Your Magazine Volume 8 Issue 1: October 2017

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V O L U M E 8 | I S S U E 1 | O C TO B E R 2 0 1 7


YOUR MAG V O L U M E 8 | I S S U E 1 | O C TO B E R 2 0 1 7


Editor in Chief





Managing Editor


Art Director

Editorial Director


Junior Designer IRIS PENA

Copy Chief








Style Editor


Assistant Photo Director

Head Proofreader

A&E Editor

Head Designer

Photo Director

Talent Manager


Creative Director

Social Media Director

Head Stylist RANA SAIFI

Asst. Talent Manager



Asst. Managing Editor






LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The passing of time and the evolution of identity that accompanies it never fail to astound me. Example: It’s now been eight years - almost a decade - since I started high school. And it’s been four years since I first sat down in a study room on the fourth floor of Walker with the iconic duo, Leigha Morris and Dan Salerno, for my first YM Marketing meeting. Your Mag has been a constant in my life as I learned about myself, about writing, about art - in these four years, I’ve grown and changed immensely. I’ve been lucky enough to watch Your Mag do the same. We’ve cycled through rebrands, identity crises, and fabulous launch parties, but the one constant is that we have continued to produce content that I am incredibly proud to have been a part of. So here we are in 2017, every day of which confirms my long-held belief that we are living in a literal dystopian society. We are surrounded by trauma at every turn, and it can be difficult to feel like what we’re doing at Your Mag matters in this kind of environment. That’s why we do our best to produce work that not only provides a creatively

and aesthetically stimulating reader’s experience, but that also gives us a place to think about the world we’re in and how to make it better. It’s my hope that in these pages you’ll find tidbits of your own mind mixed with new concepts for you to marinate on. I can honestly say that being a part of this publication has been and continues to be one of my proudest accomplishments, and I feel lucky to be working alongside the brilliant individuals who make this magazine happen. Y’all inspire me and have made me and YM into the best selves we can be right now. We’ve done our very best to be a voice of sincerity and a space where you can find a moment or two of peace. In this issue, we discuss the importance of enjoying a Sunday and feature living spaces that make us all want to redecorate; we also dissect the commodification of art and how capitalism and overproduction influence the fashion industry. And as always, we talk about sex. So take a moment and join us - breathe, think, feel with us. We’re happy to have you. YM




How Slut-Shaming and Prude-Shaming Taught Me Emotional Intelligence


n the small, southern town I grew up in, everything started young. It must’ve been something in the water, or the sunlight, or the way everybody talked about sex in a buzz. Sex was both common knowledge and hot gossip. Everybody knew what and who anybody did, down to the smallest details. And everything seemed to be labeled under one of two shameful categories: prudish or slutty. “Kay’s boyfriend told me she doesn’t know how to shave... down there,” a girl announced at a sleepover my freshman year. “And she apparently gives terrible head—all teeth.” The other girls laughed while I stood there quietly, thinking about my untouched pubic hair and the logistics of blow jobs. I had never entertained the idea that anyone might expect anything sexual from me until I was there, listening to all the things someone else’s boyfriend felt entitled to and was displeased with. I watched as my female peers joined in to mock her and validate his complaints, and quickly made one of the most important decisions of my love life: I would never sleep with anyone who talked about me or treated me like that. It was a decision that expanded in terms as time went on and the pressure to be sexually involved mounted. I knew I wasn’t ready for sex in high school, and that I wasn’t really

interested in dating at all. At the time it all seemed very adult and emotional, and I had enough adult-esque problems to deal with concerning my mental health and no emotions to spare. Thus, I became labeled a prude. Common beliefs like, “If you’re fifteen and haven’t seen a dick, you’re doing it wrong,” and “Abstinence is a waste of time on girls” signed my verdict, sentencing me to four years of virgin jokes and unnecessary comments about how “innocent”

“We have to be wantable and unattainable, easy and on call...” I was. At the same time, I still got slut-shamed for wearing short skirts, dancing at parties, and not dating entitled “nice” boys. All I heard around me was that I was supposed to be a straight, submissive girl who would give boys what they wanted, while also being good and pure. It was an impossible game to play and win because the rules weren’t just constantly changing, they were specifically rigged against the female sex. As writer Leora Tanenbaum wrote in an article for the Huffington Post, “Only girls and women are called to task for their sexuality, whether real or imagined; boys and men are

congratulated for the exact same behavior…[As a woman] you are damned if you don’t and damned if you do. If you refrain from any expression of sexiness, you may be written off as irrelevant and unfeminine. But if you follow the guidelines, you run the risk of being judged, shamed and policed.” It’s the age-old trap, one used to control female sexuality and treat women as commodities to men. We must remain shiny and new, but also prove to be useful and available when wanted, like glorified kitchen appliances. We aren’t allowed to be too sexy, or not too sexy. We have to be wantable and unattainable, easy and on call. It became very apparent to me that these outrageous expectations were wrong, and that people who expected anyone to fit into them were wrong too. It was a realization that sparked the birth of my own self-awareness and emotional understanding. I stopped caring about what people said about me or anyone else. Their opinions were fickle, they changed based on who they were, what I was doing, and who I was with. I could go from slut to prude, indifferent to desperate, easy to unattainable in three seconds. It was all a matter of perspectives and how different people chose to see me based on their experiences. The only thing that didn’t change were my feelings. At the end of the YOURMAG | 6

day and after all the punchlines, sex still seemed like something I needed time to be ready for—and so I listened to those feelings. It wasn’t easy. There were definitely times and days where I thought about putting myself out there, dating more people, even doing things I wasn’t comfortable with because that’s what everyone else was doing. There were long periods when I thought maybe they were right, maybe I should just have sex, or date the pushy asshole. But then again, if they were always wrong about me, how could they know what was right for me? In the end, I left high school with no regrets. To this day, I am very happy I waited to do my exploring until college. However, going away and growing up did not banish the shaming like I had hoped. If anything, that’s when it really sank its teeth in. As Meghan Murphy, founder and editor of the Feminist 7 | YOURMAG

Current, once wrote, “Patriarchy doesn’t want women to feel good about themselves… Feeling bad means trying to please men above all else. It means you’ll keep reaching for this thing you can never have.” What I could never have was approval, which I didn’t realize I wanted until I knew I wouldn’t find it. I was a prude in high school, and yet when I got to college and explored my options, my sexuality, and my preferences, I became the slut. I went looking for liberation, and what I found was a whole new set of restrictions being forced on me. I have been slut-shamed by people who previously prudeshamed me, people who dated me or wanted to date me, and even family and good friends I grew up with. I have watched others get uncomfortable when I tell them that I am polyamorous and fluid, even though they were so keen to have me “be

with people” when they thought I was totally straight and monogamous. I have strayed from the ever-changing rules, and because of that I am not supposed to be happy. And yet, I am happy. I am not ashamed of who I am, I was only ever ashamed of who people told me I was, and that has taught me to stay true to myself. It has taught me that the right people to have in your life will accept you and you must settle for nothing less. You cannot take on the negative emotions of others and how they feel about you and your love life, decisions about intimacy are not one size fits all. You have to decide for yourself what makes you happy, because if you rely on the world to tell you, then someone, somewhere will always say you are wrong. No matter your decisions, may you always dare to be shameless. YM






t 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29th of this year, I was scheduled to have an IUD (intrauterine device) inserted. At 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 29th, I made a frantic call to my gynecologist's office to cancel said appointment. At some point in between, I pussied out of getting the IUD. I'd had every intention of getting one since high school. By conducting some research, I found out that the IUD was low-maintenance, had a 99.9% success rate of preventing pregnancy, and lasted three to five years depending on the type of IUD you picked. I was positive IUDs were the best form of birth control. l decidedly told my mother that I planned on getting one instead of taking the pill, much to her horror—she has a thing about inserting foreign objects into one’s body, not that any other foreign bodies were entering my body anyway. And to this day, they still aren’t; but better safe than sorry, because you never know when the opportunity for consensual sex arises and you’re left with condoms that, while effective in preventing STDs (and you should always use them if you’re having sex with multiple partners), are not as foolproof when preventing pregnancy. And, it turns out I cannot take the pill. My gynecologist told me that taking birth control pills could worsen my slightly high blood pressure, so that was off the table. And while I could still use injections, implants, and rings, my doctor recommended the IUD to me, specifically a hormonal IUD called Kyleena. It was the most effective IUD on the market and one of the longest lasting too, preventing pregnancy for a fiveyear period. All I had to do was check with my health insurance company about whether or not I was covered to get that particular brand, wait for my Aunt Flow to visit (as my period-tracking app likes to call it), and get in touch with the office when it did so I could get my birth control in order before I left for school again. A week later, I got my period and called my gynecologist’s office, pumped to finally get this done— in less than three minutes, an appointment for the next day was made and I was given a prescription to take misoprostol, a medication typically used to induce labor. You heard that right, you’re “going into labor” to insert something you use to prevent pregnancy. That’s the circle of life for you. That, paired with your period, is meant to further dilate the cervix and make inserting the IUD easier (and supposedly less painful). My big mistake? It was after I'd already taken the misoprostol that I decided to read more accounts about the process of getting the IUD. Helpful hint: The Internet is not your friend, especially when it comes to medical matters. Much like when you look up the

reason for your cough and WebMD tells you that you have a rare, fatal illness, I was referred to a website where every person who’d gotten the IUD bemoaned it, complaining about months-long periods, severe pain, and other nasty side effects. At the mere thought of inconvenience and discomfort, my conviction fled and I changed my mind. I don’t know if it was Mother Nature or karma or some other force punishing me for my cowardice (it was definitely the misoprostol), but as soon as I decided I wasn’t going to go through with the appointment, I got the worst cramps of my life. Up all night, curled into a ball, and wanting to cry and push a non-existent baby out of me, I was completely miserable, but standing by my new decision to hold off on IUD insertion because if it was this bad now… If even one of those online reviews had been accurate, moving into my apartment would have been rough to say the least, but my case of cold feet completely screwed with a decision that I’d really been set on and would have given me a lot less to worry about in the long run. After all, I still need reliable birth control. In situations like this, calling my doctor for reassurance or an alternative would have been a smarter decision. And, despite one’s fears, conquering them and maybe facing a few weeks of discomfort is worth years of peace of mind. YM





Kama Sutra in a Twin XL There are so many ways of making a standard dorm space more comfortable: a mattress pad on the bed, throw pillows everywhere, an essential oil diffuser in the bathroom. But making it comfortable for two people can be a little more challenging, especially when those two people are trying to have sex. Luckily, the YM staff has created a Kama Sutra manual for you with the twin XL in mind.

“Don’t be afraid of being passionate about the things you love because that’s exactly what is attracting someone to you. Seriously, nothing builds tension better than getting really close to one another and just talking. Before you know it, you’re moving even closer.. And closer...” Alessandra Settineri, Romance Editor

“If you have a raised mattress, proceed with caution of falling off the bed because it will hurt much more that far from the ground. Always lock the door to prevent your roommates from potentially never being able to un-envision you boogie-oogie-ing. Remember the general dorm walls are very thin, and anyone you share a wall with will most likely know exactly how freaky you are. Embrace it, it will bring you and your roommates closer.” Sara Barber, Arts & Entertainment Editor

“If your roommates aren’t around, get out of bed! While a small space tends to work against us in the form of a twin XL bed, the tiny dorm showers are actually great for sex. The small enclosure forces you to get close fast, and depending on the particular layout of yours, it’s easy to prop one person up against the wall. Take advantage of the soap-holder indentations and, if you have it, the metal bar that normally serves as a handle.” Katja Vujić, Editor-in-Chief

“One person lays down on their back (naked) and the other person lays on top of them (also naked) and begins to spread their Holy Scripture (still naked) to the other person’s unfamiliar land!! I’ve heard it referred to as “missionary,” and I understand if it is too wild for some of you guys, but don’t be afraid to add some “Jesus Christ!” to your #sexlife!!!” Emme Harris, Photo Editor

“Hey if you fall off the bed, make it count. Get low, get dirty in that nasty carpet. You can take a shower after. Round two.” Emily Drake, Editorial Director YOURMAG | 12




hen I manage to squeeze my head through the neck of my gray turtleneck, pull on some slim trousers and throw my hair in a loose bun, I feel like the most intellectualchic girl in the world. Turtlenecks have seen their ups and downs throughout the modern Western fashion era, serving a utilitarian purpose until the 1900s when they became a fashion statement, associated with preps and intellectuals by midcentury. Today, they’re about as mainstream as it gets. And yes, you can wear them without looking like your aunt in the eighties. The first documented appearance of the turtleneck was during the medieval era when knights would layer turtlenecks under their chainmail to prevent chafing. The turtleneck as we know it today was first worn in the late 1800s by polo players, from which the English name for the style, polo neck, was derived. Turtlenecks strayed away from their strictly functional uses and gained traction in the fashion world at the turn of the 20th century when they became a staple of the elegant Gibson Girl look (only complete with the hair, of course), and became a regular part of unisex fashion by mid 20th century. In the 50s it was tight and trim. By the 90s it was baggy and cozy. The most iconic turtleneck look? Unarguably Audrey Hepburn’s all black ensemble in Funny Face. Challenged only maybe by Steve Jobs. Turtlenecks today come in an excess of different shapes and sizes. They can be wool or cotton, oversized or cropped. When styling a turtleneck, the fashion rule of balance is more important than ever. Pair a cozy, thick, cable knit turtleneck sweater with a pair of dark skinny jeans or trousers and sleek booties for a classic fall look. Balance a roomy, 90s-style turtleneck with a sexy, even more 90s-style mini pencil skirt. To carry your summer wardrobe over to fall, throw on a turtleneck underneath a slip mini dress or a flowy maxi dress.

For the ultimate winter professional look, layer a tight-fitting sleek turtleneck underneath a blazer. Score bonus points if the blazer is oversized. You can sex up a turtleneck by pairing it with a trim moto jacket, or sex it down by wearing it with a high waisted skirt and dark tights. My personal favorite is the Rachel Green: long-sleeved white turtleneck, plaid mini skirt, knee highs. And if none of these options spark your fancy, worry not—you can literally wear a turtleneck with anything and it’ll look good. Pick your favorite sweater or jacket, and think layers; turtlenecks are more versatile than they seem. The common thread between them all is an elongated neck, a protective barrier against the cold winter, and the feeling that you just might be smarter than you thought. So grab your turtlenecks and your smart kid glasses— we’ve got a long Boston winter of styling ahead of us. YM






hen it comes to fashion, we want what we can’t have. If you’re anything like me, it’s a bit like dating. Generally we are not content with what is directly available to us. Instead, we desire something hard to come by, something highly sought after. This lust for what is scarce is the essence of luxury. It’s what puts the thrill in everything from thrifting to high-end shopping. Just like securing your dream date, wearing that vintage jacket you scored last weekend is all the more rewarding when you take it out on the town for the first time. Since scarcity determines luxury, why is it that mainstream clothing companies produce so much product? Nowadays, we can buy nearly anything we want, anytime we want it. As soon as a trend emerges, large retailers produce mass quantities of the new product and ship it out to hundreds of stores across the globe. Consumers are led to believe that they need these articles of clothing, yet according to the Financial Times, most brands don’t even reach 30% sellout before markdown. This means brands are constantly producing more and more stock than will ever be consumed. This trend of overproduction is not cute—it’s waste. The leftover product that is not purchased is referred to as deadstock. While some of the product is sent to outlet stores to be listed at lower prices to eventually reach consumers, most of this deadstock is sent to landfills. Even then outlet stores do not sell 100% of their inventory, which creates even more mountains of waste. On top of that, many buyers who purchase discounted clothing at outlet stores psychologically assign less value to them and are more likely to throw them out after only a few wears. Suddenly the business of luxury becomes a business of garbage. Overproduction is an enormous issue that brands in the fashion industry try to hide. While brands may be able to afford producing more clothing than will ever be consumed by using cheap (and often unethical) means, our environment cannot. The United States alone produces deadstock valued at fifty billion dollars every year, making fashion the second-most polluting industry in the world. This messy business practice is neither

ethical nor sustainable. Overproduction drives up factory emissions, shipping emissions, and landfill waste. If companies aim to be more ecofriendly, they must cut down production to reach sustainability goals. The steps you can take as a consumer to work towards a solution, however, are nearly as accessible as the overproduced trends hanging on store racks right now. If you choose to purchase new clothing, I challenge you to consider quality over quantity. My mother always taught me that buying one nice pair of jeans from a sustainable retailer was more valuable than buying three cheap pairs of jeans from a mainstream brand. The reasoning behind this was probably that the nicer jeans would last longer. I agreed with her philosophy because I was less likely to match every other girl in class. Nevertheless my point is that clothes should feel considered. They should be well-made and meaningful. They should not be unecessary contributions to our overflowing wardrobes. They should be special articles with which we adorn our dear bodies. If you choose to purchase used clothing, all the better. Thrifting can be a great way to save money and curate a one of a kind look. Junior Costume and Makeup Design major Hope Weinstock is a proud thrifter who takes her shopping to the next level by taking what others consider “trash” and making it her own. On a recent spree, Weinstock scored a fabulous pair of broken vintage snakeskin boots which, she says, cost more to repair than to actually buy. Weinstock finds pleasure in adopting clothing that others did not want, reveling in the imaginative stories attached to each article and knowing that this type of joy is something that cannot be mass produced in a factory. So when it comes to building your wardrobe, be mindful of how you shop. Buy clothes that will help you stand out while also eliminating waste. Treat yourself to the scarce luxuries of quality clothes or thrifted treasures. A stunning, sustainable wardrobe is in reach. If you look for love — or in this case the jeans of your dreams or sassy snakeskin boots — in the right places, you just might find it. I can assure you, this love will be everlasting. YM


Brows with a BANG Written by Callie Bisset Photography by Stefan Schmidt



hen unattainable perfect eyebrow eludes us all: strong arch and filled in—but not too square and not too round. Like lots of other beauty standards, many of us spend months and years trying to achieve these unrealistic brows when, in reality, each person’s brows are unique and perfect in their own individual way. Once you acknowledge that your brows are never going to be Photoshop perfect on a daily basis, you can open yourself up to the fun of trying out different brow trends, and lately it seems there are so many interesting ones emerging. Ever since Cara Delevingne made her model debut, many have been envious of her naturally thick brows. Though unconventional, Delevingne shows that bold brows can definitely make for a great look. However, if you’re not blessed with Delevingne’s brows that’s totally okay. You can try the look out with the help of a good brow pomade, or if you’re serious about this trend you can try microblading, a semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo just for eyebrows. Model Scarlett Costello is known for her Kahloesque unibrow. Although, she once admitted to Teen Vogue, she didn’t always love it so much. “I definitely wanted shaped, pointy brows when I was 15 or so,” Costello said. However, these days her brows have become one of her most notable features. As your eyebrows literally shape your face, mixing it up with an out-there brow look can totally change your appearance. Recently, unconventional brow experiments have been swarming social media.

The feathered brow began making its way across Instagram in April 2017. Stella Sironen (@ posted what is regarded as the first #featherbrow, crediting a friend (@leevitu) with the inspiration. In the photo, her brow hairs appear to be split horizontally and combed in different directions. According to Sironen’s post, the brows are held with sticks of craft glue. As a sort of follow up to feather brows, other outrageous brow trends began to circulate. Squiggle brows captured public attention for a brief laughable minute. Then images of mock braided brows began to circulate. These brows were filled in with different colored brow pencils and contrasting hard and soft lines to give the appearance of a braid in the brow. This brow trend shows immense talent on behalf of the makeup artists, and helps further the idea of makeup as an art form. If you are looking to glam out your brows without all the skill required of some of these trends, start by experimenting with color. No matter the color of your hair, brightly styled brows are an awesome statement, especially for a music festival or other event. Brow gels come in a wide range of colors for this purpose. However, as a budget friendly alternative, you can also fill in your eyebrows with your favorite brightly colored eyeshadow. You can even experiment with glitter for an added sparkle. Apply glitter pigment directly to the brow or create a design with a glitter liner to draw attention to your brow look. Whether your brows are unkempt or blinged out, rocking it with confidence is essential. YM YOURMAG | 18





he status of my wardrobe is hanging by a millennial pink thread. Since coming to Emerson, I’ve had too many laundry mishaps to count. They’re undoubtedly linked to the fact that I’d done my laundry less than ten times before I left home for college. That’s not even mentioning my general disdain toward the minor inconveniences that go hand in hand with getting laundry done. My upper body strength is nonexistent. I drag more than lift my overflowing bin of dirty clothes. Going down fourteen floors in a dorm elevator, undoubtedly encountering the one person I didn’t want seeing me in my pajamas? No thank you. By the time I get into a laundry room, if ever I do, I put about as much effort into the actual cleaning of my clothes as I do in getting to the room itself. That is to say, the bare minimum. And sometimes, similar mediocrity gets us where we want to go: A’s on high school essays may eventually lead to the office of President of the United States. But laundry is, in my experience, notoriously unforgiving of such disregard for the sanctity of its practice. The first time I messed up my laundry, I shrunk a loose gray sweater into a tight crop top. I was frustrated at first. So, you’re telling me I can’t just throw all of my clothes, regardless of color and material, into one giant load of laundry and be done with it?! But as a money-saver at heart and someone looking to better myself in terms of sustainability, I decided on keeping each of the garments I’d goofed on in every given load. I restyled my gray sweater turned crop top with shorter sleeves and a deeper neck to make it work for the spring and summer seasons, which the sweater as I’d originally bought it was not at all meant for. Our laundry troubles can lead to a fresher wardrobe, without the need to buy new clothes. Hence my enthusiastic embrace of millennial pink at its peak, and even now. The ol’ red sock in a white wash load isn’t merely a media staple; like

Rachel from Friends, I look like a marshmallow peep, thanks to my naïveté in front of the washer and drier. But in 2016, and even now in 2017, a chic marshmallow peep is an aesthetic aspiration. And it’s not just in the wash that I’ve found my wardrobe taking an unexpected turn. Sometime in the past year, I found the whites of my otherwise black Converse to be covered by eye-catching ink spill. The physics behind my ability to spill a wide range of products remains unknown. My ability to take errors in outerwear and make them into assets shall hopefully get its due recognition. An unsightly ink stain was repurposed as an element of fashion, taking the splotches and covering them with artistic designs. To be clear, these designs are very much your average geometric patterns. But as an Emersonian who hasn’t seen the insides of a math classroom since high school, I take pride in them. We all have our shrunken, accidentally millennial pink, and ink-stained moments. These are not times to take to the trash can with a sigh. Fashion, high and low, is an environmental-heavy industry. It takes a lot from our planet, oftentimes without giving much in return. It is the little opportunities for sustainability and conservation that lead to change over time. Let’s look at pieces that get distorted by the trials of daily life with the attitude of someone who simply can’t afford to replace them. We can repurpose, instead, not only by revamping our college student budgeted wardrobes but by giving our environment a moment to breathe. On an individual level, I hope this is an unrelatable story. As much as I enjoy the arts and crafts element of adjusting my wardrobe to laundry and other mistakes, it’s not something I aim to do, by any means. But if anyone’s looking to shrink their sweaters, add a furled sleeve or aesthetic rip to their fall wardrobe, I’d be happy to throw your pieces in with mine. Let’s save water while wrecking wardrobes, but let's make it fashion. YM YOURMAG | 20

WHAT WE WORE (and still do)



auchos. Crocs. Ombré. Stirrup Pants. Crop Tops. Dip Dye. Butterfly Clips. Peplum. Bucket Hats. NormCore. Mermaid Hair. Cargo Pants. Bowl Cuts. What do all of these trends have in common? Oh, right. They’re dead. Sitting in the vinyl covered seat at the salon with my hair still damp, mountains of tin foil wrapped around the thick strands of my mane, and looking like a glamourous extraterrestrial, I contemplate my decision. “Isn’t ombré already dead?” Even at the tail end of 2015 when the look was loosing its initial momentum, I took the plunge and turned my brown hair into a vibrant gradient. I knew that I was meant to be a full blonde, but I wasn’t ready for that level of intense commitment and monthly trips to the salon to cover my roots, so this seemed like the obvious first step. From the moment that the chair spun around and I saw my freshly dyed locks, it was a match made in hair heaven. Ombré and I have been in a passionate love affair ever since and I don’t plan on breaking up with her any time soon. Ombré is dead #rip, but why should that mean that it isn’t a viable stylistic choice? Maybe the use of bright, summery tones characteristic of the timely trend has faded, but I choose to keep my hair looking updated and fresh each time I head into the salon by sticking with a classic neutral color and giving it a layered appearance with the balayage technique. Wild mermaid locks aren’t for this gal. What we often forget is that when adopting the latest trends whether they be in fashion or beauty, the second they become ours, they’re already out of style. Designers at fashion houses along with makeup and hair gurus are always already ten steps ahead of us and have figured out the trends for many seasons to come. They have a strong hold on what’s going to be popular and know what’ll sell. With the trickledown effect, mass consumers like ourselves are the last to latch on. Trends come and go in waves, but some of us like to splash around in the water a little longer. The inevitability of trends dying out on us is sometimes heartbreaking, especially knowing that that cute 21 | YOURMAG

peplum tank top won’t really feel all that special two seasons from now. Lost in the depths of your closet, it hides away from the world making way for newer pieces to emerge. We as a consumer population are constantly tempted with the best as we flip through the pages of magazines or scroll through our Instagrams. But what happens when we don’t’ want to let go of our beloved trends? They have the ability to become our signature look. It might feel a bit embarrassing to admit to yourself that you like a particular trend and want to keep wearing it regularly. Most people have been there—including myself and my “outdated” hair. Finding new ways to love your favorite dead trend look is always a challenge. Remembering that you’re in charge of your own personal style can definitely help to boost the confidence you have in embracing those elements of fashion and can actually be a way to make yourself stand out. Two experts at adopting dead trends as their own are Allison Nguyen and Chala Tshitundu. Their styles are as fresh as they come, yet elements of their wardrobe are comprised of items that have gone out of style some years ago. Nguyen ’19 doesn’t like labels, but tends to dress in normcore/ minimalist fashions. “Basically, anyone can call themselves a minimalist if they own a pair of white Stan Smith’s. [but] what I like about normcore is that I can mix and match in so many different ways. That makes one different from the rest.” Even in 2017 with the rise in brightly colored and patterned clothing, Normcore remains a true staple to Nguyen. Tshitundu ’18 has an interesting relationship with her dead trend: the notorious Croc. As a proud owner of eight pairs, these rubber soled clogs are part of Tshitundu’s everyday look. She would disagree with those that say Crocs have seen better days. Tshitundu pairs them with almost every outfit and dressing them up and down. She fully embraces Crocs, noting, “Confidence is the most important accessory.” This allows her the freedom to embody the Croc without fear. Though trends may be time-sensitive, when you adopt these elements into your own personal style, they become timeless. YM















Importance of Sundays




t’s a Sunday afternoon. I haven’t been awake for more than a couple hours. I have only left my bed for the necessary cup of coffee and to grab a Sunday paper for the crossword and Lifestyle section. There’s a pile of laundry accumulating in the corner of the room and a stack of assigned reading on my nightstand, but I haven’t thought of either of them today. And that’s exactly how it should be. For centuries, Sundays have been deemed a day of rest. This stems from Christian and Jewish tradition, but it stuck around long after the Puritans left the scene. You don’t have to be religious or even spiritual to appreciate and benefit from a Sunday. I promise. It is no longer a mandatory day of church going, its purpose has changed. Now, we live in a fast-paced world where businesses rarely close on holidays, let alone on Sundays. In a society that pretends to thrive on capitalism, it is seen as weak or even just flat out strange to do nothing on a Sunday. It has become just another day of the week. It’s just another chance to compete to-do lists, pick up extra hours at work, or aimlessly wander the aisles of Stop & Shop. We are impatient. We want our packages from Amazon delivered and cafes to stay open past nine. With this backwards mentality, maybe we are hurting ourselves more than we are accomplishing anything. We might feel less guilty about savoring and basking in the dawn of a new week, if we realized it actually improves work performance. A study by Chronobiology International concluded that working on Sundays actually led to an increase in work-related accidents. So it doesn’t matter how many hours you rack up if it makes it more likely you will be unable to work in the future. There’s nothing wrong with saying you’re burnt out. It is not a sign of weakness or lack of work ethic. It means that people, college kids especially, need and deserve one day a week to live for themselves. Just one day with no homework, deadlines, or obligations. It seems unreasonable to expect young people to grow into well rounded adults with hobbies, passions, general knowledge,

and memories if we systematically rob them of the time to do so. The Italians have a sweet little way of summing all this up: it’s called, “La Dolce Far Niente,” which means “the sweetness of doing nothing.” There may be those who resist this idea, insisting that they always have to be doing something in order to be happy. But maybe if we took a chance on revitalization, we would learn that value should be placed in who you are, not what you do. For me, it’s not a Sunday without the New York Times crossword. In my 21 years on Earth, I have

“Sunday should be the day when you tend to your soul.” yet to finish one by myself, but that only gives me something to look forward to on the Sundays to come. Sunday is my only day where I am off from both school and work. I don’t always make it to mass, but sometimes if I walk through the sound of church bells on my way to my standing brunch date with my boyfriend, I still feel a sense of peace. It is as if God is nodding to me that He understands my poor church attendance record. As long as I thank Him for my fancy brunch latte splurges, I think we can call it even. Sundays are also the only day of the week that I share time off with my boyfriend. Admittedly, he is far more invested in our weekly treks to the Beehive than I am; the ladies from Sex and the City would definitely approve of him. We take that time to check things off our bucket list: museum visits (the ones that are open at least), day trips up the coast, trying new coffee shops, and sometimes we just lounge about not saying much. His presence on these days is sometimes all I need to feel revived. Sunday should be the day when you tend to your soul. Recuperate and prepare yourself for the following week. Do the things you neglect during the nine to five hustle. Read the book your friend recommended to you that you put off, go to your favorite cafe and sit down as opposed to grabbing YOURMAG | 32

your coffee to-go before your 8 a.m. class. Lay in bed with your significant other and just talk. Or don’t. But most importantly, Sunday is the day of brunch. It’s the only day of the week where you can drink before noon and it’s totally acceptable, even encouraged. You wake up whenever you feel like it and stroll to the nearest avocado-toast-serving joint and have yourself a mimosa. You look to your left and you see people in yoga gear and you look to your right and find someone in a Chanel suit. Who cares?! It’s brunch. The menu has sandwiches and French toast, there are no hard and fast rules. Another weekly ritual unique to Sunday is the sacred farmers market. Farmers markets are great because they support both local artists and free samples. It’s a chance to completely immerse yourself in your community. You can wander from booth to booth meeting retirees selling jewelry or family farmers selling jams and jellies that will ruin every chain grocery store you will visit for the rest of your life. It’s enriching to experience where your food, florals, and crafts come from. You can go home with the satisfaction of knowing you defied commercialism and helped support an artisan struggling to live off their craft. You can also go home with a bouquet of flowers sticking out of your bag and a belly full of bomb pumpkin bread. If you feel so compelled, and if it aligns with your beliefs, Sunday can be the day to reestablish a connection with something larger than yourself. You can find your way back to faith as an adult, without the pressure and expectations of growing up in a religious household.


Finally, Sunday doesn’t even have to happen on Sunday. In some faiths, Saturday is the holy day of the week. And if you’re not spiritual at all, then you don’t have to assign yourself to the default day of chill. You can pick whatever day you want, as long as it rejuvenates you. Sunday is just a state of mind, and I hear you can even get brunch on Saturday. There really is something glorious about a Sunday. Maybe we are trained to feel that way from years of reinforcement in Sunday school or maybe it really is God’s chosen day. Whatever the reason, don’t forget to lose yourself in it for a little while. YM




“I meditated, telling myself that everything was absolutely fine, everything would be alright. After that I’d been back on high alert for any feelings of panic, but like always, I told myself that these things pass.”


hen I returned to Boston for my sophomore year of college, I was unprepared for the anxiety that greeted me. I did not foresee any obstacles that would stop me from moving forward in my life—socially, academically, or personally. Anxiety did not fit into my plan. College seemed much more overwhelming than I’d remembered from the previous year and my first few days back felt like a bad dream. I experienced intense anxiety that caused me to feel foreign in my own body and I had no idea why. I had never experienced anything like it. After researching, I discovered this feeling is called derealization. describes derealization as a coping mechanism that stems from anxiety; “During intense periods of anxiety (as occurs with panic disorder and other severe stress disorders), the mind essentially decides it's going to tune the world out in order to cope.” These feelings came and went, but they always occupied space in my mind, causing my everyday life to feel uncomfortable and scary. Near the end of my first semester as a sophomore I had a panic attack during class. It was nothing like the moments of anxiety that I’d experienced in the past few months, it felt worse. My heart rate rapidly increased, I became sweaty and had difficulty controlling my breathing, feeling like I would never again be able to catch my breath. It seemed to come out of nowhere and to this day I don't know what caused it. Now, a year later, I’m able to go long stretches of time without thinking about my anxiety, but that doesn’t mean it’s disappeared. After a bad attack it becomes increasingly difficult for me to think of anything else for weeks, sometimes even months, on end. Julie Eaton, a licensed therapist in Bozeman, Montana, says those who experience anxiety often feel a pull to think through their racing thoughts and find the source of them. “This doesn’t help and instead creates a continual loop,” says Eaton, “The real trick is to move away from these thoughts, not to engage in them.” Navigating through my thoughts, as Eaton described it, is something I struggle with. It was something I would like to have thought I’d conquered over this past summer, but as my junior year approached, I worried about whether or not I was ready for the struggles that awaited me.

When I returned to Boston for the second time I was completely focused on moving into my first apartment, working on just four hours of sleep and little food. By the end of the day I could literally feel the anxiety creeping up from the back of my neck. While sitting in my new bedroom it finally hit me that this was where I would be for the next year. Suddenly, everything around me felt wrong and looked unfamiliar to me. Professional counselor Patti Sage, at Sage Counseling Solutions in Marlton, New Jersey, says that during a panic attack you should accept the feelings instead of fighting them. “It’s just a chemical. It always passes. I’ve lived through them before,” Sage says. I reminded myself of her advice while lying in my new bed, desperately trying to calm myself down. I meditated, telling myself that everything was absolutely fine, everything would be alright. After that I’d been back on high alert for any feelings of panic, but like always, I told myself that these things pass. It took a while to realize that what was making me uncomfortable was my transition into adulthood and aversion to change. I wasn’t a freshman anymore; the novelty of college was wearing off, I was living off campus and I’d have to make some serious decisions concerning my career and plans after graduation. It felt like so much was going on and changing; it scared me more than I’d like to admit. Coming to terms with my anxiety for the past year has definitely been difficult, and it’s something I am constantly working on. Talking about my anxiety with others has helped me regain some control in my life. It allowed me to learn more about myself and shattered the idea that I was alone. The support I receive from friends and family gives me the strength to conquer my anxiety in even the scariest of moments. I’ve proven to myself that I grow stronger after every battle and this makes all the difference. My anxiety will probably never go away, nor will the possibility of change, but I know that I’ll only get better at dealing with it. YM




INTERVIEW BY CAROLINE KINSLEY PHOTOS BY ALLISON NG, NICK CHAMBERS-SALCE, MADISON DOUGLAS, LILY WALSH Where is your favorite place to shop for home decor? Lily Nelson: Target. Meredith Stisser: Home goods and Tjmaxx. Reagan Campbell: I bought most of my stuff from target! They have really cute stuff this season. Annie Huang: My favorite place to shop for home decor is Dollar Tree and the streets of Allston during move-out week. Why did you decorate your space this way? LN: I didn’t want to clutter my room and walls with different colors and patterns because I wanted to

be able to relax in my own space, so I stuck to neutral colors and blues and pictures of open fields. MS: I love color, and I wanted it to feel like my space at home where I had these same decorations. RC: It’s really important for me to be living in an environment that feels positive and warm and comfortable, so making this space homey and plush felt like the best thing to do. The yellow-y lights and tons of throw pillows and a shaggy rug all give me that warm feeling. AH: I decorated my space this way because Pantone’s and my color of 2017 is green. As a result, I decided to dedicate my living space to this theme of nature and greenery.

What inspires you? LN: I get inspired a lot based on what I see on instagram and twitter but also when I see art/movements with a set purpose and meaning and mission it’s really inspiring. MS: Chance the Rapper. RC: Definitely color. I chose a color (dusty rose/pink) and used it as much as could, and built everything else around that color. AH: Architectural Digest inspires me. I enjoy recreating the design of a space by rearranging the furniture and reinvent conventional furniture setups. How does your space make you feel? MS: It makes me feel cozy and creative. RC: It feels pretty girly and soft, which aren’t things one gets to experience all day in the city or in a lecture hall, so I feel refreshed in here. AH: My space makes me feel warm, like I’m lounging outside in nature, while in the safety of my space. What is your favorite thing about your dorm? LN: The Monet & Van Gogh YOURMAG | 38


prints from the MET because it really individualizes my room, they were the perfect size, and it reminds me of home because I used to visit the MET all the time. RC: Definitely my essential oil diffuser. It makes everything smell so fresh and clean and calming, and I get to choose the mood depending on the time of day/weather. It also feels like an act of self care to use it -- one that doesn’t require hardly any effort but has a big emotional pay off. AH: My favorite part of my room are all the fake plants surrounding my space. From the vines crawling up the walls to the small succulents lined against the window -- everything is fake. I enjoy not having the responsibility of taking care of these plants, while having the benefit of feeling like I’m surrounded by nature. Everything is an illusion. What was your favorite “steal”- or a piece of decor that was inexpensive? LN: My favorite steal was the pegboard above my desk. I saw it peeking out of the $1 bin at target right before checkout and it’s perfect for making a place for my odds and ends MS: I made my chakra poster myself so it was free! RC: My lights! They are super cool vintage looking ones and I got them on amazon for like 10 bucks. AH: My favorite “steal” is my Dunkirk poster signed by the director and the cast. It was inexpensive in that it was given to my by the production team as a gift, while being extremely valuable in that it is something I earned for and not paid for. Do you have any tips for decorating your dorm? LN: My advice would be to keep it very simple and clean because a lot of decor YOURMAG | 40

with different themes and patterns and clutter can be very overwhelming which can take away from your dorm becoming “your space” and your place to get away from school and life MS: Crafting is a great way to decorate and be creative on a budget!! RC: Storage doesn’t have to be those ugly clear plastic bins... little touches like a wire/opaque bin makes all the difference in creating a homey environment! AH: My tip for decorating your dorm would be to create a space that you feel extremely comfortable in, while also not shying away from creating the space that you have always dreamt about living in - no matter how impossible that may seem. YM








uring my early years of high school—around the time that I started annotating Lolita, and watched American Beauty for the first time—I decided that I was an intellectual. This, of course, was a massive realization for me, and I needed to convey to everyone that I had decided to become an artist. That’s when the notion of aesthetics entered into my life. The idea that one has to look like an artist before one can be an artist is best described by David Lynch, discussing his early development into painting in the documentary The Art Life. He describes this phenomenon as the idea that to become an artist, “You drink coffee, you smoke cigarettes, and you paint, and that’s it.” This kind of juvenile idea of having to conform to a specific lifestyle in order to thrive in an arts community is what makes so much of the arts community so vapid and leads to the commodification of art. It seems like art today is valued for its beauty and ability to sell rather than for drawing attention to the political or social motivations behind it. The mass media has held a hand in appropriating artists, primarily turning artists like Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Keith Haring, and Frida Kahlo into pop stars or posthumous celebrities. It would be unusual for me to walk through a college campus sporting a Kahlo tote bag without anyone recognizing her purposefully grown out unibrow, even though it’s considered to be ugly by European beauty standards. Never mind Kahlo’s anticapitalist views and the fact that she would would roll over in her grave if she knew CVS had branded her to a lipstick. Although some of this commodification has helped a new generation become aware of the legacy of these artists, a lot of the messages, platforms, and authority that these artists stood up for has been diluted by consumerism. We no longer hold these people as icons because of their innovation in the arts, but we celebrate them because of their ability to sell products and be recognized by the masses. These artists have had their work diminished into mediated images for the purpose of producing and selling products such as pens, wallets, t-shirts, shoes, backpacks, hats, umbrellas, lipsticks, coats, notebooks, phone cases, socks, you name it. The act of turning art into capital has made these artists incredibly commemorated figures (even though this always happens after death) and has gained them hundreds of thousands of fans, many of whom wouldn’t have had quite the introduction to art without it, but have we commoditized their art to the point that it takes away from their life’s work or waters down the message that they conveyed in the first place? Since the origins of the AIDS epidemic, more than 70 million people have been infected with the

HIV virus and about 35 million people have died of HIV. Keith Haring was one of them. His legacy of fighting against the AIDS crisis and the United States government’s delayed and lackluster investigation into the fatal outbreak has been widely washed out in remembrance of him. The t-shirts at Urban Outfitters meant to commemorate his life as an artist leave out the important details of his career, including his street work for the message “Ignorance = Fear, Silence = Death” and the countless images he made for safe sex advocacy, information on the AIDS crisis, and his last work called Unfinished Painting, a purposefully unfinished self portrait meant to comment on how the lack of government help during the crisis prematurely ended his life and career. We all fall victim to this vapid capitalism without realizing it. We commodify art because we think we are paying homage to it, when in reality we are celebrating the business that reproduced the image rather than the actual artists, their legacies, and the messages that they stood for. We have to be smart consumers; we have to understand where our money is going before we spend it. This can be applied to all aspects of our lives, not just when we are consuming art. Making and spending money is a violent act, and we have the ability within that act to make sure that people are being properly paid and remembered for their work. Telling the truth in art is brave, and people like Keith Haring deserve to be remembered for their activism, rather than purely for the aesthetic value of their work. YM


Queer Accountability




ith great Twitter followers comes great social responsibility. Take, for example, Kylie Jenner’s rumored pregnancy, which provoked nearly the same ferocity from the general public as Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest of racial injustice. These distinctive notifications of our time uphold massive exposure to the majority of people who receive their information based on the attention of widespread media coverage. Famous and intensively popularized people’s lives, beliefs, and actions become embellished by the news and therefore our day-to-day conversations. It could be said, though, that the difference between these two aforementioned icons is that one is tottering a multibillionaire superficiality while the other is advocating for the humanity of black people. Many of us have heard about these recent events on our Twitter feeds and perhaps shared our thoughts on the matter with our friends. One holds the extension of the entire community while the other only confronts the coverage of an exclusive family’s empire. The reach of these people influences our common conversations, and potentially how we see our daily lives and our stances on these issues. The actions associated with a famous person’s image grants an authority in the eyes of the general public. This proves especially true within communities that are notoriously degraded or diminished from the public eye. To the outside world, this icon becomes a representation for the entire community. To the inside world, that person is an image of how we advance beyond survival. We often take their morals as a pinnacle for everyone else. LGBTQ+ representation in the media has historically been scarce or demeaning, so in 2015, when queer punk duo PWR BTTM began singing about queer love and intimacy, learning people’s correct pronouns, and being “more than just a boy in a dress,” it alleviated some of isolation in understanding that a queer identity is valid. Their live performances seemed to connect everyone in the room as the glitter flourished between them to the tune of their favorite songs. Recently, PWR BTTM was accused of sexual assault. They were immediately dropped from their

record label, tour dates, and fans’ Spotify playlists. Some die-hard PWR BTTM fans even realized the musicians’ approach to sexual encounters may have been inappropriate, and perhaps had the chance to reflect on their own sexual encounters. Some had already had the example set. Some of the sole representation of queerness in the media was snatched from idolization and shrunk back into the muted conversation. Luckily more queer bands have been reproached in a hopeful response to PWR BTTM being denounced. The unacceptable nature of taking advantage of other people has no place in our representation, and it is apparent within the community that one band was not the threshold for how we handle ourselves. It is unfortunate that the blip of spotlight in the queer community was tarnished by a tainted token of it, but we learn and get better. Bands like Palehound progressively revamp the way queer communities are viewed. They recently curated a Spotify playlist in the spirit of Pride month. After denouncing mainstream media solely representing heterosexual intimacy, lead frontman Ellen Hopkins collected songs to love unusually with. During the Fight Supremacy rally in Boston this past summer, Palehound offered guest-list spots to their show for anyone who had attended the counter-protest, celebrating the warmness of where hatred can’t live. These kinds of spaces, fan-based interactions, shows, and advocacy of marginalized communities demonstrates a profound resilience. No matter how mainstream media depicts queerness, those who identify as such knows the world works a bit differently for us. As such, the general public needs to recognize how much influence exists in the media we digest. When we watch the nightly news or scroll through our Twitter feed, we know things are happening somewhere out there, but refuse to acknowledge how they hit right here. People with a large following, both in real life and online, hold a greater influence over the general population. Their beliefs and actions have a wider platform for people to hear and resonate with. YM




It started with a small tragedy: a missing scarf.


y favorite, a black and white-checkered blanket of an accessory from Zara that had been with me through international travel and the strangest sleeping spots. It was with a heavy heart that I dragged myself to the Museum of Science in Boston, but despite the loss, I was on a mission. After three years in Boston, I was finally going for a duck tour. It was College Night at the Museum, meaning free admission, a free duck tour, and an incredibly long line. Despite the misty grey sky, at intervals releasing a light spray of raindrops on us all, the excitement started to build. This is it, I thought. I’m finally going to experience what it’s like to drive off a road and into water. I’m finally going to understand how it feels to be a Boston tourist, watching students like myself go about their business from far above. The wait was long and I spent most of it thinking about my lost scarf: Where could I possibly have left it? When did I last have it? Why was I the worst person ever to exist? After about half an hour of this, two wheeled boats pulled up: first a green one, then red. Just barely making the cut, I ascended the metal steps protruding from the dark maroon exterior, and entered...a literal school bus, except with plastic zippered windows velcroed onto the sides. Like on any good school bus, the smooth white ceiling was covered in sharpie-marked indications of previous passengers. Above me were messages from Harman Rijks, Dutch army member, Ralph and Robin Cook from the USAF, and Diane from Merrimac. The seats were white and your average school bus seat - no seat belt to be found. Our tour guide was about forty, bald, and sporting a Duck Dynastystyle beard to go with the red bandana wrapped around his head. He told our boatful of college students that his name was “Hardly Davidson.” You know when someone’s forty, but still thinks they’re eighteen, but also is completely out of touch with Today’s Youth™? I’m going to refer to this as a “quadult.” So this quadult started our tour off with some really enthusiastic jokes about day drinking and his own encouragement of it. Then he started asking us about our colleges, and when a few mildly rowdy BU students yelled their allegiances, Hardly Davidson the quadult laughed his hyena laugh and said, “OH. I know who’s been DAY DRINKING!” It only got worse from there. According to Davidson’s online profile, “He’s hiding from a local scooter gang that he used to be a member of. The gang did way too many bake sales so he had to bounce. They haven’t found him yet, and that’s the way he’d like to keep it.” According to Davidson’s tour guide speech, he was born on the day the Saratoga race track opened, and he sees his tours as his own little therapy sessions.

After an impressive navigation of traffic from our onland driver, Pat, we passed Boston’s Lynch Family Skate Park (“Second biggest skate park in the United States!”) on a gravel path, then dropped easily into the water with a minor splash. The grey sky made the water an odd shade of greybrown, but the softly churning waves still had the power to mesmerize. Three primary topics were covered during our glide down the Charles River: (1) Boston Marathon runners and, most uncomfortably, their nationalities. Seemed quite bothered about the continued success of Kenyan runners in particular. (2) Artificial intelligence: “Raise your hand if you think artificial intelligence is going to take over the world and you’re scared. Okay, now raise your hand if you think it’s awesome!” I may not have learned anything about Boston’s history, but hey - at least now I know how my fellow passengers felt about artificial intelligence. He then (3) spent approximately fifteen minutes discussing amputations and subsequent reattachment surgeries, reminding us all to be grateful for our functioning limbs. “Imagine,” said Davidson, “if you woke up without hands. You use your hands for everything.” It was kind of like being at a bad party in high school where someone was high for the first time. The Boston history I learned that day was minimal. Because it was a free college night duck tour, the usual 80 minutes was cut down to about 45, and most of our time was spent in the water. Still, I’ll venture to say that if you are looking for a tour of Boston interspersed with actual stories of its history, a duck tour might not be your best bet - though it likely varies by tour guide. If you want to go for a ride in a vehicle that can handle land and water - pretty fucking cool, honestly - while listening to a series of mostly bad jokes, I one hundred percent recommend the duck tour. 10/10. After the tour, I enjoyed exhibits like an interactive light board, a display on the importance of recycling, and a DIY mini-crane experiment. There was even an art exhibit focused on mental health, with art that tied together the left and right brain processes. The swarming crowds were disorienting, however, and the whole evening felt a little bit like an odd dream. And maybe it was one, because when I finally came home from the festivities, my lost scarf was waiting for me, strewn across my couch. YM



YOUR MAG COPYEDITOR IRIS PENA “Believe” Stone From middle school up until my sophomore year of high school, I had an in-school therapist. I’d tried therapists before and it had never worked out, except for this one. Her name was Marlon and she helped me through the toughest times during those years. She always listened to me and tried to mediate any possible confrontations I had. Before Marlon went to Honduras to take care of her grandmother, she gave me this stone and told me to use it as a source of luck or hope. I’ve had it ever since. Nintendo 2DS Nintendo has always been a staple for me growing up. I’ve possessed many Nintendo handheld and console devices through my life. Most of them I inherited from my uncle, who has been one of the biggest influences in my life when it comes to hobbies and overall personality. It’s been a source of entertainment and bonding for me throughout the years. Of course, the main reason I keep one around is because Pokemon is always best played on a Nintendo handheld, and Pokemon has been another staple in my life. Glasses I remember when I was first prescribed glasses at 12 years old; I didn’t even know how much clearer the world could look until I had my first pair. I got them for distance, and putting them on for the first time was like seeing everything for the first time again in immense detail. Afterwards, contacts became my next goal for my eyesight. Although I liked being 49 | YOURMAG

able to see without glasses, I still ended up using my glasses the most. Game of Thrones Book Set During my freshman year at Emerson, one of my roommates gave me this book set as a Christmas present because I was always raving about Game of Thrones. I was, and still am, so enraptured by the series that I was thrilled to get the books. I’ve always been fond of books and when I was younger I would check out huge stacks from the library and binge read them. So naturally, when I found out my favorite TV show was based on books, I wanted to read them. Cupcake Carrier I had never shown much interest in baking until my freshman year. Once I started baking, though, I could never stop. Baking has proven to be such a creative way to show people I care about them. Ever since I moved from mixes to scratch, my first go-to gift for birthdays is a batch of cupcakes. Water Bottle I always try to carry a water bottle around. I’ve been through so many water bottles, but it never stops me from buying a replacement. Having a water bottle is kind of a symbol of health for me because the main reason I keep one around is to keep track of my intake. It’s one of my only steadfast attempts at being healthy and losing weight. YM













NOTES FROM WARSAW And the impossibility - the namelessness of it all - makes it feel boundless, doesn’t it? That scares you? Remain atop salt to uphold weightlessness so as to not drown in the sea. Common sense For, some people call floating above the nameless, paradise. s.m.m.k.


BEDTIME STORIES Sometimes, when I cannot fall asleep at night, I lie on top of my bed sheets and I write down a story. A story of a conversation that stuck in my head like vines hang on buildings, a story of dancing with my mother, a story of a candle or a past lover. And I write until I feel tired, until my eyelids act as rope tightening around my eyeballs, and my limbs feel like floppy pieces of printer paper and all so quietly and all too suddenly, my legs are beneath heavy blankets and I am asleep. They say the pen is mightier than the sword. So I write down, as if it is a challenge, “prove it.” Other times, when I feel like I’d rather tell a story about heartache, about one-sided conversations with my dead grandmother, I wish that the bed sheets that cover me would act as earth. That I would finally get to see what lies beneath the dirt even when the sun rises. Perhaps I would even write a story about what my tomb looks like – how the dirt feels colder at night. And as the sun rises, I fall – back asleep and I am asleep. I am asleep. s.m.m.k.


NOTES ON MY FATHER I never liked using the word, “homesick.” I am missing home, but I am not sick. Sick means lousy and tired, but my memories of home are not. How could I be sick when the oranges in Valencia are picked from branches to be squeezed into orange juice? My immune system does not need to be repaired and it does not have to heal any ailments. No, I am not quite sick as I am longing. Longing for morning conversations with my father. Conversations about how I slept. I will ask him how he slept, but no, he’s insist on staying out of the morning sunlight – “Nice to be back in your own bed, huh?,” he’ll respond. He will ask questions and reassure you of the importance in your being. I want to be like my father. A man who wakes up early to make sure everyone has a cup of coffee and one who drinks a cup while everyone else is still dreaming. One who reads the Sunday newspaper like he’s preparing for an exam on a subject he’s been studying his entire life. And I want to be like my father – the kind that loses interest quickly by mundane conversation, but the kind that stays patient and eager so as to not offend those who stand before him. The kind that shows his strength through that patience and calmness. I miss mornings with my father – mornings that feel slower. Mornings that are home to conversations that make me pray for my father’s immortality. I want to be like my father – a man whose voice sounds like heels walking on marble tiled floors and a man whose smile translates to Take things slowly, Stillness is enough. He is good at remembering things: the music you listen to when you feel despondent, the way your grandmother liked her tea, your favorite meal and the way your voice sounds when you sing. When I think about my father, I think about those mornings spent talking and I think I understand what homesickness is – a longing that runs so deep and turns so dense it can make you feel dizzy. Thoughts of my father’s tilted head when reading or looking at something with rapture and his leaning gait when first leaving a seated position seem to fill my head so entirely and so quickly that I feel a headache coming on – the beginning of a cold? It seems as though homesickness is an incurable disease when you’re away and memories of time spent with my father turn immovable in my head like they are dribs of melted wax on burning candles. And I’m not quite sure I’d like to find a cure because in these memories, I discover bliss and in these memories, I create a world where conversations with my father never end. In this world, I hope time is a thing you can buy and memories, the only form of payment. s.m.m.k.



I miss you – the taste of your lips. I can’t seem to remember what they taste like anymore though. I told you that after we spent our time together, I would drink wine and feel your lips on the curve of the wine glass as if I’d found and been transported to a space that felt a lot like a home. A sort of space I’ve never stopped looking for, but could finally share with you. My hands wrapped around your thigh the same way – like the last piece to a jigsaw puzzle you never wanted to finish even before you started matching pieces to empty space. I am in a garden somewhere in Valencia and I’m writing to you because I can’t remember the taste of your lips. Remind me. I don’t want to forget, but sometimes it’s memory that comes out from the dark one time too often. A memory of taste, but a memory that is fleeting. Your lips are the softest lips I’ve ever touched – like moss that grows in an area that’s wet, full from sunlight. You were the first person to ever call me sexy and have me believe it – you helped me feel small. I think that people should remember smallness is bigness when you feel short, but sturdy – rightfully grounded. No one has ever helped me find my footing like you have – no one ever made it feel more justified. I’m writing this trying to remember the taste of your lips. I remember waking up next to you, noticing your brown eyes and wanting to touch the chestnut color that painted the area around your pupil because I knew it’d feel like drinking my first cup of coffee. Your breath was cool and it warmed my entire body. As your lips grazed against mine and your exhale filled my lungs, I felt electricity propel through my blood. Like you could cut me open and as my blood poured from my skin, the lights in street lamps would ignite and they would remind you of your way home and you would look into my eyes. You said my eyes were so blue that you could look into them for hours, mistaking them for crystals – perfectly severed. I wonder if when you looked into my eyes, you saw the ocean or the future or you noticed the beauty in the sky. I’ve read that blue eyes aren’t really blue – in fact, they are so brown, so dark, that the color blue is merely a reflection. I hope my source holds factual because the sky turns blue that way too and I hope you look into the sky and remember the taste of my lips. I miss you, but I can’t remember the taste of your lips. Can you miss something you don’t remember? The answer is moot. Your lips felt like hot tea in the morning – a shock to your system. Your mouth dry from slumber, made wet and red from the intake of a liquid with a temperature so high, it could burn your skin. Hot tea in the morning. As the water trickles down your throat, it stops midway because your body is telling you, the tea must be cooled. Desire breeches on rationality. The tea is already on its way to its final destination and you refuse to spit it up. It is hot and it is nourishing. You swallow the tea and all at once or all too slowly, you’re awake. Your mouth is wet for only a moment, until it turns dry rather quickly from the heat left floating in the space behind your teeth. Your mouth is dry – a dehydrated estuary demanding relief by means of hurricane – and you’re eager and longing for more hot tea and with each sip your body feels like it has been struck by lightning – as though electricity replaced your blood. The taste of your lips is coming back to me. A sweet memory of drinking hot tea with you in the morning. s.m.m.k. 63 | YOURMAG


[for record’s sake] Tomorrow I turn twenty-one years old. In twentyone years, I’ve fallen in love twice, thought on mortality more than twice, and fallen asleep to “Who Knows Where The Times Goes” on more than 636 occasions. Emily Dickinson is still my favorite poet and French Fries are still my favorite food. I still think about my dead grandmother and her honey tea and I still talk to her before I close my eyes for the night and I still cry about her when I drink too much red wine. Côtes du Rhône is still my favorite red wine. Rebecca Nurse is still tormented and Salem is still hysterical. And I still haven’t a hang on myself just yet. Someone called me crazy the other day and I liked that. I said, “So are you.” I wonder if he believed me. When I wake up in my childhood bed these mornings, it feels different. Perhaps, the sun forgot about me since I left, but its rays don’t tap me the way they used to. That sort of tap on the cheek your mother gave you before you got out of bed to get dressed for school. Nowadays, it feels like the sunlight just barely pokes its way through my shutters in the morning to tell me, “The afternoon is quickly approaching - get up, son.” I wonder if that’s what the sun would say if it held air, a pair of lungs and the ability to smile. I still watch my mother talk to deer as if they are her own fawn and I’m reminded of her ecclesiastical way of loving - I bet the deer dub it sanctimony. When my mom hugs me, it is baptismal. The way she does loving will be written in books and rewritten and taught and rewritten until the act of her love innately presents itself as being so inconceivably biblical that people will deny its obvious existence. I still look forward to car rides to the supermarket with my father which are, more often than not, charged with a sort of silence that is synonymous with consciousness or familiarity - defined by a sort of love that’s so tender, it will be my life’s challenge searching not for its replacement, but for its competitor. The only sound: a tap tap tap from my father’s finger on the steering wheel. I still fall asleep to Nina Simone and I still prefer rain to sun. And I still find solace on my hammock. Mary Magdalene’s pursuit is still my personal precedent for Loyalty and loneliness still is a hard habit to hit, but when does truism turn cliché and when does quietude turn ritual? s.m.m.k.