Your Magazine Volume 9 Issue 2: April 2018

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K AT J A V U J I Ć Editor in Chief

N ATA L I E G A L E Managing Editor



EMME HARRIS Co-Photo Director

MIKE ZAHAR Co-Photo Director






M O N I K A DAV I S Editorial Director

HANA ANTRIM YourMagTV Director

DAY S I A TO L E N T I N O Co-Head Designer


ANNIE HUANG Talent Manager

RANA SAIFI Talent Assistant

NICK BUNZICK Style Director

IRIS PEÑA Copy Chief

L I N D SAY H OWA R D Asst. Copy Chief


MIA MANNING Events Coordinator

FRANCISCO GUGLIELMINO Asst. Editorial Director

TA L L U L A H J O N E S Social Media Director









t’s time for spring cleaning, y’all. April is a glorious month. It’s when I purge all the clothes I no longer wear, the flyers I should have never picked up, the files that have been littering my desktop until my background photo is barely visible. If we’re lucky, April is when Boston’s winter-cracked grey concrete starts to warm up with the glow of golden sunlight. It’s when the common fills with a certain skunky scent and plants finally, finally, finally start to grow - just in time for Earth Day. I love a good fresh start, and so does Your Mag. In this issue, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to help your own fresh start along: learn to love your pimples with Teal Hall, or refresh your wardrobe with ecologically and socially responsible garments recommended by Andy Caira. Travel down the open road with Julie Moskowitz and to Chennai, India, sometimes-home of Swetha Amaresan. Sometimes, relics of the past can start to feel fresh again: disco music, the eighties, and the home remedies your grandma insists on are examined in the pages that follow. And if you’ve been wondering what the hell happened at the Tam that one night - downfall? new beginning? - YM’s got you covered with an investigative piece from Morgan Davies. As always, the amazing people that make Your Mag happen have worked hard to bring you an adventurous, wise, and beautifully designed April issue. So go forth and start fresh. Just remember that Mercury is in retrograde, so maybe don’t make any major decisions. Hope you enjoy. With love,




n my freshman year of college I started to hear the term “daddy” everywhere. It was used often when referring to any older man. We began to call our favorite celebrities “daddy” to show how much we cared about them. It was suddenly added onto anything we could stick it on—T-shirts, hats, laptop stickers, memes. Online dating apps and “daddy” obsessions ushered in the new realization that we could hook up and become rich all at the same time. But even though it felt like it began in college, the concept of a “sugar daddy” has been around since human beings have been in the pursuit of wealth. In 2006, SeekingArrangement was founded, making it possible to connect with rich and willing daddies in a matter of seconds. Suddenly you didn’t need to be a Playboy bunny or an obsessive groupie to reap the benefits of rich men. But it was also partially a joke. The whole “daddy”-“sugar baby” trend was sometimes just a notion propagated by college kids as a way to point out how tragically broke they were. Still, it seemed fun, like the nervous excitement of going on a blind date mixed with the satisfied happiness of realizing it’s payday. Maggie* and Bethany* joined SeekingArrangement together in an attempt to make money. “I hate being poor and I also am horrible at typical jobs,” Maggie says. But still, even a well-paying, unorthodox job like being a sugar baby has its downsides. “It was super time consuming,” Maggie says. “I also didn’t consider the emotional toll of near-constant sexual exposure.” She mentioned having to constantly be by her phone so she’d be available to receive all of their messages and calls. Her favorite sugar daddy was from Australia because the time difference prevented him from being too annoying. Still, I asked them to divulge the goods. “I got a Macbook,” Bethany says. “I benefitted only monetarily,” Maggie says. “But one sugar daddy stole my credit and now I can never own a house.” For some, having a sugar daddy can mean more than money and gifts. “I started talking to J because I wanted to escape the


life I was living,” says Max*, another college student who had an experience with a sugar daddy. “I saw him as an opportunity to escape. It was my freshman year and I didn't know what I was doing. I wasn’t out to my family … I felt this constant discomfort in my suburban life.” Max dreamed of going to the city, but having no means to make the move himself, he used his youth to appeal to rich, older men on the internet. He figured this would give him the time to think and re-evaluate his life while letting him live out his dream. It seemed like the perfect plan. “Older men are kind of fetishized in the gay community and that definitely made me feel like what I was doing made sense. [This relationship] was, in some way, idealized in my mind and in the eyes of others in the gay community.” They’d talked for a couple of weeks before Max was invited to his beautiful apartment in Brooklyn Heights. But Max’s experience with J made him realize that sugar daddies aren’t always as glamorous as they seem. “I was just like ‘Wait, this is a lonely and sad man just looking for a companion,’” Max says, “‘And here I am being some artificial one because I want to escape? What the fuck am I doing here?’ After I left I was pretty done with that idea, that concept, which led me to him originally.” Miranda* had two dates with sugar daddies her freshman year of college. The first was a lawyer in his late 50s who Miranda described as being “weird,” but not enough to make her feel unsafe. She’d made 80 dollars from a 45 minute dinner and left untouched (minus a hug at the end). After the dinner she ghosted his emails and never heard from him again. Miranda’s second experience was with a sugar daddy who was much younger. His profile made him appear not only rich, but also incredibly enthusiastic about the idea of spoiling a sugar baby. “I really thought I would get so much money out of this guy,” Miranda says. But the moment she met up with him at his apartment, Miranda knew something was wrong. “Eventually I started to give him a blow job,” Miranda says. “In the middle of it, he tells me he doesn’t want

to spoil me anymore because he thinks it’s weird. I was coerced into performing a sexual act under false pretenses.” After manipulating and violating her, he let her leave without further issues. Some relationships with sugar daddies don’t require anything sexual at all, but still, being a sugar baby is a form of sex work. There is a certain level of vulnerability sugar babies must put themselves through in order to successfully comply with all of a sugar daddy’s needs. “It’s not worth giving men total control over you to make a quick buck when you lack the proper resources and experience to prevent your clients from overstepping their boundaries,” Miranda says, now aware of the risks behind being a sugar baby. At the end of the day, sugar daddies are lonely middle-aged men who are using their wealth to gain the affection and attention of someone younger than them. Their wealth makes them appear charming and dynamic, but their intentions might not always be so pure. In Miranda’s case, they might not even be sugar daddies at all. College kids are the perfect sugar babies. They’re young, they’re legal, they’re broke, and they’re eager. Most of the time college kids don’t realize the risk they are taking when they pursue a sugar daddy. But, it is a relationship based on mutual exploitation and the repercussions of that might be permanently damaging. I still think a sugar daddy could be nice. The sugar daddy of my dreams isn’t creepy or exploitative and wants to fund my art while giving me money to go shopping. I don’t know if I’ll ever take the time to find him, but I’m sure some sugar baby is reveling in his cash. The idea of a sugar daddy is still pretty glamorous if it’s done in a way the maintains respect between both partners. Still, as a broke young person, it’s important to rationalize the risks before diving in too deep. You might be better off fantasizing over one of your celebrity daddies. *Names have been changed. YM





nce, I was a hopeless romantic. I’d had two long term relationships since I was fifteen. Both ended because of long distance and my inescapable desire to be alone. Now, I start planning my weekends as early as Tuesday. Date with Brian on Thursday, afternoon hookup with Matthew, wine night at Hunter’s, and so on. This habit probably started last semester when I studied abroad in the Netherlands. I’d spend my weekends in some random country hooking up with European men I met in clubs. I mean, there’s no time to date when you’re only in Belgium for three days. I find comfort in knowing what’s going to happen. Hookups are predictable. They’re like short mutual relationships—they’re simple and they give me quick satisfaction. I need something from him and he needs something from me. We both deliver, then we’re on our merry way. I never need to talk to him again. We expect nothing less. There’s no surprises—I know what I’m going to get. I didn’t have to cry over the 13 hour time difference or the obligation to talk and care for someone. I was tired of being tied down for too long. If I was lonely, I could just hook up with someone. He could fill the hole for the night. Living this lifestyle makes me feel empowered. I’m in control of my body and I can have fun whenever. I call the shots. I get what I want and leave when I please. I came back to Boston with two fuckbuddies waiting for me and my dating apps re-downloaded. I focused on school and work on weekdays, and I had random hookups over the weekends. I lived peacefully with no attachments. But one Saturday night in Boston, I heard a cute boy speak some foreign language to his friend and I was dumb (or confident) enough to ask what he was speaking. He approached me and asked me to guess. He said he spoke Croatian, then he spent the night and ruined my simple life. He carried himself with effortless confidence. He’d kiss my hand and play Ray Charles. Nights were filled with

friendly banter and learning about each other’s home country. His mellowness complimented my bold character. I felt equal beside him. “You’re ruining my plans. I’m not supposed to feel this way,” I’d tell him over and over that night. I felt vulnerable, too vulnerable. I panicked the whole night. He made me feel things I didn’t expect to feel again—I didn’t want to feel again. I was disgusted with how vulnerable and sweet I’ve become. I was worried I was getting too attached. The nagging feeling never stopped. It didn’t help (or did it help) that he wanted something casual. So not only was I starting to legit feel things for this boy, but I constantly had to control it. I needed a hookup to help me forget about this boy. I met a lot of boys, but still found myself falling for him. The battle I had with my emotions drove me so crazy that I just surrendered. No more hookups, I’ll focus on him. So I found myself drunk at a MIT frat party sending him the most vulnerable texts I’ve ever written. He asked what the problem was if we agreed to be casual. I realized I was the problem. My feelings were controlling me now. I’m feeling the last emotion I ever wanted to feel: hurt. It hurt because it took me so long to finally open up again only to be shut out. I forgot how much it hurt, but I’m reminded by how much I hate it now. It’s not exactly that I hate falling in love. I just find hookups too comforting. I can’t control my feelings, but at least I can forget them for a while. It’s now over, so I’m back to meeting new boys and hooking up with them. I’m back in my comfort zone. I feel like myself again. I don’t need anyone else but myself. Maybe I’ll fall in love again, actually enjoy it and not find it so intimidating. But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy my busy weekends. YM




hat does fluid mean?" asks a random Tinder boy. I stare at the screen, silently kicking myself for adding my sexuality to my Tinder bio. I hate getting questions like these; they feel like probing questions, like someone is poking me invasively. The guy probably means no harm. He just doesn't know, and I should be happy to educate him. I should be screaming the meaning of the word from rooftops while waving a giant rainbow flag, Les Mis style. Instead I nervously wait to respond, and finally my thumbs fumble out a simple, "It means I like guys and girls.” In my head, the words are hesitant and stuttered. To be honest, I’m probably not fluid. I’m actually probably bisexual, but that term seems more committed. I’m clearly already bad at being gay-ish; let’s not move me further up the spectrum. In my time being openly/ not openly fluid, I’ve broken most of what has been expressed to me as the “Queer Commandments” by committing three sins: 1. I consistently perpetuate a straight image of myself. 2. I comfortably allow myself to be repressed/oppressed. 3. I am not following Demi Lovato on Instagram. I’m not proud of any of it. None of my problematic queer habits give me joy. But I think there might be something to be said as to why I feel the way I do. Not all of your initial feelings and


thoughts about coming out are going to be PC. In fact, some of them might be downright awful, but sometimes that’s part of the road. “It’s Just a Phase." I still think this. Not about anyone else, just me. I’m the one girl in the world who is actually, truthfully, just super confused and one day I will realize I just like men. It’s a thought that occurs more often than I’d like it to. The worst part is, sometimes it actually makes me feel relieved. Not in a homophobic way, but in a “maybe that means I’ll never have to bring a girl home to my Catholic mother” way, or out of hoping that one day guys will never again oversexualize me or be weird about the fact that I like ladies. So yes, as problematic as it is, sometimes I wonder if I’m just a straight girl who gets turned on by women sometimes. “I Want Proof.” My “it’s just a phase” doubts have come with an equally cringeworthy friend: A desire for physical proof of my sexuality. As soon as I became confident enough that I liked women to be unable to deny it, I wanted proof that I actually like-liked women. I remember the first time I made out with a girl, a friend of mine that I had harbored a crush on for a while. I could not stop smiling while it

"We’re all looking for our own sign that we are who we think we are, some confirmation of where we stand." was happening, because I couldn’t stop thinking, “Oh my god, I was right—I’m queer!” It was like a sigh of relief. I had proof ! I like kissing girls! It seemed like a reasonable thing to think and feel more secure over, until I got home to my bisexual roommate. “It was nice,” I told her. “And hey, like, I feel more secure now. Like, now I know for sure, I’m definitely fluid at least.” She blinked at me. “Did you...feel like you weren’t sure?” she asked. I stared at her for a minute, and immediately realized that she was so confident in her sexuality that she hadn’t questioned it in a long time, and most certainly hadn’t needed physical proof. Was I wrong for needing that? Was I playing into some hetero, societal mind-game by feeling like I needed proof ? Was it bad to consider partners, lovers, and friends “proof ” of your sexuality? I honestly still don’t know the answer, but I do know that there’s a reason why people experiment. We’re all looking for our own sign that we are who we think we are, some confirmation of where we stand. Jumping Back Into the Closet I have played hokey pokey when coming out for as long as I’ve been trying to come out. Pretty much every time I’ve told someone, I’ve jumped back into the closet, never to speak of my attraction to girls again. Take, for instance, my first debut as a queer woman, when I accidentally told my friends back home that I liked boys and girls during an anti-Trump rant in our group chat. Their reactions were incredibly supportive; all of them encouraged me to go out and meet girls and wanted me to feel loved. Meanwhile I immediately shut down, gave several excuses as to why I didn’t want to be on the dating scene while abroad, and refused to speak to them about my sexuality

until nearly a year later. Retreating to the closet has been the result of both coming to terms with my sexuality, and also not wanting to be looked at differently. It sounds shitty, but sometimes I don’t want it to be a big deal. Sometimes I don’t want to answer the questions, or talk about “what it means” in my romantic relationships, or even watch people get taken aback by the sudden realization that I’m not straight. While letting people think I’m straight, or keeping up a straight-ish image is not the greatest, at times it has helped me to normalize my own sexuality. People don’t need you to come out to them when you’re hetero. There’s no stress, no one asks you if you’re confused, and no one looks at you like you’re a completely different person after you tell them. You don’t have to worry about which relatives find out, or if your friends will judge you, and while at Emerson that’s not typically a problem, in the larger world we live in it is a valid fear. Salvation There are many moments when I question and deny who I am, out of convenience, insecurity, or fear. But then there are times like these, when I have a date with a cute boy later in the day, but I’m standing on the bus next to a pretty girl with a great smile. I can’t help but glance at her, I can’t help but hope that I’ll have the guts to say something before I get off, and that maybe my something could lead to drinks, or a date, or that special connection people are always raving about. When my palms sweat, and my heart races, and I’m begging my mind to clear. No phases, no masks, no closets, no expectations, just me and a chance. That’s when I know how real it is. YM







ith social media gaining more and more importance in our everyday lives, it makes sense that it’s become integral in our relationships as well. We’ve all heard before that everything we post on the internet will stay there forever. This applies to our relationships as well. Go on my Facebook and you’ll probably find cringe-worthy posts about my 7th grade boyfriend. But today, Instagram is at the center of most relationships. It can even be a tool to start, feed, and end a relationship. Sophomore Sports Communication major Jacob Albrecht shared how social media shaped his relationship from beginning to end. He saw her, immediately thought she was really pretty, and talked to her. It sounds like the perfect plot of a romantic comedy. Except it all happened through Instagram where they met in August 2014. After talking on and off for two years, they officially started dating. Her being from South Carolina and him from Massachusetts, they could only see each other every few months. Thanks to Facetime and Skype, they were able to date for over a year. Albrecht explained that it was nice to see somebody that you love bragging about you on social media. Shouting your love from the rooftops became shouting your love on Twitter, but according to Albrecht, it feels just as good. “One of the best feelings that I had in this relationship was waking up with my phone blowing up with notifications of tweets from her, the sweetest things,” he says. However, even though this story might seem like many of the perfect couples showing up in our Instagram feeds daily, behind the facade they might not be as perfect. Albrecht confessed the contrast between their dreamy posts and the reality behind them. “I think that it’s trying to project the best of you as a couple. This is us, we’re happy, even if things may not be going the best in the relationship, we are really happy. Look at our big smiles,” he says. Social psychologist and Emerson College professor Lindsey Beck studies how people initiate, develop, and maintain close relationships. According to Beck, research shows that people posting relationship selfies on social media seems to be linked to feeling closer and more intimate with your partner and being more satisfied in your relationship. However, to reap the benefits of posting on social media, your social media profile actually needs to match your relationship.

“It seems to benefit people if they think this is an authentic, accurate reflection of their relationship. But if they’re like, ‘Oh things are awful, we just had this big fight but I’m gonna post this adorable selfie of us eating ice cream and laughing,’ that’s not gonna show the same benefits because it’s not authentic in the same way,” Beck says. While at the beginning of their relationship Albrecht and his girlfriend both posted a lot on social media, he says that by the end she started to post less. While he didn’t think much of it at the time, he later discovered she was cheating on him and was planning on ending their relationship. “I definitely think it [social media] could be a barometer of how your relationship is going,” he says, “Looking back on it, it was a sign.” Meanwhile, Victoria D’Angelo, a sophomore Communications major, explained how social media allows her and her boyfriend, Jamie, to stay in touch while going to different colleges. Although she never felt like social media was toxic to their relationship, she realized the unexpected importance it gained in it. D’Angelo says she likes posting pictures of them together to show her followers that their relationship is still going strong. “People won’t know that we’re dating and I do want to keep my fans updated,” she says laughing. When talking about the new arguments that social media creates, D’Angelo explains how a like on a girl’s picture became significant. “If you’re walking down the street and you see somebody that looks hot or pretty and you check her out, that’s kind of the virtual way of doing so,” she says. Beck explains how social media, and especially Facebook, creates a perfect storm for all the factors that trigger jealousy. “People who experience more jealousy when creeping their partner’s profile on Facebook, that’s one way to put it, tend to spend more time on Facebook, which seems to breed more jealousy. And it becomes this kind of vicious cycle,” she says. Some questions might remain up in the air regarding the impact that social media has on our relationships, but Beck emphasizes how important it is for people to be mindful of what role they want it to play in their relationships. She encourages couples to discuss and negotiate among themselves what rules they want to play by when using social media. YM





n the past few years, indie makeup brands have gained all kinds of attention. Thanks to the power of YouTube and social media, brands like Morphe, Colourpop, Dose of Colors, and Violet Voss are now sold in major retailers. All of these companies started as small businesses led by everyday people just trying to create. Indie companies have the advantage of not having to cater to corporate expectations, meaning they have the freedom to be truly innovative. With all the recent coverage about the lack of representation of people of color in the beauty industry, it’s easy to focus on the bad happenings. But it’s incredibly important to focus on some of the badass women helping to make the beauty industry a little more diverse, smaller companies jumping outside the box with vivid color palettes and inclusive shade ranges. Here are some beauty brands you won’t see in Sephora—at least not yet!

Beauty Bakerie

Juvia’s Place

Beauty Bakerie features an array of products that are themed around sweets and desserts. They have a wide range of “cake face concealers” as well as a bronzing palette, Coffee and Cocoa, that works for darker skin tones. For creator Cashmere Nicole, the project is personal: the bronzer palette in particular was inspired by her daughter who always struggled to find bronzer shades that worked for her. Nicole created the company after struggling with teen pregnancy and breast cancer, finding her passion and sweetness in Beauty Bakerie. The products are currently sold online as well as through authorized retailers like Riley Rose. Bee-Q-Box

Juvia’s Place is one of the best known black-owned indie cosmetics companies. Each of their palettes features detailed images of regal women of color on the packaging and cover. Juvia’s Place palettes aren’t afraid to be bold; they feature a range of striking pigmented mattes and shimmer. The brand’s most recent release is The Festival Collection, which includes a playful eyeshadow palette with unique pairings of colors, including vivid mattes like hot pink, peach, and red paired with turquoise and silver shimmers. A coordinating liquid lip duo was also released featuring a deep orange shade and a dark brown shade. Currently an online-only company, Juvia’s Place has developed a loyal following. The brand has been raved about by beauty bloggers, including Nikkietutorials.

The brand Bee-Q-Box, popularized on Instagram, sells a pressed glitter palette perfect for creating bold sparkly looks. The online retailer also offers a variety of illuminating setting sprays called F*ckboy Repellent. Not only will these add some sparkle to finish off your look, they are also free of “childish games” and “side chicks.” The brand was started in 2016 by college student Brianna Queen. In the wake of the election, Queen wanted to invent a spritz to keep away all the negative men, and the brand grew from there.

If you’re looking to familiarize yourself with more indie cosmetics check out Twitter and expand your YouTube followings. Many small businesses are utilizing social media to reach a larger customer base. Though you might pay a shipping fee, the next time you want to add more color to your collection consider ordering from an indie company. It’s often worth it to try out a new brand and maybe find some new favorite products. Plus, you can feel confident in knowing you’re supporting someone’s passion project. YM




STYLE | 23



or as long as I can remember, body types have been a topic of discussion in the fashion industry. Types vary by source, but there are always the principle few: apple for women who carry weight on their top half, hourglass for pronounced and proportional curves, pear for a slender torso and curvy hips. I’ve never understood the body type thing, probably because I couldn’t find one that fit me. Clothing websites handed out tips: “Perfect for the hourglass figure!” or “Pears should show off more shoulder!” None of them seemed to apply to me. I spent years googling which clothes worked best on my body type to no avail. Then, about a month ago, I found the website I’d been looking for. The premise was simple: put in some measurements and we’ll give you your body type and a list of clothes to buy and to avoid. Perfect! But when I typed my measurements into the boxes and clicked submit, a bolded message appeared. Body Type: Unavailable No list of clothing suggestions. No tips to “hide my problems areas.” Just a blank screen, confirming my worst fear. My body wasn’t normal. My friends tried to help, typing in their own numbers to see if the website was faulty. Their measurements all yielded results: spoon, pear, straight. I was in distress. What was I supposed to wear? Can unavailables still show off their shoulders? For the next few days I felt hyper-aware of every part of my body. My waist wasn’t pronounced enough; my legs were too short. Everything in my closet, it seemed, had been designed for some specific category of woman that I didn’t belong to. My big epiphany came a few days later, when I slipped into a romper I’d recently bought. Even before my shocking body type discovery, I’d always thought of myself as unable to rock a romper. This particular one had seemed like an anomaly when I tried it on at the store, hugging me in all the right places and not bunching up between the thighs like I assumed it would. Since learning I was “unavailable,” I’d hidden the romper away, convincing myself it wasn’t


meant for me. But when I zipped it up and turned to the mirror, I realized I looked… good. I set to work trying things on in my closet, clothing that had supposedly been designed for women who were taller, thinner, or curvier than I was. It was then that I realized that despite not fitting into one type, I exhibited elements of several of them. I didn’t have the right shoulder-to-hip ratio for pear, but my shoulders still looked awesome when exposed. My short legs and undefined waist were made to be elongated and accentuated by high-waisted jeans. I’d been dressing myself for practically my whole life without knowing if the clothes I owned were “made” to be worn by me, and it seemed like I’d been doing a pretty good job. The more I think about it, the more I question this push to label women’s bodies. On a marketing level it makes sense: exploit women by preying on their insecurities and convincing them that certain clothes are the only solution. But is letting someone else tell us our best and worst features really the way to make us feel better about our style? Maybe the perfect theoretical pear-shaped woman has the shoulders of a goddess, but honestly, my most pear-shaped friend once told me her shoulders are one of her biggest insecurities. Body types might tell us which mannequin will sell a skirt, but the reality is that our bodies are vastly different from one another’s. The act of labeling seems like more of a scam than a tool of empowerment. Body types are marketed as helpful, when really they make us question what we know about our bodies. But who can really know my body better than I do? I’ve learned to embrace my failure to fit in. My lack of a label leaves me full of options when I’m shopping. No more do the fears of waist-placement and leg-width dictate my choices. I pick out the things I like, and I buy the ones that make me feel the best. Personal style is so much more than how a garment fits around my bust and hips. Now, I know better than to seek out labels. I define myself by the clothing I choose for myself, not the clothing a website tells me will make my waist look smaller. My body type is unavailable, and that’s just fine by me. YM

STYLE | 25


hen I was eight, I was set on becoming a Disney

and pencil skirts. Roth’s outfit choices ensured Streep’s prominence


and authority in rooms full of men.

I didn’t know how I’d claw my way into the profession,

Historically, the power suit had been a menswear piece until

but I was certain that was what I wanted to be and look like. Flash

the earliest version for females—the suffragette suit—rose to

forward twelve years later and Alexander Wang’s celebration of the

popularity during the early 20th century.

female CEO in black, white, silver, and pink ensembles leads me to

rethink this princess situation.

of the power suit into the iconic Chanel suit. According to Hazel

In 1914, Gabrielle Chanel repurposed the masculine elements

Inspired by his days as a Vogue intern, Wang’s collection

Clark in Iconic Designs: 50 Stories About 50 Things, the power

reinvented the way we perceive the professional working woman

suit was worn by young women to their new office and teaching

by incorporating futuristic flair into corporate fashion. Held at the


former Condé Nast headquarters, Wang’s last New York fashion

show featured structured black and white blazers, tuxedo mini

having facilitated female participation in the ‘man’s world’ of urban

dresses, tiny sunglasses, and leather mini skirts.

work and leisure,” Clark wrote. “Chanel successfully developed a

suit that accommodated the rapidly changing lifestyle of modern

From Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo to Mary Barra at General

“The suit was already associated with women’s emancipation,

Motors, women run several of the nation’s largest companies. It’s


empowering to see fashion draw inspiration from female CEOs

who have undoubtedly experienced (and probably continue to

climbed to 24.3 percent in the 1930s, and, consequently, Marcel

experience) sexism in the workplace. Realistically, Wang’s pieces

Rochas’ wide shouldered pant suits (that were nothing short of

aren’t suitable for daily corporate wear, but the collection still took

controversial) rose to prominence.

the strength and grit of the female CEO and celebrated it.

Soon enough, female employment in the United States

During the 1970s, wearing suits became a woman’s way of

“I’m blessed and honored to work with such incredible, smart,

proclaiming she was a respectable businesswoman. As more women

powerful women,” Wang told friends and staff, according to Vogue .

graduated college and were employed, pant suits slowly began to

“It felt timely to do a collection that reflects a different part of my

trump dresses.


“Between 1980 and 1987, annual sales of suits rose by almost

The Time's Up movement founded this year seeks justice for

6 million units, while dresses declined by 29 million units,” Susan

the sexual abuse and harassment women endure in the workplace.

Faludi wrote in her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against

In the onslaught of feminism fueled by the #MeToo and Time's

American Women .

Up movements, young women no longer aspire to look clean-cut

and traditional, and designers like Wang and Raf Simons at Calvin

of the power suit in the 1980s. His big-shouldered jackets and

Klein have moved on from depicting them as such. We’re inching

pants were meant to separate gender from the person. Further, the

back from “pretty” and heading toward “powerful.”

tailored suits were made to create authority for the career-oriented


After being elected president of the Washington Post

Giorgio Armani can be credited for the immense popularity

Company in 1963, Katharine Graham became America’s first

female Fortune 500 CEO. When she first inherited the company,

trousers continue to evolve—they are reshaped, ripped up,

Graham experienced immense self-doubt, heightened by her male

and altered every season. However, it is worth noting that the

co-workers who questioned her leadership. Though it feels like

incorporation of these power pieces in current and past female

we’ve made strides in gender equality since then, only 6.4 percent

fashion stems primarily from male designers. Though Miuccia

of companies on the Fortune 500 list were run by women in 2017.

Prada’s fall collection was a phenomenal feminist statement, I hope

The Post (2017) dramatized the sexism present during

Today, traditional workwear like blazers, dress shirts, and

to see more working-women collections from female designers.

Graham’s time at the paper. The movie stars Meryl Streep as

Graham, and costume designer Ann Roth was tasked with dressing

but progress is progress, and female revolution is always in vogue.

Streep, drawing from old photographs of Graham wearing boxy

Looking like princesses is a thing of the past. We want to look and

blazers with shoulder pads, pressed dress shirts in playful patterns,

feel like the all-powerful female CEO. YM


The number of current female CEOs is ridiculously small,



STYLE | 27







elf-love is the new “it” thing. We all try to accomplish it, but it seems like the majority of us are trying and failing. It seems hard to do, but it doesn’t have to be. We all have this image of laying about with our friends, watching rom-coms with pore strips on our noses, and our faces covered with charcoal masks. Sadly, this is not always the most convenient scenario; however, who said we can’t love ourselves when no one else is around? One of the simplest, easiest, and most beneficial way to immerse yourself into self-care is by getting in the masking business all on your own.

Burt’s Bees Hydrating Sheet Mask ($3 at most drug stores) is very nice. You can literally feel your skin soaking up all the natural ingredients. You leave it on for about ten minutes, and the second you remove the mask, your skin is glowing and baby soft. You can buy it at CVS or Walgreens. And the best part—it’s so cheap! Not feeling your local drug store? I suggest Rose Face Mask from the Sephora Collection ($6). It’s bit more expensive than the other mask, but you can honestly feel the difference. Expect to wake up feeling rejuvenated and fresh.

Clearing Treatments are for the people who have acne prone skin, or for someone that is going through a bad break out. Activated charcoal is an ingredient to look for in clearing treatments because it’s good for removing the bacteria, dirt, and other gunk from your skin.

Brightening Treatments are for the people that need a fresh new layer. They know the potential underneath, but need a little help bringing it forward. However, you can overdo this treatment if you are not careful! Using these too often easily irritates the skin. Save this for once a week use.

Recommendations: The Aztec Secret-Indian Healing Clay ($9, Amazon) is the best mask I have ever tried—seriously. You can feel the charcoal refining your pores while also deeply cleansing your face. If you’re feeling a little bougie, I would recommend GLAMGLOW Supermud (mini size, $21 or regular size, $59). When this mask dries, you can literally see how it clears all your pores. It works really well, but I still prefer the Aztec Secret-Indian Healing Clay.

Recommendations: I live for the GLAMGLOW Flashmud treatment (mini size, $24 and regular size, $59). It is probably my second favorite mask to use because it does a great job of exfoliating without irritating the skin. You leave it on for about twenty minutes and that’s it. Another, cheaper solution, is the papaya citrus formula 10.0.6 Skin Brightening Mask (about $7 at your drug store). It’s a peel off mask (always lots of fun) that leaves your skin feeling super fresh from getting all your dead skin cells out of the way.

Hydrating Treatments are for people whose dry skin is screaming for some help. I would look for masks with shea butter and other natural ingredients that will comfort your skin. If you’re just trying to pamper your face, a hydrating mask will moisturize and leave your skin super soft. Having a bad day? A hydrating treatment will leave you glowing inside and out. Recommendations:

Masking is a business where you are benefiting no one but yourself. Sometimes you need a little more of that in your life. There are serious benefits that come from taking care of yourself. You don’t need any other reason than that you care about yourself to mask with love. YM

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Your Pimples are Cute Your Pimples are Cute Your Pimples are Cute Your Pimples are Cute




cne. Pimples. Spots. Zits. Whatever you like to call them, we all know them as the nasty little red things that show up onto your face and only disappear under layers of makeup. The world seems to be obsessed with them; I see ads asking me to buy five hundred different acid washes and facial brushes. I see my friends frown at the small zits they get on their skin. I see the redness all over my face when I look into the mirror every night. I’m quite familiar with pimples, even more than most people. I am the proud owner of many acne scars which grace my cheeks and forehead. I’ve had several different stages of acne throughout my life on different parts of my face, ranging from acne so cystic it hurt to touch, to just plain old scarring. Over the years, it feels like I’ve tried so many different skincare products and routines that they haunt me at night. From dermatologist recommended topical creams and medications to trying the whole natural Lush Cosmetics schtick, I’ve seen it all. Yet, I still sit here writing to you with pimples on my chin, unable to find something to tame my skin for good. My acne was a really big contributor to my insecurities when I was growing up and, to be honest, it still can be. I’ve spent a lot of my time looking around at my clear-skinned friends and wondering what it must feel like to go outside without worrying about how red your face will look. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what skincare products they must use or what weird, homemade remedies allow their complexions to glow. Year after year, I’ve been desperately searching for the secret remedy that will clear up my skin overnight and leave my face smooth and beautiful. The truth is that it doesn’t exist. Everyone’s skin is so radically different from the next that no one product is the end-all be-all, and honestly, a lot of the time acne isn’t something people can control. Some people just happen to luck out with good genes and clear skin, and others not so much. Other environmental factors can contribute to skin conditions too, like birth control, allergies, or illness. Maybe there is a skincare routine out there for everyone, a perfect potion of products and medications that together can clear up

skin, but skin care is expensive. Not everybody has access to dermatologists or highly-rated products. Sometimes all we have is the CVS Pharmacy down the street and the coupons your mom gave you for moisturizer. The culture we live in pushes a strict ideal appearance onto us, so much so that it can feel suffocating if you don’t look exactly like the thin, European standard of beauty. Realistically, bodies are not made to look a certain way. There is not one ideal type of look that we are all supposed to be able to achieve. Everybody gets a pimple or two once in a while. We need to keep reminding ourselves that, no matter how small or unglamorous a part of us may seem, it doesn’t take beauty away from us. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years reminding myself that I am not my acne when I should have been reminding myself instead that I am not just my acne. For a long time, the goal in my head was to have a face so blemish-free that I wouldn’t have to put on foundation before I went out. My makeup routine would be cut in half and I could spend time on details like my eyeliner or concocting wild eyeshadow looks while still looking glowy and effortless. The other day, I accidentally put on a red-tinted lip balm that matched perfectly with my acne. I caught my reflection in the mirror and thought it was cute in a way I knew nobody else would really understand. It made my face feel put together and in that moment, it felt like the most important thing in the world that I thought I was beautiful. I won’t lie to you; I do still want to have clear skin or at least something close to it. But these days I’m finding that I go out bare-faced more and more, and that I care less and less about what people think when they look at me. If someone thinks my acne is gross, then that’s their problem. We’ve all had a pimple or two in our life, and if someone can’t sympathize with me over something I can’t control, then I have no time for them. I do have time for myself, though, and I do have time to continue learning how to love myself for all the unconventional, weird ways my body expresses itself. YM

STYLE | 31





ast fashion has become a new trend. Poorly made clothing at low prices line department stores. In this ever-changing world our clothing adapts to our fast-paced lives. We often do not think of what kind of effect we have on other people and the environment when we purchase something. When you buy from the wrong sources it can have serious, long-lasting consequences on our world. Fair Trade. We’ve all heard the phrase, but what does it mean in terms of clothing? It is a process by which workers from underdeveloped countries get paid fair prices for their products. Fair Trade is a good stepping stone to better business practices because it reduces sweatshop labor and pays workers in developing countries fair wages. Keep an eye out for Fair Trade Certified brands of clothing. While there are drawbacks to Fair Trade becoming the norm, the benefits help workers in larger, global companies. Unfortunately, smaller businesses often suffer because they cannot afford the minimums and make little profits. Also, it does not give the workers full agency in their craft and CEOs will make much more than the employee who’s paid the least. Determining what is best for workers and the environment is a highly nuanced topic. You should approach how you shop with caution, as there are many brands that are not as conscious as others. The exploitation of workers in the fashion industry is a widely known yet taboo topic and constantly neglected. Victoria Secret, for example, uses prison labor to make their products, meaning that people do not get paid a livable wage, even as citizens of the United States. Prisoners often make only a few cents to dollars a day. Brands such as Forever 21 and H&M also exploit workers in places such as China and Bangladesh and used to source from the Rana Plaza. The Rana Plaza, a commercial building in Bangladesh, which was a hub for most sweatshops and exploitation businesses, collapsed due to poor infrastructure. Over a thousand people died as businesses continued to profit off their backs. Their families were left with no income or answers. The fashion and clothing industry desperately needs to make achanges to their practices for the environment and for the benefit of the workers. Supporting brands that work to create change in the world is how you can help make the fashion industry environmentally-conscious. That being said, not all of your favorite brands are bad! Transparency is key; if the brand tells you a lot about its business it is often for the benefit of the consumer (you!). If you take time to do your research you can find that even some of your favorite brands are making a change in small ways. Noah NYC is a men’s clothing brand based in New York City. One

thing that is important to note is that Noah NYC is not a sustainable company and it recognizes that on its webpage. The website has a section about why it is not sustainable but also how, as a company, it does its best to be responsible. Nonetheless, ideas about fashion and their contribution to the benefit of the industry is admirable. Noah NYC gets all their fabrics and textiles from ethically sourced factories and mills. Each one of the fabrics on its website has a story behind where they come from. Noah NYC believes in fair pay for workers and donates portions of the company’s profits. Its donations contribute to nonprofits and causes such as Save the Children (provides Syrian refugees with education, shelter, and child protection), Direct Relief (provides hurricane relief to areas affected), and American Civil Liberties Union (a human rights organization). Patagonia is another brand that understands its impact on the environment. It believes in transparency and truth in its brand and marketing. With public information on living wages and fair trade to migrant workers and child labor, Patagonia tackles the hardest taboos in fashion and stands up to change them. Patagonia also shares all of their environmental impact information publicly, showing how conscious they are of our changing world. On it’s website, you can find information about its water use, energy use, and encouragement of activism among its employees. It is not about the product they have, but rather about how its products help people and make for a better world. What can you do? • • • • •

Research your favorite brands and the places you shop from to make sure that they have ethical practices. Check to see if they donate to good causes and support wage equality. Research what you buy beforehand. Donate old clothes and buy used clothes at a Goodwill or local business. Look for brands made in the USA. Avoid buying items that are manufactured in China and Bangladesh, from which big businesses use child labor, exploit women in sweatshops, and underpay workers.

It is necessary to recognize that it is nearly impossible for companies to be completely sustainable. With that, be a little more conscious about your own ecological footprint. Fight for wage equality and a positive environmental impact. YM

STYLE | 33




rofessors can be iconic for many reasons: wacky lectures, great advice, and sometimes, amazing style. For this month’s Academia feature, Your Mag sat down with Professor Naa Dodoo from the Marketing Communications department to learn a bit about her style.



ND: My official title is “Assistant Professor of Marketing Comm.” I teach the Intro to Marketing class, and I teach consumer behavior in the Marketing Comm. Department.

ND: Do what makes you comfortable. It’s easy to get caught up in, you know, “What would people think if I’m wearing this paired with this?” or what other people think. But do whatever makes you comfortable. You define your own level of comfort, though.

YM: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? ND: I just like to wear whatever I feel good in. I like to be comfortable. I like to show what I like about myself, so if I think it’s flattering, I’m going to go for it. YM: DO YOU THINK THE WORK YOU DO INFLUENCES YOUR STYLE, OR VICE VERSA? ND: How I present myself at work is different from how I present myself outside of work. If I know I have to teach, I’m going to dress a certain way because I think presentation matters. But I like to experiment. If I feel like being more casual, I’ll go for it. YM: FAVORITE CLOTHING ITEM? ND: I can’t choose. They would all hate me if I chose one over the other. There’s this dress I have – it’s a Jessica Simpson dress, and it has a really cute bowtie at the back. I just love it. So if I had to pick one, I would choose that one. I was actually wondering if I could wear it to work. I’m like, “Can I get away with it?” YM: YOU SHOULD DO IT. ND: I should. It has cute little pockets. Who knows, I might. YM: WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR STYLE THE MOST? ND: My cousin. I would never tell her that, but she has really good taste and we kind of play off of each other – she sees something she thinks would look cute on me, and she lets me know.


YM: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR OUTFIT TODAY. ND: I don’t know know how to describe it. It’s just a dress. I like the colors – I like coral. I like bright things, and I feel like this shade goes well with my skin tone. I’m drawn to it – I don’t think of it consciously, but if I look through my wardrobe, many of the things I have are peachy, blushy kind of tones. It’s just a simple dress, with flowers, and I like it. I like clean lines. But it varies. I could be wearing something more A-line tomorrow, but today I decided to keep it simple. I’m wearing a chain I stole from my mom when she came to visit me. These shoes I got from Goodwill, I think. And it’s cold, so because of the weather I have to think about close-toed shoes, versus open-toed. YM: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR WRIST? ND: Tendonitis. I’ve been working too hard. YM: WHAT DOES YOUR STYLE EXPRESS ABOUT YOU? ND: I’ll give you two answers. Ideally, if I wanted to be fancy, I’d say it tells people I like fashion, or at least I try. I think it would tell people that I know what makes me look good, or something of that sort. But if I’m just being regular, I think my style is not defined. I feel like I’m all over the place – I just like to wear whatever I think makes me look good. I care more about what I think than what other people think, so I like to think that my style says that about me. That I’m doing me. YM

STYLE | 35









YOUR MAG TALENT DIRECTOR ANNIE HUANG'S FAVORITE THINGS SIGNED DUNKIRK POSTER I received this as a gift from the Dunkirk cast and crew this past summer when I was working on the production. It is the most valuable possession I have because it is priceless. It was the first film that I have ever worked on and my very first time meeting Harry Styles, whom I have loved since age 15. When I was younger, I always dreamt of working alongside Harry in whatever capacity possible (I know, but a girl can dream). This past summer, I landed a role at Warner Bros. Studios, where I had the privilege of spending 45 hours a week putting my sweat and blood into the release of this film. On set one day, Harry came over and introduced himself to me and thanked me for all of my hard work. I don’t remember exactly what words came out of my mouth, but I was pretty appalled that he treated me as a colleague. The poster represents everything that has gone full circle so far in my life, and I am so grateful. From this, I learned that once you stop chasing boy(band)s and focus on your career, the boys will follow. JAR OF HAPPY MOMENTS I have been collecting small moments written on Post-It notes since near the end of high school. I started at a time when I caught myself constantly thinking of the far, far future ahead, rather than staying in the present. As a result of that, I wasted a great amount of time that I could’ve used to make lasting memories. Whenever I would have a good day, I would simply write the date, as well as everything that I’ve experienced that day, fold it up, and store the memory away. It helps me appreciate the small moments in life. Sometimes when a stranger says something nice to me or a friend does a nice gesture, I write it down. Whenever I would have a bad day, I would open the jar to read these memories to keep me grounded. At the end of the year, I reread them all again and let go of them to make room for new ones. THE GREAT WAVE ASCOT I have an ascot in every color and this is by far my favorite one. It is a print of the Great Wave off Kanagawa, a Japanese artwork by Hokusai. I am basic and I love pretty things, that’s all.


POLAROIDS I am a hoarder. I hoard everything from train tickets to thank you notes to stamps. Polaroids are just part of that collection -- I own more than 200 to date. I am no photographer, and I often take blurry photos. But I find that some of the best moments in my life are stored in those films: from crying alone in Paris because the French were mean to me, to eating a load of feta cheese in Greece, to braving a snowstorm to walk to Newbury for a sale. These polaroids take up a whole corner in my living room, and they showcase the best parts of myself: my friends. LOUIS VUITTON PIN I wore this to my first Academy Awards 2 weeks ago paired with a bright red, coordinated suit. It was (literally) very close to my heart. A friend gave it to me as a gift for attending the Oscars. Two weeks later, I look at the pin and can still envision the glitz and glamour of the phenomenal event. I felt so #smol in a crowd of Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, and Emma Stone, looking up at all of the great talents and filmmakers in the same room as me. The pin and suit made me feel taller and brighter, hoping to bring home my own award one day. PLANNER My planner is my life and soul -- I cannot function without it. It is filled with Post-It notes (why am I obsessed with Post-It’s?), highlighter, and anxiety. I don’t carry the planner, it carries me. You know the movie 27 Dresses, in which the main actress, Katherine Heigl, owns this giant 500-page planner? She has a thousand notes and appointments in her planner and accidentally loses it one day. As a part-time wedding planner and full-time working woman, her life fell apart without the coordination of her planner. Same, girl. Later, this guy finds it and puts a note in it asking her on a date before returning it to her. I don’t think I want to lose mine, though. YM



A Look at the Downfall of the TAM




ust beyond the corner where the Tremont and Boylston streets meet, sits a small bar, glowing in red and green lights. The Tam, described on Google as a “No-nonsense, cashonly watering hole for boozing & socializing in the Theater District,” is a Boston legend. The establishment is included on multiple Thrillist lists of Boston’s best dives, and was even visited by Justin Bieber in 2016. Surrounded on nearly all sides by colleges and campus buildings, The Tam has also become a famous rite of passage for local students both of-age and underage, particularly those at Emerson College. However, on February 1, the staff’s leniency with students got the bar in trouble, when plainclothes officers stopped in, and started asking for IDs. Though Emerson students are known to frequent the bar on Thursdays, the truth about what happened there that night has been hard to separate from the rumors. Originally there were tales of student arrests, threats of action from Emerson, and even speculation that The Tam itself would be shut down (either by the police or from a lack of student business). So what really happened to the Boston staple that is The Tam? What are the facts, and what is fiction? Here’s what we know:

About the “Bust” According to an anonymous source, the “Tam Bust” wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, just an unfortunate coincidence for several underaged students on a Thirsty Thursday. “The ABCC (Alcohol Beverage Control Commission) does routine checks on everybody who sells booze… They happened to check up on the Tam on a Thursday, and as such found a few people with fake IDs,” the source told me in a brief interview. “I know from the people working that night that there wasn’t a patty wagon or swat team. Just a few plainclothes guys with badges, like normal.”

The Tam is Alive and Well While fairly empty the night after, The Tam was not shut down after the fear-inducing check-in. They have however improved their security, and according to several students they’ve been much stricter about who they let in the door. “I went there with my roommate last

weekend, and she’s 22…her ID didn’t scan for whatever reason and they didn’t let her in,” said Casey Tsamis, a 21-year-old journalism major at Emerson. “She had to go back [to her apartment] and get her passport.” It’s hard to know how long the crackdown will continue, but Emersonians without legal IDs should be wary.

The Emerson Conspiracies Though the ABCC story has been verbally confirmed by Tam employees, the Emerson student body has run wild with theories as to why the officers chose that particular night to check on The Tam. Many believe that the ABCC was tipped off, and the most popular belief that has been circulating is that the Emerson College administration was behind the call. While it’s easy to imagine the school staff being concerned about underaged Tam-goers, some students have proposed a more interesting theory: that the call was made over real estate. Some claim that Emerson has had its eyes on The Tam’s building for years, and several students told me that the school has tried to buy it in the past, but was repeatedly been denied. While it’s fun to think of Emerson as the mastermind behind the bust, it might make more sense to consider the involvement of other players. A source told me that a tip would have more likely come from across state lines, suggesting that it was worried parents who called the police after finding out what their kids get up to on Thursday nights. Is it really possible that Mom and Dad could be the ones who put a stop to your undergrad Tam Trivia nights? How would anyone’s parents know to squeal on a dive bar? “They’re the same people who report parties to cops. Unknown to their kids, they have access to the kids’ facebook and look at the events they get invited to,” our source explained. “On the night of the party, they’ll see the address posted through their kids’ facebook and narc. Ever been at a party, and its not even loud, and there’s no neighbors that would care, but it still gets busted? That’s why.” While we may never know what really brought officers to The Tam that night, we’ll always have the crazy speculations to look back on. The Boston legend lives on, continuing to provide its patrons with cheap booze and Emerson conspiracies. YM



f I have a cold, there is no way I am going to the doctor’s office. I hate the whole process of calling, planning, going, waiting, and receiving test results before picking up prescriptions. It’s not like I just suffer until one day I wake up all better, though. Instead, I’ve learned how to use home remedies to heal and subdue symptoms of the common cold. Sore Throat/Cough This is a big one it seems we all struggle with, often more than once, every cold season. But you don’t need to worry, because I have perfected a system to fight back and get better within three days (that’s my personal record). Gargle salt water to ease your sore tonsils, then take a spoonful of honey to relax and soothe your throat. You must get a lot of rest, and when you do decide to sleep or nap, put Vicks Vaporub on your throat (and on your chest, if it is hurting). Now, the important thing about the Vicks is that when you put it on your throat, you must wrap a scarf around your neck. I know, you’ll look ridiculous. Your roommates will probably make fun of you, but I promise, the scarf makes a huge difference—you’ll feel it! Headaches I have found that the best way to get rid of a headache is usually drinking a lot of water, taking a couple of Advil, and resting. Then again, who didn’t know that? For more powerful healing, take a heating pad or warm cloth and put it around the nape of your neck to help ease tension. You can also massage your temples with or without different essential oils, and if you are into aromatherapy you can put a couple drops of eucalyptus, lavender, frankincense, and peppermint oils into a diffuser. Stomach Aches This is the time for you to cuddle up with a heating pad or hot water bottle. Again Advil and rest are a must to subdue any pain and help your body heal itself. Ginger ale, chamomile tea, and a mild diet relax the tummy and help you avoid any more irritation. Look for bread-based foods on your path to recovery! In general, staying hydrated is one of the most important things to focus on so your body can naturally flush out toxins. Resting is also very important because your body needs to relax to properly heal itself. Of course, if you have bronchitis or the flu, you should get some medical help, but for those of you facing annoying (but not life-threatening) maladies, at home solutions can save time and money. YM







ome people say home is a place. Others say home is simply where the heart is. I guess I lean more towards that idea because, in my opinion, home is a term that is constantly shifting and molding relative to your current state. Right now, home feels like my old Boston apartment, which is falling apart, but still cozy. However, in early January, home was so clearly Chennai, India. My parents were born in Chennai, a city in the southernmost region in India of Tamil Nadu. Throughout my life, my family and I would fly there to visit relatives and attend family weddings. I travelled there every other summer until the age of 11. After that, my sister went away to college, and our bi-annual trips ceased to exist. After nine-and-a-half years, I finally set foot on Indian soil again. At the start of the new year, when Boston was ravaged by freezing temperatures and petrifying snow, I entered Chennai amidst clear skies and an 85 degree climate. It was the most surreal moment of my life, seeing my entire extended family waiting outside. There is something about returning to the land of your ancestors, after having spent your life in a completely different culture, that leaves you at a total loss for words. I could already feel eyes boring into me as I stepped out in my bright red, cold shoulder top and rugged Converse. Although my skin tone made me belong, it was clear I was an outsider. However, within a day, I felt like the Tamilian woman my parents dreamed I would’ve been, had I grown up in Chennai. Every morning,

I began my day with a refreshing shower via bucket. To conserve water in India, there are no 30-minute-long, scalding hot showers or fragrant bubble baths. You fill up a bucket with water and use a large measuring cup to dump the water all over your body. After my “shower,” I would pull on a new salwar kameez, a long embroidered tunic with matching pants and a chiffon scarf, and pleat my long hair into a neat French braid. This was my disguise, my chance to finally see what it was like to be an adult living in South India. One of the most shocking differences between my daily life in Boston and my hectic two weeks in Chennai was the food. I’ve grown up eating South Indian food at home every night. The wafting of cardamom and cumin throughout the house is as clear a memory as any other I have from my younger days. My mouth waters at the sight of chicken kuzhambu, lemon rasam, and masala dosa. However, it’s a radically different experience in Chennai. Every dish was handcrafted by my strong-willed aunts who spend bewildering hours in preparation. Three meals a day felt like ten with the sheer number of platters on the table. Endless plates of Jasmine rice and breads ranging from parotta to uttapam made us lose what little self-control we had. By the end of breakfast, we were so full that we couldn’t imagine eating another bite that day. And yet, the saga continued. Needless to say, we all put on quite a bit of weight those two weeks. Every pound was worth it. The food slightly made up for the traffic laws, or lack thereof. In a

mile-long drive (which could take up to ten minutes), there would be a chorus of harmonized honking. More motorcycles and scooters occupied the road than cars; two-wheelers allow drivers to maneuver between lines of traffic because, shockingly, there is no such thing as lanes. Staring out the window with my jaw dropped, I’d see, on the back of motorcycles: four-person families, women clutching infants, and passengers carrying anything from ladders to five-foot metal rods. It was very chaotic and frightening, and yet, accidents on those streets are far less likely than on those to which I am more accustomed back home. The traffic in Chennai feels like a chaotic, yet synchronized, dance routine. It’s difficult to watch, but impossible to turn away. While I miss Chennai, I am thankful to be back to my normal routine. My two-week disguise as a Chennai girl helped me reconnect with my roots and develop a greater appreciation for my culture. Navigating the severe cultural differences was tough for a woman who was born and raised on the other side of the world, but it was an experience that has taught me that describing countries as “thirdworld” or “under-developed” doesn’t equate to their being any less hard-working, passionate, and driven than we are. Returning home has also helped me understand that my life is how it was meant to be. It’s difficult at times to distinguish which places feels like my real home; I guess that’s why most people attach the meaning of “home” to people and experiences, rather than a physical place. YM

road trip



don’t know if it was one too many viewings of the Britney Spears classic Crossroads or the result of my family’s many sticky summer trips to the Jersey shore, but somewhere along the way, I fell in love with road trips. When I learned to drive, one of the things I was most excited for was the freedom I would have to go anywhere at anytime without being at the mercy of public transportation or a giant metal bird catapulting itself into the sky. I could literally go at my own speed, shove a bunch of Cheetos in my face, lick the dust from my fingers, and listen to the trashiest of romance audiobooks; no one else would ever need to know. When I told my mothers of my dreams of adventuring cross country alone after I graduate college, I thought they would perhaps roll their eyes a little at the Cheeto thing, but overall have no qualms with my goals. Instead, they raised their eyebrows and asked me if I thought it was safe. “I’m a really safe driver, of course it’s safe.” That’s not what they meant. They meant, “Is it safe as a woman?” They meant, “Will you be okay because you’re a woman?” They meant, “Are you sure people won’t take advantage of you?” This stopped me in my tracks, and I doubted myself, and my dreams, for the first time. I was so frustrated; I had driven by myself from Philly to Boston and back and forth from the Catskills to Philly several times a year, and all of a sudden my moms were worried about me. Why? It might have something to do with the narratives we are told about women on the road. While men have movies like Easy Rider and The Motorcycle Diaries, and books such as Kerouac'›s On The Road, which show men going about their journeys without any gender-based fear, women get Thelma & Louise who (*SPOILER ALERT*) kill themselves at the end. Where are the road trip novels and buddy comedies featuring women finding themselves? Why are we not allowed the freedom of following our own schedules with the wind in our hair? Even in the aforementioned 2002 hit Crossroads, the three women are joined by a man, Ben,


who’s main reason to be on screen is to act as a love interest for Britney. After all, who’s going to fix the car if it breaks down and there›'s no man around, right? But Ben isn’t only there to fix cars; he’s there to play the role of the protector, even though he is literally referred to as a potential “homicidal maniac” in the film. I asked several other women my age if they thought they would want someone of the male variety to join them on a road trip for protection. Mini Racker, a mechanical engineering student at Stanford University said that while she has taken many solo road trips and doesn’t feel the need for anyone to protect her, she has worried about her safety in the past. Citing a recent trip through Arizona, she said, “Several times, I wondered what I would do if a police officer, or someone pretending to be one, pulled me over. My dad always taught me to pull into a well-lit, well-trafficked area in that situation; in Arizona, I'd need to drive 50 miles to do that... If someone did pull me over, would I get raped and murdered with no one to see?” Mini’s fears are valid, as gender-based violence is a reality for so many. Despite these fears that stem from very real situations, though, women such as Emerson student Jen Cole,'19, said that her road trips “showed [her] the goodness of others and allowed [her] to be more trusting in humanity” more than anything else. What I admire about the women I spoke with about their road tripping experiences is that even though they expressed some genderbased safety concerns, all continue to road trip. They continue to take journeys of self-discovery, independence, and growth, effectively creating inspirational narratives for and about themselves. When we roadtrip in female bodies and as femme people, it is a way to take back some of the power that is so often never given to us in the first place. It is a way of reclaiming our time, as Rep. Maxine Waters would say. And as cliche as it may sound, it’s about the journey, not the destination. I hope to see you on the road. YM

Why are we not allowed the freedom of following our own schedules with the wind in our hair?






rin Jean Hussey, 21, finished last in every high school cross country race. Now, as a junior at Emerson, she’s running the Boston Marathon. But for Hussey, it’s not about finishing first; it’s simply about finishing. A 26.2 mile run is a daunting journey, but Hussey has been training intensely for this since December: running five to six miles three times a week, strength training two to three times a week, sprinting hills in the Common, and going on lengthy runs every Saturday with a marathon training group led by Emerson cross country coach John Furey. She’s not running to obtain a personal triumph; instead, she is representing the countless number of survivors at Casa Myrna. Casa Myrna is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing services to those experiencing domestic and/or dating violence, which their website defines as “a pattern of escalating abusive, controlling, and violent behavior toward a partner in an intimate relationship.” Such behavior is difficult to escape, especially when it involves someone who can cause physical harm. Casa Myrna serves as a safe haven for those seeking refuge from toxic and violent situations. Translated to “the home Myrna,” Casa Myrna was named after Myrna Vasquez, a South End activist who dedicated her life to community empowerment and civil rights in the 70s. Vasquez experienced domestic violence herself and was ultimately murdered by her abuser. Two years after her death in 1975, Casa Myrna was established by fellow South End activists. 41 years later, and the home of Myrna continues to aid those who battle similar situations through not only a wide range of services, but also by simply being a reliable support system. Leela Strong, Director of Development and Communications at Casa Myrna, says, “I think what’s important to recognize is that one of the first things an abuser does is they take away your circle of support, and they take away your capacity to depend on anyone else other than them. So many people who are escaping that kind of relationship don’t have a large network to fall back on. We end up being friends, family, confidants, mentors, advocates, cheerleaders, for these survivors.” Hussey is running for Casa Myrna at the Boston Marathon in hopes of raising

$10,000 for the organization. A fellow Kappa Gamma Chi sister of Hussey, who previously participated in the marathon for Casa Myrna, introduced her to the prospect of running for charity, prompting her to follow in the footsteps of a long line of Kappa sisters. She stressed the importance of organizations like Casa Myrna and explained why she wanted to run for them in the first place, saying, “Casa Myrna helps survivors find their strength and enables them to move forward with their lives.” Abusive relationships are hard to escape, because abusers disguise their evil as love. Controlling behavior is masked with concern over the partner’s wellbeing, a slap to the face is excused as “I’ll never do it again,” or “I’m sorry, but you made me do it.” According to Casa Myrna’s website, one in three women experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime, and it is just as difficult to recognize it as it is to escape it. Casa Myrna educates people in recognizing “red flags” in relationships, such as extreme jealousy and possessiveness, isolation from the partner’s friends and family, control over the partner’s looks, threats of suicide if the partner leaves, and more. Casa Myrna also teaches prevention and awareness through workshops, speakers, informative posters and brochures, and ads displayed on Boston mass transit. But Casa Myrna also goes beyond domestic abuse prevention. The organization provides services that range from legal advocacy to a teen parenting program. Strong says, “Everybody comes at a different place. We meet people where they are, so this is about self empowerment. This is about hope and moving forward past trauma.” How does someone move past trauma when they have nowhere to go? Safe spaces are hard to come by, especially when that person’s ability to trust has been damaged by someone they once trusted. Casa Myrna helps survivors find safe housing and has residential programs that provide temporary shelters to live in, such as the Mary Lawson Foreman Emergency Program—named after murdered community activist Mary Foreman—, The Teen Parenting Program (TPP), and a newly added shelter for those escaping prostitution and sex trafficking. Each shelter contains 9-13 bedrooms with space for 2-3 children in each room, along

with communal kitchens, dining areas, bathrooms, and living spaces. Survivors can stay at these spaces for as long as they need; some stay for only a few nights, others may stay for up to two years. While survivors stay at the shelters, Casa Myrna staff help plan their next steps in finding permanent homes. Teen parents also receive education in parenting, job training, and high school and GED classes, so they don’t have to handle adult responsibilities on their own. Of course, it is difficult to reach out for this kind of help in such suffocating environments. Abusive relationships are isolating, and as Strong stated, sometimes survivors don’t have the ability to even consider going to Casa Myrna. SafeLink, Casa Myrna’s statewide hotline, provides necessary support without being physically present. Operators are on the hotline 24/7, 365 days a year. Together, they can speak over 130 languages, and also have a specific number for those with hearing impairments. SafeLink connects survivors to legal services, counseling, housing support, and generally provides a confidential space to safely talk about domestic abuse. Advocates at this hotline receive, at minimum, 40 hours of domestic violence training along with specific training for the hotline so that they know how to answer calls, handle difficult situations, create safety plans, and work with people at all different points in their lives. Much of Casa Myrna’s funding come from donations, so being represented in the marathon is crucial in raising both funding and awareness. Hussey knows how important donations are to Casa Myrna; in fact, when she got injured two months before the big race, she never even thought about quitting. “When you have the opportunity to do something about [domestic abuse], I think that’s very rare,” says Hussey. ”I can walk it. It doesn’t matter, as long as I get there. The most important thing to me is raising the money for Casa Myrna. It’s not about me, it’s about them.” It takes an indefinite amount of strength to escape a seemingly impossible situation. While Casa Myrna cannot be a universal solution, it is an important foundation, and definitely a step in the right direction. YM






t’s around the age of eighteen when you realize you’ve lived through your childhood. Things start to pop up from when you were a kid just to remind you how old you are—boxes of cereal they no longer sell in the supermarket, clothing styles you realize you haven’t seen in ages, the news that the lead singer of your favorite band as a kid is now turning forty. A wave of nostalgia hits you, a mixture of fondness, poignancy, and warmth seeping across your chest. It’s one of the most powerful emotions in our society. Studies have shown it can ward off depression and loneliness; it is the embodiment of longing for a simpler time. Could this be the reason why pop culture is now revolving around decades past? Are we all yearning to turn back the clock and reminisce? According to the success of some recent television shows and movies, we are. Stranger Things and It are just two examples of movies and TV shows created recently that are either set in the ‘80s or ruled by ‘80s nostalgia. Stranger Things is a perfect example of the 80s reimagined, complete with a sci-fi monster, young boys who ride bikes around, and a parent who’s obsessed with the supernatural. Each of these aspects are clearly sampled from some ‘80s classics— the troupe of boys on bikes from Stand By Me, the monster’s “facehugging” capability is straight out of Ridley Scott’s Alien, and mom, Joyce (Winona Ryder), is essentially a female representation of the dad from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The movie It, while not quite as filled with clear ‘80s nods, hosts repeated references to the ‘80s lifestyle—a time when smartphones weren’t available and activities like making paper boats and running amok unsupervised in nature were common. The decade filled with bright neon and the sounds of synth and funk is slowly creeping its way into everything we watch. But why the ‘80s? Many have wondered why the decade is seeing a resurgence now, far past the typical twenty year turnaround. The ‘80s also saw a brief rein in pop culture in the early 2000s with shows like Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000), and movies like Wet Hot American Summer (2001). It made sense then, the revival of the ‘80s in the early 2000s. Creators of content like Freak and Geeks grew up during the ‘80s and were well into their twenties or thirties during

the first resurgence of interest in the decade. Then, towards the end of the 2000s and into the 2010s we were launched into a short recall of the ‘90s. Now we’re back, so what gives? Why won’t the ‘80s fade respectively into history like the ones that came before it? In a Vulture article, written by Jen Chaney in 2016 about why we may still be stuck in the ‘80s, the idea that the ‘80s weren’t fully appreciated the first time around is introduced. She references a New York Times article that refers to the ‘80s as an “irredeemable mullet joke.” But now, creative minds are starting to give credence to the era, highlighting its historical and political significance as well as giving kudos to the period’s art through imitation and sampling. A great example of this, while moving into the world of music, is the success of Bruno Mars and his album 24k Magic. Mars swept the Grammys a couple of weeks ago with six overall wins, including the prestigious Album of the Year award. The music video for his hit "Uptown Funk" is laden with ‘80s feels. In the music video, Mars and the Hooligans jive their hips on what’s meant to look like the streets of New York. Clad in bright colored suits and gold chains, eyes shadowed by Aviator sunglasses, the costuming is clearly ‘80s. The last minute of the video may be the most ‘80s part though, showing Mars and his crew performing in a smoky jazz club lit by a neon cityscape. This music video is the fifth most viewed video of all time on YouTube. Not only does Mars have the music of current pop culture at his fingertips, but the awards to prove its quality. The abundance of foot-tapping funk and soul that comes with his music is a feat that may not have been attainable without looking back to the inherent magic of the ‘80s. Not only does the reappearance of past eras appeal to those who lived through it, but it also captures the attention of younger generations who see these seeming peculiar images as intriguing. Whether because of true appreciation for art from another time, or maybe simply as a marketing ploy, the ‘80s are back and booming. If you look carefully, ‘80s influence can be found in most of the media of today. From television to film to movies, we’re stuck in an era that was originally underappreciated. Will society finally move on when the ‘80s has been given its due diligence? Only time will tell. For now, it seems its influence is only increasing. So, slip on your high top sneakers and your fanny pack, listen to Bruno Mars, watch some Stranger Things, and enjoy it while it lasts. YM





n 1978, during the apex of disco, Gloria Gaynor proclaimed “I Will Survive,” and the world listened. A year later, disco was declared dead. Disco is one of the most resilient genres to ever exist. Hated from the beginning due to its social and political context in America, disco has fought to the death for its survival. Its many reincarnations still fight today for their rightful place in American popular music canon. Disco was born on Valentine’s Day in 1970, and had its debut at The Loft nightclub in New York City. New York City’s marginalized youth fled to The Loft and discotheques of the like to escape the prejudice of Richard Nixon’s America. Disco-ers were unsatisfied with America. The Watergate scandal had just transpired; queer people, women, and people of color were still enduring extreme prejudice; a recession was unfolding as a new president, Jimmy Carter, was taking office. Discotheques were safe havens from the harsh reality of being a marginalized person in the 1970s, as the culture of disco was inclusive and inviting. Disco was stigmatized from the get-go because it represented what conservatives in the 1970s hated: sex, drugs, and gluttony. Disco’s audience and warm and tender embrace of dance counterculture made disco Public Enemy No. 1 to disco haters; as it represented vice and sin itself. Despite America’s fervent hate for all things disco, it and all its followers persisted until Disco Demolition Night on July 12,1979, when a crate filled with disco records was blown up on a Comiskey Park baseball field in Chicago—on this night disco was, temporarily, dead. But after its untimely death, disco once again rose up, persevered, and survived—just in different forms. Disco’s devoted followers didn’t miss a beat and created post-disco, ranging from the stripped down, R&B tinged “boogie” music of Parliament Funkadelic, to the sugary and sarcastic “dance rock” of the Tom Tom Club. The scattering of the disco community made it safer to be a disco fan amidst the Reagan conservatism that dominated much of the 1980s. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Anti Disco-ers had stopped their hollering and disco became a little less taboo. As movies such as Boogie Nights and Forrest Gump popularized disco culture to demographics far removed from it, disco was thrust into the spotlight again, but this time it was a voyeuristic one. During this time, I fell in love with disco: my dad played the BeeGees in the car, I had a disco themed birthday party, I did more research than humanly possibly on the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. I enjoyed disco but I didn’t get disco, and I didn’t truly get it until recently, when I discovered vaporwave. Vaporwave is a micro-genre of electronic music and an all-around internet culture phenomenon that emerged in the early 2010s. Although

this style of music may not sound like good ol’ golden age disco, vaporwave champions the modern-day spirit of disco. Born out of millennials’ satirical take on consumer capitalism and popular culture, vaporwave tackles American youth’s dissatisfaction with the society they see and experience around them. At vaporwave’s core is an anti-capitalist sentiment and the idea of inclusion, as vaporware can truly be anything chill, samplesaturated, and nostalgic. Internet forums were the meeting places for vaporwave lovers and many met and discussed all things chillwave on online platforms such as Reddit and 4chan. Pioneers of vaporwave like Ramona Xavier, James Ferraro, and Blank Banshee were essential to creating vaporwave’s Muzak-from-Consumer-Hell sound, but with this consumer satire also came important messages. In Blank Banshee’s 2012 song “Teen Pregnancy,” a theme of desperation peaks through the song’s distorted vocals and overall silliness. “Teen Pregnancy” pokes fun at TV consumers’ fascination with teen pregnancy (16 and Pregnant was already in its 4th season in 2012), but it also discusses how much it sucks to be a kid. About 43 seconds into the track, the vocal samples say repeatedly “I’m just a kid;” somewhat showing empathy and compassion towards Millenials’ existence. Vaporwave was so important to internet communities in the 2010s because it championed the outsider and uplifted the hopeless with sarcastic and sometimes dark humor. Vapor reached its peak in 2013 when the Swedish rapper Yung Lean burst onto the scene. Yung Lean combined hiphop and the chill beats of traditional vaporwave. Yung Lean’s boyish and melancholy bars resonated with vaporwave and indie hip-hop fans alike. He was the Internet Prince and the King of the Sad Boys who united two completely separate genres that realized they were more alike than they once thought. However, when Yung Lean released his 2014 album Unknown Memory, vaporwave quietly passed away with its release, because the market became oversaturated and uninspired. Vaporwave, just like disco, was taken over by those who disparaged it in the first place. Alas, disco became white and suburban right before its death. Vaporwave faced a similar fate and became riddled with fascists before it kicked the bucket in 2014. The story of the many lives of disco is an interesting one. Today you can find disco in the niche corners of Instagram artists’ accounts, and you can even hear the disco masterpiece that is More Disco Songs About Love, a 2018 album by the band De Lux. Disco isn’t just a genre of music or a style of dance, it’s a culture of perseverance and grit, for its supporters, the overwhelmingly marginalized, it is a calling to be persistent, to fight and carry on. Cue Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” YM





ave you heard Mercury is in retrograde? Yes, we are living in a time where everything seems to be going sort of...heinously terrible. Like, angry bees on fire in an inescapable cave of doom terrible. We’ve been deep in this mess since the 22nd of March, so if you didn’t know already, there is a reason why your Uber Eats order was delivered to the wrong address; it’s all in the stars. When a planet is in retrograde it gives the impression that it is moving in the opposite direction. Planets cannot actually move backwards, but they can look like they are based on our position on earth and their positions in the sky. Psychic and casual astrologer, Chala Tyson Tshitundu, explains, “Since all of the planets orbit around the Sun at different speeds, there are points where it appears that other planets are moving backwards. This planetary movement is known as a retrograde transit, as opposed to a direct transit [when a planet appears to be moving in it’s normal direction]. It’s like when two cars are traveling at different speeds, and the slower one appears to move backwards in relation to the faster one.” The planet, Mercury, rules communication and commitment. This is why its retrograde seems to affect everyone so severely—when Mercury is in retrograde, it’s coming for your life. It can spurr miscommunications within your personal relationships, ruin a job interview, and be the difference between that midterm paper turned in late because your computer decided to have a meltdown at 11:59 p.m. It’s a treacherous time, but if you’re prepared for it, you can successfully navigate your way to the proverbial dry land unscathed. There’s something special about this retrograde. It is happening during Aries season. This is the time from March 21st until April 20th. This means that along with everyone else, those born under the sign of Aries will be affected the most, along with people whose Mercury is in Aries. If you have ever had the pleasure to encounter an Aries before, you’ll know the general gist of their traits: they are impulsive, hot-headed, and ambitious. Of course, there is so much more to our fiery friends than that, but that lies within their complete natal charts and not just their sun sign. When it comes down to it, fire signs are a bit chaotic. That mixed with a planet in retrograde can lead to some volatile effects.

That miscommunication with your friend might lead up to a nice old case of the silent treatment. But fear not, here are a few tips and tricks to figure out this confusing time. Try not to schedule any important appointments, interviews, or decisions during this time. There is a high chance that anything put into place during Mercury will unravel in the future. So postpone that zine launch for a few weeks and get started on your projects a few days in advance. You’ll thank me later. A mantra that I repeat to myself over and over during Mercury in retrograde is, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Double check everything, it’s worth it. So, try not to make any major life changes right now. Apartment hunting? Make sure your realtor is reputable and read that lease in full. Twice. I’m not playing around, it will save so many future headaches. Right now is the time to channel an earthy Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn, and be as attentive and organized as you can. Tyson-Tshitundu also has some helpful retrograde advice, “For everyone, retrograde signals a time to think more deeply about how we communicated with others in the past, and to strengthen our relationships with ourselves. Different signs are impacted differently, but that’s mainly because different signs bring different qualities to a person’s personality.” they explain; continuing, “Some people, like myself, were born under a Mercury retrograde, and so for us it’s actually a more relaxed time than others. We’re used to being more introspective communicators, so it’s nice for everyone else to bring their energy down to our level.” Mercury is set to move into retrograde twice this year, the next one in Leo season and the one after that starts at the tail-end of Scorpio season, moving into Sagittarius season. (So! Much! Fire!) But hey, you can use this time to learn about yourself. Look inwardly to find what you really want to say and do. Although this time can be stressful, remember that just thinking for a minute to process everything isn’t the worst thing. Take a deep breath—retrograde ends! Until it starts all over again. YM





hat do we see when we visit museums? Generally, visits to art exhibits consist of aimlessly wandering around looking and reading plaques and appreciating the aesthetic value of the works. But what does the viewer miss when only looking at the surface level? Art is very symbolic; not everything is as it appears. There are hidden connotations and meanings in almost everything in the art world. Is it possible that when appreciating


what we first see in a work of art, we miss a racially charged underlayer? With context and awareness of this possible racial aspect of art, we might find that race plays a role in some of our most beloved works. A good place to start is with British painter J. M. W. Turner’s The Slave Ship. It was first exhibited in 1840 and is part of the period of Romanticism. The oil painting is now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. When first

encountering the painting, Turner’s deep sunset captures the viewer, the bleeding red and orange barely pointing to the ship in the left background. The painting is seemingly a chaotic wash of colors and water, turbulence and beauty. But, with closer examination, one starts to pick out body parts among the waves—a leg in the bottom right corner cuffed with a chain, fish and seagulls circling it as if ready for a feast. With some context, the true atrocity

of this painting comes to light. It is believed that Turner was inspired by an event in 1781 called the Zong massacre. One hundred and thirty-three slaves were thrown overboard a British ship called the Zong because of a lack of drinking water and proper preparation for the journey across the Atlantic. The captain, Luke Collingwood, made this decision partly based on saving the lives of the rest on board and partly due to the insurance compensation he knew he would receive for the loss of “cargo.” When arriving at their destination in Jamaica, the insurers refused to pay. The issue eventually came to trial in the famous Gregson v. Gilbert (1783) case which held that, in some cases, even purposeful harm towards slaves required compensation from the insurers. This context further reveals Turner’s exhibition date, which coincided with a meeting of the British Anti-Slavery Society. Even though slavery in Britain had been abolished in 1833, Turner believed the British should be doing more to support efforts to outlaw slavery around the world. This can be seen in the ambiguity of The Slave Ship; the name of the work lacks specificity and so does the depiction. There are no clear markers that this is a British ship. This could be Turner’s way of saying it really could be any country’s ship, the problem is not just Britain. In this work of art, we not only find a surprising undertone of race and racial equality from a white artist but also a message of proactivism. With context, Turner’s The Slave Ship becomes much more than just a Romantic nature scene, it became a piece of political protest. Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, and barely thirty years later, the African American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner was trying to make a name for himself. While Tanner grew up in Pennsylvania among the highly-educated and rising African-American intelligentsia, his mother was a former slave who escaped to the north via the Underground Railroad. Tanner could never truly escape the legacy

of slavery through his education in America and Europe, and throughout his career in the art world. His oil painting The Banjo Lesson (1893, Realism) is another example of something we might pass by in a museum, remarking on its soft brush strokes and warm depiction of a grandfather and his grandson, but not fully realizing its intentions. Looking past Tanner’s background and his personal struggle which motivated much of his artwork, the painting itself is threaded with imagery and messages about the African American experience after the Civil War. The scene, staged in a small log cabin, stems from Tanner’s time spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where he saw first hand the poverty of the black population in Appalachia. Yet, the painting conveys a picture of resilience and spirituality. The warm light of a fireplace on the right side cast the faces of the subjects in a warm glow, highlighting the boy’s focus on his grandfather’s instruction. The grandfather in turn holds the banjo lightly at the neck, but lets the boy hold the body of the instrument on his own. It’s as if the grandfather guides the boy but encourages him to feel the fruits of his own labor, to come to the realization that his own work will produce what he hears. Some art historians even claim the piece represents the idea that future generations will build on the legacy of the past. This can be seen through the light placement; the majority of the light is hitting the boy and the grandfather is cast in shadows. The grandfather, cast in cool grays and blues, is the past, the old America of slavery, fraught by civil war, oppression, and racism. But the boy, bathed in warm yellows and bright whites, is the new America of hope, freedom, and opportunity. Depictions of slavery and the struggles of African Americans aren’t the only instances where racial undertones expressed in art may go unnoticed. Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa’s watercolor painting The Bayou (1943, Internment art) seems to be a typical impressionistic watercolor landscape. The warm orange, brown, and

green colors create an inviting landscape of a lake and a cabin, bordered by lush foliage. And, while there isn’t much else to the painting, the context and story behind it changes its connotation immensely. In 1943, when Asawa created this painting, she was living at a Japanese internment camp at the Santa Anita race track in Arcadia, California. Asawa talks of the horrible conditions she, her mother, and her siblings were made to live in: staying in two horse stalls for five months with only the items they could carry from their house. Eventually, they were transferred to an internment camp in Arkansas. The painting depicts an idyllic and picturesque nature scene, a common theme among internment art, used as a form of escapism. Painting for Asawa was a much needed relief from the cruelty of life during that time period. The Bayou, while seemingly a pretty watercolor, is actually a representation of a much darker period in American history. We are now in another period of American history in which racial tensions, polarization, and political change will play a huge role in shaping our future. Art is often one of the main mediums through which this change is documented. As cliché as it sounds, a look back at history can be the guiding hand that keeps us from making the same mistakes. Next time you’re in an art museum, try and look beyond what appears on the surface—there may be more there than you think. A deeper look at Paul Gauguin’s post-impressionistic oil painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? from 1897 is a good place to start. The painting, now on display at the MFA in Boston, has many hidden racial and cultural connotations. Looking beyond an artwork’s figurative aspects could change not only the way you interpret that piece, but also situations you may encounter in everyday life. It may inspire empathy for a group of people you may not belong to and give you the tools to recognize injustice when it stares you in the face. YM


Ym advises WHAT YOUR FIRST LEGAL DRINK WAS (OR SHOULD BE) Amaretto and Diet Coke together tastes like a sweet Dr. Pepper. Note—it has to be Diet Coke. Not regular Coke, not Pepsi, and definitely not a knock-off brand. I’ve tried them all and they were terrible. -Bobby Nicholas, Co-Head Designer My first legal drink—in the US—was a mimosa, obviously. Would recommend. -Katja Vujić, Editor-in-Chief If the Vesper Bar in Amsterdam didn’t make me feel fancy enough, the viridescent absinthe they served me in a crystal chalice sure did! -Francisco Guglielmino, Assistant Editorial Director An amaretto sour, hands down! A little nutty, a little sweet, and a whole lotta fun—just like me. -Delia Curtis, Style Editor My first legal drink was at Kasteel Well and it was an apple beer. -Isabelle Braun, Arts and Entertainment Section Editor MOCKTAILS FOR ALL! If you’re a little ~different~ like me, celebrate your 21st with a nice seltzer/cranberry juice mocktail (include a slice of orange on the rim of the glass for fancy factor). 10/10 would recommend. - Tallulah Jones, Social Media Director It was probably some wine from my nonna’s dining room table in Italy. Don’t forget to complement your wine with a big piattone of pasta! - Alessandra Settineri, Romance Section Editor My first legal drink, at least I’m pretty sure it was legal, was a shot of Don Julio in Rosarito, Mexico. - Rana Saifi, Assistant Talent Director