By Stella Monica
On September 8, ColourPop Cosmetics, a popular makeup brand based in L.A., released their Harry Potter Collection. While this experience is interactive and fun, the campaign cannot escape association from author J.K. Rowling’s historically problematic beliefs.
The collection’s offers Customers can complete a quiz on the website, get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses and purchase their fitting products. The collection includes one lip balm, lip gloss and liquid liner each for Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Additionally, Harry Potter fans can grab one of three “Super Shock” highlighters and the ultimate Back to Hogwarts™ 24-shadow eye palette.
Fans of the brand and series alike were elated by the drop, but many others critique the brand’s willingness to associate with author J.K. Rowling.
Since 2019, Rowling has been exposed for her transphobic views, many labeling her as a T.E.R.F. (trans-exclusionary radical feminist). She often posts her controversial thoughts on Twitter, criticizing the phrase “people who menstruate,” misgendering trans people and spewing the importance of biological sex. She also has a slew of fat-phobic, racist and anti-Semitic sentiment expressed in her writing as well as her tweets.
Her controversial actions are a clear attempt at erasing the complexities of gender and sex, as well as disrespecting trans people and their identities.
So how does this relate to a makeup collection? To create a Harry Potter themed collection, ColourPop must purchase a license, meaning they are indirectly financing Rowling. Many fans of the cosmetic brand are boycotting the collection in solidarity with the trans community and in protest of Rowling’s beliefs. However, others claim that the world of Harry Potter has evolved to a level that transcends its creator because of the strong fan community.
The problem lies in the fact that Harry Potter is and always will be linked to Rowling. Fans may love the world she created, but they need to be aware of the harm she has caused in her anti-trans activism.
ColourPop responded to these comments saying that they released the collection due to “high demand” from supporters of the brand, and will always promote acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. However, they never explicitly addressed the harm they cause by supporting Rowling, except for a vague promise to continue supporting charities, presumably relating to queer causes.
ColourPop was one of my favorite makeup brands because of their frequent collaborations with creators, MUAs, and franchises I love. But I simply can’t get past their blatant support for transphobic, racist, anti-Semitic, and fatphobic people, especially those as famous and influential as Rowling who shaped our generation’s childhood. Personally, I will be taking my money elsewhere and look forward to supporting makeup brands whose actions align with the virtues they claim to believe in.
Photo by ColourPop Cosmetics
By Teresa Galvan
Growing up doesn’t always mean paying bills and buying groceries. Traveling is something to be excited about, especially when it’s your first time exploring someplace new without parental guidance. For those of you who are newly in charge of booking the flights, these are some of the top things I’ve learned since I began traveling without my mom there to take care of it all.
Booking a Flight?
1. Use Google Travel
I recently booked a trip for this October using Google Travel, and it helped me cut the roundtrip cost in half! Google Travel’s date grid feature helps you find cheaper prices for different departure and returning dates (great for flexible dates!). Similarly, their price graph makes it easier to find dates and prices that work for you. Another feature I appreciated was their pricing meter. If you can’t yet tell what is considered too expensive or cheap, this feature shows you, while also displaying the price history of your search. Lastly, Google Travel shows you different times from different airlines, and lets you book directly from the airline’s website, which brings me to my next tip…
2. Book through the actual site
Websites like Expedia or Tripadvisor are great, but they can sometimes be a hassle. If something doesn’t go as expected, whether there’s a delay, booking changes, or a cancellation, you’ll get better help if you book through the airline itself, rather than being told you have to go back and forth between the airline and the site you booked it through. This is also true for other things such as excursions and hotels.
3. Incognito mode
This sneaky little feature Google Chrome offers allows you to open a new window that doesn’t save any data to your device. This is useful because you’ll want to be checking if prices for the flight you want have gone down quite often. Your device will notice this trend and begin showing you more expensive options. This was definitely a silly hack I thought wouldn’t work, but to my surprise, it showed me a price decrease when I tried it!
1. Airport/Roadtrip fits
The main goal is comfort. But why not look good while you’re at it?
- Flannels and/or jackets are always a good way to build the comfy aesthetic
- Joggers with a matching hoodie never fails
- Practically anything goes with a crop/tank top (leggings, athletic shorts, sweats, etc.)
- You can never go wrong with an oversized sweatshirt
- Some classic biker shorts can always do the trick
Extra tip: It never hurts to have an extra outfit. Keep it in whatever bag you’ll be keeping with you throughout the ride/flight there!
2. Have a plan for each day
It really depends on the type of person you are. Some like to have one thing booked after another, nonstop all day. Others enjoy just playing it by ear. There is no right way to do it, but I generally like to have at least one thing booked, or at least planned, for each day of my trip. By doing so, I don’t feel like I wasted any days not getting the full experience, but it also allows me some flexibility so I can decide what I want to do depending on how I feel in the moment for the other parts of my day.
3. Look at the Brochures
Especially when you’re going to a tourist hotspot, utilize those brochures! If you ever see a pamphlet you think is interesting, it doesn’t hurt to take one. A lot of these have promo or discount codes for you to use.
4. Always look back
My mom always called it our “final look through.” Whenever it was time for us to check out of a hotel or Airbnb, we would always go back through the whole space to make sure we left nothing behind. This may seem like common sense, but it can be easy to forget if you’re stressed with getting everything together and trying to make it out on time. This is also a good habit to get into for other parts of your trip. When you’re getting out of your seat on the plane, take a look back to make sure you got it all. It’s also a good idea to do this when you’re leaving a restaurant, club, store, or your hotel room.
5. Have fun
This is a cheesy tip that’s probably a given, but after all the stress you’ll go through with getting around the airport, packing your things, booking your excursions, checking into your hotels, and more, don’t forget you’re there to have a good time. You’ll get the hang of this whole traveling thing… :)
Photo by @theotyllier via Pinterest
By Ella Price
Both UNC students and faculty can attest to the beauty of the university’s campus, with its classic red-brick collegiate Georgians and stoic Davie Poplars. As autumn settles over Chapel Hill and leaves begin to populate the sidewalks, you can expect UNC to become even more scenic. On top of admiring the fall charm of the North Quad, here’s what to do in and around Chapel Hill during this cozy season.
The Cat’s Cradle: Located at 300 E. Main St. in Carrboro, the Cat’s Cradle is a local concert venue with a constant stream of outstanding artists that perform each week, including tickets for just under $50. Artists performing this fall include Wild Rivers, Whitney, Field Medic and The Stews, all of whom provide excellent soundtracks for walking through campus in the cold. Check out all of the Cat’s Cradle’s upcoming events on their website, catscradle.com.
Festifall Arts Market: If you enjoy browsing handcrafted jewelry, pottery, textiles, and art while listening to live music, the Festifall Arts Market is for you. Presented by Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the market will take place from 1-6 p.m. on three consecutive Saturdays, Oct. 8, 15, and 22. Located at 140 W. Plaza on Franklin St., the market will host a variety of local food and dessert trucks, as well as beverage vendors to serve patrons ages 21 and up. Performances such as live painting, drumming and dancing will also be featured. For more information, visit the Community Arts & Culture website, www.chapelhillarts.org/media/festifall-arts-markets-return-to-downtown-chapel-hill-brimming-with-local-artists-artisans-and-performers/
Honeysuckle Tea House Haunted Farm: The Honeysuckle Tea House, an artisan beverage and food venue, is hosting a plethora of Halloween-themed events throughout the month of October. On Saturdays Oct. 8 and 15, the Teahouse will transform into a haunted attraction for people of all ages. Honeysuckle will also be hosting a Halloween Costume Parade from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. Enjoy delicious treats, food, and drinks while listening to live music from Popcorn Blue Band. To purchase tickets, visit the Honeysuckle at www.thehoneysuckleteahouse.com/tea-house-events.
Chapel Hill Farmers Market: At 201 S. Estes Dr., you’ll find an impressive collection of fresh produce and artisan treats from local vendors. For all your seasonal produce needs, from pumpkins to apples to homemade challah bread, stop by the market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m.
Eat Local: Surrounding the picturesque campus of Chapel Hill is an excellent food scene, with these restaurants offering delicious menu items to satisfy your seasonal cravings.
Epilogue Books and Brews: Epilogue is a local bookstore and coffee shop specializing in chocolate. Epilogue offers something different for everyone; Coffee lovers should opt for the masala spice mocha, and those who prefer tea should try the vanilla spice cacao. Be sure to also check out their brown sugar vanilla sipping chocolate and cinnamon peach empanadas while cozying up to study or even just taking in the essence of fall.
Mapleview Creamery: Although ice cream may seem an unlikely fit for chilly weather, Mapleview Creamery has flavors (and a view) to honor the crisp temperatures, such as pumpkin, rum raisin, turtle, and maple. Enjoy your ice cream while watching the early autumn sunset from the front porch of the store.
Root Cellar Cafe: Located on M.L.K Jr. Boulevard, The Root Cellar is eager to meet your fall needs. Check out their new pumpkin spice latte and pair it with their pumpkin roll holiday log, then wash it down with their apple pie smoothie featuring caramel and graham cracker crusts.
Tandem: If you’re looking for a nicer option at mealtime, Tandem offers an exquisite seasonal menu. Begin with the butternut squash risotto with brown butter foam. For the main course, try the Joyce Farms chicken glazed with a sugar pumpkin veloute and roasted chestnuts. Finish the night with their beignets, served with ginger ice cream, almond praline sauce and mulled cider.
Photo by visitchapelhill.org
By Joyce Abbey-Ikeafor
“They made Ariel into a Black girl!”
“She looks like me!”
“Oh, she got locs?!”
That’s how Black and brown children reacted to the trailer for Rob Marshall’s live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid" released earlier this September. “How wholesome”, you may say — that’s what I thought to myself, too —until I made the mistake of scrolling through the comment sections.
It’s only a snippet of Disney’s much-anticipated fantasy film reboot; a minute-and-a-half-long video, enough to display the movie’s impressive visuals and actress Halle Bailey’s prodigious vocal abilities.
It was also enough to trigger a wave of criticism on social media, with the main argument being that a Black woman should not have been cast as the iconic red-haired mermaid.
The fact that a children’s movie prompted such a controversy among grown adults is quite telling of our society’s shortcomings when it comes to acknowledging how covert racism is still at work in this day and age.
The tenacious attempts by “eternal nostalgics” (as they like to call themselves) to rationalize their thinly disguised racism by conjuring up mere pretenses such as historical accuracy, tradition and faithfulness to the original text,appear as one more desperate effort to undermine the ability for POC to thrive in spaces they were distinctlyexcluded from until then.
Indeed, it’s gotten so bad that we’re discussing the historical accuracy of mermaids — imaginary creatures that do not exist. As it happens, the original "Little Mermaid" tale written in 1837 by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen only gives so much detail about the character’s appearance: “diaphanous skin”, “long hair” and “blue eyes”. Hence, race and ethnicity do not bear any contextual weight here.
Out of the various assessments that can be made from this story, two stick out to me.
First, how performative the support and ‘rooting’ for Black people and their representation in the media has been. The amount of support B.L.M. receive online and the alleged predominance of ‘woke culture’ in media outlets seems disproportionate to the backlash that movie and TV producers face when they cast Black actors in ‘white’ roles, so to speak.
It shows how much needs to be done before the world can let Black people, especially Black women, flourish in all spaces, notably those that were not designed to welcome them, as well as allow them to detach themselves from the negative stereotypes and reappropriate their own narratives.
Photo by People magazine
By Lindsey Poole
As Gen Z continues to shift towards more sustainable fashion practices, clothing rental companies are on the rise. According to Refinery29, one in three young women consider clothes to be ‘old’ after just one to two wears. Rent the Runway, Nuuly, and FashionPass seek to solve this problem by providing young adults with affordable ways to keep up with current trends. All three of these rental services provide customers with freshly cleaned, high-end clothing at their doorstep. Personally, I’m a fan of these subscription services as I find myself gravitating towards bright, statement pieces as I search for new clothing. I often find myself seeking new clothing for events, seasons, and am a general fashion aficionado. I know that my fashion tastes are ever changing and generally opt for renting as opposed to buying. Unfortunately, my bank account doesn’t match these habits. While I enjoy thrifting and second-hand shopping from sites like Depop and Poshmark, these ease of using rental services is hard to beat. The services are a bit costly, but when you compare pricing to new clothing made with sustainable practices, I prefer rentals.
Rent the Runway (RTR) was co-founded by Harvard MBA graduates Jenny Fleiss and Jenn Hyman in 2009. RTR was the first clothing rental service to enter the market. Jenny and Jenn solidified their idea to create Rent the Runway after a successful pop-up on Harvard’s campus. This company has always been rooted the fashion needs of young adults, and more specifically, college students.
Rent the Runway offers one-time rentals for either 4 or 8 days and 4, 8, and 16 item subscription plans. RTR allows users to have 4 items at a time and depending on the plan, users may swap throughout the month. The 4 item plan is $69/month for one trial month and $94/month thereafter, the 8 item plan is $99/month for 2 months and $144/month thereafter, and the 16 item plan is $149/month for 2 months and $235 /month thereafter. This price includes clothing insurance, shipping, returns, and dry cleaning. RTR offers student discounts on the 4 item plan, but this plan is restricted to a limited access of clothing and accessory options. Rent the Runway offers a variety of clothing, jewelry, handbags, and sunglasses.
Nuuly offers one subscription plan that includes any 6 items for $88/month. Like RTR, this price includes shipping, returns, and coverage of any small stains or damage to the clothing. Nuuly’s subscriptions features dresses, sweaters, denim, outerwear, and other clothing pieces. There is no commitment requirement and you can cancel or pause your membership at any time.
FashionPass offers multiple subscription plans that all allow unlimited swaps throughout the month. They vary in price due to how many items users may have at once. The Socialite plan includes 2 clothing items and 1 accessory for $49/month for the first month and $79/month thereafter. The Trendsetter plan includes 3 clothing items and 2 accessories for $79/month for the first month and $109/month thereafter. The Wanderlust plan includes 4 clothing items and 3 accessories for $109//month for the first month and $139/month thereafter. Shipping, returns, dry cleaning, and coverage of standard wear-and-tear are covered by all FashionPass’ subscription plans.
With all of these services, the items rented are available for purchase at a discounted rate. Renting provides a fun, simple, yet more sustainable way to find statement pieces of clothing or a pair of go-to denim. I prefer purchasing essentials and using rental services to create a continuously rotating closet, without breaking the bank.
On a smaller scale, within the UNC community, the Facebook group “Rent the Triangle” connects young adults across the Triangle renting out their cocktail and formal dresses for various events. Renters provide pictures of the dress or item of clothing and a rental fee. This Gen Z powered group aims to provide clothing for events at more reasonable prices than other large-scale rental platforms.
As Gen Z examines their shopping habits with regard to sustainability impact, consider renting clothing from subscription services, community groups, or accquaintances. This practice can minimize garment production while providing clothing that may not be new, but is ‘new’ to you.