Indulge is about the fascination humans have with their own appearance. There is a certain guilty, curious pleasure that exists in knowing others are admiring us and when we are admiring ourselves. A mirror can sometimes seem like a mystery to indulge in; it is the only way we can see how we appear to others. Yet the reflected, two-dimensional depiction is not accurate in showing how we actually look. This was a fascinating concept for me as I realized the amount of time that we put into our appearances despite the fact that we never truly see ourselves from the perspective of others. It can sometimes seem like a trap; once started, the ability to stop analyzing appearance is not easily obtained. The result is spending an immense amount of time on perfecting, analyzing, and observing our appearances.

I chose to use couture pieces by Romina Dorigo to illustrate the sensation of extravagance felt when being admired. A male model, mirror, stylist, garments, and props communicate the scene of self-indulgence and guilty pleasures.The use of a prism reflects that these ideas often live inside the mind and are fabricated, temporary pleasures.

Photos by Anova Hou
Wardrobe by Romina Dorigo
Modeled by Kobi Alleyne

Thinking About San Francisco

Walking through any city, but especially San Francisco, is an exercise in eccentricity—the smells, the sounds, the people, all of it. There are needles on the street and businessmen rushing past homeless camps. For whatever reason, today I notice more taxi drivers out on the streets than usual, some sort of callback to a forgotten era. Under a dimming, overcast sky, the world loses its edge. The colors of the stoplights and restaurants all blend together in a dreamy haze.

It reminds me of the cold summer night when my dad drove us all the way up Mauna Kea, through the thick Hawaiian mist until finally we could see the stars. For a second, I’m trapped in memory. My sister and I, young and tired, in the backseat fighting over a ukulele. The strange calmness of the air conditioner’s breeze. My parents in the front, silent, waiting as we climbed.

I pass a line of drummers and street performers and the BART station that I had planned on entering on Market, but it’s like I’m walking with my eyes closed. I can’t stop thinking about the stars that night, imposing and opulent, so grand they were almost buzzing. Still, it feels improbable that, behind the fog, the same stars are just above me.

I’m back on Market, behind a couple walking hand in hand. I hear the man say to his partner that the human body is an imperfect machine, even if it is amazing. Slowly, I make my way toward the pier. There are little white bits of trash on the sidewalk that’ve been stepped on so many times they look like footprints. The sidewalks become crowded with tourists.

I think of New York and the most crowded streets I’ve ever seen. The rushing cabs and men in suits walking everywhere like the world is judging their strides. A rush of sadness that feels like panic comes to me as I think of the price of a plane ticket to New York. Or Peru. Or anywhere. Living in one place your whole life brings about a kind of deep stir that “wanderlust” doesn’t quite capture. I think about looking out the window as I land in Thailand or Turkey or Morocco. I don’t know what I’d look at; I’ve never been, but the feeling of looking over a foreign place is so strong that landing in a new continent almost feels like a memory.

I keep on walking toward the pier, and the crowd reminds me of every airport I’ve ever been in. The rush to see it all is contagious. The world is big and gets bigger the more you think about it. The moon has risen to the sky now. The crowd all moves together in one block. And here, on this path that I’ve walked so many times before, I can’t help but feel like if life is a great adventure I’m doing it wrong. It’s not rational and it’s not healthy, but I haven’t figured out how not to confuse passing time with wasting time.

For a second, I take the chance to be still, and I even go so far as to turn my phone off and put it in my backpack. I look out over the water. The sun is setting now, and it seems like everyone else on the pier too is stuck in a moment of observation. And we’re not talking or even standing particularly close together, but we’re sharing something anyway. So few moments nowadays belong to the collective, and those that do are so often tragedies. It’s a weird sort of magic to stand with others and watch the same sunset, the orange and pink hues now coming together as if placed deliberately.

I can just make out the shape of Angel Island in the distance. With the Golden Gate Bridge to the left and the smell of the Bay in the air it feels like San Francisco has been boiled down to a postcard and placed in front of my eyes. I think of my grandparents. Only a lifetime ago they were here, for the first time on American soil. I remember their stories, the Korean War pushing down until their hometown was a war zone, the fright of violence. How lucky am I to be able say the phrase “travel the world” and mean to experience new things, not to escape old ones? And how thin is the line between privilege and luck?

I try to bring my eyes to the horizon and focus on the colors. The orange feels almost synthetic. Though I’m still, it feels like a struggle, as if forces pulling me in every direction just so happen to cancel out.

I’ve fallen asleep with the image of the Milky Way across the Mauna Kea sky for years on end. Maybe one day I’ll go back. Until then, there are too many places to explore.

By Colton Wills


This series depicts a person who is so toxic that she became half-snake. This toxicity comes from jealousy, which is one of the vices condemned by many religions. I portrayed this person as powerful, because I believe that envy is not bad itself. Feelings are not necessarily good or bad; what matters is what you do with them. Here, the half-snake has assumed her toxicity and used her problems as a source of eerie empowerment.

This series is also related to the concept of the ego. I feel like nowadays praising the ego is pretty common, especially among millennials and the next generation. This might seem harmful, but it doesn’t have to be. As I said before, what matters are a person’s tangible decisions and actions. You can be conventionally bad, but accepting and knowing that can actually make you stronger: knowing who you are means being able to better manage difficult situations, for instance.

By Megane Mercury
Modeled by Patricia Sánchez
Makeup by Antoni Tormo
Nails by Sykaly

Bodies Don’t Belong in Boxes

Photo by Mayan Toledano for Teen Vogue

In my almost 23 years on this planet, I have never had a set “style.” I grew up being very plain in my clothing choices—much to my younger sister’s dismay upon getting my hand-me-downs. I rocked primary color polo shirts with Bermuda-style shorts all through my preteen years.

It wasn’t until the first time someone told me I looked fat that I started to take notice of what I was putting on my body.

At 12 years old, wide-legged jeans, baggy long sleeves, and hoodies were my staples. Anything to keep people from seeing my apparently obvious rolls of extra skin. And so when I started eighth grade, I asked my mom if she could show me how to wear makeup. Making my face look pretty would distract from my cellulite, right?

Surprise! It didn’t work. I didn’t like the feeling of makeup on my face, nor did I feel more confident wearing it. So I gave up. It wasn’t until the end of high school that I started feeling somewhat comfortable in my own skin.

I had my first real boyfriend during junior year. I couldn’t believe a boy had any interest in me at all. He gave me some self-esteem that would carry me through the end of senior year. I started wearing clothes I liked again, not just items that would cover me from neck to toe. I wore dresses and shorts and form-fitting sweaters. I felt good about the way I looked. I was exercising regularly in P.E., I was eating better because I felt better, and I didn’t avoid mirrors.

It was around age 18 that I started reading fashion blogs and magazines, and suddenly there were all of these rules that I was supposed to follow: apple-shaped girls shouldn’t wear bodycon dresses, girls with broad shoulders shouldn’t wear spaghetti straps, and girls with extra skin on their torsos shouldn’t be caught dead in a crop top. I felt like there were all of these boxes I had to check: pear-shaped, short height, medium build, narrow shoulders. It felt overwhelming to say the least.

There were even rules about my face! With my square jawline, I wasn’t supposed to wear my hair too long or contour my face too deeply. It felt like I wasn’t allowed to do anything; according to Seventeen Magazine, I was doing everything wrong. And though these magazines were probably just suggesting clothing that would accentuate the “right” parts of my figure, I took all of it very personally.

Now, in 2019, I can say that things haven’t changed much in the media—but I have.

In the last two years I have gained a lot of weight. I mean a lot of weight. Part of this is from my declining mental health and development of binge-eating, and part of it is from school and work being the biggest priorities in my life. I have never been active; I played team sports as a kid but did nothing besides gym class past age 13.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I am the opposite of body confident. I wear whatever I want regardless of the shape of my body, but I don’t necessarily feel good in everything. (Peep Marie Kondo telling me to keep things that “spark joy” only.) But it’s a process. I didn’t get to grow up with body-positive role models. Every woman I saw on TV and in magazines was thin and tall. Meanwhile, I was short—I’m barely 5’4”—and carried most of my weight in my midsection.

Today, there are all kinds of role models promoting healthy habits for me and the younger generation to learn and grow from. Rihanna has a size-inclusive lingerie line, Amy Schumer has a plus-size clothing line (Le Cloud), and Demi Lovato has openly shared her battles with an eating disorder online. These women, and so many others, are working to build a better world of size inclusivity.

Over time, I’ve learned to curate what I see online. I don’t have to follow the Kardashians on Instagram and see them promote their “flat tummy tea” when we all know they have personal trainers and plastic surgeons. I can follow Jazzmyne Robbins, who posts a selfie every single day with an inspirational caption about how she can do anything she sets her mind to.

To be clear, most days I still struggle with what I look like in the mirror; most days I change my outfit twenty times before heading out the door because I can’t decide what makes me look the slimmest. But I believe one day the world will be more accepting of different body types. I believe designers will realize that plus-size humans want to wear the same clothes as straight-size people. And I believe one day I’ll feel comfortable in my own skin, because I’ll know my size doesn’t matter.

By Megan Clark

Make It ’Til You Make It: ‘Reel Honey’ Founder Sydney Urbanek on Diversifying Film Criticism

Photo courtesy of Sydney Urbanek

It’s no secret that male voices outweigh female ones in conversations about film. Women write only 24% of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and they are mostly about films directly related to their lived experiences. Female critics have expressed frustration with only getting assigned women- or POC-centric films, which is not only limiting, but emotionally draining; because of the minimal number of marginalized writers, those with platforms are tasked with the hefty responsibility of speaking on behalf of all women or POC. And while hiring women to actually write about female-fronted films is encouraged, confining them to only these projects reinforces the idea that such stereotypically feminine movies are only watched by female audiences, and therefore not as profitable. There is also an expectation that female critics must positively review a film solely because it is helmed by a fellow woman; it makes them appear monolithic and one-dimensional, and gives them no right to truthfully critique a film for its merits lest they get labelled un-feminist. Being a marginalized critic means you are marginalized person first, critic second.

While Rotten Tomatoes’ pool of top critics might say otherwise, there is actually no deficiency of non-white, non-male film critics. They are just not given an equally loud megaphone or equally ample opportunities (critic Kiva Reardon wrote an excellent essay on this for TIFF). This is why platforms like Reel Honey are game-changers—they provide a space exclusively for these underrepresented voices and allow them to participate in an industry that systemically keeps them out.

The cover of Reel Honey’s latest issue, Time. Illustrated by Nikki October.

Launched in 2017, Reel Honey is an online film and pop culture magazine founded by Sydney Urbanek, a 23-year-old incoming Cinema Studies grad student based in Toronto. Aside from spotlighting the work of women and non-binary critics, the magazine also aims to strengthen these writers’ capacity for professional culture writing, equipping them with skills and experience to successfully permeate bigger (and therefore less diverse) spaces. Aside from managing Reel Honey, Urbanek is also a freelance writer for other publications like Screen Queens and Adolescent, where she discusses everything from films to pop music videos.

I spoke to Urbanek about the conception of Reel Honey, her experiences as a young female culture writer, the flaws of the film criticism industry, and pursuing passions as a career, partly because it was in line with this month’s theme of “Break the Rules,” but mostly because I myself am a young female culture writer who is So, So Scared of my own industry. Read on for sound advice and insightful anecdotes that reassured me—and hopefully you as well—that we’re all in this together.

Lithium Magazine: What made you want to create Reel Honey? What made you realize that you needed to amplify the voices of women and non-binary people in film and culture writing?
Sydney Urbanek: I had started [writing] when I was in university. [I was] writing for my campus paper about arts and culture, generally speaking. But what I really wanted to write about was film, and I noticed when I was…I guess I would’ve been 19 or 20, that there weren’t lots of places to do that as an entry-level writer with not a ton of experience other than my campus paper, and ideally I wanted to be paid. That was happening at the same time as there was research coming out about how women and non-binary folks in film criticism tend to be—they exist in equal numbers, to be clear—but they’re less likely to belong to professional organizations [and] less likely to be staff writers as opposed to freelancers, so their work doesn’t get amplified the same way. So I basically put the two things together. That started me on a bunch of my own research, which was basically me surveying mostly young women who were my age about, if you were to write for a site about film and pop culture, how would you want it to work, what would you want to be paid, that sort of thing.

Those were the two most prominent things that were happening at the time, but I guess there’s also one part of my story that hasn’t come up a lot in interviews until now, but that I’m actually pretty open about nowadays—in the second half of my undergrad, I started to have health problems. So as I got closer to graduating, it occurred to me that I probably, at the time, was not able to work a 9-to-5 job. I had already been working on this project, but when that happened, it took on a sense of urgency that hadn’t existed before, and that’s a huge part of what caused me to wrap up all of the pre-launch stuff and [have] it ready to go by the time I graduated. So that’s something that was like a secret, I suppose, until maybe last fall, and since then I’ve been pretty open about the fact that the health stuff was directly related to launching the site.

Lithium: What were some of the challenges you faced in launching the platform and how did you deal with them?
Sydney: Initially, there was a bit of a learning curve for me in terms of the editorial part of running the site, because I’d never edited any piece of writing in a formal sense; I’d only really proofread friends’ and classmates’ work. But that was something that got a lot easier over time, and [it] actually came down to the fact that I’m a big reader, so I edit like someone who reads a lot. If I stumble over a sentence that’s five lines long, or if I read something several times and still don’t understand it, it needs an edit. That sort of thing.

Nowadays, though, the only real struggles are A. that I’m doing this by myself and B. because I decided from the get-go that I wanted to pay writers, that money has to come from somewhere. I’m a very organized person, and for the most part I’m good at foreseeing obstacles before they pop up, but I do lack a formal business background or education. As a weird aside, I used to be enrolled in a business certificate when I was in my undergrad, and I had a falling out of sorts with my university’s business school, which is funny, because when I’m interviewed, people want to know what it’s like to be a founder and how I do all of the behind-the-scenes stuff, and the truth is that my business acumen pales in comparison to my film background. That’s sort of it, for the most part—I had done a lot of the necessary research beforehand which made launching it easier. The biggest part, I think, is probably that I was really nervous, because it’s really hard to put something out into the world that you’ve worked on, and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a person who cared what people thought. Looking back on it, I had no idea how I launched it. Like, I have no idea how I got myself to the point where I could launch it.

Lithium: You mentioned earlier that you manage Reel Honey all on your own—how do you do that? How do you balance editing, freelancing, and school?
Sydney: I’m a very Type-A person, so I’m a big list-maker. I live by my iCal—I am really good at making a schedule and, for the most part, sticking to it. That doesn’t work every day, and I don’t wanna make it sound like it’s a breeze...because that’s not true. But a really big thing that has helped me personally is just being more transparent and vocal with writers about the fact that I might be swamped at the moment with pieces and might not be able to respond immediately to a given email. I would imagine that lots of founders or anyone working on something, like me, don’t want to let people know that they’re having a hard time managing everything at once, and that’s not realistic. So it really comes down to my schedule, being open about the fact that I’m struggling if I’m struggling, setting boundaries—that includes work boundaries but also social media boundaries, which I’m kind of obsessed with at the moment—and just generally remembering that taking care of yourself is really important. Because I have health issues, [I have to] be more mindful about things like self-care, because burnout for me looks different than it does for the average person.

Lithium: The other thing you mentioned is that you paid writers right from the start, and not a lot of starting publications do that; a lot of them start with volunteer writers and then they pay writers once they get bigger. With Reel Honey, you paid them immediately. Why did you prioritize payment from the start?
Sydney: First of all, I actually think that sites of equivalent size to my own should make more of an effort to pay their own writers. I crowdfunded the money, and if you’re making sure that what you’re offering is well put-together, well-edited, and worth reading, I suppose you deserve money that you can pay your writers with. I’m someone who’s very lucky to have worked a few unpaid internships, and I’ve written quite a few things for free myself, but I don’t believe that that should be the norm across the board; it’s unfortunate that that is the norm. The other thing that had come up in my research, and [something] that was really important to me, is that not everyone in this world can afford to work for free. One of the biggest barriers [for] marginalized folks who are interested in film criticism or journalism is that financially, [it’s not enough to support them]. That’s one of the parts of the industry that systemically keeps these writers out, or discourages them from moving forward, so I was very conscious of that. I don’t pay a super impressive rate but I always have paid, and I think that has definitely helped make the site’s contributor base more diverse, and of course diversity is really great for enriching criticism as a whole.

Lithium: Related to that, what do you think is the role of diverse film criticism in actually diversifying films?
Sydney: What criticism does is enrich the reading of a film, so whether you read film reviews before you go into a film or after you’ve seen one, what it’s supposed to do is bolster or challenge your reading of that film. But if all of that enriching comes from a homogenous group of people, it’s not actually that enriched. There is a bit of a trap that celebrities have fallen into recently in interviews, which is arguing that we need more marginalized voices in film criticism because certain films are only made for certain audiences. While that sounds true on the surface, I think it was Buzzfeed’s Alison Willmore—whose writing I’m obsessed with—who said, basically that’s the same argument that angry young boys use on Twitter to tell her she has no business reviewing Suicide Squad. I’m not suggesting there aren’t movies made for certain audiences, but rather, the better argument for diversity in film criticism is that both criticism and the conversations around a given film improve when you have a variety of voices weighing in. One thing that criticism can do is amplify certain filmmakers’ work in a way that gets them more likely to be hired for their next project, and that’s really important when the filmmaker in question is marginalized. Two people of different lived experiences may read the same film two completely different ways; a good example is Green Book. It was the People’s Choice Award winner at TIFF and it was praised by critics and mainstream publications, and that’s because the critics who tend to be given those megaphones are, generally speaking, white. Once black voices were able to weigh in, the conversation shifted in a really crucial way. Of course the film did win Best Picture, but it’s important to note, I suppose, that it’s another white savior narrative; it’s the sort of film Hollywood loves to make and then congratulate itself for.

Lithium: What advice would you give other young women and non-binary people trying to make it in fields that are usually perceived as not for them?
Sydney: When it comes to criticism in particular, trust that you have something interesting to say and that you deserve to say it. Even when I was in film school—which was a really positive environment for me personally, in the sense that I could share opinions—I still felt like I had to be extra careful about every single word that I use, and I didn’t wanna out myself as being super into stereotypically feminine films, and looking back I wish I hadn’t done that. I’m actually writing an essay at the moment for a different site about how growing up, I used to lie about my movie preferences to boys that I had crushes on because I didn’t want them to think that I didn’t like the movies they liked. The biggest advice that I would give is to trust that you deserve to have your voice heard in the first place, but also brace yourself for the fact that not everyone might be ready or willing to listen to it in a respectful way. If you’re writing [your] first few film reviews and posting them online, and you’re getting a response that you don’t like, don’t be discouraged, because I assure you, it’s happening to everybody else that’s doing the same thing.

Lithium: There are people who don’t pursue their passions because they’re scared that they’ll love that thing they’re passionate about less if they pursue it as a job—do you ever have that feeling?
Sydney: I love that I wake up every morning and feel excited to start diving into whatever it is I have to dive into… But I should also say that part of the reason that I have been able to pursue passions in my career so far is financial stability, which allows me to have a safety net to fall back on. That’s a part of my story that I never want to downplay. There are lots and lots and lots of film critics who work a 9-to-5 job in a totally different field, and they can only write film criticism because they sustain themselves financially doing that [other job], and that’s okay. That doesn’t make you any less of a writer, it doesn’t make you any less of an artist—this is really true for any artist out there. Not every film writer is super open about the fact that they have money coming in from elsewhere in order to sustain themselves, but that’s a reality for a lot of people and it’s totally okay.

Lithium: What can you say are the downsides of pursuing passions as a career?
Sydney: Probably that you take everything more personally. It also definitely becomes harder to turn off at the end of the day. I sometimes envied people who worked 9-to-5 jobs; they get on at 9 and off at 5, then they get to go home and not think about work. But when you write about film like I do, for instance, sometimes it’s hard to sit in a theater and watch a movie with your friends and not be thinking about an essay that you could turn the experience into. Work-life balance, for a lot of film writers, is nonexistent or something that you have to work extra hard to achieve. In my case, it’s turning on and off at specific times; otherwise I would never stop working.

Lithium: To end, I know freelancers hate this this question, but what’s next for you and Reel Honey? Is there anything us readers should be particularly excited about?
Sydney: What’s next for me is grad school, which I am super excited for. I can’t believe I’m being given a year just to dive into subject matter that I really love. Also, teaching has always been of interest to me, and that keeps that door open. Otherwise, I have some pieces that I’m really excited about writing, but I can’t give too much info about those at the moment. As for Reel Honey, that’s being decided right now because of the fact that I won’t be able to run it the way I have been for a whole year. That’s up in the air at the moment, the specifics that are being decided right now. I guess you’ll have to follow the socials and find out.

You can read Reel Honey here, and follow its Twitter and Instagram. You can find Sydney on Twitter and Instagram as well.

By Andrea Panaligan

A Whole (30) Lot of Claims

When I told friends and family I was going on the Whole30, I got mixed reactions.

“That’s so great you’ve decided to do it,” exclaimed one incredibly excited and pro-Whole30 friend. “I have a bunch of recipes you can use—but you have to prep for the whole week beforehand, or else you’ll cheat!” This interaction was followed by an email thread with the subject line “WHOLE 30 RECIPE HAUL!!!!!!”

“But you’re already skinny,” said another, less excited friend. “And it’s just another restrictive diet that demonizes food groups and could cause an eating disorder. Not a fan.”

I also got a lot of “that’s dope,” “LOL why,” and “what’s Whole30?” texts. There was no singular sense of approval or disapproval from my circle. Truthfully, more often than not this announcement was met with an air of obscure and uncertain validation of this new interest of mine, likely because many don’t know that much about Whole30 in the first place.

The Whole30 program was created in 2009 by certified sports nutritionist Melissa Hartwig. She began blogging about a dietary experiment in which she eliminated foods like dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, and other processed foods for thirty days to basically reset her body’s natural functions. That meant no cheese, no added sugar (which is literally in everything), no bread. Melissa claimed that the program helped improve her sleep and energy patterns, change her relationship with food for the better, and could even go as far as helping heal ailments and injuries just by eliminating certain food groups.

Honestly, when I first heard about the program a few years ago I thought it was a total hoax. Their claims are pretty out there, especially if you haven’t already tried eliminating certain food groups to treat ailments like acne or migraines. And they’re claiming that they can heal allergies and injuries—stuff that has been proven to be cured by actual Western medicine? It all sounded a little too far-fetched for me to believe.

And yet I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the whole program. Between the numerous testimonials on their website, the entire Reddit threads dedicated to Whole30, and the people in my life who swear by it, I had to give it a shot. I had already tried cutting out dairy to help curb my hormonal acne, and it worked. How hard could cutting out a couple more things be?

The answer: pretty freaking difficult!

For the first week, I had withdrawals from the sudden elimination of sugar. From days one to about five or six, I had a dull headache and was irritable and tired. When I asked my friends who had done Whole30 if that was normal, they confidently reassured me it was part of the process; my body had to adjust to not being reliant on the intense amount of sugar found in American food. The withdrawal-like symptoms I experienced in this first week are not unlike those of the so-called “keto flu” people get during their first week of the ketogenic diet.

Once I hit day seven, things started to look up. And to my surprise, I did start to feel the benefits of eliminating these certain foods. I felt less bloated, I was sleeping better, and walking up the stairs to get to class was suddenly a lot easier.

I did cheat, though. Three times. The first time was about two weeks in, when I snacked on two handfuls of peanut butter pretzels. I almost immediately felt nauseous after eating them. The second time was about four days later when my partner and I went out to sushi after work one night. It wasn’t completely breaking the Whole30, but I did have one of his rolls that had rice in it. I didn’t feel ill or anything after, which I mostly attribute to the amount of ginger I had eaten in an attempt to coat my newfound intolerance to processed grains. The last one was a bit more of a doozy—I went out for vegan pizza and had dairy-free ice cream on day 30. A bad idea? Yes. Even though there wasn’t any dairy in either of the meals, both had a lot of processed grain and sugar in them. As a result, the next day I felt like I had a hangover.

It’s for exactly that reason that the Whole30 program suggests slowly reintroducing certain food groups back into your diet. It’s recommended that you take each eliminated food and introduce it to your diet for three days before adding another food. I saw that rule and basically showed it my greasy middle finger. And I paid for it.

Ultimately, this diet plan isn’t for everyone—many doctors are weary of it because of the psychological impacts that food restriction can have. Doctors are also suspicious about these more far-fetched claims about what the program can cure, especially considering many of their claims aren’t actually backed by any studies.

If you do choose to go against the grain (literally and figuratively) and dive headfirst into the Whole30 program, do your research. Figure out why you truly want to do this program, and make sure to always have your vegetables washed and prepped beforehand.

By Logan Cross