Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 1pm


The Media’s Ongoing Influence Over Body Image

Beyonce, top-chart multi-millionaire singer and actress, and wife to well-known rapper, Jay-Z, once stated, "I wrote 'Bootylicious' because, at the time, I'd gained some weight and the pressure that people put you under- the pressure to be thin, is unbelievable. I was just 18 and you shouldn't be thinking about that."

At 18 years of age, teenage Beyonce was already feeling the pressure and obsession with body image that Hollywood tends to mount on all celebrities.

"Bootylicious" is a song from Beyonce's Destiny's Child days, and although the song wasn't one of their greatest hits, it did not fail to send a message.

The singer is clearly not worried about her personal body image. She realizes that her body does not hold the perfect hour-glass shape that society expects every woman to have.

Yes, there is "jelly" that moves from side to side when she shakes, but she could care less. Through their lyrics, Destiny's Child enforces female empowerment and embracing your body. Being "Bootylicious" is just as perfect.

The influence paparazzi, magazines and media have on celebrities and regular people based on their appearances, is unbelievable.

Twenty-one year old singer, actress, and "X-Factor" judge, Demi Lovato, is another example of Hollywood's crucial influence on body image. Demi Lovato has always suffered with low self-esteem due to appearance insecurities.

In fact, not too long ago she took a break from her career to herself check herself into a rehabilitation center. When she was done with her time off, she came back stronger and more powerful than ever.

In one of her most recent interviews, she told Vogue magazine, "My main thing about being in the spotlight with my fans is, I want to be real to them. I have my problem areas, but I'm happy in my skin right now. I'm not going to sacrifice my mental health to have the perfect body."

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Goodbye Black Friday, Hello Cyber Monday

laptoplMy fellow online shopping addicts, it's that time of year again. No, I am not talking about eating Thanksgiving dinner or waiting on ridiculously long lines at 3 am waiting for the best Black Friday deals.

I am talking about Cyber Monday. Just the name of it makes me warm inside. This day is when online shoppers set mental countdowns for and mark their calendars. If you're a little new to the online shopping realm, I'll explain the pure magic called Cyber Monday.

The term "Cyber Monday" was coined in 2005 after retailers were noticing their online sales were particularly high the Monday after Thanksgiving, according to

About 77 percent of online retailers saw their sales increase. Obviously, they wanted to take advantage of this so they decided to make it an actual event. In 2006, it was held on Nov. 27 and it made $608 million in online sales.

In 2010, Cyber Monday made just over $1 billion, according to As each year passes, more and more money is being made. So why would online retailers stop?

Cyber Monday is not only featured on online based stores like and Stores all over take advantage of Cyber Monday.

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The Forgotten Thanksgiving

If you've turned on the television over the last couple of weeks, you have definitely noticed that every other commercial seems to have a Christmas theme to it.

Whether it's an ad for Hershey Kisses in red and green wrappers set to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" or one for the latest editions of the Hess toy truck, the commercialization of Christmas has definitely diluted the true meaning of the season that Linus spoke about in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

But there is also another side effect of all of this merchandising that many people do not often think about: What happened to Thanksgiving?

That line about Christmas coming sooner every year has become something of a running joke. But in recent years, whether people have noticed it or not, Thanksgiving has become less of a holiday and is now probably best known as just the day before Black Friday.

Over the last few years, more and more stores have been taking away turkey day as a day off for their employees in the name of turning a profit and 2013 will be no different.

Walmart recently announced that, in addition to giving employees who work on Thanksgiving extra holiday pay, the retail giant will also be providing workers with a 25 percent discount off a future purchase and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

NBC News online also reported that stores like Best Buy, Kmart, Toys-R-Us and Target will also be offering employees additional holiday pay.

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The Satisfying Feeling of Conquering Fears

"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure," Paulo Coelho, "The Alchemist."

What exactly is fear, the inability to move forward because of the unknown, or is it actually the extra strength needed to keep on?

The fears people face on a daily basis vary all over the spectrum. Fears vary from the common fear of spiders and heights, to the fear of failure, unhappiness, and even love.

I don't think anyone truly knows where fears come from or what triggers them, but what people have come to learn, is how to live with them.

We have our ways of conquering each of our fears. I, for instance, have overcome quite a couple in my short twenty-year-old life.

When I was much younger, I was terribly afraid of heights. My fear was grand, I never even learned how to climb monkey bars and have failed to do so to this day. My fear of heights also triggered a fear of rollercoasters.

However, one day I simply got tired of sitting on the sidelines while the rest of my sisters had a blast flying through the air that I finally decided to ride the Six Flags rollercoaster, Nitro, for the first time ever.

Riding that rollercoaster was one of the best experiences of my life and definitely one I will never forget.

As I grew older, my fears became a bit more serious than a ride at an amusement park. When I was sixteen, I met the one who would become my first love.

Now I was no longer afraid of heights-this time I was afraid of falling in love. I was nervous of becoming attached to someone who could walk away any minute. I was avoiding having to trust someone who could hurt me as easily as they could make me happy.

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“I’m Friends With More Animals than People”

pets-plug-in-photo1My phone buzzed and the little Facebook icon popped up in the corner of my screen that means "you have a new friend request!" I assumed it was someone I knew from class, or a distant relative who I met at a family barbeque. I opened the Facebook app on my smartphone to see who it was.

The name attached to the friend request was familiar, but I had to wonder how my high school acquaintance's long haired Chihuahua managed to set up a Facebook page with such tiny paws. Her profile picture was so darn cute that I had to accept Cupcake's friend request.

Soon enough, I was friends with two dogs, three cats and a ferret on Facebook. I accepted a friend request from Stan the corn snake shortly after he wished me a very "sssspecial" day on my timeline when my birthday came around.

It was then that I realized, I think I'm friends with more pets than humans on Facebook. My newsfeed was flooded by cuddly creatures and comments about how precious they looked dressed up as a pumpkin for Halloween.

Instagram is no different. I posted one picture of my golden retriever on my personal account and suddenly I have a whole cult of kittens and puppies "following" me.

I'll admit, most pet selfies will make my heart melt in an instant, but it feels like the internet has become "Planet of the Apes;" if the apes were fluffy domestic mammals with big eyes and wet noses, that is.

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The Electronic Dance Music Lifestyle

djsetElectronic Dance Music, or EDM as it is more commonly known, seems to be more popular than ever. This music is made by DJs with typically loud and continuous beats. It has been on the rise recently and has been integrated into mainstream radio and television.

The popular music festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival saw crowds of about 320,000 people over three days, all there to enjoy the music. Although EDM has only recently become popular, it has actually been around for years, as it started as an underground movement in the 1980s.

Many young people believe EDM is more than a music genre for some it has become a lifestyle. Hardcore EDM fans revolve their lives around the music, shows, and artists. There are numerous blogs dedicated to this genre where fans communicate and bond over the DJs, new music and their experiences at the festivals.

The reason why EDM is so important and life changing is because of the different things you experience and learn from the music and the festivals.

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Time for a Pep Talk: The Truth about Energy Drinks

In today's busy world, there aren't enough hours in the day to finish everything that needs to get done. Between writing papers, completing internships and maintaining some semblance of a social life, it can be exhausting being a college student. Thankfully there are ways to try and regain that alert feeling.

While coffee and soda have always been the caffeinated beverages of choice for anyone looking for some quick energy, there has been a rise in the popularity of energy drinks in recent years.

Names like Red Bull, Amp, Monster, 5-Hour Energy and Rockstar are all over store shelves and are very popular amongst high school and college students.

Yes, energy drinks are a quick, easy source of caffeine, but what's really in them that makes them that way? Are they any worse for your health than a twelve ounce can of Coke?

According to the Mayo Clinic's website, that can of Coca-Cola contains between 30 to 35 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, a twelve ounce can of Mountain Dew contains a whopping 46 to 55 milligrams.

This may sound like more than enough caffeine to keep the average person awake long enough to get through the day. However, these numbers fall far short of the caffeine amount contained in energy drinks.

An eight-ounce can of Amp contains around 73 milligrams of caffeine, while Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar all contain around 80 milligrams.

Yet, 5-Hour Energy packs the biggest punch; cramming a whopping 207 milligrams of the caffeine into every two ounce, shrink wrapped bottle.

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Is The Need for Coffee Really Necessary?

coffeeFor many of us, coffee is the single most motivating thing that gets us up in the morning. We're all more than familiar with the feelings of increased alertness and motivation that follow a cup of joe.

That is because caffeine is the most common psychoactive drug found in the market today. The biochemical structure of caffeine is similar to that of adenosine, a substance that is naturally found within our bodies. Adenosine binds to the receptor cells in our brain that make us feel relaxed, calm and even sleepy (on particularly rainy days).

However, because caffeine's chemical structure resembles that of adenosine, it can successfully bind to the adenosine-specific receptors in the brain and thus stop adenosine from binding to those receptors. It also promotes the release of calcium ions from the nerves, resulting in the increased feeling of alertness.

Contrary to common perception, caffeine itself does not actually have special properties that cause the brain to feel more alert; rather, it just blocks from making us feel drowsy.

Moreover, caffeine has numerous other benefits. It has been recently found that caffeine improves memory. I'm sure many of us have personal experience with this property of caffeine, especially during finals week.

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The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Let's face it, most of us are probably guilty of receiving a text message behind the wheel and fighting off the urge to pick up the phone and see what Earth-shattering update awaits our response. After all, what's the harm in just glancing down for a few seconds to at least see who the message is from? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website,, there is plenty that can happen when you take your eyes off the road for just a few moments. The site says that "sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds." At 55 mph, that's equivalent to "driving the length of an entire football field, blind." While people of all ages are guilty of this particular brand of multitasking behind the wheel, teenagers are predominately who are associated with texting and driving. also says that of the 15 to 19 year old drivers who are involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of them were on their phones when the accident occurred. The Los Angeles Times also recently reported on a study conducted by two professors at Pennsylvania's Kings College, which found "four out of five college students texted while driving, and that males in particular were more likely to downplay the dangers of distracted driving, because they believed they were skilled drivers." Garold Lantz and Sandra Loeb, the professors behind the study, also told the Huffington Post that students feel if something bad does happen because of texting behind the wheel, it will simply happen to somebody else and not to them.

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Pure Barre Red Bank Hosting College Night for Local Students

Pure Barre Red Bank is hosting a college night for local students Wednesday, November 13 and Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7:45 pm at the studio located at 127 Broad Street.

College students will transform their bodies in the one-hour, low-intensity high-impact workout that incorporates all of the common problem areas for women, including their seat, thighs, abs, and arms.

Classes are a combination of yoga, ballet, and Pilates and no dance experience is necessary. Students pay a reduced price of $20 for a single class or $100 for a month of unlimited classes. To reserve your spot go online to or call 732-842-7873.

Students are encouraged to sign-up with other friends and classmates and enjoy the total body workout to current and up-beat music in Pure Barre's fun atmosphere.

Jessica Ketchel, a current college student and Pure Barre client stated, "Being a senior in college I know first-hand how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy body weight. It has been a relief to find Pure Barre because it is not only effective, but it fun and addictive and I always leave class feeling accomplished. It definitely beats going to the packed gym at school and the results are much more noticeable."

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The Importance of Internships

Many colleges and universities, including Monmouth University, require many undergraduates to participate in internships to fulfill certain graduation requirements. While some students may view the experience as nothing more than an inconvenient task, internships can undoubtedly turn out to be one of the most valuable aspects graduates take away from their college experience.

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 57 percent of employers prefer applicants that have internship experience. That means that the pesky internship requirement you are required to fill, will give you a serious edge over other applicants who lack that experience.

Internships are significant because they give students an insight to the field they are looking to go into, as well as valuable hands on experience.

The most obvious skills students will gain are those that require them to be hands on, such as learning how to use media equipment in broadcasting or performing medical procedures as a nurse.

However, an internship will also expose students to an actual job setting and get a feel for how to interact with bosses or supervisors, as well as how to carry themselves professionally and how to be an efficient employee over all.

Many students have held part- time jobs while attending school, but the majority of college students usually lack that experience of an actual professional full time job or setting.

Participating in an internship teaches students how to dress professionally, to work for extended hours, and to take on more responsibilities.

There are certain things that just cannot be learned in a classroom. For me personally, completing an internship was one of the smartest decisions I have made as a college student.

No matter how prepared I believed that I was for the real world, ultimately, there was so much I still needed to learn that my textbooks did not prepare me for.

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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