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How Important is it to Change Your Diet to Support Environmental Causes?

Are you feeling gut wrenchingly guilty after watching Netflix’s Seaspiracy? Created by the same team responsible for Cowspirarcy, the 2014 eco-film that helped usher in veganism as en vogue, Seaspiracy holds a shocking mirror to the impact our fishing industry is having on the environment. Your favourite California roll is probably looking less appetising, and rightly so. The film has pushed many to consider changing … Continue reading How Important is it to Change Your Diet to Support Environmental Causes?

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Reading Corner: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Is it weird to read Love in the Time of Cholera in the middle of a global pandemic? Maybe not, but it is becoming a bit of a cliché. Gabriel García Márquez’s novel has had a resurgence in readership since the start of COVID-19, even inspiring the title of a TV show: Love in the Time of Corona. But is the book a comfort during times of illness, or an exploration of what happens when love goes too far? Continue reading Reading Corner: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

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Culture Comforts: Grease

As an exchange student, I have not had the chance to see family and friends from home in quite a while. While I usually do not get homesick too quickly, a rainy Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago suddenly made me miss home a little bit more. Snuggled up in bed, I decided it was time for Grease.  I still remember how shocked my sister and … Continue reading Culture Comforts: Grease

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Review: Line of Duty (series 6)

*SPOILER ALERT* The sixth series of Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty was without a doubt the most anticipated instalment yet. Production had already been halted for six months because of the pandemic, and lockdown meant that many people discovered the show for the first time during the last hiatus. The series has kept the nation gripped over the last seven weeks, and on Sunday night, … Continue reading Review: Line of Duty (series 6)

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The Problems with Hot Girl Summer

Picture this: it’s mid-July, the sun is beating down on your warm skin and you’re getting ready for a long-awaited night out with the girls. Temperatures are beginning to rise and lockdown restrictions have been lifted. For many of us, the promising prospects of a summer to remember will give us the opportunity to wear clothes that show off more skin. However, because of the … Continue reading The Problems with Hot Girl Summer

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Mourning Together, For All

The grief felt after the news of a celebrities’ death can often be akin to that felt towards a relative or friend. Although we do not know the celebrity and have generally never had a personal interaction with them, shared a meaningful conversation or experienced life alongside them, news of their death can leave us feeling bereaved and grief-stricken. After the recent passing of actress, Helen McCrory, I felt a sadness comparable to losing someone close to me. I knew Helen McCrory primarily from her role in Peaky Blinders, yet this did not lessen the loss I felt and her husband, Damien Lewis’, tribute to her in The Times brought me to tears. Continue reading Mourning Together, For All

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2021 is the New 90s: Recycling Fashion Trends

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it has become harder for new and exciting fashion trends to emerge on the scene. Many designers and creators have noted how difficult it has been to create content when homebound. However, there is one particular decade that we have turned to during this time of increased isolation: the 90s. But what is the reasoning behind the resurgence of iconic fashion trends from the 90s? Is it because there has been nothing else to do except rummage through our parents’ wardrobes? Or has binge-watch classic TV shows and films brought about this sudden desire to hark back to the decade that gave us so many awe-inspiring fashion movements? Images of icons, such as Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Campbell and Winona Ryder are resurfacing on the internet and within the fashion world, inspiring those who are keen to embody the 90s look. Continue reading 2021 is the New 90s: Recycling Fashion Trends

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Life after Lockdown: Fabric Shopping

It’s rather niche, perhaps very niche, but the thing I was looking forward to most and will continue to look forward to, as we crawl towards a sense of normality and shops reopen, is fabric shopping. Life after lockdown seemed so far away when the cold and dark winter months crawled on, but we are here (well, sort of). Of course, I’m most looking forward … Continue reading Life after Lockdown: Fabric Shopping

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Secondary School and Sexual Harassment

I would like to start by stating that this article is not intended to be my personal vents about not fitting in, nor a brandishing attack on my secondary school. I have interviewed three different people to help with this article: one boy from an independent school for boys and two girls who also went to single-sex schools. I have spoken to countless other individuals, all in the hope of better understanding the issue of teenage sexual assault and trying to find a solution. Continue reading Secondary School and Sexual Harassment

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How Invisalign is Going: Reflections from the Middle of the Process

It has been 14 weeks and 13 separate trays since I started my Invisalign course on the 11th of January. After my first article about beginning the process, I thought I’d update anyone whose interested in undergoing treatment themselves (or just curious) on my thoughts and experiences. Continue reading How Invisalign is Going: Reflections from the Middle of the Process

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Life after Lockdown: Cinemas

The lights go down while I’ve spent the last twenty minutes whispering to my friend ‘we should go see that’ about every trailer that’s played, and the room falls silent. My bag of overpriced popcorn is practically empty, and I’m definitely going to need the toilet at a crucial point in the film. I’ve put my phone on silent, away in my back pocket for … Continue reading Life after Lockdown: Cinemas

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My Culture Comforts: Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher is a no-skip album. Each song is different yet fits cohesively into the overall sound: a mix of acoustic, indie rock and swirling synths. Sometimes avoiding rhyme altogether, Bridgers lyrics are bittersweet, cynical and funny, jumping between memory, dream and fantasy through introspective fragments. ‘Moon Song’ is her most lyrically accomplished, featuring the poetic line: ‘I will wait for the next time you want me / Like a dog with a bird at your door.’ How on earth does she manage to perform it on stage without bursting into tears? Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers

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Hangover Anxiety: How to Cope with ‘Hangxiety’

“I just want to cry,” I said to my housemate the night after a Big One. I couldn’t understand it. A great night, more raucous behaviour than you can shake a stick at, and there I was exhausted, anxious, and miserable. I slobbed about in my pyjamas from bed to kitchen to bed again, tentatively eating some stale Doritos in the hope that they would soak up some of the vodka swishing around my stomach and cheer me up, to no avail. Even a few episodes of Modern Family couldn’t dispel my gloom; I was well and truly glum. Continue reading Hangover Anxiety: How to Cope with ‘Hangxiety’

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Does One Show Equal One Star?

*Spoilers for How to Get Away with Murder* Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries, Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy, Alfred Enoch from How to Get Away With Murder, Connie Britton from Nashville…. Those are just a few examples I managed to list when first thinking about the question of lead characters leaving their hit tv shows. It is not uncommon by any … Continue reading Does One Show Equal One Star?

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A Guide to Overcoming Burnout

Most of us have been there. Panic coffees and Red Bulls driving you through the 2am slog on the morning of deadline day, fuelled by the last of your adrenaline with no time to even worry about how you got in this position. At least, with the dull droning of the pandemic in my ears throughout my final year at University, I’ve certainly been there more times than I’d like to admit this year. I feel like I’ve been verging on the edge of “burnout” territory since November. Continue reading A Guide to Overcoming Burnout

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Review: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has done it again. By ‘it’, I mean managed to record a THIRD lockdown album. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) hit streaming platforms at midnight on Friday 9 April, and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks transported back to my tween years as a deeply committed Taylor Swift stan. Continue reading Review: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

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Interview: Stroll Mates Exeter

The death of Sarah Everard sent shockwaves across the nation; the murder of an innocent young woman, whilst she walked home, highlighting not only the absence of measures to protect women but also the extent of male inflicted sexual violence across the UK. Closer to home, the sexual assault of two female students on campus cast a light on the problem of sexual violence towards women and the existence of rape culture within Exeter itself. Continue reading Interview: Stroll Mates Exeter

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Review: Worn Stories

What do an astronaut, Tina Turner’s former saxophonist, a former convict, and a congresswoman have in common? They all have a piece of clothing to which they connect a defining moment in their life – and they all feature in Worn Stories. The Netflix production based on Emily Spivack’s eponymous book launched on April 1st and was created by Jenji Kohan. If her name sounds familiar to you, you might remember it from the opening credits of Orange Is the New Black, which she produced. Continue reading Review: Worn Stories

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Pixar: Representation in Animation

Alongside their most recent animated feature film, Soul, Pixar have released a series of new ‘SparkShorts’. Each at around 7-10 minutes long, they follow a long history of such short films which Pixar have been making for years, and many readers my age will probably remember watching the older ones before their favourite childhood films, (if you want a real nostalgia trip, try watching some old Pixar Shorts on YouTube). However, these aren’t just any old shorts, as Pixar has put diversity and opportunity for marginalised voices at the forefront of this project. Pixar gave employees six months to develop their stories, most of them based on personal experiences, with the hope that as a company they would ‘discover new storytellers and explore new storytelling techniques’. The result is one the most inspiring and moving range of animations I have ever seen Pixar produce, all told through gorgeous animation styles. Continue reading Pixar: Representation in Animation

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Sex-Based Harassment: What Men Can Do to Help Stop Sexual Harassment Against Women

Ever since I was young, I realised that women were subject to different rules and expectations to men. In secondary school, this was exasperated. When I was in year eight and most of our teachers were on strike, remaining members of staff had the girls undergo a self-defence class. It was boring. The boys, on the other hand, went to play football. When I was sixteen, I was walking home, covered in mud from a trek in the countryside, and two grown men catcalled me from their car. When I was in Sixth Form, we had an assembly in which our teachers scare-mongered us about the dangers of sending photos of an explicit nature online. I recall a few times when photos were leaked, where the women received backlash from their peers and the men who leaked them got off Scott-free. And throughout my time at school, I was slapped by the hands of too many men, pushed about, and had my wrists and arms twisted, even as I approached and entered adulthood. I quickly realised that school was a breeding ground for rape culture and violence against women. Continue reading Sex-Based Harassment: What Men Can Do to Help Stop Sexual Harassment Against Women

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In Conversation with Active Together 

Over the past academic year, Exeter University’s Education Incubator opened up a call for student-led, anti-racism projects, announcing that they were “looking for students at Exeter who [wanted] to develop innovative ideas and approaches to enhance the anti-racism agenda both within the University community and beyond.” Subsequently, five student-led projects were awarded funding to develop their collaborative, student-centric, anti-racism projects. I had the chance to speak to the faces behind one of these projects: Nina Cunningham, a third year BSc Sociology student, Rhianna Garrett, a Master’s student of Technology, Creativity and Thinking in Education, and Manan Shah, a first year LLB Law student. Together, they launched Active Together, which aims to tackle the culture of racism and microaggressions that can be prevalent within University societies.  Continue reading In Conversation with Active Together 

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Princesses at War: Racism and Sexism in the Media

When the lives of the British royals are put under the microscopic lens of the UK tabloids, there is no-where to hide, not behind the palace gates nor behind the false pretences of a ceremonial title. A master of manipulation, the British press possesses the capability to harness the minds of the masses through a few simple words, a power once reserved for leaders and the royals themselves. Continue reading Princesses at War: Racism and Sexism in the Media

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Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

It has been a year of actively avoiding physical touch. When we walk through the supermarket we duck and dodge the elderly ladies with inexplicable death wishes, we cringingly recoil from welcoming hugs offered by old (and apparently stupid) friends, and, like Lady Macbeth, we relentlessly scrub at the library desk before we sit down to prevent touching others by proxy. So, it only makes sense that touching sexual partners has somewhat lost its appeal. Continue reading Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

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#Everyone’sInvited – The Clue is in the Name

Everyone’s Invited, the Instagram page that everyone is talking about. Over 32,000 people to be exact. The page, created by 22-year-old Soma Sara, is a much-needed space designed for everyone and anyone to call out rape culture. The testimonials section, where people can anonymously publish their experiences as either a witness to or victim of rape culture has, finally and rightly, brought the engrained culture of misogyny out from the well-concealed enclaves of schools and universities. Continue reading #Everyone’sInvited – The Clue is in the Name

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Best Lockdown Buys: Themed Nights

Lockdown upon lockdown has either made time fly or crawl. One silver lining of this added time indoors is the necessary demand for creativity. Although, admittedly, much entertainment came from Netflix and alcohol… some stand out purchases really helped us through. Want company but housemates are at deadline central? No worries, just settle down with “Bones Jones” – our niche new housemate. This plastic skeleton … Continue reading Best Lockdown Buys: Themed Nights

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Diversity and Inclusivity: The Problem with Award Shows

When announcing nominations and winners, award shows like the Oscars and the Grammys have the opportunity to amplify stories and voices through their platform. These awards do not define music and films as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but, due to the nature of their voting processes, they ultimately become popularity contests and a race for record labels and production companies to win over the most members … Continue reading Diversity and Inclusivity: The Problem with Award Shows

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Best Lockdown Buys: Hair Scissors

With hairdressers closed and my boyfriend and me both desperate for a trim, I decided to take matters into my own hands and order the cheapest hair scissors I could find off Amazon in February. Although the scissors arrived within no time, it took us a few more days to bring up the courage to make use of them. While I was bombarding my boyfriend … Continue reading Best Lockdown Buys: Hair Scissors

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Netflix and the Oscars: How Unconventional Streaming Platforms are Starting to Dominate Awards Season

Streaming service Netflix has amassed 35 nominations for the 2021 Oscars, the third most for a studio since the history of the awards. Towering over major theatrical studios including Universal, Warner Bros and A24, one question remains at the forefront the industry – what is the future of online distribution and the award season? Continue reading Netflix and the Oscars: How Unconventional Streaming Platforms are Starting to Dominate Awards Season

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Shame and the Body: Reducing Anxiety about the Body that Sustains You

Society’s toxic body politic has transformed the human form into a site for unscrupulous judgement during the 21st century – worsened by the over-saturation of toned ‘influencer’ bodies on our social media feeds. Sadly, it’s becoming all too common for young people to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. As Psychology Today states; “there is a societal body-shaming that is so ingrained that it can feel like the truth”. Indeed, being self-critical has become almost ‘second-nature’ for a lot of people – myself included. Yet, this shouldn’t be something that is normalised. Continue reading Shame and the Body: Reducing Anxiety about the Body that Sustains You

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Vilified Victims: The Problematic Portrayal of Violence Against Women in True Crime

During multiple lockdowns this year and last, I have found myself reaching for true crime documentaries and films on Netflix. There’s something about them that’s just so compelling to me – I’m the kind of person who stays up on Wikipedia deep dives reading about serial killers, much to my shame. However, many of these shows and films fall short at representing their female victims … Continue reading Vilified Victims: The Problematic Portrayal of Violence Against Women in True Crime

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Review: Behind Her Eyes

I thought I had hacked it. ‘You’ll love the twist; I didn’t see it coming!’ were the words of fellow viewers I shook off with confidence. The psychological thriller embedded in the quaint charm of an English town is a formula well acquainted with the British public, and yet Netflix’s new mindbender, Behind Her Eyes takes the slow burn to new heights, pulling off the … Continue reading Review: Behind Her Eyes

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Bleed Greener: Heritage and the Climate Crisis

When people pause to consider the implications of the climate crisis, generally only a select few images and ideas spring to mind. The term ‘climate’ may evoke thoughts of sweltering hot summers and icy winters, sudden deluges and other extreme climatic events. It may also elicit questions about rising sea levels, such as what this process will mean for low-lying countries. The idea of ‘crisis’ could be linked, in some people’s minds, with the various economic crises that have occurred over the past several decades. It is also a term that has often been used to describe the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now been causing global disorder for over a year. While these are all valid connections to make, the reach of the climate crisis is much broader: in fact, in some way or other, it affects every aspect of modern life and culture. Heritage is one of the most notable industries that is threatened by the climate crisis, and our failure to acknowledge and act upon this fact may have devastating consequences. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Heritage and the Climate Crisis

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Protecting our Protests

Our right to protest has been a fundamental part of our democracy here in the UK for a long time. Chartism and protests for working rights were widespread in the nineteen-hundreds. The early twentieth century saw first-wave feminists campaigning for suffrage and, eventually, achieving it. The Rebecca Riots took place in the dawn of the Victorian era in South Wales, eventually leading to the South … Continue reading Protecting our Protests

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Review: Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death

In early 2020, filmmakers Charlie Russell and Dov Freedman met with Caroline Flack to discuss making a documentary that would tell her side of the story, in the wake of her recent assault charge. That documentary was never made, as just a couple of months later, she took her own life. Now, a year on from her death, Russell and Freedman have turned the project into a heartfelt eulogy that is both compelling and devastating. Continue reading Review: Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death

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The Responsibility of our News Presenters

Should opinion have a place in news reporting? In an ideal world, objective reporting would allow people to make up their own minds about current affairs. But from the off, this isn’t realistic. There’s a sliding scale when the media engages with political and personal biases, and Sky, Channel 4, and BBC’s news programmes are not immune to this. Openly political news reporting such as … Continue reading The Responsibility of our News Presenters

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Art Therapy: An Under-Valued Method of Increasing Mental Wellbeing

The complexity and subjectivity of emotion makes it a difficult topic when it comes to communication. Within the realms of mental wellbeing, it is therefore critical that people have methods of emotional exploration and a way of conveying how they feel to others, to increase empathy and understanding. Artistic representations of thought and feeling can be used to express emotionality when words fail. Continue reading Art Therapy: An Under-Valued Method of Increasing Mental Wellbeing

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Curtain Call in COVID-19

The last time I saw live theatre was back in late 2019, when I was sat watching Paul O’Grady in drag performing in the pantomime version of Goldilocks. Despite my preconceptions of watching a pantomime as an adult, it was surprisingly rude and worthy of genuine laughs out loud. I left the theatre entertained and desperate to tell any unlucky acquaintance about the past two hours of sex and bum jokes I had just witnessed. Over a year later, it looks like theatres will finally be able to reopen to half capacity on 17 May 2021, and full capacity on that fated day in June 2021. But with the cinema industry hit hard enough to bankrupt Cineworld, things don’t bode well for the theatre industry. Continue reading Curtain Call in COVID-19

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Is Vanilla the New Frigid: TikTok and Coercion

Is ‘Vanilla’ the new ‘Frigid’? Having now been on TikTok for a while I was unsurprised when a section of the app called KinkTok or FreakTok came under fire in a recent VICE article by Lucy Robinson, and 19-year old Lily, interviewed for the piece, made this link between the terms. This thriving subculture on the app may have originally started as a safe place for the Kink community to share experiences and tips but it has recently been overrun with some very problematic and even dangerous content. Some of the top videos in this community often cover knife play, choking and rough sex of all levels and there have been frequent instances of the term ‘Vanilla’ being used as an insult. This term may not be familiar to those not in the kink community or in the younger generations, but we will all be familiar with the insult ‘Frigid’, a fan favourite of secondary school boys everywhere. But really, what is wrong with liking non-kinky sex? Continue reading Is Vanilla the New Frigid: TikTok and Coercion

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When Does Cultural Appreciation Become Cultural Appropriation When it Comes to Marketing?

Cultural appropriation seems to be a phrase that’s coming up more and more frequently on social media, particularly in conversations surrounding the fashion industry. Many popular fashion companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Savage X Fenty, Gucci, and Prada have been accused of cultural appropriation in designs and marketing. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the practices, customs, or aesthetics of one social or ethnic group by members of another (typically dominant) community or society.” A deeper understanding of cultural appropriation refers to when people in the dominant culture in society take elements from a culture that has previously been systematically oppressed. This means that in 2012 when Karlie Kloss walked down the Victoria’s Secret Runway wearing underwear paired with a Native American headdress, suede fringe, and turquoise jewellery the Navajo people were deeply offended as the outfit disrespected and trivialised their culture. When designers take inspiration from other people’s cultures, it lets them show a love for the cultural aesthetic. The caveat of that is that often, in doing so, these designers remain prejudiced against its people. Continue reading When Does Cultural Appreciation Become Cultural Appropriation When it Comes to Marketing?