CAUTION: DO NOT CROSS.
(actually, please do!)
We are constantly surrounded by boundaries, whether we realize it or not. Sometimes, the breaking down of previously established barriers — such as the unprecedented representation of women of color in Congress following the 2018 election — is a means of drawing attention to their very existence. Other times, such as President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for his border wall, the presence and significance of boundaries are both apparent and tangible. Even aside from national and international politics, boundaries permeate the everyday lives of college students, dictating everything from our relationships with ourselves to the social norms we subscribe to.
2019 has been the year of realizing boundaries and breaking them down. And in this issue of kitsch, we are following suit.
Alana Sullivan’s “The Myth of the Glow-up: navigating identity after weight changes,” explores how the world creates a schism between one’s inner self and one’s outer self which changes with weight. After experiencing weight loss, Alana confronts the internalized boundary between her two supposed selves after overcoming the societal belief that heavier bodies are a physical misrepresentation of one’s true identity.
If Alana’s piece confronts the boundaries within, other writers turn outward to articulate the boundaries that surround us — in spaces ranging from geopolitics to interpersonal social interactions. For instance, Abby Eskinder Hailu questions why we won’t talk shit about dead people in “Speaking Ill of the Dead: and other taboos.” Through her case study of Cornell’s early history, she exposes the hypocrisy and toxic nature of treating the deceased as angelic do-gooders.
While some articles discuss boundary-breaking as a necessary act, others question its consequences in the long run. In “Sizing Up Sex Positivity,” Jacqueline Groskaufmanis appreciates the contributions of the sex positivity movement while confronting some of the burgeoning philosophy’s shortcomings, like the potential over-sexualization of young girls and the impulse to gloss over consensual sexual experiences as uniformly positive.
In line with our boundaries theme, we have recrossed into the territory of poetry! As you casually flip through our pages while sipping your morning brew, you’ll likely find yourself enraptured by our featured poems from Ana Penavic, Emma Condie, and Sarah Chekfa. And as our Social Media Manager transcends the Cornell bubble to join adult-kind, they reflect on the opportunities and unprecedented experiences kitsch has given them in a final note to our readers.
So join us on this journey of transcendence. Let’s kick down some doors and, in the words of our Social Media Manager, “enter the cosmos.” It’s been a pleasure serving as kitsch’s editors-in-chief.
See you on the other side!
–Anika & Abigail