Last night the second episode of the fourth season of Pretty Little Liars aired on ABC Family. The past two episodes have been enlightening for fans, having revealed many answers to questions we’ve had for months, years.
As much as I love this show and its creative team, there was a scene in last night’s episode I found to be offensive. Never have I been offended by anything on the show. In fact, I am very rarely offended by anything. The scene I am referring to (partially depicted above) is one in which Ezra Fitz is advising Spencer Hastings on her college essay. The prompt in question was “Discuss one situation in which you were right and wish you hadn’t been”. Spencer decided to write about her experience being stalked and bullied which led to her eventual mental breakdown and hospitalization.
The part I was offended by was Ezra’s reaction to the essay. He advises her to write about a different experience. He believed the essay she wrote was too honest and revealed too much. He said that now more than ever colleges are concerned with the emotional stability of students. He said that by revealing all of her “baggage” her many attractive qualities might be overshadowed.
My question is, why is this the stigma? Why is it that once someone reveals they have had a mental illness, or have had some other traumatic experience, they are automatically unstable? Spencer is right. She wouldn’t be the person she is had she not had a best friend who was murdered or a stalker who blackmailed her for a year and she wouldn’t be the person she is had she not spent time in Radley (a mental institution that is often referred to in the show). Why can’t people look beyond the bad and see how trauma can have a positive affect on a life? Why can’t victims be empowered by their struggle and not live in fear of shame by others?
We are living in a time where mental illness is a taboo and we are trying desperately to change that. I am afraid that this scene of Ezra essentially shaming Spencer’s experiences has even further swept mental illness under the rug. I am really disappointed in Marlene King and the show for allowing this scene to unfold the way it did. I know this wasn’t intentional, that they would never purposefully shame a group of people or their experiences, but I was just very disheartened by the entire situation.
We Can’t Stop- Miley Cyrus
Rick Owens x Adidas Shoe Collaboration
The running shoe trend has taken NYC by storm and is making its way across the United States and the rest of the world. Adidas is already teamed up with menswear legend Raf Simons, and is now tapping Rick Owens for its next sneaker collaboration. The inspiration behind it is apparently tied to Rick’s own distaste for cardio, and the hypothesis that designing his own workout shoes will give him more of an incentive to actually go running. Expect the shoes to run in the $400-$500 range and hit stores this December.
Written by Dominik Halas
Now You See Me is a caper film with a twist. It implores us to question the bounds of our abilities here on earth. Is magic real?
The film stars Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas, a street magician who has garnered a following of devoted fans, Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves, Atlas’s former assistant who broek out on her own to make a name for herself, Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney, a mentalist hustling tourists, and Dave Franco, another street magician and fan of Atlas’. The four (later known as The Four Horsemen) are brought together by an unknown party to perform a trio of tricks (involving theft and robbery) as initiation into a mysterious and historic society called The Eye.
The film also stars Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley, a retired magician who has developed a career of debunking magic tricks, Mark Ruffalo as Dylan Rhodes, an FBI agent assigned to the case of The Four Horsemen, and Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler, an insurance tycoon and backer of the Horsemen’s performances.
The film is an action packed adventure that never fails to amaze the audience. It may not be award worthy, but it was definitely better than expected.
Written By Sydney Weinshel
Today, after an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Miley Cyrus released her much anticipated new single, “We Can’t Stop”, on Vevo. I am a huge Miley Cyrus fan (since her Hannah Montana heydays), but I am very disappointed with the song and the direction she has decided to take herself and her music. I feel like she has become a tacky caricature. I am all for Disney stars breaking out of their perfect little molds and becoming their own person, but this just seems forced on her part. Selena Gomez tastefully broke away from Disney in Spring Breakers and Demi Lovato (although not-so-subtly) has become a great role model and activist. Miley just decided to cut ties and do a 180.
The song is a generic stick-it-to-the-haters club mix without any real value. Her vocals have only gotten better since her country pop days, but her quality of music has gone way down. Sure, she’s young and hot (Maxim’s no. 1) so she has a right to explore and test her boundaries, but she is pushing the limits too far and not in a good way. I just hope she calms down enough to start making music that matters.
Written By Sydney Weinshel
Flõ Activewear is high quality workout apparel designed to exceed both your fashion and performance expectations when it’s time to get ACTIVE!
Inspired by the beauty of one of the most exotic countries in the world, Flõ brings Brazilian sunshine and colors to its patterns, reinventing fitness apparel.
From her home in Virginia, Nina Logan designs and runs this thriving brand. After the initial design process, she chooses the exclusive fabrics and prints for each specific collection. The next and final step is to send the fabrics and designs to the manufacturer, where she has total control of the quality of each and every piece made.
As a young girl, Nina looked up to her grandmother, Maria Djanira, who was an amazing seamstress, with very elegant and impeccable taste. She had always been a big influence in Nina’s lifelong passion for perfect beautiful clothing.Nina’s interest in innovative workout apparel started while she was majoring in Physical Education in her home country, Brazil. She realized all fitness clothing was very similar and démodé. After moving to the US, 16 years ago, Nina pursued a bachelor degree in Business Administration with concentration in Marketing and decided to start her own business uniting her main interests: Fitness and Fashion.
Following the philosophy that a healthy mind leads to a healthy body, Flõ unites fashion, well-being and fitness with an artistic approach, to make you feel amazing and comfortable while you work hard to get balanced and fit.
The clothes themselves are pieces of art. Every new collection has a different theme, inspired by art, culture and nature.Besides the creative and stylish designs, expect to find high quality fabrics, all manufactured in Brazil and certified by INVISTA. Most of the products are made of a unique combination of materials with SUPPLEX®, a stretchable fabric that enables the clothing to be “one size fits all” and makes them soft, durable, breathable, as well as resistant to wind, water, tearing and odor.
Flo’s clothing are versatile and comfortable, including a large variety of leggings, sports bra, tops, shorts, pants and hoodies suitable for both men and women. Whether you are a hardworking gym rat or an outdoor fitness enthusiast, come push your physical activity beyond its limits in style! And go with the flõ!
For any further questions and inquires Flõ can be reached through
Compiled by Luke Hartman, Photos courtesy of Nina Logan
Uniqlo x Michael Bastian: Exploring the Polo
Uniqlo has dished out some pretty cool collaborations in the past, but few have made us as giddy with excitement as the Japanese mega-retailer’s latest partnership with Americana aficionado Michael Bastian. The collection centers around a preppy menswear staple: the polo shirt, and explores it in a wide array of colors, cuts, and patterns. The entire collection is available for purchase here.
Written by Dominik Halas
#Dressup Your Life!
“Everyday is a special occasion, dress for it.”- Shala Moradi, Faviana Designer
British pop sensation Mika rose to fame in 2007 with the release of his first album, Life In Cartoon Motion. He has since garnered much acclaim overseas and numerous nominations. His third full-length album was released in 2012, but recently his song featuring Ariana Grande has yielded some attention.
The song, entitled “Popular Song”, pulls from a favorite Wicked song, “Popular” originally performed by Kristen Chenoweth. The song, like many others, is about the bullied rising above the bullies and becoming successful in their desired fields.
The music video is a cross between Beetlejuice and The Addams Family with just a touch of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The video features Grande and Mika exacting revenge on their tormentors.
Written By Sydney Weinshel
The Great Gatsby was magical, marvelous, and manic.
Baz Luhrmann is synonymous with all of these words. His films are beautiful, artistic, and far from traditional. You simply cannot enter into his world expecting a conventional take on an ageless story.
Luhrmann transformed Fitzgerald’s fantastical world of the 20s into something electric and mesmerizing. Critics may be ripping apart the liberties the risky director took with the classic work, but nothing about the production was done flippantly and without thought. Every decision, every oneliner, every song was chosen with precise research and absolute care.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was nothing if not a leader. He was new and modern as was his work. Luhrmann’s understanding of this is what made the movie great. Any director could’ve pumped this story full of hip-hop music and other ostentatious choices, any other director could’ve been safe, but only someone as creative and dedicated to the core of the tale could pull off something as groundbreaking and crazy as what Luhrmann did with The Great Gatsby.
I saw the film on Thursday, the day it was released in New York. I got all gussied up and I sat in the theater, with my equally nerdy friends, staring in awe at the screen for two hours and twenty minutes. I watched Gatsby’s sanity unravel, I saw Nick Caraway observe this life he didn’t live, I saw Daisy toy with hearts, and I cried. I cried at the beauty. I cried for the love and the loss. I cried.
As I was leaving I heard the people behind me complaining. They didn’t appreciate Luhrmann’s take on a book that defined an era. They said Luhrmann “wasn’t a very good director” and “didn’t do the story justice” and I just sat there thinking are these people out of their minds? I just viewed one of the most cinematically beautiful films in the last 15 years and these people didn’t like it?
But that is a lesson I have had to learn. The lesson that madness and genius go hand in hand and not everyone is going to appreciate it. The Great Gatsby is going to go down in history, if only in my book, next to Titanic and Avatar as one of the most cinematically and emotionally astounding films in the last two decades.
Written By Sydney Weinshel