Vile Victoria’s Secret: Why This Company is Tearing Down Our Society by Meredith Prince

Vile Victoria’s Secret: Why This Company is Tearing Down Our Society

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: one of the most popular fashion shows in the nation. Millions of people throughout the country flick on their T.V. and wait intently for the different angels wearing fluorescent wings and stilleto kitten pumps to strut down the glamorized runway. Excitement pours out of people like sunshine through fine white linen. Every fiber in their bodies vibrates with anticipation to view the variety of outfits and models. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to be seeing much diversity within those models. Of all 14 angels, 12 are white, 14 are tall, 14 are skinny, and 14 have a “perfect” hourglass figure. Thousands of girls’ faces droop, filled with dismay, desolation and despondency. The giddiness they once had has managed to slip through every piece of them, and has been replaced with pure disappointment. Victoria’s Secret only glamorizes one type of body, making girls insecure about themselves, creates offensive campaigns, all making it a bad influence.

Victoria’s Secret only carries one type of model: your typical gorgeously tall, ultra lean woman with a busty physique. The majority of them don’t weigh over 95 pounds, The average 14 year old girl weighs 105 pounds. When a late teen/mid twenty model weighs less than you do, it doesn’t make you feel so great about yourself. This makes girls look down at the flashing numbers on their scale and fill with disappointment and sadness.Victoria’s Secret only makes one type of body seem “beautiful”, and totally ignores the fact that other body types exist and that all body types are beautiful. Although Victoria’s Secret models and angels all have the same figure, some people can see this as a good thing. A recent survey from She Knows found that women were, unsurprisingly, more likely to buy a product if they liked how women were portrayed in its advertisements. The company knows this, which is why they keep their ‘perfect’ models to appeal to the most females as they can. This does make sense, but don’t you think they will appeal to a wider audience if they widen the types of bodies they support? Besides, it’s the 21st century, when are we going to acknowledge that there is more than one “beautiful” body type?

When you walk into the wide glass doors of a VS store, you are immediately bombarded by wall-size photos of those reed thin, top heavy, beautiful models. And when you don’t exactly look like them, it can make you feel pretty bad about yourself. Women and girls-teenagers in particular- will see these bodies and wonder, “Why can’t I look like that, and what can I do to look like that?” The answer is clear. You cannot look like that because those bodies because they are physically unobtainable without a trustworthy plastic surgeon and some solid photoshopping software. I remember one time I went into the store with my friend. She had been self-conscious about her body, and seeing that the company only supported one body type made her feel even worse. It was hard for her to learn how to love herself and be proud of her body when these models all had the same “perfect” body that she didn’t have. These models make girls feel insecure about themselves, and make girls who are already insecure about themselves even MORE dissatisfied with their bodies.

The company raised online rage only a few months ago with their “The Perfect Body” campaign. The images that they used for this “Perfect Body” campaign were 10 models that all had that same body figure as explained above. No attempts at body diversity were made in the image. Even worse, these images suggested that these were what “perfect” bodies were supposed to be. Given that those models’ bodies are basically unobtainable, it seemed a little insulting to imply that women who didn’t share their exact measurements somehow have ‘imperfect’ bodies. This campaign made thousands of young girls look in the mirror each morning and feel dissatisfied with themselves. An online petition was made, requesting that the brand apologize and take responsibility for the unhealthy damaging message that their ‘Perfect Body’ campaign sends out about women’s boies. More than 33,000 signatures were gathered, but Victoria’s Secret only took minimal action. They changed the campaign name to “A Body For Every Body” (which still didn’t make a lot of sense given the narrow range of bodies depicted in the advertisement remained.) Even after this petition, they still did not add any different body types to this campaign.

Victoria’s Secret has mentioned that they are going to try to add more angels and models of different ethnicities, but if they are serious about diversifying their models, they might want to add different body types as well. Adding different body types will help all women feel better about themselves, make the modeling shows more interesting to watch, and help the company widen its audience. Imagine a new generation where young girls can open up a magazine and instead of pinching their stomach with disappointment, stare into a mirror and think “Wow, I am beautiful.” Imagine a society where everyone believes that they are beautiful and are proud to be in their own skin. But until Victoria’s Secret starts to take action and add different types of models, I refuse to watch their shows or buy their products, and maybe if we all do, we can convince them to make the change.

Weird Ways to Stop Procrastinating (and yes, this is largely for my own benefit.) by Madeline Maurer

We’ve all had that moment…

“Wait…It’s already 10:30? How?” You glare at your phone in shock. “But I was only on Youtube for, like, twenty minutes…Uh oh…” You look back at your unfinished project, your heart dropping like a boulder to the bottom of your stomach. Scrambling, you snatch the glue and Sharpies off of your desk and submerge yourself in the clouds of paper and ink that trashes the room. The next morning, you shamefully drag yourself into your class, eyes barely open and project in hand.

But how do I overcome this tragedy? I hear you asking. Well, I am here to help you out! Here are some weird ways to stop procrastinating.

Set up your materials five minutes BEFORE you want to get started. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re already groaning, but please hear me out. You are going to be more likely to actually get started when there is a constant reminder of your obligations. I am one to write things on my hand because it’s kinda hard to forget something when it is physically on your body, and in a place where you can always see it. If your textbooks are practically staring you in the face, it’s kinda hard to hold off studying.

Use a reward-based system. Do ten math problems, have a cookie. Finish your essay, spend some time on Instagram or texting with a friend. If you look forward to your project’s completion, you will obviously want to finish it faster. Plus, everything is way more rewarding when you work for it! (It’s like how if I see a pack of stickers in a store, I don’t even bother looking twice. But, if a teacher gives me a sticker after a test or something, I protect it like Gollum and the Ring of Power. MY STICKER!)

Tell someone else about what you need to do and when it needs to get done. You will feel more accountable if other people know what you need to do, too. A great way to do this could be to start a group chat with some friends and post when you start and finish your work. With this, you stay responsible and on task. The only flaw with this plan is that group chats may get side tracked…but not yours?

This next one applies if you absolutely must procrastinate. While your goal is looming over your head, think of some ideas for what you want to do. Say you have to write a story based on Mesopotamian life in Social Studies. While you are drawing all over your hand, think about what you want your main character’s name to be, how s/he should behave, what their motives are, etc. You won’t feel like you are doing any hard work, but you are actually creating the bare bones of your assignment. To motivate you more, think about the exciting parts of your project so you want to start!

Force yourself to start on right after school, work, or after you have just done something else. The reasoning is just like Newton’s law: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, objects at rest tend to stay at rest. I was very interested when I found this technique because it seems so obvious but it’s so brilliant. It takes a familiar concept and flips it upside down so it can apply to our daily lives. Anyway, this rule does apply. You will be more willing to do work after you have just done work. Why stop when you’ve already made so much progress? It’ll be easier to work if you save the couch-potatoing for later.

Now that you’re done reading this list, go get some work done! The world is your oyster! Go off, my child!

Weird Ways To Procrastinate:
Okay, if you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t actually go through with any of the strategies listed. So, instead, here are a few ideas of how you can procrastinate…(reverse psychology at its finest)

Draw on your hand. There’s a reason why I can’t be trusted with ink. Too many happy faces to make out of freckles!

Try to pick up a new useless skill. A Brittany Spears impression would be a great one to try. Also singing with your mouth closed is a new possibility. Hey, who says you won’t go into ventriloquism when you’re older?

Find your alter ego. In other words, put together a stupidly awesome outfit that you’ll never wear again, add a cape to it, and there you have it! Your other self has appeared.
Plan your idea for a restaurant based on your OTP or another amazing theme. I won’t judge! Unleash your ideas!

Don’t just watch anime, BECOME ANIME! Reenact your favorite scenes from the anime you’re binge watching right now or simply go looking for a Death Note. Maybe one of the other Shinigami dropped one, too. Just be careful not to attempt to become the god of a new world.

Read more lists on how not to procrastinate, or write your own! This is self explanatory.

Top Ten Ways to Get an A in School by Jenna Brandaleone and Jennifer Rosen

 

Start here when you need an A. If you are like us you know how much we all want A’s even if it  means slowing down and taking more time. You will be able to get your grades up and learn different techniques at the same time to focus on your goal of an A. The number one rule is to Live, Sleep and BREATHE by these rules!  

  1. Suck up to those teachers that you CANNOT stand! Get them on your good side, and we’ll see who’s getting the A this term. But on a more serious note, breathe. Just breathe. These classes might seem to last for hours more than they should, but all you can do is breathe and try.
  1. Studying hard is one of the most important ways to get an A. Don’t be lazy when studying for a test or doing homework. Learn your work and use your resources.
  1. One thing at a time! Focus on one subject before you move on. It will be really hard if you go back and forth from one subject to another.
  1. Don’t rush, spend your time on homework and things you don’t understand. Instead of misunderstanding, take a few extra minutes to learn and succeed, rather than failing because you didn’t take the time.
  1. Ask for Help! Do not be afraid to ask questions; you might worry that people look stupid when they ask questions, but it actually makes you look smarter to ask questions and you learn a lot more than students who don’t ask questions.
  1. Revise. Make sure to go back to redo writing essays, and any type of school work. Revise and edit constantly especially when you have a project that could really effect your grade. Resources can be helpful and are more available than you may realize. Ask your friends, family, parents, etc.. There are also online sources of help. Google offers spelling and other resource tools too.
  1. Collaborate and share ideas with others. When getting stuck make sure you take a break. But also, make sure you talk to other people about it. If it is over Facetime or face to face, it is good to talk out a problem and work as a team to solve it.
  1. Participate and stay ahead. In class raise your hand. At home, make sure to catch up on homework and your lessons. I am not saying that as soon as you get home you should start studying for hours. I am just saying learning some new vocab words and math problems every day is a good idea. Soon you will be on top of your game and getting an A!
  1. Be yourself, be a good and reliable student for other students, teachers, friends, family, etc.. When taking on personal and group responsibilities you are actually becoming a better student and person. You are learning how to deal with stress and how much responsibility and stress you can take. This can make you a better student because from learning from these responsibilities, you are also learning how to deal with them better. When school has got you on an overload, just remember that you will be prepared.
  1. It is okay to be SMART. I know a lot of other peers of mine that think it is cool to be the dumb. People act stereotypically like the dumb blonde, or the jock with no brain just to be “cool”. Smart people rule the world this century. Look at Bill Gates! He may be the richest man alive and he is nothing less than smart! Smart is the new cool. So don’t be afraid to be yourself, be SMART!

History Bob, Edition 1- by Grisha Barantsev

History Bob: EDITION 1: Mesopotamia and Sumer
History Bob is a person who talks about history, it’s his favorite thing.
Today Bob found something interesting: the first epic or a very long poem, it’s about 1,000 pages long. He knows that the people in Mesopotamia wrote it, or being more specific Sumer. Sumer is an old area of about 8 city states or cities with individual leaders. The people of Sumer invented a lot of things, for example the first form of writing and something we are all thankful for the wheel. The people of Sumer also created an irrigation system which helped them farm when there is a drought. If there was a flood the people build levees which are big earth walls and dams. The Sumerians were cool people. They also came up with the 24 hours in a day and, 360 degrees in a circle. Which reminds Bob he has the Sumerians to blame for his geometry homework. (thanks BrainPOP for the idea :-})

Two Teacher Interviews from Teachers with Two or More Years of Experience–by Grisha Barantsev

I interviewed Ms. O’Keefe, 8th grade English Teacher, and Ms. Barker, 6th grade Social Studies Teacher about…read on to find out more!

Why did you become a teacher?

Mrs. Barker: Because I love what I teach and I wanted to keep thinking it for the rest of my life.

Mrs. O’Keefe: I became a teacher because I always loved English and writing, and wanted to help students develop their love for those topics. Also because everyday is different, kids keep things interesting!

Do you like the subject you are teaching?

Mrs. Barker: Obviously SS!

Mrs. O’Keefe: Yes, I love English!
What is your favorite book?

Mrs. Barker: It’s HARD question … I have different favorite books for different times in my life.

Mrs. O’Keefe: My favorite book from this year is Some Kind of Happiness, Harry Potter, and Bruser.

Who is your favorite author?

Mrs. Barker: I don’t have a favorite author but, I have favorite themes.

Mrs. O’Keefe: I don’t think I have a favorite author, but, I love this one author is Lois Lowry
and I loved each of her books.
If you could teach any subject but the one you currently teach which one would you teach?

Mrs. Barker: I would like to teach world language because I can also teach about history and culture.

Mrs. O’Keefe: SS because I like thinking about what is going on it the world.

Do Books Lack Diversity? by Julia Callini

What are the most popular books we read? The classics, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, Lord of the Flies, William Golding, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne. And we have today’s bestsellers, The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, Me Before You, JoJo Moyes, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, Paper Towns, John Green. What’s up with this? Many people are facing this problem, while few publishers are doing anything to change it.

What are the perks of having books by diverse authors?
For starters, children (or anyone for that matter) is more likely to feel more understood, and when they feel more understood, they become more empathetic. When you have someone you can relate to, you are more likely to turn to them when you are in need of help. Many excellent readers don’t realize this, but when upset, they turn to reading, to someone who understands what they are going through.

In 2014, there were 393 books published about people of color, of which 225 (57%) were by people who were not from the group in which they wrote about. This can be quite problematic, in some cases. Authors can often abuse or carry out stereotypes with the culture. For example, I read a book by a white author about a young latina girl growing up in a small town in southern California. Her parents are poor, illegal immigrants who are illiterate and own a taco restaurant. Oh, and her brother was arrested for dealing marijuana. Every Mexican stereotype right there people. It was a little insulting, honestly. I have a few friends who are latina, and yes, their parents do make delicious tacos, but they are not poor, illegal, illiterate immigrants. They are very nice, kind people who have worked hard and live in a nice neighborhood and are genuinely caring. I do not think for a millisecond that my friends brother would try to sell me pot (he works as a therapist at a rehab center, so the chances are extremely low).

Gender Stereotypes in Children’s Books
I was babysitting my cousins, and they asked me to read them a bedtime story (which I was more than happy to do, of course). They chose the book “I’m Glad I’m a Boy, I’m Glad I’m a Girl”, by Wendy Darrow. It was chock-full of stereotypes like “Boys are doctors, Girls are nurses”, “Girls can cook, Boys can eat”, “Boys invent things, Girls use things that the boys invent”. As a feminist myself, I was extremely insulted. I come from a family of hardworking women and won’t dumb myself down to “just” be a nurse, instead of a doctor. I’m afraid that if little girls read this book, they will only think that they have to be the cook, and the boys will think that a) they don’t have to learn to cook; girls will do it for them, or b) that cooking isn’t “manly” enough.

After all, we are promoting empathy and respect for all people, but why aren’t we putting that into books?

 

Statistics from http://blog.leeandlow.com/2015/03/05/the-diversity-gap-in-childrens-publishing-2015/

History’s Mystery: Ancient Secrets Uncovered By Kevin Zhao

Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, only one structure, the oldest, remains standing. Although it was built long before any modern breakthroughs, it faces right toward the magnetic North Pole, and has many numerical coincidences. This famous architectural achievement, the “Great Pyramid”, holds centuries of information, begging to be learned.

Word To The Wise
Before anyone goes wandering off to their deaths, it should be made clear that the “Great Pyramid” is not a recommended tourist site. Even over 4 millennia ago, primitive traps had already been invented. The devices were simple, but effective. The entryways were sometimes plugged with heavy slabs, blocking everyone out. If burglars did ignore the obvious warning and chipped away at the obstacle, they would be in for a nasty surprise.

Primeval Traps
Ancient Egypt owned the finest alchemists of their time, who discovered fatal powders. These powders were often released when the outer coffin was opened. Occasionally, stones were balanced so that when doors opened, the movement would drive the boulder off, onto the victim’s head, or perhaps backwards to seal off the tunnel, in both directions. There were hidden pits, with strategically placed boards which would collapse at the lightest touch. There were even barbs, placed at neck height, which could impale victims in the darkness. There are even rumors of secret passageways, since many others were found camouflaged behind statues, and Pharaoh Khufu’s sarcophagus was never found.

Did You Know?
Many scientists have been intrigued by all the special numbers and ratios the “Great Pyramid” conceals. As years pass, nature has taken its toll, but it is believed that prior to erosion, the pyramid extended to nearly 150 meters into the sky. Records even confirm that the “Great Pyramid” was the tallest structure for 3800 years, until the Lincoln Cathedral was constructed. Often times, weathering is blamed for slight inaccuracy, but overall, there are many precise proportions and numerals. For example, the width divided by the height is approximately half of π, and and the length of a slope divided by half the width is nearly exactly equal to the Golden Ratio.

The “Great Pyramid” was probably built by Egyptians.
Probably.

Timeless Chapter 11 by Sritha Vemuri

I walk around my new room. Though it is amazing and exceeds all my expectations of a place I call home, I am speechless. Not in a good way though. How could they know about all of this? I think. I know they are from the future and have all this new and improved technology we have but how? How could they see inside my parents. Inside my roots. Do they have my parents? At least their corpses? I don’t know what to say as I clutch both sides of my forehead with both my hands. My palms grow warm and little beads of sweat roll down them. Then a major question hits me. Do people have to be dead for the future people to be able to examine them or even take blood from them? That question leads to many more small questions. Am I even useful for them? Are they trying to take advantage of me? Is Camilla more valuable? Has she requested that I stay alive? Every little or big question swarms around my head like an angry mob of bees. Am I even Bree Suvil?

***

That last question stays absorbed in my head. Am I even Bree Suvil? I think over and over and over again until that’s the only thing imprinted in my mind. I trust fall on my new couch. It’s a lilac purple sofa with the imprints of little plums being picked by women, who later plop them into their baskets. The sofa is made from polyester like any other average sofa. To the left arm side on the lilac sofa there is a mini glass plated table where five chocolates lay next to three small water bottles labeled Fiji on them. Five chocolates. Three water bottles. Five chocolates for the five people who were or are in my family. Three water bottles for the three of them I had lost. Maybe even four considering Camilla’s Grongula mutation mishap. At least that’s what Cathy called it. I’ve noticed that this month of the blasting rays of heat from May are different. There is no Linc. He never appears at my doorway to give me this goofy glare. He doesn’t stop by to chat. Well I guess I deserved it. I practically shooed him away so I guess I got what I wanted then but not now. I just want a decent chat buddy.

***

The next morning Khloe wakes me up. Literally. She splashes water at my face with a large black pale. It fits her personality. A large black hole.

“Come on grouch.” She says. “We’re going to the annual May Maker Meeting!” She jumps up and down in place. Once she notices that I am watching her she stops and smooths down her once straight now ruffled business skirt. She cocks her head to the right side of my new room, signaling I should get changed. Immediately.

“What do I wear?” I ask.

“You wear this.” Khloe says, taking out a ruby red dress with an embroidered blood red rose, pinching the left waist side of the dress. “My sister Kendra let me borrow it for you. Begrudgingly.” Khloe continues.

“Let me guess.” I say. “You stole it from her.”

“Yup!” She said. “Now get ready! We have to get you a mani pedi before we go to the meeting. Which approximately starts at 9:00 am!” I rush into the changing room Khloe shows me and change quickly. Then Khloe drags me to the spa room we were in yesterday. The one with the girl named Celia who Khloe always yelled at. A lady with the mirrored look of Khloe walks in. Khloe has a twin. Gosh. Kill me now.

“Khloe…” The lady starts. “You stole my Ruby Cocher Bouvant dress!”  Then the woman’s gaze darts to me.

“Give me that dress back!” She wails.

“Ok.” I say. The woman stops wailing.

“Sorry.” She says. “I thought you were Celia. I applied for a new job here but Khloe always seems to get a grasp of my stuff, giving them to my new boss and stuff. She gets on my nerves a lot.” Then she ties her hair into a high ponytail.

“Who are you anyway?” She asks again.

“She’s Bree Suvil.” Khloe says, beaming.

“Who the what?” The woman asks confused.

“She’s the one Kendra.” Khloe says rolling her eyes.

“Oh…” The woman who’s supposedly Kendra says. “She’s the one. The one Mom’s been blabbering about?”

“Yup.”

“No time to chat sis! She needs a mani pedi ASAP. The famous rose petal design!”

“Got it!” Kendra says as she readies all the materials. She starts by applying a clear coat first. A base. Then she applies a ruby red coat just like my dress on top of the dry clear coat base. Once she does this for every nail she applies another clear coat on every nail except my two index and thumb fingers. Kendra then picks up a mini stylus and starts making two tiny vibrant red roses on both my thumbs left edge. She then connects vines to those roses which are later connected to something brown, supposedly fertilizer. Once she’s done with both my thumbs she starts getting to work on my index fingers. Kendra makes mini curled designs on the left edge of both index fingers and then applies the top coat on for the thumbs as she waits for the index fingers to dry. Once they dry Kendra happily applies the clear coat.

“Voila!” She says. “That is your mani.”

“What about the pedi?” Khloe asks.

“No time.” Kendra says. “It’s 8:55.”

“Who cares Kendra. She only has to be there for after the main meeting which buys us at least thirty more minutes.”

“Fine.” Kendra says grudgingly. Kendra paints my toes a clear coat base then the same vibrant red color before. Then she puts a small little bright red gem on both thumb toes and paints a clear coat top.

“Happy sis?” She asks.

“Happy.” Khloe says as she checks the time. “It’s 9:25! We better hurry! We need to be there in five minutes ASAP!” Khloe turns to her sister. “Any ideas Kendra?”

“I’ll take you in Mom’s golf cart. She won’t mind.” Khloe nods. The three of us rush to the golf cart like maniacs making a quick drive to the meeting. Once Khloe and I enter the meeting room everyone stands up. Except Cathy.

“Where have you been Bree?” Cathy snaps, signaling that the meeting is over. “I told you 9:00 am.”

“Ma’am it’s my fault.” Khloe says, her head down as the men leave.

“I don’t care who’s fault it is.” Cathy snaps again, and right then I can see the resemblance between Cathy and Khloe. “Khloe please leave.”

“But Mom…” Khloe whines.

“That’s Ma’am to you. Whether or not the congressmen are here or not.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Khloe says as she walks away.

“She’s a bad influence.” Cathy smirks. “That’s why she’s my favorite.” Cathy runs a hand through her hair.

“Your lucky this was a test, Bree.” Cathy continues, glaring at me. “Those men work for me. That’s why they left.” She coughs as she continues again. “If they were the real congressmen then they wouldn’t leave and I wouldn’t be able to lecture you. This was a test for Khloe as well and I am so very sad to say you both failed.” Cathy picks up her red lipstick stained coffee cup, swirls it in the air and takes a large chug of it.

“Don’t do this again, Bree. Speak up.” I don’t respond. “Do you hear me, Bree?”

“Yes Ma’am.” I say.

“Good.” Cathy says. “You’re next hidden test will be tomorrow so study hard. Mentally”

***

Studying mentally. Hmmm… I think. I guess I’ll just have to study Cathy.

The guards let me walk around the so called ‘bureau’ of the future. Kendra and Celia collaborated on giving me a special permission slip;

BREE SUVIL

~VIP~

Water

Food

Walking

Blinking

Staring

Observing

I was astonished once they gave me this card. Of course I can blink, stare, eat, drink, and walk. I understand the ‘observing’ part but seriously. I am still a human just like them. Just less genetically modified.

***

Cathy said I should spend some family time around the bureau so now I am walking with Camilla and Chandler with my permission slip strung around my waist.

“You know that family time means talking right?” Chandler asks as I continue to glare at him.

“Well you know some families don’t talk to each other especially if each and every one of them is disfigured.” I snap back. Camilla is basically floating around roaring and banging against her floating cell in her white Grongula form.. With every bang she makes she gets electrocuted. I stopped trying to explain a while ago. Chandler stays quiet and Camilla collapses of too much static electricity contained in her body.

“Tell Cathy we had an hour walk.” I say and march off. I am off to observing Cathy. What type of mental test would she set up for me? She practically thinks I’m as dumb as a dodo. What to do? I ask myself. What to do? The first place I stop is Cathy’s office. Not literally inside though. That would be stupid and she’d think I cut the walk early by fifty five minutes (which I did) to spy on her. Which is the opposite of what I want her to think. I want her to believe that I am a sweet little innocent girl following orders. So, what do I do? I’ll need Linc’s help.

Wayland Middle School