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  • 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.

  • Cancer

    "It’s not my fault that I gave you my soul" By Julia Sacco Maybe my parents held me too tightly as a baby so that when I latch onto you, I cannot let go. I was a colic child in need of constant touch and love, not much has changed. It’s not my fault that I gave you my soul. I was predisposed to do so after all permanently cursed to love more than to be loved. It was only a matter of time before the affection you had for me in your heart metastasized. I am a cancer that must be removed, shortening a perfectly good life. Poor young men don’t deserve to suffer like this. I’ll be cut out and removed, saving his life. He will continue to live. But what will they do with the tumour?

  • 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.

  • Hiring update!

    Hello New Wave friends and family. Breanna and Stephanie here again. Welcome back to TMU! We hope all of you have had a great summer and start to the semester. We wanted to post an update that most of our masthead positions have been filled (hooray!), but there are many contributing positions that are still available! These positions are open to all undergraduate and graduate students and are a great way to build experience and a fabulous portfolio! Not to mention the hilarious group of people you'll get to work with throughout the year (not-so-subtle brag). Let's weigh the pros and cons, shall we? Pros: Gaining work experience that aligns with your degree Adding pieces to your portfolio Getting to work with a wicked-awesome team Automatic cool-person title Cons: Not a tough decision when the facts are right in front of you. If this sounds like something up your alley, we encourage you to apply and become a part of the New Wave team. Now for serious stuff. Below is a list of positions New Wave is still hiring for. Right now we are focused on filling in our art and socials department, as well as our contributors. If any of these positions are of interest to you, we encourage you to head to the links at the bottom of this post and fill out an application form. No previous experience is required! *Please note these are not paid positions NEW WAVE JOB POSITIONS Copy Editor: Copy edits stories, looking for grammar and CP (if applicable) errors. Works with the head(s) of copy editing and fact-checking. Fact Checker: Fact checkers will review stories for accuracy. They will work closely with the head of research and fact-checking. They are expected to call sources and do research to verify facts and quotes, corroborate statistics, and substantiate all other claims made in an article. Writer: Writers develop story ideas, conduct interviews, and write articles, book reviews, etc. They enter into a creative, collaborative process with their handling editors who will edit their work for overall quality, content, structure and creativity, among many other things. They are expected to engage in this process openly, as all articles will ideally go through at least two edit/rewrite cycles - one substantive edit and one line edit. In some cases, complex or intricate stories will require more editing and rewriting. They are also expected to submit a source list with their work. We want our prose to sparkle and our writers to have amazing clips - this is why we’re asking for this kind of professional commitment from our writers. Social Media Rep: Will work alongside our Head of Social Media to create content for our Instagram and Twitter platforms. Will create posts, copy, manage DMs and generally work with the Head of Socials to oversee all social media platforms. Illustrators/Artists: Illustrators and artists will practice their art under the direction of the art director. They may be required to creatively develop a visual concept based on a written story, and must execute their works in accordance with the magazine’s needs. We want fabulous illustrations in the magazine and are hoping for colour pages to showcase talent when the magazine comes out around campus. Illustrators may also contribute in discussion regarding the overall creative direction of the magazine. Ideally, they should be diverse in their styles, able to do one or more of the following: portraits, conceptual, still life. Digital proficiency is not required, but digital skills in Adobe illustrator and photoshop are highly recommended. Photographers: Photographers will practice their art under the erection of the photo director and art director. They may be required to go with the writers on assignments and must take pictures in accordance with the magazine’s needs. We want fabulous photos in the magazine and are hoping for colour pages to showcase talent when the magazine comes out around campus. Photographers may also contribute in discussions regarding the overall creative direction of the magazine. Ideally, they should be diverse in their shooting styles, able to shoot one or more of the following: portraits, still life, landscape, studio, photojournalistic or documentary photos. Digital equipment is not required, but digital photographing abilities and digital editing are a must. Layout Artists: Layout artists will be responsible for helping the heads of layout and design with their responsibilities. They will primarily be involved with layout production, art and photography production. They should have a strong background in Adobe creative suite including InDesign, Photoshop and other computer design/layout programs. If you're interested in working for the art and socials department, please head to this google application: New Wave Art and Socials Application. If you're interested in working on the editorial side of things, please head to this google application: New Wave Contributor Application. And with that, we bid you adieu. We look forward to reading your applications and hope to see you on the New Wave Team this year! Like the famous Californian governor who served from 2003-2011, we'll be back. - Breanna and Stephanie, Editors-In-Chief


    Okay, okay. We know it's still summer. You're at the beach, or the cottage, or trying to complete that summer internship. But we're putting this out there anyways! The fall 2022 semester is fast approaching, and the 2022-2023 New Wave team is looking to secure all masthead positions by early September. If you're a writer, editor, organizer-extraordinaire (or maybe just a teeny weeny bit bossy), we would love your help in creating one of the best years for New Wave yet! Below are descriptions of the masthead positions currently available for hire. The applications for masthead positions will be open until September 10th, and we ask that you complete the google form we've included at the bottom of this post. We look forward to working with you! - Stephanie Davoli & Breanna Schnurr, New Wave Editors-In-Chief '22-'23 NEW WAVE MASTHEAD POSITION DESCRIPTIONS, '22-'23 Managing Editor - Features: Works closely with the EIC. Oversees a team of section editors, assigns stories to section editors, edits stories, comes up with pitches for writers/helps writers develop pitches. Features refers to personal essays, features, and op-eds. Features Editors Edits stories assigned by the managing editor. Sets deadlines for writers, guides the writer through the writing process, and helps with developing story ideas. Will work closely with the Managing Editor of Features. Creative Editors Edits stories assigned by the creatives managing editor. Sets deadlines for writers, guides the writer through the writing/creation process, and helps with developing story ideas. Will work closely with the Managing Editor of Creatives. Equity Director(s) Works with the EIC(s) and Managing Editors to oversee submissions to ensure pieces are inclusive, diverse, and appropriate for our audience. Head of Social Media Oversees and assists in content creation for New Wave’s Instagram and Twitter platform. Will create posts, copy, manage DMs and will delegate tasks to the Social Media Representatives. Will also work with the Marketing Director and EIC(s) to develop and promote the New Wave brand. Marketing Director(s) Works with EIC(s) and social media to develop and promote the New Wave brand. Work on new ways to bring in engagement and head up merch development. Head(s) of Layout/Design Oversees a team of illustrators and layout artists to develop art and layout for print and online. In charge of developing Issue 8 of New Wave Magazine. Do any of these look interesting? Please apply by filling out the google form here: New Wave Masthead Applications, 2022-2023 If a masthead position isn't for you, but you'd still like to be a part of the New Wave team, please consider contributing! We are always looking for writers, copy editors, fact-checkers, and photographers. If this interests you, please send pitches and/or previous work samples to

  • From Instagram to TikTok: The Way Social Media Influenced Our Lives

    How screens made of tiny words and complex algorithms deepened the cuts of our teenage insecurities By Laviza Syed If you were born between the years of 1997 and 2003, it’s safe to say you’ve been part of the generation that grew up with social media, technology and watched these advancements come to life, experiencing each phase at a new point in your own life. Many of us saw the rise and fall of MySpace, the use of Facebook, which soon transitioned to platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. As we grew older, however, the ways in which we utilized social media became less about staying in contact with friends and staying updated on everyone’s lives and became more about building a brand and staying up to date with current trends. In the early days of Facebook, people would use the app to post life updates about their family, a school dance or Thanksgiving dinner, and were only in contact with classmates or those they had a direct link with. Slowly, what was once a way of receiving updates turned into a social monster revolving around body image and self-esteem. As our generation grew into our teen years, the shift from Facebook to Instagram began slowly. Instagram’s entire purpose when it was first released was to be a photo sharing app. However, using it as teenagers, the majority of kids would only post photos of themselves and sometimes their friends. This is when a cultural shift began to occur — social platforms became less about connection and more about content. Instagram launched filters in 2010 and stories in 2016. These changes not only affected the platform, but the way users interacted with it. Introducing face-altering filters to adolescents was the starting point of cultivating a generation that exhibits body image and esteem issues. The most prevalent example of this today can be seen through TikTok. TikTok stands out from other social media apps because its existence functions on a different playing field. TikToks are able to retain the audience’s limited attention spans by providing new and fascinating information in less than 60 seconds, while creating an elite online society with app-wide inside jokes. The culture on the app creates an environment where niche communities are formed and everyone has the same chance to go viral. Though, the problem that this creates on the app is a lack of social boundaries and the creation of trends that exemplify insecurities. A term that has been coined on the platform recently has been “new insecurity unlocked,” which refers to the sheer rapidity of ways to pick apart your body and face. A current example of this can be seen through the “scalp check” trend. This trend involves users lifting their cameras above their heads to film their scalps in order to see if their hair is balding or thinning. Another example is the new eyebrow trend, which uses a built-in TikTok filter that maps premade lines and proportions onto the user's face to see if their eyebrows are properly placed on their faces. Many have called this the “perfect eyebrow” filter. In line with the eyebrow filter, another commonly used filter is used to check face proportions, to see if the user’s features line up with what the “ideal” face looks like. Since everything is done behind the safety of a screen, social media platforms have removed a sense of boundaries, as now people think it’s acceptable to point out flaws in others, coupled with filters and trends that can go on for ages. Face symmetry, hip dips, dark circles, big noses, stretch marks, body hair and acne are just a few examples. But, these so-called flaws now have a broader reach. Younger kids have increased access to technology, and with limited supervision, they can be exposed to too much too early, and allow themselves to be profited off of at ages as young as six or seven. Not only has TikTok created more insecurities within teens and young adults, but it has also created an ideal type of “girl.” An entire genre of TikToks now consist of people trying too hard to achieve a perfect, ideal lifestyle — going to the gym every day, eating three balanced meals, being productive, having a social life, getting eight hours of sleep — fostering a fixation on hyper-productivity rather than valuing a healthy balance of rest and work. Behind the facade of this extremely put-together individual lies the reason behind this change in the way we use social media — platforms have become less about staying in contact and more about being a content creator. Algorithms and engagement on apps like TikTok and Instagram have created a global demographic. Now, posting something at the right time could connect you with audiences around the world, placing more emphasis on using these platforms to increase your following, rather than remaining up to date with friends and family. People can spend up to 20 minutes perfecting the placement of objects and people to post a story that will hold followers’ attention for no more than 10 seconds because they are no longer posting for their friends; they are posting to increase their brand and broaden their reach. It isn’t all bad. Social media has many positive aspects as well. TikTok and Twitter have allowed people to be introduced to new aesthetics, food styles and curate their personalities. It has led people to try new foods they otherwise wouldn’t have, as well as learn about other cultures more in-depth. It has also allowed people to hear the lived experiences of those they would never have connected with, if not for the reach of algorithms widening their perspectives. It is possible, though, that this level of openness and instant gratification has created a sense of identity loss from being exposed to so many ways of life. People now don’t know which chronically online “style” they want to experience life in. With rapidly advancing means of technology and the constant creation of social platforms, we never know when the next TikTok or Instagram will be launched, or how deeply invested in it we’ll be. But the creation of insecurities will be a consistent factor, exposing users to the ideal body type to compare themselves to unrealistic expectations to create profit. Maybe the way to fix the problem is to forget aesthetics and branding, and go back to posting unflattering family photos? This piece was published in New Wave's Spring 2022 Issue

  • 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

  • Her Interviewee Comeback

    “Just attempt the interview. That will be your achievement.” By: Subhanghi Anandarajah Charumathi’s friends lovingly teased her for moving more sluggish than a seahorse. She consecutively completed her meals last. In public, they needed to routinely glance all over to ensure she was nearby. So it was no shock that as she perused and then reread each characteristic of the several memberships Costco offered, she distractedly swung her legs. Unemployment had accompanied Charumathi for four years now. Once she turned 18, she started her first job at the A&W in her hometown, Richmond Hill. After her first three months there, a manager told her she needed to improve her agility and proficiency when handling unfamiliar responsibilities in order to remain there. Considering Charumathi would flee whenever her father chopped meat and she didn’t count on herself to operate any heated cookware appliances at home, she floundered when preparing burgers. Regardless, she quit two weeks following that revelation since her work consistently influenced her panic attacks. Blending her terribly inadequate cooking practice and her apprehensiveness of settings where she wasn’t shining, Charumathi dreaded curbing the team’s abilities, exhausted from persistently confining herself in the bathroom as she willed her tears away. Her mother, Luxmi, didn’t appreciate that Charumathi hadn’t brought up her decision to quit before she handed in her apron. Anyhow, since then, Luxmi only reminded her to apply for available roles. Last Wednesday, Charumathi had been seeking positions on job boards when she came across the cashier posting for a Richmond Hill Costco. Her mother had fulfilled the exact job there for six years. Each of Luxmi’s visits back ensured presents for their family from her coworkers. Coincidentally, Luxmi’s peers had brought a few potential cashier roles to her attention that day. So here was Charumathi, agonizing over details about the corporation, including their widespread stocks and where she would need to direct customers based on the location’s layout. She had succeeded on the applicant test and was readying herself for her interview the next day. “Charumathi!” Her mother shrieked as she slammed Charumathi’s door. Seeing Charumathi jolt and take a deep breath, her mother chuckled. “Sorry.” Luxmi sat down and passed her a packed, plum folder. “Charumathi, make sure you read these.” “Wait, what are these?” she questioned her mother, her breath growing quicker by the second. “Every time your sister and I have gone through an interview, we write down all the questions we can remember. Read through all these so you’re not caught off guard by any questions you didn’t predict.” Charumathi withdrew 10 pages with questions and suggestions printed down on them. There were even a few stray pages recapping guidance for interviews. She clasped her hands and pressed them against her chest. Her right foot was thumping. She needed to devour chocolate. Charumathi then began sobbing. “Amma!” she wheezed. Astonished, Luxmi shut Charumathi’s bedroom door and embraced her. “Why are you weeping like this? Is the interview terrifying you?” Charumathi gripped her mother closer. “Please, can I just miss the interview? Let me have some more time to read through all these papers and the online interview recommendations I made notes for, and I’ll go to the next interview for sure. Amma please, I can’t prepare myself in time for tomorrow.” Luxmi gazed at her and pinched her cheek lightly. “Charumathi, I don't need you to get the job. What I wish is that you just attempt the interview. That will be your achievement.” Luxmi wiped her tears and Charumathi rested her head on her mom’s lap, practicing the questions together. At 10 p.m., Luxmi suggested that Charumathi go to sleep so she wouldn’t struggle to wake up early. The morning of, Charumathi donned the white lace dress shirt her mother had purchased the same day she filed her application. Once she had readied herself and prepared for the interview one final time, her sister Divya drove her to Costco since their mother was at work. “All the best, Charumathi. Don’t panic about the interview, and show them your terrific answers,” Divya told her while showing the peace sign. Charumathi walked over to customer service, where she was notified that they were carrying out interviews at the back. She sat down, and after a few minutes, Norbert spotted her. Well, of course, she didn’t realize it was him until he reached out for a handshake and offered his name. Norbert had been her mother’s manager and Luxmi often talked about him with the family after her shifts. They had become cherished friends, yet, thankfully, he’d never met Charumathi. She didn’t want her mother to have any influence on her getting this job. The interview commenced once he put her application in front of them. “Charumathi, what are a few of the tasks a cashier fulfills at Costco?” Norbert began. “They carry out financial transactions for customers, pack the goods they buy, maintain their registers, and deal with memberships, among other tasks,” she said, doing her best to show how earnest she was as a candidate. “Well done!” Norbert grinned, looking impressed. He stared closely for a few seconds before glimpsing at her application and then her. “Charumathi, are you Luxmi Sathiyendran’s daughter?” She smiled with reluctance. “Yes, I am.” “Oh wow, I didn’t realize you were her daughter. I’ve listened to her go on about you and your sister, but for once, I’m finally meeting you.” With an enormous smile, he asked, “So did your mom brief you on everything?” She fixed her posture. “No, I thoroughly reviewed all the cashier details. I researched on my own about the job so I wouldn’t depend on my mom.” Leaning back, Norbert nodded. “Sounds good.” The interview lasted another 30 minutes. Since she hadn’t been employed for quite a while, whenever questions about her work experiences came up — such as how she resolved errors without a supervisor nearby — she discussed her present situation as a volunteer at one of the city libraries. Norbert would also outline his profession and the occurrences he faced at Costco when she asked about the atmosphere and his duties. “Alright Charumathi, any last questions you want to bring up?” She pondered about how to express her question for a moment. “Well Norbert, when would Costco reach out to me if I get the position? He beamed. “Charumthi, you succeeded in this interview.” “Oh, thank you, Norbert! So, will I have a second interview?” “No Charumathi, you already got the job.” She chuckled softly and swiped away tears as she gratefully thanked Norbert, who also laughed and shook her hand again. After wrapping up the specifics of when the offer would appear, she power-walked to her sister’s car in the store parking lot. “How was it?” Divya asked apprehensively. “First, take me to Amma’s workplace!” Glancing at her little sister’s immense smile, Divya joyfully hurried to their mom’s work. When she entered, Charumathi noticed her mom speaking with someone else and lingered until Luxmi noticed her. “Charumathi, how did you get here? What happened to the interview?” “Amma, I got the job!” Her mother’s face illuminated with ridges as she beamed and presented Charumathi with a thumbs up. “Congrats! I knew you would receive this job with your brilliance!” Luxmi hugged her and they swayed side to side. “I’ll see you both at home after my shift, and we’ll head out for dinner!” Pinching Charumathi’s cheeks, her mom embraced her once more. As soon as the sisters were back home, Charumathi screenshotted the interview email as a remembrance of her triumph. A reminder that she always had the potential to surpass her own hopes — but what mattered most was that she tried. 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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