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  • Women, Careers, Academia, and the Imposter Syndrome

    As humans, we constantly seek validation. But it should not be the sole reason for ambition By: Saskia Wodarczak Those who know me in real life are fully aware that I have always been very late to jump on the bandwagon – and I’m more than happy to admit it. Hey, at least I’m self-aware. That aside, I recently discovered podcasts. It took me a bit, but it’s safe to say I am fully on board the podcast train now – and I was listening to this one that was talking about women and imposter syndrome. I found it intriguing because I myself have experienced imposter syndrome multiple times in my nineteen years of living. If anything, it’s a constant. So, I did some of my own research. In short, imposter syndrome is not being able to believe that you have certain, unique capabilities and that your successes, in no matter what medium, are a result of your own hard work. Forbes did a really interesting story regarding the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit. They interviewed 750 executive women from top companies about their personal experiences in the workplace and possible imposter syndrome. The study found that “75 per cent of executive women identified having experienced imposter syndrome at various points during their careers – and 85 per cent believe it is commonly experienced by women across corporate America.” The feeling of imposter syndrome continuously appeared with promotions or new roles, and any other big, proud, transitional moments in their careers. It's not surprising that imposter syndrome is prevalent among women in the corporate world, but the numbers and stats in the article are really eye-opening. On a personal level, I’m just starting out in the world of careers and professions in this first semester of Co-op, so I don’t know a whole lot in regards to the corporate world, but I do know a lot about imposter syndrome in regards to academia. I thrive on academic validation. Yes, I usually take a full load of courses and overwork myself… I am an enigma. If you once were the, pleasure-to-have-in-class student, you’ll get it – once you hear that, you want to constantly remain on that little pedestal. That feeling followed me to university; that sense of unease and nonchalance about any accomplishments. If I get 80 per cent on an exam, I’ll think I could’ve done better. I have that personal standard to maintain. Even when I got accepted into all of the universities I’d applied to, I was indifferent about it… my parents were more excited about those acceptances than I was – I sort of just informed them, and moved on without a whole lot of excitement. I mean, I’d done what I’d needed to get to, and achieve, that point in my life, so what was worth celebrating? I did what I had to. End of story, time to move on. When I got into Co-op, I wasn’t fazed. As self-centred as this might seem, I’ve gotten used to quickly achieving what I pursue on an academic standpoint, so I don’t celebrate those wins anymore, simply because they’re normal and I know I worked hard to get it. I knew--and still know--that I work hard to get to where I am and to where I want. I will do anything to achieve the standards and goals I’ve set for myself. I tell myself that my hard work pays off, and that my accomplishments are not just sheer dumb luck – hence, I don’t celebrate them because I already expect the achieving outcome so hey, it’s not a big surprise right? Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes at Georgia State University, look at imposter syndrome in women very thoroughly in their paper. A lot of women graduate from postsecondary with incredible final examination scores but are certain that the scores are simply luck or misgrading on the part of the professor. Clance and Imes observed that a select group of women who struggle with imposter syndrome fall into one of two categories: those who have always been deemed as “sensitive,” compared to another designated, “intelligent,” person in their life, and the other group being those women that have always been praised and told that they are superior in every way, but as they grow up, realise that they cannot, in fact, do everything. Both of these groups seek validation but experience a lot of doubt. Hence, Clances and Imes saw that the imposter phenomenon can be rooted in early familial life and high expectations. They go on to discuss charm, perceptiveness, and the stereotype that that is for women in the workplace who win approval of a male superior. Women put their hearts and soul into their work, taking every opportunity to showcase their equality to convince others that they are worthy and not a “phoney,” in their workplace – that they work hard for what benefits they get. It’s crazy how prevalent imposter syndrome is in our lives, especially as women (yes, I’m biased). From a young age, a lot is expected of us, and those expectations mould us. No matter what we’re told, some part of it will always stick with us. As humans, we constantly seek validation and when we don’t see it, we think that it’s on us. Validation should not be the sole reason for ambition, and one should not feel that achievements are rooted in sheer dumb luck. You worked hard to get to where you are, and you deserve to feel accomplished and validated through your achievements, and the work you put in to get there.

  • The Resurgence of Indigenous Fashion Through Decolonial Love

    By: Stephanie Davoli Justine Woods on reclaiming her Aabitaawikwe identity through her relationship with land, life and love For many Indigenous artists, it’s nearly impossible to create — and to simply live — authentically and truthfully without acknowledging the realities of colonization. This is the case for Justine Woods, an Aabitaawikwe designer, garment artist, and creative scholar. Woods is a 2018 fashion design graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) and has a master’s degree in interdisciplinary art, media and design from OCAD University. She is presently back at TMU where she’s a PhD candidate in media and design innovation with a focus on Indigenous fashion practices. As a member of the Georgian Bay Métis community, and someone with a strong passion for art and design, Woods has spent countless hours examining the connection between her adoration for fashion and her Indigenous roots. A Love for Her Homeland “My work and research is entirely informed by how I move and live around the world with respect to my Indigeneity,” said Woods. “Spirituality, a relationship to the land that I come from and stories are essentially what inspires my work.” This worldview influenced Woods’ 2021 thesis exhibition for her master’s degree. For this collection, Woods created several garment and beadwork constructed pieces that centred around the “praxis of decolonial love.” “I wanted to look at relationships of love that exist between my body and the land, my body and non-human nations (like plants and animals), as well as the practices I was engaging in through the making, designing and wearing of these garments.” The creation of the collection involved countless hours of research, pattern drafting, stitching and sewing, as well as deep introspection into why she was creating each garment. “Everything was connected in relationship to one another to support my body as an Indigenous person, as I was engaging in cultural practices, in relation to the land where I come from,” shared Woods. “Every choice that I made in the design process was intentional and had a function.” The functionality element Woods describes can be seen in the ice fishing bib pants from her collection (pictured below). This piece in particular reminded Woods of fishing trips with her father and the love she has for her homeland. Sustainability and Spirituality The garment, sewn in double-faced wool and vegetable tanned deer hide, while lined with seed beads, also emphasizes Woods’ commitment to sustainable fashion design. “The majority of the materials I prefer to use in my work are land based. A lot of my pieces feature rawhide, deer skin, moose hide…,” said Woods. “Supporting the economic resurgence of other creators is also very important to me, which is why I always try to support Indigenous, independent bead sellers.” Sustainable garment creation is a natural practice for many Indigenous designers, according to a CBC article from last summer. Many scholars also point to Indigenous sustainable design practices as a guiding light for the future to combat the ever-worsening climate crisis. “The importance of connections to our land, and thinking about our impact, those values really inspire a different relationship and meaning with fashion,” said Taylor Brydges, a PhD in Canadian fashion and a current post-doctoral student at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Building Community Through Beading Circles Woods continues to share her Aabitaawikwe culture with others through the weekly beading circle gatherings she created at TMU in the beginning of 2019. Despite switching to a virtual experience due to the pandemic, the circle has only grown in popularity and has recently secured a partnership with Indigenous-owned company, Manitobah Mukluks. Through the 1867 Indian Act, many Indigenous gatherings, including beading circles, were banned in Canada until 1951. Today, beading circles are a celebration of the resistance of Indigenous Peoples. “Beading circles are an act of resurgence,” said Woods. “It’s a space where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous folks can form reciprocal, respectful relationships that contribute towards anti-colonial futures.” In addition to her design work, Woods is expanding her career into teaching. She is currently a graduate assistant and contract lecturer at TMU where she is creating an entirely new course that opens in the Winter 2022 semester titled “Indigenous Craft Practices”. Despite her many jobs, spreading the word of decolonization through the promotion of Indigenous love and values remains at the forefront of all Woods’ endeavours. She hopes that her work will one day help future generations have an easier time connecting and relating to their Indigeneity. “What makes Indigenous fashion so powerful is that it’s a visual stance that we’re still here and our culture is still flourishing even though, you know, they tried,” says Woods with a laugh. “Going forward it’s just that — continuing to piece together teachings, knowledge, and continuing to refuse.” This piece was published in New Wave's Spring 2022 Issue

  • Your 2022 Holiday movie guide

    Grab the hot chocolate, popcorn and get cozy! By: Logan Donoghue Looking for the perfect holiday movie this year? In my household, picking a movie has to be one of the most stressful conversations ever. Sometimes we even take too long to decide and everyone is ready to go to bed before a movie is picked. So trust me, I know how hard this seemingly easy task can be. That’s why I don’t want anyone to struggle while choosing a festive film to watch this holiday season. On that note, here is a list of some of my favourite classic holiday movies and a few new releases that might also be worth a watch (figures crossed!). I hope this list provides you with a new set of movies to check out this holiday season and adds to the usual Santa Clause and Home Alone binges! 1. Four Christmases Starting off strong with a holiday classic. Four Christmases, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, follows a happy couple who have successfully avoided their families on Christmas for years until a snowstorm deters their plans for a holiday getaway. Now that their families know they are home for Christmas, the couple needs to split up their day into four Christmases, attending each chaotic household until midnight. Four Christmases is the perfect mix of romance and comedy, as Vaughn and Witherspoon are quite the dynamic duo, but it’s also known to pull at your heartstrings. This has always been a go-to holiday flick in my house and has never let me down. This is the perfect watch for when you’re curled up in your bed with popcorn or on the couch with your whole family. 2. The Holiday If you’ve never seen The Holiday, stop whatever you’re doing and put it on right now (but maybe finish reading this article first). This is a must-see holiday movie, perfect for those of you who want to laugh and cry at the same time. Packed with a great cast including Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black, this ensemble truly puts on a show to create the best holiday movie. Having been released in 2006, this movie is still such a classic as it follows two women who swap houses during the holiday season. The typical big-city girl goes to a small suburban town and vice versa. The question is, do they find love? How do their Christmases go? Was this a good decision, or the absolute worst? This is another movie that will absolutely pull on your heartstrings, but should be the top watch of the season. This is the perfect movie to watch with loved ones or curled up in your bed. Every minute of this film is enjoyable, and the star-studded cast carries the movie so well. 3. A Bad Moms Christmas Okay, I’m switching it up a bit here and steering you away from the tear-jerkers. A Bad Moms Christmas has to be one of the most underrated holiday comedy movies ever. This movie starts and finishes in the most chaotic, yet heartwarming way. Mila Kunis, Katherine Hahn, and Kristen Bell have yet to let us down on the big screen, so why would they start now? A Bad Moms Christmas is exactly as it sounds. This movie follows three mothers trying to resist holiday stereotypes as they attempt to make Christmas a stress-free holiday, since, especially in their experiences as busy moms, trying to shop, cook, and bake, all while creating joy is never an easy task. This year, they decide to make Christmas simple by avoiding the uptight ways of the usual Christmas holidays. It's a hilarious movie full of famous actors you’re sure to recognize. However, despite the funny nature of this movie, I would refrain from watching it with your family and maybe saving this for a night with friends. Some scenes in this movie might make for an awkward experience while cozying up with the whole family. Do not subject your younger siblings to this movie; ensure you watch for those ratings before pressing play. That being said, this is the perfect movie for a night with friends with some popcorn and drinks. 4. Krampus Now some of you may love the Christmas spirit but are looking for a film with a little more of a jump to it. If that’s the case, maybe this horror, fantasy movie is at the top of your list. Starring David Koechner and Toni Collette, Krampus is every child's worst mythical nightmare. In the film, Krampus is a mythical creature whose sole purpose is to punish children during Christmas. Due to family issues, one of the movie’s main characters, a young boy named Max, loses his holiday spirit and winds up unleashing the mythical creature. This horrifying experience put Max’s family’s trust and love to the test as they worked together to defeat this horrific beast. Krampus is sure to cause some startles but also offers viewers a warm sense of family — at least at some point in the movie — that will still have you feeling the Christmas spirit. But watch out because, if your spirit wavers, you might meet Krampus this season, and, personally, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone with the way this movie plays out. 5. Bad Santa Now maybe you’re feeling the type of movie that’s in between romantic and horrifying but can still get you into the Christmas spirit. Throwing it back to 2003, Bad Santa is an action movie starring Billy Bob Thornton, Lauren Graham and Tony Cox. This action-packed movie takes a darkly comedic twist, as two friends meet each year around Christmas for a holiday con. These two friends, Willie and Marcus, dress up as a mall Santa and Elf in order to rip off stores on Christmas Eve. However, they face some additional challenges this year as Willie’s depression and alcoholism cause him to act out, drawing the attention of mall security and possibly breaking up their plans. Having always struggled with the Christmas spirit, a young boy disrupts Willie's plans as they work together to teach each other different aspects of life through their personal experiences. This might just be the perfect movie for those of you who prefer a dark comedy without neglecting your own holiday spirit. Considering the actions and language of this movie, be cautious of the age rating and vulgar themes throughout the film before deciding to watch this movie. 6. How The Grinch Stole Christmas This classic family Christmas movie is a must-watch for everyone. If you’ve already seen this movie when you were younger, a re-watch is necessary, and, when you do, keep an eye out for the very relatable language and actions of the Grinch. In my experience, the older you get, the more relatable the Grinch becomes. Be sure to select the original live-action telling of this film, starring Jim Carrey, Christine Baranski and Taylor Momsen, as it’s the best version, in my opinion. Follow along as the Grinch struggles with his holiday spirit while living on the outskirts of Whoville on top of a mountain with his dog, Max. As he fights any notion of Christmas, he even ruins the holiday for the seemingly-innocent people in Whoville — or so he thought. Joined by Max, the Grinch faces the reality of isolated living and is accepted by a young girl, Cindy Lou, who is persistent in pursuing a friendship with the Grinch and sharing her love of Christmas with him — while teaching him that his heart isn’t two sizes too small after all. Does the Grinch find love? Does everyone accept him? Or, does he remain atop his mountain forever? This is a must-watch with family and friends, especially on a cold, wintery night, curled up with some popcorn and a drink. Seriously though, I never realized how relatable the Grinch was, though I’m still unsure if this is a good thing or not.

  • Women, Life, Freedom

    Revolutions affect us all, even when we’re far away from home By: Lilia On the morning of Sept. 16, 2022, my life, and the lives of millions of Iranians, was changed forever. As I made my way through my morning routine mindlessly and unexpecting, I was suddenly met with an outroar on social media about the death of an Iranian woman — or rather, another death. The murder and brutal beatings of my people are not something I was unfamiliar with; in fact, ask any Iranian, and they’ll tell you about all the times their aunts, cousins, sisters, and mothers were detained and issued whippings, beatings, or “let off” with bankrupting tickets all for “indecency,” “immodesty,” or rather, for existing. That September morning, as I was making some breakfast, my father entered the room to tell me the daily news. He does this often, updating us on our homeland, so we can stay connected with current events and our family. After talking about the crippling economy, and the poverty-stricken public, he finally made his way to mentioning Mahsa Amini. I had already heard the news from social media, yet hearing it come from him solidified the situation for me. To us, this was not something new. It was heartbreaking, but no Iranian was shocked. As my eyes welled with tears, my father took my hand with a reassuring look, almost to say, “At least I got you out.” Social media outroar was still fairly local the first two days, mostly being shared amongst Iranians and the occasional foreigner. I never expected the media to care. Growing up, the media never paid attention to the cries of help from the Iranian people. I remember the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, another woman who was murdered by the Iranian police in 2009. Some outlets reported on it, yet the public forgot in less than a week. I never anticipated Mahsa’s death to be different. This has been our life for 43 years, I thought. Girls have been beheaded by their fathers and brothers, legally. Women have been whipped and beaten lawfully, and no one has batted an eye. The regime has allowed women to be the possession of their fathers and brothers for decades, and be punished for “indecency,” through whippings. These things are not only considered normal, but they are the law. The West has never cared. I believed that local attention would be the end of the discussion. That there would be a few protesters, met with bullets and blood, and that eventually, like always, the issue would be killed off, silenced for another three years until the next protest. I was wrong. Over the following weeks, the media took off in a way I never could have imagined. In a way no Iranian could have imagined. Iranians all over the world took to the streets of their resident countries to advocate for the voiceless stuck at home. They took advantage of their lawful right to protest to represent those protesting in Iran who were met with tear gas, plastic pellets, baton beatings, and whips. Iranians and non-Iranians joined forces, and demanded that the media pay attention and look in our direction after having been ignored for decades. On Sept. 25, I joined the likes of the incredible Iranians who were taking to the streets for Mahsa, and all of the women in Iran. As I drove past the protest looking for a place to park my car, I saw the eyes of my people hurting, looking for any glimpse of understanding, any glimmer of hope for the future of our nation. As I walked toward the protest, it began pouring. Not just drizzles of rain but a heavy, hard, downpour that mimicked the sorrow we all felt gathering to protest the death of another Iranian. People fled off of the blocked road into shelter from the bullet-sized drops falling from the sky. But groups soon walked into the rain without umbrellas, ponchos or shelter and stood under the freezing, weeping sky and chanted, “If our people can stand in front of bullets, we can stand under rain”. I stood there and witnessed my people run onto the road with bleeding ink from their signs dripping onto the wet road. I stood in the rain, hand in hand with these people I did not know, but people I fully understood. Our eyes wallowed with tears as we chanted, “We are all Mahsa.” I watched as women older than me and girls younger than me chanted and screamed and stared at each other with no words said but decades of stories exchanged. We all have stories where it could have been us, we mean it when we say we are all Mahsa. We have all been in her position, felt her fear and cried her tears, we were all just spared her fate. I vividly remember being fourteen and going to my first party ever in the busiest neighbourhood in Tehran. I was there with my best friends at the time, and it was the first time I felt that my life could be normal. I was wearing a dress. It covered my chest, but my arms and legs were showing. I wasn’t a woman, I was merely a girl. Yet when I heard voices shouting that the morality police were storming the party, it didn't matter that I was only a girl, or that I hadn't done anything wrong. All that mattered was that my arms and legs were showing and that my hijab was halfway across the room jumbled up with my manto (body covering) on a random chair that I could never get to in time. My then best friend shouted my name and hurdled the manto and hijab across the room as he told me to throw it on. He told me I was shaking and that everything will be okay. Everything was okay, for the most part. Everyone fled and we were let off easy with a warning. The police saw how young we were and realized that it would be easier to take the bribe our parents would offer in exchange for no punishments (whippings, beatings or fines) rather than taking us to the station. However, the fear that we felt that night is one every single Iranian knows. *** The protest ended and I headed home to do my new nightly ritual of stalking any and all Instagram pages that had updates on the protests that had now erupted across Iran. This was a ritual I, like many Iranians, had developed since the start of the protests. Most videos were gorey and unforgiving, and I couldn’t get myself to stop watching as my people sacrificed their lives chanting “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi” (Women, Life, Freedom). A few days before the protests, I was heading to school while texting my mother and best friend, just as I do every day, on Whatsapp — the app of the immigrants, or so we like to call it. Suddenly, as I’m telling my best friend a detailed story about my subway ride, my messages stopped delivering. Two checkmarks turned to one, and with that change my heart sank. I frantically left the chat to text my mother. Hoping it was a fluke, I texted my mom and waited for the second check mark to appear. Nothing. I left that chat and texted another friend, I sent the message and awaited a second check mark, a response, something. That night I got a phone call from my mom telling me that their internet had been shut down and that she’ll call me when she can. Again I wasn’t shocked, I doubt any Iranian was. By now, we know how the regime reacts. I lived in Iran during the 2019 internet ban, and played a lot of offline tetris that week. I knew my family would be fine as long as they stayed inside. Yet the bottomless pit of fear ate at me for days and days until I could hear from my family and friends again. I went six days without hearing from my best friend. Longer than we’ve gone in four years. My mother would call everynight to tell me that they’re all okay, but still I missed her and I missed the rest of my family and friends that I couldn’t reach. I spent those days on social media, looking for ways I could help them access the internet, or ways I could just know who’s safe and who isn’t. It was in those days I came across a mutual friend of mine known as @kymyatehrani on Instagram. What she was doing stuck out to me, she was making moves I wasn’t seeing anyone else my age making. Taking risks no one my age living abroad were willing to take. Her level of vocality quickly escalated into what I considered to be activism. Something that is beyond dangerous to do, especially if she planned on returning home. I decided that I needed to reach out, needed to talk to her — wasn’t she afraid? Did she think activism could help? I had so many questions and I was beyond desperate for answers so I began looking for them. Hearing from her made me realize just how important reaching out to each other is — hearing her stories, her experiences in Iran, hearing about her bravery and dedication to freeing our homeland. She shared her experiences protesting during the 2019-2020 protests in Iran, following the devastating plane crash that left 176 dead, after it was shot down by the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard). “It was two nights in a row, the first night was very deadly, they killed a lot of people. The second night they didn’t kill anyone, but that was the night the police had the gun pointing to me and my friend. I don't know if he felt mercy or what, but they let us go and later tear gassed us, which was very typical. They also lasered our eyes, and we lost our vision.” As I heard about the violence, my heart sank. To think someone my own age, that I can relate to so deeply, has been face to face with a police officer with a gun in his hand, ready to shoot, made me realize it truly is every Iranian who has seen this type of violence. We all really are Mahsa. After hearing this, I wondered what other stories I have never heard from my family and friends because there are far too many to count and way too many to retell. *** I decided to ask my dad about his experience in the 2009 protests, another brutal time in Iranian history. A time where we were met with the same batons and bullets that have also attacked us during this year’s protests, only last time, it was for the right to have our votes count. My father had gone out protesting, and I was merely five years old. “I was leaving work watching [and] the protests while stuck in traffic. I was stuck on a hill when I saw the secretary of my office leave the building and walk into the road. She was walking too far ahead for me to catch up to her, and I was stuck in between two cars. The roads were so busy and backed up there was nowhere to go, that's when I saw a police officer whip out his baton and start beating our secretary along with anyone else on the road. There was no way I could get to her in time” We have been beaten, bruised, killed and left for dead, stolen, kidnapped, whipped and raped at the hands of this regime for the past 44 years. Iranian people know this story all too well. Ask your Iranian neighbours, bakers, bankers and friends. We have been through protests time after time again, and year after year. And yet, this time, it’s been different. This time, we have the attention of the media, the West and the Iranian diaspora. Something we never, ever had before. “We’ve never really seen anything like this before, it's definitely owed to digital media, technology and the internet,” says @kymyatehrani. Social media has been used as a tool by Iranians and non-Iranians alike to spread the movement of Women, Life, Freedom, and has aided in holding the Islamic Republic accountable for their actions in a way that the Iranian people haven’t been able to do for the past 44 years. It is because of this that I have been able to find hope in this movement, hope in the eyes of the Iranian people and hope in a future that we never could have imagined years before. Iranian people have shown up for the rest of the world’s pain and injustices in times where they were able to, like the vigil held in Iran following the murder of George Floyd. That is why I encourage everyone to keep liking, sharing, retweeting and showing up. We are all Mahsa, which is why we all need to fight for not just Mahsa, but for every woman, man and child who has died at the hands of this regime. Women, Life, Freedom.

  • Growing Pains

    Why “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version)” is an Early Twenties Anthem By: Zoie Karagiannis On Taylor Swift’s 2021 re-recording of her album Red, she released many new songs “From the Vault” — which are a collection of songs written nearly a decade ago that did not make the original album’s cut. One vault track that easily became one of my favourites was “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” featuring Phoebe Bridgers, which spins a coming-of-age story that touches on the fear of change that occurs as we grow older. I was able to relate to it the first time I listened as a 20-year-old, and even more so one year later. They tell you while you're young "Girls, go out and have your fun" Then they hunt and slay the ones who actually do it Criticize the way you fly when you're soarin' through the sky Shoots you down and then they sigh, and say "She looks like she's been through it" While Taylor may have been referencing women in the music industry, these words ring true for most women. Growing up you quickly learn that women are held to certain standards and expectations, and as we explore our different interests, you will come across those who have an opinion that is both unwanted and unwarranted. Women’s bodies and physical appearance are scrutinized, and going out every night can be looked down on. Our expressions of sexuality become a debate —she dates around, so she’s a slut; she’s never kissed someone, so she’s a prude. As society continues to slowly tear us down as we grow older, it makes it harder to feel as if we can truly be our authentic selves without judgment. Lord, what will become of me Once I've lost my novelty? As women, we are taught that as we grow up we become less valuable. We are faced with the fear of aging and become scared of gaining wrinkles and gray hairs, when, in reality, these are all lovely parts of getting older. Beauty is timeless, but with social media in today’s impressionable age, it can be difficult to believe this. I've had too much to drink tonight And I know it's sad, but this is what I think about And I wake up in the middle of the night It's like I can feel time moving How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22? And will you still want me when I'm nothing new? At 18, I was in my last year of high school, and at the time, the world I was in felt so much easier to navigate. It was as if all I had to worry about were the small confines of the classroom walls and hallways. I felt so in tune with myself, and understood what was meant to happen and what would come. I saw the path laid out before me and felt confident in its direction. I think a part of it was my environment. At 18, I had already established a routine after four years in the same school and was able to pave my own way. Everything in my future felt new and exciting — there would be prom, graduation, and then university would begin and that would be a great, otherwise untouched, adventure. And yet, leaving it behind and transitioning into an entirely different era of my life was a big adjustment. With it came more responsibilities and opportunities; everything became much greater, and my universe opened up. How long will it be cute All this crying in my room Whеn you can't blame it on my youth And roll your eyes with affеction? This part is something I truly resonate with, as I often wish to be back in the days when my breakdowns were perceived as endearing, and when it seemed adorable to be crying over my upcoming math test (or even an episode of Grey’s Anatomy). It is not that my issues were less important back then, but the way I handled them was more acceptable. I know I can no longer throw a tantrum when something doesn’t go my way like I did as a toddler. Any tears now dedicated to a sorrow of mine feels childish, like I should act more “grown up” by now. Yet I can’t shake off the feeling that I’m still 17, and I’ve been putting on an act up until present. And my cheeks are growing tired From turning red and faking smiles Are we only biding time 'til I lose your attention? And someone else lights up the room? People love an ingénue While Taylor sings about the anxieties of romance and wanting to keep someone’s attention, I view this from a different lens, as I have been so blessed to find a beautiful love. To me, these lines are about establishing new relationships platonically — whether at work, at school, or with strangers-turned-friends. When you present yourself to someone new for the first time, you try to display only your best features, and this can be exhausting. As people we are not meant to be perfect, so why do we constantly try to put up a front? I've had (I've had) too much to drink tonight But I wonder if they'll miss me once they drive me out I wake up (wake up) in the middle of the night And I can feel time moving How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22? As I’ve entered my twenties, I’m now faced with a lot of questions about how I want my life to look, and where I’d like it to go. Growing up can be terrifying. I think back longingly to simpler times, when I’d run barefoot on the grass through sprinklers with my cousins, or beg my parents to let me have a treat from the ice cream truck humming down my street. As I’ve gotten older, “simpler times” even include the period when I was 18, running to Tim Hortons with my friends during our lunch breaks and FaceTiming every day after school, when I wasn’t as busy and plans didn’t get in the way of the endless hour-long conversations I now missed. As I’m nearly 22 now, it does feel miraculous that at 18 I felt like I knew so much more about life — and about myself — than I do today. High school me understood her next moves, but at 21, I find myself questioning each and every step I take. Society lays out all these expectations for you as a young woman — what you should be doing, what you should look like, where you should be at this point in your life. As I find myself closer to graduating university, everything has become so much more real. Suddenly I must think about my career, my lifestyle choices, and everything in between. I feel lost in a sea of impending decisions, and I feel the weight of all my future selves on my shoulders. I know someday I'm gonna meet her, it's a fever dream The kind of radiance you only have at 17 She'll know the way, and then she'll say she got the map from me I'll say I'm happy for her, then I'll cry myself to sleep Oh, whoa, whoa Oh, whoa, whoa, oh, whoa, oh This is often believed to be another reference to the music industry, and how Taylor predicts she will one day meet another young female artist who is in the same position that she was once in, and how she will do her best to protect her. While she will be glad to do this, she can’t help but wish that someone was there to be her mentor. I personally love the line, “The kind of radiance you only have at 17,” because for me, 17 was such a sacred and special year. I was finally breaking out of my shell, and brimming with a newfound confidence that allowed me to grow so much as a young girl. I was so untouched by the realities of the world — and truthfully, rather naive and carefree. At 17 I truly was radiant because I had yet to be weathered down by unpleasant experiences, or uncomfortable moments in life that were hard to get through, despite these helping shape me into who I am now. There is an innocent sparkle I carried at that age, and when I see it reflected on other young girls today, I can’t help but hope they are able to hold onto it for as long as they possibly can. I try to pass on the knowledge I have accumulated in the few years that have passed since then, because so much can happen in so little time. This must be what it's like for older women who are seeing me at 21. They remember that time in their lives where they also felt lost, confused, and unsure of their futures, and smile wistfully because they wish they could relive it too; those years where the world is your canvas and so many possibilities laid ahead of you to explore. I have no solid image of where life will take me — only scrapes and hints of ideas and hopeful fantasies. We never stop growing up, and I think that is the beauty of “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version).” At any age we will find ourselves relating to it, and be able to acknowledge our growth and appreciate what we have learned. We are constantly rediscovering ourselves, and therefore, forever made anew. I've had (I've had) too much to drink tonight But I wonder if they'll miss me once they drive me out I wake up (wake up) in the middle of the night And I can feel time moving How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22? And will you still want me Will you still want me Will you still want me When I'm nothing new? While it is true that this is the youngest we'll ever be, that shouldn’t make the future versions of ourselves any less remarkable or desirable. With each new experience and memory we acquire as we get further into this extraordinary thing we call life, it molds us into the person we’ve become today. 21-year-old me could not exist without 17-year-old me; our radiance is still deep within us all, no matter how deeply buried we may think it is.

  • Top 6 Movies/TV Shows to Watch on a Cold Fall Day

    By: Ally Parent 1) The Harry Potter Series This classic book to movie adaptation is the perfect fall movie marathon to watch curled up the couch with a warm cup of hot chocolate. Everyone loves a well done book adaption and no one does it better than Harry Potter. Buckle in to watch the stories you’ve loved reading so much become your favourite movie series! The magical themes and relatable characters makes it a perfect fall movie binge night with your loved ones and friends! This comforting series is the basis for many people’s childhoods so dive in and take a trip down memory lane in the magical world of Harry Potter. 2) Dead Poets Society Now this 80’s classic is the one to watch on a chilly fall day with its intricate plot and compelling characters who you instantly root for. Dead Poets Society perfectly describes what it’s like learning the hardships of life at a young age, and that one person can make a world of a difference no matter how insignificant it seems. While this movie can stir up emotions and make you reach for the Kleenex box, this is the perfect coming of age movie to watch in the fall season. Every movie night has a mandatory sad movie that you love regardless, so make Dead Poets Society your next go to fall sad movie. 3) Twilight Where the hell have you been Loca? And why aren’t you watching Twilight? Forks, Washington is arguably one of the coziest, most picturesque places to be, especially in fall, why not take a quick visit while watching Twilight? Why not combine a teen love story with sparkly vampires? So when in doubt go back to this iconic early 2000’s supernatural romance! This vampire love story is the one of the best fall feel good movies with its adorable troupes and supernatural themes, so dive into scenic Forks and follow Bella and Edward on their epic star-crossed lovers romance. 4) The Princess Bride Now I don’t know about you, but nothing brings me back to my childhood more than this fairytale-esc themed movie with its whimsical storytelling and loveable characters. It really is the movie to watch. Something about a good fairytale themed movie just screams FALL! The Princess Bride has got all the goods. Great plot? Check! Amazing love story? Check! Cool action scenes? Check! Check! Check! When in doubt go with a classic! So if you’re ever in need of a good 80’s movie to watch, then the Princess Bride should be your go to. 5) Gilmore Girls Now I think everyone can unanimously agree that the fall season is Gilmore Girls season. Gilmore Girls is the best feel good show ever that hits all the best tropes. Who doesn’t love some good old-fashioned mother-daughter bonding with some teen drama thrown in? So turn on your Netflix and settle in with a blanket to watch the lives of Rory and Lorelai Gilmore in their quaint little town Stars Hollow that is the perfect fall TV show binge. What screams coming of age, corny teenage love and fall vibes more than Gilmore Girls? 6) Stuck in Love Stuck in Love is one of the best romcoms ever; multiple ships, amazing writing, and great casting is what makes this movie one of the best fall movie choices. This feel good movie screams fall to me with a writer themed plot and family-oriented characters. You can’t go wrong with a good romcom and this one will hit you right in your feels. So follow along with the Borgens family and watch how they continually fall in and out of love over and over, and how they try to stay together as a family through it all.

  • Paris Hilton and “The Nice Guys”

    By Kristyn Landry Emerald Fennell’s colourful film, Promising Young Woman, is not your typical feminist thriller. CW: "Promising Young Woman" contains harsh depictions of sexual assault, some of which are discussed in this review. Carey Mulligan’s character, Cassandra Thomas, is nearly unconscious as Neil, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, slides his hand between her legs and tells her, “You don’t wanna go home.” The film is Promising Young Woman, directed by Emerald Fennell. This is one of many scenes throughout the movie that brings discomfort and fury, but despite Cassie’s seemingly dazed state, she’s most definitely in control. Every week, Cassie goes out to a club pretending to be “too drunk to stand,” and waits for the inevitable “nice guys” to come and see if she’s okay, bring her home, and attempt to further intoxicate and sleep with her. It’s then that she ennacts her revenge, with a level-headed stare and their realization that she knew what they were doing all along. It had always been the dream of Cassie and her best friend, Nina, to become doctors. Yet now in her thirties and working at “a shitty coffee shop,” Cassie seeks revenge, not only on the many “nice guys” of the world, but also on those involved in an incident that occured in medical school, one that has haunted her days since. Following my first watch, I demanded that every single person I knew join me in my pain. It is not the only feminist-driven film to tackle issues of sexual assault, but it sets itself apart in its appealing aesthetic and stomach-twisting circumstances — horror wrapped in Cassie’s pastel dresses and colourful nail polish. Released at the end of 2020, it did not quite receive the traction it deserved. However, this film is truly special as it showed what can be done when corners aren’t cut and rape culture is recognized for what it is. *** Sometimes you watch a romance film and know that the guy who serendipitously bumps into the main character will fall in love with her. Other times you watch an action movie and know that it will end with the bad guy in handcuffs. This doesn’t happen in Promising Young Woman. Rather, Fennell continuously subverts the expectations of the audience by blinding us to the darker pretenses just before we are upon them — showing us what we want to see before revealing the truth to us. For a thriller, doom and gloom is far from the aesthetic. Instead, Cassie favours a very soft, bright wardrobe: pinks, reds, light blues, floral dresses, braids and bows. The setting itself is very sugar-coated as well, whether it’s the overtly pink of her parents’ home or a decoratively dreamy coffee shop. Everything about this film reflects your favourite rom-com — except when it doesn’t. The soundtrack consists of the DROELOE remix of Boys by Charlie XCX, a violin rendition of Britney Spears’ Toxic by Anthony Willis, the ever-powerful ballad, Angel of the Morning by Juice Newton, and probably the most 2000s pop song ever, Stars Are Blind by Paris Hilton. What this in turn does is manipulate our feelings and expectations as we’re watching the film. When we’re listening to “Boys,” with its upbeat tone and lyrics, we’re thrown off by the grinding hips of businessmen in the club, and not the ever-common montage of dancing young women. The Stars Are Blind scene takes an especially sharp turn into romance city, with Cassie and Ryan, played by Bo Burnham, dancing and singing in the middle of a pharmacy. Scenes like this are pleasant, fun and only bring us more shock when we’re ripped away and thrown back into the thriller Fennell had promised. The chosen casting is no exception to this theme. The film includes many well-known comedy stars: Adam Brody, Sam Richardson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Max Greenfield and other actors whose familiarity will initially fill audiences with a sense of comfort when seeing them on screen, whether your go-to watch is Superbad or New Girl. Our expectations, once again, unexpectedly work against us, as Fennell brings to screen the real world “nice guys,” only making the true nature of their character all the more appalling. This shows the audience not to trust in their expectations and that even in pleasing environments, with humorous interactions and a pastelled wardrobe, the danger is only charaded — not absent altogether. *** Promising Young Woman was not some big campaign for Fennell to exclusively hate on men and their part in violence against women. While much of Cassie’s revenge does centre on male perpetrators, the women in her life are also not safe from the retribution she seeks. “When you get that drunk, things happen. Don’t get blackout drunk all the time, and then expect people to be on your side when you have sex with someone you don’t want to,” says Madison, played by Alison Brie, while she and Cassie are out for lunch. Though this invitation from Cassie seemed like a light-hearted opportunity to catch up, it is quickly used to put Madison in the hot seat and confront her for not believing a classmate who came to her after being raped. Brie’s performance is chilling, perfectly capturing a superficial friend who may not have committed the assault herself, but was a bystander all the same. Cassie also takes the time to confront Dean Walker, the dean of her old college, a woman who didn’t work hard enough to convict a rapist after the victim went to her for help. Here’s an excerpt of their conversation: Dean Walker: “It’s so hard, but you know also if she was drinking, and maybe couldn’t remember everything…” Cassie: “So she shouldn’t have been drunk?” Dean Walker: “I’m not saying that, I —” Cassie: “Sorry, I don’t mean to sound critical, Dean Walker, I just want to be clear.” Dean Walker: “None of us want to admit when we’ve made ourselves vulnerable, when we’ve made a bad choice. And those choices, those mistakes can be so damaging. And really regrettable.” Cassie: “Regrettable?” Dean Walker: “Yes, I mean because what would you have me do? Ruin a young man’s life every time we get an accusation like this?” Addressing female bystanders’ role in rape culture seems criminally unique. Not only does Promising Young Woman recognize bystanders and other involved individuals apart from the rapist, but it also points a finger to the women who look the other way, surely giving the “women do no wrong” believers a rude awakening. *** Promising Young Woman is colourful, quirky, sweet — yet also heartbreaking, uncomfortable and rage-inducing at times. Escapist Movies, a YouTube channel dedicated to film reviews and analysis, describes it well: “Promising Young Woman is not a rape-revenge story…Promising Young Woman is a tragedy.” It is not the empowering tale of a woman seeking revenge on those who deserve it (though seeing her get retribution is very satisfying), but one of a woman facing grief, trauma and seemingly punishing herself for being unable to prevent it all. It is full of so much more than I can discuss in this non-spoiler reflection, and so incredibly worth the watch. Fennell never once promises a happy ending. She jerks her audience back and forth between laughter and heartache, enjoyment and disgust, like a dog with a new chew toy. She holds a pastel-tinted lens to today’s rape culture and still exploits it for what it harbours: the too-often ignored violence against women, the too-often disregarded claims and the too-often promising young men that are let off just for that fact.

  • 5 Movies to Watch this Spooky Season

    Not feeling the spooky season spirit yet? Here are 5 iconic films to get you ready for Halloween! By: Lynette George A couple of cute and spooky jack-o'-lanterns on a table outdoors (photo credit: Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash) Halloween is right around the corner, and there’s nothing I love more than counting down the days by watching some scary, freaky, funny movies. With midterm season looming over us, it’s normal to feel uninspired. So, to help you get in the Halloween spirit, I’ve listed my top 5 horror movies that are perfect for spooky season. Whether you’re here for the tricks or the treats, this list has something for everyone! 1. GET OUT Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, LaKeith Lee Stanfield With unexpected plot twists and phenomenal acting, Get Out has everything you would want in a horror film. It’s a hair-raising psychological thriller that will leave you spooked for days. Along with it’s uncanny likeness to real life, the film is filled with brilliant and unexpected social commentary that makes it deeply nuanced. At the top of my list, Get Out is both well-crafted and frightening, making it the movie to watch this spooky season. 2. SCREAM Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich If you’re looking for a more relaxed Halloween Monday, this film is for you. With it’s blend of 90’s humor and perfectly-timed jump scares, Scream gives you the best of both worlds. While it might make you feel unimaginably nostalgic, you’ll definitely be checking the locks on your door after the movie is finished. It’s the type of film that can make you laugh uncontrollably and scream in fear, but even so, everyone should watch Scream at least once in their life. 3. THE ADDAMS FAMILY Starring: Christina Ricci, Angelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd The Addams Family has something for everyone. With Wednesday’s cold sass, Pugsley’s bloody hijinx and the burning romance between Gomez and Morticia, this film is a perfectly-balanced Halloween classic. The 1991 version is a known favourite, but the 2019 animated version is also a great pick. And if you’re looking for a more modern adaptation, you can soon binge the new Netflix series Wednesday that releases on November 23rd! 4. US Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss If you love sleepless nights and being freaked out by your own reflection, I would highly recommend watching Us. Following a family of creepy and murderous doppelgängers, this psychological horror film is yet another Jordan Peele triumph. Its amazing writing, directing and acting makes the film perfectly unhinged and suspenseful. Personally, it left me a little too spooked (I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it again). But if that’s what you’re looking for this Halloween season, this is the pick for you! 5. THE CONJURING Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Sterling Jerins, Joey King What sort of movie connoisseur would I be if I didn’t include this? The Conjuring is more than a Halloween movie – it’s a cultural phenomenon and a cult classic. It has everything you want in a traditional horror film, including a haunted house, jump scares, ghosts and an exorcism or two. Also, if you end up loving the first movie, there’s The Conjuring 2 and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It that you can binge right after. If you haven’t watched this series already, you’re seriously missing out.

  • My Revenge Body Has Stretch Marks

    Revenge is a dish best served with spicy peanut noodles— and it tastes like a lot of self-love By Asha Swann TW: This story contains mentions of diet culture and body image. Body hair is the ever-present reminder that humans did not rise into existence through a glass condo elevator. I often find myself wondering if the early homosapien species roaming the Earth six million years ago bullied other apes because their body hair stuck out wrong. When I was 12, I learned that girls were “supposed to shave” for the first time. A middle school gym class is a cruel place to be when you didn’t even know they made razors for women. As the only girl with bushy legs, I couldn’t help but wonder, at what point did everyone get the memo? Why and how was I somehow left out? I had never seen a woman with hairless legs before. A pool party that summer taught me that yes, it must be kind of freaky how my mom was the only one with hair under her arms and on her legs. Varicose veins? Cellulite and stretch marks? How was it possible that my mother was the only parent at the pool that day who didn’t care? My mom’s body positivity was not an active one. She was not making a feminist statement, burning her bra, standing atop my middle school playground like the modern-day equivalent of Liberty Leading the People. When I asked why she never shaved, she plainly told me, “I just don’t want to,” as if I had asked her to name groceries rather than save me from middle school humiliation. When I begged her to buy me a razor, she said “You just don’t need one.” That was the summer I stole a men’s razor from the dollar store. I did not have the courage to use it until September. It took me years to become grateful for this act of passive rebellion. When I finally learned to hate my body, it was because no one else’s mom was like mine. The days I wished my thighs wouldn’t touch are the moments I regret the most. There are too many girls like me, who quit swimming lessons because they would rather vomit than be allowed to take up space in the world. The summer I quit swim lessons was when I learned that my thighs will ruin every pair of jean shorts. A friend told me when we were sitting at the beach that she’s taking Ex-Lax basically four times a week to get a thigh gap by August. Triangle bikinis were all the rage that summer, and anyone willing to drop $125 on a bikini knew they didn’t come in size fat (AKA pants size 6). I asked her what Ex-Lax was. She said it’s like a cleanse. Her mom always keeps it around. The diet aisle in the drugstore is deceptive. Skinny blonde women holding up XXL pants with bewilderment, how could one woman look so small so fast? I walked down the rows of supplements in secret. There were too many options that a teenager should never have to think about. I had an hour to kill before I would be expected home from swimming lessons. But I frequently ran out of time and left the store empty handed. If you see a teenage girl pacing up and down the diet aisle of a Walmart and see her approach your cash register with a single bottle of Slimfast, you don’t have to let her buy it. Maybe she’ll read the warning label and get too scared to take it, keeping it in a dark corner of her closet until the inevitable stench of expired milk reeks in the August heat. Maybe she’ll drink the whole bottle on the bus home. I had two worst nightmares in high school: the first was gaining weight. The second was being flat-chested forever. No moment was more humiliating than asking my mom to sew straps onto a strapless dress, and yet I still wondered how many calories were in toothpaste. How do we know when diet culture has gone too far? Is it when teenage girls compete to lose weight? Are we going too far by telling girls that they should wear corsets at the gym? Is it when a girl starves herself for five days to fit into a dress on a Friday night? I wasn’t surprised to see Khloe Kardashian hosting a new show called Revenge Body. Even if you’ve never kept up with the Kardashians, you’ll likely still know the horrific jokes she’s often subject to through the internet, or worse, her sisters. Somehow, everyone in the world is convinced she is the fat, ugly sister. Funnily enough, the joke is on all of you; she’s about to get revenge on her haters, her toxic exes, her internet critics, just by getting skinny. Is it really an act of revenge if someone is getting exactly what they want? I take revenge on my teenage self by eating a bagel with extra jam. I take revenge on the multi-billion dollar diet industry by actually enjoying my time at the gym. Revenge is a dish best served with spicy peanut noodles. Body shame has turned into body ambivalence. I don’t have to love my dark red stretch marks, but I can be okay with the fact that they show I have grown. My skin has stretched beyond that of a prepubescent girl at the pool because I’m 24. I’m entitled to growth. I’m required to exist more than I used to because I want to. I’m proud to be more like my mother every day. I spent the last two summers with hairy legs and forgot to notice a single stare. Tigers don’t earn their stripes: they are born with the markings unique to them, just like a fingerprint. Just like a stretch mark, no two tigers have the exact same lines. Then again, when women spend millions to hate themselves into a hairless, wrinkleless body, maybe it’s worth celebrating the rejections. Maybe shrugging off the idea that our stretch marks should be covered is more meaningful than pretending to love them. This piece was published in New Wave's Spring 2022 Issue

  • Swingin’ into the future

    How this Calgary-born jazz artist is making her mark on the timeless genre (spoiler: it includes TikTok) By Sara Romano The first time Caity Gyorgy took the stage was at her elementary school talent show. In front of an audience of her peers and parents, she crooned a Joni Mitchell song—perfectly in tune, which is something she remembers as being the only real indicator of a good singer when you’re a kid. When the song was over, one of the parents seated in the audience turned to Gyorgy’s mom and expressed her surprise that she could sing like that. “I didn’t either,” said her mom. Gyorgy’s musical intrigue slowly snowballed after her debut performance, churning from singing lessons (her repertoire showcased an affinity for Lady Gaga’s Poker Face) to joining every vocal ensemble in high school to falling head over heels for jazz. “The switch that flipped was hearing improvisation from a singer and thinking, ‘Well, saxophones and trumpets do this, but so can voice,” she says. “There’s no limit to that.” Gyorgy, 23, is bringing the best qualities of old jazz into the present, reinvigorating the genre with her witty lyrics and connecting with fans in innovative ways. To celebrate the release of her song Postage Due last year, the Montréal-based singer sent handwritten notes to anyone who pre-saved the song. She has also grown her TikTok to over 1.4 million likes, a fanbase that she attributes to her invitation to “join [her] on this journey of music.” Last month, she was nominated for a Juno award for her first album, No Bound. To learn more about her achievements, New Wave sat down with Gyorgy to talk about old movies, sexism in the industry and how she’s bringing the Great American Songbook into the present. What are your childhood memories of music? I think I've just always sort of had this affinity for music, and just a love and a passion for it. Some of my earliest memories are of listening to people like Willie Nelson—definitely not jazz artists. I distinctly remember the song London Bridge by Fergie coming on the car, and absolutely loving it. I could always sing the melody, and I would just go around and mess around and see what I could play and figure out what the notes were based on what I was hearing in my head. My dad showed me a lot [of music]. He showed me the Eagles and Emmylou Harris, a lot of country stuff. I was very fortunate to have had music around growing up. I talked to some of my friends who went to jazz school, and some of their parents would play them jazz records from a young age. And I didn't have that. But I'm grateful for the upbringing that I did have and the loads of music that was a part of it. Do you think listening to those different styles of music in your childhood inadvertently shaped the way that you approach music now? I always wonder about that, because my dad was always playing really great songwriters like Willie Nelson and Leonard Cohen, and all these different people that were just incredible songwriters. And so I grew up really loving these songs. I consider myself a songwriter now, and I'm such a huge fan of writing lyrics and making sure that lyrics are interesting and captivating. But still, you know, there's a little bit of humor in them. I think my love for those songs that my dad played me growing up has influenced my taste in music going forward. You know, there's all these jazz standards that have incredible lyrics that are so cheeky and so clever. I think my love for those lyrics has influenced my writing, and so I think that definitely began at a young age based on what I was hearing. How would you describe your style of music? I am obsessed with Bebop. I would say that my style is sort of like Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra, like the timeless singers of the 40s and 50s and 60s, mixed with more modern sounds. My style is very much inspired by the straight ahead, swing era, but I am still very much a 90s baby. And I do love my avocado toast. What’s it like being a modern-day jazz singer? Being a jazz singer today, I think it's an interesting balance of respecting what came before you while also carving a way for yourself to go into the future, because so much of the music and so much of a jazz singer's repertoire is the Great American Songbook. That's such a huge part of the music is to sing the same songs, but interpret them in your own way. So I think modern day jazz singers are still using those elements of the Great American Songbook of the 40s and 50s and making them our own. When you’re writing music, do you think about how you might be a part of a variation of the Great American Songbook one day? When I write, I write for myself, and I write in a way that I think is true to myself while also being true to my genre. And the genre has captivated me, like I'm completely in my element. When I'm singing and writing this music, I don't think I could really write a pop song. To be honest, I could write a pop song from the 40s, but not from 2022. I don't really think of it as a challenge; I find it challenging to make things modern, because I love using language that is from past eras. What I'll do is I'll watch old movies, and I'll write down phrases that I think are kind of interesting. I'll try to use those in a song to make things you know, seem like they could have been written in the 50s or the 40s. I just hope that when I write, I'm writing to last and that the songs are timeless no matter what genre they're in. What was the jazz scene in Toronto like before the pandemic and how did the pandemic affect your work? Oh my god, it was amazing. I was exhausted, but it was fun. It was like a good exhaustion where you're like, ‘Okay, well, this is exactly what I want to do.’ Performing for people live is just one of the most rewarding things, especially when they connect with you and your lyricism. Like there's nothing more rewarding than looking into the audience and seeing that you have people in the palm of your hand and the way that you're phrasing and telling the stories is touching them. I really miss being able to do that on a regular basis. I guess the biggest part was how live performance just got taken away. Jamming was really difficult; I felt so out of practice. When I finally did get to play with people again, it was really really challenging. The music that I sing is such a social music, like there's a whole scene around jam sessions and going up to play with new people and meeting new people on the bandstand and playing with different people. That whole element of the music, which is such an important part of the music and its history, got taken away within like a day. What’s something you wish more people knew about jazz? There's like so many incredible women, and like non-binary folks that play this music. If you take the time to go search those people out and listen to their music, I think you're gonna really like it. And it's just so important to support women and non-binary folks that are in this industry. It's just so important to have the support of the listener who is listening to people that might not be the norm of what the genre used to look like. This piece was published in New Wave's Spring 2022 Issue

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