Page 1

YOUR MAG

VOLUME 8 | ISSUE 3 | DECEMBER 2017


YOURMAG | 4


YOUR MAG VOLUME 8 | ISSUE 3 | DECEMBER 2017 K AT J A V U J I Ć

CHRISTIAN LOPEZ

SOPHIE PETERS-WILSON

Managing Editor

Creative Director

N ATA L I E G A L E

ELEANOR HILTY

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

Asst. Managing Editor

Art Director

BOBBY NICHOLAS III

EMME HARRIS

M O N I K A DAV I S

IRIS PENA

ANNIE HUANG Talent Manager

PENNY JOHNSON

Copy Chief

HANNAH MCKENNETT

LUCY CAPPELLO

ALESSANDRA SETTINERI

Editor in Chief

Co-Head Designer

Photo Director

Co-Head Designer

Asst. Photo Director

Head Stylist

Head Proofreader

Living Editor

SARA BARBER

TA L L U L A H J O N E S

A&E Editor

Social Media Director

Asst. Talent Manager

DELIA CURTIS

L I N D SAY H OWA R D

MIA MANNING

Style Editor

Asst. Head Copyeditor

Romance Editor

RANA SAIFI

Event Planner Director

EMILY DRAKE Editorial Director

COPY EDITORS: LINDSAY HOWARD, REBEKAH SCARBOROUGH, THERESA MIELE, NATALIE GALE, OLIVIA TOWNSEND, MALCOM ZELAYA, ALICIA TOPOLNYCKY, REBECCA LANE PROOFREADERS: SHADIN AL-DOSSARI, ISABELLA CARTULARO, LAURA RODGERS, EMILY SIERRA, LYDIA ALBONESI , ANGELA PIAZZA, JULIE MOSKOWITZ DESIGN TEAM: GIULIA CAMPOS, SELINA HSIAO, NICOLE BAE, LIUYI ZHOU, ALYANNA LAKSHMI DE VERA, STEPHANIE SHIH, FRANCISCO GUGLIELMINO, LVWENYU ZHANG (ANN), ENNE GOLDSTEIN, NICK CHAMBERS-SALCE

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


CONTENTS ROMANCE 4 6 8 10 STYLE 14 16 18 20 22 YM ADVISES 23 LIVING 24 26 28 30 32 34 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 36 38 40 42 PHOTO SPREADS 44 56 62 ARTIST STATEMENT 68

YOURMAG | 2

’TIS THE SEASON TO BE CUFFED WHEN YOU’RE DATING A TRUMP SUPPORTER MANIC PIXIE REAL GIRL LUCKY UNLOVED THE UNISEX CONUNDRUM NOT A MUSE(D) BERETTER THAN EVER TO DO: BETTER Q&A WITH MAKEUP ARTIST JEANNIE VINCENT SKIN WINS SURFACE TRAVELING MOCHA MUSTS HOW TO HAMPSHIRE HOMEMADE CRAFTS HELP MEME YOUR THINGS DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF HARRISON FORD? CATERPILLARS & CREATION MFA WAY FEMMEPOWERMENT CUT AND COLOR WINTER LIGHT FOOD FOR THOUGHT NED STASIO


EDITOR’S LETTER

R

ecently, I was exploring YM’s issuu.com account, flipping digitally through issues from 2014 and 2012 and beyond. To be honest, I was astounded. The magazine has evolved a lot since I joined in the fall of 2014, but it has absolutely transformed since its inception. I had fun spotting future managing editors, EICs, and creative directors in the bylines of articles and photo spreads. The first issue of Your Magazine was published in September of 2011. “As the first page of the first issue, we would like to let it be known that we are open to all ideas of all forms,” wrote the co-editors-in-chief in their editor’s letter. I’d venture that we’ve maintained this philosophy even as we work continuously to be better. In that issue, for example, an earlier iteration of the artist’s statement featured an artist who “finds herself connecting to Native American culture by the means of headdresses.” Um, yikes...but we live, we learn, and in this issue you can read an article that addresses cultural appropriation in the fashion world. It’s truly wild to see how far we’ve come in just six years and two months. For three and a half of those years, our managing editor, Christian Lopez, worked tirelessly to help make this magazine what it is today.

He’s a visionary and it’s been a pleasure for me to work with him. This issue will be his last, and although we will miss him sorely next semester, I can’t wait to watch him thrive. We will also be losing our head designer, Taylor Roberts, to the clutches of LA. Pretty rude. Seriously, though, they are both incredible human beings and I want to take this moment to thank them for everything. I don’t know if dedicating magazines is really a thing, but I’d like to dedicate this issue to Christian and Taylor, true YM icons. In the following pages, learn about skincare from a pro and from the YM staff. Read about the dangers of ‘surface traveling.’ Then put it in practice and take a trip to New Hampshire, where you can ponder the challenges of romance in the tr*mp era (pro tip: DUMP HIM). Comfort yourself with today’s femmepowering pop hits. It’s probably disgusting and cold outside, so I hope you’re curled up with a cup of tea (or favorite hot beverage) and Your Magazine. I know I will be. As always, thanks for reading. We couldn’t do this without you. With love,

Katja Vujić

3 | YOURMAG


’Tis The Season to be Cuffed

WRITTEN BY STEPHANIE SHIH

A

PHOTOS BY JESSICA MUNROE

s the leaves begin to change and temperatures start to drop,

truly experience before.

so do our standards when it comes to dating. Although the

According to Match.com’s chief scientific advisor, Dr.

winter sun is usually hidden behind clusters of thick grey

Helen Fisher, there is actually science behind all of this.

clouds, it’s not uncommon for singles to put on their rose-colored

“With the shortening days of autumn, melatonin elevates in

glasses anyways and wind up in relationships with people they

the brain—making people more sluggish and eager to lounge

would’ve never even considered before.

at home, preferably with a sweetheart,” she says. “Then,

This phenomenon is the fault of none other than cuffing season,

testosterone rises in November triggering even more desire to

introduced by Urban Dictionary as the period of time during fall

snuggle with a lover, and by then, ‘cuffing season’ is in full

and winter when people start feeling the need to find someone they

bloom.”

can stay in, cuddle, and spend the cold nights with. A Netflix and

chill buddy, if you will. Although the term itself is a derivative of

this lesser known fifth season of the year are typically expected

“handcuffing,” it doesn’t actually mean that you chain someone up—

to end just as quickly as they began, usually around when the

unless of course that’s what you’re into, in which case, you do you.

temperature starts warming up again. Junior Visual Media Arts

The idea behind cuffing season is simply that no one wants

major Taylor Zavala’s first relationship was no exception. “I met

to be alone during the wintertime. As a native of sunny Southern

the guy in late September and we started dating in October.

California, where it was pretty much summer year-round and the

I wasn’t necessarily looking to be cuffed, but I suppose at the

temperature rarely ever fell below 60 degrees, the idea of winter

time he was cuff-worthy,” says Zavala. “He actually introduced

was basically foreign to me and I rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness

cuffing season to me and said that we were right on time for it.

of this so-called “cuffing season.” But after moving to Boston and

I’ll admit, the beginning of being cuffed was rather nice and

experiencing the dramatic shift in weather for myself, I realize that

I enjoyed the cuddles and companionship.” Unfortunately, as

contrary to what I had previously thought, cuffing season is very

predicted by the trend, the couple called it quits after a few

much a real occurrence, one that I just never had the opportunity to

months.

ROMANCE | 4

Here’s the catch though: relationships that start during


Despite the ephemerality that

comes

with

relationships

of two years is in Boston. Though they

ignited

will be reunited come January, they are

during this period, there are many

apart for most of the winter months.

who continue swiping right and

“I especially miss being with him when

navigating their way through endless

it’s cold because he has a high body

dates in search of someone to cuff. I

temperature and is like my personal

used to low-key judge those who felt

space heater,” Goncalves said.

the need to have a significant other by

their side during these colder months I

major Gabriel Shapera, who is also

can totally relate now, but my situation

doing long-distance, says, “When it’s

is a little different.

cold and I get into sweatpants and

Freshman Visual Media Arts

While this phenomenon is most

a sweatshirt and snuggle under my

commonly felt by and associated

blankets, I always wish my girlfriend

with single individuals, those in

could be here to cuddle with me. Long

relationships can feel the effects of

distance has been difficult at times, but

cuffing season as well. Personally, with

very worth it.”

bae living thousands of miles and

two time-zones away, I can attest that

everyone, whether they want to admit it

the struggle for snuggles is twice as

or not: the weather outside is frightful,

real because not only do I not have a

and it’s in our biological nature to want

cuddle-buddy here with me, but I also

to feel warmth through love. Over the

can’t go looking for one. Thus, I’m left

years, the phenomenon and those who

to brave the long nights alone, and it’s

participate in it seem to have garnered

horrible. Now don’t get me wrong: I

somewhat of a bad reputation, but

am still an independent woman who

honestly, there’s no shame in giving

don’t need no man, but cuffing season

into it. So, regardless of whether a bae

has me wishing that I had mine here

is all you want for Christmas, or if the

with me even more than I usually do.

cold never bothered you anyway, brace

yourself, because winter is coming and

Seeing

other

happy

couples

bundled up and combating the cold

Ultimately, cuffing season affects

so is cuffing season. YM

together, I find myself lying awake at night fantasizing about holding my boyfriend’s hand through knitted mittens as we clumsily skate across the ice rink, or sitting in class picturing the two of us wrapped in blankets enjoying a nice, hot bowl of ramen as heavy snow falls outside. Being in a long-distance relationship is difficult enough, and those of us in one can confirm that the drop in temperature doesn’t make it any easier.

Senior Journalism major Ana

Beatriz Goncalves is currently in Washington D.C while her boyfriend

5 | ROMANCE


When You’re Dating a Trump Supporter WRITTEN BY ASTER CHENG ART BY HAYLEY JOSEPH

W

hen you’re dating someone new, it’s all fun and

rooted into our morals. “I don’t know how far you can go having a

games until you hit the dreaded, forever divisive topic

conversation trying to change someone’s morals,” says Norton.

of politics. Yes, we were taught as children that we

For example, it’s reasonable to say that abortion is something

should play nicely with everyone regardless of their views, because

one is personally against, but it’s inappropriate to take that notion

an opinion is an opinion, and they cannot be wrong. However,

and conclude that women should not have complete control

what is the role of political opinion when differing views begin to

of their bodies. Being in a relationship with someone who sees

cause issues in our romantic relationships?

reproductive health as evil can say a lot about their beliefs and

cause more problems in the future when those differing beliefs are

Maya Huter, a freshman Journalism major, had been with

Michael*, a proud member of the #TrumpTrain, for months

brought up.

before they split. Their biggest issue was never the differences

in their views; it was the fact that Michael had often been close-

if you don’t see the world the same way, it can be hard to get past

minded and unreceptive towards listening to her reasoning. “I

the surface level of conversation,” says Huter. For some couples, it

avoided talking to him about [politics] because I knew it would

can be too much in the long run: “I felt like I could never talk to

cause problems,” says Huter. Because of the high tensions in our

her about anything deep because we had vastly different views,”

political climate today, it’s very common to see differing political

says Tedford.

views as a huge issue in relationships.

Hailey Norton, a freshman Writing, Literature, and Publishing

opinion, it’s definitely made me grow a lot and it’s taught me to be

major, has been in a relationship with Ryan* for over a year. Ryan

vigilant in finding sources and facts to back up my argument,” says

also voted for Donald Trump in this past presidential election. “I think

Norton. In regards to her relationship’s future, she says, “Since I’m

a lot about the future and how my partner’s views can affect mine,”

still able to have progressive conversation with him, I still feel safe

she says. Obviously, politics are not the sole reason for separating and

in my relationship. However, once it starts being one-sided, that’s

uniting couples. However, the role of politics in our everyday lives and

when I think it becomes an issue.”

romantic relationships has increased as our generation has become

more politically active and aware.

in the future, Huter says, “It’s a no from me. Personally, politics is

something that I deeply care about and I am not willing to disregard

“There’s nothing bad with being a Republican, but taking

“I think how you view politics is how you view the world, and

But there is a silver lining: “It’s been great to hear a different

Asked if she could picture herself with another Republican

the extra step and being a Trump supporter has a very different

my personal views for the sake of someone else’s.”

connotation nowadays,” says Norton. Max Tedford, a freshman

Journalism major and former boyfriend of a Trump supporter,

and it’s critical to evaluate if having different views will lead to

agrees with that notion. He says, “While there are many

a negative effect or a learning experience in a relationship.

Republicans who believe in conservative ideals, they see that

Tedford says, “I do not think political views have to be a decider

Trump is not looking out for them; they believe in their party, but

in the relationship. Having different opinions never ended a

they do not fanatically and blindly follow one man like Trump

relationship––it was always the fact that neither party is willing to

supporters.”

compromise.” YM

We all hold political views to different levels of importance,

Many of the most divisive issues in today’s political climate

are not as simple as differing opinions; they’re much more deepROMANCE | 6

*Fake names were used for privacy reasons.


7 | ROMANCE


MANIC PIXIE REAL GIRL

WRITTEN BY ANGELA PIAZZA ROMANCE | 8

ART BY ENNE GOLDSTEIN


W

hen I dyed my hair bright cherry red (albeit

and what a beautiful mess you thought I was, you walked away

accidentally) for the first time, I didn’t think the way

with a sensitive piece of art, while I recalled coming home messy

people would perceive me would change nearly as

drunk with my makeup smeared, thinking, “How could anyone

much as it did. I decided to attempt to dye my own hair a nice,

idealize this?”

deep auburn color the day before taking my senior picture. Of

After school on the day I took my senior picture, I went for

course your hair rarely looks like the picture on the box of hair

a walk by the beach when the weather was particularly cloudy

dye, but my hair was flaming red. The shade of red that I was

and overcast. I took a selfie and instantly felt the parallel to the

precisely too scared to ever attempt to have. A shade that could

opening scene of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which

easily be associated with the Manic Panic brand of hair dye, and

happens to be one of my favorite films and features Clementine,

suddenly, I wasn’t just plain Angela anymore. People took an

a very typical MPDG. It was this moment that I began to see

interest in me because they saw me as “different.”

how I may potentially portray myself to the world around me.

I’ve always known I was different, but I also know that

I was quirky and cute, but I was an emotional mess all around.

literally every person is unique in their own way. In terms of

A mess that fake-friends grew tired of, but guys thrived on and

girls, I’ve always found the dichotomy between “basic” girls

romanticized.

and every other “type” of girl to be quite strange. When I think

Guys would admire my personality quirks and stories of

of “basic” girls, at least in terms of how they are portrayed in

stupid, crazy, and excessive shenanigans, but only once my

media, I think of girls who shop at super trendy fast fashion

physical appearance mirrored my internal “quirkiness,” did I fit

clothing stores, who listen to pop music and whatever else is

the type of unconventional beauty that should classically go along

popular or on the radio, who are giggly and girly, and who

with being a MPDG. When you tell me that it’s so hot that I listen

are probably dating someone on the football team. They fit

to “guy music,” and that I don’t care about the same petty things

the conventions of what it means to be an attractive girl, and

as “other girls,” you set me apart from other girls only to put

they thrive because of this. Everyone else who does not fit

them down. And, as a feminist, there could be no bigger turnoff

this stereotype is usually not deemed to be seen as nearly as

than this attempt at a compliment. Micaela Tringale, a freshman

attractive, except in the alternative case of the Manic Pixie

Business of Creative Enterprises major, comments that whenever

Dream Girl.

she’s been rude or aggressive to a guy who is flirting with her,

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a stock character type in

he will usually take it as her reciprocating the flirtation because

films and other media. Film critic Nathan Rabin coined the term

of how “different” and “less feminine” it is that she does not

after observing Kirsten Dunst's character in Elizabethtown (2005),

automatically comply to his advances.

and he describes the MPDG as "that bubbly, shallow cinematic

Upon reflection of being perceived as this stock character,

creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive

I can say that the most damaging part isn’t the bleach and crazy

writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to

hair dyes on your hair, it is the romanticization of one’s issues:

embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."

one’s past struggles with abusive relationships and addiction.

This girl isn’t just different from other girls, she’s different

Maybe she’s nearly over her problems and they exist solely in her

in general. What defines this girl is what lies beneath the quirky,

past, or maybe she still struggles every day, but either way, it is not

dimpled smile and semi-obnoxious snort-laugh. She’s been

the job of any admirer to “fix” her or to encourage her problems

through something, and she’s been hurt. But you don’t know quite

for the sake of portraying her as this woke, damaged, pretty little

what; there’s mystery to her, and she’s got layers to unpeel.

thing.

It’s this idea of “layers” that gives her male admirers, who

I am a constantly evolving human girl, and the most

always seem to be brooding, sensitive, and despondent, a purpose

detrimental part of characterizing me and other girls as this film

and an inspiration. The male attraction towards the Manic Pixie

trope is the lack of acknowledgement towards the complexity of

Dream Girl is the goal of trying to figure out who she really is,

people. Although MPDGs are inherently described as complex,

possibly helping her “manicness” and her problems, and using

the truly complex part is that I am more than this label. YM

her as a muse. When you wrote that song about the day we met


LUCKY UNLOVED WRITTEN BY KATJA VUJIĆ PHOTO BY SABRINA ORTIZ

ROMANCE | 10


I

t was going to happen again. I knew before I said those three most difficult words that I wouldn’t hear them back. I was more hopeful than I’d been the last time I’d told someone “I love you,” a year and a half earlier, but there was a reason I continued to restrain the sentence I’d been thinking for over a month, suppressing it and stuffing it back down my throat every time it threatened to creep out. I was sitting on the edge of the ratty mattress he’d helped me push up the stairs of the apartment I was subletting that summer. He was in front of me, leaning back on the worn wooden floor. In a few days, he would be leaving for an exchange program in France—and, I was sure, would meet someone new, far more interesting and beautiful than I could even imagine. That was my mind’s ugly place—the insecurity and self-hate I didn’t want to burden him with but often did. I knew that he hated living in Boston and had for a long time. I knew that, whatever happened there, France was going to make him happy. And my healthier mental place, which acknowledged that I loved him wholly and unconditionally, was excited for his departure and the nourishment I knew it would bring him. Keeping that love inside, unexpressed, was excruciating. It was mentally and physically painful, worse than the fear that he didn’t love me back—maybe because it was less of a fear and more of a fact. So when I told him how I felt on that heavy, humid June evening, it was a relief. It was not just love for him, but love for myself and concern for my own well-being that finally ushered the words past my lips. Evy Oliverio, a fourth-year Communication Studies major, had a similar moment in her last relationship, which ended recently. “You can love somebody fully, and then you feel so burnt by it when they don’t love you back,” she says. “How can you not love me in the way that I love you?” We’re walking briskly down Newbury Street—stopping to admire the occasional dog, of course—and as we navigate the tangle of shoppers and strollers, Oliverio seems to also be navigating her still-fresh emotions. She isn’t exactly mourning the loss; smiling easily, she talks about a new crush who may or may not feel the same way. For her, unreturned love continues to be a confusing and painful experience, at least when in the midst of it. When she told her ex she loved him for the first time, she says his response should have been a red flag. “As my body is convulsing internally, he was like, ‘…Yeah, I don’t think we should be saying that right now. We’re not really at that point yet.’ I remember being so sad.”

The relationship continued and a few months later the “I love you”s were mutually exchanged, though “you can say it, and have somebody not mean it,” Oliverio points out. Upon reflection, she had a realization: she was more in love with the idea of the person than the actual person she was dating. For her, it was only after the relationship ended that she felt good about loving someone who she believes didn’t love her back. “It’s so nice and fulfilling once you come to terms with the fact that the love isn’t there,” says Oliverio. “You can reevaluate yourself. I know that I am capable of committing this much feeling and care to somebody, even if it’s not given back to me. And then you flip that so it’s empowering: I deserve somebody who can meet me.” Though there are certainly bumps, I believe it can be fulfilling to love someone who doesn’t feel the same way you do. It’s an individual experience, one which manifests differently for everyone. Sam Longo, a second-year Visual Media Arts major with vibrant purple hair, settles thoughtfully into an armchair in the library as she considers her past. “Love for other people can definitely be for yourself. It can be a good thing, it can be a wholesome thing, it can be the truest kind of love,” she says. “Or, it can be that guy, sitting on the lawn of whatever college, playing the piano ‘til his girlfriend came back. And it’s just manipulative and stalkery and bad.” Longo has been stalked by four separate men in her 21 years of life so far. And it’s important to recognize the difference between a mutually beneficial relationship and what she has been through—including, for example, a neighbor who had a habit of climbing up a tree near her house to sit right outside her bathroom window. She was a tween at the time, and says adults brushed it off as puppy love. Although she takes issue with the romanticizing of unrequited love often present in popular media (see: The Notebook, Love Actually, Twilight), Longo does believe that unrequited love can be mutually beneficial, in romantic relationships and beyond. “My mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer when she was pregnant with me. She’d never met me,” says Longo. “She didn’t know anything about me. But she loved me so much, and she still loved me in that unrequited way. It was enough that she refused treatment so that I could continue to grow for a couple of months. That is always what true love looked like to me.” In part, perhaps, because of that story, Longo doesn’t feel the need to be loved back even by friends. She loves them because it makes her happy to love them, not because of the love they have

11 | ROMANCE


for her. “Consensual unrequited love is a powerful thing,” says Longo. “It’s the same feeling of being genuinely proud of your friends when they accomplish something, without resentment or jealousy. I’m a gardener, and I love my plants. I love to see them do well. It makes me feel so good to be able to cultivate that and be able to give love. I think that people want to give love.” The idea that love must be traded between partners in return for an equal amount and form of love is, essentially, a capitalistic one. It transforms love, an emotion which cannot be quantified, into a commodity. It furthers the harmful notion that the people we love belong to us. When a relationship revolves around possession, a lot of love is lost and resentment grows. For Lucie McCormick, who graduated in May with a degree in Film Production, confessing to a crush has never been challenging. The aftermath is what she’s historically had trouble with, but she says even that has changed recently. “There was one girl who I really liked, and it was the first time that I felt good about how I approached everything,” says McCormick. “I didn’t feel like I was just saying, ‘I like you,’ and then running away. I was present with my feelings.” It’s a rare sunny day, and we’re sitting in the damp grass of the Boston Public Gardens. McCormick pauses often to process her thoughts and emotions, silent though the city is bustling around us. She says she’s been experiencing a shift in the type of people she’s attracted to in the first place: in the past, she often fell into relationships with people where she felt like a caretaker, or was putting in significantly more emotional labor. She was dating people not because they were improving her life, but because she felt like she was improving theirs. So now, even when her feelings aren’t returned, she is satisfied with how far she has come because the people she’s interested in are people she has or could have a healthy relationship with. “I was sad that they didn’t want the same thing, but I felt really happy that I wanted the right thing,” she says. Satisfaction with a relationship comes in so many forms: peaceful companionship, amazing sex, shared passion for art or music or comedy…sometimes all three. Knowing someone on an intimate level can be a really beautiful thing. “Loving somebody else gives you a whole extra plane to work with,” says McCormick. But like anything, this sort of love has its limits. “You don’t have to love somebody and just give from yourself—I feel like loving

ROMANCE | 12

somebody else can give you a whole new arsenal. But once that’s empty, if nothing is refilling it, you shouldn’t keep trying to love them once you’re just giving yourself away.” I’ve spent the last few months since the boy I love moved back home—marking the end of our romantic entanglement and the strengthening of our friendship—trying to make sense of what happened between us. Every step of our relationship felt like the ideal romance that the YA novels I grew up on convinced me to dream of, except there was no bouquet of flowers, no perfect happy ending. There was just my overwhelming love and his kindness and respect and understanding. And great sex. Even though it sometimes hurt, there was so much more good than bad, and that was confusing for me at first. I think McCormick explains it best. “If you really love somebody, and you’re not loving them selfishly, and you’re not loving them because you want something, but you’re just loving them because you see things about them that feel beautiful and you want those things in your life, I think that’s amazing,” she says. “The fact that we can stop looking at ourselves, and that loving can make us selfless and make us courageous is such a cool thing and even if somebody doesn’t love you back, you should just feel so lucky that you can love somebody.” I don’t want to give the wrong impression. The silence that followed my own hesitant, stilted confession hurt, a lot. His discomfort around the phrase and my impression that I wasn’t allowed to say it again also really fucking hurt. The nights that I cried myself to sleep, wondering why no one had ever loved me back, were some of my loneliest ever. This is all true. Also true: the hours I spent with him in the six months of our quasi-relationship were the happiest I’ve felt in a very long time. He was and still is one of my best friends, and few people have been able to make me feel as cared for and as understood as he did. While it saddens me to know that I don’t have the same effect on him, and it hurts that he will never let me know him the way he knows me, more than anything I’m grateful to have known him at all. I’m grateful for every moment he chose to spend with me. I’m grateful for the friendship that we have now. And I’m grateful to myself for not allowing the pain that always accompanies rejection to destroy the connection between us, one that for me is a rare occurrence. YM


13 | ROMANCE


THE UNISEX CONUNDRUM WRITTEN BY NATALIE GALE PHOTOS BY ADAM WARD

R

emember H&M’s spring 2016 ad campaign? The one where the man and the woman are wearing the exact same clothes and making the exact same pose in every photo? It was a

campaign for H&M’s unisex denim line. When it comes to unisex clothing, they really hit the nail on the head: same clothes, same poses, nothing overtly feminine or masculine. It was clothing that prioritized comfort and functionality over gender roles. But trying to make a unisex clothing line in any material other than denim doesn’t seem as easy. Another clothing giant that recently released a unisex line was Zara in 2016. The line consisted of hoodies, baggy jeans, sweat shorts, and oversized plain t-shirts. In short, it fell victim to the trap into which almost every “unisex” line falls: it was just men’s clothing in women’s sizes. Unisex clothing has it modern roots in fashion of the ‘60s and ‘70s that strove to push back against the rigid gender roles of the 1950s. Runway fashion became more streamlined and simple, blurring the lines between men and women’s clothing. Women started regularly wearing pants. YSL came out with the iconic Le Smoking, a sleek tuxedo for women, and the collarless, necktie-less Nehru jacket became en vogue for men. But there were three major problems with the unisex movement in Western fashion: 1) “The appeal of unisex fashion was the sexy contrast between the wearer and the clothes, which actually called attention to the male or female body” (Paoletti, Sex and Unisex: Fashion, Feminism, and the Sexual Revolution); 2) The movement made women’s clothes a bit more masculine, but never made men’s clothes more feminine; and 3) It didn’t last. The trend came back in the ‘90s with the grunge movement and

STYLE | 14


persists, however demurely, today. The most recent stir in blurring

So the androgynous clothing trend is alive and well in current

the lines of gendered clothing was Jaden Smith’s campaign with

fashion, at least on the surface. This past August, Vogue’s cover story,

Louis Vuitton in early 2016 in which he wore a skirt. Other

highlighting the closet-sharing between Gigi and Zayn, focused on

fashion forward men like Marc Jacobs and Kanye West have

our “new generation who doesn’t see fashion as gendered.” But an

donned statement skirts in the past couple years. The recent SS18

attempt to find affordable and interesting unisex clothing yields

collections from designers like Burberry and Gucci have had strong

few to no results. Zara’s affordable line was just oversized basics.

unisex leanings. However, if you visit either of their websites, the

Other brands at the forefront of unisex fashion don’t seem realistic.

clothing is divided (unnecessarily) into men and women’s sections.

Muttonhead, a unisex Canadian outerwear brand, sells traditional

Perhaps because of sizing. Perhaps because of cultural norms.

male clothing (hoodies, t-shirts, button downs) made in sizes XS-

Not only does unisex clothing have a place in the modern

XXL. Tilly and William, though affordable, doesn’t seem practical

fashion world, but it’s also a necessity in a world in which more

for anyone who’s not a stick-thin model living in New York City.

and more people don’t necessarily fall into one of two clear-cut

Brands like 69 and NotEqual, though they seem to successfully

categories: male or female. Allura Duffy, a junior VMA major,

tack down the androgynous look by being neither traditionally

chooses to shop primarily at thrift stores, partially because of

male nor female looking, are nowhere near affordable for the

price and partially because of her androgynous aesthetic. Duffy,

average consumer. Other brands are so unconventional that they

who identifies as all genders, describes her style as “whatever is

appeared to play up their fringy-ness as part of their trademark.

comfortable for [her] body. Trends don’t really affect the way I

Toogood London and Merwe, which both fall into this category,

dress myself.”

don’t seem from their websites like much more than art projects.

Beautiful and well-done art projects, but art projects nonetheless.

“The biggest issue I come across when shopping is sizing,”

says Duffy. “I usually fit a men’s small because I have more broad

shoulders, but for more petite people, they’re going to drown in

discussed trends start to gain traction in the world of H&M and

clothing like that. I tend to buy gender neutral clothes in women’s

Vogue, this is not just a fleeting trend. Mainstream unisex clothing,

sections if I can’t find the right sizing for men’s clothing that

however far in the distant future, is the way in which the world

works for women’s wear.” Duffy also talks about current trends in

is moving. “There’s no doubt that eventually the eradication of

androgyny. “The men’s sections of Uniqlo, H&M, and Primark

gendered clothing will happen. It starts with the deconstructing of

tend to be just like the women’s sections. And I think that the trend

gender roles that’s been going on for years and years,” says Duffy.

of long-cut shirts is a slow transition into men wearing dresses.”

And change like this isn’t easy to stop. YM

But the fashion world is constantly changing. When hotly

15 | STYLE


Not A Muse(d) WRITTEN BY LEE ANN JASTILLANA PHOTO BY LILY WALSH AND MADDIE DOUGLAS

M

ost of my childhood memories take place in the Philippines. I remember playing with my cousins in the province, frequenting the huge malls with my mom,

and saving up to buy sweets at the mini-marts run by neighbors. However, as I grew older and matured, my experience of Filipino culture changed with each visit.

The more interested in fashion and beauty I became, the

more I noticed the strict, self-employed guidelines that Filipino women followed. An aunt teasing me about my weight gain, or a cousin making fun of his sister for being dark-skinned were no longer jokes that flew over my head.

The most prominent Filipino beauty standard centers around

our obsession with white skin.

for the sole purpose of getting darker, sometimes even spending

I was born and raised in Saipan, a U.S. territory in the Pacific,

money on self-tanner and tanning booths.

where Filipinos make up 35.9 percent of the total population.

Inevitably, the infatuation with light skin carried over. This was

scrub away at their skin. These female celebrities, born fair-

evident in how my Filipino relatives interacted with me and in how

complexioned, swear that certain soaps or body washes helped

jokes about skin color circulated between cliques in school.

them achieve their skin color. Sadly, in all my visits to the

Philippines, I’ve never encountered a single skincare advertisement

Whenever a big event came up, people prepared by staying

In Filipino skin care commercials, glowing, pale women

out of the sun and smearing on layers of sunscreen. Going to the

with a dark-skinned muse.

beach a day before prom or graduation was atrocious.

have, however, witnessed the insecurities this standard instills in

This is what made moving to Boston such a huge cultural

transition. American women sat out in the sun during the summer STYLE | 16

My skin is fairer, so I never gave into whitening products. I

many young Filipino girls like me.


Veronica Layugan, a friend from home, confided in me the

insecurity that haunts her daily.

“When I look at pictures, I’m not confident with what I look

like, mainly because of my skin color,” she says. “I felt like it was a need for me to whiten my skin.”

She, like 50 percent of Filipinas, uses skin-whitening cosmetics

to achieve the ideal Filipino appearance. Skin whitening cosmetics have always been confusing to me because indigenous Filipinas exhibit dark skin and curly hair.

This obsession with white skin lends itself to the relentless

desire to look more Westernized. Contemporary Filipina beauty idols sport pale skin and glossy, straight hair, and much of it is

making yourself look more white,” she said. “The models that

rooted in the psychological effects of American colonialism.

they use should be more accurate in the types of women that do

represent the Philippines.”

Growing up idolizing Barbie and Britney Spears, I desperately

wanted to look like them. I hated my dark hair, round nose, and

narrow-shaped eyes. I thought that being unhappy with my look

actress who experienced colorism firsthand, started the hashtag

was understandable since, living in Saipan, I was immersed in

#MagandangMorenx in late October to celebrate dark-skinned

American culture. However, I now realize that I probably would

Filipinos of all genders. The hashtag, which translates to

have felt the same had I grown up in the Philippines.

“beautiful brown skin,” challenged the beauty standard enforced

by mainstream Filipino media.

As a kid, I never felt proud to look Filipino because it seemed

Asia Jackson, an African American-Filipina model and

like Filipinos weren’t proud to be Filipino, either, unless they

looked anything but.

pictures of themselves with descriptions of pride for their skin color.

Filipinos, in their mission to look westernized, constantly

Filipino men and women responded positively, tweeting out Maybe the next memories I have of my mother’s home

keep tabs on American style and beauty trends and are quick to

country will be marked with a heightened appreciation for all

adopt them. Notably, there is a preference for conservative, simple

Filipino beauties. YM

clothing. Western makeup was previously frowned upon since it is anything but simple, but elements of it seem to be slowly catching on.

Lauren Granada, a Filipina journalism major at Emerson,

disagrees with the beauty standard and believes that Filipinas should start embracing the differences in nose shape, body shape, and skin color.

“I don’t think that the standard should be geared towards 17 | STYLE


Beretter Than Ever WRITTEN BY DELIA CURTIS PHOTOS BY AMAIA RIOSECO

S

plashing around the cold, wet streets of Paris, a young,

the berets had an incredible forty-five degree angle on one side

trendy twenty-something, wearing the the city’s trademark

of the front, while the other side pushed forward as if it were a

hat—the beret—checks her makeup in her compact mirror

wave. A layer of sharpness added to the beret’s strength, especially

under the light of the street lamp, and is off on her way. In her

since it is a hat traditionally made of softer, moldable materials.

time, smartphones, selfie lenses, and light-up cases weren’t even within the realm of possibility.

In recent years, berets have been making a comeback—most notably, in Beyoncé’s 2016 Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show, in

Berets were worn by fashionable trendsetters starting in

which she and her dancers referenced the Black Panther Movement

the 1920s. They were a popular choice for those who wanted to

during their performance of “Formation.” The song had come out

make a statement. With its sleek yet slouchy look, topped with a

just one day prior to game day. In the performance, dancers were

little fabric nib, there was something a bit whimsical and youthful

dressed in all black and sported afros and berets, nodding to the

about the beret that intrigued its wearers. Not only was this staple

styles of the original members of the movement. This portion of

accessory comfortable, made from shapeable material like wool,

the show was also in support of the more recent Black Lives Matter

felt, or cotton, but it was a stark shift from the stiff and structured

movement that has been making incredible strides in recent years.

hats that had been in style just a decade or two before.

Berets are on their way back, and they are especially seeing a

Most often thought to be worn by budding artists and hip

resurgence in the world of fashion. Even in the 2017 season, berets

Parisian youth, the beret has had its moments in the spotlight

have been seen on models, celebrities, and fashion icons alike. Style

throughout its long history. Historically, this unique hat has been a

gurus like Rihanna and sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid have donned

signal of social commentary and political activism. The beret was

variations of the classic beret.

worn by Che Guevara, a Marxist revolutionary, as well as the Black

Hats, historically, have been used for a variety of different

Panther Party, an organization made up of African Americans

reasons, varying from culture to culture and place to place. They’ve

who wanted to defend and protect civilians from police brutality in

been used for protection, warmth, style, and political and social

the streets. These hats have also seen their share of military days.

commentary. Back in the days of Vikings, warriors, and knights,

Worn by all troops in the United States army, the beret acts as a

hats were made of metal and other hard substances to protect the

symbol of strength and perseverance.

wearer and one of their most vital body parts—the brain. The

It is a look that, when crafted and styled in the right way, can evoke a strong feeling. Back when it was first coming into its

same goes for warm wool hats that insulate the head and ensure that we don’t let our craniums freeze.

own, the beret was styled in a way that ballooned out. The hat

Regardless of their form or function, hats, from berets to

was pulled further down the forehead, but the excess fabric was

baker boys, are always changing with the times. The baker boy,

left propped up a bit. In its use during the communist era, the

with its peak in the 1960s and ‘70s, has also crept back into

hat took on a new severity. The beret was worn at more of an

mainstream fashion as an autumn staple. Wide brim fedoras, with

angle than it ever had been previously, and now adornments

their ties to the ‘20s and gangster era fashion, evoke the mystery

could be added to the hats proclaiming their cause. The off-

of a time when speakeasies were all the rage. Even straw is up and

kilter look added an edge to the hat that had previously been

coming, being made into floppy hats and basket bags, bringing out

associated with youthful Parisians. In the United States Army,

the country bumpkin in all of us. YM

STYLE | 18


19 | STYLE


To Do: Better

I

WRITTEN BY LINDSAY SIMMONS ART BY ENNE GOLDSTEIN

t has been said that trends come and go, but style is forever.

comment on Instagram. “I don’t see color or race–I see people,” he

What is concerning, though, is the possibility that cultural

said.

appropriation—a more than common “trend”—will never

When we reward color-blindness, appropriation, and blatant

go out of style in the fashion industry. Like many indecencies

disrespect towards communities of color, it further instills the

perpetrated mainly by white people, cultural appropriation stems

false, toxic ideas of white superiority that our nation was built

from ignorance and a lack of empathy. In order to better itself, the

upon. Marc Jacobs has been called out for appropriating cultures

fashion industry needs to take initiative in condemning designers

in three of his last four fashion show seasons, yet the powerful

who continue to appropriate cultures that are not their own for the

people and businesses in fashion—most of whom are represented

benefit of their brand.

or figure-headed by white people—do not condemn him. Rather,

Over the course of many show seasons, Marc Jacobs has

these outlets cover the story, treating cultural appropriation and

proven to be a consistent name on the list of fashion’s cultural

racism as displayed by their own industry as a hot topic more

appropriation perpetrators. His Fall 2016 show for example. used

than the rampant American problem it is.

dreadlocks on a group made up almost entirely of white models. For

this Spring 2018 season, Jacobs is facing backlash for the use of head

such superficialization. The magazine holds a now-iconic annual

wraps on another set of predominantly white models. Jacobs’ shows

fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, often

are being remembered in this appropriative light; however, without

referred to as simply the Met Gala. Just two years ago, in 2015, the

consequences for his conduct or the designer’s willingness to listen

theme of the star-studded event was “China: Through the Looking

to people of color in saying he is appropriating their cultures, there

Glass”. Each year’s theme coincides with pieces on display in the

will be no positive change in his fashion lines or those of smaller

museum’s costume exhibit, which is the specific beneficiary of the

houses seeking recognition. Jacobs’ response to the outrage was via a

gala. However, the 2015 gala’s theme was criticized for breeding

STYLE | 20

Internationally renowned magazine Vogue plays a key role in


appropriation of Chinese culture

Firstly, considering pieces of clothing that are

tied to Chinese culture as costumes does not bode well for the red-carpet fashion that is to come under such a theme. Unsurprisingly, many attendees of the “China: Through the Looking Glass” 2015 Met Gala event sported ensembles based on Westernized stereotypes of Chinese and Asian culture as a whole. Stars sported many shades of red, there were dragon designs galore, and intricate golden accessories, including headdresses (see Sarah Jessica Parker, as an example).

The ideas behind this “Through the Looking

Glass” theme, as well as the red-carpet fashion it inspired, were questioned, and rightfully so. Yet, as often is the case with controversies in popular culture, this transgression by one of the biggest leaders in fashion was a brief headline producing short-lived outrage. It was quickly replaced with the next polarizing headline to come around. The issue of appropriating cultures is used as an object for headlines rather than being addressed as a gross disregard for minority cultures. Without such acknowledgement, American society does not progress towards something better; it remains unbothered by its institutional and societal racism.

With each season of major fashion shows,

cycles of major magazine spreads, and ad campaigns starring big market celebrities, there comes at least one highlighted instance of white ignorance on full, fashioned-out display. The fashion industry may be innovating in terms of new designs and trends, but this matters not if industry powers—oftentimes white people—do not acknowledge past mistakes and implement a plan for positive change.

As consumers, particularly those of us who are

privileged white people, the time is now to be active allies. We cannot continue to assert solidarity with communities of color while we continue to lean on them for education. Every day, there are blatant instances of injustices standing before us. It is our job to not only recognize these injustices, but to go out and combat them. We must take the initiative to learn about cultures that are not our own, so we can be active, educated consumers who are able to appreciate cultures and understand fashion boundaries that must be respected. From buying new brands, to calling for fashion powers to recognize their wrongs and make things right, there is much to do better. YM 21 | STYLE


Q&A With Makeup Artist JEANNIE VINCENT WRITTEN BY NATALIE GALE PHOTOS BY MONIKA DAVIS

I

recently sat down with makeup artist, Jeannie Vincent. Originally from southern Florida, Vincent has called Boston home since 2003, when she moved here to attend Boston University. She’s had impressive success in her twelve-year makeup artistry career. In 2015, The Improper Bostonian recognized her as Boston’s Best Bridal Makeup Artist, and she’s worked on several editorial photo shoots for The Boston Globe. She currently attends Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics and Massage Therapy in Medford, and she chatted with me about makeup and skincare.

Q: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN MAKEUP?

Q: WHY ARE PRODUCTS PRODUCED IN A LAB BAD FOR US?

A: I was always thinking about a career in makeup as I was growing up. I would have makeover parties, I would do my friends’ makeup. My mom would joke about me dropping out of school and becoming a nail technician. Turns out that wasn’t too far from what would happen.

A: They pose dangers to the environment and to our personal health. Parabens, a common preservative in beauty products, has been heavily linked to cancer.

Q: WHAT GOT YOU INVOLVED IN THE MAKEUP INDUSTRY? A: I had a friend who worked for MAC. They let me assist at weddings from time to time, and that lead to me getting hired at MAC. MAC was important for me because they give you great training and expose you to true makeup artistry. It really awakens the artist in you. Q: WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE JOB YOU’VE HELD? A: I worked at Fresh on Newbury Street for six years. That was the most formative part of my career. I had an amazing boss, I learned how to talk to people, and I learned about the importance of skincare. My most recent job was also important because I learned about how toxic most beauty products are. I was working for Follain in the South End, a natural beauty product store. Q: HOW WIDESPREAD OF AN ISSUE IS TOXICITY IN COSMETICS? A: Get this: In Europe they ban 1,400 cosmetic ingredients, while in America they ban only 20. Although in general, natural products work better, chemicals produced in a lab are much cheaper, and those are the ingredients you’ll find in most beauty products. It can cost 10 cents to make a product that is sold for $50. YOURMAG | 22

Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NATURAL BEAUTY BRANDS? A: Osea, Osmia, True Botanicals, and Drunk Elephant. Q: WHAT ARE SOME MAKEUP TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE INTERESTED IN MAKEUP ARTISTRY? A: Practice on yourself. Analytically look at your face to find out what kind of makeup looks good and what doesn’t. Take an arm’s length view from the mirror. You can see a lot more when you take a moment to step back. Q: WHAT ARE THE SKINCARE TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN? A: Start small. Try samples first so you know what your skin likes and doesn’t like. Use products for 4-6 weeks before you decide whether or not they work for you. You can’t use a product for 3 days and expect to have better skin. Invest. You have one face, it’s what people see first. Q: WHAT’S SOME ADVICE YOU’D GIVE YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF? A: It’s so corny, but listen to your heart. There’s no dream that’s too big. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Take advantage of every job opportunity; you never know what could end up changing your life. And in the end, it’s just makeup. There’s always a Q-tip and makeup remover. YM


YM ADVISES

SKIN Wins STYLED BY SOPHIE PETERS-WILSON PHOTO BY ADAM WARD

YM staffers share their personal skincare routines. “Birth control changed my life - it cleared my acne and made

“My skincare routine includes drinking water, not taking shit from

sex a lot less stressful, both of which have done wonders for my

men, Glossier’s Super Pure serum, rose water, witch hazel, and self

skin. That’s step 1 of my daily skincare routine. In the mornings,

love.”

I rinse my face off with water and use my Glossier Super Glow serum if my skin is dull, or Super Bounce if I’m sleep deprived

Natalie Gale, Assistant Managing Editor

(so usually Super Bounce). I’ll dot some Super Pure onto any breakouts. I follow that with a face oil my mom makes, and

“My skincare routine mainly involves around working up the sheer

MyChelle SPF 28 sunscreen. I do the same at night, except I

willpower it takes to get out of bed and wash my face before knock-

start by washing my face with Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.

ing out. It might be the hardest part of the day, but your skin will

Glossier owns my soul, can you tell? Sometimes I’ll add a bit of

thank you when you’re no longer waking up with a pseudo-smokey

Eminence ‘Dermafoliant,’ whatever that means. Basically, it’s

eye leftover from the night before.”

an exfoliator in powder form. Plus, in the evenings I’ll skip the sunscreen and instead use L’occitane Immortelle cream around

Lucy Cappello, Living Editor

my eyes. And I do my very best to drink an absurd amount of water every day.”

“My skincare routine is a little bit extra, not gonna lie. I make sure to cleanse my face both morning and night, use micellar water and

Katja Vujić, Editor-in-Chief

Neutrogena eye makeup remover to extract any leftover makeup or foundation, and apply topical acne medication. Never forget

“My skincare routine starts with hydrating my skin with the tears

to moisturize! It’s your skin’s lifeblood. Lots of hydration is great

of my enemy, and ends with with drinking lots of water so I am

too. You can also never go wrong with a charcoal mask during a

ready to fight the patriarchy in my everyday life.”

Gilmore Girls binge.”

Annie Huang, Talent Manager

Delia Curtis, Style Editor 23 | YOURMAG


Surface Traveling

WRITTEN BY EMMA LOPEZ

LIVING | 24

PHOTOS BY NICK CHAMBERS AND LAURA KANIHAN


he image of a raging elk chasing a tourist on the rim of

T

Matt Hershberger, a writer for Matador Network, says,

the Grand Canyon is permanently imprinted in my mind.

“My desire for souvenirs, trophies, and general documentation

Prior to this hilarious spectacle, the tourist was creeping up

that I am an interesting person has long gotten in the way of

to the grazing elk with a camera pressed to his face. When he was

actual travel for me.” Validation is something that is ingrained

a foot away, he clicked his camera and the elk snapped his neck

so deep in humanity that it subconsciously affects the way

around and charged. This is just one of many instances of tourists

we travel. Instead of traveling purely for the sake of self

using their cameras over their minds.

fulfillment, people are traveling for their audience on social

The problem with surface traveling, or traveling behind a

media. Look online; every photograph depicts someone at a

screen, is that it causes a disconnection between the traveler and

new location. This need for validation is toxic to our society

the surrounding world. Everyone has been to a concert only to

because it constructs a community of self-serving individuals.

have their view blocked by a glaring iPhone screen. Older people

“The problem was that photos required much more of my

love to complain about technology-obsessed millennials who never

attention during the traveling itself, and I found that when I

seem to put their phones down, but it is actually our entire society

got home, the images in the photo had replaced the images

that is being affected by these new devices. Phones are not the

in my memory. Photography allowed me to experience travel

only devices that captivate us; camera also dictate how we live. We

later, and not be present to it now,” Hershberger adds. People

are a society that loves—needs—to capture every moment. Who

stop relying on their own memories and start to rely on the

wouldn’t want a beautiful photograph of their family with Mickey

visual documentation that photographs provide . This causes a

Mouse from a family vacation to Disneyworld, or a selfie with a

barrier because it distances us from what we are experiencing

polar bear at the zoo?

in the now.

I was standing in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France,

When I got back from my trip to Yosemite National Park in

gazing at one of the most famous paintings in the world, the

California, I realized that I had taken over 2,000 photographs,

Mona Lisa, when I was blinded by a diverse mass of arms and

but I wound up only using 50 on my website. All I could think

devices, and deafened by the cadence of aggressive shutters

of was how in those 1,950 clicks, I could have been enjoying

snapping. As I looked around, I noticed that no one was gazing

the waterfall or watching the sunrise in peace rather than

into the eyes of Mona Lisa directly. Instead, their eyes were glued

figuring out what the best angle was for my next photograph.

to a viewfinder or screen of some sort. Their lenses became their

Liam Hutton, Visual Media Arts ‘21, says, “Usually whenever

artificial eyes. What was most alarming was that I was watching

I go on family vacations, I’m the one who takes the pictures

this whole scenario through the lens of my own camera. Cameras

just because I’m the best at it. I enjoy it, but sometimes I

form a physical and mental barrier between the traveler and

feel like I can’t actually be in the moment because I have to

the world around them when used in excess. When someone

capture it instead. Also, I’m never in any of the family pictures

has their phone in front of their face, they are not noticing the

because I’m the one taking them.” Constantly capturing the

way the Mona Lisa’s judging eyes follow their every move or

moment can often feel like a burden, even if someone is just

each individual brushstroke on the canvas. When people travel

taking photographs for themselves. Having a device that takes

somewhere or experience a significant event, they get caught up

photographs puts pressure on the individual to use it at all

in trying to capture and record every moment of it. If they can’t,

times, simply because they have it. In order to avoid surface

they feel like the moment is lost forever and wasted. Capturing

traveling, we need to understand the right moments to take a

every single moment of an event or location in photographs kills

photograph instead of clicking the button at every corner. It is

the chances of gaining genuine memories. Susan Sontag wrote in

all about quality over quantity.

her book On Photography, “A way of certifying experience, taking

The next time you find yourself confronted with an elk in

photographs is also a way of refusing it-- by limiting experience

the wilderness, take a step back and enjoy the moment. And,

to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an

whatever you do, don’t get too close with your camera.. YM

image, a souvenir. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.” 25 | LIVING


mocha musts WRITTEN BY HAILEY BRIGGS PHOTO BY LAURA KANIHAN

P

art of the reason I wanted to go to college in the city was because I wanted to be surrounded by food. I love walking around on weekends and scoping out that one place I heard about from a classmate. Peers’ suggestions and my passion for mocha lattes have led me to some really cool coffee places. I’m not addicted…and I’m no expert, but mocha lattes are my signature drink. They have just enough coffee to make me feel like an adult and enough chocolate to hide the coffee taste. This month, I tested mochas, accompanying snacks, and everything in between. TATTE After a Halloweekend for the books, I woke up around lunchtime and headed to Tatte. This bakery is what Instagram dreams are made of. Not only was my mocha the most delicious (and creamy) coffee I have ever had, but the bakery on 70 Charles Street is beautiful. There aren’t many places to sit, but fortunately there are multiple locations in Boston. This is great in case you have beef with one of the baristas. In reality, my barista and I got along amazing; she complimented my sweater and we had a cute conversation about vintage clothes. Along with my mocha, I had a fresh mozzarella sandwich that I plan on making my mom buy for me the next time she comes to visit. College, am I right? GEORGE HOWELL I DEFINITELY have beef with this barista, after he neglected to offer me the student discount that this coffee shop offers. The coffee here is one size, so I was hesitant to pay $5.25 for a mocha. Thankfully, it was a big beautiful cup with creamy goodness inside. My mocha tasted like shopping fair trade feels. CAFFÈ NERO Some of my best studying has taken place at Caffè Nero with my trusted mocha. This mocha latte is a bit more bitter than Tatte’s, but I still love it. Ask for that bad boy ‘for here’ and let the work begin! When I’m at Caffè Nero I feel like I’m in a movie, and a man is about to walk up to me and tell me he loves the book I’m reading (Call Me By Your Name by André

LIVING | 26

Aciman). Commence “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop.” If I were to complain about anything, it would be that I think the guy sitting next to me last week was observing me for character inspiration for his novel. I could tell by his tiny pencil and leather bound notebook. Then again, is that really something to complain about? EXPLORATEUR When I walk into Explorateur, I know I’m about to drop some money I don’t have. You know it’s a fancy place when the water dispenser is infused with fruit. This mocha was just not for me. I respect it, but I would not buy it again. I think I was just so upset about the cost (as if I have six dollars for an eight ounce coffee) that it literally put a bad taste in my mouth. Also, there’s a three hour wifi limit. I found this somewhat oppressive on my end, and optimistic on theirs. I could never stay in a coffee shop for more than three hours, regardless of what I’m doing. If I was looking for a good place to hunker down and study, though, their hours would be perfect: 7:00am- 12:00am. NEWSFEED CAFÉ AT THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY I really wanted to love this place. Newsfeed is home to a shiny WGBH studio, with floor to ceiling windows and headlines rolling across a monitor. I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken salad sandwich, but it was served on a paper plate. I feel like they can do better, no? I didn’t finish my mocha, because it didn’t have enough chocolate in it. YM


27 | LIVING


How to Hampshire WRITTEN BY MEREDITH ROMAN ART BY HELEN REN PHOTO BY LAURA CANAHAN

LIVING | 28


F

or most people, Boston has it all. There’s shopping, activities, brownstones, and nightlife, but what a lot of new residents to the city don’t realize is that there’s even more to do just an hour north in the great state of New Hampshire. New Hampshire is often overlooked when compared to the rocky oceans of Maine or the thick forests of Vermont, but in reality, it is home to these features and more all in one place. And it’s especially beautiful with winter approaching. Do you want to go shopping in a quaint downtown? Do you want to eat at cozy local restaurants? Do you want a breath of real, chilly fresh air? Do you need an escape from the closed-in city? If you answered yes to any of these, here are some suggestions on how to enjoy yourself in a whole new state. Though New Hampshire is full of different regions— from the Lakes Region with its beautiful summers to the Great North Woods where you can have snowmobiling adventures—areas like the Seacoast and the White Mountains are quite easy to reach as a Boston resident. There are three good options to get from Boston to New Hampshire. Being able to take your time and enjoy the winding back roads that connect most of the state is one of the best ways to see New Hampshire, but if you don’t have the means to access either a Zipcar or your own vehicle, buses and trains regularly run routes up north as well. The bus terminal at South Station is an easy walk from campus, and both the C&J and the Concord Coach Lines can take you from Boston to cities on the Seacoast (Portsmouth, Dover, Hampton), or up further north (Conway, Meredith, Lincoln). For those more inclined to travel by rail, Amtrak trains from North Station can take you straight into the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, the heart of Dover, and then further north into Maine. No matter how you choose to get there, you can generally budget one and a half to two hours to get to southern destinations in the Seacoast, and then double that for destinations in the White Mountains. Once you arrive, local Seacoast buses or Ubers are the easiest way to go from there, but be careful to stay in areas where cars can pick you up—not every town has Uber service! Once you get there, the Seacoast area cities of Dover and Portsmouth are a great start and are easy to navigate. Dover, the smaller of the two, has plenty of large commercial businesses, but also features a quaint, independent downtown, where you’ll find two establishments I’ve never been able to rival in Boston: Adelle’s and La Festa. A 20seat café nestled on a side street near city hall, Adelle’s has the best atmosphere with employees and drinks you can’t enjoy in a coffee shop, including the Apple Pie milkshake, a drink that tastes exactly like apple pie in a cup, topped with homemade whipped cream. They also feature handcrafted

espresso and tea drinks, and if you can, get a seat by the window so you can stay warm inside and watch the winter weather outside. Down the street sits La Festa, a cozy, woodfired pizza joint. A favorite of the locals, they specialize in pizzas with a mishmash of toppings and sauces, as well as their popular garlic knots. Though Dover is low on activities and shopping, the food is unparalleled, and it’s an easy move to Portsmouth. In Portsmouth, most everyone can agree that there’s no better place to celebrate the holidays than downtown. Small local shops line the streets, and whether you’re looking for preppy clothes or cool hippie gifts, Portsmouth can take care of it. The string lights at night make for a beautiful scene, and a huge Christmas tree sits right in the main square. If you find yourself staying for dinner, restaurants like The Portsmouth Brewery or Flatbread Company are great for table service, while the more casual Popovers or Dos Amigos Burritos can get you soup, sandwiches, or Mexican food fast. Grab dessert at Breaking New Grounds café, and take time to sit back and people watch. Portsmouth also boasts harbor views, and romantic walks by the water or through Prescott Park are perfect to do year-round. Further north from the Seacoast sits the small town of North Conway. This popular vacation town is dotted with small hotels and resorts, as well as plenty of choices for outlet shopping. Those looking for a more authentic northern New Hampshire experience should head straight to Zeb’s General Store, a North Conway staple. This locally sourced, nostalgic, penny-candy store is chock full of jams, homemade fudge, and pickles in a barrel. It’s surrounded by many other small local stores including ski shops, chocolatiers, and craft stores, as well as Cranmore Mountain, a ski and snowboard park where you can hit the slopes or fly down the mountain on a tube or zip line. Warm up afterwards at the houseturned-restaurant Peaches, which is always bustling with all day fresh-cooked breakfast to warm you up after skiing. For those with a car, the Kancamagus Highway, just south of town, runs west through the White Mountains and features amazing mountain vistas, river views, hairpin turns, and an overall fun drive. There are plenty of places to get out and hike, and during the warmer months, the river is a refreshing place to go for a swim in clean, mountain runoff. New Hampshire is a beautiful state, and whether you’re looking for some time by the water, a scenic hike, or just an escape from the city, it’s the perfect place to get a breath of fresh air and open space away from the highrises. Though it’s usually overlooked, nothing feels more like a home away from home than Massachusetts’ neighbor to the north, so when classwork leaves you down, take a road (or rail) trip and unwind in the great outdoors of New Hampshire—you won’t find anywhere else like it. YM


HANDMADE CRAFTS WRITTEN BY CALLIE BISSET PHOTO BY NICK CHAMBERS

A

s the holidays approach, the hustle to find perfect gifts on

market or craft fair such as the Jamaica Plain Crafts Fair, Old

a budget can be overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes

South Church Christmas Fair, or the SoWa Winter Festival. Etsy, a

we need a little help finding the right present—especially

popular internet marketplace, has tons of great options if you want

for our trendy friends. One great solution is to give unique and

to shop online. Check out andMorgan’s shop for adorable screen

handmade gifts. Whether made with your own hands or somebody

printed items designed and produced in Connecticut. Or, pick out

else’s, homemade gifts tend to be more heartfelt and personal.

the perfect enamel pin for your best friend from sweetandlovely,

with options ranging from “Michelle Obama 2020” to an adorable

Jewelry is an easy-to-make handmade gift. With simple

supplies from your local craft store, bracelets or necklaces

“sass the patriarchy” banner pin.

customized to your friends’ styles will be remembered for a long

Potion: Handcrafted Elixirs, an all-natural skincare line based

time. Hand stamped jewelry pieces with names or relationship

out of Providence, runs an active Etsy shop. The brand, created

statuses are great ways to show your sentimentality. They’ll be sure

by friends and former roommates, Katie Bouchard and Viana

to think of you and your connection every time they wear it. This

Newton, was featured this summer at the Providence Flea. They

activity can be completed in only an hour or two.

create all-natural products including body scrubs, toners, and

If you have a little more time on your hands, there are so many

even perfumes. The duo tries their best to locally source their

great fabric and knitting projects to take on. As the New England

ingredients and has even collaborated with local coffee company,

winter approaches, there’s always space in our wardrobes for

The Nitro Cart, to create their Nitro Coffee Eye Serum and Nitro

extra scarves or hats. Even if you aren’t a knitting master, there

Coffee Scrub. Bouchard says that they’ve found a community in

are simple tutorials online to help. For a no-sew no-stress option,

many other local artisans and they plan to attend several of this

consider making some blanket scarves. All you need is about one

year’s local holiday markets.

and a half to two yards of your favorite flannel fabric and a pair

The pair believes in the importance of shopping local and

of scissors. Trim the fabric to your desired width: a single cut right

supporting small businesses. “Every dollar really does count to

down the middle should work for a basic scarf. Fray the long edges

people who are running a little business,” says Newton. “Buying

of the material; an optional seam ripper makes this a bit easier.

just one product from a small business can make a big difference.”

Then, fray the two ends of your scarf by pulling at the threads and

Not only are you giving quality gifts when you shop local or

twisting them together. Try making scarves in plaid patterns, on

handmade, but you’re helping your local economy and you can be

trend for fall and winter, as the perfect gift to give all your fashion-

confident in knowing your money is going to real people, instead

forward friends.

of large corporations.

Beauty products are also a great staple. They show that you

When looking for a present for a special someone or loved one,

care, but can easily be made in bulk if you have more than one

don’t be scared to try out a new craft or to experiment creatively.

friend to gift to. Warm baths in the middle of winter are always

Putting in the effort to make something homemade or supporting

a great destresser, so a homemade bath bomb can be the perfect

a local business shows how much you care. Find the sorts of craft

present. You can also make small batches of soaps, lotions, and

projects that work for you and that you enjoy making. While

scrubs. This may require investing in some fragrance oils, but any

experimenting, you might even pick up a new, unexpected hobby

leftovers can be used later in other homemade projects or even for

or start a new holiday tradition. YM

at-home use with a diffuser. If you really don’t have the time to make your own gifts, consider shopping locally or at a small business. Attend a local LIVING | 30


“...don’t be scared to try out a new craft or to experiment creatively.”


HELP MEME WRITTEN BY CAROLINE KINSLEY ART BY TAYLOR ROBERTS

LIVING | 32


I

t’s no laughing matter that around one-third of college students struggle with depression, according to the American Psychological Association, so why do we treat it like a joke? Socalled, “depression memes” have taken the internet by storm in the last year, spreading like wildfire because of their relatability. Memes, which once were defined as simple, light-hearted, repeated internet images accompanied by text, have somehow evolved into a more diverse array of jokes that range from political commentary to the mostly ironic emotional distress following the death of a gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo. Lately, a subset within the larger definition of “memes” has included conceivably insensitive content that could indicate symptoms of depression, anxiety, social reclusion and selfhatred. These are what are commonly referred to as “depression memes”— on the surface, they are “jokes,” but on a deeper level, they tap into a much darker mentality that seems to be prevalent among young adults. This trend possibly took root in late 2016, following the immense political dissatisfaction among many after the election. Inspired by the omnipresent cultural feelings of late, many curators of these memes took to the trend of more nihilistic content, tailored towards an audience who may have felt disconnected from popular culture at the time. “These subjects may be difficult for people to think about and can lead to a feeling of hopelessness and being overwhelmed by the sadness and difficulty in the world, adding to feelings of depression,” says Emerson College Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS) Director Elise Harrison. Are these memes just a zeitgeist—or do they say something about the climate of mental illness among young adults? There is a fragile line that they tiptoe across, somewhere between just joking about sadness and stress, and actually perpetuating unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. The truth is that these “depression memes” exist on a spectrum, similar to the actual mental illnesses that they refer to. It’s difficult to regulate the content from these online sources, from lighthearted jokes about lack of sleep to posts about suicide. Many students actually find that most of these memes are not triggering to their mental illness in any way. “If memes triggered me, I wouldn’t be on the internet,” says one Emerson student, who wishes to remain anonymous. This attitude does not represent the whole population, though. As we know, mental illness is unique to the individual, and it’s hard to predict the reaction every person will have to these memes. Fourth year Media Studies major Dominic Farello is the president of Active Minds, a campus organization working towards destigmatizing mental illness. That experience guides his own insight on this topic. “It isn’t about being ‘PC’ [politically correct], it’s about valuing human life and safety,” says Farello. “It’s great to share jokes [and] spread humor, but that humor has to come from a place of respect—especially when it involves your own well-being.” Sometimes, says Farello, “there is clear enabling and spreading of misinformation,… as if these harmful activities or coping mechanisms [are] ‘cool.’” These memes could perpetuate such toxic ideas and continue a cycle of not seeking help for your disorder. They are also what some say are “contagious,” because

of their inherent relatability. Some may begin to believe that they are depressed or suffering from a mental illness simply because they can relate to a meme. “Self-diagnosis is common, which is why many groups, like Active Minds, advocate for people to seek professional help to get a diagnosis,” he says. “Many people without a deep understanding often diagnose themselves with mental health diagnoses that are really a part of being human and having emotions,” says Harrison, ECAPS director. “For instance, becoming excited and enthusiastic about something does not make a person bipolar.” That said, many professionals advise approaching these subjects with caution, as they are very sensitive and are able to be spread easily on the internet. “For someone who does not feel they are managing their feelings well, the memes can trivialize their feelings making it less likely to seek help or confide in a friend in a meaningful way,” says Harrison. It may be hard to differentiate the true meaning behind the meme—you must be on the lookout for possible signs that it is an actual “cry for help” rather than a blasé aside. “Any meme that seems to be an outright threat should be taken seriously,” says Farello. “There is always a line to jokes and humor, and that line is drawn when safety is in jeopardy.” Although there are negative side effects to discussions revolving around mental illness, the overwhelming positive response to and defense of these memes among young adults is indicative of their importance to modern society. A lot of people believe that “depression memes” are actually destigmatizing mental illness. Some find that these memes help them feel like they aren’t alone in their struggle with mental illness. “It’s almost a way for us to discuss our problems while still being able to laugh at ourselves,” says one anonymous student. And that’s the key to the positive elements of these “depression memes”—they open up a conversation that would usually be shut down. Although we like to think that people suffering with mental illness have the resources available to deal with them, that’s simply not always the case. Memes can help those struggling with mental illness to express that they are still people, not products of their disorders. They represent the magnitude of truth that comes from the phrase “you are not alone,” rather than just a statistic. Depression memes are therapeutic for many, but they are not a substitute for actual treatment. “These coping mechanisms are just that—coping,” says Farello. “Professional help is the best thing if one wants to truly move forward.” These are more than just memes. They are a means for people struggling with mental illness to express themselves, rather than being suppressed into a stigmatized bubble or suffering in silence. They can help give a voice to all, and open a discussion on more emotional topics, ultimately leading to a positive change in our culture, towards understanding and acceptance. YM

33 | LIVING


YOUR THINGS

CHRISTIAN LOPEZ YOUR MAG MANAGING EDITOR

Y’ALL Y’ALL Y’ALL HAT This is by Outdoor Voices for their Austin, Texas store. I’m from Texas, and won’t let anyone forget it. l wear it in hopes to find the other Texan in the room, or invite someone to ask me where I’m from. Often, l get a “you’re not from here,” which l like. BARBOUR WAX JACKET My grandparents bought this for me my first winter in college here in Boston. It is a hunting jacket with pockets for dead ducks. Also, a staple for classic style. l wanted it because I liked the way it looked. l don’t hunt, but l admit l actively pursue anything that is deemed “classic”. It has been one of my favorites for the cold seasons. Finally got a chance to wax it for the first time this Fall.

YOURMAG | 34

MATCHBOOK COLLECTION A ridiculous hobby. l think they are an interesting time capsules of graphic design. They are hard to come by, so when l find one it is a small victory. You can sometimes find them at restaurants, but normally have to ask. Then, you get a response like “why, do you need a lighter?” LL BEAN BOAT N’ TOTE I’m also a collector of tote bags. Originally, l was against the idea of the LL Bean Tote. l gave in this summer after l saw my style icon carry, whom I interned for over break. It holds a special place in my heart for that reason. This one l customized online, and is the best bag I’ve owned. I’m looking forward to a very long life together.


35 | YOURMAG


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep or Harrison Ford? WRITTEN BY NATALIE HARPER ART BY FRANCISCO GUGLIELMINO

2

019. The perpetual night of Los Angeles. The smog billowing to blackness, the acid rain dribbling onto the rubble homes, the blistering neon slicing through the oppressive darkness, projecting a Japanese woman over the city streets, smiling and holding out her electric arms to hand you a soda. Yet, within this

disastrous scene of what filmmaker Ridley Scott envisioned for the not so distant future, there’s a virtual reality feel like we are watching a hyperbolic projection of the ugly and insidious aspects of our own culture. Blade Runner surpassed the world of geek culture, science fiction, and cult classics. The 1982 neo-noir is simply art and still stands today as a cultural icon for its philosophical and introspective approach to film. Although Blade Runner hasn’t been a household name since its conception in 1982, popularity around the film has resurfaced recently, with sequel Blade Runner: 2049, starring Ryan Gosling. Unfortunately, Hollywood has had a problem with creating original and innovative scripts and has been cheaply recycling old movies under the premise of rebooting the series and bringing it back to its original glory. Really, this is just an easy scam to make money off an old and successful franchise by calling it nostalgia. The disastrous Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which played out like a high school drama club’s rendition of A New Hope, is an example of how reanimating a series for no reason can often times just spit on the original creativity of a project. If a studio wants to bring a film back to life, it should be because they genuinely want to add to and enhance the story, not simply guilt old and new fans to paying fifteen dollars a pop to see a blockbuster they will ultimately be disappointed by. Blade Runner: 2049 added a new innovation to the franchise. The sequel respectfully nodded its head to the original cult film’s philosophy of technology while still showing off the modern innovation we have gained with special effects and storytelling through new advancements in film technology and greater understandings of the world around us.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | 36


Part of what made Blade Runner such a smashing success in the ‘80s was its new perspective on the growing mass use of technology. The movie is loosely based on the 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, who was haunted by the idea of what modernity and technology was doing to humanity. The novel and the film adaptation follow the plot of Rich Deckard, a troubled cop who is assigned with hunting down and “retiring” (murdering) human replica robots. When considering the rapid rise and development of technology, Dick often pondered the question, what is real and what is fake? This question sums up the basic ethical question between the lines of Blade Runner, asking us if these examples of artificial intelligence are considered people or not. It is easy to say that my computer does not deserve the same rights as me, but when my computer starts to looks like a person and can communicate with me, the issue becomes a little more strenuous. While philosophers like Immanuel Kant argue that to have agency, something must be rational, others such as Jeremy Bentham argue that to have agency one must be able to experience pleasure and pain. Agency is a complicated matter to define, especially when the growth of technology makes us wonder at what point artificial intelligence will start changing our standard definition of agency.

In both the book and the movie, these “replicants” were designed by human corporations to be slave labor in distant planet colonies that humans utilize after leaving the Earth just a tattered rag from nuclear warfare. Six of these androids (eight in the book) murder their owners and come back to Earth to search for their creator, hoping he will be able to program a longer lifespan in to them. What makes these robots different from other Hollywood tech villains (think Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey) is the fact that they have implanted memories to either make them feel as though they have agency or to make them really believe that they are humans and not robots. When given an ethics test to determine if an agent is a human or a robot, these androids often answer with genuine compassion and sympathy for each other and the people the enslave them, an image that juxtaposes with the slimy life of post apocalyptic Los Angeles, where people steal and kill each other to get ahead in life. Even though Blade Runner has been around for 35 years, the ethical questions can still be applied to the contemporary world. As technology plays a bigger and bigger role in our lives, at what point does it become too powerful? As robots replace more and more jobs, including operating on the human body, at what point do they become too intelligent for us? As artificial intelligence sky-rockets as a business, creating robots that are designed to look and think like people, at what point do they gain agency? How do we keep track of creating legislation to encompass the Internet as it expands further and further every day? What power does facial recognition and GPS tracking have over us? At what point will we be unable to decide what is human and what is not? YM


CATERPILLARS & CREATION:

W

hen Emma Spooner was in eighth grade, she wrote her first song – a “gooey” ballad for the boy whom she had a massive crush on. She sent him a link to the

song and expected loving adoration, but alas, she received none. The boy rejected her; but rather than accept defeat, Spooner wrote him a second song detailing just how much the interaction shattered her fragile tween heart. “It’s a really embarrassing story, but the first two songs I wrote were about this one kid; in one song I was like, ‘Wow, you’re amazing,’ and in the next I was like, ‘Wow, you piece of shit!’ I don’t remember the names but they were on YouTube at one point.” Thus begins an evening with Emma Spooner, the guitarist and lead singer of Boston’s Squitch. With music like The Frights and The Growlers mumbling quietly through a speaker, she sits on a kitchen stool and drinks a glass of tea with ease, ruffling her hair as she reflects on her musical growth and experience. After recounting the story, she defensively clarifies, “I started a band years after that.” Squitch officially began during Spooner’s junior year, although she wrote acoustic singer-songwriter material during her time as an underclassman. In the middle of junior year, she started writing more versatile material, and her friend Denzil (Squitch’s current drummer) helped record the music and develop her newfound ideas. The pair then recorded Squitch’s debut record, Caterpillar Killer, during the summer of 2016. Over an ambient song, Spooner mentions many talented female musicians she looks to as inspiration. She lists names with vibrant fervor – The Breeder’s and The Pixies’ Kim Deal, Palehound’s Ellen Kempner, and Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos, for lyrics. Pausing, Spooner adds enthusiastically, “For my math rock influences, Polvo. It’s just a wild experience; it gets me rolling.” While she draws inspiration from these artists, Spooner’s own personal experiences always creep into Squitch’s music. However, she points out that although the lyrical content stems from a truthful place, the final message grows more fictional. “It stems from a place of truth and then I embellish it and make it fancier,” she explains. She based Squitch’s 2016 single “Walk All Over Me” on her mildly sexist friend. “The song is very angry, and I yell at him,” Spooner tells me, “But our experience wasn’t that bad and it’s not really true; it’s just for the song.” Many lyrics come from her journal, whether it be a poem or

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | 38


A CONVERSATION WITH SQUITCH

WRITTEN BY MELISSA GAUGER PHOTO BY LIVIA LANGE

a simple stream of consciousness. “I also find myself getting lyrics

climate. She smiles ironically at the phrase, but her expression

from pictures that I’ve drawn, which sounds weird,” she says. “I’ll

grows solemn as she continued, “[The songs are] specifically about

draw something dumb, but then I’ll look at it later and be like,

microaggressions I’ve experienced as a queer person and as a

‘Well, that’s a good idea.’” Many songs come from tiny things, she

woman, so it’s much more me and less poetic or an imitation of

notes, “like little lines that pop into my head. Then I find a way

other artists. I feel like it’s more mature.”

to connect them.”

So pure emotion?

She shows me a few pages from her journals; humanoid creatures and bugs occupied the pages.

Words and phrases,

Spooner laughs at the question. “It’s pure emotion, and it’s more to say [my bandmate] Denzil wrote ‘Pitiful’ with me too.”

possible song lyrics, swim between her doodles. She makes note of

While a queer woman in a vastly male-dominated society,

a recurring cartoon series, called “Feeling Bots.” Flipping through

Spooner doesn’t feel particularly individually “special.” Though

the pages, she says, “I write out my feelings through drawings of

she values the importance of queer representation, she jokes,

cartoon robots. It’s weird, but I guess it’s easier than speaking.”

“It ain’t just me. It feels good and important [to contribute my

After closing the journal, she notes one song in which lyrics

experience,] but it’s more that I feel like I’m contributing my

and music came simultaneously. “Caterpillar Killer,” the title

voice to a group of many voices. I can’t say I’m doing something

track from Squitch’s debut record, seemingly came “all at once.”

original, but I’m explaining my experience and having a lot of

Spooner messed around with various guitar chords, and, upon

fun, because those songs are really fucking fun.”

striking an agreeable progression, wondered, “What would go

And Spooner truly does consider Squitch as much fun as it is

good here? Oh! ‘Caterpillar Killer!’ Then everything came after

therapeutic. Getting words out onto the paper, she tells me, helps

that.”

make sense of the world. Creating may not solve the problems,

While the phrase may seem somewhat random, the song’s

but it helps in thinking things through more clearly. “I’m very

history is true. Amused, Spooner recounts the childhood story of

scatterbrained,” she says. “I can’t make sense of anything unless

the pet caterpillar she accidentally murdered. Though perhaps

it’s laid out in front of me and I put it there myself.”

the song began in good fun, she says, “It came to mean something

But as many artists do, she admits to neglecting music when

that I agreed with. After the second verse it kind of makes sense

faced with stressful situations. Smiling sheepishly, she says, “It’s

– ‘I think I’m fine, living like this/ Never leaving my chrysalis.’

very much therapeutic, and I have a tendency when I’m busy not

That’s like, an ‘Am I growing up too fast?’ type of thing; Am I

to touch my guitar or write songs. But when I do play when I’m

killing a caterpillar before actually becoming a butterfly?”

very busy; it helps me a lot, so I should do that more.”

Much of the album, like the song, revolves around the idea

As a woman artist, Spooner views music as an important

of “growing up” vs. “not growing up.” (One song, Spooner

aspect of her identity. “Whenever I don’t write songs for a

mentions, is called “I Peaked At Three Years Old.”) Spooner

couple months for whatever reason, whether it be I’m not feeling

cites the absence of her older sister, Abby, as a large influence.

good or I’m too busy, my life gets significantly worse. When I’m

Three years older, her sister left for college in Savannah,

creating, everything’s improved.”

Georgia, while Spooner was a high school freshman.

For

However, she says, her identity does not have to revolve explicitly

Spooner, songwriting provided a method of dealing with the

around the band. “Not particularly Squitch, just music in general,

struggle, and from the experience she developed Caterpillar

because I know my taste in music is going to change, the way I write

Killer’s coming-of-age themes. “Growing up with my sister was

is going to change, and Squitch already has changed and will keep

very important to me,” she says. “I didn’t appreciate her till she

changing,” she says, then adds, “I don’t know what’s in the future,

left, and then I was like, ‘fuck!’”

but right now Squitch is a big part of who I am and what I’m doing

Spooner’s favorite song, at the moment, is a double single,

with my life.” YM

“Wonderful/Pitiful,” that Squitch released over the summer. Both songs are a strong feminist response to the recent polarized political

39 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


MFA WAY WRITTEN BY HAILEY BRIGGS ARTWORK BY ELEANOR HILTY


F

ounded in 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts has over one

Japanese art.“It gives a broad perspective on art,” she says.

million visitors per year. According to Boston USA’s

website, the MFA is the city’s third most visited museum,

special to visitors that coming once just isn’t enough. I felt that way

with people flocking to visit the fifty-three galleries with over five-

about a particular beaded dress in the Egypt gallery. The history,

thousand pieces of art.

along with the intricacy of the dress overwhelmed me. I imagined

an Egyptian woman wearing the dress for a special occasion, and

The MFA makes a point of being accessible to its visitors.

Sometimes, Young points out, certain pieces of art are so

Tours are available in English, French, Spanish, and American

I imagined myself throwing it over jeans and a white t-shirt.

Sign Language, and admission is free to university students with

college IDs. They also offer inclusive programs in which children

all shapes and sizes with Inuit prints from Yousuf and Estrellita

with disabilities can learn about the artwork of different cultures.

Karsh.

For college students on a budget, film festival tickets are available

for $5 at the door.

“Showdown”, which compares the work of Utagawa Kuniyoshi

At the MFA, visitors have the opportunity to participate in

and Utagawa Kunisada. “The exhibit is breathtaking, it’s Japanese

lectures, talks, performances, and even art classes. The museum

art like you’ve never seen it before.” It opened in August 2017 and

offers courses in glass blowing, welding, sculpture, printmaking,

will run through this December.

and more, at all different levels.

should not deter people from visiting.

For longtime visitors, there are still new ways to experience

Currently, “Follow the North Star” is attracting audiences of

Kelosa’s favorite exhibition when she last visited was

The museum can be overwhelming to novices, but that

your favorite place.

“You might engage in what is being called the ‘Slow Art’

The MFA is one of the largest in the United States, and it is a far-

movement, which encourages people to spend extended periods of

fetched goal to visit all of the collections. After all, visitors make

time, 10 or 15 minutes, with a single object,” said Linton Young,

connections with the art, and it is totally understandable to feel

Senior Manager of Visitor Experience. He also recommends

emotionally as well as physically drained after visiting. I walked

adding a new perspective in the mix by using an audio guide or

thousands of steps, and I reflected on memories, and I looked

bringing a child with fresh insight.

forward to future creative experiences.

When I visited recently, the level of detail involved in every

Don’t feel like you have to conquer the museum in one day.

“The layout of the museum is maze like for me,” says Kelosa.

single piece of work overwhelmed me. As someone who loves

“If you need help finding something, ask. The employees are

style, the MFA recharged my fashion inspiration. From handmade

friendly and it’s better than getting lost in pre-Colonial art for

Egyptian jewelry to European evening dresses, each collection at

twenty minutes—unless that’s your intention.”

the museum had something to offer me as a visitor. One marriage

ring from the third century had the symbol of clasped hands and

at six. It is the perfect spot for a date or a quiet night by yourself.

the word, “harmony” inscribed. A French formal dress with red

Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on your way out. It houses some

and white embroidery hugged the mannequin perfectly, as if

prints of your favorite pieces in the museum and some other great

made just for this body. Jalyn Cox, who visited the MFA with me,

holiday present options. The book, American Fashion Art: 1960-1990

loved the Summer of Love exhibition because of her passion for

by Frederic A. Sharf and Susan Ward is on my list!

photography. We also adored comparing ourselves to the women

Go get lost in the Museum of Fine Arts, and find yourself tired,

in the portraits throughout The History of the Americas.

but inspired. YM

According to Young, the best time to visit is Thursday night

The museum is considered timeless because of the vast

amount of history represented in just one building. “The oldest object in the MFA collection is the ‘Vessel in the Form of a Hare’ that dates as far back as 6400 BC. Just around the corner, a mere 14 steps away, is a painting by living artist Christoph Schmidberger acquired by the museum in 2006,” says Young. “Just 14 steps separate 8,406 years of human expression and creativity.”

Pixie Kolesa, a first year Visual and Media Arts student at

Emerson College, loves to visit the MFA. “I think the MFA is timeless because it’s timely. It houses a diverse collection of artwork, from the traditional Western canon to oceanic art, but also shows modern art like the Murakami exhibit,” she says, referring to the current Takashi Murakami exhibit which features fun, cartoon-like 41 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


Femmepowerment

WRITTEN BY ABBY GUTOWSKI

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | 42

ILLUSTRATION BY MADDIE MORTELL


Female solo artists have expanded their music to reflect the feminist movement making feminism more mainstream now than ever before.

M

usic created by women for women isn’t new. Female artists

us with “You Don’t Love Me” in her 2005 debut album, Music of the

have always used their industry platforms to boost each

Sun, the song sets forth the mood that one-sided relationships are not

other up. From Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” to Dolly

to be settled for. Rihanna showed us her music progressing with the

Parton’s “Just Because I’m a Woman,” solo women musicians have

times. Her single “Good Girl Gone Bad” portrays her being fed up

consistently challenged the patriarchy. Lil’ Kim dominated the mid

with her treatment from her boyfriend, taking the initiative to leave

‘90s and early 2000s with her career as a female rap artist releasing

and find her own happiness. Fast forward to 2016 and Rihanna’s

tracks designed to empower women. What makes the female solo

show-stopping album, Anti, features tracks like “Sex With Me” and

artists of 2017 so special is the audience they sing for. This year has

“Needed Me” that show narratives where women can be sexual and

been a prominent one for the nuance feminist movement and as we

engage in casual hook-ups without getting their hearts tangled in the

move further and further into the late 2010s, feminism has become

mix. Her music embraces the independent culture of women and

a part of pop culture. We live in a time period where information

normalizes women expressing sexuality.

can travel faster than ever, revitalizing the feminist movement and, in

turn, revitalizing empowering music created by women for women.

feminist wave of music, other female artists debut their solo careers

While we have watched our favorite artists grow into the new

We can see the evolution of feminist music reflected in the

jumping head-first into this movement. Dua Lipa’s first ever single,

prominent female artists of our generation. In 2003 Beyonce dropped

“New Rules” took the charts by storm. Released in July of 2017,

her debut Album, Dangerously in Love, the main themes being what

the song puts a woman’s self-worth above a toxic relationship. Lipa

the title implies. Romance take a forefront in many beloved songs

debuted in the UK as the top single and stayed there for two weeks.

like “Crazy In Love.” And while this song will truly never go out

Months later, her empowering single still hangs around in the top

of style, it offers little to listeners other than the sensationalized love

forty on the US charts, reminding us that a guy isn’t always worth

stories. This album gives us a taste of what the future of feminism

the hurt and that we have to prioritize ourselves. Similarly, as Bebe

holds for Beyonce, however, gifting us with the empowering piece

Rexha’s career continues to grow, her featured song with G-Eazy “Me,

“Me, Myself, and I,” that suggests that women don’t need a knight in

Myself, and I” topped charts with its lyrics boasting independence: “I

shining armour to save them when they can be their own saviors.

don’t need a hand to hold, even when the night is cold, I got that fire

Beyonce’s music evolves with the growth of feminism. She starts

in my soul.” Demi Lovato joins with her empowering album entitled

to further advocate the power of women with “Single Ladies” and

Confidence and her 2017 single “Sorry Not Sorry,” both of which

“Run the World (Girls),” both of which boost the roles of women

challenge the common misconception of a woman’s self-confidence

and are anthems of independence and controlling our own destinies.

as an assertion of superiority.

The release of Lemonade in 2016 pushed Beyonce’s evolution of

feminist music to new heights. The album perfectly encapsulates

feminist movement making feminism more mainstream now than

how women can be vulnerable, sexual, and powerful with tracks like

ever before. Our favorite female artists create more openness for

“All Night,” “6 Inch,” and “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” Today, Beyonce’s

women to expand outside of the sphere of patriarchal standards.

music matches the heavily emphasized message that women are more

Pop culture is used to magnify relevant social issues, and women’s

than their love stories, exemplifying all of the strong qualities women

issues are no exception. Now music accurately represents women as

possess.

multifaceted; as sexual, and emotional, and whatever else we want to

be. After all, “Who run the world? Girls.” YM

Mirroring a similar evolution as the Queen Bey herself, fellow

Female solo artists have expanded their music to reflect the

iconic solo female artist Rihanna shows her growth in time. Teasing

43 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


CUT AND COLOR

PHOTOS BY YOHJI UCHIDA PRODUCTION DESIGN BY TAYLOR ROBERTS AND INDIGO ASIM MODELING BY BRENDAN PERRY, SAMUEL CABALLERO, MALACHI ELI JAH MCDONALD, OLIVIA FERGUSON, PATRICK LABADIA, LORENZO ROSSI, WENDY ZHANG, DANYU WANG YOURMAG | 44


45 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 46


47 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 50


51 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 52


53 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 54


55 | YOURMAG


ULTRA

PHOTO BY

EMME HARRIS SOLEIL HYLAND ASSISTED BY SOPHIE PETERS-WILSON MONIKA DAVIS ANNIE HUANG LIGHTING BY SOLEIL HYLAND MODELING BY GABRIELLE PIERRE DEVIN SAWYER FODÉ BUSIA KATE GONDWE YOURMAG | 56


VIOLET


59 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 60


YOURMAG | 62


Food for Thought CREATIVE DIRECTED BY SOPHIE PETERS-WILSON PHOTOGRAPHED BY STELLA CHOI STYLED BY PENNY JOHNSON ASSISTED BY MONIKA DAVIS AND RANA SAIFI MODELED BY HENRY PEW AND ISABELLA GUERRERO

63 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 64


65 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 66


67 | YOURMAG


ARTIST STATEMENT

NED STASIO

YOURMAG | 68


69 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 70


71 | YOURMAG


YOURMAG | 72


Your Magazine Volume 8 Issue 3: December 2017  
Your Magazine Volume 8 Issue 3: December 2017