Entries Tagged as 'Trending'

Say No to the Fro? African American Hair Choices May Affect Future Hiring


By Kathleen Smith


A sly smile appears across Claudijah Lever’s face as she shifts forward in her chair, as if she’s about to tell a secret. She radiates confidence as she talks about her crowning glory: her African American natural hair.

Until the early 1900s, and the invention and patent of the first hot comb for straightening by Annie Turnbo, African American women could not straighten their curly locks. Today, women wear their hair relaxed or straightened while others prefer a more Afrocentric look, such as braids, cornrows, dreadlocks or afros. Lupita Nyong’o recently accepted the best supporting actress Oscar while wearing her hair in a short, natural fro accessorized with a headband. Vogue Daily then crowned her best dressed from head to toe. Each hairstyle a black woman wears represents the image she wants to portray, but can that style ultimately cost her a job in the workforce?

It could, says the President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Gwendolyn Grant. Companies have an established culture, and if your style doesn’t fit with that culture, then a company may not want to hire you. Young applicants and graduates are encouraged to find out what is acceptable in their potential industry and to present themselves in that way. And when in doubt, go toward conservative.


Company cultures vary widely. What is acceptable to a company like Hallmark may not be acceptable to Commerce Bank. Grant suggests basic hairstyles for all African American women, such as straightened hair, weaves, extensions or even wearing a wig. Styles like cornrows will take the focus off you, she says. Despite antidiscrimination laws, interviewers have their own biases.

“While the country and society may be progressing in areas of race and sexual preferences, the corporate sector is not,” Grant said. “The important thing is that a young person of color must assimilate into the culture of that company.”

Lever agrees. The University of Kansas junior said while growing up in a black and Hispanic neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee, she learned the importance of hair from an early age. She reminisces about how she got her first kiddie perm at age 8 so she would fit in more with the Latino girls in her class. Now she wears her hair natural, but says she will straighten it or wear it up for job interviews because she feels it will affect her chance of getting a job as a nurse after graduation.

“A lot of companies do not embrace Afrocentric styles,” Lever said. “I always get a lot of people of other races asking me about my hair. I don’t want it to be a factor of whether I get a job or not.”


Black men are not off the hook with their hair either, says Nichole Hines, the owner of Niki’s Niche salon in Leawood, Kan. The college-educated son of one of Hines’ clients could not get a job because he wore dreadlocks. He finally cut off his dreads and Sprint immediately hired him. He works in the IT industry and was not in front of the public, but still couldn’t get hired until he cut off his dreads. People think dreads are dirty because you have to go months without washing your hair to get it to lock together.

“Dreads are virtually an employment blocker,” Hines said. “One can try pulling them back and creating a conservative look for interviews, but this hairstyle choice is really not accepted by most businesses.”

Hines says that 90 percent of her clients are professional, white collar, African American women who mostly wear their hair naturally but get it straightened. Her clients abandon the chemicals for a plethora of reasons, mostly safety and health. She believes natural textured styles can be acceptable in the workforce but they must be tame. Her clients prefer twist outs and braid outs that are formed when the hair is wet and then dried. This allows the hair to form waves and ringlet curls. If a black woman just washes her hair and lets it dry naturally, she’ll wind up with a fro and that’s a no-no in conservative industries.

“I think potential employees need to research every company they are interviewing with to learn the acceptable culture. If it is a company with few minorities, this is not the time to make a statement with a fro,” Hines said. “It’s not selling out, it is survival.”


Edited and photographed by Hannah Swank

Model: Clarisa Warfield

#WITW14, or, a #Kimye Dialogue


By Chloe Hough


I was recently told by my (now ex) boyfriend not to write this article – to get off my “feminist kick” with all the “big words” I had learned at the 2014 Women in the World Summit, hashtag’d #WITW14 with over 500 million Twitter impressions, founded and co-hosted by editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast Tina Brown.

I found this comment interesting as I told him post-conference about my plans to write a response to the Vogue cover article, “Keeping Up with Kimye,” as this summit was not a bra-burning, men-denouncing dichotomy scenario, but in fact, quite the opposite. This conference was a place for all genders to gather: We celebrated strong women such as Hillary R. Clinton and Christine Lagarde, were inspired by young women CEO’s who have created humanitarian change and learned more about pressing issues such as Pussy Riot’s time in prison under Vladimir Putin for peaceful protest. It was full of “cool women” as Tina Brown eloquently put it.

I am not here to put out conjecture on why Kim should or shouldn’t be labeled “aspirational” as Anna Wintour puts it in her editor’s note. There is a strong debate around the Internet about the significance of Kim’s gracing the cover. Brown herself wrote a response to Wintour’s comment (mainly plugging #WITW14) titled, “Why Kim Kardashian is Not an Aspirational Woman.” Other articles I have picked through discuss why Kim is relevant, and why she deserves the attention she receives.

I am here, however, to discuss what I found in the shadows of the spotlight, in the connotations of the article and the wording Kim and Kanye chose to describe their “fantasy world.”

Vogue’s Hamish Bowles paints a very honest, even graceful portrait of the couple and their darling baby, North West. The set is reminiscent of a more Hollywood-glamour era than a monotonous reality television show. Bowles even manages to work in the “narcissism-nurturing mirrored wall” that parades a very real reflection of the millions watching the show and reading the magazine. I am reminded of Marilyn Monroe – I suspect Kim would be pleased to be compared to such an archetypal symbol – but I am saddened at the thought of what Marilyn became. She, much like Kim, is and was an ideal, a fantasy. Kanye even says, “Kim is like a fantasy, period. She’s like a dream girl. And I think a dream girl should live in a dream world.” So it goes.

Kanye is also quoted saying, “It’s really interesting that we’re on the front lines of a few different concepts at the same time. You’ve got the interracial thing; you have mega-media and mega-art crash; you have, you know, the Vogue-and-reality show combination. There’s a lot of new frontiers being broken in 2014.” And I have to wonder: Is part of this grand debate over the cover rooted in the fact that we are not sure if Kim is, in fact, a pioneer, breaking “frontiers,” or rather if she is simply a product of society?

For example, one of the most telling pictures of this fantasy world embodies sort of an ersatz-iconic sentiment of glamour, narcissism, societal burden and paradigm all at once. This is the photograph of Kanye holding an iPad, recording Kim and North taking a seflie on a cell phone, mirroring their lives in a quite literal, as well as metaphorical fashion. Annie Leibovitz is famous for capturing, if I had to choose only one word, truth in her photos, and this one is no different. It is also important to remember there is a fourth wall of sorts: the audience. The camera itself is a mirror. And speaking of mirrors, Kanye even states of the couple’s wedding: “We could get the Hall of Mirrors [at Versailles] or something. We could turn up.”

One of the segments at #WITW14 discussed the power of the selfie and the ability it presents to young people in particular that one can be beautiful without a mirage of makeup slathered on, without “hypersexualization” as actress Rashida Jones entitled it, and without pretense for the model in question. The problem with this is that we are hypersexualized, and Kardashian is no exception. Famous for pioneering contouring in the celebrity makeup world, notorious for her accidentally released sex tape with former beau Ray J and renowned for her “womanly” ass-ets, Kim Kardashian could be called the antichrist of feminism.

I, however, would make the case that the multi-dimensional selfie photograph by Leibovitz is a parallel, if not an echo, of a whole generation of millennials and their predecessors who have elected to put Kimye on their self-proclaimed throne. The paradox with the selfie is this: Kardashian is bashed for her idolization when in reality she is just a reflection of ourselfies – pun intended. We venerate ourselves (guilty), which is empowering and damaging at the same time, as it can lead to a perpetual teenager reigning queen, marrying her prince and living happily ever after. Right?

Of course Vogue, like all major monthly publications, chooses its cover models to remain, in part, culturally relevant – Tina Brown even relents this in her critique of Wintour’s selection. So I pose this question: Should we be attacking Kimye? In promoting #WITW14, Brown does make an excellent point that Kim Kardashian would not be one of the “cool women” on stage at the summit. And in my personal opinion, she probably wouldn’t want to attend anyway.

However, we as a society (and I hate to use that term in such a general sense), have created a frenzied dialogue about what cultural hubs such as Vogue magazine should and shouldn’t promote, and yet we personify the camera following Kardashian’s royal self(ie).

We have socially konstructed the Kardashian Kommonwealth, and now we must live with our rulers and their empire.


See more of the #WorldsMostTalkedAboutCouple here.

Edited by Hannah Swank

Photo by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue magazine

Spring Break Diets: What Some Will Do to “Get Skinny Quick”




Sitting at the bar in Dempsey’s Burger Pub with an Odell ‘5 Barrel’ Pale Ale in hand, Cameron* Long, a third year KU Law School student from Overland Park, shifted uncomfortably as he described the intense diet he went on for spring break two years ago.

“The first three days were absolutely miserable,” Cameron said. “The first day I could only eat fruit. I was starving and I felt like I was torturing myself.”

Cameron and his friend John* were desperate to get in shape and impress the ladies for their trip to Panama City, Fl., in 2012. They did a quick Google search online, found the General Motors (GM) Diet and decided to give it a try. The GM Diet was developed for employees and dependents of General Motors, Inc. with a grant from the FDA. The management’s intention was to facilitate a wellness and fitness program for everyone, according to the website Cameron and John used.

Cameron said he wouldn’t have done it if John didn’t do it with him. He said it’s just kind of embarrassing to be on a diet if you’re a guy.

During the first seven days of Cameron and John’s diet they had to abstain from all alcohol and drink 10 glasses of water each day.

Cameron, who is 5-foot-7 and about 160 pounds, is not overweight, according to the Rush University Medical Center’s Height and Weight Chart. Neither Cameron nor John needed to lose weight; they just wanted to diet and look good because, well, it was spring break.

“We thought it would be fun, and even though guys don’t like to admit it, we care about being in shape too,” Cameron said.

He said he still drank whiskey on occasion and was able to lose 15 pounds in one week. He said the whiskey definitely got to him faster and he felt lightheaded every time he drank but he couldn’t resist; he had to have some enjoyment.

Cameron laughed and took a sip of his beer.

“It was a week of hell and I gained it all back immediately, but if you wanna lose weight quick, I promise this works,” Cameron said.



The GM Diet is just one of many crazy diets students experiment with to lose those extra pounds before beach week. Kelsey Fortin, health educator in the resource office at Watkins Memorial Health Center at the University of Kansas, said students are swarming in early March, asking about fad diets.

General Motors:
Day 1: Fruit only
Day 2: Vegetables only
Day 3: A mixture of fruits and vegetables
Day 4: Bananas and milk
Day 5: Beef and tomatoes
Day 6: Beef and vegetables
Day 7: Brown rice, fruit juice and vegetables

Limited carbohydrates and no fruit
Heavy on meat, fish, cheese and vegetables

Cabbage Soup:
Eat as much cabbage soup as you want for
seven days
Recipe and directions here

Based on the concept that the optimal diet is
the one to which we are genetically adapted.
Cannot eat: dairy, grain, soft drinks, fruit
juices, fatty meats, salty foods, sweets,
potatoes or starchy vegetables, limited fruit
Can eat: eggs, meat, fish, olive oil, sweet
potatoes only, bananas and unsalted nuts

The most popular spring break diets this year, Fortin said, are the Atkins Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet and the Paleo Diet.

“With all fad diets, you will see results when you first start,” Fortin said. “But they are very unhealthy, not a long-term solution and most students will just gain the weight back the minute they stop.”

Fortin said she gets tons of students coming to her desk wanting a “quick fix” and she tells them that’s not how it works. She said if people really want to be healthy and lose weight they need to take the time to learn about a balanced diet and incorporate healthy foods into their lifestyle every day. Fortin said all food groups are important and balance is key.

Katie*, a senior from Edina, Minn., is another student who longed for a get-skinny- quick diet. Katie said with her busy lifestyle, it was hard to stick to limiting food, so she tried the Grapefruit Diet.

She said she read somewhere that if you eat half a grapefruit before every meal, you can naturally lose weight because of the excess water filling you up.

“I was so sick of grapefruit by the end of the week, but I guess it was worth it. I lost 5 pounds, just in time for bikini season,” Katie said.

Amanda*, one of Katie’s friends and a senior from Naperville, Ill., said she tried the Atkins diet instead because she didn’t think the Grapefruit Diet would work. She said Atkins was extremely hard because you have to drastically lower your carb intake and you are constantly hungry.

Amanda and Katie both felt the need to go on a diet before spring break because “everybody was doing it.”

Katie said it’s hard to just eat regularly when everyone around you is on a new diet and constantly talking about it; the only way to tolerate all the diet talk is to join in too.

“Any diet that tells you to completely eliminate a food group or eat as much as you want of something is not healthy,” said Fortin, the health educator. “I call those red flag diets because most of the time people will end up gaining even more when they stop.”

Katie said she thinks the 5 pounds she lost right before spring break made no difference in the long run.

“Any weight I did lose, I gained back during spring break just from all the alcohol,” Katie said.

Amanda blushed, laughed and nodded reluctantly in agreement.

*Names have been changed.


-Avalon Cole

Edited and photographed by Hannah Swank

Snagging a Pair of Highly Coveted Sneakers: A How-to Guide





Copping a fresh pair of Nikes is harder that you think.


Sure, buying those Air Max 90s with your mom at DSW was easy enough back in the day, but snagging a pair of highly coveted sneakers is much more difficult. There are pre-release campouts at stores, ridiculously long lines the morning of the release, and absurdly fast sell-outs. And that’s all in New York. The game is much harder to play here in the Midwest, where your best bet for a nice pair of sneakers is an out-of-state “friend” you met at a party who had good drugs.

First I’m going to handle the haters, because I feel their wrath coming and I keep my pimp hand strong. It’s not that hard – just buy them online. –SMACK- Why don’t you just go to the mall, or Foot Locker? -SMACK SMACK- Bitch please with that nonsense. If this were that easy, you all would be wearing Air Yeezy 2s or Nike Mag 10s instead of the Shocks and Sperrys I see y’all fools rocking. Respect your elders in the game, because I’ve been there.


The bottom line that any true sneakerhead will realize about life in the Midwest is that good shoes are imported. There simply isn’t a large enough market for brand retailers like Foot Locker or FinishLine (or other good stores) to supply either the volume or selection that places in LA and NYC can cater to. Sure, they might participate in highly anticipated releases to ride the wave of profitability that these release provide, but shoe stores out here cater to a different market. And sadly, that market is flooded with Crocs.


The second thing you should know about dedicated sneaker shopping is that shopping online can be just as unsuccessful on release dates. Especially on highly coveted pairs, sites like Eastbay of FinishLine have been known to experience server crashes when flooded with thousands of customers in a five-minute span. A crashed site, with an emptied cart, is not what you want.


Your true path to glory will be had via Twitter. Follow “@nikestore” and keep an eye on their tweets the day before the expected release date, which can be found on the Nike store’s calendar. At some point, usually mid-afternoon, the Nike store Twitter feed will tweet something prolific, something that will resonate with a generation. Something like: “Extra responsiveness. Ultimate control. The @NikeBasketball KD V Elite launches tomorrow at 8am EDT. pic.twitter.com/24rrajgjmP”.

At this point the heat is on. You know the date. You know the time. Set your alarm, cue up a Twitter feed on perpetual refresh, and let the waiting begin.


At the assigned time, Nike’s twitter will ring out again, although this time with a link to the proper Nike store page. USE THIS LINK. Nike’s site has a reputation as being the best place to buy sneakers, namely because their servers expect to handle the massive influx of customers. Move smoothly, but quickly, adding one pair, and only one pair to your cart. None of this Nelly, Air Force One, “Get me two pairs,” type nonsense. Some releases are extremely limited, and Nike will limit their sales to a certain amount per customer. Apparently you’re allowed to go over the limit when adding shoes to your cart, but come checkout time, the whole thing fails, empties your cart, and starts you over at the back of the line. Not a good place to be when the stakes are high and the bounty is few. Best to ensure you’ve got at least one pair before getting greedy.

Once you’ve got your cart loaded, do like I do when late in the semester and check the fuck out.

Sit back, wait for shipping, and prepare for hipster girls to swoon.

– Preston Bukaty 

Edited by Erika Reals

Photography by Vasu Gupta

1645 Cambridge St.



By their own admission Ferry Kaiser’s and Caroline Grootes’ home at 1645 Cambridge Rd. in the West Hills neighborhood exhibits “hodgepodge” structure – a comfortable yet modern cohesion resulting from a series of renovations and additions by local designers.


The house started as a two-bedroom, one-bath kit house built in 1948 on a corner lot in the then brand new West Hills neighborhood.  An extra wing, a study, and a garage were added at various points in the home’s history until Ferry and Caroline moved in in 1992.  They made small changes during their first years in the home until 2006, when they hired local architectural firm Sabatini Architects Inc. and contractor Scott Trettel (both KU alumni) to coalesce the site’s elements to make them more cohesive and functional.


These designers worked to connect all of the existing elements (the original kit home, a study, garage, as well as other small additions) into a structure centered around a courtyard.  The original home contains the living spaces, with the wings on either side containing Ferry and Caroline’s suite on the East and their two daughters’ living quarters on the West. In addition to reworking the plan, Sabatini and Trettel updated the windows and insulation and added cedar trim and “smoldering red” (actual name of paint) hardy board siding.


The result is a “comfortable, inhabited and warm” home that is modern yet fitting for the scale of the rest of the neighborhood. After the many years of work, however, Ferry and Caroline considering downsizing, so look for this one on the market in the future.


Meghan Skornia

Photography by Vasu Gupta

DIY: Christmas Crafting


This Christmas, Alex gave a big middle finger to “The Man” and opted instead to craft her own wrapping paper and tags.  As an alternative to using the standard ‘to: and from: sticker’, Alex used photographs to identify who presents were for.


These photo tags (as demonstrated below) can also be used strategically, by tactically placing a bow over someone’s face. maniacal laugh.


           In addition, she transformed a standard Little Tree air freshener into a present tag. To do this, Alex took an address label and simply cut it to fit over the old label. Merry Christmas, you smell bad. (We kid.)


For the grand finale, Alex “wrapped” a wine bottle using an old and lonely cable knit glove. First, she put the neck of the bottle in the middle finger and then tied the other fingers together to make a braided design.


As a final festive touch, Alex then grabbed a few sprigs of tree from the backyard. And BOOM.


Spending a total of zero dollars, cleaning up her car all while simultaneously creating creative one of a kind items…


Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s Alex FTW.


-Sabrina Liedtke

Photography and Crafting Genius by Alexandra Julian Moore

A Quick Guide to Gift-Getting


Every year, the women of my family ask me for a Christmas list. And since I’m a technologically capable and somewhat thoughtful 20-something, I give them a highly-organized, curated, and easy-to-use listing of everything they could possibly imagine. I include pictures, site links, prices, sizing – it’s a goddamn encyclopedia of gift-giving knowledge. And every year, my family basically says, “Nah, fuck that,” ignoring pretty much every idea I gave them. So instead of getting things I actually want, I’m stuck with an armful of ill-fitting, wack ass crap. Every damn year.

This year, I’m taking my hard-earned knowledge of how to survive this fiasco and imparting it to you, our loving readers, because I know I’m not the only one.


1a. If you know ahead of time your list will most likely be ignored I suggest you skip making one  at all. It’s a waste of time. And you should therefore proceed to step two.

1b. If you’re forced to offer something, keep it short and sweet. These days my list consists solely of, “money.” I used to write, “Dolla dolla bills y’all,” until I wound up with $3 on Christmas morning.

2. Secondly, learn to feign excitement.

SOTH_XMAS-240This skill comes in handy on more than just Christmas morning. “I LOVE this sweater,” translates pretty easily into things like, “I LOVE how you look in that dress,” and, “I LOVE you.” Just ask my ex-girlfriends.SOTH_XMAS-180

3a. Get receipts .

You need receipts to return shit, which let’s be honest, you’ll be doing a lot of. Whether you flip the stuff for straight cash homie, or you’re forced to do an exchange, the trick is to get a receipt in a polite, innocuous way. My strategy is to lie, generally concocting some wacky story about my fluctuating body size. “Oh gee whiz, I think I’ll need a large in this.” Tell everyone something different so know one really knows what to buy for you. I’m pretty sure no one in my family has an accurate idea of what size I am in anything, which is how I like it.

3b. Return stuff PRONTO.

Two things happen after the holidays: People return things like crazy, and prices drop on F/W gear that wasn’t sold pre-christmas. Get there early and you can turn one shitty shirt into two, maybe three awesome new pieces.  December 26 is the real Black Friday. If you don’t know, now you know.

4. Continue the lie.


People in your family hope to see you wearing what they bought you, and they’ll be hurt if they found out you returned it. But you wouldn’t have to return it if they had better taste, right? Right. So you needn’t worry- The odds are with you on this one. There are 365 days in a year, and I only see my family like, I don’t know, four of them. So for that 1% of the year bust out this line: “Yeah, I only brought one shirt home this break. But I wear that cat sweater all the time.”


-Nick Longsfeld

638 Walnut St.


North Lawrence is my favorite part of town. So when choosing my first house to feature, naturally I looked to a group of lots on Walnut Street designed and built by KU’s very own, Scott Trettel and his company Scott Trettel Design Build Fabricate Inc.

Clayton and Molly are the proud owners of 638 Walnut street, just north of the Kaw river. This is one of Trettel’s five houses with another currently under construction. I began watching these houses go up years ago while bike riding in North Lawrence, and have always loved the close-knit community.


The couple approached Scott Trettel Design Build Fabricate Inc. three years ago with a limited budget and a desire to build a home where they could be very much a part of the design process. The result is this modern, uniquely designed one bedroom home with personal touches.



Clayton and Molly’s home consists mostly of open space with the upstairs bedroom and downstairs office being the only closed off rooms.

The house features many green construction techniques as well. All of the doors and windows are from the Habitat Restore and outside a chicken coop was built with surplus materials. In an effort to keep costs down while adding visual interest and functionality, the couple took creative approaches when it came to light fixtures using industrial, outdoor fixtures inside.

Clayton and Molly consider their residence a work in progress, and are continually planning for renovations and additional space.


Meghan Skornia