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Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

By beauty, culture, renoNo Comments

Women across the globe often feel as though certain aspects are expected of them — to look and present in a specific manner according to their surroundings. From body piercing ideals to the length of a woman’s hair, standards differ from country to country in order to conform to what is considered conventionally beautiful. So, how do foreign women living in the United States adapt to American beauty standards?

Firstly, American beauty standards must be defined.

“You cannot say what is truly beautiful, but you can say what most people like from each country,” said Merle Ocampo, a nurse from Hernani, a fifth class municipality of the province of Samar, Philippines. Ocampo, 58, is the supervisor at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, NV, and began her career in America after traveling from her home country in 1993. She currently has one daughter attending the University of Nevada, Reno, who identifies as a Filipina-American woman.

“Yet, the Philippines have ideals that are very strange,” Ocampo said, “If you go to a drug store, you will see whitening products left and right. Whitening soaps and creams, everything. For some reason, they think if you are fair, you are beautiful.”

A study conducted by Peggy Chin Evans and Allen R. McConnell about minorities responding to American beauty ideals showcased that, “In American society, many women strive to attain mainstream, Western standards of beauty, which are derived from a predominantly Anglo-Saxon influence.” In addition, this study also concluded that Whites often follow trends to attempt to change their racial makeup; the opposite goal from minorities living in the United States. For example, many women have been found to utilize-fake tan or other bronzing cosmetics to mimic a more sun-kissed skin tone, whilst many women of color struggle to find cosmetic ranges that encompass colors deep enough to blend with their skin seamlessly.

Indeed, americanized beauty stigmas have evolved to encourage body modification at any cost, increasing the numbers of women seeking plastic surgery. With the YMCA USA reporting that more than $684 billion were spent on eyelid surgery in the average year from 2013 to 2016, the much sought after “american eyelid” has become a standard among society.

Yet, beauty standards fall outside of the cosmetic realm, often including clothing or style in general. Zoe Fitch, 19, is student athlete at the University of Nevada, Reno, who moved to Reno from Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom. She emigrated for educational purposes in 2016 and hopes to remain in the United States after graduation in 2020.

“One of the beauty standards that surprised me was that I felt super comfortable walking around all the time in sports gear even when I’m not necessarily about to go and work out,” Fitch said. “In England, it is a bit unusual to walk around in active wear all the time, but over here it is a common thing that loads of people do.”

Forbes reports that one of the biggest challenges clothing companies have in advertising to immigrants is not being sure of where their audience is in terms of assimilation, with a gross average of $5.5 billion spent on advertising to Hispanics alone as of 2010.

Noris Buitrago, 22, traveled to the United States from Panama City, Panama, for her education at the University of Nevada, Reno. Through her 4-year experience in America, she has been able to define key differences in beauty standards between the United States and her home country.

“I think beauty and attractiveness mean something a little different in my country,” Buitrago said. “Beauty is also accompanied by intellectual knowledge and good qualities. If a woman is physically attractive but also professional and more conservative, she will definitely get a lot of attention.”

However, many women feel the pressure to americanize their beauty and style ideals to an extreme standard. Ocampo further explained the judgement she faced in representing a Filipino woman in America.

“The city girls would look at me and say, ‘What is she wearing?’ but I didn’t care,” Ocampo said. “I think women should be secure about themselves. So the judgement they will get, they will not be affected, it will not destroy them, but they will define themselves.

“I can put on makeup, but if i don’t feel good inside, I don’t feel beautiful,” Ocampo said. “You have to feel good about yourself to make you feel beautiful and like you are a part of something bigger than just beauty.”

SnowGlobe Concert

The ZOA Brings Magic to SnowGlobe Music Festival

By burningman, california, culture, dancing, edm, festivals, laketahoe, Millennials, music, musicfestivals, party, rap, renoNo Comments

The annual SnowGlobe Music Festival is a time for trancing music, fun experiences, and exquisite art. This year the festival featured the ZOA sculpture, a playful expression of art made by the Chromaforms Art Collective.

The Chromaforms Art Collective specializes in making playful and interactive art creations with the help of engineers and sculptors. “A lot of our projects are community based, or we try to get a lot of people to help and to make something,” said Martin Taylor, an engineer who helped start Chromaforms. Taylor originally worked as an engineer in a prototype technology lab. After he was done working for the day, he would use the big 3D printers to create little sculptures at night. This is what drove his inspiration to start Chromaforms and to eventually quit his day job and pursue art and creation full time.

Taylor said the goal of the ZOA sculpture is, “To bring out a very playful aspect in people that often gets lost in larger society.” The piece was originally supposed to be a jellyfish that was going to debut at Burning Man. However, Taylor discovered that another artist had that same idea, so he had to change paths. By having the same jellyfish idea in mind, he used rainbow colors and soft and wrinkled materials that can change and be less predictable. There is also a mini faux fur star inside of the creation that adds a hidden magical element to the ZOA.

He wanted the piece to stand out and for participants to “be invited to investigate.” The ZOA piece is one of the first things you see when you walk in and adds an essence to the overall feeling you get from being at the festival. As the night got darker, more people seemed drawn in to the ZOA.

Fans would touch, spin, and often sit under it. “It brings people to a childlike state,” said Taylor, “It’s like a game.” Taylor described the piece as almost like a hologram at night. No matter which stage you are at, the ZOA seems to be the central location of the festival grounds. “There is also the element from seeing it from far away and investigating it.” said Taylor.

The ZOA sculpture made its first major appearance at Burning Man this year and later to EDC Orlando. The Sculpture folds down easily and deflates, so it can depart from one event to the next. “It’s going to be there for a little while, and then it’s going to travel somewhere else.” said Taylor. The overall essence of the ZOA adds a deeper meaning to the culture of what is SnowGlobe Music Festival. The next project Taylor plans to work on will try to star plastic bottles and ideas to bring new energy to things people see as everyday wasteful items. Taylor’s advice to potential artists is to try to have a day job and pursue art at the same time. “Doing art is just equal as much work,” said Taylor.

different colored yoga pants

SnowGlobe Winter Fashion Guide

By california, festivals, laketahoe, Millennials, music, musicfestivals, reno, snowglobe, winterNo Comments

Most of us have seen popular fashion choices for festival wear. Guys wear tank tops and bandanas while girls sport jean shorts and flower crowns. These are perfect options for a warm, sunny afternoon in April. But for those who have attended or plan on attending South Lake Tahoe’s SnowGlobe Music Festival this winter, cute and warm may not always mean the same thing. This year’s festival weather includes high percentages of humidity, snow and rain showers, and temperatures with lows bellow 20 degrees. Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to dress up and accessorize without sacrificing your toes to frostbite. 

1. Feet First In between all of the weird dancing you’ll be doing and waiting in line for the bathroom and food trucks you’ll be on your feet all night. Don’t chance it with a pair of Vans or your roommate’s old snow boots that leak. It’s worth every penny to buy yourself a nice pair of snow boots. Yes, they are pricy, but it’s going to be worth it when you don’t have to leave your friends to go warm your feet up in the car. Festival grounds are going to be covered in ice and snow, so waterproof shoes are a must have. I’d recommend Sorel or Moon Boots if you’re looking for particular brands. Plus, they’re available on popular sites like Amazon or Zappos at a discounted price. It’s also smart to buy a pair of long socks normally used for skiing to add an additional layer of warmth. 

2.Leg Up A great way to add some color to your outfit while also staying warm is to layer up with colorful leggings. Melting Pot World Emporium has a great selection of leggings. It’s best to wear 2-3 layers with your favorite color on top, of course. Popular prints and designs this year are vibrant colors with galaxy prints. It’s probably best not to go with jeans because they’re going to be hard to get on and off for layering where as leggings are comfy and easy to pack. 

3.Don’t Be Shady, Or Do For those of you who’ve been up to Tahoe skiing or snowboarding, you know that the snow harshly reflects sunshine onto your face and eyes. During the day a pair of fun sunglasses is a great way to add a customizable look to your outfit. Popular costume stores in Reno such as Junkee offer a great selection of reflective sunglasses or even cool, clear lenses. Melting Pot also has fun glasses if you want to rock the peace sign, too.

4.Get Cozy SnowGlobe is the perfect opportunity to dress as crazy as you want to. It’s a smart idea to bring your warmest coat, but you can always throw random fuzzy vests or faux fur jackets over it to add to the festival look. If you’re not into the fur look other ideas include flannel shirts or a Mexican poncho. Bright scarves are also a fun way to add some fun. Pro Tip: Bring hand warmers as well. Swing by Walmart or another convenience store on your way to Tahoe. They’re small, light, and easy to use. Every bit of warmth is going to make a difference. 

5.Pack It Up You’re going to be hauling water bottles, cash, car keys, your wallet, snacks, and extra pairs of socks in your backpack at a minimum. Melting Pot has hilarious backpacks and fanny packs that make for great photos. Depending on your style you could go for a flashy silver fanny pack or an alien backpack. 

6.Hats Off To You The last thing you want to forget is a warm hat. Beanies come in practically every color. You could go simple and wear a regular hat, or if you’re feeling fancy wear something with a giant pom pom. Many costume specialty stores in Reno have those fuzzy wolf hats too if you really want to get into the spirit. 


Have other tips or ideas on how to stay warm at #SG17? We want to hear from you! Tag us on social media or email us at 

colorful carpet with red and tan pillows and a small table with a flower henna design

The Studio Review

By health, reno, wellness, yogaNo Comments

In the heart of Midtown there lies a local hole-in-the-wall: The Studio. The Studio is an up-and-coming yoga workshop that holds a very carefree and relaxing environment. The overall easygoing vibe of The Studio allows its clients to relax, forget about everyday troubles, and connect with like-minded people. Besides just yoga, The Studio offers a variety of other neat activities that attribute to it being so far out. This local business is also very famous for its massages, wellness treatments, and exotic tea elixir lounge. After-hours on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only, The Studio serves tranquilizing teas that contain either kratom or kava. These plants are widely popular for their sedating and calming effects on the body. Normally, they both have a bitter and dry taste that makes them hard to enjoy. However, The Studio has the perfect technique that usually involves mixing in chai, coconut, and honey to make the tea not only bearable but surprisingly tasty.

To enhance the laze experience, there is a room where the guests sit on pillows in dim light while they listen to trancing music from a local DJ. There is even a mini light show included. A plethora of people from all over Reno come to sip delicious tea while they partake in plenty of conversation. The lounge also includes yoga mats and hula hoops for people to practice while they listen to the upbeat and mind-opening soundscape. The Studio has a very luminous atmosphere that adds to the Reno culture deeply. Its walls are filled with beautiful tapestries, and each table has antique candles and lamps that hang down from the ceiling. This business allows all people to feel welcome and be a part of a happy and peaceful energy.  

Two guys in brightly colored clothes playing their guitars

Off Beat Music Festival, On Beat and On Point

By culture, music, renoOne Comment

 SWIGS performs at the 2017 Reno Offbeat Music Festival Friday night at Shea’s Tavern.

RENO – Pink Awful kicked off day two of the 2017 Reno Offbeat Music Festival this Friday at Shea’s Tavern. The line-up included bands Bloody Waters, SWIGS, and Apache. 

Pink Awful vocalist, Ashley Costelloe, led the band with exceptional stage presence, intelligible lyrics, and looks reminiscent of Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction.” The five-piece noise pop band played a set full of dream pop melodic style and cut-throat drum beats. 

The mellow yet electric sound waves pierced the air and soothed the bar at the same time. Costelloe engaged the crowd which gathered around the stage in enthusiastic response. 

Bloody Waters brought the energy, channeling western surf rock grooves in their Hawaiian shirts and beachy hair waves. The bass made itself heard through the high-pitched guitar, in an excellent balance of frequencies. 

Guitarist Brian and bassist Bryan utilized a wide assortment of effects pedals while the drummer accentuated hits and riffs on his four-piece kit. Bloody Waters’ songs were mostly instrumental, something not often performed with such success. 

Not many bands have more than one singer, but both Brian and Bryan sang with dignity. Bloody Waters displayed effective use of dynamics and time changes, things many garage bands struggle with. 

Local surf rock band SWIGS entertained the masses with their witty banter in between upbeat nerd rock songs about Mario and The Fresh Prince. Adorned in bright colors, the trio lit up the stage as they celebrated the release of their new EP “Dumb Fun.” 

SWIGS stands out not only for their catchy tunes, but their appearance. In addition to their colorful attire, they don sunglasses and sing into colored microphones. The band is named for taking swigs of alcohol, so Shea’s Tavern was the right venue to play.

The crowd was in full-force as San Francisco band Apache took the stage. Apache had more of a classic rock feel that nearly everyone seemed to appreciate. Lead singer Apache repeatedly invited the audience to enjoy the hot tub in his hotel room after the show. 

Wooden four-piece drum kits were the theme of the night. Drummers are a dime a dozen; good drummers not so much. Every drummer of the night played well-placed fills in addition to keeping precise time. 

Day two of the three-day city-wide Offbeat Music Festival ended with thunderous applause and a lively crowd at Shea’s Tavern. Day three promises to be something local music aficionados will not want to miss. The last day is Saturday, November 4.