How A Cardboard Box Changed My Life

How A Cardboard Box Changed My Life

I still think about it every day, and the question still remains from my cardboard box.
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As a focused Makeup Artist in Theatre, I have struggled in identifying myself within the department. I am surrounded by many talented people, but no one that has the talent and mindset as I do. I'm used to being unique, but being this type of unique can drive me to feel alone. Some try to interact with me, and I am nice and cordial, but a connection never seems to stick.

In my Creative Habit class, we are studying a book in which inspired the creation of the course, basically, a small autobiography of the success and creativeness Twyla Tharp habitually creates. We read about how she organizes her thoughts with a cardboard box; it becomes an archive of inspiration. We created our own inspiring cardboard box and were asked to make it a reflection of ourselves. Things could be put into the box, and we could add onto the outside of the box, so long as it was what our heart truly felt. Being given the full range of anything my creative mind could conjure up baffled me because I am used to structure, but I was able to use my confusion to create something meaningful to me.

I kept the box simple: it remained white on all four sides, and on one of the sides, I printed out pink, pursed lips and long eyelashes, then glued them on to the box. The lips lay flat onto the box, but the eyelashes fanned out to create a 3D effect. Inside of the box is where I put a little more detail into it. I put the very first makeup brush I bought, (the one where it had been used so much that the top came off if you gripped it too tightly) a makeup brush belt I had used during a competition, a sunflower, two index cards with two separate goals on them, and the most recent picture of my dad and I.

The next day, everyone is sitting with their boxes in their lap, waiting for our instructor to walk in and tell us what to do with them. We ended up spacing the chairs to where the room transformed into a gallery and placed the boxes in the rearranged chairs. Once set up, everyone was given small slips of paper to write a neutral observation or question and place it in the box. Several circled around the room more than once, taking the entire class time. After everyone was finished, we took the notes from our boxes and left. I was very intrigued to see so many slips of paper in my box, because no one really pays attention to me, or seems interested in what I have to say. I shoved them into the zipper of my backpack and rushed to my dorm, so I could read them in private.

I sat my bag down in my room and pulled out the slips, hesitant but also very nervous. The first thing I do is count how many there are, 10. I notice that half of them are written on a different kind of paper than what we were given, meaning they took their time to get extra paper, just so they could comment on my box. This intrigued me further, so I start to read. Here's how they were read, in order:

"Love how its 3D"

"I absolutely adore makeup, so I love your eyes and lips"

"You love classics and simplicity"

"What influences you to keep the box so simple, but also put such a bold statement on one side?"

"A simple exterior.... with fun and creativity"

"The simplicity speaks volumes"

"The eyebrows remind me of my own. Good confidence boost. Very satisfying."

"Truly beautiful woman behind this box"

"Haha, I can find out you are a beautiful girl. I like the red lip."

"Is beauty your way of expressing yourself?"

All of these observations, about me, opened my eyes in a way I didn't think imaginable. They are all anonymous, and I couldn't even begin to think which classmate wrote what. The biggest one that stuck to me, and that I still have a hard time answering, is, "Is beauty your way of expressing yourself?" When I think about it, yes, but then also, no. I chose to focus on makeup for the story it unfolds; it gives visualization and life to a piece that changes the audience's experience. It is a way of expressing myself and my art, but it isn't necessarily beauty.

Being asked these questions, and given these observations, I have come to the realization that before I let myself worry about what others are thinking about me and my art, and how I achieve it, I should worry about myself and my expression to the world, because I'm not sure I even know.

If you are one of my classmates, whether you wrote something in my box or not, I want to thank you. Thank you for allowing me to think about myself and grow as an individual, and as an artist. Specifically to the ones who wrote for my box, please remember that you have an anonymous place in my heart, and I will keep these notes for as long as possible and that I read them every day to reflect. To the future artist that fill my shoes, know that people think of you, but also think of yourself, you'll need it, trust me.

Cover Image Credit: Healing Yoga

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100 Of The Best Vines Of All Time

Hi, welcome to Chili's!
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Not to be dramatic, but the Vine app was the best thing to ever happen to me.

The Vine app truly understood me and my extremely odd sense of humor. When it was shut down, I felt like a part of me shut down with it. Luckily, I still have the ability to reflect on the good times that I had with Vine. Although there aren't any new Vine videos keeping my spirit alive, the Vine videos from the past are enough to keep me going.

This is way overdue, but here are the 100 best Vines to ever exist (in no particular order).

1. You better stop.

2. Come get y'all juice.

3. WTF is up Kyle.

4. That is NOT correct.

5. Mr. Postman.

6. Good evening.

7. This is your space, this is your area.

8. Honestly not sure what to title this one, but it's great so.

9. Someone help Elmo.

10. Pst...what?

11. Can I get a waffle?

12. Welcome back to Jesus Christ Hotline.

13. Oooooh, my boy going to school.

14. Lebron James.

15. #1 Dad.

16. Two bros chillin' in the hot tub.

17. Iz the fourth of July.

18. You have to say that you're fine and you're not really fine.

19. Tweaka Tweaka.

20. Hi, welcome to Chili's.

21. What up, I'm Jared.

22. If you wanna be a dog, RUFF.

23. When you think you look fresh, but your fish disagrees.

24. Rat in Walmart.

25. I'm dying... without me?

26. White ppl will turn anything into a casserole.

27. So you just gonna bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift.

28. You want a french fry? Eat a french fry.

29. ifyoulikemakingloveatmidnight.

30. Ms. Keisha.

31. Girl you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.

32. My cinnamon apple.

33. Two shots of vodka.

34. Whoever threw that paper.

35. Wow.

36. Do the math.

37. Rip your face off.

38. Fed up teacher.

39. You can't kill me.

40. Look at me now snake.

41. Walking a duck.

42. No matter when you pause this one, it's hilarious.

43. I don't even understand this one.

44. I dropped my hot pocket.

45. I thought you were American.

46. I can't swim.

47. I wanna be a cowboy.

48. I look like Mona Lisa.

49. Look at this graph.

50. Yungman.

51. Squidward dabbing

52. Living with Nicholas Cage.

53. If Tinder had video profiles.

54. Why you always lying.

55. Chicken wing ch-chi-chicken wing.

56. Uh my chicle.

57. Love the Nickleback version.

58. Any excuse to nae nae.

59. I want to be famous.

60. That's my opinion.

61. There she goes.

62. I have to restart my potatoes.

63. And they don't stop coming.

64. Cat horn.

65. Who is she.

66. The bob.

67. Summertime.

68. Do I look like.

69. Nice Ron.

70. Mom hearing 'Only' by Nicki Minaj for the first time.

71. Happy fourth of July.

72. I'm washing me and my clothes.

73. Nickel the creatorback.

74. Give me your money.

75. U stoopid.

76. Shrek at school.

77. Patricia honey can you be quiet.

78. No baby.

79. You've got a big storm coming.

80. Out shopping with my coven.

81. Extreme makeover home edition.

82. They were roommates.

83. White girl trying to remember the day she was born.

84. xoxo, gossip girl.

85. Big time rush.

86. Scared grandma throwing milk.

87. Suicide fairy.

88. Zoey 101 microwave.

89. When you leave your makeup on after a night out.

90. Crazy skateboarding tricks.

91. Noodle head.

92. Under all that makeup.

93. Marriage goals.

94. Boy putting on lipstick.

95. When you walk past your friend's class.

96. Clear elevator jamming.

97. #RunningManChallenge

98. T-T-T-T-Target.

99. We all have a lot of laughs.

100. High school musical.

Honestly, I still can think of 100 more of the greatest vines of all time... but I guess I should stop now.

Cover Image Credit: NY Mag

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3 Lessons Female Journalists IRL Can Take Away From Movie Journalists

Analyzing the portrayal of female journalists in mainstream Hollywood film.

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I'll admit, I've had a love affair with rom-coms from the 2000s for a long time (and still do). In all the cheesy rom-coms I watched, I noticed a common trope: the protagonist almost always works in journalism (mainly writing for lifestyle magazines).

I looked at the industry with a set of rose-colored glasses based on the number of movies I watched. Based on the protagonists' portrayals, I saw glamorous young women working in trendy spaces while getting paid to work on cool projects such as creating new branding initiatives and attending fashion events.

I saw a stress-free world of beauty samples, editorial shoots and an endless supply of designer clothing. You know what I didn't see? Pulling out your hair at four in the morning and panicking because your main source did not send an email. I didn't see journalists trying to come up with a pitch after being burnt out for the past few issues.

It seems as if the fictional world of movie journalists are taken straight out of an influencer's social media account. I mean, who has the funds to live in a densely populated city such as New York, all while driving a decent car and having a fully stocked designer wardrobe? Making $32,000 a year as an entry-level journalist cannot get you a one-bedroom condo in an expensive neighborhood with a walk-in closet and modern furniture.

Of course, fictional journalists are not perfect. We all have our flaws and make mistakes from time to time. However, it isn't safe to say that Hollywood provides an accurate depiction of female journalists (who just so happen to all be white females and not a single female journalist of color). Below is a listicle of the faux-pas of certain practices and aspects portrayed in film.

Falling in love (or perhaps sleeping with) a source 

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A major plotline in a majority of rom-coms (think "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "Trainwreck") is the protagonist falling in love with the subject of her article, and thus, getting caught up in the whirlwind of her personal life.

Not only is this a major ethical issue, but it has the ability to sway the tone of the article and border into a conflict of interest or a bias. Journalists, do not sleep with your sources.

Pursuing a certain field without interest

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"Following your passions" may be a cliché phrase when referring to career aspirations, but it is cliché for a reason.

If you aren't passionate about what you're writing about, it clearly shows in your writing. Take, for example, Anne Hathaway's character, Andy Sachs, in "The Devil Wears Prada." When first being introduced to Miranda Priestly, the Editor-In-Chief of Runway Magazine, she does not take her job seriously, quoting that she isn't familiar with "this stuff" (fashion journalism).

Another example would be Isla Fisher's character, Rebecca Bloomwood, in "Confessions of a Shopaholic." A major theme of the film is Rebecca taking up a job at Successful Savings magazine, despite her shopaholic attitude, under the impression she'll get hired at another fashion magazine.

At the end of the day, pursuing your interests will pay off in the long run.

Going Undercover 

Never Been Kissed (1999)

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As interesting as this sounds for a film plot (think of Drew Barrymore's "Never Been Kissed"), going undercover for an article or not revealing your true intentions as a reporter is a major faux pas. Not only is this unethical, but it damages the trust between your sources and yourself as a journalist.

Going undercover and falling in love with your source (see above) is especially a bad combination. Don't go breaking hearts for article views.


At the end of the day, female journalists are portrayed in a certain light in order to add depth to a plotline and make the film seem more interesting. As much as I can protest over the lack of female journalists of color in Hollywood films, or the lack of female journalists in fields other than fashion journalism, one can only wait until someone writes an accurate screenplay.

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