Tag: christina macdonald

Instagram star quits social media and tries to expose false reality

In this age, we all read over our Instagram feed like it is the morning newspaper. And I know that because I read it once on Instagram.

Social media has connected people and created networks for strangers to see glimpses into each other lives. It also has allowed beautiful, staged photographs to appear like reality.

This is the exact problem that Australian model and former Instagram star, Essena O’Neil, is talking about. The 18-year-old, famous for posing in bikinis and bran promotions, is now trying to change the conversation to expose to false reality inside social media.

O’Neil wrote, ”I’m quitting Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr..Deleted over 2,000 photos here today that served no real purpose other than self-promotion. Without realizing, I’ve spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance.”

O’Neil changed the captions on her Instagram photos before finally deleting the account.

She used to time before deleting the account to explain the truth behind each shot.

She explained on her most recent bikini picture that it took more than 100 photos to get the right shot. She also wrote that she “would have hardly eaten that day.”

O’Neil had been signed with a modeling agency in Australia, multiple brand promotion requests, which would all turned financial profit.

She said, “I had the dream life. I had half a million people interested in me on [Instagram].”

She continued, “I was surrounded by all this wealth and all this fame and all this power and yet they were all miserable, and I had never been more miserable.”

One day it changed. O’Neil explained that she felt sick from pretending and that the loneliness that her fake life created got to a point that was out of control.

She launched a website, letsbegamechangers.com, as a means to show the reality behind the facade.

LetsBeGameChangers does not have followers or “likes.” The site is simply her way to further explain her decision and support positive self-image. It’s a beautiful thing when the man comes out from behind the curtain.

It’s bit like the Wizard of Oz and it’s taking over the Internet, sorry Kim K. So, naturally, there had to be a second look at things.

Amelia Diamond, a writer for ManRepeller, wrote, “But something wasn’t sitting well with me. Was it that her actions felt too dramatic — almost to the point that I wondered, “Is this a hoax?”

“Was it that she kept her Instagram up (with edited captions, yes, but still: she’s accumulating followers).

“Was it the knowledge that every media site would pick this up for the SEO, because everyone was talking about, because they didn’t want to be left behind?”

She continued, “I’ve written sponsored posts and posted fake smiles for Instagram. ‘Oh shit,’ I wondered. ‘Am I fake, too?’ I definitely have been.”

The internet has connected us, but somehow it’s disconnected us from ourselves and perception of self and it seems to be a cycle no matter how it’s looked at.

Christina MacDonald
Arts & Entertainment Editor

A Cappella Choir winter concert is set for Nov. 8

Halloween has come and gone, which means that shopping centers and grammies’ houses will soon be preparing for the holidays.

However, the JSU A Cappella Choir started preparing months ago; planning, that is, for their winter concert, which they hope will help kick off the holiday season.

And as we all know it’s not beginning to look a lot like Christmas until we are told so in song! Music is what the holidays are all about, right?

The winter concert will take place November 8 at 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Oxford.

The group will perform a concert focused on Latin American sounds.

According the JSU Newswire, The A Cappella Choir will perform arrangements from ‘Navidad Nuestra,’ a Spanish folk drama about the Nativity created by Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez based on the rhythms and traditions of Hispanic America.”

The group, which is led by Dr. Patricia Corbin, director of choral activities,will be performing in Spanish, making the music as extra challenge for the group to take on.

Corbin said, “I knew when I programmed this work that I would need some help teaching the Spanish to the choir…Lo and behold, on the first day of class after we read through a little of the work, two new choir students – Phoebe Hauser and Christian Tenorio – approached me after class and told me they were native Spanish speakers and offered their assistance.”

Phoebe Hauser and Christian Tenorio are fluent in the Latin America dialect rather than the Castilian Spanish taught in most public schools and were a great help to the other singers when working with the generally unfamiliar music.

Phoebe Hauser’s mother is originally from Honduras. She is majoring in French and plans to be a foreign language interpreter. Christian Tenorio is a native to Colombia and is majoring in biology. Corbin spoke very highly of the students when she said.

“They have been fantastic language coaches throughout the semester and we were lucky to have them involved,” she said.

The winter concert is seems to be the perfect thing for anyone that enjoys live music and especially Spanish music. The choir has put in hard work and is excited for their upcoming concert. As a special guest of the choir, will be the Oxford High School Choral Ensemble. The guest choir is directed by a Jacksonville State University alumna, Holly Luke.

The concert is open to the public and free of admission charge. For more information, contact the JSU Office of Choral Activities at 256-782-5544.

Christina MacDonald
Arts & Entertainment Editor

JSU Drama presents ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’

JSU Drama will start its 2015- 2016 season on Thursday, October, 15 with “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” written by Sarah Ruhl.

Randy Blades, chair of the Department of Drama, described the play saying, “‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ is a play that touches some heavy themes with a pretty light touch…The lead character’s journey is one of self-discovery with a bit of satire of modern life but with a pretty romantic outlook. We think it is going to be a great example of how talented our students are in a lot of ways. We are performing it in our black box, which will make it a nice intimate show.”

The comedy takes a look at the nature of morality, redemption, and the personal challenges linked with death. The work itself has been heralded a beguiling new comedy by The New York Times.

Due to some language and content, the play is recommended for ages thirteen and older.

Multiple show dates are available: October 15 – 18 and October 22-25. All shows running Thursday through Saturday will start at 7 p.m., while the Sunday shows, respectfully, will take place at 2 p.m.

All shows will take place in the Stone Center for the Performing Arts. Ticket prices are $10 for students, military, seniors and university personnel. General adult tickets are $15.  For tickets, call 256-782-5648.

The complete JSU Drama Season of Plays can be accessed on the JSU website.

Christina MacDonald
Arts & Entertainment Editor

‘Third Culture Kids’ make up part of JSU’s diversity

The term ‘Third Culture Kid’ was coined by sociologist, Ruth Hill Useem. [They are called], “Third Culture Kids because TCKs integrate aspects of their birth culture (the first culture) and the new culture (the second culture), creating a unique ‘third culture,’” according to tckids.com.

Interracial or intercultural parents are another example of TCKs, where the mother and father’s native cultures serve as different influences on the child.

The International House is a speciality housing program, centrally located on our universities’ campus. It is made up of 20 international students, each with an American roommate. Together the International House represents over 23 countries and nineteen languages. Within the 40 students there are several TCKs, such as Clement Dikoko and Marignima Souané.

“TCKs are still greatly researched and this research shows good and bad as to being a TCK. The ‘good’ is very highly developed skills for problem solving and creating networks of support. They hit the ground running with new environments. The ‘bad’ is that they don’t know where ‘home’ is. They feel that everyone has an identity that they do not. Their identity is split between two or more places,” said the Dr. John J. Ketterer, past director of the International House Program.

“I really like the International House because it’s an environment that I’m comfortable in. I can talk with people and relate because we understand each other about ‘culture shock’. The House creates a home environment for us,” said Clement Dikoko.

“Before coming to the States, I lived four years in Congo, three years in Gabon, four years in Nigeria, one year in France, two years in Holland, and four years in Malaysia,” said Dikoko.

Marignima Souané was born in Senegal to a Christian Korean mother, and a Muslim Senegalese father. “Wherever I am, I am different than the community. In Senegal, they used to call me ‘Chinese,’ and when I was in Korea, they called me a ‘black person,’ said Souané

She continued, Even when I went to my own embassy in the US, they didn’t believe I was from Senegal. For me, home is where I live really. This [the International House] is the closest home I can get because I have people from Africa and Korea. I can identify with both cultures within one house.”

The motto of the International House is “Know one another and you will love one another.”

And with just an  afternoon spend at the Housing Program, one can see this embodied as these students create a “home” here at Jacksonville State University.

Christina MacDonald
Arts & Entertainment Editor

TomorrowWorld 2015: A beautiful disaster

“People of Tomorrow,” the slogan name for the guests of TomorrowWorld, were not pleased with the returning 2015 music festival.

Continuous rainfall and weather conditions left many visitors stranded for hours in the late night cold, while others were simply unable to attend the final day, September 27.

TomorrowWorld is a three day music festival and five day camping experience held in Georgia, which its website describes as “a realm hidden from civilization, deep within the forests of Chattahoochee Hills.”

There is no set address for the festival as it prides itself in being off the map. TomorrowWorld is known for its intense experience with outstanding décor, A-class camping, VIP areas, and gourmet food.

However, this year it became known for the figurative mud slide the public team had to clean itself up from.

In a press release, TomorrowWorld wrote, “…Sunday September 27, TomorrowWorld will only be accessible to visitors currently camping at DreamVille…The experience of the TomorrowWorld visitors is always TomorrowWorld’s number one priority, so TomorrowWorld was forced to close all daily parking lots and drop off locations.”

This was written after thousands of guests had taken to social media after they were denied transportation from the festival, which many had paid for in advance as part of a package deal. Social media was blasted with angry fans, laying by the side of the road unable to leave the festival.

TomorrowWorld does not serve anything with cash. ‘Pearls’ are the currency of the festival and must be pre-registered onto the computer chip inside the TomorrowWorld bracelet pass.

This is one fact that led to many guests, trying to leave, being without transportation. They had no cash on them to pay outside sources. Those that did have cash on them, were unable to reach many options as the cell phone reception was terrible and the Uber app crashed. Buses, due to the necessity, were charging unbelievable rates upwards of $50 to $100.

According to Thump.com, James Baker, a third-timer of the festival, described the scene as looking like something from a movie, with thousands of people in the woods, and some relieving themselves in the open, passed out on curbs and banging their hands on the sides of full buses.

Once Baker was safely on board a bus, he witnessed a man lay down in the street to try to stop the vehicle so more people could board.

TomorrowWorld has issued several candid apologizes and even created two avenues for refunds. Sunday’s activities carried on for the estimated 40,000 residing in DreamVille, TomorrowWorld’s campsite. Any guest that had purchased the three-day pass was allowed to enter, although, transportation was still an issue for many.

From social media, it seems to be an overwhelming consensus that the weather has not to blame for the festival being labeled a ‘disaster,’ but rather it was the lack of coordination. From those trying to exit Saturday night into Sunday morning, there seemed to be a total disregard for safety. The festival go-ers were to a large degree left to take care of it themselves.

Money talked for TomorrowWorld. It was those guests with DreamVille tickets, which are more quite expensive that did not have to worry about any of this. Also, even new DreamVille visitors were allowed in.

Reagan McCracken, said to Thump.com, “‘We heard the music inside,’ she says. “All the events were still happening, we just couldn’t get past the gate… Everyone’s question was why not let people in if music was still playing. Why only cancel for people not staying on site?”

People had come from all over, paying travel costs and ticket costs to attend. Outside the last gas station on the way to the festival, there was a man, who had driven all the way from Maryland. He traveled the distance to find out the news once he entered Georgia.

Many are advocating that had the festival’s team been more prepared none of this would have happened. Law suits are being considered, but mainly the People of Tomorrow just
want a better ‘Tomorrow.’

The show must go on. Armin Van Buuren closed out the festival, giving an outstanding performance under what seemed to be thousands of fireworks.

For those that did attend the festival, the 2015 music line up was not a disappointment. It featured major names such as Benny Benassi, Armin Van Buuren, Hardwell, David Guetta, Laidback Luke and Tiesto. For those there Sunday, the atmosphere was one of family and unity.

As of 2014, TomorrowWorld was nominated for Best Festival Worldwide by the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) in 2014.  One can only wait and see what will happen for the remaining for years.

It can cost around  $145, if you only go for one day, or $1,459 dollars, if you spend the night in DreamVille, the camp ground area, for three days.

Christina MacDonald
Arts & Entertainment Editor