Vibrant hair dye becoming new trend among middle schoolers

Nora Binkis | Staff Writer

Teenagers are dyeing to fit in.

Middle schoolers are now trying to express themselves through their hairstyles and color. Dyed hair could significantly impact a person’s physical appearance, but is unique to a person and can express who they are.

Orchestra teacher Kristen Thiel said deciding to dye hair takes time and consideration.

“It does require quite a bit of upkeep as you can see your roots grow out and then it looks bad,” Thiel said. “Make sure it’s something that you really really want to do.  But it’s awesome once you have it– it’s really fun.”

Middle school students are dyeing their hair to embrace their fun side in a fashionable way. For seventh grader Isabel Frischhertz, a first time hair dyer, it was a hard decision to color her hair because of the daily upkeep, but she loved the pink-color it gave to her hair.  

“You have to know what you’re getting into, it takes a while and it’s harder to maintain than normal hair,” Frischhertz said. “If you have a certain hairstyle that you do every day like a braid or straight hair, it’s much easier having it colored because when you wake up you can brush it out and people will be like, ‘oh your hair is so cool because it’s dyed.”

Laura Vaughn, a cosmetology instructor at Aveda Fredric’s Institute, said as long as your scalp and hair are healthy, it’s okay to dye your hair, even at a young age.

“I was ten (when I first dyed my hair), so I think it just depends on when you can take care of your hair,” Vaughn said. “Really you can get it colored at any time. It depends on the scalp. You need to make sure the scalp is healthy, but if the hair’s healthy, typically people go about 3-4 weeks between colorings, so I think that’s okay.”

A new trend is dying hair more vibrant/candy colors rather than natural colors. Celebrities such as Katy Perry and Kylie Jenner have dyed their hair vibrant colors from mint green to cotton candy pink, which is influencing teens’ color choices. According to Vaughn, vibrant colors don’t damage your hair more than natural colors.

“(The color) doesn’t really matter; it just depends on how healthy you keep your hair,” Vaughn said. “So if you do highlights but you keep your hair healthy and you use protein treatments and everything like that, then it’s just as healthy as all over color.”

The major cause of hair breakage/damage is through chemical hair treatments such as dyeing and straightening, according to  Eighth grader Molly Shields said hair dying can be damaging, but when dyed, it adds to your look.  

“I (have dyed my hair) purple, yellow, orange, red, blue, dark blue, and turquoise,” Shields said. “I think (hair dyeing is) just something different or something new just to add on.”

Thiel said that with hair dyeing, people can express themselves with their hair and still be in fashion.

“I think it’s another way of expressing your uniqueness,”  Thiel said.  “Fashion has been going through phases–it always has.  And the way you dress expresses your personality a lot too, but fashion is also very either you’re in or you’re not. I feel like dyeing your hair is just a different way of saying okay, so I’m kind of fitting in, but I’m also doing my own thing as well.”

Finstagrams bring honesty to students’ social media

Mariah Norman | Staff Writer

An Instagram account made to be fake may be the realest you’ll ever find.

In 2010, Kevin Systrom, the creator of Instagram, created a massively diverse platform of over 600 million accounts created for different reasons – including spam accounts. Spams or fake Instagrams (finstagrams) are created to post genuine personal content for close friends to enjoy, typically at a higher frequency than a regular account.

Seventh grader Jose Rodriguez said he began being interested in spam accounts once he started noticing other students creating them.

“I’ve followed spam accounts, but I don’t have one,” Rodriguez said. “My friends started making them and it kind of caught on.”

Eighth grader Ashley Hurley said that though they can be a fun way to express yourself, spam accounts often run the risk of irritating followers.

“(It’s) fun for people to share their life more often than they usually post,” Hurley said. “If they post too often or things that no one really cares about (then I unfollow). Like someone posted their ‘food of the day’ and I (unfollowed because) I don’t care what (people are) bringing to lunch.”

 Hurley said that although she enjoys viewing spam accounts, she wouldn’t make one of her own.

“I just don’t think I’d want people to know what I’m doing every second of the day,” Hurley said.

Eighth grader Lauren Statzer said that though some people use their spam accounts to escape drama, it follows wherever they go.

“There’s been a lot of drama,” Statzer said. “If you post something and your friend thinks it’s about them, they’ll text you when it’s not really about them. But then they have hard feelings towards you.”

Statzer said that no matter where you post on social media, there will always be judgement.

“Social media has standards,” Statzer said.

“On your regular account you can’t post (all the time), so a spam account is to express yourself a little bit more. But still, a lot of people think your posts (on the spam) are weird. Maybe there really isn’t a safe place on social media.”

Nostalgia from past trends connects teachers and students

Betsy Areddy | Staff Writer

Caroline Bishop | Staff Writer

This time, we’re going back to the past instead of “Back to the Future.”

Crazes from the 1990’s are coming back to Mason Middle School and making a booming statement in classrooms. Students are bringing these trends back in different ways. Converse shoes have become a fashion statement, and fidget toys are reminiscent of Rubik’s Cubes. The trend resurfaces when students see it around their school again.

Seventh grade language arts teacher Sierra Paine said she witnessed the return of Converse shoes.

“(Converse) started off when my mom was  growing up and they came back when I was in high school,” Paine said. “I was in high school (during the) 2000s and now they’re back again.”

 Seventh grade math teacher Chad Layton said he remembers trends from when he was in middle school.

“Going to middle school dances, we always used to get together and get dressed,” Layton said. “We would put on our Zubaz pants and tight roll them and put on our Eastlands before we (left).”

Seventh grade science teacher Elizabeth Mills said seeing returning fads makes her have memories of when the trend was popular. “

 “It just brings up memories that I’ve had when I participated in that fad,” Mills said. “If I see certain games or the clothing or the types of music that were popular a long time ago, it makes me nostalgic and think back to those memories and it makes me happy.”

 Seventh grader Valerie Allen said she has seen hairstyles from the 1980s in the halls of MMS.

“I see girls wearing super high ponytails every day and I know that they were popular in the 80s,”    Allen said. ”I started to see high ponytails come back around the middle of sixth grade. There are definitely many similarities to 80’s ponytails because they are very high up on your head and you normally poof out your hair around your ponytail which is the same as in the 80’s. The differences I think are that people nowadays don’t wear them to the side as much as they do right on top.”

Eighth grader Vehda Rastogi said that she would pick Converse over regular sneakers any day due to their popularity.

  “I have Converse and I get shoes based on the brand,” Rastogi said. “If there was a normal pair of sneakers v.s. Converse, I would get Converse. Probably (just) because they’re converse.”

  Students have gotten to see forgotten fads of past decades through these returning trends, and have a chance to see the value of them.

  “It’s like a piece of history that’s coming back and being remembered and appreciated once again,” Layton said.

Makeup used as tool for self expression and creativity

Abby Fulton | Staff Writer

Hannah Lohmueller | Staff Writer

Powder isn’t the only thing being pressed into a mold.

Students at MMS have been feeling the pressure of society’s expectations, resulting in a stronger push to wear makeup. In a 2012 study conducted by the Renfrew Center Foundation, 38 percent of girls start wearing makeup between the ages of eight and 13. These girls feel the need to alter their features for the purpose of better fitting American beauty standards.

Eighth grader Isabella Johns said that she wears makeup because it makes her feel better about her appearance.

“It makes me feel more confident in the way I look,” Johns said. “It’s mostly my choice – it’s just something I like doing and I want to do. If I wanted to, I wouldn’t wear makeup.”

Health teacher Kimberly Schaffer said that she was confident in her appearance when she was in middle school.

“I was pretty comfortable in my own skin,” Shaffer said. “I didn’t feel the need to cover my face or hide from certain aspects of who I was. I was pretty comfortable in saying, ‘This is me, take it or leave it.’ ”

Seventh grader Brady Billhorn said that girls can sometimes wear too much makeup, but it doesn’t affect him.

“I feel like they wear too much makeup sometimes,” Billhorn said. “It doesn’t really

bother me very much, they can if they want to.”

Some girls feel pressured to wear makeup, yet guys who want to wear makeup feel pressured not to. Even though this might be the case, it’s becoming more common to see guys wearing makeup.

Eighth grader Mayank Naik said that he only feels self-conscious wearing makeup around people that aren’t his friends.

“I feel judged by guys mostly because it’s not a normal thing,” Naik said. “I usually get called out for something if they know, so I usually don’t tell people about it.”

Shaffer said that it’s fine for both boys and girls to wear makeup as long as they are doing it for the right reasons.

“If they have skin problems or they’re trying to cover some kind of blemishes, people can become very self-conscious,” Shaffer said. “If people do it to make themselves feel better, that’s one aspect of it. If they’re doing it to impress other people or trying to keep up, I think that’s a different reason.”

Johns said that she likes seeing more guys doing makeup as an outlet for their creativity.

“I’ve been seeing more (guys wearing makeup) recently – – I think it’s cool that more people are discovering makeup as an art form,” Johns said. “I love to see people be creative with it and make new looks. I think that it’s cool that more people are discovering it.”

Naik said that other boys who are self-conscious or have an interest shouldn’t be afraid to wear makeup.

“From my experience I’ve been made fun of,” Naik said. “But if you’re a guy, it’s normal to wear makeup and you shouldn’t feel scared to wear makeup in public.”

Johns said that it’s important to understand that wearing makeup is your decision, not others.

“I don’t think it’s a decision of when you should start wearing makeup,” Johns said. “It’s mostly when you want to start wearing makeup and when you start to find interest in makeup.”

New Nintendo Switch allows for versatile gaming

Scott Reckers | Staff Writer

Braedon Vrooman | Staff Writer

Nintendo is proving itself a major player in the game with the release of the Nintendo Switch.

The video game giant is revolutionizing the gaming industry with the release of its new console and handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch. Available since March 3, the Nintendo Switch allows gamers to play games wherever and whenever they want.  

What makes the Nintendo Switch Unique is its ability to switch between the different modes: TV mode, handheld mode, and tabletop mode. While on the go, people can play on a screen size of 6.2 inches. In handheld mode, attach the Joy-Con controllers to both sides of the screen. In tabletop mode, simply detach them and flip out a built-in kickstand to play. At home, slide the screen into the included dock to play the system on a TV.

Seventh-grade coding and robotics teacher Martin Fish is an early Switch owner and said that it meshes extremely well with his day to day life.

“It already fits better than any other console I’ve ever owned,” Fish said. “The reason I was excited about it was because it allowed me to play console quality games away from the TV. I don’t always have access to a TV so with my Playstation I couldn’t play the games I wanted to because I wanted to let others use the TV. So this way I get to play the games I’m interested in, away from the TV.”

The main method of control for the Switch comes in the form of the two Joy-Cons. Even though they can fit in the palm of your hand, Nintendo has managed to fit a whole lot of content into them. Both Joy-Cons include accelerometers, gyro sensors, and the new HD rumble feature, which can convey highly realistic feelings such as ice cubes in a glass. Some features are exclusive to either the left or right one. The left includes a screenshot button and the right one includes an IR Camera, the home button and a scanner for Nintendo’s interactive figurines, Amiibo.

Eighth grader Sumner Nelson has been a Nintendo fan for a long time and has high hopes for the console. Nelson said that he is very optimistic about the Switch, especially the first year game lineup.

”The lineup is really strong,” Nelson said. “It’s doing almost as much in this first year as the Wii U (did) in its entire lifetime, with it having a main series Zelda game, the main series 3D Mario game, and Splatoon 2, the new (Intellectual Property). It’s got a bunch of indie games at launch. I know it has Super Bomberman R, Binding of Isaac, and some other ones. 1-2 Switch I’m not too excited about, but I think that it will only be a mini party game for game nights with friends.”  

If gamers want other controlling options, they can pick up a Switch Pro Controller for $69.99, which is essentially a switch controller that has more of a traditional controller feeling.  The Joy-Con grip comes with the console, this is a similar feel to the pro controller but is included. Another difference with this and the pro controller is the Joy-Cons go on and off the grip so this is interchangeable not like the pro controller. The Mario Kart wheel is the last currently available grip. The wheel is simple, it is just a steering-wheel shaped mold that holds a Joy-Con each, pick up two for $15.00

Seventh grader Max Keck, a Nintendo customer said that the console is innovative, but will most likely not provide competition to other consoles, like the Xbox or Playstation.

“I think the console is new and innovative, and people will probably like it,” Keck said. “Some will say it is gimmicky and not like it, but it will be received well overall. I don’t think it will compete directly with (other consoles). It won’t be an Xbox, but it will be a completely new category. While the Xbox is meant for only one kind of play, the Switch is very versatile and can be used in lots of situations. ”

Lowe’s partners with students on fencing project

Rilee Malloy | Staff Writer

A fence is not the only thing they are building.

The students with special needs are partnering with Lowe’s and eighth grade art teacher John Benham’s classes to make the courtyard a more beautiful place for students to learn and grow.

Lowe’s also came in to help with this project. Special Ed teacher Mark Lynch, and Benham wrote a proposal to the school, and it was approved. Lowe’s helped build and finance the entire project.

“We partnered with Lowe’s here in Mason and they sponsored the whole entire project,” Benham said. “The (students) were able to create two different flower beds, 4×8 and they even did a paver patio around the two flower beds for wheelchair access, and they supplied us with some paint to cover up the fence.”

Benham is one of the leaders of this project. He said that he was excited to make Mason Middle School a better environment for students to be engaged with the school.

“It’ll be a great way to do some learning in a different environment,” Benham said. “It’ll be cool for the students to do some mural painting out there as well, as it will help some other students in a different environment learn about science and math and gardening.”

Special Ed teacher Christina Layton said that she was happy that she could help her students get involved in the community.

“For me particularly, the student population I work with has students with different abilities and disabilities, and they don’t really have opportunities to get involved in the community, or in a community project,” Layton said. “So we wanted to make sure they were all included with people their same age. And for me that’s what I wanted to be able to provide for them.”

Eighth grader Olivia Curry, a student with special needs said she is excited about this project, and is happy that she is able to have something that is a part of her life at home, brought into her school life.

“I’m so happy I’m here, and I really love to garden,” Curry said. “That is my favorite thing at home too. Me and my mom garden, and my dad makes dinner out of the things me and my mom grow.”

Benham also said he has seen some students become more responsible through this project and they are excited to move forward with it.

“Well we haven’t done a whole (lot) other than building, but I can see some sense of responsibility already,” Benham said.  “Several students have already come in and they go outside to check on it see what it looks like and are already asking and excited like, ‘hey when are we gonna get started doing more?’ I can definitely see some responsibility as well as ownership that they’re ready to move forward with the painting.”

Teachers, especially Special Education teacher Todd Castner, were excited for everyone to see their students shine.

“I think (my students) really enjoy doing what they do,” Castner said. “And I think that some of the staff that popped in throughout the day saw a different side of them that they don’t usually see, and saw them in a different light.”

Benham said he is excited to see how the project will turn out, and is excited for this to be more than just a fence.

“I think it’s gonna help everybody understand that we all don’t have the same abilities and maybe working together side by side we can still create something together,” Benham said.

YouTube “24-Hour Challenge” wreaks havoc among local retailers

Elise Haller | Staff Writer
Nora Touassi | Staff Writer

Playing video games, watching Netflix, sleeping. This is how most students spend their days off school. But some are spending their days in stores–not shopping, not looking for candy, but hiding in order to stay overnight.

The 24-hour YouTube challenge is when people will go into stores while they are open. They will hide before the store closes, in shelves, behind boxes, in storage rooms, or any other good hiding places. The store will then close, the people will wait for all the employees to leave, then they will come out and clown around. The 24-hour overnight YouTube challenge is going viral. From London, to Canada, to Australia, and even Mason, Ohio–people have been trying to take this on. Seth Horvath, store manager of the Waterstone Boulevard Target, confirmed that the challenge has been attempted in the tri-state area, although he refrained from indicating at which location.

“It has happened in the Mason area,” Horvath said. “ It’s company policy that I can’t tell you which store it has happened in, but we have seen it.”

Horvath said the Target corporate office sent out information to all Target stores explaining to them to take extra precaution and safety measures. Horvath said that while guests are shopping at the front of the store, others are hiding in the back.

“This is something that came about this past summer, late summer, early fall,” Horvath said. “It is something that affects retailers in a pretty big way. We operate, have guests come shop off our shelves, and ring them up front, but when the guests or teenagers or whoever it is shops, hide behind large items–toilet paper, paper towels, and diapers.”

Eighth grader Sankaran Iyer said that there should be some consequences for hiding in a store overnight.

“I don’t think people should be in the store after closing time because they have some work to do that continues the next day,” Iyer said. “It is not legal to do it for just a YouTube channel. If they say it closes at this time, you are not allowed to enter anymore. It’s their property. You can’t just forcefully enter and stay there. It’s wrong.”

Seventh grader Jacob Sicking said the challenge is a cool idea, but there should be consequences if someone gets caught. “I think it’s cool, but it’s bad if you get caught,” Sicking said. “(People who attempt the challenge should be given) a warning the first time and the second time be banned from the store.”

Eighth grade physical science teacher Laura Tonkin said the challenge is risky, and if offenders get caught, they should be charged with breaking and entering.

“It seems risky. I understand the excitement, but the consequences could be breaking and entering,” Tonkin said. “If over 18, (they) should have the same punishment as someone breaking or entering.”

Seventh grader Leah Stone said the consequences should should be jail time or a fine.

“A fine or jail time, probably 250 dollars or 500 dollars because that is the normal amount and one or two days of jail time, depending on how bad it would be,” Stone said. “I think you could get caught, and it would be very bad if you did. It’s kinda stupid for people to be doing that knowing how much trouble you could get into.”

Horvath said that his main concern is keeping their customers safe.

“It is not safe, let alone it is not a wise thing to do,” Hovrath said. “It’s not a huge problem, but it is something we don’t want to see become a big problem either. We have a good time at Target. We want our guests to enjoy themselves. We don’t want our guests to be inconvenienced or our team members to be inconvenienced by someone just fooling around like that.”