Page 1




Editor in Chief


Photo Editor


Co-Head Designer


Living Editor


Romance Editor


Asst. Head Proofreader


Asst. A&E Editor


YMTV Director



Managing Editor

Editorial Assistant



Photo Editor


Co-Head Designer


Art Director

Head Stylist



Style Editor


Head Copyeditor


Talent Manager


A&E Editor


Asst. Head Copyeditor


Asst. Talent Manager


Web Director

Marketing Director



YMTV Assistant Director

Social Media Director



CONTENTS romance




06 Birth Control Guide 08 A Fat Girl's Guide to Romance 10 Sex and the Signs 12 The S Word

14 Under Construction 26 Pantone’s Color of the Year

arts & entertainment 42 So Bad, It's Good


18 Dressing for Rebellion 22 In Memoriam: Dead Fashion Brands 24 Mindfulness of Mending

32 The War on Art 34 Pure Serenity 36 Luminosity of Color 38 Cookbook Extravaganza 40 Your Things 44 Pelton


t Emerson, change is a fundamental aspect of everything that we do. We create art to inspire it, we march to protest it, and we unite to fuel it. Change is ingrained in our fast-paced, ever-developing nation. It can be daunting. It can rattle you. On Jan. 20, 2017 when Donald J. Trump gained the prefix of President, it was evident how quickly things can change and how unnerving that can be. As citizens on this planet, and as the creative minds behind this lifestyle publication, we must thoughtfully react to these changes. This March issue of Your Magazine is our reaction. We wanted to produce an issue that reflects and comments on this changing world—a world full of people and places that are eternally under construction. Your Mag decided it was the ideal time to sit down with our institution’s president to discuss campus renovations and Emerson College’s rebranding. In our cover story, I talk to President Lee Pelton about the state of the college and of the nation. Sentiments of reacting and rebuilding are brought to life in our photo editorial "Under Construction," as well as in our articles “Dressing for a Rebellion” and “The War on Art.” You’ll also find stories that will bring you relief, guidance, and laughter including an article about finding peace during your daily routine and a candid guide to sexually transmitted diseases.

With all of these changes taking place around us, it’s no surprise that Your Mag is going through changes, as well. In addition to my appointment as Editor-in-Chief, this semester the YM staff has two new head designers, two new photo directors, a new head stylist, and many new contributors. I’m continually impressed and inspired by what this staff can accomplish—no matter the deadline, no matter the changes. The articles, photography, and design in these pages were produced with you, our readers, in mind. After all, this is your magazine. So I present to you our March 2017 Issue. Happy reading.

Mia Zarrella





In my own experience, there are not nearly enough avenues for people to find the right method of birth control. Coming from a conservative high school in Texas, I never received a proper sex education. So, upon coming to college, I found myself frighteningly uninformed on the realities of safe sex. After hours of research spent combing through, I eventually landed on the birth control pill as the easiest and most convenient choice for me. Sex education is not always the most comfortable thing to talk about, but ultimately, it is critical that knowledge about the different types of contraceptives is accessible. With plenty of options designed to suit different people’s needs, it is important to choose which one is best for you. Birth control pill: The most popular choice of birth control. When taken around the same time every day, the pill is 99% effective against pregnancy. The pill’s combination of progestin and estrogen suppresses ovulation, and prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg. There are also plenty of non-birth control benefits, like easing period pain, regulating periods, and clearing up acne. The pill usually comes in two types: the estrogen and progestin combination, or the progestin-only pill. Progestin-only pills are recommended for people who have health conditions that prevent them from taking estrogen. They are safer for smokers, diabetics, and heart disease patients, as well as those at risk for blood clots. They are also prescribed to women who are breastfeeding. In order to properly prevent pregnancy, progestin-only pills need to be taken at exactly the same time every day, so if you’re not the best at remembering to take your pill, the combination pill might be a safer bet. Another option is the extended-cycle pill, which allows you to have a period only every three months. IUD (Intrauterine Device): A small t-shaped device made out of flexible plastic that is inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is an effective, long-term birth control method that usually lasts for 3-6 years, and can also be easily removed. This is a great choice for people who do not want to worry about keeping track of their birth control. There’s also the option of the Copper T IUD, which can still be effective if inserted into your uterus five to seven days after unprotected sex. Vaginal ring (also known as NuvaRing): A small, flexible ring made of plastic that delivers estrogen and progestin. You place the ring in your vagina for three weeks, and then you take it out for the last week of every month to have your period. It’s quick, easy, and convenient.

Diaphragm: Made of rubber and shaped like a dome, a diaphragm prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. Like the cervical cap, it covers the cervix and must always be used with spermicidal lube. Women must be fitted for a diaphragm in their doctor’s office. Female condom: A little pouch that you insert into the vagina and over the cervix. Can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex. Female condoms are one of the few options that protect against STDs. Male condoms, however, provide more protection. Male condom: When worn properly during sex, male condoms collect semen, prevent pregnancy, and protect against STDs. Patch: A thin, beige plastic patch that sticks to your skin and releases hormones. The patch is quick, easy, and painless. You can stick it to your skin and forget about it, until you have to replace it the next week! Implant: A tiny rod that is inserted under the skin of your upper arm, implants are nearly 100% effective. Implants can last up to four years and costs range from $0 to up to $800. Similar to IUDs, after insertion, birth control does not need to be directly managed, and can be forgotten about. Sterilization: A surgical procedure where women undergo either tubal ligation, a procedure that blocks the fallopian tubes from carrying eggs to the uterus, or tubal implants, where a small coil is inserted into the fallopian tubes. For men, sterilization is a vasectomy, a minor surgery in which the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles are cut. Morning-after pill (Plan B): Plan B contains a higher dose of the same synthetic hormones found in the combination pill, and prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg. It works best if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but may work up to five days later.

For more information, consult a doctor or visit an accredited health website. Y M

Cervical cap: A small, silicone cap that you place over your cervix before sex. When used correctly with spermicidal lubricant, the cap blocks the opening of the uterus.


A Fat Girl’s Guide to



WRITTEN BY JULIA MOSKOWITZ ILLUSTRATION BY TAYLOR ROBERTS I am fat. The kind of fat with a visible belly outline, double chin, flabby arms, thick thighs, and stretch marks. I have been fat for most of my life, and I may remain fat for the rest of it, but I don’t really care. It has taken me a long time to accept my body for what it is, and it is an ongoing battle. Living as a fat person in our society, we are told that we are damaged goods for not having flat stomachs and toned limbs. Most fat people, especially women, are never presented with the idea that fatness can be a neutral fact about our bodies, let alone a positive one. We are forced into diets and our math lessons start early with calorie counting. I personally do not know one fat woman who has not struggled with her body image. However, the idea that fat people will never find love or be able to have a “successful relationship” seems to have permeated through the collective consciousness of the western world. I have personally experienced shock over how people actually want to be with me, as well as the astonished looks on people’s faces when I tell them that I have a boyfriend. “Good for you!” says a nosy neighbor named Jan, with her eyebrows so far up her face, they might as well be her new hairline. “Wow, that’s so great!” says a well-meaning family member. Today, I have experienced love. I’ve had sex, which I never thought would happen unless I was thin. I’ve participated in the hookup culture. I have been in a serious relationship for almost a year and half. I’ve learned that the romantic world has hidden obstacles set up for us fat girls, and they’re not always easy to overcome. It’s important to talk about the challenges we face when it comes to love, sex, and relationships in order to pepper some humanity and validation onto us fat girls who are so often deprived of both. Of the many lessons I’ve learned while dating as a fat person, here are the top nine: 1. Unlearn the “fat = undesirable” lesson. “Fat” is most frequently used as a synonym for “flawed,” “ugly,” “unattractive,” or “unhealthy.” Newsflash, everyone is flawed. You may not like parts of your body, you may even hate the whole thing, but it’s the only one you have. The sooner you accept yourself as you are, the sooner you will feel deserving of self-love. Live your life to the fullest without waiting for the “skinny girl within” to escape. 2. Learn to trust yourself and your partner(s). It can be very hard to trust people to actually care about you, especially since we’ve been taught that, since we are fat, we don’t deserve that care. However, in order to experience love, intimacy, and sex, you need to have faith in the other person(s) you are involved with. You need to trust yourself to make those decisions.

certainly won’t have an empowering experience. This is one of those situations that is easier said than done, especially if you are at a point in life where you are just getting to know yourself. 5. Don’t date people who treat you poorly. This is a hard and fast rule that should be a given, but often is not. If you take anything from this, do not concede on this one. Even if you feel like you don’t deserve or won’t find anyone better. Even if you love them. You should not spend time with people who do not value you. If they’re not proud to hold your hand in public, it’s time to say goodbye. 6. Share your food struggles with your partner. It’s hard, but if you have a complicated relationship with food, take the time and effort to talk to your partner about it. Plus size individuals’ relationships with food will always be overanalyzed. So much so, that many fat people refuse to eat in public out of fear of being shamed. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, “At least 30 million people of all ages and genders in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder.” In my experience, it is best to clue your partner in on what may trigger you or make you uncomfortable, keeping that line of communication open and honest. 7. Stop trying to physically hide yourself. Here’s the thing: after a certain point your partner knows what you look like, and they don’t care. Get completely naked. Have sex with the lights on. Embrace the sexy selfies! Don’t feel the need to shy away from certain positions. I used to refuse to be on top because I was afraid that I would literally crush the person underneath me. Ridiculous. Your body is awesome and beautiful from every angle, in all different shapes and colors of clothing, in every lighting, because it is your body. 8. Don’t compare yourself to others. I constantly hear people of all sizes and gender identities comparing their bodies to others. I especially hear this from other fat women. I see us poking and prodding ourselves in mirrors, trying to squish in Spanx, and make ourselves look like the photoshopped images we’re constantly bombarded with. Here’s the thing, your body is never going to look like someone else’s body, because you will never be someone else. You are you and your body is your own. Own it and celebrate it, regardless of your size. 9. Stop apologizing for your body. Amy Poehler once said, “It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you’ve been taught to feel sorry for.” There are so many things to apologize for in life, but your body and the way it looks is not one of them. The sooner you stop apologizing for your body, the sooner you will be able to embrace it. YM

3. Don’t feel the need to “put out more.” The first time I had sex was consensual, but I remember thinking “If I don’t do this now, who knows when my next opportunity will be.” That’s bullshit. You do not need to have sex at every opportunity unless you want to. You do not need to “put out” because you don’t owe anyone anything. 4. Ask for what you want (in bed and in life). You should not be afraid to communicate and be honest with your sexual and romantic partners. Clear communication is key. If you are not being yourself, you’re not going to feel your best, and you





FRESHMAN YEAR, I DECLARED MY COLLEGIATE MISSION TO FUCK MY WAY THROUGH THE ZODIAC. My first sexual encounter happened my first week of college, a two-month affair with a poetic Pisces, and the first of many Pisces to find their way into my bed. The stars say that Sagittarius, my sign, and Pisces are one of the worst matches, both sexually and romantically. I love to inflict emotional pain upon myself, though, so I love Pisces. Calling this little sexperiment “research” was a bit of a stretch, but that’s what I told myself as I read up on astrological sexual chemistry articles, consulting books, like Sextrology, and friends at Emerson. Capricorn was the next sign to crawl its way into my every waking thought. According to astrologists, Capricorns like to take their time before jumping into bed with a person, but once they do, they love to take charge. This all proved to be very true for this particular Capricorn, a boy I met on Tinder and hooked up with for a solid five months. The first time we had sex was on our third date, which set a false precedent that every future Tinder date of mine would be as slow and suspenseful as him. Three minutes into the act, his hand found its way around my neck, no warning or permission asked. I’d never been choked in bed before, but was into being dominated by this headstrong man. The month of April and a Taurus snatched my Capricorn away from me, though, and I was back to swiping through Tinder. Truthfully, the next two people I slept with in this timeline were onenight stands, meaningless hookups with meaningless conversations that failed to touch upon the subject of astrology. I counted these as losses since I still have no idea what their zodiac signs are. Did I fuck a Gemini? A Scorpio? What if I fucked someone on the cusp without even knowing it? The stars had an Aries in store for me next. A fellow fire sign, our sexual chemistry was supposed to be just as hot as our signs. This was very much wrong, and I like to blame our lack of lust on the fact that we Netflix and Chill’d to House of Cards. While Kevin Spacey can definitely flood my basement, the political undertones of the show weren’t exactly sexy. The guy also had awful breath and called me out on faking an orgasm, which was true. That was in line with Aries nature, as they are not the type of people you can easily fool. My freshmen year ended in two parts. Part one involved walking down the hall to have sex with the Virgo in 426, an experience that was a lot more intense than I was expecting. He rolled a perfectly crafted joint and we smoked out in the Common. Though our conversations weren’t of any significance, he spoke intelligently, a classic Virgo quality, but was also incredibly negative, another Virgo staple. In bed, he was vivacious. Dirty talk was a particular kink of his, which I found interesting, as Virgos are often very polite and adverse to vulgarity in public. Our sexual selves can be deeply different than our public selves, something I’ve learned throughout my sexual adventures. I am not into dirty talk, at least not the nonsense that was spewing out of his mouth. He was stellar at eating out, though, so I felt I had to compromise a little with this one.

Part two of my freshmen year conclusion was a Leo. This person was a senior, ready to ditch the purple bubble that is Emerson and head back to his Midwestern home, but not before pounding me into oblivion. Google any compatibility site for a Sagittarius and you will discover that their most compatible sign is a Leo. I definitely agree with this sentiment because having sex with him was like what I imagine having sex with a Sex God would be like. Or Zayn Malik. Or Ryan Gosling. Or Angelina Jolie. Moving on. He was so energetic and exciting and knew how to take control. Egos aren’t the only thing Leos love to have stroked, but I definitely inflated his with every moan and whimper I tried to suppress. I’m not a particularly quiet person in bed and the walls of the Little Building are known for being thin, so I sincerely apologize to whoever was in earshot of 402 that night. Five signs down and seven to go, I dove into sophomore year little on the fence about hook up culture. Hook up after hook up, Tinder was starting to make me feel a lot more depressed with every unsubstantial conversation I had. I took a breather for a few months until I downloaded the app again in December and met the Pisces that would ruin all Pisces for me. I was head over heels for this Pisces, shaking my fist at the stars for ever saying we wouldn’t be compatible together. The stars were fucking right, though, and continue to drag me. He was something else in bed. Sensitive but assertive and very giving. We had a very strong emotional connection, one that far surpassed our sexual connection as we had only ever met in person twice. We continue to talk to this day, and while our road has been a bit rocky, I can’t help but hold onto hope that future Pisces won’t steer me wrong. I’ve had sex with two Tauruses, an April one and a May one, and the month really made a difference. This made me curious about how birth charts affect an individual’s sexual chemistry, but that mission would be even more exhausting. The April Taurus was super vanilla in bed and made uncomfortable faces. The May Taurus was really into foreplay, something Tauruses love, and helped me experience multiple orgasms for the first time, so to him I am grateful. Another sign I connect with hardcore in bed is Libra. Libras are often morning people, and the morning sex we had was truly the best start to my summer days. This person was a token Libra: loved to fuck for long periods of time, wanted to dominate, and truly felt nothing towards me in the end. That was a bummer, but c’est la vie. I still have yet to accomplish my silly freshmen quest but if you’re a Gemini, Cancer, Aquarius, Scorpio, or a fellow Sagittarius, hit a girl up. It’s for science. Y M


The first time I had a real discussion about Sexually Transmitted Infections was when my mom told me I would inevitably get one if I had premarital sex. Before that, things like chlamydia were just rumors I read about on bathroom walls. My health teacher had practically whispered the names of infections when the subject came up which left my peers and I to believe that as long as we had condoms and nice partners, we were saved. My mother, on the other hand, is passionate about discussing safe, responsible intimacy. She became a sex educator through our town’s women’s center during my senior year of high school. I had been there when she pitched the importance of safe sex advocacy to my alma mater and emphasized how essential emotional awareness is when it comes to physicality. I looked up at my mom with heart eyes, admiring her candid nature and compassion when it came to the subject. She was so cool: the lady who passed out free condoms and taught my peers that you couldn’t actually get HIV from a toilet seat. So when I turned eighteen and started exploring the world of intimacy, my mom was the first person I wanted to talk to. I remember how silently she sat on the couch, as I timidly asked permission to get birth control. I assumed that she would understand my request, both as a seasoned sex educator and a former pregnant college student. I had faith that we could have a mature, woman-to-woman chat about physicality and growing up and— “You know you can get herpes in your eyes,” she said. One of the many one-liners she used during the talk she gave me that night. I was quickly educated on how effortlessly you could get anything from everything. Without an inkling of what to say, I sat there as she explained from kisses to vaginal intercourse, gonorrhea to HPV, all that could be awaiting me once I became sexually active. I was utterly horrified. While her speech didn’t dissuade me from continuing my self-exploration, it did get me thinking. What were the facts behind these so called “diseases?” If they’re so common, why doesn’t anyone ever talk about them? Out of concern for my own well-being and that of my partners’ and their partners’, I started to research. What I found was that I wasn’t alone in my naivety. Stigmas surrounding STIs are common, widespread, and often blown WAY out of proportion. Due to a lack of awareness, the public has a very skewed view on what it means to actually have an STI. Getting one is actually a very common part of life. The American Sexual Health Association states that “One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD/STI by age 25.” While these infections affect a large part of our population, it’s often difficult to find resources that don’t perpetuate stigmas, misinformation, and DO promote self-love and acceptance. Luckily for you, my mother scared me badly enough that I created a list of some of the best: The STD Project: This organization’s website is like the Costco of STI information and awareness. From facts on infections, to information on affordable testing and treatment, blogs by those effected, question hotlines, and safe sex barriers for purchase, The STD Project has it all. If you’re just looking to educate yourself, trying to come to terms with a diagnosis, or anywhere in between, the website is definitely worth taking a look at.


Planned Parenthood: An obvious go-to, Planned Parenthood offers affordable testing, safe sex advice, tons of STI facts and resources, FAQs, articles, etc. You’re able to call their hotline and talk to a clinician right away if you have a concern, and they have a separate resource hotline if they are unable to help you. For instance, if they don’t take your insurance they can connect you with affordable clinics in your area. The Center for Sexual Health and Pleasure: Based out of Pawtucket, RI, the center is definitely worth a visit (at least to their website). They do a lot of workshops on sexual health, confidence, and safe sex, travelling around to different establishments throughout the year (they visit Emerson annually). They also have a library of resources, articles, books, pamphlets, and videos available both in their center and online. If you can’t find the information you need from them, they can direct you to more resources. This website is not only really cute and clever, it provides extensive info and tips on safe sex, STI testing, and STI prevention. Some of my favorite featured articles are “8 Tips for Safer, Smart Hook Ups” (originally from Bedsider, see below), and “All Barriers All The Time.” The latter is an extensive safe sex guide, complete with a few humorous, informative cartoons. Safersex definitely strives to break down stigmas and provide comprehensive information, all while taking the edge off with a playful approach. Bedsider: Another great organization that works to promote safe sex and birth control information. However, they also have a smaller section on STIs, with some very thought-provoking articles. Their real selling point is Guy Nottadadi, an advocate and spokesperson who wants to “Make Sex Great Again” through communication and awareness. His light-hearted videos are perfect for gearing up for any “have-you-been-tested?” talks with a partner. Mark Manson: Your Honest-to-God Guide to STDS: I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t one of my favorite features on STIs. Written by author and blogger Mark Manson (of, the guide includes a very upfront view at dealing with STIs as a sexually active human. Humorous and honest, Manson really emphasizes the “no-blame” mentality that should be associated with getting a diagnosis. He also breaks down what each STI entails, and focuses on how the symptoms affect the health and comfort of the infected person, rather than their love lives. The really unique part? Manson includes a “Raw Score” of how many people you’d “have to sleep with” to get a certain infection. While it’s not logistically accurate, the numbers he presents are based on statistics, and give readers a better idea of just how common STIs are. Fear no more, these resources have your back whether you’re concerned about a sexual encounter, or just trying to educate yourself. With compassionate approaches and expert advice, they’ll be your best friend, and a much better alternative to a herpes talk with your or my mom. Y M




Please excuse our appearance, as we are currently under construction.









DECIDING WHAT OUTFIT YOU WEAR MAY BE MORE OF A POLITICAL CHOICE THAN YOU THINK In our current political climate, even brands seem to choose sides. Starbucks’ recent decision to hire refugees, as well as other major companies aligning themselves with political issues, shows even the simplest purchase is political. The fashion industry in particular has never been shy about political involvement. Now more than ever, fashion brands are choosing to align with certain social issues and ideals. Fashion is a form of art, and as such, it often has the power to communicate a strong message. Many artists use their designs to help raise awareness for issues or challenge injustices, especially during times of political turmoil. In a recent video for W Magazine, some of the fashion industry’s biggest figures came together to share a message of unity against Donald Trump’s refugee ban. However, many are going beyond just speaking out about the injustice and are channeling their views into their works. Last fall during New York Fashion Week, Opening Ceremony held a “Pageant of the People” instead of a typical fashion show. Instead of models,

they recruited actresses and comedians to take center stage. The figures acted as contestants in this mock beauty pageant and used the platform as an outlet for political commentary. In the show notes, Opening Ceremony designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon wrote about the connection between fashion and politics. They noted that many of our political issues hinge on self expression and the denial of self-expression. Their “pageant” aimed to promote a culture of inclusion and subvert traditional beauty standards. It also stressed the importance of the democratic process in the approaching election. The designers invited viewers to reflect and cast their votes in November. Now, in the aftermath of the election, the brand is continuing to take on political issues. Departing again from a traditional New York fashion week show, this year Opening Ceremony opted to host a protest-themed ballet performance in partnership with the New York City Ballet. This odd twist of a fashion show not only promoted their latest line but also brought awareness to

STYLE | 19

immigration issues. The dancers modeled fashion based around the diversity of America, including graphic T-shirts with slogans such as “fight” and “protest.” They aimed to send a clear message regarding the importance of immigration in American culture as well as the need for protest against the latest adversities. Many other designers also used fashion week as a platform to express their disillusionment with the current American political climate. In particular, immigrant designers spoke up about the amazing opportunities America has given them and the importance of a diverse and inclusive American culture. Prabal Gurung, a Singapore native and an American designer, has openly expressed his concerns at recent immigration legislation. Gurung has stated that he believes it is his duty to use his platform to speak out. He creates collections focused on celebrating diversity. At this year’s fashion week he showcased a wide range of models to promote body inclusivity. The models wore a line of graphic tee shirts with feminist messages such as “Nevertheless She Persisted,” a response to the silencing of Senator Elizabeth Warren. After the election, immigration is just one of many key issues causing distress. Women are obviously concerned at the election of a man with clearly sexist rhetoric, and the fight towards gender equality seems to have a gained a new relevance. The clothing brand, The Outrage, was founded in this spirit of outrage at the bias and sexism still heavily present in our society. The company, founded by Rebecca Lee Funk and Claire Schlemme, is dedicated to promoting equality as well as working with ethical vendors to produce quality products. To prove their dedication to the issues, they donate at least 15% of their profits to women’s charities. The Outrage offers everything from “Nasty Woman” T-shirts to socks with a raised fist print. The brand also released a line of clothing specifically for the Women’s March and hosted a pop up shop in Washington D.C. This line featured different graphic shirts as well as “March On” pins, and the proceeds went entirely to Women’s March participants. These brands seem to be communicating an important message through fashion. However, in a capitalistic society, it is important to always think critically about a brand’s political contributions and how it is tied to their profit. It can be argued that when associating a brand with a political message some sort of risk is always being taken. The brand is actively alienating those that do not agree with the message supported. But, with popularity of social justice movements, some brands are only using these issues as hot button marketing words in an attempt to increase sales. It can be tough to determine the difference between a brand with strong values and one simply seeking a profit. One of the best things you can do is to support small businesses and local artisans. Shopping locally helps benefit your local economy, and you can feel much better knowing that your money is not going to a large corporation with questionable motives. If you are interested, you can also take the opportunity to make your own political fashion. The Pussyhat Project, started by Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman, encourages women to do just that. Created by is another movement born out of the Women’s March, and aims to make a “collective visual statement.” A sort of performance art piece that is now continuing on as a symbol of unity of women, the project revolves around pink hats with cat ears worn in support of women’s rights. Not only are the hats a fashion statement, they also bring women together. The hats are typically hand knit or crocheted, traditional women’s arts. Now, women are able to take claim of these traditional women’s arts in an 20 | YOURMAG

empowering way. The project encourages women to make and share hats as well as teach other women how to make hats. The Pussyhat Project stands as a form of resistance to the anti-woman culture we live in, but it is still not without problematic connotations. By referencing female genitalia, the project alienates the transgender community and seems to send a message of exclusion. Co-founder Suh insists that was never the intention. Instead, the language was seen as a response to Trump’s notorious “grab ‘em by the pussy” statement. Many people of color have also expressed concerns that the pink color choice was a reference to flesh tone. However, to the founders the choice of pink was meant more as a means to reclaim the traditional “girly” color and associate it with women’s strength. Whether you are purchasing from a major brand or a local vendor, it is important to think about how your fashion decisions may line up with your political beliefs. Shopping ethically while sometimes more expensive can definitely be worth it. When you can, take the time to research before you buy and critically evaluate. Also make sure to the best of your ability that if a company is using a donation as a promotion method that they are donating to a legitimate charity. What you wear sends a message, so why not use your style as a chance to voice a message you believe in. YM

STYLE | 21

“With the demise of American Apparel, we pay tribute to other brands of yesteryear. ” Ding dong, American Apparel’s dead. Well not quite, but the brand as we know it is on its way to the fashion grave. It was always the brand that young hipsters, party kids, and college kids sought out for fashionable basics with a little something extra. Like leggings, but liquid metallic leggings. And bodysuits, but bodysuits with a deep v-cut that barely covered your areolas. Their clothes were provocative and sexy—plus everything was made in the United States! People went bananas for it. That all changed when people discovered that founder Dov Charney was a less than stand-up dude. Maybe American Apparel wasn’t so ethical after all! The company ditched Charney in 2014, but new leadership apparently wasn’t enough to save the brand, which hadn’t made a profit since 2009. With the surge of fast fashion, many people no longer wanted to spend $50 on a hoodie when they could get close to the same thing at H&M for $15. American Apparel held on for a few more years, until this January when Gildan Activewear purchased the company in a bankruptcy auction. Company factories have shut down and all 110 of its stores are closing. Along with American Apparel, teen retailer Wet Seal also announced that it would be closing all of its stores earlier this year after 55 years of being in business. Wet Seal used to be a mall staple. Even if you never shopped at one, you could count on seeing its storefront on your way to the food court. So if you still have a Wet Seal gift card wedged in the back of your wallet from your aunt three Christmases ago, now would be the time to use it. Speaking of teen retailers, the bankruptcy of Betsey Johnson in 2012 hit me particularly hard. Yes, Betsey Johnson (the brand & person) still exists. You can still purchase BJ (unfortunate initials, I know) online and at department stores like Macy’s and Lord & Taylor. However, Betsey Johnson is no longer in its full mid-aughts 22 | YOURMAG

glory which saw suburban teenage girls begging their parents to buy them bedazzled tulle cocktail dresses for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah circuit. Going into one of their boutiques was a sensory explosion of neon pink and leopard print. Plus, when you tried on their frilly, sequined dresses they gave you matching heels to wear. Even though I wore a terrible school uniform and poorly applied MAC kohl eyeliner back then, I felt like I received celebrity treatment in the Betsey Johnson boutique in my mall. Granted, I had no concept of commission at this point, but that’s neither here nor there. And perhaps the most tragic demise: Limited Too. In 2008, Limited Too was rebranded as the less expensive chain Justice, and in that moment I knew that I was no longer a child. Limited Too holds a special place in my heart: it’s where I bought my first training bras, where I bought glitter encrusted tees depicting monkeys or softballs or puppies, and where I bought Hilary Duff’s Christmas album Santa Claus Lane. So even though I had outgrown Limited Too before its rebranding, I was still saddened by the news. That is until last year when Limited Too came back! However, it’s just not the same. Sure, it’s been over a decade since I could fit into their clothes. That aside, Limited Too clothing is now only sold through online retailers like Zulily and Amazon. But is Limited Too really Limited Too without Neopet plush toys and Jesse McCartney blaring in the background? Limited Too and Betsey Johnson prove that brands can be resurrected from the dead, albeit in new shapes and forms. As of now, Gildan Activewear has said they plan to sell a much smaller American Apparel product line to the wholesale market. The American Apparel name is technically here to stay, but the brand as consumers know it is on its last breath. Y M


STYLE | 23




"CLOTHING, LIKE PLANTS AND RELATIONSHIPS, NEEDS TENDING" Inside the top drawer of Antoine Timbers’ ‘18, wooden Piano Row desk, among various household supplies like batteries and extra tubes of toothpaste, is a large red sewing kit. Twenty spools of colored thread are packaged with small red scissors, measuring tape, safety pins, a thimble, buttons, and other supplies necessary for repairing clothing. Visual and media arts major Timbers assures that he has a better kit back home in Virginia, but this is the kit he uses at school. In today’s consumer culture where consumption and waste have been normalized, a sewing kit in the top drawer of a 21-yearold’s desk is a novelty. A century ago, or even 20 years ago, this would be a different story. Yet, today, a 2015 documentary titled The True Cost reported that the world consumes 400 percent more textiles than we did two decades ago. Availability and affordability of clothing today has lent itself to mass consumption. And with mass consumption, comes mass disposal. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average U.S. citizen throws 70 pounds of clothing away annually, contributing to about 21 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste every year. Perhaps that’s why a sewing kit is so charming today. The sewing kit signifies there’s still sentimental value in textiles—that people still have a desire (and the skill set) to mend and not just replace. Timbers started wielding a needle and thread when he was 10 years old as a way to avoid unnecessary spending. His grandmother and mother guided him in patching up socks, jeans, and sports jackets. “You could throw it away, but if that specific thing meant something for you, why would you get a new one?” says Timbers. Aside from economic repercussions, there’s a ecological consequence to wastefulness. Textile disposal has grown by 40 percent in the last decade and the Council for Textile Recycling isn’t seeing much growth in diversion (only two percent), which means our landfills are getting bigger. According to Massachusetts’s Energy and Environmental Affairs’ web page, Massachusetts residents dispose of 230,000 tons of textiles every year and 95 percent of the material (cloth, leather, and rubber) could be reused or recycled. Writing, literature, and publishing major Danika Frank ‘18 started mending her freshman year in college when her black Jansport backpack ripped the night before moving to Emerson. After watching a YouTube tutorial, Frank says, “I had to sew the

arm strap back on and then patched a tear in the front pocket with some cute band patches I bought so it could just look cool.” Frank has been wearing a pair of torn-up Dr. Martens for eight years. She finds character in imperfections that come from wear and tear and mending. “Unless something is beyond repair, I’ll hold onto it,” says Frank. “Plus, I’m really into punk clothing and culture, so really, the patches, stitches, and safety pins are kinda cool.” DIY became a “trend” this past decade, and with the help of blogs and websites such as Pinterest, more people can learn resourcefulness. Pinterest can teach anyone with Wi-Fi and a little patience to remove the snow salt stains from suede boots by applying a water and vinegar mixture with a toothbrush. Or they can learn how to cover an ugly logo by sewing a patch over it. The power to reinvigorate and repair without spending money can be life-changing, or at least wardrobe-changing. “Unfortunately, handiwork isn’t really appreciated or taught much anymore,” says Frank. “On one hand, it’s great that we’re no longer pushing kids, young girls especially, to do just housework-based things and are encouraging more cerebral skills, but at the same time, people have definitely lost a sense of practicality.” Marisa Dellatto ‘18, is another student utilizing her tending skills. The journalism major recently purchased an oversized Italian-made olive green jacket from Emerson’s Free and For Sale Facebook shopping group. It was practically love at first sight. The patterned silk lining inside was all torn and it was missing buttons, but Dellatto says, “I’d rather spend the time to resew than not have it at all.” “I just have your basic sewing kit that you buy at CVS and yarn,” says Dellatto, who has a tendency to buy worn-out clothes at thrift stores and fix them up later. “Making stuff just takes time,” says Timbers. “A lot of people either don’t know how to do it or don’t give it the time.” Perhaps the larger issue is that people today don’t care enough about their clothing to restore them. The world is full of new clothing, after all. Right? Clothing, like plants and relationships, needs tending. When clothes are not given the attention they need to be their very best, they’ll fall apart, much like a deprived succulent. Frank says, “I think we need to help people realize they can absolutely learn these skills and it would make such an impact, and not just in their own life.” Y M

STYLE | 25











“Art, like the people, cannot and will not be silenced.” WRITTEN BY LAURA CAFASSO PHOTOS BY EMME HARRIS AND HANA ANTRIM

For the past three months, a permanent Star Wars opening crawl has trudged across our vision: It is a shit show. The new Dark Side has risen. The Empire has declared war on refugees, Muslims, gays, women, people of color . . . but rebel bases hide in plain sight. They are led by fearless artists. . . . But the fight is nowhere near finished. It has been brewing for a long time, way before Trump. As reported by Vanity Fair, Nixon attempted to slice the budget of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), but Fred Rogers (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood) testified before a Senate committee, helping prevent the budget slashing. Then, both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) were on the chopping block by Reagan, who ended up settling for reducing both of those organizations’ budgets to half of their original size. And, as history repeats itself, Trump is allegedly determined to completely privatize CPB (which funds PBS and NPR), and eliminate the NEA and NEH. This would be a colossal and irrefutable mistake. To destroy the NEA, for instance, would take away the grants and monetary support that go to national, state, and local organizations and artists who depend on outside funding to jumpstart projects. To privatize PBS and NPR would erase federal funding and make them completely dependent on citizen contributions to survive. In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson ratified the NEA; fifty years later, their 2016 budgetary report states they were allotted $147.9 million, or 0.004% of the federal budget. Eighty percent of the $147.9 million—or around $118 million—was distributed as grants and awards. This barely constitutes 1% of the federal budget, but the current administration is reportedly mulling over the possibility of getting rid of the NEA because of its apparent “waste.” This swamp drainage would only clog artistic license and hope. Art would essentially become a lost art. B.F.A. acting major Mona Moriya ‘17 who is graduating this May and moving to New York City in the fall to pursue her dreams, says “Art has been a big part of my life, it’s the reason I get out of bed in the morning. It keeps me feeling alive.” Like so many other artists, Moriya fears the repercussions of Trump’s policies. “My concerns are that the current president will cut all funding to the arts, making it difficult for many people, including those from underprivileged backgrounds, to have access to art.” Moriya’s comment is on the pulse. According to the NEA’s website, “forty percent of NEA-supported activities take place in high-poverty neighborhoods” and “thirty-three percent of NEA grants serve low-income audiences.” Moriya is hoping that post-graduation she can propel opportunities for people of color whether on stage, backstage, or playwrit-


ing. At Emerson College, Moriya’s credits include The House of Bernarda Alba, Richard III, Lizzie Stranton (Emerson Stage), For Colored Girls… (Flawless Brown), and the upcoming Uncle Vanya (Emerson Shakespeare Society). Speaking of Flawless Brown, documentary production major Lissa Deonarain is the current president with a mission of always speaking “your personal truth.” Flawless is a collaborative effort of exploration. It is the only artistic organization at Emerson College that gives an outlet specifically to students of color. It has branched out since its inception to four departments: Flawless Stage (performing arts), Flawless Pictures (visual and media arts), Flawless Writes (writing and publishing), and Flawless Promotions (marketing). Its flagship campus is in Boston, but it also has a chapter at Emerson Los Angeles. “I really want each woman in the organization to put themselves into their art, in whatever form that may be,” Deonarain says. “Women of color have been silenced, yet have remained hyper-visible for so long. I want the women of Flawless to be able to own their voice, own their space, own their story, and make art that speaks to those things. It’s time to have our voices respected and acknowledged. I think now more than ever [it is important] to make our work as direct, expressive and truthful as possible.” In terms of the Trump administration, Deonarain worries about censorship and accessibility. “It’s scary to think about,” Deonarain says, “but I truly think that if the media and governmental departments are already being silenced and discredited, who knows what that could mean for art, especially political art. As a woman of color, your art is always seen as political, so we are always affected. I also worry about the government cutting art programs in schools. That’s how I was exposed to the different forms of art I love now, I don’t want to see that taken away from the next generation.” Public schools especially depend on art programs, and when making budget cuts, it has almost become a cliche to see art, music, and theater programs removed from curriculums. Not everyone is born an artist; but art provides a safe space and the tools to form a culture. A culture devoid of art is not a culture at all, it’s more like the dull world of Blade Runner or the prophetic bedlam of It Can’t Happen Here. Mexican-American Writing, Literature, and Publishing major, Anamaria Falcone was recently inspired by the Academy Award-nominated film Moonlight and the election. Falcone reveals, “My whole life I’ve been stuck in the middle as a third generation Mexican-American, which can bluntly be summarized as being too ‘white’ to fit in with other Mexican-Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, but too ‘brown’ to be considered a true equal in white societies.” She continues, “It’s a very odd place to be . . . but that oddly enough doesn’t bother me as much as the pity I’ve seemed to have gotten from white people. I don’t like people apologizing ‘on behalf of all white people’ or people who feel a need to tell me that they’re using their ‘privilege’ to help people like me—I didn’t ask for that.” Battling themes of identity and belonging, Falcone desires to one day be a screenwriter so she can write a film about a person torn and ostracized by two communities, very much like her own personal story. While weary of a dystopia, Falcone affirms that, “art, like the people, cannot and will not be silenced.”


No we will not. Y M




I wake up. I check my phone. I eat a crappy bowl of cereal. I go to class. Check my phone. I go to work. Check my phone. Go meet friends. Worry about tomorrow. Go to dinner. Check my phone. Hear the stories. Complain about work. Check my phone. Eat more shitty food. Go do more work. Check my phone. Go to bed. I wake up. And check my phone. I keep going, never stopping to breathe, never stopping to see this moment. Before I know it, months have gone by. Where did that time go? It’s easy to lose track of time. It’s easy for your mind to get cluttered with so many things going on. We are constantly getting bombarded with things and looking toward the future, never really paying attention to what is going on now. Even when we get a “break”, we really don’t because our mind is again distracted by the constant updates we receive on our phones, which aren’t relevant to us most of the time. . Things get jumbled up, we lose sense of moments, and we forget to pay attention to ourselves and our bodies. Oftentimes, the mental stress takes a toll on our bodies, and vise versa. When this happens, we put ourselves in danger of spiraling and reaching a point of exhaustion or dysfunction. Today, it seems as though we are never satisfied with the present moment. We get all these chances in between life’s busy events to just be present with our thoughts and ourselves, yet we don’t because we have the distraction of social media in the palm of our hands. We never stop to think and look around, and rather we are continually our simulating our mind with entertainment and something resembling social contact. And then we wonder why we are constantly tired, and constantly stressed. At our deepest points we question why it is we are doing what we are doing. Rarely do people know what it is to be at peace. What we must realize is that it is all interconnected—what we take into our bodies physically and mentally, how we balance what we spent our time doing, and how conscious we are of life itself.

The trick to finding peace isn’t to try finding it at all, but to simply be at peace. Some people may meditate or do yoga, but there exist more than just classical methods to stilling the mind and working the body. Tranquility in life means not just that which is mental peace, but physical peace as well. This can come in many ways, but is most often associated with pure being—so pure, we often fail to notice when we are in these peaceful states. When one drinks water after being thirsty for a long time, when one climbs a mountain and sits to rest at its peak, when one reads a book for a few hours to finally finish it and puts it down. All these events culminate in pure awareness of the moment. This, in Buddhism, is known as passaddhi manifest—the calmness in the mind and body, the silence and tranquilization of agitation. The more you do, the more you commit to what it is you do, the easier it becomes to find yourself in such tranquil states of being. This physical body is temporary. Not only this, but what we can actively do with this body is even more limited. The body will one day decay by mean of natural process, so why speed up the inevitable? Why not use it to experience life as what we are biologically, animals. Go climb, run, swim, hug, meditate, make love, do yoga, and enjoy the activities you love. It not only improves your mental health, but helps you see just how blessed it is to have such a versatile vessel to experience this conscious existence with. Meditation comes in many forms: we can sit, swim, surf, skate, climb, fly, paint, and so forth. Anything that brings you to this present moment, a state of pure serenity upon what is in that moment, is meditation on the deepest of levels. When we can purify our minds, a pure life follows naturally. Y M




WRITTEN BY ALESSANDRA SETTINERI PHOTO BY MADDIE WEINSTEIN-AVERY As apartment-hunting season finally arrives, my future roommate and I, like expecting parents, are constantly trading ideas about what our apartment will be like. Our vision is there: a cool, welcoming environment with a big living room and kitchen to entertain our friends, bedrooms the size of closets since we’ll always want to be out, and one bathroom we’re fine with sharing because rent prices are very real. It’s like a page out of a coloring book—which we have yet to color in. The color scheme of your first home seems like an arbitrary detail in the grand scheme of things: school, extra-curricular activities, careers. Yet, the hues of everything from your walls to your couch seem to have a major effect on your mood and general emotional wellness. Not only has our cultural conditioning trained us to associate certain colors with feelings and concepts we see in nature and our society - like how red is associated with passion and anger and green with success or envy-, but the way they’re presented also affects us. A particular someone said, “Let there be light;” and in the context of color, light is a bigger factor than we realize. Interior designer Rose Ann Humphrey, founder of the firm Home Life, emphasizes the importance of how light and color affects individuals. “The energy that light brings to color is amazing … without light, there is no color,” says Humphrey, who recommends considering regional palettes prior to personal tastes when deciding on colors. This includes taking the temperature, lighting, mood, and energy of the environment into account. While homes in sunnier locales can use more richly pigmented colors like terra cotta on the walls since the light brings them to life, doing so in places where light is more difficult to come by can come off as depressing— a reminder of how brilliant the color could be but isn’t because of that missing sunshine (think of how SAD affects people during the winter months when there are shorter days). Instead, Humphrey suggests neutral colors such as beiges, browns, and golds as background colors that dominate the room. Since the colors have less pigmentation, they don’t need as much natural light and provide a needed air to the room. Then

you can use those “shots of [rich] color,” says Humphrey, in the form of accents, whether they be pillows, plants, tables, or chairs. You can also decide to play tricks with light. Dimmers (Lutron, $24) are an incredibly affordable way to manipulate how much light a room gets when transitioning from daytime to nighttime, helping you transfer your mood from a working environment, to a restful or social one. Playing with textures is also an attractive method of managing color intensity; how you choose to upholster your furniture can either brighten or mute the colors. Using metallic and shimmery colors also adds a stylish burst of light without using radical colors or techniques. According to Humphrey, even painting the walls in the same room in different shades according to where the light hits them can subtly amplify the space without doing too much to it. “The right color brings luminosity to any place,” she says. There is a slight risk, however, should one decide to use bolder colors where they do not fit. “Full-on intensity isn’t harmonious,” Humphrey says, especially when decorating public versus private spaces. Public spaces should always be welcoming and can be more whimsical by taking inspiration from the outdoors. Meanwhile, bedrooms should have restful, easy-to-look-at colors like blues, whites, and other soft shades. So while it’s ok to make a red dining room, you probably wouldn’t want to do the same for your bedroom (unless you fancy yourself Christian Grey.) If you’re really into a particular trend, try to purchase decor like you would with clothes from fast fashion stores. “Classic always comes back,” Humphrey says, so feel free to invest in pieces that are in colors such as reds, blues, and greens that you can use forever. In the end, it all comes down to balancing between your wants and needs as an individual when decorating your new apartment or house. With each paint can you pick up, you’re opening yourself to so many possibilities. With each fabric comes another opportunity to show the world another side of your personality. The process of decorating your home can seem daunting, but with the right-colored glasses, finding the right colors can help you discover more about how you can live the most satisfying life. Y M LIVING | 37



There are three things in life that I consider essential. The first, a dog (or a cat, if you’re a cat person). The second, a good cup of coffee. And the third, a collection of cookbooks to get you through any season, holiday, event, or craving. I am more of a sweets person myself, but since a lot of people favor savory, I have a variety of cookbooks. I have also been through most diet trends (i.e., vegeterian, pescaterian, and paleo), except gluten-free because what’s the point of living if you take gluten out of your food? Whenever I cook, I always struggle with what side dish I’m going to eat my fish or chicken with. I grow tired of the same flavors quickly, so I find it helpful to buy cookbooks that aren’t saturated with complicated entrees, and instead include more side dishes. As a college student, it’s often hard to say no to anything fried or processed, so I forced myself to buy Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi in order to eat my veggies in a way that isn’t frozen or steamed. I especially like Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook because before each recipe there’s a short note about what inspired it. Also, the way he explains the steps is simple enough for an amateur chef to follow. On a separate note, it has a whole chapter on eggplants (yum!). The Classic Cookbook by Christopher Kimball is probably the cookbook to have if you’re not too experienced in the kitchen, but still want to make delicious homemade American food; it’s like your own personal cooking seminar. The best thing about Kimball’s cookbook is that it has two books in one—the first focuses on savory cooking essentials and the second is all about desserts! So, this is an new adult’s best bet when it comes to impressing family and friends, or simply satisfying a craving without having to go out. You didn’t think I’d end without a few mentions of pastry cookbooks… did you? And because I am biassed and could not make my mind up about which is most important or my favorite, I decided to include two pastry cookbooks. If you haven’t guessed already, I love baking and eating pastries, but it is really hard to find a good cookbook with all the essentials. So, when I stumbled across Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine I saw the pastry-rich gates of heaven open up. This cookbook has it all, but it mostly focuses on French baking. The first fifty pages or so are just about why she uses the ingredients she uses and what the best way of using them are. Then she explains the process of making different kinds of doughs (i.e., croissant dough, pie dough, puff pastry, and so on). After that, it’s organized into categories like morning pastries, cakes, pies, breads, ice cream, jam, and so many other special desserts. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Levine’s tips and methods, turn to Joanne Chang’s Baking with Less Sugar. If something can ruin a pastry, it’s too much sweetness. Joanne Chang offers alternative sweeteners and even no sweetener at all to make pastries just sweet enough. Don’t be fooled into thinking that less or no sugar means that everything will be bland and “healthy”; there’s a recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread and let me tell you, like everything Chang bakes, it will blow your mind. Other specialty essentials include: Cooking Light’s How to Cook Vegetarian; Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great by Danielle Walker. Y M



YOUR MAG WEB DIRECTOR KATJA VUJIĆ'S FAVORITE THINGS What are six objects you can't live without and why? Gold ring. I wear this ring every day and never take it off. It was my mom’s before it was mine, and before that it was her mom’s. Mersa, my maternal grandmother, died before I got to know her. She met me as a baby, though, and on my finger is a daily reminder of her love. It’s also special to me because rings were my mom’s favorite jewelry item and now they’re mine too. Although turning into your mother is a fate most people try to avoid, I’m really proud of the qualities I share with her. Journal. Memories are really important to me, and I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with journaling throughout my life. In the past, I’ve always committed myself to writing every single day, which is not a sustainable plan and fell away quickly once I entered college. When I was home for break, I found an old attempt at a journal and decided to start fresh, covering my tacky “KEEP OUT” message with a cat sticker and committing not to writing daily, but to writing the things I want to remember. That’s a plan I’ve been able to stick to, and writing in it has already gotten me through some shit. Aloe vera plant. This is my most successful plant thus far, mostly because aloe vera is one of the easiest to grow, but still. When I first got it a few months ago, it was only a little taller than my middle finger, and now it’s as high as my hand. The plants on my windowsill are a daily source of comfort, and my successes as a plant mom make me feel like I might possibly be able to take care of myself/be a real adult.


Postcards. It’s been a year now since I first arrived in Well, the Netherlands, for a semester abroad that changed me eternally. I had fun, I learned a lot, I grew a lot. I love travel. I’m not a big spender especially when I’m spending money on experiences, but I wanted some kind of tangible reminders of the places I visited, so I collected postcards at museums, newspaper stands, wherever I found them. These are three of my favorites, from three of my favorite trips. Glasses. I first started wearing glasses in the third grade, and I hated them. I was so embarrassed to wear them and as soon as my parents started letting me wear contacts in the eighth grade, I dove into the world of flexible lenses and never looked back. Until recently—I’ve been wearing glasses more often for the past few years, and I recently made a conscious decision to wear them as regularly or even more so than my contacts. I got a new pair that I really love, and some nerd wax that keeps them from slipping down your nose. Good stuff. Balm dot com. Glossier was the first company to get me with the targeted facebook ads, and I’m not even mad about it because I am obsessed with their products and the blog the company was born from, Into the Gloss. I love how much they value skincare, and these days if I’m wearing makeup it’s probably Glossier. This balm is miraculous and also one of the first purchases I made from them (along with my boy brow and haloscope). Still waiting for them to comment on one of my insta pics though. YM






Upon entering the Somerville Movie Theatre in Davis Square, the smell of fresh popcorn overwhelms the nostrils. But ignore the buttery seduction. The real treasure is waiting downstairs. At the end of a long hallway, past all the doors leading to movies and bathrooms, is one of three locations for the Museum of Bad Art. The open doorway leads you to a long, narrow room with white walls and exposed pipes, alternatively known as the basement. Two enormous round couches with red velvet cover and spirals that rise up toward the ceiling populate each end of the room. The smell of popcorn is replaced by the vague hint of sewage, and when it’s quiet you can hear the soundtrack of the movie playing above. These qualities only add to the charm. The current exhibit is called “DOPPLEHANGERS,” and features portraits resembling famous figures from Barack Obama to Molly Ringwald. There’s a painting of Dolly Parton sans legs, Jane Fonda with chest hair, and fan art dedicated to Donny and Marie Osmond. According to Louise Sacco, the current executive director of the MOBA, it all started in 1994 when art and antique dealer Scott Wilson saw a painting someone had left out as trash on the streets of Boston. “The painting was terrible, but the frame was nice,” says Sacco. So he picked it up intending to throw out the picture and sell the frame. Sacco’s brother, Jerry Reilly, saw the painting and had to have it. After he hung the painting in his house, friends kept up a running joke, giving Jerry whatever bad paintings they spotted around town. Reilly soon developed a collection, says Sacco, and when he moved to a new home in West Roxbury in 1996, he decided that in lieu of a housewarming party, he would display the bad art. He, Sacco, and other friends spray-painted the basement white and hung the paintings up with descriptions of each piece. Fifty people were invited to

the party, which they called “the opening of the Museum of Bad Art.” By midnight, says Sacco, 200 people had shown up. After running the museum by appointment from Reilly’s basement for a few years, the group began asking around for spaces that would allow them to display the MOBA collection free of charge. The first space they found was the basement of the Somerville Theatre, and there are now two other locations—one in the lobby of Brookline Interactive Group’s office on Tappan Street, and another collection depicting only animals at the New England Wildlife Center. MOBA’s “big break” came when they released a CD-ROM (remember those?), an interactive, virtual version of the museum. “We released it at the same time that the Louvre released a similar thing, a virtual museum,” says Sacco. “And we actually got better reviews than they did.” They made the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and since then, Sacco says she’s spoken to journalists from all over the world. Sacco has also traveled all over the country to speak about the museum, and pop-up exhibits have been held both nationally and internationally. But despite all the buzz, Sacco says she wants to keep the museum small. “All of this is done entirely with volunteers, no paid staff,” she says. “Our museums are always free, and so we operate on a real shoestring.” In a culture that often seems obsessed with expansion, Sacco’s philosophy is refreshing. “Our goal really is to just keep it going,” she says. “Because it’s a volunteer effort, we don’t want it to grow into something unmanageable. So, to keep it going, with a couple of sites and an occasional big event, is just perfect for us.” Sacco’s favorite piece is a dot painting entitled, “Sunday On the Pot with George,” currently on display at the Somerville location. She explains that the museum often receives paintings donev by skilled

painters, who simply made a bad decision in a particular work. “And then on the other end of that,” she says, “there are artists that barely know which end of the paintbrush to pick up.” So what does it take to get your work into the MOBA? Sacco says that most importantly, the art needs to be, well, art. “It has to be a picture that something’s gone wrong in an interesting way. [Michael Frank], our curator, actually doesn’t use the word ‘bad’ at all,” says Sacco. Instead, his perspective is “these are things that would never make it in a traditional art museum.” The museum typically receives about twenty offers a month, and accepts one or two of those pieces. There are various reasons for rejections—some are not quite museum quality but still technically good, but most are rejected because they’re uninteresting. Sacco and Frank both love the art they display, and their goal is to motivate patrons to think more deeply about art. In the Somerville Theatre location, guests of the museum are heard reading captions aloud and offering their own critiques. “This is actually a good painting,” says a visitor to his family. “This one I wouldn’t mind on the wall.” Later, his wife comments with a laugh on a portrait of Barack Obama framed with photos of Morgan Freeman and Dennis Haysbert: “This is extremely weird.” “You don’t have to agree with us,” says Sacco. “If you think that this piece is good, or you disagree with us, that’s great. We love that. We want people to think about what they’re seeing.” Often, the museum gets visits from school groups who come to Boston to see the MFA, and stop in to see the MOBA first. “It does free young people up to have their own opinions,” she says, “n o t t o b e i n t i m i d at e d . I think that’s important.” Y M




As the nation grows further divided, Emerson College President Lee Pelton works to make his institution more unified, socially and geographically. LIVING | 45

It has been six years since Emerson College gained its 12th president. Marvin Lee Pelton was born on September 25, 1960 in Wichita, Kansas. After graduating magna cum laude from Wichita State University with degrees in English, psychology, and a focus in 19th century British literature, Pelton attended Harvard University where he received a doctorate in English and American Literature. Pelton’s early life in Wichita was not privileged, but his personal experiences and education shaped the person he is today. Pelton, 66, has three children: 2012 Emerson graduate Clare, who is 27 years-old, his 23-year-old son Eli, and his 17-year-old daughter Sophia. Travel 14 stories up to the top of the Ansin Building, enter through the glass doors and take a left, past the seating area and behind the front desk. There you’ll find President Pelton’s office. Today, Pelton wears a tailored navy suit over a blue gingham shirt—no tie. He leans into his wooden chair in his spacious office that looks over Tremont Street and onto the Common, and in a soft-spoken voice he tells me he’s ready for the interview to begin.

of Boston Magazine. It featured powerful innovators. (MZ) That’s quite an honor. (LP) Yeah, it is. It was pretty cool.


(MZ) What about your mental age? (LP) Some people describe me as boyish, so I’m probably just in my mid-twenties.

(MZ) Before becoming Emerson College’s 12th president you served as president at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon for 13 years. What did you learn from your experience there that you carried over to Boston? (LP) Three things: The first was that I learned I had the capacity to change the culture of an institution, and that is no easy thing to do. It’s a difficult exercise [but] that cultural change endures even today. I also learned that I had the capacity to create a heightened sense of aspiration so that the institution could see not what it is but what it might be at it’s very best. And third— and this might be the most important thing I learned—is that authenticity is so very important in leadership; the best leaders, in my view, are those who are not afraid to be authentic and to talk about who they are. So I began for the first time talking publicly about my growing up—you know that I was raised in a house without indoor plumbing until I was six years old, that my mother, as well as my grandmother, [cleaned] houses for a living for all their lives, that my father did not complete high school, that I grew up in sometimes difficult circumstances, that my goal in life was really to live to be 50 years old. None of those are things about which I feel shame. All of them have shaped me and I’m very grateful for those experiences. I wouldn’t change my growing up for anything. My children live a very different life—a very privileged life—but I’m very grateful for the life that I’ve had.

(MZ) Are you excited to be our cover model? (LP) I’m very excited, yes. It’s a great honor to be on the cover of a magazine. I think the last time I appeared on a magazine cover was three years. It was the spring “Power” issue

(MZ) How have your childhood experiences shaped your role as President of an institution? (LP) I see one of my principal roles in life as making sure that young people—no matter their station in life—have the ability to see the op-

BACKGROUND (MZ) How old are you? (LP) Sixty-six. But you know, one has a chronological age, a physical age, and a mental age. And my chronological age is 66, but my physical age and mental age [are] a lot younger than that. (MZ) What is your physical age? (LP) Depends on who you talk to, but somewhere in the 40s.


portunities that await them. For my privileged children, the doors for opportunity are at their fingertips. It’s in the air they breathe, the friends that they have [...] they have contacts and a social, cultural, and educational network that envelops them and nurtures them every day. And then you have a set of young people, like myself, who had none of those and I had to find my way through and in life, really on my own. More than anything else, I’ve been driven by a passion and dedication to those young people for whom the doors of opportunity, the path to leadership, are not readily available or visible. This guides me in everything I do. (MZ) You came to Emerson in 2011 and now this is your sixth year as president, how have you liked it so far? (LP) Oh, I love this place. I love the students especially. It is such a wonderful melting pot of a community. This is the most affirming culture that I’ve ever been in; students affirm each other in wonderful ways, they affirm each other in these beautiful and effective ways. As I often say, this is the place where young people come to become the people they want to be. That was certainly true for my daughter. At her high school she was not part of the dominant social structure, then she came to Emerson and found people just like her with the same interests and inclinations and quirky way of looking at life—students who are just enormously creative, collaborative, have great communication skills. I just adore this place and I adore (I think of them this way) my students, so I’m having a great time. You know, there are times when being a college president is not easy. And during those times, I think mostly about the students and my obligation to them. And that gives me enormous personal hope and hope for their futures. I’ve never had this experience before in this particular way and I’ve been a college president for almost two decades. It’s a perfect place for me and I love being in the city. It took me a while to adjust to being in a vertical campus as opposed to a horizontal campus, but I love the ambience. I love the way in which the

city animates Emerson and how we animate the city. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: there are days, like a day like today, where I walk from my house here across the Boston Common and I am so struck by the beauty of the diversity of this place from the homeless people whom I know by first name to people making their way to the State House to work, people in bicycles and scooters, people variously dressed, and I am overwhelmed with joy.

STATE OF THE COLLEGE (MZ) You’ve been making some big changes. It seems our campus is always under construction and that our facilities are always improving and expanding. How is your vision of Emerson’s future campus in Boston coming along? Can you explain what’s being done in terms of institutional branding? (LP) We’ve been driven by what’s called placemaking to create a community that is highly animated, creative, and joyful. And so, all the construction that is taking place now and in the future is not about building facilities, it’s about creating [a] community. In the end, development is about people, it’s not about the buildings; it’s helping to create places where people can find expression or joy or vitality, and that’s what we are seeking to do here. Emerson is in the middle of downtown, there are other urban colleges in Boston— BU, Northeastern, BC— but none of them are as integrated and intertwined in the fabric of the community of Boston as we are. So when I look out the window of my 14th floor [office] I not only see Emerson College, but an entire community of which Emerson is a part of. I believe very strongly that we have a role to play in building community, and creating a place or set of places where people can engage with one another around important topics or where they can joyfully commune with each other, and where they can develop a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. That’s what we aim for. This is about building communities or [enhancing the] community that Em-


erson is a part of, and I’m very much driven by that vision. (MZ) By the end of 2019, Emerson will be able to house more than 2,570 students in the 18 story, 375 bed student residence at 2 Boylston Place. Plus, the interior renovations to the Little Building will provide another 290 beds for students. This will allow all freshmen, sophomore, and junior students to live on campus. There will also be a multipurpose student dining center on Boylston Street, scheduled to open in Fall 2019. How do you foresee a larger on-campus student presence impacting the students and school atmosphere? (LP) I think having three fourths of our students living in proximity with each other is a good thing. There is behavioral science that suggests that best ideas occur in environments where three things exist: 1. Diversity of ideas, thoughts, people, perspectives; 2. Dissonance, meaning culture that not only tolerates but encourages the expression of different points of view; and 3. Distance, [or rather, lack thereof]. That is to say, when you have diversity, dissonance, and proximity, you are creating the environment for new ideas, for new ways of looking at the world, at yourself, new ways of looking at cherished points of view. Creating an on campus diverse community of students who have different ideas and points of views, who are living close together, creates this wonderful melting pot of new ideas. And new ideas are always invigorating. They’re exciting. New ideas show us not what is but what might be, and that in and of itself is an exciting proposition. And I really get goosebumps just thinking about that. (MZ) Has the Boston Planning & Development Agency approved turning 12 Hemenway, the four-story Boston Fenway Inn, into an off-campus facility? There has been some push back from Fenway residents concerned with colleges taking over their neighborhood. (LP) We expect we will get approval to house about 105-110 students on a temporary basis for two years during the construction of the Little Building. And that will allow us to


house all first-year and all second-year students during that two-year period. We are also looking for additional housing for juniors and seniors. Right now, we house first- and second- year students, and we have the capacity to house another 300 or so students. All of the evidence in the past suggests that the demand right now is for about— among the upper classes—300 students. We are meeting the needs. During the two year [construction period] we will be a little shy of our status quo, and we know there will be some inconvenience there. I worry about the seniors who go to ELA for a fall or spring semester, but have difficultly in finding housing when they return or before they go. We have to figure out a way to resolve that issue. We went from having about 110 students per semester in ELA to having twice as many, so we have more than 400 seniors who spend their time in Emerson Los Angeles. That’s about half the class. We have to make their transition coming and going more fluid and less burdensome. (MZ) Undergraduate applications increased by almost 50 percent during the last five years, why do you think that is? (LP) I think that there is just a growing and depending recognition of who we are, what we offer. Emerson has been ahead of the curve in higher education. Emerson represents a marriage between theory and practice, making and doing. Recently, we have received really lovely national recognition. Our U.S. News & World Report rankings have gone from 14th to 8th, USA Today ranks us as the number one journalism program in the country. Forbes magazine cites us the 13th most entrepreneurial college in the country. I think there’s just a growing awareness of who we are and what a wonderful education one can get here. When I arrived, we were receiving about 6,500 applicants a year. And this year, we are forecasting that our applicants will be about 11,500, somewhere in that range. That’s almost doubled in a six-year period. That’s for 850 spots. We’re in high demand. (MZ) Speaking of renovations, how is

the progress on the historic Colonial Theatre? I understand this partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group, the leading international producer of live theater, is groundbreaking. You intend to renovate and preserve the oldest operating theater in Boston. (LP) Our aspiration is to be the local hub of arts and communication, in higher education, and so we just struck this deal with a global theater company—the largest in the world, with theaters in three continents and six in the US. In total, they own 47 theaters. This is a great opportunity for ATG, for Emerson, for the city. It’s especially a great opportunity for our students. The Colonial re-centers the Theatre District to the middle of our campus, and so this now becomes the focal point for our placemaking and community-building, so remember the Colonial will bring in people who are not affiliated with Emerson into our campus. The Visitor Center which used to be tucked in on a dark corner in Boylston Place is now front and center on Boylston Street next to the Colonial. We have about 19,000 visitors a year. The 18-story residence hall on Boylston Place will have a two-story atrium that will serve as a community center for our students but will also have have dining, which can be indoors or it will create a lot of foot traffic there and there will be a Starbucks, by the way, on campus, in that two-story atrium. It will make visible the way in which Emerson is integrated into the city and the city is integrated into Emerson. (MZ) There was mention of mentorships and internship opportunities being provided for Emerson students through the Colonial Theatre. (LP) Students will, as the name suggests, have mentors, meaning professional actors and professional theater folks, who will provide advice and counsel for our students. And then, exciting: the establishment of what’s called The Ambassador Awards, says that four students each year will be able to travel to the Edinburgh Festival.

STATE OF THE NATION (MZ) While at Harvard, you received a PhD in English literature with a focus on 19th-century British prose and poetry. That explains your eloquent emails. On Nov. 9, I received an email from you at 1:36 p.m. that sent shivers down my spine. [excerpts from email] “The results of the presidential election seem tectonic, as if the very ground on which we stand has shifted profoundly. Some of us feel as if our identities – our very beings – are under siege – that our virtuous hope for individual dignity and respect has been profoundly diminished and altered by this election. Yes, this was a change election, but so was 2008 and 2012. All is not lost or won, for there will be other change elections to follow in our lifetimes. To our students: You were educated to virtue. I want you to understand that to be fully educated you cannot be mere spectators. You must instead stand for something.” (MZ) These are profound words. (LP) I was trying to capture all the themes that I had witnessed that day. There was a gathering of students at [Common Ground]. So I went over there and talked to a few students, but mostly just observed what was going on and then I talked to some students on Boylston Street and afterwards I went home and wrote that piece that you just read. I wanted to reflect back to the community what I believe my students and faculty and staff were feeling. Not all of them, obviously, because there are clearly people on campus who voted for Trump and feel good about his election. And that’s wonderful, but I wanted to respond to the people who were feeling defeated and wanted to capture in words what I sensed that they felt, but also to remind the comLIVING | 49

munity that these sort of disruptions in our government have happened before and they will happen again, but the important thing for us is how we will respond to them. And I was trying to challenge people to respond vigorously and not to hide in selfish complaining, to take a virtuous action. And it’s pretty clear now that we are entering a new era of civil and human rights. This current administration has very little tolerance for dissention and our president has shown that when you dissent, he takes to name-calling, and I think that’s regrettable. In a democracy you have to be open to different ideas and perspectives and dissent. And um…I'll just stop, that's enough. There’s a lot more I can say. (MZ) Many of your students have been engaged in marches and rallies. Is there anything you’d like Emerson students to learn from this election? (LP) Marches inspire. They are a legitimate and powerful form of expression. Having said that, we are entering a litigious era where many of these issues will be settled in courts. I think that’s the future we have to look forward to, [with] a lot of courtroom battles over who we are and what we stand for as a nation. (MZ) When the immigration ban was ordered, you sent out an email on Jan. 29 offering comfort and counsel during unsettling times. How do you feel about Mayor Marty Walsh’s and the city of Boston’s response to this ban? (LP) I thought his response was pitch perfect. There is misunderstanding in general about what it means to be a sanctuary state, a sanctuary country, or a sanctuary campus, so I think there are now four states that are socalled sanctuary states, there are now 360 counties that are so-called sanctuary counties, and there are now about 36 cities that describe themselves as sanctuary cities. In no instance do those jurisdictions protect immigrants and undocumented immigrants unconditionally. What those declarations are, they say the following: that the local law enforcement officials will not voluntarily assist the immigration customs enforcement (ICE) in identifying and 50 | YOURMAG

detaining immigrants except for several conditions, including immigrants that have been convicted of a violent crime, immigrants who are on the sexual predators registry, [and] immigrants that are on the nation’s terrorist watchlist, but in all other instances, it will not assist. The federal government can still act without the assistance of those jurisdictions. The same thing goes for colleges and universities. The good news is that I spoke to the Mayor’s Office wanting to ascertain whether or not Emerson students, faculty, and staff were covered by the protections afforded to the citizens of Boston. Our students have those same protections that every person who lives, works, or studies in Boston has, so that’s a good thing. The question is: Can Emerson go beyond the statement that says we won’t willingly or voluntarily assist? I’ve asked some legal folks to help me figure that out and that’s going to take a while. On Jan. 25, Trump said he was going to withdraw federal aid, federal funding from all these jurisdictions and by implication, colleges and universities too. We receive 42 million dollars a year in federal financial aid, either direct or indirect, either money that comes to the college or money that is distributed individually to students. The loss of 42 million dollars on a 200-million budget means we could lose 20 percent of our budget. It would have devastating, far-reaching consequences [and] we’re not in a position to put ourselves in that kind of loss and jeopardy. So the question is: What other actions can we take in addition to the actions we have already pledged, which is not to willingly participate with or assist the ICE officials in the way they treat immigrants? And what can we do beyond what the city’s already provided?

SPEED ROUND (MZ) Coffee or Tea? (LP) Neither. Water. I don’t drink caffeine. I stopped many years ago and I stopped because I have a hard time going to sleep, so the less caffeine, I’m hoping the more sleep I will get. If I can get six hours of sleep, that’s really good, but I sleep intermittently, so I will

sometimes get up twice in the middle of the night to do some work, or try to puzzle through something. My day is generally so full that I don’t have time to process things during the day. (MZ) Favorite show? (LP) Because I’m so busy, I don’t have much time to watch television, even though I hear there is plenty of quality programs. (MZ) Do you have a favorite play? (LP) No, but I love the magic of live theater. There’s nothing like it. I love it. (MZ) Favorite film? (LP) Pulp Fiction and then there’s a film that not many people have seen called Slapshot. I love film that’s literate. It’s the words that I’m listening to. I love Fences, for instance. That’s what I love about theater because theater is highly literate. And Pulp Fiction has just got some of the best lines in the world. [Quoting the movie] ‘Do you know what they call a Big Mac in France?’ ‘A Royale with cheese.’ I cry a lot in films, so Love Actually, you know? I cry every time I see that. (MZ) LA campus or Netherlands campus? (LP) That’s tough. I love being in Central Europe. (MZ) Favorite world leader? (LP) That’s easy, Nelson Mandela. (MZ) Wichita or Boston? (LP) Boston, God that’s easy. (MZ) Favorite place in Boston to decompress? (LP) On my bicycle. Y M


Your Magazine Volume 7 Issue 1: March 2017  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you