'But What the Hell Was Lunar Gala?'

'But What the Hell Was Lunar Gala?'

Don't 'strain' yourself. We've got answers.

No, kids, it's not a debutant ball for celestial lifeforms. It's not a bourgeoisie stargazing festival, and nobody is auctioning off the moon. Lunar Gala (LG) is Carnegie Mellon University's student-produced fashion show, devoted to all things visually provocative, and it celebrated 20 years of avant-garde design this past weekend.

If you don't go to Carnegie Mellon, you may have heard about this elite spectacle from a gang of Koreans smoking cigarettes outside of an overpriced thrift shop. I can't tell you their sources, but they always know what's up. If you do go to Carnegie Mellon, then you probably recognize Lunar Gala to be the most well oiled machine on campus (sorry, robotics department). You're also likely preparing for the monsoon of LG photos that will be storming your news feeds in the next coming weeks. Brace for the flood.

Lunar Gala is always an unparalleled visual miracle, and this year was no exception. Saturdays can be hectic though, so don't fret if you slept through the alarm on your phone or if you just didn't have enough spare coin to secure a ticket. Take my hand and let me take you through the magic carpet ride that was this year's LG show, Strain.

Lunar Gala 2016 opened up with an impressive display of what you might see if you grew the bubonic plague's trendy older sister in a petri dish for a few months. Their optics are always stelar, but this year I seriously felt as though I was losing my grip on reality. The two are hopefully correlated.

The theme this year was "Strain," defined as the evolution of a form in response to pressure, tension, and constriction in order for an organism to survive.

Appropriately enough, the first line out of the gates transported you to the year 3016 with "Polymorphism," by Richard Chou and Katherine Zhao. Humans finally died out, and the only surviving species seems to be a hybrid between bicycle spokes and those fish you see when you accidentally scuba dive into another dimension.

The next line, "Cymatics," by Anna Gusman and Ariana Nathani looked like some almighty deity picked up a pair of scissors and decided to make snowflakes for an arts and crafts fair.

Cymatics also featured this unearthly dress that I've been dreaming about with troubling intensity. Am I hungry? Am I in love? I just want to put my hands on it.

"The Barracks," by Linny Tan took over next to explore the role of androgyny in fashion. The models themselves were only on stage for a few minutes, but their legs went on for days.

"Dauntless" by Eunice Oh, Katherine Wang, and Yuru Yao made me feel as though I had taken a tumble down the wrong Amazonian rabbit hole. This line is one of my favorites because these models look like they won't hesitate to take a samurai sword to your neck if you stop painting the roses red.

"Abraxas," by Melissa Zucker, Catherine Zang, and Shanna Chan proved true to the CMU creed, finding beauty in mathematical modeling software. The allure in these shapes was easy to grasp, no office hours necessary.

"Imperatrice," by Angela Liang, Shannon Lin, and Hilary Lai celebrated the only woman to rule China, Wu Zetian. All hail.

"Filigree," by Noa Fineout took advantage of themes seen in deconstructed antique garments. Was this what Marie Antoinette envisioned when she said, "let them eat cake?" Of corset was.

"Xoaix," by Becki Liu plays with the colors in the south of France, and looks like what aristocrats will be wearing in the near dystopian future. In an alternate universe this finale dress is also on clearance in an Anthropology for $400.

"Pom," by Emily Mongilio and Lily Fulop made me giddy for many reasons. The main reason being that I was actively repressing my inner feline impulse to leap on stage and bat ferociously at all those swinging balls.

"Decay," by Michelle Li entertained a fairytale-esque whimsy inside me. The line gave off the impression that you stepped into the woods and were adopted by a squadron of horned and feathered creatures. I chose to feature the outfit below because it looks like a super decedent cannoli.

"Crest," by Sophie Parrinello took you right back to the seventies with these psychedelic tie dye patterns. Light some incense and take as long as you need to find these outfits. Sophie knew they would be outta' sight.

"Corpus," by Rachel Chang and Christine Shen played with vulnerability and protection in relationships, but more importantly included this awesome dress made entirely out of hair. Is it definitely barbie hair? Probably not. Do I want to rub my sticky candy fingers all over it until it's a matted mess like I did to my old barbies? Hell yeah.

"Fukkatsu," by Cindy Hsu and Sharon Yu was absolutely my favorite line of LG 2016. Really take a few minutes to look at these pants and tell me that this isn't the awesome realization of a cartoon Japanese mobster. If that model decides to spin around repeatedly, then she'll become an unstoppable human dreidel, and anyone near her will get smacked away like a real life game of Bakugan. Fashion meets function.

"Exuviae," by Noopur Suckhlecha, Jenny Wong, and Marnfah Kanjanavanit was so cool because it brought you back to that first time you saw melted plastic. Maybe you put something in the microwave that you weren't supposed to. Maybe you realized your water bottle didn't like your dad's lighter. Either way, these exoskeletons awoke your sleeping mad scientist.

"Erode," by Zai Aliyu, Kate Werth, and Jonathan Lopez explored evolving landscapes in dramatic black and white. It appears that the empire waist has fallen, but I gave in to the dark side a while back because it hides stains better.

"Sanctum," by Sasha Kerbel and Madalyn Gryger finished up this years show, delving into the boundaries that can emerge from living with a mental illness. No quips for this one. Watch out for the stress culture, fam.

Intermixed with these lines were three incredible dances and video commentary by producers, designers, and models. Truly, it's a group effort that always allows the LG experience to be so encompassing and professional.

There. Almost like you were there, isn't it? Ultimately, Lunar Gala is spectacular every year because of all these passionate Carnegie Mellon students that come together to prove one thing; that they're way cooler than everyone else. There's no motivator more powerful, besides maybe a swank new profile picture.

Cover Image Credit: Best Events

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.


It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul


Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug


Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep


This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct


Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov


Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec


The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan


You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb


Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar


This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr


Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May


Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun


Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

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