emigre, relocating to Massachusetts to teach at

asts) aspire. They would live simply, intentionally, and responsibly,

Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He, his wife Ise, and their

but without needing to ensure that everyone sees them doing so.

daughter Ati arrived in New England with little but the furniture

Such a person aligns with the principles around which German architect Walter Gropius founded The Bauhaus in 1919, an revolu-

made in Bauhaus workshops and four acres of land lent to them in Lincoln.

tionary institute and movement that placed efficiency, economy, sim-

With no knowledge of its history, Gropius House is simply

plicity, geometry and functionality at the foundation of architecture.

an aesthetically pleasing, well-designed, sleek modern house with

The two-story Gropius House, tucked away in Lincoln, MA, is not a

beautiful lighting and photo ops; you can approach it with a certain

staggering beauty that dazzles or wows like the Newport mansions

kind of historical sensitivity, toeing the line between meaningful

in Rhode Island. Rather, it stands quietly and unobtrusively, meld-

visitation and mere voyeurism. You may even revel in the fact that

ing into the surrounding greenery. Built in 1938 by Gropius himself,

Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, Frank Lloyd Wright, and other no-

the house is now a part of Historic New England, the country’s oldest

tables of the twentieth century worthy of Gropius’s hospitality also

architectural heritage organization. The moderately sized building

walked on the same roof deck, through the living room and into the

emanates a quiet elegance, its beauty emerging from the essence of its

four bathrooms.

design rather than from ornamentation. Gropius incorporated wood,

When Gropius died in 1969, he left his wife Ise a two-sentence

brick and fieldstone conventional in New England architecture with

will stating that “he loves and trusts her with his legacy.” She turned

the materials deemed innovative and rarely used in residences at the

the house into a museum and by doing so has in trusted us with the

time like glass blocks and chrome banisters.

legacy of a man whose influence will transcend time. YM

ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT | 57


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Your Magazine Vol. 6 Issue 2: November 2016  
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