“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” – George Orwell, 1984
“The power for happiness, for good, for everything we need of life is within each one of us.” – Robert Collier
Power can be both a blessing and a curse. In one sense, power means harnessing the possibility of infinite potential to turn the world into a better place not only for oneself, but for everyone else, by finding the power within; in the wrong hands, power can be detrimental to human life, creating real-life villains who would rather push forward a hazardous, selfish agenda.
The important thing to note about power is that although we all have the potential within ourselves to create change, realistically, power is not distributed evenly among all humans for reasons of class division, rank, wealth, ethnicity, health, and gender. Those with the greatest ideas are not often placed in positions of leadership, and not everyone can be born into the right circumstances to effectively harness this power. By no fault of their own, people in modern society have their power restricted due to the cis-hetero wealthy, able-bodied white men (and also, white women) whose ancestors originally colonized these lands. With the threat of net neutrality’s unravelling and the looming 500-page tax law that nobody in Congress had the time to read yet it passed anyway, any sort of equal playing field that was put in place now runs the risk of being eliminated completely. That fucking sucks, man, especially considering the amazing activist movements that started on the Internet.
Part of me wonders if this unfair allotment of power bleeds into our depictions of stories and films. We characterize “villains” and “heroes,” both of which have overwhelming power, yet are thrown into this dichotomy of “good” and “evil.” We want to hope that power can be inherently good–but what if it isn’t? What if any good “power” in this world has been stifled by the “evil,” or worse, the ambivalent? Is there any way that we can overthrow current power structures (outside of these folks dying) while at the same time preventing abuse of power from others who subsequently assume those roles? Even scarier (to me anyway) is the idea that maybe, ultimately, humans are powerless in light of a greater, perfect being that oversees all that we do, rendering us useless. Still, maybe I’m underestimating human potential.
In Greek mythology, the gods were very similar to us but were also powerful in their own right. Power doesn’t necessarily mean perfection, nor does it mean morality (um, hey Zeus). Perhaps power’s potential isn’t inherent but lies in choice. Maybe not even the choice of good vs. evil, but in choices like self-care, introspection, and respect. In any case, power is an interesting topic to explore whether in the literal or figurative sense, and it’s our theme for the month of January.
For this issue, we want you to explore what “Power” means to you, using the medium of your choice. Here are some examples of work we’d be interested to see:
- Fashion editorial representing characters from Greek mythology
- Themes of destruction, rebirth, technology, government, politics, heroes, villains, royalty, stoicism, activism, bravery, adversity, class divide, nature, influence, dominance, awakening, strength, and energy
- Advice for embracing and acknowledging the power within
- Interpretations of natural disasters or forces of nature
- Personal experiences of raw power in nature, as evidenced up close
- Op-eds about the imbalance of power, specifically as a byproduct of capitalism
- An essay addressing the implementation of power structures (vis-a-vis gatekeepers) in popular media
- Interviews with philosophers, authors, spiritual healers, witches, and other proprietors of “power”
- Diety-inspired makeup tutorials
- Essays exploring the dichotomy of power (good vs. evil)
- Reflecting on figurative and maybe even literal “power” in interpersonal relationships, both in a positive and negative sense
- A “Power” playlist geared towards smashing the patriarchy
- Thoughts on the recent proposal to eliminate net neutrality and how power dynamics will shift
Here are some other topics we’d be interested in featuring that aren’t affiliated with this month’s theme:
- Pre-Fall 2018 coverage
- New Year’s outfit guides, editorials, and event coverage
- Fashion editorials featuring winter color palettes, such as dark blues, golds, silvers, and blacks
- Essays on your thoughts, goals, hopes, for the new year
- Houseplant inspired makeup looks for Houseplant Appreciation Day (January 10)
- Essays reflecting on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day & Civil Rights Day (January 16) in conjunction with the resurgence of white supremacist groups in media
- Advice on surviving and bouncing back from humiliation (January 3 – National Humiliation Day)
- Personal essays in honor of Braille Literacy Month
- Editorials using foods like soup, tea, spaghetti, pocorn, and oatmeal in honor of National Oatmeal Month, National Soup Month, National Tea Month, National Spaghetti Day (January 4), and National Popcorn Day (January 19)
- Essays on the impact of the written word to honor National Letter Writing Week – second week of January
As a reminder, we refuse to publish graphic images or language including but not limited to pornography, promotion of illegal activities, or hate speech as well as any depictions of self-harm or other forms of gratuitous violence. The deadline for all submissions is December 30, and all submissions can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Full submissions guidelines can be found here. All inquiries can be made using the contact form below.
Don’t forget, we’re still accepting submissions for December’s issue through December 20.
Can’t wait to see your work!