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Everyday I learn about things I never thought existed. What really blew my mind was learning about people who love the porn of human like animals. Later, to find out theres a whole bigger side to just watching human like animal porn, theres actually a community of it.

We all have fetishes, not necessarily does it have to be an obsession with feet, or BDSM, or even looking at the MILF section on your favorite site, it can really vary. Having a fetish puts us in a community where it can make someone feel welcomed and a sense of belongingness to know there are others who also like the same things as you do. For example, the BDSM community is huge, even inspired a middle aged woman to write 50 Shades of Grey that gained so much popularity it became a movie. However, there's other fetishes that exist, such as stigmatophile - a person who loves tattoos or piercings, or clinophile - someone who loves lying down and reclining. Not all fetishes are sexualized, and we all have them as a human being.  Having a sexual fetish or not,  it can spice up your life and open yourself to new experiences and new people. Fetishes are also a part of religion, but are described as worshipping objects because of certain magical powers such as shamans and totem poles - nothing sexually related. Animals have always been worshipped and deemed very spiritual among many different people in the world. Even during the BC days  Egyptians would create images of human forms with features resembling a cat, starting the fetish which is increasingly gaining popularity called Furrys. 







Growing up, cartoons were always a must to watch on Saturday morning, watching Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry always fighting, it was entertaining because for some reason children love animals, and this leads to a successful entertainment business not only in movies but at theme parks as well. While some children grow up wanting to be like Mulan or Aladdin, other children find a strong fascination with animals, growing a urge of developing a fetish of wanting to be one. When the child grows up, luckily for them, there's a community for that. Furries are anthropomorphized animal characters, basically animals with human qualities or characteristics. For example, a female furry character can have a body of a woman  with the perky two breasts, a hour glass figure, and human like arms and legs.Furrys dress up a majority of the time as mammals, in a mascot-esque type of clothing, usually bi-pedal (two legs). Although not as common, some dress up as reptiles and birds. While outsiders see this as a fetish, those who are part of the furry community see it as a place of belonging. There are a couple of conventions dedicated to meeting other Furrys and hanging out. People of all ages attend including children, and every year the convention grows. Regardless of how you view it, it incorporates their own sense of fashion that ranges from wearing animal ears to owning a fursuit, which is basically an animal costume.  These bad boys cover you from head to toe are made from different sorts of quality depending on your price range that range from the hundreds to the thousands, even more if you want it speciality designed the way you want it. The amount of work required on a full body suit is usually a couple hundred of hours, and is made with vegan products such as fake fur, or plush. The wearing of the fursuit varies from person to person with some wearing it only at conventions, sometimes during the week, or everyday. Wearing a fursuit, or even simply putting on a pair of animal ears gives a majority of furrys a true sense of identity making their actual human self feel like only just flesh on their skin and not who they really are. Yet while animals in the wild never wear clothes unless you're Paris Hilton who dresses up her dog, furrys incorporate their own sense of fashion usually on their fursuits. On top of their fursuits they usually wear normal human clothes. From punk attire to Renaissance, to sexy latex dresses, the furrys incorporate clothing just as they would dress their non-furry self. 


What the furry community is notoriously known for the misconception of being a sex craze, animal fucking society. The side that 90% people see due to news and the fascination of seeing modern people dress up as an animal. Some simply enjoy the furry community and have no sexual desires of it while others enjoy reading furry erotica, using special code names for sexual words such as "splooge" which means sperm or watching Yiff. Yiff, which is furry porn, also brings in new people after spending time looking through and finding a fascination with it. This is the community that's usually seen, from having erotica fan drawing, to dildos that are shaped like a horses penis,  and butt plugs with artificial fur tails connected. While having their fetish for animals with human characteristics this does not mean that they have sex with their dog or find some sort of attraction to their pets. What arouses Furrys are the animalistic outfits that become a turn on during role play or their partners furrys characteristics. 
Others enjoy it because animals have sex very differently from people stating that when people have sex it's a lot of thinking, but when animals have sex they just do it. Expressing their own sexual urges gives a fun and safe environment for furries who spice up their sex life with this type of creativity and imagination. Sex is a natural desire, so it should be fun, and as long as it's consensual and safe, hopefully this community will one day not be mocked for being themselves. 


Take Only What You Need, and Never More Than You Need
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“They're also waiting to make  you want things. Everything we've grown up with—the stories on the feed, the games, all of that--it's all streamlining our personalities so we're easier to sell to. I mean, they do these demographic studies that divide everyone up into a few personality types, and then you get ads based on what you're supposedly like. They try to figure out who you are, and to make you conform to one of their types for easy marketing. It's like a spiral: They keep making everything more basic so it will appeal to everyone. And gradually, everyone gets used to everything being basic, so we get less and less varied as people, more simple.” - Feed by M.T. Anderson. 
I hope this quote sparked some thoughts about the culture that exists within America today. In this crazy world where as a society, the meaning of achieving the “American Dream” has increased in terms of material things, we have been accustomed to always having the newest thing NOW! NOW! NOW! The pace of our life is affecting the quality of life. We have things we’re obsessed over and then the new version comes out and we no longer care about what we already had. We’re not going to get happier by consuming more. 

Minimalism is inspired by Zen traditions of Confucius, Buddhism and the Yoga Sutras. According to these beliefs, minimalism can be essential to living a life of sustained joy. We can let go of our attachments to possessions because THEY DON’T DEFINE WHO WE ARE, because HAPPINESS IS NOT DERIVED FROM MATERIAL OBJECTS, because WE CAN BE MINDFUL, and because WE CAN SPEND LESS TIME CARING ABOUT OUR THINGS AND MORE TIME CARING ABOUT THE PEOPLE AROUND US. 

It may seem impossible to pursue this ideology in modern America, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to embody the idea of minimalism. There’s a lot of different aspects to minimalism where we can apply this “less is more” mentality, for example; art and style, thoughts and actions, or physical belongings. We don’t have to not own anything to be a minimalist, we just need to own less than we do now, to toss things we don’t need and organize the things we do.



A little guide~
Before you start going through all your belongings, there’s one very important thing to keep in mind: If you haven’t gone out of your way to look for it in the past six months, you probably don’t need it! Usually when we start to go through our old things we find stuff that’s been misplaced or forgotten and start hoarding those items, I’m the queen of it! But if you’ve gone this long without it then you probably don’t need it. 

~CLOSET COAT HANGER TRICK: hang all your clothes on coat hangers but hang them backwards! do that to all your clothes, when you wear each item of clothing, hang it back the right way, then at the end of 6 months you can see all the clothes you did and did not wear. 

~BE SENTIMENTAL, JUST NOT THAT SENTIMENTAL: it’s difficult to let go of things that hold value and memories, but you really have to stop and think: is it really that important? I say go through that old memory box and only keep 5-10 items that hold sentimental value to you. 

~NO DOUBLES: if you’re seeing doubles when you shouldn’t then you probably have too much, it’s okay to have more than one of certain things like socks or underwear but try not to have excess of things you don’t need!

~SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU BUY THINGS: do you really truly need it and want it? when and how often will you use it? do you have something similar? if you find yourself going “hmmm” to most of those questions then you should probably set it down and walk away. 

~STAY PRIORITIZED. Retail Therapy is real, trust me I’ve been there many times, but next time you’re in need of retail therapy use that time to buy things you actually need! 

10 DAYS TO BECOMING MORE AWARE + MINIMALISTIC
1. Define your personal style
2. List 20 essential clothing items to own
3. Write down 10 things you're grateful for
4. Unsubscribe from e-mail marketing
5. Set goals for the next 6 months
6. Clean + organize your closet
7. De-clutter your work space
8. Get rid of unused makeup, skin/haircare products
9. Journal your day (discover what you're spending your time on)
10. Organize the folders + files on your computer 
Leather & Leisure

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Here at Reflekt, leather (vegan or non-vegan) is always welcome in our closets. So when we saw this editorial by stylist Chelsea Martin and her team rocking leather for summer, how could we say no?

  "Our editorial inspiration was born of model and doula Charis Briley's beauty, but also innate strength and intelligence. We developed an aesthetic that played with peekaboo summer stylings of leather, skin, mesh, and silk. At play, a mix of hard and soft, color and its opposite,  leather and leisure. "







Wardrobe: 
Nasty Gal Leather Shorts, Topshop Sleeveless Duster, Vintage Open Back Vegan Leather Crop Top,  Topshop Pleated Satin Midi Skirt, (Minus The) Leather Mock Neck Shift Dress, Vintage Open Back Vegan Leather Crop Top, TopShop Franco Sandal,  Public Desire Claudia Clear Heeled Patent Boots
Team:

Photographer:  Jorge Bardina bardinaphoto.com IG @bardinaphoto

HMU:  Raina Antle:  www.rainaantle.com IG @rainaantle

Model:  Charis Briley:  www.charisbriley.com with NYLO modeling agency:  nylotalent.com

Stylist:  Chelsea Martin www.chelseamartinstylist.com IG @che_ls_ea
Haute Summer hacks
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Summer has officially commenced! While we’re blessed with year round rays in SoCal, the timing of summer couldn’t be best fêted with fine fashion and cocktails on hand (non-alcoholic for me, thanks!).

You might be wondering how else you could prepare your wardrobe to avoid those sticky moments and instead stride with coolness. There is nothing more cringe worthy than turning up to a date glazed in sweat. Yikes!  

Here are at Reflekt we like to come to your fashion rescue. You won’t fall short on summer awesomeness with our haute hacks, compiled especially for you.

    Ditch the skinny..
I am not talking about your favorite latte. I am talking about those jeans. Yes, the very ones your wearing right now. Opt for embracing looser fits. Harem pants, or perhaps bust your boyfriend’s jeans. Think the baggier, the better!

    Avoid the boob sweat
You know what I mean. When your padded bra has inches of sweat. Go for an unruffled bralette, they’re more comfortable and will actually hold up well.

3)    Go structured
While flimsy fabrics appear airy, they’ll stick to your body at the onset of heat. The less fabric touching you, the cooler you’ll be. Try bodice structured blouses for less clinginess. 

4)    Shun the sun in white
All white in summer is the new all black in winter. It not only bounces off the rays it also keeps the heat at bay. Look effortlessly modish and complement the look with light accessories.

5)    Talking of light...
Avoid heavy jewelry and metal trimmings. As the temperatures rise, they’re sure to cause more burns than its worth. Try stud earrings and layering light chains over clothes. Lessen the load with your bag options as well. While the ruck sack sure carries a load, it will leave your back cumbersomely soaked. Try minimalism, carry only what you must in a tote or cross body bag.

6)    Go NATURAL
Hold on there! I mean with your choice of cloth. Ditch the synthetics for natural fibers with more breathability. Think linen, cottons or woven fabrics. Not only won’t they hinder air flow, they also have less of a harmful footprint on mother earth.

7)    Lather on the protection
If maturing gracefully is your thing, lather up now with your choice of SPF or coconut oil for a more organic option. If both those options are no bueno than whip out a wide brimmed hat and a pair of shades for the ultimate cool factor.



Tell us if you try any of our fashion hacks below and share your summer looks on our Instagram page on #Reflektmag.
Lifestylist: how to living glamorously on a dime
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From the archives from Issue º3 we give you an alternative guide to live glamorously with little money. We ask our secret anonymous posh life stylist as well as reference the queen of rich/broke life Holly Golightly fro Breakfast at Tiffany's on how to do it right. 


Style guide: How to dress like a millennial teen brit
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Who says florals and vintage wear marks you as dainty? From our archive issue º3, here is a paper doll style guide to dress like 2011 Skins sweetheart Grace Violet. On the outside she may look like a sweet delicate flower but on the inside has deep emotional complexities that she masks with her lady like frocks and theatrical style. Which we can all relate to- I mean, who hasn't used clothes as a way to arm yourself against how you feel on the inside? 






Trash Couture

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With summer looming in so close, I am sure many of us have lagged yet to finish off our spring spruce. Purging our closets and life’s from the over bulging scarps that have held space, for ages. One great way to think of all the rejects in our closets is to inject a new lease of vitality.
Think dreary curtain into a fine blazer, paint on those old sneaks or adding embellishments to plain blouses. With Pinterest and those many ‘how to’ sites you won’t run of ideas for altering the most unthought-of junk into runway magic, think trash couture, pieces so unique you’ll be the talk of town for days (good or bad gossip). Hey! It’s how trends get started.
That’s exactly what partners Adam Mork and Gabby Lovazzano have done with their jewelry collection, using antiquated tech hardware into dazzling one off gems. If you’re into old skool tape recorders, floppy disks and outdated hardware cases they may just be your jam. With their shared love for music and electronics birthed was their brand Ejects, their handmade accessory line based in San Francisco, that dusts off obsolete technology for a raving new look.
The shiny discs and stylized mini cassettes are eye catching and demand attention. They are the perfect reminder of how far we have come in recording sound. Not only will women dig Ejects but men cannot help but shout out complements about the jewelry.
Check our their Esty store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Ejects
Ok, I can’t help but feel old writing this, but it’s also a fun twist to pieces only a select few can appreciate, think passé comeback.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Gabby herself, a fun conversation sparked by the sparkles that hung from her earlobes. They’re definitely show stoppers and may get yourself a wink with them.
The next time you think of hurling your junk out the window, pause to play with it differently.
Please share the many ways you’ve repurposed for an attempt at trash couture.
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Power

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We as people often place power on articles of clothing and how they're presented on humans, especially women. In first world countries, clothing give us a sense of individualism. Sadly, women always get criticized for clothing, just look at fashion police on E! News, or watch how commenters at the Red Carpet only ask women questions about their clothing. This is how we know clothing is powerful though, because if no one cared, no criticisms would take place. In western societies we are always quick to jump to conclusions on women and if their article of clothing truly lets them feel liberated and free -- to an extent. This is how we either empower or make women feel miniscule. This is how in high school if you are declared popular because you wear Brandy Melville, or unpopular because you shop at a store not worthy enough. Wear too little of clothing, and you are viewed with no respect. In contrast, wear too much, and you are seen as a dehumanized woman unable to live her life for herself. Take this for an example, if you practice a certain cultural tradition, or religion that requires clothing to cover from head to toe, such as a burqa, hijab, or the habit,  instantly, you are seen as someone who is taboo. This has always been a problem with women, power. Although fashion can be the most powerful tool in first world countries, the power and freedom of a woman really lies underneath the clothing in many other countries. Sexuality, a Vagina, the most powerful tool a woman can have, but did you know that this power a woman has can be taken away from her? 

Imagine, being four years old and being held at your will with people holding down your body to do a procedure that they probably have done to your sisters, your mom, your aunts, and grandmas. Usually done by an older woman, or a man, this procedure that will take away such a powerful, and important feeling, while causing side effects that can kill you. Female Genital Mutilation, or the distortion of the Vagina with unsanitary procedures merely using a dirty razor, glass, or kitchen scissors to make sure that women are not in control of their sexuality, with no anesthesia used in the process. According to the medical dictionary, a precise definition would be, "the practice of which the female genital area is the cutting to partially or remove fully of the external female genitalia for cultural, religious, or other non-medical reasons". There are currently four types of female genital mutilation, but I want to discuss three because of how common it is found. Type 1, which is also called clitoridectomy is a partial or total removal of the clitoris. Type 2, named excision, is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with a amount of tissue removed varying widely from community to community. In its most extreme form of mutilation, which we should call type 3, the lips of the vagina are sewn together leaving a small open space for the Urethra to let urine out and menstrual blood. When type 3 occurs it is usually to prove that when the women is married, she is indeed a virgin because of how she is sealed up. However, in most cases women undergo procedures that are less extreme, such as only type 1 and type 2. Most families go with these types because of customs that started so long ago, and the traditions the family want to keep.




So where did this start out from? Science have found the earliest Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt B.C. From there we have seen in grown among 30 countries, but most particularly in middle east cultures and in Africa. 200 million alive women today are said to have undergone the procedure. In 1997, the United States banned it and the United Nations viewed Female Genital Mutilation as, "women having their human rights taken away from them". Today, a majority of countries, even countries where it is widely practice it, such as Nambia and Nigeria ban it. The complicated part is that medical professionals in these countries are being asked for it to be done by families, and even though it is illegal, doctors have a tough line drawing the line and not wanting to risk having the families get the procedure done on their child in a unsanitary, unprofessional, and unsafe way. 

In the unsafe way,  no anesthetics is used during the procedure, but the pain is just getting started. Complications from the circumcision are for life, including urinary and menstrual problems, infertility, and painful sexual intercourse. In extreme cases such as type 3, when the woman is brought to her new husband, usually a female relative, such as his sister will slice her sealed Vagina up, leaving him to be able to penetrate her, and hang up his bloody bed sheets to prove that indeed, she was a virgin. This is not pleasurable for the woman, at all. She will never enjoy sex, never know the pleasure of it, and have scar tissue that builds up that causes her to live with immense pain for the rest of her life. This procedure is merely done for the sake of men because they will still feel good, regardless. All these traditions started because a woman was deemed too powerful because of sexuality and it needed to be in control, and men did not want the women to be in control of anything, so they found a way to control it.

As female genital mutilation will cease to exist one day, those 200 million women, and female children who presently or undergone the procedure contain a power and strength that mass majority of males and females could not live without. Although in certain cases, some women choose to get cut to stick to traditional values. Regardless, Pleasure from sex, or sharing the pleasure of sex. Leaving them to be the most powerful and some of the strongest people because of their inability to experience the pleasure in the sense that we do. To those fortunate enough not to have undergone it, such as me, and probably you, at the end of the day when we wash our naked bodies, or share our bodies with those we love, it is truly power to the vagina. The creation for ever mammals life, and ability to give birth, is truly more powerful than designer clothes, and being able to control how you want to use your vagina, and what you want to do with it.



Sources: (Images from Google Images & Amnesty International)
Sting with authenticity
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“Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

Muhammed Ali, the undoubtedly silver-tongued boxing champion of the world, proclaimed himself as ‘The Greatest’, wildly regarded as one of the most celebrated sportsman, died last week Friday (June 3rd 2016), at the age of 74, from respiratory complications.

Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for over three decades, a progressive neurological condition that gradually robbed him of his agility.

What does he have to do with fashion you may ask?

Muhammad Ali, was known for his easy glides and poise in the boxing ring, his personality and striking stature. Ali was also a dapper gentleman with a crisp sense of style, effortlessly clad, ahead of his time with his choice of snugly fit suits and narrow/bow ties. In his prime, he rocked sunglasses to press conferences, mastered the perfect flattop fro, paired leather gloves with trench coats and carried leather briefcases to finish off his looks. Not to forget his cut sleeves sweatshirts that has become a timeless look. Ali’s style was immaculate, though what overshadowed was his conviction of himself and the truth. Making him the perfect example of substance over style.

Ali was the perfect model of someone who embodied greatness in all he did. Beyond the boxing ring, he burst into national attention in the early 1960s, when as a young heavyweight champion he converted to Islam and refused to serve in the Vietnam War. His words have become an anthem for many. He called himself Muhammad as his free name, taught us to be free, unshackled by the imaginary bounds we’re placed upon. He exemplified dignity during his trails and spoke volumes on the oneness of humanity.  

He made it his mission to become an emblem of strength, eloquence and one of audacity at a time of deep divides. Ali transcended all barriers of race and religion. His fights embodied much greater battles. He gave resonance to many (marginalized) folks and with his humbleness as a champion lead a life filled with philanthropy.


As his (Janazah) funeral commences, Ali, the peoples champ will certainly be remembered as the Greatest. He captured the world with his words and served the blows to back them up. Reflekt honors the legend in giving homage to his pluck, to be a bold floating butterfly that never fails to sting with authenticity!