Posts Tagged ‘style’

new beginnings and piercings as self-love

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Every time someone asks about how I picked Lesley University, I have a tendency to joke that I was following my ex-girlfriend. 

On one hand: this isn’t entirely true- the school had plenty of what I was looking for, including both of the majors I wanted, a supportive and queer-friendly environment, and a campus stretching across Cambridge. On the other: I do think going into higher education knowing someone who was both my best friend (at the time) and very dear to me did a lot to boost my confidence. 

I had a built-in friend, a way to start off the first of four years with a sort of social safety net. I had someone to talk to about the hardships of starting the higher-education portion of adulthood and the anxiety of moving into a new place. I had someone to do homework with, late into the night on scratchy dorm room carpeting. I had someone to complain with about the occasionally-questionable dining hall food. I had someone, and that made the nervousness of being in a new place slowly, surely, ebb into the background. This didn’t stop either of us from making friends as we both found our places within our new community, but it got us through the first few months as we began to build up new relationships. 

Having someone around who already knew me, accepted me, and encouraged me to be myself also made it much easier to get comfortable in my own skin- both as a new college student and as a trans and queer person coming of age. Fortunately, my school had plenty of overlap between the two, with a plethora of my freshman class being in a similar literal and physical transition. We were all looking to make homes out of our bodies, and one of the most obvious ways to do that was to get a new piercing.

About a week or two into my college experience at Lesley University, my ex decided she wanted a septum ring. Eager to work towards my own accumulation of piercings and to mark the pivotal shift into freshman year on my body somehow, I decided I would tag along. So, on one fateful student-discount Tuesday, we headed down the red line into Central Square, popping into the Boston Lucky’s for walk-in appointments. After a half-hour of sitting on some really nice leather chairs and admiring the jewelry selection by the cash register, I was escorted into the piercing room. The process itself only lasted a few minutes. A gloved hand ran an alcohol wipe around the center of my nose; a needle and horseshoe-shaped piece of metal followed suit, threaded through the cartilage without much fanfare. 

Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop. Done in layered green lineart.
Little freshman-year-Ness standing on the sidewalk, staring down the tattoo shop.

An hour after our arrival, we walked out together with our matching piercings. The new hole in my nose was all I’d hoped it would be. It looked great. My parents, however, were not on the same page. 

They called later that night. “It was a waste of money,” my mom chastised. “I don’t even think I want to come visit you on parents’ weekend.” My dad echoed the sentiment, taking the time to text me that he hoped it would get torn out. They warmed up to it as soon as they realized it could be flipped up, but the rift it caused felt emblematic. 

While a little warning might’ve done wonders to prevent any familial unrest, I did what I did for me. I love my family, but part of paving my own path meant not conforming to their standards. Rather, I was setting my own. And it wasn’t just little 2018 Ness who decided to kick off their journey into higher education with a piercing. In a 2006 article from the JAMA Network, one Lester Mayers noted that 51% of university students surveyed had piercings, while 23% had tattoos; with the destigmatization among the workplace and accessibility of body modifications, the number has only gone up (Sequential Survey of Body Piercing..). In Hallie Long’s article from the DePaulia, she interviews freshly-tatted Angie Rainey, who declares that the tattoo she got in college “caught [her].. at such a transformative and new time in.. life” ( The body is a temple, and so many people have taken it upon themselves to decorate theirs to reflect burgeoning personal style. By making the decision to kick off college with a piercing, I became one of many new students who made similar choices, a way of making their bodies feel more like a refuge among the turbulence of life. Even in periods of great change, the one thing we can control is ourselves. 

Self-expression through body mods is a fairly common, healthy mechanism for self-discovery.

Another article from the Journal of Adolescent Health deems the reasoning behind piercings to be an act of identity, rather than rebellion (Contemporary College Students and Body Piercing). Between myself and the people I knew, most of us who were modifying our bodies (whether through our piercings, tattoos, or haircuts) were doing so as a way to find a sense of community within an alternative subculture. It was a statement of self, seeking out community and building our own confidence rather than actively trying to disrupt a peace within our immediate families. It was just that now, we had the freedom to find this new place for ourselves.

I started my first year of college nervous. Nervous about my relationship, about school, about the friendships I had yet to find. I was nervous about my parents, about getting homesick, about whether or not we’d see eye-to-eye. I was worried about whether or not the new hole in my body would heal properly. But even in the wake of all the fears about the future, I knew I’d be okay.

And you know what?

I am.

Glow-up of the century.

tl;dr: be nervous if you must, but know you’ll be okay.

Sometimes making the perfect change to your look is the thing that makes you feel your best and most confident, and there’s nothing quite like a fresh cut to help you feel your best… dare I say, nothing feels quite as marvelous! 

For that life-changing, new-kid-on-campus chop, treat yourself to a place that really understands the power of looking and feeling your best, like Marvelous Barber Lounge. With the help of Campus Clipper, you can get 20% off on the ultimate grooming experience- just bring your student ID and your coupon to redeem!

By Ness Curti

Ness Curti is a freshly-graduated illustrator from the Lesley College of Art and Design. A part-time bobarista and full-time New England adventurer, they hope to one day tell stories for a living, whether through art or words. They enjoy doodling, procrastinating, and saying hello to the dogs they pass on the sidewalk.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Putting Effort into Your Appearance: It’s About Confidence, Not Vanity

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Picture this: you’re having a rough day. Maybe your physics exam went horribly; maybe you and your significant other split up; maybe you struggle with anxiety or depression and it’s just worse than usual today. Self doubt and insecurity start to creep in, and your confidence sky dives. Cue sweat pants and a trip to the nearest bodega to check out the ice cream selection, and soon you’re a pile of distress, feeling… let’s just say not your most attractive.

Does this sound familiar? I think we’ve all been here. But even though your impulse is to crawl into a hole, and the last thing you want to do is put on nice clothes and style your hair, that’s exactly what you should do. Putting effort into your appearance makes you look more confident, which makes you feel more confident and act it too. Scientists Adam Hajo and Adam D. Galinsky research the effect that your style and clothing choices have on your mood, health, and overall confidence. This is the result of a phenomenon called “enclothed cognition.” In an article for the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Hajo and Galinsky explain that enclothed cognition “involves the co-occurrence of two independent factors — the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them.” That means what you choose to put on has a real affect on how you feel and what your style and clothing are saying to the world.

In a Huffington Post article, “How Clothing Choices Affect and Reflect Your Self-Image,” Jill L. Ferguson quotes Karen J. Pine, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire (U.K.) and author of the book Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion. Pine maintains, “When we put on a piece of clothing we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it.” Think about it: how do you feel and act in your favorite outfit? In sweatpants? After a haircut? What about wearing loafers? Heels? Gents, wearing a nice aftershave? I know that when I wear a fancy dress for a night out, I stand up straighter, walk with more intention, and probably project more confidence as a result. This isn’t to say you need to be dressed to the nines all the time. I love my flannel shirts and combat boots, and sometimes I feel more confident wearing that than wearing a form fitting dress (especially on a full stomach). Just a touch of something that spruces up your appearance can make a difference in how you feel, look, and present yourself. Often on days when I have to share my work in front of a group or have a difficult conversation, I’ll put on some lipstick, or as I call it, war paint.

I particularly like red, since it’s the color of confidence. I’ve always thought there’s just something about the classic red bottom on a pair of Louboutins that projects elegance and confidence. But that doesn’t mean you need to run around in heels on the daily. A few days a week I’ll spritz on some perfume, or wear a noticeable pair of earrings, style my hair differently, or brush on some mascara. These efforts don’t need to be head-to-toe 24/7. In the event of a break up, sometimes a dramatic change like a totally different haircut can do wonders to make you feel fresh and attractive; I just got a chop this weekend! But day-to-day, it’s just about putting in the effort to make yourself feel confident—and that’s inextricably linked to feeling attractive. So shine your shoes, try a new hair style, pull out that little black dress, and start wearing red!

By Sofia Lerner

Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.



The Fashion Complex You’re a Part of

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This blog series is a serialized look at fashion as a function and inspiration in our everyday lives. It explores the urban young-adult aesthetic in modern American culture, specifically in New York City. If you are reading this series, you’re somewhat familiar with urban fashion trends or perhaps you fit the aforementioned demographic. The urban young-adult aesthetic likely saturates every form of media from music to films and other visual arts that you consume. You find that a touch of it lingers in the background track of your favorite dance song when you hear heavy platform shoes on hardwood floors or the clink of metal on some over accessorized clubgoer. You notice that the film adaptation of your favorite young-adult series uses the popular color scheme from the runway that year. It is no coincidence that fashion concepts marketed to young-adults are such popular motifs in other art forms. The young adult is powerful in any form of art. The confluence of their unique and modern generational experience fused with newfound independent thinking, without fail, makes every generation of young adults the most important shapers of culture.

The term aesthetic generally conflates a vast concept of beauty and the perception of it through the senses. In fashion, it has a more direct association to the word style, the concept of self-identifying through clothes. Often it’s used to describe a brand or fashion house’s distinct personality.  That is what I mean when I talk of the urban young-adult aesthetic. I’m talking about the distinct ‘isms’ of this generation that are engaged in formulating this seamless urban attitude that is both commercially successful and culturally relevant.

Once we learn to recognize this phenomenon as part of our cultural affect, we can start to understand it—why the urban young adult is a universal landmark of aspiration on the runway and subsequently in our local fashion department stores. Firstly, being young is always en vogue. The fashion industry’s obsession with youth is another story altogether but it is important here to note since it’s all, believe me, very cyclical. What the urban young adult means to fashion however is newness and modernity. Fashion that adapts to us has the key to being successful.  Modernity, a tried and true American ‘ism’, allows for adaptability to changing times and markets. This series outlines five inherent concepts of the urban young-adult aesthetic that exemplify how it works and works so well.


Margael St Juste, Hunter College ’15

Follow the Campus Clipper on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!