Work Out Whereabouts

Work Out Whereabouts

To work out, some people prefer a daily run outside because they think the fresh air is refreshing, others prefer workout videos they can pop into their DVD player at home and tone their thighs at their leisure. Still some look for something more in a work out, like fancy equipment, aided training, or a sense of community. And many students are finding some or all of these elements in a few East Lansing area gyms.

Similar to how workout styles and preferences are never the same, not every gym is the same. Although all offer similar equipment, they are rooted in different values. Methods, amenities, perks, costs, hours and location are all important factors when picking a gym, and these decisions are even more important in a city, such as East Lansing, with numerous gyms close to campus. Powerhouse, Synergy Fitness and Snap Fitness are all newer gyms which vary in gym personalities, each holding a different set of values on which they pride their facilities.

Powerhouse Gym: 4790 S. Hagadorn Road 134C East Lansing, Mich. 48823

Formerly known as Atlas Gym, Powerhouse is located in Hannah Plaza. When they merged with Atlas Gym in December 2007 they decided to keep the Powerhouse name and the Atlas gym management. So, Powerhouse on Hagadorn Road has next to nothing in common with the Powerhouse Gyms around the country, instead holding onto the hours, prices and ideals that Atlas started with and adding just a few changes.

Powerhouse Gym on Hagadorn Road. (Katie Sulau)Students say they enjoy the gym because of its convenient location and the free parking available, which is hard to find in the heart of the city. “It’s the only gym in the general area,” senior Lyman Briggs human biology major Molly Gaiser said.

“A lot of people like it better than the old Powerhouse location because they had to pay to park and now it’s free,” Keith Gregg, a Powerhouse staff member, said.

The gym prices are meant to be for the budget conscious because about 85 percent of their business comes from college students or recent graduates. “We have mostly college students, some older, it’s a good mix,” Gregg said.

Since the merge, Powerhouse has purchased a lot of new equipment including new rows of treadmills and elliptical machines. “Powerhouse has more equipment for the type of training I like to do,” advertising senior Mike Davidson said. Karri Hobbs, Powerhouse’s manager said the merge and purchasing of new equipment has paid off, and business has gone up. “The gym is also big compared to other gyms and we offer specials at the beginning of every semester,” she said.

Hobbs has been a manager at Powerhouse for nine months. Before becoming the manager she was a member of Atlas Gym, and decided that she was always working out so it was a great job for her. “I always have to be moving and this is a really fun atmosphere,” Hobbs said.

Powerhouse’s weekly yoga, spinning and circuit training classes with one of the seven personal trainers are popular among members. When classes are not in session, members are allowed to use the back room to do aerobics on their own. “Our locker rooms are pretty nice and taken care of,” Hobbs said.

Other perks include tanning, which is an extra charge of $5 per session or $35 for an unlimited pass, per month. Hobbs said the two stand-up hexes have been quite popular, bringing in even more customers who find it convenient to tan at their location. Another benefit is gym members receive a 50 percent discount at other Powerhouse Gym facilities across the United States.

“The staff is really cool and laid back, other gyms have so many rules,” Hobbs said. “It’s a good atmosphere here, we’re not judging, we get a lot of new people, there’s not a gym click.” Davidson agrees that the atmosphere is good. “It’s not as crowded as other gyms, it’s more comfortable.”

Cost: Memberships are $349 for the year paid in full, $50 for one month, $35 per month when committing to more than one month and $10 per day. If guests arrive with member their rate is $5 for the day.

Hours: Powerhouse is open 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more information: Call (517) 827-4653.

Synergy Fitness: 2655 E. Grand River East Lansing, Mich. 48823

It may be farther from campus than Powerhouse and Snap Fitness, but Synergy Fitness offers a unique energy, method and environment. The cleanliness and beauty of the facility alone may be enough to convince a fitness buff to drive the extra mile.

“Everyone’s reaction is ‘Wow, this place is super clean and nice,” trainer and gym attendant Laken Blakslee said. Blakslee has worked at Synergy two of the three years it has been open, following owner and trainer Todd Yehl from the Michigan Athletic Club after he opened Synergy.

The equipment, workout areas, and even the locker room are decorated and kept clean, giving the gym extra appeal. Plants are positioned throughout the gym, blending nicely with the ocean blue floor and brown-toned walls. The locker rooms follow suit, with polished wooden lockers for gym-goer’s belongings. “It’s clean, away from campus and has good equipment,” clinical laboratory science senior Liz Pateryn said.

Synergy Fitness on Grand River Avenue. (Katie Sulau)Aside from its image, the methods of the gym are different from others in the area as well. At Synergy, personal trainers strive to preserve body structure and wellness. There are work out sheets along the walls with workout plans to guide newcomers, however it isn’t necessary to follow the fitness regime. “Todd wanted to make it more of an inviting, social atmosphere, and the majority of the members enjoy the workout,” Blakslee said.

The cost for personal trainers is extra, as is the yoga class that is offered weekly. Yoga classes charge $5 per class for students and $10 for both non-student and non-members.

The off-campus location doesn’t stop students from frequenting Synergy. “The equipment’s new, you never have to wait in line and it doesn’t smell like a gym,” Pateryn said.

Blakslee said the clientele is half students, half professionals, with the most popular times being before class and after work. She also said training under Yehl has improved her physical health signficantly. She was told by doctors before meeting Yehl that there was nothing but surgery to repair the state of her feet and back. “The work out completely changed my posture, how I work out and all my pain is gone… My body feels great,” Blakslee said.

She said the work out applies to how a person walks throughout their day, stands while doing the dishes and other simple tasks. “I love working here, it’s one of those places you’re proud to work at,” Blasklee said.

Cost: Synergy offers various membership packages. The basic membership, without the personal training and yoga classes included is $50 as a start-up fee with $45 per month after that.

Special: For students only, memberships are available for a $30 enrollment fee and $30 per month after that.

Hours: The gym is in operation from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information: Visit its Web site, www.synergymethod.com or call (517) 351-3204.

Snap Fitness: 115 E. Grand River Avenue, Suite A, East Lansing, Mich. 48823

Working out at Snap Fitness means belonging to a private club that offers amenities, perks, prizes and a clean environment. Snap Fitness prides themselves on their upkeep of their equipment and facility and limiting the amount of gym members registered.

“We don’t want the gym to be overcrowded, we want equipment to always be available,” general manager and co-owner Elizabeth Molinksy said.

Since opening on September 26, 2008 Snap has done well. One of the big perks of being a member of Snap is having 24-hour access to the facility. “You can come in any time you want, I like to work out at various times of the day,” Snap member and LCC student Mike Smith said. Members simply swipe their card when entering the gym. In order to supervise the gym, motion detectors are alerted when cards are swiped and cameras function automatically. “Motion sensors detect when there are unauthorized guests,” Molinsky said.

Snap Fitness on Grand River Avenue. (Katie Sulau)Snap has specific staffed hours in which members are allowed to bring guests and new members are allowed to enroll. Guests that come in with Snap members are allowed to work out for free, as long as they come in during staffed hours. “The gym’s also very close and convenient,” communications sophomore Courtney VanAntwerp said.

Members also have access to free classes and are invited to participate in promotional competitions. This month there is Fitness BINGO which involves members trying different work outs in order to win various prizes. “We always have a game going on and a ‘Work Out of the Week’ posted,” Molinsky said.

Plasma TVs are stretched across the walls and gym goers can choose the channels. Currently there is a Greek competition for a 52-inch Plasma TV for whoever recruits ten new members within their separate sororities and fraternities. Group outings are planned as well for club members. For example, members were invited for a small price to attend a Lansing Lugnuts vs. MSU baseball game on April 16. With their membership, discounts are also distributed to Snap’s members giving them free membership to any of the 1,600 Snap Fitness facilities in the US, Canada and India as well as discounts to various East Lansing businesses.

“It’s nice that you can go to any Snap Gym so those graduating don’t have to worry about spending money on their memberships,” Molinsky said. “Sixty percent of our members are students and forty percent are adults, we get a lot of faculty.”

Another opportunity for members is to become a member online, where they can maintain a profile, receive a meal plan for their goal weight and keep track of their progress. Members are offered one free meeting with a personal trainer every six months to evaluate their body mass index (BMI), among other things, and learn how to tone specific areas of their body. This information is uploaded to their online profiles.

Although many perks are available for free to Snap members, there are some that come at an extra cost including a Boot Camp work-out program, tanning, and additional one-on-one sessions with one of the three personal trainers.

“I like it a lot,” VanAntwerp said. “It’s convenient and not as crowded as other gyms around here. You can get a quick work out in.”

Cost: There are no contracts, but Snap Fitness does offer pre-paid bonus packages where cost of membership goes down as the number of months committed increase. Cost for members committing to monthly payments is a one-time enrollment fee of $149 with $34.99 per month payments. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also incorporated if members find themselves unsatisfied.

Hours: Members have access 24 hours a day, every day.

Staffed Hours: The facility is open to non-members and member’s guests during the times that staff are on-site. Hours are 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more information: Visit www.snapfitness.com/eastlansingmi, call (517) 336-0881, or join their Facebook group.

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Work Out Whereabouts

To work out, some people prefer a daily run outside because they think the fresh air is refreshing, others prefer workout videos they can pop into their DVD player at home and tone their thighs at their leisure. Still some look for something more in a work out, like fancy equipment, aided training, or a sense of community. And many students are finding some or all of these elements in a few East Lansing area gyms.
Similar to how workout styles and preferences are never the same, not every gym is the same. Although all offer similar equipment, they are rooted in different values. Methods, amenities, perks, costs, hours and location are all important factors when picking a gym, and these decisions are even more important in a city, such as East Lansing, with numerous gyms close to campus. Powerhouse, Synergy Fitness and Snap Fitness are all newer gyms which vary in gym personalities, each holding a different set of values on which they pride their facilities.
Powerhouse Gym: 4790 S. Hagadorn Road 134C East Lansing, Mich. 48823
Formerly known as Atlas Gym, Powerhouse is located in Hannah Plaza. When they merged with Atlas Gym in December 2007 they decided to keep the Powerhouse name and the Atlas gym management. So, Powerhouse on Hagadorn Road has next to nothing in common with the Powerhouse Gyms around the country, instead holding onto the hours, prices and ideals that Atlas started with and adding just a few changes.[powerhouse]
Students say they enjoy the gym because of its convenient location and the free parking available, which is hard to find in the heart of the city. “It’s the only gym in the general area,” senior Lyman Briggs human biology major Molly Gaiser said.
“A lot of people like it better than the old Powerhouse location because they had to pay to park and now it’s free,” Keith Gregg, a Powerhouse staff member, said.
The gym prices are meant to be for the budget conscious because about 85 percent of their business comes from college students or recent graduates. “We have mostly college students, some older, it’s a good mix,” Gregg said.
Since the merge, Powerhouse has purchased a lot of new equipment including new rows of treadmills and elliptical machines. “Powerhouse has more equipment for the type of training I like to do,” advertising senior Mike Davidson said. Karri Hobbs, Powerhouse’s manager said the merge and purchasing of new equipment has paid off, and business has gone up. “The gym is also big compared to other gyms and we offer specials at the beginning of every semester,” she said.
Hobbs has been a manager at Powerhouse for nine months. Before becoming the manager she was a member of Atlas Gym, and decided that she was always working out so it was a great job for her. “I always have to be moving and this is a really fun atmosphere,” Hobbs said.
Powerhouse’s weekly yoga, spinning and circuit training classes with one of the seven personal trainers are popular among members. When classes are not in session, members are allowed to use the back room to do aerobics on their own. “Our locker rooms are pretty nice and taken care of,” Hobbs said.
Other perks include tanning, which is an extra charge of $5 per session or $35 for an unlimited pass, per month. Hobbs said the two stand-up hexes have been quite popular, bringing in even more customers who find it convenient to tan at their location. Another benefit is gym members receive a 50 percent discount at other Powerhouse Gym facilities across the United States.
“The staff is really cool and laid back, other gyms have so many rules,” Hobbs said. “It’s a good atmosphere here, we’re not judging, we get a lot of new people, there’s not a gym click.” Davidson agrees that the atmosphere is good. “It’s not as crowded as other gyms, it’s more comfortable.”
Cost: Memberships are $349 for the year paid in full, $50 for one month, $35 per month when committing to more than one month and $10 per day. If guests arrive with member their rate is $5 for the day.
Hours: Powerhouse is open 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information: Call (517) 827-4653.
Synergy Fitness: 2655 E. Grand River East Lansing, Mich. 48823
It may be farther from campus than Powerhouse and Snap Fitness, but Synergy Fitness offers a unique energy, method and environment. The cleanliness and beauty of the facility alone may be enough to convince a fitness buff to drive the extra mile.
“Everyone’s reaction is ‘Wow, this place is super clean and nice,” trainer and gym attendant Laken Blakslee said. Blakslee has worked at Synergy two of the three years it has been open, following owner and trainer Todd Yehl from the Michigan Athletic Club after he opened Synergy.
The equipment, workout areas, and even the locker room are decorated and kept clean, giving the gym extra appeal. Plants are positioned throughout the gym, blending nicely with the ocean blue floor and brown-toned walls. The locker rooms follow suit, with polished wooden lockers for gym-goer’s belongings. “It’s clean, away from campus and has good equipment,” clinical laboratory science senior Liz Pateryn said. [synergy]
Aside from its image, the methods of the gym are different from others in the area as well. At Synergy, personal trainers strive to preserve body structure and wellness. There are work out sheets along the walls with workout plans to guide newcomers, however it isn’t necessary to follow the fitness regime. “Todd wanted to make it more of an inviting, social atmosphere, and the majority of the members enjoy the workout,” Blakslee said.
The cost for personal trainers is extra, as is the yoga class that is offered weekly. Yoga classes charge $5 per class for students and $10 for both non-student and non-members.
The off-campus location doesn’t stop students from frequenting Synergy. “The equipment’s new, you never have to wait in line and it doesn’t smell like a gym,” Pateryn said.
Blakslee said the clientele is half students, half professionals, with the most popular times being before class and after work. She also said training under Yehl has improved her physical health signficantly. She was told by doctors before meeting Yehl that there was nothing but surgery to repair the state of her feet and back. “The work out completely changed my posture, how I work out and all my pain is gone… My body feels great,” Blakslee said.
She said the work out applies to how a person walks throughout their day, stands while doing the dishes and other simple tasks. “I love working here, it’s one of those places you’re proud to work at,” Blasklee said.
Cost: Synergy offers various membership packages. The basic membership, without the personal training and yoga classes included is $50 as a start-up fee with $45 per month after that.
Special: For students only, memberships are available for a $30 enrollment fee and $30 per month after that.
Hours: The gym is in operation from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
For more information: Visit its Web site, www.synergymethod.com or call (517) 351-3204.
Snap Fitness: 115 E. Grand River Avenue, Suite A, East Lansing, Mich. 48823
Working out at Snap Fitness means belonging to a private club that offers amenities, perks, prizes and a clean environment. Snap Fitness prides themselves on their upkeep of their equipment and facility and limiting the amount of gym members registered.
“We don’t want the gym to be overcrowded, we want equipment to always be available,” general manager and co-owner Elizabeth Molinksy said.
Since opening on September 26, 2008 Snap has done well. One of the big perks of being a member of Snap is having 24-hour access to the facility. “You can come in any time you want, I like to work out at various times of the day,” Snap member and LCC student Mike Smith said. Members simply swipe their card when entering the gym. In order to supervise the gym, motion detectors are alerted when cards are swiped and cameras function automatically. “Motion sensors detect when there are unauthorized guests,” Molinsky said.[snap]
Snap has specific staffed hours in which members are allowed to bring guests and new members are allowed to enroll. Guests that come in with Snap members are allowed to work out for free, as long as they come in during staffed hours. “The gym’s also very close and convenient,” communications sophomore Courtney VanAntwerp said.
Members also have access to free classes and are invited to participate in promotional competitions. This month there is Fitness BINGO which involves members trying different work outs in order to win various prizes. “We always have a game going on and a ‘Work Out of the Week’ posted,” Molinsky said.
Plasma TVs are stretched across the walls and gym goers can choose the channels. Currently there is a Greek competition for a 52-inch Plasma TV for whoever recruits ten new members within their separate sororities and fraternities. Group outings are planned as well for club members. For example, members were invited for a small price to attend a Lansing Lugnuts vs. MSU baseball game on April 16. With their membership, discounts are also distributed to Snap’s members giving them free membership to any of the 1,600 Snap Fitness facilities in the US, Canada and India as well as discounts to various East Lansing businesses.
“It’s nice that you can go to any Snap Gym so those graduating don’t have to worry about spending money on their memberships,” Molinsky said. “Sixty percent of our members are students and forty percent are adults, we get a lot of faculty.”
Another opportunity for members is to become a member online, where they can maintain a profile, receive a meal plan for their goal weight and keep track of their progress. Members are offered one free meeting with a personal trainer every six months to evaluate their body mass index (BMI), among other things, and learn how to tone specific areas of their body. This information is uploaded to their online profiles.
Although many perks are available for free to Snap members, there are some that come at an extra cost including a Boot Camp work-out program, tanning, and additional one-on-one sessions with one of the three personal trainers.
“I like it a lot,” VanAntwerp said. “It’s convenient and not as crowded as other gyms around here. You can get a quick work out in.”
Cost: There are no contracts, but Snap Fitness does offer pre-paid bonus packages where cost of membership goes down as the number of months committed increase. Cost for members committing to monthly payments is a one-time enrollment fee of $149 with $34.99 per month payments. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also incorporated if members find themselves unsatisfied.
Hours: Members have access 24 hours a day, every day.
Staffed Hours: The facility is open to non-members and member’s guests during the times that staff are on-site. Hours are 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information: Visit www.snapfitness.com/eastlansingmi, call (517) 336-0881, or join their Facebook group.

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Your Magic Number

For a woman, having close guy friends can be a very good or very bad thing depending on the circumstance. When it comes to discussing sexual affairs, in my experience anyway, the conversations have always flowed into hypocritical territory.
A common disagreement among my friends is the appropriate ‘magic number’ for women versus men. One of the guys sharing his number with us had slept with his fair share of women, but when it came to one of my female friends spilling the beans and revealing she had had sex with seven men, the guy was appalled. However, his number of sex partners was more than two times her number.
His take on the situation, rationalizing that women should not be so promiscuous, and that women are supposed to focus more on relationships, forced the realization that society proposes some very gender-oriented misconceptions. “There is a stigma against women being sexualized because there’s a pressure to be modest and just devoted to one but at the same time the media teaches women to be available, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword,” Lauren Allswede, advocacy coordinator for the Sexual Assault Program at MSU, said. Social pressures like these are deeply ingrained in our society, creating gender-specific sexual ideas.
[sex]Pre-med junior Jordan Wroblewski agreed that there is a stereotype about women involving sexual affairs. “It might be because of the social upbringing throughout American history,” Wroblewski said. The roles women are supposed to play are a part of a patriarchal system: one in which men have the power, and the woman is considered the preserver of culture.
Although there have been many strides for women since the early 19th century, the perception of how women should engage themselves sexually is still upheld in many ways. “I personally don’t care if women have more partners. I don’t judge harshly like that,” Wroblewski said.
Although some men may not be swayed by a women’s sexual history, they may be just as quick to put down women in other ways. “Women get judged for wearing provocative clothing or short skirts, accused of inviting sexual activity,” Allswede said. “I think it’s part of the rape culture we live in where women get blamed for not only what they’re wearing, but drinking, walking alone, or being irresponsible.” Skank, whore and a number of other words all have negative connotations with definitions having to do with the promiscuity of a woman. Whether it has been because her skirt was not touching her knees or as a friendly “hey skank” from her BFF, it has been embraced as common everyday language utilized by our generation.
However, the acceptance of it in passing doesn’t always make it OK, especially if someone is insinuating that a woman is a slut because she gets around the block, or rather, around the bedroom. “To society, women are supposed to be more classy, laid back and feminine,” Ellen Odoi, a Lyman Briggs pre-med human biology sophomore, said. Women’s sexual roles are more polarized and their actions more harshly criticized.
Men aren’t the only ones following the social norms that society has implanted. Women seem to be just as judgmental, sometimes even more so of other women. “Sometimes women can be more critical of other women, and one reason is because they want to separate themselves,” Allswede said. This form of “othering” the promiscuous offers women a way to make themselves seem more respectable.
Words typically associated with men’s sexualities are colored with positive connotations. In fact “male whore” is the only negative name Allswede could think of that men are referred to as, and it isn’t used that often. Pimp, player and even male whore will more often gain men respect from their peers rather than discredit them. “Most of the male terms for sexual activities are ones that are proud, like stud,” Allswede said.
In regards to women being referred to as “sluts” by men, Allswede said that although men make these references, they still want to be with women who are experienced. “The girls who are more sexually active might be seen as somebody fun to go out with and be promiscuous with, but not somebody to take home to Mom,” Allswede said.
The girls who have more experience have done so for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because they were under the influence of a substance such as alcohol, went to bed unwillingly, trying to gain popularity or get noticed or just doing it because they felt confident in their decisions. Wroblewski said he thinks a woman’s reasoning behind her sexual affairs is important. “If she’s just doing it to be noticed, then names apply; guys don’t do it to be noticed, they do it for bragging rights,” Wroblewski said.
However, is there a difference between being sexually active for bragging rights or to get noticed? “I think everybody lies about how many people they’ve slept with because they may feel pressure to have more or less and need to live up to societal expectations for how they should be acting,” Allswede said.
[cock1]Social norms dictate that women should be looking for “the one,” and men are supposed to go out and use their testosterone, not fight it. Even if a woman was waiting for “the one,” there are so many exterior pressures today that she may start to become a bit more sexualized in the way she dresses or carries herself. This invites still more names, now including “cock tease.”
Ryan Webster, community educator for Planned Parenthood of East Lansing, sees the pressures and thinks society has been focusing on the wrong issues. “It doesn’t matter whether a woman has 2,700 and a man has 13 partners – the only difference is socially based,” Webster said. “The level of promiscuity is irrelevant; it’s about how safe you are.”
Webster did note that the “conquest” for men is more positive and they’re more likely to be viewed as a “pimp” or a “player.” Risks are involved, but women seem to be more cautious about these risks. “It’s more internalized for women; the changes would be happening to her body,” Webster said referring to a woman’s risk of pregnancy.
Both men and women should be equally knowledgeable of the risk of STDs, however the seriousness to which they take it may differ. Webster said that the number of people who get checked annually is pretty even between men and women. Yet he did mention that women tend to take more precautions, utilizing more forms of protection against both pregnancy and STDs. “Women take more precautions because there is a greater availability of them for women,” Webster said. “Men have two options and one is surgery, so it’s either wearing a condom or getting a vasectomy, and what option does a man have if he can’t find a condom that fits?”
[girl]Precautions and problems aside, having an open forum to converse about sex is important – even if it’s just with a group of friends. But many people’s preconceived notions of sex talks may be wrong. “I think men would be surprised to know that women talk about sex even more [than men],” Odoi said. While any Sex and the City fan would not be surprised by this, the difference is really in the discussion.
“Guys are more braggadocios; they brag, they exaggerate and make derogatory comments,” Wroblewski said. “Women are more honest and don’t use slang.” There are certainly many cases in which the woman could, for example, be exaggerating about their sexual encounters more and a man could be being more honest, however those ideas are not parallel to society’s expectations.
[wroblewski]There are certainly many cases in which the woman could, for example, be exaggerating about her sexual encounters more and a man could be being more honest, however the content of conversations about sex are parallel to society’s expectations. “It just comes down to the fact that men are rooted in entitlement and their male privilege,” Allswede concluded.
Both Webster and Allswede pointed to the media for bringing about a more sexualized generation. Nowadays women are becoming sexually active at younger and younger ages, and many sexual ideals are warranted by TV, movies and the Internet. “I think women are more likely to grow up feeling insecure because all those pressures become internalized and become a part of their daily lives – how to act, talk, dress, even how to value themselves,” Allswede said. However, along with these pressures also come more equalized gender roles. Women have strong sexual women to view as role models in the media, whether it comes from HBO or feminist blogs like Jezebel.
The media isn’t the only outlet promoting societal expectations. Many women and men are still responsible to holding on to these social stigmas. A power drive still appears in which women must still be aware that men have different opportunities sexually than women do. “I would like to think that people think having 2,700 partners is bad whether you’re a man or a woman even if society says otherwise,” Webster said.
Whether your number can be counted on one hand or all your fingers and toes, what’s most important is sexual safety and honesty with your partner. Talking about sex is healthy and can be fun – and maybe in doing so you can realize what your magic number is.

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A Better Beautiful

[eyeliner] Recently I was having a discussion with a group of my guy friends over their make-up preferences for women. During our conversation a woman with powder paling her face, thick black mascara coated on her eyelashes, flashy blue boldly draped on her eyelids and scarlet slopped on her lips passed by. One of my friends dubbed her “clown face.” I thought the term was a little harsh, but I could see where he was coming from.
Another one of my friends swooped to her rescue declaring that “clown face” would be gorgeous if she did not, well, wear so much make up. We all agreed when women looked natural, they looked best. However, looking natural does not mean going without makeup. Being a natural beauty is complimented by natural cosmetics, which are beauty products that do not contain synthetic ingredients or extra additives. Synthetic ingredients are chemicals like talc, formaldehyde and various dyes that have been linked to respiratory problems and even cancer. They are used in beauty products to color products like blushes and eye shadows, to moisturize skin and to bind products like foundation together.
The growing market for natural and organic beauty products shows the concept of getting back to the Earth and going all natural has spread beyond the farmer’s market culture. People are becoming concerned not only with what chemicals they are putting in their body during their daily three meals, but also what chemicals they are putting on their body when getting ready for their workday or night out. “You have to be very careful with what you put into your skin,” said Ingo Ausland, owner of European Spa Boutique located in the Meridian Mall. The European Spa Boutique sells many naturally-derived beauty products including a best-seller bareMinerals by Bare Escentuals, which is made entirely of natural ingredients.
The are plenty of benefits to using completely natural cosmetics. “You avoid radiation poisoning, synthetics deteriorate, they supply minerals like generic vitamin E, and bring nutrients in,” Ausland said.
Some people might be wary of breaking their cosmetic brand loyalty by going natural, but evidence of the harmful effects of products laced with chemicals might be enough to push them out of the CoverGirl aisle. “Women ruin their skin through using synthetics,” Ausland said.
[ausland]Synthetics have many adverse affects that can be avoided. “When you use synthetics there is an oil build up from the products. This clogs your pores. The natural ones are more hydrating and leave your pores open,” Sandy Magee, Aveda advisor at Douglas J Institute in East Lansing, said. Clogged pores and dry skin can lead to poorer skin condition which just requires more make-up to cover up. It is a nasty, chemically induced cycle that, after long term use, can leave skin irritated and damaged.
Ausland and Magee both noted that there is a clear difference between naturally derived products and those that are not. Both believe the difference is immediately apparent in both the feeling and the look of the products. “[Aveda] foundations help smooth out our complexion, they work better, doing the same job, but aren’t as noticeable,” Magee said. Aveda uses all natural products. They may be more expensive than drug store finds, but they have better lasting effects on the body, Magee said.
Brittany Blankenship used to turn to Maybelline and CoverGirl as her go-to beauty products. Now she works at East Lansing’s Douglas J Aveda Institute and only uses Aveda products. She says she does not think she could ever turn back to cosmetic giants like Maybelline. The break outs she used to get from mainstream brands have not re-occurred since she made the switch to natural beauty products. “It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing make-up. It’s not thick or cakey and it comes off super easy,” Blankenship said.
In addition to make-up, some shampoos and conditioners have gone natural as well. Like make-up, natural shampoos and conditioners function normally but they are made without potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, natural additives like aloe, lemon, avocado oil and vitamins are added. However, also like make-up, natural hair care products have a tendency to be more expensive than their non-natural counterparts. But, natural hair product supporters like Magee say the pros outweigh the cons. “I think you can tell a big difference, I realized how much cleaner my hair looked after the first experience and even though I thought I’d set a budget, I now use the products for everyone in my family,” Magee said. [makeup]
Product awareness is just as important as cost awareness, Ingo said. Now that the market is booming with organic product lines it is important to be able to decipher between the true au naturales and the impostors. To be certain all chemicals are being avoided it is best to go with products that market themselves as 100 percent organic like bareMinerals. Products that just advertise themselves as natural often add buffers to enhance their natural qualities, but are not purely natural. Reading the product’s ingredients list is the best way to determine how natural it really is because they are listed in order of most used to least used, Ausland said. That way the consumer can gauge how natural the product really is, what buffers and additives it includes and if more than trace amounts of those chemicals are in the product. Natural ingredients will have more recognizable names like those of plants and flowers while synthetic ingredients will appear to have scientific names.
The location in which the natural beauty product is made is also important in determining the degree of its natural qualities because some states have stricter rules as to what can be called a natural product than others. Although there is no national standard for regulating the “naturalness” of ingredients, some states have developed their own regulations. For example, because Bare Escentuals products are made in Utah, a state with high standards when it comes to natural products, so people like Ausland are confident in their quality. “I enjoy selling these products because they have SPF built right into them and they are made in Utah where they are very strict about the quality of natural cosmetics,” Ausland said.
College students have a hard enough time paying for tuition, books, food and rent. It can be difficult to imagine doling out extra money for natural and organic beauty products when the stand-by drug store brand worked just fine. But supporters of natural brands point you to the future rather than the here and now. The switch to natural beauty products not only has health benefits but encourages a lighter touch that is less likely to result in the unpopular “clown face” look. Your pores and your peers will thank you.

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