Youth & Its Essence

The World From My Perspective

The Film Inside

By Olivia Ferrucci

   In the flooded heat of a thousand summers multiplied across each other, I found solace in my senses. Memories of soft skin and hard pavement collide in an instant like two hands bonded together. Etched lines against smooth palm, winter against summer. When my eyelids shut, the film begins to play and I am caught in a renaissance of what used to be.

Music Review Carrie: The Musical


Golden Days: An Editor's Note by Olivia Ferrucci

Hello, readers!

   Once again, the Lithium community has designed a set of attributes and ideals that fit our theme. Summer should be a time of effortless happiness, glory days and plenty of laughter.

Pom Pom Earrings: DIY

By Angela Macias

Contemporary Glory

By RyLee Weatherby

Days like today,
days that will always be 
shrouded in gold in my mind.
The dry hot air, 
the shockingly cold water on my feet,
the sleepy haze of the drive home- 
all reminding me of the long summer afternoons I enjoyed years ago, 
bathe me in a pool of nostalgia 
that I can't quite shake. 
They were, simply, my golden days,
today was the same. 
Memories of my past 
as I stood at the edge of a cliff 
ready to jump; 
the moment my feet left the brink 
I was flooded with adrenaline. 
It reminded me of love. 

A Day's Escape

By Rawan Olma
Displaying 2016-07-09 11.29.41 4.jpgDisplaying 2016-07-09 11.29.41 4.jpg
Displaying 2016-07-09 11.29.41 4.jpg
Our minds grow heavy with all the unanswered why’s of youth
Lips quivering with words daring to pour out
Winter’s cold grip had never truly left this gray town
It lingered within the sleepless nights buried behind the hollows of my eyes
It was in the blaring headlines broadcasting another senseless death

The Film Inside

By Olivia Ferrucci

   In the flooded heat of a thousand summers multiplied across each other, I found solace in my senses. Memories of soft skin and hard pavement collide in an instant like two hands bonded together. Etched lines against smooth palm, winter against summer. When my eyelids shut, the film begins to play and I am caught in a renaissance of what used to be.

Heat Exhaustion: Midas' Touch

By Breia Gore

I'm losing my touch between this summer sun.
Salty licked lips with not much to say.
Midas looks over at me with flecks, with bars in those yellow eyes he holds and whispers,
"Do you like long days? The sun closes shop at nine." 

Shade It Golden


By Danielle Leard

I have always dreamed about being able to live out my fantasies later in life. When I was nine, I was excited to bridge to middle school, because I thought middle school kids had all of the power on the playground. When I was twelve, my thirteenth birthday couldn’t come soon enough. After all, thirteen is the age you’re suddenly allowed to sign up for everything online. And now? Now, I’m anxious to be able to drive, earn my independence, decide for myself, be taken seriously, and essentially become an adult.

Nyla Lueeth on Summertime and Social Justice

Nyla Lueeth, most widely known by her Instagram handle @purp.alpaca, has amassed over 200,000 followers on a single platform in recent times. Nyla's core beliefs of celebrating each others' differences and fighting systematic oppression have only further developed her community. Editor-in-chief Olivia Ferrucci talked about everything from summertime to social justice with Nyla for our golden days issue!

10 Songs for the Perfect Summer

By Jada Moore

Feeling a bit out of it from a long school year? Looking for some cool beach tunes for the perfect summer? You're in luck! I've put together an amazing playlist of ten super cool songs that'll definitely give you a cool, summery feel. From DIIV's upbeat tune of "Human", to Mac Demarco's beautiful and romantic ballad "My Kind of Woman", to Teen Suicide's mysterious and sad piece "Bad Vibes", there's sure to be a perfect song for you!

Eternal Spring

Feminism, Vine, and Friends with Chloe Woodard

Chloe Woodard is a Viner and comedian based in Chicago. With 500 million views on Vine alone, her online presence is ever-increasing with no signs of slowing. Our editor-in-chief Olivia Ferrucci discussed everything from online platforms to feminism with Chloe.

Black Lives Matter: A Playlist

Justice for the 100+ unarmed black lives lost to police brutality from 2015 continuing on to 2016. For Sandra Bland, for Eric Garner, for Trayvon Martin, for Alton Sterling, for Philandro Castile; whose names and lives were more than a hashtag.

Let Time Fly

Get Woke: Bring Out the Golden Days Together

   What does it really mean to be safe these days? Does being armed with a gun mean our safety is ensured? Are police officers really equivalent to safety? Would putting people of a different skin color, a different religion, or someone who defies the gender binary system into prison, or even to death, equal safety these days? As sad as it is, a majority of the people of this world believe in these manifestations.

One Day

By Sam Schraub
We spent one golden day together
you and I
Bubbling salty seawater swept over my toes
burying them


Your Graduation & Suffocation

By Norma Leyva
Your Gradutation
All the talk is about your cap and gown,
The number of miles you'll face,
Meeting your gaze I can't do anything but look down,
Being together wasn't a journey but more of a race.

Our Lives

Unblooming: Where It Begins

Quensadilla Talks Vine, Music, and Hoverboards

Quenlin Blackwell, most frequently known as Quensadilla on Vine, can often be found whipping her hair into guitars and sliding around on a hoverboard. Her kind, booming personality is evident in each of her platforms. Our editor-in-chief, Olivia Ferrucci, asked Quenlin about her success on Vine and her own aspirations.

Jake Johnston on Music and Modeling

Jake Johnston, a comedy Viner and model, has amassed over 31 million loops of his videos. His charming, self-aware persona combined with a unique sense of humor create Johnston's overall online image. Editor-in-chief Olivia Ferrucci discussed modeling, music, and more with Jake Johnston.


By Bridget Fitzpatrick
   Before Brendon Urie sings his song “Golden Days”, he makes a small speech about the song's meaning. He states that when he grows old, he wants to live on a private island, relaxing and enjoying all of the success he had. Some people say their glory days are now, that they’re living them. Others say they are soon to come. I personally believe your glory days aren’t one specific time, but a collection of small, beautiful things you have done over the course of your life. I know my glory days aren’t over- they’ve barely started. 
    The best times to me are sitting in the bathtub with your best friend, eating pints of Ben and Jerry’s. Running into the ocean at sunset with Converse on your feet. Buying a ton of fireworks with no intention to use them. Sitting late at night with your best friends and talking about life. Being the only sober one at a party, getting to recognize all your friends' drunk behavior. Discovering music that will stick with you all of your life. Holding someone’s hand, tight. Running through the rain. Living with no fear of life ending anytime soon. 
    The golden days that are coming are what no one will expect. We all have dreams of how we envision of our futures. Some of us think we’ll be doctors, lawyers, artists, or musicians. We all have aspirations and goals. Some will achieve them, while others will create new ones. Most people will have families. Others will go through hard times to survive, but will find their way through it. We’re going through a time in life where we’re told we are lucky to live in this generation, and yet innocent people are being killed. We are told we should be lucky to be alive now. We need to appreciate the days we have. Many have already lost that privilege. Some people are being scarred by the actions of others and their privilege. We should be able to be free and have fun, rather than worrying about life and death. People should be able to go to parties without the fear of being drugged and raped. When a rapist is convicted, they should get more than six months and their swimming records published.   
  People should be able to go celebrate at a nightclub without fear of being shot, without enduring the biggest mass shooting in American history. Artists should be able to do what they love without being shot and killed. A father should be able to make a living without being shot and killed for looking like a threat. When friends of mine have to hear their mothers tell their brothers that they need to be safe because of the color of their skin when they haven’t even graduated high school, it can only be described as heartbreaking. When individuals can’t even thrive in their teenage years due to fear of being killed due to their race, it is obvious that there is a problem in our world. We are supposed to be living in a great world, a great time in life. We need to make police brutality the primary subject of our media. There won’t be any more golden days if our people are being killed because of their race. We should be getting rid of racism, not fueling it.



All the King's Horses

By Dvita Kapadia

“Why can I never go back to bed?
Whose is the voice ringing in my head?
Where is the sense in these desperate dreams?
Why should I wake when I'm half past dead?” -Emilie Autumn

The Book That Changed My Life

By Wen Hsiao

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

   When I first picked up The Great Gatsby from my older brother's bookshelf, I didn't know what to expect of it. I knew that it was a book often referenced in popular culture when speaking of the 1920's, the lost generation, an era of flappers and philosophers.  I was so intrigued by the idea of The Great Gatsby, all of the sides of the 20's it showcased: the corruption, the parties, and the human desires.

   I was only eleven when I first flipped through the pages. I didn't understood many of the references or the meaning behind multiple ideals but there was one thing I understood more than anything else: the green light. The green light glimmering from Daisy's side, out on the dock. The light that gave Gatsby hope, knowing that Daisy is right there, across the river. Due to this light, he continues to throw extravagant parties, week after week, night after night, hoping one day she'll come.

   At that age, I didn't understand why Gatsby threw all these parties hoping Daisy would one day stumble in. I couldn't comprehend as to why Gatsby didn't just pick up the phone and call Daisy. I later understood that sometimes, life just doesn't work that way. When Gatsby finally had the chance to see Daisy, after all those years, he realized he couldn't stay away. Gatsby would have done anything for Daisy, and he did. Even at the time of his death, his heart still belonged to Daisy. When I finally put down the book, I was so intrigued and fascinated by all the characters and their stories, from Nick to Gatsby to Daisy, even to Tom Buchanan, the stories and the emotions lying within everyone. The love, the fear, the love that caused the fear, and the fear of the love.

   F. Scott Fitzgerald awoke something within me. I began falling in love with the world of fiction. The story of reunited love with a tragic end made me love the power of fiction. As unreal as fiction can be, it makes you feel emotion. Perhaps we don't understand these feelings at the time, but, as we go through life, we begin to understand more and more that life isn't a fairy tale. You can give your all to someone and receive nothing in return. Fiction is not utilized merely to create another world or an escape, it is able to inspire and help people. For me, F. Scott Fitzgerald served as an inspiration to start writing, I still remember the way his words made me feel then and how those feelings grew as I matured throughout the years.

Lessons Learned

Reality of a Fantasy

By Iya Perez

A gush of wild wind
Causes the doors
The windows to throw open.
There lies
In front of my eyes
The world outside

Glory Days

A Crash Course on the Male Gaze

   If you often read feminist literature and discussion surrounding the media, then you may have come across the term ‘the male gaze’. The male gaze influences almost every image of women you see, not just in film but in fashion, art, advertising, and social media, too. In spite of this, there is an underdeveloped knowledge of what the male gaze encompasses and who can perpetuate it. 
   The feminist film critic Laura Mulvey first coined this term to describe the influence a man makes on media in her 1975 essay, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’. It refers to that of the creator of the media itself (i.e., the person behind the camera and/or directing the camera), the subject/s, and the consumers of this media. 
   The male gaze can be observed in media when women are perpetuated as lesser, submissive, passive, sexual (but only for a man’s enjoyment), or merely beautiful beings with an incomplete characterization and therefore often able to fit a stereotype or an archetype easily. 
   It is present in the angles, shots, and editing of an image – such as close ups of female body parts, or shots in which the face of a women is not present and the focus is only on her body.
   Oftentimes, media intentionally perpetuates the male gaze as a marketing tactic – a genre that comes to mind is superhero movies, who focus on strong, fully-rounded male characters and feature only beautiful female superheros as love interests possessing huge breasts, impossibly proportioned hourglass figures, and impractically tiny outfits.
   This is also present in advertisements aiming to lure men into purchasing products; they attempt to convince men that the product will make them irresistible to women, showing the female love interest as nothing but a beautiful face and body and as a ‘prize’.
   Photographers like Terry Richardson are notoriously blatant in their depiction of the male gaze - the majority of his photography features young women in sexually suggestive poses. Richardson has worked for brands such as Tom Ford (another company with extremely sexualised and objectifying advertisements).
   It would be incorrect to assume that men are the only ones to deliver media catering to the male gaze. Women are more and more frequently hopping behind the camera, writing scripts and screenplays, and deciding how media should look. 
   For example, Sofia Coppola’s first feature film The Virgin Suicides very much perpetuated the male gaze. The Lisbon sisters are seen through the eyes of a group of teenage boys. The girls are romanticised and turned into mysterious, beautiful creatures through the narration of the boys. Although Coppola directed the film and even wrote the screenplay, the film very evidently caters to the male gaze.
   However, this is as the book was written by Jeffrey Euginides, and the film was produced by Coppola’s father (also a famous director, Francis Ford Coppola). As we can see, the gaze of a woman can be influenced by men to adhere to the male-centric ideals that a woman may not otherwise have produced.
   More recently, the new Calvin Klein ads have garnered controversy for their depiction of women (not unusual for the brand – who can forget a 15-year- old Brooke Shields saying seductively, “You want to what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing”).
   In particular, the image of Klara Kristin photographed by Harley Weir has elicited criticism. In this image for the recent ‘Erotica’ campaign, model Klara Kristin is photographed over the camera, flashing her underwear under her skirt. This image has critics divided: on one hand, the sexualised image of a young women absolutely caters to a male audience; on the other, the image is taken by a woman and the model is looking directly into the lens, taking back the power in the photograph and therefore not being objectified.
   In the end, however, the photographer did not decide the subject matter or the outline for the marketing campaign. It is undeniable that the male gaze has influenced these images in one way or another, even if this isn’t instantaneously obvious.
   What separates men and women who perpetuate the male gaze is that women can intentionally do so in a way that empowers them. Celebrities like Madonna, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian, among others, are perhaps the most famously sexually confident and empowered women in recent history. Beyonce in particular has embraced feminism in recent times without compromising her sexually empowered music and image – her self-titled album of 2013, for example, features songs like Partition (a very sexually explicit song) alongside Flawless (featuring excerpts from a speech on feminism made by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie).
   Is the male gaze inherently negative? Not necessarily. It isn’t always manifested in a way that reduces women to objects for a man’s use and/or pleasure. But the issue arises when the male gaze is disproportionately common due to a severe lack of female roles in media, and when the sexism that is ingrained in our society and culture produces debilitating and unrealistic standards in media.
   This is why representation of women in front of and behind the camera is so vital.

Text and Visual by Shannon Hardwick


My Own

Take It Slow

Our Time

Golden Hour: A Photoset by Annie Velenovsky

Familiarity in Love

By Esther Vdb


By Emma Craft

Chances: A Visual

Colors & Emotion

By Sebastian Matthew

Clear Sky: A Short Film

By Amanda Gordon

Summer: A Playlist

Golden Days

Your Eyes, the Sun, and Other Bright Things

By Faith Sumastre

This is a playlist inspired by feelings- The feeling of my skin soaking in the sun's rays, the feeling of my hands moving through blades of grass, the feeling of the sun setting, and the feeling of liberation that comes with shouting from the sunroof of my car.

4 A.M. Theme Songs

By Faith Sumastre

Summer Love

By Maddi Kubicky
This playlist contains a series of songs that remind me of innocent, young summer love. When I think of this arrangement, I envision a long car ride with your crush, resting your weary head on their shoulder or dancing around in your kitchen at 2 A.M. with them.

A Closer Look at Golden Days by Panic! At the Disco

By Danielle Chelosky
This song starts off as a lively party song about a series of good memories Urie has stored in his mind. Simultaneously, the lyrics explain his appreciation of these great moments from the past. Urie describes looking at old pictures as “sexy, sexy looking back,” and it becomes clear that this song is a cool, peppy anthem reminiscing on crazy drunk nights.

Du Bist Mein: A Techno Mix

Brittany Ashley: Queerness, Comedy, and Her Beloved Grandma

Most well-known for her previous work with Buzzfeed, comedian & social media icon Brittany Ashley spreads hard hitting values of acceptance and morality on an array of platforms. Editor-in-chief Olivia Ferrucci asked Ashley about being a comedian and being America's lesbian sweetheart, among other things.

Moodboard: July Edition

By Rally Telano

A Journal Entry

By Daisy Acosta

The Art of Unfinished Sketches

Hey, Remember That Time? A Playlist

¨Let this be the soundtrack to 
all your unforgettable moments.¨

The Season of Bloom

My Mind

"It's 2:34 AM and the world around you is drenched in silence."