TIME Magazine's Person Of The Year 2017 Is Their Best Yet

TIME Magazine's Person Of The Year 2017 Is Their Best Yet

The Silence Breakers
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The TIME Magazine Person of the Year annual award is highly anticipated by many and features someone or a group that has influenced the year, for good or bad. The issue has featured politicians, entrepreneurs, religious figures among others. Some famous faces that have received this honor have included Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Ebola Fighters, and last years recipient, current U.S. president Donald Trump. This year's choice is "The Silence Breakers", the men and women who have spoken out publicly against sexual abuse and harassment, and it debatably might be TIME's most influential choice yet.

The issue focuses on the of "#MeToo Movement" created 10 years ago but became a prominent social campaign in response to the sexual abuse allegations against big-time Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The movement has provided a platform for millions of victims to step up and share their stories surrounding sexual assault and harassment. Since the accusations against Weinstein have come out, many other powerful figures including Kevin Spacey, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K, and Bill O'Reilly to name a few. The flood of sexual misconduct statements against public figures has been considered a "national reckoning" across the United States and the world. However, as "The Silence Breakers" explain, these allegations are anything but new.

"The Silence Breakers" bring up their initial fear in speaking out. How they were afraid for their jobs, image, family and in some cases, their lives. The article includes testimonies from men and women of all different backgrounds who hold a number of different occupations from entertainers to a dishwasher, who have all experienced misconduct in their professional and personal lives and have chosen to come forward. Some of the famous faces include Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, Selma Blair, Terry Crews, Megyn Kelly, and Tarana Burke, the original creator of the "#MeToo" movement. The cover features the elbow of a woman who has been cropped out of the photo to represent those who feel as though they can not reveal their identities when coming forward.

Despite the inner turmoil of deciding to speak out against powerful figures with the threat of backlash, damage to their reputations and repercussions because of their statements. Even with these fears looming, the idea of speaking up for "those who remain silent" turned out to be the motivation many of these victims had in speaking out.

This broken silence gives a voice to this movement and to the millions who stay quiet out of fear with similar experiences. The unity between those who are participating gives the hope that with more people coming forward, others will feel safe to as well. The vulnerability of these stories victims showcased in such a raw way by TIME gives them the outlet to make this movement even bigger. Often referred to as "the problem that has no name" is the problem that occurs when boundaries are crossed by one who doesn't realize the existence of the boundary. One can only hope that change will continue to come with the strength of those speaking against sexual misconduct.

Thank you TIME for acknowledging the importance of these stories and the revolution that has come from their voices being shared. May the notion of having to go along with it and the fear of retaliation die along with the statistic that 2 out of 3 sexual assaults are not reported. May you find your voice and never feel powerless again. Let your silence be broken.

Cover Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.
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“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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How Growing Up In A Culturally Diverse Environment Changed Me

We are all human.

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I can proudly say that I am from Montgomery County, Maryland, more specifically from the city of Gaithersburg. According to a 2018 study by WalletHub, three of the top 10 culturally diverse cities in the United States are located in Montgomery County. Those cities include Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Silver Spring.

I have lived in Montgomery County ever since the day I was born. Growing up in such a culturally and economically diverse area has educated me with the value of accepting differences. Since I was exposed to an assortment of cultures at such a young age, I hardly ever noticed differences among my peers and I. The everyday exposure to various cultures taught me to embrace diversity and look beyond appearances such as the color of someone's skin. I was able to open my eyes to other ideas, lifestyles, and backgrounds.

Ever since I was a child, I was not only taught to welcome different cultures and ethnic groups, but I was always surrounded by them. From my elementary to high school years, every classroom was filled with racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. Coming from someone apart of the Caucasian race, I was often the minority in school. Not everyone is as fortunate to experience such a multicultural society.

Since being from Montgomery County, I have grown up as a person with an open mind and strong values. Diversity has not only taught me to be more mindful but has also helped me become more of a respectful person. Learning about other cultures and backgrounds is essential to help societies strive, but experiencing it firsthand is something that no one can teach you.

After being in countless culturally diverse situations, I have been provided with many lifelong advantages. I was taught to be inclusive, fair, and understanding. I am able to be comfortable and accepting of all cultures and religions. After growing up in such a culturally diverse environment, I now develop culture shock when I'm not surrounded by diversity.

Our world is filled with numerous different kinds of cultures, ethnic groups, and religions. Being raised in a diverse environment has prepared me for what the real world looks like and taught me exactly what equality means. As I was growing up, I was always taught to be nonjudgemental of others and to embrace all individuals for who they are.

Diversity molds our identities. Every individual is unique, but each of us shares at least one trait — we are all human. Who would rather experience a homogeneous society, when they could constantly be learning about other cultures and building diverse relationships? When growing up, I never realized how impacted and truly thankful I would be to of had the opportunities to experience diversity each day. So here is a long overdue thank you to my parents for choosing to raise me in such an incredibly diverse place all of my life.

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