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VietLead is a force to be reckoned with. Founded in 2015, this nonprofit organization—created to address inequities that Vietnamese American youth face in Philadelphia—has closely served the city's Southeast Asian community. By providing services that range from voter registration to student leadership programs, the organization gives a voice to a group of people who are often overlooked.
Music, the debut film directed and written by pop singer Sia, was drenched in controversy and castigation before the trailer was released. Earning an 8% on rotten tomatoes, a 3.1/10 on IMDb, and a .5/5 on IndieWire, Music tells a disillusioned story that has been mired in critiques. These criticisms are inherently affiliated with the casting of Maddie Ziegler as the main character of the film: a young girl named Music who is on the autism spectrum. Sia, who is neurotypical, has been at the forefront of reproval from autism activists and the community at large as she seems to be functioning from a stance of ableism. Her position has saturated the film in allegations of appropriation and misrepresentation.
It has been over 20 years since Sex and the City first graced our television screens. In many ways, the show was groundbreaking. It was funny, smart, and to many, a true–to–life depiction of female friendship, sex, and singlehood. But as times have changed, it’s no longer the relatable, easy watching that it once was. Especially with an HBO Max reboot recently announced, it’s important to look at this iconic series through a more modern lens.
Smerz has never shied away from displaying their influences: Their music is built from the composite parts of experimental dance, siphoned into a profoundly insular listening experience. The duo—made up of Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt—released their first EP, Okey, in 2017. That project felt like a midpoint between the luminescent footwork of DJ Rashad and the whispered techno stylings of Nina Kraviz. If anything, Smerz’s first full–length album, Believer, represents a pivot further away from the dancefloor.
Name: Sarah Simon
Whenever I talk about my allergy, I’m met with disbelieving stares.
Dancing by day and studying by night, Emily Davis (LPS '21) is not your typical Penn student. Emily has been performing with the Pennsylvania Ballet for the last six years while simultaneously finishing up her biology degree. She’s also one of five Penn students who received this year's Thouron Award, which will fund her Ph.D. in the United Kingdom next year.
There was once a time when the world was only familiar with mainstream musical artists. Backed by big record labels, these artists were ensured a straight shot to fame thanks to record labels bankrolling their music videos and promotion. How else could emerging artists get their names out there?
Content warning: The following text describes eating disorders and can be disturbing or triggering for some readers. Please find resources listed at the bottom of the article.
It's been over five years since Julien Baker first captured music critics' attention with her 2015 debut album, Sprained Ankle. Sparse instrumentation scattered around Baker's delicate voice in her first LP: Her existential musings were so lonely and fragile that the only way to listen without shattering her words was to hold your breath. Now, with a few more albums under her belt—including one with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Daucus in the indie supergroup boygenius—Baker returns to themes of faith, self–destructive behavior, and substance abuse in her third album, Little Oblivions.
If I had to choose my favorite Studio Ghibli film, I would choose Kiki’s Delivery Service in a heartbeat. A whimsical story following a 13–year–old witch named Kiki, this movie has been an unexpected source of comfort in helping me navigate my own struggles with inspiration and self–doubt. As a timeless classic and comforting coming–of–age story, the animation is a much–needed representation of creative burnout and the journey towards rekindling the “witch’s spirit” within ourselves.
“Truth is like poetry. And most people f*cking hate poetry.”
When the whole world became remote, everything from schools, to businesses, to doctors adapted as best as they could. The last 12 months have been one great big technological and social experiment, as regular gatherings, appointments, and events have been forced to relocate to Zoom. The recent Golden Globe Awards were no exception, but they were certainly a standout—and for all the wrong reasons.
As a seven–year–old, Dylan Farrow was recorded telling the story of how her father, renowned American filmmaker Woody Allen, sexually assaulted her. She was speaking to her mother, award–winning actress Mia Farrow, who made a videotape of the conversation that would later be used in legal battles and most recently in a new HBO documentary: Allen v. Farrow.
It's 6:30 a.m. on a frigid winter day. I hear that stereotypical iPhone alarm tone blast, meaning it's time for me to pull myself out of bed and prepare for another day of high school. Not to my surprise, amid my rushed morning routine, I struggle to choose what to wear for the day. Attempting to balance my desire to wear clothing that I like with my insecurities, I settle on a warm flannel, jeans, and my favorite beat–up Nike Air Force 1s.
Black Dresses’ white–hot and crushing new record, Forever In Your Heart, shouldn’t even exist at all. In May of 2020, the band, composed of Toronto–based musicians Devi McCallion and Ada Rook, shared a statement that they would be disbanding—citing “extended harassment” and “hurtful and frightening” behavior from fans. This was an understandable decision, given McCallion and Rook’s vulnerability as transgender individuals in the public eye, but was still disappointing for long–time supporters. That is, until this Valentine’s Day brought another Twitter announcement:
If The Bachelor is loved for one thing, it’s the drama onscreen. If The Bachelor is hated for one thing, it’s the drama offscreen. Most recently, it’s been the controversial casting of Matt James, contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist incidents, and host Chris Harrison’s comments on the entire matter. Unfortunately, none of this is all that surprising, as the fan–favorite reality show has never deserved praise for its diversity.
Growing up is a slow burn, even though we don’t always realize this in the moment. The trope stares us in the face so regularly we never think to interrogate it.
The title of 'influencer' doesn’t quite capture the nuanced personality of Serena Shahidi, better known by the internet as @glamdemon2004. She’s more than an online character—she’s a qualified extremist. She’s pretentious yet intelligent enough to warrant it, authentic yet detached enough to escape vulnerability, interesting yet unbothered about the way she is perceived. In fact, she fittingly describes the majority of the current online scene as “monotonous” in comparison to her content and approach. Yet her reception has been stellar: Her largest platform resides on TikTok, where she has amassed over 370,000 followers and nearly 21 million likes.
As our TikTok pages, Instagram feeds, and Pinterest boards become inundated with blazing pinks, purples, and the ever–so–persistent threat of low–rise jeans, one thing has become clear: