Why the Intern is the Most Important Member of Your Business

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Ah, the infamous internship. It’s the first thing most of us have to a “real job” while we are still in college, and it becomes the most stressful thing during our upperclassmen years at college. Despite only being a sophomore in college, I am currently onto my third internship. All of them have been with relatively small fashion brands, and always with their social media/PR and marketing departments, but I have continuously learned how it is the interns at these companies and so many others that drive them forward and make companies develop further. However, some companies no longer want nor use interns.

This past month, Conde Nast, the publishing house that produces Vogue and The New Yorker along with various others, decided to cancel their 2014 internship program due to lawsuits over underpaid internships at and Vogue. And while I agree that it is right for Conde Nast to re-evaluate their internship program, I think they need to restart it soon. A majority of the people who have successfully worked in any industry, especially the fashion industry, have found their beginnings and first jobs via internships. 

Many people don’t realize the impact interns have on their companies. While it can be argued at either free labor or the experience of learning, interns really do a lot of work for a company. Many Wallstreet banks’ interns work on the floor with the analysts and executives; some companies’ marketing and communication tactics are made and developed by interns. My first internship was for an app company for fashion photography and I was a big part of the development process for the app’s current functionalities; my second one, which I am continuing to do while at school, I have been a big part of their marketing and social media plans; and my third one, which I do at part-time, I manage their social media and online marketing presence. I have been told that even though I have played a small role in all of these companies, my work has helped. The intern, who does many times work for free, becomes a player and employee of the company and can make a small to big impact on it. But if those opportunities for people to intern are taken away, then it makes it all the more difficult for people to get into some of these companies and industries. 

What do you think of Conde Nast not having interns for 2014? What do you think of internships in general? Have you interned before? Please comment below. 

 

Date a Girl With an Eating Disorder…….Excuse Me?!?!

As some of you have noticed from previous posts on this website, I make concentrated efforts to not only look at fashion as a subject– rather than at face value– but to also combat the surrounding issues and stereotypes that come with it. While I do not like to get into my personal opinion on this website and much prefer to stick to unbiased views, I do feel the need to express my opinion on this issue. 

As many people know, there was an article published by Return of Kings last week, entitled “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder” (http://www.returnofkings.com/21313/5-reasons-to-date-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder). The article lists the following reasons:

  1.  “Her obsession over her body will improve her overall looks.”

  2. “She costs less money.”

  3. “She’s fragile and vulnerable.”

  4. “Probably has money of her own.”

  5. “She’s better in bed.”

Okay, so I obviously have a few issues with this article. One: an “obsession” with one’s appearance does not imply they are healthy, rather they may be clinically obsessed and ill. Two: rationalizing that because she will eat less and cost less money, makes her a better catch is just wrong. Three: making her seem vulnerable is a bit true (but, the truth is, everyone is vulnerable in some way or another), but the author should stress how being supportive and caring will help her recover and become a more confident person, rather than thinking with your self-interests first. Four: believing that only girls in higher socio-economic classes have “real” eating disorders is just inaccurate and offensive– people of all socio-economic classes and backgrounds suffer with eating disorders, not just women of higher socio-economic classes. And what is with the distinction of a “real” eating disorder? Is there a made-up one? And five: not only saying women with eating disorders are better at sex, but saying that women with eating disorders are “crazy” and that makes them better at sex, is so wrong I may actually throw my computer at the wall as I reread this article. 

As a person who has seen many girl fall victim to eating disorders– and not all of them recovering– and not always loving my own body, it disturbs and disgusts me that not only was this article written, but it was authorized to be published. Who at Return of Kings read this and thought it would be appropriate for the internet? I don’t care whether you have a predominantly male or female, wealthy or poor, young or old audience– this article just screams of disrespect and ignorance on the part of the author and the website. I don’t care if you all thought this was funny, clever, or true– it is just wrong and rude to publish this trash. Over 24 million people– of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socio-economic classes– have some form of an eating disorder. 

Why did I choose to write about this particular article? Not only because of the wrongness of it, the rude opinions, or the disrespectful nature of it all, but because I am currently working on another fashion show for my university that will be raising money for the National Eating Disorders Association (http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/). For this show, several of the models– men and women– are recovering from eating disorders or know of people with these disorders– so this article hit me a bit hard and spurred me to write this response.

I’m curious– what do you think of this article? Do you think people have the right to respond or do you think the author has a right to this opinion? Please feel free to comment– all opinions are welcome. Thank you. 

So as some of you have noticed, I have not kept 1st on Trend as updated as I usually did, especially with New York Fashion Week just ending and London in full force. For the past 4 months I have been planning a fashion show at my university, something that has not been done before to this scale at Susquehanna University.

This show was based on the concept of a heartbreaker– the psychology of someone whom has been hurt so much by another person to make them want to hurt other people on purpose– in terms of both men and women. The music videos “How to be a Heartbreaker” by Marina & the Diamonds and “Break Your Heart” by Tao Cruz served as inspiration for the music and styles.

Susquehanna students of all sizes, ages, majors, and backgrounds served as models. SU Fashion Club, who presented the show on camps, makes an effort to show students that they do not have to meet any specific requirements to model. That anyone can be a model and, therefore, beautiful or handsome.

Clothes, accessories, and handbags were provided by J. Kleinbauer’s, Urban Post, Pink Pin-Up, and Dwellings. Thank you all for participating in the show.

What do you think of the show? What do you think of student fashion shows? If you have any questions, please comment below.

Where Has Mikaela been Part II: My First Fashion Show

With summer ending and autumn just around the corner, there comes both a sadness for the end of a season and a new vigor for a new season and new possibilities. This song, “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and featuring Aloe Blacc, has that mixture of sadness for the end and excitement for the new. In the music video the entire cast is dressed by Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply brand– the clothes are very chic and I may just pick up the military jacket the protagonist wears.

What do you think of the song of the month? And are you like me and looking forward to the arrival of autumn? Also, do you have a song suggestion for September?

Song of the Month: August

Big Move for Youtube?

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Youtube allowing topless girls?

Well, apparently yes– for now. In the recent music video for the song “Thinking About You” by Calvin Harris and Ayah Marar, there is an actress whom is seen topless– fully exposed breasts and butt for almost a full minute– and there are other scenes of more taboo relationships (women with other women, stripping down to only underwear for another woman, an orgy, and teenagers literally fighting over a girl). And then there is the Justin Timberlake video “Tunnel Vision,” which features completely naked women. While both of these videos are not demeaning women nor objectifying them by exposing them– I find this to be more tasteful than some of the skimpy outfits they make women wear in other videos– this is a huge step forward for youtube and music videos.

While images and videos like this have been commonly accepted in Europe for years, in the US we are rather use to covering women up (maybe not in the classiest manner, but their nipples and crotch are relatively covered, right?). Rather than taking the videos down when they premiered, Youtube moved them to Vevo, their video partner, and now simply have a warning for parents before the video starts. Now, does this mean that more music videos will feature female nudity (or, oh my, male nudity?!?!), I can’t say. But does this make me happy to see? Yes, that we aren’t being such a prudish country that obviously enjoys sexual images (watch any television show, let’s be honest here), but likes to keep the reality of it hidden away. Let me be frank– we all need to grow up a little and be more honest about what really goes on between the sheets.

What do you think of this move for Youtube? Do you agree with it, or do you think these videos should be censored?

  • (“Thinking About You (Explicit)” by Calvin Harris ft. Ayah Marar)
  • (“Tunnel Vision (Explicit)” by Justin Timberlake)

Skinny Girls Have No Problems, Right? Wrong.

Skinny girls have no problems in life, right? Like, every guy flocks to them, every girl is jealous of her, and she can wear whatever she wants. The world and her life are as magical as a box of Lucky Charms being held by a unicorn, right?

Wrong.

Some of you may be already rolling your eyes over this post– a skinny girl complaining about how her life isn’t perfect and why being skinny, which is the supposed ideal of American society, doesn’t make life any easier for her. Yes, I can completely see why people would have that immediate reaction and I can understand the logic behind that too. After all, we are confronted on a daily basis about how being thin makes people, especially women, more successful, beautiful, and strong somehow. There are so many diet commercials, and they are all marketing to that notion that being thin will make life better. You will make more money, have a hotter partner, have amazing hookups or intimate relationships, and people will want to be you. But, is there any real logic behind any of this?

First of all, being thinner does not affect your chances of finding a Ryan Gosling-like mate. To be honest, my current boyfriend has been my first serious, as in more than one or two dates, boyfriend. I had a lot of male friends, and still do, but most of them would tell me that my small frame and lack of a chest and curves would harm my chances with the opposite sex. As one of my friends kindly worded to me, “Guys like something to grab onto.”

Another issue– clothing. People tell me all the time that shopping must be so easy for me since I am thin. It isn’t, by any standard. There are only a few stores that carry my size– I am limited to basically Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and overly priced boutiques– and even then, they have an extremely limited stock of my size. Due to the fact the average American woman is a size 10 to 14, the stores will most likely stop carrying sizes 0 to 4– it isn’t in as high of a demand, so less inventory of it. There are also issues that go beyond the clothes in terms of shopping with being thin. People scrutinize you and if you ask for a size smaller, and they do not carry it, then the sales representative may just kindly tell you to “eat more” in front of other customers.

And, finally, the stereotyping the reason for their thinness. People assume people whom are larger eat to much– that they caused it on themselves– and people thus assume that those whom are thin don’t eat enough or at all. People tell people whom are thin to eat more– never mind that maybe they do eat three meals a day and they are thin from their natural metabolism or a disease or because of a sport they play, not because they are skipping meals or vomiting them up.

Am I typing this post to tell everyone that women who are thinner have more problems than the rest of the world? No. I am typing this to tell the world that every woman faces judgement and insecurities for her body. Whether you are thin or curvy, have a D cup or an A cup, wear a size 2 or a size 20, we all face judgment from the opposite sex and our own gender (hello, horizontal sexism!). My whole point for writing this is to basically express my opinion, which is that we all face issues with our body shape, weight, and self-image. No one thinks they are perfect– or, if there is anyone out there whom does, please comment and let me know, because in the 19 years of my life I have never met someone whom has honestly felt that way– so why make it harder on each other by saying one group has it easier than another?

What do you think? Am I wrong and one body type has it easier than another? Or do you agree and think all people, especially women, face judgement for their body type?

My Top 10 Favorite Artists of Summer 2013

Summer is that time of year when we go on vacation, try new things, and learn more about ourselves (or at least that is what the movies tell me). But there are some artists I return to over, especially this summer. Whether I am blasting them at an outdoor party, on a road trip with friends, or while relaxing in my bedroom– or even as I am typing up this post– these are my favorite artists and a list of my favorite songs from them.

1. Magic Man

  • Favorite Songs: “Texas”, “Nova Scotia”, “Pacific Air– Lose My Mind (Magic Man Remix)”

2. Lana del Rey

  • Favorite Songs: “Video Games”, “Young and Beautiful”, “National Anthem”, “Dark Paradise”, “Blue Jeans”

3. Ellie Goulding

  • Favorite Songs: “Burn”, “Lights”, “Figure Eight”, “Anything Can Happen”

4. Zedd

  • Favorite Songs: “Clarity”, “Spectrum”

5. fun.

  • Favorite Songs: “Some Nights”, “Walking the Dog”, “All Alone”, “Out on the Town”, “The Gambler”, “All the Pretty Girls”

6. Swedish House Mafia

  • Favorite Songs: “Don’t You Worry Child”, “Greyhound”, “Save the World”

7. Marina and the Diamonds

  • Favorite Songs: “Hollywood”, “Power and Control”, “How to be a Heartbreaker”, “Primadonna”, “Numb”, “Hermit the Frog”, “Bubblegum Bitch”, “Teen Idle” 

8. Maroon 5

  • Favorite Songs: “Love Somebody”, “Payphone”, “Misery”, “Never Gonna Leave This Bed”

9. One Republic

  • Favorite Songs: “Secrets”, “Apologize” (not the one featuring Timberland), “Counting Stars”, “Stop and Stare”, “All the Right Moves”

10. The Pierces

  • Favorite Songs: “Sticks and Stones”, “Boring”, “It Will Not be Forgotten”, “Glorious”, “Secret”, “You’ll be Mine”

What bands are on your summer playlist? Which artists do you listen to during the summer? What do you think of the bands on my list?