The Aesthetics of Social Impact: Penn Beauty

Most people see the world of cosmetics and efforts to achieve social change as spheres that do not touch. However, Penn students, Via Lim and Chloe Minjoo Kim, prove that the two can thrive when combined. Founders of the newly created club called Penn Beauty, the two freshman have launched their organization with full force, focusing on cosmetics, nail art, hair styling, hygiene, and more.

So far, Lim and Kim have held their first information session and general body meeting, garnering over 20 members, a large amount of interest, and a passionate group of board applicants. After discussion and planning, they’ve organized several proposals for the year that are on par with their mission statement of using beauty as a means to social impact.

To explore the nuances of the Pen Beauty’s mission, I spoke with President, Via Lim, and Vice President, Chloe Minjoo Kim on their project.

Vice President, Chloe Minjoo Kim, and President, Via Lim (credit: Via Lim)

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Rape Culture and Broadchurch: TV’s Warning Against Normalization

They needed girls.

It was such a natural statement, such a normal predicament. And easily solved.

It was the first night of NSO, and as my roommate and I stepped outside the quad, our night’s plans were quickly determined. Guys were sweeping the streets outside the dorms – “Are you bored? We need girls.” – picking up female students to add to their growing masses on the way to the frats. They couldn’t get in without us; it was all about the ratio.

I was intrigued, not by the fact that they needed more girls – what’s a party without heterosexual interaction and the prospect of hooking up? – but by the nonchalance of such a statement. The guys said it, the girls laughed, and the party began.

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The Anxiety of Learning a New Language

I walked into the first day of RUSS001 excited to finally learn the language and culture that always left me in awe. The art and aesthetics I loved as a teenager were typically Soviet or Russian, from Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita to t.A.T.u. I was going to take it freshman year at Penn before my pre-major adviser suggested taking Spanish to fulfill my language requirement, and then to take Russian if I was interested. She warned me of the agony if I decided to take Russian but ended up hating it. I took her suggestion, figuring that it didn’t hurt to improve my Spanish. Now that the language requirement was out of the way, I could have fun. I was ready.

Not so fast.

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Returning From a Leave

It’s hard to return from a leave of absence. It’s even harder to come back knowing that you feel worse than before.

Let me explain: I took a leave after fall semester last year because of unbearable circumstances and experiences that rattled my emotional core. I could write an entire book on the events leading to my leave, but this is sufficient for now.

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Female Freshmen: Perceptions of Danger

How do you feel late at night on Locust Walk?

Do you feel like you’re in danger? Do you think your college campus is perfectly safe?

The United States Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” [1] Many different actions fall under the category of sexual assault.

Women in college are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in general—23.1 percent experience assault during their college years, as well as 5.4 percent of men [2]. And scarily, according to a 2015 report, 20.8 percent of female undergraduate students (and 4.5 percent of male undergraduate students) at the University of Pennsylvania have experienced unwanted sexual touching [3]. This year welcomed a new freshman class to Penn—the Class of 2020. With these frightening statistics, it would be understandable for women to feel apprehension about this potential campus danger. However, perceptions of this underlying threat seem to be very mixed within the freshman class.

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A Brief History of Racism in Redlining

Redlining [red-lahy-ning]: noun: a discriminatory practice by which banks, insurance companies, etc., refuse or limit loans, mortgages, insurance, etc., within specific geographic areas, especially inner-city neighborhoods.

(via dictionary.com)

The practice of redlining in cities across the United States, including Philadelphia, started with the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 and ended in 1968 with the Fair Housing Act.

A key that shows different rankings of regions, as written on security maps. [via The Atlantic]

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) created maps that ranked residential neighborhoods based on their desirability for further investment in a color-coded system. Often, higher ranks of “A” or “B” were likely to receive loans, while ranks of “C” or “D” were likely to be denied loans.

The FHA used various factors to differentiate rankings of zones, among which was the description of the kinds of people living in the area. Often, areas that were predominantly African American communities, or even immigrant communities, were ranked low on the scale. The common, but unstated, thought was that the arrival of African Americans and Immigrant in a community signaled the decline and ultimate demise of a neighborhood.

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