Alice Vol. 5 No. 1


Published by UA Student Media in Fall 2019.


A cancer survivor’s story of healing

one step at a time


What are we apologizing for?


How to save money and the


Your vision. Your life.

Your future.

$5.99 Vol.5 No.1

The University of Alabama | Winter 2020

Cover Photo


Sam MacDonald


Eryn Cade

This Page


Abbey Paucke


Abigail Beckham

Letter from the Editor

Volume 5

Issue 1

In real life, empowerment doesn’t always

look like the confident model gracing our cover.

Sometimes an empowering moment is a whisper in

the dark — a quiet victory that is all your own.

The production of this issue pushed me past

my comfort zone and forced me to question my

abilities as a journalist, as a leader, and as a

person. This edition was a huge undertaking at

the start with a looming deadline and an almost -

completely new editorial staff. My lofty goals for

extending distribution locations, improving online

engagement, and further clarifying our publication’s

mission left me in unfamiliar territory.

Every new project and deadline was another

brick in the wall that stood between me and my

goals, but it was watching my fearless editors tackle

each new task with excitement that prevented me

from giving up. My own empowerment didn’t come

in the form of a mighty roar. Rather, I was inspired

by the smallest whisper, pushing me forward. It

was in these amazing women that I found my voice

again. These are the same women who helped mold

the diverse perspectives we explore in this issue as

we strive to be as inclusive as possible on our road

to empowerment.

On the web:


When you read this issue I hope you can see

all the hard work our amazing staff has put into it

and how we’ve drawn inspiration from the past five

years to create a revised mission statement for the

publication Alice is becoming. I hope this issue can

be a reminder to find inspiration in the past, and in

each other, and to draw from daily life to feel truly


Contact us:

Editorial and Advertising offices for Alice Magazine are located at

414 Campus Drive East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

The mailing address is P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

Phone: (205) 348-7257.

Alice is published by the Office of Student Media

at The University of Alabama.

All content and design are produced by students

in consultation with professional staff advisers.

All material contained herein, except advertising or where

indicated otherwise, is copyrighted © 2019 by Alice magazine.

Material herein may not be reprinted without the

expressed, written permission of Alice magazine.

Saige Rozanc-Petski

Alice Winter 2020 1



of Alice

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Alice’s Mission Statement

Alice is a publication by college women for college women, brought to you by a

hardworking staff of University of Alabama students. Alice began in 2015 as the

brainchild of a collaborative meeting between faculty and students who decided

we have enough material about Big Al, “so let’s make it about Alice.”


Editor in Chief Saige Rozanc-Petski

Creative Director A’Neshia Turner

Art Director Sarah Lumpkin

Photo Editor Sam MacDonald

Managing Editor Meg McGuire

Event Coordinator Sarah Kimbell Stephenson

Fashion Editor Evan Edwards

Beauty Editor Kali Sturgis

Lifestyle Editor Annie Hollon

Food and Health Editor Kenzie Beach

Entertainment Editor Meghan Mitchell

Digital Editor Ashby Brown

Social Media Editor Erica Howie & Gabby Dicarlo

Online Editor Tegan Goodson

Newsletter Editor Sarah Kimbell Stephenson

Market Editor Annie Stone

Contributing Writers

Christine Thompson, Katie Nethery, Emie Garrett,

Caroline Ward, Emma Wilson, Anika Nowak, Lindsey

Wilkinson, Gabrielle Sirois, Julia Service, Angelica

Zdzienicki, Meg Mcguire, SK Stephenson, Cat

Clinton, Peyton Ashley King, Evan Edwards, Jennafer

Bowman, Rachel Stern, Maddie Stevens, Morgan

Harris, Hannah Taylor

Contributing Designers

Blythe Markel, Sophia Ancira


Heather Whitset, Tanner Bramlett, Piper Pochkowski,

Amaya McClain, Brody Southern, Abigail Beckham,

Daisy Ford, Donnamy Steele, Emily Benito, Sarah

Hartsell, Imani Hardy, Veronica Martinez, Kirklin

Abercrombie, Allison Hayes, Destini Davis, Jennafer

Bowman, Sophia Sarrett, Savannah Zellers, Madison

Lawson, Carne Grace Guy, Jordan Watkins, Katie

Evans, Camden Ferreira, Alexus Cumbie, Eryn Cade,

Kirsten Bell

Hair and Makeup

Hanna Fridriksson, Leah Jackson, Donnamy Steele,

Kali Sturgis, Christine Thompson, Sarah Tucker,

Natalie Vande Linde


Editorial Mark Mayfield (

Advertising Julie Salter (

Published by UA Office of Student Media

Interim Director Traci Mitchell

Alice is bold, yet inclusive as an accessible source for all things encapsulated in

the college lifestyle. We cover fashion, beauty, entertainment, food & health, and

lifestyle for college women but also serious issues young women face like the

gender wage gap and sexual health. Because college women are more than what

we wear and what we look like, but also how we feel, what we think, and the future

we want to build.

Alice is a next generation women’s magazine, emphasizing the ability women have to support each other

and focus on the positives and potential. Alice is every woman. She is every skin tone, every shape, every

voice and every idea. When she walks into a room, she makes a grand entrance. When she departs, she

leaves each place better than how she found it. She graces this world with love, color and sound, and

harnesses the power of words and images to ignite a celebration of collegiate womanhood, in all its

layered, diverse complexity. She encourages community and empowerment. A best friend to everyone.

All of the women featured in Alice are 100 percent unretouched because we believe in the beauty every

college woman already possesses.

Contributing Photographers

Abbey Paucke, Hannah Saad, Kasandra Boor,

Arayana Wooley, Katie Nethery, Scarlet VanMeter,

Jaiden Tatum, Sarah Hartsell, Johana Chavez, Ashley

King, Rebecca Martin

Though we do focus on college women, our belief of inclusivity extends far beyond

the content we produce. We want everyone and anyone to feel like they can pick

up our magazine and enjoy — there are no rules for having fun at Alice!

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Table of






































































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None of the images of women in this

issue have been retouched.










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The Kink In My Hair

By Christine Thompson

In a world where beauty is seemingly defined by

those with influence, we often see black women left out of

the conversation. In modern-day America, black hair has

been regulated, criticized, and more recently, politicized.

While other non-black women have the luxury of wearing

their natural locks without a second thought, for us,

it is daring to “bare it all” in a public place, let alone a

professional environment. This dynamic has robbed

black girls of their sense of freedom, and the right to exist

in their natural state without fear of criticism.

That said, we have made great strides in the beauty

community regarding representation for natural hair.

Most recently, the current titleholders of three of the

major pageant systems in the country, Miss USA, Miss

America, and Miss Teen USA, are all black women –

making pageant history. Miss USA and Miss Teen USA

won their respective national pageants with their natural


As I can attest, this was a monumental win for black

women who compete in pageants everywhere. This win,

for us, meant representation in the pageant community

– a community which has maintained strict, European

beauty standards.

Additionally, in the mainstream beauty community,

we have seen major campaigns featuring natural hair

from brands like Ulta, Dove, Covergirl, and Pantene. With

prominent celebrities like Janelle Monae, Zendaya, and

Lupita NYong’o, and other black models and celebrities

sporting their natural hair on multiple international

beauty campaigns, the natural hair movement is taking

the beauty community by storm.

With recent incidents involving young, black school

girls and adult professionals being criticized for their

natural hair in academic and workplace settings, we must

recognize the white majority’s resistance to the natural

hair movement. Though we might be making strides

in the beauty community, we are still fighting an uphill

battle in workplace and educational environments. This

is not to discount the success we have made in achieving

some level of representation in the beauty industry, but

the fight is continuing in other aspects of our lives as well.

“I think a lot of people are

like, ‘Oh, I love that ethnic hair

on a black woman,’ but do they

necessarily think it’s beautiful and

value it? I don’t think so. I don’t think

so at all.”

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Junior, Kenya Harris, is the public relations chair of Blend

— a diverse and inclusive organization on campus that seeks to,

“promote genuine intercultural relationships,”and a member

of the Black Scholars program. We had an honest conversation

about outside perceptions of natural hair in our society and what

it means to her.

“I think a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, I love that ethnic hair

on a black woman,’ but do they necessarily think it’s beautiful

and value it? I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all.”

When the conversation shifted to representation in the

beauty community, Harris provided some illuminating insight

that is most often overlooked when we talk about black hair


“There needs to be more representation for black hair in the

beauty industry, but also a focus on 4c hair specifically, because

I think there’s been more representation for natural hair as a

whole, but it’s the 3c loose, mixed girl, light brite curls. And most

black women don’t have that.”

Harris’s words ring true for a lot of black women. When

we see only a certain type of natural hair represented, it feels

like a compromise between the beauty industry and the black

community: ‘here, we’ll give you representation, but only our

acceptable, palatable, version of it.’

A commonly shared experience amongst black women is the

desire to have straighter hair when they were younger. Though

many girls with curly hair had this experience, for black girls, it

goes deeper than just wanting what other people have. Natural

hair has played a significant role in black history throughout the

generations and was even used as a form of rhetoric resistance

for the pro-black movement during the Civil Rights Era. With

this historical context, this widespread desire of young black

girls to have straighter hair has serious implications.

Caitlin Jones, a history and Spanish double major , and

member of the Pre-law Student Association commented on her

own journey with her natural hair

“Honestly when I was a kid, I begged my mom for a perm,

and she would not put one in my head...I just kind of thought it

was the thing to do. I didn’t see a lot of representation...When it

was advertised it was always about taming or straightening it in

a way,” said Jones.

Jones’s experience challenges us to reflect on what we

mean specifically when we talk about black hair representation.

While there is nothing wrong with black girls wearing their hair

straight, if it is the only black hair representation black girls

see, it is still delivering a negative message. Simply pushing for

black hair representation is not enough — for black girls, it is

important that we demand to see accurate depictions of black

women in every state we exist in: natural.

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Hair Ingredients

By Katie Nethery

So, how do you avoid all these harmful ingredients?

The best way is to do your research and read labels.

Whenever you’re shopping, make sure to turn the

bottle around and keep an eye out for these ingredients.

Opting for a more natural product will not only be

better for you, but it can last longer, too.

We all have those days where our hair doesn’t look

or feel its best. There are millions of hair products on

the market from treatment masks, deep conditioners

and oils, but do these products actually help or hurt our


Next time you go to reach for your favorite leave

in conditioning spray, turn it around and read the

ingredients list. Chances are, if you can’t read the names

of the ingredients, they’re hurting instead of helping.

Ingredients that can hurt your hair are parabens,

glycols, silicone, sulfates, alcohol, and heavy perfumes.

Alcohol & Sulfates:

Glycols & Parabens:



Parabens are used to prolong shelf life, but can possibly

contribute to breast cancer according to certain studies.

Cyclosiloxanes have also gained attention for links to

breast cancer and endocrine system disruption.


Natural oils such as coconut, avocado, jojoba, and

argan help to strengthen the hair and nourish the scalp.

It might sound contradicting, but they can also help to

reduce oil buildup at the root. By reducing breakage,

your hair will feel thicker and look stronger. You can

also use essential oils in your everyday hair routine as


Almond and rosemary oils help to soothe,

moisturize, and increase circulation to the scalp;

cedarwood and jojoba oils stimulate the scalp for hair

growth; chamomile, coconut, and argan oils nourish,

add shine and softness.

Next time you’re reaching for your go-to hair

products, stop and consider a more natural alternative.

Steering clear of harmful ingredients will keep your

hair happy and healthy, while making you feel more




Look out for products that claim to be deep

cleaning or purifying.

Can strip your hair of its natural oils leading to

dry and brittle hair.



Heavy perfumes in shampoos and conditioners can

actually irritate the scalp and leave you begging for


Can make your hair dry, your scalp itchy, or even burn

your scalp.


Will cause your scalp to overproduce protective

oils which is why you can go from fresh, clean hair

at night, to a greasy mess in the morning.

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Bold Beauty for Your Enneagram

Type By Emie Garrett


“So, what’s your type?” The Enneagram has exploded

in popularity within the last couple of years, sparking

hundreds of books, blogs, and social media accounts to be

devoted solely to helping readers discover and understand

their “type.”

If you’re unfamiliar with this phenomenon, here’s a

quick run down: According to The Enneagram Institute,

the Enneagram is a system of personality classification that

describes the patterns in which we understand the world

and manage our emotions. The Enneagram consists of nine

personality types, with no number ranking higher than

another. While it is common to identify with characteristics

of each type, we each have a “basic personality type,” which

is the type that we identify closest with — and once you find

your type, the accuracy is surprising.

The Enneagram is a tool that can help you attain a

better understanding of not only your emotions and driving

motivations but also gives you a little more insight into the

motivations of others.

With this season’s beauty being unapologetically bold

and colorful, there are endless looks to choose from. If

you’re anything like me (indecisive Type Six here!), you may

need some help deciding what looks you should try first;

thankfully, the Enneagram is here to help!

If you’re looking for the neutral earth-tones that

typically dominate fall fashion, you’re not going to find

it this year. Designers have turned their noses up to

exclusively dark color palettes and have embraced bold

orange, juicy pink, and a plethora of hues traditionally seen

on spring runways. Naturally, the beauty world has taken

a cue from fashion and is celebrating bright colors year


Here are the bold beauty trends you should try based

on your enneagram type.

Type 1: The Reformer

The perfectionist of the group, Type Ones are detail-oriented, practical, and honest — but don’t

expect it to be sugar-coated! You believe there is a correct way to do everything and strive to achieve

inherent goodness. One, this fall you should try rocking a monochromatic look with glossy lids. Not

only is monochrome makeup super “in” right now, but not having to think about what lip will pair best

with your eyeshadow will be a serious time-saver, helping to quiet that sometimes nagging perfectionist

in you and speaking to your practicality! Try blending a bold shadow all over the lid for a soft, diffused

look, then pop a little eyelid gloss on top for an ultra-chic glossy lid (a little Vaseline will work great

if you’re ballin’ on a budget). And no need to make it hard on yourself trying to hunt down a perfectly

matching lip, just use the same shadow/balm combo on your lips — the perfectionist in you will thank

me later.

To try:

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in “Blitzen”

Glossier’s Balm Dot Com in “Clear”

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Type 2: The Helper

A natural lover of people, Type Twos are warm-hearted and generous. You would

quite literally give someone the shirt off your back! You are always there with tissues

and ice cream when a friend is down, and you’re the first to respond in the group text

when someone needs a ride. To show off your inner love and warmth this fall, try

making a statement with bold blush and a pop of bright liner. Blend a coral or hot pink

blush onto the cheekbones and temples with the fingers or a stippling brush. Then,

apply a contrasting liner directly to, or right below the lower lash line — and voila,

you’re a blushing beauty with a high-fashion twist!

To Try:

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in “Salve4pink” or “Animal”

e.l.f cosmetics stippling brush

ColourPop Creme Gel Liner

Type 3: The Achiever

The level-headed go-getter that always has a plan. To put it simply, Three, you

know what it takes to succeed and you’re not going to stop until you get it. That’s why

this fall you need a look that’s just like you — efficient, energetic — without getting in

the way of your ambition. You’re too busy trying to run the world (or at least make an

A+ in all of your classes) to fuss with uber-detailed makeup looks, all you need to make

a statement is a fresh face, a few swipes of colorful mascara, and a killer gloss. Try using

a high coverage concealer to hide all evidence of your late work/study sessions, next

swipe on some bold mascara, and finally slick on a sheer, moisturizing lip gloss. Now

you’re on trend and still have time to cross a few things off of your to-do list.

To Try:

Tarte Shape Tape

ColourPop BFF mascara

NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair”

Type 4: The Individualist

Sometimes moody, always creative, Type Fours are expressive and highly intuitive.

You practically invented walking to the beat of your own drum and revel in knowing

that you’re one-in-a-million. Since “bold” is your middle name, go all out this season

by accessorizing your look with rhinestones — yeah, that’s right. Remember when

bedazzling was a thing? Well it’s back, but instead of covering the back pockets of your

favorite jeans with jewels (much to your mother’s dismay), you’re putting them on your

face. Keep your skin fresh with a BB cream, then play into your moody nature with a

bold eye, try a deep navy hue blended all over the lid — one of this season’s “it” colors.

Finally, use tweezers and any lash glue — non-latex if you have a latex allergy — to place

the stones anywhere you want. Get creative! Place stones randomly, create designs,

do whatever feels authentic to you! You’ll be turning heads everywhere with this eye

catching look — not that that’s new for you.

To Try:

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

L’Oreal Infallible 24 Hour eyeshadow in “Midnight”

Craft store Rhinestones

beautyGARDE False Lash Adhesive

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Type 5: The Investigator

Characterized by your intellect, you’re an innovator and knowledge seeker. You’re

the one friends go to when they need solid advice, and you probably spend your spare

time trying to learn something new, or just kicking back and enjoying some quality

“you” time. This fall, try taking a detailed eyeliner look for a spin. Use a bright, creamy

liner to create unique shapes and patterns on the lid, brow bone, or under the eye. While

your first instinct may be to shy away from the intricate eyeliner looks trending this fall,

don’t do it. Step out of your comfort zone, Five! This look speaks to your skillful and

innovative mind and will be just as fun to create as it will be to wear.

To Try:

ColourPop Creme Gel Liner

Type 6: The Loyalist

While many label the Six as the “worry wart” of the bunch, you bring so much more

to the table. Sixes are also characterized by their endearing nature, intense loyalty, and

courageous spirit. You’re the friend that always has a game plan and is prepared for all

possible scenarios — it’s all fun and games until someone needs those emergency bandaids

you carry in your bag! Spice up your look this fall with a glittery gold eye paired

with a juicy coral or berry lip. Start by blending a warm, bronzed gold shadow all over

the lid, then layer a chunky gold glitter shadow on top. Finally, dab on a lip stain. Start

in the middle of the lips and feather outward for that pretty, just-ate-a-popsicle look.

This is a bold look that’s versatile enough for a glam work day or a late night party; it’s

the best of both worlds, cooperating with whatever your plans may be.

To Try:

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in “Moonwalk”

ColourPop Pressed Glitter Shadow in “Get Lost”

Revlon’s Kiss Cushion Lip Tint in “High End Coral” or “Berry Lit”

Type 7: The Enthusiast

Always down for a good time, Type Sevens aren’t called “The Enthusiast” for

nothing! Sevens are ready to pick up and go at the drop of a hat. They are adventurous,

playful, and see nothing wrong with doing whatever brings them the most happiness.

To play into your adventurous spirit, go for a soft, technicolor eye look this fall. Start by

choosing shadows in hues that spark the most joy, and go to work! Blend the shadow

using a fluffy blending brush all over the lid and under the eye, but remember to use a

light hand so you get that melted into the skin, diffused effect. This colorful look will not

only brighten your mood but will bring joy to everyone you meet on whatever adventure

the day brings.

To Try:

NYX “Brights Ultimate” eyeshadow palette

IT Cosmetics Airbrush Blending Crease Brush #105

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Type 8: The Challenger

Type 8: The Challenger

You’re the natural born leader who has no problem stating your opinions or

fighting for the individuals and causes you’re passionate about. Though some may

perceive your attitude as aggressive, you’re actually just a boss babe who knows exactly

what you want — and more power to you! This season you need a look that’s as strong

as you are, but doesn’t distract from all the power moves you’ll be making. Take a bold,

yet minimalistic approach by keeping the skin fresh with nothing but a colorful graphic

liner on the eyes. Then finish the look off with an ultra glossy lip. Although intimidating

to some, this look finds its beauty in its effortless strength, just like you.

To Try:

ColourPop Creme Gel Liner

Lime Crime Wet Cherry Gloss in “Extra


Type 9: The Peacemaker

Type 9: The Peacemaker

Optimistic, diplomatic, and patient, Type Nines thrive in a harmonious

environment. You’re the friend that is always ready to listen and help solve whatever

problems someone is up against. In times of disagreement, you strive to find a

solution that makes everyone happy, and you believe that peace is achievable through

communication. Play into your gentle, optimistic attitude by trying an ethereal purple

eye paired with a nude lip. To start, blend a light purple shadow all over the lid and

into the crease. Then take a darker purple hue and blend into the outer corner of the

eye. Next, dab a layer of glitter on top of the shadow. Consider even going up toward

the brow bone or out on to the temple! Finally, tie the entire look together with a

sophisticated, nude lip. This look speaks to your optimism through its light, airy colors

but finds balance with the nude lip giving the same harmony to your look that you seek

to find in the world.

To Try:

ColourPop “It’s My Pleasure” eyeshadow palette

ColourPop Glitter Gel in “Disco Lady”

Maybelline Color Sensational “Inti-matte Nudes” lipstick


While it is fun to create lists like this one, never feel that you have to put

yourself in a box because of your “type.” Mix, match, get creative, and try out any

look(s) that feels authentic to you and your style. The Enneagram is a remarkable

tool that helps you understand your inner motivations and what makes you tick,

but it shouldn’t encompass your decision making and how you define yourself.

The most important things to remember are:

There’s beauty in every “type.” We are all necessary to finding balance in society.

A personality classification system does not determine your value.

If you’re new to the Enneagram or aren’t certain what type you are, there

are tests, books, and social media accounts dedicated to helping you figure it out!

Below, I’ve listed some recommended sources.

Online quiz:

Book: The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by

Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabil

Instagram:, @justmyenneatype, and @enneagramexplained

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Androgynous Beauty


having the characteristics or

nature of both male and female

: suitable to or for either sex

Definition via Merriam-Webster

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28 Alice Winter 2020

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30 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 31

Podcasting Call

By Lauren Kostuke

Crime Junkie

For fans of: American Crime Story, Conversations with

a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Law and Order: SVU

Podcasts have become a major hit in

today’s active multimedia landscape, with

everyone from brand ambassadors and tech

moguls, to CEO’s and celebrities jumping

on the trend and starting their own podcast.

In a world where content is constant and

continuously evolving, weekly installments are

turning into daily doses and taking the media

world by storm.

Apple added the podcast app to the iPhone

in 2014, but it wasn’t until 2018 that podcasting

really started to trend. As of 2019, there are

currently over 700,000 active podcasts and 29

million episodes spanning multiple languages

and genres. Society & Culture holds the top

spot for most popular genre, with Business,

Comedy, News & Politics, and Health securing

the other top five spots respectively.

In a fast-paced world where multitasking

is the norm and free time is scarce, podcasts

are the perfect way to consume news on the

go. Whether you’re driving to work, walking

to class or cleaning the house, it has become

simple to tune in on your own time. While

many may still prefer the relaxation that comes

with sitting on the couch at the end of a long

day to watch the news and binge the newest

Netflix series, this is a luxury. Podcasts are the

best on the go alternative to stay up to date on

everything from global events to the newest

reality TV gossip.

To be sure you never miss a beat,

subscribing to various podcasts is the perfect

way to remind yourself to take a little time and

get caught up on various topics and events.

Setting aside a certain block of time each day

to listen can help set up a routine. Traffic on

the way to work will start to become enjoyable,

and you might even find yourself sitting in your

car an extra minute to finish an episode or hear

a closing remark. The days of waiting a week

for a new HBO original to drop are over, and

instead you’ll be counting down the days to

listen to the newest podcast installment while

grocery shopping or on the go.

The vast realm of podcasts can be very

overwhelming. How is one supposed to choose

between Gweneth Paltrow and Snoop Dogg

on their own? Not to worry, Alice has got you

covered. Here are our top recommendations

for podcasts spanning the entertainment

industry right now.

For fans of: Queer Eye, Comedy Central, Gay of Thrones

Hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, Crime Junkie plays as

a casual conversation between two friends that just happens to be

about some of the most outlandish crimes in history. For lovers of

all things crime-related, Crime Junkie covers the most notorious

murders from across the country.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Loved by many for his iconic presence in Netflix’s Queer Eye, JVN

continues serving in his podcast series in which he talks about

everything under the sun mixed with his signature flare and hilarious


Armchair Expert

For fans of: Television, Movies, Comedy

Dax Shepard (Parenthood, Bless This Mess) sits down each week

with a different celebrity or expert in their chosen field and covers

topics from life and career, to family and embarrassing childhood

stories. Notable guests include Bill Nye, Sanjay Gupta, Ashton

Kutcher, Will Ferrell, and wife Kristen Bell. This hilarious and

down to earth podcast offers a genuine, rare look at the lives of


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Office Ladies

For fans of: The Office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock

Catch a behind the scenes look at the show we all know and love

- and will never stop binge watching. Catch these two real life BFF’s,

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, as they sit down together each

week and watch an episode of The Office and share behind the scenes

stories and reminisce about days on set.

Morning Toast

For fans of: Bridesmaids, Entertainment, Pop


The perfect podcast for millennials. Tune in as sisters Claudia

and Jackie Oshry talk all things pop culture, entertainment,

politics, and television. From recreating the Jenner “Drunk

Getting Ready Video” to dishing on the recent Lizzie McGuire

reboot, these two offer a daily installment complete with daily

banter that shows off their humor, wit, and down to earth charm.

Money Talks,

Let’s Speak Up

By Caroline Ward

The Ron Burgundy Podcast

For fans of: Anchorman, Step Brothers, SNL, Stand-Up Comedy

Will Ferrel continues to impress fans as he explores a new sector

of the entertainment industry. Never breaking character, Ferrel

reprises his iconic role of Ron Burgundy from the Anchorman series

for this feel-good podcast series.

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Alice Winter 2020 35

Spider-Man: Far From Home. Bohemian

Rhapsody. Baby Driver. Besides being some of the

most recent highest-grossing films, these movies all

have one thing in common: an “F” on the Bechdel

Test. Created by Alison Bechdel in her 1985 comic

strip called The Rule, the Bechdel Test has become a

popular measuring tool for gauging gender bias in film.

The criteria to pass? At least two women - preferably

named - must talk to each other about something other

than a man.

This test has been applied to films throughout the

last century, and when you really stop to think about

it, some of your favorite movies surely won’t meet the

mark. Although loopholes allow for imperfect stories

to sneak by, the Bechdel Test draws awareness to an

aspect of female storytelling that has been lacking

all these years: depth. Yes, a balanced gender ratio

on screen is important; however, the way in which

female perspectives are depicted — through the words

they share and concerns they hold — speaks more to

progress than a quota ever could. But, before we can

tackle that conversation, which the industry may or

may not be ready for, we have to talk numbers.

Anyone who has been paying attention in 2019

knows something’s up with female representation in

film — or a lack thereof. Taking full advantage of her

platform at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards, Regina

King set the stage for greater awareness of this issue

during her speech for Best Supporting Actress. King

made a vow to produce projects within the next two

years comprised of 50 percent female representation,

calling upon not only Hollywood, but also the nation,

to do more than simply acknowledge that “time is up”

on gender inequality.

King addressed her message to those with the

influence and means to spur immediate reform saying,

“And I just challenge anyone out there — anyone out

there who is in a position of power, not just in our

industry, in all industries — I challenge you to challenge

yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the


It’s not just the executive producers of media

conglomerates or the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies

who have that power. Movie-goers have power in

numbers and the responsibility to take those numbers

to the box office.

The film industry — like most other industries

— concerns itself mainly with the bottom line. If

consumers hope to witness measurable change within

the next few years, they must consciously put their

money where their values are. Key decision makers

in the entertainment industry still seem misguided by

the antiquated idea that female-driven projects are not

commercially viable — luckily, money talks.

According to Business Insider, women drive 70-

80% of all consumer purchasing decisions in the U.S.

with a combined purchasing power of $5 trillion to $15

trillion annually. Change often starts from the bottom

up; with this combined financial power to support

females in film, women can demonstrate just how

successful female-driven content can be when given

the chance.

According to research conducted by Dr. Stacy L.

Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative,

of the top 100 films of 2018, 96.4 percent of directors

were male, leaving the remaining 3.6 percent to be

female. This equates to a gender ratio of 27 to 1. Not a

fan of those odds? Yeah, us neither.

In addition, for films with exclusively male

direction, the percentage of on-screen female speaking

characters was 32.5 percent. When a female was part of

the project’s direction that percentage jumped to 47.6

percent. Coincidence? We think not.

And gender isn’t the only factor dividing the movie

industry. Research through the Inclusion Initiative

recorded of the top 100 films in 2018 that 33 had no

black or African American females, 54 had no Asian or

Asian American females, 70 had no Latinas, 99 had no

American Indian or Alaska Native females, 97 had no

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander females, and 92

had no females from multiracial/other groups. Beyond

the lack of racial and ethnic representation on screen,

89 of the films had no LGBTQ+ females, and 83 had

no female characters with disabilities. The numbers are

even more bleak for female minorities in lead roles and

within the production staff.

Although many companies have made moves to

improve inclusion within their films, these statistics

highlight the measurable extent to which female

perspectives have been erased, particularly from

underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds, the

LGBTQ+ community and individuals with disabilities.

Highly-anticipated projects like Harriet, directed

by Kasi Lemmons and starring Cynthia Erivo, Little

Women, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, as well

as Queen & Slim, written by Lena Waithe and directed

by Melina Matsoukas, are due for release before the year

ends, offering just a few prime, upcoming opportunities

for consumers to illustrate to studios why female-based

productions are worth investing in.

Considering the sheer desire for gender equality

hasn’t been enough to compel a change in the

industry, exceeding box office expectations will send

a clearer message that consumers demand proper

representation. Balanced gender representation in

film is just as important on-screen as it is off.

When women have the opportunity to call the shots

behind the camera, in the writers’ room, or in casting

deliberations, films portray more diverse female

perspectives and discourage further stereotyping of

females on-screen, a standard we should come to

expect in 2019.

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What She

Whether you love them or hate them, some of the biggest

movie franchises have started in little cafes as blurbs written

down frantically in a moment of inspiration or wild dreams

of epic proportions that were typed onto a computer screen.

Authors and their books are one of the primary sources for

most content that we see in Hollywood today. From Twilight

to The Hunger Games even to Gone Girl, female writers have

been kicking butt at having their works picked for big-screen


Generally, most people think that in order to get involved

in book to movie producing, you have to know the right

people. While it always helps to know the right people in the

right places, having connections but having a terrible story is

not going to get you very far in the long run. Another general

stereotype is that there is a strong presence of male writers

being optioned over female writers for their work regardless

of quality. Again, while there is going to be a gender bias in

a workplace like Hollywood, a true production company is

going to go with the product that will benefit them the most.

The key to getting a book looked at for movie production is

perseverance and a thick skin. A lot of writers are constantly

being turned away when they think that they have movie

material and have spurned away from writing all together

because of one negative reaction.

J.K. Rowling is one of the many famous writers who kept

trying after countless rejections from publishing companies.

She had just finished the first of the beloved Harry Potter

series and was eager for people to read her book. She originally

signed the book as “Joanne Rowling” but the publishing

company asked her to add “K” for her middle name so the

books would appear to be written by a man. At the time,

studies showed that in a young audiences, specifically young

boys, were more prone to pick out books written by men, and

having a “male name” on the cover of Rowling’s book would

increase the likelihood of her selling more copies. Being a

female author does not guarantee any kind of leeway in the

publishing community, in fact, it is harder to be recognized

for accomplishments in female writing.

One surprising thing about J.K. Rowling’s process from

publication to production is that she was heavily involved in

screenwriting and script writing teams. Since the rest of the

series hadn’t even been written yet, she was a valuable asset

on staff to what characters and scenes needed to be truly in

depth for the movies to be as successful as the books. This is

highly unusual as most authors would give up certain creative

rights for the screenplay team to relay the complexity of their

book to a movie adaptation. This was necessary though,

because J.K. Rowling was the only one who knew specific

insights to the characters and how of course, the series would

be brought to an end.

Another noted female author whose books skyrocketed

after hitting the big screen is Suzanne Collins, author of The

Hunger Games and The Underland Chronicles franchise.

Collins was from a military family and was constantly being

educated about the topic of war, which was the topic or

underlying theme of most of her books. The highly successful

Hunger Games is about just that, war. She wanted to bring

attention to how desensitized the general public is to war,

and the terrible conflicts that happen in more places than

it should. The books were almost immediately picked for

movie adaptations because the themes were and still are very

relevant to everyday news and life. We couldn’t ever imagine

a real place where we send kids to their deaths, but it is

definitely interesting enough for us to spend money on the

books and movies. So what makes a book a good choice for a

movie? Usually the first things that a producer would look at

is what kind of quality screenplay and script it would make.

Would this be engaging? Does this have an arching plotline?

Would this be enough for a full-length (90 minutes) movie?

Both book franchises met these requirements as the plots

and characters immediately captured their audience of nearly

everyone. The same can be said with other female writers

such as Stephanie Meyer, the Twilight series, Veronica Roth,

the Divergent series and so many more. Female writers have

been dominating the publication field in nearly every realm

from children’s books to non-fiction. We can only assume

that women are going to keep going and doing bigger and

better things.

We as consumers, love twists and turns and loveable

characters who make us follow their story. It’s when truly

exceptional books that make even the most unwilling person

read it are conceptualized for the big-screen and it just so

happens that women have been a huge part of the movie

making process. It’s the simplest ideas that can turn into

the best products and the little piece of faith that can make

something truly special. If women want something, they can

do it and they can eat their cake too.

Wrote By Emma Wilson

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and Cancel Culture

By Lindsey Wilkinson

Turning controversy into comedy can cause an

uproar, but one thing is for sure: Comedians will not be

silenced. Comedy is looked at by many as a safe place,

because everyone can be turned into a punchline.

Comedy isn’t exclusively about the laughs; it’s about

the struggles, misfortunes, and every day bumps in the


While comedy is always around to make us laugh,

there seems to be a recent renewal with the help of

streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube that

allow comics to expand their audience.

UA alumna and comedian Hannah Widener said

that the increase in streaming services has decreased

the cutthroat, competitive nature of the business.

“More opportunities are available for comedians,”

Widener said. “Twenty or thirty years ago your success

would be judged by if you landed on a sitcom or

landed a late night spot. These limited spots created a

competition and heightened animosity between comics

[...]There are just so many more avenues, and there is a

spot for everyone. Comedians can see that I can create

my own path and my own way in this industry, and it

doesn’t mean that your success is my loss.”

While the services broaden the horizons for

comedians, there are still some drawbacks. Most of

these services promote content based on what has been

previously watched. In this aspect, these services can

still be limiting.

“If a comedian does a special on Hulu, you might

not see it. So people — in particular Iliza Shlesinger

— had a Netflix special when Netflix was just getting

started. At that time when you researched female

comedians on the platform you might see three or four

women. Whereas today, while Iliza Shlesinger is super

famous now, I don’t know if you would see her on the

platform because there are just so many people.”

Another obstacle for all comedians is the recent

explosion of cancel culture. The definition of cancel

culture, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is

that it “refers to the removal of public support of public

figures on the basis of their objectionable opinions or

actions.” Most comedians follow the golden rule to

never apologize for a joke, but that doesn’t mean they

don’t catch backlash for their content. Kathy Griffin

shared a photo a few years back that resulted in her

unemployment. Agents wouldn’t keep her, networks

wouldn’t greenlight her shows, but that didn’t stop her.

Using her own funds, she booked venues and toured,

promoting the concept that free speech could not be


“Kathy Griffin has been a huge inspiration in

the past few years in terms of fighting for speech and

fighting for the right to say what you want to on stage,”

Widener said. “She is a huge example of being knocked

down and rising from the ashes.”

Widener went on to explain cancel culture’s role in

the industry, explaining its possible negative effects on

free speech.

“Silencing comedians will do no one any good,”

she said. “At the end of the day, we are here to create

entertainment. You may not like it, you may not

agree with it, but you can learn from it. You can’t just

shut people up. If you silence that person, you aren’t

learning from them. You are casting them off. They will

not disappear because you blocked them on Twitter.

Cancel culture perpetuates silence, and we have to


Cancel culture can be a daunting obstacle for

comedians, especially in regards to speaking on

difficult topics. When asked about navigating these

treacherous waters, Widener described her experience.

“I’ve talked about my sexual assault, and it is very

difficult to talk about that on stage,” Widener said.

“There is a line. The intention of a comic is never to

be malicious, so when you are talking about a topic

like sexual assault, you tread lightly. You want them

to root for you, and you want them to laugh with you.

You want to take some of their pain away. That is all

you can do at the end of the day — is laugh. Laugh,

especially at some of the horrible things that happen

in the world, because that is the only way you will get

through them.”

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Sex and the City

The Bold Type



By Gabrielle Sirois

Sex and the City is the OG feel-good girls show.

There’s nothing better than laying on the

couch on a Sunday watching Carrie pine after

Mr. Big and asking her famous questions.

Watching SATC feels like you are hanging out

with the cool older sister that every girl wants

to have. It made us all want to move to New

York City by tricking us into believing that we

too could live in a glamourous one-bedroom

apartment on a writer’s salary. Regardless

of the unrealisticness, the show remains a

classic, and let’s face it, any girl who says

she’s never thought about if she’s a Carrie,

Charlotte, Samantha or Miranda is lying.

The Bold Type is pretty much Sex and the City

for the new era. Instead of Carrie and the gang,

you have Jane, Kat and Sutton navigating NYC

while working at Scarlett, a Cosmopolitanesque

magazine. The Bold Type is able to

effortlessly maintain a rom-com atmosphere,

while still addressing major issues that our

generation faces such as diversity, sexual

harassment and gun control. It captures the

same charm and ups and downs of dating that

Sex and the City did, while adding a degree

of freshness and relatability for the young

women of today.

With the growth of Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services,

binge-watching has become America’s favorite pastime. The amount of

television choices that are available to us can become overwhelming and

hard to choose from, so many people find themselves just watching the

same TV show for the seventh time. While there’s no harm in revisiting

a classic, why not branch out and try something new? We’ve made the

endless list of choices easy for you to navigate by creating a list of shows

that you might like based on what you’ve previously binged.

The Office

The Office is probably the most popular

comedy series of all time. Who hasn’t laughed

until they cried at the fire drill cold open or

hasn’t said “I feel God in this Chili’s” at least

once? The Office set the bar for comedies going

forward and reinvented situational comedy in

a way that everyone was able to relate to. Its

humor didn’t rely on cheap jokes. Instead, it

drew you in by simply exaggerating situations

that you already find yourself in every day.

Schitt’s Creek

While Schitt’s Creek may have a very different

premise from The Office, I guarantee the Rose

family will have you laughing just as hard

as the Dunder Mifflin crew. After suddenly

losing all of their money, the once-wealthy

Rose family is forced to live in a motel in the

eccentric town of Schitt’s Creek. What ensues

is some of the sharpest comedy on television

that everyone is sure to enjoy.

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Friday Night


Friday Night Lights is the show that made us

all fall in love with Tim Riggins. He and the

rest of his team showed us time and time again

what it means to be a part of something bigger

than yourself and show up for the people

you care about. Even those of us who weren’t

football fans were won over by the charms of

the Dillon Panthers and probably longed for a

relationship just like Coach Taylor and Tami’s.

To sum it all up: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t


All American

All American is basically Friday Night Lights

but set in Beverly Hills. Instead of the Dillon

Panthers, you have the Beverly Eagles and

instead of Kyle Chandler as your star coach

you have Taye Diggs. All American also adds a

deeper layer to the story by examining privilege

and how the circumstances that a person is born

into can affect their whole life. All American

gives you romance, comedy, drama and more,

all with football as theunderlying premise.

Law & Order

Law & Order captivated America’s attention

for 20 years, as one of the first shows to

provide a realistic look into the American

justice system. Over the years, the show saw

a multitude of criminals brought to justice,

often using real-world cases as inspiration for

the ones featured in the show. Law & Order

really popularized the police procedural genre

and inspired a multitude of shows, including

five spin-offs of its own-- all characterized

bya suspenseful atmosphere that is equally



Mindhunter transports us all back in time to

the 1970s and the birth of criminal profiling.

Drawing inspiration from true events, the show

tells the story of the FBI agents who coined

the term “serial killer.” It features depictions

of real-life killers such as Ed Kempur, Wayne

Williams and Charles Manson, while the

second season brings the audience along on

an extended case, in the search to catch the

Atlanta Child Killer. Much like Law & Order,

the show isn’t extremely scary, moresorelying

on the suspenseful atmosphere. For any truecrime

fans, Mindhunter is a must-watch!




The Society

Skins broke ground for being one of the realest

teen TV shows out there. While most of the

other popular teen shows at the time (i.e. Gossip

Girl, The O.C.) focused on picture-perfect

teens who lead unbelievably privileged lives,

Skins told the story of the average teenager.

This allowed the audience to see themselves

and their friends in them in the characters of

the show. The British show never shied away

from the truth of reality, featuring highlycontroversial

topics for its time including

mental health, sexuality, substance abuse and

more. The show was first and foremost honest,

which is what has allowed its impact to last.

You’ve probably already heard about Euphoria

because it was the hottest TV show of the summer.

The Zendaya-led show follows a similar format

to Skins, in that it spends each episode primarily

focused on one of the characters. It also isn’t

afraid to tackle tough subjects that today’s teens

deal with, focusing on drug abuse, gender and

sexuality. The show provides a fascinating look

at the things that the teens of today have to deal

with, specifically relating to the digital age. The

actors in the show bring emotional depth to

their characters, and they do it while donned

in amazing fashion and makeup. What’s not to


Lost is definitely among the most famous

television shows of all time. Its mysterious

plotline and shocking plot-twists garnered

tons of viewers and numerous awards during

its tenure. Its sci-fi elements added to the

appeal of the show and created an extremely

compelling storyline. When watching it you

can never be certain what exactly is going on,

which opens it up to speculation and discussion

by the audience. This puzzling show remains

intriguing to this day, as fans continue to

theorize and search for clues to figure out the

“truth” of the island.

The Society is just like Lost, but with way

more teenage angst. The show takes place in

an average town called West Ham where one

day everyone except the high school students

mysteriously disappear. The result is a Lord of

the Flies-esque scenario but with a PG-13 rating

and some supernatural elements. The show

somehow finds realism in such an unrealistic

setting, while takings on huge concepts like

power, control, fear, and the struggles of being

a teenager.

Now that we’ve shown you where to start, there’s

no excuse not to try something new and expand your

television repertoire. What are you waiting for? Go

grab a snack, get cozy and turn on the TV!

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Alice Winter 2020 47



By Julia Service

Tip #1:

Prioritize your commitments

No matter how many organizations you’re a part of, some

are going to hold more importance to you than others. By

evaluating which organizations are most valuable to you, it

becomes easier to decide between meetings if two are happening

at the same time. It also becomes easier to set aside the

organization at the bottom of your list when you have work that

needs to be done for one at the top. Don’t forget to take school

and friends into account when making these decisions, too. If you

have a test the next day, it’s alright to skip a meeting if you need

to study. And you don’t want to neglect your friends for all that

you’re involved in, since they’re an important part of your college

experience too.

As someone who has definitely overcommitted herself in college, I

will be the first to admit that I tried to deny it. Even when I was struggling

to juggle all of my club duties with school work and hanging out with my

friends, I was adamant that I could handle all of it. I just needed to have

better time management skills. But there’s a difference between needing to

manage your time better and just being too involved.

My wake-up call came when a friend texted me and said, “I feel like

you’re trying to fit your whole junior year into one semester,” and I realized

she wasn’t wrong. Since I’m studying abroad in the spring, I’ve been

trying to throw myself into every opportunity to get involved, from joining

new groups to holding new leadership positions. This has lead to some

unhealthy habits, like skipping meals for meetings and substituting caffeine

for rest. In an attempt to reclaim my time (and sleep), I came up with these

tips to remind myself that I can’t do everything and to manage the things I

can do.

Tip #2:

Don’t be afraid of blank space on your


If you’re anything like me, you live off of your Google

Calendar (or planner, iCal or whatever resource you choose to

keep track of everything you’re involved in). At the beginning

of the semester before all of my extracurriculars picked up, I

complained about all the empty space on my calendar because

I had no idea what to do with all of that free time. Now I live for

the small breaks between classes and club meetings. We can get

so caught up in feeling like we need to be productive every hour

of the day that we forget that downtime gives us the opportunity

to eat, catch up with friends or watch an episode of our favorite

show. These activities give your mind the chance to take a break,

so you don’t burnout.

48 Alice Winter 2020

Tip #3:

Try not to compare yourself to others

Just because the girl in your class holds positions in three

clubs, is a member of three others and is taking the max number

of credit hours doesn’t mean that you’re not doing enough. It’s

easy to think “if she’s doing all that without even breaking a

sweat over it, why can’t I?” But just because she appears put

together on the outside doesn’t mean she isn’t struggling to

juggle all of her responsibilities. If you are trying to be more

involved, make sure the decision is based on your desire to

be involved rather than because you feel the need to play the

imaginary game of catch-up with those around you.

Alice Winter 2020 49

Have someone to hold you accountable

Tip #4:

When I received an email about the chance to apply for

a marketing committee that would look great on my resumé,

but I knew I probably didn’t have time for, I turned to my

best friend to be my voice of reason. As someone who knows

everything that I’m involved in and what my schedule is like, I

trusted her to be straight up with me, which is exactly how she

was when she told me, “You do not have time for that.” When

you’re struggling to decide whether or not you can handle adding

another responsibility to your growing list, don’t be afraid to

turn to someone for help, whether that’s hearing out advice from

a friend or an advisor. A second opinion can help you manage

expectations with reality.

Tip #5:

It’s okay to say no

If there’s something you’d like to be a part of but you know

that trying to fit it into your schedule would just lead to stress,

don’t be afraid to pass on it for now. Most likely, you can still

get involved next semester when your class load is different

and hopefully more manageable. If it is a one-time thing, try

looking for another organization that’s similar or offers a similar

experience. You can always ask your professors if they have

any recommendations based on what you’re looking for. Just

remember that it won’t be the end of the world if you don’t take

an opportunity or join a club that would make your workload

unmanageable. Your mental health comes first.

The feeling that I’m not doing enough does still hit me,

especially since I’ve cut down on some of my activities. I just

have to remind myself that college is more than trying to stuff my

resume with involvement — it’s about enjoying my time here, too.

Get Cuffed:

A Beginner's

Guide to

Seasonal Flings

By Angelica Zdzienicki

As the holiday season begins again, some relationships turn

into engagements and those who are single, decide it is time to

get cuffed. If you have not heard of cuffing yet, it refers to being

“handcuffed” to another person, because you want to be with

someone at least for a short period of time. Most cuffing starts

around late September and ends when the holiday season ends

and the cold is gone. Think of it this way: Fall into your cuff of

choice and spring out when it's warm.

So why do we cuff?

Biologically: Getting down to the basics of biology, when

the temperature drops we go into hibernation mode. We want

to be cuddled up with someone for warmth, especially with the

shorter days and sun going down before your workday is over.

Charmin Aijan, from Psychology Today Magazine, elaborates a

little more on this explaining that “people tend to be lonelier and

socialization becomes a struggle” and that this is one of the main

reasons to want to bundle up with a buddy.

Environmentally: We also want to find someone to cuddle

up with because as the temperatures drop, you want to find

someone to keep you warm and make you hot cocoa. Because

when the temperature drops, apparently so do the clothes.

Psychologically: In winter, our standards, like the

temperatures, drop. In summer we’re more prone to pick a

companion based on body image, due to the lack of layers.

However, in winter due to the layers of clothes that separate us,

we tend to focus on other qualities than those associated with

physiological attractions.

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Is it for you?

Evolutionarily: Cuffing has been around since the first

groups of people who walked this earth. It certainly is not the

same as modern-day cuffing with Netflix, cookies, and cocoa, but

in the past, you would have to pair with others in order to survive

the winter’s lack of resources and ultimately the cold bite of the


With all of this information on the cuffing phenomenon, ask

yourself if a temporary winter relationship is right for you. In this

case, there are really only two things to consider. The first being:

Can you handle the possibility of this relationship only lasting

a couple of months? Do you think you could be the person that

can get close to someone and then at the first ray of sunshine let

them go? Secondly: Are you ready for all the ups and downs of

a semi-non-kinda-not-really relationship? You have to think of

and accept the possibility that the other person you are talking

to might not be considerate of the traditional style of dating one

person at a time.

Socially: One of the most defining reasons for why we cuff

is due to the social pressure of society, social media and family.

With the holidays coming up, the inevitable question from your

extended family on why such a nice person like you is still single

will be moving around the table faster than the gravy boat.There

are any number of holiday parties that you don’t want to attend

alone. Worst of all, there are New Year’s Eve celebrations and

the struggle that comes with the social stigma that you should

show up with a date or you risk kissing an absolute stranger at


Finding a new companion for each party can be exhausting,

but if you bring the same person to multiple events, there are

conflicting ideas of what your guest of choice might be thinking

about the pending status between the two of you. Not to mention

happy couples are posting on social media snaps of them clinking

their matching mugs of hot cocoa in their seasonal pajamas

binge-watching the addictive holiday movies on Hallmark or

Netflix. We’ve all seen the movie of the CEO girl who is too busy

advancing her career for a relationship (and not to mention is

perfectly fine) but then suddenly during holiday season finds the

need to be with someone and can’t work without someone in her


Every sappy holiday movie, that we can’t help but watch over

and over again, are filling us up with the idea that during this

time of the year we need to be in a relationship or that we will

run into the love of our lives in a ski cabin while on a family ski

trip. The holiday season knows how to play us and they even have

it down perfectly in the scripts.

There may be jealousy if this is an issue, but if not, there are

still the other frustrations of the beginnings of this situationship.

Dealing with the explanation to family and friends on what

you are, learning each other's quirks and everything that falls in

between. If you are unsure of all of this, consult a close friend or

two and ask them if they think this is something you can handle.

If this isn’t for you, not a problem at all, just grab your bestie

and make the best of the colder days! If so, here is some advice

for you to follow to help you find the best person to couple up

with this season.

On Cuffing and Being Cuffed

Going into cuffing season, make sure to set ground rules

and boundaries with your significant cuff-er or else you both

might end up on different pages. Set boundaries relating to what

this cuff is going to be, how long it is going to last and if you are

allowed to date other people should someone catch your eye.

Do not assume that this cuff will turn into a full-fledged

relationship, but also don't assume that just because it is

temporary nature that it will not last. However, if things do

start to become more comfortable and you two feel good about

opening up and becoming the official status creating titles like

boyfriend or girlfriend, then go for it! Everything in life is trial

and error, so why not give it a try.

Create a cuffing schedule, so you have plenty of time to get to

know your partner and plan ahead for your dates. Make the most

of the season together, whether it be publicly at parties or in the

comfort of your own home. Either way, you chose to cuff, enjoy

yourselves and your time together during the most wonderful

time of the year.

52 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 53

Organization for the “Disorganized”

By Gabrielle Sirois

In today’s society, there seems to be pressure on individuals to stay organized. From endless organizational

hacks on Pinterest to everybody raving about how great “Tidying Up” is on Netflix, it feels as though we are

constantly being presented with ideals that we should be living up to in order to achieve an organized life. But

what if none of these “hacks” work for you? What if you have tried to keep things in order, but it just becomes

too hard for you to maintain? It's easy to feel like you may be the only “disorganized” person out there, but

you’re not. Take it from someone who has tried so many different methods of organization and has figured out

the best ones for those of us who don’t have “Type A” personalities. While these tips aren’t going to transform

your whole life and turn you into an organization guru, hopefully, they will point you in the right direction of

where to start.

Tip #3: Make a system that works for you

You’ve probably heard of the term “organized mess” before. Honestly, I think that this is how a lot of us

have to live our lives. Not everyone is going to be able to maintain a perfectly clean and organized lifestyle,

since a lot of people don’t have the time or energy that is required for that level of upkeep. The best remedy is to

develop a system that works for you and your needs. That system may seem chaotic and messy to others, but as

long as you understand it and it’s functional for your lifestyle, then it is perfect!

Take your closet, for example. Some people like to organize their clothes by color, type or season, while

some may not have any method but still know exactly where an article of clothing is when they want to wear it.

This can apply to every other aspect of your life. Everyone is going to approach situations in different ways, so

don’t worry about trying to do things the “right” way. Instead, focus on creating a system built to function for

your lifestyle.

Tip #1: Take your planner digital

Physical planners work great for some people, but for others, they can be more hassle than help. Using a

digital calendar is a great alternative if you want to add some structure to your life without having to constantly

carry a planner. Google Calendar and Apple Calendar are two popular options that people use to keep track of

their day digitally. These are great for people who want to visualize their schedules because you can actually see

the chunks of time that are being taken up by work or school, and the time you have available. You can easily set

up recurring events, which is helpful for things that happen every week such as your classes or meetings. There

is also the option to set up reminders for when an event is happening to make sure you don’t forget or arrive

late. If you want to step things up a notch, you can even color-code the different events to further visualize what

categories they fall into. However, you are free to leave them all the same color as well if color-coding seems

overwhelming for you. Taking your planner digital ensures that you always have it in the palm of your hand,

creating less stress and hassle for you.

Tip #4: Get in a routine

Something that coincides with an unorganized personality is forgetfulness. Between balancing school, jobs,

a social life and everything else that comes with being a student, it can be easy for little things to slip through the

cracks. Developing a routine that you can stick to will help ensure that you don’t forget to do important things.

For example, I know that the first thing that I do every morning after I wake up is take my medication for the

day, and the last thing I do before I go to sleep every night is set my alarm for the next morning. By performing

these tasks at the same time every day, it ensures that I don’t forget them and end up in a sticky situation.

Tip #2: Put the fun in functional organization

Tip #5: Don’t bite off more than you can chew

If the thought of cleaning and getting organized fills you with a sense of dread, make it bearable by finding

ways to make it fun. For repetitive tasks like cleaning or folding laundry, listen to a podcast or catch up on the

latest shows you’ve been wanting to see to distract yourself from the work. Beautifying your storage can further

incentivize you to stay organized. For example, you are probably more likely to sort your items into different

baskets if you use matching baskets that are in your favorite color or pattern. It's crucial to find something that

makes organizing tolerable for you, or else you are never going to keep up with it.

Regardless of how hard you might try, you can’t reorganize your entire life in one day. Ease into the

organizational mindset by performing small tasks such as making to-do lists or setting up your digital planner

before you try to go Marie Kondo on your entire apartment. Don’t push yourself to try and do more than you can

handle, the whole point of organization is to make things easier on you, not stress you out!

54 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 55


By Annie Hollon

Take a moment and think about how many times you have said or heard the

word “sorry” in the last 24 hours. Was the apology warranted? Did you mean it? Or

was it an instinctive response to a situation where no one owes anyone an apology?

If your answer is the latter, you are one of the many plagued by the “sorry reflex,” a

sociocultural reaction embedded within the upbringing of young women associated with

humility and submissiveness. The root of the problem could stem from a number of

places, but the key question here is why women say sorry so often and what we can do to

reverse and stop this habit.

Life in Plastic Gets Realistic

While this subject is hardly a new revelation, its cultural prevalence and how it

is impacting young women is. Commonly called the “Apology Reflex,” the subject was

brought to the public eye’s attention from a rather unexpected source: Barbie. The

childhood heroine of many young girls voiced her frustration on the issue through one

of her YouTube vlogs (no lie). In her video from June 2018, she coined the term “sorry

reflex” when describing the constant apologies women utter in everyday circumstances

to the millions who follow her videos.

She goes on to give examples of when people apologize unnecessarily and calls out

the damage it causes to women’s confidence, challenging her viewers to watch how often

they say “sorry” and swap it for a “thank you.”

“I think there’s a bigger issue around sorry, especially

with girls,” Barbie said. “We say it a lot…Like it’s a

reflex, and somehow everything that goes wrong is

our fault.”

While the video is aimed at young girls, the message resonated with women of

all ages online, with over a million views on the video as of the date of publication.

Identifying this issue, especially in content targeted at 7.5 million subscribers, raised

awareness and sparked a greater conversation about what exactly the “sorry reflex” is

and the impact it has on young girls. This animated media icon is not the only one to

speak out on the subject matter, or the first.

56 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 57

Why am I sorry to bother you?

Opinion piece after opinion piece attempts to tackle the subject in relation to

apologetic behavior in the workplace and cultural upbringing. But they almost all come

to one conclusion: Women are taught from a young age to be sympathetic towards

others and their emotions. In speaking to my own friends about the issue, they admitted

to over- apologizing “all the time,” with some acknowledging it in themselves and some

having friends who constantly call them out on this behavior. Yet as helpful as personal

anecdotes are when it comes to understanding the commonality of the catch-all

phrase, the lack of factual evidence makes the subject matter seem lackluster or overexaggerated.

However, the general consensus in regards to how “sorry” affects young

girls and women points to the development of self-esteem over time.

Katherine Oths, an anthropology professor at The University of Alabama, said via

email that the apology reflex reflects on how women are taught to refrain from outright

statements and often soften their commentary with a “sorry.”

“It’s a response that girls are socialized into making

as a preface to whatever they are about to do, even

if it’s something as simple as alerting you they need

space to get past you, or whatever opinion they are

about to offer, in part of our insecurity that their

opinion matters, and in part to blunt any impression

they might give of being assertive or confident,” Oths


You have no reason to apologize for taking up space, whether it be verbally or

physically, so don’t. Save your apologies for when you truly need them and wield

ownership over your words and self-worth.

“I think there’s a bigger issue around sorry, especially

with girls,” Barbie said. “We say it a lot…Like it’s a

reflex, and somehow everything that goes wrong is

our fault.”

This lack of confidence is slowly, but surely, changing and progressing from what

it once was. The power balance is continuing to shift as the wage gap closes and more

women are in positions of leadership across the board. Nevertheless, until we can

raise a generation of women who are shamelessly bold and empowered, the women

of the modern era are going to need to strive towards building one another up while

apologizing less for doing so.

“When I learned how to turn ‘sorry’ into ‘thank you', it

changed my life.”

Knowing when a sorry is appropriate is the first step in taking back the weight

and power of the word. Apologies are necessary in circumstances where one party (or

both) is in the wrong and wants to reconcile for what was said or done. This should be

a given but you do not need to say sorry for asking a question in class or for slipping

past someone trying to get to your seat. Calling people out on said behavior lets them

recognize their redundant use of the word, restoring their confidence.

“When any student, male or female, uses this

preface..., I gently suggest that there is never a need

to apologize in advance for what they have to say,”

Oths said. “That apologies are only needed if they

have wronged or hurt someone. I note that by the end

of the semester in my seminar courses, the phrase is

almost never used.”

58 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 59


Poco a Poco

By Meg McGuire





Poco a poco: an Italian adverb meaning little by little or

gradually, manifesting itself musically in pushes and pulls so

subtle that the listener may not even notice it’s happening. Yet,

slowly but surely, it composes itself into something entirely new.

Healing comes in many forms, extending far beyond the physical

realms of recovery. It’s a process that rarely charges full-speed

ahead and one that is as unique as the individual trying to find it.

Ultimately, the journey to healing is subjective. It’s comprised of

the good days, the bad days and the ones in between, taking place

in swells of beauty and pain, as well as denial and epiphany.

For Blair Reinlie, a second-year Traditional MBA student at

The University of Alabama, this journey began on the tailend of

achieving a life-long dream.

Reinlie graduated from Vanderbilt University with her

Bachelor’s of Arts in Oboe Performance. With aspirations to

become a professional orchestral musician, the next steps

were clear: She’d set her sights on the Bienen School of Music

at Northwestern University just outside of Chicago. She was

admitted into the program, securing her opportunity to finalize

the foundation upon which she would construct her music career.

It was everything she had hoped for, until several months into her

first semester when she fell ill and just couldn’t seem to shake it.

Weeks went by, and the symptoms remained.

And then she found the lump.

Many appointments and procedures later, Reinlie finally got

the answer she and her family had been seeking. The lump had

a name.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

“My life felt very perfect, and I was exactly where I wanted to

be,” Reinlie said. “Then just those three words, ‘You have cancer,’

changed everything.”

According to Dr. Jimmie Holland of Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Cancer Center in New York, in association with the American

Cancer Society, diagnosis and treatment are easier to digest

when portioned into “day bites.” This coping mechanism allows

the daunting reality to be a bit more manageable. He encourages

patients to simply take it all in day by day, moment by moment.

With six months of chemotherapy before her, Reinlie chose to

take this approach. She moved back home to Florence, Alabama

to face her new reality, leaving her newfound “very perfect life”

approximately 600 miles away in exchange for treatments every

other week.

For the first five days following the treatment, she felt extreme

fatigue and nausea, unable to read or watch television. Yet after

these five days, some internal switch seemed to flip. She could

exercise. Eat what she wanted. There was an illusion of normalcy.

Then the cycle would repeat. One month, one treatment, one day

at a time.

During her treatment, Reinlie maintained a relationship with

her oboe instructor at Northwestern. They would Skype for

virtual lessons, creating a crucial sense of connection in the

midst of an otherwise isolated season. These digital encounters

offered a sliver of time to look forward to — something familiar,

something to work towards besides “just getting better.” But four

months into chemotherapy, something shifted. Reinlie began to

question her pursuit of music.

Since her diagnosis, uncertainty hung over her like a storm

cloud, methodically creeping its way into uncharted territory and

infiltrating one of her greatest passions. What once was a safe

place to run to no longer offered the security she needed.

“I think all of the turmoil and instability of my life over the past

few months had caused me to view my life through the lens of

prioritizing stability,” Reinlie said.

She retaliated. She didn’t listen to classical music for eight


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Alice Winter 2020 61

“I asked so many questions I didn’t have answers to,” Reinlie

said. “And that scared me. I wanted to know that what I was doing

would matter one day, and I didn’t see that in my path.”

Over the course of an emotionally raw phone call back to

Illinois, Reinlie withdrew from Northwestern and began to seek

out what life after cancer would look like without music. For a

while, she was only met with more question marks.

“My life felt like it had been ripped away from me,” Reinlie said.

“And I lost my sense of identity. Cancer is one of those things that

makes you dig really deep… You have to answer some really hard

questions about yourself.”

Yet, in the middle of it all, Reinlie found great solace in the

community of friends and family who rallied around her.

Encouraging words, letters, and companionship were precious

gifts on the days when diagnosis threatened better tomorrows.

“When you’re going through cancer, you’re so focused on

getting better,” Reinlie said. “Having people to help fill the gaps

in the midst of your spiritual and emotional health is crucial.

You realize how much you need people when you go through

something like that.”

In addition to her loved ones, Reinle clung tightly to her

Christian faith. Despite the war being waged inside her body, she

said she’d never felt closer to the God she believed was responsible

for her creation.

Reinlie’s final chemotherapy session was an event

commemorated with celebratory pomp and circumstance, but

on the other side of treatment, she found a soul-aching void. For

six months, her sole focus had been on physical healing. Though

she checked off all the medical boxes, she had never felt such a

small sense of purpose. She was left with an insatiable craving

for control and a longing to find some greater meaning behind all

that she’d endured.

For Reinlie, life immediately after cancer was a treatmentinduced

hurricane. She found the chasm in her chest comparable

to what it must feel like to be the victim of a natural disaster.

In the eye of the storm, volunteers rush in to nurture and tend

to what is broken. News stations challenge a nation to rise up.

Donations and prayers flood the coast. Yet when it’s all over, when

the camera crews and good Samaritans roll out, the destruction

remains in the hearts of those who lived it, left to address their

own wounds in light of the aftermath.

According to the National Cancer Institute, oncologists advise

patients to make every effort to focus on what is tangibly within

their control both during and after treatment. As a recent cancer

survivor, taking control for Reinlie looked like migrating north,

this time to New York City. While there, she worked in a marketing

position that only further fed her desire for stability — she needed

to go back to school.

Reinlie applied to the MBA program at the University of

Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business, but the

decision to move back to her home state was met with some

personal hesitancy. She had fallen in love with her new urban

lifestyle but knew the move was a necessary step towards shaking

free from the cobwebs of doubt that had collected since her

diagnosis. To combat these initial feelings, Reinlie said she chose

(and still chooses) to seek out “good things to meditate on and


Reinlie enrolled into the university’s two-year Master’s of

Business Administration program in 2018, but the drastic change

in scenery from skyscrapers to academic halls still wasn’t enough

to thwart the ever-present fog of post-cancer emotional trauma.

Yet, three semesters in, she’s finally beginning to recognize

moments of clarity in which the fog is lifting.

Her relatively new identity as a survivor has adjusted the lenses

through which she processes her own existence. While she favors

stability and control, she’s quite the risk taker. She intentionally

seeks out ways to have the greatest impact on others, while

savoring relationships and opportunities for all they’re worth.

And, she’s started playing again.

As time accumulated between her diagnosis and current reality,

the indirect resentment that she’d harbored against music began

to disintegrate. Music and cancer were no longer synonymous.

Reinlie said that business school has taught her more about music

than music school ever did, broadening her sense of all that the

art encompasses. It’s no longer a platform for performance and

perfectionism, but rather an outlet for hope and expression. It’s

now a place of celebration. It’s now a means of channeling a new


“When something’s that big of a deal in your life,” Reinlie said,

“you can’t really turn your back on it forever.”

Reinlie said that she is working to “make the oboe cool,” with

plans to play alongside some of her singer/songwriter friends in

upcoming shows in Nashville.

Reinlie aspires to pursue a career that will allow her to merge

her passion for the arts and newfound expertise in business

administration. With her May 2020 graduation date approaching,

these words from C.S. Lewis are a foundation for things yet to

come, despite some gray days of inconsistency: “Hardships often

prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

Reinlie reconciled with music. Its presence in her life has been

redeemed to represent the human capacity to choose joy and

harness strength in the weakest moments. In

the same way music has permanently ingrained

itself into her personal narrative, her diagnosis

will forever be etched into her story.

For survivors, cancer is a life sentence, but it

is a life. One of purpose and promise. Reinlie’s

experiences continue to shape her, refining

every detail, molding her very sense of identity.

Healing accumulates in sheet music and

road trips, in sharing her story and the art of

learning something new.

Reinlie encourages those facing life-altering

trauma to press onward towards the light

at the end of the tunnel, taking intentional

time to acknowledge the tunnel itself. It is in

these shadowed moments of appreciating the

journey that one might just catch a glimpse of

the gradual healing compiling little by little,

poco a poco, fueling the promise that they’re

not destined to remain in the dark.

Reinlie reconciled with music. Its presence

in her life has been redeemed to represent

the human capacity to choose joy and harness

strength in the weakest moments. In the same

way music has permanently ingrained itself

into her personal narrative, her diagnosis will

forever be etched into her story.

For survivors, cancer is a life sentence, but it

is a life. One of purpose and promise. Reinlie’s

experiences continue to shape her, refining

every detail, molding her very sense of identity.

Healing accumulates in sheet music and

road trips, in sharing her story and the art of

learning something new.

Reinlie encourages those facing life-altering

trauma to press onward towards the light

at the end of the tunnel, taking intentional

time to acknowledge the tunnel itself. It is in

these shadowed moments of appreciating the

journey that one might just catch a glimpse of

the gradual healing compiling little by little,

poco a poco, fueling the promise that they’re

not destined to remain in the dark.

62 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 63

A well-known Birmingham location

that is perfect for Instagram is Sloss

Furnaces. Sloss is a historical landmark

and was once a functioning steel mill

but was shut down several years ago.

There are several locations to take cute

pics here, like the train tracks (which are

still in use, so be careful) and the many

staircases and framing archways that

make you the center of attention.


M I -



64 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 65

Near the Alabama Theatre

is the mural of Vulcan. The

Vulcan is one of the iconic

symbols of the Birmingham

area. It has been painted in

bright colors multiple times

on the exposed brick which

brings a pop of color to your

Instagram feed.

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Alice Winter 2020 67

All over Birmingham, there

are beautiful glass buildings that

make an incredible backdrop for

any photo. You can use them to

contrast against your outfit or

color-coordinate depending on

what kind of photo you are going


68 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 69

Right beside the Vulcan mural

is a wooden barrier with ivy

creeping up it that gives a more

neutral background for you to

be the center of attention in a

photo in front of it. It is perfect

for showcasing your incredible


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Alice Winter 2020 71

About Me:

Activist and advocate

Birmingham Native

Intern to Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07)

Poetess & Founder of Literary Vibes

Lover of Prose and Politics

Award-winning Author of “Why Negro Bodies Dodge

a Southern Sun”

UA NAACP President

Alpha Kappa Alpha woman

Fun Facts:

Alexus Cumbie


Book: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered

Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake


Music: Solange, Alabama Shakes, Mac Miller, Adele,

Drake, Amy Winehouse, Anderson Paak

Podcast: NPR Tiny Desk

Movie: All Dogs Go To Heaven

Food: French Fries(The Superior Starch)

Word: Echo


Alice editors sat down with University of Alabama

student and activist Alexus Cumbie about her

inspirational work in Birmingham, on campus in

Tuscaloosa, and on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C..

Between conversations about empowering marginalized

Birmingham youngsters to find their voice through

poetry and dancing to Lizzo at the photoshoot, Cumbie

shared some wisdom about how she infuses all her

endeavors with her zeal for advocacy.

"When it comes to my professional goals, it starts

with my passions,” she said. “When you ask how I got

here, I think it definitely starts with my commitment

to increasing literacy rates in low socioeconomic areas.

All the things I've done in my professional career and in

school have been with that end in mind."

Poetry and spoken have always played an important

role in Cumbie’s life. Growing up, she was a rapper

before she was a poet, but this creative outlet led her to

poetry and spoken word.

Her senior year of high school, Cumbie channeled

her passion for educational equality into a mentorship

program called Literary Vibes. What started as a way

to perform her poetry for visiting family members

transformed into a collective of local poets, musicians,

and artists. She went on to use the funds raised from

this showcase to start a mentoring program where

Birmingham poets, authors and artists host monthly

workshops in their public school system. The program

encompasses all ages, ranging from teaching kids how

to pronounce the alphabet to helping older students use

their struggles to find their voice.

For the past two summers, Cumbie has interned with

the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation where she

drafted congressional records, filmed press conferences,

and gave speeches alongside prolific legislators like John

Lewis and the Elijah Cummings. During this time she

worked with Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07) as

a voice for the constituents of Alabama’s Black Belt. As

one of her proudest achievements, Alexus remembers

her time with Congresswoman Sewell fondly.

"It was just a really proud space to be in,” Cumbie

recalls. "It was the little things she [Sewell] would say

in the elevator that would bring me back to life, the

affirmations she threw at me randomly throughout the


Like most students, Alexus is unsure of what postgrad

life will bring. While she sees law school or grad

school in the future, she doesn’t know where yet.

“Wherever I go though I will always be an advocate,

an artist, and a person who believes in building a space,

stage, and sanctuary for others,” she said. “Whatever

I'm doing, it's going to be activism."

Cumbie has many lofty goals including to publish a

collection of her poetry, perform in all 50 states, and

write a book about what it means to be a full human


To other college women seeking direction in their

future: “Develop your passion first, and once you

develop your passion, know you belong there,” she

suggests. “You really have to affirm that within yourself

because as women we are often barred from a lot of the

spaces we belong in, that we perform best in, but you

have to develop that confidence in yourself."

As a first-generation college student and one of seven

siblings, this message has shaped her success story.

“As cliché as it is, I would tell anyone to be yourself.

When you love yourself, others love you. When you

pursue your true passions, similar people will gravitate

to you."

• I watch The View every single night while eating a

bowl of Eddy’s Fudge Brownie Ice Cream.

• I can’t ride a bike, and I can’t whistle either (trust

me, I’ve tried).

• I can’t watch cable in October because commercials

for scary movies give me the heebie-jeebies.

Zora Neale Hurston, Poetess and Author

Stevona Elem(My Cousin), Founder of “Black

Women are for Grownups”

Congresswoman Terri Sewell

72 Alice Winter 2020

Alice Winter 2020 73



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Alice Winter 2020 75



Brands that are both stylish

and eco-friendly

By Cat Clinton

People often claim there is no feeling like putting on something

new, but what if you could give some of your favorite pieces that

brand new feeling again? Today, brands are taking extra steps to be

earth friendly by offering services to repair products, replacing them

and discounting the customers who donate. Being environmentally

ethical and dressing well shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

LuluLemon is one popular brand that you can see on almost

any given day around the student activity center. But this brand

of athleisure wear is also suitable for the Quad, a quick meal, or

class. On top of being a current trend and staple brand at most

universities, it is also renowned for its sustainability. LuluLemon

offers to repair/ replace products that are damaged or are poor

quality and will reuse the material from your original piece for

future products. They also require that vendors submit their waste

streams, reduction targets and management systems. Although

$100 on leggings may seem radical, free repairs may make them a

safe buy. Their shopping bags are also reusable, so don’t forget to

bring yours the next time you stop in a store.

Toms is another brand proving once again that clothing brands

do not always have to be expensive or flashy—sometimes it’s the

things nobody notices that make the biggest impact. The shoes are

made of 100 percent recyclable, sustainable and vegan materials, as

well as the boxes. They are quality made, and for every pair you buy,

one pair is donated to a child in need. Next time someone guilts

you for shoe shopping, try reminding them you’re simultaneously

providing a stranger with what you deem to be a daily necessity.

Small changes in the clothes you purchase are sure to cause a

ripple effect in the way producers work and function. Consumers

have the power to demand better products, and the standard we

demand is the standard that will be met. Maybe one day we won’t

feel the need to reward those who produce only quality and ecofriendly

products, but until it is a normal occurrence we must

recognize those who are willing to take that extra step.

Following the trend of donation, Levi’s asks for yours. No

matter the brand, Levi’s will recycle old material and clothing you

don’t want. In return, you will receive a voucher for 20 percent off

any regular-priced item. This donation offer includes shoes and is a

great idea for someone who needs to clean out a closet, because let’s

be real, there’s some stuff Goodwill doesn’t want.


changes in

the clothes

you purchase

are sure

to cause a

ripple effect

in the way


work and

function ”

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Alice Winter 2020 77

The New Approach to Fashion: Mindful Thrifting

By Peyton Ashley King

The year 2019 has revived an approach to fashion and the way people shop. Becoming

more conscious of the prices of shirts, pants, shoes, and accessories has caused individuals to

seek their local thrift shops. Thrifting has increased the demand for second- hand shops to be

built in communities from all financial backgrounds.



Thrifting can be the most rewarding or the most disappointing shopping trip that you’ve

ever experienced. A shopping trip that gives the opportunity to find anything that you desire

is ideal; however, searching through the unique hidden treasures that are patiently waiting to

be loved again can be a challenging and frustrating task at times. But nothing feels better than

the excitement to show off the fine treasures you discovered during the hunt.

There are a few tricks to being successful in a thrift shop so you get the most bang for your

buck (and your time).


Set Intentions: Thrifting without purpose

can add stress to your experience causing you

not to think clearly. Having a clear goal of

what you want will aid to a smooth thrifting

experience, so make a list or take pictures of

looks that you are aiming for.


Dress Comfy Not Flashy: Since some thrift

stores have a no return or exchange policy,

wearing form- fitting clothing such as tanks,

leggings, and boy shorts will give you an

advantage to trying garments on, even when

there isn’t a fitting room (which there isn’t in

most thrift shops).


Stay on the Budget: Many shoppers get

excited by all their unique finds and forget

the budget they’d set. To avoid this issue, you

should try on the items and make a judgement

of how your feel in it and how much use you

will get out of it as a part of your wardrobe.


Be Friendly: Creating bonds with staff

workers at thrift shops that fit your style

and budget can open doors for more unique

garments and pieces in your everyday wear.

They can not only help you find what you are

looking for, but can also tip you off to new

arrivals and great deals.

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Alice Winter 2020 79

When it comes to cutting or cropping, you can do this

with almost any item. You could always turn a t-shirt into

a crop top but if you want to be a little more adventurous

you can try cutting jeans in many different ways: distress

the bottom of the leg or fray some holes at the knees.

We all have those days where we feel like we have

nothing to wear and we’d rather just buy new clothes,

but the fast fashion world can get very expensive very

quickly. Thrifting is an easy alternative, and with some

simple tips you can transform thrift pieces with your

own personal flair.

There are many different ways that can spice up items

you find at the thrift store. You can cut, crop, alter color

and texture, and even dress it up or down with other

items. Simple and classic items like an old pair of jeans

or a plain t-shirt can be turned into a whole new outfit.

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Alice Winter 2020 81

Once you’ve cut your item, you can leave it be or spice it up

by altering color and texture. You can add personality to

jackets, jeans, and t-shirts with patches or by embroidering

a personal design onto it. If you just aren’t loving the color,

you can also customize that by using bleach or fabric dye,

and if you want to go the extra mile you can add studs or

jewels for some extra bling.

Even if you don’t have the skills or time to cut, crop, dye,

embroider or stud, you can always use other items to dress

up your new find. You can make a statement with a vintage

graphic tee, by throwing on a denim skirt and some

earrings, or pair those authentic 80’s mom jeans with your

favorite heels and blouse for a night out.

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Alice Winter 2020 83

On the flip side, if you find something that you think

is too dressy for your everyday looks, try dressing

it down. A silk slip dress with a white tee under,

finished off with your favorite sneakers, can be ready

for a day on campus in a pinch. A skirt that’s a little

outside of your comfort zone, add some tights and

tuck in a graphic tee to create a more casual look.

How to Navigate Online Thrift Stores

By Evan Edwards

If you’re still thinking that you won’t be able to

find something you love at a thrift store, give thrift

flipping a try. You might take a plain, everyday item

and turn it into one of your favorite pieces in your


A pile of wrinkled and forgotten clothes are occupying

the majority of closet space. Shirts that haven’t been worn

since high school are lingering around on their individual

hangers. New outfits are still sitting in shopping bags,

waiting for a slot in the compiled wardrobe to become

available. This scenario is very familiar and hits home for

many style-obsessed college students.

“I overestimate the amount of things I need to bring

from home,” Mclane Rosen said, who is a junior majoring

in hospitality. “As a result, there tends to be pieces of

clothing that barely get worn.”

In the past, there has been no efficient way to get rid

of unwanted attire. Yet within the last two years, students

have started to turn to apps, online sites, and social media

to sell their gently used clothes. This new form of secondhand

recycling allows individuals to switch up their

wardrobe—while still staying within a college budget. The

stigma that occasionally surrounds thrifted clothing is

world’s largest online thrift store through embracing girls

at all stages of life. Thredup originally began as a website,

and then progressed into an app. While it is not as popular

on The University of Alabama campus, Thredup is working

its way into the college industry.

Payton Rawson, a junior majoring in engineering,

said she prefers Thredup over Curtsy.

“I have so many clothes from when I was younger

that I don’t know what to do with,” Rawson said. “Stuff

that I know wouldn’t sell as well on Curtsy tends to do

really well on Thredup.”

The company, Poshmark, is comparable to both

Curtsy and Thredup. Poshmark separates their brand

from the rest through advertising different categories—

including menswear. The setup of their app mirrors

Instagram, and promotes a user-friendly format.

Poshmark puts great effort into their marketing and social

media platforms. All of their sites have a distinct aesthetic

now fading out.

Curtsy is a widely popular app that is specifically

dedicated for buying and selling clothes by college

students. After creating a profile, young adults can price,

photograph and post items to sell. Meanwhile, the money

they earn can be used to shop right on the app. Curtsy is

filled with clothes and accessories from popular brands—

without the high price tags.

Jordan Meeks, a junior majoring in Spanish, is a

committed Curtsy user. Meeks said she has made a little

extra income since the creation of her account last year.

“Curtsy allows me to clean out my closet right through my

phone,” Meeks said. “It’s so practical and works around

my hectic schedule.”

Meeks said she is excited to see where Curtsy goes

as it gains more popularity across college campuses

throughout the United States.

Thredup is another company that encompasses many

of the same attributes as Curtsy. It markets itself as the

coined by the Poshmark team. In return, the company

has a loyal following of all ages across the United States.

Mclane Rosen said Poshmark is her first choice when it

comes to purchasing pre-owned clothing.

“Poshmark is a very trustworthy site,” Rosen said.

“I know I’m getting exactly what is shown.”

As more companies emerge into the digital thrifting

industry, it is beneficial to understand the differences

between them. Because Curtsy, Thredup, and Poshmark

embrace a particular niche or appeal—everyone has a

site tailored towards their own personal style.

Payton Rawson said she doesn’t see the need to go

out and purchase brand new clothing.

“Why go to a store when I can purchase the same

thing on an app,” Rawson said. “For basically half the


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Alice Winter 2020 85


Everyone experiences a bad thrifting day,

but being plus size makes the chances of a

bad trip more likely. As a plus size thrifter, it

can be discouraging to shop at a thrift store

because of the little to no options. Being plus

size should not discourage you from thrifting.

Instead, it should inspire you to try new things

and new ways to wear clothes.

Thrifting in general is a great way to save

money. It takes used name brand items and

lowers the price so most people can afford

those items. With a rise in stores adding plus

size items, the marketing ploy of charging

bigger customers for bigger sizes seems to

be depleting. But, brands still use this tactic.

Thrifting allows this price gap to be eliminated,

making not only our bank accounts happier

but our self-esteem as well. When at a thrift

store, you never know what a diamond in the

rough you’ll find. Recently, I thrifted a denim

skirt that has the brand’s tag ripped off. This

skirt fits better than most of my name brand


Thrift stores are a cornucopia of different

brands: they allow patrons to explore new

brands they have never heard of or never

would have tried. Fashion styles cycle through

every couple of years. For instance, scrunchies

and mom jeans aren’t just a thing of the 90’s

anymore, anyone who’s scrolled through



By Jennafer Bowman


Instagram has probably seen the pair

quite a bit. What used to be considered

‘vintage’ is now everyday wear. That’s why

when most people think of thrifting, they

instantly think of vintage. With platforms like

YouTube and Instagram, it’s seemingly easy

to take an old styled shirt and DIY it. With

so many creators online, it’s easy to find DIY

inspiration anywhere. You can cut a shirt and

make it into a crop top, (which by the way

was originally presented in the 90’s but now

every store has a crop top section.) There are

a million ways to make clothing your own

especially when it’s at such a small price tag,

the problem though is finding clothing in

your size.

The problem with thrifting when plus

size arises when your section only has older

women’s clothing, vintage is great but

outdated is devastating. Walking into any

store, the plus size section is pushed in the

back corner and is about two racks of clothes

with maybe a shelf of jeans. You would think

walking into a thrift store would be different.

People donate their old clothes because they’re

too big which makes the options for plus sizes

go up, right? Wrong. The plus-size section

is mostly filled with outdated more mature

clothing, not something a young adult wants

to wear. Some items might be vintage but it’s

hard to revamp something that was dead when it

was in its prime. If the selection isn’t the problem,

it’s sizing. A woman named Chloe Martin tweeted

out a picture of her shorts from different brands all

in the same size. Miraculously, none of the shorts

matched up to be the same waist length. This

makes finding your size in a thrift store extremely

hard since the racks contain all different brands.

In my personal experience, I brought back three

pairs of jeans all labeled size 18. The jeans I

originally wore were a size 18, so you can imagine

my heart break when none of the jeans I went to

try on fit past my thighs. I was so upset I left the

thrift shop. The number on our waist bands can

dictate how we feel about ourselves, and it sucks.

It doesn’t help to watch Youtubers show off their

$100 haul of thrifted goods. Thrifting is a hit or

miss for anyone but adding the element of bigger

sizes make it even harder.

So, when you watch youtubers find tons of

clothing that fits them and you walk out with

nothing, it hurts. Some YouTubers suggest going

to multiple stores, but being plus sized means we

already have to do that just to get a little bit of

variety. It’s a struggle to travel to five different

stores and still find nothing that fits correctly.

I was so upset I left the thrift shop. The number

on our waist bands can dictate how we feel about

ourselves, and it sucks. It doesn’t help to watch

YouTubers show off their $100 haul of thrifted

goods. Thrifting is a hit or miss for anyone but

adding the element of bigger sizes make it even

harder. So, when you watch YouTubers find tons

of clothing that fits them and you walk out with

nothing, it hurts. Some YouTubers suggest going

to multiple stores, but being plus sized means we

already have to do that just to get a little bit of

variety. It’s a struggle to travel to five different

stores and still find nothing that fits correctly.

There is a key to somewhat success, when

it comes to plus size thrifting. Now this may

sound typical but, keeping an open mind when

thrifting really helps. If something doesn’t fit

try a bigger size and start over. The size of a

pair of jeans should not dictate how you feel

about yourself. Remember, a 20 in one brand

is not a 20 in another. There is no true size

20. Personally, I find a lot of luck in the men’s

section. Men’s clothes are built bigger because

of their broad shoulders and longer torso. You

will have a better chance in finding an oversized

flannel, hoodie or shirt in the men’s section

because of how they are tailored compared

to the women’s section. To make an article of

clothing more you, try DIYing. You could take

a sharpie to a pair of mom jeans and decorate

them, or cut up a shirt into a tank top, there are

so many ways to make clothing yours.

It can be difficult to thrift when you don’t fit

into most of the store’s sections. With unreliable

sizing, small sections, and outdated clothing,

thrifting can easily lower anyone’s self-esteem.

But, with the considerable amount of do-ityourself

options it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Plus-size thrifting isn’t a burden; if anything,

it’s a fun challenge.

86 Alice Winter 2020 Alice Winter 2020 87

The Oversized Blazer

Many fashion bloggers and celebrities have been spotted

wearing oversized black blazers with nearly everything. For

the hotter weather, many style the blazer with crop tops

and bike shorts—for a chic, sporty look. For a more relaxed

approach, wear a blazer with a simple white tee and denim

shorts—completed with chunky sneakers. Since a blazer

is a more masculine piece, pair it with bright colors and

patterns. You could also throw it over a bodysuit or dress.

THE STAPLES: A Style Guide

By Rachel Stern


A pattern that constantly circles the runway is plaid. For

summer, bright color schemes printed on mini skirts

and dresses were all the rage—styled like the 90’s. Since

fall is coming up, bring out the darker colors and mix

them with graphic tees. Add a pair of white sneakers for

an updated schoolgirl look. Plaid pants are also having a

moment—which can be styled with a crop top or chunky


We all know that the fashion industry moves at a rapid pace. As soon as a trend comes in,

designers are already moving on to something new. However, there are certain pieces that are

considered “staples”—and they are stylish in every season.

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Alice Winter 2020 89


White Sneakers

When you want to add

something quick to an otherwise

basic look—think earrings. Gold

hoops are classic, and can make

a plain tee with jeans a chic

ensemble. For football games,

pair red or black earrings with a

simple white dress to take it to

a more established level. Either

of these options are a great way

to enhance your looks, while

still maintaining an effortless


Animal Print

It’s no surprise white sneakers are a fashion staple.

They’re comfortable, easy to throw on, and most

importantly—they go with everything. For a sporty

and stylish look, opt for biker shorts, an oversized

graphic tee and sneaks. For a more feminine

look, pair them with a mini dress or skirt. It’s not

uncommon for anyone to own a pair of Air Force

1s or Filas. Consider making yours unique with

colored laces and personal designs.

Leopard print is by far the most

staple print. It can be worn with

nearly every color and pattern.

Animal prints in general are

considered “neutrals” because of

how versatile they are when pairing

with other pieces. This season, zebra

is all the rage. Pair a zebra print mini

skirt and a black turtleneck with

booties. Polish off that look with

a set of hair clips for the ultimate

2000s throwback.

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Alice Winter 2020 91



Still Have

Life to Give

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Alice Winter 2020 93

White After Labor Day

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Alice Winter 2020 95

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Less Dieting,

More Living

By Maddie Stevens

What if I told you that the key to living

a healthier life starts with your mindset, and

not the food on your plate?

Many of us have been misled by the

dieting mentality. Somehow, society has

successfully sold us on fad diets, and quick

fixes that promise to sustain big results, while

shifting our thought process to believe that

our body defines our identity. With that, we

are left with an unhealthy relationship with

food and the inability to live an authentically

healthy, happy life.

When you begin to see food and nutrition

as a daily lifestyle, everything changes. What

if we viewed food as a way to honor our body

each day, instead of making it about how

many calories you’re “allowed to have?”

When we think about honoring our bodies as

a lifestyle adjustment and not just a quick fix,

everything changes.

Let’s break up with the dieting mindset

and shift our thinking to a healthier,

sustainable lifestyle with these five goals.

1. You can’t use a temporary fix for

a lifelong solution

Has fad-dieting ever really given anyone longterm

results? Is it just a quick fix, or does the diet

change daily life into a sustainable, healthier way

of living? Well, if you’re only changing your diet

for one week or one month … then that doesn’t

change into a lifestyle. A diet is a temporary fix

to a lifelong journey — sounds like a recipe for


If you want a long-term, healthy change for

your body, a diet isn’t the way to go. But how you

view food and how you control what you put into

your body is does lead to a healthier, happier you.

If you are spending your days counting your

calories, intentionally depriving your body of

the nutrition you need, or determined to only eat

salads for every meal-- it’s time for a wake up call.

A healthy change starts with mindset. Not

necessarily what’s on your plate.

Start by asking yourself, at the very core of

these feelings: why are you wanting to diet? Is your

motivation coming from the desire to lose weight,

is it to impress someone, is it for control? Search

for the roots to those feelings. Not only why you

want to diet, but what drove you to feel that way.

When you find out the source of why you

want to diet, where this dissatisfaction with food is

coming from, take control of it and throw it away.

Stand up to it and know that you are about to make

a positive adjustment that is longer lasting than

any diet could be.

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Alice Winter 2020 99

“ Accepting all food means that you

will happily allow yourself to enjoy

a dinner (and dessert!) out with your

friends, but you can still honor your

body with daily nutrition.

2. Food freedom

Make peace with food. All types of food. From

lettuce to brownies, food IS your friend. The more

we mentally label good versus bad foods, the messier

this process gets. Remember the idea of an adult

telling you not to take the cookie from the cookie

jar as a kid? Which always led to you wanting the

cookie even more? The same subconscious mindset

applies now. If you label food with “good” or “bad”

titles, you’re left craving whatever food you tried to

cut out of your life.

Don’t get me wrong here. Food is the fuel our

bodies need to run on a daily basis. And yes, we

need good fuel to operate at our best. We should

try to pick the most nutritious option available

because it’s important to nourish ourselves. But IT

IS OKAY to have all food types. Enjoy your favorite

treat. Shamelessly have that dessert. Just do it in

moderation. If you create a proper balance, it will be

absolutely okay. Accepting all food means that you

will happily allow yourself to enjoy a dinner (and

dessert!) out with your friends, but you can still

honor your body with daily nutrition.

When you decide to make a lifestyle change

with food, it’s a lifelong journey. That means that

eating the tasty treat will not ruin you because

your journey isn’t over. You don’t have an end goal

because you are pursuing a healthy life each day.

This is all about rebuilding a broken relationship

with food. Part of a breakup is letting go, so girl, let

go of that food guilt. When this becomes a lifestyle,

one cheat day will not ruin you. Learn about

nutrition, how to fuel your body and slowly modify

those steps into your daily life. Allow yourself to

have freedom in your journey to a healthy lifestyle.

3. How to actually make it last.

Let’s talk sustainability. If you want to see a lifestyle

change, not just for an alleged one-week diet or 30-day

challenge; but you want to see lasting results and have

authentic improvement in your body, there needs to be a

change that you genuinely want to maintain.

Start off with committing to small changes in your

current diet. Ask yourself how you can make a meal in

front of you just a little better. Can you add some more

greens? Maybe some healthy fats or smart carbs? Take

what you’re doing right now and try to incorporate

little improvements. By slowly being consistent in small

changes, you will naturally keep it growing from there.

You can also try meal prepping, which also saves

time in the kitchen during a busy week, or incorporating

better snacks to bring with you to work or class. No

matter how you choose to go about this, commit to those

small steps. Watch what happens over time.

When it comes to cutting out certain foods, like sugar

or processed foods, begin with simply minimizing your

intake amount. This may sound silly, but usually people’s

first reaction is to cut it out of their diet completely

overnight. When you instantly remove something that

is fairly normal in your diet without slowly weaning

your body off of it, chances of cravings and binge eating

reach an all time high. For a sustainable change, slowly

decrease your intake and your body handles the rest.

Next, celebrate the little victories. Embrace your

success of small changes. For long-term changes to

your lifestyle, it takes time. And that waiting game can

be the hardest part, but enjoy the journey — celebrate

it and soak it in! After all, it is about the progress, not


4. Your food doesn’t define you. Your

shape doesn’t define you.

When you link morality to food, you’re giving

your freedom away to food. You are not a good person

for eating a salad, nor are you a bad person for eating

cheese fries. Absolutely take the time to celebrate the

positive steps and embrace it, but don’t reflect on them

as increasing or decreasing your worth as an awesome

human being. Food is your fuel, it does not define

character. Don’t punish yourself for eating that slice

of cake. Celebrating a healthy relationship with food

doesn’t involve you telling yourself that you are good for

eating veggies for your afternoon snack. It means taking

the time to celebrate that you made a positive choice

and you are going about it in a healthy way. It means

to feel GOOD about honoring your body and loving who

you are. It does not mean depriving or reprimanding

yourself. This is meant to be a fun journey to a healthier

lifestyle through less dieting and more living!

You are going to get busy, tired or maybe just have

a really bad day. It’s OKAY to miss that workout or

grab a meal in the drive thru. Life is going to get in the

way sometimes, so have grace with yourself. Have the

patience to roll with it and create balance, not punishing

yourself through food deprivation or negative self-talk.

A huge part of this journey is embracing yourself.

It’s a big step to choose to make these changes for a

healthier life and commit to small steps, including

treating yourself well. Speak positive words to yourself

in a mirror; lift yourself up in your thoughts. The same

way that we’re working on having a healthy relationship

with food- the way you view yourself is just as important.

5. For when it gets hard…

The hardest part about achieving a healthier

lifestyle and making small changes that lead to

long-term results is the waiting; when you’ve been

making the extra effort for a while and you don’t

see or feel results.

Think about it this way: it’s not about WHEN

you get there, but it’s about how you get there-- the

whole process. What would it be like to embrace

the process, celebrate the little victories, and watch

the small changes turn into bigger ones?

Instead of keeping your eyes laser-focused on

the idea of what it looks like to fully achieve your

goal, whether it’s food or fitness, soak in where you

are right now. Fully embrace the fulfillment of your

journey and know that you are moving toward a

healthy transformation.

Whether you’re working on small changes in

your daily diet, truly breaking up with the dieting

mindset, or learning to live out food freedom:

enjoy the moment. When you shift your joy into

the journey, you’ll want to keep it going. And you

will get there.

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Alice Winter 2020 101

How to Detox Your

Social Media for Your

Mental Health

By Morgan Harris


In the beauty-driven world we live in today, the word

detox is used left and right to rid us of all the “bad” things

in our life. There are juice cleanses to detox all the junk

you put in your body, charcoal masks to detox your

clogged pores, and meditation apps to detox your bad

thoughts. We are so often made to believe the choices we

are making for ourselves are notoriously bad for us, and,

who knows, maybe they are. There are so many products

and gimmicks to sell us on how we can improve our lives,

that we may begin to believe the only way we can improve

our well being is to spend a dollar.

One of the most important things that we often

neglect and forget about, is our mental health. It’s so

easy to believe if we buy this amazing special product

that it will drastically improve our lives in some way.

And while I too may be guilty of splurging on that

overpriced juice cleanse from time to time, I think

taking steps to detox your life can begin without a

purchase. A whole new mindset is at your fingertips, and

you don’t have to spend a dime.

Numerous studies show how social media is affecting

our mental health, namely the link between depression

and social media consumption. With these negative

hits to our mental health through social media that we

consume, how can we fix it? There are a number of ways

you can begin taking steps to detox your social media to

start improving your mental health.

2 1



Be Intentional About How You Spend

Your Time

On iPhones, you can go to your settings to see your screen time and a breakdown

of which apps you use the most and how much time you spend on each of them. On

my own screen, the social media category was the most-used section. Where do you

spend the most time on your phone? You may be surprised by the answer, and it may

be affecting you in ways you aren’t even attuned to.

Download a Social Media Detox App

There is an app for just about everything, ironically including apps to get you

to stay off your phone. Moment is an app geared towards bringing your social media

usage down by monitoring screen time, and coaching users on how to bring that

screen time down. You can also enable automatic cut-off times, reminders, and more

to start setting goals for your journey into a social media detox.

Unfollow, Unfollow, Unfollow

Believe it or not, something as simple as unfollowing people and pages can

help to detox your social media. How often have you followed a drop-dead gorgeous

Instagram model for “fashion inspo” or to give yourself ideas on how you’d like to

“theme” your profile? It’s so easy to constantly see other accounts and use them to

compare yourself, but if it’s someone you don’t know personally and you find yourself

feeling down each time they post, it’s time to hit that unfollow button. Although it

may feel like a hit at your self-esteem to admit the people you’re following are taking

a toll on our mental health, filtering what you consume can largely affect how you


A Full Cleanse

Taking the leap and logging off social media for good may seem daunting, but

a complete disconnect can be freeing. Even if you don’t decide to completely delete

your accounts, simply logging off for a weekend getaway to actually connect with

friends, or deciding to keep your phone in your bag during dinner can impact your

daily life. You have probably seen friends signing off for x amount of days to escape

their social media and thought that it’s a crazy idea. However, taking little steps to

connect more with “real” life and disconnect from our digitally curated life as a social

presence can improve so many aspects of day-to-day life.

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Mental Health:

Social Media Standards

By Hannah Taylor

Dianne Bragg was in seventh grade when she

contracted mononucleosis. Bed ridden for weeks and

unable to go to school, she asked her mother for the

one thing she hadn’t yet been exposed to: a magazine.

Bragg specifically requested an issue of Seventeen; the

one she received featured model Patti Hansen on its

cover. Recalling Hansen’s freckles and red hair, Bragg

said she “just devoured [the magazine].”

Bragg is an associate professor in the department

of journalism and creative media at The University

of Alabama. Throughout her childhood she initially

defined beauty standards by TV shows of the ’60s,

including Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch.

The ideals represented in adolescent magazines like

Seventeen seemed “more attainable than the women

(she’d) seen on television.” One show Bragg described

as having a particularly negative impact on her selfimage

was the ’70s hit Charlie’s Angels.

Comparison is a habit of human nature that has

worsened with the rise of social media. Today, social

media has come to define how we participate in dayto-day

activities; from news consumption to keeping

in touch with friends and family, it would be hard to

imagine a world without it. Lucrative careers are built

on social media platforms, in the form of vloggers,

bloggers, and influencers. Naibuzz estimated that

David Dobrik, leader of the Vlog Squad, makes

“I remember watching that show

and feeling very inferior,” Bragg said,

pointing out the elusive beauty and

charisma the star of the show, Farrah

Fawcett, exuded.

104 Alice Winter 2020

around $24,000 per day off of ads that run on his


Entire company departments are now

dedicated to the strategic management and use of

social media. Influencer agencies, such as Digital Brand

Architects, specialize in developing and marketing

personal brands. However, the reward associated with

the successful utilization of social media comes with

risks, too. The same platforms that build careers often

set the stage for their downfalls.

In May of 2019, the world of beauty vlogging ignited

in controversy after influencer Tati Westbrook released

a 40-minute-long, expository video about former

friend and makeup mogul James Charles. Within days,

Charles lost over 2 million subscribers on YouTube

and his Instagram following dropped by hundreds of

thousands. He subsequently took a prolonged break

from his accounts and explicitly stated the damaging

effect the public drama had on his mental health.

While there is no evidence directly correlating

the increase in mental illnesses and social media, it’s

hard to ignore the implications of spending several

hours a day on these interactive technologies. A 2018

Pew Research survey of U.S. teens ages 13-17 revealed

that 70 percent of teens consider anxiety and depression

“among people their age in the community where they

live” a “major problem.”

Nicole Koch, 28, is no stranger to the harmful

effects of social media. Host and social media manager

for multimedia entertainment company Young

Hollywood, Koch spends roughly seven hours a day

on social media. Every morning she spends five to 10

minutes checking Instagram and Twitter, looking for

breaking news in the world of pop culture. It’s her job

to consistently update the company’s various social

media and make sure Young Hollywood takes part in

trending conversations, she said. With over 8 million

followers across all direct platforms, this is no small

task. Aside from positioning Young Hollywood as a

central voice in the entertainment industry, Koch said

she must critically look at the analytics for each post, as social media

performance could potentially affect the booking of talent.

Juggling multiple responsibilities and working for the

majority of the week as a social media manager began to take its

toll. The line between personal and professional faded, and Koch

said she started looking at her own account in a more critical light.

Grace Thaxton Barrett, a 17-year-old high school senior

not yet exposed to the pressures associated with career-ladder

climbing, said she compares herself not to influencers or established

professionals, but to college-aged girls. Barrett said she tries to get

off social media when she starts participating in disparaging selftalk,

but several of her friends will sit on their phones for hours,

saving pictures of girls and “trying to look like them.”

These detrimental habits of comparison are not unique to

teenagers and millennials. Kim Bissell, associate dean for research

for the College of Communication and Information Sciences at The

University of Alabama, conducts research on the effects media has

on children. Bissell discovered that boys and girls as young as 6

years old engage in social comparison. When kids don’t look like

the athletes and celebrities they follow on social media, they feel as

if they haven’t met “societal expectations,” and this “drives negative

self-perception,” she said.

Aligned with the troubling evidence of comparison at early

ages, she said the biggest threat social media poses to children

stems from a lack of oversight.

“They’re on it too much, [and] parents don’t know what

they’re exposed to,” Bissell said.

Part of Bissell’s research includes teaching media literacy,

how to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. In a world

of social media content saturation, the line often blurs. Scrolling

through Instagram reveals a deluge of perfectly posed influencers

living lavish lifestyles and user profiles typically function as

highlight reels.

“If people want to do something

with their careers, they watch how

other people are doing it and then try

and match it. If they can’t...that’s where

the negativity comes in,” Koch said.

“[It’s] definitely given me a lot of anxiety, in my work, and

also in my personal life,” Koch said.

Three months ago, Koch said she got caught up in making

sure her Instagram account reflected her career successes. After

receiving numerous questions about her job, Koch thought, “I

need to start posting more, make myself look more like a host and

make sure I’m branding myself that way.” After a brief period of

posting interviews she’d done simply for the sake of posting them,

Koch said she decided to use social media more intentionally.

“I try to use it in a positive way as best as I can,” she said.

Koch adjusted her social media practices to align with

her values, but comparing careers seems to be a common

occurrence in millennials looking to establish themselves in

the entertainment industry. She recalled a young host who put

immense pressure on herself to gain a larger following after

being unable to book commercials because she had under 50,000

followers on Instagram.

Alice Winter 2020 105

Mikayla King, a 21 year-old junior at The University

of Alabama, estimates that she follows 150 influencers and

celebrities on Instagram. Of those 150, King can name 25 off

the top of her head, from Bachelor Nation to movie stars. King

said she originally used social media to keep up with friends

and family, but it’s now become a means for finding outfit

inspiration and beauty products. As for social media’s effect on

her mood, King said her negative experiences arise from fear of

missing out, commonly referred to as FOMO.

“I’ve never [felt the need] to get off social media

because I’m comparing my [body], but I have compared my

life [to others]. I’ve seen what other people were doing, and it

made me feel sad because I wasn’t doing what they were doing,

I couldn’t buy what they were buying, or I wasn’t hanging out

with the people they were hanging out with.”

FOMO is more prominent than ever. Snapchat and

Instagram stories allow people to share what they’re doing

every minute of every day, and more often than not, they’re

showing the best moments. Social media platforms set the

stage for a competition of who’s living a better life. Sitting at

home and looking at social media, it’s easy to feel left out simply

because you aren’t doing the same things as everyone else. In

order to avoid the dreaded FOMO, high school senior Barrett

said she purposefully won’t go on Snapchat or Instagram if she

knows all of her friends went to an event she didn’t attend.

While social media’s negative effects are evident, and

its long-term impact on younger generations isn’t yet clear,

these interactive technologies can be used for good, too. In

her media education efforts, professor Bissell developed an

app that allows children to better understand the concept of

nutrition. Kids can take pictures of their food, upload it to the

app, and subsequently receive suggestions on how to increase

the nutritional value of their meals. Bissell even integrated a

positive reward system.

In the business world, careers are built on social

media through means aside from influencing and blogging.

Networking apps, like LinkedIn, connect users with potential

employers; industry influencers often post inspiring success

stories and tools for professional development on various


As for mental health, the negative stigma surrounding

this topic is dissipating as people become more vocal about

their experiences with anxiety and depression. Wellness

podcasts exist in abundance on audio streaming platforms, and

TED talks on triumphing over mental illnesses reach millions

of viewers through video-sharing company YouTube. Young

Hollywood’s social media manager Koch said she follows

spiritual self-help profiles like @spiritdaughter and actively

looks for Instagram accounts that represent the “goodness in

the world, just to help [her] mood.”

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Mari Andrew, artist and writer, runs such an

account; it illustrates human emotions ranging from

heartbreak, longing, loneliness and joy. The account, @

bymariandrew, has amassed over 1 million followers to date,

and a special story-highlight is dedicated to her essay on

optimism, which she wrote after overcoming a disease that

left her temporarily paralyzed.

Regardless of the benefits and burdens associated with

social media, the effects of its use can be managed. This can

be accomplished by practicing intentional posting, joining

valuable conversations, setting limits on the amount of time

spent on the platforms, and following motivational accounts.

Above all, practicing mindfulness by acknowledging when

and why negative thoughts emerge will help in filtering out

the content they stem from. As Theodore Roosevelt once said,

comparison is the thief of joy. Consider the possibility of a life

without it.

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Sam MacDonald


Kirklin Abercrombie



Vol. 5 No. 1 Winter 2020

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