Alice Vol. 7 No. 3

Charmed continues to inform college women on the issues that matter while also embracing our big sister role in the form of a college survival guide. In this issue, we have everything from a myth-busting UTI article to calling out performative activism efforts. We feature women who are artists, fashion designers and entrepreneurs. There are fool-proof date night looks to ease any new-love butterflies and a deep dive into how a TikTok subculture has revitalized a population’s love for reading. This issue is a celebration of love, and you can call us, charmed.

Charmed continues to inform college women on the issues that matter while also embracing our big sister role in the form of a college survival guide. In this issue, we have everything from a myth-busting UTI article to calling out performative activism efforts. We feature women who are artists, fashion designers and entrepreneurs. There are fool-proof date night looks to ease any new-love butterflies and a deep dive into how a TikTok subculture has revitalized a population’s love for reading. This issue is a celebration of love, and you can call us, charmed.


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[ letter from the editor ]


Most dictionaries describe the word charmed as unusually

lucky or happy as though protected by magic, and for the

majority of us on staff, this feeling could not be more true. In order for

our staff to be successful, the department leads sat down at the end of

last semester and planned out the entirety of spring. We have two issues

coming to your screens, and one that you will be able to hold in your

hands. This is the most content Alice has ever produced, and without the

diligent efforts and passion that each contributor and editor has, none of

this would be possible. I have had the great honor everyday to work with

people that have seemingly endless drive and determination, and I am

continuously inspired by my staff’s ability to adapt and persevere.

It’s a joke around the office that the third issue’s the charm, but

in reality Charmed represents more than a fleeting feeling of luck. It

encompasses the hope that we have for the new year, the love we have

for our readers and the tenacity of our staff. This issue is an ode to the

people we love most and the communities we support. It made sense for

our February launch to embrace the love that is in the air.

All of us at Alice feel extremely lucky for every single person who

read an article, interacted with our social media posts and shared our

designs and photos. Last semester, we reached over 18,000 readers and

continued to grow our brand in more ways than one. From September 14

to December 12 we reached over 7,000 accounts on Instagram which was

a 276% increase from June 16 to September 13.

Charmed continues to inform college women on the issues that

matter while also embracing our big sister role in the form of a college

survival guide. In this issue, we have everything from a myth-busting

UTI article to calling out performative activism efforts. We feature

women who are artists, fashion designers and entrepreneurs. There are

fool-proof date night looks to ease any new-love butterflies and a deep

dive into how a TikTok subculture has revitalized a population’s love for

reading. This issue is a celebration of love, and you can call us, charmed.

May your new year be filled with peace and love,

Lindsey Wilkinson




























Lindsey Wilkinson

Jennafer Bowman

Rebecca Martin

Ella Smyth

Sarah Hartsell

Wesley Picard

Emma Kate Standard

Mary Groninger

Ta’Kyla Bates

Beth Wheeler

Cat Clinton

Jeffrey Kelly

Evy Gallagher

Kendall Frisbee

Katie Morris

Sophia Surrett

Emily Rabbideau

Baylie Smithson, Maddy

Reda, Kierra Thomas,

Kennedi Hall, Morgan

Byerley, Audrey Harper,

Julia Marano, Tory Elliott,

Jolie Money

Sarah Smith, Katie Nebbia,

Kayla Roberson, Katie

Harmon, Mackenzie Stamps,

Jennifer Stroud, Grayson


Alice Choup, Megan Davis,

Laura Fecanin, Sami


Lyric Williams, Caitlen

George, Analise Chambers,

Athena Richardson,

Kennedy Harrison, Kate


Ariel Yavuncu, Chloe

Clemmons, Natalie Mack

Mya Bolds, Lalia Wilson

Monique Fields

Julie Salter

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 © 2020 by Alice magazine. Material herein may not be reprinted

without the expressed, written permission of Alice magazine.



[table of contents]

Framing Life: The Effects of

Social Media Targeting and Filter



The Importance of Internships

Senior Survival Guide


12 Signs, 12 Lipsticks

Body By B

Date Night Looks





In Sew Many Words

The Timeline of Corsets

If You Buy the Shirt, Do the Work








Behide -the- Scenes: An Artist’s


Photostory: A Celebration of Black


Resolving Resolutions, Diet Culture

in the New Year





For Those Who Feel Guilty about

Their Music Taste; Don’t Be


Glorfying Abuse in Media




[food and health]

Are Our Essential Oils Actually

Doing Anything?

Negative Self-Talk vs The Brain

UTI Myths and Facts






Framing Life: Effects of

Social Media Targeting and Filter


The Importance of Internships



Senior Survival Guide





Framing Life: The Effects of

Social Media Targeting and Filter


By Cat Clinton


aily encounters aily encounters shape how shape people how see people the

world and see behave the world in it. and Remembering

behave it.

individuals Remembering met during day-to-day individuals life met is easy, during

but what day-to-day about the life social is easy, media but what content about and the

advertisements social media constantly content exposed and advertisements

to platform

users? A constantly majority of exposed students to wake platform up from users? a

cellular A device’s majority alarm of students clock. The wake same up device from a

that is used cellular for listening device’s to alarm music, clock. calling The friends same

and family, device keeping that is virtual used for wallets listening and to bank music,

information, calling shopping, friends and making family, social keeping media virtual

posts and wallets absorbing and bank information, insane number shopping, of

advertisements. making social media posts and absorbing

The common an insane phrase, number “you of advertisements.

are who you hang

out with,” The means common people phrase, find comfort “you are around who you

agreeable hang voices out with,” and opinions. means people Life find is easier comfort

surrounded around by like-minded agreeable people. voices Social and opinions. media

platforms, Life however, is easier may surrounded have taken by like-minded

this idea

too far. people. Students Social get media frustrated platforms, the however, speed

Facebook, may Instagram, have taken Twitter this idea and too other far. Students social

media platforms get frustrated send targeted at the advertisements

speed Facebook,

whenever Instagram, a need Twitter is discussed. and other Suddenly, social media

social media platforms users send are trapped targeted by advertisements

the targeted

advertisements whenever weaved a need throughout is discussed. the Suddenly, social

media feed social also media showing users photos are of trapped friends, by

classmates the and targeted colleagues. advertisements The targeting strategy weaved

allows platforms throughout to the earn social more media “screen-time,” feed also

from users, showing meaning photos people of friends, spend classmates more time and

engaging colleagues. with the app The and targeting more time strategy receiving allows

advertisements. platforms to earn more “screen-time,”

“Consumers, from users, bombarded meaning with people ads spend from the more

moment time they engaging wake up with to the the moment app and they more drift time

off while receiving staring at advertisements.

smartphones, face tailored

experiences, “Consumers, products, bombarded and offers with from ads from the the

brands they moment support. they Advertisers wake up to and the moment marketers they

use a variety drift off of while data staring acquired at smartphones, by monitoring face

online activities tailored -A experiences, tailored ad products, leads to and greater offers

visual attention,” from the brands said Kim they Jihoon, support. assistant Advertisers

professor and of marketers advertising use and a variety public of relations data acquired at

The University by monitoring of Alabama. online activities -A tailored

Companies ad leads sponsoring to greater advertisements visual attention,” pay the

platforms said or apps Kim by Jihoon, the number assistant of users professor viewing of

the post, advertising and even more and for public engagement. relations Tapping at The

a website University link, liking of a Alabama. post or making comments

is tracked and recorded by the social media

platform, and earns the platform a profit.

“Students take in a huge amount of information

far beyond the traditional media. Thus, media

literacy is an essential skill in the digital age. It

will continue to play a key role in creating a new

generation that can retain critical thinking skills

in the midst of a media blizzard,” Jihoon said.

Screen time is good, but engaging with

advertisements will increase profits for

companies using the app as a promotional tool.

The “click”, or engagement numbers are shown

to advertisers as proof targeted social media

advertisements and feed will increase company

income, and currently the users receiving the

advertisements care enough to learn more.

For advertisers and marketing practitioners,

targeting is a blessing. Targeting a user by

collecting records of actions made on the social

media platform makes the job of expanding a

creator or companies audience easier.

“You want to try and suit multiple audiences.

Growing an audience is about understanding

your niche and identifying the story being told,”

said Ryleigh Esco, The PR and Digital Media

Coordinator at Style Advertising, Marketing

and Public Relations. “Never be afraid to ask.

Having more eyes and insight on your work can

help prevent mistakes.”

Connecting with individuals is exciting when

information such as friend group members and

interests are public. A company’s social media

audience, however, is up to users and how the

content is received.

Advertisements being targeted to specific

clients and customers is common, but the

introduction of modifying users’ feed to make

the placement of the advertisement more

appealing is not. Today, a user can scroll

through posts for long periods of time without

seeing the majority of their friends’ posts. This

is because friends with differing views may have

been filtered out. Platform targeting increases

how often people see pleasing social media

posts while adversely removing friends’ content

when it is “low quality”, meaning the post

shared was taken under bad lighting or with an

older generation camera, or if the content takes

a position counter to the profile user’s views.

Controversy can increase user engagement, but

often, more screen time is gained by appealing

to users’ interests.

“People love to hate big tech but for vastly

different reasons. Some claim social media

platforms are impending upon free speech

and others believe they aren’t doing enough

to staunch the flow of misinformation and

moderate hate speech,” said Matthew Barnidge,

an assistant professor at The University of

Alabama, currently teaching Social Media and

Society. “I think so long as we are internalizing

this and thinking about how it applies to our

lives, that is the most important thing.”

Consumers do not have to buy into

advertisements, but the action is more likely

the the advertisements are targeted. People

are likely to befriend others with agreeable

perspectives, but new advertising strategies

place an invisible block on people and posts

controversial to the user. Never experiencing an

active conversation with individuals of different

or ulterior views can limit self reflection and

belief questioning. Understanding the root of

different opinions teaches people resourceful

problem solving techniques. Social media

platform’s new level of gatekeeping might

diminish people’s opportunity to question

ideals, while also placing a long term

restriction on people’s ability to argue while

being respectful.




The Importance



By Julia Marano

large part of the undergraduate

A journey for students is figuring out

a career path after college. Some students

know exactly what to pursue, and some

students have no sort of idea what comes

next. Whichever category someone

may fall under, every student has one

similarity in common: benefiting from


Internships can guide students in many

ways, whether it solidifies our choice in

careers or shifts us in a totally different

direction. Whichever happens, experience

is one key to a successful internship.

“As a person whose dream is to become

a lawyer, I now realize how crucial

internships are in gaining experience

before attending law school. I was always

taught that no matter how much you

read on a particular subject, the best way

to attain knowledge on that subject is

to experience it in real life. I am forever

grateful that I have the opportunity to do

so,” said Carolina Menezes, a junior at

University of Central Florida working as

a Student Intern at the Michael Brehne

Personal Injury Law Firm.

When participating in internships, not

only can students be exposed to new

environments, but we can also familiarize

ourselves with the people already working

in these environments. These people can

make great professional connections,

which can later lead to potential jobs after


Many of us have little to no exposure

to our potential careers, unless we see

them on television or hear about other

experiences. These glimpses into a certain

career can be very misleading. The lives

of the women on “Selling Sunset’’ may

be glamorous and rewarding, but they

did not start their careers off by selling

multi-million-dollar houses. Many people

pursue medicine because they love Grey’s

Anatomy, and although there is nothing

wrong with that, it is always beneficial

to discover what being a surgeon is like

through internships.

When looking for jobs after graduation,

an employer looks for experience.

Internships are a great way to

demonstrate that a candidate is serious

about committing their entire career

to a certain field. Many students come

straight out of college with no experience

whatsoever, which may cause some

skepticism for potential employers to hire

someone who knows nothing about the

work atmosphere they are entering.

“The first and most beneficial way a

high school student benefits from an

internship experience is as a means of

exploring their interest in a potential

major or career. said Graciela Gallinar, an

educational consultant located in Coral

Gables, Florida. “It demonstrates to their

colleges that they are developing their

interest in a more in-depth way,”

Internships in a certain industry are not

only beneficial for potential employers

but for potential employees as well. It

can give us a glimpse into an industry’s

working mechanisms and structure, and

can also be a great way to see if we fit

into a certain atmosphere. We need to

ask ourselves whether or not we can see

ourselves being successful here.

“Internships serve as a “vetting” process

to make sure you like the line of work

before you start a full-time job in that

field. The last thing you want to do is to

work so hard in your academic career,

only to find out that you don’t like your

job once you start full-time in your field

of work. Internships serve as a screening

mechanism to help prevent this scenario

from occurring, and to ensure that you

like the line of work before you sign on

the dotted line,” said Douglas Klutz,

a professor of criminal justice at The

University of Alabama.

Many students may be hesitant or

intimidated to partake in internships

for several valid reasons. Some may

expect for internships to require certain

requisites and prior experience and

some may, but most do not. Another

reason that students may be hesitant is

that it is a huge responsibility, almost

like another job. A student could have

a very demanding internship, but many

work around students’ schedules and

acknowledge that school comes first.

Most internships are intended to help, so

making sure the intern is able to balance

school and the workload is a priority

for many employers. Students may also

feel intimidated due to the increasing

competitiveness of internships, but there

is a spot for an intern everywhere.

Now that you may be more comfortable

with what an internship is and its

purpose, where do you find one that fits

you? Douglas Klutz, a professor at the

University of Alabama gives us some

tips on how to find internships. He says,

“Regularly check websites like Indeed,

Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and USAjobs.

gov under the “Pathways Program”

(for federal internships). Reach out to

family and friends who work in a related

field as well - personal connections go a

long way.” If you already have a certain

company that you dream of working for,

but they do not have any information

about internships, reaching out is also

another tip Mr. Klutz suggests. “Don’t be

shy to reach out directly to companies/

agencies you are interested in interning

with, as most of them have a specific area

on their websites dedicated to detailing

internship opportunities available

internally within their organization.”

There are many components to

internships, there are paid and unpaid

internships, internships that are everyday

or once a week, internships across the

country or around the corner. Knowing

what fits your schedule and what you

are looking for is very beneficial to

understand before going to look for

internships. Between working and

school, many students cannot afford

unpaid experience. Fortunately, there are

increasing amounts of paid internships

that students can benefit through

financially while simultaneously gaining

valuable experience. Many majors also

include internships as course credits, to

learn and apply what you learn inside of

the classroom in the outside world.

It is important to remember that

internships are made for you, not just

for the employer. They should make the

intern feel as though they are there to

help, gain experience and learn, not used

for busy work or fetching coffee everyday.

Making sure you research and know what

to look for in a company is very important

to ensure you are getting the most out of

your valuable time as a student. If you

have any more questions or concerns

about internships, be sure to contact your

university’s career center, they can help

lead you in the right direction for where to

begin your internship journey.






College is an experience like no other,

and for some it can be hard to navigate.

Most freshmen will go their entire life with

structure and guardians who are there

to guide them, and then months after

graduation are expected to know what to do

on their own. Here is a comprehensive list

of topics in which advice is separated into

three categories – school, health and social.


School is undoubtedly the hardest to

navigate during students’ first semester.

Schedules are different each day, books

are expensive and finding the right

building can be confusing.

Advice #1: To help decide on

majors, minors, or specializations,

try taking a variety of classes to

see which one peaks interest.

Students are offered a variety of

classes ranging from criminal justice to

anthropology, and they will likely enjoy

and dislike many of them. Majors and

GPA (grade point average) do not define

a student’s potential, and most people

(including me) still have no idea what to

do after graduating. Every student must

find something that piques personal

interest, then look into ways of declaring

it as a minor or additional major. Use

extracurriculars to explore interests and

possible skills.

Advice #2: Utilize on-campus


Every college campus has resources to

help students succeed, so use them.

Daniella Fernandez, a senior nursing

major at The University of Alabama, said,

“Get ahead of peers and use the career

center for resume building and to prepare

for internships and job applications”.

Join organizations and get involved

on-campus. An extensive resume gives

students an advantage over competing

applicants. When struggling with a

class, take advantage of the University’s

tutoring services. Some resources may

be hard to find and barely advertised,

so students should check for a college

resource website to learn about what is


“Freshmen need to take a course or go to

a seminar that focuses on the resources

campus has to offer,” said Jayuanna

Harris, a senior nursing major at The

University of Alabama.


It is essential that a student’s physical

and mental well-being is a priority.

College bodies know themselves, so

even if the habits recommended in this

guide are not personally beneficial, other

habits and tricks may help to stay healthy

because everyone’s body works in a

different way.

All things considered, college is

stressful. Balancing school, social life

and alone time is hard but is manageable

when students respond to physical needs

as recommended by health professionals.

Advice #1: Take mental health


“The world will keep spinning if you

take a day to yourself,” said Shannon

Healy, a senior public relations major at

The University of Alabama.

Simply sitting in dorms or apartments

with a book or good movie can improve

someone’s mood. Some people use their

mental health day to do a face mask,

yoga or simply sit outside. Do whatever

is necessary to keep yourself grounded.

Advice #2: Exercise.

Exercise can help with and prevent a

variety of health issues and improve mood

swings and anxious thoughts. Luckily,

the level of physical activity necessary is

personalized. Joining a fitness boutique,

yoga studio or recreational gym can give

students the exercise needed. Exercise

can also serve as a break from the day,

allowing students to take a step back

from studying for a test or completing a



Like school and health, the social aspect

of college is different. This is the time to

learn what kind of friends each student

wants and how many. Not everyone

gravitates to a large group of friends,

although some people love big friend

groups. Students can join social clubs, go

to on-campus events or use social skills

in the classroom. Whatever it may be,

how students socialize is completely a

personal choice.

Advice #1: Give yourself time to

make friends, it will not happen on

day one.

Off the bat, it seems like everyone else

has best friends. Social media can be

deceiving, so do not assume others are

not in the same boat. Meeting new people

every day is part of college, and students

will have the opportunity to make friends

with every class or study session held.

Remain patient, because true friends will

come. It just takes time to decide who

that is.

Advice #2: “Don’t spread yourself

too thin,”

This means students shouldn’t

overcommit, especially when there is

no time for mental health or personal

wellbeing. Do not be afraid to say no,

especially when feeling overwhelmed. It

can be hard saying no, especially with

the fear of disappointing friends, but

overcommitment can exhaust students

and will result in rushed work. Students

on campus should go to social events

and hang out with friends while also

learning when it is appropriate to stay in

and catch up on schoolwork. College is a

learning experience. The transition will

not be easy and mistakes will be made,

but boundaries help.

Time flies when having fun. Although

college is amazing, students must

understand it is not the end. It is an

amazing four years to reflect on and

cherish fondly. Students should enjoy

college, learn how to self-reflect and

observe other people, push themselves

academically and try new and frightening




12 Signs, 12 Lipsticks

Body By B



Date Night Looks







Astrology has taken the world by storm in recent years and knowing someone’s zodiac sign is almost as common

as knowing someone’s birthday. The astrological signs are assigned by looking at where the sun, moon and other

planets are positioned at the time of birth. Astrology charts can get complicated because a single person’s chart can include

multiple signs, but beginners usually focus on sun signs. Each sign possesses its own unique characteristics, which makes

assigning a lip color to each one a personalized and fun process. With the new year, everyone is feeling a little stir-crazy and

ready to switch things up. A quick way to find a new shade to try out and dabble in astrology is to find a shade based on a sun sign.

A fiery and fun sign, a bold red perfectly matches Aries’ inner fire.


March 21-April 19

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Red Lipstick

Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Lipstick is a true, bright red. Designed to be a show-stopper, this

fiery red and Aries’ fiery personality go hand-in-hand. Apart from this red lip, any bold and

flashy color will bring out the inner nature of Aries.


April 20-May 20

Grounded and earthy, a neutral satin lipstick compliments Taurus’


YSL Rouge Pur Couture Satin Lipstick

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Satin Lipstick is a balanced, true neutral pink. Not too peachy and not

too pink, this lipstick compliments the balanced nature of Taurus. Taurus is the epitome of the

easy-going earth sign, so any natural color would compliment the easiness of Taurean people.


Quick-witted with two sides, this two-ended lipstick matches Gemini’s


May 21- June 20


NYX Shine Loud High Shine Lip Color

NYX Shine Loud High Shine lip Color is a dual-ended lipstick to lip gloss masterpiece. Gemini is

the sign of two faces–the twins. They can have a friendly, social side as well as a calm, collected

side. Lip products that can keep up with Gemini’s day-to-night lifestyle are key.

Caring and empathetic in its nature, Cancer pairs amazing with a


June 21-July 22

dainty pink.

Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Lips Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury’s Superstar Lips Lipstick is a sheer, shimmery pink. Feminine and dainty,

it compliments Cancer well in their romantic and emotional nature. Cancer looks best in any

products that leave them feeling happy and feminine.

The show-stopper of the zodiac, fierce Leo embodies a great golden lip


July 23-August 22

gloss–a true cherry on top.

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Top Coat 774

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Top Coat in 774 may as well be liquid gold. Expecting nothing less,

Leo needs this head turning gloss to highlight their lips and feel luxurious at all times. Best in

gold and bronze colors, any magnificent lip gloss helps Leo put on a show.


August 23-

September 22

Orderly yet practical, Virgo can pull off a good neutral, tinted balm to

save the day.

Glossier Ultralip in Dusty Rose

Glossier Ultralip in Dusty Rose is perfect for the gal-on-the-go. Virgo is nothing short of that,

prioritizing their success and order day-to-day. A comfortable, practical lip product that can

stick with Virgo through their day and keep them looking great is essential.



September 23-October 22

Embodying romance and grace, Libra needs a lipstick that can be flirty

and feminine: the rose shade.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 130 Rose Velvet

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 130 Rose Velvet is a stunning rosey-pink velvet lipstick. Roses

are known for their romantic nature and beauty, much like Libra. Libra is ruled by Venus, the

planet of beauty, so any lipstick to help them feel beautiful is the way to their heart.


October 23-November 21

Being the most intense of the zodiac, Scorpio best pairs with a deep

burgundy shade.

NARS Iconic Lipstick in Impulse

NARS Iconic Lipstick in Impulse is a deep burgundy lipstick. Scorpio is ambitious, striking and

passionate. It’s no question that they have to be given lipstick to match that intense nature.


November 22-December 21

Always on the go and in search of the next fun event, Sagittarius needs

a versatile and long-lasting lipstick.

NARS Lipstick in Gipsy

NARS Lipstick in Gipsy is a deeper, neutral pink color that is almost teetering on the red side.

Sagittarius is a fire sign that cannot be held down or limited, so this daring neutral can keep up

with their ever-changing pace and keep them looking their best whether in the office or at dinner

with friends.


December 21-January 20

More focused on their money and passions, Capricorn needs a lip

product to get them by and work with their simple style.

Clinique Dramatically Different Lipstick in 08 Intimately

Clinique Dramatically Different Lipstick in 08 Intimately is a light pink lipstick that bears

skincare benefits for the lips in the center of the stick. Capricorn needs practicality, and this

lipstick will work as not only a beautiful finish to their makeup, but also keep them nourished

while they’re making their money.



January 21-February 18

With their desire to be unique at all times and different from the crowd,

it’s no surprise that Aquarius would pair well with any off-the-wall color,

especially a daring blue.

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte in Ya Dig?!

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte in “Ya Dig?!” breaks users out of their comfort zone as

it is a striking periwinkle blue. Aquarius is the zodiac that is determined to take the “road not

taken” in their style. Therefore, a daring and risky lipstick color such as blue can be given its

moment by them.


February 19-March 20

The soft-spoken dreamer, Pisces pairs exceptionally well with a light

pink gloss to top things off in a sort of sweet and gentle manner.

Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in 07 Pink Crystal

Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in 07 Pink Crystal is a light pink shimmery gloss with a light pearl

added to its sheen. This dreamy combination is perfect for sweet Pisces. Pisces loves all things

pretty and light in the world, and this lipstick is nothing short of that.



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Scrolling daily through Instagram, viewers

are never 100% sure what they will come

upon. Although there is an algorithm, the

variety of posts is broad enough to keep

followers guessing what they will see. It may be a

recipe, an inspirational quote or possibly a shared

post of a TikTok featuring a beautiful African-

American woman answering questions about her

skincare brand, dancing to the beat of the song

in the background. As a full-time college student

majoring in computer science at Jacksonville

State University, Tuscaloosa native, Brooke

Gaines-Cannon (@therealzekesmom) has created

a skincare brand, Body By B (@bodybybllc) from

the ground up at 20-years-old and she openly

shares her journey behind the process of making

her brand.

In order for others to gain insight into the

beginnings of her brand, Gaines-Cannon shares a

rather personal story about her inspiration behind

where the brand originates.

“One day I was looking at my son, Ezekiel,

while he was asleep. I noticed that his face was

breaking out. After receiving some weird old

remedies, I started researching ways to make my

own remedies for him. A year later, Body By B was


Gaines-Cannon’s openness about the beginnings

of her brand is an inspiring message for women

everywhere, empowering women to believe if

the solution isn’t there, they can create it for


Starting a brand is no easy task, Gaines-

Cannon outlined her process by highlighting

the importance of finances, sourcing natural

ingredients, testing products and creating a social

media platform.

“My first step was receiving the funding. I didn’t

want to start out in debt, so I saved money when

I could. From there, it was finding honest vendors

with natural products. Creating the look of the

brand wasn’t hard for me at all because I could

see it every time I closed my eyes. I then tested

my products on myself and others. The last part

was creating my social media pages, which was

probably the most fun part of it all (right after

making the products).”

Everyone has picked up a skincare product in a

store and attempted to read the treacherous list of

ingredients on the back and stopped after “water,

glycerin,...” because of the extensive names that

follow. Luckily, Body By B’s body butter consists

of easy-to-read natural ingredients such as Shea

Butter, Coconut oil, Kokum Butter, Mango Butter,

Fragrance Oil, Lavender essential oil and Jojoba


Body By B’s brand is centralized around having

natural vegan products. Gaines-Cannon stated

the reasoning being the infiltration of skincare

products containing synthetic ingredients, “I want


to be honest with my customers about what they

are putting on their bodies. You don’t have to be a

chemistry major to understand my ingredients list. I

take pride in that.”

Gaines-Cannon described the biggest obstacle during

her journey as an entrepreneur is the patience it takes

to create a business from the ground up.

“It’s almost like being pregnant. You know that you’re

carrying this amazing gift that you can’t wait for the

world to see. I know that my company will help billions

of people one day. So in the meantime, I make it a

priority to enjoy every moment,” she said.

It’s said patience is a virtue, and Gaines-Cannon

embodies this statement through her process in

creating her brand. Gaines-Cannon is a woman who

wears many hats–it’s a wonder how she’s managed to

be a business-owning entrepreneur and a student all

at once.

“Balance is a mindset. I have to prioritize. As much as

I love my business,

I make sure that

school is taken

care of first, ” she


Seeing as Gaines-

Cannon’s puts

time and effort

into her company

Instagram, social

media is a major

aspect of the

promotion of Body

By B.

“Social media has

been a huge tool in

the promotion of

my brand. It’s how I

communicate with

my Body Babes.

Although, it’s more than just pushing your products. It’s

creating trust, building relationships and I even post

games sometimes. Social media has been a huge part

of staying connected, especially during the pandemic.

So I try to keep in mind that a little commercial break

every now and then can be beneficial for everyone,”

Gaines-Cannon said.

Gaines-Cannon’s professionalism is seen through her

social media pages and the running of her business.

Owning her own brand at such a young age was no

surprise for Gaines-Cannon, as she said she has

dreamed this for herself for many years,

“When I was younger, I would see young entrepreneurs

like Jayda Cheaves doing their thing. Fear is not an

obstacle to me, but seeing her move so professionally

at a young age definitely showed me that my dreams

were attainable.” Jayda Cheaves is described by

The Sun as being, “a serial entrepreneur also known

as a youtuber and Instagram model.” Similarly to

Gaines-Cannon, Cheaves started her “entrepreneurial

journey [at a young age] in the field of marketing and

branding” (The Sun). Later opening her own store

selling cosmetics, going on to own an online company

that generates nearly $2 million a year in revenue

(The Sun).

Confidence is key. Thankfully, Gaines-Cannon’s

confidence in her brand and most importantly,

herself, have shown through in her success. Gaines-

Cannon’s vision behind her brand exemplifies that

statement. In describing her vision she explained,

“The vision behind my brand is to increase

confidence through self-care. The body goes through

so many things, especially for women. Through

those changes (like having a baby) I’ve learned that

when you take good care of your body, it takes care

of you. Cars can’t move without gas, I make sure that

my gas tank never gets to E, so why would I let my

body do it?”

Though we all probably let our bodies get to “E”

sometimes, thankfully Body By B offers the perfect

body butter fuel in scents much better than gasoline,

such as pink sugar (“Think Pink”), intuition

cologne (“Already

Knowing”), amber

(“Amber Alert”),

baby powder (“Baby

Face”) and an

unscented option

(“Just Vibes”) for

sensitive skin types.

As far as the future

of Body By B and

the expansion of her

range of products,

Gaines-Cannon said

there is much in

store, “I will expand

to products for acne,

clothes and so much

more. I want to

have something for


And Gaines-Cannon is just getting started. She

maintains a credible work ethic and fiery passion for

her future that is evident in the success of her brand.

Gaines-Cannon left future aspiring entrepreneurs an

inspiring and encouraging word of advice, “Go for it!

A lot of times we want things to be perfect; success

does not require perfection. It requires a start.”






By: Jennafer Bowman & Beth Wheeler

Looking to add a pop of color to your date night look? Follow

along with our tutorial below to get the perfect look.


Apply your base

On a clean, moisturized face, begin to apply your base. Apply

your favorite primer all over your face and into your neck. After

the primer has dried, it’s time to prep your eyes, apply a light

concealer to the lid of your eye and blend it out to the bottom

of your eyebrow around to your under eyes, so all of your eye

area is covered. A mini beauty blender works best, but a brush

will work too.


The Eyes

The Eyes (Huda Beauty Ruby Obsessions eye shadow

palette, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara)

Using a small circular eyeshadow brush take the lightest shade

in your eyeshadow palette (Ruby #1) and blend the color onto

your lid and up through your crease in a delicate circular

motion, blending up into the eyebrow bone.

Next, take the same fluffy brush and lightly rub it in the second

to last darkest color you want to use in your look, this will be

your main color that will be over the entire eye. (Ruby #8) In

an upward motion start on the outside of your eyelid closest to


your ear and blend all over your lid and to the bottom of your

eyebrow bone.

TIP: Try to use a brush cleaner or tap off your brush

between switching shadows.

Take the darkest shade in your palette (Ruby #4) with that

same fluffy brush and in a circular motion lightly blend the

color into the outer crease of your eye, slowly making its way

over to the inner corner. Make sure to blend up and in light


Take the same main color from before (Ruby #8) and lend

from the inner corner into the outer crease to blend the

colors together.

Lastly, with a flat-headed brush dab a tiny bit of concealer

(Too Faced Shape Tape Concealer) onto it and lightly pat

the product into your inner eye to the middle of your lid,

making sure it’s covered in an almost wave-like shape on

the eye. Use that same brush and pat it into a glitter-based

shadow (Ruby #2 and Ruby #3) and pat the shadow over the

concealer-covered area until it’s as glittery as desired. Then

take your main shade with the fluffy brush and lightly blend

between where the glitter stops and the dark shadow begins.

TIP: Wipe away any excess shadow with a powder brush

and use q-tips to clean up edges around the eye.

Curl lashes with an eyelash curler then apply two mascaras

in an upwards brushing motion. Apply to bottom eyelashes

if desired.


The Base’s Additions

Tarte’s Park Ave Princess Contour Palette

Taking any contour palette, use your designated shade and rub

a straight-lined contour brush into it. (Princess Cut) Starting

near your ear, gently rub in an angled linear motion the powder

across the hollow of your cheeks. Take a larger, fluffier version

of the same style of brush and blend, up and down, to create

a softer contour on the cheek. Apply contour to other desired

areas, such as the jawline, nose and hairline area and blend



The Second Layer

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, Nars Radiant

Concealer & Bareminerals Bare Pro


The Lips

Lime Crime Wet Cherry Lip Gloss in Sweet


To finish your look, add any colored lip gloss to the

center of the lip and press them together until it’s spread

to the entire area.

To begin, damp your beauty blender sponge (egg-shaped

sponge) and place multiple drops of foundation onto the back

of your hand. Patting the bigger end of the sponge into the

foundation spots, beginning at the nose, pat the foundation

onto your face, go to the ears, hairline and base of the neck to

get a thorough blend. Continue until the area is covered to your


Using the applicator on the concealer, dab small dots on the

problem and under eye areas. Taking the pointy end of the

sponge, blend up and down the concealer into a the eye bag

area, around to the side of each eye and to the top of the cheek

until blended into the skin.

Using a setting powder and a large fluffy face brush, apply

setting powder to all areas that you applied foundation. Use a

light circular motion to perfectly set the powder.


The Base’s Additions

The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer, Nars Blush in the

shade Orgasm, Jouer Powder Highlighter in shade

Rose Quartz

Using an angled brush and a bronzer, run the brush over the

same area contour was applied and blend. With a flathead blush

brush lightly pat and tap off excessive blush and then tap lightly

onto cheekbones and tap outwards to the hairline. With a fan

brush, rub highlighter onto it and lightly tap off any excess.

Brushing upwards starting at the midpoint of the cheekbone

to the temple apply a highlighter. Highlight under the eyebrow

bone, on the tip of the nose and on the outline of the lips.




If you’re looking for a more natural go-to look but still want to feel

glam and glowy on date night, this next tutorial can show you how

to amplify your own natural beauty.


Apply your base

(Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter,

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation, Kylie Jenner

Skin Concealer, Wet N’ Wild Contour Stick,

Makeup Revolution Luxury Baking Powder)

Starting on a clean, moisturized face, apply a few

dots of a glowy primer onto the high points of your

face for a glowy, filter-like effect. On top of that,

apply a thin layer of a natural finish foundation

and blend it in evenly. Moving onto concealer,

apply a concealer close to your skin tone (or 1 shade

lighter for an extra highlighted effect) on any small

blemishes, down the nose bridge, under the eyes and

on the eyelids as a primer, the forehead, the chin and

under your jawline where you would contour (this

will “reverse” highlight and give your cheeks a nice

lift from underneath). Blend that in, then apply a

cream bronzer slightly above your cheekbone line

and blend that upward to avoid dragging the cheeks

down (or skip to powder bronzer later if you prefer

that and apply the same way). Finally, after blending

in well, set with powder where you concealed.


The Base + Additions

(Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Werk, Benefit

HOOLA Bronzer, Sephora Brow Pencil,

Anastasia Clear Brow Gel)

After sweeping away any leftover setting powder, blend

a cream blush onto the high cheeks with a dense brush.

Apply a small amount of powder bronzer to set the cream

bronzer (or just apply powder if you opted out of cream).

Moving onto eyebrows to shape the face, use a pencil with

a color close to your skin tone to fill in any sparse areas or

add shape. Set that with a clear brow gel.


The Eyes

Benefit HOOLA Bronzer, Milk Makeup Kush

Mascara, NYX Eyeliner in Pure White

The eyes for this look are kept simple. Using a powder

bronzer, preferably the same as the one used on the face,

sweep this into your crease. For a bit deeper look, always

layer more of the same bronzer. Curl your lashes and add

mascara. Lastly, apply white eyeliner on your bottom waterline

for a nice pop.


The Lips

NYX Lip Pencil Nude Suede Shoes, Maybelline

Lifter Gloss in 002 Ice

Lastly, apply the perfect nude lip liner around the perimeter

of your lips, or even a little outside if you’re feeling it.

Blend it in towards the center of your lip using either the

pencil or just your finger. Apply a plumping gloss over it

all for a very natural look that will still turn heads.




In Sew Many Words


The Timeline of Corsets


If You Buy the Shirt,

Do the Work






Inside the World of Student Designers

By Lindsey Wilkinson

Family and friends filed into The

Bama Theatre for the Fashion for Life showcase

put on by The Student Fashion Association.

The models stood still as designers made last

minute changes to the designs they had been

working on since the summer. Excited chatter

and the promise of dreams fulfilled permeated

behind the stage. On a crisp November night,

13 University of Alabama senior apparel design

students unveiled their senior collections.

For Priscilla Olson and Laurel

Revers, senior apparel design majors at The

University of Alabama, this was a moment

they had been waiting for since they were


“I actually knew what I wanted to

do by the age of 3. My sister was six years

older than me, and she came home one day

talking about fashion design. I saw some of the

sketches in her sketchbook, and I loved it. So

I started taking recycled materials and using

dress forms. It’s really neat how everything

has come full circle,” Olson said.

For Revers, her love of fashion came

from familiar ties too.

“Ever since I was really young, my

aunt, who is an interior designer, would come

over to our house and always say the word

fashion around me,” said Revers.

Even though some students have always

loved fashion, it can be difficult to hone in

on what inspires them. Some designers look

to the people around them, while others look

towards art, culture and history.

Olson said she became obsessed with a

vintage aesthetic, but she couldn’t pinpoint

why until she began mind mapping for her

senior collection in May. Olson regularly

visited her grandfather in his nursing home,

and through her pageant background, she has

been volunteering at senior living spaces for

over ten years.

“Through volunteering and visiting

my grandfather, I started to learn more about

the time period they had lived through and the

legacies that they were leaving behind. The

pivotal moment for me was when Mr. Taylor

asked me what exactly I was talking about

when I said vintage with a modern twist,” she

said, referring to Brian Taylor, a professor

in the department of clothing, textiles and

interior design at The University of Alabama.

Olson landed on 1950s Christian

Dior couture and her modern twist came from

art and sculptures.

Many apparel design students find their

inspiration from anywhere and everywhere.

Janiah Pickett, a junior apparel and textile

design major, serves as the Student Fashion

Association (SFA) fashion show committee

member and education committee member.

Her inspiration comes from bridal wear.


“I am all about unconventional wedding styles, and

I try to incorporate that in all of my designs,” Pickett


When Rachel Stern, a senior majoring in

apparel design who grew up around Japanese culture

and specializes in portraiture, began her concept

research she knew that she wanted her fashion

designs to represent her two loves. Stern used images

of traditional Japanese farmers to begin with because

their clothing was tied around natural textures and

organic fabrics. From there, Stern started playing

around with the idea of sustainability and “harmony

with nature.” She wanted things that were soft and

beautiful mixed with hard and rough edges.

“[Portraiture] is a huge part of my identity

and it speaks a lot to me. When you’re looking at the

human body you’re drawing and seeing it as it is, not

what you want to see it

as. The imperfections

are what makes it

beautiful and unique.”

Amidst Stern’s

research, she came

across a Japanese

phrase, Wabi Sabi, that

centers around the

idea of appreciating

beauty in imperfections.

This idea inspired her


collection. F o r

Revers, her inspiration

came from the places

and people she had

experienced. Revers is

from Denver, interned in

San Francisco and goes

to school in Alabama.

She described Colorado

as rooted in athletic wear, California as hipster and

trendy and Alabama as pretty and flowy like “cute

little dresses and skirts.” In order to combine these

styles, she focused on the materials used to create the


Once designers find their inspiration, the

pressure is on them to perform. By the time school

started in the fall, they were looking for fabric and

beginning to take an image on a 2-D piece of paper to

an actual piece of clothing someone could wear and


“I think people don’t realize how much goes

into it because sewing is definitely a popular hobby,

but design compared to sewing a garment from a storebought

pattern is so much more intense. You have to

really understand the spatial elements of everything,

so it takes time to really figure it out,” Stern said.

For Olson’s designs, she used weaving

techniques, which took a lot of time. She included

hand-made flowers that she cut out and burned

“You have to really

understand the

spatial elements of

everything, so it takes

time to really figure it


with a candle. For fabrics, students scoured the

internet. From Japan to Tuscaloosa, students

found authentic, sustainable and affordable fabrics

that would work perfectly for their respective target

audiences. Students did all of this with their own


During class, students updated professors

on their progress and received criticism from

classmates. On days that they didn’t have class,

students fixed whatever they needed or rethought

pieces that weren’t working. In the end, what they

created was a culmination of all the months of

preparing, mind mapping, researching, designing,

unfolding and sewing.

Olson created four distinct looks that

encompassed her vision of Intertwined, vintage

with a modern twist. The first look was a beautiful

Japanese violet

two-piece set with

a high neckline and

a vintage birdcage

veil. The second

was a simple

flamingo pink

gown accented

by a thick white

square buckle belt

and white opera

gloves. The third

look was a very

detailed two-piece

asparagus green

color block pant

piece, casual yet

eye-catching. The

final look evoked

a British Royalty

aesthetic, a pearl

white gown with a statement gold flower on the

bodice paired with gloves, a pearl headband and

statement earrings.

Stern’s Wabi Sabi collection had three

looks in total. One was a white oversized dress with

a bold charcoal portrait on it. The second was an

olive jumpsuit with a plunging neckline. The third

was an eccentric white top with a brown distressed

vest-like piece draped over it.

Revers created a three-look collection

that could be worn in three different decades. The

first was a 60s inspired halter top cut dress with

a white belted waist. The second was a two-piece

set featuring pockets and puffy sleeves topped off

with a white bandana. The third was a mostly white

gown featuring a belted waist and a collared top.

Proceeds from the fashion show’s ticket

sales are planned to be donated to the Runway of

Dreams Foundation, an organization that works

toward inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the



fashion industry for people with disabilities.

All 13 designers will have one of their photos

from the Fashion for Life lookbook displayed

on the second floor of Doster hall at The

University of Alabama during posted business

hours for the spring semester of 2022. The

public is invited to view the photos, see the

fabric swatches and scan a QR code linked to

the individual designer’s portfolio.

try to incorporate that in all of my designs,”

Pickett said.




By Jen Bowman & Lindsey Wilkinson

Love it or hate it, the corset is back in style for what feels

like the tenth time this century. While the design of the

corset has stayed pretty consistent throughout history, its style

use has become loud and proud with different styles, colors

and types. Fashion stars such as Bella Hadid, Rhianna and

Lizzo have been spotted adorning the corset as statement tops

and stage outfits. But, these aren’t the only women to

bring corsets into the

fashion trends. Follow along

to read how other fashion-forward women

brought the corset

to center stage.

1500’s: After the skirt and bodice

are separated into two pieces,

the first true corset is invented.

Created from rigid materials such

as whalebone and horn, the

corset extends the length of

the torso to the pelvic bone

and is commonly worn with

shoulder straps. Credited

for bringing the garment

to France, Catherine d e

Medici (1519–1589) paved

the way for corsets as it

reaches extreme lengths

that shrinks the waist.

Elizabeth l used the

corset to

create a conical shape to her body.

1600’s: During the 1600’s the corset goes through a major

reconstruction while shaping society’s perception of what a

woman’s body should look like, even though it is completely

unrealistic. The corset begins to grow shorter and sleeveless

in the mid-1600’s but lengthens, gains it’s straps and becomes

more angular to keep the waist slim.

1700’s: The corset goes under a name change, “stay”

continues to have a conical shape while patterns begin to adorn

the front panels, adding the ability for a form of expression

through clothing. The stay begins to take over England but

falls out of French fashion as tight-laced waists show a sign of

mortality. Towards the end of the century the corset adopted

a rounded shape to accommodate the natural look of breasts.

1800’s: To begin the 1800’s, aristocratic style is frowned

upon during the French Revolution. Focus shifts from the

breast area to the bosom. Although short, the corsets hiatus

ends and the French introduce a corset that separates the

breasts. The corset is used more to uplift the breast and bottom

area. In Western society, the waist is at its highest placement

and the garment is worn over the hips. Metal eyelights allow

the movement towards the hourglass figure to become the

societal ideal. Joseph Cooper invents the front-fastening busk,

which removes the need to unlace a corset and instead can be

loosened to take off. Towards the end of the century

the full figure, curves and rounded shoulders,

became the ideal body standard. Frankenstein

novelist Mary Shelley wears a corset in her


1900’s: In the 1900s, corsets had a

huge change to the shape and style.

The S-bend shape was created to hold

the torso straight and push hips back.

In addition, the shape started to sneak

below the bust and extend downward on

the hip. Women in different areas were

being pressured to wear corsets by different

national ties. Ads promoted corsets as “Princess

Hip” in the UK. During the 1904 St. Louis World Fair,

Nemo Corsets had a ticket promoting their slogan, “bones


and steels cannot cut through,” referring to America’s grit and

industry. By the 1910s, corsets were on the move. Traveling

corset salesmen began to take the corset to slightly less urban

areas. This all fell flat during the first world war in which women

entered the workforce. It wasn’t until 1947 that Christian Dior

reintroduced the wasp-waist corset that resembled the corsets of

the late 19th century. In the 1970s, Vivienne Westwood sought

to change the connotation of corsets. By using them alongside

a punk aesthetic, Westwood changed the oppressive symbol

into a kind of woman empowerment symbol. In 1983, Dior’s

spring/summer collection featured his first corseted dress. This

transformed the garment from underwear to outerwear. While

corsets like Gaultier’s were showcased by Madonna on her

“Blonde Ambition” world tour, the 1990’s were mostly a time

of unshaped, layered garments and corsets were mostly seen in

evening gowns or wedding dresses.

2000’s: The iconic corset style drifted over into a constructional

symbol for all garments in the 2000s. Many silhouettes were

not only more tight fitting but they also began to accentuate the

hips by adding volume. Curved shapes were added into blouses,

dresses and jackets. In other cases, the corsets’ intricate lacing

was taken and put on the back of shirts. While there were a few

cases in which the corset remained grounded in its origins, the

large majority of designs were influenced by the construction.

2010’s: By the 2010s, the renaissance era corset was back.

The corset also takes over fitness with a new name: a waist

trainer. Some blame it on the era of instant gratification and

others blame it on the fitness/wellness industry. In 2016,

The New York Times asked the big question in a 2016 article

called, “Can a Corset Be Feminist?” The mixed messages from

the fashion industry, who wanted the sentiment to be true,

and the fitness industry, guaranteeing a slimmer waist, caused

Westwood’s corset style from the 70s to regain the focus. In

2019, a Vogue article referred to Westwood’s corset as the “most

popular vintage piece of 2019.” The Westwood pieces in the late

2010s sold online for thousands of dollars, but their shape was

immediately engulfed into everyday fashion.

While the corset may have changed, it is a powerful reminder

of the societal pressures that women face. The corset started as

a symbol of constriction and submission because royalty was

using the garment to attain the ultimate look of femininity.

Women are still subject to some of the same pressures. Fashion

is a powerful reflection of the evolution of society.




Fashion Activism is the practice of using fashion

as a medium for social and environmental

change. It is a term coined by the co-founder of Slow

Factory Foundation, Celine Semaan.

On June 5, 2020, Nike released a statement in

solidarity and made a commitment to the Black

community after the killing of George Floyd.

Nike committed $40 million to support the Black

community for the next four years.

“This commitment will be focused on investing

in and supporting organizations that put social

justice, education and addressing racial inequality

in America at the center of their work,” stated Nike.

Nike has made many strides in supporting the

Black community whether it’s Black Lives Matter or

Black History Month. For example, their choice to

collaborate with one of the most controversial social

activists in the past decade, Colin Kaepernick. This

does not always result in public approval because

Nike has been criticized by who and what they

support at certain times. U.S. Olympian Gwen Berry

faced backlash in 2019 after she held up her fist on

the medalists’ podium. Berry was abandoned and

released by many of the sponsorships she had at the

time, including Nike. This made people question

what Nike truly supported when it came to social

activism and social justice.

Nike isn’t the only company to venture into fashion

activism. Urban Outfitters, Pacsun and Old Navy are

among some of the most popular places for people

to shop, especially Gen Z. These companies have a

piece of clothing for almost every social problem and

minority holiday. Urban Outfitters has a “Support

Black Colleges X stuffgracemade Support Black

Lives Tee.” Old Navy has its “Project WE Latinx

Heritage Month 2021 Graphic T-Shirt for Adults.”

Pacsun sells a “PacSun F*ck Racism T-Shirt,” which

it described as Pacsun described as “Stay woke in

the F*ck Racism T-Shirt from PacSun.” It features a

classic construction with a crew neck, short sleeves,

and rainbow “F*ck Racism” graphic on the front and


“Good Lord, that Pacsun shirt is trash,” said Farrah

Sanders, a graduate student at The University of

Alabama and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Student Ambassador. While all of these pieces of

merchandise are a collaboration with organizations

that are actively supporting Black and Latinx

communities, all three of the items have something

in common: they are all on the sale rack. The effort

to highlight these issues and raise money for those

organizations is a noble cause, however, consumers

are starting to wonder whether these companies are

simply profiting off the perceived trend of support.

“I think fashion activism is a really cool and

valid movement but it often gets overshadowed

by corporate attempts to profit off of marginalized

communities,” Sanders said. “True activism isn’t


Safe Zone Resource Center at The University of

Alabama strives to promote and implement diversity

and inclusion for LGBTQ+ students on the campus.

Counselors teach students how to be a better ally to

the community and actively work to change the way

allyship is presented.

Dr. Lizzie Smith, director of Safe Zone, said that

people put their best intentions forward by using

and wearing slogans, like Black Lives Matter and

Love is Love, but they don’t necessarily agree with

the meaning. She said people aren’t informed on

the right way to be an ally and that being an ally

requires action.

“They talk the talk, but they don’t necessarily walk

the walk,” Smith said.

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, author of “Dressed for

Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American

Feminism” and professor at Case Western Reserve

University, said some forms of fashionable activism

come with powerful messages. For example, the

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was

founded in 1960 during the heart of the Civil Rights

Movement. Women in the committee, specifically

Black women, adopted wearing denim clothing

instead of dresses to show unity with sharecroppers.

By 1973 SNCC had lost the majority of its employees

and branches which resulted in the extinction of The

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Even

though SNCC was around for a short time, their

impact, whether it’s considered fashionable or not,

influences the ways people use fashion to protest


Scholar Tanisha C. Ford wrote “SNCC Women,

Denim, and the Politics of Dress” which said that

these women used the “uniform consciously to

transgress a black middle-class worldview that

marginalized certain types of women and particular

displays of blackness and black culture.”

Women gave up dresses, started to wear denim

and brought attention and change in the wake of

the Civil Rights Movement. Fashion can make an

impact, but only if it’s genuine.

No doubt that for many companies, and even

individuals, this is not more than lip service or

virtue signaling,” said Rabinovitch-Fox. “This is

not different from changing your profile picture,

however, I do think that clothing or adopting certain

styles can have powerful messages when they are

being deployed by activists.”

It’s no question that protesting in the 2020s is

different from protesting in the 1960s, but in a world

where technology and social media are a part of

everyone’s life, wearing a shirt with a huge rainbowcolored

“ALLY” or that “Black Lives Matter” mask

isn’t doing as much as society thinks. These things

aren’t sparking movements, they are there to prove

a point and validate identities.

This idea of fashionable activism and performative

allyship play hand-in-hand. Big corporations

continue to advertise fighting for justice and being

allies, but when the fight seems to be dying down,

they put activism shirts on sale. The allies who

bought them when the issues are highlighted in

the mainstream media are the same allies that

put them in their drawers or donate them to the

local thrift store when the issue isn’t trending on

Twitter anymore. Political merchandise has a goal,

but it can’t be the only form of allyship. An ally is

correcting people and fixing injustice when it is

clearly visible and speaking up about unjust things

that silenced voices aren’t able to speak up about. If

you buy the shirt, make sure you do the work.

Ways to Donate:

LGBTQ+ Rights




Womens’ Rights




Racial Justice







Behide -the- Scenes:

An Artist’s Experience


A Celebration of Black History

Resolving Resolutions:

Diet Culture in the New Year







an Artist’s Experience

By Cat Clinton

Every piece of art is different. This is because

every artist is different. The path to becoming

an artist has never been consistent. People differ

based on experiences and preferences. Many

would consider success in the art world more

difficult to achieve than most, because success

can be found through a range of outcomes and is

never strictly defined. The drive individuals have

pushing them towards creating appealing, sentimental

or impactful works of art can root from a

number of goals. The only thing all artists have in

common is the desire to create.

For Abigayle Waller, a Fine Arts senior

graduating from Birmingham Southern College,

and former intern at Buckhead Art & Company,

the art process can be described as, “a necessary

purging that leads to another idea that needs to

be explored. I hate looking at my old work, but

it is neat to see where I came from compared to

where I am now, creatively.”

Most artists measure success differently, but

everyone has the potential to show growth through

practice and experience. This is why consistency

is hard to establish, and not necessarily beneficial

for this scene.

Some artists are also born with such a high level of

natural ability it becomes increasingly difficult to

define the moment art and creation first captured

their interest, creating art for these individuals

can feel more like habit or second nature than a

developed skill.

“I grew up drawing constantly and found a niche

in high school where my potential was noticed

by my art teacher and was placed in higher

level classes despite not having any technical

experience,” said Lou Weinstein, a multimedia

artist currently located in Montréal. “Art has

always been a way of expressing myself, whether

by exploring the situational and circumstantial or

through performance in exploring my identity.”

Like most skills, an artist’s abilities grow with

encouragement and experience.

“My advice would be to take a step back from the

technicalities of art and focus on what feels good to

make,” said Lou, “Making art is so exciting and to

be able to also produce something that resonates

with you is important regardless of what society

expects from the visual exploration of subjects

and concepts. You deserve to feel in your element

and love what you do, it really comes through in

your art as a way of seeing as well.”

Having someone praise artists’ creations can

fuel the drive to improve, and makes the time

and effort invested in the skill worthy. Praise

or encouragement is a payoff, so strive to never

hold back from admiring and addressing how

impressive an artist and their work is; because

this field is one that is easily overlooked when it

comes to the time and dedication it requires to be

noticed or deemed successful.

“When I was little I used art as a way to calm

down, or when things broke I had to get creative to

fix them,” said Hannah Radney, a commissioned

and tattoo artist originating out of Fairhope,

Alabama. “I like having things that are different

from what everyone else has. I don’t like to be

wearing the same outfits as everyone or having

any art that you can get from Target.”

Art comes in many forms, ranging from oil

paintings to tattoos. The advice we received when

it comes to insights that may help other artists

who are considering the field?

“Just remember—don’t compare yourself to

others, both artistically and as a person. Art is

very subjective, and we are our own worst critics.

Dabble in everything that interests or inspires

you, even if you know it’s going to be difficult. If

a piece is starting to frustrate you, put it down.


Just remember to pick it up later or it’ll become

a chore you dread.” Radney said, “My own

aspirations for art is to keep my creative process

active doing commissions whenever the subject

is something that sparks my interest. I plan to

carry my creative mindset into everything I do,

challenging the norm and introducing a new

perspective to everyone I cross paths with.”

Every artist must decide on the creative process

that best suits their career and goals. Individuals

considering this profession must also throw out

any prior ideas about the perceived right way

to be an artist. The appeal of creativity is the

originality, which looks different to everyone.

Although every artist is different, the desire to

create original and impactful pieces is shared by

all individuals who have chosen the profession.

Styles, resources, planning and procedures can

differ in artists, but as long as audiences take a

moment to appreciate an artist’s perspective

rather than criticize pieces for not meeting our

preferences, art will continue to evolve and adapt

as much as people do.








our ancestors and all the Black heroes

and heroines. We celebrate their wins and

contributions to our Blackness and for us

to be seen and celebrated. As the late Rosa

Parks once said, “I had no idea that history

was being made. I was just tired of giving up.”

Black History isn’t just our past, it’s also our

present. In 2020 Black Lives Matter became

the biggest movement in U.S History. In

January 2022, MJ Rodriguez became the first

openly trans Afro-Latino to win a Golden

Globe. Marsai Martin became not only the

youngest Black executive producer but the

youngest executive producer ever. These

Black individuals are people we look up to,

people we are close in age to, people who are

making history right before our very eyes.

Black History Month is a time where we

observe the greatest achievements,

inventions and moments of Black people.

It is a reminder of where we’ve been and

where we are going. We’re all familiar with

Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa

Parks, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou,

but there are so many others who led the

way. For example, George Crum invented

the potato chip. It’s a reminder that the

success of Black people is the reason we have

stoplights, ironing boards and home security

systems. Some of us may not even realize

how much one Black individual has changed

the way we exist in our everyday lives. Yes,

King has a dream, but Henrietta Lacks’

cancer cells are the first-ever immortalized

human cell line and continue to be studied

in science and medicine today, even for the

development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Our Black History is rooted deeply in

who we are and what we represent

as Black people. From Hattie McDaniel

becoming the first Black person to win an

Oscar to Tracey Norman becoming the first

Black transgender female to make it in the

fashion industry. Black History is rich and

unforgettable. It’s sacred. We celebrate

our ancestors and all the Black heroes

and heroines. We celebrate their wins and

contributions to our Blackness and for us to





By Audrey Harper

Every year, millions of Americans make

New Year’s resolutions. Some set out to

make their bed every day or wake up earlier, but

overwhelmingly, most New Year’s resolutions

are diet and exercise-related. According to

YouGov, in 2020, 50% of American adults

wanted to exercise more, 48% wanted to lose

weight and 39% wanted to improve their diets.

Weight loss programs and gym memberships

see spikes in January, yet the majority of

people fail in their resolutions, according to

Inc. So, what’s got people stuck each year?

For some, it’s the chance for a fresh start,

but for others, it’s the beginning of a cycle

of overexercising and yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo

dieting, the pattern of losing weight and

gaining it back, is more common than one

might think. In fact, according to Slate, 97%

of dieters regain everything they lost and then

some within three years.

According to Sheena Gregg, a registered

dietitian nutritionist at The University of

Alabama’s Student Health Center and the

Assistant Director in the Department of

Health Promotion and Wellness, the diet and

weight loss industry wants to capitalize on the

insecurities people have.

“They want to sell people a promise that

they can achieve a certain look or lifestyle if

they buy into their product or program. This

is a very malicious structure and so I often

tell my clients to be critical consumers of

health messaging. It is such a money-making

industry and it doesn’t always have a person’s

best interest at heart,” Gregg said.

The industry is a $71 billion endeavor, to

be exact, and has often been called out as

predatory. From lawsuits to public awareness

campaigns aimed at dismissing their

effectiveness, the diet industry has been under

scrutiny for false advertisement especially.

“It’s really hard to be around people who

are participating in ‘wellness culture’ and not

being able to participate in order to preserve

my recovery,” said Leah Ney, a licensed social

worker who developed an eating disorder

while they were completing their master’s

degree at the University of Houston. “My office

is really big on diets and it’s rough to be in that

environment. All of these really disordered

comments look normal and wouldn’t be

alarming if I didn’t have an eating disorder.”

While eating disorders are commonly

associated with young adolescents, female

college-aged students are also vulnerable.

Weight stigma on college campuses, such

as the fear of gaining the “freshman 15,” can

make it more likely for students to develop

disordered eating behaviors. According to

NEDA, 10% to 20% of female college students

have an eating disorder.

“When I did formal sorority recruitment I sat

there, just comparing myself to other people,”

said Caroline Schilling, a junior studying


history and anthropology at The University

of Alabama, who has been in recovery from an

eating disorder since 2015. “None of the girls

would eat during lunch. They would have a

snack and that would be it. In sorority culture

on campus, if you’re not wearing a size zero,

you’re kind of big.”

As young adults move away from home

for the first time,

they are exposed

to different

environments that

make maintaining

healthy living an


Michaela Philip,

a senior studying

public health at

The University

of Alabama at


struggled her first

year of college to

maintain a healthy routine.

“You get so busy and that can be an easy

justification for not eating. Sometimes that’s

the root cause and other times I used it to

feed an already unhealthy relationship with

food,” Philip said. “Growing up, the goal in

my mind was always to lose weight. The first

step in healing my relationship with food was

learning that restricting and skipping meals is

“In sorority culture

on campus, if you’re

not wearing a size

zero, you’re kind of


not helping me. If I want to lose weight, I am

not on the right track by skipping lunch every

day and forgetting to eat for eight hours.”

Often disordered eating behaviors start

with a desire for healthy eating. In fact, 35%

of “normal” dieters progress to pathological

dieting and of those 20 to 25% develop eating

disorders according to NEDA. Philip however,

has shifted her

mindset from weight

loss to something

more holistic.

“The end goal now is

definitely just exercise

and eat because I

want to exercise and

I want to eat and not

have anything to do

with my weight. I

want to run because

I want to feel good. I

like that my resting

heart rate is lower, I

like going up the stairs and not feeling out of

breath,” Philip said.

There are many ways in which people looking

to feel healthier can maintain a healthy

mindset and perspective. For instance, Gregg

is one of the many practitioners who follow

the Health at Every Size (HAES) approach,

popularized by Linda Bacon, a professor and

researcher at The University of California

at Davis. HAES emphasizes living a healthy


lifestyle instead of exclusively promoting

weight loss. As a practitioner who serves

college-aged individuals, Gregg focuses on

nutrition education and working around

college students’ busy schedules.

“I know that a lot of individuals are often

recommended by their healthcare practitioner

to lose weight because their healthcare

practitioner believes that their elevated BMI

is in direct correlation with certain chronic

health conditions that they are experiencing,”

Gregg said. “However, I do believe that it’s very

possible for individuals to eat for their health

without using weight loss as a parameter of

progress or as the sole form of their focus in

regards to the way that they eat.”

Mackenzi Dugan, a graduate of The University

of Alabama, experienced rapid weight gain and

loss her freshman year due to a pituitary tumor.

Because of the rapid weight fluctuations,

Dugan developed disordered eating behaviors.

“In college, especially your first year, you’re on

your own and have free range to do whatever

you want. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to

skip meals all the time or eat more meals than I

typically would. I thought about the Freshman

15 all the time,” Dugan said. Luckily, Dugan

received treatment and has been in recovery

for the past five years.

While exercise, diet and weight resolutions

can have negative consequences, not all

resolutions have to.

Gregg said instead of resolving to diet or lose

a certain amount of weight, one can challenge

themselves in other ways.

“When it comes to overall positive body

image, remind your friends and family

members that their worth is not in the value

of a number on the scale and be that changemaker

in that capacity,” Gregg said.

According to behavioral scientist Katy

Milkman, the key to sticking to a new

year’s resolution is to first make adding

detailed steps instead of vague instructions,

adding a penalty for not following through

and including a short-term reward can

aid in making a resolution more effective.

Allowing for emergencies can help deter the

disappointment and eventual resignation that

comes when one breaks from their goal and

then decides to abandon it completely. Lastly,

asking for help from friends and family can

make a new year’s resolution more likely to

last long term. Resolutions focused on joyful

movement and setting more time for self-care

activities can help those looking to have a

healthier lifestyle.



To Those Feeling Guilty

about Their Music Taste:

Don’t Be




Glorfying Abuse in Media




to those feeling

GUILTY about their music

taste ;DON’T BE

By Maddy Reda

In a world of musical gatekeeping and judgment, it’s

common for people to feel ashamed of the music they

listen to, preferring to keep their favorite Glee albums,

Disney playlists or show tunes locked away in private

sessions on Spotify, never to see the light of day despite

the rush of joy and endorphins the listeners get from


People often use the term “guilty pleasure” to describe

songs or artists that others should feel “embarrassed”

listening to. According to an article by The Odyssey,

a guilty pleasure is defined as something someone

enjoys taking part in or enjoys even though it is not well

regarded by society.

While not everyone feels guilty listening to the music

they enjoy, the overpowering culture of musical

gatekeeping and shaming has overtaken social media,

making people afraid to be open about what they like to

listen to.

Hali Skelton, a freshman majoring in psychology at

The University of Alabama, said she enjoys Disney’s

“Encanto,” specifically the soundtrack because of the

representation and its unique choice in music styles,

however, she feels a bit embarrassed for loving a movie

for children.

Skelton said she thinks guilty pleasures shouldn’t exist

because people “should let everyone like what they like.”

Gatekeeping as it relates to music is the practice of

music enthusiasts self-authorizing themselves to

determine who does and doesn’t belong in a fandom,

who has good music taste and who doesn’t or even

attempts to dictate who is and isn’t a die-hard fan of

someone like Harry Styles or Doja Cat.

Josh Levine, a junior at The University of Alabama

majoring in mathematics, said the music that is popular

amongst certain groups of people is stereotyped to only

those people, leaving it to be frowned upon for outsiders

to enjoy the same genres.

Despite going to a flagship university in the south, the

birthplace of country music, many students express a

strong and loud distaste for the genre.

Sarah Dunlap, a junior majoring in nursing, said she

loves country music but feels guilty about it sometimes

since none of her friends like it.

Jalyiah Pierce, a junior majoring in psychology at The

University of Alabama, said she also likes country

music, yet as a Black woman from Eufaula, Alabama,

where the preferred sound is R&B and rap, she’s

suffered judgment from her peers over liking country


“They always stereotype me to be with the white group,

you know, ‘you’re white go hang with your white

friends,’ but country is actually pretty good,” Pierce said.

“It’s very peaceful and calming.”

hile it is truly harmless to jam out to country music, a

song from “Encanto” or “Saturday Night Fever,” there


has been a growing discourse over social media and cancel

culture of whether there are instances in which you should

feel guilty for listening to a certain artist or song.

In a 2017 article for BBC, Fisun Güner argued that an

artist’s work should have value in its own right, no matter

what sort of life the artist led, however, it’s never just about

the work. What is done to celebrate an artist is often to

bolster the myth of their life.

While most of

the population

has turned

their backs on

artists proven

to be guilty of

serious crimes,

like rapper

R. Kelly,

navigating the

gray area of

what is dire

enough to

warrant guilt

or cancellation

is murky.

Kanye West’s


remarks over

slavery have

left a bad

taste in many

mouths, yet he

is still regarded

as a genius of

modern music

to some. Even

country artist

Morgan Wallen

has been met

with an equal

amount of

praise and hate

after spewing

racial slurs and

fraternizing with underage girls at a Tuscaloosa, Alabama

bar during the pandemic.

Wile you have every right to praise an artist’s musical style,

it is worth noting that streaming songs and watching their

music videos put money straight into the pockets of the

artist and their management team, benefiting them in the

long run. While that may bug some listeners, not everyone

feels guilty about it.

“We never feel guilty about doing it in the moment,

but if someone were to see us doing it or we have to tell

someone about it, that’s when the guilt comes in,” said Alex

Rockefeller in her article for The Odyssey. “If we all came

together and decided to stop feeling guilty about what we

like, we could all live

happier lives.”

For the most part,

guilty pleasures are

meaningless social

constructs and

should be treated

as such.

Levine said he

enjoys several

TikTok songs and

sounds circulating

the popular

social media

app. In contrast,

Araminta Cheek,

a junior majoring

in kinesiology,

enjoys listening to

film scores from

movies like “Lord

Of The Rings” or


Pierce said people

should be able to

express themselves

with their music.

“Don’t live by

standards that

people try to

give you, like

be yourself, put

yourself first, love

yourself and express

yourself,” Pierce said.

Regardless of what you’re listening to, life is short, and the

world is dull, so listen to what you want and crank up those



y Jolie Money


TikTok is known for trends, hacks

and viral oddities, whether it’s

lip-syncing videos, dances, or even

influencer Emily Mariko’s ice cube on

rice hack. However, one of the most

popular trends on the app is BookTok.

BookTok is by far one of the biggest

subgenres of TikTok, garnering over

27 billion hashtags. From reviews,

aesthetic mood boards and outfits

based on different characters, almost

every trend is represented and geared

toward the literary community.

Its reach has grown so large that

bookstores like Barnes & Noble have

created tables dedicated to the most

popular BookTok recommendations.

The books on these tables are both

traditionally published, such as Sarah

J. Maas’s “A Court of Thorns and

Roses” series or Holly Black’s “The

Cruel Prince” and self-published books

like Elle Kennedy’s “The Deal” or Elena

Armas’s “The Spanish Love Deception”

being featured.

For popular BookToker and Ayman

Chaudhary, a college junior majoring

in graphic design, reading only became

a passion after finding BookTok during

quarantine in March 2020. Using

mainstream, popular TikTok sounds

and trends, Ayman has gained over 653

thousand followers and 53.1 million


“I think BookTok specifically helps

translate books well because there

are so many different communities

within BookTok. Content is limitless,”

Chaudhary said. “When I read a book,

and I want to go into the fandom to

find what they’re talking about, I didn’t

really find that content until TikTok.”

Chaudhary said BookTok has been

impactful and implanted itself in the

minds of viewers.

“Some books that were published

10 years ago have been discovered by

BookTok,” Chaudhary said. “I almost

can’t go into a bookstore and selfdiscover

a book without saying, ‘Oh,

I’ve seen this on TikTok.’”

The phenomenon of the rise in

popularity for books on BookTok is a

fascinating aspect of this community.

A self-published book is just as likely

to garner attention as a traditionally

published book from a large publishing


According to HOOT! Books, a reading

app that features books for underserved

audiences, self-published books grew

by over 40% between 2017 and 2018.


Previously traditionally published

books had access to more marketing,

BookTok has made it possible for indie

books to garner just as much attention,

making it easier for authors to choose

the independent publishing route.

For example, Sally Thorne’s “The

Hating Game,” which was published

by HarperCollins, one of the big

five English-language publishing

companies, has been mentioned 73.1

million times on TikTok, yet Penelope

Douglas’s independently published

novel, “Punk 57” has been mentioned

166.1 million times, even though they

were both published in 2016.

Genevieve Hartman, the director of

development and publicity at BOA

Editions, an American independent

non-profit literary publishing company,

acknowledged the benefits of authors

interacting with readers on social


“I see more and more people are

marketing their own books through

their own social media. One of the

great aspects of social media is having

so much access to the people who are

creating the books so readers and fans

can get that personal backstory, and

the writing process, and an opportunity

to connect directly with the source,”

Hartman said. “I’ve been seeing a lot

of authors getting online and engaging

with people on a more one-on-one

basis. … I think it has a great potential

to draw in more readers who might not

be as interested in reading.”

This interaction between authors

and readers has grown even more,

with many authors becoming TikTok

creators themselves.

Chloe Gong, author of “These Violent

Delights,” and Colleen Hoover, author

of “It Ends With Us,” “Verity,” and many

others, have both amassed hundreds of

thousands of followers.

For the self-published author of “Punk

57,” a dark, new adult romance with

the friends-to-lovers trope, Penelope

Douglas, the rise of popularity on

BookTok was a complete surprise.

“It’s been insane. I’ve never felt

unseen in the book world, per se. I’ve

always felt that I have a place here, and

I have my readers, but it’s been intense

this year,” said Douglas..

While indie romances have always had

a niche audience, BookTok has brought

them into the mainstream.

“One day last winter, I was checking

my publishing account on Amazon,

just to make sure everything was still

live and running smoothly, and I saw

a huge jump in downloads,” Douglas

said. “I had no idea what was going on

until I started seeing reviews coming in

and people referring to BookTok. An

author contacted me and told me my

books were being talked about a lot on

TikTok, and I was a little shocked.”

She said it’s been validating to see

“Punk 57” with a whole new audience

and generation. “It’s rewarding to know

books I wrote years ago are still loved

and have longevity,” Douglas said.

While her book has been mentioned

on TikTok 166.1 million times, her

name has been mentioned 151.5 million


While Douglas acknowledged the

advantages of traditional publishing

and does plan to re-establish a

relationship with a publisher for some

of her work in the future, she has found

that the popularity of the romance

genre and control over her work to

be her main reasons to continue selfpublishing.

However, other authors like Olivie

Blake, the author of “The Atlas Six,” and

Scarlett St. Clair, author of “A Touch

of Darkness,” have jumped from selfpublishing

to traditional publishing

through Macmillan and Sourcebooks,


Both authors attribute the success of

their books and their traditional book

deals to BookTok, as the demand for

their books garnered attention from

publishers. Publishers and media

have traditionally leaned towards

white, straight authors. According to

a 2019 publishing diversity baseline

survey done by Lee & Low Books, the

publishing industry was 76% white,

97% cis-gendered and 81% straight.

With the popularity of diverse voices,

however, doors have opened for

marginalized authors.

Blake attributed the success of “The

Atlas Six” to “the diversity and sexual

fluidity of the ensemble cast.”

“The setting is a lot like your dark

academia or magic settings, but with

more queer characters,” she said.


For other authors, BookTok has shown

publishers the power of certain genres.

“What TikTok did for me was prove

to traditional publishers that my books

[and similar ones] were in demand

contrary to what the traditional

publishing industry had told me

previously,” said St. Clair.

“A Touch of Darkness” is the first

in a series of a modern-day retelling

of Persephone and Hades. While it

originally was only available through

Amazon, a direct competitor to Barnes

and Noble, the demand for the book in

stores became clear.

“While I did get into B&N stores,

obtaining books was so difficult for

their buyers. I was a topic on their

agendas often because they had to get

approval to purchase my books since it

was directly supporting a competitor,

but the demand was there,” said St.

Clair. “My local B&N said that my books

alone have boosted their sales over the

last year, and I’m also their number one


BookTok has forced traditional

publishers to seriously consider the

traditionally underrecognized young

adult and romance genres seriously.

“I definitely respect the platform and

its demographic of young, diverse and,

as far as I have seen, predominantly

female users. I’ve always felt those

audiences were underestimated when

it comes to rescuing the publishing

industry,” said Blake..

Readers have shown that the market

for these books is present and prevalent.

“I think it illustrates the power of

readers. I was a librarian for five years

before becoming a full-time author, so

I know the power of readers, the power

of sharing what you love,” St. Clair said.

“I think that’s powerful no matter the


While many people might see

BookTok as an unconventional way to

talk about books, the impact it has had

on the accessibility of diverse voices in

literature is profound. From creators

to authors, it is a place where every

person, no matter their background,

can find themselves represented.









Over the last few years, there has

been an increase in violence and

abuse in the media. As these depictions

of violence and abuse permeate books,

television, video games, social media and

more, many people worry that instead

of bringing awareness to these issues by

showcasing them, the media glorifies the


Whether its sexual, physical,

emotional, verbal or drug abuse, the

media has shined a light on these

problems, however, by using graphic and

overdramatic depictions of abuse to catch

attention, these displays of abuse influence

people to believe that violence is normal.

“There have been many examples

of entertainment media that trivialize,

exploit and even glorify abusive behaviors

and relationships, especially against

women,” said Landon Palmer, The

University of Alabama assistant professor

of communication and information

sciences. “For most of their history,

commercial movies and television haven’t

had a vocabulary for abuse because they

haven’t been made by, for and from the

perspectives of marginalized populations

most vulnerable to abuse.”

According to Zippia, a website that

offers up-to-date information based on

industry, location or experience, 66.7% of

filmmakers are men and 70.7% are white.


“Take, for example, a famous scene

from the 1931 film ‘The Public Enemy’

where a male character hits a female

character with a grapefruit; this scene

was incorporated by its director to enact a

fantasy of doing this to his wife,” Palmer


When watching films for class,

Palmer encourages the students, in his

Motion Pictures History and Criticism

and Critical Study of Television class, to

analyze why it’s there at all.

“When I teach my television course,

I ask students to view media as a cultural

forum, a term that television scholars use

for analyzing how television addresses

pertinent social issues,” said Palmer.

“When you see representations of abuse

in the media, what is the goal of such

representations? Are they contributing

to our current social conversations about

these issues, or are they exploiting or

trivializing them?”

Taking this critical approach to

television allows viewers to see that certain

television shows use abuse as a gimmick

and plot point that doesn’t create a positive

discussion around the real issue.

This is exemplified with the movie

“365 Days.” In the film Massimo, the male

lead “saves” Laura, the female


lead, and

they develop this love/hate relationship.

Massimo comes off as possessive and

persistent toward Laura. He’s obsessed

with her and would do anything to keep

her. It was clear at the beginning of their

interaction together she was not pleased,

but then she eventually gave in to the

“irresistible” Massimo.

The issue with this film is that it

romanticizes kidnapping and abuse.

While also normalizing partners who are

physically and emotionally controlling.

This leaves the impression that this

behavior, the movie’s plot, is acceptable

when it is not.

“I do not think there is anything

wrong with TV shows and movies

promoting awareness of abuse, but there

is a gray area in what is considered a

negative or positive view of abuse,” said

Ashley Blevins, The University of Alabama

junior majoring in public relations.

Blevins questioned this gray area

when she watched “You,” a Netflix

television show about a stalker who is

described as “a dangerously charming,

intensely obsessive young man [who] goes

to extreme measures to insert himself into

the lives of those he is transfixed by.”

The show garnered rave reviews

and backlash for its portrayal of its main

character as a sort of underdog that many

found themselves rooting for.

Blevins said the show pushes the

viewer to root for Joe, the main character,

but in reality, his behavior is reprehensible,

including manipulation, stalking and


The book series “After,” by Anna

Todd, which was later turned into a film

series directed by Jenny Gage, similarly

has received backlash for normalizing

and romanticizing abusive behavior in

relationships by letting its main character,

Tessa, fall for Hardin, an emotionally

abusive narcissist.

Another book to visual adaptation

that also received backlash was “13 Reasons

Why” by Jay Asher for how graphic some

scenes were throughout the show.

As a result, new trigger warnings

appeared before the episodes. The cast

addressed all the rumors in interviews

to assure the audience that the goal was

not to glorify but to be realistic about

sensitive topics by pushing uncomfortable

boundaries through film.

“We wanted to do it in a way where

it was honest, and we wanted to make

something that can, hopefully, help

people, because suicide should never,

ever be an option,” said Selena Gomez in

“13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons,”

a mini-documentary released after the


While these new age and trendy

movies and tv shows are entertaining,

leaving viewers on the edge of their seats,

it doesn’t take away from the fact that it

can confuse many people and convince

impressionable audiences that this is

normal and okay.

In an article for Impact Magazine,

Jasmin Lemarie discussed how men play

a huge role in the objectification of women.

“The male gaze and the male ego

are all about portraying women to fulfill

men’s desires; you have to be sexy, but

not too sexy, you have to be nice and

supportive and not bossy,” Lemarie said.

“For decades, women have been portrayed

in film as one-dimensional characters that

are there to serve the men in their lives.”

According to the Center for the

Study of Women in Television and Film,

during the 2019 to 2020 tv season, 94% of

the programs considered had no women

directors of photography, 76% had no

women directors, 81% had no women

editors and 73% had no women creators.

Yet, some films and shows do a great

job of displaying these issues without

glorifying them.

“MAID,” a 2021 Netflix show based

on a memoir written by Stefanie Land

about being a single mother trying to

escape an abusive relationship by cleaning

houses to save up money to live a better

life for her and her daughter. The show’s

realistic portrayal of generational trauma,

poverty, and abuse was well done and


Along with shows like this,

documentaries have also created realistic

portrayals of abuse.

“Far from glorifying abuse, these

documentaries ask audiences to empathize

with victims and understand what this

abuse means, how it affects people’s lives

and how power protects abusers,” said

Palmer. “I would put the 2019 independent

film ‘The Assistant’ in a similar category.

This film is about a lowly assistant to a

Harvey Weinstein-like producer, and it’s a

film that asks complicated questions about

complicity and systems of power that

perpetuate cycles of abuse.”

He said rather than glorifying

abuse, recent works like these have asked

audiences to confront abuse as a societal

problem in ways that very few media

works have before.

It is essential for those who

experience abuse to know that there are

many resources that can help them. The

Women and Gender Resource Center

and Counseling center are just two of

the resources available for students

at The University of Alabama. For

some community resources, check out

Turning Point, a domestic violence and

sexual assault counseling and shelter,

Child Abuse Prevention Services, Crisis

Services in North Alabama, Shelby County

Department of Human Resources and

One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice


If you or someone you know is

experiencing abuse and needs help, here

are some national hotlines that you can

reach out to:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Hotline: 1.800.799.HOPE

National Teen Dating

Hotline: 1 (866) 331 – 9474

RAINN National Sexual Assault

Hotline 1 (800) 656-4673

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Hotline: 1 (800) 662 – 4357

Department of Defense (DOD) Safe

Helpline for Sexual Assault

Hotline: 1 (800) 995-5247

StrongHearts Native Helpline

Hotline: (844) 762- 8483


[food and health]

Are Our Essential Oils Actually

Doing Anything?

Negative Self-Talk vs The Brain

UTI Myths and Facts








Essential Oils

Actually Doing


by Morgan Byerley


Essential oils such as peppermint,

lavender and tea tree have

become increasingly popular over

the years. They are often promoted

as part of natural living, yet some

remain skeptical about their

effectiveness and usability. Avid

users of the oils are passionate about

the healing capabilities of essential

oils and are committed to living

naturally without the toxins and

chemicals. Questions have arisen

about the effectiveness of essential

oils and if they actually do more than

just smell nice.

Dr. Abby Horton, a nurse and

professor at The University of

Alabama, whose research has

included holistic care, said ​she

“finds essential oils to be very

helpful for supporting overall health

and wellness, but that they are

not a substitute for conventional


Essential oils can help support the

body when it’s going through an

illness or have certain symptoms,

but Dr. Horton emphasized that it

is important for users to do research

and find what works best for them.

Using essential oils is a very personal

journey so it’s important to find a

brand that the user is comfortable

with and has data to back their


Horton teaches a class through

the WellBAMA Program and said

using essential oils is part of a

lifestyle. Many people don’t realize

the irritation caused by synthetic

fragrances and other toxins. Using

quality essential oils can greatly help

reduce allergies caused by harsh

cleaners and household products.

Essential oil companies, such as

Young Living, support switching out

everyday household products like

soaps and detergents for naturalbased

products that use essential

oils. Essential oils can eventually

become a part of daily life and

positively impact a person’s overall


With many options available, it

may be overwhelming when first

choosing a brand and starter oils.

“I think you definitely have to be

careful in choosing the best essential

oil brand,” said Ainsley Frey, a

nursing student at Franciscan

University. “For example, most of the

oils found at Target or on Amazon

contain synthetic ingredients and do

more harm to your body than good.”

Frey uses Doterra oils since “they

are more transparent in their process

of deriving and processing each oil.”

Young Living is also another

essential oil company that is also

known for its commitment to purity

and transparency in its processes.

“Young Living Essential Oils are

pure, they are nontoxic and delicately

cared for at each farm under strict

standards for quality and purity,”

said Carmine Loper, a member of

the Young Living Company. They

are monitored from when the seeds

go into the ground until the distilled

oil is bottled to ensure the highest

quality oil.”

When choosing an essential oil

brand, it’s important to make sure

the company is committed to both

quality and purity in its products.

Synthetic fragrances found in lower

quality oils can potentially cause

irritation or an allergic reaction for

the user.

Within companies like Young Living

and Doterra, there are a variety of

essential oils to choose from that all

have specific properties and uses.

Most oils can be used in numerous

ways and even combined with other

oils to create a new blend of oils.

Thieves, a blend of essential oil made

from clove, cinnamon and lemon, is

a popular oil for cleaning. Essential

oils can also have many different

uses such as helping headaches,

promoting immune support and

even increasing concentration.

“Clary Sage helps my menstrual

cramps immensely, and ingesting

ginger does wonders if I have nausea

or feel sick,” Frey said. “I also like

peppermint oil for headaches and

always ingest oregano oil in a capsule

when I have an infection.”

Loper also uses a variety of oils

within her home ranging from

skincare to immune support.

“Peppermint is a great oil to diffuse

to enhance focus and concentration

while studying; it also can be used

diluted with a carrier oil to rub on

fatigued muscles,” Loper said.

Other oils, like Frankincense,

can be used in a variety of ways

and can also provide skincare

benefits. “Frankincense is

also one of my favorite oils,” Loper

said. “Frankincense has a very mild

aroma, and sometimes I apply it

to my forehead and over my heart

for calming; it’s also amazing to

use in your skincare routine for

healthy-looking skin and evening

out skin tones.”

Many essential oils can also be

used for their mood-boosting

properties. Citrus scents such as

orange or lime can make a room

feel fresh and clean. Lavender and

peppermint are also popular oils

recommended to people interested

in trying essential oils for the first

time. Loper recognizes that it can

take time to get used to using

essential oils rather than turning

to over-the-counter medicine

right away. Using essential oils

is committing to living more

naturally and recognizing your

body’s specific needs.

Learning to use essential oils

is a personal journey due to the

uniqueness of one’s body and

health needs. It’s important to do

research when first starting out

and recognize that essential oils

are not a stand-in for conventional

medicine but still have many

health benefits.

“I’m going into my ninth year of

using essential oils, and it truly

has been life-changing for our

family,” said Loper.

Learning to use essential oils

may be a learning curve since it

takes time to learn about the oils

and decide on a brand that is a

good fit. It’s important to research

options and learn how the oils can

be used on a daily basis. From

helping headaches to cleaning

a room, using essential oils is a

commitment towards a natural

and effective lifestyle.

Disclaimer: The information

included in this article is for

educational purposes only and

is not intended to be a substitute

for medical treatment by a

healthcare professional. Because

of unique individual needs, the

reader should consult his or her

personal healthcare provider to

determine the appropriateness of

the information for the reader’s




When looking in the mirror, the thoughts that can

enter the brain or cross the mind are not always

positive. These thoughts or feelings can cross over to

grades, work, sports, accomplishments and so on. The

inner dialogue inside the brain that creates feelings of

unworthiness, or limits self-confidence is negative selftalk.

Confidence, anxiety, depression, self-esteem are

all places these thoughts can stem from. Unfortunately,

living with negative-free thoughts is not reality. In fact,

the average person has around 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts

per day and 80% of those are negative according to the

National Science Foundation.

The thoughts in the mind that create doubt, shame or

discontent with appearance are characteristics of the

never-ending bad habit of all humankind: negative selftalk.

Within this internal dialogue, there can be positive

self-talk, as well, that can be encouraging. Nevertheless,

positive self-talk doesn’t become a habit as easily as

negative self-talk does. Changing those negative thoughts

to positive thoughts is the way to break the reflex of

negative self-reflection.

This all comes down to the fact that the brain chemical

Cortisol is the one to blame for those negative thoughts

that enter people’s minds without permission. Cortisol,

the primary stress hormone, competes with dopamine,

the chemical that sends positive reinforcement to the

brain. The more dopamine, the less cortisol. The more

cortisol, the more negative thoughts that can enter our

brain. These negative thoughts can lead to anxiety,

depression and other mental illnesses as the levels of

dopamine and cortisol are off. To combat these thoughts,

there are practices to put in place to promote positivity

in daily life.

The University of Alabama’s (UA) Director of Clinical

Training, Matt Jarrett, suggests attacking those thoughts

head-on. Asking questions internally when noticing those

negative thoughts is one of the ways to cope with them.

“The thoughts we have might be driven more by

emotions and worries. Traditionally, the focus would be

on how to change the thought, noticing and recognizing

the thought comes first,” said Jarrett.

Jarrett suggests asking the following questions when

having those thoughts:

• Is the thought accurate?

• Is there truth behind it?

• How likely is it that this will happen?

• How bad would it actually be if it did?

Inner dialogue within the mind can seem out of the

norm, but in fact, numerous people go through the

process of talking to themselves. However, not everybody

has internal monologues on a daily basis. There is a

spectrum of talking to oneself: some all the time, some

sometimes and some never. Psychology Professor Russell

Hubert conducted a study on 30 college students finding

that an average of 26% of them had internal speech. Each

individual varied on the spectrum but came out to an

average of 26%.

To help see if the thoughts are meaningful, ask yourself

if you would hold the same negativity to a friend in that

situation said Dr. Greg Vandarwal, Executive Director

of the Counseling Center at UA. Vandarwal explained

that “consistently thinking negative becomes learned or

automatic,” much like a habit or pattern of behavior.

Simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact on

dopamine release. Having a routine, exercising daily,

prioritizing sleep and eating right are all small changes

that can improve those negative thoughts.

“Journaling those thoughts or saying the thoughts out

loud can help put in perspective the truth of thought,”

said Vandarwaal.

A more fun way of combating those negative thoughts is

to give a name to those internal thought processes, said

Vandarwal. This can help separate the thoughts from the

truth and easier to challenge that type of thinking.

The University of Alabama junior studying Architectural

Engineering, Henry McKlin, previously struggled

with negative self-talk when he was younger and now

understands the false reality behind it. McKlin explains

that he learned to separate the thoughts that had truth

behind it versus the ones that didn’t.

Now that I have proven to myself that I can do the things

that I originally thought I couldn’t, I am less susceptible

to believe those types of thoughts,” said McKlin.

The belief of the negative thoughts that pass through

the brain can lead to self-doubt and stunt an individual’s

potential. Believe you can do it until you have at least

tried, suggests McKlin.

“If you’re struggling to not be negative towards yourself,

talk to someone,” said Vandarwal.

The University of Alabama’s Counseling Center is

available for immediate help with a trained volunteer

when texting “BAMA” to 741-741 or call UA Police

Department (UAPD) at 205-348-5454 and ask to speak

with the on-call counselor. To speak with someone on a

more casual basis, UA’s Counseling Center and Women’s

Gender Resource Center (WGRC) are prepared to speak

with students. There is also a free online self-help site,

Welltrack, that can help explain the feelings someone

might be going through and the next steps are. For

more information, visit UA’s Counseling Center website,






Urinary Tract Infection, otherwise

A known as a UTI, is one of the most

common diseases to the human body

in both women and men. Although it is

a common disease that doctors see in

patients, there are still misconceptions

about what a UTI is, and how it should

be treated. A vast majority of women

heavily rely on at-home methods like

cranberry pills or simply downing a bottle

of cranberry juice as soon as they feel a

burning sensation in the vaginal area. It is

not often that men and women feel enough

urgency to contact a doctor or physician as

soon as symptoms of a UTI occur, but is it

vital for long-term health and to prevent

further complications.

UTIs are a common occurrence, and both

men and women get treatment for this

issue more often than what is assumed

by the public. Often, men and women see

UTIs as embarrassing, when in reality,

treatment is necessary to prevent further

infection to the body.

“I’ve definitely had my fair share of UTIs,”

said Hope Saunders, a criminal justice

major at The University of Alabama.

“It’s something I just deal with and keep

going on about my day. There’s nothing

embarrassing about a UTI, it’s completely


Contrary to popular belief, UTIs are one

of the most common concerns doctors

see on a regular basis. One common

misconception about a UTI is that a person

who has one is unclean.

“I think a lot of people have a

misconception about a UTI and that it

must be about hygiene or that people are

not being clean,” said Dr. Abby Horton,

professor at The University of Alabama.

“Some people think it is due to something

they are eating too.”

Staying away from tight underwear and

tight clothing in general can help prevent

UTIs. “We always hear, especially when

talking to young girls, to make sure that

underwear is loose fitting and cotton,” said

Horton. “For people who are sensitive,

that is vital because a lot of underwear is

tight and made of synthetic materials.”

In today’s world, the internet is

filled with quick at-home methods to

supposedly cure pretty much anything a

person would search for. One of the myths

about curing a UTI is ingesting cranberry

juice or cranberry pills. Unfortunately,

this method is simply a myth. Drinks

and pills that contain cranberry extract

are not cures, but they can be seen as a

preventative against UTIs or a reliever

until a doctor is able to be seen.

“These methods are not going to help

if a man or woman actually gets a UTI,

however, it can relieve some of your

symptoms,” said Horton. “If you drink

organic, sugar-free cranberry juice, it

seems to help. As far as cranberry pills go,



it is important that you get a reputable

brand, and that you get one that has

D-mannose with cranberry. Healthcare

providers usually recommend taking this

as a prevention.”

Although cranberry juice is proven to

be a preventative and a common reliever

against UTIs, it needs to be taken in large

quantities to create the same effect that

one would get from consuming cranberry


Unfortunately, women deal with these

matters at a higher percentage than men

do. In fact, roughly 60% of women have

suffered from a UTI, which is a stark

contrast to the roughly 40% of men who

have had a UTI.

“Women get UTIs more often because

the urethra of the man is much longer

than a woman, and a shorter urethra

breeds infection,” said Dr. Gwendolyn

Hooper, a professor in The Capstone

College of Nursing at The University of

Alabama. “UTIs have nothing to do with

cleanliness – they are actually due to an

outside source coming into the urethra,

the tube that runs from the bladder to the

outside, or a birth defect that would cause

frequent UTIs.”

Men and women are told to take

precautionary measures to prevent

UTIs as well. Making sure feminine and

body products are free from parabens is

important in preventing any infection of

the vaginal area.

It is important to understand that a UTI

is not a sexually transmitted disease.

“It is just an infection,” said Hooper.

“Some sexually transmitted diseases are

infections as well, but a UTI is different.”

Oftentimes, men and women will visit a

doctor complaining of burning or painful

urination associated with a UTI, terrified

that they have an STD.

According to a qualitative interview study

conducted by The British Medical Journal,

women with signs or symptoms of UTIs

preferred to use at-home methods to avoid

excessive doctor’s visits and side effects of

antibiotics. In the study they conducted,

they found that “women indicated a desire

to avoid taking antibiotics and were open

to alternative management strategies,

including delayed antibiotics.”

An untreated UTI can lead to further

infection in the body. It’s important to

note that consulting a doctor or medical

physician is vital to cure a UTI. Common

at-home methods should only be used to

prevent infection and relieve symptoms,

not as a cure. Visiting a doctor’s office to

get a urine specimen is necessary.

“E-coli is the number one bacterium that

causes UTIs,” said Hooper. “The bacteria

can go into the urethra and bladder and

can continue to grow. Left untreated, the

bacteria can move into the kidney, causing

a kidney infection. ”

It’s important to know differences in

the symptoms between a common UTI

and yeast infection, though they can both

occur at the same time. Consulting a

doctor on the onset of the symptoms can

be helpful to get proper treatment and

alleviate further worsening of infection.

“A common UTI would include burning

on urination, frequency of urination, fever

and pain in the lower abdomen,” Hooper

said. “Some people also have back pain

on either side of their lower back. Yeast

infections usually have a white vaginal

discharge, burning with or without

urination and itching.”

Knowing the body is important to

detect symptoms of a UTI and to receive

treatment from a doctor or health care

physician as soon as possible. UTIs can be

a scary and uncomfortable experience, but

taking proper preventative measures can

be proven helpful to overall health.






Alice Magazine


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