Last updateWed, 13 Feb 2019 2pm


Beauty Standards: Today's Society

Beauty StandardsBeauty standards in the 21st century have been filled with negative stereotypes for both men and women. Being harmful for all, these standards lead to one being filled with depression, negative self-image, and even anxiety due to not being able to love themselves fully.

After not fulfilling the stereotypes of what society believes someone should be, these boys and girls live their lives in a silent pain.Many view themselves as “too fat” or “too ugly” to live through everyday life. Young men and women are led to believe that they do not fit the unrealistic beauty standards presented to them.

Due to this, boys and girls isolate themselves, causing their childhoods to be filled with bad memories and no social skills for later in life. Even though society wants to believe that these instances only occur during the adolescent years of one’s life, these issues are also present in the older years too. How crazy is it that even at 18 to 25 years old people judge each other based on weight, how much makeup someone wears, or what brand clothes someone has on?

Katlin Onorato, a sophomore social work student, explained that “[she] has been exposed to such rude and childish behavior, but it has only made her realize that [she] loves [her]self more.” Though Kate has turned her experience into a positive one, she is in the small percentage capable of doing this. There are those at Monmouth who haven’t been as lucky. For example, Shannon McGorty, a sophomore health studies student, stated that “even now there are many who judge me for not being the size of a toothpick and for not dressing in a tube top and mini skirt to go out to parties.”

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Student Spotlight: Lauren Gnoinski

Student Spotlight Lauren Gnoinski 1Freshman year can be an overwhelming experience. For many, it’s their first time away from home, their first time managing their own lives, and their first time living as an adult. For those looking back on their freshman year, there is undeniable growth. Confusing, exhilarating, and for some, difficult, the experiences freshmen have are transformative at 18 or 19. However, being a freshman later on in life is a completely difference entirely, at least, it is for Lauren Gnoinski.

For Gnoinski, a freshman education student, her first year experience is unique in with her fellow classmates. Graduating from Nutley High School in the spring of 2015, Gnoinski’s future path led to Monmouth University. College was the next step for the majority of her friends and classmates, but ultimately was not hers, at least, not for years to come.

That summer, Gnoinski decided that she needed to follow her heart and her dream of attending cosmetology school. Growing up with a passion for doing hair and makeup, she knew it was something she had to do or she would regret it for the rest of her life. “I wanted to work in a salon and I followed what interested me the most. You don’t have to write an admission assay but you still apply and have an interview process but you don’t test or anything. I went to Parisian Beauty Academy in Hackensack New Jersey. “

Gnoinski was able to study hair, skin, and nails, but enjoyed doing hair the most. “Doing hair gave me the power to be creative and transform people and make them happy. When other people are happy, I am happy.” Even though she was happy doing what she was doing, Gnoinski still felt that she wanted to expand her education in makeup.

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All for the Art: Spotlight on Kelly Barratt

Art Spotlight Kelly BarrattWe’ve all taken a class where a professor makes us attend an extracurricular activity. At first, we groan about how “we did not sign up for this” but ultimately realize that it is better if we just go to some event. We walk all the way to Pollak Theatre, sign in to watch a show, and swear we plan on leaving in 15 minutes.

However, we end up staying the whole time because the show ends up being so interesting, we can’t bear to leave. Often times, students don’t consider all of the work that goes into these events, like the student labor and faculty communication.

One of the people who makes sure all of these events go smoothly is Kelly Barratt.

Kelly Barratt is the Assistant Director of the Center of the Arts, whom you’ve probably seen setting out attendance sheets and helping students get tickets. Although her main focus is marketing, she wears many different hats in the office.

“I like how I get to do something different every day. One day I’m painting the walls and the next day I’m working with artists or creating brochures,” she said.

Although she loves her job now, she never intended to fall into this career. When she was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, she was planning on becoming a lawyer.

After joining a Pre-Law fraternity, she decided that law was not in her future. At the same time, she was working in the Art department and gained an internship at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey.

It was here where she realized that there was a field in Arts Administration, and got her Master’s degree in Museum Exhibit Planning and Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

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More Than Just Hugs: Ken Nwadike and his Message of Peace

Free HugsAs Americans, we are living in one of the most polarizing times in our history, not only politically, but idealistically as well. From the riots that sparked since the Trayvon Martin case to rallies preaching hate and white supremacy in Charlottesville, one could easily say that we in dire need for deeper discussions of peace and understanding.

This is a difficult task, however motivational speaker and activist Ken Nwadike’s approach to starting those meaningful conversations has inspired the country for the past four years. His movement “Free Hugs” is more than just the iconic t-shirt that Nwadike wears to the events he attends- it’s the title of his movement and message that he spreads to others, young and old, across the country.

Ken Nwadike brought his inspirational message to Monmouth University students and faculty on Jan. 30 at Pollak Theatre. Nwadike began his charitable work years prior in California, where he lived since the early 1990s. His experience with extreme polarization and hardship early in life due to homelessness made Nwadike very withdrawn as person, stating that in high school he wouldn’t interact and participate in much.

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Students Talk "Sylvia"

Students Talk SylviaHaving a “ruff” semester? Come see Sylvia!

The Monmouth University Theatre Department proudly presents: Sylvia, a hilarious play about a man, his dogs, and all the antics that come with their unbreakable bond. Sylvia, written by A.R. Gurney, is set in modern Manhattan, where Greg (Mark Cayne) and Kate (Samantha Truglio) decide to move after 22 years of marriage and their children have gone off to college.

Greg, a financial trader, goes to the park on his lunch break and meets Sylvia (Kara D’Antoni), a sassy, spunky stray dog looking for a new home. The two connect immediately, however Kate does not approve of housing a dog at this point in their lives.

Along the way, Greg and Kate encounter several characters that try to help them through their new lifestyle with Sylvia. First, Tom (Christian Lombino) a fellow dog park goer with a good-looking golden named Bowser.

Next, Phyllis (London Jones) a high-society woman with a bit of a drinking problem. Finally, we are introduced to Leslie (Erin Clemente), an androgynous marriage consoler that has some personal issues as well.

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It's the Write Thing to do: Why Writing is Important

Writing ImportantWhy is it important to write?

The importance of writing is simple yet equally complex. Just one of the reasons a person might write is for personal satisfaction or fulfillment. Writing is an art form, meaning that it can be used to release and portray feelings that might go otherwise unsaid.

I am a believer in the concept of keeping a journal and documenting personal thoughts. It is healthy to make note of how you feel daily. Keeping record of these moments is important to keep an open and clear mind. 

Granted, it can be very difficult to find time for writing when we have grown accustomed to moving so fast. We, as a society, sometimes forget to take a moment and appreciate all we have, let alone document it. 

Deadlines, exams, work, studying, the list is endless. As college students, we can barely find the time to breathe. Everyone struggles with finding the time to stop and write, but taking every moment you can get makes it worth it. Whether it be scribbling down a few sentences before bed, or writing a note in my phone as I walk to class, writing down a passing thought is pacifying. 

Disclaimer, you don’t need to be a poetic genius to write! Especially if you are writing for pleasure, simply let your mind articulate your words to the page or your screen.

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Student Spotlight: Joe Johnson

Student Spotlight1We all have a million things on our plate, but, the way we handle them is always the way people will remember us.

The way Joe Johnson, a senior criminal justice student with a minor in sociology, handles his workload and still manages to give back to the Monmouth University community is how he’ll be remembered.

Johnson remembers, “I only applied to three schools, Rowan University, Montclair State University and Monmouth. As I started receiving acceptance letters, the only school who offered me the most scholarship money was Monmouth.So, I chose Monmouth to begin my journey and have loved it ever since.”

Originally from Edison, NJ, he has been an influential figure to remember at the University. He said, “The first club/organization that I got involved with at Monmouth was African American Student Union (AASU) was extremely difficult to look around campus and not see many people of color. In my high school, I was accustomed to people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but when I came here it was hard finding people of my same race that I could connect with. So, I took it upon myself to join the club and see if there were people who had the same thoughts and interests as me.”

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The World Through a Lens

World Through LensThrough our own lens we see the continuously changing world; we see the green leaves on trees, the blue ink of a pen, the curved shape of a cloud, and the light through a clear window, but some see the way colors and shapes fill a still frame and want that moment to be captured as it is in that moment.

A junior graphic design student, Sebastian Rebelo studies photography as a minor, says he always enjoyed taking photographs. “There’s something about capturing an exact moment in time that you can’t do with other mediums, that makes photography different. My inspiration for taking photographs has always been just for the love of taking photos. Sure, my techniques have changed as I gain experience and develop a sense of style that is unique to my photos, but I always shoot things that capture my eye and make .”

Although Rebelo’s technique has shifted due to his experiences, he still feels inspired to simply capture a moment he always know what a specific moment felt like.

Art and Design Chair and Professor, Dr. Andrew Cohen explained how photography has positively affected his life. “Photography allows me to get closer, connect in a deeper manner with people.  My work focuses on transformation which I document as the mundane, unceasing human condition. I enjoy ‘street photography’ which keeps me alert to my surroundings.  It requires being inconspicuous, observing the moment, and looking for the special in the mundane unfolding of the day,” Cohen revealed. 

Cohen is also intrigued by documentary photography. “Over the years, and ongoing, I have documented some orphanages in Vietnam.  Telling their story in a creative way is a rewarding experience. Photography opens the doors to countless stories.  Telling the story is key, photographing in a creative manner, sensitive to all that is unfolding-- how light adds to the moment, the composition and movements-- makes the work enjoyable and keeps me going,” said Dr. Cohen.

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The Feminist Machine

Feminist MachineWhat is the biggest threat to feminism today?

“Complacency,” said Claude Taylor. Professor of communication and Advisor-In Residence for Academic Transition and Inclusion.  Some course topics of his include race, class, underrepresentation in the media, and gender inequality. 

The ever-shifting political landscape today has erupted with numerous advocacy movements; Black Lives Matter protests, the rise of veganism, climate change supporters, and hundreds more.  However, there is one movement that is stronger than ever before: feminism. 

Like a mighty locomotive, the supporters gather in swarms; singing alongside a choir of hundreds of voices, adorning clever slogans on T-shirts, and parading together throughout the nation.  You would think an army was invading your city. Despite the sheer number of women (and men), why should we focus on this movement now more than ever?

Dr. Corey Lee Wrenn, Director for the Gender Studies club, and published author, answered, “[Feminism is] the notion that everyone should have equal opportunity regardless of gender identification.  People should support feminism because equality is linked to better individual health as well as social stability and prosperity.”

“The core of gender equality needs to be stressed,” Taylor affirmed.  “As a male feminist, as an ally, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully understand the issue.  Practicing empathy is vital to understand.”

“Modern feminists today are fighting for access, inclusion, and recognition; not visually recognized, but being heard as a member of a culture,” she continued.

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Turn That Frown Upside Down: How to Improve Your Days

Frown Upside DownWhile living in a time where every moment is so fast paced, whether it be school, work or your personal life, there can be certain instances where happiness begins to wane. Many lose sight of what happiness actually is and how it can be achieved in even in the smallest moments.

Attending college is difficult, especially for those who find themselves consumed in an overload of work. However, there are ways to enjoy subtle, but important, times.

For example, Chibuzo Amonu, a freshman nursing student, said, “Someone taking the time to simply say hi makes me happy, even if the day was not the best.” Colleen Finnigan, office coordinator of the Department of Education always has her student workers smile and say hello to anyone who walks in the door. “You never know how someone’s day is, and if you saying hi makes them even a little bit happier, then it’s worth it,” she said.

Another way that you can turn your day into a better one yourself is by making others around you feel better. Matthew Jones, a freshman computer science student, uses this tactic in his life on a daily basis. “I find happiness in putting a smile on someone’s face because if they are happy, why shouldn’t I be,” he said.

Even though work has settled in and many students are already tired, putting in the minute or two to make someone smile may brighten up how you feel during that time.

For those who remain more concerned with self-made happiness, without the help of another person, doing a daily activity may be the route to take. Whether you find the sunrise enjoyable or even just having a cup of coffee, make it a point to continuously have it present in life.

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Super Santonastasso

Super SantonastassoFor those of you who have (somehow) not heard of Nick Santonastasso yet, I’d like you to take mental note of this statement before he becomes a household name: He is hands down the most influential young adult and will hold this title for generations to come.

Upon hearing his story, you will stop making excuses for yourself and start each day with the ambition and positivity Nick showcases each day of his life.

I first met Nick about three years ago; my mom informed me that this young man—that appeared on the screen of my phone while scrolling through videos on my Facebook feed— was a part of our family through marriage. I remember I nodded my head and said, “sweet,” as I scrolled past the footage.

Looking back on that moment, I truly had no idea that this social media figure on my screen and I would form the incredible bond that we have today.

Flash forward to last summer, My phone buzzed in my back pocket, signaling the “text message” notification.

New iMessage From: Nick.

            I opened the alert.

            Guess who’s moving to Florida???

Nick Santonastasso informed me he just made the biggest decision of his young life and career— to pack up all of his belongings and buy a one-way ticket to Florida.

I stared at my phone and reflected on every moment I had the opportunity to experience with Nick; words alone cannot begin to convey what it is like to experience the motivation that Nick exudes just by being in his presence.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151